Sunday, 29 April 2012


I like Robert's paintings and am keen to see the originals some time.
His latest one Hunters (the one without the monkey) reminds me a little of Harold Coop's paintings of whom we have a few.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


The good thing about getting older is that you don't have to give a fuck about social conventions and stuff.

I wrote a wine article some time ago : see


Tonight, after dinner I finally had a shower.
I had done some early morning stuff like gardening, servicing the cars etc but then in the afternoon got busy with more important stuff like watching TV, drinking wine and blogging. By this time it was close to 6PM so I had to prepare the snapper (caught in the bay outside our house), home-made oven chips and coleslaw. After this I had the said shower. Used to having a leisurely bath on weekends after doing all my 'chores', the shampoo and soap were on the shelf next to the bath. Not feeling bothered to get out of the shower to get them I used the COWSHED Bullock 'bracing' body wash that one of my nieces bought for me a few years ago as a joke - I think it was a joke!. 

I lathered myself with the body wash from head to toe. It soaped up nicely and, if I'd been inclined to shave it would have been Ok for that too. Having been used to dumping all of the little bottles of stuff in hotel bathrooms into a bath knowing that they are probably all from the same master bottle I don't know why I've been so discerning at home. keeping soaps, shampoos etc separate.

The result?

Well The Old Girl said I smelled nice so Who Cares?

Wur Doomed, Entombed & Marooned...


 Convolvulus (play /kənˈvɒlvjuːləs/)[1] is a genus of about 200[2] species of flowering plants in the bindweed family Convolvulaceae, with acosmopolitan distribution. Common names include bindweed and morning glory, both names shared with other closely related genera.
They are annual or perennial herbaceous vinesbines and (a few species of) woody shrubs, growing to 0.3-3 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, and the flowers trumpet-shaped, mostly white or pink, but blue, violet, purple or yellow in some species.
Many of the species are problematic weeds, which can swamp other more valuable plants by climbing over them, but some are also deliberately grown for their attractive flowers. However, some other species are globally threatened.
This species occurs in many temperate regions. They are mostly slender, creeping winding vines. A few are small perennials. They have simple, alternate leaves and wide funnel-shaped flowers.
Convolvulus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the leaf-miner Bucculatrix cantabricella (feeds exclusively on Convolvulus cantabricus), Bedellia annuligera (recorded on Convolvulus arvensis), Bedellia somnulentella and Orthonama obstipata (The Gem).

That may well be but an observant look at the name of this pest suggests that it is a c**t of a plant.
I can see 'con' and a suggestion of 'vulva' here.

'Con' when searching Google with safe search on suggests:

Con may refer to:
    , as in ex-con, a person who has been convicted of a crime
  • Convicted felon
  • , a person who has been convicted of a felony crime in a court of law
    , an association of primarily former British colonies
but with safe search off reveals: 

The general meaning of this phrase is "you idiot", but it is an extremely offensive insult in French."con" = "c*nt", and any insult is rendered worse in French by putting "espèce de" in front of it. 

'Vulva' well,we're all grown-ups here we know what that is.

As much as TSB would wish it I will leave out images in this case.

Well this Convolvulus is bloody well taking over our garden. It is an invasive climbing weed that attaches itself to every other growing thing and can travel for miles (it originated from our neighbour's garden and obviously from further afield). It winds its way up flax stems, trees, bushes and plants and also snakes its way across lawns and even pathways.

Like Ginger Plant-  Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) this c**t strangles everything around it and is very hard to get rid of. At first it seems easy. It rips out and you feel good at having accomplished something but in reality it is only letting you think that. The real roots are well embedded and will continue to spread after you have gone.

The person who imported this into the country is a real 'Con'

Friday, 27 April 2012

Jimmy Page 1957

Well we know that young Jimmy went on to bigger things especially The Yardbirds but I wonder where the bass player ended up?
Teaching i suppose.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Some vignettes and observations.

Its a glorious day here in Auckland.
I slept in making this one of the few dawn services that I've missed on ANZAC day.
After driving The Old Girl to work (she is catching up on a few things this morning) I went for a walk.

I went along my favourite track, down the back of the zoo to Western Springs.

