Monday, April 30, 2012

How many hits now?

Thanks heaps --- we are now up to 8400 hts and about 25 clicks on the adverts--- I suspect most of you have the adverts disabled. The ones on my site are getting better, apart from the seedy ones. Tell me if you dont like them and I can tweek them.

John Banks, John Key, DotCom, Gillard, and Slipper

It is almost funny when you look at those names (I’m not sure if I have the slippery character’s name correct). What is the link between them all?
It seems that there is a right mess, although the effects at this stage may differ between the different ‘stars.’ Take the John Banks affair. If he wants to mix it with people who are having ‘difficulties ‘ with the authorities, in two or more countries, then he should not expect to come out squeaky clean. Watching him wriggle around on TV on Sunday morning was enough to get us all wondering what has been going on. I say wonder, because I wouldn’t dare accuse him of anything.
Then his political bedfellow must be shaking his head in despair too. So far his golden locks have been untouched by anything thrown his way. One would have thought the polls would start to show some volatility at his handling of some key issues of late; but no--- he keeps on either rising or holding back the tide. When the dam finally bursts, he is going to get one hell of a shock and we haven’t seen our Johnny boy yet in those circumstances. Watch for the flailing and blustering then.
Now take his counterpart in Australia. Yes it is a different party in power, but when the shite hits the fan, it doesn’t matter what party you are in. Young Julia must be wondering what the hell else can jump up and bite her. Maybe there is so much happening in the land of ‘politicOZ’ that she had become immune to it al. If it’s not a ‘leaking’ or a sex scandal or a stroppy opposition leader—then it will be something else.
What Julia has in common with our Key man is the choice of political bed mates---- bad choices, born out of necessity and the desire to hold onto power. Not that Johnny is in any imminent danger of losing an election here, but the time will come when people will not put aside the indiscretions and the worm will turn. It always does. In the meantime we will look forward to more entertaining snippets, coming out on a regular basis. Such is politics and the love of power.

My 3 books online at the moment--- What's happening?

I am not totally sure about the numbers of people reading my 3 books ---
 1) ‘Roskill,’
2) ‘The River Always Flows’ and ‘Talk To Me.’
2) Talk To Me.’
It looks like about 12 people are consistently reading them, but I cannot be sure. I want to get the numbers up a bit before posting the next instalments.
I will also be making them available in hard print an eBook form at some stage.
I doubt that you will be able to source ‘Roskill,’ or ‘Coastal Yarns,’ at bookstores as the ex-publisher informed me that her business has closed. The sites online may be old ones. I guess that means I can kiss goodbye any royalties due to me.  Oh well--- that’s why I am doing tis despite, the reluctance on the part of my readers to click on the adverts. (it won’t cost you anything). I shall keep up my blogging and see where things go from here.
 Thanks for supporting my site.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Health insurance--To be or not to be.

I see in the NZ Herald an article about health insurance and how people are cancelling their policies and then facing increased costs if they resume the cover at a later date. I face a similar issue but for a different reason.
I am wondering if I should continue to pay the ever increasing premiums as I age and keep entering age-bands that attract those increases. I wonder if I would be better to put the amount I pay into debts (like mortgage payments) or into bonus bonds, where there is a slim possibility of increasing my savings.
Most of the conditions that age has inflicted on me (and the ones that I have added to) are covered by the state system and I have been very pleased with the support I have been given. My conundrum is whether I should keep my coverage for those unexpected ailings; that is for as long as I am working. In NZ, we all get free help from the state system if we have cancer, heart attacks, injury (through ACC) and many other conditions.
It is when there is a waiting list that health insurance comes in its own. One has to make a decision as to whether it is worth taking the risk and joining the waiting lists for certain procedures. The fact is that you may even be treated by the same specialist, who works for both the private and state system.
For those of you who are young and don’t worry about such things--- well your time is coming. If you must get insurance, get it while you are young--- and don’t smoke! --- That only makes it more expensive.
Oh well--- maybe I shall see if my doctor can help me with my weighty decision.

Those stupid damn verification processes!

What am I talking about? OK, I know I may not the be world’s most computer savvy person, but I am getting bloody annoyed at those forms that are  sent by email and then  you have to fill in a box at the bottom, whereby you put in these strangely configured letters. I fail every time on the first shot, then again and again. I am buggered if I can see the purpose of this other than to piss me off. I rarely get it right. I just don’t see the point in making a process so hard. I usually get my partner to do it, but even that fails too sometimes.
I am talking about Sky TV today, but it happens with many forms. I really do wonder how other users find this. Surely there is a better way.
I sent feedback of a nature that may have me banned forever from using the computer, but hell; I bet I am not alone. Rise up fellow frustrated ones and tell them to stick it!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

For those of you reading 'The River Always Flows'---

I am waiting for some direction from you, otherwise the plot is going ot turn rather nasty-- is that what you want? 
I am about to write Chapter 4.

A good cup of coffee-- what can I say?

If I had to choose between giving up wine or coffee, you may think that the choice would be easy. Then you would be wrong. I would struggle for a moment and then some, but I think coffee would eventually win. Luckily, I am not in that terrible situation. I have noticed of late however that I seem to like no more than two standard measures of a decent red, usually from NZ or Australia, although I did just take delivery of a mixed case of Italian and Spanish Reds. California also beacons and I am sure my America friends are going to tell me on Facebook, which ones I should consider.
Now back to coffee. For the last five or so years I have been making my own coffee at home. I started with a reasonably cheap machine and it made tolerable Flat whites and cappuccinos. Now I know I have said this before so forgive me for repeating myself. Flat Whites are a NZ/Aussie invention and now they are sought after in London as Kiwi and Aussie baristas make their presence felt, both amongst the natives and expats. If Aussies are reading this they will throw their hands up in horror as they expect me to launch into yet another discussion on how NZ always claims that the Aussies stole everything from famous racing horses to actors and pop groups. I shall save that for a time when I am feeling particularly reflective on Aussie Kiwi spiritual connections.
I love my coffee hit and I eventually invested in an Italian coffee machine, one that has resisted design changes for a good many years and one that is easily fixed and serviced. That can’t be said for the models that sell for next to nothing, make good coffee for a year or two and are then thrown away, because no one will touch them. It is better to invest in a good machine that will last for many years. Mine has been going for at least five years and I expect it to keep on going.
Combine a good machine with a quality coffee grinder and you have beginnings of a café away from a café--- at home. There is something special about the process of grinding fresh beans (no more than a week old--- get the beans from a ‘reputable supplier). Don’t use one of those disgusting little cheap machines that cut the beans. You will lose so much flavour.
It is a Favoni

I make sure the machine is well primed and heated. It only takes a minute or too. If you are in a hurry, then use instant coffee! I warm the cups and then express the coffee. I love to watch the velvety mixture cascading from the nozzles, like mouse tails, filling the kitchen with an aroma that only a real coffee drinker can relate to.
Sometimes I get it wrong. There is only one thing to do--- chuck it out and start again. As I said before--- don’t hurry the process. If it means getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning, it is worth it.
Now for the milk; I use a lower fat variety. We are blessed with choice in NZ, so I will just say—make up your own mind. Everyone has their favourite. I hold the jug at an angle until the volume has increased to ‘perfect’, and then plunge deeper into the silky mix, heating it to a hot touch on the bottom of the stainless steel jug.
Pour the mixture into the waiting cup, holding the slightly thicker part for the top. It will make its own pattern. I have often been disappointed by pretty designs that cafes insist on swerving, not backed up with a quality taste. What can be better than relaxing at home with your own lovingly made coffee?
Oops--- sorry, I drank it!

LOL I just checked my earnings-----

I see that 1  yes one cent has been credited to my account. God only knows what that's for-- maybe someone 'thought of me.'

Who's looking at my blog? (as of 29th April 2012

NZ-----------------------4024     Cool, but the winners for how long?
USA--------------------- 3429    I think you are going to catch up
Russia--------------------336      I'd like ot hear from you--maybe facebook?
UK-----------------------49        Don't leave it all to my neice!
Germany------------------37        The land of the Frankfurt Book Festival
Australia------------------28        Probably my nephew--- come on mates!
Saudi Arabia--------------15        Nice surprize
Malaysia------------------14        Keep it up
France--------------------9          Love to see more of you
Bangladesh---------------7           They love cricket like NZ
Hongkong----------------5           I wanna go there one day---- the food!
China---------------------4           Wonderful, but for how long?
India  ---------------------3          I want to see mnay more of you reading my blog---and books.
Canada-------------------3           You big lovely country--- love having you aboard!
Indonesia-----------------3          Come on-- I am writing nice blogs about you.. welcome
And---Japan, Serbia, Birkina Faso, Ireland, Uzbekistan. Brazil

I love having you all reading my blogs. Now make some commnets and please click on the adverts so that I can put yet another huge book on. It is called 'Sons of Orpheus,' an historical novel from the 1860's.

8060 hits as of today

I am most pleased with the numbers of readers. They keep having to change the numbers on the side of the graph-- I'm sure one of you who reads this on Facebook can tell me what the correct term is.
Now, I need clicks on the adverts. Very slow becuase we all have a natural inclination to ignore adverts, but that is potentiallly what will help me get my books out there so---- you know what to do.
MMMM what's the weather like tomorrow? That will determine wether I take Perdy to work. The neighbours have all been nice to her after all the fuss. She of course couln't give a rat's ass (see I am spelling for my dear USA friends!

'Roskill' Chapter 3


   ‘Hello, ---- anyone home?’
Moana was having an early morning coffee and watching TV in the lounge. She enjoyed these times to herself. The previous night had been stressful and her sleep had been punctuated by disturbing dreams, leaving her a little jaded. She remembered that she had opened the back door after making her coffee. She was a little wary as to who would be calling at seven in the morning.  A lady was standing on the back porch with a plate of freshly baked scones.
   ‘I’m Kathleen, your neighbour,’ she said, indicating the house to the left.
   ‘Come in Kathleen. I’m Moana----sorry about my appearance,’ Moana replied. She was still in her dressing gown and was about to get some breakfast for the sleeping family. ‘I’ll put the kettle on and we can have a chat. No doubt you heard the kafuffle here last night---.not a very good neighbourly act for our first night eh?’
   ‘Well I should have come over last night, but I was at my sisters till late,’ Kathleen said as she sat at the kitchen table.
    ‘I have to say that we got quite a fright last night, especially with the threats those guys made as they were taken away,’ Moana said.
   The kettle bubbled away as Moana put out some of the rinsed cups from the night before.
   ‘Mmmm----we don’t even have the fridge on yet, so there’s no milk,’ Moana said apologetically.
   ‘That’s OK--- I don’t take it anyway, but I’ll nick across and get you some for the family’s breakfast,’ Kathleen replied and disappeared for a few moments out the door and along the side path.
   When Kathleen returned, Moana had the tea pot ready and waiting, along with some sugar she had found in one of the boxes stacked around the wall.
   ‘I’ll be glad when this lot’s packed away,’ Moana said. 'Hopefully another day will see it all done.
   ‘Well I will just have to stay and help you after we’ve had our cuppa and fed your family,’ Kathleen offered. 
   ‘I’m beginning to change my mind about last night already,’ Moana replied laughing.
   By the time the rest of the family wandered into the kitchen, looking like they had partied all night, Moana and Kathleen had the kitchen organized and another pot of tea on the table. The scones were re heated and Kathleen had returned to her house for more jam.
   ‘This is yummy, Mum,’ James said as he munched away on his third scone.
     The subject of the broken window and attack came up.
   ‘There are always young ones out there,’ Kathleen said angrily. ‘You’d be surprised at how young some of them are too. I’d like to deal to their bloody parents’
   ‘What gets me is that nothing really happens to change things for those families,’ John added.      ‘The same thing happens in Christchurch too.’
   ‘Well you two just make sure you keep away from them,’ Moana said to her two children.    ‘We’re going shopping later, so we can stock up for the kitchen. If you want, you can come too. We’re going to St Luke’s.’
   ‘OK, I’ll drop you off there and then I can check in with my new boss,’ John suggested. ‘I don’t start officially until next week. Just text me when you are ready for me to pick you up. Take your time----why don’t you go to the movies first? Then I will have plenty of time with the boss.’
   ‘Well,----sounds like your day’s organized, so I’ll be off. Don’t be strangers now,’ Kathleen said as she left.
   ‘Right,----- you two-----be ready in an hour. I’m having the first shower,’ John said, pre-empting James’s usual attempt to commandeer the bathroom.

