Friday, March 27, 2020

Days 1 and 2 LOCK-DOWN NZ

Yes, I'm still here. Two days of being self-contained, for the Battle of CORVID-19. Our Prime Minister has ordered a Level 4  response to the CORVID-19, which means most NZers must stay home, only leaving their homes for essential services. That means going to the supermarket for essential supplies, visiting the doctor or Pharmacist and getting gas for the car. We are able to get cash from the ATMs. We can go outside, for walking, but it must be near our homes, and only be with people in our 'Bubbles,' the people who live with us.

For the most part, NZers have responded well. Sure, FB is awash with examples of people who 'just don't get it.' The police are gradually ramping up their response from 'compassionate/educative, to a more 'do it or else' one. They may call on the military if the tiny minority DON'T GET IT!'

I read of the usual reactions, from people who don't see the bigger picture, or simply don't want to; the ones who meet up with their friends, visit family, party up and generally don't give a stuff about the rest of us. That they are putting their loved ones and friends at risk, seems beyond them. Then we have the usual conspiracy nutters, blaming Chemtrails, World Order and various other 'Flat Planet' scenarios.

We are blessed with a Leader, Jacinda Adern, who is addressing us on a daily basis, supported by an excellent team of advisors and scientists who have become respected commentators on what we should do and why. There has been the usual 'pushback' from political aspirants and their supporters but for the main part, even supporters of the previous Government, have graciously or reluctantly gone along with the Government's efforts to protect us, in the name of the greater good.

How have I adapted to the 'new reality?' So far, I'm fine. I quickly decided that apart from the doggie walks, near my home, and urgent medical requirements, I do not leave my house and section. My good friend who lives with me does the shopping. I work a little, from home, using the phone, Skype, Zoom and Messenger. I like this arrangement. Ask me again in four weeks, the earliest we will be able to reduce the Levels. I am preparing myself that it may well be longer if we are not ALL complying.
I have plenty of books to read, and I am preparing the next two parts of my Trilogy, Sons of Orpheus, for release on Amazon as E.books and hard copy.
Please stay well, my friends and readers. WE CAN DO THIS.
,  but it takes all of us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New Zealand declares State of National Emergency (1)

To all my friends in New Zealand and elsewhere:
I was planning to write a blog each day from when we as a nation entered Level 4 of the current crisis. I am starting today because our Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has just announced that we have entered a 'State of National Emergency.'

We must do this if we are to save lives, as Covid-19 increases its ugly presence. In a way, being well away from the rest of the world may have given us a 'window of opportunity' to avoid the terrible patterns that have become apparent elsewhere. The response to the virus has been ramped up; possibly draconian measure that other nations take well before NZ, can be used if necessary. NZers do not take kindly to the State imposing such measure, but in general, the vast majority of us understand that we are in uncharted territory.

Just over one hundred years ago, the world faced a similar foe, as the Spanish Flu swept across borders and oceans, killing more than the war that had just finished. With modern travel methods, this virus has spread much more quickly, endangering far more people, given that the population is so much bigger.

We are yet to learn of the spread in many countries. Governments have been remiss in releasing information about the true extent of the reach of the virus. In the coming days, we are going to hear of many more deaths. So far NZ has not recorded any deaths, but we expect to witness this in the coming days. Therefore our government is implementing new measures to protect us. We must stop the spread. People MUST stay home, other than those in 'essential services.' Visiting friends and family must stop. Schools are closed and only a few designated businesses are open, to supply food and medical resources.

We have the prospect of at least four weeks of isolating ourselves, keeping away from people other than those in our 'bubbles' ... those who live in our households. This is going to be challenging for us, especially if you live in a full-household, or overcrowded. Call for help, reach out and do not remain socially isolated. A voice is at the other end of a line, or screen. We can talk over the fence, across the street.
Kia kaha. We can and must do this. We are strong, whilst we shed our tears for those who have died, overseas. This who we are ... a resilient nation that is facing its biggest threat in over one hundred years. To the rest of the world, we send our love.

