Saturday, 30 July 2011

In Other News

Man am I ever glad that my working week is over! It's not like it's been a busy time for me since it's the off season at the plant and aside from patrols and locking/unlocking things for the cleaners it is incredibly cruisy.But for some reason this week I've been feeling extra specially drained and psychicly weary [1]  Anyway I've four days to rest and recharge before I have to turn up at work again and I think I'll treat myself to a night out at the really posh cinema and then, if I can stand the excitement, dinner at a good restaurant.
Usually I go to Murphys which is our local “Irish” pub. It's a nice little place with old books all over the walls and I know that they are only supposed to be there fore decoration but I'm halfway through the east wall already.
In other news:
In case you missed it this week is the 30
th  anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand. A tour that was besieged by protests up and down this great nation because of the apartheid rule in South Africa and the wrong and shameful imprisoning of Nelson Mandella. Also their refusal to allow Maoris to play in the All Blacks in their own country didn't help much.

I didn't take part in these protests since I was only 3 years old at the time and anyway, Sesame Street was on and it was a question of priorities.

In other other news:I have managed to get my hands on a copy of “The Half Gallon Jug” a book that was published in 1962 and is still funny. Neither time nor mice have been kind to it so my new project is going to be transcribing to the laptop and then putting the book away to keep it safe.
I'll put the chapters up on the blog as I finish them and when I've done the entire book I'll make it into a single PDF file.

In other other other news:I think that I am going to have to get another muse. Every single time I think that I'm done with Harts Change and can finally get round to serious writing on this bad boy she whispers something new in my ear and it may be something tiny and seemingly inconsequential it isn't long before it grows and I'm tearing apart the chapters to fit in with the latest suggestion [4]

The latest suggestion was typical of this. She mentioned that the church would quite like to get their hands on Loves Regret. An ancient pair of swords which would serve well as holy symbols if they were not in the hands of Evelyn Oneeye who, we shall say, would not serve well
That's a good idea” I told her because you pay a muse in compliments, everyone knows that “a quick attempted robbery scene would be short and sweet”

Think again.

As I write this blog the church have attempted to steal Loves Regret, failed and been rather embarrassed about the whole thing but have moved on and are attempting a coup of the entire kingdom!

If anyone wants a used muse you can have her for a plugged mule


  1. Is that even a real thing?
  2. It's cool, they don't mind.
  3. Just in case the zombies attack but instead of crying “Braaiins” they're calling out “Booooks publiisheed in ninteeensixtyyytwwoo”
  4. And yes it does make it better but that isn't the point. The point is i't's bigger than it was.
  5. Not really, she knows I'm only joking ha ha. (mouths: call me)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Winter weather

So I thought I'd describe the weather to keep as a reference in case I needed a good description of a rainy night and as you can see it lasted for on paragraph before turning into something totally else.
It's a little jumpy aroundy (if that's the proper term) but I wanted to get it down the same way I'd written it.

Fingers numb.
Biting wind.
A driven rain stings any exposed skin.
Waterproof clothing has a limit, eventually it becomes a heavy weight of splodge.
Hair is either blown all around or plastered down by the rain.

Paths become little more than slippery muddy tracks and roads glisten as they are pressed into service as river beds. It doesn't matter, either way you have no choice but to splash through and it's only now that you discover a hole in your boot.
And the wind is in your face no matter the direction! You're either being stabbed with the tiny swords of the rain or walking into a wind so strong that every step forward is a mission.
You've got to take down numbers and details but good luck with the when the rain makes the ink from the pen run and your notepad is little more than a mass of sodden pulp.

Inside the hut is no good, the cheap heater stops working at the slightest hint of damp. They had a good one but it mysteriously vanished with the guy you replaced.
You can't sit down that just makes it worse, instead you stand on the cold floor and attempt to will yourself dry
You take off the "all weather" jacket and it drips as you hang it on the door, it will be cold and wet when you need it again but the jacket has long since given up entirely.

Then you make the mistake of thinking of her. That last night you were together was on like this but how different it seemed when you faced it with her and a roaring fire.
You both fell asleep in an tender embrace, listening to the wind and rain casting about the earth in search of something beautiful to destroy.
Thundering in their impotence when they found that you and her were safe and in love.

