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Showing posts from September, 2020


  As it has for many people, Netflix's documentary The Social Dilemma  has rocked me back on my heels a bit and caused me to rethink my engagement with social media. I've also been reading Jaron Lanier's Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now  . OK. I'm kind of getting the point. So instead of browsing Facebook,  I pick up my cameras and head for Tomahawk. The lagoon is covered in little swan families: mum, dad and the kids all busy breakfasting on duckweed.  Each of the many dozens of families has a half dozen or so cygnets. They vary in size, according to their age but with their little fluffy bodies and beady little black eyes they are irresistibly cute.  Their parents feed them by plucking weed from the bed of the lagoon - growing at depths beyond the babies' reach,- and dumping it down before them. The little guys wolf it down before it slowly sinks.  They are covered in a hairy down, which seems to be easily soaked. Occasionally they s

...To Me

 When I was about 4 my grandfather bought a 1951 Wolseley 6/80, exactly like the car on the left, above. Last week the car was loaded onto a trailer and moved from my brother Alistair's garage to somewhere in Auckland where some bloke  is going to restore it. I saw the pictures of this end of an era, with a few pangs of regret at not taking up Alistair's offer to give me the car, and thought of my brother, who died this year before he could do the work of restoration himself.  And I remembered a conversation I had with Alistair on the day when Pop brought the new car home. I asked Al when the Wolseley would start to turn square. It was a perfectly logical question. Pop's previous car had been a 1927 Pontiac. I knew that old cars were big and square, like Old Pontie, and new cars were smooth and rounded like the Wolseley. Obviously, like plants, people, cats and many other things in my universe, at some stage cars must change shape, and I was interested to learn about that p


  Today I passed a small milestone. Well, I say "small" because I want to maintain my carefully constructed facade of modesty, but actually I was quite chuffed with myself. I finished reading the Gospel of Matthew in Greek. It's not the first time I have read a whole book of the Bible in the original languages. Back in the day, along with other prescribed chunks of text, I ploughed, word by word, through the Books of Jonah and Amos in Hebrew and the Epistle of James in Greek, but that was when I was being taught, and I haven't done it in the 42(!) years since. I use my Greek occasionally, but it has become pretty rusty. My Hebrew has got beyond rust - it's completely melded back into the earth from which it was forged. A couple of months ago, because I saw Richard Peers discussing it on Facebook, I bought a new copy of the Greek New Testament. It is A Readers Edition of the United Bible Societies' (5th Ed) . It is fairly large and has a small lexicon in the ba

It's All...

  The word Idio t comes from the Greek ἰδιώτης which means a private person or an individual. An idiot is someone who has no term of reference apart from themselves. It is someone for  whom their own good is the paramount good; someone for whom their own worldview is the only valid one. Neo-liberalism, with all its emphasis on individual rights and trust in the market (ie in individual self interest) is the idiot's creed. And it seems that at the moment the world is full of idiots, some of them very vocal and some of them very powerful.  ****  Most days I walk with the beloved companion of my youth. We look about us and talk. I hold her hand because she is fitter than me and walks faster, and holding her hand to slow her down a bit is a lot easier than galloping to keep up. And I am so grateful, despite all that this year has been. My brother Alistair died on my birthday. My mother fell and broke her hip. The doctors gave me bad news then good news then so-so news then exce