I shall write every day until we emerge from this dark cloud ...  into the light.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Hello Hong Kong..you are reading my blogs ... try my books

 Kia ora, Hong Kong. This is just for you. I see you are reading my blogs; indeed you seem to be doing so more than most other countries lately. Take another step and check out my books. You can find them on Amazon Kindle, or via my webpage. Check out
                                  Roskill
                                                                                                   
                                  Talk to Me
                                                                                                   
                                  Sons of Orpheus, Book 1 ... The Arrival

You can either download them on your device. My website (www.authorneilcoleman.com) has a free Kindle App, or order a hard copy. Alternatively, you can just Google any of my books .... for example, 'Roskill by Neil Coleman on Amazon and the links will come up. I'd love some feedback. Happy reading, friends and followers.

                                                         

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Bloody technical shite!

Yeah ... sometimes I am challenged by technical or mechanical stuff. When the genes were being sorted for my arrival, the 'Great Decider' must have been a bit miffed. Maybe She decided that my branch of the Colemans had already been assigned a 'fair' portion and that cuts had to be made, or anyone coming after me would have been almost functionally unable to open a marmite jar!

So ... I received what I guess can only be described as 'enough of the practical stuff,' that if applied at a basic level, could lead to ...  not too many disasters. Well ... there have been heaps, but I still have two arms, legs and most of my bodily functions. I've managed to get to almost 70 years without needing an ambulance for accidents. I may have inadvertently caused a few laughs at my expense, but hey ... some people need to laugh at others. It makes them feel better about themselves. I have never been so offended by a friend taking the piss out of me when I have been on the end of smart-arsed remarks about my mechanical and technical skills, that I have needed to employ a hit-man or woman to exact revenge.

I am glad that no one witnessed today's little effort. Mind you ... I am unselfishly sharing the 'event' now ... just to make you all feel superior. I know it feels a bit 'Jonesy,' ... you know ... the 'Shane guy!'
But ... I'm feeling magnanimous ... kind of. Here goes.

Some of you may know that my beautiful little five-year-old Hyundai I.20 (I've had it from birth ... its birth!) has been a bit naughty. Long story, but in short ... the ABS system broke down, badly, necessitating a rather expensive fix, the latest, 10 days since the breakdown, and its bits and pieces being freighted to the South bloody Island. The garage is great. They have lent me a courtesy car for the duration.

I have been driving that around, with all of the little differences, not being too challenging, but sometimes I have to drive my mate's car. So, in the space of two weeks, I have driven three cars. OK ... many of you would not find that an issue, but others have difficulty driving ONE car. I'm somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Today my gene allocation was tested.

I had to pick up my mate from his work but his car was in front of my courtesy car.  Bugger ... I grabbed the key and locked the Perdy inside (Anyone not knowing the Perdy should probably;ly stop reading, because she's an essential part of my life, in so many ways.) I wasn't in a particular hurry and the Thames version of a rush-hour is kind of cute. With Perdy's barking ringing in my ears, I headed towards the little Toyota Ist. I pushed the key into the lock. It almost jammed, before realizing that I needed to engage the button to unlock it. Buggered if I could make it work. Had I stuffed it by attempting brute force. It wouldn't be the first time I had acted in a macho manner ... and miserably failed!

I kept trying, gently caressing the key in an attempt to employ the 'electronic' of the little key. Hey ... it had a picture of an open lock, so wouldn't anyone push that to unlock it?!  STFU! Stop laughing!
I rang my mate and said that my sister was on the way to pick him up. I thought  I would ring the AA to come and let me into the car. It would be nice to have everything working, with NO DAMAGE, by the time Rio got home.

I tried once more. Then it hit me! The key was labelled Nissan. Wrong fecking key. Do I need to continue?! I think Perdy knew that I was being a feckwit when I grabbed the correct key, and everything returned to normal. Rio said ... nothing. The look did though,

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Sons of Orpheus News!