There are those who would have you believe that the weather cares nothing for such short lived creatures as we but you know that they are sorely mistaken. The winter winds are vindictive and cruel, the torrential rains that sweep down off the mountains carry no love in their hearts for anyone save the hail that rattles off the roof and slowly but surely drives you deaf and mad at the same time.

Winter, especially this deep winter, brings lovers together.
But if you're alone then it's easy, so very easy, to give into those thoughts of despair, isolation and separation until you sink into the miasma of depression until there is nothing left of you anymore
except a hollow shell and that isn't you. It doesn't matter, nothing matters, nobody matters.
Then you start asking why. Why did we break up? Why didn't I do better in school? Why this and why that until you are just asking questions with no possibility of answers.
All you want, all you need, is to hear the sound of your own voice validating your existence to an uncaring universe.

As the rain begins to ease you find yourself making plans. grand plans on an epic work shaking scale. The gods may do nothing when confronted with the falling of a sparrow but by Jesus, Buddha and Allah they are going to notice YOU!
Suddenly the thunder isn't so loud, the night presses a little less close and you start to regain some feeling in your hands.
It burns but it's a good burn, a welcome heat after all this cold and you are finally able to relax your shoulders which were so tense with the effort of contorting your body into a compact area of warmth. Your knuckles crack and your joints pop as you stand straight and tall for the first time since you started this damned shift.

The time between each patrol, each skirmish with the unforgiving elements gives you just enough time to dry off and shake away the melancholy that grips your heart a little less every day.
"You'll think of her. You'll think of her every day and every day the hurt will be a little less" You read that somewhere but it hasn't been true so far.
Then there is sound, no that isn't right, there is the absence of sound. The rain has exhausted itself, reduced to little more than a few petulant drops with refresh rather than oppress. The streams and the river still flow as quick a before but there is a resigned finality to it all. They know it nears the finale.

The full moon comes out from behind the clouds and the night is no longer a singular blackness. A light dusting of snow shines in the face of the moons smile and you step out into a fresh world, the first to leave your footprint on it. and you allow yourself the small fantasy of being the only person on the planet to experience this feeling of perfect calm. This one perfect moment when all is right with the world.

But it ends,as all things must and the only reminder is a soaking wet sock thanks to the hole in your boot.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A Modest Proposal with some dessert.

  • Introduction:
     All right, this is it. This is, as they say, the big one. Everybody has one idea that is absolutely world changing idea in their lives and this, quite literally as it happens, is mine.  It is rather long which is why there are Cliff Notes down at the bottom in addition to the regular footnotes.
    However before we get to the big plan itself I'm going to have to give you a quick lesson in my countries history which is why this starts with

  • A brief history of New Zealand Geomythologically speaking:
    Maui, having found his mother, tricking fire from the gods, and beating up the sun went out fishing with his brothers. Of course they didn't want him to come since he had made a habit of being stronger, faster and just better than them. to tag along but he wasn't going to let a little thing like that stop him. By the time they that he was on board it was too late to turn back so they gave him an oar and told him to get paddling.

    So he did and he took them further out than any of them had been.
    Yet every time his brothers said “You know what? I think we've gone far enough” Maui would assure them that there was a great spot for fishing just a little further on and would paddle harder
    Eventually he stopped and they started to fish and all of his brothers had a great time catching all sorts of fish until the boat was fair groaning under their weight. But they wouldn't give Maui a hook or any bait which of course proved to be a mistake
    [2] since he took his own hook, that had been fashioned out of his grandmothers jawbone [3] and bashed his nose to cover it in blood before casting it over the side of the boat.

    Time passed as time does when one is fishing
    [4] but eventually he got a nibble and then was almost pulled off his feet as something took the hook. The boat was dragged this way and that but Maui planted his feet and pulled until he found that he had fished up an gigantic fish. [5]
    Maui was no fool and said to his brothers "Look guys.  Its obvious that this has gone all mythological.  I'm going to check with the gods about this fish and just make absolutly certain that we haven't angered any of them so don't touch the fish until I get back"
    "Of course Maui" his brothers said "you go talk to the gods and don't worry about us, we'll just sit here and do the crossword in the paper until you get back"

