Monday, 30 January 2012



Because it is really nice.


Auckland and Northland finally got a taste of Summer today, fittingly on the holiday Monday of Auckland Anniversary Day. After a couple of months of unseasonally poor weather today was a cracker. Blue skies, low or no wind and hot sun. We took advantage of a nice still harbour and kayaked this morning and swam and frollicked in the water in the afternoon. Magic.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


The Prowsy Boys have formed a band and will soon be recording. I'm looking out for some video ideas for them. This stunning performance by the Underdogs might just be the thing for the old guys - not too strenuous.


I was working at the Auckland Seafood festival yesterday and Fourmyula were the feature act. Back together again for the first time since 1975 they belted bleated out some of their old numbers

Like that old guy Richard OF RBB which is a sort of acronym (not an anachronism? - ed.) of Richard Old Fucker's Rambling Bass Bullshit, these were ROF's - Real Old Fuckers.
Honestly they looked older than me and I have to admit, that's saying something.

Fourmyula back on -stage after 37 years

Friday, 27 January 2012


I got a new W.O.F. for the Rover today. Its a bloody good car, an oldie but a goodie. It goes like the clappers. See:

I look after it and really enjoy driving it. I've fixed the brakes. The tyres are legal and safe; It runs well but .... on the first test at VTNZ it failed. Why? One of the lights illuminating the number plate was out! One of them. It has two. This is a high spec'd car but two bloody lights illuminating the number plate? And, failing a W.O.F. bexause one of them was out. One! I thought that the previous testers were tough see:

I went to a local service station and luckily, amongst the bread, milk, videos and kiddies soft toys I found the right bulb to fit. I made the change in about 5 minues and went back to VTNZ and got the warrant.
What a bloody palaver. Where I live up North there are cars driving about with bald tyres, no doors, no suspension and all manner of liabilities including the unlicensed drivers. The world has gone mad.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


People who embark in an extra-marital affair are more likely to support the National party and be a Christian.
And the chances are pretty good they'll come from Christchurch, smoke and have a tattoo.
Infamous infidelity site has profiled 54,000 of its members across New Zealand to identify cheating hotspots.
Christchurch came out on top with the most cheaters-by-capita in the country.
It found 1.26 percent of the population in Christchurch are cheaters, followed by 1.23 percent in Auckland and Hamilton.
The site found that nearly 60 percent of cheaters are Christian and a third support the National Party.
Cheaters are also three-times more likely than the national average to have a tattoo, or twice as likely to smoke.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


......... I said to the Old Girl the other day when I was dressing.. She looked at me through narrowed eyes and said " you know that men buying new underwear is one the top five indicators of a spouse having an affair" .

Some of the signs of cheating.. 

1) Mutual friends start acting strangely toward you. (They either know about the cheating or have been told stories about what a horrible wife or girlfriend you are.)

2) Sets up a new e-mail account and doesn't tell you about it.

3) He sets up a separate cell phone account that is billed to his office.
          4) The cheating husband carries condoms, and you are on the pill.
5) He buys himself new underwear

She looked at me again, me standing in my ragged daks and with the obvious Christmas/New Year excesses hanging over the Jockey waistband, and, widening her eyes said, "nevermind".

I looked at her a bit suspiciously and was about to ask that useless (male) question - "what?"  but thought better of it.
Sucking in my tummy and marching erect (back that is) I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the daks. Frankly it wasn't a good look. I thought about the last pairs of new underwear I'd bought. It was at Farmers and they were on sale. Having an aversion to shopping anyway and an even greater aversion to hanging around in the underwear/lingerie sections of department stores (unlike Richard (of RB) see :

 I quickly purchased the first things I saw with 'Jockey' written on them. After a crotch crippling experience  wearing one of the purple coloured almost g-string  monstrosities that only 28 inch-waisted gigolos could fit into, I left the rest of the rainbow unopened in the bottom drawer.

I then thought of the daks that the Old Girl had recently bought for me. They were Jockeys. They fitted well (and , if I do say so myself, albeit in a dim light, they looked pretty damn good on me but...... they are white. Four pairs. White! Why on earth do women buy men white underwear?
Maybe its because they want something to show incriminating stains.

