Saturday, 8 May 2021



OK, here's a scenario.

The Curmudgeon is about to knock on heaven's door. He knows that it's late but hopes that Saint Peter will let him in. As he arrives St Peter is about to lock up:

The Curmudgeon: Whew! Just made it.

Saint Peter: Hold on Sunshine we're closed.

The Curmudgeon: What? Why?

Saint Peter: Sorry but we're full. Where do you hail from?

The Curmudgeon: New Zealand.

Saint Peter: Hey, there's a coincidence! The guy who got the last place was from New Zealand.

The Curmudgeon: Whaaaa...! Was his name Robert?

Saint Peter: Hold on, I'll check. St Peter consults his register. Ummmmm .....  no ... his name was Richard Bagg.

The Curmudgeon: Richard Bagg? You don't mean Richard of Richard's Bass Bag do you?

Saint Peter: Mmmm. He consults the register again. Hard to tell the way you kiwis mumble but that could be right.

The Curmudgeon: But that can't be right. Richard had a place reserved in Hell, or at least that's what Robert told him.

Saint Peter: No, Richard seems to have covered all of his options. I have it down here in the register. He never missed Sunday Mass and helped Father Orange with his sermons.

The Curmudgeon: What the fuck!

Saint Peter: And he never used an exclamation mark when a question mark was required. He ...

The Curmudgeon: Yeah, yeah, he was a grammar saint. What else?

Saint Peter: Well he helped out in the church shop. I have it here that takings went up enormously - or at least that's what he told me.

The Curmudgeon:  Did he handle the weekly collection by any chance?

Saint Peter: Yes, I have it here - he volunteered to do that - consulting the ledger again - there were some discrepancies but  that was probably an accounting glitch. We don't understand why he had to take the money home to count it though, but, there's dedication for you.

The Curmudgeon: Jesus.

Saint Peter: No, Saint Peter.

The Curmudgeon: Christ!

Saint Peter: No, Jesus Christ, God and that other joker are all away at the moment. I'm the only one left on duty and I need to lock up so if there's nothing else?

The Curmudgeon: Fuck!

Saint Peter: Saint Fuck's nearby. He's helping Richard with his harp lessons. We told him that double basses and violins don't make the grade up here. We're more into harps, banjos, trombones, piano accordions and bagpipes. We've got a hell of a band you know - excuse the pun ha, ha.

The Curmudgeon wanders away.

Saint Peter: Say hello to Nick for me. We went to school together but of course he was in the G classes.

The Curmudgeon: Fuck!

Thursday, 6 May 2021






We've had another beautiful day here. This morning I walked then played tennis and, after tidying up following the deck painting over the last three days I re-arranged all of the pot plants  and put the deck furniture back in place.

I went for a swim and lazed about in the water for ages.

If this was Robert's post it would be minimalist and almost like a haiku thus:

It's almost winter

But walk tennis and swimming

Is OK up north.

Tomorrow I am attending an all-day training seminar for Civil Defence  It's the MH101 workshop.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021


 I've finished the deck painting now and everything is good except that The Old Girl -  "Mrs Picky" pointed out some paint splotches on the deck boards.


Maybe I'll get some kind of deck board paint and have a go at those but then, no doubt, I'll splash some of that paint on the newly painted deck railings (which by then she'll have decided she likes the white paint). You can't win!*

Here's a couple of pics I took after I'd finished and before I went for a swim. At 4PM it was still warm and sunny and the water was great - chilly on first getting in but warm after a while. Marvellous!**

* But you can whine and, also as that's what I plan to do soon, you can wine.

** Sorry for that one word sentence Robert.


 ...... that I'm nearly finished painting the deck railings?

* A little pun there for a Wednesday morning.

Talking of puns, Richard attempted to make one in his comment on my previous post. The paint I'm using is made by Wattyl.

Richard said:

"Well done though I thought that Wattyl came in a bottle."

He was referring to a Monty Python sketch of the Australian philosophers that included the very funny Bruce's Philosophers' Song. 

It finished with the Australian national anthem:

This here's the wattle it's the symbol of our land.

You can stick it in a bottle or hold it in your hand.

'Straya, 'Straya we luv ya!

Talking of deck painting, which I was, unfortunately The Old Girl isn't as enthused with it as I am. "I liked the unfinished, natural look" she said this morning.

O well, she'll just have to live with it. This little ditty came to mind.

