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ISSUE 1 2013

wellness Taking care of your family’s health

plus ...


• the truth about armpits • Tiritiri Matangi: one for the birds • happiness is in your head • Cambodia: astonishing Angkor


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cover photographY: GREG BROOKES. Models: Nicholas, lauren and rogan.


14 Wellness: Taking Care Of Your Family’s Health We live in a world that’s obsessed with quick-fixes, weightloss wonders, fad-foods, celebrity-diets, miracle cures, and self-professed self-help gurus. Find it confusing? Well, join the club! We asked nutrition specialist and best-selling author, Dr Libby Weaver, to help us make sense of these mixed (and mixed-up) messages …

38 Grandma’s Secrets Old age. It has sneaked up on her, caught her unawares, and turned her life topsy-turvy. Her abilities are winding down little by little. She hates to admit it, but she can’t always manage like she used to. And, every now and then, she has thoughts and fears about her future that she’s too scared to tell her children … 4 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 1 / 2013

26 Tiritiri Matangi Just 4km off the coast of Whangaparaoa Peninsula is Tiritiri Matangi: a predator-free, open-tothe-public island set up to help ensure the survival of a bunch of endangered birds and reptiles …

54 Joy Reid: TV News Journalist This vivacious young television reporter has the gift-of-the-gab, and loves telling the stories of those who are unable to tell their own.

58 Astonishing Angkor Cambodia. Most people who go there go to eyeball what I went to eyeball: the famous jungle-smothered, moss-covered stone temples of Angkor Wat. It’s easy to see why …

Extra Green Frittata & White Chocolate & Blueberry Cake – Page 32


Pick of the Bunch …........................ 6 You Ain’t Gonna Believe This … ......... 10 From Where I Sit …......................... 11 Sherman’s Lagoon … ...................... 13 Grapepuzzles …............................ 24 Scrubcutters ….......................25 & 57 Home-Sweet-Home …...................... 36 Stillpoint …................................. 48 Spot the Difference ….................... 52 Families Unlimited …....................... 62

Managing Editor: John Cooney Associate Editors: Mike Cooney Paul Freedman Promotions Manager: Frances Coventry Distribution Manager: Brent Curtis Design: Craig Haythornthwaite CCL Communications Group Print: PMP Print Delivery: PMP Distribution Website: Published by Grapevine Communications Society Ltd. All correspondence to Private Bag 92124, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Phone: 09 813 4956 Fax: 09 813 4957 Email: Our mission: To promote stable, loving relationships ... to tackle family hurts and headaches in a positive, helpful way ... to inject fun, hope and wholeness into homes all over the country. Copyright: The entire contents of this issue are copyright © March 2013. Permission to reprint must be obtained in advance. ISSN 1170-392X (Print) ISSN 2230-4126 (Online)

Published four times a year to give New Zealand families a lift – 100% independent, communitybased, not-for-profit.


H a u n te d p a n c a kes g i v e me t h e c r e p es .



The Willis Museum in Basingstoke, England, is home to what’s believed to be the oldest complete wedding cake in the world. The cake was made in 1898 and still holds its shape, though it has browned with age. Topped with a floral display, its only flaw is a crack in the icing caused by a bomb blast during WW2. “A syringe once inserted into the cake revealed the centre to be moist,” says museum curator Sue Tapliss. The cake was donated to the museum by the daughter of the baker who had made it and displayed it in his bakery shop window. 6 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 1 / 2013


On noticeboard: “Dog for sale. Eats anything. Is fond of children.” HEAR ABOUT …

… the burglar who fell flat-on-his-face in wet cement? He’s become a hardened criminal. HEAR DAFFINITIONS #1

The Washington Post asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some winning entries: Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.


In a Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona: He was young He was fair But the Injuns Raised his hair. LEGAL HUMOUR

Lawyers aren’t typically funny, unless it’s by accident – as witnessed by these courtroom questions from lawyers: Q: “Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?” Q: “Now, doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until the next morning?” Q: “Was that the same nose you broke as a child?” Q: “What happened then?” A: He told me, “I have to kill you because you can identify me.” Q: “Did he kill you?” Q: “Your youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?”

MARRIED BLISS #1: Someone stole my husband’s Visa card, but we won’t be reporting it. The thief is spending less than my husband did. FUN FONE MESSAGE #1:

“Hi, I’m Sonia’s answering machine. What are you?” DAFFINITIONS #2

More winning entries, words and definitions: Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit, and the person who doesn’t get it. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out. Caterpallor: The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating. SIGNZ #2:

In a local Firestone office: “Re-tire before you go bald!” MARRIED BLISS #2: I’ve just got back from a pleasuretrip. I took my mother-in-law to the airport. IS S U E 1/2013– Grapevine 7

A l w a y ’ s d o ub l e - c h e c k y o u r use o f a p o st r o p h e ’ s .

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly. Arachnoleptic: The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web. Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. Decafalon: The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

I use d t o be a b a n ke r , but e v e n tu a l l y I l o st i n te r est .


According to a survey by internet search engine ‘Ask Jeeves’ … • 23% of Britons have never flown in a plane or visited France (a 30min flight away). • 19% have never been inside a McDonald’s restaurant. • 30% have never bought a takeaway cappuccino or latte. • 16% have managed to avoid sending an email. • 5% have never used the internet. • 6% have never used a mobile phone. • 28% have never watched the X Factor on TV. • 54% have never sung at a karaoke evening. • 9% have never seen a James Bond film, even though they’ve been around for 50 years. • 36% have never attended a football (soccer) match. • 18% of adults have never owned a car. HEAR ABOUT …?

… the guy who married a young widow with a grown-up daughter? The guy explains what happened: “My father later married my stepdaughter – which meant my stepdaughter became my stepmother, my father became my stepson, and my wife became the mother-in-law of her father-in-law. “Then the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father’s son, but he was also the son of my wife’s daughter, which made him my wife’s grandson. That made me grandfather of my half-brother. “Which was fine, until my wife and I 8 Gra p e v i ne – I S S U E 1 / 2013

had a son. Now the sister of my son, my mother-in-law, is also his grandmother. Which makes my father the brother-inlaw of my child, whose stepsister is my father’s wife. “As a result, I am my stepmother’s brother-in-law, my wife is her own child’s aunt, my son is my father’s nephew, and I am my own grandfather!” LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE

• Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch. • Law of Gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place on the planet. • Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. • Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged signal – someone always answers. TIGER TALES

A young reporter went to a retirement home to interview an aged but legendary explorer. The reporter asked the old man to tell him the most frightening experience he’d ever had. The old explorer said, “Once I was trying to photograph a Bengal tiger in the jungles of India. I was on a narrow path and my faithful porter was behind me. Suddenly MARRIED BLISS #3: She was at the beauty shop for three hours. She got a mud-pack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.


MARRIED BLISS #4: We always hold hands when we’re out. If I let go, she shops.

Irish Heart Surgery – by Angie O’Plasty Desert Crossing – by I. Rhoda Camel School Truancy – by Marcus Absent ONLY IN AMERICA

On the headstone of a London miser: Here Lieth Thorp’s Corpse. When his wife died, the wording was changed to: Here Lieth Thorpses Corpses.

Twenty-year-old Carl Wayne was hit in the leg with pieces of the bullet he fired at the exhaust pipe of his car. Apparently, while modifying the vehicle he needed to drill a hole in his tailpipe. And when he couldn’t find the right tool for the job, he used the next best thing (so he thought) and … tried to shoot a hole in it with his gun!



… the politician who got too big for his britches? He was exposed in the end. GRAVE MATTERS #2

How to Write Big Books – by Warren Peace Lion Attack – by Claude Yarmoff The Art of Archery – by Beau N. Arrow Songs for Children – by Barbara Blacksheep

“Hello, this is George. Sorry I can’t talk to you right now. Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call you back.” IS S U E 1/2013– Grapevine 9

T h e r e ’ s s o met h i n g f is h y a b o ut t h e i d e a o f t a ki n g c o d l i v e r o i l f o r y o u r h e a l t h .

the largest tiger I’ve ever seen appeared on the path right in front of us. I turned to grab my camera only to find the porter had fled. The tiger leapt towards me with a mighty ROARRRR! I soiled myself.” The reporter said, “That’s not surprising. Under those circumstances anyone would have done the same.” The old explorer said, “No, not then – just now when I went ROARRRR!”

Ain’t u o his! Go Y T e nn v e a Beli

• The average adult raccoon weighs 10 kilos. • Crickets (cold-blooded insects) chirp faster in hot weather. • There are 46,783,665,034,756,288,456,012,645 possible moves in a game of chess.

• 50,000 flakes of skin drop off the human body every minute.

• No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

• Hummingbirds can’t walk.

• The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.

• Every day 247 billion emails are sent out around the world.

• A peanut is not a nut.

• After age 30, your brain shrinks a quarter of a percent each year.

• McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, served as a medical-technician driver in the same Red Cross unit as Walt Disney.

• 39% of the people who read this list will spend several

minutes searching in vain for words that rhyme with month, orange, silver, and purple.

1 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

Doing My Bit For Birds I’ve always had a soft spot for birds. Not sure why. But our feathered friends kinda get to me. I marvel at their ability to stay effortlessly airborne. I’m grateful for the colour and song they add to my life. And, from somewhere deep inside, I feel SORRY for them … birds are even awfuller. I mean, YOU try saying phalacrocorax carunculatus without giggling … or hemispingus superciliaris without stuttering … or brachypteracias leptosomus without feeling you’ve caught some dreadful disease. t’s embarrassing, I reckon – don’t you agree? But we’ve gotta walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So I’m trying, in my own small way, to CHANGE things for the birds who frequent our place. I’m being nicer to them … kinder to them … smiling at them when they land in my trees … and listening to them when they sing. I’ve taken photos of them, read books about them, and bought a pair of binoculars to draw them a little closer.


IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 1 1

He l p st a m p o ut q ui c ks a n d !


eople talk about “a dog’s life” – but, if you ask me, a BIRD’s life is 10 times worse. We ignore them, overlook them, chase them off, and run them down. We complain when they nest in our roofs, curse when they poop on our cars, abuse them for waking us up, and insult them by calling them names. AWFUL names! I don’t know who’s responsible for naming birds, but they should be sacked. And if you don’t believe me, just Google ‘weird bird names’. I mean, who in their right mind would call a harmless, innocent, pretty little bird a fluffy-backed tit babbler … or a yellowbellied sapsucker … or a red-footed boobie … or a rough-faced shag? I didn’t make these up – they’re REAL! And some of the Latin names they’ve given


O n e a t o m t o a n o t h e r : “ He y , m a n , l et ’ s s p l it ! ”

I’ve become a late-start bird-watcher, I guess you’d say. And our cat has, too, albeit for less-charitable reasons. We often sit out on the deck together, gazing up into the leafy branches and planning our next move … My first move was a bit of a flop. And the nesting-box that I thoughtfully placed in the tree out by our letterbox has not yet, to my knowledge, been visited by a single nest-seeking bird. Which is mildly disappointing. My second move was equally unsuccessful. And the orange nectar-dish that hangs on a high-up limb near our pool has sadly, to date, attracted only ants. Which is also disappointing. Because I’ve seen hummingbirds drinking from orange nectar-dishes in South America. (No, Doris, we don’t have hummingbirds here – but I had hoped fantails might give it a try.) My third move, thankfully, IS producing results. And if you want to pop around one morning after breakfast, I’ll gladly give you a demo. I purchased this seed-feeder, you see, from our garden shop. Plus a large bag of wild bird seed. And with the help of an extra-long pole from under the house, I hung the thing in the topmost branches of our flowering cherry.

