Category archive: Viewpoint

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.

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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.

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Could do better…

This morning my sister sent me a copy of my 6-year-old nephew’s report.  It was a surprisingly good read!

Writing school reports is a dying art.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I have been a teacher for much of my life and I completely understand that it is no longer possible or acceptable to say just what you think about your students.  As teachers drown under mountains of paperwork, face rising class sizes and exacting standards of political correctness there is little option but to follow carefully set guidelines.

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Of rage and compassion…

Little Auckland has some of the problems its truly large cousins suffer from.

Sometimes it’s a comic opera of irritations and at others, flashpoints which could turn nasty. Road rage for example. Or more curiously – supermarket trolley rage. Come on, I hear you say. That’s silly – but not if you’re elderly, routinely civil and at the receiving end.

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Autumn keeps on giving…

It is a beautiful autumn day with the most perfect interplay of clouds and light playing on dappled trees. The vivid yellow, orange and almost red leaves on the season’s palette are stunning. And beneath them, crinkled and in sepia,  leaves carpet and the lush green of lawns, rustling and whispering: “The show’s not over… not yet!”

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The PM Confessionals

 I watched Radio New Zealand’s Guyon Espiner’s interviews of past prime ministers on the computer to check out the body language as well as the words. I took notes of the  show (The Ninth Floor),  but with my prejudices it’s just as well I didn’t try journalism as a career. So let me state from the outset  that Jenny Shipley is far and away my least favourite PM. She reminds me even now of a bossy head girl who’s never had a moment’s self doubt.

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‘Boarding School Syndrome’

Boarding school  syndrome’ was the title of an insightful article from the UK ‘Guardian’, sent to me by my London-based sister last year. It got me thinking, or more accurately remembering things I’ve tried to erase from my memory.

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