"A month ago we had a very sad, upset little girl," writes a reader. "Her Nana's cat Mousey had died and our daughter Bella was heartbroken. We told her she could write a letter and we would tie it to a balloon and send it into the sky in the hope it would reach Mousey in Cat Heaven. A month passed and two envelopes arrived at our door, one for us and one for Bella. She opened her envelope to find a beautiful card with a cat on it. She read the card from Mousey, half laughing, half crying. We want to thank Paul and Barbara from New Zealand, on their travels here in Britain, who found our balloon at the Yorkshire sculpture park and took the time to help a little girl get through her grief."
• Got a bag of green grapes once from a woman who claimed they had fixed her high blood pressure and asked us to test them in our "lab". I tested them in my mouth and they were delicious.
• A Bridgecorp-branded tape measure "Bridgecorp Measures Up!"
• A request of a picture of my legs for a calendar.
• A TV reviewer once got a blanket (for watching late-night TV).
• A sketch by the late New Zealand art forger Karl Sim - who officially changed his name to CF Goldie, the artist he imitated so well - which I lost! Argh!
• A guide to the North Korean economy. Written in Korean.
• I got a giant star made out of LED lights from the local Filipino community as a thank you for covering Typhoon Haiyan.
• Some anonymous spooky cupcakes arrived on Halloween, which also happens to be my birthday, so I had a secret admirer. Then, just before I was about to head off, New World emailed me to let me know it was them. Stink.
• A quilt made by a bunch of women for when I got a new house, post-quake. It is all shades or orange, and each square has (personal reference) on it. I don't want another gift unless it has been handmade by a dozen people over the course of months.
(via Kiwi Journalists Association and MSM Facebook pages)
"Please don't give up with Countdown or the bank because a few years ago we ordered 2 packets of $8 50 fish and chips in Akaroa. They were very nice but when the bill arrived on our visa instead of $17 we were charged $8,508.50 as they had run it together instead of adding it. I rang the shop and was told that must be the right amount as they check their takings every day (but wouldn't they gulp at a sale like that) and she wouldn't even discuss it! We got onto the bank and they sorted it out but it was 3 months later when they removed it from our Visa!"
Video: Man trying to drink a beer while operating a gas-powered ground compactor (spoiler: the compactor won!)...