Sunday, 22 July 2018


Well Richard seemed to like my music suggestion in my previous post. I guess that means that he's open to suggestions and recomendations for the new uniform for his Italian themed trio.
The fascist-inspired black uniform hasn't gone down well with the other band members and the public apparently.

Richard needs to brighten the look up a bit.

I did some pro bono research for him and I think came up with a winner.

In 1970 The Brotherhood of Man had a catchy look with matching uniforms that are just right. I can see Richard looking like the heavy-set guy in the group.

What do you think?


Good friend Richard is a great musician having made a career of it (mostly academic) but still has difficulty getting 'gigs'' and finding venues to play where people will actually pay good money to come and listen to him.

For an example of his complaint see:HERE

This isn't an isolated post as he's banged on about this many times in the past.

He is a very good musician being accomplished in playing several instruments. He has a 'band of bothers brothers' to play with:

plus his son and various other friends he gets together with to dress up as Italian fascists and recreate the early days of WW2 - don't ask.

What I think he needs is to recruit a female singer to draw the crows in like this one:

Saturday, 21 July 2018


A self-important person who wields a small amount of official authority with despotic zeal"
 - The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English

I used to disparage tennis club committees because of the Little Hitlers who seem to gravitate to these and swore to never join one.

I do belong to a casual weekday tennis 'club' but fortunately there is no committee and no meetings where arguments can arise.

I recently joined (and later resigned from) a local association which although it spent a lot of time on mundane matters wasn't run by Little Hitlers. I resigned for another reason.

I joined a bowling club last year and this year (unrelated) it is going through some problems of financial management and funding. There is a Little Hitler at this club who definitely fits the definition above. At a special meeting that was just held though he wasn't in attendance so might be getting the old 'heave-ho'.

A community club I belong to, sort of like a Cosmopolitan Club has an AGM coming up next month. Yesterday I received a lot of emails - a couple from the officers of the club desperately trying to explain their recent actions (kind of like Donald Trump trying to weasel out of his Helsinki press conference remarks):

and others from disgruntled members who are having problems with the club and who are calling for impeachment of the president and the governing committee. It's going to be a doozy of an AGM. I think I'll go to watch the fireworks. Last year I was tempted to put my name forward for the committee but am now glad that I didn't do so.

The golf club I belong to obviously has a committee and being golf this has the usual blowhards and I'm sure some Little Hitlers. I don't get involved preferring to just be a casual member who plays a few solitary rounds.

Life's too short to get involved with officious little organisations which spend an inordinate amount of time in making up silly rules.

Friday, 20 July 2018


Ring ring ring ring ring ....

ME:     Hello

RICHARD:     Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble

ME:    Hello. Who is this? Hello

RICHARD:     Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble ffkkk fica nonloso urrp!

ME:   Richard? Is that you Richard?

RICHARD:    Mmmm .... si si  'sRishard here.

ME:    Oh. Is everything OK? Where's Shelley?

RICHARD:    Ummmmm .... Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble

ME:    Have you been drinking chardonnay?

RICHARD:     Hee hee heee ..... Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble

ME:    Hold on a minute I can't understsand you ..... I know .... wait there.....

Grabs a bottle of Pinot Noir and quickly guzzles some

RICHARD:   Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble    Sh Sh Shelley? Gone to bed mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble

ME:   What? It's not even 7PM yet. What's going on .... hold on

Takes another drink

RICHARD:  Ummmm yummm chardonnay yumm

ME:  Are you pissed up? I hope that you're drinking a good chardonnay or at least one with a label

RICHARD:  Wassup with Robert? Rob's gone again. Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble

ME:    Hold on .....


ME:    Ummmmm errrrr I dunno yer should getta hold offhim to see what's going on ....

RICHARD:  I tried but he doesn't answer  and he's canshelled hish posts (hic)

ME: Hold on .....


ME:  Mmmbrrkwrrfffbbubble ffkkk fica nonloso urrp!

