Thursday, 16 April 2009


Warren Zevon wrote a great song entitled "My Ride's Here".

Of course this is about his impending death from cancer so hopefully the reference is not appropriate (which makes me think that the Grim Reaper on Nose Bleeds blog is a bit ominous) but I'm at a time of life where planning has more to do with the end of life than the beginning. We had always planned to retire out of Auckland at some time in the future and this seemed to be when we would be post 60. 18 months ago I gave up full-time work and rediscovered lots of interesting leisure activities especially ones that don't require a lot of money to enjoy. The Old Girl has continued to work full-time and is the main earner. She has been perfectly happy to stay in Auckland for another few years, enjoying the things that a large city has to offer. At Easter we spent some time at McLeod Bay in the Whangarei Heads where we co-own a holiday house with my sister. It was a nice relaxing time where we went on walks, swam and enjoyed the company of friends who came to visit. I was pleasantly surprised when The Old Girl said that she wanted to check out houses for sale in the area. I asked why and she said that she feels that now is the right time to sell up in Auckland and permanently move to McLeod Bay. I have thought this for some time and the things holding me back were my previous full-time employment and the belief that she wouldn't move until she retired. She works for a large company that has offices throughout the country including one in Whangarei. As part of her job she communicates with all of the offices and frequently travels to them for project meetings and training sessions - a job she could do regardless of where she is based. She is going to check out whether she can work at the Whangarei office. If this is acceptable to her employers we may then put our Auckland house on the market and, once sold, buy in McLeod Bay. The long-term retirement plan then just gets speeded up. I would have to sell the framing gallery business but could always do something similar in Whangarei Heads. Life is full of surprises and thankfully some of them are good ones.

I was thinking recently that as baby boomers we are in the middle of the bunch. The older ones are nearer retirement age and are now moving away from the city and staking their claims in the nicer spots of the country. The younger ones have more money and will be considering the move soon. We need to make our move now while we can afford it. Soon the best places within reasonable driving distance from Auckland (or Wellington, or Christchurch etc) will be taken and we will have to move out further. The Old Girls change of mind is timely. If this goes ahead soon we will be permanently enjoying some of the country's best scenery and lifestyle. Gardening, fishing, hiking (working) and doing things together in a less stressful environment. I might have to change my name.

Saturday, 4 April 2009


Richard in his latest Post talked about God creating man and woman?? in his own image.

Its scary thinking of a God that looks like Richard.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


The Wine Guy talked about Communion hosts in his last blog. That reminds me of secondary school where in the fourth form it was noticed by Father Bliss (real name) the religious master that I was 'slipping in the faith'.
His solution was to make me a Sacristan. A Sacristan had  duties relating to assisting the priests (St Pats had a staff of priest teachers) in their celebrating morning mass. There were quite a number of chapels at the old school and each priest had to celebrate mass daily. I don't know why, perhaps Robert can explain since he has read the bible and has also listened to the teachings of the Roman Catholic church but it is probably like athletes having to train daily or risk getting out of shape. The role that was given to me was looking after the hosts (altar bread). These came in sealed containers daily from the Home of Compassion. I had to receive these and put in all the chapels and dispose of the old (unconsecrated) hosts. There were two types - the big ones that the priests used and the little ones that were given out to the congregation - hierarchical I know.
The job was OK and interesting to see the mysteries behind the mass. Some of my classmates showed quite an interest in what I was doing and wanted to get their hands on hosts. They were good little Catholic boys and I guess got some kind of thrill out of getting some extra body of Christ to put in their sandwhiches. They were a weird lot in 4P but not as weird as the kids further down the academic ladder (and on an earlier evolutionary scale). St Pats had a streaming policy where selection of top class and 3 lesser ones was based on entry examinations prior to entering Form 3. The system didn't encourage socialising with the 'others' so I didn't know that Richard existed until University even though we had been in the same years all through Secondary school. Anyway due to the demand I sold (traded for pies and soft drinks) unconsecrated hosts to the 4P boys for the rest of the 4th form.
I didn't progress in my career as a Sacristan which is probably some kind of apprenticeship for becoming a priest. Fr Bliss kind of gave up on me (and probably zeroed in on the newbie Robert who entered the 3rd form when Richard and I moved into the 5th).


Well why not since Robert's been banging on about the Catholic Catechism and its virtues even while there's a backdrop of priests, b...