Saturday, 22 October 2016


The Old Girl has been in Adelaide for two weeks. She comes back on Sunday and I'll drive down to Auckland to meet her at the airport.

Meanwhile this is the start of the second weekend that I'm on my own. Boys night in. Yay!

I've opened a bottle of chardonnay - Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay and will enjoy that with dinner (Salmon/potato hash cakes and vegetables).

Bring on the dancing girls!

Well, unfortunately, out here in the sticks, there aren't a lot of dancing girls and if there were they wouldn't meet Donald Trump's expectations.

So ..... instead I got the old antique, wind-up record player going.
This is a His Master's Voice one that was given to us by someone we know in Aberdeen. We shipped it over with some other possessions a couple of years ago along with a lot of very old records (78's and older). We keep it in the snooker room and it looks really good in there.

Here is something to get you going.

It's going to be a hot time in the old town tonight.

Sunday, 16 October 2016


Hi Ephesians

The Corinthians asked me to drop you a line - hope you don't mind.
My name is Paul. You may have heard of me as Saul? Confusing? Well maybe and there have been some nasty rumours floating around about my past life. This is a beat up by the media. I did not do those things. They are despicable. The media. They lie, lie, lie. I am a good person. Believe me. I write letters. I have the best letters. Big ones. Anyway, the Corinthians asked me to warn you about some old crazy named Richard who is sending out letters. Not good letters. I have the best letters.
Don't listen to him. They make no sense.
See for yourself: HERE

That was all I wanted to say but as I'm here and I know that the boss will want me to bang on about inform you of religious issues here are a couple to get started. It saves papyrus and, as you may have heard the boss is a bit parsimonious when it comes to my expenses.

1. We've got a church at Ephesus now which is new but you have to understand that god planned this from eternity. He did it to show the glory of his grace whatever that means. Anyway it's big and it's the best. It's the best church in Ephesus. No doubt about that.

2. Look, He saved you didn't he (whatever that means) and he wants to remind you of the great blessings he's given to you. These are not cheap buddy, believe me so anything you can contribute here will be much appreciated. I'll see that old goddy gets his share. Trust me.

3. Remember that we love all peoples. In Christ the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles has been brought down. Remember that. Of course the Mexican wall will have to stay. That goes without saying OK?

4. You've got to live your lives worthy of the calling you've received. Yes, I know that the calls were made collect but hey! Expenses you know.

Anyway, look out for Crooked Richard.



57 AD.

Hi Corinthians.

I know, I know - I promised to write a bit sooner but things have been a bit hectic you know.
You can see by the heading that I'm now in Macedonia and it's a bit freaky here. I've been into the spirits a bit - they give life don't you know. Raki, ouzo, a bit of schnapps - they can brew up a mean cocktail here.

Anyway, I was reminded to write when I received a misdirected letter from some freak named Richard. It came from Ephesus but I think that this guy is one of those Huns or a Visigoth or something. He was banging on about personal hygiene and hangovers for some reason - a bit of a ramble anyway. Between you and me I think he drinks a bit too much as he seemed a bit addled. He was bagging me a bit and I think that this is why he wrote the wrong address on the letter. The postman eventually delivered it to me.

Here's a copy if you're interested although for the life of me I don't know why you would be.

Quite frankly I think that this letter is deadly. Just saying. You'd better have a glass of something when reading it as "for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life." 

The boss has been on at me again to give you guys some messages. OK, bear with me and let's get it over with. He says that he likes a cheerful giver. Well he would wouldn't he. He's all 'take take take' that one. When I asked him why he doesn't just give the poor some spandoulaks instead of pulling out that old 'die for you' party trick of his he went very quiet. So did that fawning acolyte of his, Robert.
I told him that people will think he's mean and a bit weak and guess what? - he had to come back with one of his clever little contradictions - 'weakness is strength' or something. Bollocks! (Hey, don't tell him I said that). Still on the old money thing he said "My grace is sufficient for thee". Just bloody justification for being a miser I reckon.

He also reminded me to tell you that his dad has given us The Holy Ghost as a pledge so that we fully possess the promise of god for forgiveness of sins, redemption and salvation - blah, blah, blah. Just another bouncy cheque I reckon. The only worthwhile pledge would be one that the old soak Richard the Hun should take if he keeps waking up with a hangover and dirty hands.

