Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Licensed to Swill?

I am really intrigued by Chris Ogilvie’s letter to the LISTENER Apr 24 2010. In the context of all the publicity about the Law Commission’s recommendations to Parliament, he suggested that if we wished to engage in consuming the “Class B Drug” alcohol, we should have to meet certain conditions to obtain a licence to drink. Fully ID’d, the licence could have conditions attached it and it could be withdrawn if used inappropriately. It seems to make quite a lot of sense.
But perhaps my enthusiasm for the idea is affected by my current drug-induced journey through post knee replacement surgery. The knee has been coming along but the brain is turning to mush. Television seems to have deteriorated, old videos look really worn, beautifully prepared food seems less interesting than usual. Even the physio nurse – who’s hardly seen me – said I’m probably pretty grumpy. And Bev didn’t deny it.
All that because a few days ago I became aware of some internal resistance to the ingenious little metal and plastic bits in my knee. It’s enough to make you want to pop down to the bread section in the supermarket and pick up a bottle or two of a Class B drug…

Friday, April 2, 2010

Our Last Tree Fern – RIP

The last of our eight tree ferns died while I was away for surgery. Happily, the smaller Silver Ferns are not affected, but all our big ones have now gone.

A response from the Department of Conservation suggests that the dying-off of Northland’s Mamaku tree ferns may be related to the disease that killed most of Northland’s mature Cabbage Trees about twenty years ago. Some people are researching reports on that event to see what can be learned.

Evidently both species are susceptible to some kind of deadly virus, especially when they are under stress. That’s why the great valleys of Mamaku are surviving but the small groups on the forest fringe and along the roads are dying off at a horrific rate in the current drought. You can see them everywhere.

It would seem that nothing can be done but it’s really sad to see these magnificent specimens reduced to bare trunks. I suppose what’s most interesting to me is that nobody seems to have noticed the wholesale change taking place along the roads we travel day by day.

I wonder if I also fail to see the death and dis-ease in the human presence among which I move daily? Has my own indisposition due to surgery made me more sensitive about the condition of others or has it merely concentrated my attention even more on myself? H’m…