1 2 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

Within minutes, a sparrow arrived to check it out. Then a greenfinch. Then more sparrows, and more greenfinches. And, in no time at all, there were dozens of them having a go, pecking my seed-mix like all their Christmasses had come at once, flapping and divebombing each other and generally going nuts. And the same thing has happened each morning since! Our flowering cherry has become a mecca for my cute feathered friends. They empty that seed-feeder by lunchtime, and keep coming back for more. They’ve never had it so good – and I’ve never had so much fun. Our cat’s having fun, too. She hides in the hedge directly below the birds, staring up at them hungrily until they’ve finished eating. Then she wanders inside with seed-husks clinging to her fur like a bad case of dandruff. I suspect she needs counselling. But I’m not sure who to ask. Got any ideas? JOHN (GRAPEVINE’S FOUNDER/EDITOR) AGREES WITH WILLIE NELSON, WHO OBSERVED: “THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM – BUT THE SECOND MOUSE GETS THE CHEESE!”

Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewellery.

Ne v e r g o t o be d m a d . S t a y u p a n d f i g h t . ( P h y l l is Di l l e r )

IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 1 3

by Mike Cooney

wellness Taking care of your family’s health


c o n versatio n




GRAPEVINE: It seems that we 21st-century

humans are increasingly plagued by health problems. Is this a reality – or are we just imagining it? DR LIBBY: I think this is a reality! It’s interesting to study the way human diets have evolved. For as long as we’ve been around, humans have eaten in a certain way. And, in the past, that used to change only gradually – we were able to keep up with it. But the changes came much faster when the industrial revolution began – people moved from the country into the cities, and things became automated.


We didn’t do as much, we didn’t move as much, the way we ate changed, agriculture took hold, and people started to eat refined grains. Suddenly we had machines that could grind up grains and make flour – machines that took all the goodness out of it!

But it didn’t stop there. Look what’s happened since (especially the last 20 years): we’re now told that food is something in a packet that has 15 different IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 1 5

T h e w o r st t h i n g a b o ut bu y i n g a n e w b o o me r a n g is t h r o w i n g a w a y t h e o l d o n e .

cover photographY: GREG BROOKES. Models: Nicholas, lauren and rogan.

‘LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!’ If you’re a Star Trek fan, you’ll know it was Dr Spock who used this famous greeting (while doing the finger-challenging Vulcan salute). The saying’s a good one, isn’t it – and something we would all wish on those close to us. But despite the incredible advances in western medicine over the past decade or two, and despite all the quick-fixes, weight-loss wonders, fad-foods, celebrity-diets, miracle cures, and self-help gurus on tap today, far too many people don’t live long and prosper. In fact, an alarming number of people experience ILLNESS rather than WELLNESS! How much of this do we bring on ourselves? Well, a lot more than we realise – according to leading nutrition specialist and best-selling author, DR LIBBY WEAVER. And she has plenty of credentials to back up her claims – including a PhD examining biochemical and nutritional factors in children … One of the most passionate people we’ve ever interviewed, Dr Libby is doing her level best “… to educate and inspire people, improving their health and happiness, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world.” Over a green-tea in a busy inner-city café, she happily responded to my questions and sent out a few of those ripples …

T h e m o r e y o u k n o w – t h e bette r y o u r l u c k ! ( B u r mese p r o v e r b )

ingredients – half of which you can’t pronounce or recognise! The result? The rate of change that we’re experiencing now is so great that our bodies haven’t been able to keep up. The Irish are a good example of what I’m talking about. Up until 1845 the major source of starch in the Irish diet was potatoes. But then the potato famine hit, so they grew crops and grains – really for the first time ever. Today, the greatest number of new cases the world sees of celiac disease occurs in people with Irish heritage! And one of the main reasons for that is it’s all so new to them, relatively speaking – it’s only been six or seven generations since they swapped from potatoes to grain. In the past, every new generation of babies was born slightly better equipped to cope with dietary changes. But because the rate of change we’re seeing is now so far removed from what we’re historically used to, the health consequences of that are really bubbling to the surface. GRAPEVINE: So how come we’re such a mess? Where have we gone wrong? Can you pinpoint any areas which really stand out? DR LIBBY: A big thing is people’s priorities. Without our health we have nothing – but unfortunately, for so many people today, it takes a crisis to remind them of that! They know it deep inside, but they don’t live their life as if that was true. It’s sad to witness someone get a wakeup call and finally do something about it – but now they’re doing it from a very debilitated state. Our body doesn’t have a voice – but it will always give us signals to let us know if it is happy or not. And it’s up 1 6 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

to us to take notice of, for example, a headache we might get at 3pm every afternoon. Because I’ll guarantee you it’s not a shortage of painkillers – and yet that’s how so many people treat it! And if you just take a pill you might miss the message … because a headache at 3pm in the afternoon could be that you’re dehydrated, that your posture is poor because you are crouched over a computer, that it’s time for afternoon tea, or that maybe you’ve been breathing in a really shallow way and your body’s saying “I need more oxygen to my brain!” If health was a higher priority, we wouldn’t miss the message and you’d start to notice these things. But people’s perception is that if they make health a priority, they won’t have any fun. Or if they make health a priority, they don’t get to eat the food they love … But, that’s not the case. It’s what we do every day that impacts on our health, not what we do sometimes. GRAPEVINE: Has modern technology had much of an impact on our health? DR LIBBY: Definitely. Because technology promotes the sedentary lifestyle – with far less physical labour. With a more sedentary lifestyle our muscle-mass degrades; and when we have less musclemass our metabolism is slower; and with a slower metabolism, our blood-sugar is harder for our body to manage. So there are lots of flow-on consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. For example, our mood can be flatter. We know that moving around and using our body naturally creates endorphins – our ‘feel good’ hormones. So if I’m working with someone who’s really concerned about their mood, one of the


I think technology has also led to us being more anxious. With our mobile phones we are now available 24/7 – it can ring with a call, beep with an email, or ping with a text message! It wasn’t that long ago, when you left home to drive somewhere, you were un-contactable – but not now!

IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 1 7

S o r r y . I r e f use t o e n g a g e i n a b a tt l e o f w its w it h a n u n a r me d p e r s o n .

things I’ll look at is how much movement they actually do throughout the day. Other important factors are how much sunshine they’re exposed to – how many hours they spend outside as opposed to sitting down indoors. Those simple things can make a world of difference to someone’s health.

Yes, of course there are benefits. But the downside of being forever contactable is that people live in a heightened state of awareness … and that has a big effect on their anxiety levels. GRAPEVINE: You’re known to favour a ‘holistic’ approach to health. Can you explain what that means? DR LIBBY: My original training was in nutrition and dietetics. Then I went on and did a PhD in biochemistry, to help me work out what was a fad and what was real. There are three prongs to my holistic approach. Prong No.1 is understanding how the body works. I can explain, for example, how the liver detoxifies: how it takes substances that if accumulated, would be harmful to you, and changes them into things that are less harmful, which you can excrete and are then gone from your body forever (that’s detoxification). Prong No.2 is the nutritional aspect of the above. In other words, what foods and nutrients help those processes (like detoxification) to work even better? And what is there in our environment and food that can potentially make it harder for those systems to working optimally? Ideally, you want to have more of the things that enhance those processes – and expose yourself to fewer of the things that take away from those processes. And finally, Prong No.3 is what I call the emotional aspect. It could be spiritual for some people; it could be psychological for someone else; but I use ‘emotion’ because lots of people understand that they eat emotionally. So the question I often ask people is “Why do you do what you do when you know what you know?”

‘ Di a p e r ’ s p e l t b a c k w a r d is ‘ r e p a i d ’ . T h i n k a b o ut it …

It’s usually not a lack of education that leads people to polish off a packet of biscuits after dinner. It could be biochemical (the blood sugar might’ve been on a crazy rollercoaster all day, for example) – but it could also be emotional. And when people think about what led them to do that, they’ll often see that they were actually looking for comfort … or they felt lonely. When you get someone to describe their food behaviours like this, they can see very quickly that they’ve been trying to make food fulfil a role in their life. But, the thing is, food can’t comfort us. It doesn’t have arms – it can’t wrap us up and say “I love you, you’re amazing …” or “Thanks for making my bed every day for the last 18 years …” or “Sorry I’ve never said thanks before for all the washing up you’ve done …” Food can’t do that! GRAPEVINE: So if we are feeling unappreciated, for example, what can we do instead of sitting on the couch with a tub of icecream all to ourselves? DR LIBBY: A great question to ask is: “What else could I do to make myself feel appreciated that doesn’t involve hurting my health?” For example, maybe you could feel a deeper sense of joy in your life if you made a commitment to notice the sunset each evening? Or maybe, when you’ve put your child to bed at night, you could make a point of going back once they’re asleep and watching them … and really soaking them up! Make a point of noticing that one of your kids might have hair sticking up all over … or a leg poking out in a weird way … or the bedclothes all thrown off because they’re hot … or all wrapped up because they’re cold! And don’t just go “Oh yeah, they’re my kids …” but stand there and soak them up 1 8 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

– because you created them, and they are extraordinary!


The feedback we’ve had from so many women who struggle with ‘eatingafter-dinner’ is that this really works. By reconnecting, deeply appreciating, loving and feeling grateful for their children – for some women especially that strategy is absolutely gamechanging!

I get goose bumps every time I talk about this! GRAPEVINE: Let’s pull out two of the biggies: exercise and diet. Which of these is the most important, and why? DR LIBBY: Food is the most important – simply because exercise can never make up for a lousy diet. There are foods

that take away from our health – such as highly processed foods, like sugar. Refined sugar has been shown to slow down how quickly white blood cells move to the site of an infection. So if we eat a lot of processed food containing refined sugar (for example), the only thing exercise will deal with is body fat. But it won’t sort out the impact that it’s had on your immune system. The scientific literature says that diet is responsible for about 80% of our health – exercise and our level of movement is responsible for around 20%. But that’s not to take away the importance of movement. As we discussed earlier, with more muscle-mass, more endorphins, we are different people – the quality of our life is enormously enhanced. So diet and exercise go hand in hand. But if I had to focus on one, it would definitely be food.

