I decided to visit my daughter in Christchurch via the Haast and Arthur’s Passes. Not the easiest route on a bike, even with my friend (electric motor) to help me up the hills.
I like dancing – who doesn’t? So, one day after feeling as if I could become footloose on the dance floor again, I enrolled for a ballroom dancing class at the local grammar.A legacy of the Fifties and Sixties was that all of us could rock and roll – and even today if you listen to the original of Honky Tonk, your feel an irresistible urge to do it all over again.
First, an early morning recollection from the day before: a friend describing a short story which captured the pitiful cries of whale calves separated from their beached mothers.
Then this: on a country road where the occasional car usually dawdled, most now zipped along at highway speeds.
With hope borne of nothing more than a fresh year, I dream on: That we all woke up to the inequity that has passed for national values for too many years. The reckless obsession with the glittering lights of our economy, dairying and tourism, illustrate how self-interest has overtaken public interest as a legitimate goal. I couldn’t resist showing, with minor deletions, Charlotte Bronte’s view of this clash of values in Shirley, published in 1849:
Old friends should never be treated like this: interned in sunless corners, jammed upright until their spines crumble; bandaged, but with half their pages inexplicably missing.My books were freed recently by the arrival of our exuberant Westie wallpaperer and so ended up in piles all over the house. But in them we found reunions everywhere.
If you don’t know what food to buy or how to cook the food the advertisers tell you to buy, newspaper and magazine articles will tell you all you need to know, and television food shows will make you wonder if it’s all become a bit too much. So let’s go for a trip back down the years when food was less colourful and certainly less plentiful. Do you remember what you were eating when you were ten years old?
Within living memory there were many men and woman who kept secret the ‘shameful’ fact of growing up in an orphanage or similar homes for children who could not, for various reasons, be cared for by parents or extended family. Whatever the reason for their exclusion from society, the inevitable implication was that they were unwanted, by family and community.