Wobbling into the New Year

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

Personally I like a relaxing, low-key summer break. If I can avoid becoming a news story for a bored and embittered journalist who has to work while others play, then it’s a success.

However, I do really appreciate the efforts some people go to do things a bit differently and provide the rest of us with something to talk about around the barbecue.

These are the alternative holiday stories.

Only in Australia

We’ll start off with one of those only-in-Australia stories.

Poor old Luke Voskresensky was found naked and living off snails in amongst crocodile infested mangroves, near Darwin on Sunday.

Nine reported that a couple of likely lads were out in their tinny fishing for crabs when they found Luke. Fortunately one of these lads was wearing his undies at the time so was able to lend the luckless Luke his shorts.

Luke claimed to have got lost on his way back from a New Year’s Eve party. The truth later emerged that he had slipped his ankle bracelet and his bail conditions and was wanted by police.

The food must be bad in prison over there.

Social experiments

Closer to home, New Zealanders were once again proving to the world just how clever you have to be to avoid a pandemic.

This revolved around a trial in Whangamata on New Year’s Eve where 3000 youths were first sterilised with alcohol before being sent out onto the streets to mingle.

At one point they were divided into two groups with one lot standing two metres away from the others – on top of Blackies Café to be exact – while the control group simply roamed around yelling and bumping into things.

The trial was a huge success as it proved conclusively that large groups of youths dosed with alcohol are so offensive that the general population naturally maintains a huge social distancing gap.

Lockdown loopholes

Far away from home, England is going into its third lockdown as a new, more infectious strain of Covid-19 puts huge pressure on its medical resources.

Anyone who thought 2021 was going to be different to last year when it comes to this pandemic probably hadn’t thought ahead. Hopefully by the middle of the year we will be making some serious progress on beating this thing but right now, it is raging out of control like never before.

Anyway, I will be leaving my role as editor of The Weekend Sun in a few weeks (although still writing this column) and my replacement is set to wing his way from the UK in about a week.

So I was checking the rules of this new lockdown and came across quite a few loopholes.

For example you can still attend funerals, weddings, church services and even visit a rest home, provided you follow some guidelines.

And you can exercise with one other person. Now this is where it gets interesting.

What if everyone chooses to exercise with Ed Sheeran? Isn’t that just a concert?

Leap of faith

Meanwhile, it seems New Zealand’s health system is also under pressure, especially in Gisborne, although for no particular reason.

The pressure is actually more of a raised eyebrow thing after, earlier this week, a patient was able to smash her way out of a hospital room window, climb out on the ledge and jump one storey to the ground.

She was quite badly injured and had to drag herself to the Emergency Department 200 metres away. Her boyfriend is furious hospital staff didn’t keep a closer eye on their patient.

Push comes to shove

Also, spare a thought for the Coastguard who helped out at a fire on Rat Island, or Motuopuhi Island on Saturday.

The water is quite shallow in the inner harbour so a bit of extra manpower was needed and nothing escapes the eagle-like eyes of SunLive readers.

"The fire service are putting the fire out and the coastguard is helping them," says the reader.

"But the coastguard boat seems to be stuck. They are all out in their gumboots giving the boat a push."

Thanks for the feedback

Finally, a big thankyou to everyone who responded to our survey about font and type size last week. It has given us a really clear idea of how important it is to readers. There was some very positive feedback in there too and a fairly clear winner when it came to the preferred font.

We will work our way through that process over the next few weeks and let you all know.

In the meantime, if you are on holiday, steer clear of the mangroves and the snails, use the stairs and stay off the roof.


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