Monday, July 30, 2012

Perdy--- you are extremely naughty!--and rather full

The clouds on the horizon promised nothing but a very wet experience down at the Bay, as I drove home along the South Western motorway. I was definitely not looking forward to my ‘drenching,’ but then again, my choice was either get wet or endure a manic Jack Russell that had not been walked; going into an evening of relaxation would be a far-off dream under those circumstances.
I parked the car and headed on inside. A little black and white face observed my every move, form inside the house. Maybe she would refuse to go out in the rain, which by now had fulfilled its promise. Yes, it was descending in driving sweeps. Who in their right mind would venture out into such a conflagration? Why, Perdy with a reluctant me of course.
I entered my home and was met with a sight that indicated that ‘someone had been very naughty. It wasn’t me ’her face claimed. A plastic bag had been torn to shreds in an attempt to retrieve the tempting morsels within---a bag of doggie treats; in this case, chicken jerky, one of Perdy’s favourites. I use them to entice her back to the car, when she feels that I have not exercised her enough. ‘Enough’ is a very elastic word, from her point of view. She may as well say—‘I will come when I am damn well ready!’
The contents of the bag were not to be seen, not without a certain medical divise, that is. They were safely stored inside Perdy. She had a very satisfied look on her face. There is no point in showing displeasure at unseen acts of Perdyness--- what’s the point?
I suppose she expected forgiveness, but judging by the farts on the way down to the Bay; well, let’s just say that she really needed the exercise. Her fullness did not slow her down but she didn’t eat dinner that night.
Oh well--- one must learn to store the ‘goodies in placed beyond the reaches of a certain Jack Russell.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mr Key---please listen to The Waitangi Tribunal.

The Waitangi Tribunal has asked the PM to hold off on the partial asset sales until the question of statutory rights to water is settled. I say, take that one step further and have a debate that is not tied up with elections; one that truly reflects the will of New Zealanders, and one that is based on sound economics.
Don’t you get the feeling that this latest round of proposals is nothing more than ‘selling the family silver’? If we look further down the track, will we arrive at the conclusion that it was all for nought--- that we have virtually given away something that could have returned to the taxpayer; rewards that are immeasurable over the passing of time.
We do not want our Treasures to be lost to overseas investors and control, no matter what the PM says. I find it hard to believe that the so-called ‘Mom and Pa’ investors won’t at some stage be in a position where they too sell on the small share holdings they purchase now. We can never predict what will happen in the future so let’s not put ourselves in that position, whereby we have nothing but regrets.
Keep them for us and continue to reap the benefits from what our grandparents built up so many years ago. Once gone--- they will be almost impossible to buy back. Prudence says---- ‘Stack them away for the future.’

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Victims of Colorado massacre not covered by health insurance!

This is one of those times when I do not want to believe the words I am writing. I have read a report in the NZ Sunday Herald today about how some of the victims of the cruel massacre in Colorado may face huge medical bills. If this is true, because hospitals in the USA are only obliged to ‘stabilize’ victims of accidents or other  ‘foul play,’ then I say shame on a nation that espouses lofty ideals about freedom and fair play to the rest of the world.
I communicate with some very humane and intelligent people in the USA and from time to time they express views very close to my own. On this issue I will be looking forward to their comments.
It is inconceivable to me that any nation purporting to be ‘developed’ and boasting high standards of living for the majority of its citizens, along with strong laws on taxation so that Government can guarantee a minimum life standard for those who are not able to look after themselves, through no fault of their own can be so remiss in situations like this.
I guess my views would be labelled naïve and left of centre for large sections of the population in the USA and indeed here in NZ too, but I propose that any decent society at least aims for the goal of taking a role in caring for its people. Yes, that means higher taxation, but for me, that means I can sleep at night knowing that the vast majority of my fellow citizens have at least the basics of life and would certainly be well cared for in situations like those we have sadly witnessed yet again in Colorado.

