Who’d have thought that toilet paper would become a preoccupation on our travels? In most of the countries we visited we were instructed not to throw toilet paper down the toilet. We got used to this, sort of…
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:
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.