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Elvis has left the building - but he's right here in a life-sized effigy on Auckland's Dominion Road.

Was he the King? Indisputably. But in this age of the digital download, his musical record is being re-written unfairly - and his fans are All shook up.

Talk about Heartbreak Hotel! Check it out in our Miscellany post.

Lourengo Marques, Mozambique, 1960s

Never go back?

They say you should never go back or try to recapture the wonder of places and experiences of your youth. But, while not replicating the original, sometimes the passage of time can make the outcome rewarding and interesting.

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September Miscellany

Remember the excitement of being a teenager and jiving to Elvis’ music? (So hip that word back then, so embarrassing now).

Anyway, it’s all bad news on the Elvis front folks. Turns out The King wasn’t all he was cracked up to be on the record charts – at least that’s what Billboard magazine is saying to the ire of Elvis’ followers world-wide.

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Avonside post-quake, picture courtesy of Avonsideblog.org '

Renewal – Christchurch in Spring

Much has changed between my occasional visits to Christchurch in the last four and a half years.

On my first post-earthquakes visit I was awed by wrecked buildings, broken roads, tell-tale see pages that told of cracked water-pipes, portable toilets in the streets, tangles of steel reinforcing on what looked like bomb-sites, barricades, soldiers, and silence in a city echoing sorrow.

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Spokes in the wheel…

Cycle-path-photoIn Nelson, the City Council has appeared hell-bent on introducing shared pathways – where walkers vie with bikes.

Hell-bent? In February 2015 the editor of Nelson Mail in Don’t get carried away over cycle ways appealed for common sense.

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When robber bees invade a hive

beesI should begin by saying I am but a beginner beekeeper, so these are just my observations. I don’t keep them for honey, but for pollination, though my kids would tell me the joy of sticking their heads under a giant honey tap in harvest season is a hard reason to beat.

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Kiwiosities: Gabriel’s Gully and Gabriel Read

Kiwiosities coverThe Shiner

‘Shiner’ Ned Slattery was more than 50 years ‘on the road’ avoiding work. John A. Lee recorded the folklore in two books about the champion of ‘anti-sweat’. When Lee was a runaway from a boys’ home, he met The Shiner, then an old man, and ever after collected tales about him.

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Max’s Dogs

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

Depending on the breed, a dog’s field of vision can range from 120 degrees to 270 – somewhat wider than a human’s. However, the upper range is found only in some breeds, notably the greyhound.

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The Corbyn Effect…here?

jeremy-corbyns-labour-leadership-bid-gathers-pace-as-supporters-flock-to-rally_1Why should Kiwis be at all interested in a 66-year-old contender for the UK Labour Party leadership race? Because his politics have the potential to change ours. It helps that he has become something of a sex symbol.

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Selling Godzone in Secret

Larissa_1Tens of thousands of Kiwis out in the rain over the weekend to protest against  the TPP which many thought had  been killed off  in the  last,  failed round of talks. But no.  In the collective race  from commonsense and responsibility to their peoples and institutions, governments are expecting the deal to be finalised later this month. Meanwhile  some Ministers have already dismissed the protests.

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Corfu 1

Kalimera Corfu!

 Funny… it just didn’t seem like Greece. We’d been dazzled by the blue and white on Santorini, subdued by the mainland Greek’s grey and shades of olive and now Corfu looked like Greece’s bohemian cousin, in her green, orange and pink. But then maybe it was Corfu Town’s shabbiness, its charm and its palette of ochre that gave it the taste of Italy.

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The new Balmoral

Balmoral – Gateway to the East

I grew up in a village called Balmoral  where we wished, without a hint of masochism, that  the dentist’s drill  would  shriek; where we knew we were half-way to Hollywood when the cinema doorman took our tickets –  dressed in a tuxedo.

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August Miscellany

bunnyLost and….?

Spotted in Auckland’s burbs, last week: a child’s favourite bunny – tied firmly to a lamp post to make sure Big Ears returns home…

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