Monday, 27 June 2011


I was watching the Jonathon Ross show the other night and Sparks were on it. This is the very clever Mael brothers band from the 1970's which specialised in quirky lyrics and punning song and album titles. To date I don't think their album title Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins has been bettered.


For some reason Second Fiddle issued a challenge to me to think of something and he would guess what it was I was thinking.

He came up with this:

What I was really thinking of was this:


Women haven't been seen to master the art of blogging. Whether this is because the technological difficulties inherent in this pastime is beyond them or whether they simply lack the will. They ....hey!, what the!  Gerroff...Ouch....shiiiiit that hurt bugger off......damn...[clunk], [crash]............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Hello. Its Lynn here. That silly old bugger refers to me as 'The Old Girl' (he'll pay for that later).
So the question is 'Why woman don't make good bloggers?'. Men seem to have a fixation on size, frequency and duration. Pathetic. Well then, why don't women make good bloggers? The answer is that we have more important and sensible things to do with our time. Good-bye.

Sunday, 26 June 2011



Second posted a photo of himself in one of his recent posts.

When I saw it it reminded me of someone and I thought about it for a while and then it came to me.... Alfalfa.

Alfalfa was one of the stalwarts of the Little Rascals films. That's him singing in the video clip above.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


I was watching Manhunter on TV today. This is the first film of the Hannibal Lector series. It was remade as Red Dragon after the release of Silence of the Lambs and, in Thomas Harris' book series is his first.
One scene in the movie shows a blind woman stroking an anaesthetised tiger and accurately depicts the thrill she has in doing so.

Joan Allen as Reba listening to the tiger's heartbeat

This reminded me of when we visited the Whangarei Lion park a few years ago. We were lucky enough to go into the enclosures and play with the white lions and white tigers. The Old Girl really enjoyed this and  got a bit more up close than I did.

White lion

White lion

You know the saying...

White tiger 

Note the sensible distance I keep from the tiger

Sadly a year after these photos were taken one of the white tigers killed one of the keepers and had to be put down.

Friday, 24 June 2011

MORE SHIT.......

.....disguised as consumer choice. Restaurant brands want to introduce Taco Bell into new Zealand and are soliciting consumer interest before putting the first one into Auckland.Taco Bell is a major US fast food brand based on Mexican food. It is also based on liquid cheese, cream, fat, sugar and salt.

Restaurant Brands would have us believe that we need another fast food brand and that it is all about consumer choice. What they don't tell us that as owners of KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks they are also about splitting the opposition and taking away market share from McDonald's and Burger King. The poor old consumer is merely meat in the sandwich or, in this case, mince in the burrito.

No doubt we will see a whole lot more advertising of this fast food, this time duping us on the 'health' benefits of Mexican food kind of like these advertisements from the past.

The long term result will be grown ups like this:

In an online survey on Yahoo News 44% of people say they are keen to see a Taco Bell in Auckland. They must have their heads up their arses.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

W.W.2-Arctic Convoys to The Soviet Union


Last year I bought the Old Girl a step machine. Its called a Power Boost and is the kind where you perform alpine-like ski- walking exercises. The Old Girl doesn't ski and thought my purchase was a bit naff. It cost me a good $25.00 at the Salvation Army shop! Admittedly it is a bit old, a bit cumbersome and generally out of date. It has sat in the study getting in the way for a while. Today, after stubbing my toe (again) on the bloody immovable thing I decided to get rid of it. Out came my trusty tool box with the pull-out drawers and lift up lid that contains socket sets, screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, clamps and all sorts of things that I don't know what they do.

Unwrapping various implements from their original cellophane packaging I took to the machine.
After about and hour and a half I had reduced it to manageable pieces ready for despatch (or more likely storage under the house for the next 10 years).

Note the main body not so carefully placed outside after it 'bit' me.
After putting the pieces outside ready to go under the house I returned to the study to pick up any loose bolts and screws to put in the 'bits and pieces' box and, horror of horrors, saw the oil and grease stains on the oriental carpet in the study. In my usual 'rip, shit and bust' manner I had done the job without a drop cloth beneath the machine. The bastard leaked bits on to the carpet.

I looked up 'cleaning oil stains off carpet' on the internet and set to it, mixing up a cocktail of ingredients from the cleaning cupboard (including alcohol) and rubbing the carpet clean.
Fortunately oriental carpets have lots of colours and intricate patterns so can be quite forgiving to the odd stain, providing of course that it is in a dark room and you squint your eyes a bit.