    But they didn't do the crossword [6] As soon as Maui had left his brothers argued amongst themselves and started pounding away on the fish which created the many mountains and valleys of the North Island.  Because, lets face it, if someone says tells you not to touch something then it guarantees that this is the first thing you're going to do as soon as their back is turned and this goes double if that person is your little brother who seems to be devoted to doing better than everyone else.
  • New Zealand Climate:
    Coming back to modern day New Zealand we have four seasons like the rest of the world but, due to our geographic position and also the hole in the ozone layer [7] our winters are long, cold and gloomy.
    Even if you are into skiing and the like, you only have to talk to a snowboarder for a few minutes before they start going on about the amount of time they have to spend in the lines to even get to the powder.

     Right Next door to us, geographically speaking, is Australia which has a climate that is the equivalent of that guy who has the heater on all day and goes to sleep with the oven on high. On the other hand one floor above us is Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga which are likewise tropical in climate although it is more like someone is having a very long, very hot shower.
  • Conservation:We have many different conservation groups in New Zealand. Some of them want to save the very small, work on Transmission Gully has been tied up for ages because of the snails that live there [9], to the very largest.
    Hint: It isn't the boat
    Currently we're working hard to stop the Japanese killing whales for scientific research and it seems that we're slowly making inroads into stopping it with activists harassing the whalers and our politicos keeping the issue on the table at the International Whaling Commission.[10] 

    My own position on whaling has never changed. If you are hunting them because it's part of your cultural traditions then that is fine as long as long as you hunt them in the traditional manner.  Oh and don't call it scientific whaling because you're fooling nobody.
    That being said I agree with those who say "Save the whales" because I'm going to need their raw strength.
    My big plan hinges on the whales cooperation with us and if I may speak frankly, after all those times we've pushed them back into the ocean after they've beached themselves again I'd go so far as to say that they owe us.

    She shall be our ambassador.  You can't say no to that face

    Using Ropes that have been woven from our native flax we shall fashion gigantic harnesses. [11] This will provide work for the unemployed and pass on valuable crafting techniques that might otherwise have been lost. When we have put the whales in their traces and attached the other ends to the North island we shall, ahem, harness the raw strength of these magnificent beasts and tow New Zealand northward to much more tropical climes. This will be possible due to the fact that, as pointed out in the first section, we are all living on the back of a giant fish. Every six months there will be a vote through the country on where to travel next and I predict that we will be able to effectively end all commercial whaling since it's against international law to hunt whales in New Zealand waters and who guess who's coming to visit Greenland?
  • Those left behind:
    Our smallest island, Stewart Island, shall remain behind as a geographic reminder that we're still there and just because the country is gone this doesn't mean that anyone can simply drift over and casually take our spot. [12] 
    Now I don't want to point any fingers here but Australia seems to be in the habit of pinching our stuff and when it sees that moving a country by whales is possible then it won't be long before they've tied all their jellyfish together and lassoed the biggest sharks they could find solely for the purpose of nicking our traditional waters.  All New Zealanders have memories of their attempts to claim the Buzzy Bee
Proudly Created in New Zealand

and the Pavlova [13]
Also Proudly created in New Zealand 
Regular Footnotes:

    1. Just to show them what happens when you try and leave him behind.
    2. For them I mean.  If they had been willing to share I would be writing this blog underwater so I'm cool with how it all went down.
    3. She was still alive when he got it which makes this the sweetest natural 20 in the history of anything.
    4. Endlessly is the word you're looking for.
    5. Matthew 4:19 doesn't sound quite as impressive when you've got a guy in another boat saying “Come with me and I will make you fishers of great big islands”
    6. 5 across: He believed Falsely (4 letters) Crosswords back then were amazingly specific
    7. To say nothing of those darn kids skateboarding on the sidewalk
    8. There is an interesting and obscure point of New Zealand law that applies here.  To paraphrase, if you discover a mountain that everyone else has missed, scale it and proclaim “I bags this mountain!” then it's totally yours if you manage to survive the avalanche caused by some moron shouting at the top of a mountain.
    9. No picture for the snails in question but I'm going to trust to luck that almost everyone who reads this is going to know what a snail looks like. 
    10. To the point where there are walkouts because they don't want to talk about it.
    11. Flax ropes are very strong and very soft. I'd mention that they are flexible but we're talking about rope here!
    12. Admittedly this method does give us two sets of New Zealand Waters our original ones and the formally international waters that we now occupy and we'll just have to live with this.
    13. Tradition dictates that I give out the recipe, So here it is:

      Prep time: 40 minutes
      Cook time: 1 hour
      Servings: 1 pavlova

      3 Egg Whites
      1 cup caster sugar
      1 teaspoon vinegar
      1 tablespoon cornflour
      1 teaspoon vanilla essence

      Beat egg whites until stiff (forms peaks). Add sugar - heaped tablespoon at a time - beating well after each addition. Then beat for at least 10 minutes. This is very important. Then sprinkle vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence into mixture. Beat until blended.

      Coat baking paper with water drops to allow baking paper to stick to sides of tin and pile pavlova mixture in 20cm circle.
      Heat oven until 300°F (or 150°C). Put pav in oven and immediately turn oven down to 250°F (or 125°C) and leave for 1 hour. Then turn oven off and leave in oven until cold. (Usually overnight). This makes a nice crust on outside of pav.

       Before serving, cover pav in whipped cream and decorate with your favourite fruit.

      Cliff Notes for the tldr crowd:
      A Brief history of New Zealand
      Geomythologically speaking:
      Maui hid on his brothers boat and paddled very far.

      Maui fished up the North island.  It is known as Te Ika a Maui (The fish of Maui).

      If someone is told not to do something they will wait until they are alone before doing the very thing that they were told not to do.

      New Zealand Climate:
      Winter is very long in New Zealand
      Winter is cold and gloomy

      Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga are very hot.

      Conservation groups are a big part of New Zealand
      We don't support whaling

      Whales can be used to tow the country into warmer waters.

      Those left behind:

      Stewart island will hold our place.

       Australia sometimes claims that our inventions are theirs.
      They aren't

    Friday, 15 July 2011

    Aquatic Adventures

    Now you may not believe this story, although I would certainly urge you to  [1].  But in the town where I was born there lived a man who sailed to sea. Not that there was anything wrong with this, you need to understand that times were tough back then and you had to take what work you could get. But I remember well the nights that he would sit us down and tell us tales of his life in the land of submarines.
    Eventually, filled with a desire to tackle the giant squid and assorted dire beasties from the depths for ourselves we sailed due west, into the sun. We continued until we found the sea of green and from that point on we lived beneath the waves in our own submarine that we had built and painted a cheerful yellow hue [2]

    As submarines went it was comfortable enough for us all to live in despite the fact that we had to keep one of us on the radio to explain to the ships and other submarines that we were not Thunderbird 4. [3] and we were never short of friendly company because not only were all our friends aboard but more, many more in fact, lived next door. This was an important social lesson for us and I'm glad that we learned it early. [4]

    Now in this whole wide world people everywhere chase around after money and power in the mistaken belief that it will make them happy and then when they've got money and/or power they find that they want more. Quite frankly we've got them all beat because you see on that yellow submarine we lived a life of ease [5] with every one of us having all that we needed. There was a sky of blue and there was a sea of green and then there was us in our yellow submarine.

    1. Because all of my posts are 100% truth and if you believe that I've a bridge in Brooklyn to show you.
    2. The postmen hated us.
    3. Although we did take messages for International Rescue and passed them on as best we could. 
    4. Want to be popular? live in a submarine
    5. Trumpet practice every Tuesday and Thursday. Jam nights are Saturdays in The Engine Room Bar and Grill. Half price if you bring a friend who lives next door.

    Another little filler this week, am rushed for time and also in the middle of preparing a much larger serving.  So think of this as an entree.

    Thursday, 7 July 2011

    Some Goings on and a conclusion.

    There is no man braver nor more erudite than one recounting what he should have said”

    The above quote is one of mine although given the amount of stuff that I've read there's a good chance that I have pinched it from someone else.  But this is neither here nor there since I recount the goings on at the boarding house in which I live.

    Yesterday morning, about 3:45 in the morning everyone was awakened by a loud banging on the door to one of the other rooms. It only stopped when it was answered but by this time everyone had stuck their heads out the door to see a pair of policemen who had told them that this didn't concern them.