Being old and invisible

Now I'm the first to admit that I'm no babe magnet but in my younger days young women would at least check me out before dismissing me as a prospect - you know, the eye contact and a quick scan. Nowadays I don't even rate that. A couple of groups of twenty/30 somethings walked past chatting amongst them selves and I don't think they even saw me.

Being old and less able

This is hard to admit. Walking briskly down the bush path my ankle turned and I tumbled. Fortunately the rocks and gravel on the downhill path broke my fall! I rolled slowly off the path and into the bushes thinking "Silly old bugger" and hoping that no-one saw.
I noticed that my hands were cut and scraped and were bleeding.
I sat on a tree stump massaging my ankle when a woman coming up the path stopped to chat. I think she must have been crazy because she didn't seem to notivce my hurt ankle or bleeding hands. But hey! At least she talked to me.

"Yes, and what do you think of this weather....its so peaceful here....oh, well, must dash..."


I am reminded that Auckland people are less courteous than those I meet on walks up North.
Very few acknowledge me so there aren't many nods and 'Hellos'. Admittedly I did get some odd glances. Perhaps the blood on my hands had something to do with that.

People in the park

Auckland is very cosmopolitan now. I sat on a bench and watched the family groups from many ethnicities walking around the lakes. A Chinese group caught my attention. They seemed to be made up of four generations. They were taking the obligatory photographs and watching the birds on the water. A little girl was feeding the swans and geese with bread. As she turned to talk to her mother she didn't notice a big goose come up to within inches of her face. When she turned around she screamed and jumped backwards. The family all laughed (in Chinese) as she hid behind her mother. The little girl handed the bread to her even younger sister. Everyone expected her to feed the geese but instead she ate the bread herself. More laughs.

This goose girl image may be a bit tame for TSB so here is another one. For his eyes only. Click:


Giving directions

Back at the top of the track and on the way home two young women stopped me to ask for directions. They wanted to know the way to the zoo. I could have directed them down the path I had come from but I decided to tell them the easy to find way. I said "go along this road here and down the steep hill. At the bottom the road levels out. The zoo entrance driveway is on the left. Go up there to the main gates"

One of them said " The gates are on the left of this road"
I said "The driveway is on the left from the level part of the road at the bottom of the steep hill. The gates are at the end of this driveway"
The other tourist said."So the gates are on the left halfway down the steep hill"
I stared at her. Hard. I said "Go down the steep hill. The road levels out at the bottom. Go along the level part for about 75 metres. The driveway to the zoo is on the left:
I left. I thought about telling them about the bush track that leads to the back of the zoo but decided that as they were so dumb they would probably get lost and be nether seen nor head from again. Not a good idea since so many witnesses had seen me with blood on my hands.

Saturday, 21 April 2012


Having read a recent post about one of Nuova Lazio's senior citizens going away for a fun packed weekend I thought that others could benefit from a bit of livening up also.

Lets start with a motivational video to charge you up before setting off on some activities that I'm sure will be a step up from your daily routine.

1. Mini Golf.

Not for the faint hearted this exciting activity was created with you in mind. Believe it or not this is one sport where zimmer frames not only can be used but can actually be beneficial giving something to lean on while waiting for your fellow gamesters to have their shots.

2. Painting.

This can be an indoor or outdoor activity so you don't have to worry about the weather (but don't stop telling everyone about it - they love to hear your little observations).
If outdoor, choose something safe and sensible like a fence. Paint it beige or white - something normal and don't forget to write a post in your blog about it. At least one photograph, square on is desirable.
If indoors of course you can paint a wall or a ceiling but why not consider a canvas. A landscape is best or a picture of a boat preferably floating on water. Don't do any portraits unless they are of Asian women painted on black velvet. Remember your audience!

3. Shopping.

This can be done at home on-line or anywhere outside. Shopping Malls, garage sales, outdoor markets, and Jackson Street Petone is best.
Plan your trip. Have a list handy at all times. Never buy anything without trying on or out at least 10 options. Don't buy from the first shop visited and if possible avoid buying anything at all. Shoe shops are best followed by clothes then furnituure and furnishings. Always have a husband or children in tow. To witness the greatest effect on them make sure you visit at least one drapery so you can check out curtain material, dressmaking items and if you are lucky they will also stock bed linen  and pillows. Enjoy!

