Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Richard (of RBB) has been posting about the afterlife on his blog.




Naturally he doesn't fare as well as Robert does with a kind of role reversal where Richard has to do the commercial cleaning jobs and clean up Robert's shit albeit spiritual shit. At least he doesn't write poetry though. Thank 'heaven' for small mercies

While it is obviously the ravings of a disturbed mind fantasy I did like his description of heaven as a collection point for souls from planets (plural). Earth then is a kind of feeder planet to heaven. Nice that.

I really don't think that he addressed hell properly though.

Bottom floor,
End of the Universe.

Maybe it's because he's a bit sensitive over this given his past indiscretions. Robert has told him many times over that God (Robert's god) will forgive anything as long as you repent before dying. I guess that's fine when you linger in bed before popping your clogs but it's a bit tough on the guys who get hit by a bus.

I don't think that I ever grasped the idea of heaven and hell (and all the other weird middle stages that religious nutters with too much time on their hands dreamed up like purgatory and limbo).
It was promulgated to me in a force-feeding manner by nuns, brothers and priests during my schooling but it just didn't make sense.

 Luckily for me the religious scene at home was ambiguous to weak. My mother was a Catholic coming from an Irish/English background. My father was (once) a Methodist coming from a Scottish background with a bit of Irish thrown in which brought a hint of Catholicism. At home when my brother and sisters and I complained about having to go to Sunday Mass when our father didn't our mother would say that he was a heathen and would go to hell.
I think she said this for a laugh as she wasn't all that staunch (although she did put out Saint Joseph statues in the garden the night before a wedding or family event in the hope of good weather. Maybe she was a Gypsy.)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


I like having a bath and miss it when staying somewhere (like in the Auckland apartment) where there is only a shower.
Every house we've owned we've ensured that we have a nice bathroom. Richard will agree with that as he for one spends a lot of time in the bathroom. We've chosen houses that already have nice bathrooms or, in the case of our Christchurch and Point Chevalier houses, renovated the bathrooms to suit.

When I have a bath (not every day as I alternate with showering), I tend to spend some time in there - reading a book, listening to the radio or music, doing crosswords etc. In my younger days I shared it with a partner and we had a bit of a frolic - but that's another story.

This afternoon I played a few holes of golf. This was the first time since before Christmas and I re-discovered some muscles that hadn't been used for a while. I had a soak in the bath afterwards which was great (except for a neighbour knocking on the door making me have to have a dripping wet conversation on the doorstep. As this might be an on-going situation I'll explain that in a later blog).
I was listening to National Radio where someone said that an hour long hot bath reduced as many calories as a half hour walk!

The radio said that a hot bath burns calories too

Wow! This was news to me - good news.

Now as I said, I'd just spent some time - about an hour and a half - playing golf which involved lots of walking and going up hills (and down into creeks) and, I usually have a bath after going for walks from an hour to two hours so - as I've obviously lost calories through the exercise and am about to lose more through having a long, hot bath, then I need to do something to get back into balance.


Sunday, 28 May 2017


Richard (of RBB)'s office looked like a senior executives penthouse office - that is if senior executives offices had: an old school desk supporting a broken computer and a recently bought bargain lap-top; a home made bookcase that sagged ominously in the middle; half-empty coffee cups dotted about on various surfaces; and discarded underpants that had seen better days.

This was the hub of Richard (of RBB)'s existence, a place of creativity, nostalgia, enterprise and, when no-one else was about, a little surreptitious internet searching. Lights came on in his den early on weekdays - between 5.30AM and 6 AM when the computer was fired up and the first blog posts of the day were banged out quickly and unthinkingly like Donald Trump's tweets while the kettle boiled for the first of the day's Nescafe coffee drinks. Weekends gave the den a bit of a respite with the blog posting, internet searching and email writing happening at a more gentlemanly time of between 8 AM and 9.30 AM.

But a change was looming. Retirement.