GRAPEVINE: You mentioned fads earlier. There’s an avalanche of people and books these days telling us how to lose weight, get healthy, live long and prosper … but lots of the advice seems contradictory! How on earth is your average Kiwi family supposed to make sense of all this? DR LIBBY: You’re right, of course! You can walk into a bookshop and pick up a book that says “eat bucket-loads of carbs because they’re essential for energy” – and right beside it you’ll pick up a book that says “don’t eat carbs because they’ll make you fat and tired”! The first thing I’m trying to do is encourage people to PAY ATTENTION. Food is designed to energise us. If food makes you want to go to sleep, then it hasn’t served you. Take a mother, for example, who is taking care of a number of people as well as herself: her kids may IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 1 9

A n a p p l e a d a y w i l l kee p a n y o n e a w a y , i f t h r o w n h a r d e n o u g h .

be unable to communicate whether something energises them or not – but she might start to notice that after lunch every day her four-year-old gets a really bloated stomach. So she needs to ask, “What’s my child just eaten that could’ve caused that?” She might also notice that her kids are really calm and able to play on their own before lunch – but after lunch it’s chaos! I don’t want people to become obsessed. But I do want them to switch on their brains and observe … observe any regular patterns that may show up in themselves or in someone they love … and then pose the question: “I wonder what was in that previous meal that could’ve influenced what I’m now witnessing?” The second thing I’m trying to say is: when it comes to food NATURE GETS IT RIGHT! It’s human intervention that can get it wrong. And we’re also influenced by our heritage. We Kiwis are not of Eskimo heritage, for example, so eating only meat is something our ancestors in Australia and New Zealand have never done. When I was taught the food-pyramid back in university, the middle section said we need several dairy products a day. But it’s well documented that the majority of Asian descendants are lactose intolerant! What’s more, as I described earlier, it’s quite common in people with a strong Irish heritage to say they feel lousy after eating a sandwich – due, potentially, to the gluten in the grains, because they haven’t got the enzymes to break those glutens down. So I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to diet. And I’m not going to stand up in a multi-cultural society and 2 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

say you all need to eat the same way – because the way we need to eat is influenced by our heritage. However, something I will confidently say is that most people can safely double the amount of vegetables they currently eat. Historically, we had a very high level of plants in our diets – especially lots of green leaves.


In the past, as we hunted and gathered, we just picked and ate – and if you were skilled enough to kill something, then you had that too. We didn’t have supermarkets where you could eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

So variety was – and still is – important!

GRAPEVINE: What makes your approach

to diet different from all others? DR LIBBY: Well, my idea in The Real Food Chef is to help people eat more real food – and especially to get more vegies into their diet, in delicious ways that the whole family will enjoy. GRAPEVINE: So there’s no meat? DR LIBBY: There is meat, of course! It’s very easy, though, to have some really delicious vegetarian meals – and still eat meat. But less meat – that’s the key, and that’s what lots of people find difficult. So it’s not about going without, but about eating more food the way it comes in nature – and less food out of packets! When people live on lots of processed food they’re missing out on key nutrients that are essential for all the inner workings of our body. GRAPEVINE: Have you got some tips to make eating like this do-able for your

in, press play, and before you know it you have tomato sauce that you can keep in your fridge (or freeze) – and it’s cheaper than the bought stuff! Another perception people have is the whole thing about ‘time’. Think about the time it takes to make a stir fry, for example. Lots of women will say to me, “I don’t have time to cut vegies …” But my response is: it actually takes only five minutes to cut vegies. And if you feel like you don’t have time to do that, before I advise you about your food, we need to talk about your priorities! It’s also true that, in the time it takes IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 2 1

U n l ess y o u r n a me is G o o g l e , st o p a c ti n g l ike y o u k n o w e v e r y t h i n g .

average family? Because eating healthy can be really expensive! DR LIBBY: For starters, eating seasonally is a huge help. Buying fruit and vegies out of season is expensive, so eat to the seasons. It’s much cheaper. I also encourage people to grow whatever they can, although I realise that’s not practical for everyone. Part of the problem is peoples’ perceptions. For example, say a bottle of sauce costs around $4-to-$5. Well, you can make tomato sauce in your blender, with no rubbish ingredients and in less than one minute! Just chuck all the ingredients

I l o v e t h e s o u n d y o u m a ke w h e n y o u s h ut u p .

for someone to drive to the takeaway or supermarket, they could’ve made the food! Being organised helps save time – and a pantry stocked with ingredients that you know could easily go into a familyfriendly meal. My suggestion is: plan your meals for the week on Sunday, and cook a casserole that evening which you can keep in the fridge or freeze. Then, if you’ve got a night that’s going to prove tricky to do a home-cooked meal, you’ve got one ready to go. GRAPEVINE: Getting to that other biggie … what should our exercise look like? DR LIBBY: It depends what life looks like! If you’re living in a really intense way, you’d probably benefit from some breath-focus movement – things like tai chi, Pilates, restorative yoga. Anything that focuses on your breath and gets you breathing diaphragmatically will lower stress hormones immediately and get you back into the rest-and-repair part of your nervous system. This will enhance health, and shift you from burning sugar to burning body fat – powerful stuff! If, on the other hand, your lifestyle is very sedentary and you don’t have that intensity about you – if you’re slow in your movement, slow in your speech, and heavier in your body … you need to step it up and do some walking. But move with a little bit more intensity – and maybe appreciate nature while you do it! There’s another thing that’s important for both these groups:


Historically we lifted, we lunged and we squatted as we grew our food. We had to work at that – and it helped develop our muscles. When we don’t 2 2 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

work or exercise like that today, our muscles can start to waste away. So doing some sort of resistance-training is essential.

Some people like to do it in a structured way … but it can be something as simple as working in your garden, or carrying your groceries instead of using a trolley, whatever appeals to you as an individual. GRAPEVINE: As parents, what are some of the consequences we can expect for our children if we move towards the lifestyle you suggest? DR LIBBY: Your kids will be calmer … but still spirited. They’ll enjoy better quality sleep. For lots of kids today, concentration is a big challenge – and with more real food going in, you should see improvements in concentration. Diet also has a big effect on bone health – especially between the ages of 12 and18, when around 50% of adult bone-mass is laid down. Caffeine, for example, stops the body from absorbing calcium into the bones. With the amount of caffeine being consumed today by so many teenagers, through energy drinks, etc – that’s of enormous concern. The level of anxiety that I witness amongst so many children today is also pretty worrying – and food and caffeine have a big influence, along with technology. When children are anxious, the hormones they’re making have a big impact on not only their bone health, but also their blood-sugar regulation – what’s going on in their brain. When they eat real food, they’re getting increased nutrients – so better hormonal balance and better neuro-transmitter production – which means better mood, better energy,

YOUR DIAPHRAGM. When you watch babies breathe, they breathe in and out through their nose and their belly goes up and down – the top of their chest doesn’t move. But with most adults today, the chest is the only part that moves – and adrenalin is what’s behind that.


Breathing from your diaphragm sends a message to your body that you’re safe. It lets your body know that it doesn’t need to make stress-hormones anymore. Just a few minutes each day is all it takes – it’s simple, free and can truly be game-changing.

The third thing – make the most of SUNSHINE DAYS. Expose your eyes and skin, and enjoy the sunshine while it’s there, because it really will enhance your mood. The final thing I would say is: WHAT YOU FOCUS ON IS WHAT YOU FEEL. So when you feel grateful for the gift of life, or fresh air, or sunshine, or the fact that you’ve got access to good food, whatever it is … when you feel grateful, you can’t be stressed. Because you can’t do those two things simultaneously! So if you focus more on feeling grateful, your stress-levels will naturally decrease. It’s really that simple … FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DR LIBBY, HER RESOURCES AND IDEAS, VISIT WWW.DRLIBBY.COM.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY! GO TO grapevine’s facebook page. Share YOUR POINT-OF-VIEW AND READ WHAT OTHERS RECKON. IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 2 3

S l ee p i n g w it h t h e l i g h t o n m a y c a use o besit y – es p e c i a l l y i f it ’ s t h e f r i d g e l i g h t .

better sleep, and obviously fit and healthy bodies. They also miss out on all those rubbish ingredients that are potentially reducing their health. GRAPEVINE: We’re encouraged to have financial plans for our future, for our retirement, etc. But you also advocate having a ‘health plan’ as well. What does that look like? DR LIBBY: As I said at the beginning, without our health we’ve got nothing. But very few people take the time to think about what the future would look like without their health. Thanks to the incredible advances in western medicine and hygiene, we’re going to live longer and longer. But it’s the quality of life that I care about. And people need to pause and ask how things are going to look in the second half of their life. Are you still going to be able to bend over and do up your shoelaces, for example? It’s not until you lose that ability that you think: “Wow, if only I’d gone for a walk every day, maybe I wouldn’t be in this state!” It’s difficult to maintain selfesteem when someone has got to come over and do up your shoelaces … The way we eat, drink, think and move today doesn’t just influence how we feel and function today, but also how we’ll feel and function in the future. GRAPEVINE: Okay. Let’s say someone is motivated to start making some changes. Where’s an easy place to start? DR LIBBY: The first step – EAT MORE VEGIES! If they’re currently a token effort on the side of the plate, just slowly start to increase it. Secondly – even though it sounds too small a thing to make much difference, schedule some time to BREATHE FROM

Grapevine 1/2013 – Grapepuzzles



Word Search – Tutti Frutti WORDSEARCH – TUTTI FRUTTI S I C B S Z H U F M Y P












(solutions (SOLUTION page PAGE67) 67)







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How To Play: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.


N ELDERLY GENTLEMAN was overheard complaining. “I must be getting old!” he muttered. “I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, and two new knees. I’ve fought prostate cancer, and survived diabetes. I’m half blind, and I can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine. I take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts. I have bouts of dementia, and poor circulation, and can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. I can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. And I’ve lost all my friends. “But, thank God,” he smiled. “I still have my driver’s licence!” I don’t know who wrote this gag. But it’s a light-hearted reminder that ‘growing old’ doesn’t have to mean you have to lose your sense of humour … fit the stereotypes … go quiet, dull and boring … give up on life … resign yourself to a nursing home … remain

sedately in your rocking chair … and accept labels like ‘fuddy-dud’ without protest. Some of the brightest, smartest, funniest people I know are old … or not far off it. And they tell me that – just as every stage in life has its limitations and headaches – old age also has its unique joys and rewards. I reckon we should acknowledge who the aged really are. They’re not problems – they’re PEOPLE, just like us. And, sooner or later, we’ll ALL eventually join their ranks. We should also acknowledge that old can be beautiful. A person with many years to look back on is not a symbol of disaster but a symbol of victory! JOHN COONEY IS GRAPEVINE’S FOUNDING EDITOR. ‘SCRUBCUTTERS’ ARE RADIO SPOTS – SEE WWW.SCRUBCUTTER.COM – HEARD BY 180,000 PEOPLE EACH WEEKDAY ON THE NEWSTALKZB NETWORK.

