holiday-shoppingMate,  Happy Christmas!

It's not Christmas yet you dick.

Course it is - Black Friday and all.  Me and  the Missus bought heaps of  stuff.

Christmas is weeks away.

Well we'll  just do it all over again,   get that  65"   Sony  I missed out on -

- You   know why we do Christmas  dontcha?

Course.  So  we can buy stuff.

What about Jesus?

Who? Yeah, Nah.  Jeez did I tell you about the price tag on that Sony. Incredible…!



My books and other animals…


Old friends should never be treated like this: interned in sunless corners,  jammed upright  until their spines crumble; bandaged,  but with half their pages  inexplicably  missing.My  books were freed recently by the arrival  of our  exuberant Westie wallpaperer and so ended up in piles all over the  house.  But in them  we  found   reunions everywhere. 

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The silent spectator at the awards….


We are in the  great hall of Auckland Grammar, tip-toeing up the stairs to  the balcony overlooking the  stage and the ground floor.    In the belly of the  domed hall,  some 2,000 students wriggle  in tightly organised rows,  their collective chatter sounding  like some  human beehive.

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A world without meat?

Vegan and vegetarian options have become noticeable in shops and restaurants in the last few years. This is a  trend in most western nations. (Vegans don’t eat any meat products. Vegetarians  may eat dairy products). The Telegraph reports that in the last ten years the number of vegans in the UK rose by 360%.

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The Yellow Card

I thought time-out (excluding children from the classroom for a short period) was a good thing, at least compared to beatings with  cane and strap. Seems I’m dated. Corporal punishment was the norm everywhere and not outlawed in New Zealand until 1990.

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Interviewing by numbers…

I wonder if anyone else has noticed that interviewing by numbers now features in our best magazines as well as weekend newspapers. These interviews consist of a list of about eight to ten stupid questions. I imagine the questions are emailed to this or that celebrity to fill in.  I feel sorry for people so desperate for publicity they actually answer these stupid questions.

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Warts and all


Jaw-dropping winner  of the  Kiwi version of London’s  Carbunkle Cup (for the ugliest building in the UK) is right here in… yes in one of our prettiest centres, just keep reading…

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Teresa and Hilary

The other day some friends talked about Auckland’s homeless and how awful the conditions must be sleeping rough.  Auckland’s Spring was having an identity crisis, reverting to the chills and rain of Winter, dallying briefly with its sunnier  self – then plunging into yet another sodden bout of seasonal recidivism. So these comfortably housed friends were right – how ghastly it must be to live day after day on the streets or crammed in  the hothouses of cars at night.

How did we get to this point at which  homelessness is so overwhelming, but at the same time beginning to slip down the news agenda? How could it be fixed they asked? They shook their heads sadly, but history has some  answers…

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Neat and tidy

how-to-clean-a-dirty-ovenI tested the kitchen smoke alarm a couple of weekends ago. Baking an apple and boysenberry cake, the topping, dots of butter sprinkled with muscovado sugar, melted, oozed through the dodgy base of my aging spring form tin and began to burn.

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