Friday, 30 January 2015


Well I know which version I like better.

I wonder if it was one of these MuncHkins who hanged himself on set?


Check this out:

 Well I've been work -ing really hard,

a bit - of a change for me.

But it's been a ni -ce chall -enge

and tho -roughly satis -fact -ory.
So, Roll me easy ....etc.

I love this song. The nice guitar works and Lowell's smooth singing just hit the spot.

Things have been going OK work-wise. I like a bit of a challenge and at last there are some things to do. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to do a Bob The Twit routine and work double and treble shifts, I'm just going to fill in those 20 hours a week I do in a worthwhile way while leaving the rest of the time to 'smell the roses'

I'm off to the UK in a couple of weeks on business and after that will take some leave and visit The Old Girl in Toronto. Magic.

Monday, 26 January 2015


* For Robert to whom I've been a bit mean to recently, making fun of his religion.

To continue the weekend activity theme, this weekend I spent time at my Northland house.

The tenants we have there have become friends and, as we have lots of room (a separate two bedroom living area at the rear of the house), they encourage me to come up any weekend I choose.
I bought a car from them and leave it there.

Rod drives into town to collect me from the bus on Saturday mornings and drives me back on Sunday evenings. This weekend I stayed through until Monday as it was Auckland Anniversary weekend. Magic.

On Saturday Rod and I walked around the bay and up a few hills. The views from the track across Whangarei Harbour are pretty special.

On Sunday we did the Mount Manaia walk.

Having done the "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" midday walk on Rangitoto and Waiheke recently I decided that 9AM should be the latest we headed out. As it turned out 7AM would have been better.
It was hot but the walk (climb) is great and the rewarding views from the top make it all worthwhile.

View from top of Mt Manaia over McLeod Bay where I live

To get to the top requires walking/climbing over 400 metres.
After the massive storm in 2011 which washed out a lot of the track an expensive (and very worthwhile) rebuild has put in a bridge across a new ravine and over 1,000 steps.

Here's 39 of them - 961+ to go (literary allusion for Richard of RBB)

The geology at the top is impressive, weird and interesting.

There is an exhilarating natural viewing platform about three quarters of the way up where you can walk out to the edge of a flat rock and look out. "look out' is apt as there is a 300 plus metre drop off at the end of the  downwardly sloping rock. It is one of those 'funny feelings in the goolies' places which I've experienced when parachuting, parapenting, climbing scaffolds or looking over the cliffs of Mhor.

This was a great walk and one I like to do every month or so.
The thing that 'gobsmacks' me is that it is on my doorstep. To get to the start of the walk it is a simple walk along the road, up the hill at the end of our road for about a quarter of a mile.
Admittedly when arriving at the start of the walk which shares a carpark with the Maniaia Club of which I'm a member there is always the internal debate - 'nice cold glass of wine or beer or a mountain climb?' - that goes on but at least I go walking during the day and not the evening which makes it easier.

After the walk, when I got home I changed into my swimming gear and stepped into the water at the end of our drive (across the road) and luxuriated in cooling (but not too cold as I am a wuss), refreshing and beautifully clear water for about a half an hour pondering why on earth I don't live up here all year round.



This is a musical installation on the Waiheke Sculpture trail.
Telephone wires set ot on a hillside with music emanating from them.

I don't know how it works but it's neat.

Saturday, 24 January 2015


I went to Waiheke Island today to view the Headland Sculpture display.
This is at Matiatia Bay where the ferries dock and runs along the headland in and out of regenerated bush to Church Bay.

There are over 30 sculptures some of them really large installations and the walk is at least a couple of kilometres.

It was stunning.

This is a world class 'exhibition' and it was free.

The walk itself is great with views out over the Hauraki gulf and Waitemata harbour but with the sculptures in the foreground makes for pure magic.

The sculptures range from massive to small; elegant to bizarre; clever to pretentious but most with a great sense of 'place', using the beautiful setting well.

The huge metal dandelions are one of my favourites with the clever depiction of the flower seeds  being  separated by wind.

This mirror sculpture was outstanding. at certain angles the installation almost disappeared, merging with the sky and clouds. The pole mirrors stood really high but somehow were sympathetic with the surroundings as they reflected all about them.

This metal flower tent was both grand and elegant.
You can climb inside and see out towards Rangitoto. It was my favourite.

This spiral project is a great example of something striking that comes from a very simple concept. The lines are 'drawn' using duct tape - lots of it - pinned down to a hillside. It is visible from the gulf and epitomises creative thinking.

This mock cellar door reflects the island's wine history and was really quite clever.

This was just a bit weird.

This one, made of painted cloth strips looked like a grape vine and suited the location. Simple and clever.

All of the sculptures are for sale but of course, given that this is Waiheke and a tourist mecca , they are very expensive but what the hell. This is a great showcase.

Leaving and returning to Auckland's ferry terminal we go past this tribute to greed.

The Serene (should be renamed Obscene) is the $400 million plaything of a Russian billionaire.

Apparently he has made most of his money by owning Stolychnaya vodka.

They would have us believe that it comes from this:

The reality is that this huge wealth is based on this.