4. Gardening.

Knock down any structures outside and dig everything up. Make sure you put in lots of grass that needs mowing. An ornamental pond is a necessity. Put statues of birds, fish and animals in interesting situations. Design clever flower patches and build a wooden vegetable garden container or two. Grow vegetables. Lots of them. When ready tell everyone about them and even take some to work to share.

5. Go to a double bass concert.

Being invigorated by clipping the lawn and still feeling like a bit of excitement why not check out a double bass concert. Tickets are usually easy to come by; if someone hasn't poked some under your door just check out the rubbish bins on the street. There is usually an old guy in Cuba Mall playing something but with your free tickets you might as well go to Nuova Lazios auditorium where there will be plenty of leg room.
All the best!


Maybe this ......

Jinzy's actics remind me of Noel Crombie and Tim Finn in early Slit Enz performances like Lovey Dovey.

Friday, 20 April 2012


We just arrived back home after a week in Auckland. Man its good to be home.
My new assistant started this week so its been an induction week. She's smart and enthusiastic so no problems there. As well as the training I was able to knock off a couple of projects - which makes me think - I wouldn't have been able to do these if she hadn't been there. Things are looking up.

The drive back was OK but, with darkness setting in now as it gets close to winter the drive is a bit more arduous. I must ensure that I thoroughly clean the windscreen inside and out before setting off next time as the glare from oncoming headlights is a pain. I think that when I cut back to 3 days a week (should have been next week but the owner is off overseas so I will delay that until June) I will drive up early on Friday mornings and back on Monday afternoons while there is light.

I think I got a speed camera speeding ticket on the way up. Not much over as nowadays I drive relatively sedately but it was about 110.

Making home made fish 'n' chips for tea. Stopped at the supermarket and bought Terakahi and Agria potatoes ( the absolute best potatoes).

Arriving home we found that the friends who stayed here during the week had luck fishing and left fresh snapper fillets in the fridge for us (and a bowl full for the cat). It will be a fish weekend. Yum!

Took 4 bottles of frozen wine out of the freezer - well part bottles). One is a Waipara Pinot Noir - that will do for tomorrow. One is a Thornbury Pinot Noir - that will do for the Old Girl. The Goldridge Chardonnay and Thorbnury Chardonnay will do for me. I microwaved them and then mixed them together. Yummy!

My UK comedy programmes are on tonight. I like those. The offerings change all the time bit I think Peep Show is on and the weird and wonderful Jinzy. The Inbetweeners is also on but The Old Girl is watching that diabolically crappy Americon Idol programme so I don't get a look in. We don't have SKY in Auckland so don't get UK TV there. Tomorrow is the Come Dine with Me Omnibus - OK, I know, but we like it OK. Just the thing for Autumn Saturday mornings. We will walk later and I will kayak. The Old Girl will swim but I'm too much of a wuss to do that.

Good to see that old guy at Nuova Lazio is enjoying his music. He' s a bit obsessive though, worrying about grey hairs and all and whether French or German is best. I don't know what he's on about but we kind of nod and send him a comment or two so he doesn't feel neglected.  His younger brother (man just about everyone is younger than this old codger) has gone a bit weird again, writing poetry and stuff. It is interesting, a bit in the vein of McGonnigal. He must be getting on a bit too because now he is reminiscing about his university days. Apparently he used to walk around the corridors on hands and knees and had venetian blinds at the back of his pants. Don't ask me. I'd say check out his blog - Second Fiddle - but I think that the Google Police erase it frequently.

Check out TSB's blog (I'm too lazy to give you a link). In true form he is now obsessing about computer keyboards and apparently fantasising that they are young women's bodies or at least the upper parts of them. It gives 'key-strokes' a whole new meaning.

The Cherry 2000 model - 'Lt you fingers do the walking"

The Old Girl is calling that tea is ready (she actually said 'dinner') so must dash.
I'll put pictures in later.

Bye for now.

Back again. Dinner (tea) was great. Here are some pics.

Monday, 16 April 2012


A week or so ago I mentioned that I got lost on my walk through Western Springs. See:


Tonight I went to the Springs again, this time taking the longer road route down and across the parks, around the lakes to the track which goes up behind the zoo to take me back home.