Look, got to go, stay safe and look out for the Visigoths.


Thursday, 13 October 2016


We're going to Toast Martinborough in November - the annual food and wine festival.

We haven't been for quite a few years (at least 10) but used to attend this every year. It's the 25th this year. We're looking forward to it but I heard on the radio today that at least two wineries have pulled out of it because of the very restrictive alcohol regulations and the threats of very large fines and/or loss of licence for non-compliance.

Frankly I can see both sides of this. It's difficult for wineries at festivals to do the age checking and inebriation observation that is required in bars. There are at times a crush of people all clamouring at the makeshift bars and tables to be served.

On the other hand, I've seen at this festival and others a lot of bad behaviour that stemmed from too much alcohol consumed too quickly. This was years ago and I can only assume that things have got worse (the younger generation you know).

I wrote about this a few years ago as The Wine Guy. See here:

It's a shame that  a  rowdy few can spoil things for others but I guess that's just the way of it especially when there's booze of any description. The great holiday activities of the past at Christmas and New Years beach venues are all set to disappear. A nice stroll late at night in Queen Street Auckland or Courtenay Place Wellington has become too dangerous.

As for Lower Hutt or Wainuiomata let's not go there. Seriously, let's not go there.

Escarpment, one of the great Pinot Noir producers has decided not to feature their wines at the festival this year and Palliser Estate has also withdrawn. I'm not surprised at Palliser which, as the first winery to come across on entering Martinborough and the last when leaving it was always 'party central'. At the end of the day thousands would meet up there to use up the last of the festival currency and kick back while listening to great music.
The Beat Girls used to feature here.

 Of course this was where most of the drunkeness and associated problems was the most pronounced.

I hope this year that things are better but, being the 25th anniversary it probably won't be.

Never mind: If you can't beat them - join them.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Richard wrote recently of the problems in his street of feral kids causing problems.

He's not alone in this as in our area there is a family of drongoes that has two teenagers - one about 16 and the other 13'sh who have both been expelled from school for stealing, bullying, wilful damage and a swag of other unsociable behaviours.

Rumour has it that they have been responsible for a number of burglaries in the area, something for which the police seem unable to do anything about. The parents are shits - father an unemployed alcoholic layabout and the mother a recently unemployed cleaner (caught on camera helping herself to employers cash) who are certainly not role models to these little bastards scrotes boys.

A recent endeavour by these young fellows who are learning their way through life is to destroy letter-boxes.

Not like this as the solution to this kind of attack could be fixed by this:

No, these little bastards scrotes boys have been setting fire to letter-boxes!
So far, in our street where these little bastards scrotes boys - oh fuck it - I'll stop being mealy-mouthed and say it - these little cunts don't live, there have been four instances of letter-boxes being burnt. This has been limited to only two properties - two each.

One of the owners, after the second incineration has installed a large metal contraption with menacing teeth. Good luck with that.

It's actually much scarier than this (downloaded from web)

The other guy has, after two wooden and plastic boxes have been melted, installed a small metal one. This guy. when driving past the two bastards walking around the bays, slowed down next to them and eye-balled them saying "if it's you I'll do you".

Now there is no proof that the burnings are down to these teenagers but the anecdotal evidence is pretty strong. After the second guy 'threatened' them there hasn't been any further activity but I'm sure it will start up again. The police have visited the family and I guess, without anything constructive to go on, have given them a caution but I feel that the only way that these little bastards will learn is if someone takes a baseball bat to them. I don't advocate violence but I did like that Bronson Vigilante film. Just saying.

Thursday, 6 October 2016


My dad used to give me Christmas gifts like:

Practical Problem Solver

Readers Digest Repair Manual

How to Fix Things

D.I.Y. For Dummies

and other home hint things. I think he was trying to tell me that I was crap at building and fixing things. Not that it helped much.

Richard (of RBB) in a comment on Second Fiddle's post created a spoof extract from the Bible on mould eradication (the post was eradicated later by its own creator) which was funny and got me thinking of how the Bible could be useful as a kind of day to day reference book like building repair, sex advice, fixing electronics, car maintenance and of course cooking.

Relationship advice

With regards to cooking the Bible is full of handy hints although some are dated, arcane or frankly weird.

"Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied." 

- Deuteronomy 6:10-11

This kind of sounds like invasion, burglary and theft although Second Fiddle could be wrong.

