Category archive: Nostalgia

The Christmas that nearly wasn’t

Name your best Christmas, my parents said to me the other day. My best… the most memorable… the most exciting?!

To be honest, I can only remember Christmas’s from eight years up – the first eight years were a mist of hazy snapshots, smells, and tears (most likely mine because I was the youngest of three girls). From eight years on, I remember more.

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Christmas deflated

I don’t really remember much about my early Christmases but this one was different.

This was the year I got a big blow-up beach ball. It was almost as big as me, bright and colourful – and the only ball I could catch at the time!

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A Christmas story

Some Christmases stand out. The one where I pushed my sister’s face into the pavlova because she was annoying me, that was one of those. The one I spent in England with a vegan family with a carnivorous father with nut roast as the centrepiece.

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Plum pudding and plonk

My mother was a caterer.

She worked from home with the help of my step-father (heavy lifting duties and general run-about) and daughter number three, aged 10 years (me, baker of pavlovas). She provided good honest food for friends’ and relatives’ weddings.

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Bike – freedom!

What’s your favourite memory of Christmas? somebody asked and I knew in a flash. It was a Rudge. Barely recognisable as a brand now, almost comical – rhyming as it does with fudge (almost as good but more readily available) and more unfortunately, with sludge…

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Kiwiosities: Goat and Rabbit Islands

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

New Zealanders are prone to giving trite and unimaginative names to their landmarks. Maori on the other hand used much poetry and polysyllable which has meant that many of their names have slipped from common knowledge over the years.

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Ghostly memories

Long ago and faraway we hitched a ride to Queenstown. It was 1960 and we two 16-year-olds walked down the road to the township and the glittering waters of Lake Wakatipu. We expected to see a township but this was really a little burg, like all the small towns we’d passed on the way South.

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Great auditions

For some years Chris travelled the country looking for new talent to make their debut on Television. New Zealand has a history of talent quests at the beach over summer or in local halls up and down the country raising funds for all sorts of projects. Radio and television had early versions called “Have a Shot” often compered by John Maybury.  But he remembers a few auditions which returned huge rewards.  

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RIP Local news

We miss our weekly rag. Just when it seemed to be doing the job of our daily papers (there’s only the NZ Herald now) ours, like other print media died.

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