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…
Took a double-decker into Auckland the other day and felt as if we had been hibernating - so much had changed. Commuters joined, full of youth and energy - then sat silent, plugged into audio temples of their choice. Choice - and fragile freedoms - but at what price when their future may be unaffordable? Maybe that's why they tune out.
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…
Woke up this morning not to our plaintive Tui, who seems to have lost his song, but to a whacking great WHUMP! It shook the house, made the windows chatter in their frames like teeth in a shiver.
Damn developers we thought, making six dwellings where two once stood. But no.
The show-prayer fashion was everywhere this year. Why appeal to your maker in the changing-room or tunnel when you can do it front of millions? This is a special God, after all, a biased God, your own personal God who’s here for you, not the other blokes lining up beside you.
Did I want to read a book about Christchurch?
I’d seen the destruction of the earthquakes, later vast expanses of nothingness and recently, steps of reconstruction. I’d watched John Campbell cover stories on television about it and each Saturday for the last five years I’d read all about it in The Press. (Maybe, thought I knew it.)
Between 2005 and 2007, a total of 119,600 people migrated to NZ from overseas. 41,300 of those were New Zealand born citizens returning home. The remaining 78,300 were born overseas.
The vast majority of migrants have made Auckland their home in a very short time, changing the demographics of the population dramatically.
Richard Wagner was devoted to his King Charles spaniel named Peps, who actually participated in his master’s composing.
Wagner’s biographer H.T. Finck records that Peps constantly sat near Wagner when the composer was at the piano. Sometimes Peps would leap on to the table and peer into Wagner’s face, howling piteously.