"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey."
          - Deuteronomy 8:7-8

Sounds good. I don't know why the Lord didn't bring them there first instead of the home invasions the old sabre rattler was advocating earlier.

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. 
- Ezekiel 4:9.
Not exactly much help here - hardly a cooking tip. What about a bloody recipe?

"Now you shall eat it [the unblemished lamb] in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover. "
          - Exodus 12:11

I put this into the weird category. Either it's a description of takeaway food or an admonishment to those jokers who used to eat their lamb dishes in the nude.

 "The lambs will be for your clothing and the goats will bring the price of a field. There will be goats’ milk enough for your food, for the food of your household,and sustenance for your maidens."
          - Proverbs 27:26-27)

Providing you've got a few maidens then this is a handy one

"They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 
          Exodus 12:8

Not exactly Hester Blumenthal but might suit the Paleo freaks out there.

Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink."
         - Daniel 1:12

Nice to see that not only the Paleos are catered to but veggos as well.

 "Have you found honey? Eat only what you need that you not have it in excess and vomit it."
         - Proverbs 25:16

Something here for those with a sweet tooth but with some sage advice although the manner of delivery could do with a bit of a polish up.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016



 not as bad as that guy, but still.....

I've been a bit lazy recently and not getting out and about.

The weather is getting better and, with mid spring and daylight saving the daylight hours are a lot more favourable especially in the afternoon and evening.
I should be out gardening (have to get those summer vegetables in) and going for walks but I just can't be bothered.

I sort out work things on the computer in the morning and then, in the afternoon when I should be taking some exercise I read books and listen to music or waste time on You Tube. Bad.

Today when 5pm came around I opened a bottle of chardonnay. Bad (not the wine).

Monday, 3 October 2016


I arrived back to the 'farm' this morning, flying in from Auckland.

I've been away for a week - the longest that I've been away for ages.

Last Tuesday I went to Auckland as I had a work meeting on Wednesday. The Old Girl and I took the bus down, she delaying her usual Sunday evening or Monday morning trip to coincide with me. Nice that. When we arrived she headed off to work and I for a haircut and some shopping meeting up again alter for tea (not dinner) at our favourite Mezze.

After that a reasonably early night home where I watched TV ( a treat for me as we don't have TV up north) where I watched The Real Housewives of Auckland - much to the Old Girl's disgust as she pointedly went to bed when it came on.

On Wednesday I was up early (for me) after The Old Girl had gone to work to prepare for a 10AM meeting which went OK. In the afternoon I caught up on correspondence, had a nap and made my way later to Newmarket to meet up with The Old Girl for a film at Rialto. The film was 'Our Kind of Traitor' which was damned good and I recommend it especially if you like John Le Carre stuff. After that we rowed about where to eat before settling on where we always eat in Newmarket at an excellent Spanish theme tapas-type restaurant - small plates and a glass of wine.

On Thursday I worked from the apartment (correspondence, arranging labels and orders) and met up with The Old Girl at a whisky shop in town where her social club had arranged a special tasting.  This was pretty good as we like whiskies and we tried some pretty good examples of the stuff there presented by an enthusiastic whiskyphile.

On Friday I worked again from the apartment in the morning until the Old Girl came home from work in the afternoon and we headed off the the airport on route to Wellington. We were off to WOW - The World of Wearable Art show that evening. I must admit that I had to be dragged to this, kicking and screaming but it was OK. The Old Girl said that it lacked the wow-factor of previous years. I think that this will be my first and last WOW.

On Saturday we filled the day with a visit to Te Papa  and the excellent Gallipoli exhibition:

The Sister Corita exhibition at the City Gallery:

And, at the same gallery the Francis Uprichard (yes, that's her name) exhibition:

Before going to the Dominion Museum and the outstanding WW1 exhibition where I managed to see my great uncle's (on my father's side) name on the list of fallen amongst the Gallipoli dead. He died two days before evacuation!

I've seen my great uncle's name (on my mother's side) on the list at the Auckland museum.

I knew that we wouldn't get a chance to get out to Nuova Lazio to see Richard and Shelley but we stayed in an Air B & B in Wilton next to the Italian Embassy:

I knocked on the door to give them Richard's greetings:

"Ciao. Saluti fro Richard che dice Vai a farti fottere"

I don't think they were very appreciative.


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...