Dear land of Milk and Honey

By Kate Stewart

The weeks and months continue to roll by at a rapid rate. Someone needs to give 2012 a speeding ticket, it's whizzed by faster than a parliamentary pay increase, scary stuff.

The cats and Waffle emerged unscathed from three successive nights of fireworks. Talk about money literally going up in smoke. Even if I had money to burn, exploding cardboard tubes would not be high on my list of priorities, but that's just me.

I did wonder though, how many ant colonies were reduced to rubble as a result of the underground earthquakes (in ant proportions) brought on by the launch of every skyrocket.

No doubt there were casualties in the insect world. The really bizarre thing is that within 72 hours, despite the total devastation, complete colonies would have been intricately rebuilt and every ant would return to full employment - and all without a single call placed to the EQC and/or an insurance company and with no building inspector or structural engineer in sight.

And still in our arrogance, we humans think we are the most advanced and intelligent species on earth ... hmmm, I wonder.

Even more bizarre is that I admit to having such thoughts, but then I never once claimed to be anywhere near sane, quite the opposite.

Speaking of nut-jobs, Waffle continues to take his much-loved shoe collection from strength to strength and though not one of them is in a "fit to wear" state, even Imelda Marcos would be in awe at the sheer size of said collection. I imagine Waffle's ultimate dream is to gleefully deconstruct a pair of aptly named Jimmy Choo shoes.

The life forms still inhabit the planet and are readying themselves for exams, in the earthly pursuit of NCEA credits, sadly only one is on target to do so with flying colours whilst the other two remain on target but only on the dart board in my imagination.

Two of the three are also experiencing teenage love, but as one of them is actually in love with himself I'm not sure if that counts. It does, however, minimise the risk of a bitter break-up and the heartache caused by infidelity, so I guess it has its up-sides.

But enough of my ramblings, time for my question of the week.

Is New Zealand the land of milk and honey?

By international standards we seem to be holding our own and are most certainly faring better than countries like Greece, Spain and Ireland. Milk and honey and all their respective by-products are big earners for New Zealand too, but the real question is can every Kiwi family afford milk and honey? My answer would sadly be no.

The land of Milk and Honey is an ideal long gone, vanished with the once realistic hope of owning your own home. The OE from which we would plan to return from has been replaced by a one-way ticket to anywhere that offers higher wages and a better lifestyle.

Even owning a humble car has almost become a luxury. I recently received my new registration notice in the mail. OMG, it's a price hike of astronomical proportions and from the given breakdown I see it is primarily the ACC levy that has increased. A ridiculously flawed system that sees responsible insured drivers paying through the nose to support all those who, selfishly, remain uninsured.

Are we the only country in the world where insurance isn't compulsory? If something doesn't give soon, the only way I will be on the road will be thanks to the life forms running behind me, pushing me from point A to B.

While the car has grown accustomed to running on empty it appears my supermarket trolley is destined to experience the same fate. I seem to be paying a lot more but taking home a lot less. To make matters worse, we continue to be subjected to glitzy ad campaigns, costing millions, spitting out messages of healthy eating, such as 5+ a day, 2-3 serves of lean lamb and beef a week and let's not forget a couple of serves of salmon for our dose of Omega 3. It's insulting. The ignorance is mindbending ... and to think I consider my kids to be alien life forms!

In protest, I decided to re-write our national anthem. Despite the venom with which it was written, I'd like you to keep the melody upbeat, maybe add your own dance moves.

If I knew how I'd be tempted to find a singer or group to record it, make a video and upload it. Maybe even sell it on Itunes. Surely it can't be worse than anything I've seen on New Zealand's Got Talent.

By Kate Stewart

Going shopping really sucks, unless you have mega-bucks, or hijack some Foodstuff trucks, Overpriced New Zealand.

I gaze upon the leafy greens, want to buy some for my teens, they are well beyond my means, Overpriced New Zealand.

How can milk cost more than coke, it's beyond a bloody joke, any wonder we're so broke, Overpriced New Zealand.

Tired of noodles every day, chuck a freaking steak my way, prices need to fall I pray, Overpriced New Zealand.

It's hard to buy healthily, when we have such poverty, wish I had a money tree, Overpriced New Zealand.

Time to join the checkout line, no tobacco, beer or wine, hope the EFTPOS won't decline, Overpriced New Zealand.

All Rights Reserved.

I sang it to Waffle and he loved it. Keep your feedback coming, I love hearing from you. Smile loudly, and I'll catch you next week.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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