“God Bless America”

handguns posterNot much one can add, really.

R.I.P. all the innocents of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Though there can never be any sense to the murders, may your deaths ultimately have some meaning.


Old Fingernails

My daughter had a conversation with our (at times) quite serious minded four and a half year old grandson- she had just made the observation his nails were in need of a clip ‘n clean.

Nathan- “Mummy, I think I know why Nana’s nails are so long- I think they must not have a nail-clipper like us!!”

Mummy- “Hmmmm….maybe. Are Poppa’s nails long?”

Nathan- “Well, no. Hmmm… Well, he is maybe too old, and when you get old you get full-size and you stop growing. I think that’s why his nails don’t grow long!”

I do love him.

CHILDREN’S WISDOM (and Honesty.)

These gems from children- enjoy!

Children Writing About the Ocean…                                           
1)  – This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles.   (Kelly,  age 6 )

2 ) – Oysters’ balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age  6)

3) – If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island.  If you don’t have ocean all round you, you are incontinent.   (David, age  7)

4) – Sharks are  ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson She’s not my  friend any more.   (Kylie, age  6)

5) – A dolphin  breathes through an asshole on the top of its head.    (Billy, age 7)

6) – My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a  woman and pots and comes back with crabs.  (Millie, age  6)

7) – When ships  had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when  the wind didn’t blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come.  My  brother said they would have been better off eating beans..  (William,  age 7)

8) –  Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like  their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like,  really?   (Helen, age 6)

9) – I’m not going to write about the ocean. My baby  brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister  has just got pregnant, so I can’t think what to write. (Amy, age  6)

10) – Some fish  are dangerous.. Jellyfish can sting.  Electric eels can give you a shock..  They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug  themselves in to chargers.   (Christopher, age  7)

11) – When you  go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)

12)  – Divers have to be safe when they go under the water.  Divers can’t go  down alone, so they have to go down on each other.  (Becky, age 6)

13) – On  vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast.  She says she won’t do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass.  (Julie, age 7)

14)  – The ocean is made up of water and fish.  Why the fish don’t drown I  don’t know.  (Bobby, age 6)

15) – My dad was a sailor on the ocean He knows all  about the ocean. What he doesn’t know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)


Hate or hatred- abhorrenceabominationanathemaanimosityanimusantagonismantipathyaversion, detestation, disgustenmity, execration, horrorhostility, ill will, loathingmalevolence, malignity, mislike, objection, odium, painrancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentmentrevulsionscornspite.

I have told my children, both my own and those who I have taught over the years that ‘hate’ isn’t a word that should be used too freely. It’s often a bit of a throwaway word that doesn’t really express the true feelings at the time, or, in fact it overstates them. You may well dislike something even dislike it intensely but, in my view that is a decent step from ‘hate’.

This being said I am seriously questioning my feelings towards some elements in New Zealand society, and even some people involved in or with those elements. For example my feelings towards this woman are bordering on hatred but as I don’t know the person then I don’t honestly think I can ‘hate’ her. I DO hate the things she has done, and I DO hate this sort of behaviour from anybody. But, OK, I’ll just carry on thinking she’s despicable, contemptible, disgraceful, obscene, or any combination of the synonyms above.

Now my feelings for THIS woman I also have to think about. Again I don’t think I truly HATE her but, by God I dislike her intensely. For 3 years she has been the Minister Of Social Welfare and has been installed in that position for the next 3 years of the National administration in New Zealand. For the time she’s been at the top of the Welfare Agencies pile she’s continually played a ‘blame game’ as she is doing here that absolves her agencies and puts 100% of fault at the doors of the perpetrators of some of the worst child abuse and cruelty that any civilised society has seen. I almost said ‘condoned’ because so little seems to have been done about it! Baby killers are still walking free, and families of child abusers are still nurturing their own. This is a disgrace that this woman has paid lip-service to for years but has seemed to be ambivalent to if her stated policies with regard to the strata of society who are (in the majority of cases) responsible for violence against children pan out.

The families of these beaten children are the poor, the hungry, the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the disenchanted, the disenfranchised, the down-trodden. These people are taking the lines of least resistance and falling into habits that are dysfunctional and destructive and they see no way out.

How much truth there might be in the abusive mother’s words, they reflect the thoughts that exist in her head, they reflect how her mind rationalises things, and, in part they reflect some aspirational aspects of her life. That she doesn’t have the ability to cope, or manage her actions may or may not be something SHE has to deal with, but in our social welfare state should she have to deal with it on her own? Ms Bennett tells us that 25 different agencies were involved in this case and if this is so over a number of years then Ms Bennett needs to take one of the PM’s ‘steps back’ and do some serious analysis of the work the agencies do. If they were doing all the things they are empowered to do, and if they were failing to bring about change in the life or the girl or the behaviours of the mother then the question must be asked- “Why was the girl still in the care of the mother and her equally suspect father?”

Parents are always told they have a duty of care to their children, and the vast majority of them know and understand this. Our Governments are always told they have a duty of care to the people of their nation, but this government at least seems not to be concerned with this.


Two of my kids have had ‘body art’ done this year. Both have chosen original designs and are delighted with the results.
Kimberley set the trend by having a branch of manuka (a native tree) tatooed on her forearm.

Kimberley's new manuka tatoo.

Kimberley had her favourite native flower, the manuka tatooed on her forearm.

Campbell had his tatooist design this stylised kiwi, after initially looking at a tiger design. Some suggested the tiger didn’t sort of represent his culture, and obviously the kiwi does!

Campbell's kiwi.

Campbell reckons his kiwi represents his culture pretty well.

So, I guess it’s now the turn of Big Sister?

(In fact my mate just got one done to celebrate his 46th. Had his clan crest put on his shoulder. Looks good. I wonder…)