   ‘Here will be fine dear,’ Moana said as John slowed down outside the mall.
   ‘I bet it’s not as good as the big one in Christchurch,’ Lucy said in the tone that usually got James going. It didn’t; he ignored her instead, looking intently in the direction of three hooded youths, who were sitting in the bus shelter. What drew his attention initially was the obvious discomfort of the other commuters waiting for their buses. Even though there was room for some of them to sit in the shelter, they chose to stay well away from the youths. When John dropped his family off a few metres away, the youths watched closely, and then began to talk animatedly, gesturing towards James.
   'I think that’s those guys who broke our window last night,' James whispered to his Mum.
   'Oh My God,' Moana responded. 'It’s too late to get back in the car.'
   'Just ignore them Mum------surely they can’t do anything here. It’s pretty public yeah?' James reassured his Mum.
   'I hope so,' Moana said, not at all confident. 'I just don’t understand that they can do all that damage and be wandering around here a few hours later----so much for Alex’s support.'
    When James and his Mum and sister, headed towards the mall entrance, the youths waited for a moment then followed. As James passed Farmers on the ground floor, one of the youths brushed menacingly against him.
   'You better watch your back punk,' he said threateningly. 'Your sister looks kinda nice-----maybe she wants a bit of fun eh.'
   'You stay away from her, you filthy bastard,' James yelled, more than loud enough for his mother to hear.
   The youth immediately swung a punch at James’s head; missed then drew a screw driver from his pocket and poised to strike. His actions did not go unnoticed by a security guard, who ran towards the scene, which had now attracted many shoppers. Moana felt a sense of desperation as the youths continued to taunt her children.
   'Help! ------ these are the creeps that attacked our house last night and now they’re threatening my kids.'
   The three youths took off, knowing that the guard had barred them from the mall only a few months previously for similar behaviour.
   'Are you OK lady?' he asked as he watched the youths disappearing towards the entrance.   'Those guys shouldn’t be in here. The cops are coming so they may get picked up'.  He broke off for a moment and spoke into his radio, hoping his colleagues would catch the youths before they got too far.
   Two policemen approached Moana and her children. After a quick discussion with the security guard, they too used their radios and soon after, the sound of sirens could be heard outside the mall.
   'We know who they are,’ the younger policeman told Moana. 'Unfortunately, they just don’t get it. There are several charges pending against them in the Youth Court but in the meantime they continue to create havoc.'
   'I’d call what they are doing to my family a little more than havoc,' Moana said angrily. 'Why can’t you lock the sods up?'
I know, but it takes so damned long to get anyone to do anything,' the policeman said.  'I’ll get a statement from you and you can be on your way.'
   'This is the second statement we have made in the last twelve hours. How much more do we have to put up with before they are seriously dealt to?' Moana asked.
   'I know how you feel----actually very much like we do,' the policeman said sympathetically.
   'We arrest them, involve CYFS, maybe attend a Family Group Conference, then next thing we know-----they are back to their old tricks.'
   'These street gangs we see round and about, doing nothing useful-----they just sit around  planning their next robbery or whatever they get up to?' Moana pleaded. 'Now they seem to have it in for my boy. It’s just not fair.'
   The two officers left, confident that the family was safe for now. Moana and her two children wandered off to the movies to see what was showing. For Moana, the time just passed in a blur. She hardly took note of the movie and if anyone had asked about the story, she would have been hard pressed to remember anything. Later, they ate at the food hall, before heading to Foodtown, where they needed two shopping trolleys to get all they needed to stock up. Even then, Moana said that they would have to return in a few days.
   When Moana texted John he didn’t reply.
   'Damn------he must have his phone turned off,' she said. 'Oh well----we shall have to get a taxi then.'
   The taxi driver  wasn’t too pleased when he saw the size of the shopping Moana loaded into his boot, but once he had delivered the family back to the Mt Roskill home, he was pleased enough to receive a little extra for his trouble. On the way home, they had driven past the same boys who had tried to assault James in the mall; Moana told him what had happened.
   'I’m not surprised; nothing is ever really done,' the taxi driver said. He too had reason to dislike the gangs, as several of his colleagues had been on the receiving end of their attention.
   'I think you are going to need to be really careful when you are out and about, James------you too for that matter,' Moana said to Lucy.
   'I wouldn’t be sacred of them if it was one on one, ' James said almost boastfully, 'but they don’t seem to play by any fair rules.'
   'Don’t you go trying to play the hero. I don’t need you getting injured or worse by those boys,' Moana countered.
   James and Lucy helped Moana to unpack, and they organized dinner, hoping to surprise John with one of his favourites when he returned; roast lamb with all the trimmings. They even made an apple crumble with custard.  At six thirty, John had still not arrived home and he hadn’t rang or sent a text message.
   'If he’s not here by seven, we are going eat without him and he can take his chances,' Moana said in a slightly angry tone.  The time passed and they started without him. Just as they were finishing their pudding, they heard the sound of the car, coming up the drive.
   'About time,' Moana said, whilst not happy, she was relieved at least John was home.  She went out to meet him.
   From inside, James and Lucy heard the sound of their mother arguing with John. She seemed to be angry and a few seconds later she pushed the door open, almost cracking the glass.
   'Go to your rooms-----now! Don’t argue--- just do it!' Moana shouted in a tone that indicated that any complaints would not be well received.
   'Shit------ what the hell’s going on?' James said anxiously. 'I think Dad’s in trouble.
   In the kitchen, Moana faced John.
   'What on earth are you trying to do? -------Kill yourself? --------driving in that state. You’ve been drinking,' Moana accused.
   'Come on Moana-------no harm done. What’s your problem? Can’t a man have a little fun with his new work mates?' he whined.
   'You’re not some young man in his first job,' Moana retorted. 'Look at yourself in the mirror. I’ve never seen you this bad.'
   'Just shut the hell up woman------just give me some peace,' he replied.
   'Oh forget it!  You can get your own meal. I’m going to bed. I don’t want you anywhere near me tonight!'
   Moana stormed from the kitchen, tears streaming down her face. She headed for her bedroom, where she fell on the bed, her body shaking with anger and hurt. John had never spoken to her like that in all the years of their marriage. Something wasn't right. Then she realized what it was. She would have expected to smell alcohol on his breath, but there was a distinct lack of any wine, beer or anything else that would have indicated he had been drinking.
   'God-----I hope the stupid bastard isn’t smoking weed,' she thought. She would face him in the morning when he was in a more coherent state.