Anyway, this weekend I'm going to a (man friendly) store and taking time to buy some comfortable undergarments.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Up North again his weekend. The weather has finally come right. It is a nice sunny day with no wind and rain for a change. I was up early, did the washing, baked bread and did some other chores. As I had time to kill before going to the bus station to pick up the Old Girl who is bussing up today, I decided to have a bath while reading my book (Eric Sykes' autobiography) and listening to National Radio. Bliss. After a very busy week working in Auckland it is nice to just veg out when up here. This afternoon, after mowing the lawn I will go for a swim.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Security video footage shows Richard (of RBB) trying to make a rapid exit from the women's lingerie store that he was discovered lurking in. The Ginger Bastard has made a music video of it.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


I am listening to an audio book at the moment as I drive to and fro from Whangarei to Auckland. It is Joanne Harris' Blue Eyed Boy. It is a story about a muderer but has a central theme of synethesia. The language on the audio book is so wonderful that I think I will buy the written book and, if the promotional trailer below highlighting the book gets extended into a film will watch that too.

The 'book'  has evocative descriptions of music as interpreted by a synethestic in smells, colours and sensations.
I couldn't help thinking how a double bass solo would be interpreted:

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Richard, in his latest post discussed parents giving children stupid, rude, non-sensical or misspelled names. Well, it makes a change to him droning on about double basses I suppose:

See here

I agree with him on this and, while these parents might think that the standard names are boring (usually because they themselves don't have a lot of imagination), they fail to think what it is going to be like for the kid to go through the life, school and work situation having a name that other people cannot pronounce, spell or understand.

I get pissed off (yes, even I do) at the twee, corny or plain stupid way some peoples names are spelled. The use of 'y' instead of 'i' or the addition or subtraction of letters is annoying. We have friends who named their son Camron. He will forever have to explain the spelling to schoolteachers, employers, IRD etc and it will drive him nuts. I was sent a business e-mail by someone named Shayeela recently. In the address detail at the bottom of the memo she had printed "Shayeela - pronounced Shay - ee- la"  Well what a frigging waste of time that is why doesn't she just change her name to Sheila and be done with.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Ring ring: Hello, Noise Control, Officer Coventry speaking

Miss O’Phonic: Hello officer…ha, ha, ha, ha ….excuse me laughing but when I say that I immediately think of the expression ‘Hello Sailor” and it conjures up memories of when I was…

Officer Coventry: Excuse me Madam but can you please tell me what you want.

Miss O’Phonic : ..ha, ha,…er…ahem..ha.ha,…sorry, yes I wish to complain about one of my neighbors.

Officer Coventry: Is this a noise complaint madam?

 Miss O’Phonic: Yes and no. I mean yes there is a problem when this neighbor makes his noise but sometimes it is even worse when he doesn’t make his noise.

 Officer Coventry: I’m not following you madam.

Miss O’Phonic:  Ha, ha, ha..oh dearie me, ha, ha, ha, that reminds me of ….no….ahem…you know that old expression ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop”…ha,ha,ha,ha,   ….makes me think again of sailors in the upstairs bedroom…ha, ha, sorry….

Officer Coventry: You mean the expectation of the noise happening is worse than the noise?

Miss O’Phonic:   Yes, that’s it . The noise is bad enough but when he goes quiet I lie awake …  ha, ha,  … er, lie awake worrying about what is going to come next.

Officer Coventry:  What is the noise Madam?

Miss O’Phonic:  It is hard to describe. It starts out as a scratching sound then develops into a kind of droning and then thee are some thumps. I’m telling you it is very creepy. I’ve never heard such sounds before and quite frankly I don’t want to hear them again.

Officer Coventry: When does this neighbor make these sounds?

Miss O’Phonic:  During the day it varies. Sometimes in the morning at about 6AM and then after 4PM in the afternoon.

Officer Coventry: Are you sure its not an animal. A cat or something?

Miss O’Phonic:  No, no, I did think that initially but he dumps his poor kitty cat outside when he is making the noises. I was thinking of ringing the SPCA.

Officer Coventry: Sounds like the cat is lucky

Miss O’Phonic: Ha, ha, ha, … don’t set me off officer….whoooo, ha, ha,

Officer Coventry: Madam. Madam, Madam! How long has your neighbour been making these horrible and obviously disturbing noises?

Miss O’Phonic:   Oh for years. I moved here 5 years ago and he was doing it then

Officer Coventry:  But it has taken you 5 years to complain.

Miss O’Phonic:  Well, I did think that he would stop and as I said he does go quiet at times so I have never really known if he has finished playing with himself ….whoooo, ha, ha, ha, there I go again…ahem, but I have been noticing a pattern.

Officer Coventry:  A pattern?

Miss O’Phonic:  No, a pattern

Officer Coventry:  ?

