Alone again, naturally

Looking back over the years And whatever else that appears, I remember I cried when my mother died Never wishing to hide the tears. And at fifty-nine years old, My father, God rest his soul, Couldn’t understand why the only lass He had ever loved had been taken, Leaving him to start With a heart […]

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Thank you, Twitter whānau

When Twitter is awesome. Thank you, everyone, tēnā rawa atu koutou. Wellington Twitter. Our friend @jackyan's Dad is extremely unwell in hospital so please can you send him good wishes and strength.Jack, we are all with you through this trying time, but still hoping for a miracle.Arohanui to you and Amanda ❤ — Beckie (@FitKiwi) […]

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Modern masculinity doesn’t involve reinventing the wheel

When Douglas Bader recorded in his log book on the aeroplane accident that cost him his legs, he wrote, ‘Bad show’.    It was men like Bader, Audie Murphy, Claire Lee Chennault and Douglas MacArthur that my father spoke of as heroes from his childhood.    There were plenty more from our own culture but […]

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First night

Forty-three years ago (September 16, 1976), we arrived in this country.    As we flew from Sydney and into Wellington, my Dad pointed out the houses below to me. ‘See, those are the sorts of houses New Zealanders live in,’ he said. I thought it was odd they lived in two-storey homes and not apartment […]

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The big move, after 36 years

For reasons unknown to me, May seems to be a quiet month for my blogging. I looked back to 2010 and usually, this is the month I blog less. Maybe it’s the change in seasons, or I find other things to occupy my time.    This year, it’s been far more eventful, as on the […]

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Capturing a buyer: some advice to Renault New Zealand

On this Pope Gregory Arbitrary Calendar Start Day, I wrote to a contact of mine at Renault New Zealand.    In mid-2018, I joked that, since Renault had no dealers in Wellington (never mind what’s listed on their website—the only people who can see a dealer there are psychic mediums), I could sell them out […]

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They only found one set of dentures, so how’s my Dad supposed to eat these solids?

You’d think that after the Bupa nurse said Dad’s dentures were found, that would be the end of it.    I headed there this afternoon to discover that they only found his upper set. The lower ones are missing.    Again, no one there thought of putting him on soft or purée food till my […]

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A chain of events that led to my Dad being effectively starved today

Above: Dad and I wait for his psychogeriatric ‘re-evaluation’ on November 30, or, treading a path of bullshit. Even in the rest home, Dad remained very protective of the other residents, so much so that there was an incident involving a day care resident in late November that saw the home insist that he be […]

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Eighty-three today with Alzheimer’s: a caregiver’s viewpoint

Above: Dementia Wellington’s support has been invaluable. Today my father turned 83.    It’s a tough life that began during the Sino–Japanese War, with his father being away in the army, and his mother and grandmother were left to raise the family on their land in Taishan, China.    In 1949, the Communists seized the […]

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Just another Christmas for a staff nurse

My late mother was a nurse. Before she was a midwife at Wellington Women’s Hospital, she was a staff nurse in wards 21 and 26 at Wellington Hospital.    From what I remember, ward 21 was first, which meant she was working there some time between 1976 and 1978. This is a letter that she […]

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