    What had happened was that a nearby tinny house [1] had been raided and since they were in the area the fuzz paid the guy in our house a visit because he had been picked up once or twice after visiting said house. [2]
    But they were barking up the wrong tree that morning since, like everyone else in the house, had been asleep. Although I suppose they could have arrested him for loitering if they had really wanted to.

    So fast forward through the day to this evening and I was talking to him in the kitchen while I did the dishes and to hear him tell the story, well it rivaled anything that Peter Jackson will ever produce. You'd think that he'd totally destroyed the two helpless coppers with his verbal sparing and if they ever dared to show their faces inside this house again then he would have no choice, no choice at all but to <insert Van Damme action sequence> and if they still had enough courage to actually knock on his door then <insert Bruce Lee vs Jackie Chan action sequence> until there was no doubt that this was one bad mutha who only held himself back that one time because they had the extreme luck in catching him off guard [3]

    I think everyone does the whole “what I should have said” thing and one thing I've found to be true is that if you are listening to the grand speech then they are not looking for your (dis)approval of their imagined actions because at this moment all you are is a pair of ears and a mouth that makes all the right sounds in the right places and if you manage to derail the action movie what what should have happened with a healthy dose of reality then you come of looking like Mr Buzzkill as they roll their eyes and say
    I know but this is what should have happened”

    But since I knew my place I made the appropriate agreeing sounds and did my best not to laugh at him outright.

    In other news:
    I picked up my first guitar slide today and damn its cool. It doesn't matter that I don't actually know how to play slide guitar because I'll learn! Even the fact that I don't have a guitar and the closest I have is a baritone uke all that matters is that I'm willing to learn [4]

    In other, other, news:
    The Cosmic Cowboy has been given his marching orders. Recently the house got a pair of new occupants and although they were together they kept separate rooms which, I'm pretty sure, was due to her being Catholic but don't quote me on that.
    With the nights down here getting much colder as we head on into winter Cosmic had started mini bonfires in the backyard, despite being warned by the fire department on more than one occasion.

    One night there was fight between Cosmic and the new guy because while he was out in town Cosmic had attempted to put the smooth moves on the girlfriend. Needless to say this failed utterly and the boyfriend went out to have a disagreement with Cosmic as soon as he got home and was informed of what had happened.
    The end result of all this was that the cops were called and the matter was sorted out but, and this is the part that stuck in Cosmics craw, without the boyfriend been clapped in irons and taken away [5]  
    Cosmic tried his hardest though, making certain that the cops knew he had marijuana somewhere in his room and why didn't they trash the place looking for it?  But he shut up when the cops said that if they searched that guys room then they would do the same to Cosmics little hut

    The girlfriend moved out to get away from Cosmic although this was never stated beyond a lot of knowing looks and several cups of tea [6] and, in the wake of this he finally made the move to annex off the backyard by building a gate that ran between the house and the garage with some of the wooden pallets that he had been stockpiling since foreverago.
    He obviously did the work at night so nobody would know and call the landlord because it was there when I came back from work and all I did was rub my hands in devilish glee and say
    Oh yeah. This isn't going to piss off anybody
    He and his gate were gone when I woke up and I got told about the landlord coming over and pulling down the gate before kicking him out. [7]

    And so the house has returned to, relative quiet. Everyone is getting along and we're all groovy again. Cosmics place has been taken over by the two Indian boys who, I've just learned 5 minutes ago, also left because he wouldn't stop bothering them. I thought nothing of not seeing them for ages because we've always had totally different schedules.

    1. A house where you can go to buy marijuana in various forms. You'll know that there is one close by because of a pair of sneakers hanging from a powerline.
    2. He seems to stick to oil spotting and then 4 or 5 hours of playstation. Which is the bigger drug?
    3. Seriously. They both need to go out and buy lottery tickets right now
    4. And willing to torture everyone else in the house with my playing but if I'd really wanted to do that then I'd have gotten an accordion. “Polka! Everybody muzt polka or zere vill be, consequences”
    5. After he had called them and made it clear that he had gotten his ass handed to him by a 17 year old super featherweight!
    6. It's an older code. But it checks out.
    7. The only thing that would have made this better was if he had refused to leave and been dragged away by the police in full Napoleonic uniform proclaiming "Tomorrow the world!"