Sizing Up Subsidies


Big busted women in Britain are battling Marks and Spencers  over its policy of charging two pounds more for larger bras.

The women say it’s not fair but the company reckons the extra charge is justified:

M&S spokeswoman Jessica Harris said in a statement that it would be impossible to cut prices on large-size bras without reducing quality.

“At DD and above, the weight of a woman’s breast requires additional support, fabric and structure in a bra and from our years of experience we know it’s critical not to cut corners on this,” she said.

I think they’ve got a point, just as airlines have when if they charge people more  if they take up more than one seat.

It’s not discrimination it’s user pays.

If the big busted women don’t pay for the extra engineering and material required to support them every other woman who buys a bra will be subsidising them; and all the other passengers will be subsidising those who don’t fit in a single seat.

The Peacock of Motherhood


It’s Mothers’ Day on Sunday which prompted this choice for Friday’s poem.

The Peacock of Motherhood by Anna Jackson comes from Swings + Roundabouts, poems on parenthodd edited by Emma Neale.

The Peacock of Motherhood

This is the gift my son gave me,

strutting through my life, tail dragging,

perching on everything I do and as soon

as my back is turned, jumping down

with a thud and a cry, following me.


The pea-hen of girlhood

makes n sound now, sleeps

undisturbed. I can hardly remember

so brown a bird; if I try to think

up flashes the tail


of motherhood to distract me.

I remember she was as brown as thought.

But the peacock has found other cocks

to flash his tail at; the peacocks

of motherhood are strutting


at the school gates, the gifts

our sons gave us. The birds strut

and preen, flash their tails,

while the mothers smile

till the bell goes.

   – Anna Jackson –

This little pig went . . .


 . . . into isolation.

Goodness, me isn’t it amazing what you learn from the internet?

I’ve just discovered that pork products are illegal in Afghanistan. As a consequence of that there’s just one pig in the country and he’s been put into isolation because of fears over swine flu.

He may be alone but, as Garrick Tremain shows, he’s in good company with over-reaction to flu-fears:

dairy 10003

Delaying pregnancy means it might not come naturally


The Statistics Department is marking Mothers Day by publishing some of the numbers on mothers:

One of those showed the increase in multiple births:

  • A total of 953 mothers gave birth to twins or triplets in 2008, compared with 537 mothers in 1978. Twins were born to 475 first-time mothers, and another six new mothers had triplets.
  • In 2008, 189 mothers who gave birth to twins or triplets already had at least two other children.
  • Mothers having multiple births tend to be older. While just under half (49 percent) of mothers who had single births in 2008 were aged 30 or over, for multiple births this rose to almost two-thirds (61 percent).
  • This is partly explained by the increase in the median age for mothers from 25 in 1978 to 30 last year.

    I was 28 when our first baby was born and I was one of a few “older” mothers-to-be in an ante natal class of about a dozen. There was one woman older than me, one my age, another was 25 and the others were in their early 20s or younger. That was 24 years ago, now 28 is the median age for first time mothers.

    The age people become parents depends on several factors and its a personal decision for individual couples, or even these days with IVF, for individual would-be mothers.

    However, the growing number of people delaying parenthood has coincided with an increase in infertility and research suggests it’s not only a problem for women:

    Age is the most important factor when it comes to conception. It has a significant effect on the chance of conception per month. Even for a ‘normal’ fertile couple, the older you get, the longer the time it takes to conceive. Fertility levels diminish with age particularly with women, but recent research also indicates that age can also play an important part for men.

    A woman’s most fertile window is approximately between the ages of 16 to 25. On average, it can take about three to four months for a 25 year-old to conceive if everything is normal. From 35 onwards there is a significant drop in the chance of conception per month. The average 35 year old takes at least six to eight months to conceive.

    There’s a sad irony that couples who’ve spent years ensuring they won’t get pregnant find that when they want to conceive, pregnancy doesn’t necessarily come naturally and the longer they leave it the harder it’s likely to be.

    Dealing with infertility, going through IVF and possibly accepting that they can’t have children is very difficult for people who desperately want to have a family.

    Starting earlier definitely improves the chances of conception but runs counter to the message women my age and younger have been given about being in control of our lives.

    The message that women can do -almost – anything hasn’t changed. But it doesn’t mean we can do everything and putting off parenthood to pursue a career, to travel, build up finances or any other reason decreases the chances of becoming a parent at all.

    Brash email saga never ending story


    Busted Blonde has a pretty good record of hearing whispers from people in the know.

    Last night she passed on one that today’s papers would bring revelations on the saga of Don Brash’s emails, and the Dom Post does.

    Tracy Watkins reports that police are about to release their file on the investigation, that Don Brash has been given a heavily censored version and that he wants the full file released.

    This issue has never been treated with the seriousness it deserves.

    Either someone breached parliament’s internet security which means it’s still at risk; or it was an inside job and the person or people who abused a position of trust are almost certainly still there and able to do it again.

    I don’t buy the story it was someone in National because I can’t see why anyone from within the party would give anything to Nicky Hager.

    But until the questions of who did it, how they did it and why it’s taking so long to find out are answered all we’ve got is a political who-done-it that’s turned into a never ending story.

    It’s taken far too long to get not very far at all. Busted Blonde reckons it will take another year  to get the whole truth and it will destroy careers.

    10 year Strategy for Dairy Farming


    DairyNZ  has launched a 10 year strategy  for dairy farming which outlines ways the industry can improve profitability, sustainability and competitiveness.

    The Strategy details how the industry will work collaboratively to solve these major issues by focusing on five outcomes:

    1. Increasing on-farm profitability
    2. Achieving a strong industry-Government partnership
    3. Ensuring an internationally competitive milk supply
    4. Enhancing the industry’s reputation locally and globally
    5. Attracting talented, skilled people into the industry

     Speaking at the launch John Key emphasised how crucial environmental management is in achieving these goals.

    My experience in talking to farmers throughout the country is that the vast majority understand this, and they act accordingly. After all, Kiwi farmers have as much of a vested interest in clean waterways, erosion prevention, and carbon ‘miles’ as anyone else. 

    He’s right, both about the importance of environmental management and that most farmers understand and act on that.

    We have even more than an interest in clean waterways and erosion prevention than many because the waterways near our farms carry the water we drink and eroding land isn’t productive land.

    There is No Depression in NZ – Blam Blam Blam


    Day eight of the tune a day for New Zealand Music Month challenge could be wishful thinking.

    It’s There is No Depression in New Zealand  by Blam, Blam Blam.

    Inquiring Mind features Raggedy Blues  from the Windy City Strugglers.

    Keeping Stock has Bullfrog Rata and Midge Marsden and Terry Casey with Before you Accuse Me.

    And Rob’s Blockhead Blog has three bitsers – a link to Big Bad Don and a video with Fourmyula’s ‘Otaki’ followed by Avengers’ Love Hate Revenge’ .

    %d bloggers like this: