Sunday, 18 February 2018


The Cultured Curmudgeon sure likes to try and raise us up from our reading of Jack Reacher books and watching Bruce Willis films.

He has written a new post : OPEN YOUR MINDS


Bill has just got back from his travels with an amazing tale (tail? - see what I did there?) about events to come in September.



..... sorry, wrong metaphor there, I probably should have said back on the green but anyway I played golf yesterday for the first time since I hurt my knee in November.

It was quite hot even though I left it until mid to late afternoon. I played well hitting some damn good shots which I was happy with after a nearly 3 month break. It soon got too warm though so I abandoned playing and went golf ball hunting instead.

I went down the bank to the same creek where I fell down and did the damage. I daren't tell The Old Girl as she's forbidden me from doing this. I got down without mishap and had a fossick around. The creek was quite high as a result of all the rains we've been having so I had to take my shoes and socks off to wade it. In the past I've just taken a running jump and leapt over but this time, because it was fuller and also because I didn't want to aggravate the knee on which I have an elastic brace, I played safe.

It seems that other golfers hadn't crossed the creek to retrieve their wayward balls and I found twenty new or near new balls all within a few yards of each other. Jackpot! I can add these to the 400 or so others I have in the shed.

Saturday, 17 February 2018


The Religious Curmudgeon has been Youtube surfing and found an interesting clip featuring Stephen Fry giving his take on the Catholic Church,



I was a bit of a casanova at university in the '70s.
I had long curly hair and  a body like (I've told you before) Donatello's David.

I used to piss Richard off by regaling him with stories of my many girlfriends. Sometimes when we were sitting in the cafe I'd point some of them out to him. He was very jealous.

There was Veronica who was in an after hours course I took in Astrology taught by Garth Carpenter. She was stunning and an American.

Francesca was in my French class. I'm not sure what nationality she was but she wasn't a kiwi. She had a nice accent.

Robyn was in my English class. She had a model's looks. She was 2 years older than me so I was into older women then. I remember once nearly tipping my chair over in the library when she came up and talked to me. She put a hand out and rescued me. I was in love with her.

Leila was in my Constitutional Law class. Attractive and intelligent I blame here for a lowly grade as I couldn't stop looking at her.

(Unknown name) girl always sat in the library near where I would sit. I offered her a mint once which she accepted and smiled.

White Suit Girl didn't attend any lectures or tutorials that I did but our paths often crossed in the courtyards and corridors. I think that she was infatuated by me.

Marina was in my Education and Society course. She was lovely and always had a nice smile for me.

Angela was in one of my History courses. She was of Italian heritage and walked around barefoot. It turned out she was a friend of one of my future flatmates. Sadly she's passed on.

Sue was in my Environmental Geology class. I noticed her right from the start.

There were others but I don't want to piss Richard off again.


True or False?


* Said Karen McDougal in The New York Post and as reported in other US publications.

Clothes on thankfully

Now while she is easy on the eye the thought of a naked Donald Trump will be giving a lot of people nightmares if they can't erase the image from their memory - me included.

Will this new claim of infidelity damage Trump? Probably not as he's such a flawed character that people, even his right wing religious fanatic supporters expect no better of him.


I went kayaking yesterday. I made the longest trip since I sold my trusty old yellow kayak nearly five years ago before we went to Canada.

The new kayak I have is pretty good (not as good as that old one though which I wish that I hadn't sold) and I decided to give it a work out. The bay was very calm as I headed out. It was after high tide and would be a few hours to low tide. As I headed out around the first point the water got a bit choppier but I generally hugged the coast and made my way past all of the bays towards the last bay, Urquharts before the entrance to the Heads and the big ocean.

Urquharts Bay

The channel was pretty deep at parts as this is where the big oil tankers come in to Marsden Point refinery and at points there was some big swell. At Urquharts I turned around and headed back home. The outgoing tide and the headwind that had come out made the return a lot more difficult than the trip out. I was utterly stuffed when I got back to McLeod Bay (not Cloudy Bay as Robert seems to think I live) and I beached the kayak and wallowed around in the water for a while. I've got to learn to take things in small steps. Last night my back, buttocks and shoulders ached but this, I guess suggests that the exercise must have been doing the old body good.


