Saw someone suspicious on my morning walk today. I mean, who wears a red towel wrapped around their head for goodness sake – nobody I know. Had a woman with him and she laughs just that little bit too much. Sure sign something’s up. She might be one of his harem. Could be his sex slave – could be his hostage! So I did the only decent thing – called 111.
I’ve been all over the place on this issue. I began by being unhappy with the current New Zealand flag, largely because I could never remember if it was us or Australia who had the extra star. And while this is no excuse for my lazy ignorance, I know some born and bred Kiwis who live with the same confusion. So I was ready for a change until John Key put me off.
It’s been described by many as Samoa’s “architectural gem” and sits proudly in Apia’s centre with a beacon-like dome overlooking the harbour. And the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is not only a very significant building but is also an important tourist attraction.
One million baby boomers – and we’re still here…
We boomed when the guns fell silent in World War II. And we’ve been heard and felt ever since. Relatively few countries experienced the phenomenon of the Baby Boom and the countries that did – Australia, the United States, Canada, England and New Zealand, shared a number of social and cultural features.
Everyone has the occasional lapse in memory, blanking on someone’s name or forgetting where you parked your car. But how do you know when your forgetfulness or muddled thinking is a sign of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia?
There are 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease below, along with examples of what’s “normal”.
A Dog’s Life…
Dogs have not always been prized as friends or ‘family members’. Historically they have sometimes been seen as pariahs and scavengers of the streets. Other dogs were regarded as useful for hunting but may have been given the crudest of shelters, surviving on food scraps from the master’s table. During the 1500s the term ‘dog’s life’ came into being in England, comparing anyone impoverished or living in drudgery with the life of a less than respected dog. Other classes of dogs did exist: companions to the wealthy; rural snow dogs whose work was respected. But the curs, the strays and the scavengers appeared to live an unwelcome and miserable existence and their life was a struggle. So in 1542, when Erasmus wrote:
‘The most parte of folks calleth it a miserable life, or a dogges life’,
he was referring to those on the dog ladder’s lower rungs. Fortunately many dogs now lead lives filled with joyful and active contentment.
‘…so many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country, says the BBC, citing research by Politifact. There were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the Revolutionary War, to Iraq’.
Some years ago a lifelong devotee of yoga brought together the residents of her retirement home to teach them this 4,000-year-old relaxation and meditation technique. She was 90.
A friend used to accompany what she used to call the elderly, on bus tours around Auckland when she was in her late eighties.
Right now, all around the country, there’s a veritable army of older volunteers visiting those who eke out a lonely existence. But over and above that there can be some quite stunning achievements and two were recognised by Age Concern this month.
What a difference benevolent government policies can make to a society.
Venezuela’s low-cost housing programme is building new homes at a breakneck pace of over 200 a day, according to the government.
Here, Statistics New Zealand figures show more than 21,000 new dwellings were approved last year, 26 percent more than in the previous year.
When Freda Du Faur partied at The Hermitage in 1909, they moved the piano into the dining room, rolled back the rugs and everyone danced. By Christmas that summer, The Hermitage overflowed with mountaineers, adventurers and artists. One year later, Freda was the first woman to reach the summit Aoraki/Mt Cook.)
These days The Hermitage Hotel is more likely to see Asian bus tourists stretched back in chairs, ensconced in a 360 degree cinematic experience – viewing the night sky in its Digital Dome Planetarium: See the night sky like never before. Leave Earth. Fly to the edge of our galaxy and far beyond to the reaches of our known universe. So the promo goes.
Went shopping for a hat-rack the other day. No big deal, this was a need rather than a want – my hats had multiplied in direct proportion to my vanishing hair.
I rang a store which stocks everything from rope to paints and plants, and asked for a hat-rack.
“No we don’t sell any” said a South African accent a little too emphatically, the way some people do when they want you off the line.
“I’ll put you through to hardware” she said, and was gone, though Hardware was displeased.
Baby-boomers might just identify with the description of this country:
…’it maintains a welfare state — a set of government programs designed to provide economic security — that is beyond the wildest dreams of American liberals. It provides universal health care; college education is free, and students receive a stipend; day care is heavily subsidized’.
The country is Denmark. The writer is American Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner for Economic Sciences. And many of those state-funded programmes paid for by taxpayers were once also ours before the 1984 election.