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illustration by Vasanti


tiritiri matangi New Zealand is a freak of nature. One of the most varied and unique nations on earth, our illustrious natural heritage is mostly due to our isolation from other, larger continental landmasses. With immense oceans between us and them, it’s kept our flora and fauna largely protected from baddies, creating a distinctive ecosystem – like the fact that we have no native land mammals. 2 6 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

Photos by MIKE Cooney

(island life as it used to be)


ctually, that’s not entirely true. We have a couple of bat species – like my favourite Chalinolobus tuberculata. But they could’ve flown here, so don’t really count … Anyhow, all this created an incredible bird and insect population – and with no mammalian predators, New Zealand birdlife was like nothing else on earth. The biggest birdie was the 3.6m-tall, 230kg, Giant Moa, one of nine species of this endemic flightless bird found on

IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 2 7

S l ee p is a t o t a l l y i n a d e q u a te substitute f o r c a f f ei n e .

by Mike Cooney

our shores. Then you had Cooney the massive by Mike Haast eagle – which preyed mainly on the aforementioned moa. The beautiful huia – largest of the New Zealand wattlebirds (including the kokako and saddleback). Plus another 242 or so different bird species running, flying, hopping, waddling and swimming their way around the Land of the Long White Cloud. So humans would’ve encountered quite a sight – and sound! – when they first stepped upon these shores some 800 odd years ago. But, unfortunately, that’s when things started turning to custard … With the arrival of Maori and, later, the first European settlers, birds started dropping like flies. A whole bunch of our feathered friends were good eating. They were also flightless, fat and slow (too much of the good life) – so were easy pickings for hunters. Add the fact that another bunch were real pretty, and things weren’t looking too good for them either. Then came the introduced predatory mammals – like the rat, stoat and cat, who were licking their lips before they even left the ship! And combine all that with massive deforestation, the outlook was grim. In fact, for more than 50% of New Zealand’s birds, it was game over! Extinction! No more moa … so long Haast eagle … RIP beautiful huia. Okay, maybe I’m sounding a little morbid and dramatic. But I’ve recently had an epiphany. You see, I used to like birds (the feathered kind) – but I’d never really thought too much about endangered this, or extinct that, or the fact that New Zealand species are amongst the most threatened in the world.



Yet , d es p ite t h e l o o k o n m y f a c e , y o u a r e sti l l t a l ki n g .


being an island makes keeping it predator free a lot easier. Since 1984 over 280,000 trees have been planted by thousands of volunteers, providing a unique habitat for a whole bunch of endangered (some critically) birds and reptiles. Birds such as the saddleback, kokako, and once-thought-to-beextinct takahe, have been subsequently released –alongside the prehistoric lizard, tuatara. And, by all accounts, it’s been an outstanding success, with hundreds of visitors arriving each week to sample life as it used to be … Arriving at the island, we were ushered off the ferry (all 150+ of us!) and given a briefing by the local DOC ranger. Then those who’d booked a $5 guided tour, were grouped with various volunteers and escorted around part of the island – a fantastic intro into what was on offer. The island is incredibly well set up,

Photo: © Simon Fordham / NaturePix

However, that all changed a few weeks ago, when I visited Tiritiri Matangi Island … ot being much of an ornithologist or conservation expert, I didn’t have a clue what or where Tiritiri Matangi was, but some suggested it was worth a look! So, after a quick Google search plus a couple of emails and phone calls, I found myself on a 360° Discovery Cruise ferry with two of my kids, heading for a small, 220 hectare island just 4km off the coast of Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Tiritiri Matangi is an open island sanctuary (allowing public access) developed in partnership between DOC and the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc – a non-profit conservation volunteer group whose members are a major reason this project is so successful. These sanctuaries are set up to help ensure the survival of many rare and threatened species – and

2 8 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013


with well-manicured tracks running throughout. We spent much of our guided walk on the ‘Wattle Track’ – reportedly one of the best tracks to see Tiritiri’s native birds. And it didn’t disappoint. As we slid quietly beneath the bush canopy, our guide pointed out different bird species, including two I’d never seen before: the saddleback and stitchbird. The kids were into it – oohing and aahing over each new discovery. And the birds were incredibly noisy, a real cacophony of sound – although nothing (according to our guide) compared to the dawn chorus … ost people make a day-trip to the island, but we were fortunate enough to be staying the night in the volunteer’s quarters. Which meant that, once the other tourists had left, we had the island (or so it seemed) to our-


selves. So after a quick bite to eat and a good look around the Visitors Centre, we headed to Northeast Bay (at the northern tip of the island), where, camera and binoculars in hand, we went exploring. The landscape seemed to be ever changing – under the bush canopy one moment, then in wind-swept coastal scrub the next. And the birdlife was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The kids were off, no motivation needed – hunting, spying, creeping their way around the island, trying to get the perfect camera-shot. We found the melodic kokako … bellbirds … saddlebacks … kakariki … and a North Island robin, amongst others. But our top discovery was a couple of takahe and their chick! Here was one of New Zealand’s most endangered birds – thought to be extinct until a small group IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 2 9





3 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

bay – with tui and saddlebacks flittering around the pohutukawa trees that lined the shore – capped off the day perfectly. In fact, there were so many birds that our conversations ended up sounding like this: “Oh, it’s just another tui …” (Talk about taking things for granted!) That evening, after dark, we went out with Jill (the volunteer who helped organise our trip) looking for kiwi and tuatara. Unfortunately it was blowing a gale (Tiritiri Matangi means ‘tossed by the wind’ – how appropriate!) so the kiwi weren’t out and about as they usually are. However, much to the delight of my kids (and me, just quietly!) we did find a tuatara hiding under some coastal scrub. These living fossils can reach more than 100 years of age – and scientists suggest that, in captivity, even 200 years is possible!

PhotoS: © Simon Fordham / NaturePix

was found in a remote valley in Fiordland – right in front of us! Not behind bars, or in a cage, but living life in the wild as they were meant to. The kids had never taken so many photos! An afternoon swim in the beautiful



he following day, while we waited for the next ferry to arrive, we explored the Kawerau Track – which took us through some mature forest past an ancient, gnarly old pohutukawa, estimated to be between 800-1000 years old! (I bet that tree could tell some stories …) This was a beautiful part of the island, with a large board-walked section making travel easy. It was another birdfest, and this time we got up-close-andpersonal with a couple of kereru (wood pigeon), a tiny rifleman (New Zealand’s smallest bird), and a curious robin that got all excited when we rustled through some fallen leaves. But today’s prize was an encounter with the rare stitchbird (aka hihi) – the small honeyeater once only found on Little Barrier Island. We spent our final few hours up near the still-working lighthouse, taking

loads more photos of a couple of resident takahe. A mandatory stop at the gift shop for some take-home mementos was our last act on this island paradise before the ferry arrived, dropping off another day’s worth of visitors. My kids and I had had a ball on Tiritiri Matangi – a fantastic opportunity to see a slice of New Zealand as it used to look (minus the moa). Yes, we’ve lost a lot of our recent history – some of it forever. But we three slightly tired but proud-tobe-Kiwis returned home on that rocking ferry totally convinced that what we have left is worth preserving. No, let me rephrase that … worth restoring! CHECK OUT WWW.TIRITIRIMATANGI.ORG.NZ FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE WILDLIFE, ISLAND VISITS, LATEST NEWS AND HOW TO BECOME A SUPPORTER.

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3 2 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013




WHITE CHOCOLATE & BLUEBERRY CAKE For all the precious people who have wanted to amp up their greens but haven’t known how, here’s some good, honest food that could be made by anyone … recipes that are sure to impress even the fussiest eaters … nutrient-dense but still packed with flavours … the what, why and how to nourish your body, mind and soul.

ISISSSUUEE1/2013 1/2013– – Gra pevine 3 3



Y o u c o u l d n ’ t h a n d l e me – e v e n i f I c a me w it h i n st r u c ti o n s .


¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), unsalted

3 small zucchini, thinly sliced

¼ cup sesame seeds, unsalted

1 small stalk of broccoli, stems trimmed, finely chopped

½ cup desiccated coconut

1 large spring onion (scallion), finely sliced

¼ cup cacao nibs

½ head silverbeet (Swiss chard), stems trimmed, finely sliced

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped ½ cup fresh basil, julienned 8 large organic eggs

/ 3 cup tahini, unhulled if possible


1 tbsp cacao powder 1 tbsp water 6 fresh dates, pitted & coarsely chopped

1 cup almond milk

White chocolate filling:

olive oil to drizzle

1 cup raw cashew nuts, unsalted

salt & ground black pepper to taste

100g cacao butter ¼ cup maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). 2. Mix all the greens and vegetables – except for the zucchini – in a large bowl, then transfer them to a baking dish and arrange them in a single layer. 3. Beat the eggs with the almond milk and pour over the ingredients in the baking dish. You may need to press the vegetables down with your hands so that they are evenly soaked with the egg. 4. Arrange the zucchini slices over the top of the frittata and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake in the hot oven until firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with macadamia pesto and a drizzle of maple-balsamic dressing.

WHITE CHOCOLATE & BLUEBERRY CAKE Base: 1 cup raw almonds, soaked 3 4 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

juice of ½ lemon ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise & seeds scraped Blueberry filling: 2 punnets fresh blueberries 1½ cup raw cashew nuts, unsalted 100g cacao butter ¼ cup maple syrup juice of 1 lime

Base: 1. Combine the pepitas, almonds and chopped dates in a food processor until the mixture is well ground. 2. Add the sunflower and sesame seeds, coconut, tahini, cacao nibs and cacao powder. Pulse and add the water, then grind until well combined. White chocolate filling: 1. Melt the cacao butter in a small saucepan over a low flame. Put the

vanilla bean and the seeds in the pan as the butter melts to soften the bean. Let it cool. 2. Combine the cashews, maple syrup and the lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or vita-mix blender. Pulse until the nuts are well ground. 3. Remove the piece of vanilla bean, making sure all the seeds are scraped off. Pour the melted butter and vanilla seeds into the chocolate mixture and process until smooth and creamy. Remove from the blender and set aside. Blueberry filling: 1. Melt the cacao butter in a small saucepan over a low flame. 2. Combine the cashews and blueberries in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground and the blueberries are well incorporated. 3. Add the maple syrup and lime juice, blending well. 4. Pour the melted cacao butter into the mixture and blend until smooth and creamy.

Reproduced with permission from DR LIBBY’S REAL FOOD CHEF. Copyright © DR LIBBY WEAVER, 2012. LITTLE GREEN FROG PUBLISHING LTD.



with chapters on breakfasts, smoothies, lunches, snacks, dinners & desserts

FREE copies of this new book will

be sent to the first 2 readers who write and request one from Grapevine, Private Bag 92124, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142. So act now! (previous winners not eligible) IS S U E 1/2013– Gra pevine 3 5

I ’ m a c tu a l l y n o t f u n n y . I ’ m just r e a l l y me a n , a n d p e o p l e t h i n k I ’ m j o ki n g .

To assemble the cake: 1. Press the base mixture into a 20cm (8 inch) tart pan, preferably one with a removable rim. 2. Pour the white chocolate filling over the base and spread it evenly over the surface, being careful not to blend it in to the base. 3. Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes or until set. When the white chocolate is set, spread the blueberry filling on top. 4. Freeze until the blueberry topping is set, then serve with extra berries.

the truth about by Dave Barry armpits



our SKIN performs several vital functions. For example, it keeps people from seeing the inside of your body, which is repulsive. And it prevents your organs from falling out onto the ground, where careless pedestrians might step on them. Skin also acts as your body’s cooling system. Whenever you exercise or get on an elevator, sweat oozes out of millions of tiny skin holes so it can evaporate and cool the area. Unfortunately, most of these holes are located in your armpits, which is one of those cases where Mother Nature screwed up. I mean, you hardly ever hear people complaining about having hot armpits. Your MUSCLES are what enable you to perform all of your basic movements, such as bowling, sniping, pandering and nagging. Basically, there are two kinds of muscle tissue: the kind that people in fitness ads have, which look like sleek and powerful pythons – and the kind you have, which look more like deceased baby rabbits. Your SKELETAL SYSTEM has guesshow-many bones? Would you say 50? 150? 250? 300? If you guessed 50, you’re wrong. I would say it’s around 250, but it’s not all that important. The only important part of your skeleton is your knees – which are God’s way of saying he doesn’t want us to do 3 6 Grap 36eG v irne a p e–vIiSne S U E– 1I S/2013 S U E 1/2013

anything really strenuous. When we do, our knees punish us by becoming injured, as you know if you’ve ever watched sport on television. Your DIGESTIVE SYSTEM is where food goes on a long, dark, scary ride, being attacked by vicious secretions along the way, and not knowing until the last minute whether it will be turned into a useful body-part or ejected by Mister Sphincter. You must be careful about what you eat, unless you want your body making heart-valves out of things like onion-dip. Your NERVOUS SYSTEM is your body’s messenger, always letting your brain know what’s going on elsewhere in your body. “Your nose itches!” it tells your brain. Or, “Your foot is falling asleep!” Or, “You’re hungry!”


