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Loneliness in Godzone

Picture this: An 80-year-old grandfather of four children – three boys and one girl – is picked up from his central city flat by his only son every Sunday. He drives him through suburban streets which he can now barely recognise. The once lush avenues of bungalows and villas seem gap-toothed here and there. Or they sport towering new townhouses which block sunlight from their neighbours.

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Sign on the Cook Strait Ferry Arahura prohibiting the display of gang patches

Sign on the Cook Strait ferry Arahura prohibiting the display of gang patches.

We have within our society groups of people who prefer to live in a primitive tribal community framework. Primitive in that they have their own laws and anyone not in their tribe is either not to be trusted or an enemy. They call themselves clubs, motor cycle clubs mainly. They are commonly known as gangs. The police use more accurate terminology; criminal organisations.

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When was the first time you felt old?

When was the first time you felt, umm… elderly? Well okay – old? It’s not as if it’s something that  happens often because we live in a self-made reality, now and in the past.

But it’s right there if we bother to look: on the car radio Magic FM specialises in music for the ‘oldies’ – that same music which revolutionised the music world when we were in the Swinging Sixties, is now a commercially viable lullaby for early baby boomers.

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A hero at 14…

(Part two of John’s adolescent dilemma)

In the first episode which we ran in June, 13-year-old John Anderson is acclaimed for his heroism – rescuing his 18-month-old brother from a charging bull in post- war Britain. He makes the front pages of national newspapers is feted in London along with other young heroes – and dies just a little bit each time…. Here’s the sequel to his dip into the waters of celebrity…

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Max’s Dogs – Toto

The fictional terrier Toto was created in 1900 as the pet of Dorothy Gale in Frank Baum’s book, The Wizard of Oz. In the later movie starring Judy Garland, Toto although referred to as male, was played by a female Cairn terrier called Terry.

One of movie history’s most memorable lines is spoken to the terrier when Judy Garland, as Dorothy, is somewhat alarmed at the strange land in which she has found herself and says: ‘Toto – I have a feeling that we’re not in Kansas any more’.

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Kiwiosities: The Great Migration

Generations of New Zealanders, many Maori included, were brought up accepting the myth of the  great migration (to New Zealand by Maori), and other tales about the early settlement of New Zealand. These traditions told that Aotearoa was discovered in AD 950 by Kupe, rediscovered by his descendant Toi in AD1150 and settled by way of a great migration from Hawaiki in 1350. The story was recorded by such 19th century scholars as Stephenson Percy Smith and accepted by most until the 1970s.

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