Is it womens' beachball or is it something else/

I was watching women’s’ beach ball (delayed) this morning---the game itself is great but I had to wonder at the difference in costumes between the men and the women. If it was about comfort, ease of playing, then wouldn’t you expect the uniforms to be similar? Now before you start accusing me of perving, anyone who knows me well, knows that is not what I was doing.
Let’s just say that if they wore much less, we would be verging on ‘soft porn.’ All things being equal, but they’re not, then the men would be wearing speedos! So what’s this all about? Is it about marketing and TV audience size?
Of course it is, because I cannot see any other reason for the ‘disparity.’ OK, OK---- I’m not about to rain on your parade(s) so just go for it. I guess it just makes it most unlikely that we will see teams from some of the more ‘extreme’ Islamist Republics eh! ---or from very religious Christian communities.
Here endith my musings.
I suppose I better take perdy for a walk in the rain and leave you guys to your 'viewing.'

Two weeks ago, I couldn't have given a stuff about the Olympics---

It’s true---two weeks ago I really didn’t give a toss about the Olympics. I mean---all the hype was pissing me off big time. Why—the usual reasons: the financial input---what the hell---I’ll just leave it and fill you in about what’s happened to change that. I remember saying to my sister that I wasn’t going to take advantage of the extra channels that ‘My Sky has on---- there are about 8 of them. I was actually thinking of getting rid of Mysky because believe me it costs heaps (I think it’s about NZ$120 a month on the plan I’m on) and if any of you have read my DIJAC series of blogs (Damn---It’s Just Around the Corner---referring to the need to get real about a reduced income once one hits that ‘magic age,’) you would wonder at such an expense.
All of those ‘words’ have gone out the window and my former protestations have been whipped aside as I have become addicted to the large screen at the end of my lounge. The two weeks ahead of me are going to be ‘taken over by the events on the other side of the world in ‘Mother Britain.’
‘Sacrilege!’ you shout. ‘How could you?’
Well, once I started watching the Opening Ceremony---live for the first part and then the recorded version. Something snapped in me to let loose a plethora of thoughts and feelings. Was it something in my heritage that evoked deep feelings of past lives in the Isles of my origin? I found myself feeling ‘proud.’ Where the hell did that come from? Am I just an emotionally imprisoned individual who is prone to these types of psychic takeovers?’
Whatever it was, I found myself absolutely and irreversibly captured by the scenes from that magnificent stadium. I found myself on the verge of tear-jerking madness, especially as I observed the totally wonderful sequence that led up to the ‘Queen’ jumping out of a helicopter with her loyal lieutenant, James Bond---wonderfully funny and imaginative. Therein lay the key for me for the whole ceremony.
The Britts hit the mark like no one else can, no matter how many millions they throw at the event. The combinations of culture, history, music and sheer pageantry blew me away. If anything was going to draw me in, that was it.
Now on Sunday Morning, New Zealand time, I am able to navigate through the channels, catching up on the day’s events whilst wondering if I am going to be able to escape the box and take Perdy for her walk (or manic run) and visit the supermarket to purchase the means of earthly sustenance I shall need for the following week Then there is work--- Ooops I better attend to that responsibility--- they don’t have Mysky there though.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Go well New Zealand's 198 athletes at the London Games

Yes, it's hard ot believe that a tiny South Pacific nation of under 4.5 million people can send 198 athletes to the Olympic Games in London. It shows how sports mad we are. Over the next two weeks many people will be late for work, because they have stayed up half the night. No doubt some will face angry bosses who will be cranky because they too have been bitten by the Olympic bug, Oh well, it makes a change from the sad news coming out of so many other places. Isn't this what it is all about; for a time the trouble of the world are placed to one side? Ok folks--- enjoy the respite, then---well---God alone knows what awaits us after the two weeks are up.

Has New Zealand got talent?----yes, yes and yes!

