Tuesday, 26 May 2009


In tough times labour and goods often become cheaper.
We are taking advantage of this with our cleaner. We don't even have to pay minimum wage - just a pot of yogurt and a kiwi fruit suffices.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


As a kid, going to Confession I had to plan out what I had to say to get my money's worth and to not waste the Priest's time. This invariably involved admitting to a few Sunday Mass misses, some swearing and once to spice things up, adultery. He did ask for clarification on this and I told him I had been 'rude' in the bushes with Heather, the neighbourhood 'good-time girl'. I was about 10 and Heather 11 so she was much more experienced and must have lead me astray.

Being rude nowadays has a different meaning and is de-rigeur and while I don't have to confess it it still makes me feel a bit guilty. On Sunday morning a door knocker turned out to be a National Party canvasser raising awareness for Melissa Lee and John Key for the Mt Albert by-election. When he told me this I said 'good luck'. He seemed pleased until I followed it up with 'you'll need it'. I told him that Lee was hopeless, that the Nats showed bad form by putting her up ahead of their last candidate and that I don't vote National. After he had gone I had a twinge of guilt at my rudeness but when recounting the story to The Old Girl I also regretted not telling the guy that I didn' t want Key to represent me as my Prime Minister anyway so didn't appreciate the canvassers saying that they were representing Melissa Lee and John Key.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


After a drive into town this morning to pick up some artwork I stopped off at the Pt Chevalier Plaza for a coffee. The Pt Chevalier shops are pretty tragic really and are certainly not in keeping with the suburb itself. This is probably due to the reasonable proximity of St Luke's Shopping Mall, a behemoth that has killed off all the surrounding suburbs shopping strips. Today I sat in a small cafe looking out at the sad little plaza and guess what? It didn't look so sad after all. I felt good and enjoyed my coffee and sandwhich. Perhaps this is because I don't feel stressed and am looking forward to the changes coming our way this year.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


The above stupid expression has often been said to me relating to rugby trips and conferences. I think it was invented by some wannabe playboy - in reality the friendless guy who lives with his parents into his forties.

With regard to the Framers conference I attended on the weekend I won't be telling any tales mainly because there is nothing to tell. Nothing happened. There was no conference cocktail party; no conference dinner; no after conference drinks; there was even no tea and biscuits. Someone cut up a couple of apples and passed them around - whoopee! On the Sunday at 4.30PM when the 'conference' ended, everyone buggered off. Gone. Just drove away. I had booked for an extra nights accommodation assuming there would be some social activity so had the prospect of another night in a boring motel. Having experienced the crap meal at the motel restaurant the night before The Wine Guy and I decided to go into town. I think we got the city's only taxi. W got dropped off at the Pig and Whistle which was a busy bar but I objected to the name (it was in a historic police station) so we went to another more sophisticated place. I enjoyed my meal but The Wine Guy was moaning about something or other. On leaving we asked the barmaid (not pregnant) to call us a taxi. We waited in reception for about 15 minutes and had to confirm that the call had been made. We then waited outside (it was getting bloody cold) for another 25 minutes. No taxis went past and very few cars. At one stage I tried to hitch-hike and was prepared to offer $20 to anyone who would drive us back to the motel. No-one stopped - they mustn't have liked the look of the Wine Guy. Eventually a taxi arrived - driven by the same woman who drove us in to town. She said that no call had been made to the taxi company. Great. Tourists beware in Rotorua. The driver was pleasant so I gave her the $20 I was prepared to give to a helpful motorist. The fare was $10.60 so she was pleased.

The next morning we had all morning free so walked to Whakarewarewa thermal area. A 3 hour walk around Te Puia was very pleasant and brought back great memories of my childhood. What a great place and it is very well set out for tourists. When I was at the kiosk I scanned the options and didn't want the guided tour bit so asked if they had a free or freedom walk option. The woman looked at me strangely and said I could walk anywhere in the carpark for free! Maybe she thought I was a foreigner and couldn't understand me. I don't think she was pregnant otherwise The Wine Guy would have argued with her.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


I'm off to a Picture Framing conference in Rotorua for the weekend. This will be a bit of a change to my routine. I used to travel a lot in my previous employment and conferences were de rigueur.
I will hopefully learn some more about the business and make some useful contacts. I don't expect the social side of things to be riotous - not like the wine industry ones I 'm used to. Those involved all sorts of shenanigans. This one will involve people wearing socks and sandals and wearing funny cardigans. Perhaps we'll get a cup of tea and a wine biscuit afterwards. Rotorua is a nice place but I bet it won't have all the bells and whistles that the overseas conferences had - Pebble Beach golf games, race car driving, Hollywood mystery tours, winery and vineyard visits - that's a thing of the past. Like me I guess.


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...