This meant that the den-like study would be under huge pressure. Along with the likelihood that Richard (of RBB) would still, at least for a while, rise early and snuggle his bum into the familiar seat at the desk and churn out his missives there was the certainty that this wouldn't cease at 7AM when he previously would leave for work. From August onwards there would be no work to go to.

The overladen and ominously sagging bookcase could almost be heard to groan in trepidation. How many more half-empty coffee cups (or underpants) could the flimsy structure endure before the inevitable collapse.



Still, that was weeks away yet so let's look on the bright side eh?

Saturday, 27 May 2017


It was cold and wet at the bus terminal. Humbert huddled into his Timber-line jacket,the one he bought at the convenience store in Minnesota the last time he'd completely changed his outfit. "Was it really only five days ago" he thought "it seems longer".

"So where is that bloody Richard" he wondered as he looked around at the derelict terminal with buses that looked like they hadn't been anywhere for decades. "Anyone would think he was hiding from me" he mused.

Five days ago he'd decided to make the trip on having learned that Richard (of RBB and other aliases) had done it again. The unmentionable. Humbert had contacted The Curmudgeon to tell him of his visit. The Curmudgeon hadn't seemed that interested he now thought and only seemed interested, pruriently, of Trixie's whereabouts.

He'd also contacted Richard and arranged to be collected from the bus station. "It's a really nice one" Richard had said "the best one. Really tremendous. Busy as."

Humbert had picked up on the vocal clues that Richard had given away in their brief conversation. He had stuttered. Humbert remembered that Richard stuttered when under duress or if he had a guilty conscience. He had also wheezed, Now normally that might not mean much as he probably wheezed from the effort of going from his computer to the bathroom but, combined with the stutter this meant trouble. Big trouble.

Richard had also seemed evasive when Humbert told him of his pending visit. He had mumbled that everything was OK 'Feeling Groovy' he had actually said which put Humbert's hackles up. He knew that Richard didn't like Paul Simon music, there being no double bass or fiddle in it and besides, it had singing. Richard didn't like singing.

Humbert huddled down further into his jacket. He wished Trixie was here. Trixie had a nice feather-lined jacket with a hood. He could steal that from her.

Friday, 26 May 2017


Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.

Richard (of RBB):................. Hello?

The Curmudgeon: Richard?

Richard (of RBB): I mean no......

The Curmudgeon: What the fuck? What took you so long to answer the phone?

Richard (of RBB): I was in the ...

The Curmudgeon:....toilet?

Richard (of RBB): Toilet? No the wardrobe.

The Curmudgeon: What! Why?

Richard (of RBB): Umm .... it's a long story and my name isn't Richard (of RBB) anymore.

The Curmudgeon: What! Why not? What is it now?

Richard (of RBB): It's Rich. Rich Ardprowse.

The Curmudgeon: Ardprowse! What the hell for?

Richard (of RBB): Well I tried Ric Hardprowse but it made me sound like some kind of porn star.

The Curmudgeon: Ric Hardprowse? Porn star? You? Look what's going on?

Richard (of RBB): Well, you know that guy from America?

The Curmudgeon: Donald Trump?

Richard (of RBB): No, no not Trump ......that guy Humbert.

The Curmudgeon: Yes, I know Humbert. That's why I..........

Richard (of RBB): That guy Humbert is on his way over here and he.......

The Curmudgeon: Yes, yes, I know, that's why I'm ringing. I haven't heard from him for a couple of                                    days. He should have been here by now. Do you know what's happened to him?

Richard (of RBB): Me? N-n-n no. No, I don't know....

The Curmudgeon: Listen, what have you been up to. You sound shifty. You sound even more shifty
                               than usual.

Richard (of RBB): I just don't want to see him OK?

The Curmudgeon: Look, if he shows up at your place get him to give me a call. I'll try Robert's place                               now.

Richard (of RBB): Robert! No, no need to involve Robert (he he he) Er, I mean, he's busy. Best to                                      leave him out of it eh?