Welcom to Saudi Arabia

You are most welcome Saudi-- I think I know who that is and it will be great knowing you are reading my blogs

Friday, April 27, 2012

How to access my blogs

Now that I have so many blogs to sort through I thought I would give you some pointers. Just go to my    then click on any of the blogs and then you can go to the top left hand corner and click on timeslide-- that will dispaly them all--- it may take a moment to load. Sort through from there. For the books you could also type the name of the book you are wanting to read. As you can see, I need someone to help me organize the whole set up better!

Coastal Yarns

I am trying to find my files for 'Coastal Yarns.' After all that was my first 'published book. I see it is for sale online from various outlets, but I am not seeing any of the royalties. I shall eventually get it together, even if I rewrite it chapter by chapter and release it in the same way I am for  'Roksill,' 'Talk To Me' and 'The River Always Flows.'
I also have a huge novel that I shall eventually release. It is big enough to be 3 books! Watch this space.
Why am I doing this? My dream-- maybe a publisher  in the old tradtional sence of the word will pick up on one of my books, so if any of you have links to such institutions, then send the link on.
I have reached the point where I don't want to stop. Sure I make very little money by having my blogs monetized, but one always hopes.

Thanks and keep clicking.

Weet-Bix versus Weetabix--brings back some memories

Ask any Kiwi kid; the ones that can claim 50 plus years and they will probably have a story or two about one of our national icons—Weet-Bix. Now that there seems to be of a stosh going on about the rip-off version marketed in England under the name Weetabix. The NZ manufacturer, Sanitarium has taken umbrage at the rival and is trying to stop the use of the name.
I won’t get into the rights and wrongs of that, but it does bring back some memories. How many kids (once again, I use that term loosely) brag about how many of the little biscuits they have eaten at one sitting. I have heard ridiculous numbers--- hell someone can eat 2o is beyond me. I think I may have managed about 7, and that may have been spread over 2 sittings.
Weet-Bix became the standby when one of us didn’t like the dessert Mum had made, but that’s understandable when there are six hu8ngry kids to be fed. I often wonder how Mum balanced all of our likes and hates. No wonder she enjoyed not having to cook in her later life. Those were the days, when takeaways were not the meal of convenience. We rarely had them, choosing instead to make the cheaper and probably healthier option.
There were possibly only three desserts I didn’t like in Mum’s collection of ‘old faithful’s---rice-pudding, junket and bread and butter pudding. Out then came the Weet-Bix.
Of course, Weet-Bix was a regular breakfast offering along with porridge. We had it with either cold milk, or in the winter, with hot milk. The addition of brown sugar or honey lifted the mix to new heights.
Once I left home and went through the ‘flatting’ period of my life, Weet-Bix was always a staple. I have never sickened of this wonderful food item. Mmmm—that reminds me—I better buy some when I go shopping today. I even have one of their collectable tins to keep it fresh.

Uzbekistan--- wow----- welcome!

I am always amazed when I see yet another country starting to read my blogs. Hi ya Uzbekistan. I heop to see more of you.

X rated dessert

Wanna try something different? Well----here goes.
Just take any amount of ice-cream--I suspect that Vanila is best but hey--- don't feel tied to my ideas.
Sprinkle some granualated  coffee--about a teaspoon. I used a good quaility freeze dried version. SWhy use cheap stuff, when you pour over a good shot of Cointreau over the top.
This little number is not for the unadventurist type.
I love the contrats between the sweet, slighlty bitter and the underlying swoosh on the Cointreau.
Enjoy---- Mmmmm-- ownder whats its lke with other liquers.?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The River Always Flows---Chapter 3