Miss O’Phonic:  At the beginning of the year, usually on New Years Day the noises are very bad.

Officer Coventry: Very bad?

Miss O’Phonic: Yes Very bad and also very long. He goes on for a couple of hours at least and this continues day after day. After a month he tapers off a bit which is a relief and by mid year the noises become drastically reduced with on some days nothing at all emanating from his house.

Officer Coventry: His house then, does he live alone?

Miss O’Phonic: No, he somehow has managed to get a woman to live with him. She is lovely and very quiet. I worry that she might have gone deaf from his noises. He also has some younger people coming to stay from time to time. They last a few days before being driven out by the noise I suppose.

Officer Coventry: OK,. When he goes quiet in the mid year for how long..?

Miss O’Phonic:  Until about November

Officer Coventry:  OK he goes quiet for a few moths what happens then?

Miss O’Phonic: He drinks

Officer Coventry:  He drinks?

Miss O’Phonic:  He drinks. I have counted up to eight empty wine bottles in his recycle bin on collection days.

Officer Coventry: 8 bottles? He must be rich

Miss O’Phonic: Well his name is Richard but the quality of the wine he drinks wouldn’t exactly make a pauper of him.

Officer Coventry:  Richard, Richard…mmm. What is his surname?

Miss O’Phonic:  Prowse.

Officer Coventry:  Prouse? Like the park

Miss O’Phonic: No, no he’s not that famous. Prowse -  like the blanket man.

Officer Coventry: Oh I see.

Miss O’Phonic:  Anyway, after a bit of a hiatus he comes back with a vengeance in about November and makes his noises for 3, sometimes 4 hours a day right up until the end of the year.

Officer Coventry: How many hours a year do you think?

Miss O’Phonic:  I keep a log. The year just gone I counted 302 hours

Officer Coventry: Jeez…I mean Jeepers! Don’t worry Miss O’Phonic I’ll see what I can do.

Miss O’Phonic:  Thank you Officer Coventry.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


As I said before I have been re-reading Spike Milligan's memoirs. Apart from being hilarious and an insight into the man and his art they have been especially interesting to me because his war experiences in North Africa and Italy are similar to my father's. Milligan, after a couple of years training in England, shipped out to Algiers with he 56th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery in January 1943. He saw action in North Africa through the El Alamein campaigns and the fall of Tunis. After Salerno he was in action in Italy around Naples and towards Cassino. He was blown up by a mortar round on January 20 1944 near Lauro  near Naples and suffered shell shock which took him out of the front lines. At this time my father was near Bari as the New Zealanders, after North Africa had landed at Taranto in the bottom left (East) of Italy. The New Zealand Divisional Cavalry was making its way up the East coast of Italy and the British were making their way up the West Coast to meet at Cassino on the way to Rome. Dad got blown up on 26 September 1944 by the Uso river near Florence. See:

I find it interesting that Milligan has photographs and describes places and events just like the photographs and stories that my father recounted. They were in the same theatre of war in Africa and Italy and must have, on different days, stood on the same ground.


I am almost through re-reading the sixth in the series of Spike Milligan's war memoirs - the seventh Peace Work I have misplaced and will have to find a copy to buy somewhere.
In the 5th and 6th - Where Have all The Bullets Gone? and Goodbye Soldier Milligan is a performing artist, while still in the army, in Italy. He travels on the army show circuit with the Central Pool of Artists and performs in The Bill Hall Trio with Bill Hall and Johnny Mulgrew. In these memoirs Milligan talks of how well received the trio were and describes the style of performance. This time I was keen to find out what they sounded like so 'googled' Bull Hall Trio and sure enough a rare (and actually only) clip came up from a 1947 performance:


After 1947 the trio went on without Milligan until the 80's but with little success. This is a shame as they demonstrate some brilliance. I guess they needed Milligan's manic creativity to make them stand out.


Some friends have spent their Christmas in Scotland. We made fun of them before they went saying that we hoped they would enjoy the wine rain and cold. Little did we know that we would have that weather here in Northland right through Christmas and New Year.

It has been a holiday period of reading books, doing crosswords and Sudoku. playing snooker and watching a bit of TV (Come Dine with Me, Eggheads and Midsomer Murders - its a wonder that there is anyone left in Midsomer).

Today the wind has dropped but it is very misty with light rain.

We should go for a kayak while the water is so calm but I think the plan is a walk up the hill to the local cafe for a fish and chip lunch (freshly caught Snapper or John Dory) then more UKTV.


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...