When I got to the path that leads to the bridge which crosses a stream to the start the bush track I found that it was blocked by temporary fencing because there was some pipework being done along the stream bank.
Undeterred I climbed over the 10ft fence and jumped down to the stream bank and made my way to the bridge. It was blocked with the same kind of fencing (Fahey fencing) but the swines had put sharp protruding wire at the top so that if I had climbed up and over I would have likely disemboweled my self and would have been left hanging like that police inspector in Hannibal.

They had put the same high fencing along each side of the bridge with sharp points at the top. There was a fair drop down to the stream but it didn't look life-threatening. If I fell it would be more like bruising (ego and otherwise) and getting wet. I decided to give it a go. I grabbed the netting below the sharp points at the top and took my weight on my fingers, looking for toeholds in the netting that stretched down below the bridge. At school I used to be pretty good on gymnastic-type equipment, doing chin-ups and stuff.

About halfway along the bridge it occurred to me that I am a bit heavier than when I was 17 - by a factor of about 50% more. With no footholds to be found I was taking my weight on my fingers which seemed to be cut into by the wire netting. The only thing to do was to move as quick as I could. I crabbed/shuffled rather inelegantly to the other side, dropping down to the bank and rubbing my fingers. Having made it to where I wanted to be I headed up the bush track to home.

I wonder what will happen the third time I do my Western Springs walk.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


The scene

Richard and Shelley in Napier having finally worked out that you don't get there via Wanganui.
A motel in Hastings.

Shelley: "Richard. Richard. Richard. RICHARD!"

Richard: "Oh, sorry Shelley, I was miles away."

Shelley: "Yes? Miles away? In Napier by any chance? You said that we were having a romantic evening in Napier. By the sea you said watching the setting sun you said ..."

Richard: "But Shelley my love ..."

Shelley: "Well I've got news for you - 'My Love' - this isn't Napier. Its  called the SFMI which is Shithole Flaxmere Motor Inn. Its closer to Hastings than Napier. There's no view of the sea. The bloody sun doesn't set in the East anyway and its not bloody romantic!"

Richard: "Shelley my shell my little seashell I...." (noting that she is unmoved and looking frankly a little bit dangerous Richard surreptitiously sidles to the cupboards in the motel unit kitchen, choosing the only one with a door remaining albeit hanging by one hinge and reaches in for the good bottle of Chardonnay - the one he was hiding - and slowly moving back into the lounge - all the while making what he thought were cooing, soothing noises not realising that it was really that Csardas tune in a metronome beat that he was clucking - he distracted Shelley by pointing out the window saying "look - sunset" and whisking away the glass and bottle of Hardy's Chardonnay ($5.99 at Pak 'n' Save) he quickly replaced both with the bottle and a hastily filled glass of 2010 Te Mata Elston chardonnay ($34.95 at Regional Wines).

Shelley: "That was no sunset"  she said as she rubbed her eyes from the tears that formed as she watched the molotov cocktail exploding and engulfing the state house next door.

Richard: "That boom was my heart beating for you Mia Amore"

Shelley: " Richard, please .. we've been married now for 28 years, don't start to 'Mia Amore' me now. What's that you're doing?

Richard: "What? Nothing. What do you mean?

Shelley: "That. There, with you hand. You're practicing that bloody Csardas tune aren't you? Pretending that its a double bass."

Richard: "No. wasn't ....I was just um, er......"

Shelley: "Stronzo! (and that was no compliment folks - ed). You were doing phantom blogging!





Victor Borge- Monti Csardas

The Prowse Brothers are going to play Csardas at their concert I gather.
Lets hope that instead of fighting (although that would be funny for the audience), they inject a bit of humour into like it like Victor Borge does.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Being on holiday has gone to Richard (of RBB)'s head. He has now devised a Holy Tuesday with a gardening fork as a symbol. All I can say is that it is a waste of a good fork. If you want to have anything to stick in the garden that won't be missed elsewhere I suggest this:

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Sometimes we just automatically do things without thinking about them. It is as if we are conditioned for automatic responses that vary by situation.
This is not always the case as there are many occasions when one has to consciously choose an action like, for example not entering a lift with TSB because you know he will fart or choosing to not sit outside at Richard of RBB's BBQ table as you just know you will get your ears flapped by his big black underpants on the washing line above.
No, this thought came to me on my walk today. When walking along a bush or coastal path you will meet people coming from the other direction. This is not that frequent but it will happen. When each party passes automatically there is a greeting of "Hello", "How's it going", Good Morning" etc. Not many words, just an acknowledgement or a greeting. We automatically do it and I guess expect to do it.
When in a shopping mall or supermarket or walking along a busy street we don't do it. Its not just because there are so many people passing that you would be hoarse at the end of the day. No, it is more like an invasion of personal space. You would feel like a nutter if you went around saying "Hi " to everyone you met and they would look at you with suspicion.


