I watched a little of the television coverage of the 2019 Academy Awards and briefly scanned the online updates from sources such as Variety and Indiewire., The was one bright moment in Olivia Coleman’s acceptance speech and the US audience ratings appeared to reverse last year’s slump, but it wasn’t essential viewing. It hasn’t been so for the past decade or more.
Apologies in advance for making your day more miserable than it need be, but a story about young murderers motivated me to find these internet articles on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder:
Note to self: Must stop going to the welcoming sunshine of Nelson. Not because I dislike the place – that’s impossible. It’s because the visits usually coincide with calamities of one sort or another.
First a giant squid washed ashore at Farewell Spit in 2011, then the next year, a mass stranding of pilot whales in Golden Bay in February 2017. And finally, last month’s Nelson fires – the worst in 60 years and the third worst in New Zealand’s history).
The rains were coming, unusually, and the peaches we’d been monitoring in the burning sun for weeks were flushed and ripe on our neighbour’s tree. She invited us to take as many as we liked because she didn’t want the birds to snaffle these delights. Neither did we, and so in her backyard Griff welcomed me and watched as I took to a loaded branch with a six foot bamboo pole.
This year we asked some of our contributors to write about what the day meant to them. Their views show that there’s cause for celebration, potential for greater involvement and appreciation of the day’s significance. First off, freelance writer Chris Horan:
Like most New Zealanders I’ve never been to Waitangi and doubt I’ll ever get there. What I’ve seen on TV has very often been divisive. However, a few years ago I happened to be in Oamaru on Waitangi Day.The event was celebrated a few miles from town. We drove over a grass track through a field ready to harvest sun-flowers.
It’s a risky business looking beneath the surface of the social media midden, but hard to resist when the subject is close to your heart. I lived and worked in South Africa in 1963-64, where the reality of apartheid became a shocking formative experience for me. I’ve since keenly followed the politics of author Alan Paton’s ‘Cry The Beloved Country’, his lament for the arrival of a rigidly segregated country.
How quickly 2018 passed, Time now to pause, look back and reflect on your priorities in this brand New Year!
Personally I‘ve looked at the gains and achievements of the past year. From that I’ve also tried to find, and focus on a theme for the year ahead. There’s already an element here which needs more priority – and it lies in the simple but neglected word, gratitude.
There she was – laid out like a trophy on the back lawn. First I thought it was a Tui, my favourite bird. Ashamedly, I was relieved to find it was just a starling.
Just a Starling – didn’t it have just as much a right to live, free from urban predators? I knew immediately who the culprit was – ‘Daisy’, our over-fed house cat. The self-satisfied – ‘what me?’ – look on her face was more than sufficient to establish guilt.