Full-time mothering difficult

"Perhaps the women of Ireland should look at this differently. They should hold their government to the clause that the state should endeavour to see 'that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to neglect the duties in the home'," suggests Lorna. "In New Zealand and I'm sure in Ireland there are many mothers who would much prefer to stay at home with their pre-school children to give them the best start in life, rather than put them in daycare from an early age. Even with the current maternity paid leave, it is fast becoming impossible for New Zealand women to choose to be full-time mums ... I was a stay-at-home mum in the 70s and 80s and my daughter has stayed at home with her three children. While living on an average single income my children and my grandchildren have never gone cold or hungry but have not had the overseas school holidays, or many of the other expensive treats available for two-income families. More mothers able to give their children a good start in life may go a long way towards solving some of New Zealand's social problems. I realise some mothers prefer to work for various reasons and childcare has not been proven to be detrimental to a child's development. There still must be a choice available."

Natural way to chlorinate

"One of the most enjoyable activities in this smallish school pool was creating a whirlpool," writes a reader. "Where me and my classmates would wade around the pool close to the edge to get all the pool water to rotate and when sufficient water velocity had been achieved, to sit there and be carried around in a circle by the vortex we had created. One day the principal turned up with a bucket. "Guess what? I forgot to chlorinate the pool!" he announced. Having observed the whirlpool we had just created, Mr. F told us to "go again". We complied while he mixed some pool water into his bucket of pool chemicals and then dumped the contents back into the pool. We gently stirred the chlorine into the pool with our pre-teen bodies. I don't recall any adverse effects, apart from smelling like pool water for the next day or so."

Posties keep digging up

"Anyone else sick of the posties digging up their berms in their little cars?" asks a miffed reader.