Monday, 30 July 2012

A BIT OF GREECE WILL MAKE THINGS GO SMOOTHER

I love watching the Olympics and look forward to it every 4 years.

For a long time though I have wondered at the sense of holding the games in different cities around the world.
They have become too big and expensive to hold and politics and commerce have overshadowed the ideals.

Usually the host city/country has to build or upgrade all facilities to be used for a month and to then fall into disrepair and underuse for decades.



Often the host country is unprepared to handle the logistics (traffic, sanitation, hospitality and safety) and this causes problems.

More than often the host country is unsuitable geographically or climatically to many of the events and competitors are under undue stress.

In London for example it can be sunny one hour and then rain or hail the next. Traffic is a nightmare and the ill-feeling generated by the disruption threatens to kibosh future Games.



For many years I have advocated choosing a country/city that will host the Olympic Games every four years until such time as they prove themselves incapable or incompetent.

The climate has to be moderate at the time of the Games - not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry and with sea access and easily accessible from most countries.

Athens climate chart


Why not Greece? It ticks most if not all boxes and has the necessary history and cachet. In todays economic situation  it also desperately needs something like the Olympics for on-going revenue which ultimately would be good for Europe and the world.


Saturday, 28 July 2012

CASHIERED?

Years ago, when I first met The Old Girl I was privileged to be invited into one of the highest orders in the world. I received the title of 'Honorary Woman'.

This is not the same title as defined in the Urban Dictionary see: HERE

It is more like the concept mentioned : HERE


This title was not given lightly and to my knowledge few men in the circle we were in were ever given it.

The Old Girl's friends of women and wimmin were impressed by my sensitivity and caring and, although suspicious of my intentions at first, soon realised that I was a nice person and just what The Old Girl deserved and needed.

There was no formal ceremony of investiture but there was an obvious opening of the ranks and acceptance into the inner sanctum.

This has (or so I thought) continued for many years and became one of those badges of honour we win or earn and put away in a drawer somewhere and quietly forget about.

I was surprised this evening when The Old Girl was watching When Harry Met Sally on TV and I said that Meg Ryan was a hopeless actress. She said that Ryan was 'The Queen of Rom. Coms' and I responded that  I didn't know because I didn't watch Rom. Coms. It was then that the Old Girl said the immortal words "That's why you are no longer an Honorary Woman".

What?

I was gob-smacked.



When did I cease being an HW?

I asked "When did I cease being an HW?"

She said that recently I was becoming too 'blokey' and so  the title had been withdrawn.

WTF?

Surely one should be notified of such things.
What about a formal letter, a notice in the newspaper ...... even an e-mail.


No. This closed and secret society called Womanhood doesn't formally withdraw privileges, they can just informally be withdrawn by any of the paid up members and through some invisible and incomprehensible link it seems that all of Sisterhood somehow agrees and bingo. You are out.

I asked if I was suspended or out for good.
The Old Girl said that she would take it into consideration.

I guess I'm on some kind of parole.


KEEPING TABS

Last night, before we went to see a film at the Film Festival we called in to the Crowne Plaza lobby bar for a glass of wine.

Crowne Plaza Aria bar

The Crowne Plaza is a pretty good Auckland hotel and the bar is well appointed and has a good wine list.

'Good evening" said the barman to The Old Girl.
 "Evening" she said "I'll have my usual".

I looked at her thinking she was taking the piss but the barman said
"Certainly Madam" and took a bottle of Deutz Rose out of the fridge.
"Put them on my tab" she said, referring to her glass of bubbles and my glass of red wine.

I was gobsmacked. I looked at her a little bit closer.
"The usual?" I asked.
"Yes" she said "they know me here"

Now should I be worried?


The Crowne Plaza is just across the road from where she works and is the place that The Old Girl and her colleagues meet for a glass of wine from time to time. She always orders the Deutz Rose ( a particularly well made New Zealand Methode Champenoise) and engages the staff in conversation so they remember her. Its nice to see good personalised service in a large and busy establishment.