      We all sat in the front room facing the driveway. Mrs Carver and MIck’s missus were making tea, sandwiches and biscuits; orange cordial for the Tania and me. From the laughs coming out of the little kitchen, it sounded like the ladies were getting on well. I was a bit annoyed----hey---- hadn’t we just had a funeral for my mum? I suppose they didn’t know her so it was more my business. Come to think of it--- wasn’t I supposed to feel down or something? Maybe when I had first heard it I felt---I’m not sure now; things just happened so fast. One minute, Tania and I were living with Mum, and then the next, bundled off to the Carvers.
     ‘Right--- time for a feed eh,’ Mrs Carver said. ‘Then I think we need to have a chat. Someone is coming from the welfare lot in an hour or two, so perhaps we can have a plan before they come.’ She glanced at MIck, who didn’t seem to notice, but I could tell that he did.
     ‘These look nice love,’ Mr Carver muttered while shoving a whole sandwich into his mouth. He received a disapproving look from his wife.
     ‘Make sure the kids get some dear.’
     I didn’t need encouraging. I was bloody hungry. Breakfast felt like it was last century. ‘What’s in these?’ I asked.
     ‘Asparagus--- do you like it, Tom?
     ‘Never had it before Mrs Carver.’
     ‘I bet there’s lots of things you haven’t tried, eh Tom,’ Mick said.
     ‘Don’t you go getting all suggestive like you usually do Mick,’ his wife said with a slightly angry tone. He ignored her and took a loud slurp of his tea. I thought the lady was gonna reply but the sound of a car coming in the drive interrupted the conversation.
     ‘Oh--- I think they’re here early. Better go and top up the pot then,’ Mrs Carver said. She this strange look on her face; one of those looks that said she knew something I didn’t. She winkled at Mick. Mick, do you wanna tell them before that lot get in here?’
     Mick took the hint. ‘No point in beating about the bush eh? You know we are family---so hows about you two live with us? The missus and me have had a bit of a chat--- we don’t have any kids of our own---- it just didn’t happen.’ When I looked at his wife (I still didn’t even know her name) she had this teary look, but she sat up straighter in her chair and said. ‘It’s true. We would love to have you. By the way, this rude sod hasn’t even properly introduced us. I’m your Aunty Emma, by marriage of course. Our house is pretty damn empty I must say. I reckon it’s just waiting for a couple of kids like you.’
     Tania’s eyes widened as she tried to make sense of the offer. I think that she had been a bit like me—everything happening too quickly. She settled her attention on Mick. Unlike me, she hadn’t taken a shine to him. His laid back, funny ways; even in the short time we had known him had made a mark on me. We didn’t get a chance to reply, because the visitors were on the porch, knocking.
    Mrs Carver put her tea down and stood up, smoothing her dress and glancing briefly in the mirror above the fireplace. I took the chance to stuff a couple of sausage rolls into my mouth. If Mum had been there, I would have got ‘what for.’ Mick just grinned and whispered---‘Go for it boy.’ I decided I liked this guy.
     Mrs Carver came back into the room, accompanied by two serious looking people, a middle aged guy and a young woman. The guy introduced himself. ‘I’m John and this is Penny. ‘
     ‘Do take a seat,’ Mrs Carver said nervously, indicating that Tania and I should move from the couch. We both relocated to the chairs at the table, where the teapot sat alongside the food. John didn’t need much encouragement and soon had a plate of sausage rolls and cakes balanced on his lap. The lady made do with a cup of tea. I bet she was watching her weight. Mrs Carver took charge.
     ‘Thank you for coming---ah--- John and Penny. The children have been through a lot in the past few days and I suspect a fair bit before then. If we had more room, we would have liked them to stay longer, but we have family arriving from Australia.’ That was the first I had heard of that. I stayed silent, looking towards John and Mick. Tania carried on gnawing at a piece of cake, but there was a subtle change in her demeanour. She kept glancing at the open door. I had a feeling that things weren’t well with her. She had hardly talked to any of us since the funeral.
     John spoke first. ‘That is of course why we have come. Thank you for taking care of the children. We always have difficulty getting placements at such short notice and now that you have said you can’t continue, we will need to discuss some other options. We can’t find any relatives in New Zealand--- apparently there are some in Aussie, but until we can find them--- well that’s not an option.’
     Mick nodded his head when Mrs Carver looked towards him. ‘Well you can’t have looked very hard, cause we’re related--- on the Mum’s side. We saw the death notice is the paper. I know it’s still fresh for these kids, but Emma and myself have had a quick talk about all this and we reckon the best thing is for the kids to stay with us until long term plans are made. Maybe they would even like to stay permanently,’ he added with a hopeful look towards Tania.
     Tania didn’t look like she was listening. I had seen that far away glaze in her eyes many times and once she’s at that place---well, it’s anyone’s guess about what comes next. Penny noticed Tania’s mood too. She attempted to break the ice.
     ‘Tania----what do you think about Mick’s offer? I’m sure that once we do all the normal checks and get a signed agreement, you’ll be able to stay with these nice people.’ As the lady spoke, she almost seemed to reach out to me, seeking my support. Finally after a lack of response from Tania, or me, she turned towards Mrs Carver, her friendly bearing, turning a little ‘south.’
     ‘Look--- let’s get this sorted out--- we have to get back to the office for another urgent case. If you are all in agreement, I suggest you gather the childrens’ things together, while John and I complete the formalities. The agreement will be good for twenty eight days and in that time we shall complete the checks and finalize the placement.’
     Her last statement felt like it didn’t include Tania and me, in the ‘agreement.’ I was beginning to approach that place Tania had hidden in. It wasn’t that I disliked Mick and his lady—as I said before, I liked Mick--- but she was an unknown quantity. I simply had no feelings, one way or the other for her. Tania did though.
     She dropped the cake she was nibbling and leapt to her feet. Oh no, I thought--- here she goes again. This girl was a runner. I could have grabbed her, but I didn’t. Something inside me related to how she was acting. I mean--- had we been anything more than ‘told’ about the plan? Sure they had asked, ---all too quickly. Didn’t they know that kids, even big ones like me, need to think a bit? Hell, they were always telling us to think before we act and then, when it comes to something as important as deciding where we were going to live---well it felt like all bets were off.
     Tania was out the front door like a scared filly. This time, Mick made no move to follow her. He sat, looking stupid, while the other adults turned their attention to me.
     ‘She’s your sister Tom, Penny said. Don’t you think you should go after her? I’m sure she’s just a bit confused. We know what’s best in these cases. We’ve been dealing with kids like you for many years.’
     ‘I don’t think you know Jack shit miss! If you were so good at your job, maybe you wouldn’t fuck it up like this.’ I was on a roll. ‘I’m out of here!’
     Mrs Carver looked like she had been struck down by a raging bull; one of those at the back of our old place, near the river. Suddenly, I knew where Tania was heading, but I wasn’t about to let on. I followed her and as I left the front gate behind, sort of in one piece after I had slammed it shut, I ran until I caught up with her. ‘Stop—where the hell do you think you’re going Tania?’
     Tania had a determined look on her face. I knew from experience, that I wasn’t about to hear anything sensible in the way of explanation. It was one of those times, when I followed along and made sure that nothing too bad happened to her. One time, it had taken about three hours of keeping up with her, until she was totally stuffed. School did that to her sometimes, especially when the other kids were bullying her.
     Gradually her pace slackened and she slowed to a walk, breathing heavily. Still, she remained in her little world. I often wondered if she was aware of my presence when she was like this. There was another worry. Tania often had asthma attacks when she got overwrought. I was pretty certain that she didn’t have her puffer with her. It was time to intervene, rather than wait for her to come back to earth.
     ‘Tania, for Christ’s sake, stop. I don’t want to carry on forever. Let’s sit under that tree there in the drivers’ rest stop. Anyway, I reckon they would soon figure out where you’re headed. They’ll be at the old place waiting.’
     I had a growing feeling that I was about to do something stupid--- joining my sister in her mad run for--- what?  She slowed to a slow waddle, heeding my suggestion and plonking herself down at a picnic table that had seen better days.
     After a few minutes her breathing returned to normal. Come to think of it, I reckon her last asthma attack had been months ago. Did people really grow out of it? I thought.
     ‘Hey Tania---this is all a bit fast for me. What the hell do you think you’re doing? We have to go back.’
     ‘No--- they’re mean. I’m not—‘
     ‘Tania--- we have to--- stop being so stubborn. It’s not just about you. They will blame me.’
     ‘No---I’m---not-----going --- back----got it?!
     ‘Oh--- for fucks sake Tania!’
     ‘I’m gonna tell Mum you said that----‘She stopped and suddenly I was swamped by a tidal wave of a little girl crying like everything came back at her at once. All I could do was hold her. I t was then that a large truck bearing the name of one of the well-known brands of frozen foods pulled into the parking area, causing dust to spread like a gritty brown sea.
    The door opened and a man in his less than thirties jumped from the truck. If my sister had done that, she would have caused serious injury. He looked at us; appearing to be struggling with some sort of response to finding two kids alone in the park. My mind was in turmoil. What the hell was I to do about Tania—and me?