I had the privilege of attending a ‘Round 2’ show of New Zealands Got Talent at the Telstra Centre in Manukau last night. Now before anyone gets their ‘tits-in-a-tangle,’---I’m not going to say who was in it or who moved through to the next phase. After all, the show is pre-recorded at this stage.
I learnt a lot about how the show is made. Firstly we had to line up for ages; even though we had so-called ‘priority seats’ and that enabled us to be seated first, in seats just behind the judges. I’m not even going to say who they were, although no doubt that isn’t a secret.
What a great centre the Telstra is; it is adaptable and can change configuration for any circumstance. I loved the almost Opera House feeling (minus the ‘age-old’ feeling). There were three tiers of seating although the upper levels only hold one line seating arrangement with a few standing behind. The main part of the auditorium stretched a fair way back, but I think that even those people had a good view of the expansive stage.
I loved the antics and carryings on of the ‘warm-up guy. He had us in stitches. His job was to impart the instructions a live audience needs in order for the show to run well and to take ‘out-takers for later editing. He was funny and had us bowing to his every wish He was a cheeky bugger that’s for sure.
What followed was a sheer delight as artists and performer after performer strutted their stuff. Suffice it to say that the group I was in had an incredible night. It was a chance for me to meet up with old friends I hadn’t seen for a while. We were in attendance to support a friend of a friend, but we rapidly became hooked up in the whole experience.
I have never been to anything like it. I have to say that NZ has come a long way from those early beginnings of live TV entertainment. It was slick, professional and one always had the feeling that the backstage boys and girls had everything under control.
You will not be disappointed in the talent on offer. There are some tear jerkers and one is left wondering---‘where the hell has this fantastic talent been hiding?’ Long may we have shows like this to introduce e us to the future of NZ’s recording and live entertainment industry. I arrived home, very late and thoroughly satisfied. Thanks for the tickets, dear Lisa.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Before we criticise Russia and China over their stance re Syria, consider this.

Syria continues to slip towards a humanitarian abyss as the rebels fight against a repressive regime. The UN continues to debate various resolutions and Russia and China continue to veto any proposals. What a bloody mess and if reports are correct, another massacre is on the cards as tanks and troops gather near Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city.
One fact we can state with certainty is that the people will suffer; the ones trapped between warring parties. The present regime is not going to go willingly and the rebels are not a united group with a coherent plan for a post- Assad Syria. One does not have to look far in the Middle-East to see what the possibilities are for nations trying to rebuild after decades of despotic governance. Often the conditions for a democratic renaissance are either completely lacking or shallow to say the least. No matter who wins it is going to take a great deal of time and effort before we see stability and a government supported by the majority of the people.
China and Russia have been criticised for their stance in the UN; they continually veto motions calling for regime change or increasingly harsh sanctions. They played for the same sheet, re Libya and other nations in the area. Their concerns are not without merit. Too often the West and its allies has embarked on spurious military interventions; the results not always being beneficial to the recipient nations. If the purpose of the vetoes is a ‘call for caution, then is that all that bad? Clearly the 'bomb the crap-out-of them' approach has not brought good results, other than a short-lived military ‘victory.’
Unless a real engagement with the Syrian people is part of the process then any intervention is doomed to failure. In the end, it is only the Syrian people, with support, who can sort out the issues this country faces. Therein lays the problem. I disparate collection of groups is facing a desperate Government and history tells us that we are in for more blood-letting. My fears for Syria grow by the day. Before we criticise Russia and China for refusing to be part of yet another ‘coalition,’ we should look at the lessons from the past.
What is it that we must do that is different? Sorry—I don’t have the answers, just more questions. What I do know is that Russia, China and rest of the UN, along with representatives (even from the present regime) must come together. Talk is cheap but the actions resulting from that ‘talking’ must reach a consensus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The new version of 'Roskill' has gone to print.

Finally---yes Roskill has gone to print and it will be available very soon from my new website. This time it is under my control and I shall actually get paid for what I sell. You will be able to purchase the book from my website using PayPal, a safe way of purchasing-----no more making payments and not receiving the book.
Roskill will be followed by a re-worked ‘Coastal Yarns’ and the about to be released ‘Talk To Me.’
My website is   Don’t hit it until I have the book(s) online. I will let you know.

China--- This one's for you!

