Mt Eden Rd during Lockdown

Every modern city in the world has rail or trams. Why? Because they’re economic and provide an alternative to air polluting cars. Remember the calm of our lockdown when the air seemed sweeter and full of birdsong? So why do our Wellington poohbahs persist in denying us rapid rail at a time when cars form gridlocks on the motorways. Blame National which blocked it three times, and New Zealand First. Will Aucklanders be walking or cycling to work soon? Or maybe they’ll prefer to work from home.

Moving on…

paIt’s been a year since he passed on, lying in the sunshine of his bedroom,  grinning as he pursed his lips and persuaded the ladies watching over his last moments, to give him a kiss.

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‘A little discomfort?’

OuchMe and the dentist are strangers but I know I’m in good company there. It’s  not the childhood memories – though these linger  and range from the  scary  whine of the drill to  the dull ache which often followed.  It’s not the  money  either (okay,  it is) – dental work these days is  brutally expensive.

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Quality TV? Fly to Oz

Friends joke that they knew we’d come home crowing about Oz; how much sunnier it was – and all those beaches.

They were right – and wrong: Eight days in Melbourne and we saw the sun only when our Air New Zealand flight lifted off the tarmac. Beaches? Sort of. Great long strips lacking the intimacy of ours, with their Pohutukawa blossoms  and streams meandering their way into the sea.

We did however return with something unexpected – memories of a vibrant  public broadcasting industry.

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A Cautionary Tale from Paradise

Mountains of MooreaOnce upon a time in Paradise, hotels and resorts sprung up like flowers in spring. The rulers of Paradise and international hotel chains smiled, “Paradise will be the new destination for our tourists.”

And so it was. Tourists flew in and experienced the pleasures of Paradise.  But along the way, the wind changed direction and nearly twenty years later decayed and abandoned resorts dot the isles of Paradise.

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Brexiting – and why…

United_Kingdom_EU_referendum_2016_voting_regions_results.svgThe Brexit and all that:  A strange feeling for someone as opinionated as I am: I didn’t have a view on the Brexit referendum. My brother and sister, who both live in England, one rich, the other on a modest pension, voted to leave.

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June Miscellany

oth 4jpgSince 2001 JAFAs have quite rightly called it None Tree Hill. Some even grew accustomed to the sight of the shorn iconic cone in their midst. Most people assumed that a tree would be planted soon after the Monterey pine was attacked for the second time in 1999 by Maori activists. Not so. All it took was a mere 15 years of PC tip-toeing over protocols and types of trees.

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For Boomers – a journey to the HOP:

2007:

‘The Super Gold Card recognises the valued contribution our seniors and  veterans have made, and continue to make to New Zealand society’.   Ahh…  warm fuzzies.  Makes you feel proud doesn’t it? Included. Accepted. Institutionally respected  and acknowledged at the highest levels. Free to roam, off-peak that is.

Gold card2016:

 ‘Why you’ll love your AT HOP card…’ says the AT handbook about the change from Gold to HOP card in Auckland. You can simply tag on, helping everyone board faster, and tag off.  This speeds up the bus journey too, helping to make the service more punctual….(at a price).

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