The Curmudgeon: Mmmm. Strange. I'll see you later and hey, you should come out of the closet .....                                  sorry that didn't sound right but you know what I mean.


Thursday, 25 May 2017


Robert will probably have an enlightening view on this. As you will be aware First 'Lady' Melania Trump (and the step-daughter), when visiting the Pope wore a headscarf out of respect to Vatican and Catholic protocol but eschewed wearing head covering in Saudi Arabia.

This is of course stirring up a bit of controversy as you'd expect when the Trumps are involved.
The Vatican protocol is for women, when meeting the pope, to wear a headscarf, dark clothing, long dresses and to have sleeves covering their arms. In Saudi Arabia, while Muslim theocratic law requires women to have their heads (and naughty bits) covered this requirement is seen as optional.

I guess the reason for the difference is that the Saudi King isn't celibate. With having many wives and mistresses he's likely getting a bit now and then. The Pope however is (or is supposed to be) celibate so a flash of hair, elbow or a finely turned ankle from an attractive woman could send the old guy into sexual paroxysms and turn him into a slavering maniac going for a grab.

We can't have that.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017



I used to like watching Ivanhoe on Friday nights in the early 1960s.

See below:


It was great fun watching this and later having wooden sword fights with neighbourhood friends (not the neighbourhood bullies) - that's another story:


I heard today that Roger Moore died. He was at a good old age though.
Apart from Ivanhoe I liked him in The Saint which suited him.

Robert would approve

I always thought that he was the worst James Bond though and this spoiled the film franchise for me as because he acted in so many of the Bond films there's a lot I have never seen.

Maybe they'll have some James Bond replays on TV soon. I might check out a couple but I don't imagine that he got any better over time.

R.I.P. Roger

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Yesterday I submitted my paperwork for the OAP (Superannuation) which will hopefully come my way in about 10 weeks time.

It's strange thinking that I've got this old - hey it's my parents age (or was). The things that I've been used to doing easily get a bit harder as time goes on. Richard told me yesterday that he's been getting all sorts of aches and pains and he's just a whippersnapper.

Some people suffer from forms of dementia when they get old which must be pretty horrible.
I was thinking of this when I was in the shower today. Why the shower? Well, I was about to get out and remembered that I hadn't rinsed off the shampoo.

Warning bells?

No, not really, I've been doing stuff like since my 20s:

  • getting out of the shower with soap all over
  • forgetting where I put things
  • going into a room and wondering why I went there
  • going shopping and forgetting what I wanted to buy
  • forgetting my PIN number when at the supermarket counter.

Of course it could mean that I suffered a very early form of dementia but I'm hoping it will just be business as usual.

Monday, 22 May 2017


Ring Ring Ring


HUMBERT:  Curmudgeon?

THE CURMUDGEON: Yes, speaking.

HUMBERT:  Why didn't you return my calls?

THE CURMUDGEON: Hey, who the hell....... is that you Humbert?

HUMBERT:  Yes it's Humbert. Why didn't you return my calls?

THE CURMUDGEON: Well, for one you didn't leave a message and second (not the god-botherer - he's named Geramy now.........

HUMBERT:  Geramy? With an 'A'?

THE CURMUDGEON: Yeah, don't ask and don't interrupt. I was saying that secondly I can't afford to make calls to USA. I'm nearly unemployed and soon to be an OAP.

HUMBERT:  OAP? What the fucks that?

THE CURMUDGEON: Old Age Pensioner.

HUMBERT:  Oh, OK. We're all getting old which leads me to what I wanted to talk to you about ....

THE CURMUDGEON: Uh oh. Not that old schoolteacher again ....

HUMBERT:  Now you're interrupting but yes it's that joker Richard (of RBB)

THE CURMUDGEON: Shit! He hasn't...?

HUMBERT:  Well whatever you're thinking off he's done worse.

THE CURMUDGEON: You mean ....?

HUMBERT:  Yes. I'm afraid that I'll have to come over again for a little visit.