China has arrived big time. It now rivals the economic giants like Japan and the USA in its economic prowess. This should not surprise us if we look at China’s long and illustrious history. While Europe languished in the ‘Dark Ages,’ China was forging ahead with its culture and nation building.
Even 1500 years ago, everything about China was ‘big.’ It is in this ‘bigness’--- the huge population that the issues for China arise; both for now--- and then.
We all know that China has had a second growth period; after it had turned in and away from the rest of the world, hundreds of years ago. It then suffered at the hands of Western and Japanese imperialism and it was only under the Communist party that it finally threw off the shackles that were imposed.
The Communist Party without a doubt raised the standard of living for a vast number of ordinary Chinese, offering them hope for a better life. That did not come without costs, in human terms and for the environment.
China now faces the same problems that the rest of the so-called democratic world faced in the struggle for a fairer society. Fingers are pointed at China for its abuse of human rights in the Western sense. It is very easy to point out serious failings when it comes to the right of Chinese citizens to criticise their Government. We all know the plight of those languishing in the less developed countryside, where the opportunities are less than those in the cities.
Even in the huge industrial areas, where most of the products China manufactures for the rest of the world are made, life is not easy. Housing is often far from desirable, but for those living there, it is seen as better than the lives they left behind. Progress comes at a cost.
What is going to happen in China? Just look at the history of many European and emerging Asian nations. As the middle-classes expanded, there was a push for other change--- namely the right to vote, to choose life options freely and to express those thoughts in art, fashion and other ways. We are seeing it on a large scale in India too. China is no different.
There is a growing understanding of environmental issues in China---indeed an emerging ‘green movement.’ Along with the push for ‘more say’ from the populace, the Communist Party of China faces pressure to change. That can only come on ‘Chinese terms,’ not a Western idealism about ‘what is right for China.’ We have seen what happens when the West tries to force changes in Asia and elsewhere--- it doesn’t work--- when are we going to learn that? Of course that is not going to stop Western commentators standing up for what they see as abuses of human rights in China.
China is now inextricably merged into the world-wide economic jigsaw. It depends as much on us as we do on their manufactured products. It is quickly approaching a point where it is going to face competition. The balance between making cheap products and improving the standard of living for its people is one fraught with danger. They know it and only they can find that balance. Being part of a ‘global economy’ is the main factor that will drive future changes in China. We will all be affected, one way or another.

Can we make it any clearer for you, Mr Key

The message is coming through loud and clear--- most NZers, including many of your National Party supporters--- the big flash ones--- raise the bloody age of retirement to 67. Hell--- even us lowly ones at the bottom are even saying it . You won't lose many votes. Just pull your head out of the sand and do it.; We have to look to the future, not just the perceived threat of wining or losing at the next election. It's OK to back-down, John.!

Maggie Barry--- you should know better!

I have always admired and liked Maggie Barry, from way back. I found her fascinating, engaging and knowledgeable. I am not a national party member or supporter, but I was quite pleased when she became a Member of Parliament. I thought that she would bring a certain ‘presence’ into what is sometimes a collection of boring twats.
I have heard her in the debating chamber (well--- I mean on TV) and I have been quite impressed. Hell--- you need to understand that that is quite a statement for me to make about a national MP. But yesterday, she let herself down. It is all very well, coming into Parliament with a high profile, but I suspect that carries with it the need to be measured in one’s commentaries.
Yesterday’s contribution from Maggie did not sit well with me and many people I have talked to.; Sure, in the heat of the moment it is easy to make a throw away remark, but then one should have the good grace to withdraw and apologise for the said remark. Maggie’s comment about a Labour MP not being qualified to talk on a Bill before parliament because she had not had children was below the belt. It also raised the possibility of a tit-for-tat war between the various parties. It would be very easy to respond in kind and takeaway any dignity the discussion may have had up until that point.
It would be so easy to then go one step further and bring all sorts of spurious arguments based on fake understanding into the debate.
I say--- leave those sort of comments out of the debates and stick to the main issues--- the reason why you are all there!
Come on Maggie--- learn from this.
I still like you though.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Perdy was covered in lumps last night!

