Have a nice weekend, don’t forget your mask

Diary of the last 9 hours


Wake to a truly beautiful morning. Honestly, the state of it. Tui, full moon, sunrise.

Auckland. Can’t beat it on a day ending in Y, including windy.

Just a little joke, Wellington readers. Love you dearly, wherever you sit on the heritage house question.

Making the coffee and Siri is turning on the radio and meanwhile in Delhi, it's all completely kicking off in the family of Shiv Ramdas.

Have you ever got sick of buying  your rice one bag at time and thought, there has to be a better way than this?

The brother in law of Shiv Ramdas has. So he’s made inquiries at the store, wires have got crossed, arrangements have been made and, well here are the opening scenes of the best thing you'll read on Twitter today.

now there is a literal TRUCK FILLED WITH RICE outside the house and my sister is losing her shit lmfao


Drinking coffee listening to Morning Report.

Meanwhile in Delhi, 

To clarify, this is India so when I say truck, I don't mean SUV, IT IS A LITERAL LORRY FILLED WITH RICE


Winston Peters is on the phone being, I don't know, Winston, and all obtuse about the awful fate of the ship with 40 crew and several thousand cattle.

Part of the reason to lament it, the part I keep coming back to, is: I thought we'd stopped doing this years ago. Clearly not.

Someone was talking earlier about how the ideal way, the only way really, to carry livestock across the world is in a tube, while they are still smaller than the palm of your hand. Surely that's the sane humane thing.


There’s a happy story about living creatures in my Facebook.  The conservation group we belong to and kill rats with has news of two korimako (bellbirds) in the neighbourhood, enjoying a garden nectar-feeder just a few blocks over from the maunga.

Lance, the organiser, says:

listen for a slightly different Tui call and keep your eyes open for them


our tree planting and pest-free strategy is working! 


please keep setting your rat traps - this species is vulnerable to rat predation.


Meanwhile in Delhi, it just keeps getting better.

If you have never heard a woman destroy a man with one sentence 25 times in a row you should meet my sister. She's terrifying rn, I'm on the phone and I'm scared and she isn't even angry at me lol

Update: BIL is making headway. Lorry driver and helper have accepted cigarettes from him. Negotiations have resumed while all 3 smoke.

Key Update: Cigarettes were in fact a huge strategic blunder because BIL apparently assured sis that he's definitely finally quit smoking on Sunday and in no way shape or form was supposed to have packs of cigs just there in his pocket ready to be used as negotiating aid.

Is it real? This would be an awesome way to test out a comic novel or a movie plot, eh. But it all checks out. It's him, he's real, and this is marvellous family observation.

There was something just as good a few months ago recounting the experience of  British author RS Archer, who lives in the Dordogne. 

Just had conversation with a British couple who have a holiday home near us. They voted for Brexit and have made no arrangements whatsoever for what happens on Jan 1. They have now discovered the reality of their situation. The blame apparently is with "Brussels".

What follows is the hilarious tale of an idiot son vowing to get this sorted out, Brussels can't push us around like this, and his arrangements to travel to the village to have it out out the mayor and it's just a beautiful tableau of the Brexit farce and the fundamental misapprehension of what was promised and what it in reality it meant. You can read it all here.

And here’s today’s lorry of rice.

Such great storytelling, and who’d have though it could work in this pinched little format?

Writers with enough skill can do it. Maybe storytelling can work in any almost any form at all, because there’s a hunger always for it. Someone says once upon a time, and everyone leans in.


Man who goes for a run nearly every day writes that he’s getting a bit frustrated by the hamstring and needs his exercise. Just a small mention of it in the newsletter, nothing else, no Google no nothing and well, get a lot of my Facebook every day since.

I am powerless to resist the lure to become powerful. Presently doing lunges, planks and variations for my RobertDeNiro/SideshowBob Cape Fear physique.


Time for the announcement: meet the new level same as the old level. More 2.5, more 2.0. Fine by me, fine by a lot of people I think.

There are some pretty stupendous numbers in this. 790,000 tested - that’s 1 in 6 New Zealanders, and half of that done since the August outbreak.

The also encouraging news is: we can take a lot of confidence from the level of uptake of tracer app and mask wearing - a substantial majority of people are aware of what they need to do, and doing it. 

The clear and helpful messages are: The best economic response is a good health response. As much normal life as possible, as safe as possible.

The cautious warning is: Transmission is when we gather. This really spreads through social gatherings. Especially at weekends. 

Typed it yesterday, I’ll type it again.

All of this is a numbers calculation. Levels get set given the relative likelihood of people doing the right thing and people being dicks and how that fits with the overall numbers calculation that looks at present levels of infection and capacity to locate and capacity to contain.
We forget, but before we had zero cases in the community, we had a number of them and proceeded down through the levels anyway.
We can function with a certain amount of dickishness going on. This can all work.
Comparatively speaking it’s worked very well here.
The only option is to bend our lives around this virus. It’s never going to bend itself around ours. The best thing we can do is find the most workable way to do it.


Sticking in a repeat here, an allegory from last month. Each Friday, at the moment, it somehow keeps feeling relevant.


Also sticking this in from Twitter, because it feels like the best way to describe Plan B. Have a nice weekend, don’t forget your mask :)