NZ holiday television

Today is Good Friday. Holidays here are like the '60's and '70's when there was respect for religious holidays. The stores are closed, except of course, for the petrol stations. But then most of the stores in our town are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. You can get take-aways every day and I think the garden centers [ok, hardware stores that sell flowers] are open on Saturdays, but even they close up on Sundays.

But the strangest thing is that there are no adverts on tv on holidays. I suppose there would be some fun in trying to track down the reasoning behind it, since NZ is not particularly politically vocal about being Christian. I mean, I bet Jesus wouldn't care if there were ads on tv. And, it really screws up the scheduling, that's for sure.

And, of course, the kids are out of school and working folks have a long weekend, so there are lots of family movies on, which I wouldn't mind, except that they are not exactly the newest movies available. I do try to keep in mind that this is a very small country with a very small budget for tv entertainment. The government runs two of the four basic free channels, I believe Australia owns the third and I'm pretty sure Canada owns the fourth one.

Heck, speaking of movies--we have gone through the whole video store [yes, the one in Stratford]. The movies considered 'New Releases' and 'Recent Releases' are pathetically dated, withe the 'Recent' ones mostly movies that I rented for a buck before I got here.

And, then there's cable--which doesn't seem particularly worth the money. That's why I stopped watching tv all together for a couple of years before I left here. I had cable at one point, but out of over 50 channels, there wasn't much on to my liking when I wanted to watch.

Maybe I'm just spoiled, having come from America. *sigh*


Where are the Kiwis?

I'm continually befuddled by the lack of Kiwi spirit in New Zealand. Let me give you an example. Our 11 year old son is in the Boy Scouts that just started a branch in Stratford last year. It was all formal with the 'parent meeting'--appointing people for important sounding stuff and all that.

Of all the parents and leaders who had any gumption to participate, there were :

A Canadian
Two Brits
An American
One Kiwi

The other 3 Kiwi parents had little interest at all in the proceedings. Makes a preson go "Hmmmm".

It put me in mind of a bit earlier when I volunteered to clean the building where the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts and various other groups held their meetings. I volunteered to have something to give back to the community and it was a relief to the person in charge because having a list of parents to clean ONE DAY A SCHOOL TERM was apparently more than some could handle and the building didn't get much attention. Besides all that, no one bothered to do any more than absolutely necessary, hence there were cobwebs covering the ceiling beams and windows. Anyway, those present when I volunteered were dumbfounded that I would want to do that. "You don't get paid for it," was the first thing said after a pregnant silence. Once again proving that Kiwi spirit is comatose. And yet the news and most personal attitudes is very anti-American. Maybe they're jealous that Americans rally together when something needs to be done.


Cats, ducks and things that go with them

They say there are "dog people" and "cat people". I have never been impressed with any cat I have ever met and that's why I have always been a dog person.

My husband, on the other hand, is doing his best to change my mind. Before I got here,  he was a sucker with a cat-flap on his door [without owning a cat, mind you] and adopted the cocky little black furball that would be waiting for him at 1am when he got home from work. Hrumph.

So, now Bubba has us all pretty well trained. And, to make it all worse, hubby insists on teasing me by telling me that Bubba is 'my' cat. The audacity. Just because he doesn't think he is fed until I feed him. Just because he runs to me for protection from the rest of the family who love to pick him up and cuddle and virtually hold him captive because I simply ignore him most of the time. Just because I'm the only one he claws and bites--apparently, as a show of affection--when I occasionally rub his belly. Hmmm.

Am I a cat person, yet? The verdict is still out.

And I'm still waffling about the ducks, too. It's nice to have one or two on the pond. They are quite exquisite birds. I'd be lying if I said that each brood of ducklings that are led here every year aren't cute. And, it is quite interesting to study the heirarchy of the paddle [strange word, I know, but apparently correct] of ducks and especially watching the mama duck go to extreme lengths to protect her little ones until they can fly [about 3 or 4 months old] even when they are just as big as she is!

OK, it's kinda cute when they waddle up the stairs, across the patio and peck on the picture window in an effort to beg for food. On the other hand, all animals that eat must....um, eh, excrete. And, I suppose any excretion is eventually good fertilizer for the grass, but having to wash the patio down before I can walk out in my bare feet is more than a little irritating.

And, yes, I do wonder where they are when none of them show up for a couple of days. But, when they come back en masse, and I have to chase them off over and over because they fly off and make circles several times checking to see if it's clear to land again--well, those are the times when I'm glad that duck season is just around the corner.