HUMBERT:  Now don't get all prurient and salacious now Curmudgeon and no, you can't come over here to look after Trixie while I'm gone. She can look after herself. Anyway I've got a combination lock on the wine cellar.


HUMBERT:  Hey I don't want to know about your sexual proclivities, I've got enough on my plate with Richard.


HUMBERT:  Look, I don't want to speculate here. I'll just have to check things out and let you know.

THE CURMUDGEON: OK. Here's a hint. He only drinks Chardonnay now so if you want to fuck him up bring a red wine.

HUMBERT:  Ha ha. I like it. Hey, I'll put a red wine in a brown paper bag and tell him it's Chardonnay - how about that?

THE CURMUDGEON: But he'll notice the colour when its poured in the glass.

HUMBERT:  Yeah, I suppose. Unless I get him pissed first.

THE CURMUDGEON: I'd pour it into a cup.

HUMBERT:  Bingo. That was worthy of The Wine Guy.

THE CURMUDGEON: Thanks, I'll let him know

HUMBERT:  Right. Got to go. I'll call you when I arrive in Wellington - that's if you'll answer your bloody phone.

THE CURMUDGEON: Now don't be sarcastic. Save your caustic wit for your meeting with the old guy. Bye.

Friday, 19 May 2017


I started calling Richard's Bass Bag blog the bus station years ago as it had good links to other interesting blogs and saved the hassle of accessing them by other means. I even used to  access my own blogs via this link. Richard himself started to refer to his blog as the bus station.

This was when it was a vital blog and was generating a lot of interest from his friends and colleagues. It hummed.

Now unfortunately it is a derelict version of what it once was with only two old buggers, Robert and me reading his posts and relying on the links service. As Donald would say "SAD"

Anyway, we can't dwell on the past and must move on.


I'm off to catch a real bus soon as I'm off to Auckland for the weekend. The Old Girl and I are going to listen to Ian Rankin at the Writers and readers festival. This should be good as we've always admired this guy and his novels set in and around Edinburgh (Scotland for any American readers).

I like getting the bus as it gives me a chance to snooze, read a book or listen to an audio book during the 3 hour trip. It takes 2 and a half hours to drive the distance so three hours by bus isn't bad as it includes a comfort stop on the way. The cost of going by bus is also less than the cost of petrol when driving by car so that's a plus as well.

The books I read are those that I download using the free App 'Overdrive' on my iPad. The audio books I download using 'Overdrive' on to my iPhone. These are free and the choices, via Auckland library (or any library you belong to) are pretty extensive.

Bus travelling requires a certain protocol to follow and, sometimes, to by-pass.
I don't have much luggage as all I need is in the apartment in Auckland so just carry a small back-pack with my laptop, phone and iPad. This means that I don't have to line up to put my bag or bags in the luggage compartment. I just wait by the bus door and am generally first on unless I allow and old lady to go first.

Old ladies can be a work of art. Sometimes if you don't let them go first they just barge their way to the front anyway using sharp elbows and umbrella points to clear their way.

Once on board I seek out a seat near the front as, given the windy nature of the road from here to Auckland, sitting at the rear can lead to a bit of road-sickness. I grab a window seat and hope that no-one sits next to me (unless it's a nice woman). To deter people requires adopting a position or attitude that suggests sitting next to me won't be to their liking. You have to allow yourself to claim a bit of the aisle seat - put a newspaper on it, have your phone sitting on it etc. These can easily be removed if someone (especially the aforementioned nice woman) wants the seat but generally is enough to make them seek elsewhere in the second or so as they pass.

I don't as some miserable scrotes do, put my backpack on the other seat or, as a lot of young bastards do, sit in the aisle seat leaving the window seat empty (until the bus gets going). This I think is unfair.

I don't ever recline the seat back. This is totally unnecessary on the short bus trip and I get pissed off when someone in front of me does this. Recently when the Old Girl and I were going from Auckland to up north, before the bus had left a young guy reclined his seat right back in front of the Old Girl. I tapped him on the shoulder and said that I hoped he had no intention of travelling like that. He mumbled that he was just trying it out to see if it worked and then reset it. That was a win.

