The Unintentional Time Capsule

In August 25 years ago, we packed up our little house and family and moved to a bigger house, to await the arrival of our second child later in the year.

In August this year, we are hopeful of selling our bigger house and moving to a smaller house located by the sea.  This has meant the inevitable “Danish Death Clean” of sorting through the accumulation of 25 years of family life and deciding what should be kept and what should be binned or gifted or sold.

‘Trademe’ is a wonderful thing around about now in the process and this morning I have packaged up some glass lightshades to send to Invercargill.  The courier charge is more than the purchase price, but I feel good about upcycling things that are useful to someone else.  Turns out, these particular items have been in their box ever since we moved here, because they are packed in newspaper dated August 1993.

So an unintentional time capsule dated August 10, 1993, irresistible to delve into.

Unfortunately the front page was not used for packaging, so our snapshot starts on page 3 of Section 1.

Australia has agreed to pay Nauru $137 million in compensation for environmental damaged caused by phosphate mining – NZ likely to be called upon to pay our share – maybe $29 million.   The East Tamaki Dairy Company is paying out $6.60/kg of milkfat – the second highest ever.  Tatua paid $6.62, while Tui Milk Products of the Manawatu is paying $6.42.  In 1993. Equivalent to $10.84 in 2018.  And we wonder whether there should be an investigation in to Fonterra?

A world renowned scientist, Professor David Lloyd, remains seriously ill, suspected victim of poisoning.  We know how that turned out.  He died, and his partner was found guilty of murder.

NZ Guardian Trust (do they even exist any more?) has reduced their floating interest rate to 9.25%, residential mortgages remain at 8.25%.    Current mortgage rates today?  Somewhere between 3 & 5%.

The Wellington Men’s Club is voting on whether to allow women to join.  The vote had been postponed from last year’s AGM. Don’t know what happened.  Don’t care.

Some things just keep repeating.

Violent crime has risen but solved offences have also risen – both political parties claiming a victory!  Mr Banks (John) described the level of violent crime as a “national disgrace” but claimed that the increased front-line police numbers helped, as did merging police and traffic safety.  Mr Moore said only Mr Bolger could not see the link between unemployment and violent crime.

The weekend road toll of 10 was the first double-figure weekend since the introduction of breath-testing.  Excessive speed and alcohol were factors in 5 of the 7 accidents.  Nothing has changed.

Rump steak was $6.95/kg at Countdown, and you could get a Wohnsiedler wine to go with it for $5.45 a bottle.   Chiquita bananas $1.49/kg – price this week $2.00/kg (according to the Reserve Bank $1.49 should be $2.45 now – bananas have got cheaper!   Fresh Australian naval oranges were 69c/kg, Big Softie sliced white bread 99c.  You could escape the NZ winter for 8 days in Bali for $1,199, or Cairns for $1,115.

Meantime, out in the wider world…

Some white South Africans are outraged by the selection of a black Miss South Africa (apartheid officially ended in mid-1991). Storms kill hundreds around the globe – tropical storm Bret in Caracas, a typhoon in South Korea, typhoon Robyn looming down on Japan, where floods and mudslides have already killed 45 people.  Bangladesh having fresh flooding.  Always.

Buckingham Palace decides to limit the number of tickets available to 4,500 a day – fund raising for the £40m repair bill for Windsor Castle after the fire.  Souvenir sales outstripped ticket revenue.

A judge in South Australia caused outrage by saying the it was acceptable for a man to use rougher than usual handling to convince his wife to have sex.  (‘ROUGHER THAN USUAL’ – who are these people?) Things really have changed a great deal since then. That report is side-by-side with a former call-girl’s ‘lathery account of a hot-tub-a-tois with an actress and a beefcake actor’, followed by some fairly lurid if somewhat superfluous detail. Double standard?  I think so.

The son of an IRA politician was killed when a gunman shot about 30 shots through the window of the house, while rockets kill people in Kabul.  25 years ago…

The editor comments on the bluster of currently elected members of Parliament eager to retain a first-past-the-post electoral process.  They claim they can make improvements within the current system; the editor points out they could but they haven’t.  The debate about MMP continues to this day.  MJ Hayward of Papatoetoe writes “any working people who vote for this Government need their heads read,” lamenting the impact of the Employment Contracts Act on workers now without any security of employment or future.  TJS of New Lynn says “A fitting epitaph of the “trust us” budget will surface when the grapes of wrath are harvested on election day.”  In the end, National retained power.  It was the first election contested by the NZ First Party.

In sporting news, Jonah Lomu led Wesley to their second NZ Secondary School Sevens Rugby title, scoring a hat-trick of tries.  Australia beat England, India beat Sri Lanka.  Nothing changes in cricket.  The Benson & Hedges Tennis Open begins on January 10 with significantly increased prize money.

You could get up to $1,000 trade-in on your old TV (up to 10 years old and in good condition) and buy a new 29” for $3,699 (includes cabinet) or $2,699 after trade-in. YES.  Your front loading infra-red remote video recorder a mere $849, a Panasonic Microwave $949.

Meantime, in the business section, Sir Tom Clark steps down from the board of Ceramco at age 77.  The directors of the same company, including Mr Alan Gibbs, declared themselves strongly opposed to “the spectre of mixed member proportional representation” and the “ominous” party list system.  Hmmmm, me thinks thou dost protest too much.  Clearly MMP seen as a threat to the stranglehold of power held by white middle-class men.

The NZ sharemarket report reads like a ghost story.  ANZ, BNZ, Brierley, Carter Holt Harvey, Ceramco, DB Group, Fay Richwhite, Fletcher Challenge, Huttons Kiwi, Kiwi Gold, Lion Nathan, McConnell Dowell, PDL, Telecom, Whitcoulls, Wilson Neil… all gone.  Gobbled up by globalisation and greed.

Notebook computers – all models including 486 processors, 4 Mb ram, 120 Mb hard disc. This is not a mistake. Megabyte.  Not Gigabyte – that had probably not been invented… priced from $3,475.

Headline story in the Computer News section – “Screen Magic for Travellers.  Once in a rare while, technology produces an item that makes you wonder whether the Star Trek notion of Scotty beaming people around the universe on a stream of atoms is really that far-fetched. Hands-on control of video conferencing units on display at the Telecommunications Users Assn conference last week had that sort of effect not experienced since the arrival of the remote control device more than a decade ago….Now the gear is here – British Telecom (priced from $40,000 – $180,000)…  Airlines are likely to see international and domestic business trips drop off – for the same reason that some corporations reckon videoconferencing systems could pay for themselves in a couple of months”.  Indeed. Or just buy a smart phone.

At the movies you could see Aladdin, Last Action Hero, Kuffs, Cliffhanger, Passenger 57, Indecent Proposal or Blade Runner – possibly the only one that survives in DVD stores today.

The Tuesday travel section makes no mention what so ever of cruising.  You could fly to London for $2,095 with House of Travel, or $2,449 with Air NZ.  You can book a flight today for $1,400 – it ought to be $3,400.  The best of times to travel is right now, clearly.  56 cities in America had banned smoking in restaurants and workplaces.  The Smithsonian in Washington is asking for donations for the first time in 150 years.

The good old days?  Maybe, just maybe, they were.  Food was cheap, TV’s were expensive.  Sounds like the right priorities to me.

HZ Herald 10 August 1993. Upcycled back then as wrapping paper creating an unintentional time capsule to divert me from the task of tidying up

 

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About Ngaire Wallen

Landscape designer, thinker, partner, mother, reader, wanna-be writer keen to inflict my thoughts on the world.
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