Thursday, 19 July 2018


Trevor Noah is one of the best commentators on USA political and social issues and, as a South African he is well qualified to provide a light-hearted snapshot of Nelson Mendela's life:


I hate to say this but in a way I sympathise with Robert and his hatred of retirees and beneficiaries and the handouts that they receive from the government - interpreted by him as coming directly out of his hard earned wages. Robert feels hard done by forgetting of course that in a few years he will be a retiree and beneficiary and will have his snout in the trough as well.

When I talk to The Old Girl each evening (when she's in Auckland) she asks me how my day has been and I recount my experiences of walking, kayaking, golfing, playing bowls, playing badminton or playing tennis. I actually feel a bit guilty about this and feel obliged to throw in some anecdotes of doing gardening, mowing lawns, cleaning the house, doing house repairs or being involved in community projects.

Why is this?

I've worked long hours for most of my life and have held responsible positions - but I still feel guilty at now doing nothing and The Old Girl working long hours and bringing in most of the money. Admittedly she enjoys working as she has a good job that she does well and is very respected in her profession but I'm looking forward to the time that she can 'hang up her boots' and we can be a doddery old couple together.


For Robert I can happily report that although I played tennis this morning I filled in the afternoon doing more tree trimming and felling along with some gardening as it has been such a lovely day - warm and sunny with no wind. I can also report that at tennis, as I was favouring my left knee which has torn ligaments I put too much pressure on my right leg and managed to twist the ankle which is now swelling up.

I'll probably, under interrogation have to report this to The Old Girl who is still in Melbourne and who has an uncanny ability to suss out anything I've done or am up to. She will give me a bollocking for playing tennis when I have the knee injury and will feign lack of sympathy.

This hopefully will negate some of the guilty feelings.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018



Well I'm back from my trip to Melbourne for the weekend.

Melbourne's a great city which I've admired for many years first going there in 1970 at the end of secondary school where I spent three glorious weeks. I was staying with my older sister who moved to Straya in about 1968 and has never been back to NZ. Melbourne in that summer of 1970/71 was exciting for an 18 year old with the music, drama, film, political activity and the remnants of the free-love hippie era still abounding overwhelming me.

My sister played in a band and lived in a big communal-type house that was pretty eye-opening for a catholic educated St Pat's secondary school boy I can tell you. What I've discovered over the years and the many times I've revisited Melbourne is that the city still retains the bohemian, art-culture identity in the way that in New Zealand, Wellington does.

Flinders railway station





I had the best seat ever. I chose 35H as it has no seat in front of it and has excellent legroom (see star in diagram).

As a retired worker I didn't have the privileges afforded to ex schoolteachers who seem to be able to fly Premium Economy and so I flew Economy - steerage in old school vernacular. By choosing seat 35H though I got that all important legroom.



The Old Girl and I had a great time dining out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings finding some excellent restaurants and wine bars. We were staying in the central city near Chinatown and it was an easy walk to wherever we wanted to go. Melbourne central city is laid out on an easy to follow grid plan which, if you've memorised the names of a few major streets means it's almost impossible to get lost.....

..... I did get lost on Friday afternoon though and had to ask for directions. When I pulled a map out of my pocket while standing at the intersection of Elizabeth street and Bourke Street I somehow unknowingly pulled out the hotel keycard that The Old Girl had given me and it fell on the ground.
It was in a cover printed with the hotel name (Mantra on Russell) that the hotel staff had written the room number on for me. I discovered the loss when I got to the hotel and guessed at how I'd lost it. I quickly returned to the intersection which was about a 15 minute walk away and lo .... there it was still lying on the footpath. I was relieved at not having to explain to The Old Girl why our hotel room had been robbed or at least not having to confess to losing the keycard.

On Saturday we went to the Flinders area which is  Melbourne's cultural centre with the galleries, theatres and opera house are located by the river. It's a great walking area with the backdrop of the city's skyscrapers seen beyond the Yarra river.

