Drawn Out

June 4, 2018

Funny People don’t always have funny lives.

Tom Scott’s life has had lots of unfunny times but in his autobiography Drawn Out his stilettos sharp observations and dry wit make for very funny reading.

Although he writes of his gauge being on full self-pity later, there is no trace of that with the light and witty touch he applies to his impoverished childhood with his angry, alcoholic father.

In his book he recounts stories of people and events which changed New Zealand and the world as well as touching on his own deprived childhood, and his student days, career and family life.

As a political columnist and cartoonist he mixed with politicians, media and other people, including Sir Edmund Hillary and John Clarke, who made, or covered, the news from New Zealand and around the world.

He also claims the line New Zealanders going to Australia raise the IQ on both sides of the Tasman as his own and says it was taken by Rob Muldoon.

The front cover describes it as a seriously funny memoir. It is and I recommend it as a must-read for anyone interested in politics, history or life.

Drawn Out published by Allen & Unwin.

On grief

May 30, 2018

This is one of the clearest and most helpful  explanations of grief I’ve come across.

Connie Lawn 1944 – 2018

April 3, 2018

Connie Lawn, whose voice would be familiar to RNZ listeners has died.

Ms Lawn was the longest-serving White House correspondent, having spent nearly 50 years covering successive US presidents.

Ms Lawn was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1944 and was a familiar voice on Radio New Zealand for more than 20 years, covering a range of topics including politics, scandals, wars, tragedies and arts and culture.

She has also promoted New Zealand tourism and skiing through many articles written for the US market.

She was awarded an Honorary New Zealand Order of Merit title in recognition of her services to New Zealand/United States Relations in 2012.

She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Press Club of NZ, and was also proud of having a champion local race horse named after her.  . .

Stephen Hawking 8.1.42 – 14.3.18

March 14, 2018

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died.

Stephen Hawking – who died aged 76 – battled motor neurone disease to become one of the most respected and best-known scientists of his age.

A man of great humour, he became a popular ambassador for science and was always careful to ensure that the general public had ready access to his work.

His book A Brief History of Time became an unlikely best-seller although it is unclear how many people actually managed to get to the end of it. . . 

365 days of gratitude

March 6, 2018

The bereaved parents’ club is one none of us choose to join.

Tonight five of the six of us at dinner were unwilling members.

The statistics for the survival of marriages for couples who’ve lost children are depressing but all five of us are still married.

There are many reasons that marriages of couples who have lost children fail. But one factor the five us whose marriages have survived have in common is that we haven’t lost the good things we have to bitterness over what we lost.

Fresh from the therapeutic benefit of sharing our experiences this evening I’m grateful for that.


365 days of gratitude

March 6, 2018

The bereaved parents club is one no-one chooses to join.

This evening we were in a group of six for dinner, five of whom were unwilling members of that club.

The statistics for marriages which survive such trauma aren’t high but all of us in that group are still married.

There might be many different reasons why some marriages survive and some don’t. One thing the five of us had in common was that we didn’t lose sight of the good of what we still have through bitterness at what we’ve lost.

Tonight, with the therapeutic value of sharing our experiences still fresh, I’m grateful for that.


365 days of gratitude

February 25, 2018

If you’d asked me who Emma Chambers was I couldn’t have told you.

She’d made me laugh as she played Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley and Honey Thacker in Notting Hill, but I knew nothing of the actress behind the character.

Only now she’s died, aged just 53, have I learned her name.

Can you be sad about the death of someone you never knew?

Yes, at the very least in sympathy, and even empathy, for those who did know and lover her.

And I can be grateful too for her comedic talent and the gift of laughter.


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