I’ve been on a diet for two weeks. All I’ve lost is two weeks.

All day long, your brain hears messages like these, thousands of them, hour after hour, until finally it deliberately rests your hand on a red-hot stove just for the pleasure of hearing your nervous-system scream in pain. Your RESPITORY SYSTEM takes in oxygen and gives off carbon monoxide by a process called ‘photosynthesis’. This takes place in your lungs, yam-shaped organs containing millions of tiny little air-sacs, called ‘Bernice’. In a normal person, these sacs are healthy and pink, whereas in an unhealthy person they have the wretched, soot-stained, anguished look of people fleeing some disaster. The CIRCULATORY SYSTEM is, of course, your heart – a fist-sized muscle in your chest with a thick layer of greasy fat clinging to it consisting of every Moro Bar you ever ate. Your heart’s job is to pump your blood, which is teeming with millions of organisms, some of them with tentacles so they can teem more efficiently. The red cells in your blood are your body’s room-service, carrying tiny particles of food to the other organs, which gobble them up without so much as a thank-you. The white cells are your body’s detectives. Most of the time they lounge around telling jokes, but they swing into action the instant your body is invaded by enemy organisms – like bacteria, viruses, rotifers, conifers, parameciums and the plague. Your white cells pursue the invader on a wild and often hilarious chase through your various organs, eventually catching and deporting it. ADAPTED FROM ‘STAY FIT & HEALTHY UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD’ © DAVE BARRY. PUBLISHED BY RODAK PRESS.

IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 3 7

grandma’s secrets thoughts about her life and her future that she’s too scared to tell her children 3 8 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013


ow, this may come as a bit of a shock. But no matter how much we love each other, or how good our intensions, when grandma (or grandpa) moves in, things easily turn to custard. And once-happy families can come seriously unstuck. Surprised? Well, put yourself in Grandma’s shoes ... The house is sold and you’re living with your daughter’s family. Everything’s new and exciting. Everyone’s happy. The children are thoughtful and quieter than usual. You get to go with them on family outings. You feel protected: “I’m living with my daughter and son-in-law – see how much they care!” At first it’s like a holiday. But, gradually, things start to change. The kids get noisier and run around like they own the place. They’re no longer thoughtful, and they’ve woken up to the fact that you’re not in charge. They may even play you off against their parents. You start missing your privacy. And so does your family. They can’t argue freely – and if they did you’d probably feel it was your fault. You get the urge to have a hot bath at four in the afternoon, or sit on the couch with dinner, or have a lazy

night in front of TV – but this wouldn’t fit in with family routines. Tiny things, for sure … but tiny things can make all the difference. How are you feeling NOW about moving in with your family? ucklander Cass Duncan spent 35 years caring for the elderly – in private and public hospitals, plus her own rest-home. After a prolonged battle with multiple sclerosis, Cass herself passed away in 2007 – but not before she’d published a booklet. ‘Silent Suffering’ (the inspiration for this Grapevine article) was based on 500 interviews with elderly men and women and their families, many of whom have had thoughts and fears just like Grandma’s – secrets they were afraid to share with their families. Here’s what some of them told Cass ... • “I found the family going out more and more without me, saying it’d be ‘too strenuous’ for me, or they’d be ‘back too late’, or there wasn’t room in the car. Then I overheard, ‘No, we can’t go because we can’t take Nana.’” • “I felt the urge to help around the home, but it quickly became a chore … expected of me. Then, if I did something one day but not the next, my daughter would


IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 3 9

A t r u l y h a ppy p e r s o n i s o n e w h o c a n e n j o y t h e s c e n e r y o n a d e t o u r .

Photographer: Tammy Cooney. Model: Jacqueline (who has no secrets to speak of, and is very happy in her retirement village)

Old age. It happens to all of us eventually. It sneaks up on us, catches us unawares. Our abilities wind down until we can’t quite manage like we used to. Or a crisis – illness, or the loss of a partner – suddenly turn our lives upside-down. Most of us, fortunately, have loving families who want to care for us … may even arrange for us to move in with them. Seems so logical. One big, happy family! And occasionally, living together works wonderfully. But more often – as Grandma found out – it can be (gulp!) a DISASTER!

I d i d n ’ t f i g h t my w a y t o t h e t o p o f t h e f o o d c h a i n t o b e a v e g e t a r i a n .

get upset. It was like I had become the housemaid.” • “When the family had friends over, they sometimes liked to discuss matters that were private, but they could hardly ask me to leave the room, could they? So resentment set in.” • “I suddenly realised that whatever I did, it could be taken as interfering. Even saying, ‘That fabric would look lovely as curtains in the bedroom’, could imply that I didn’t like their décor.” • “One day, I just shifted a mat and my daughter-in-law nearly threw a fit. I felt I’d betrayed her somehow. I do love her, but we have our moments.” • “If I needed to be on my own and went to my room, my daughter would think I was upset or sulking. I know we become intolerant as we grow older, but the noise the teenagers make is unbearable. It doesn’t make things easy.” • “Every time I opened my mouth, I seemed to say the wrong thing, and the intolerance on both sides was terrible. So I moved out. Now we’re closer than we’ve ever been. I didn’t realise you could be so lonely with family.” • “I’d hide the car-keys just to get back at my daughter. I hid my grandson’s school shirts and was amused at the panic. I’d deliberately criticise or disagree or start fights – it was better than being ignored. I was so lonely and miserable. I even used to kick the cat!” • “Some people are happy living with their family, pottering around in the house, but I found that I was only washing dishes and feeling eternally grateful for their sacrifice in having me live with them. Really, we have nothing in common. Me and my children are decades apart.” 4 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013


here are two sides to every story, of course. It’s not just Grandma and her elderly friends who have secrets ... • “I felt it was my duty to look after Mum, but I didn’t realise it would be so hard. I’ve had feelings that were so violent they really disgusted me. I wished she’d die. She was ruining my life. My marriage broke up because of the stress, and I hated her.” • “I denied that anything was wrong with Mum living with me, but it wasn’t true. We did have problems, and certainly I had silent tears. One day I’ll feel strong enough to ask Mum what she thought about it all.” hocking stuff? Well, maybe. But think about it: each of us has certain values ... certain levels of tolerance, patience and control. And when our privacy gets invaded or our buttons get pushed, we do and say things we normally wouldn’t dream of. Push us far enough and we can start abusing each other emotionally: ignoring, belittling, being nasty, saying things that hurt. Push us further, and even physical abuse is possible – on both sides. Of course, no one means to do this. Grandma feels devastated after she deliberately causes trouble – and her children are equally shocked when they’re rude to Grandma. It’s just that, well, “having Grandma come and stay” can be trickier than we thought. It’s often the woman of the house – struggling to meet everyone’s needs – who feels the stress most. And Grandma can easily add to that stress without realizing it. By niggling and complaining, or constantly referring to her other


of the misery they caused, mentioning only the love and gratitude they felt for their care-givers.


“Every time I opened my mouth, I seemed to say the wrong thing, and the intolerance on both sides was terrible. So I moved out. I didn’t realise you could be so lonely with family …”

“wonderful” children (whom she may hardly ever see!) ... she can leave her caregivers feeling unloved and inadequate. “Many people I interviewed,” wrote Cass, “told me how it had destroyed their marriages, sometimes after only two years – and some had lived in this distressed state for 20 years or more!” Why do some elderly parents prove so hard to live with? Cass observed: “Because their lives become meaningless and boring. When you’re the one who has to advise them, house them, feed and protect them, they come to depend on you for life, company, entertainment – and to absorb their frustrations!” Yet they were often completely unaware

myself that I’d try being more patient. “Then he took to wanting tea in the middle of the night. The poor old guy couldn’t sleep. So I suggested a thermos flask. But, no way! A cup of tea had to be made properly or not at all. So one of us stayed up until 11:00pm to give him his cuppa – and if we heard him any other time during the night, we’d get up and make him another one. “I remember sitting there one morning when Dad got up – knowing what was going to happen, and starting to rage. The scowl was there as his hand slid over the warm teapot, and he muttered, ‘Aren’t we going to get any breakfast here today?’ That always got me going. IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 4 1

N o t hi n g r ui n s y o u r F r i d a y l i k e r e a l i s i n g i t ’ s o n l y W e d n e s d a y .


y father never seemed happy with my sister. He was always moaning about something. So my wife and I arranged for him to move in with us. “Dad settled in readily, but gradually his demands grew. He wanted us to sit and talk with him every minute, and resented us watching TV. He’d make snide remarks about what we were doing. “After a few tense months, everyone was on edge. The kids preferred spending time with their friends to avoid the tension. And I’d lie in bed promising

A b i k e r - r a l l y i s a r e a l l y b a d t im e f o r y o u r c a r h o r n t o j a m .


resented his continual demands and the guilt-trips. The quality of our lives – and his – was plummeting. So after 18 months, we decided he needed rest-home care. “While arrangements were being made, my guilt deepened, and every day his snide remarks cut me more and more. One day I found myself sneaking up to his door to listen and thinking, ‘Oh hell, he’s still breathing!’ “That episode will make me feel guilty for the rest of my life. I was just so depressed. I felt we’d lost control. “We visited several rest-homes, and finally, against Dad’s will, we placed him in one. Our whole family had mixed feelings: hurt, sadness, even grief – but, at the same time, utter relief! For the first time in months, the stress had gone. We were all learning to love Dad again. “He claimed he hated every minute in the rest-home, and he certainly made us feel guilty. But we checked with staff who told us he was always chirpy till we got there – then, as soon as we arrived, he’d start complaining. Matron told us this was pretty common. The residents often put their family on guilt-trips when they come to visit – but once they had gone, they were quite happy again, oblivious to the hurt and tears and misery they’d caused during the visit. “One Christmas, we took Dad home for the day and he never let up about the terrible thing I had done by dumping him. I was getting used to being the rotten son by now, and didn’t mind as much. But it still hurt. We had dinner, and then Dad suddenly announced, ‘I want to go home now.’ We nearly fainted. He wanted to go back to the rest-home! 4 2 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

“Although he never admitted it, he really rather enjoyed being there. Matron was right. He probably went back and told her what a rotten day he’d had with us!”



um lived in the South Island, but we’d all shifted to Auckland. So, after much persuasion, she sold up and put her money into a granny-flat on our property, still doing everything in her power to maintain a life of her own. “I started to notice things were going downhill when she couldn’t find objects she’d put away. At first we all thought it was just absent-mindedness, but as more and more things went missing we could see something was wrong. “Mum was getting obsessive, always packing and unpacking. One day she set a tea-towel on fire. Luckily we were there at the time. So we insisted that she eat with us. Afterwards, I’d walk her back to the flat, and check again, later, to see that she was all tucked in and warm and the TV off. “Mum deteriorated. She put lighter clothes on when it was freezing, forgot the children’s names, didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want anybody assisting her with bathing. Then only three minutes after a huge argument she’d say, ‘Well, let’s get the body up and moving …’ as though nothing had happened. “The next few months were a nightmare. Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. We were shattered but absolutely determined to nurse her to the end. It was hard to believe this oncestrong, wonderful mother was now so confused – almost violent at times.