Sometimes I Know I go overboard when it come to my Perdy. I make no apologies for that because you always have the option of deleting or not reading about my paranoia.
Last night I displayed all the tensions, fears and frustrations of a parent when they see their child in pain. When the object of concern is a baby or a dog that can’t tell you what is wrong--- then you get the picture. Read on if you must!
Perdy and I went for our usual ‘stuff the weather’ walk (OK I walk--- she runs like a manic, super-charged freak) down at the Lagoon. She played, stole balls and generally enjoyed herself; sniffing at every unimaginable smelly thing (then licks me later) and chasing other dogs that really do represent a threat, just through their sheer size----- not a problem for a Jack Russell, but a ‘big’ one for me sometimes.
After about an hour of exuberant running and interactions, I decided to call it quits and the usual avoiding getting in the car was on the cards. Each night I find a new technique to catch her--- I am running out of ideas. She must have sensed that I wasn’t going to piss around, so she leapt into the car without too much hassle and then shook herself to toss off the sand and mud. My car is relatively new but looks like a sand-pit inside. I have given up making excuses and if anyone is silly enough to ride in my car then they put up with the sand and often leave the car with the addition of white doggie hair on their clothing. Naturally I do not tell them that they are taking home the makings of a stuffed pillow on the backs and butts. I suppose my friendship circles are undergoing subtle changes of late. Oh well--- like the tide--- they come and go.
When we arrived at home Perdy went off and drank from the fish pond (quite usual) and then proceeded to bug me for her dinner. Whist preparing a stew in the pressure cooker, I happened to turn---- and horror of horrors; she was covered in these large lumps. They looked like mini golf balls. My partner grabbed her and said that they didn’t appear to be solid and they certainly were not stopping her from appealing for her dinner. She was also still very active.
It was us who were upset and powerless to understand what the hell the lumps meant. We uttered words like ‘allergy—she must have eaten something or come into contact with plant material that was not doggie friendly.’ Perdy has had reactions to other plants before, but not like this.
We rang the vet, who told us to watch her for the next ten minutes and then if she was worse, take her to the emergency vet. She also asked if Perdy was having trouble breathing. She wasn’t. In fact, you never have known that anything was wrong apart from the appearance of the lumps.
Ten minutes later, they were gone.
 Any ideas anyone?   God knows what parents go through--- I would be hopeless now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I received a warm-fuzzy today.

As some of you know, I work as a counsellor in a large Auckland school. I am also a Tutor-teacher--- that’s just another name for a ‘Form teacher’ in NZ. I don’t actually teach as my main duty in the school is to counsel the students, families and staff.
You would have hardly missed my other interest; namely, I write books and two of them happen to be in the school library. Of course I didn’t make them pay! --- I gave them the books and as it turns out I may have to give them some more.
Today I received the usual list of things that Tutor-teachers receive—lateness notes for students and various other bits and pieces. Amongst them was a note from the library asking me to tell one of my students that she had a book overdue and could she please return it. I took a closer look.
I was pleased, flattered and couldn’t help giggle. How could I tell the young person off? ----IT WAS FOR MY BOOK---‘ROSKILL’
My solution--- a one-off one?  I shall give the young student a copy of Roskill---- but she still has to return the other one.
Is this a moment I should treasure? --- Hell yes.

We won't use chemical weapons on our own people!

Who would believe a regime who says that it won’t use chemical weapons on its own people; a regime that is murdering its own people on a daily basis; a regime that is clearly in its last days; a regime that is haemorrhaging some of its top military personal as they see the light?
A regime that bombs and burns civilians cannot lay claim to ‘caring’ about its people. This regime could have stopped the slaughter and the dislocation of the people by accepting the fact that it has become irrelevant to the future of Syria, but it won’t--- for one simple reason---it will do anything to retain power for as long as it can, by any method. It knows that the members of the Government will not survive in a new Syria, so we are seeing the death-throes of a clique that is determined to take down as many of those seeking a new beginning as it can.
How can we not be fearful for what lays ahead in the next few weeks?

