Is it my imagination or has there been an explosion of the pukeko population?

The increase in the number of live ones could be a result of irrigation providing more watery habitats for them.

The number and variety of those made for house and garden is no doubt due to an increasing number of artists who, like me, are intrigued by these bright, comical birds:



While searching for this Friday’s poem I discovered Janet frame shared my fascination.

Puekeko is from Janet Frame stories and poems, published by Vintage.



Pukeko, swamp hen


is wearing junior navy

a pillarbox beak

burnt orange casual claws.


If a shadow violates

will spear the dark

the damp lonely dark swamp

with hatpin scream

 – Cree Cree!


– Jane Frame-


Why not more WiFi?


Internect connection in Argentina was better and faster in 2003 than anything we could get at home at that time.

We’ve got broadband since then and although the rural connection (through Orcon) is much slower than we’d get in a city it’s an improvement on dial-up – fine for emails, net surfing and blogging but slower than desiarable for up or downloading lots of data.

But it doesn’t work on the laptop so when we’re on the road we use a Telecom mobile connection which operates at a similar speed to the home connection.

That’s pretty dismal comapred with many other places and last month’s visit to Argentina showed us their technology has overtaken ours again with the proliferation of free WiFi services which were available in most cafes, bars and hotels.

Bernard Hickey  found a similar level of service in the USA and Fairfacts Media notes free WiFi is offered by British pubs as a way to attract business.

We’re a long way from widespread availability of WiFi in New Zealand although the government has promised a boost to internet services as part of its investment in infrasturcture.

The wee Otago town of Lawrence isn’t waiting for the government though. The ODT reports  the locals are already setting up free wireless internet in the town centre.

More and more people, especially overseas visitors and business people, had laptops with them as they travelled, so it made sense to try to offer them free Internet access so they would stay longer in the town. . .

Quite – it’s good for travellers and it’s good for business and there’s no need to wait for the government to do it.

Self-defeating self-help titles


North & South challenged readers to come up with titles for self-help books that are superfluous or self-defeating.

A Bluffers Guide to Honesty got a mention but the winning titles came from J and K Thoughton for:  Cry Yourself Happy, A Lehman’s Guide to Making Your first Billion, Finding Me Time; A Guide for Narcissists, The Wit and Wisdom of Peter Dunne (abridged) and Starting for Beginners.

It’s too late for the challenge but I suggest: Read Less Do More.

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