“I felt it was my duty to look after Mum, but I didn’t realise it would be so hard. I’ve had feelings that were so violent they really disgusted me. I hated her and even wished she would die …”

“One evening, after a very hectic day with Mum who wanted to go out with her underclothes over her dress, I broke down and cried. I realised I was beginning to hate her. I was so tired – it was worse than living with 10 children. Mum had been a very intelligent, capable person, and to see her sitting there with three skirts on and five cardigans just freaked me out. “I’d read about abuse of the elderly and now felt I was guilty of this. She’d ask, ‘What day is it today, dear?’ After answering 30 times, I’d scream at her, and then she’d get upset and want to go away. Of course, she couldn’t, because she’d just get lost again.

couldn’t hurt herself. We were lucky to find an ideal vacancy in a rest-home. So we took her there (telling her lies to get her into the car). She trusted no one, not even me. “I sobbed all the way home – partly from guilt, and partly with relief. I felt I’d let her down, betrayed her. But I had come to dread waking up every day. “Now, when I go to visit her, she’s usually in a confused state, often with her belongings packed, wandering out of someone’s room. Still, most of the 26 patients are like that, and I take my hat off to those wonderful nurses. Sometimes, after coming back from seeing Mum, IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 4 3

I f a c o r n f a r m e r f i r e s hi s w o r k e r s , w i l l t h e y s t a l k him ?

“Finally, we saw the district nurse who arranged day-care at a hospital. Mum was driven there at 9:00 in the morning and got picked up at 4:30. I’d take the opportunity to straighten the flat and take out everything that was dangerous. (She had broken ornaments wrapped in sheets, soap powder in the pantry, and jewellery on the bottom of her bird’s cage.) “Day-care gave us enormous relief, but 4:30pm wasn’t the end of the day. And when we decided to ignore her and let her tire herself out, she’d go over to the gate, screaming, ‘Help, help! Save me from these people!’ “My poor darling mother didn’t respond to any drugs they gave her. She really needed expert care. The only thing we could do was to put her into a confined environment where she

I think of the many nights that I cried silently after being so nasty. I didn’t realise then it was stress, but my sense of duty almost destroyed us. “Now that the stress has gone, I sit with her for ages and take her in a wheelchair through the park. Our lives are back to normal, and I love her so much.”

A heavy-handed father makes a fleet-footed son.



lice and I built a house which got too big for us. Although I didn’t relish living in a pensioner flat, we moved in, and Alice rather liked it. It was smaller and not much work – but darn boring. “During Christmas Alice had a stroke and was in hospital for six weeks. I wasn’t strong enough to lift her, so it was suggested “Dad claimed he hated the rest-home and made us feel very guilty. But staff said he was always chirpy till we got there, then he’d start complaining, oblivious to the misery he caused us …”

we move in with Jenny, our daughter, and her husband Mike for a while. “For three months we all got on famously, so we decided to sell our flat and stay permanently with Jenny. Then Alice had another stroke and couldn’t talk, and she began getting more and more demanding. “I don’t know what happened, really, but little niggly things started to get on my nerves. For example, the district nurses used to come and bathe her, but we were never sure when. Then I’d have to wait for Mike to get home to put Alice to bed. And sometimes when there were delays in moving her, her bladder 4 4 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

would fail, which was very distressing for everyone. “Jenny, God bless her, was a saint, but she found it very frustrating that Alice couldn’t express herself in words. With Jenny working and running the house, she got tired and growled now and then – and I’d have a go at her: ‘Don’t talk to your mother like that!’ “Eventually, a word, a look or even a grunt from family members would get an angry reaction from me. Jenny and Mike never once asked us to leave, but one Saturday I blew up, shouting, ‘That’s it! We’re off!’ They were speechless. You could’ve

it, she was really excited. So we moved in four days later. Alice didn’t – or couldn’t – say much, but I could tell that she was far more relaxed at the rest-home than at Jenny’s. “Our whole lives have changed. The nurses shower Alice and look after her bodily needs. They’re so obliging and kind that even a cranky old bloke like me enjoys it. Some days I read to Alice. If she has a bad day, I feed her and tuck her up at night in our little room, and then watch TV. I’ve got earphones, so I can stay up as late as I like without disturbing anyone. “Because I’m mobile, I can go for walks, help in the garden, go on conducted tours or arranged outings. And while I’m out, I don’t have to worry about Alice because the staff are there. Our whole quality of life has improved. It’s like being in a hotel!”



ake sure you never ever lose your power of choice!” wrote Cass. Remember: • You’re still an independent person with the same human rights as any other adult – your age doesn’t strip these from you. • You’re free to choose where you live. • You have the right to participate fully in all discussions and decisions regarding your living arrangements and care. • You have the right to the fullest information about what services are available to you in your own home and in sheltered accommodation such as a rest-home. • It’s your duty to weigh up your options IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 4 5

I f w o r k e r s a t a c u c um b e r f a r m g o o n s t r i k e , d o e s t h a t pu t t h e o w n e r i n a pi c k l e ?

heard a pin drop. And Mike said, ‘Dad, don’t be daft. We’re sorry. It’s just so hard.’ “Looking back, we can laugh about it, but we weren’t laughing then. Alice was in bed, so I yelled at Jenny, ‘Look after your mother!’ and stormed out. “I went down to the beach and thought, ‘Well Fred, you’ve done it this time. What now?’ “I bought a paper and decided we would rent a flat and start afresh – goodness knows how! But looking through the pages, I noticed rest-home vacancies. I’d heard some dreadful things about them, but I sat for a long time, maybe two hours, weighing up the consequences. Then, very set in my mind, I went home to Jenny. “I don’t think they’d moved from the moment I’d left. They were so ashenfaced, I thought Alice had died. Mike patted me on the back and apologised. Jenny grabbed me and started crying and said how sorry they were. But I gently sat her down. ‘How’s this for an idea?’ I asked. ‘This is the situation. Alice needs special treatment, but we don’t want to be separated. We’ve tried living here, but I don’t want to interfere with your lives. So now we’re going to try something else – but I’ll need your help. There’s a rest-home about five kilometres from here. I want you, Mike, to take me to have a look …’ “The rest-home had 35 residents. It looked neat and tidy, and was very warm when we went in. The vibes were great. Most of the residents were having tea, and the menu looked good. I even got a nod and a smile from strangers. “We got the financial details, and went back quite impressed. When Jenny saw

A g e i s imp o r t a n t o n l y i f y o u ’ r e c h e e s e a n d w i n e .

and choose the one you can best cope with. Even if it’s wrong, it’s still your choice – and, if one option doesn’t work, try another. “I firmly believe,” said Cass, “that people should stay in their own homes until it becomes impossible to manage even with all the help available. Call us what you will: old people, geriatrics, senior citizens, whatever: it all amounts to the same thing. We’ve matured and ripened with valuable experience, and our status is the biggest compliment life can give us.



ake trips if you’re able. Try new hobbies. Keep a garden. Use your local library. Check the noticeboard

“People should stay in their own homes until it becomes impossible to manage. Call us old people, geriatrics, senior citizens: our status is the biggest compliment life can give us …”

for news of local groups and activities. Start a project. Write, paint or take up photography. Think about and write down all your dreams, expectations and wants in life. Tick each one off as it’s achieved, and try to accomplish others on your list. Use your community hall for group activities. Support your local kindergarten. Make toys for a craft-shop nearby. Offer your services to local schools to be interviewed by children about the old days. Offer to organise crafts. Be an active part of the community. And if you feel like it, enjoy doing nothing, just reading and remembering. 4 6 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

This is your choice and your privilege. Remember, life doesn’t come to you – you’ve got to go out and get it!



re things changing too fast? Does the world seem too complicated? Well, don’t let yourself be brushed aside. Fight the tendency to be left behind. Stay in touch. Keep up. Make the effort to learn new technologies. Ask someone – your children or grandchildren – to teach you how to work cellphones, or DVDs, or computers. You’ll probably be surprised how simple it is – and you’ll get a sneaky thrill at mastering something new.


Lesson #4: KEEP MOVING



dmit that you’re getting older, and allow yourself the privilege of doing less. Recognise that you can no longer manage like you used to. Know your limits, and be aware of the stress these may place on the people who love you. Don’t let your reluctance to change trap you in a situation where you can’t cope.

There are lots of alternatives to consider – home help, a smaller house, a pensioner’s flat, a granny-flat, a retirement village, a rest-home. You’re not alone. There’s a huge network of help available ... and there’s no shame in admitting that you need it. Family, friends, neighbours, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, Home Care, Meals-On-Wheels, Age Concern, Grey Power, the 60’s-Up Movement, your local Citizens Advice Bureau – all these people have your welfare at heart. And their skills and resources can vastly improve your quality of life. Finally, don’t wait till there’s a crisis. Take control earlier rather than later. Look ahead. Discuss it now. Make some plans. As Cass Duncan wrote, “Once you take the first step, a whole new world can open up!” Keepers of the Vine


GO TO grapevine’s facebook page. Share YOUR POINT-OF-VIEW AND READ WHAT OTHERS RECKON.

IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 4 7

Wh e r e t h e r e ’ s a w i l l , I w a n t t o b e i n i t !

he choice is yours: you can sit down and become boring, stiff, immobile and dependent ... or you can fight to remain alert, agile and active. Immobility may sound restful – but it can be agony. Keeping fit means retaining the ability to knit, do carpentry, reach into the top cupboard, stroll to the shops, play bowls ... in short, to stay in control of your day-to-day life, and enjoy it! Be aware of your body ... and keep it moving. That generates enthusiasm and guards against apathy and depression. By exercising regularly – even 10 minutes a day! – you ensure quality living in the future.

If we don’t like ourselves, if we see ourselves as useless and inferior, nothing can make us happy. But if we feel okay about ourselves, not much can make us miserable. Why? Because we’re with someone we like, 24 hours a day! FR JOHN POWELL – GRAPEVINE INTERVIEW (DEC 1990)



UR ATTITUDES CAN MAKE us happy or sad. And if we change our attitudes, everything else can change – our emotions, our health, our relationships. The problem is, we don’t want to believe this. We want to say, “I just didn’t get the breaks.” Or, “It’s other people.” Or, “If only you had my wife, my husband, my children, you’d understand …” Astrologers tell us, “It’s in your stars.” And people say, “My moon wasn’t in the right house.” But I say the problem is that your head isn’t in the right place! You see, your tyrants are not outside you – they’re inside you. Your tyrants are your attitudes – those attitudes that condemn you to a life of fear, or inferiority, or wringing guilt. 4 8 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

You are loved because God loves, period. God loves you, and everyone, not because you believe in certain things, but because you’re a mess, and lonely, and his or her child. God loves you no matter how crazy you feel on the inside, no matter what a fake you are … always, even in your current condition, even before coffee. God loves you crazily … like a slightly overweight auntie, who sees only your marvelousness and need.



