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The Star Book Review

May 7, 2024 May 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on The Star Book Review

By Brenda Channer

In 2020, during lockdown, did you drag a chair to the end of your driveway with a coffee or glass of wine in hand to commune with your neighbours from a “safe” distance of an evening?

“Fourteen Days,” edited by Douglas Preston and Margaret Attwood, gives us a distinctly New York take on that notion. 

Residents of a small Manhattan apartment building gather on the roof, keeping their distance and reluctantly wearing masks. Initially they gather to applaud emergency workers at 7:00 p.m. each night but ultimately remain for the company – the price of which is to tell a story.

36 different authors contribute these stories as the initially prickly characters gradually become vulnerable to one another. Anchored by the narration of the building superintendent they share stories of love and loss, of ghosts and adventure, of travel and mystery.

Who is the author of which story is unknown until you flip to the back of the book – you can check the list as you go or decide to keep it a mystery until the end!

I was intrigued by the concept of the novel’s construction and attracted by the quality of the 36 contributing writers – John Grisham, Celest Ng, Diana Gabaldon, R.L. Stine, Emma Donaghue, Margaret Attwood and 30 more! It did not disappoint, and I found myself drawn into their little community, wondering who would tell a story next.

Unsurprisingly there are many different styles to the storytelling as befits the different personalities of the characters, including poetry and song.

There is a twist in the tale too which firmly reminded me that this is a pandemic novel. 

It made me pause and reflect on that time in the not too distant past and how it has changed us all.

Available at your local bookshop.

News from First Church

May 7, 2024 May 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on News from First Church

If you should find yourself driving semi-aimlessly up the east coast on the Ponatahi or equivalent charming back road, you will be struck by the sheer number of small parish churches which are mouldering into obscurity – usually because the congregations that used to bolster them have evaporated or the earthquake code has rendered them uninhabitable. 

Gone are the days when a fledgling community armed with mattocks and horse drawn farm equipment, built their first homes, closely followed by the mandatory place of worship.

Until superceded by the rugby clubs, these small churches of the late nineteenth century were the vibrant centre of gravity of these communities both for serious worship and social activity.

First Church was no exception. Pews were full and people got down on their knees. 

A rough (but not comprehensive) litany of local churches that have bitten the dust in the rush to secularisation includes St. Anthony’s, Gospel Hall, Burnside, Mauriceville, Hinekura, Morrisons Bush, Kahutara, Kaiwaiwai, etc. 

First Church is not under immediate threat _ but serious decisions relating to the building’s integrity are just around the corner. … Continue Reading

Martinborough fire season still controlled

May 7, 2024 May 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Martinborough fire season still controlled

Fire brigade medical responders hand over to LifeFlight at Lake Ferry. 

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires both rural and in town. 

There is still a lot of dry vegetation about so please be careful even when you have a permit. For details: www.checkitsalright.nz. 

The brigade are actively looking for both some new firefighters and some medical responders, especially during daytime hours when we lose people to the “Big Smoke” and out of town for work. We are very adaptable around your availability, and if you can help daytimes we can pretty much cover the evening and nights.

Benefits to you, your family or employer, are the opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills, perhaps increase your physical fitness and the opportunity to work with a great bunch of people, who are often the first point of call in an emergency in your community. 

Not only that: we will fully equip you and train you for free!

Grab one of Martinborough’s firefighters for a chat if you see them around town (they might even buy you a coffee), or pop in on a Tuesday night when we are training.

We are at over 110 call-outs already this year, the majority being for our specialist Medical Response Unit, so we are definitely on target to beat last year’s 350 call total.

As the cooler autumn nights approach, we are all thinking about lighting our fires and relaxing in their glow, so make sure your chimney receives an annual sweep/clean, and always dispose of hot ashes in a metal container away from any flammable materials, like the outside decks.

Be careful on the roads as conditions change and please wear a seat belt.

Country Dog City Dog

May 7, 2024 May 2024, Regular Features Comments Off on Country Dog City Dog

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Sports

Martinborough WFC: First-ever home game

The all-important stats: Result: Irrelevant, but Martinborough Women scored at least 2 good goals. Enjoyment factor: as a spectator 10/10 Enjoyment Factor: as a player: 11/10 Effort and commitment: off the scale. Possession: Marty 58%; the opponents in Green: at times a bit less Shots on target: 3; goals 2. …

Martinborough Golf

By Karen Stephens An annual favourite, the Beef & Burgundy Ambrose held on Friday 10 May, saw a great turnout in favourable conditions (thank goodness it wasn’t the previous day when winter arrived with full force!)  Top honours went to the team of Michael Bing, Shane Colton, Tiawharangi Aranui, and …

Golf clubhouse fundraising builds up

An amazing fundraising day for the new clubhouse was held on April 19 when 34 teams took to the course in an ambrose tournament. The winners on the day with net 54.87 were Taylor Dewis, Robbie Robinson, Tom de Groen and Liam Richardson.  The longest drive for men went to …

Regular Features

From The Mayor

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FIRE BRIGADE REPORT – Call-out milestone: SIX each week

Martinborough’s Volunteer Fire Brigade crews reached the 150 call-out milestone in May. That’s an average …

Matariki and family key to Aratoi winter exhibits

This season, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History has a group of exhibitions that …

THE STAR BOOK REVIEW

By Brenda Channer – Martinborough BookShop “Why Do Horses Run?” There is a maxim among …

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