Like Christmas and Mother's Day, Father's Day is a day that is often fraught. For the fathers who no longer see their kids, for the children whose fathers have died or left them. For those men who'd like nothing better than to be one but for whatever reason, can't.

Of course, fathering, and being fathered goes beyond that one contrived day, but its impending arrival this year gave Greg Bruce cause to think back on what has been a tumultuous year. Greg found himself caught between literal life-and-death situations: as his wife was giving birth to their second child, his father was alone in his bed, suffering a massive heart attack. He writes of the intersection of joy, anger and horror that hit him in that moment and beyond in a piece that sums up what it is to be part of a family.

And to another family: the extraordinary Tim and Sherrah Francis, who amassed one of New Zealand's biggest and most significant private art collections, which, after their death this year, will be sold next week at public auction. Kim Knight interviews their son, Paul, and their friend, fellow collector Jim Barr, and tells the story of couple who loved each other and who loved art.