This here's the Wattyl paint, it comes in a can.

So what if it mottles mate, remember - I'm the man.

Obviously I didn't say this out loud, certainly not while in her earshot. I think I'm safe as she doesn't read my blog.


Monday, 3 May 2021


 We lucked out with a great day today so I set about preparing and painting the deck railings. We put this deck in years ago and took the builder's advice to let it weather rather than stain or paint the railings. I've never really been happy with the result which is grey coloured timber that clashes with the colour of the house.

I spent about 5 hours today putting the first coat of paint on using Wattlyl Accent

This is good paint that can be used for both undercoat and main coat. I'm hoping that just one more coat will do as I don't fancy two more 5 hour stints. I had to rig up some scaffolding at the high point of the deck and it was bloody hard work reaching up to do the underneath parts. I'd hate to be a painter.

I'm pleased with the result of the undercoat which already gives the deck a bit of a lift.

I finished just before 3PM and decided to leave the main coat for another day. It was hot and sunny and the tide was in so I went in for a swim. This is, I think, the first time that I've gone swimming in May. The water was crisp on first getting in but afterwards was delightful. I stayed in for about a quarter of an hour enjoying the sight of the newly painted deck.

How's your day going?

Sunday, 2 May 2021


 It's a cracker day up here - warm, sunny and no wind. Lovely.*

I took the opportunity of the warm day to paint the wood surrounds that the builder installed for the new porch door. I gave them three coats and now they look magnificent.

After that I scrubbed down the deck railings in preparation for sanding and painting tomorrow. Let's hope that tomorrow's weather will be as good as today's.

I didn't waste time looking in windows, installing useless TV aerials or having coffee meetings with imaginary friends like some other bloggers do. Up north we are bit more serious.

* Robert will get all uppity about the use of a one word sentence but, who cares?

Friday, 30 April 2021


........  Well, I'm not sure about that.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot.

Here's a couple of recent examples from the old duffers Richard of Richard's Bass Bag* and Robert The Inevitable Sinner:




Sorry - did I wake you up?

* An old and out of date bass bagging  site.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021




Robert, on his blog Medievil Renaissance 13th century Rob (don't ask) seems to have discovered a new term and concept - Naturalism. Have a look at his latest post here if you want: ARE NATURALISTS THE NEW ENEMY?

Richard replied to this post with one of his own: FOR GOD'S SAKE!


Right. I guess, like me you are wondering what naturalism is. I looked it up on-line and found a lot of gobbledygook from various christian and catholic sources that only confused rather than enlightened me.  Here's a couple of examples:

A central thought in ontological naturalism is that all spatiotemporal entities must be identical to or metaphysically constituted by physical entities.
- Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
Naturalism, in literature and the visual arts, late 19th- and early 20th-century movement that was inspired by adaptation of the principles and methods of natural science, especially the Darwinian view of nature, to literature and art.
- Brittanica.

Sorry- wrong references. Actually, those two weren't confusing at all. They are concepts from the real world. The ones that confused me are the ones that came from Robert's word - the world of catholic apologists (sorry) and various catholic journals. Here are a couple of examples:

Naturalism is not so much a special system as a point of view or tendency common to a number of philosophical and religious systems; not so much a well-defined set of positive and negative doctrines as an attitude or spirit pervading and influencing many doctrines. As the name implies, this tendency consists essentially in looking upon nature as the one original and fundamental source of all that exists, and in attempting to explain everything in terms of nature. Either the limits of nature are also the limits of existing reality, or at least the first cause, if its existence is found necessary, has nothing to do with the working of natural agencies. All events, therefore, find their adequate explanation within nature itself. But, as the terms nature and natural are themselves used in more than one sense, the term naturalism is also far from having one fixed meaning.
(I) If nature is understood in the restricted sense of physical, or material, nature, naturalism will be the tendency to look upon the material universe as the only reality, to reduce all laws to mechanical uniformities and to deny the dualism of spirit and matter. Mental and moral processes will be but special manifestations of matter rigorously governed by its laws.
(II) The dualism of mind and matter may be admitted, but only as a dualism of modes or appearances of the same identical substance. Nature includes manifold phenomena and a common substratum of the phenomena, but for its actual course and for its ultimate explanation, it requires no principle distinct from itself. In this supposition, naturalism denies the existence of a transcendent cause of the world and endeavours to give a full account of all processes by the unfolding of potencies essential to the universe under laws that are necessary and eternal.
(III) Finally, if the existence of a transcendent First Cause, or personal God, is admitted as the only satisfactory explanation of the world, Naturalism claims that the laws governing the activity and development of irrational and of rational beings are never interfered with. It denies the possibility, or at least the fact, of any transitory intervention of God in nature, and of any revelation and permanent supernatural order for man.

