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.
To say he had a beard would be an understatement- his whole face bristled with pepper and salt whiskers so thick they looked like an uncut hedge. In one of Auckland’s coldest winter spells, he wore a coat which had seen too many winters and was at least two sizes too big for him. And then there were his shoes, or perhaps one of them. It remained staunchly unflappable while the other had clearly given up the pretense of being a shoe, and its uppers flopped open with every step he took.