A coupla Kookaburras sit on our deck rail. Time for hand-fed grub, and then they’re away, offering thanks of sorts in a fusillade of song. Not long after, two black hombres prowl the deck prospecting for scraps. The house cat bristles, salivates - raw meat today instead of Whiskas? But these bush turkeys are no hens - their claws and size are formidable, so he can only crouch and wonder what might have been during this Sunshine Coast’s summer’s day in winter.

Life is what happens when…

Things don’t always go according to plan.

No wonder John Lennon, and some wise people before him have said, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”

And yet when the unexpected happens, it invariably throws us and we react.

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Fresh ideas versus same old, same old…

Oscar Wilde once observed that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. So let’s talk about it, that unprecedented threat to our health and well-being – public service television.

Never mind that we’ve never had it, the mere mention of it makes some in the commentariat fume. Take Mike Hoskings. Nice bloke. Shame about the rash he’s developed over this issue, though he’s not alone. Here’s a take from his comments:

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Baker’s choice…

A baker refused, very politely apparently, to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple because he was against same sex marriage.

I am moved to comment on this after listening to aghast responses on the topic from panellists on Radio New Zealand: ‘Stupid.’ and ‘Homophobic.’ And ‘It’s the same as refusing to serve a coloured person in a cafe.’  Is it?

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Yey! It’s official – we’re a happy lot!!

Good news for  Enzed: we came eighth in World Happiness, one ahead of Australia and Sweden, according to the  Sustainable  Development Solutions Network for the UN.

Happiest  country  of all was Norway,  followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.

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Understanding dementia

My mother once told me in a hushed voice that one of our neighbours might have TB. My mother-in-law spoke behind her hand about epilepsy (“E-P”).  Then, it was considered poor practise to tell people they had cancer (they gave up hope) and of course we never mentioned people with that “condition”, homosexuality! Things have changed. So what makes it so hard in the twenty-first century to talk about dementia?

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Words and consequences

As a presidential  candidate Trump dissed reporters  as being ‘slime, ‘dishonest slime’, unfair’, ‘not good people’ – and much more.  In the land where free speech is a constitutional guarantee, he  threatened to  open up libel laws and added: “…we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”  Much of this  must have been shrugged off by reporters covering his campaign as  Trump’s  bog standard rhetoric.

But then  the Candidate became the President and over his 18 months in office, intensified  his attacks on the media.

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It’s a hacienda – sort of

Is it a house? Only just by the look of it.  Are those really gates? Are they ever! Contributor Chris Horan snapped the  Spanish hacienda of sorts when he stayed there,  discovering that it would be unthinkable in  the country  to put a house on the market without such daunting  security. He  found it a  an accepted  characteristic of many Spanish homes and apartments in Calypso.

‘What a way to live!’ he wrote.

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