To begin with, my father’s reconditioned
German keyboard picked up during the war,
with a spiky Gothic ‘o’.
Then, I suppose,
when I was married, the use of Alistair’s:
details forgotten or repressed.
In Dunedin I answered a small ad
and paid £10 for a museum piece
black and upright as a Model T Ford.
Next, a surprise: Barry Crump’s portable
Empire Corona, an honourable
parting substitute for alimony.
It’s rusting at the back of a cupboard
in case it should become collectable –
after all, he had his face on a stamp.
Then my Adler Gabriele: brand-new,
the machine ‘für moderne Menschen’ –
handsome and much cherished, until
the last one, a gift from my mother:
electronic with adjustable spacing
and a self-correct facility;
so efficient that for years I spurned
computers. Of them I shall say nothing.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.