Talk To Me---A quick 'promo.'

‘Talk to Me’ is being released chapter by chapter. What’s it all about?
Firstly, don’t take it too seriously. Why would you? Hell, it is a total figment of my imagination, although there is a lot of Perdy (Alias Spot) in the book. It is also a tongue-in-cheek,’ blow by blow, imaginary account of how low a “talk back Radio station can go in order to achieve the Holy Grail or increased ratings.
The book explores the darker side of business and when things get out of control, the innocent suffer. But all is not lost, because human nature is resilient and solutions are always possible.
Laugh along and get pissed off at the same time.
Enjoy the book. Don’t forget to click!

A word about 'Roskill,'--available here as a blog-- chapter by chapter.

Methamphetamine goes by different names around the world. Here in New Zealand we call it ‘P.’ Whatever the name, it is a scourge on society, being responsible breaking up families and ruining businesses. Much of the crime against individuals is fuelled by the ‘need’ to feed the habit of the burglar or mugger. They see only the cash that will help them to their next hit.
This is the background for the family featured in ‘Roskill.’
Read it as I release it, chapter by chapter. Get your kids to read it, because it is written in a style, more appropriate for teenagers. Of course many adults are enjoying the book, knowing that it tells the story, sim ply and not without humour. The online version may differ a little from the printed version that I no longer have control of. If enough people wish to buy a copy, I will process a new release.
Please hit on and use the adverts. That is what allows me to continue to release my books in this manner. Pass the link on to as many of your friends as you can.

With thanks
Neil Coleman

'Boy Scouts of America--get your sh---together!

The Boys Scouts Association of America has a ‘standard’ that leaders should be ‘morally straight.’ It seems that they have left a word out when they suspended or threw out a lesbian leader of a group of Tiger Scouts. I assume that the members were all boys. Even if they won’t, the same report from Ohio sates that the par nets knew that the leader was lesbian.
I can’t wait to hear the justification for this narrow minded act. I know that most of my friends who read my blogs in the USA will be angry at this act of senseless stupidity. I am trying to find out what the stance of the ‘sister’ organization is in NZ. I think I may be embarrassed at what I find out.
There have been many gains over the years around the issues, central to this blog, both here and in many other countries, but when something like this happens, it makes one wonder if it is indeed two steps forward and three back.
Wake up Scout movements all over the world. The few cases of real abuse of our wonderful children should not stop gay/lesbian leaders contributing what so many children lack at home--- boundaries, fun ad a sense of belonging.
I now await the clarion calls to ‘save us from this scourge of liberal social engineers’---- from whom? --- The ‘voices of decency,’ of course.

I think I am in one of those 'reflective' moods.

I feel a little ‘reflective ‘today. I am at home because of the events I described in my last blog, so go and check it if you want the full picture. I don’t want to sit around all day, even if I could but going to work is also uncomfortable too. Oh well. Thank goodness it’s Friday so I have the weekend to mend.
Maybe I shall read my kindle, but Perdy is already sizing me up with one of her looks, soon to be matched by her nudging me or licking me as is to say---hey--- you have had enough rest--- get off your ass. The spelling is for my American friends.
I want to stand---no I don’t---I want to sit---no---how about laying on the bed—buggered if my body knows what it wants to do.
Ah----I could watch one of the movies I reordered, and then I keep thinking about work. I have had a text already and I have left a message or two about some things that needed doing.
Look at those dishes on the sink. I keep saying that if we don’t do them immediately after we eat, they tend to stack up like something you see on TV about student flats. I threaten to buy another dishwasher but every time I save the money for one, another expense appears; usually for a more serious option--- hey bills are not options are they?
Perdy--- for God’s sake--- stop looking at me like I’m gonna jump up and take you out---- no it ain’t gonna happen----yet. Maybe this afternoon, I can take you to the bay and let you out to run and play with the other dogs--- but don’t expect much from me, and you better come back when I call. Oops--- you will either have to pick up your own poo or do it on the sly, where no one can see.
At this rate I will end up going into work---there goes the phone--- lucky my mouth isn’t injured.

Sorry Perdy, you have to stay home today.

God and the devil had a battle today, so I had to stay home! I took the rubbish out last night and the steep drive was a little slippery from the drizzling rain. You can guess what’s coming. Yes my feet pointed towards heaven and my butt aimed at the devil. Great, you may say--- that’s how it should be; a sort of natural equilibrium.
But I want to go to school!
Well, God and the devil battled it out and I was the looser. I picked myself up and dragged myself back to the house. Today, I feel like one of the new double-decker busses Auckland are about to get, ran over me.
Sorry Perdy, you will have to stay home today. I shall write you a note.

Very interesting timing, SkyCity.

