When you land at an international airport it’s as if you’re still in the one you left. What they also have in common is a building programme that’s been going on for decades with no end in sight. Airports are goldmines. Which is why Queenstown Airport Corporation has Wanaka in its sights and Auckland is eyeing up Whenuapai.
The day Congress decided to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, cable news network MSNBC ran a documentary on world-wide protests by millions of young people. It featured the real life impacts of climate change almost everywhere in the world – from Paris where a prolonged heatwave had killed dozens, to Kabul, where determined women marched (with men guarding them), and most pitifully, in little Guatemala.
Why would anyone think I’d vote for them if they give me a leaflet I don’t want! Look – it says ‘NO CIRCULARS’!” I consider explaining that local body election leaflets are actually not ‘circulars’, or indeed, advertising at all. They are instead an important part of the democratic process. But I fear a bureaucratic distinction will be lost on this vehement elderly woman intent on keeping her letter box clear of bumf, and for that matter, on most others whose letterboxes are firmly labelled as to what can and cannot be posted within.
TVOne News led with it. At first glance The New Zealand Herald looks like it did too. Last month, the newspaper had just two words on its front page: IT’S ON! Which we already knew so it hardly qualified as news.
Both media outlets were covering the same story, the Rugby World Cup. Thing is the Herald wasn’t – well, not exactly. The front page,usually the pride of newspapers, was a wrap-around. At its bottom was a line which proudly proclaimed that this was an ad for the chain store Harvey Norman… The real Granny Herald hid inside, shamed perhaps by its commercial needs.
Apart from people, letterboxes are the most pedestrian sights on any street. Without a second glance we walk past every one except our own, which is perhaps the way things should be. But like everything else post-digital, letter boxes are no longer the proud receptacles of mail – handwritten letters, invitations, birthday cards and their more sombre messages of condolence.
Winter lingered like an unwelcome visitor, but finally Spring arrived – one little step after another.
Jasmine scented the air on crisp mornings in the lull between seasons; daffodils thrust dreary winter aside, lambs gambolled in Auckland’s Cornwall Park and in the burbs, pink cherry blossom brightened the streets – on days when it wasn’t raining!
Grandma has lost her purse. She’s hurrying from one room to another and back again, opening cupboards and lifting cushions. Wispy white hair works loose from the floppy bun at the back of her neck, her hands twist together, her faded blue-grey eyes dart.
“I know I had it yesterday, where can it be, oh dear, oh dear, I know I had it yesterday.” Her litany of distress is on repeat and winding up.
Pressure, according to Sonny Bill Williams, told The Listener, is not about being an All Black. Pressure is starving children, a single mother raising three kids, atrocities faced by refugees, and racism. The sneering response from three media worthies, Mark Richardson, Duncan Garner and an unnamed Herald columnist, was telling. Richardson and Garner are famous for making rational people change their minds if they find themselves agreeing with anything they say. But pressure was evident in the week between the Bledisloe Cup games between the Wallabies and the All Blacks.