Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Yesterday evening I sat out on the deck at sunset and enjoyed a glass or two of wine as I was waiting for my pizza to cook.

I set the iPad to Bluetooth and connected to the Bluetooth speaker that The Old Girl brought up with her a couple of weeks ago. This is a great little device and now enables me to find favourite pieces of music on YouTube and listen to it in high quality sound.

YouTube has a 'mix' choice where when you select an artist or genre you can suffix with 'mix' and get a selection that runs on one after the other. I chose Maria Callas and had her beautiful voice souring out from the kitchen to the deck with lovely arias from Norma, La Traviata. La Wally, Madame Butterfly etc.

As I was sitting quietly at the deck table I noticed some little birds getting closer. Normally they've gone to bed at this time and then when Callas sang "ebben? ne andrĂ² lontana" from La Wally -

 - a blackbird flew up onto the deck rail and sat there listening. It turned its head inquisitively during the song and flew away again when it was finished.


The Tui that had been in the garden earlier in the afternoon didn't show up. This didn't surprise me as Tuis are so vain they don't accept that anything or anyone else can sing as well as them.

Friday, 19 October 2018


I like John Oliver. His retakes of the news are insightful and very funny.

Have a look via the link below at his latest review of Facebook. He exposes the danger this poorly controlled behemoth does with a particular focus on Myanmar. In Facebook's headlong charge to capture the Myanmar market they didn't do enough due diligence and effectively became the default news medium for millions of people giving legitimacy to dangerous extremism and racist and ethnic profiling.

The fake Facebook advertisement at the end of the programme is spot on:


I subscribe to  OPEN CULTURE which has very interesting articles on many subjects including art, history, literature, religion and music.

Here's a couple of good ones that turned up overnight:



Friday, 12 October 2018


My lovely cat Willow died this morning. She was 19 years old and has been a big part of our lives interacting with friends and family who will all miss her.

She has had some health problems recently and over the last few days these became severe with heart failure being the main contributor. We watched her slip away at the vets.

Watching your laboured breathing
I'm scared to see your last breath
but I'm even more scared to look away and miss it
Goodbye Willow

Monday, 8 October 2018


I watched an old episode of Father Ted last night and thought of Robert when I saw this bit:



I had minor knee surgery today - an arthroscopic debridement which I know sounds like a divorce for an old geezer but was investigative surgery for the meniscal tears I have in the ligaments of my knee.

I say that it was minor surgery but for me who has never had surgery before it was major. The nearest thing I've had before was a couple of colonoscopies which, although invasive (Richard wil attest to this) didn't require full anaesthesia. This was pretty interesting and they rightly take this seriously as the surgeon told me before the op that the cutting was a doddle - it's the anaesthesia you have to worry about. Charming. Maybe it's just a bit of professional sparring. The whole process took a couple of hours - half an hour of which was the surgery. I remember nothing of this which is just as well as I'm a bit of a wuss in this regard and hold my hand over my eyes in any gruesome bits on TV or in films and have never watched any hospital dramas - Dr Finlay's casebook being the closest to that.

"Och, ye're a big Jessie"

The Old Girl is staying up North all this week to care for me - bless her. I'll be OK but it'll be nice having someone to cook my dinner and wait on me hand and foot (not that I'll milk the situation - never!).

Saturday, 6 October 2018


I've just been listening to these guys on National Radio.
Part of the WOMAD festival I think.

Bloody excellent.
No doubt Richard will like this especially the tibetan throat singing.


Just the thing for an early evening on the deck with a glass of wine.

Music in all its forms is wonderful.


Robert in a recent post asked .."Where in the world is Richard?"

Well I was also wondering where in the world are Richard's alter egos who haven't been heard from for some time even from before Richard (of RBB) went to Italy for a holiday.

The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ is known for our investigative capabilities and we set to find out the whereabouts of that rag-tag band.

In alphabetic order here are our findings:

Akish The Philistine

As his name suggests this is Richard's most basic alter ego - a rude, uneducated yob who wouldn't know art if it bit him on the arse. We discovered that Akish is now working for Auckland City Council as arts and culture manager  and goes by the name of  Richard McWha, see: HERE

Angry Jesus

Angry Jesus was called back to base for retraining. "I decided to remove AJ from the blogging community until further notice " said God. "Transparency is important, even more so for members of the holy trinity."

"I have let myself and Dad down and my resignation is the consequence of my errors."I am committed to making the holy trinity more open and ensuring that creatives and innovators in blogging services have a voice at the table without being criticised and abused. I'm proud of the work I have undertaken but accept that some retraining is necessary." said Angry Jesus.

