What could possibly come between us and our favourite passion? Americans offer a clue – 21% would rather give up sex than lose Wi-Fi for a month…

It’s one of the findings in a survey  by a travel agency that runs ‘digital detox’ tours where social media, smartphone and camera use is banned.

And Apple recently confirmed their device users unlock their phones 80 times every day -about 6 to 7 times every hour. Are we trapped in addictions of our own making?

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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‘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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Encounters… with a flying pot

So you’re  at the kitchen bench and  acting like a 16 year old  –  though you know that was  half a century ago.    You   plonk a  heavy pot almost  playfully and… misjudge. Its rim heads with relentless accuracy to  the  one  part of your  foot not covered by slippers.

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Letter to a Mayor…

It’s autumn so it’s timely to let a weathered leaf from the  season of our life drift into the summer of another’s – in this case New Plymouth Mayor, Neil Holdom.

Some time ago he described baby boomers as ‘ the most selfish generation’. And then on Facebook and presumably a few other places,  he apologised.  His j’accuse was similar to comments  by any of the critics of boomers, some so young they could pass for the grandchildren of the first boomer cohort.

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