Whangarei harbour around the Heads is made up of many beaches, little islands and sandbanks that become exposed at low tide. Earli in my trip as I was making my way along a large pleasure craft came barrelling along unnecessarily close to me. The bastard had the whole fucking harbour to use but no, this tosser, his mate and his stupid fat wife had to come by me at speed. The bow wave rocked my kayak a bit and I called out "I hope you hit something and sink you bastard!"

About a couple of hundred metres on (or whatever the maritime measure is) the said pleasure craft made a 'graunching' sound and ran aground on a part of a sandbank. I had to laugh as I skirted well around the bank, keeping to deeper water. It was funny to see the three of them standing in knee high water trying to rock the boat back into deeper water. It was an outgoing tide so things would only get worse.

On my return past the spot the boat had gone - unfortunately not sunk as they'd obviously got it away or had some assistance with a tow but I thought "Wow! My hex ability is pretty good, I'll have to try it again sometime"


True or False?

Friday, 16 February 2018


The Old Girl gives me a hard time sometimes by telling me that I embellish things a bit.
I remind her that I've made a career out of marketing and have learned to never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

I've decided that a new posting series is required and I'm using truth and lies as the theme.
I'll write a story that may or may not be true. My many some a couple maybe of my readers can choose which it is.

I'm off to the club in a few minutes so when I return I'll post the first in this exciting new series .....

...... or will I?

Thursday, 15 February 2018


Regular readers will know that I've joined a bowling club and today played in a first year singles final which I will report on in a moment.

First, it is important to know that Lawn Bowls is a traditional game played largely by elderly people and which has strict rules of social behavior and etiquette. Bowlers are sticklers for rules and traditions and get a bit niggly when these are not being adhered to.

Here are the etiquette rules that apply to New Zealand bowling clubs:

Etiquette: One of the greatest attributes of lawn bowls is the opportunity it gives to foster sociability and camaraderie among fellow bowlers. And as part of this, it is important that some conventional courtesies and standards are observed on and off the green.

1. On tournament and club days, try to arrive early enough to assist with preparation of play (scrims, scoreboards, mats, jacks, etc)

2. Visiting Players should not be left to their own devices – they are our guests for the day and should be made to feel welcome.

3. Hand the jack to the opposing lead when he/she has placed the mat and have their first bowl ready to hand to them. This friendly gesture sets the tone for the game.

4. All players should have their next bowl in their hand by the time the opposing player has delivered their bowl. Scrambling around searching for your bowl is not acceptable, especially in a time game.

5. All players should stay stationary and quiet behind the player delivering the bowl so as not to affect their concentration.

6. Do not walk up the rink in front of the player who has just delivered the last bowl to be played. Wait until they start moving up the rink.

7. No bowls should be touched or moved until the end is declared and then help return the bowls to behind the mat.

8. Warn players on adjoining rinks if a drive is about to be played and be ready to try and stop any bowls going into other rinks and disturbing their heads.

9. Possession of the rink and mat passes to your opponent once your bowl comes to rest or becomes dead. If you are on the head, you can only make comments and see what position your bowls are in if you are in possession of the rink.

10.It is unlawful as well as discourteous to encroach on adjoining rinks.

11.It is a courtesy for the “Three” or middle player of the team who has won the previous end to place his skip’s bowl on the mat before joining the other players at change over.

12.Niggling or disparaging remarks directed at the opposing team or players is not good sportsmanship.

13.Congratulate an opponent on a well- played bowl and don’t grizzle if they have a lucky shot. You will get your share of rubs and wicks and they generally balance out in a game.

14.Do not forget that Bowls is first and foremost a sport and should be treated as such. Be gracious in defeat.

15.Avoid unseemly language and behaviour at all times and have consideration for your own players and opponents.

16.Disturbing the head before an opponent has a chance to determine the results is illegal and unacceptable. No bowls should be moved until both teams, or opposing players in singles, agree on the number of shots scored.

17. Leads and twos should remain behind the head or mat when not in possession of the rink and should not crowd the head or offer advice when bowls in contention are being measured – this is the job of the Three (or middle person).

18.The skip should set high standards by being scrupulously fair. They should not belittle team members who are performing indifferently, but instead provide encouragement. Rewarding well played shots with a clap or friendly word of praise does wonders for team morale.

19.Keep general chatter to a minimum and and don’t wander from rink to rink.