I looked at her closely though. "The usual!'

Still, its her business what she does.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

MONEY- GO- ROUND

We had a leak in the plumbing at the Auckland apartment during the week.

A call by the plumber, plus a follow up visit ended up costing us over $600.

Bummer!

For plumbing services just keep inserting money. Kaching!


The problem with apartment living is its not easy to do the handyman thing as there is a building full of tenants to consider if you want to turn the water off, replace some parts and turn it on again. As it was the plumbing company had to arrange with the building manager to drain the entire water sytem of the building to fix the problem.

$600. About the cost of the i-pad I wanted.

Nevermind. We sold a chaise-longue and a table on Trade Me - total over $600.

All square.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE

I heard Abba singing Gimme Gimme Gimme (a man after midnight) on the radio and checked up via Google whether it was the same song used in the classic British TV comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme
Same song different singers. 
The show was very good - outrageous with Kathy Burke at her best.
amongst the clips from the show I found Kathy Burke's acceptance speech for an award. This is how it should be done. No fawning, no platitudes just a 'Fuck'em" if they don't appreciate it. Great.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

I had this e-mailed to me by The Old Girl. Read and enjoy:


The Green Thing


At the cash register at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment..

The woman apologised and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations. You didn't have the green thing."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycling. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an elevator or escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to the supermarket and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wrapped up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be trucked in or flown thousands of air miles. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, city people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest hamburger bar.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart mouthed young person.

Remember:


Don't make old people mad.


We don't like being old in the first place so it doesn't take much to piss us off.





 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bob Dylan - Love Sick

Back at you Second.

This is my favourite Bob Dylan song and this performance is great (fragile and edgy).

WILLOW AT HOME - For Tracey
















KERERU - SATURDAY EVENING



The Kereru is back.
It is sitting on a power line outside the kitchen window.
My quick photos don't do justice to how beautiful it looks with the white chest and lovely green waistcoat.





Saturday, 14 July 2012

A PREVIEW OF PRETENTIOUSNESS

I went to an art exhibition opening a couple of weeks ago. It was Vincent Ward's Inhale/Exhale - a mixed media show of his photography, paintings and videos that make up his latest work and which he is taking to China later this year. It was also the book launch of images from the exhibition.



So what were my impressions?


Disturbing. Rude. Incomprehensible. Vile. Extortive. Loopy.

D.R.I.V.E.L. for short.

Now Vincent Ward is a great film-maker and is a good photographer and artist. There is technically nothing wrong with the execution of the works. It is what's behind them that is a worry.

The images are misogynistic and dodgy. Many of the paintings, photographs and videos depict a woman asphyxiating/drowning, wrapped up in plastic underwater. They are ugly and reminiscent of shots from forensic murder films and TV series like Dexter.

This didn't stop the oohs and ahs from the who's who of the art world and Auckland society who were out in force either with their glad-rags (and furs) on or dressed down in designer ripped jeans. The Mercs, Audis, Beemers and Porsches outside gave them away if the dowdy dress didn't.



What got to me was the seemingly unthinking acceptance of this rubbish, the old 'he is a famous film-maker so it must be good' attitude or, more worryingly 'I don't really like it but better pretend I do because people are watching' syndrome.

I'm of an age now where I can do or say what I think and don't give a stuff about propriety. This doesn't mean that I am too rude but I do voice my opinions.


Looking at a monstrous image next to a woman drowning in a condom I loudly said to my friends "That looks like Hieronymus Bosch in his auto-erotic period." This got me disapproving stares and some tut-tuts from some 'mutton- dressed- as- lamb' society matrons. Akish the Philistine would have approved.


I'm not  totally anti-art. I have lots of friends who are artists. My mother was an amateur artist and a boy's best friend is his mother isn't she? (sorry that was a line from Hitchcock's Psycho that I watched on TV the other night and it stuck in my mind).





"WE'RE A TOILET"

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...