Yes ... all three books will be on Amazon Kindle, along with print versions. I am in the process of preparing Books Two and Three. Both books have been written and just need a little editing. The covers are being prepared, then we will launch Book Two (Title to be decided)
 Our heroes become more involved in the new business, relationships become more intense and take a surprising, unexpected turn. Tensions build and events in New Plymouth influence the dramatic build-up to the final book.
Make sure you download (or order, very soon, a print copy) of Sons of Orpheus, Book ! ... The Arrival.
Just Google Sons of Orpuesu by Neil Coleman on KIndle and the link will take you directly to the Amazon site and the free App will be available for you to read my books (including Roskill and Talk To Me)





Other books By Neil Coleman: ROSKILL
                                                   TALK TO ME

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Perdy goes AWOL and finds a shag!

Perdy, my adventurous Jack Russell, loves her freedom, her off-leash times, and to be able to follow her nose. I love watching her explore, hunt, cavort with other dogs and generally enjoy her times at her favourite places.  Sometimes, she takes full advantage of not being tied to me, by going the extra mile ... well, in this case, discovering another hole in the fence.

Sunday morning at the dog park: OK ... it's not officially one, in a sense that it is 'contained,' but it meets most of the requirements for what I consider to be a park for doggies. Perdy gets to run, play and follow her nose. Today, Perdy stretched the definition of the above. We entered the park behind the dump and I released her, well past the hole in the fence that I have stuck in some wood and logs to fill her escape route to 'rat heaven!' Talk about releasing the Kraken!

Perdy immediately headed for the fence line, albeit in a slightly different place from her other epic adventure. She disappeared into the bushes and scrub that line the border with the municipal dump, but this time she didn't make her presence beyond the fence known, unlike her previous manic escape. She lived her adventure in a quiet fashion, giving no clues as to her whereabouts on the 'other side of the fence.'

I took a more relaxed stance. I did not ring my partner. I decided to sit it out, waiting by the seat, hoping that she would return. The minutes ticked by, punctuated by my calls, 'Perdy ... come, girl,' disguising my illusionary confidence that she would return ... soon,' and that somehow, I was in control of my rambunctious-perpetual-puppy. I was about to 'make the phone call,' eliciting support but really hoping to spread the anxiety. I waited a few moments, and then ... she appeared, quite calmly. Had she actually gone through the fence or was she chasing vermin in the bushes? Either way, we continued our sojourn in the park, heading to the green wilderness, where she likes to 'play the dolphin game,' jumping and forging her way through the ocean of grass.

I was quite at peace with the world. I filmed her, jumping and dancing, her senses fully engaged in her quest for whatever the hell she knows to be there. Then she stopped on the edge of the bank that borders the park, on the sea-side. She was transfixed by something on the rock-strewn beach. I KNOW that look. It precedes a change in direction, usually one that ends in a drama of sorts. Her tail wagged, in that Jack Russell signal ... she was ramping up the game!

Perdy disappeared down the bank. I moved to the edge. Perdy was frozen, like a statue. A Shag, quite young, was standing on a boulder, one that was artistically decorated with guano. Perdy was transfixed, quiet at first, and then she began that infuriating barking, willing the shag to respond. I looked around, hoping like hell that no one was watching. I did not need a caring bird-lover to inform me of my lack of control, that only a Jack Russell daddy or mum would understand, does not signify that we are bad parents!

Perdy's barking increased in intensity. The shag simply acted like he or she was ignoring the hairy Kraken. I wondered if the bird was sick. A lady and her dog were starting to become interested in the events on the beach. They approached. She quickly realized that the scenario was likely to engulf her and her dog, and she led her fur-baby away, on-leash, whilst informing me of a pathway, of kinds, where I could descend, and thus remedy the situation that was rapidly approaching ... meltdown.

I scrambled down the bank, hoping I would not end up the victim, unceremoniously splattered like guano on the rocks. I made it safely to the beach, where the two were at a stand-off. Perdy barking and making threatening advances, each time closing in on her 'prey,' while I prayed that I could avoid a feathery funeral. I had to get the shag to move, fly away ... to get the heck out of there. Thoughts of some chooky friends at my house who had since departed, with the help of Perdy, filled my thoughts. Please move little shag!

