Thursday, February 18, 2021

Silly old bugger ... but be kind!

 What a beautiful day. The sky promised adventures: hope, a decent walk, untroubled by rain, enhanced by the hills behind the town. Let's forget the Privet that festoons those sentinels and just head out, accompanied by 'the Perdy,' or is it me who is led by the leash, while she sniffs her way along pathways, a field of browning grass, in the hope of discovering new smells and stories left by other dogs.

Into the car; the red Toyota, and off we go, Perdy up on the back shelf, squeezing her way below the sloping back window. She often looks at me as if to say, "Hey, I know it's flasher but it ain't as comfortable up the back here!"

"Stop bitching, girl ... you've got the whole back seat too, to drop your bloody hair. Are you gonna clean it up? Don't think so."

Of course, she understands. I can tell by the look. We've been partners in crime for nearly seven years of adventures, joyful moments, and yes ... heroic episodes. Don't you all remember her rescuing a lovely lady who had fallen down the bank?

We cruised past the bay. The tide was coming in ... I think ... it's sometimes hard to tell. Do I go by the birds, or ... oh what the hell. It doesn't matter at times like these as I glance at the distant shores across the Firth of Thames. Maybe I'm heading that way later, for coffee with friends ... potty friends, or to be a little more precise ... pottery friends. The traffic is light. So far, there are no fleeing Aucklanders, who tend to flood this coastline, when COVID lockdowns loom! Radio New Zealand will inform us if anything changes.

The main street is busy, but there is a space outside the Bargain shop. I need to purchase a cheap plastic bowl for my chooks ... for their water. The old one appears to have a leak. I can't have my feathery semi-productive egg-laying friends becoming dehydrated. Hell ... those who elude Perdy's 'non-amorous advances' do kind of pay their way. They keep the back lawn short and crap around the fruit trees. That's got to  be positive. I park, in the shade. One must be careful in Summer.  "Behave, Perdy ... I'll only be a moment."

As I cross the road, I spy several brightly coloured plastic bowls. Perfect. The shop owner was putting other merchandise on the footpath. "I greet him and ask, "Do you want me to take those ones or the ones inside?"

He laughs."No ... those are the ones from next door." I had forgotten that the two shops are side-by-side. "Come in and I'll look for some," he says.

I follow him in and he disappears down the back. I seek him out and he is holding a selection of different coloured bowls. Perfect ."I'll take the pink one," I ventured. "The girls will like that. I think they're not particularly gender-specific in their tastes, eh." He smiled, probably wondering what the hell I was talking about. I completed my transaction and headed across the road towards my red Toyota. I jumped in the front seat, after throwing the bowl in the back seat. "Hey, Perdy ... I didn't realize the back windows were tainted. Oh well ... always new things to discover, eh.?"

No answering tail wag or little Perdy acknowledgement. What! No Perdy! She's escaped ... on the main street! HOW? I know I locked the car. Had some vigilante taken it upon themselves to free her from an imagined hot car... one parked in the shade? My heart missed a beat. Calm down or you'll AFIBRULATE! I  noticed the floor mat was askew. Had the 'thief' tried to start the car?

My thoughts were interrupted by an indignant looking older gentleman, who was waving his hands about as he approached my car. Before he could open his mouth I implored, "Someone's stolen my dog."

"I don't know about your dog," he said, reasonably calmly now, " but why are you trying to steal my car?"

I shuddered ... from embarrassment or relief. I'll sort that out later. "Oh my God ... I'm so sorry I said, getting out of HIS red car. "Is this a Toyota? ... oops, a Mazda, Nice car. That's my car there ... with my dog. I think she's thinking I'm going nuts, going by that weird look on her face."

I think he smiled, but he wasn't laughing. I apologized again and fled towards my car, where I made quite a fuss of Perdy, before throwing the chook bowl in the back and carefully backing out. My thoughts were about how my car needed a good cleaning and how stupid I had been. The man's calmness could easily have taken another more difficult turn. 

My sense of relief won through and I headed towards Denby field, to reward Perdy for her tolerance. We completed her circuit, going past the Warehouse and CAB, before stopping at 'Treats,' for one of their excellent coffees. The lovely barista asked if Perdy wanted water. Her kindness contrasted with my stupidity. Hell ... it's barely ten. I wonder what other adventures await me. Please ... let's have a COVID free day, So 'they've landed a vehicle on Mars! Wow.



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I've been too lazy!

 I admit it. I have had an extended period of 'writer's block.' It may be that the unfinished series 'Sons of Orpheus' got in the way. OK ... my solution is to get that done. Leading up to that I will embark on a 'blog storm,' to get me back into action.

I'm awaiting Rio's completion of the next two covers for the series, a little editing and then they will be on Kindle.

When that is achieved, I shall get on to new projects. It's not like I lack ideas. If anything, it's the opposite ... too many ideas float, invade and give me little rest. I must choose one and get on with it.

I am busier these days with my work; paid and voluntary. COVID-19 has given me more time in some ways. I wish it would go away, but it seems to come in waves.

In the meantime, go to my books (Neil's Books) and download them. Please share my page. I need to get it out there. Feel free to comment. I actually read them!

Just Google the books---speak into your phone; 'Sons of Orpheus, part one by Neil Coleman. Do the same for the other books and they magically appear!

ROSKILL

Talk to Me

Sons of Orpheus (part one) The Arrival




On a grey day

 On a grey day

The cars, framed by my window, the only sound, a squishing of water from well-travelled tyres

A dog ... oblivious to the world ... unless sounds intrude, from a realm beyond my hearing

A dog wrapped in blankets, not so keen to leave her cocoon

Maybe a lesson for me on this grey day

Why venture out?

 ... cookies and coffee, or tea from a pot, with English China, a better choice

I wonder where the cars are headed

To town, the shops or further afield, perhaps new adventures or running away

There are stories in those cars, sad, mad ... or joyful

I observe and wonder ... do I join them on their mysterious journies?



Thursday, May 7, 2020

Lock down in Paradise (A very short Short Story)


Lockdown in Paradise (A short, Short Story)

    ‘Hurry up girl … it’s gonna rain and you know what Im like when I get wet!’
    Perdy gave the look, that tolerance mixed with the yeah right look. She scoffed her biscuits, other than a solitary morsel that had hidden under the mat.
    As I opened the back door, she slurped from her bowl, then followed me down the steps, barking at knowledgeable sparrows lined up on the garage roof watching our moves. They were late comers; their mates had already swooped down on the chook feed, claiming the leftovers from their bigger relations. I opened the gate, trying to stop the inevitable clank as it shut behind us. I didn’t want to wake the neighbours.
    A minute later we headed along the road. As usual, I let Perdy decide which way … right or left. She chose by sniffing the air and whatever Jack Russells employ to motivate their steroid boosted energy.
    ‘Looks like it’s Tararu North then.’
    We were not alone. Several couples, all appropriately spaced, ambled towards us. I knew them from previous walks, but this was different. There would be no stopping, chatting, with Perdy sitting patiently at my feet receiving the occasional pat, then sometimes jumping up, seeking a head pat. I shortened her lead and gave the walkers a wide berth. They nodded politely, smiling as we drifted past them.
    ‘Coping OK?’ a tall women inquired.
    ‘Yeah … getting used to it … forget what day it is sometimes, though.’
    ‘We just say … today is today, and we’ll worry about tomorrow if it comes,’ she replied sagely.
    A Tui called to us from a tree behind the wall of the retirement village. Its dulcet tones cut through the morning air.
    ‘She doesn’t care about the virus, eh girl,’ I replied. ‘Let’s hit the beach.’

    

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.