At the National Gallery of Victoria we went to some free exhibitions including the excellent Lisa Reihana installation which we had missed when it was at the Auckland museum because we were living overseas. This is a very special work, see:

On Sunday we re-visited the National Gallery of Victoria to go to the MOMA exhibition.

What's not to like about seeing an encapsulated history of modern art? Fantastic! The best!

I particularly like this record cover art of a Clash poster from 1979:

The message is prescient as it made me think of that goof Trump and his current behaviour.

Of course looking at art is a valid way of looking at naked women without being called a voyeur:





Walking around on city streets is hard on the feet though .......

........ So I bought a pair of comfortable shoes. Puma running shoes. Blue ones (not suede):

We lounged around the hotel a bit as well. The Old Girl is staying in Melbourne for a month on a work project so she had a really comfortable and well-appointed hotel room. It's a bonus when travelling to have somewhere nice to 'veg-out' in between activities.

I was able to watch the live final of the 2018 World Cup on Monday morning. What a great game - the best!

This hotel room had a rather strange and scary lamp in the lounge which would have been well suited to the National Gallery of Victoria.


On Monday The Old Girl went to work and I filled in time before going to the airport in the afternoon. One of the places I went to was the Old Melbourne Gaol where Ned Kelly was imprisoned and hanged.

It's a great tour in a very sad place. I was able to go in to the cell where they had Ned - the one where the photo below was taken:


The hanging platform on the second floor is still there and looks just like this painting:

I didn't feel all that sad for Kelly though as some misguided people do. He and his gang were murderers and terrorised the Victorian area for years. My great -great - great aunt was one of the hostages at Glenrowan who were held by Kelly and his gang.

I looked at the list of people hanged in the gaol from 1842 to 1967, see:

and was surprised at the absence of Prowses!

In 1860 there was a John McDonald hanged for murder though. I think that he is a distant relative of mine. The McDonalds settled in Victoria and a lot of them farmed at Tullamarine - the land subsequently sold to build Melbourne Airport.


In all I met a lot of absolutely terrific Australians who were all thrilled when I left.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


The poor Belgians are having a bad day today. A major upset and disappointment has come their way - something too horrible to deal with.

Some fiery defence and classy play wasn't enough to stop the dribbling attacker who uses the dummy a lot from breaking through.


Oh, and to make things worse they also lost to France today in the first semi-final of the Word Cup Football.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


Divaria fits the bill for 'Chillin' Music'




Today was supposed to be about tennis in the morning and bowls in the afternoon but the weather has different ideas.

I awoke to a cold day with intermittent showers so tennis was out and bowls is looking unlikely.

I decided to light the woodburner at the end of the house in the 'playroom' and set up the Play Station with Tiger Woods 2005 (the best game in the series).

Rod, my neighbour and friend might drop around and we can have a golf challenge.

The birdies outside looked a bit cold so I cut up some bread and coated it with a warm sugar mix.

I put the sugared bread out on the deck railing which attracts sparrows, tuis, blackbirds etc plus unfortunately the cheeky mynas and pushy seagulls which I chase away.

I'll light the fire in the lounge later to warm up the other end of the house ready for the evening which will please the cat.

Monday, 9 July 2018


...... to be a Kiwi when I listen to the programmes on National Radio and the various presenters.

We have a great tradition of intelligent and interesting presenters and interviewers so that when a significant overseas personality is being interviewed I don't suffer from 'cultural cringe' and all too often the interviewee compliments the interviewer on the standard of the questions asked. This can only be that they are used to dumb, ill-informed questions from interviewers in their own countries.

I don't have any great knowledge of the standard of public radio in most other countries around the world but have listened a lot over the years to public radio (the equivalent of National Radio in New Zealand) in Australia, UK, Canada and USA.

Australia's ABC is close to RNZ National but just misses and gives the feeling that the Ocker presenters would just love to let rip and do some yahooing drive-time DJ stuff.

