Once upon a time Winter was just cold and wet. It's what winter does best but these days it comes with a range of symptoms. A Waikato University Social Psychology lecturer Cate Curtis told the New Zealand Herald that it comes with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). She says symptoms range from feeling low, lethargic and irritable to not sleeping and having difficulty concentrating.
But there's hope ahead in the warmth of summer - isn't there? Not quite. Summer's a bummer too. Ms Curtis:
"In really hot weather people tend to get more aggressive and violent and that seems to be in part around their difficulty in controlling temperature but also around people being out and about with more interactions", she told the newspaper.
Well that leaves us with two seasons. Spring into life people - and remember to enjoy that season of mists and mellow fruitfulness we call autumn. Really though, are we going overboard about the weather? Yes, it's been an awful soggy winter, but there's Jim Hickey and a host of other Cassandras making us feel really low before the next Low - centred somewhere off-stage in the Tasman. It's winter Jim - and it never arrived with anything other than coughs and colds and - okay - a dose of the sads.
The Olympics, that miracle of siege celebration, that compelling mix of winners and losers. The games are a thriller for all sporting tastes and despite a few glitches TVNZ coverage has been as comprehensive as a free to air model can provide. Question is will this be the last time we'll see free to air as opposed to pay TV coverage of the event? Will this traditional form become dog tucker? And, speaking of which, here's a July story originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English this year.
'Gourmets with a special predilection for dog meat will be disappointed if they come to the Chinese capital in the coming two months, according to a Beijing Tourism Bureau official on Friday. Xiong Yumei, the bureau's vice director, said if a customer ordered dog meat restaurant staff should "patiently" suggest another entree.
"Conflicts should be avoided," she stressed.
Earlier, the Beijing Catering Trade Association (BETA) had issued a circular which forbade all 112-designated restaurants to provide dog meat dishes during the August Olympics. It added, as for other establishments, they were strongly advised to suspend serving dog until September. As for dog meat for medicinal purposes, the circular said the ingredient should be listed clearly. The meat is believed by many Chinese to be an effective element to lower high blood pressure. Any restaurant found violating the ban would be blacklisted by the association, though the exact punishment was not specified. (Source: BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific).
Anybody sick of the haka? TVNZ's Close-up ventured to ask just before the Olympics got under way. Well no, a street poll said. Quite resoundingly too. The overwhelming majority of those vox popped by the programme said they weren't tired of it - and some wanted more. Maori leaders chimed in and said this was a good sign. We beg to differ. We're not sick of the haka - we remember when its performance sent shivers down our spines. No, we're sick of its commodification - its use at everything from airport welcomes to the Olympics. All of it devalues the taonga it once was, performed in the days when rugby was not a January to November game. If Maori leaders don't see the dangers and Pakeha say they want more, then it's bound to become not just ho-hum, but a yawn.
Was that George W. on our screens condemning the Russians for invading Georgia? Must have had Georgia on his mind - and forgotten about his own little Mission Accomplished.…