Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sideswipe

By Ana Samways

Like so many busy people in our hectic world, Ahmed Zaoui has had to resort to a diary co-ordinator to handle his heavy demands. The information comes from the good folk at Zaoui Volunteers in their latest email to friends. "We ask you for your continued support of Ahmed and his family at this very uncertain time," it opens. It then tells us his lawyer, Deborah Manning, is going overseas to see witnesses who cannot be briefed from New Zealand. But, in the meantime, "if you live in Auckland, please feel free to invite Ahmed to your homes or favourite place for coffee, lunch, dinner. If you would like to join him for dinner at the Priory also let us know. For efficiency reasons, please call Ahmed’s diary coordinator, Sarah on 836 5509 or email at zaoui_volunteers@xtra.co.nz." Sideswipe is seeking suggestions for Zaoui’s diary. Email them to newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz and we’ll make sure they get to Sarah.

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Small differences: A reader clicked on the Woolworths online store and tried to order Lisas Hummus. Up popped a pic of Kylie Minogue.

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It’s good to know they even have petrol problems in civilised Scandinavia. The chauffeur with Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf in northern Norway drove away from a petrol station without paying for his fuel, the palace admitted. The King and Queen Silvia have a cabin in Norway’s Troendelag region, which they routinely visit at Easter. On their way home from a day’s outing last month, the royals stopped to fill up. Their driver went in to pay and buy sweets but drove off after paying only for the candy. "As you do, he went to pay and didn’t think separately about paying for petrol," palace spokeswoman Ann-Christine Jernberg said. "When you pay with your credit card, you sometimes just sign ... It was really a mistake." The bill was paid after the owner of the petrol station at Graamyra south of Levanger contacted the palace in Stockholm.

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Reader Kerry Bax sent in this news: "In 1996 when my children were 7 and 10 years old we had a holiday in the Bay of Islands. One of the highlights was to be a dolphin encounter. Unfortunately the weather was bad on the day of the boat trip and we never got to see dolphins. But Fullers gave us a voucher for a repeat trip, which could be redeemed at any time in the future. We never went back to the Bay of Islands so the voucher just sat in a drawer until my daughter (now 17) had a friend visiting from Wales in April. One of her dreams was to swim with dolphins. I found the voucher, and they took it with them on their trip up north. The woman at the booking office was surprised to see the age of the voucher and commented that although they had no way of checking it because it was issued before their computer booking system, they would honour it. On the trip itself the guide mentioned that if the group did not see dolphins they would get a voucher to return another time and pointed out my daughter as an example of the system working, saying that she had last been on the trip when she was 7 years old! This time the girls were lucky and had a wonderful dolphin experience." Good on you, Fullers.

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One for trivia experts is this email doing the rounds: Check your computer this Thursday at two minutes and three seconds after 1 am. The time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. That won’t ever happen again.

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