Here's more food for thought.

 I had planned to base my column this week on a few questions like: 

How is it that Trump can be in charge of the USA? 

Who is Jared Kushner and what has this man to do with anything?

How can people with little or no training in a subject be convinced of the absolute veracity of their adopted position on it.

How does God feel about the various reactions of differing groups of his flock to the current pandemic, notwithstanding that believers, of any creed, must attribute the very existence of the crisis to the object of their worship?

But in all probablility the very act of reading these questions has caused a reaction in you, the reader, and you can probably guess, if you've a mind to, my opinions on the matters.

So, in terms of my brief which is to highlight issues which I believe deserve attention - job done. Your brief is to write letters to the editor outlining your stance on the issues and expressing your support for, or opposition to mine.

On a lighter note, here at home we pretty well worked our way through the list of jobs to be done around the house in the first week of lock-down, so then we ran a cooking competition: Each family member chose a country and prepared a meal in the style of that country. I went first with Indian, Charlotte (10) took on Mexican with 'Taco Thursday', Oliver (16) chose Italian, and Nikki (undisclosed)  blitzed us all with French. There is a scoring system but it evolved as we went along , and so I scored zero for 'interpretation and ambience' because I had no idea it was even a thing at the time. The kids and I cooked our meals under close instruction from one of the many food delivery providers, complete with pre-measured ingredients and step by step instructions. This was cooking by numbers and it all went pretty much according to plan.

Then, having consulted a number of rather high-brow recipe books, my wife stepped in to the kitchen at about midday yesterday to begin the French Odyssey. The cooker in our rented house has never been great but it chose yesterday to become downright enigmatic. By four o'clock in the afternoon the soufflés had risen too quickly and subsequently fallen, the onion tart had burnt on the top whilst remaining steadfastly raw at the bottom, and the citron tart for dessert was in immediate danger of becoming airborne. In response to the crescendo of  Nikki's imploring the cooker simply to do its job followed by incantations and threats towards its impending demise, I came out of the office in time to see her disappear outside and utter a yell of sheer frustration which can only have alarmed the neighbours. I gave it a couple of minutes and then went and sat next to her in silence on the back step. After a suitable length of time had passed we talked over the events of the afternoon and she thanked me for not laughing. 

Showing her usual resourcefulness and style, Nik went on to produce a beautiful three course meal complete with continental ambience which must surely take top spot in our competition, although the results ceremony has yet to take place.

With regard to the questions above, I'm just thankful to be in New Zealand where we can weather this storm guided by a leader who pays due regard to science and common sense, and is not afraid to act decisively and be accountable.


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