In the end; who pays? Look in the mirror. How can one be anything but sceptical when SkyCity announces moves to introduce systems to limit the damage for ‘problem’ gamblers’? SkyCity and the government are involved in negotiating a deal whereby SkyCity build a National Convention Centre in return for an increase in the number of pokies they are allowed.
Give me a break from such sanctimonious positioning on the part of SkyCity. Why don’t they just admit that the bottom line is their profit margins and that they will do anything it takes to ‘soften’ their public profile so that they can continue to wreak havoc on a naive public?
I know there are many examples out there of similar situations, where companies suck us in with platitudes disguising either bad service or damaging practices.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Perdy came, she saw, she conquered

What a wonderful forst day. I was reallly nervous when I went home to pick perdy up for her first half day at school. My nervousness was misplaced. First she greetd the saftey officers and then she settled inot my office. It wasn't long before she had her first lcients. Two girls were really sad and once I asked if the would like to have perdy stay--- it was all go. Perdy instinctively seemed to know what to do. She jumped onto the couch between the two girls and they started to stroke her. They calmed down and were able to tell me tnier 'story.' What a fabulous beginning.

Perdy starts school today!

It's true------ I shall go and get her at lunchtime and bring her in. Hopefully, she and the other dogs haven't driven the grumpy neighbour insane by then. WE are going ot take her picture and give an officel title as 'Perdy the Therapy dog.' I shall intorude her to a few people each day. She will of course have lots of time off, where she can stay in the caretakers backyard, chewing on a bone or too. I will get pictures added re her  'activities.'
I hope this works, because not for a moment do i think she will niot have little barking episodes, but at least I am only about 20 metres away to go and rescue her.

One of my students is reading my book

I was going back to my office today, when I noticed something very familiar. One of the students was carrying my book, 'Roskill.' I asked her if I could take her picture. She said she was reallly enjoying the book. I just wish I had lots more to actually sell. Oh well--- I will get around to relaeasing it again with a different ISBN number and cover. I still have a few to sell though.Just contact me on

She tried so hard---But Mila pays the price, one way or the other

When Mila crushed her caregiver (Helen) yesterday at the Franklin Zoo Park, near Tuakau, it was the tragic result of what was looking like a sucessful transition from being a circus atraction to a new life in the USA where she would have been able to live with other elephants, something more like a natural setting.
Mlla was well on the way to achieving that more satisfactory goal.
That her 'friend' tried so hard and had a loving relationship with Mila, makes it all the more hard to take. I hope that Mila can still be sent to the USA, in the knowledge that this incident was a 'one-off' out of the blue action.
Surely, we owe her another chance. I am pretty sure that Helen would have wanted the plan to go ahead and any talk of 'putting Mila down,' is just that--- talk. We put these animalas in this sorry position by using them for our entertainment, and even in the best run zoo or circus there is always going to be the possibility of an 'accident.' Complete the work that has been started. Use the former owners' expertise to make this happen.
May we hear in the very near future that Mila is living happlily with her mates in the USA.
To Helen's familly. We are all thinking of you.

And now Japan joins us--

Welcome to my new reader in Japan. The list is growing.

Hi Serbia--flags on a map

I think I better start putting flags on a map. Now Serbia has joined our little club. Havn't seen Malaysia for a while but it's nice to see Indonesia checking in.  Keep clicking everyone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

'TALK TO ME' Chapter 4 (please click on ads)


