Welcome to Kiwiboomers!


Across the bayMy old friend loved progress. He'd sit on his deck chair and from his verandah look across the blue bay to a green headland. An ideal place for a settlement like his own he said. The years slipped away, the headland remained green but his own settlement had become unrecognisable. How, he asked, could people block  neighbours' views? Why were they always rushing? And so he found contentment in gazing at the unchanged headland and no longer wished progress upon it. 


Moving on…

paIt’s been a year since he passed on, lying in the sunshine of his bedroom,  grinning as he pursed his lips and persuaded the ladies watching over his last moments, to give him a kiss.

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‘A little discomfort?’

OuchMe and the dentist are strangers but I know I’m in good company there. It’s  not the childhood memories – though these linger  and range from the  scary  whine of the drill to  the dull ache which often followed.  It’s not the  money  either (okay,  it is) – dental work these days is  brutally expensive.

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Quality TV? Fly to Oz

Friends joke that they knew we’d come home crowing about Oz; how much sunnier it was – and all those beaches.

They were right – and wrong: Eight days in Melbourne and we saw the sun only when our Air New Zealand flight lifted off the tarmac. Beaches? Sort of. Great long strips lacking the intimacy of ours, with their Pohutukawa blossoms  and streams meandering their way into the sea.

We did however return with something unexpected – memories of a vibrant  public broadcasting industry.

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Max’s Dogs

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

Dog’s bollocks

The top, the best, the most admirable. Bollocks came into use in the 1700s as a slang term for testicles. As a stand-alone word it is used as a put-down: ‘bollocks’ means rubbish, ‘bollocking’ means a severe chastising and ‘dropping a bollock’ means a big mistake.

How this usage reversed into a term of high praise when referring to the testicles of a dog has never been clear.  One possibility put forward is that because a dog’s bollocks are often quite prominent, there could be a connection between the word ‘ bollocks’ and the word ‘outstanding’.


Kiwiosities: ‘…off the hind tit’

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

‘Living off the hind tit’

Perhaps better known as a form of tax evasion, ‘living off the hind tit’ was widely practised in those favoured sectors of the economy where subsidies and allowances flourished until the 1980s.  In business the cost of commuting, daily means and entertainment were deducted from  income as were car bills (add magazines and grocery items to the petrol account), corporate yachts and club memberships.

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A Cautionary Tale from Paradise

Mountains of MooreaOnce upon a time in Paradise, hotels and resorts sprung up like flowers in spring. The rulers of Paradise and international hotel chains smiled, “Paradise will be the new destination for our tourists.”

And so it was. Tourists flew in and experienced the pleasures of Paradise.  But along the way, the wind changed direction and nearly twenty years later decayed and abandoned resorts dot the isles of Paradise.

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Brexiting – and why…

United_Kingdom_EU_referendum_2016_voting_regions_results.svgThe Brexit and all that:  A strange feeling for someone as opinionated as I am: I didn’t have a view on the Brexit referendum. My brother and sister, who both live in England, one rich, the other on a modest pension, voted to leave.

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June Miscellany

oth 4jpgSince 2001 JAFAs have quite rightly called it None Tree Hill. Some even grew accustomed to the sight of the shorn iconic cone in their midst. Most people assumed that a tree would be planted soon after the Monterey pine was attacked for the second time in 1999 by Maori activists. Not so. All it took was a mere 15 years of PC tip-toeing over protocols and types of trees.

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