As I was tidying up the last spots the phone rang. It was the Old Girl ringing from Auckland saying that she was on the way home today instead of tomorrow......."Hello......hello......hell.. Oh, I thought the line had gone dead, I'll see you in a couple of hours" she said. I'm dead unless this carpet dries out in the next few hours.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I wrote a post about Robert blowing himself up by drinking his partially fermented home brew some time ago.

I saw this on Comedy Central last night. Bloody funny. Perhaps Second Fiddle is Blokeman in his spare time.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


A financial adviser I met briefly at a fund gathering event offered to give me free advice on how to structure our finances and investments and said that she would advise me on setting up a family trust, for nothing.

A lawyer who lives in the neighbourhood said that if we have any legal dealings or hassles he would sort it out for free.

Husband and wife doctors down the road said don't bother going to the White Cross surgery, they would give free medical advice.

I could go on.

By the way, the above is all untrue.

This never, or very rarely happens. So why do I always find myself providing advice for free? In a previous post I lamented at how no one wants to pay for wine consultancy advice but try and get it for free. Apart from a soon to be actioned overseas consultancy commission I am shelving it and joining the real estate world. Being a real estate salesperson is on the same scale as used car salesman, loan shark, investigative journalist and drug pusher going by the reactions of people I meet.

But, it doesn't stop them from asking things that they want to know.

This morning I was woken by a phone call from someone I had briefly met in the neighbourhood wanting some advise re legalities of real estate contracts. His daughter lives in the U.K. and wants to buy property in the area. My caller wanted to know how binding any arrangements he made with real estate salespeople showing him homes on behalf of his daughter would be if, in the future, she were to negotiate direct with the vendor. This led on to other requests like valuations of property and searching subscription websites to ascertain what the vendors had originally paid for properties. There were some other legal, contractual and fiduciary queries which I helped him out with.

He then had the cheek, when asking what commissions are generally charged by real estate agencies, to suggest that they were usurious and that he and his daughter would look to circumvent agencies by dealing direct with vendors and screw them down on price by at least the level of commission.
Bloody cheek! I wonder how he gets on with doctors, bankers, lawyers and accountants.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


We had a hell of a storm yesterday and last night with very high winds and driving rain. Today it has been calm, warm and sunny. Bugger. No excuses for not doing the blokes jobs since the Old Girl is home all weekend.

First off was washing and polishing the cars
We have had a lot of road works around the area which keeps the Rover filthy and the Old Girl drives to Auckland a lot and there is continual road works between here and there so the Peugeot needed a good clean as well. As a real estate agent I am supposed to present a tidy image so I gave both cars a good going over.

Next, wood chopping

We have two wood burners in the house so I set both of them and chopped enough wood for back-up in case it turns cold again tonight and tomorrow. Although we installed insulation and a heat pump it is an old house with high ceilings so requires a bit of warming. Besides, it will be nice to have a fire going to enjoy dinner and a glass of wine by.

Warm glow

Next was trimming the lawns. As we don't have much lawn and what there was in the front I covered with a deck, I don't need a lawn mower. I bought a new weed eater/lawn trimmer a few months back hoping that this machine would be trouble free.



Bloody stupid machine. I had to virtually dismantle it to add more line. After all this time you would think the morons who manufacture these would have perfected the line-feed mechanism.  Some joker in the marketing department had the gall to name the feeder head 'Easy load'. Failing that they should pay the license or whatever to incorporate the nifty simple feeding device that can be attached. I have to go and buy one of these for about $50. Maybe they are all the same company and this is a rort.

Anyway, jobs outside done now, fresh bread baking in the bread maker, soup cooking on the stove. All is well. When the sun goes over the yardarm (whatever that is) it will be time for a glass of wine. I think it will be the Waipara Hills 2009 Pinot Noir I bought through Blackmarket.

This was one of the best buys of the year. I recommended it in a previous post. If you bought some, well done. If not, its too late as it is all sold out. I bought two dozen.


Cheer up, things could be worse.


Richard (of RBB) and Angry Jesus, watch out because Shonkey has his eye on you too.

Friday, 17 June 2011


Robert observed the likeness of the Mount Aubrey rock formations to heads, particularly Maori chieftain heads. Well, it takes his mind off bare bums I suppose.

He is right though as Maori have incorporated the rock formations at Whangarei Heads into their legends giving the rocks names, personalities and histories. The most famous is Mount Manaia.

But there are others around the bays that are very interesting.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


.......and in future he just may phone ahead. I want to tell you about the problem with living in an old villa with a long hallway.

