Looking back over the past week and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
Spring – a real beaut!
I love Spring. It is by far my favourite season and after a challenging winter that felt as if would never end, it’s great to witness all the joys of the season of rebirth. According to the good people at NIWA, September was the hottest on record.
“Niwa said the national average temperature last month was 11.9C, 1.3C above the 1991-to-2020 September average and the warmest since the seven-station temperature series began in 1909.
“Of the six main centres in September 2023, Auckland was the warmest, Tauranga was the sunniest, Dunedin was the driest, Wellington was the wettest and least sunny, and Christchurch was the coolest.” (Source: “Hottest September ever: Vege growers keep eye on potential drought,” by Susan Edwards, October 3rd, 2023, www.stuff.co.nz).
Spring heralds the promise of renewal, warmer weather, the freedom of not being trapped indoors, huddled by whatever heating option you can afford. More than that, it just feels like we are all due a change. It’s been a tough couple of years, for reasons we are all more than aware of. So here’s to a balmy spring – with enough rain to keep any drought at bay.
5 stars – no more winter, how good is that?
Changing to the four year term
In less than two weeks the election will be over and we can all go back to some semblance of normality. No more pictures of leaders eating sausage rolls or whatever pie or sandwich is the local favourite on the campaign trail. No more dog whistle policies or outrageous promises to try and get into, or back into government. No more billboards with uncatchy slogans that make nobody but some advertising companies better off.
I’ve seen this mentioned elsewhere and I am all for it. Our current election cycle of every three years is not long enough. I would argue for four years – to give a government a fair chance to deliver on what it says it will and to remove the last year of the current regime that is dominated by election chatter, accusations, promises, and regrets. At the end of the day, all we ask for is leadership and accountability – not a circus. The only ones who win are media outlets and politicians.
So – 5 stars for a change of direction.
White powder on broken shield may just be plaster
You gotta feel for Hawkes Bay Rugby. After taking the Ranfurly Shield off Wellington in the weekend, all the attention focused on what went on after the game, rather than during it. From tales of too many beers, uber laddish behaviour, and an alleged drunk driving incident involving a fence, the centrepiece of all the chatter was the ol’ log o’ wood itself. Not long released from a substantial restoration job, the shield was somehow broken in two and is now destined for more tender loving care from artisans.
Somehow, a happy snapper captured a few images of the broken trophy with mysterious white powder on it and what appears to be a rolled up banknote. When white powder is mysterious it usually carries one connotation and I steeled myself for the ensuing drug related revelations in the media.
Thankfully it was not to be, the drunken loutish behaviour appears to have some sort of ceiling and the powder may have a very innocent explanation. As reported in Stuff, Ranfurly Shield restorer, James Dwan belives he has the answer.
“‘I was having a bit of a think about that, and all of a sudden I thought ‘”I know what that is” On the inside the centrepiece, the actual little oval badge in the middle of it, I actually put plaster in behind that to strengthen it a few years ago and I’ve got a funny feeling there’s still a bit of that powder,’ Dwan said. (Source: “The man who fixes the Ranfurly Shield reckons he knows what the white powder is,” October 3rd, 2023, www.stuff.co.nz).
Phew! Though, now that I think about it – what about the rolled up banknote?
5 stars for the outlandish story – 0 stars for treating a national icon so badly.