We went for a long walk today. The weather has been great - hot and sunny and better than Christmas.
We took the Busby Head track past the gun emplacements. I could feel the 'health' coursing through my veins but I could also feel the burn and the tightening in my thighs as I am a bit out of condition.
Busby Head is half way along the walk and affords a stunning view out West towards the Hen and Chicken islands. It was so clear today that I could see way past them to Little Barrier Island and even the far-off lurking presence of Great Barrier Island.

Busby Head may have been named after a busby

as it does have this shape, but it could have also been named after James Busby particularly if he hadn't had a haircut for a while.

James Busby, having had his hair cut for the portrait

On the walk I was able to continue writing my chidren's novel (in my head). Grist to the mill was seeing a Japanese gentleman lurking in the bushes and later a woman asking me if she had seen her little girl who was missing. I of course added these into my novel (set in 1941, the boys didn't believe the girl when she said that she saw a Japanese guy. "There aren't any Japs around here one of the boys said and besides we're not at war with Japan. Now if you'd seen a German that'd be another matter". The girl, knowing full well what she'd seen later went back to the Busby Head track and, again seeing the Japanese man decided to follow him............. of course the girl gets kidapped by the Jap spy and has to be rescued by the boys (whose fathers are away fighting in the Western Desert and the invalided Navy Commander based at Whangarei port..... )

We went by Smugglers Bay (now largely denuded of sand but sadly still not exposing any crates of contraband whisky) and back over the farmlands to Urquart's Bay. I would nudge the Old Girl off the path into cow-shit whenever I saw a big pile. She wasn't impressed.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


We went to Ocean Beach today. The storms of the last few weeks have had quite an effect in the area. Apart from the obligatory slips a lot of the beaches around the coast have lost their sand. A few months ago when we were at Smugglers Bay there was so much sand on the beach that it covered the steps to the boardwalk that leads to the path over the hills. Now most of the sand has been stripped away leaving hard stones and rock. I hope it returns soon.
At Ocean Beach whilst there is still billions of tons of sand a lot has been washed out leaving it flatter. There are streams bisecting the beach here and there that have to be waded through. At the first, not wanting to get my feet wet as I was wearing running shoes, I summoned up the Old Girl to piggy back me across which she duly did much to the amusement and indignation of our friends who were with us.

Sort of like this

But more likely looking like this

This isn't the first time that the Old Girl has piggy backed me across streams. Early on in our relationship she carried me across a stream at Watipu Beach on Auckland's West Coast to the amazement of a bunch of surfies.

Years ago, when I went on a tramping trip somewhere in the Wairarapa with Suzanne my girlfriend who was a member of a local tramping club, the trip took us through caves and deep ravines. At one point when the water was up to waist height someone said there were eels in the water. "Carry me" I said to Suzanne who duly did for about 50 metres along to higher ground. The tramping club hard men looked on disdainfully. I didn't care as I thought they were wankers and only did it to rile them. Suzanne, apart from being gorgeous was also very strong so it didn't faze her.

I kind of like doing things that upset people's normal expectations of the order of things. It happens less often now but when the Old Girl and I would dine out at a fancy restaurant and if the wine waiter ignored her and gave the wine list to me, I would make a point of handing it across to her and directing the waiter to ask her what she wanted. Often, when a poncy git would bring the bottle she ordered, he would pour a portion in my glass to taste to check that the wine is OK. I would hand the glass over to the Old Girl to test and give an opinion. I loved it when there was a fault in the wine (TCA - cork taint) and he had to replace the bottle.