As said I played  a best of three games finals tournament match today and unfortunately lost. In keeping with the rules of etiquette here is my short report on this:

"My opponent J. was a rather tall chap. He was very nice and polite with impeccable manners. Dressed in regulation whites he brought credit to the venerable game and elegantly demonstrated his skills.
His playing was consistent and of high quality enabling him to convincingly win the first game. I bowled some good shots but not enough I'm sad to say to pull back from J's impressive score.
After a welcome cup of tea we resumed playing and in the second game we were 'neck and neck' for most of it until, in the last quarter J pulled away. Although the second game was close J, due to his superior skill and discipline was able to win.
The result was J winning best of three and being awarded the First Year singles trophy.
Well done J, the best man won."


Well, bollocks to that. Now that I'm home here's my alternate report.

"At the bowling club I was met by a tall streak of piss by the name of J. This joker claimed to be a first year player having not played bowls before. He rather suspiciously was decked out in official bowling club gear - white hat, white shirt, white longs and even white shoes - first year? Yeah right!
The bastard was annoying in his mundane and boring playing style, just inching each shot closer and closer to the jack or kitty as the white target ball is called. Every time I placed one of my balls close this long streak of piss would nudge mine out of the way. Bastard! He won the first game and then we had to sit about drinking stewed tea and making polite conversation with some of the oldies who looked like they came out of Robert's mate Noah's Ark.
The next game was much closer and it looked like I might win and J was getting a bit tired. He said that he probably wouldn't be up to playing a third game if he lost the second so I felt sorry for him and slackened off my pace a bit so he could win.
The result - two games to J who was made First Year Champion.
Lawn bowls is a stupid game!"


A funny thing happened with the shorts I was wearing. As I was adjusting them the top button which held them together came off and the zip kept coming down. As a result the shorts were slipping down regularly. I had to take the shoelace out of one of my shoes and tie up the shorts by looping the lace through the belt loops and tying tightly. I didn't want to be the first person at the club to be playing naked.



The Religious Curmudgeon has written a new post:

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


The Curmudgeon Express has returned from his (very long) holidays and has a new post to share.


The Food Curmudgeon has cooked up an idea for dinner (see what I did there? You don't get puns like this at the Bass Baggers Hexagram).



I heard an interviewee on National Radio yesterday saying that weeds are good for the garden.


This pricked my ears up.

The recent run of hot but rainy weather has not only created unbearable mugginess but it has encouraged weeds to run riot. These little bastards sprout up in my vegetable garden, amongst the ferns at the side of the house, in and around the lawn, on the gravel drive and between the bricks on the outside paving. Bastards!

I bought a long handled weed grouter (I'm unsure if this is what it's called) which means that I don't have to kneel to 'grout' them out but even so, they grow as fast as I get rid of them.

I went to Auckland last weekend and The Old Girl isn't coming up this coming weekend so it'll be three weeks since she's been here by the time she gets here in two weekends time. No doubt I still won't be on top of the weeds so I'll have to tell her about the National Radio interview I heard and that weeds are good. Here's hoping she'll believe me.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Robert (still on probation) has reinstated his blog and is posting reasonably frequently.

Unfortunately he still, frequently, deletes all posts for no known reason. Like  early rumblings before a major earthquake this inevitably is followed by total blog deletion. The reasons, as mentioned are unknown but there are some obvious coincidences that seem to be related to the deletions:

  • Consumption of vast amounts of cheap wine and dodgy beer
  • Arguments on blogger or Facebook with Richard (of RBB).
We will keep a close watch on this and record the activity and chart the results..
Unfortunately for Robert deletion of his blog posts merely increase the probationary period.


Robert has created another blog which at this stage appears to be stable.

The same avatar is used thus:

Which appears to be a portrait of Paganini on a bad day.

This could forebode (the word chosed carefully) a string of blogs controlled by Robert, or Paganini or both.
If this is to be then it would make sense for Robert to create a consortium of blogs. This concept was pioneered by THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ and quickly followed by Richard's group which he inexplicably named THE BASS BAGGING HEXAGRAM.

THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ's suggestion is for Robert to put his blogs under an overarching brand. Our suggestion is THE DIRE TRIBE (for obvious punning reasons). The word 'tribe' suggests a closely knit grouping and the word 'dire' speaks for itself.

A logo that quickly and succinctly sums up the core values of the group will be necessary. Note: Richard has failed to grasp this notion and is using the logo:

Which, yes, we admit is a hexagram but what does it suggest in regard to Bass Bagging, filling up bins with garden rubbish, changing strings on musical instruments and having an aversion to a song named Easy Ridin' Bros from Wellington all of which frequently make up his blog posting.