I approached, not so much cautiously, ... I WANTED the shag to depart ...immediately. "Shoo little shag ... begone,' I pleaded. My actual words contained a few expletives.
The shag must have understood ... finally. With a flap of its wings, it lept into the sea, not flying, but swimming ... away from the Kraken. Perdy was furious. She followed and they started heading towards Miranda, about 10 kilometres on the other side of the Firth of Thames!

Oh-My-God. 'Perdy ...Come back I yelled,' as she paddled out to sea. Thoughts of sharks, her drowning, me following and drowning ... it is true that at moments like these, your thoughts race along multiple pathways, most of them irrational. I was immersed in indecision. The lady was long gone. I could not see anyone, because the back screened me from the sight of people in the park. I WAS ALONE.

I continued to yell at Perdy. By now she was at least fifty metres out to sea. She stopped, looked back at me, then continued after the shag, then stopped again, looking a  bit undecided. She swam in small circles, the shag calmly swimming further out. Finally, Perdy started swimming back towards me. I held my breath, my lips massaged  by 'Mr Worry.' She turned again, trying to see where the shag had gone. It was about a hundred metres away. Maybe she couldn't see it, because it dived from time to time, emerging in a different place, possibly confusing Perdyy as to its whereabouts.

Perdy gave up and continued to paddle her way to shore ... to ME, where she clambered over the rocks, shook herself off and meekly let me attach her leash. Her look said it all. 'I'm back Daddy ... it was soooo much fun."

Yeah right, girl!

PS. I came upon the lady who had witnessed the start of the 'event.' We talked and I learned that she too was an author. We had a most useful discussion about 'publishing books,' and I exchanged numbers and saved a contact. I thank her for encouraging me to follow through and send the script for Sons of Orpheus to a publishing company in the UK that is asking for submissions.
In the meantime, my book(s) can be downloaded from Amazon books, Just Google  'Sons of Orpheus, Book 1, The Arrival, by Neil Coleman, on Kindle,' and you can follow the links with a click. If you don't have a Kindle, you can get a free APP (Play Store for Android, APP Store on Apple devices.) Download the APP and read my books.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Australian fires are not so far away from New Zealand.

 For thousands of years, 'fire' has been a 'constant' in The Land Down Under. Fire is part of that which makes up this 'Lucky Land.'  Indeed, fire is necessary for the propagation of some trees and plants. But while nature ruled, there was a balance. The original people, the many different tribes that make up the Aboriginal population, knew how to live with the ever-present threat.

When Europeans arrived they spread across the continent, seeking and taking land, bringing their animals and displacing in many instances, those that were already present.  However, it would be accurate to claim that the vast number of the new human arrivals, to this day, have clung to the 'edges.' Most Australians live in four big cities or within two hundred kilometres of them. Others live in the bush and it is in that 'bush' that living with the threat of fire is never far away, especially in the increasingly longer periods of 'hot and dry,' with the wind bringing about even more danger as it 'fans the furnace.'

Every year, we read about or witness on the News and Social Media, the damage done by fire; destroying pasture, bush and homes, taking lives, human and animals (Possibly a  billion animals in the latest catastrophe) and damaging economic activity. In the most recent disaster, vast clouds of smoke from the fires have blotted out the sun, then carried across the Tasman Ocean to New Zealand, causing 'over-worldly' cloud-scapes, an eerily orange sky ... so much so that misinformed observers, panicked to the point that they dialled 111 (NZ's emergency number). Lights had to be switched on at 3pm ... in the middle of summer.

Historically, fire has always been a threat in urban areas of both countries, with wooden buildings being the predominant, and not just in summer. Careless use of candles, cooking methods and possibly drunken reactions contributed to the many fires, sometimes alerting the towns and cities.

While I was researching background material for my latest book, Sons of Orpheus, Book 1 ... The Arrival, I discovered that fire often visited Sydney and threatened the Rocks area. Luck played a part in that we still have this historic area today. Fire-fighting methodology was not the sophisticated, instant response we see today, be it rural or urban in nature. Parts of Auckland were also ravaged by fire.

My book has a very descriptive section, in which 'fire' brings characters together and forges relationships, adding storylines that last throughout the epic series that is the Sons of Orpheus, The Trilogy.