Saturday, January 26, 2013

My sister's big clean out---don't ya love it!

I am not big on decluttering my house and storage shed, but after my sister’s recent experience in doing just that, perhaps I should change my mind. Over the years she has ‘collected’ quite a bit of ‘this and that,’ leading to quite an interesting look. Books and bric-a- brac were in abundance and Perdy just loved visiting her house of treasures.

Perhaps my dear sister just decided that getting rid of a few things would be a good move. Once she had started it was all on. You wouldn’t believe the things she found and how much local hospices and church shops have benefited. Yeah, we tried to sell a few things on ‘Trade me’ but everyone wants something for virtually nothing and the ‘effort’ is not worth the gain, so the ‘give away’ mode ended up as being the most suitable for her decluttering exercise.

Something quite wonderful is happening. I’m not talking about the lovely old oak tea trolley she gave me, but I am indeed thankful for it as it fits with other ‘real wood’ items in my humble abode. My sister made a discovery that will give us pleasure until the last drop.

She discovered some wine (10 bottles) she had ‘stored’ some time ago. On making this fabulous find, she decided that we would open one each time she visited for one of our famous dinners (while I still can—pre bariatric surgery). The first offering was a vintage (1997) Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne. Now I know that for some of you that’s probably ho-hum and nothing to call home about, but we are not snobs and we really appreciate something just that bit ‘up there.’

We opened the wine, wondering if it would just give a little puff, rather than a full blown pop of the real thing. We were not disappointed and although we love our NZ bubblies, we were most satisfied with this French offering. Next on the list is a great NZ red from the Colerain (Te Mata ) wineries. We can’t wait to see if it has weathered the years.

Can Labour and the Greens (maybe with NZ First) rise to the top?

John Key must be looking over his shoulders and be wondering just what he can do to head off the rising fortunes of the opposition parties. Those parties associated with his Government are in crisis and risk being lost off the political field altogether. His own ministers are also shooting themselves in the foot too. This is often the fate of second term Governments, no matter what the colour of their flags, so it is not surprising that he is looking around for new initiatives; ones that the opposition parties have been proposing for ages.

Take ‘housing and apprenticeship schemes for example; have not the two main opposition parties been putting out sensible polices; ones that the electorate seems quite happy to support? Key can only say, ‘us too,’ but in a much watered down form. He even seems to have moved away from strictly austerity type’ policies in an attempt to turn the polls.

Next year (if he lasts that long) will be interesting. In a sense it is ’be careful time’ for Labour and the Greens. It is easy to shove out policy, but that act must be matched by a ‘balancing’ so that we are not clutching at political chaff. How often have we heard opposition policies announced and then have them shoot way above what is possible and make promises that are nothing short of lies? Labour may think that they will benefit from the possible demise of the Maori Party, but they should not discount the flow on that Hone and Mana may have amongst former Maori Party supporters.

Mr Shearer needs good advice over the next 18 months and learns from past mistakes. We do not want a Labour green coalition that is bereft of real answers to the problems facing us as a nation. The ebbs and flows of political fortunes are something that needs to take into account the reality of the world New Zealand now lives in. Anyone can make brash promises, but not everyone can follow through. Think before you offer please, Mr Shearer and your newly found friend, Mr Cunliffe.