In the USA the National Public Radio (NPR) does a similar job but is seemingly underfunded and has a schizophrenic identity being both publicly and privately funded. Being in the US it of course comes under attack for being: politically biased (to either side); elitist (to the rednecks; pro Israeli (to the non Jewish; and wimpy (to the major corporation followers. As a consequence it fails to attract the best in journalism and is a bit of a mixed bag.

In Canada the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) does a pretty good job but the overall feeling is that it's a bit 'tweedy' meaning that the presenters and journalists, not being the big earners in private broadcasting seem to want to air their education and cultural breeding and come across as a bit stuffy and wannabe BBC presenters. As a consequence they definitely do suffer from a bit of cultural cringe.

The biggie - BBC in the UK is far superior to the others having a century of tradition to live up to. It has broken itself up into 4 entities now BBC 1 through 4 catering to different demographics. Generally NZ National is like a combination of BBC 2, BBC 3 and BBC 4 with some of BBC1 showing on Saturday afternoons.

While not having the might of BBC, Radio NZ National, I think, does just as good a job and is arguably truer to the 'charter' than BBC is.

So there!

BBC Radio

Saturday, 7 July 2018


The journey in life of growing old is even better than I could have imagined when I was young.
I've hooked up with some other old buggers up here in the north and we play golf, badminton, tennis, bowls and go walking and kayaking - keeping as reasonably fit as our old bones and various disabilities allow.

We all draw pensions and other superannuations (sorry Robert) to keep us in funds and several of us spend time on community projects. It's great swapping stories on our lives, debating politics (never religion) and sorting out life's problems. Such fun! I only wish that my old wellington mates were up here as well.

Tonight listening to National Radio I heard Cockney Rebel (Steve Harley) singing that wonderful Make Me Smile song from the 1970s.
I checked it out on-line and downloaded a copy below along with a much more recent acoustic version (and chat) from Steve Harley.

It made me smile. I hope it does for you as well.




The Wine Guy's been drinking beer this afternoon.



Years ago I had the tile of 'Honorary Woman' bestowed on me by The Old Girl and her wimmin sorry, women friends. This meant that they perceived me to be sensitive to women's needs and was definitely an honour - a rare one not often awarded to heterosexual males.
Needless to say the title was withdrawn some years later as I'd become "too blokish for my liking matey"



Well I was sorting out some old files to make room in the study cupboards and came across an Advertising Standards Complaints Board letter that I'd received 12 years ago following a complaint I made about an obscene and very insensitive radio advertisement. The judgement was made to uphold my complaint. See the following:

I had to photograph the pages with my iPhone as my scanner is on the blink but hopefully you can read the complaints board decision.

What got me about this, on top of the utterly disgusting advertisement, was the arrogant and flippant way that the George FM representative addressed the board. "Please find attached the offending promo for your listening pleasure" this cunt said.

Fortunately - although in a roundabout way the complaints board upheld the complaint and instructed George FM to withdraw the ad but it had run its course by that time.

This was only 12 years ago but even then these radio 'jocks' thought it was funny to make light of sexual harassment in the workplace and tried to defend themselves by saying that as it was a woman doing the voiceover then it was all OK. Well she was a 'feckless cunt' as well typical of the silly bimbos on drive-time radio.  HERE

Friday, 6 July 2018


My boss Jacinta gave me a raise this week.

Thanks Jacinta.

It's only temporary for the next three months but I'm very grateful.
Obviously I've been doing my retirement duties well.
I don't expect that Richard got a raise. While he's a bit old and doolally he doesn't appear to embrace retirement the way he should. He still goes off to school a few days here and there (or, at least, that's what he tells Shelley!)

To celebrate I went and picked up another trailer load of wood which cost me $110, nearly a month's worth of my raise.

My woodshed that my neighbour Rod built for me when I was in Canada has proven to be most useful

It's really roomy and can take quite a few loads.

It's a glorious day here today so, after my afternoon tea I'm off outside again to do some gardening.


This riveting post has been brought to you by The Curmudgeons Inc ⓒ


Well Richard seemed to like my music suggestion in my previous post. I guess that means that he's open to suggestions and recomendations...