I bathe or shower everyday and use nice eau de cologne and underarm deodorant. Some people don't do this and, if you are unlucky enough to have one of these in front of you or behind you or worse (if the earlier tactics didn't work) beside you - the trip can be uncomfortable. It's hard breathing through your mouth all the way. I can't understand how inconsiderate some people are.

I put my phone on silent so that it doesn't ring and annoy everyone. If it does vibrate I check who is calling and only if it is really important will answer and quickly complete the call in a low voice. Some idiots conduct loud phone calls of the 'I'm on the bus' variety that can go on for ages. Why do some people think that everyone else wants to know about their pathetic comings and goings?

Anyway, enough moaning - I'd better get organised and into town to catch the bus.

Thursday, 18 May 2017


The management notified all staff that there would be a special meeting at 10 AM the next day.
This would be a very special meeting and all staff were invited, not just the managers.

A buzz went through the workplace and small clusters of workers gathered to discuss what the announcement was to be. Doom sayers suggested that the business was to be closed down while the optimists thought it might be news of an expansion. Someone of course alerted the media so that the print, radio and TV news that night and early the next morning was full of speculation of the worst kind.

At the scheduled time, all staff of the organisation were gathered in the cafeteria. There was a clatter of plates, cups and utensils and a noisy hubbub of conversations that gradually hushed when the CEO and her cohorts entered and took up places at the front of the large room.

"Fellow workers" she said, "no doubt you are interested and concerned at what we are going to announce. Please don't be worried as I have good news to tell you"

There was an audible sigh of relief from the assembly as they shifted positions, breathed out noisily, laughed nervously and in one case someone farted loudly.

The CEO continued. "We have just finalised the trading results of the last year and they are very good. Very, very good. In the past when we have had very good results the bonus system for senior executives has been triggered and, depending on salary level and responsibility, the manager could receive a bonus up to 50% of base salary along with parcels of company share options."

There was some muttering from the floor with the odd wry observation.

"This year" said the CEO "we have decided to scrap the senior executive bonus scheme and share options allocation and, instead, have decided to quantify what this might have been and to divide that figure by the entire number of staff equally, at whatever level of employment. The amount you will find in your pay packet this week or your fortnightly salary is significant. Quite significant. Have a nice day all."


OK, I guess you realise that this is a fable. I mean, a woman CEO!

No, really, this is a fable. I've been the embarrassed recipient of salary bonuses of 50% plus share option parcels at a previous company I worked for. When things went well, the senior executives, already very well rewarded would get further reward. The rest of the company's employees got bugger-all.

Yesterday and the day before I heard of Silver Fern Farms in Ashburton calling a special meeting of all staff. There was a lot of uncertainty and media interest and speculation. As suspected the special announcement was that the company had sustained severe losses and that this particular plant was being closed down with the resultant loss of hundreds of jobs.

I wonder what the senior management got?

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


I know, I know, that old soon to be retired schoolteacher from Nuova Lazio begged me not to create a 'gardening' series. Normally I'm open to the wants and needs of old people and try to help them when I can. When it comes to that old soon to be retired schoolteacher from Nuova Lazio though there's not a lot I can do to help him - other than to comply with his wish but another old and soon to be retired commercial cleaner from Petone heights begged me to create and continue with a 'gardening' series.

What to do?

I looked at the merits of both requests and had to decide  who needed a favour most. I trawled through the blog posts of both of these supplicants and drew up a good:bad list from each.


Soon to retire

Bangs on about double basses

Bangs on about fiddles

Writes in an unintelligible foreign language sometimes

Drinks wine with his meals
Drinks wine without meals

Drinks cheap and rubbishy wine

Goes to bed early
Gets up too early

Helps old people
Is a bit OCD when it comes to toilet practices.

