Don Quixote about to attack windmills which he believes are giants I’ve been reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Acclaimed by many as the world’s first novel and one of the world’s top 100 works of literature, the first part was published in 1605, the second in 1615. As well as being enormously … Continue reading Don Quixote, who cannot tell the difference between illusion and reality, is a story for our times
My 1969 Penguin Modern Classics edition of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four You know you live in curious times when satire merges with reality, or rather reality begins to assume the form of the world that has been satirised. Increasingly that’s how I feel reading about developments in the United States, Russia, China, India, the UK … Continue reading Nineteen Eighty-Four – Now?
Christopher Luxon’s first National Party caucus retreat, held in Queenstown was a curious affair. More than curious, it was characterised by strange connections, decisions and utterances. TV One News reported Luxon as saying that “his party should care about people, not just the economy”, that "what we have to demonstrate to the New Zealand people … Continue reading Beware National’s New Caring Face
A backslide in positive human and social values has paved the way for the rise in populism and populist leaders and this can be sheeted home to Reality TV and the Internet. We vote in the leaders we admire, so we must conclude that many people these days admire leaders that flout social norms and … Continue reading How Reality TV and the Internet paved the way for populists
Lockdowns, closed borders, quarantine facilities, special laws enacted to control behaviour and spread of disease, health boards to manage the pandemic, infected citizens isolated in special facilities, people required to remain in their homes, health passes, protests, business interests lobbying to keep international trade moving, people fleeing cities to avoid disease and restrictions, punishment for … Continue reading IN PLAGUE SIGHT
Worldwide there were more people travelling than ever before – many of them seemingly to Wanaka. In 2018 we decided to reverse the flow and head to Europe and Morocco for another awfully big adventure. It was a wonderful and enriching trip, we had extraordinary and memorable experiences wherever we went. However, we became increasingly … Continue reading Atlas Mountains to the Arctic 2018, Part 1- Seville, Morocco, southern Spain
When Harry, an old university friend wrote asking if anyone wanted to join him on a trek in Nepal I jumped at the chance. The last time I had trekked there was more than 30 years ago and, with both of us now in our 60s, retired, respective children flown the nest, I thought what … Continue reading Trekking Nepal’s Langtang Valley – March 2017
November 30th to December 12th 2020 There are very few places remaining in the world where you can still experience authentic wilderness and abundant wildlife with no humans living there. New Zealand’s subantarctic islands are one such place. Not only are they within our locked down borders, but there is a New Zealand owned and … Continue reading Galapagos of the Southern Ocean – a trip to the subantarctic islands with Heritage Expeditions
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I’m lucky. Pandemic lockdowns and restrictions don’t actually make much difference to my daily life. My needs are modest. I’m retired, 70+ and spend much of my time at home. I’m physically active, walk or cycle most days, read widely, listen to podcasts and music, “work” on my laptop on volunteer and/or personal projects, communicate … Continue reading Pandemic Resilience: Old Ways for a New Future
Whatever happened to TV science shows? I read with a certain sadness that NHNZ Ltd where I spent 16 years is being dissolved and relaunched as NHNZ Worldwide. I have no idea what direction the re-constituted company will take under Dame Julie Christie, but I do have a plea to the new owners: make science … Continue reading Bring back Science TV
January 2020 We had talked about doing the Central Otago rail trail for years. We’d even bought mountain bikes to explore the trails around Wanaka, but it took a phone call from our friend Fiona in Sydney to galvanise us into action. Fiona and Graham were planning a trip to New Zealand and they wanted … Continue reading Central Otago Rail Trail