Saturday, August 18, 2018


History rhymes. At the end of last month a boat exploded off Herald Island, lighting the sky & waking locals. In the same week 75 years earlier, an American plane on a secret mission crashed just off the island. The plane was flying Japanese & Thai women from NZ internment to freedom.

When they took off from Whenuapai airport, the pilot & crew of the Liberator Express were suffering that most serious mechanical problem, fatigue. They forgot to check their altimeter, & the wartime blackout & a storm meant they could steer by neither stars nor city lights.

Some of the Japanese civilians died in the wreck of the Liberator; others waded through the Waitemata, towards Herald Island. Islanders saw fire, & heard shouting in the enemy's language, & decided that the invasion must have begun. They hid from the bleeding & burnt women.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Technical problems

My laptop melted as soon as I'd returned from Tonga, and has been doing strange things to my account and to the homepage of this blog. I'll sort it all out early next week, when I have a new machine and a childless study, but I wanted to mention that I've continued to tweet during my absence from blogland.