Category archive: Health

Suicide and older men – Part two

Our understanding of suicide is at best fragmentary. It’s complicated by our attitudes, religious beliefs, whether the deceased was a close friend or family member. The most acceptable position to settle on when someone close has committed suicide is to say,   ‘the balance of his mind was disturbed’. It offers more satisfaction than living with a lifelong unresolved quest for answers. Mental disturbance has the advantage of absolving both the subject and survivors of moral examination and uncertainty. Nevertheless, a degree of uncertainty is inevitable.

Continue reading

Trees for our health…

It’s not easy being green…  and especially not in Auckland. The most common  suburban sounds here for the past five years has been the angry buzz of chainsaws. To hear them is bad enough because you know that another beautiful tree is about to  fall because, well it’s in the way of sunlight/developers/over-sized houses.  One third  of the city’s residential trees have been felled in the past five years according to the Tree Council.

Continue reading

Walking Man

Man  starts to shave. Sees his reading  glasses  on the basin shelf. Wonders why. Wife  tells  him breakfast is  getting cold.   Hurries to the table.  Spoons down porridge.  She gives him a peck on the cheek (when  did they stop kissing  the way they used to? ) and  rushes off to work the way he  once did.

Continue reading

Out of the gloom and into the light

I woke up to a gloomy, wet weekend morning in Auckland.  It had been  a busier than usual week when extra attention and output was required.   Just as I was mulling that I needed to chill this day before attending to the many ‘must do’s’, I stumbled on this  piece.

Continue reading

Turning a blind eye to torment

I can’t remember when I wrote the following paragraph about using containers in prisons to mop up overcrowding:

“My response to the use of containers to imprison convicted criminals was to ask myself the following questions: Are the containers secure? Will they mop up overcrowding? By prison standards of accommodation, are these containers humane? The answer is yes in all cases.”

Continue reading

Emotional intelligence in the workplace

Historically, emotions have had a bad rap in the business world.

Good decision-making has typically highlighted clear logic, rational analysis, and excellent critical thinking.  All of these venerate cool logic over messy things like emotions, intuition or gut feelings.

In fact, with some organisations, the mantra has been “when you come to work, leave emotions at home!” Yep – hang it like you would a coat on a coat-stand before you enter the work place.

Continue reading

Death is full of surprises

I never imagined I’d sit with my mother as she died.  Or view her a few days later.

But then I never imagined we would be right there in our kitchen with our vet, Brendan, as he gave Bill his last injection.  The ‘we’, included Suzy,  Bill’s canine litter-mate of thirteen years.

Continue reading

Weeds in the mind’s garden….

 A friend who had been away from home for several weeks was complaining about how much the weeds had grown in his absence. And worse, before he could attend to this, he had to take another unscheduled trip, which left no competition between him and the rambling mini forest (okay – a wee exaggeration!) on his return.

With  my  background in psychology, this led me to reflect on our minds and the weeds we let grow, sometimes unwittingly, and the way those plants can take over our thinking.

Continue reading

Shining a light on batteries

I’m very confused about all the different types of batteries and have so many questions—what do the different types mean? Are they all hazardous? Which batteries are recyclable and which aren’t? What about the wee round ones like those from my husband’s hearing aids that sometimes get sucked up into my vacuum cleaner?

Continue reading