Here are some suggested logos for DIRE TRIBE for discussion and consideration.


I like the last one as it seems to fit with Robert's sense of humour and with his views on how indigenous populations should be treated (refer previous posts on The Treaty of Waitangi) but this may cause problems with potential readers and at this delicate stage Robert's blogs are going to need all the followers possible.

Perhaps the second one agenzia DiRE with removal of 'agenzia' could be bracketed with this one -

- which will give the TRIBE component and suggest brotherhood.


Let THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ know what you think. We're here to please.


We at THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ believe in keeping you informed with concise predictions and truthful commentaries. Other blogs groups like The Hexagram and The Dire Tribe (Robert's collection of blogs) will only provide you with witterings on filling a bin with garden rubbish, what a fictitious deity did over summer and how to write songs so that you can put them in a scrap book and forget them.

In a previous post HERE  The Curmudgeon predicted, against all the promises from the National Party, that Bill English would soon be gone. Well guess what? He's gone having announced his retirement today (I hope the stab wounds heal soon Bill).

What we at THE CURMUDGEONS INC.ⓒ are really looking forward to though is seeing that horrible Paula Bennett the unctuous ex Deputy PM get her marching orders.

"Please let me stay. I'll change and be good"

Monday, 12 February 2018


* A bit of a double lawn bowls pun there - sorry.

I joined the local bowls club a few months back. I did it so as to have a few 'roll-ups' with mate Rod. I don't really intend to spend whole days playing the game. Give me some credit. Bowling clubs are still looked at as the holding pens for cemeteries.

Anyway, said friend Rod who has been a member for years signed me up (without my knowledge) for the club championships. Rod, fuck him bless him does this sort of thing and previously signed me up for the Citizens Association committee and for Civil Defence, again without telling me. Apparently I'm to play in the singles final match on Thursday. Wow! I've made the finals. On checking though this is the section for first year members and there are only two of us.

I'm going to play though and am pretty sure that I'll win unless my competitor is related to the Belliss family. The downside though is that as it's an official club event I have to wear whites.

I hate wearing uniforms of any description and bowling whites are really naff. They are symptomatic of all the stuffy old rules that bowling clubs have - do this, don't do that. Say 'Good Bowling" to other players etc. Crap.
It's not that I haven't worn whites before. When I was General Manager of Quill and Company a specialist wine, beer and spirits supplier we had a lot of sports clubs as customers and I was often asked to play to represent the company. Here's a pic of our winning team one year where we won, beating all the regular teams.

I don't have any whites so I'll have to go into town tomorrow and buy some - polo shirt, shorts (I'm not going to wear white longs), socks and shoes. Hopefully I can get some cheap as I don't think they'll get much wear.

Sunday, 11 February 2018


The Music Curmudgeon had posted a link to one of David Byrne's songs from The Catherine wheel.

I think that by the title he is challenging Robert and Richard to interpret this track.

Good luck with that I say.

AUGUST 20, 2018

Hey, I know that the dates are slightly different but I can just imagine this scenario in a few months when that old guy Richard has his family around for dinner tea tea at 5PM.


Richard shared good news in his latest post that he is travelling to Italy in September this year (bad news is that he will return to Godzone).

We wish him well in his travels and wish we were going. It's a great time of year to go to Europe as it's after the hot summer and the crazy tourist season. Autumn weather will hopefully be more settled (although still very warm) and the colours of trees, grapevines, horticulture and pastures will be lovely.

Sunflowers in Tuscany - a great memory

Richard is going to spend time in Italy away from the tourist areas. Good luck with that I say and hope that his Italian "book learnin'" will be up to it and when he orders a ham and cheese sandwich for Shelley and him he doesn't get a calf's head on toast with a side order of tripe.

"At-a lasta. Somebody a-loves-a my favourite-a sandwich"

They are going to Bari (not the saxophone). Bari is South-East of Rome.
My dad was there with the 2nd New Zealand Division in 1943. Maybe he could look up any possible step-siblings I have there!

Richard used images of Verona in previous posts but doesn't say if they are going there. It's a pity if not as with shelley's theatrical experience I can imagine them doing a Romeo and Juliet scene at the famous balcony. I do hope that they go to Rome. You don't have to follow 'the tourist trail' in Italy and I'm sure that he could practice his Italian there as further South (see comment above about the ham and cheese sandwich).