Probably practises his double bass in the toilet

A few years to retirement

Bangs on a bit about religion.

Bangs on a bit about Catholicism.

Believes in the Holy Trinity

Thinks that a god created the universe

Argues with Jehovah Witnesses
Sells cup-cakes

Is a good home handyman
Is a good home handyman (bastard!)

Gets up early

Brews and drinks beer

Drinks even worse wine than the schoolteacher

Sleeps with a spirit medium

I found that there wasn't much between them but re-read a couple of posts that the commercial cleaner wrote detailing (with disturbing audio recordings) his harrowing experience sleeping with a spirit medium. I decided that the poor guy needed some consideration so here is Gardening (Part Two).


Now that we've reached this point I've found that I don't have a lot to report. It's sort of like the ante-climactic announcements in the Monty Python films and series.

or like this:


Hang on ......... here's something to keep you going.

A couple of months ago I bought a lot of different herbs and planted them in pots to put on the deck close to the kitchen. I've been using these in my cooking but some of them are looking a bit sad.

I hope that you enjoyed this. Richard (of RBB), you'd better go and have a lie-down.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Having decided to cut down on working hours will give me more time for other pursuits.
With weekly income being halved until kind Mr English gives me my superannuation in a couple of months though I'll have to be careful what I spend.

Yesterday I went to the supermarket for my weekly shop having decided to make three dishes in quantities that can be frozen for future meals:

  • Meatloaf
  • Thai Chicken Curry
  • Chicken and vegetable soup.
The meatloaf recipe doesn't require vegetable other than onion, spring onion, garlic and capsicum.

The Thai Chicken Curry recipe calls for carrot, spring onion, capsicum and bamboo shoots (canned).

The Chicken and vegetable soup calls for a lot of fresh vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, potato, carrots, pumpkin, onion, garlic, potato, capsicum and lots of other interesting things.

When making my purchases I was gob-smacked at how costly the fresh vegetables were compared to how much they were only a couple of weeks ago.

I didn't buy cauliflower, beans and broccoli opting for leeks, turnip and swede instead.

That's it, I decided, I'm going to sort out my vege. garden.

Now my vegetable garden is less like The Garden of Eden:

And more like Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights:

Here's a pic of how it looks like today:

I think it needs a bit of attention.

Monday, 15 May 2017


I went to the cinema today. I mean I had to. Richard (of RBB) let the side down yesterday by going to see a Chick Flick see here:

I had to balance things out a bit. Up north in Whangarei there wasn't a Gary Cooper or John Wayne Western but there was a new Ridley Scott film - Alien Covenant showing. I like Scott as a film-maker. He made Alien in 1979 which was outstanding and spawned the Alien business with many so-called sequels until the real sequel/prequel Prometheus was released. Alien Covenant is more a sequel to Prometheus that was a prequel to Alien. Got it?

Old Ridley did a better job with this latest film than he did with Exodus: Gods and Kings which I saw and didn't like a couple of years ago. See here:

The film was pretty damn good with once again great special effects and good acting. If I had to complain about anything though it would be:

  • Borrowing from James Cameron's Aliens sequel with the dumb, gung-ho attitude shown by the crew.
  • Too many Americans.
  • No Chinese or Eastern Europeans (even old Star Trek had some of these).
  • Being a bit too formulaic and not having any 'new' surprises.
The early parts of the film were filmed in New Zealand (Milford area). This being a depiction of a new planet where settlers were going to colonise. This to me seemed to be a metaphor for Americans fleeing USA for greener pastures.

This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing except for the fact that:
  • There was already a former civilisation there that had died out.
  • It was pretty dangerous in places.
  • There had been introduced plague and environmental damage.
  • There was a nasty predator with scary teeth about that was destroying everything.

Mmmm. Maybe a good metaphor after all.

