Persoanlly, I feel that the technicality of marriage/civil union/whatever is viewed with much less importance than the stability of the couple, especially with the children in mind. In my peer group of couples with kids, some are married and some are not, and actually I have a hard time recalling which are which. What would make everyone sad in either case would be a family breaking up (though I accept the comments that this can in some cases be better than keeping a strongly dysfunctional family together just for the sake of it...)
the spectacle of women adopting their husband’s surname (is this practice staging a comeback?)
Totally yes and mysterious to me. I'm Dr S, my wife is Dr M... but quite often I'm Mr S to some bloke on the phone who has dealt with my wife first. You just roll with it. I know a few people who are Dr X at work but Mrs Y at home... In professional circles, it can actually be a useful way of not telegraphing our family arrangements when there is no need to do so.
But personally I can't stand the double-barelling of the kids names... just choose one and be done with it! :)
Slightly off topic, but when you say
There is next to no consistent career path for actors, directors and playwrights. Outstanding people are often lucky to get one short gig a year. This means that professional standards become eroded and the vibrant imaginations eventually move away from the arts into fields where livelihoods realistically exist.
you are pretty much describing the case for the basic sciences also.
I feel your pain.
I basically have two cycle modes, and dress codes to match:
1) If I'm just cycling up the road to the dairy or whatever, possibly with one of the kids in the seat out back... then I pretty much wear whatever I was standing up in.
2) If I'm trekking off to work (Te Atatu to Symonds Street in 45-50 mins) then it's shorts and a t-shirt (maybe my one piece of lycra clothing if the washing lucky dip comes up trumps), sneakers and a backpack containing laptop and a change of clothes. For the sake of others, the first item of the working day is a shower.
I also have one of those backpack covers that says 'One less car'. I like it for being hi-vis, but I do wish it said 'One car fewer'...
I grew up in the UK in the Thatcher years. She snatched my milk as a schoolchild, but her election as prime minister in 1979 probably saved my high school education, so I think that's a draw.
After that, though! My enduring memories of those years are:
Thatcher using the gift of the Falklands conflict to inspire jingoistic support. She then used this to enact a mass of extreme policies with no effective parliamentary opposition. A 'glorious' patriotic war enabled her to convince many working class people to be complicit in undermining their own futures.
Pre-Thatcher, my memory was that the homeless were largely middle-aged alcoholics. During her tenure, their numbers were swelled by very many teenagers who could no longer claim state benefits in often dire personal circumstances. It was a striking and visible change on the streets of British cities, and sat alongside the shameless wealth creation for the elite. It felt like the end of a compassionate state.
A thing that had struck me as remarkable was the completeness of Bowie's silence. The man had made a record every two years, pretty much constantly from 1967 to 2003... then a decade of silence. Given his mulling of mortality on Reality, and his brush with it on tour, I had thought that was really that.
Quite remarkably excited
Very curious to see whether he feels the need to get up on stage again...
Grey lines for me too :(
FF18.0.2, OSX 10.7.5
We walked the Waiheke sculpture trail. It seemed like half of Auckland were going to Waiheke, judging by the people density in the ferry terminal at either end, and the fact that Fullers seemed to give up on a timetable and ran the boats in a continuous shuttle. It was great! Personally, a day to reflect on what a fantastic city we live in.
But to me Paul Holmes was mostly about Paul Holmes.
As a relative new-comer to these shores, I have always felt that I was missing or had missed something when it came to Paul Holmes - some great feat he had performed back in the day that had allowed him to subsequently have a ubiquitous platform from which to broadcast whatever crossed his mind. But for a long time, I have felt that his primary concern was to maintain his own public profile. Unfair perhaps, but for me the man (or the persona?) had long since got in the way of any message he may have been trying to impart.
I look at the causeway raising, then to the temperatures in Australia and the lack of ice in the Arctic, and I wonder: Are they planning to raise it far enough?
The Guardian survived the conversion to the Berliner, for sure. But the Independent certainly seemed to lose depth when it became tabloid. In the digital age, though, such things should surely count for less and less over time? I find the NYT almost unreadable in person, but great on the iPad. (If only they had a better subscription model.) In principle, ever more digital delivery should enhance substance over style, right?
p.s. "AUT" is fine. "AUT University" is not. Or indeed (as I once heard on RNZ, no less) "AUT University in Auckland".