Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Don't get me wrong, I love my sons. I also love my daughters in law, even the exes whom I still regard with friendship. They have a place in the family as mothers of my grand shildren.

Grandchildren I realise are from a generation so remote from mine that Icannot beging to understand them. I follow their lives with interest, affection for the children they were,  but at times I look at what they do with horror.

What brought this on? One of my grand daughters posted on Facebook a comment about her relationship with her mother. I would dearly like to tell the grand daughter off in no uncertain terms, but that would involve revealing matters that I consider private on nobody's elses' business.

As I said, my sons's wives are a splendid group of young women. I love them all.

and now for something completely different

Nearly seventy years aso, as the young wife of a United States Marine, I was bemused by the peculiar practise of 'Trick or Treat' where children, mainly middle and blue collar class, were allowed to troop unsupervised around neighbouroods, knocking on doors, begging for or rather demanding candy.

Responsible maagazines and journals condemned the practice as dangerous because children were often unsupervised. It was not really part of the then American Culture. I agreed with them. Also the basic premise of 'Trick or Treat' was the children demanded candy and if they did not get it they played some really nasty tricks, pissing on front doors, defecating in letter boxes were two of them.

The choice element seems to have gone now. In the forties a householder would chose a trick or a treat and then reward the children with candy, the treat might be a song or the trick some kind of riddle. Nowadays the children seem to perform nothing, just demand a treat OR ELSE.

All Hallows' Eve has ancient, pre Christian roots stemming from the thought that  souls of dead people returned to earth for that one night. It amuses me that the less religious we become the more we celebrate pagan superstitions. Of course, like Christmas and Easter Halloween has become a bonanza for business.

So if kids wantr to dress up in fancy costumes from the Warehouse and play spooks O.K. but why let gangs of children roam about demanding treats that are going to rot their teeth ? Parents need to do some thinking.  

Monday, October 29, 2012


Once a year the Glenavy Womenb's Institute has a nmystery bus tour. This year's included a curling session in the indoor rink near Naseby.  Think lawn bowls on ice. the very comfortable lounge upstairs,  we watched a short instructional video which explained the rules of Curling.Then we went downstairs for  practice goes before dividing into teams and playing a full match.

Warm scarves, caps and gloves were available at the entrance to the curling rinks. As we entered the cold hit us. We donned felted overshoes which were supposed to stop us sliding on the ice. I was careful about stgepping on to the rink, but the ice surface was not as slippery as I expected.

The curling stone was heavier than a ten pin bowling bal, the starting point several steps behind the coloured circles painted on the ice. A player sets one foot in the block and bends one knee, scrapes the stone along the ice to gain momentum to send it whizzing down the rink. Mine did not even pass the start line, but I experienced the feeling of standing on ice and pushing the stone. That was enough for me. I went back to comparative warmth upstairs and watched through the balcony windows as the others played a full match, sending the stones whizzing, following along with brooms ready to sweep a path across the ice.

After an hour they came upstairs for lunch, their cheeks glowing, eyes sparkling, full of enthusiastim.

Around the walls of the lounge were little banners from dozens of countries where curling is an organised sport. I imagine the centre will become as popular as the adjacent ski fields, especially when their luge is completed. I could also imagine families finding the centre useful for a summer break, they could enjoy a day in the cold. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


You paid $50.00 for a book? my neighbout exclaimed.

Yes I did. It was for a real book, hard covered with buckram binding,beautiful marbleised end papers,set in 12 point minion on quality paper, its jacket a work of art in itself and it is the latest Terry Pratchett.  'Dodger' is supposed to be a Young Adult novel. but like all his books has a level that shpild appeal to any intelligent oldie.

Dodger is set in Dickensian London, or rather Dickens and London are in Dodger who is a Tosher. Mudlarks are children who scavenged between tides on the river Thames. Toshers did the same in the sewers. The story is set before private houses linked their w.c.s to the sewers. The Dodger himself is of course the artful character of Olivcer Twist. Fagin is a kindly Jewish watch and jewellery maker. Sweeney Todd is a shell shocked veteran from Waterloo and the Peninsular. Robert Peel and his copperknob cops play a part and the social extremes of the Victorian age are brilliantly shown.

Dodger rescues a young woman who is being beaten by two thugs during a thunder storm. She has escaped from her brutal husband, and the adults who help her are regretful, but the law says they must hand her back to her 'owner' the husband. Dodger of course fixes things, and the reader learns a great deal of social and political history. It is dedicated to Henry Mayhew the founding editor of Punch.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett
978  0 385  61927  1
published in Great Britain 2012

My copy is going to son Eric, the other Pratchett fan in my family.