Friday, 6 April 2012


Mixed feelings really. While I renounce the Catholic indoctrination (they used to call it Christian Doctrine) I was subjected to as a kid I strangely miss it and its rituals. To be fair though I also miss trams, curtain raising at films, courteous drivers and a police force that could be relied upon to catch burglars, drug dealers and vandals. I guess I don't like change very much and like the familiar.

Easter is obviously a chance to unwind from work with the four day holiday (for many, no longer most) giving time to oneself as well as the opportunity to socialize with family and friends. To me it is not a celebration of Christ's life and death and life again or anything naff like that but at the same time I dislike that Easter is becoming more commercialised and less 'religious'. Good Friday is still the only day outside of Christmas Day that is a no-go zone for overt commercial activity. Easter Sunday, Waitangi Day and even half of Anzac Day has given way to this. I predict that the next commercial day to rival Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Halloween will be Easter Thursday. Maundy Thursday to the gloomy Scots and Anglicans, Easter or Holy Thursday is really a celebration of the Last Supper. Why marketers haven't properly latched onto this as a commercial opportunity mystifies me. Probably it has something to do with the word 'last' which sounds a bit daunting. The alternative 'maundy' doesn't have a lot of appeal either. If I was a marketer for the shoe industry I would arrange conferences and dinners around Easter Thursday with a 'Last' Supper theme. In general though the old Last Supper thing could be a novel way of having a party and seeing who was going to come along as Judas Iscariot. Cross gender people could obviously be St John
I hope that  it is just a scroll that Jesus is showing to St John

 and it would be fun seeing what apostles different people would choose as their avatar. I'm sure that Richard (of RBB) could obsess on this for many Posts. I don't know about the foot-washing ritual though unless foot-fetishists want to get involved.

Easter, when I was quite young was a mixture of the sacred and the profane. My mother was Catholic and we were brought up in the ridiculous Catholic religion, attending primary, intermediate and secondary schools staffed by sociopaths  religious nuns, brothers and priests. We were taught that sin is everywhere and that not going to church on Sunday was a mortal one and should we die on a Monday without having attended mass on Sunday then it was straight to hell. We had to regularly go to confession and, as just little kids we didn't have a lot of interesting sins so had to make up a lot .


My dad was a Methodist, or at least his predecessors were having come from the West coast of Scotland. He 'converted' to Catholicism to marry my mother but really, 5 years active duty in WW2 must have knocked any belief in god and religion out of him.
Still we went through the motions, or did until we could think for ourselves (I was about 13 when I renounced it) and so I was an Altar Boy at primary school, attending Friday Benediction service and the odd Sunday mass dressed up in my black cassock and white surplice looking angelic.

The funny thing is, when watching various American gangster films the worst characters would confess to having been altar boys when they were young.

It was a dabble really and although Mum would call us 'Heathens' for missing church every now and then (Dad was a permanent 'Heathen' because he never went) we weren't whipped along to all of the weird and ridiculous rituals and services that other kids were. At primary and intermediate school, some classmates would be attending vigils, station of the cross marathons and daily mass at 6AM during periods in the church calendar (Lent and others - ask Second Fiddle he will know). They were generally sons of Dutch and Polish immigrants whose families were very religious. Why this was so given the horrors they escaped from during and after WW2 is anyone's guess. Escapism of the mind and psyche I suppose. I never understood this and at age 8 or 9 the thought of crawling out of a warm bed at 5.30 gave me the 'horrors'.

I guess what I am saying is that regardless of the underlying senselessness of religious ceremonies there is history, community and comfort in them that we should not be hell-bent on eradicating. I think I would rather have ritual and ceremony even if the foundations are spurious than strident and aggressive commercial advertising and activity. Give me a church service any day over Briscoes 'sale' or Ray's discount tyre offerings.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

DAY TWO ....

