Stuff & Nonsense

Can we (or should we) canola?

Can we (or should we) canola?

A friend of ours came over a year or so ago and, without being asked, decided to go through our pantry and circle the Evil Ingredi­ents in any canned or pack­aged products. There are sev­er­al things that can make an ingredi­ent evil, chief among those being its unnat­ur­al­ness. The greatest of all Evil Ingredi­ents, she […]

Putting the mental in sentimental value

Putting the mental in sentimental value

On 18 Feb­ru­ary 2010, in Whangarei, my little broth­er Dave decided that life wasn’t worth liv­ing. In fact, he’d most likely made that call in the days or weeks pri­or, but that was the day he did some­thing about it. My moth­er found him — a hor­ror I can’t even ima­gine — my oth­er brother […]

The Beforemath, Duringmath and Aftermath of an accident

The Beforemath, Duringmath and Aftermath of an accident

Pri­or to being part of an acci­dent, all I knew about car crashes was learned from the tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials advising us not to have one. And I’m exactly the kind of per­son who takes note of the many mes­sages those com­mer­cials have delivered over the years. I can hum most of the ‘drive to the conditions’ […]

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

Two little girls, both with pretty curls Twins almost always in sync But one is a lov­er of any old col­our While the oth­er will only have pink.  I have identic­al twin daugh­ters who recently turned four. They share exactly the same DNA, have had the same upbring­ing in the same house with the same par­ents. Neither […]

5 seconds

5 seconds

The five-second rule is a uni­ver­sally recog­nised prin­ciple of com­mon sense, which states that if food falls on the floor and is retrieved with­in five seconds, it can still be safely eaten. I went to board­ing school, so my stom­ach is immune to most known bac­teria and many of the ele­ments found on the periodic […]

Stop the whining

Stop the whining

  And so into the box we dive. The box of wine that is. Is the blad­der, as pur­ists would have us believe, filled with cheap swill, unfit for con­sump­tion by the civ­il­ised? When put to the test, would ordin­ary wine drink­ers even be able to tell the box from the bottle? Blame the Sri […]

Whether the weather

Whether the weather

As I get older I feel more of a need to under­stand the work­ings of the world around me. Not that it’s a burn­ing yearn­ing, more like a passing interest. Herein I try to find the answers to the ques­tions that pass fleet­ingly across my cereb­ral cor­tex. Not the big ques­tions, like, “What’s for lunch?” […]

Interview with a (vampire) Referee

Interview with a (vampire) Referee

The pur­pose of this column is to answer ques­tions. Not the ‘plaguing man­kind since the dawn of time’ ques­tions, but those that occa­sion­ally raise their hands from wooden bench seats at the edges of my oth­er­wise unoc­cu­pied mind. One such ques­tion goes like this: “Why would any­one want to be a ref­er­ee?” In gen­er­al, whatever the […]

Does anyone actually fall for these things?

Does anyone actually fall for these things?

Great news! I have recently found out that someone in Canada died (that’s not great news, obvi­ously, but stay with me), and that they have no next of kin (that’s still not it), and that if I play my cards right and cooper­ate with a man who is the extern­al aud­it­or for the Office of […]

Old men on motorcycles

Old men on motorcycles

Why the hell would a man in his mid-40s sud­denly up and buy a Ducati? This is what a lot of people asked me when I up and did it. The first words that light up on the front­al lobe in blind­ing blue neon are ‘mid-life crisis’. Sci­ent­ists at the Uni­ver­sity of Mel­bourne told us […]