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.
Category archive: Information
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.
The results are in. The swearing-inners have sworn. The dust has settled – but the whining,the utter incomprehension of the bewildered born-to-rule shows no sign of abating. Judging by the first week after confirmation that a coalition of Labour, NZ First and the Greens would be the Government, the first of the moans is the least accurate, but makes a good slogan for the newly dispossessed and it goes – and will go – like this:
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.
From Max Cryer’s CURIOUS English words and phrases – the truth behind the expressions we use:
(Out for a) duck
Cricket usually has a visual scoreboard and if a player leaves the field having made no runs, a great big zero stands next to his or her name on the scoreboard. A practice arose many years ago of referring to this zero – because of its shape- as a duck’s egg, and this was shortened to just a duck. So if he or she was out for a duck, it means there was no score.
I could write a whole catalogue of clichés to describe the beauty of Omapere and the impact it has had on my life. But, let’s just start with a couple – it’s a beautiful jewel on the Hokianga Harbour, which has totally taken my heart.
“Oma-where, Oma-what. Where the hell is this Omapere?” I remember saying.
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.”