Not such a multi-buy bargain at Coromandel Town Dairy.

White-knuckle portent

Gaynor Comley of Napier writes: "Much to our consternation our Air New Zealand booking number for four flights to the South Island was ACRA5H. This appeared many times in the subject line of our emails and we were further perturbed when we were allocated Seat 13A/13B on one of the flights. Cool customers that we are, we endured bouncing into and out of Wellington and into Napier without commenting on our booking.

Tall tales for little people


What we believed when we were young ...

1. My grandmother used to tell us to eat up everything on the plate otherwise for every morsel left a pock mark will be left on our face. To this day we all clean up our plates.

2. To keep us from wandering outside at night my dad told us hippos came out after dark. Once after a particularly windy night he showed me the flattened rhubarb patch where the "hippo had sat". I was totally convinced!

3. When I was little I suffered horrendous car sickness. So on a trip to see relatives in Taumarunui, and in a poorly thought out plan to distract me from kilometres of winding metal roads through bush, my father told me to keep my eyes peeled for wild bush men out there, some with no eyes, some with no ears. When the car broke down I screamed my little head off.

4. My dad told me the hospital cat took care of removed items like tonsils, appendix etc so near a hospital I always looked hard for a well-fed cat.

5. My sister and I convinced our brother there were "cloud makers" throughout New Zealand. In the Franklin area the Glenbrook Steel Mill was our cloud maker, and the main North Island cloud makers were in Rotorua and Taupo - with some help from White Island and the Huntly chimneys. We never thought he would still believe it at 17!

6. I was told by my lovely dad that BC (as in 1200BC) stood for "before cowboys". It was only at school when teacher asked if we knew what BC stood for that I found out he was pulling my leg.

7. When my brother was working at a hotel in the South Island, sometimes he would pick up overseas guests in the shuttle van. Once some visitors asked why some farms had such high fences (deer fencing) and he said they stop the spring lambs from springing out of the paddocks.

8. My parents used to refer to a grumpy neighbour as "Old Mrs Trout-face". My brothers and I assumed this was her real name until the day we called her it to her face. You can imagine Mum and Dad's mortification when she stormed over to complain about our rudeness!