I was putting sheets and towels through the wash in the laundry at the end of the house and, while there thought I might as well chuck in the clothes I was wearing after my walk this morning. In went the tea-shirt, shorts and underpants. I kept my lambskin slippers on. As the washing machine had been making starting up noises I didn't hear the rural delivery mailman drive up. He normally puts mail in the mailbox as they do. Rural delivery is great as you have a little flag on the mailbox. If the flag is up it means, to the postman, that there is mail for him to collect. Neat eh. Anyway, today he drove up the driveway as he was delivering a case of wine that I had ordered through www. This is Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Noir 2009. The wine won a gold medal at the Air NZ National wine competition last year. It is stunning. Glengarry sell it for $29.95. Ex winery is $21. Blackmarket price is $13.99. Brilliant.
Back to the hallway. I was walking up the hallway, nearly at the end wearing just my slippers when he knocked at the back door (of the house). The back door is a nice large one (of the house), and has old-style surrounds. It has stained and patterned glass above the door and a large glass panel in the centre (see pic above). In short it is see-through. Now I've been told that I have a nice bum and legs (usually by women but, disturbingly, also by Brother Paulinus the headmaster at my Marist Brothers intermediate school  see: ) although must admit that the rest of me could do with a bit of work but it shouldn't really be shown to the postman. I went into the bedroom at the other end of the hall, put on fresh clothes and sauntered down the hallway to open the door. We exchanged pleasantries with no mention of my exhibition. I believe in fact that the matter will never be mentioned. God knows what he thinks goes on in our house.


I was looking for a pic of a bare bottom (wait for next post) and found this geezer wittering on. I suggest that you listen to him as next time Second Fiddle blathers on about his religion you can remember this and realise that Second is not so bad after all.


I keep looking at those rocks up on Mount Aubrey behind us and hope that Richard's sparrows don't fart too much as to make them fall down.

A I said previously we don't have earthquakes in Northland and volcanic activity is long gone. We do have droughts and, following those, monsoon-type rainfall. This leads to some pretty amazing slips.

Neighbours property two houses down after the February rains.

A house a bit further down our street has an even bigger slip below it and could well fall down if they don't repair it and if we get another big rain.

Second mentioned Tsunamis. We do live close to the water......

The bottom of our driveway
...... and the regional council has just installed tsunami warning sirens around the bays but, you have to go sometime. Maybe I'll get washed up up in the old settlers cemetery on the other side of McLeod Bay with my ancestors.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Have you ever been to a horse racing meeting? Regardless of whether you like horses or not, agree with gambling or not or are generally just a miserable bastard, a race meeting is full of fun and spectacle and deservedly has a place in our society. OK, I know that horses get hurt, shot and turned into dog tucker but I prefer not to think of that. I know that there are losers.

But there are also winners.

Unfortunately some politicians.

But balanced out by good people.

Come along and have a good time. Bring Money.


The 2011 Project Promise Ruakaka Race Day is on Saturday July 23rd.
Why not make a trip up for a nice day out and contribute to the project. We are seeking to raise $3m for an oncology service centre at Whangarei Hospital.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


I love the Rolling Stones music and have all of the best albums. A lot of the songs have references to rocks, stones and falling down. This is quite apt for what follows.

When we first moved to McLeod Bay I jokingly pointed to the strange and massive rock formations on Mount Aubrey up behind our house and said to the Old Girl "I hope they don't fall down". She assured me that as they had been there for squillions of years it was unlikely that they would choose to fall down now.

Thats our house with the driveway to the left. Note rock formations on Mount Aubrey above.
In February we had a very severe rainfall in the area with 300mm falling in a few hours. I counted  80 slips on the road around the Heads and we only just got home that evening before the road was closed due to a washout. Several of the magnificent bush walks were severely damaged from slips and the Reotahi one on the other side of Mount Aubrey (above) is interrupted by a mighty chasm that can only be crossed by pulling yourself up on a rope.

The slips have destabilised the land  here and there and last weekend one of the 'immovable' boulders, part of the rock formations, fell off Mount Aubrey and crashed down through the bush and came to rest behind one of the houses  on the West side of the mountain.

You can see the scale of the boulder by the man inadvisably leaning on it.
We were in Auckland that weekend but neighbours described the sound as a loud rumbling like a thunderstorm or an earthquake. (Note: for all those considering a shift to Northland - we do not have earthquakes up here). The boulder came to rest 40 metres above the house below.

I did a Google search for Rolling Stone song titles and came up with a few appropriate ones:

Before They Make Me Run
Coming Down Again
Out Of Control
Tumbling Dice
Rain Fall Down
Rip This Joint
Rocks Off
Heart Of Stone
Rock And A hard Place
Gimme Shelter
Send It To Me
Slipping Away
Let It Loose
Down The Road Apiece

and of course,

Like A Rolling Stone


BRANDED I used to watch this TV Western in the 1960s and am sure that Richard did too. We didn't have a lot of choi...