Here Comes the Sun sang the Beatles. And then that given, became questionable. The lyrics were uncomfortably accurate - 2016 was the hottest on record. Miserable 2017 deserves Stormy Weather, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, (it did, it did, it did}. We’re still waiting for Sunshine on my Shoulders. Until that happens it’s Weather with You

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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Last stop for prickles…

He’d been lying overnight in the debris of  leaves and kindling from seasons past. Hiding like the rest of us from July’s  polar blast we thought. He’d buried his nose in the pillow of leaves and created one hell of a mess – sticks and leaves and dirt scattered everywhere on the path.  We let him slumber for the weather remained bleak and lots of people were doing much the same in rather more cozy  beds.

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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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There is nothing like a Knight…

I’ve been thinking about John Key for some time. John who? Yes, exactly. The New Zealand electorate’s love affair with John Key, which is still far beyond my understanding, seems to have ceased the moment he gave up being prime minister. It is as if he was swallowed by the hole of regretful memories. Does anyone remember why they loved him? Or is it a case of being embarrassed by a teenage romance best forgotten? Forgotten until recently, that is, when he popped up with a knighthood.

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Shining a light on batteries

I’m very confused about all the different types of batteries and have so many questions—what do the different types mean? Are they all hazardous? Which batteries are recyclable and which aren’t? What about the wee round ones like those from my husband’s hearing aids that sometimes get sucked up into my vacuum cleaner?

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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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For ‘disconcerting’ readers a July Miscellany…

 Bedrooms: 3  Bathrooms: 2  Garaging: 2 Grammar:  nil – read on:

….. one our most popular designs for those looking for a superb home that will tick all the boxes. From you the moment you walk through the front door you will notice the large living area and good use of space. This unique floor plan offers the disconcerting buyer a stunning open plan living area which opens out to the ideal outdoor entertaining area with the added bonus of a sun nook, media room and beautiful open gas fire place’.

(We think they meant discerning buyers…)

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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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The Fence

From the archives

She turned 90 last week, the years growing while she shrinks.

She welcomed us from behind the bars of the grill on her back door, her smile – one part surprise and nine parts scepticism. It said: You remembered – finally.

Her leg, which always gave her trouble, is swollen and bandaged, but in every other way, neither she nor the house she’s lived in for 50 years has changed. The same silvery hair, sensible shoes, and curiosity about little things. The same spiritedness too – and the same hurt, though initially it doesn’t surface.

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