Magnified Modernity

You know you’re getting on in years when…you have to buy a magnifying glass. Yep, that’s right, today I purchased my first ever magnifying glass. Not for scientific research, I’m sorry to say,  but in order to read teeny tiny print. Lately I’ve found myself muttering things like “why do they have to make the letters/numbers so damn small?” when looking at print on various objects. For example, my beautiful, sexy, perfectly designed new iPod Touch. It has, apparently, writing on the back of it at the bottom, which is barely visible, much less readable. I can only assume that they don’t want me to know whatever it is – it’s so unreadably petite that it may as well be in Swahili. The iPod also came with free engraving, so I had “Suzanne’s sweet, sweet music” engraved on the back of it. Lovely – I can barely read it, but thank you anyway. But that’s not what prompted the magnifying glass purchase – it was having to read the serial and model number on a malfunctioning headset that drove me to it.

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Crossing the Ditch

Crossing the ditch (or ten great reasons to love Wellington). 1. No humidity. 2. No humidity. 3. No humidity. 4…you get the idea. I was recently in Sydney, and found it a tad warm. Traveling between New Zealand and Australia, in either direction, is known to the locals as “crossing the ditch” – quite a charming expression, redolent of our rural connections, in both countries. Of course, the ditch is actually a fairly vast chunk of ocean about 2000 miles wide, but still, Australia is the closest big country to New Zealand, so we make the journey frequently.

Back to the heat…for those of you from colder climes, you know you’re in a humid place when you get that horribly annoying little bead of sweat that runs straight down your spine – it doesn’t pass GO, it doesn’t collect $200, it just heads south, like a dripping tap, and I’m not even going to contemplate where it ends up. (Clue – a place you mustn’t scratch in public). The other big clue that you might be in Sydney is that every local you meet has a whine about the weather…”I don’t mind the heat, it’s the humidity I can’t stand“. Ad nauseum. Which, by the way, is how the sticky heat is likely to make you feel, especially if you’ve been at a merry social gathering involving slabs of meat charred over a flame, outdoors, on a hot day, washed down with a bucket of wine. How I longed for a southerly – a refreshing breeze from the South Pole, possibly going 138 kph for good measure. I even recalled, from Wellington’s 2011 winter, the headline that read “Polar Blast coming our way” – happy days, happy days.

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