Like Bob, I was afraid this was your signing off. Pleased to see it isn't so. And, like others, I miss the politics. Your pieces always made me think and consider if my position on whatever was the best one, the right one. I don't believe I'm a naturally kind person but I've been trying ... always so impressed by the 20-something generation who just naturally seem nicer to one another. Merry Christmas to Russell, family and Hard News readers - from another freelancer. Stuff does have a habit of turning up but thank goodness there's also a steady earner in this household.
Just asked my son, who is 21 ....
September 11, 2001. As a 5-year-old he would have seen the images on TV when his parents were watching in the morning.
1964: Peter Snell winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics (we can’t have had a TV for very long).
1968: Wahine storm and disaster. We didn’t go to school that day because of the storm and I remember my father tied down the boatshed roof (actually a lean-to on the side of another building) by lashing it all to the tractor! The images of the sinking were sort of equal with that in my young mind.
1969: Apollo 11 Moon landing – our country primary school (2 rooms, 30 pupils) had a black and white TV set up in the primer room where we all sat on the mat and watched (was it because that room also had a wood-burning heater? and/or because that was an historic 1875 building?)
1973: Bulls Bridge collapse. It was always such a strong-looking structure and I’d crossed it many, many times.
1974: Norman Kirk dies.
1975: Election of Marilyn Waring.
1976: John Walker winning gold in Montreal (and watching it with my great-aunt).
After I became a journalist, the first major stories that stick with me are:
1979: Erebus - the terrible news (was it Dougal Stevenson?) that the fuel would have gone.
1980: Death of Azaria Chamberlain and everything that followed.
I was leaving an early evening performance at the Tauranga Arts Festival last night (on until Oct 29, since you ask) when a stranger in front of me, a 30-something man in a suit who'd been looking at his phone, turned round and said "I don't know if it's good news or bad news for you but Jacinda Adern is prime minister". I would have put money on Winston jumping the other way, old cynic that he is. The things I've seen/heard/read him saying, such as: "Capitalism must regain its human face ...", fill me with - almost unbelievably - hope. Goodness knows what lies ahead, but yesterday and today seem like we're starting in the right place.
Re the helmet law. I was at secondary school when Rebecca Oaten paid a visit to assembly and told us about her son and what a fall from a bike and had done to his brain. You don't forget something like that when you're at an impressionable age.
"Power commuting cyclists giving a little ping on their bell blasting through pedestrians and animals are just as arrogant as the one tonne metal sledgehammers."
Sheesh, how many cyclists have a bell to give a little ping? When I’m out walking (on a shared track) and cyclists are approaching from behind the answer would appear to be … none. (I have one on my own bike and use it.)
Does anyone know why TVNZ doesn't dip into its (presumed) cache of great documentary programming from the past and sell DVD series? I'm particularly thinking of all the great documentaries screened in 1990. I was living back in NZ for the first time in 10 years and lapped it up. There must be money to be made there ...
The committee (we) runs a maintenance programme which the council funds - repainting, repairs to nameplates, moss/lichen cleaning, etc. All tip-top at the moment.
Thanks Hilary, this is such a nice tribute to the wonderful Jeanette. I was on the Haiku Pathway today with some American visitors and your mum's boulder was admired and photographed.