WHAT A LIFE  is the second book of REX THOMPSON. His first, FLYING HIGH, was mainly about leaving his Ashurst farm and learning to fly in WW2. What a Life is mainly about growing up in the shadow od the Tararua ranges, learning to shoot and hunt, in those ranges. It is a wonderfully detailed reminiscence of tramping the high ridges as a teenager along with his brothers, told clearly but without pretensions to 'literary style' and it is a delightful read.

What a Life by Rex Thompson
978 1 877449 4

This will go to at least one of my teen age grandsons

Stuart Nunn lives in Gloucestershire in a lovely English village called Chipping Sodbury (don't you dare laugh.) Last April Stuart, as well as preparing athlestes for the Olympics, wrote a poem a day and published them in APRIL, a chap book of poems which cover glimpses of his magical country side. like the snakeshead fritilleries pictured on his cover, reminiscenses, like following the Queen's Commonwealth tour in 1954.

April a month's poems by Stuart Nunn
printed and typeset by BLURB

And this one is not going to anybody. It's mine and I shall keep it.

And finally a piece of news that makes a poet feel good.

In 2009 Sviatko Associates published my fourth set of poems 'Over and Out From Down Under,'
I was heading for Crete and Ireland an wanted something I could give away. Most of the first printing was given to people in Crete, I even left one for Sergeant Anastakakis, and poets I met in Belfast, Dublin and Liverpool. I used some of them as Christmas cards too, they were cheaper than good quality cards. Then the e mails began arriving, my poem Waitaki Hogmannay had been read at gatherings in England, Crete, France, Australia, several United States, as well as N.Z. of course. The local U3A read it at one of their meetingsd. And Mirabile dictu! some of their members wanted to buy copies.

Now modern technology is wonderful. The printer, Bocarda Print Ltd in Petone keeps everything they print stored somewhere in cyberspace and within a week a box of 'Over & Out etc." arrived in my post box at the mouth of the Waitaki river.

These are available at $5.00 from me, just send an e mail to

I hope my next slim volume will be out in time for Christmas.

Over and Out Froim Down Under
by Waiata Dawn Davies
Published 2009 ny SVIATKO ASSOCIATES
918 0 473 15851 4

Sunday, October 14, 2012


   My friend Marlin told me her story about becoming a solo mother when she was young, when the Phillipines was a staging post for soldiers going to the Vietnam war. It happens in every war doesn't it.

. She wishes she could trace the son she had then to tell him it was not her wish to give him away, and she is proud of his achievements.  

Marlin is one of those wonderfully nurturing women who takes care of everybody who comes into her orbit. She has a beautiful garden and she picks me up after Yoga every Friday, feeds me lunch and we then play Scrabble before I head back to my crib. She is a formidable Scrabble player.

If Marlin's son reads this he can send me an e mail and I shall put him in touch with her.          
    My name is Marlin and I come from the Philippines. I have lived in New Zealand for nearly 23 years. I married a Kiwi but have got no children since I married late.

Way back in 1972, when I was 25 years old I became an unwed mother. My mother, afraid anyone will know, decided to hide me in a Catholic convent in Manilla. All my older sisters did not want to help for reasons of their own. Since I couldn’t turn to anyone else to help me, I was helpless.

I had a son whom I named Jerome Gonzales. I signed adoption papers that said I have no rights to the child nor to contact him in the future which was in the Philippine laws.

I have started a search for my son in 1997, when a Kiwi co-employee encouraged me to seek help as she had a child too and her search was successful.

Unfortunately the New Zealand Adoption Authorities informed me they couldn’t help me as they have no connection with the U.S. authorities, where my son is.

When I visited the Phillipines for the first time, I visited the place where I had my son and gathered a few details about him from the Mother Superior. She didn’t of course give me all the information for obvious reasons. The adoptive parents must have instructed them they didn’t wish me to make contact some day.

The following are the pertinent details about my son:

1.    His first name is Ian.

2.    He is living with his adoptive parents in the East Coast.

3.    His birth date is November 10, 1972.

4.    He is very musical.

5.    He had graduated in college and working with an international company.

6.    As I can remember he had very chinky eyes, like a Chinese person.

7.    His adoptive parents worked with the Philoppine U.S. Embassy in Manilla at that time.

8.    Also they adopted again, a baby girl about a year or two after my son’s adoption.

9.    The adoptive parents are apparently very proud of my son who is a very intelligent boy.

P.S. I tried to engage the help of an agency in the U.S, but since they cannot extract an answer from the sisters in Manilla, the agency returned my money.