Sunday, 14 May 2017



I started the on-line application for NZ Superannuation this weekend.
What a pig of a process!
When I got through it all it seems that I still have to visit the department armed with copies of all sorts of documentation in order to:

  • prove who I am
  • Prove I'm alive
  • Prove who my partner is (why that's relevant god knows)
  • Prove my address
  • Prove my bank account
  • etc.etc.
The documentation has to be original with copies signed and proven by a JP or solicitor or Uncle Tom Cobley.

I can't understand why provision of:

  • Passport number
  • Driving License number or,
  • IRD number
can't suffice.

Sometimes I think we live in a country where bureaucracy has gone mad.

Friday, 12 May 2017


I mentioned a while ago that I wrote a plan for the company I work for to take on full time marketing and sales staff as the company grows.
Well, the company has had a big injection of capital and has employed a Global Sales Manager and a Global Marketing Manager.
Two full-time people doing what I've been doing part-time! What a laugh. They are young, gung-ho and 'really into' social media platforms.

Anyway it's what I planned for so yesterday I met the two incumbents and we all discussed my role going forward.

I'll be cutting down my working hours to one day a week (down from the current approx. two) and will be available for project work until that fritters out. I hope to continue the one day a week for as long as I can though - to the next century will do fine.

It might be a bit lean for the next two months but in August kind Mr English is giving me my Superannuation. This will, with the one day a week pay be nearly as much as I've been earning so going forward won't be too disastrous.

On the plus side I won't feel so obligated to work and will have more time to do things I want to - golf, walks, tennis and might even join an old blokes outdoor bowls club.
At present I block out every morning for work (8 to 12) even if there's nothing doing which sort of messes up my day. With the one day a week thing I think that I'll just pick a day - say Monday to get things done and the other 4 days will be time off.

With the project work maybe I can do the planning stuff which I like to do without having to worry about the implementation which I hate.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017


Poor Robert will be needing to have a bit of a lie-down after Pope Francis exploded his belief that God created the world in a week.

See here:


(He also said "I'd like to have a big bang" but that went unreported.)

I heard and read this news with a fair amount of excitement as I think this new guy Frank is a bit of all right and is using his common sense (a practice not advocated in the Catholic Church, nor in any religion).

I then thought about poor old Robert. His identity (and spelling) confusion in his alter role of Geremy/Geramy aside, his belief in creationism and the bible must be rocked to the core.
He probably needs a good stiff drink now. If he doesn't have one to hand maybe his old mate Jesus can drop by and wave a wand or something over the kitchen tap (if he/she/it isn't busy scamming bartenders)

Monday, 8 May 2017


"Witness the power of the Holy Ghost".

But Robert could be wrong.

I watched this to see if he was in this video somewhere.

11 minutes 57 seconds is good.


Sunday, 7 May 2017


I've just been watching Coast New Zealand on TV One On Demand.

This is an excellent documentary series (the second one) on coastal history and living in New Zealand. It's a spin-off from a multi-series Scottish documentary using the same presenter and I assume some of the original producers, directors, writers and technical people. The quality is amazing and it is well worth watching.

In tonight's episode there was a segment on archeological digs on Greater Mercury Island off the Coromandel Peninsular (the island privately owned by one of New Zealand's greater rip-off merchants). The digs were an exploration of Maori agricultural practices over the last millennium and involved using deep digging tools to bring up soil samples that dated back over a thousand years.

Now while this isn't intrinsically interesting per se it had a sort of resonance for me.
In the 1970's while I was at Victoria University one of the most important pursuits I and my friends had was the pursuit of young women, "Getting the sex" as lyrically-challenged Richard (of RBB) used to say. Needless to say "Getting the sex" didn't come easily to repressed ex-Catholic school young men so we would jump at any opportunity no matter how spurious.

The occasion that Coast New Zealand reminded me of was when one of our band, I can't remember who but it was probably Tony who knew a weird lot of people at Victoria University, excitedly told us on our Friday night's libation at The Grand Hotel in Willis Street that he had signed us up for a Sunday jaunt with the Victoria University Archeological Society. After lots of groans, protests and physical assaults on his person he said that there might be women on the jaunt. Women! "Getting the sex" Richard expostulated at which we had to hush him as there were lots of other randy and unfulfilled students in the pub - we had to keep this intel to ourselves.