- Catholic Encyclopaedia New Advent



The view that the only reality that exists is nature, so that divine grace is either denied or ignored. Philosophical naturalism claims that human beings were never elevated to a supernatural destiny; they will reach their final destiny by the sole use of their natural, individual, and social powers. Practical naturalism is human conduct that, by excluding prayer and the use of supernatural channels of grace, in effect says that the purpose of human existence is purely natural.

- The Catholic Dictionary

OK, I did warn you.

So why am I bothering with this? It's not really 'naturalism' that I'm interested in. I've noticed recently that Robert, after attending Sunday mass and listening to the sermons by his new priest Father Orange*, then comes out in his blog posts with 'new' ideas and arguments.

Sermon: noun

a talk on a religious or moral subject, especially one given during a church service and based on a passage from the Bible.
"I preached my first sermon on original sin"

a long or tedious piece of admonition or reproof; a lecture.
"he understood that if he said any more he would have to listen to another lengthy sermon"

- Oxford Dictionary
Back in the day, when I attended Sunday mass the sermons were more of the formal ones as in (1) above. The priest would write up something over a couple of whiskies on Saturday night and present it to the congregation the next day. Every church in New Zealand would have had one of these happening and most likely around the world. It is highly likely that similar stories and themes were used in a great many of them but more by coincidence than design.

I suspect that Father Orange's sermons and those promulgated by all of his ilk in New Zealand and around the world are more like the informal example as in (2) above and all carry the same message by design rather than coincidence.

Is this proper? I think it's more like propaganda.

It was quite evident over the last four years of Donald Trump's presidency in the USA that talking points used by Republican senators and congresspeople were exactly the same. The same corny expressions or blatant lies were used by all when they spoke to media. The right wing media also used the same words and expressions (and lies) to the point where it was becoming a bit of a joke. This was organised and contrived by the Republicans led by the odious Mitch McConnell.

I believe that the catholic church has become more media savvy and has copied examples of instant worldwide communication misinformation as practised by political groups, financial corporations, Big Pharma companies, environmental lobbyists, environmental vandals, marketers - and hell - everyone in recent years. The catholic church though isn't new to worldwide communication misinformation as its whole existence has depended on the seeding of lies and complicated constructions (backed up by extreme violence and  standover tactics that Goebbels would have only dreamed of having). What's new is the immediacy of information communication whereby they now have and the ability to organise their missions around the world, in every city, town and village to carry the message of the week to the needy, the naive and the people who love them.

I'm unhappy to say that I think it's working going by the way that Robert, an educated and fundamentally nice and sensible family guy has embraced it.



Roman Catholic Church

1. Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
"he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda"

2. A committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

  - Oxford Dictionary

* Father Orange? Donald Trump was known as the orange man!


Richard and Robert have been debating love and friendship, with Robert using some old teachings from the catholic church to try and explain that there are different forms of love, culminating in the one where loyal followers believe in a non-existent god:

Richard, not unsurprisingly contested this and said:

 "Maybe Robert needs to be clearer about what type of love he is professing - maybe he could add a qualification.

"I love you Richard, in a brotherly way."

"I love you Richard but I'm not prepared to go to Hell with you. I'm off to Heaven."

"I love you Richard but I don't fancy you sexually."

"I love you Richard. You are my god!""

He then went on to create a grading system for love that makes a lot more sense than the Graeco-catholic one and removes the possibility for misunderstandings:

"Telling everyone that you love them can come across as being a bit creepy and maybe even water down the true value of the word. I certainly wouldn't use it with an employer or the recycling truck guy.

Maybe the points system I mentioned earlier would help to make intentions clearer?
"I love you Richard. Three."
"I love spiders. One. They're fascinating animals."
"I love my dog, but I keep it to a five because he's only going to be around for about fifteen years and, when his time comes, I'll have to get over it.""
No doubt this little debate will be ongoing - I'll watch it with interest.

Meanwhile, this snippet from the excellent Ricky Gervais series 'Afterlife; came to mind.