    ‘Talk to me people. Yes I’m back--- so much for the rest of the day off. What’s in the news today? Floods, earthquakes, bombings? Aren’t you glad we don’t heave bombings here? I can’t imagine what it’s like living under the threat of that. God only knows we have enough kooks here without that sort of extreme. What’s on your mind tonight? I know what’s on mind, but maybe I’ll leave that one—I think you know what I mean, if you were listening this morning.’  Damn--- I wasn’t gonna bring that up—Now what? It’s been one tough old day. I see the lights are just coming up on the board. Right--- who do have first---Marge—how are you this lovely evening?’
    ‘Good evening Garry—so nice to have you on tonight. I get a bit sick of that other one—she doesn’t have any sympathy for the real family people.’
    ‘Really Maggie?—you could have fooled me. Anyway you know we don’t talk about other hosts—it’s not really fair-- you ring her if you have a beef with her--- OK?’
   ‘’Right then—That’s not what I rang about anyway--- I want to talk about that couple you had on the other night--- you know--- those two lesbians--- them ones who wanted a baby and were going to do that procedure or get a friend to donate ---Oooh I can’t say it on the radio.’
    ‘You mean sperm Maggie--- there we are I’ve said it for you. What’s your point-- and don’t forget it was Penny who hosted that night.’
    ‘Yes I know--- I was really annoyed at her for having that lot on the programme. You know what it says in the bible. God created Eve and Adam not-----‘
    God--- it didn’t take long. ‘I think I know where you’re going with this Maggie. You know what--- nearly every day, someone on one of the shows, comes up with that line. Can’t you think of something a little more original?’
   ‘Garry--- we don’t need anything else. The bible is everything—it tells us everything we have to know and how to behave. Where does it say that two women can have a baby together--- it’s just not right is it?’
    ‘Not according to Maggie’s version--- no’----‘-Garry let her talk--- she’s funny and it will get them calling.’  Mmmm—that different--- not at all like Jean—wish he was on my shift in the morning.
    ‘Garry----What would happen to the world if all the women didn’t have men—the world would end wouldn’t it?’
    ‘Whatever makes you think that all the women would ever want to do that as you say Maggie--- I don’t know too nay Amazonians—well maybe there one I work----‘   Garry—Hehehe.’
    ‘Well I’ve seen them--- walking along—hand in hand--- disgusting. And as for those poofs that think they can do it too--- it’s not right.’
    ‘Well that was Maggie, people. Is that going to be the topic for the next few minutes—please--- not hours?’
    ‘Garry--- that guy---- Todd’s on the line again. He says he has something for you. Sounds like he’s broken into another house.’ 
    ‘Jesus---I suppose you want time to keep him on again  while the cops try to get it traced--- he’s not stupid--- OK--- do it.’   That’s not how I felt. The swats were back along with a sick feeling in my stomach. What a guy does for is boss. ‘Better be a bonus in this for me boss.’
    ‘It’s Todd isn’t it? What can I do for you?’
    ‘Evening Garry. How was your walk? You looked pretty cool down at the bay--- not sure that shirt suits you though---- red? ---- come on Garry---- that’s a gang colour.’  Shit---how---I have to keep cool---shit. ‘Now Garry--- do your job properly--- you know you have to keep me on so they can trace me--- know what?--- they nearly got me last time---- Hehehe not this time tough--- I’m on a cell phone--- I stole it from one of your lady friends’ cars--- a black one---- Hehehe. They wouldn’t even have noticed until later. I bet she thought she had left it at home--- funny old thing, memory eh?’
    ‘You are a bit of a creep Todd--- you know that don’t you?’
    ‘Garry--- I wouldn’t talk to me like that if I was you---- Hehehe--- God----now you have me talking like you---- not very cleverly. You are so predictable. Hey do you want me to tell your listeners how I killed that guy?’ 
    ‘Garry---‘ Jean interrupted.  ‘String him along--- if he gets too graphic--- I’ll cut him off. Are you OK? This is a biggie--- you know that. Apparently we have half the city listening--- it’s amazing what Facebook does.’
    ‘Garry--- I bet your boss is talking to you. I sense that you get on much better with that one--- is it a guy?  Maybe you get on better with guys Garry.’
    ‘You know what Todd--- I get on with everybody.’  What a bloody liar--- pathetic. ‘You really seem to be prepared Todd---- if you used all these skills you obviously have—you could be a real winner.’
    ‘Are you trying to patronise me Garry. Keep going I like it--- but it won’t work--- just like it didn’t for that guy down at the lagoon.  Nothing he said to me made one bit of difference.’
    ‘I reckon you’ve killed before Todd—bet that’s not your real name too.’ 
    ‘Great Garry---- keep it up.’
    ‘I’m not stupid Garry--- you’ve made that mistake be---‘
    ‘I think you just made one now too Todd.’
    ‘What do you mean? Do you want to hear how I killed him---- that useless piece of shit.’
He’s getting a bit pissed off---he almost said “before”---- I hope that doesn’t mean he knows me a bit more than I think---God--- I’m not sure how long I can keep this up--- Mmmm--- the cops are here--- listening--- what?  They want me to keep going.
    ‘Sure Todd--- but can you do me one favour? You know heaps of people are listening to you.’
    ‘Of course they are--- what’s the favour Garry?’
    ‘Can you not be too gory? --- my producer will just cut you off if you do that.’
    ‘Sure--- fair enough. Now where do I start--- you probably wanna know why him too, of course. Don’t you think I done the world a favour?’
    ‘That’s not my call Todd. I don’t play God.’  Thumbs up from the cops--- plain clothes I see.
    ‘Hehehe--- that reminds me of your last caller. She talks--- I act.’
    ‘What--- you do God’s work? You take a lot on your shoulders Todd—Judge, jury--- the lot.’
    ‘Wait Todd—I just got two visitors.’
    ‘Course you have Garry--- you go and chat to the cops then eh.’
    Jesus----This is getting creepier by the minute.
    ‘I know this is hard Garry---- we’ll go for a break and give you a breather--- hopefully he stays on---- Damn---- he’s gone. OK I think the two detectives are back and they want to talk to you--- and by the way---the phones are running so hot, I’m worried they’re going to crash the system. We are also getting hits on the website from all over the place--- just had a call from some outfit in L.A.’
    The headphones were wet when I took them off. It’s not as if we have bright lights like TV studios, so it’s not that hot. It’s my energy, fear—God knows what. The producers playing one of the standby interviews and he’s looking pretty happy.  I bet the listeners aren’t. It’s not him talking the shit from our weirdo caller.
     I walk into the office, which feels incredibly crowded with the two extras. I’m not sure if their faces reflect distain, incredulity or they’re just buzzing with the fact that they have a case that’s going viral on the net. They’re obviously not in the hot seat in quite the same way I am. Well at least I don’t have Jean bothering me--- Damn she runs hot and cold.
   ‘Hi Tom---Alex. How’s your evening?’
    ‘It’s getting more and more complicated as we go on. You held that guy---Todd, really well. I don’t want you underestimating the importance of these calls you are getting. That’s what we came to talk about--- It’s reached the point where we probably need to put a watch on you.’
    ‘You reckon – Alex?  Shit--- I’m a bit bamboozled by this, but has it got to that point?’
    ‘It’s just a precaution Garry.’ The look Tom gave Alex, didn’t do much for me as he said that.
    ‘What about my friends--- aren’t you worried about them too?’
    ‘Well--- yes--- they are being g interviewed right now—I suppose you lot are still talking about it, so you’ll find out for yourself,’ Tom said.  What is it I don’t like about this guy? Oh yes, he reminds me of Todd when he talks to me. Funny how two people seem similar, but are on totally opposed sides of the law. Maybe I should tell him?
    ‘Garry--- have you had any thoughts about what’s going on with this guy?’  Mmmm—maybe Alex and Tom are playing, good cop, bad cop. Well it won’t cut with me.
    ‘I’ve had lots of thoughts, Alex. Shit it’s all I’m thinking about--- like he’s watching my every move--- what’s he gonna come up with next?’
    ‘OK--- that’s why we want to put a tail on you. You will hardly know he’s there—and we will also be watching your house too.’
   ‘What! --- Damn--- I hadn’t thought of that. I think I need to have a really good chat with my partner.’ The thought of that low-life bastard possibly knowing where we lived freaked me. God, that puts a whole new light on the missing spring. I stuck a spring on my gate so that when the metre-readers come, they don’t let the dog out, but I noticed it was gone this morning. Hello paranoia.
    ‘Ah--- that’s underway too Garry, Tom said. Someone’s talking to your partner right now. Can’t have you both going dipsy on me eh?’  That smart-arsed smile is back.
    The producer stepped in. Maybe he sensed a little bit of tension. ‘Look--- we have a show to run here. If you want to ask any more questions, you can either wait or do it later. Garry has a break in an hour or so.’ Thanks Pete. I must talk to him about jean’s style later. The detectives left, saying they would be in touch the next morning. Thankfully, Todd didn’t call again--- on that shift.   I headed home and had the house to myself. My partner has weird times. It’s hard for us both to get time together. Spot and jasmine seem to take it in their stride though. It means that there’s nearly always someone at home to show off their new tricks. Well, in their mind that’s what tearing up the place is.