.... of the fitness regime

I worked a bit later this evening so didn't get home until nearly 6. Although it was still light I frankly didn't feel like the walk. I fossicked in the fridge, cupboards and freezer and found:
  • A small amount of lamb mince (note: lamb mince is the absolute best for making mince, spaghetti Bolognaise, hamburgers, meatballs etc).
  • A bit of pumpkin
  • Potatoes
  • Frozen peas
  • Red wine ( half a bottle of Pinot Noir in the freezer)
  • Some salami
  • Chicken stock (the Old Girl makes her own and freezes it in small containers - never, ever use that store bought poison).
  • Garlic, ginger, chillies, herbs and spices.
  • An onion
  • Milk.
  • Parmesan cheese.
  • A half jar of red capsicum.
  • Bits and pieces of other stuff.
We have been keeping the larder a bit bare during the week as we do the proper cooking up North on the weekends. Tonight the Old Girl is out cavorting at wine bars and tapas places so........MINCE!.
My version of mince, not that insipid bland stuff that your granny used to make. All thoughts of a walk (if they had been there) are gone and I set to - thawing, sawing, sauteeing and mixing.
First on the agenda was microwaving the frozen wine. Overdone - it was a tad warm. Never mind as cold bottles of water in the fridge once 'soda'flo'd' became a cool and delicious additive to the wine while I was cooking.
Mince and garlic mashed potatoes. Yum. My only regret is that I didn't have carrots as when the Old Girl is here they are banned from being added to mince ( I grate them and add to the Bolognaise sauce so they go unnoticed there).
I'm a pig in shit which is probably a bad expression to use as all this activity is in place of exercise. Nevermind, it woulfd have all been wasted anyway as she gave me permission to finish off the best ice-cream ever : Movenpick 'Caramelita'

Monday, 2 April 2012


I normally think that daylight saving is a crock of shit. Why can't the hours in the day stay the same and we can all just get used to it. Tonight though I was glad of getting home when it was still light and so I went for a long walk as part of my fitness regime. To be honest though I thought that I'd go for a short walk and build up to longer ones later. I set off from home at about 5.30 and went along West View Road to find the walking track that goes down past the zoo to Western Springs. Now Western Springs is a phenomenal place. It is like a flat version of Wellington's Botanical Gardens with lakes and ponds and streams and of course springs. There are also weirs, aka ( by Robert) 'wheres'. The amazing thing about this area is that even though it is well known for its concerts, speedway, sportsgrounds and MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) as well as the zoological gardens, it seems never to be crowded even on good days. There are lots of little 'dingly-dell' hidden gardens and private spots along with the play centres and larger lawned areas - all bordered by the aforementioned lakes, ponds and streams. There are lots of swans, geese, pukekos, ducks, epees (some sort of little water bird whose name I don't know but they say "Epee!").
I walked around the reserve intending to return to the path at the back of the zoo to take me back home. When I was almost there I remembered that there was another path that goes up the hill behind the Western Springs arena. I went in through the football grounds gate and made my way through the trees and up the hill the top of which looks down on the playing fields, the speedway and the place where I last saw the Rolling Stones play. There was also a great big fence with barbed wire at the top. I walked along the perimeter, up and down dips and gullies and did a bit of bush bashing. The fence was about 12 foot high in parts and I could see houses on the other side. I made my way back along the way I came, to a point North-West towards where I knew the path I had originally come down was. I came across a fallen tree that I was able to climb onto making the top of the fence accessible. I was about to haul myself up when I noticed something different. The fence line to the East had houses and streets beyond it. The supports that held the barbed wire were curved backwards over the other side of the fence to stop people gaining access to the arena area free.

The one I was reaching for had the supports curving inwards towards me. The barbed wire at the top was to stop people climbing out of the arena area.

 I calculated where the zoo started and the park ended and concluded that over this wall was the zoo. In my head I saw a news headline and story:


Just before he was torn to pieces by the lions he was heard to call out "Hey, leave me alone. I'm a Leo"

I sensibly got back down on the ground and made my way East and down. I had to cross the park to get back to the reserve , around the lake again before finding my path. My half hour walk, with the short-cut, took about an hour and a half. When I got home dishevelled and sweaty the Old Girl was home from work. She asked where I'd been and I sheepishly said 'lost".

Sunday, 1 April 2012


I went for a walk around the bays yesterday. It doesn't sound like a big deal but since I've taken up working again and am away each week I haven't walked much. In Auckland I leave for work early and get home after 6 so don't feel like it preferring to have dinner and veg out. On the weekends up North I have tended to do stuff around the house and watch TV. As a consequence I am a great deal less fit than last year when I was walking every day and kayaking or golfing each week.
Next month I will be working 3 days a week so must make the effort to get fit again.


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...