‘Christel is at shattering point’ the back-cover blurb says of Kirsten Warner’s The Sound of Breaking Glass. Shattering.
But I’m still feeling shattered. And I’m already three days out from finishing the novel.
There’s a lot going on in this book.
Decades after the damage was done, it has finally become acceptable for economists to admit that neo-liberal economics is a politically manipulated means of ensuring that the rich and powerful become more rich and powerful. But with that madness in decline, another has sprung up.
This one is harder to define, but people are angry. Intolerance, and partisanship are on the rise. Hard-won laws of justice are threatened. I believe the New Zealand media’s response to US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is our small contribution to a growing hysteria.
Media interests, particularly television, give us, or most of us, exactly what we want; the gossipy, exciting, human interest side of politics that requires no thinking. So much so that we tend to forget that Parliament exists to debate and determine the principles and policies that serve the public interest.
So I was pleased and pleasantly surprised when an editorial in the Otago Daily Times raised questions about policy: “What do we want our public health system to look like? Do we want it to be world class and free? Or a safety net with no-frills care for those unable to afford health insurance?” The answer to this question may not be as predictable as we think.
Outside there’s a colourful riot of flowers cherry and pink blossoms and the joyful Springtime chorus of our birds. Out there drunk and disorderly, cheeky Tuis dangle from Kowhais sucking the nectar from the trees’ golden flowers.
I do love this long awaited time of the year especially this year when dreary winter lingered too long.
Six years had passed and in that time another member of the family had died. It was time to pretend the gruelling flight to England would be better this time. It wasn’t. And nor was saying goodbye again, wondering if it would be the last time. But in-between was lots of fun which included tramping over Yorkshire moors and staying in villages and market towns, endless reminiscences and just enjoying one another’s company.
What is it about coalition politics of the Left which so upsets the Nats and the Party’s media partisans. Can’t be disappointment at the electoral loss surely – that’s just peevishness. Could it be envy that the upstarts are in power? But that can’t be true, for the Coalition has the Greens. Or is it simply because of the power of fresh ideas when National had very few.
One of the advantages of skirting sixty is arriving at a vast fashion plateau, where peer pressures recede into the misty distance of the 1950s, when our mothers dreaded a hole in our socks.
What a relief it is to window shop today and see tortured blue jeans with unmatched patches, or with gaping holes without patches, and jackets turned inside out with threads hanging off artfully fraying seams! What a joy, to go home and rip apart an old coat taking the scissors to its sleeves, tearing out the shoulder pads and pinning a 1950s rhinestone brooch on its sagging lapel above our heart.