Katherine Mansfield Society formed


When I was at school and university English literature referred not just to the language but the country of origin because most of what we studied came from England.

There was nothing to stop me reading further afield myself however but in spite of that my discovery of the delights of Katherine Mansfield has been relatively recent and I’m ashamed to say still fairly shallow.

While I’m confessing I might as well admit that I’m not even sure where my favourite Mansfield quote comes from because I found it not in a book but a Marg Hamilton painting:

”It was one of those days so clear, so still, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.”




However, there is a new medium to increase both my knowledge and appreciation of the writer and her work – the newly created international Katherine Mansfield Society.


Society president, Emeritus Professor Vincent O’Sullivan, said in a press release the society has been set up to promote and encourage enjoyment of Mansfield’s writing which influenced a fundamental shift in the way stories are told.

“Katherine Mansfield’s influence is still being felt by writers and readers today, and we want to ensure this recognition continues. She is New Zealand’s greatest writer, and ironically there’s the likelihood of her becoming better known overseas than she is at home.”

To that end, he says, while the society is international, with people from England, Ireland, Australia, France and the United States involved in its creation, there is a strong New Zealand focus, and it is incorporated as a charitable trust in New Zealand.


“The Society will work to ensure Katherine Mansfield is on school and university curricula in New Zealand and overseas and aims to establish a Mansfield memorial in her home town of Wellington.


“We will also be creating a biennial Katherine Mansfield Society literary scholarship – a Rhodes scholarship for literature as it were – for work in the modernist sphere.”


The Society’s founders comprise Mansfield scholars from around the world: Emeritus Professor Angela Smith (UK), Emeritus Professor C. K. Stead (NZ), Dr Sarah Sandley (NZ), Dr Gerri Kimber (UK), Dr Sue Reid (UK), Dr Josiane Paccaud-Huguet (France), Janna Stotz (USA), Dr Melinda Harvey (Australia), Dr Anna Jackson (NZ), Dr Delia Da Sousa Correa (UK), Dr Jenny McDonnell (Ireland),  Dr Sarah Ailwood (Australia), Professor Larry Mitchell (USA) and Professor Janet Wilson (UK).


Details of the society, including how to become a member, can be found on the Katherine Mansfield Society website.

Healthy chocolate



Healthy chocolate sounds like an oxymoron so I got excited when I heard Jim Mora preview an interview on Afternoons  with a teaser about eating chocolate for good health.

So of course I listened and he was right – but sadly it’s only the high cocoa, low sugar stuff eaten in moderation.


And the Fonterra payout will be?


Fonterra’s board is meeting today and one of the major items on the agenda will be a decrease in the payout which has already been dropped from $6.60 at the start of the season to $6.

I’m picking it could go down to $5.

Westland’s payout projection  has already dropped from $5.20 to $5.60 a kilo of milk solids to $4.10 to $4.50, partly because of foreign exchange dealings. We don’t know what Fonterra’s exposure to foreign exchange is nor do we know if milk prices will continue to fall and even if they have bottomed out growing stock piles  of milk powder and EU subsidies will hamper any rapid improvement.

Dairy farms are starting to look for staff for next season so if the payout does drop by $1 it will have an impact on pay negotiations. When contracts were being negotiated this time a year ago it was on the expectation of a good payout which might get better. Now falling commodity prices and global uncertainty are painting a far less rosey picture.

We’re home and our luggage is . . .?


When we checked in at Townsville en-route to Christchurch via Brisbane yesterday we were told our luggage would be transferred for us and we wouldn’t need to pick it up until we got to New Zealand.

A tw0-hour wait in Brisbane ought to have been long enough for the baggage transfer from the domestic to international flight but when we got to Christchurch our cases weren’t there.

However, Air New Zealand was able to tell us they were late but not lost. They’d missed the connection, were on the way to Auckland, will be put on the Oamaru flight this afternoon and delivered to us at home this evening.

This is the first time our luggage has gone missing and while it’s inconvenient,  it would have been a lot worse if we’d packed our car key and been stranded in Christchurch until the cases turned up.

And while we would have preferred to have our bags on the same plane as we were, we were impressed with the service from the Air NZ staff member at the lost luggage desk who dealt with us quickly and gave us a bag with overnight necessities.

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