Travelling about Italy by train is good and fast if Richard has concerns about flying (driving is not advised). That old fascist dictator Mussolini got the trains to run on time and, in my experience in Italy they seem to still do so - one good legacy from that old bastard I suppose.

"Ricardo, I do-a eet all-a for you-a"
What Ricardo, sorry, Richard needs to understand is that apart from Italy's Roman and fascist past at heart they are really anarchists. Politically, socially, romantically and culturally the Italians really don't give a shit for rules and just do their own things. Just look out for the 'no smoking' signs in any public places. There you will find the biggest gathering of smokers fuming away.

In buses, trains, cinemas, cafes etc. get used to the strident trilling of a mobile phone and the very, very loud 'Pronto!" answer followed by a very long conversation at full volume which comes along with expressive hand waving and gestures that make it dangerous for all in the vicinity.

Have a great trip you guys and take advantage of all on offer - museums, galleries, opera etc. There's nothing worse than returning home and saying "if only we'd ...."

Friday, 9 February 2018


It's blowing pretty bad up here at the moment. Like this:

Lots of rain as well. I've got to go catch the bus to Auckland soon which is a bummer as it's a bit of a walk from where I park the car to the bus station. Never mind, it'll give me a chance to wear my excellent Backhouse stockman's raincoat which looks real cool.

We are going to see 'The Scottish Play' at Pop Up Globe tonight (hence the Shakespearean theme) and it apparently is forecast to be an atrocious night in Auckland with heavy rain. The coat, which I haven't worn for years will be just the ticket.

Thursday, 8 February 2018


National Radio's Checkpoint report that the National MPs are 100% behind Bill English and Paula Bennett as leaders.

Yeah right.

Kind of like the way the Roman Senate were 100% behind Julius Caesar.

"When you guys said you were behind me I was thinking of something else" - JC

I kind of like old Bill and would like to see him survive. I don't give two cents for the horrible Bennett woman though. Good riddance when she goes (in a day or so).

Winston Peters: "But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you go now, without fuss, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

It's usually the way that when politicians all get together and profess loyalty that you know that the opposite is true.


The Darker Curmudgeon's gone ga-ga.


The Philosophical Curmudgeon posts on nostalgia.


The Music Curmudgeon's hankering on going to Spain.

I don't know if this has been triggered by Richard's declaration of going to Italy this year or by the images of flamenco dancers he's been looking at while The Old Girl's away.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018




Richard and Robert have been squabbling a lot recently.
Richard keeps removing the link to Robert's blog from his blog's links and Robert continues to delete his posts and, on occasion the entire blog.

I'm OK with this as his blogs are rubbish and the posts match the blogs. I've deleted links to Robert's blog(s) as well and refuse to comment on them until he demonstrates some continuity and commitment.

At the time of writing this Robert has reached out to Richard with offers of hugs as some kind of reconciliation.

Richard has reinstated the link to Robert's latest version of a blog. but no doubt, over the next day or so, this will be axed again. Meanwhile Robert will keep writing junk, some of it like his last insensitive comment on Waitangi Day and he and Richard will have another row.

In the meantime though, while hugs abound, maybe the two of them can get together and create some blogging apparel to celebrate their getting along.

Monday, 5 February 2018


It's a gorgeous day here now that the wind has dropped and the rain has gone. After my walk we went kayaking across the bay. The water was as still as a mill-pond which is unusual given that the breezes usually come in the late morning.
We went across the large bay to a small beach on the other side and stopped for a swim (The Old Girl swam and I wallowed).

It was good as I offered her the new kayak but she refused and used her rudderless one. This suited me as I prefer kayaks with rudders - they go more smoothly. Yo-Ho-Ho!

We're enjoying a nice long weekend. Actually, to be correct, The Old Girl is enjoying a nice long weekend - with me, every weekend is a nice long weekend. She brought two bottles of Champagne up with her. Vintage Pol Roger, one a Rose and the other a Blanc de Blancs. We had the Rose on Saturday and will have the Blanc de Blanc tonight. I'm going to make a cheese and spinach souffle which should complement it.

We'll have a few games of pool but I want to teach her to play snooker (she beat me at pool on Saturday 2:1).

I won't write any music today.


The Cultured Curmudgeon sure likes to try and raise us up from our reading of Jack Reacher books and watching Bruce Willis films. He has w...