Asset sales are 'dead in the water Johnny---just stop this stupid process.

When is this stupid charade going to stop? Now, even big investors are crying foul about the ‘loyalty scheme,’ by which the Government is trying to keep the assets in NZ hands. It is going to cost every NZer $112. Why should the rest of us pay for this unpopular scheme? Why should all of those who against selling our assets be forced through government policy to unwittingly support this crazy idea?
Mr Key says that he is mandated to go ahead and force through the partial sale of State Assets. One could argue that he makes this link by the fact that his party won the most votes, but it is clear that the majority on NZers are against the sales. He is certainly not mandated to introduce this latest piece of stupidity.
Surely it is time for a massive backlash. The only way we can show our displeasure is to get out in the streets. So far, the numbers have been less than impressive. I believe that even  Johnny will take note if enough of us get out there. What’s happened to that petition?

So you can get my blog in China----great!

For some silly reason I thought that you could not get my blog in China. Now that I see someone read one today, I am very pleased. I shall write some that may be of interest to you. Dont forget to check out my new website in a few weeks. It is   Just be a little patient while we get the final bits done re Paypal and the latest pictures for the covers of the books.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Not on my watch'--- here we go again.

Once again we hear our Prime Minister trying to limit discussion. Do you remember his statement that raising the retirement age would not occur on his watch? Well---- he’s doing it again. It seems that he is unwilling to press for more or tougher changes around the issue of tobacco.
Is this because he doesn’t want to upset his big business mates in the tobacco industry? --- the overseas ones of course or is it that he simply lacks the intestinal fortitude to make any real changes around this damaging issue.
Whiles thousands die and cost the taxpayer billions in ill-health and lost working hours, not to mention the economic costs, he prevaricates around an issue that will not go away. The Maori Party and others are right to push for more stringent laws.
Perhaps John Key sees the issue as too damaging politically. He wouldn’t be the only one to take that stance of course, but this is a time when we need to be courageous and even if we don’t get a complete ban on tobacco products--- well at least keep the debate going. That is what fuels the need to change; not ‘walking away’ and sticking one’s head in the sand.

Now's the time to back it up----'smoke-free New Zealand!

Now is the perfect time to build on the work that has been done--- making cigarettes invisible at the ‘point of sale.’ One now has to ask and will then be offered a ‘menu of prices.’ (Yeah right--- as if any smoker doesn’t know the prices and if they don’t then they will just assume that they are going up every year).
Over the last decade there has been quite an effort by successive governments to get the numbers of smokers on a downward track. We even see some politicians proposing a ‘smoke-free new Zealand. Whether we get to that point is doubtful in my lifetime, but it is a laudable goal.
Shopkeepers will no doubt be cursing the changes, because they will have to face the cynical and sometimes angry customers. I suspect some will try to circumvent the law but the hefty fines will keep that to a minimum. Like all changes, we eventually accept the inevitable.
Would this not be a good time to throw some more resources into smoking cessation programmes? From what I have seen it takes multiple efforts to wean someone off tobacco. If we take away the initial costs re the patches and other methods, then we eliminate another hurdle. Is it not better to spend the money now on those wishing to stop? (The evidence suggests that most smokers wish to cease their habit).
Combine publicity with support and be prepared to run cycles of these efforts (like every six months) and maybe we will see the results we desire. For those who say---‘what about the tourists? Will they not come if we ever go ‘smoke-free?’ I say---- too bad. I am sure that if we had a reputation as a smoke-free destination, then we may well see an increase in tourist numbers. Hey---why not advertise us as ‘clean and green and smoke-free?’ Perhaps we can even give them free patches, as long as they stay for a minimum period of time.
The ‘smoke-free sky’ is the limit.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Ciggies on display from tomorrow!

