Welcome to Kiwiboomers!


Four days on from New Year's Eve and tut-tut, still no resolution in sight. Not to worry. Resolutions like this seem at first to be unshakeable.

Yet the Washington Post reports that 50% of Americans resolve to change their habits - against odds which indicate they won't. One third want to slim down, get organised or fall in love. Just eight per cent achieve their vows and one quarter give up after the first week. Perhaps we'll just settle for 'don't worry, be happy.'


Budapest Girl

 by Panni PalastiEva cover pic

reviewed by Paul Smith

Anybody wandering back in time to write a memoir faces the challenge of what to reveal, what to leave out. It’s the way they confront this issue which defines the work as true to character, authentic.

The title of Panni Palasti’s memoir is Budapest Girl” – an immigrant confronts the past. There. Right there on the cover she’s faced it. Inside, in the prologue, she doesn’t back away either. When a stranger asks, ” Why don’t you mention until page 74 that your father was Jewish?” she responds : ‘Why? Maybe because as a child I was afraid of being branded a Jew’.

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January Miscellany

VW_bus_3-615x410Since its launch in the early 1950s, the Volkswagen Westfalia Camper has been an enduring classic, an icon of cross-country adventures and the traveling lifestyle. Production ceased in 2003, but speaking to Autocar at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser revealed that the company is soon to unveil a concept Camper that would revive the classic van as an electric vehicle.

Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser of Volkswagen revealed that the Camper concept design features a small electric motor to power the front wheels, with battery packs stored under the floor. As for its styling, Volkswagen is being careful to retain the Camper’s iconic looks. http://www.boomercafe.com

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How DOC missed the track…

Makarora RiverIn the light of December’s news, of the third death in 2015 in Mt Aspiring National Park within a two to three day walk of Makarora, it’s natural to ask why the Department of Conservation has closed its Makarora Information Centre this summer season. (DOC uses the words, unmanned decommissioned.)

You could miss Makarora on State Highway 6 between Haast Pass and the head of Lake Wanaka: a sprinkling of accommodation, the once ‘manned’ DOC information centre, a café and fuel pumps, a base for Siberia Experience trips and Wilkin River Jets and Southern Alps Air’s bright yellow Cessna.

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‘Suffragettes’ and votes for women…


Impossible to get it all right, of course, but films based on historical incidents and political movements can’t help being superficial. I have not seen Suffragettes but from reports I have heard and read this film is no exception. At least it focuses on a fictional working class women instead of perpetuating the idea that the Pankhursts carrying the entire burden.

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Why Gratitude is good for you

It is that time of the year!  If you are like many of my clients, you may be feeling low energy, tired, even exhausted after the considerable output of the past year. And you won’t be alone in needing time to just stop, re-charge and refresh with the Christmas New Year break.

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Mt‘Torture: Children locked up 23 hours a day’. At least that was the media created impression, unless one chose to delve behind the headlines and ten-second TV screamers. But it was handy for giving Serco a pasting even though whatever fault there was, belonged entirely with the Department of Corrections.

First, the young prisoners under discussion were on remand in Mount Eden Prison and therefore not allowed to mingle with sentenced prisoners.

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Boomer nights and domes

bradbaldThe other night we were sitting on a porch at another 60th birthday. These days the Big One is almost as common as that other rite of passage, funerals. It’s as if we party one minute and exit the next. On this warm night the other hallmark of our age was that we were sitting. In another room ’60s rock beckoned, reminding us that once, it was only the old folks who sat and watched while we danced…

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Kittens at work

Close catTo further promote my (Imperator Fish) blogsite, I have come up with a new marketing strategy, and I guarantee you will love it!

From next week onwards I will be providing a kitten visit service to workplaces. For a modest fee, you can get your hands on a boxful of adorable kittens.

Here’s how it works:

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Max’s Dogs

Dog JacketFrom Max Cryer’s book  Every Dog has its Day

‘See a man about a dog’ is commonly said to excuse oneself or to leave a meeting or a social gathering, sometimes when the speaker does not want to specify why (it may just be to go to the toilet).  The earliest known use of the phrase was in the 1866 Dion Boucicault play Flying Scud, in which a character avoids a difficult situation by saying, ‘Excuse me Mr Quail , I can’t stop; I’ve got to see a man about a dog’.

In a 1939 revival of the play on American radio, TIME magazine wrote that the phrase was the play’s ‘claim to fame’. During the Prohibition period in the United States, it was commonly used as a code for discreetly consuming alcohol.

Kiwiosities: The Queen’s Chain

Kiwiosities coverExcerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

The Queen’s Chain – going going, gone?

Valued right of public access along river banks, lake shores and the sea front, generally assumed by New Zealanders. The width of this marginal strip is 22 yards (equalling the length of a cricket pitch). The Queen’s Chain contrasts with the privatised waters of the Britain (and the relatively easy access to their countryside through the use of frequent rights of way across private land).

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floral staircase IranJust look at this street art –  roses in Iran,  Dali in Philadelphia.  Any  similarly stunning parallels here?  Nope. Dali image between walls at Philly Muse of artIn short we haven’t even picked up our paint brushes yet and we should if these two amazing transformations of  concrete into colour show.

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