Every day brings a chance for you to DRAW in a breath, KICK off your shoes, and DANCE! OPRAH WINFREY

S o m e tBim U MePsE R I lS a Tu IC gK h E sRo: h Ha Or Nd K t Ih F eA t N eY a Tr Hs I NrGu n F AdL o L Sw n O Fmy F. leg.





Do you remember, when you were a child, thinking that the world was your oyster, that God was everywhere, that now was the time to do it? It’s never too late for us to learn that again. And our kids will help us – if we’ll only listen. A young Jewish girl, surrounded by the


A good scare is worth more to most people than good advice.

horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, wrote the following words: From tomorrow on I shall be sad. From tomorrow on – not today. Today I will be glad. And every day, no matter how bitter it may be, shall say: From tomorrow on I shall be sad – not today! Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have laughed, to have loved, to have lived? Is it so small a thing to fly a kite with our kids, to sail a boat, to take a walk, to play catch, to wrestle on the lawn, to tickle and be tickled until your laughter can’t be controlled? Is it so small a thing to make our days count rather than count our days? Is it so small a thing to rediscover play, to passionately take part in something for its own sake? To forget reason and logic and efficiency and profit for a while? To experience work as more than labour, and religion as more than rules? Is it so small a thing to remember, to blow out candles on a birthday cake, to celebrate a friendship – or a lifetime? To take time to read or listen or dream? To let our minds and hearts be quiet for a while? Is it so small a thing to feel part of this earth and its people, to feel part of IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 4 9

S oB mUe MpPeEoRp lS eT IaCrKeE R s :o HpOoNoKr .I FA lAl NtYhT eHyI NhGa vFeA LiLsS mOoF n F .e y .

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

its purpose and plan, to enjoy God more than we ever imagined, to make a new, fresh start wherever we are? No. It is no small thing to be alive. Let’s live like we MEAN it. TIM HANSEL – ‘WHEN I RELAX I FEEL GUILTY’

AB U hM e nP EiRs SaTnI Ce K g EgR’ s : H wOaNy Ko If F mAaNkYiTnHgI NaGn oFtAhL eL S r O eF g Fg..


Almost everything we’ll ever do in life that’s really powerful, that really produces a result in our lives, that quantum-leaps us to a new level … requires us to do something uncomfortable. It takes risks to achieve. It’s often scary. It requires something you didn’t know before or a skill you didn’t have before. But in the end, it’s worth it. As former Congressman Ed Forman says, “Winners are those people who make a habit of doing things losers are uncomfortable doing.” Make today your day to start that uncomfortable new habit. JACK CANFIELD – ‘CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL’


I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him. MARK TWAIN


BE who you are and SAY what you feel because those who MIND don’t matter and those who MATTER don’t mind. DR SUESS


I asked Mum if I was a gifted child. She said they certainly wouldn’t have paid for me.

5 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013

The rifts and chasms between good people today sometimes seem impossible to bridge. Let’s just name a few obvious ones: male vs. female … rich vs. poor … liberal vs. conservative … Christian vs. non-Christian … pro-choice vs. pro-life

most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell – leap! CYNTHIA HEIMEL


… the overdeveloped world vs. the underdeveloped world … straights vs. gays … whites vs. people of colour – and every shade of every issue in between. We are all crowded on one limited planet and must somehow learn to live together while also maintaining the common earth beneath our six billion pairs of feet. Sometimes I wonder if it is going to be this very common earth that we all stand on and eat from that will be the only thing that will be able to bring us together.




When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There’s a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the


It’s impossible to smile without cheering yourself up a little. IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 5 1

F AbNuYtT H L So nOgF e . A l w aByUsMiPnE Rt hSeT IrCiKgEhRt: pHlOaNcKe I… aI t NtGh eF AwL r


Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy chocolate, which is kinda the same thing.

LIFE IS painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. LOTS OF times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide-open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. SOMETIMES the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. THAT’S WHY I tell everyone: even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.


the difference

School Camp by Tim Tripp

TRY TO SPOT THEse 19 differences ... Find Grapevine on Facebook to see if you got them all!


Joy Reid Julia Bloore chit-chats with this vivacious young news reporter …

5 4 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013



When you were 10, what was it that you were ‘the best’ at? JOY: I think my parents would say TALKING! I’ve always been a chatterbox. My primary school teacher even wrote in a school report that I was ‘verbally mature’ …


What are you reading at the moment? JOY: Philippa Gregory’s historical novels about the various kings and

queens of the 15th and 16th centuries. I love the way she personalises history! I’m such a book worm – I can get lost for hours in a good book.


What’s the best piece of advice your mother gave you? JOY: She always said, “Do your best, and that way you can never be disappointed …” And it’s worked! You can’t do better than your best – and if you don’t succeed at least you know you gave it all you could.


If there was to be a movie made of your life, who would you want to play you and why? More importantly, who would play your husband? JOY: I’d want Kate Winslett to play me. I like her down-to-earth style. And I think Brad Pitt would be a fair contender to play my hubby. They practically look like twins (wink wink) …


Tell us about the best day of your life so far … JOY: I have lots of ‘best’ days. My wedding day, walking down the aisle and seeing my man waiting for me was pretty epic. But I’ve certainly had ‘best’ days while travelling, when holidaying with friends, and especially when working in Africa. I think so long as the people I love are involved, then it becomes a ‘best’ day.


What’s your all-time favourite meal? JOY: Given that I’m pregnant, I’m LOVING potatoes and pasta. Generally IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 5 5

S o r r y I o f f e n d e d y o u b y c a l l i n g y o u s t upi d . I t h o u g h t y o u a l r e a d y k n e w .

You’re a journalist for television news – is that what you always wanted to do? JOY: To be honest, I never gave it much thought until I lived overseas for a year when I was 16. While I was away I’d write letters home, and it was my grandmother who suggested journalism as a career-path. She felt she was experiencing my overseas adventures through my writing. I began to realise that broadcast journalism provided the perfect outlet for my ‘gift of the gab’ – my love of storytelling and my sense of social justice. Television is exciting, fast paced, and pictures are powerful tools. But my first love is radio journalism. I did that for five years before making the switch to TVNZ. If you’d asked me when I was a teenager if I’d be a television reporter, reporting on the biggest story of the decade (Christchurch Earthquakes), I would have balked … but I am very happy with how things have turned out. The role definitely has its challenges, it certainly has its rewards as well.

though, my favourite meal is simply fish and chips. In fact, my hubby proposed to me after such a meal. It was perfect.

I’d love to explain it to you but I don’t have any crayons.


Where do you come in your family? JOY: I’m the oldest of four children. And, typical of oldest children, I’m the bossy one in the family. I was more independent as a teenager, and I’m still often the organiser/instigator of family events. My youngest brother and I have similar personalities though …


What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you? JOY: I thought it was pretty nice of my husband to ask to spend his life with me! But, in all seriousness, I’m the type of person who appreciates the little things in life, so I could write pages of things which, in that moment, were the ‘nicest’. Someone bringing me food when I haven’t eaten for hours (often happens while out-and-about on a story) … someone providing a listening ear … someone buying/making me a surprise gift or giving me a note of encouragement … even someone taking the time to fly to Christchurch to visit. I remember one occasion in Papua New Guinea when a villager gave me a necklace which was worth about four months wages, allowing for the time and skill involved. It brought me to tears, that a near stranger would bestow such a huge honour upon me … just because I was coming to tell his story.


Imagine 10 years from now: Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you doing it with? JOY: That’s a tough one. I’d hope to have had a few children and be in the throes of motherhood. But I also hope to still have a hand in journalism. I love telling the stories of those who are unable to tell their own – so I’d be keen to explore this avenue more, whether in NZ or overseas, on television or another medium. Perhaps even working for a not-for-profit organisation. It all depends how balancing work and motherhood goes!

5 6 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013


illustration by Vasanti


RECENTLY HAD A VISIT from my son, his wife and their two adorable children. I can say ‘adorable’ because, obviously, my grandchildren have inherited my genes and are automatically on a path to success. And I’m pretty biased about my son as well. We had a great family time, with the organised chaos that young children bring to any home, and I think I fulfilled my Grandma duties fairly well. I even changed nappies when necessary. However, there was one incident that fell outside of my Grandma brief and gave me increased admiration for my daughter-in-law. One day, my granddaughter was attending to her ablutions, so to speak. I was working in my office, and could hear her singing away. But, suddenly, the most ear-splitting, hysterical screams came from the bathroom. I raced in, not quite knowing what to expect, and found my granddaughter distraught. Her plastic flower-bracelet had (shock, horror) dropped into the toilet! So I did the only thing any sane Grandma would do – I yelled for her mother. Her mother arrived, and a few minutes later the crying stopped. My

granddaughter emerged soon after with a totally pristine, disinfected bracelet. When I asked her mum how she could stand it, she simply said, “I just shut my eyes and plunged in!” Oh, the sacrifices some mothers make! I think she deserves a medal … FRANCES COVENTRY IS A GRAPEVINE STAFFWRITER. ‘SCRUBCUTTERS’ ARE RADIO SPOTS – SEE WWW.SCRUBCUTTER.COM – HEARD BY 180,000 PEOPLE EACH WEEKDAY ON THE NEWSTALKZB NETWORK.

IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 5 7

Angkor Wat



There’s more than one way to climb a hill. And I’ve tried a few of them in my time. But I never expected to be climbing a rather steep hill on the back of a rather large elephant. That hill was in the middle of the jungle in the middle of Cambodia. And the view from the top of my plodding, hairy mammoth was something else …

5 8 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013



The centuries have taken their toll, of course, but 1000 years ago, while other eventual world capitals were still villages, this was a royal centre populated by more than a million people. he largest and best-preserved temple is Angkor Wat, built by Suryavarman II in honour of the god-king Vishnu. Bridges across a deep moat point the way through arched entrances to the central temple structure, where paved courtyards and corridors are decorated with ‘Apsaras’ (Heavenly Dancers) – still graceful, frozen in time and stone. Trying not to look down, I scrambled nervously up dangerously steep steps to the topmost terrace where Buddhist priests once did their thing. Then, stilling my beating heart and stealing a breath-taking glance at the countryside, I scrambled nervously back down again.



IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 5 9

It’s okay if you disagree with me. I can’t force you to be right.

ambodia. Most people who go there go to eyeball what I went to eyeball: the famous temple complex of the ancient Kingdom of Angkor. And I was both relieved and excited when my noisy plane touched down. Relieved: because I’d been trapped in a seat next to this thin American woman who’d insisted on sharing the whole gory story of her messed-up marriage. Excited: because I’d read enough about my destination to know it was a treat for travellers – a World Heritage site, up there with other archaeological biggies like Egypt’s Pyramids, China’s Great Wall, Jordan’s Petra and South America’s Machu Picchu. I was met at the airport by my Cambodian guide – a delightful young man whose name (‘Daling’ – pronounced ‘Darling’) embarrassed me at first when I used it out-loud. But within a shortish drive from the town of Siem Reap, I’d got used to it … ay, way back, between the 9th and 13th centuries, a string of Khmer kings ruled Indo-China from around here, and used their empire’s wealth and work-force to complete a swag of monumental construction projects. Someone has counted 209 different temples spread over 300 square kilometres, many of them largely reclaimed by the relentless jungle. But some of the most beautiful examples have been restored. It was hard to believe what I was seeing: towering moss-smothered stone-work … vast terraces, moats and spires … endless sculptures of deities and royals … wallto-wall murals recording Hindu battles and Buddhist lifestyles.

Wh a t w o u l d M a c Gy v e r d o ?


Angkor Wat

ext morning, after breakfasting well and trying out some Cambodian expressions (“sour s’dei” = hello … “or kuon” = thank you) on a couple of giggling waitresses, it was off to another famous site: the walled city of Angkor Thom. As we approached the spectacular entrance-way through looming forest

Ta Prohm

trees and rows of once-elegant statues, I was suddenly aware of a giant creviced face peering at me from a mound of weathered rock above the gate. Inside Ta Prohm the temple complex, countless collapsing towers were adorned with more huge faces in various stages of disrepair, smiling meditatively as they lit up in the morning sun. Nearby was an ancient parade ground, the Elephant Terrace, and I tried to imagine monks and warriors, decorated elephants and cheering crowds, in a colourful, noisy procession. Elsewhere amongst these sprawling remains is the Ta Prohm monastery – left as it was found, unrestored, still gripped in a battle with the tropical jungle. The intricate stonework is being devoured by 600-year-old silk-cotton trees, enormous trunks and roots spreading like claws to grip every crack and crevice … in places, tearing the structure apart … in others, holding it together. shadow hangs over Cambodia. The bloody rule of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge (1975 to 1978) saw cities emptied and two-to-three million people murdered. And I felt that shadow

A 6 0 Grap e v i ne – I S S U E 1 /2013


up with a slower beast in front. But in the absence of passing-bays, my driver could only shout and prod its hairy bum with his sharpened pole. Up top were more ruins, plus crowds of camera-toting tourists. A white-robed nun accepted some of my local currency in exchange for a photo. And Daling and I sat down to a picnic of boiled eggs and sour mango that he’d purchased from a stall down below. Night falls quickly in this part of the world. The brilliant orange sunset we’d all come to see was fading before we knew it … and on the way back down (via 200 what-used-to-be stone steps!) a vast cloud of black bats filled the darkening sky. Another day in Indo-China was over. “Or kuon (thank you) Cambodia!” WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE ATONISHING ANGKOR TEMPLES FOR YOURSELF? JOIN JOHN & ROBYN COONEY ON THEIR FEB 2014 TOUR OF VIETNAM & CAMBODIA – MIDLIFE MADNESS ON THE MEKONG. PHONE 0800 277 477 OR VISIT WWW. JOHNCOONEY.CO.NZ.

IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 6 1

Mostly I just sit around being fantastic every day.

most acutely whenever I got talking with ordinary Cambodians. Over lunch, for example, I met Veesna, a serious young man who was only four when his father disappeared. A local government official until neighbours dobbed him in, he was taken to a prison camp, tortured and executed. “Cambodians killing Cambodians – so evil!” said Veesna, who also lost grandparents, uncles, cousins. “I still can’t understand it.” Thankfully, the shadow is lifting. The Khmer Rouge are no more, the infamous landmines are being cleared, and this small nation with a remarkable, ancient past is slowly recovering. hnom Bakheng was the name of that rather steep hill – and the chance to do it by elephant was too good to pass up. So off we lurched, along a muddy track that zig-zagged up through the jungle. My elephant was fast – we easily caught



6 2 G r a p e v i ne – I S SU E 1/2013



EPRESSION. IT’S MORE than just having a bad day. It’s not a sign of personal weakness. And it’s not prejudiced – it’s an illness that can strike any of us. You can be rich or poor, unemployed or in charge of a company, brown or white, male or female … it doesn’t matter. All Black great, John Kirwan, knows what depressions feels like … and he knows it first-hand: Depression was not something I ever thought would happen to me. In fact, it took me years to acknowledge

it. Like many people, I forced my dark feelings and fears to the back of my mind and just pushed on in life, even though every day was a superhuman struggle to seem normal. Mostly, I was afraid – terrified of what I might become, what I might do, and terrified that I would lose all the things I loved about my life. Finally, I hit rock bottom! I had lost all hope of happiness, and was exhausted from secretly fighting my black monster. That moment was the turning point for me, though. I did what I should have done right back when my panic attacks began: I reached out to the right people. I acknowledged I had a problem, and with that acknowledgement came the first steps on my journey to wellness. Most importantly, I found hope – a sense that things can and will get better – and I clung to it in the same way you’d hang on to a life-raft if you’d been shipwrecked in a stormy sea. Holding on to hope was how I got through depression. I’ve been through hell, and I’m back.

If you’re in that place where I was, then I understand what you’re going through. If you’re in that place, and you don’t feel any hope, take a look at me and use my story …



My doctor told me that I would live to be 60. I said, “I am 60!” He said, “See, I was right …”

global families:



N ELDERLY WOMAN IN Wellington calls her son in Perth and says: “I hate to ruin your day, but I need to tell you that your father and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough!” “Mum, what are you TALKING about?” the son yells. “We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old lady says. “And I’m sick of talking about this. So you call your sister in Los Angeles and tell her!” And she hangs up. Frantic, the son phones his sister, who explodes: “No WAY are they getting divorced,” she shouts. “I’ll take care of this!” She calls her parents immediately, and screams at her mum: “You are NOT getting divorced! My brother and I will both be there tomorrow. Don’t do a single thing until we arrive – DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old lady puts the phone down and turns to her husband. “It’s okay, Honey,” she grins. “They’re coming home for the holidays – and they’re paying their own airfares!” IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 6 3



6 4 G r a p e v i ne – I S S UE 1/2013


tammy cooney


EW OF US HAVE AS MUCH reason to hate someone as Tracey, a 24-year-old Aucklander. She still vividly recalls the sound of those early-morning footsteps coming towards her bedroom. And the fear that used to send her flying to the toy cupboard. It started “somewhere around the age of five,” and Tracey was too young to realise what her father was doing. “It didn’t seem wrong at first. He told me it was private, special, between the two of us. And if I told anyone I would break that special love.” Over the years that followed, Tracey

realised something was desperately wrong. “But I wasn’t strong enough to do anything about it.” Her father continued to use her sexually, and as a teenager she felt trapped, becoming more and more desperate. “I thought about suicide … drugs … And at one stage I very seriously considered a career in prostitution. I thought I might as well get money for what I was doing. I guess I just accepted that this was it for me. Tracey was nearly 18 now, and her father could sense she was going to crack. He kept telling Tracey not to say anything … “but I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I ran off crying one day, and Mum came to find me. When she asked me what was wrong, I said, ‘You’re so blind you don’t even know!’ And I told her what Dad had been doing to me all those years.” Tracey remembers her mother going back to confront her father. And then the two of them walking towards her along the path. The first thought that ran through her mind was that her father was coming to kill her. But then she saw the look on his face …

Smile … #2 Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style – it will just look ridiculous year after year. (Fred Allen)

till death us do part:



HEN I TURNED 65 LAST month, I went to the local WINZ office to apply for NZ Super. The woman behind the counter asked me for my Driver’s License so she could verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realised I’d left my wallet at home. I told her I was very sorry, but I would have to go and get it and come back later. The woman said, “Unbutton your shirt.” So I opened my shirt, revealing my curly salt-and-pepper hair. She said, “Well, that grey hair on your chest is proof enough for me,” and she processed my Super application. When I got home and told my wife

about my experience at WINZ, she said, “You should have dropped your pants. You might have got a disability allowance too!”

Smile … #3 My husband thinks he knows everything. He said that onions were the only food that makes you cry. So I threw a coconut at his head.

IS S U E 1/2013 – Grapevine 6 5

understanding teenagers:



HERE’S SOMETHING WEIRD about young people. Their volatile mood-swings … their strange haircuts and changing bodies … their love of tattoos and piercings … the way they wear their pants around their ankles. Kiwi author and clinical psychologist, Nigel Latta, told us teenagers are not right in the head – and they won’t be until their early 20’s! Nigel: We now know that male and female brains are actually structured differently. And during adolescence boys become a bit Neanderthal-like – ­ they lose the gift of speech and crawl off into a cave. Okay, that’s a generalisation, but they’re not quite as forthcoming with the chatty-chatty! 6 6 G r a p e v i ne – I S S UE 1/2013

What parents need to understand is that their teenage sons are just complete and utter pragmatists. So unless they can see the point in it for them, they won’t bother. That’s why when Mum says, “How was school today?” They go, “Uh, I don’t know.” There’s no point in answering, because if you do, you’ll just get more questions and it’s not going to change anything. It’s like, “The day has happened already! What are you going on about it for?” Grapevine: Well, what about girls? Nigel: Oh, they’re a complete mystery to everybody. Their brains are different, they’re much more emotionally flighty, they get angry and upset. I don’t think even teenage girls understand teenage girls! They oscillate between, “I’m an independent woman and I’m running my own life!” to “Can you please make me a cup of Milo, Mummy?” So with girls, don’t get too worried about trying to understand them – just hang in there with the basic parenting stuff. The nice thing about girls is that they’ll talk to you more about their hopes and dreams, whereas boys tend not to. Boys keep their hopes and dreams quite close to their hearts … Grapevine: When a Neanderthal boy

emerges at home, what do mums and dads need to be aware of? Nigel: The big thing Mum needs to understand is, just because he’s not talking, it doesn’t mean he’s a drug addict or a criminal! He’s actually just a teenage boy, and that’s what they do. Mums also need to watch that they don’t go on and on about stuff. You see,

mums often say really sensible things, but for your boy, once you get past that first comma, you’re just going on … Want to read more? VISIT WWW.GRAPEVINE.ORG.NZ … GO TO ‘LIBRARY’ (BROWSE BY YEAR) … CHOOSE YEAR 2008, ISSUE 3 … & FIND ‘WEIRD’

young love:


T WAS VALENTINE’S DAY, and Becky popped the question: “Do you love me with all your heart and soul?” “Mmm hmm,” replied Steve. “Do you think I’m the most beautiful girl in the world?” “Mmm hmm.” Grapevine 1/2013 – Grapepuzzles “Do you think my lips are like rose WORDSEARCH – TUTTI FRUTTI petals?” S E I R R E B E U L B R I W B T “Mmm hmm. I T P S L E ”M O N S M X W A A Y C T R M I E L I Z E W N W T N J “Oh Steve,” gushed Becky, “you say B H S A E N Z V O L S U B E A W the Smost R E beautiful P W S Q things!” S E P A R G R N S (SOLUTION PAGE 67)


















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Grapevine Issue 1, 2013  

Welcome to Issue 1, 2013 of Grapevine - a magazine aimed at helping give parents, families and almost anyone, a lift! We hope you enjoy...

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