Friday, 25 October 2019 16:17

Boo! It’s Halloween

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We have a funny old relationship with Halloween here in New Zealand. It’s often seen as a commercial event, and Americanism forced down our throats and not a part of Kiwi culture. But it is much more than that – it is a very old, pre-Christian celebration, and it is certainly not American. Before it was sponsored by The Warehouse, Halloween was celebrated as the Christian festival of All Saints…
Friday, 06 September 2019 11:48

Say it loud! I’m Ginge and I’m proud!!

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“The biggest mistake the Scots made was pausing in Ireland for 400 years on their way to America”. That’s what my  Great-uncle Dunn told me when I was two years old, and I’ve never forgotten. Dunn and the McLoughlins who make up my mother’s side of the family were proud Orangemen, Scottish Protestants who settled in Ireland from the early 1600s. Dunn himself was a US citizen, being born in…
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 15:41

On the Road

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Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now regarded as a classic novel. It’s the story of an extended series of road trips zigzagging across the USA, with a diversion into Mexico, taken between 1950 and 1954. It’s a semiautobiographical tale of Sal Paradise (based on the author Jack Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty, living an indulgent and dissolute life of abandoned partners and children, wife beating, scams, drugs, and, being pre-rock’n’roll, a dedicated…
Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:01

Festival of the Boot part two: The Field

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Welcome Ladies and Gentleman to the ever-popular West Coast IPA Challenge preview for 2019. First, a big thank you and good luck to each and every brewer entered in this year’s competition. And at this early stage of the proceedings I would ask the Committee to pass a vote of thanks to the brewers, maltsters and, of course, the hopsters in New Zealand and overseas who have put in time…
North End’s brewer Kieran Haslett Moore is famously Angophile. Beer writer Geoff Griggs, an Englishman himself, has called Kieran “the most English man to have never visited England”. Well that description no longer applies. Kieran made his first visit to the UK earlier this year, with a side trip to Belgium. After a career promoting and brewing traditional English-style ales and Belgian beers, this was his first opportunity to taste…
Saturday, 15 June 2019 18:00

Songs for the longest night

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As we approach the Winter Solstice, Radio NZ is already thinking six months ahead to the Summer Solstice with a competition to write the perfect New Zealand Christmas song. There’s a fine tradition of Christmas songs. Regular readers of this blog will know Neil Miller is massive fan of Canadian music, especially Michael Bublé. Bubbles has made a career of knocking off Christmas albums so you can give another CD…
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