Even columnists have holidays - well, sort of - and this one, laptop chained to his ankles, has fled to parts north.
Be careful of what you wish for, or in the case of your columnist, of what you write, whose name you take in vain, or who you summons as if by magic with a mere time-frayed recollection.
There is nothing quite so magnificent as a consort of bagpipes in full throat and, quite by coincidence, the past two Saturdays I've chanced upon the City of Dunedin Pipe Band baring its teeth down in front of the dentistry school on Great King St.
Thirty years ago last Wednesday, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York apartment. At that time, I was paying the rent by working in a trendy whole-food complex in Covent Garden, London.
Panting at the heels of one of the biggest international security stories in recent years, a dogged news hound has discovered that New Zealand is mentioned in dispatches after all.
It takes a tragedy to bring out the poetic soul of the nation. Or so it would seem from the effusion of versifying that has emerged in the wake of the terrible Pike River mine disaster.
There is a little bit of West Coaster in all of us. So remarked Paul Holmes on Sunday morning during an interview with Greymouth Mayor Tony Kokshoorn. He was, of course, alluding to the way in which the unfolding tragedy at the Pike River Coal mine touches us all.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, turkeys do vote for Christmas.
Now where were we when we were so rudely interrupted by all that commotion about the little folk?
Some members of the Government can hardly believe their good fortune at the utter mess the union movement has got itself into over the Hobbit saga.
Gosh, what will we all do with our spare time now that the carnival is over?
On March 25, 1940, John Alfred Alexander Lee, son of Dunedin, delinquent, World War 2 hero, writer and "bolshie" activist was expelled from Michael Joseph Savage's Labour Party.
It's not difficult to see why they call it the lucky country: the sun shines, the people smile and the word recession, much less meltdown, is nowhere to be found in the local vernacular.
The thing about hypocrisy is that its unmistakable odour offends the most disparate of sensibilities, political and otherwise. Only the blindly devoted supporters of David Garrett and Rodney Hide cannot see how they have hoisted themselves with their own petard.
After the shock came the earthquake.
There is nothing that gets the blood boiling quite so much as hooning young people in fast cars who break the law with monotonous regularity and raise a big fat finger to authority and society in the process.
I've been mooching about on the information super-highway of late and more than once found the stall warning lights sounding: overload, overload, pull up, pull up!
We are all victims now.
It was as predictable as it was inevitable that the arrival of the first dead soldier home from Afghanistan would raise the issue of New Zealand's continued role in that country.
When I rang my friend Mike, novelist, playwright and screenwriter, to commiserate with him over the latest setback in the project that had consumed him for seven or eight years, I expected him to be down in the dumps.