On the Sunday morning  we loaded up in my Hillman or Tony's Humber - I can't remember which, and headed off to the rendezvous point in Wainuiomata halfway down the coast road to Cape Palliser.
Now I can't remember who was in the car but there was definitely Tony, me, Noel, Mike and one other. I'm not sure if it was Richard (of RBB) as in these circumstances we would normally have skived off leaving him behind but he might well have caught us and latched on. Maybe he can tell us as he has a better memory than I have.

At the rendezvous point there was a busload of Victoria University Archeological Society members all kitted out and ready to go. I remember this at least - quickly checking out the group for eligible females. There were a lot of hairy blokes (and hairy legged females) but there weren't a lot of what we Catholic boys would have said were Mary Magdalene types. After all assembled though I noticed that there were a couple of nice looking young women of the type that I was used to admiring from afar so it wasn't too bad.

We were ready to go, preening ourselves and looking debonair ......

..... until the leader of Victoria University Archeological Society handed out equipment to us. It seemed that Tony's explanation of our involvement whilst cadging free drinks from us in the pub on the Friday night was a bit lacking in specifics. We were there as it turned out to hump (not the women) but all the bloody heavy equipment - spades, picks, shovels and weird digging tools.

The digging tools were exactly as I saw tonight on Coast New Zealand being a sharp and narrow spade with telescopic additions so as to dig out core samples of earth. Bloody heavy and very awkward to carry. As good strong lads though we did what was necessary - we loaded up Noel with as much stuff as we could make him carry. Noel was and I assume still is a bit of a short-arse but with about 3 hundredweight of kit on his back he was virtually scraping the ground.

We headed off up hill - UPHILL! - over rugged farm land and every now the leader of Victoria University Archeological Society would call a halt and we would have to assemble the gear and dig holes. We did this on numerous occasions and dug out lots of incredibly interesting and historically important core samples dirt which theVictoria University Archeological Society nutters fussed over and stored away in packs.

After hours of plodding we went up over the hills and down the other side to the beaches where the Wahini survivors (and victims) washed up. There was evidence of terraces which apparently were Maori gardens from several hundred years ago which could have been interesting but by this time we were knackered - especially Noel-  so we just flopped down and sunbathed on the cold and Southerly exposed beach. Kind of like a UK Summer holiday.

It was quite evident that the couple of delectable women were already involved with some of the hairy nutters so that was a no go. Tony had the good sense to keep away from the rest of us at this stage detecting the dark looks we were giving hime and also noticing the big rocks and throwing stones we were gathering.

After lunch which I think that the nutters provided we headed back up over the hills to our vehicles and made our way home. Another failure at picking up women or "Getting the sex" but in a funny way another nice memory of our youth to have. It's funny too to think that Richard (of RBB) doesn't live far from there nowadays. I wonder if he is still looking for Maori gardens? Nah, he's still trying to "Get the sex" probably.

Monday, 1 May 2017


We went to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Pop Up Globe in Auckland on Friday.

The Pop Up Globe is a great new institution. It started in Auckland last year as the world's first temporary working replica of Shakespeare's original theatre. The 2017 pop up has a 3 storey Jacobean-style stage front, hand-painted ceiling and a larger stage than the 2016 version.

The building stands only as long as the season (3 months) and is then dismantled.

We had great seats, eye-level with the stage. Everything is nicely hokey with scaffolding and bench seating and close to the stage. This is how Shakespeare theatres were in the day without all the musty-fusty pretentiousness that has arisen over the last half a millennium.

Much Ado is a farce so was a lot of boisterous fun. The original setting is a Mediterranean island, this production is set on a Pacific island with accompanying 'Laughing Samoan' type references. I'm sure that old Will would have appreciated it.


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...