The other side of tourism

Having ranted about tourism last week I am recanting, but only a little. I like it when my friends come as tourists, I just don’t want everyone else! Clearly that’s hypocritical – everyone else wants their friends to be able to visit Queenstown, or New Zealand, not just my friends. OK, I will allow everyoneContinue reading “The other side of tourism”

Tourism saves the economy, or not – a rant

We have just finished a mini cycle tour from Gibbston to Milford Sound via Queenstown and Mavora Lakes. We stayed two nights at an Alpine Club hut near the Homer Tunnel, partly to miss the rain, and partly to be able to go up to both Homer and Gertrude Saddles for their wonderful views. TheseContinue reading “Tourism saves the economy, or not – a rant”

The weight of absence

Absence can be a positive or a negative and its weight is totally relative to the person feeling the absence. For me, absence of people in the back country is a huge positive, as is a relative lack of people where we live. Why do I love places where there aren’t people, when I spendContinue reading “The weight of absence”

‘Real’ scary as an antidote

The world can feel like an insecure place at present. A New Zealander on National Radio was hypothesising that the combination of COVID with Putin’s threats make this the worst time ever for humanity. There have been some pretty bleak times for humanity. I wouldn’t want to try out the early 20th century, experiencing WWI,Continue reading “‘Real’ scary as an antidote”


We went to a house concert last night in Hawea. House concerts allow musicians to continue to earn a living from live music, at a time when most larger concerts are being cancelled. It was a lovely evening with around 30 people sitting on the grass outside. It was hard to imagine that, as weContinue reading “Relativities”

Do vaccine mandates work?

Given the depth of feeling at present around vaccine mandates, it seems timely to consider their effectiveness. The Economist had a look at this and suggested, based on Canadian and European data, that they can be effective. Here’s what happened after Canada, France and Italy and Germany introduced vaccine mandates. France barred unvaccinated people fromContinue reading “Do vaccine mandates work?”

Water as a deterrent?

This week’s headlines have followed the ‘protest’ in Parliament’s grounds. Last night it was hoped that turning on the sprinklers, together with forecast rain, might dampen the protestor’s ardour to the extent they would depart. Diffusing protests with sprinklers sounds great from the point of view of peaceful resolution. However, the protestors covered the sprinklersContinue reading “Water as a deterrent?”

Adult aspirations

I have been somewhat slow posting this week because I have been at music camp in Martinborough. I was so excited that music camp was not Omicronned (interestingly, spell check suggested Omicrobbed as an alternative). Of course, I personally could get Omicronned on my flights (I could be like Jacinda!), or at camp . TravelContinue reading “Adult aspirations”