Thursday, November 24, 2011


I heard someone say that people spend more time choosing their new car than they do voting for their government. They probably do. But if I am to believe my neighbours there are two sure ways to cast one's vote effectively. They are

1. Vote for the best looking candidate. Last election I heard a lot of young voters (female)say they voted National because 'John Key is so nice looking.'

2. Vote against the most experienced candidates. "Oh, she was all right, but it's time for a change."

My letter box has been stuffed with cards and fliers and leaflets from minor parties, and they raised some interesting issues, not the text of the leaflets, but the meaningless generalities heavily laced with weasel words, designed to attract voters without informing them of attitudes to issues or giving any hint of who, or what interest paid for it.
In fact, any electioneering printed on expensive paper automatically loses my vote.
Doesn't leave much choice does it.Perhaps I could do a 'write in' vote for a candidate who made us proud to be New Zealanders, who lead his team with modesty and panache, and it better looking than our current P.M. who?
Richie McCaw of course!

Friday, November 11, 2011


George McDonald Fraser was a screenwriter and the author of THE FLASHMAN NOVELS, a series of picaresque comedies using the amoral character from Tom Brown's Schooldays as the narrator.
IVAN DUNN is a New Zealand journalist. He describes his nove
as a work of 'faction' a mixture of fiction and historical trutch.
'what might have happened on the 1924 tour'.
Remember 1924 of course not, Not even I was born then, but if I say 1924, the INVINCIBLES tour, anybody who knows what an egg shaped ball is for will say,
'1924 of course THE INVINCIBLES tour of England Wales Ireland Scotland and France, they went through unbeaten.' Yeah Right!
IVAN DUNN, who knows his rugby, and its history, has invented BEAU BAXTER, eighteen years old and son of a Cherokee Indian who is snatched from a labouring job in a timberyard to play rugby, gets selected to go on tour with Waaka Nathan, the Brownlees and all that crowd, visits a stately home and learns fox hunting, dines with Royalty. The blurb on the back says, 'more sex and less etiquette than Rugby historians would have us believe.'
BEAU BAXTER is a joyful romp, in the most hilarious Flashman tradition. I can't wait for the film to come out and I do hope Ivan Dunn writes more novels.

THE LEGEND OF BEAU BAXTER by IVAN DUNN ISBN978-1-86950-823-4 pubolished 2010 by HARPER COLLINS

PELE'S CHILDREN by JAN VERNON is a chapbook by reclusive Temuka author and poet Jan Vernon. It is a poem that tells a story of Pele and Merlin, obsessed with volcanoes, and their children, not forgetting the tuatara. Jan shared it with some of us, privileged to be her friends, and we all responded in the same way, 'THIS HAS TO BE PUBLISHED'in fact another writer friend sent Jan an e mail that said 'Don't you dare die before this is published.'

Easier said than done as Jan is not young and was awaiting hip surgery.But Jan Hill did the editing, another friend painted the illustrations,and the result is

Now I am not going to tell you any more of the story, or comment on the strength of the poetry, but I shall reiterate what we have been telling Jam,

this is a significant piece of work, a new direction is New Zealand writing.' Some time in the future it will be a classic.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I moved down here from Wairarapa in 2001. When the carrier delivered my seventeen cartons of books and carefully bubblewrapped box of pictures this was among them, obviously left in the packing of someone else's belongings. How to find the real owners and return their treasure? I scrolled through the every internet page I could think of, but got nowhere, put it carefully away and forgot about it because I was getting ready to visit Turkey and Greece.
So now I am trying to clear my house so my daughters in law will not have too much clearing up to do when I finally leave it.

who were married on
APRIL 24 1993

I would like to return your beautiful stitched wedding souvenir to you.

I hope you still love and cherish each other as the panel suggests and if you will ring me at 03-431-3911
and give me an address I shall pack it and send it..

With apologies for not returning it sooner.