We are sad to report that Bin is very unwell and cannot blog at present.
He became confused and forgot which hand to use when he was picking his teeth and used the wrong one. He is now making a slow recovery from simultaneous bouts of diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, polio and hepatitis.


Bill is missing and no one knows where or when he is. Following a flirtation with The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ, Bill was kidnapped by Richard (of RBB) and his cohorts and was the subject of an intervention. He hasn't been seen or heard from since. Foul play hasn't been ruled out.

Arrested for indecent exposure - 6 months detention in a secure establishment.

Underfunding is suspected with this unit. Results to date were spotty at best and the future doesn't look good.

Not unlike Richard's Bass Bag, Richard's Bass Bag 2 is yesterday's news and hasn't contributed for some time.

If  Richard's Bass Bag 2 is yesterday's news then Richard's Bass Bag 3 is yesterday's news with fish and chips wrapped up in it. A useless appendage like an old man's todger this blog is long past its use-by date.

We'll be generous here and say that as Shaw Thing is a South Island blog, the winter weather has curtailed blogging activity. A quick check though showed that there have been no new posts since December last year. A poor show really.

Fat and lazy was our investigator's conclusion. This blogger slo hasn't posted since Christmas last year and that was pathetic.  We've decided that if Richard himself wasn't such a lazy and erratic blogger he would have culled this blog some time ago.

We at The Curmudgeons Inc.ⓒ don't like to make fun of anyone's disabilities or limitations (except of course religious nutters) but we do wonder why this incomprehensible stutterer ever made it to the blogging community. Our conclusion? Richard (of RBB) needed all the help he could get.

We discovered that The The Guy is working for TV Three news. No-one watches or listens to that anyway.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018


I was in Auckland on the weekend after having been further south in Wellington moving my sister from one house to another.

We went to the Auckland Museum to see the suffrage exhibition - Are We There Yet? or, as I said to The Old Girl - the Uppity Women exhibition. This rewarded me with a severe thump which kind of underscores my comment.

This is put together really well and is well worth seeing if you get the chance. If not there is a similar exhibition I believe at Vogel House in the Hutt.


On the way to the museum as we walked through The Domain we came across these nutters having a bit of a ding dong:

Click on these and enlarge to see what's going on.

Robert will love this as he's the type of person who would get involved in these medieval reenactments.

They were really going at it, bashing each other with the swords emitting grunts and groans that were real. The clanging of sword on helmet I'm sure would have given them headaches. It would have been a hell of a time to live.


Not this one though:

More like this one:

At school dances where the catholic boys would fraternise with the catholic girls from other colleges, nuns with rulers would be on patrol to interfere should any close contact and potential procreation occur.


I'm currently having an ongoing battle with a bird who keeps trying to build a nest above the back door of our house.

The randy little bugger keeps putting the straws back as soon as I get rid of them. This morning the nest was half built and within minutes of me getting rid of it he'd already put back some of the material.

I feel a bit sorry for him as he won't get a mate until he's built a nest for her but there are plenty of trees around he could use.

I feel like one of those nuns with rulers.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Not me this time thank Robert's god.

We have successfully moved my sister from the 3 bedroom house that she has lived in since the 1980s to a 1 bedroom cottage in a kind of gated community.

From this:

To this:

My sister is a bit of a hoarder and every room in the house (3 bedrooms, dining room, lounge, workroom, sunroom and garage) were filled with furniture, dolls, teddy bears and junk.

The lounge was like something out of a Stephen King horror novel

The house was in bad repair and was sold 'as is'. The new owners will do a lot of renovation before moving in. The 'new' cottage although substantially smaller was the same price and, to help cover costs and body corporate charges my other sister put in about $50k to help in the exchange. This cottage, in a really nice community setting should hold value and provide equity for my sister - something that was slipping with the old place.

Over several days we took: 4 large van loads of junk to the tip; 3 van loads to the new place; and 2 van loads to the sallie army. I got rid of many dolls and teddy bears and their accessories along with excess furniture and aforementioned junk. I was feeling a bit mean giving away the dolls and teddy bears and huge amounts of new, unopened goods like gifts, christmas decorations, toiletries etc (my sister has a compulsion to shop even though she has no money) but when we viewed all that was taken to the cottage I wish that I'd got rid of more. We'll have to do another cull sometime soon.

I managed to further injure my knee (I have an investigative operation on this next Monday) and hurt my back so it was a relief to get back home.

I'm sick and tired of house moving and hope that we don't have to do it with our house up north or Auckland apartment anytime soon.


Yesterday evening I sat out on the deck at sunset and enjoyed a glass or two of wine as I was waiting for my pizza to cook. I set the iPad...