Journalism in a time of COVID-19

It’s lockdown day #14 in New Zealand, and every afternoon the brave amongst us tune in to watch the press briefing our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, gives in conjunction with Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Our PM, as various media here and around the world have pointed out, is giving other world leaders a […]

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Four Words

I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived. I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now. I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held. -Mary […]

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Loving and losing our children

New Zealand’s appalling youth suicide rate is in the news again, as is our impotency in the face of it. A new UNICEF report has found New Zealand’s youth suicide rate – teenagers between 15 and 19 – to be the highest of a long list of 41 OECD and EU countries. The usual culprits […]

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When You Are 50

When You Are 50 When you are 50, you are reborn. The same skin, the same face, the same body, but different. You are in the next half, now. You cannot waste a moment. When you are 50, you love this face, this skin you’re in. You love that quick temper, that wild laugh, those […]

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A Letter to my Daughter

To my daughter, This is your last week of primary school. I couldn’t let it go by without writing to you. It’s what I do to process my thoughts and feelings; to line things up in my mind until they make sense and form some sort of pattern; to express what sometimes cannot be said […]

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Want the Change

And I know I am solid and sound; To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow; All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. -Walt Whitman Change is hard. It’s one of the things we struggle with the most, along with zipping up our jeans after a night […]

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A Writer in Ireland: Part Four

In Crossmaglen the fire burns true The patriotic flame will never die And when you hear the battle cry It will be the fighting men of Crossmaglen. -“The Fighting Men of Crossmaglen”, IRA ballad, 1970s Armagh and Crossmaglen After a wildly comfortable night in a country B & B just outside Armagh (I had it […]

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A Writer in Ireland: Part Three

Newry Nestled between the Ring of Gullion and the spectacular Mourne Mountains, Newry doesn’t make many headlines these days. I drove into the city with a load of wet washing drying on the back seat and vague memories of grey stone and dullness and necessity. Over the next two days, however, I was to become […]

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A Writer in Ireland: Part Two

Castles are never how you imagine they’re going to be. You picture yourself wafting from medieval great hall to windswept rampart, the imagined accompanying strains of Enya or Clannad making you feel ever so slightly weepy, when in reality you find yourself in rubbish-strewn, freezing ruins with Sam and Betty from Wisconsin, their shell-suited thighs […]

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A Writer in Ireland: Part One

Born in this island, maimed by history and creed-infected, by my father taught the stubborn habit of unfettered thought I dreamed, like him, all people should be free. -John Hewitt, “The Dilemma” There was a surreal, joyful melancholy to this homecoming. As we punched through the haze above a sweltering London and soared left, easing to […]

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