That simple, that difficult

February 14, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English and his wife Mary were profiled in last week’s Women’s Weekly.

It’s a story of sacrifice – he gave up farming to enable her to follow her career as a General Practitioner. She accepted the loss of privacy and family time which a life in politics demands.

It’s a story of a strong partnership, built on mutual respect, shared values and faith.

It’s a story of a love built on a foundation of friendship, a story of two successful individuals working to be a successful couple and of a loving, and for modern times, large, family.

Behind the gush is the story of a marriage that has endured and in it is the answer to a whole lot of New Zealand’s problems – loving each other and your children, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

It’s that simple and that difficult.

The Herald and Stuff also have stories with the PM at home in Dipton.

 

 


English for Beginners

December 8, 2016

A Facebook meme states there are 12 days of Christmas and none of them are in November.

I agree with the spirit of that message but even though it’s more than 12 days until the 25th, I couldn’t resist this:


White Ribbon aim not good enough

November 25, 2016

Today is White Ribbon Day which is part of a campaign to end men’s violence towards women, and encourage males to lead by example.

That’s a good aim but it’s not good enough.

Men’s violence to women is a big  problem but it isn’t the only problem. Men are violent to men, women and children. Women are violent to men, women  and children. And children are violent to other children and adults.

It doesn’t matter who does it to whom.

The age and gender of the perpetrator and victim are irrelevant.

No violence, by anyone, to anyone, is acceptable.

The aim should be to end violence by anyone to anyone and to encourage everyone – man, woman, and child – to lead by example.

Ending violence by men to women is a good aim but ending all violence is a better one.


How to Dad fence climbing edition

November 16, 2016

If you haven’t already discovered How to Dad on Facebook and Youtube, here’s a good place to start:

Internet star ‘How To Dad’ has released a hilarious new video, this time teaching his baby daughter how to climb a fence.

Jordan Watson, the man behind the popular Facebook and YouTube series, demonstrates many ways of climbing a fence in the video – from the classic ‘farmer dad’ to the ungraceful ‘city slicker’ and the impressive ‘stunt man’.

He posted it to the NZ Farming Facebook page, which has been providing help and support after this week’s devastating earthquakes.

“Hopefully this gives people a brief smile while all this madness goes on. I’m up the top of the North Island so it’s not affecting me, but I know a lot of people are doing it hard. So hopefully my videos give them 10 seconds of escapism,” says Watson.

His 21-month-old daughter features in the video, watching his antics while remaining completely unimpressed. . .

 


366 days of gratitude

October 22, 2016

A picnic lunch with a great niece, great nephew, their parents and grand parents; dinner with friends and the All Blacks record-breaking 18th consecutive win.

It’s been a very happy Labour weekend Saturday and I’m grateful for it.


Poor parenting not confined to poor people

October 13, 2016

Police Minister Judith Collins says many of the problems of child poverty can be blamed on poor parenting:

. . . Ms Collins responded by saying the government was doing a lot more for child poverty in New Zealand than the UN had ever done.

In New Zealand, there was money available to everyone who needed it, she said.

“It’s not that, it’s people who don’t look after their children, that’s the problem.

“And they can’t look after their children in many cases because they don’t know how to look after their children or even think they should look after their children.”

Monetary poverty was not the only problem, she said.

“I see a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

As the MP for Papakura, she saw a lot of those problems in south Auckland, she said.

“And I can tell you it is not just a lack of money, it is primarily a lack of responsibility. . . 

Poor parenting isn’t the only cause for the increased likelihood of poor health, poor educational outcomes, criminal convictions and increased risk of joblessness which characterise child poverty.

But it is one of the causes.

There are good parents who find themselves financially stretched or over-stretched but who love and care for their children.

There are also parents who through ignorance, accident or deliberate poor choices give children neither the emotional nor physical care they need to be happy and healthy.

Poor parenting isn’t confined to poor people but the consequences for children are more likely to be worse in poorer families than those in which lack of money isn’t one of the problems.

Denying that poor parenting is one of the causes of child poverty is the sort of blind stupidity that gets in the way of solving at least part of the problem.


366 days of gratitude

October 2, 2016

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Being genetically related doesn’t make you family.

Love, support, trust, sacrifice, honesty, protection, acceptance, security, compromise, gratitude, respect and loyalty is what makes a family.

The past week has been one in which I have been reminded yet again of the how good it is to have a loving and supportive extended family.

Today I’m grateful for the blessings of family, those to whom I’m related and those I’m not.


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