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  Issue #129

A bakelite radio - there's a tenuous thread here..

Mike's Pith & Wind - Innocence
I wouldn’t want to be a kid nowadays - there are too many ways kids can casually lose their innocence, mostly courtesy of TV or its bastard child, the Net. I was reminded of my own childish innocence when having a bit of a clean-up at home I came across some old black & white photos of Bro’ Dick and myself as youngsters. Our Aunty Phyl worked for the Auckland Herald and our annual August holidays in Auckland were often marked with photos taken by a colleague of Phyl’s at the paper. (Phyl was also keen for me to meet Gordon Minhinnick, the paper’s resident cartoonist as I was showing some interest and perhaps a little promise in the cartooning department at the time – I think it worried both my aunt and my grandparents that I didn’t have a vocation in mind, even at that age).
In the languid ’50s, while TV wasn’t yet a reality in most New Zealand households, there were still pictorial magazines lying in ambush for the unwary young mind. In my case it was an issue of the London Illustrated News which carried a sequence of grainy photographs depicting a truckload of Nationalist Chinese soldiers being summarily executed by Comrade Mao’s mob. I suppose I was morbidly fascinated because I kept returning to the pictures, even though they appalled me, but by comparison with today’s children accidentally or otherwise witnessing a journalist’s head being hacked off by some attention-seeking jihadist it’s modest stuff, which is the point I’m making. read more

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Dick's Toolbox -This tea is rather weak
‘This tea is rather weak,’ I thought moments before I realised that I had forgotten to put any tea into the pot. For a brief moment I worried whether or not premature senility had set in when it occurred that it probably wasn’t premature. Then I forgot about that as well.
Some small time later, as I gazed upon the unfamiliar scene of our kitchen, ( a deju vu which I had forgotten that I had had before) it occurred to me that the quality of the tea had improved of late, which was, of course, due to the teapot and the teas that had been a present from my coffee drinking wife. Their genesis was firstly as a birthday present, and secondly I believe, as guilty penance for the incredible amount of coffee making hardware around the house. Whilst not costing a lot of money in absolute terms - and we are talking relativities between a Lamborghini, and a Holden in the ‘Would you believe they can charge that for four wheels?’ stakes it is still a.. read more

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