Footrot Flats is something of a New Zealand treasure. It's a daily newspaper strip about the misadventures of sheep farmer Wal and his dog, Dog. The strip's been running for decades and, at its peak of popularity, was published in nwspapers around the world. It was reprinted in book collections [Titan used to publish these in Britain - alas, no more] and inspired everything from a theme park to an animated movie. That film was a huge hit in New Zealand and Australia. Best of all, it's recently been released on DVD. Admittedly the disc is Region 4 coded, but any sane DVD owner these days has a multi-region player, so that's not a problem for most people. If you get the chance, I recommend watching Footrot Flats - a true slice of Kiwiana.
My copy arrived on Tuesday, only a week after I ordered it from the redoubtable www.marbecks.co.nz website. The joys of a generous exchange rate meant I got Footrot Flats, the double-disc DVD of another much loved NZ film Goobye Pork Pie, the new Bic Runga CD birds and a 6-CD plus DVD collection of NZ rock - all for under a hundred quid. As they like to say back home in Aotearoa: 'Choice!'
While I'm here, I also want to give a big shout to Sun-Maid Raisins. These little boxes of joy were a staple ingredient in my school lunches. When I saw a big of 18 boxes lurking on the shelves at the nearest supermarket recently, I couldn't resist trying them again. It's amazing how a tiny cardboard box full of raisins can transport you back 30 years in time. I don't need to be plunged into a coma to relive the past, a packet of Sun-Maid will do it. Just one question: how big is that girl's bonnet?