For St Andrew’s Day

November 30, 2016

Porridge every week-day morning of my childhood was more than enough and I’ve not developed a taste for haggis or whiskey.

But my tartan genes assert themselves when I hear the pipes.

So in honour of St Andrew’s Day:

P.S. Andrew is not just the patron saint of Scotland,  Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople,San Andres Island, Colombia and Saint Andrew, Barbados also honour him as their saint.


Happy name day, Andrei.

Great North Otago Tato Roll Off

September 28, 2016

Dunedin has a jaffa race, now Oamaru will host the Great North Otago Tato Roll Off.

It’s Saturday-week, October 8th, starting at 12:30 from the top of Wansbeck Street.

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The ODT has the story behind it here.

Grin, giggle, guffaw

May 1, 2016

World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.

First Sunday of every May is World Laughter Day. Our mission to bring good heath joy and world peace thru laughter. The way Laughter Yoga has spread across 105 countries in less than 21 years without any marketing and advertising, it leaves me with no doubt this is what the whole world needs. . . 

WLD 2016 Ad

LifeSkills's photo.
Laughter Yoga's photo.

I’ve done a couple of Laughter Yoga workshops – they are hilarious and health-giving.

I finished the weekend feeling relaxed and refreshed and the following day I discovered muscles across my abdomen I hadn’t known I possessed.

You can find out more about Laughter Yoga in New Zealand here.

And see it in action here:

It’s not only possible to laugh for no reason but if you need a bit of help to grin, giggle or guffaw try Victoria Wood:



366 days of gratitude

March 17, 2016

Why is it that St Patrick is celebrated in the way that others, even Andrew, David and George the saints of Ireland’s neighbours Scotland, Wales and England aren’t?

The celebrations are rarely saintly but often lots of fun.

Today I’m grateful for the excuse to celebrate, even if I’m not going to take the opportunity to do so.

366 days of gratitude

February 27, 2016

Yesterday a funeral, today a wedding.

The bride was Columbian. Her parents don’t speak English and as a surprise for them I conducted the service in both Spanish and English.

In the introduction I said that it didn’t matter if everyone didn’t understand every word, we all spoke the international language of friendship, family, laughter and love.

Today I’m grateful for celebrations and those international languages.

366 days of gratitude

February 14, 2016

My farmer says it’s better to know you’re loved every day and not just on a few special occasions in a year and he means it.

That doesn’t stop him marking the odd special occasion and on Friday he came home with a beautiful bunch of flowers in anticipation of today.

Today I’m grateful for romantic gestures and the love which comes with them.

366 days of gratitude

February 6, 2016

The nonsense hits the headlines but friends who have been to Waitangi for the celebrations on Waitangi Day tell me it is a wonderful day of celebration.

In other parts of the country there are celebrations which don’t make the news.

And for all the debate about exactly what the Treaty means, the anniversary of its signing is worth celebrating.

Today I’m grateful that we can celebrate and have the freedom to do so as we please.

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