Posts by Emma Hart

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  • Hard News: Monday Music! Outrageously right,

    The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho!’ trumpeted the mad dash through the fences of Rugby Park

    As they started mixing in the real footage of that day, I found myself starting to tense. Those were my first real political memories. Conflict inside my family. And then they started playing Tally Ho! and I just started grinning.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Back in Christchurch,

    Victoria Park, on a glorious morning, is a spectacular place. There are dog-walkers, cyclists, hikers. It feels very, very different to the flat city below.

    Going back up into the hills is something else we've been doing this year. When the weather is nice, the tracks are busy without being crowded, and there's this thing where you say hello to everyone you pass they way you wouldn't on a footpath.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: Three decades on…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’ve long been quite conflicted, because I know that the Salvation Army helped my alcoholic father and I’m grateful for that.

    They sort of helped my alcoholic father too. He went through their treatment program, found God, changed his will in their favour, and a month later he died in a pub and my mother got nothing. I give to the Chch City Mission instead.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Høstens Vemod, in reply to Fiona Mckenzie,

    If you’ll excuse me for butting in I’d suggest lower Highfield or (as that’s a pretty large area), individual streets – Park Lane, Beverly Rd, Nile Street, Orbell Street all have homes like this.

    It was specifically Beverly Hill I had in mind.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Høstens Vemod, in reply to David Haywood,

    Can you possibly provide a suggestion for a shabby-genteel suburb in Timaru? One with nice old turn-of-the-previous-century houses that’s fallen on slightly hard times?

    I reckon I know exactly the bit you mean, but I can't remember what it was called. I shall look it up and email.

    Timaru, though. No need to be respectful.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Høstens Vemod, in reply to David Haywood,

    Does hostens vemod have an inverse equivalent, whereby you can endure unpleasant things in anticipation of treats to come?

    Thank you, Carol! We already have a word for that in English – Presbyterianism...

    Pff. Presbyterianism is about enduring treats in anticipation of unpleasant things.

    Have had quite a few “You must be so relieved not to have another Bob” comments from teachers, which I have to bite my tongue about somewhat.

    Heh, see we had our Challenging Child second. So all the teachers thought they were getting another Kieran, and bang, Rhiana. Haha.

    This is a wonderful piece of writing, David, thank you.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: I am a Really Useful Engine,

    Aw shucks, you guys. I won't pretend that's not completely wonderful to hear. I still feel like an Internet Random, though.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: I am a Really Useful Engine,

    We all have different comfort zones with this sort of thing, but some of us genuinely feel uncomfortable taking money for nothing, sitting around while someone else looks after us, or generally not appearing to work as hard as we could. This may be the sort of learned cultural hangup that my brothers blame on Presbyterianism.

    Are you me?

    Lilith linked to this on Facebook today, and it is also basically me. I have CFS. Some days, it’s all I can do to sit upright at my keyboard, and I feel lazy. I am constantly pissed off and anxious that I’m not Being Useful. I do sometimes work, though for terrible money, and I’ve reached the stage where I will call myself a “writer”, but dare not call myself an “author”.

    We define people by their jobs. If you don’t work, you don’t count. This despite the fact that our society is dependent on people working for free – just look at how much free labour parents donate to schools.

    I care about what people are passionate about, which might be their job, but often isn’t. I care about their politics and what art they enjoy. My mum worked part-time in the laundry of a geriatric hospital, which made her not very valued. But she was passionate about theatre and social justice, she taught English to the wives of immigrants and remedial reading to young boys and she was constantly being useful. I cannot escape her Protestant Work Ethic.

    I have to remind myself that the mostly unpaid work I have been able to do IS useful. That’s not easy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Three Dreams,

    After my mum died, one of her friends got in touch to tell me she'd dreamed about Mum, and how wonderful it was, and I actually felt quite upset that I hadn't. Months later, I finally did dream about her for the first time since she died. I'd just given birth to twins, and she was telling me I must, urgently, go to Briscoes, because they had a sale on.

    My subconscious is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a total arsehole.

    I have never, ever had the Flying Dream. Starting to wonder if that's unusual.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Crowded houses,

    So I was in a Work and Income office the other day - something you can't do without photo ID, at least at my local branch. And a guy wandered up to the front desk and started telling his story, loudly and quite cheerfully. He'd been living rough. He couldn't get a benefit, because he didn't have an address. With no income, he couldn't get an address. So he tried to kill himself, which got him a bed in a psychiatric hospital.

    Now he'd been discharged, and was right back where he started. So he went into WINZ. They made him an appointment, at least. Their soonest appointment, which was for in two weeks' time. Then he can begin the process. But he doesn't have an address, and without an address...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4564 posts Report Reply

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