Tomorrow we will no longer see cigarettes on display in our shops in New Zealand. Like Australia we will face a backlash the big bully tobacco companies who are threatening to sue us when we also make the compulsory to only have the ‘cancer sticks’ packed in plain packets.
It doesn’t help that we have one of our prominent politicians maintaining that it hasn’t been proven that the cigarettes causes thousands of deaths a year in New Zealand. I am sure he since regretted that statement. One issue the Maori Party and Hone Harawira are united on is their total opposition to smoking, along with many other politicians in all parties.
I know it is incredibly hard to stop smoking and I admire those who have kicked the habit. I support any government/taxpayer efforts to help those who wish to cease smoking. We are all winners if they succeed.
What’s next? ----- Fighting the massive issue of obesity and its incumbent mate---diabetes of course. So before I ever claim anyone trying to stop smoking lacks backbone----well I just look in the mirror and take a peek at the scales.
So, stuff off big tobacco companies and their ‘fast/fatty/sugary’ food manufacturing mates. Placing a few salads on the menu doesn’t disguise the other crap on sale.

Australia--- a huge increase in readers---what's happening!

I am very happy that there has been a huge increase in readers from Australia following my musings. Hell--- on a few days latley you have outnumbered my Kiwi friends. Keep it up, but better still, m,ake some comments---good or bad--- I don't mind; lets face it--- we have been slinging the 'brown stuff' at one another for many years---- it is now a normal and harmless ritual between us.
Better still, once my new website is up an running very soon, buy my books.


Another tragedy in the USA--Aurora

How many times do we have to watch these terrible events unfold--- all because someone goes crazy with guns; this time a planned multi-murder of so many innocent victims. Each of the dead and injured had stories attached to why they were at the cinema for the late evening screening. When we hear these stories, some form the survivors and other about the dead, we think—‘there for the grace of God,’ it could have been me.
Once again the issue of ‘gun laws’ will be debated. Some will say that individuals bent on killing will always find ways to get their hands on guns. They will say that their constitutional rite to bear arms transcends the calls for tougher gun laws. They will also witness many more murders as yet more mentally disturbed, politically or faith-driven individuals or groups unleash slaughter on the public.
At what stage is the USA going to take a long hard look at itself and put aside the perceived need to arm themselves? Yes, I know that bearing arms is seen as a necessity to ‘protect property and life,' because the police are unable to perform these functions. The USA does not have that issue on its own.
Even in little New Zealand with its 4.5 million people, we have had some sad instances of mass-killings; the example in a Dunedin suburb many years ago where more than a dozen people were hunted down by a crazy gunman comes to mind. I am not sure of the proportionality of such events and whether the USA has more than its share of these events, but they certainly capture world-wide attention when they occur. Perhaps that is more a question of media control.
As the people of Colorado deal with this latest tragedy and ask themselves—‘why?’ then let us once again send our thought and prayers to those affected. The unanswered questions go way beyond the theatre in a small town--- it could be anywhere.

Rangiriri Cafe & Heritage Centre-- a must stop!

If you are travelling south of the Bombay Hills heading down State Highway One, make sure you stop at historic Rangiriri, the site of a battle where steadfast Maori made a stand against Governor Grey’s invasion of the Waikato.
The Rangiriri Café and Heritage Centre has it all; that is if you want to combine a good breakfast (or lunch and afternoon tea) with a bit of New Zealand history. The café is situated in a purpose built historic building, in the same manner of the 1860’s era. I was fooled into thinking that it was actually old, somewhat like the old hotel about a hundred metres away. Either way, it is a perfect place to house many objects and relics from the war that raged in the area as the Colonial troops advanced deeper into Tainui Territory.
There is also a small room set up to show an audio visual presentation of the Land Wars, for a small payment of course. The room with the accompanying café would be a perfect venue for a mini-conference.
The menu is typical for most cafes with the addition of ‘gluten-free’ offerings, something that many cafes leave off their menus. Most of the cakes, slices and scones are made by the friendly proprietor. We didn’t have the breakfast as we had already eaten, but the coffee and slices were fine. I observed two other happy customers sampling the ‘big breakfast’--- I was tempted to have a second breakfast; that may have meant my travelling companion informing my doctor. I had to settle for the promise of enjoying such fare next time.
There is also a gift shop, so after enjoying the fare available, I would suggest checking out the item on sale which includes NZ Souvenirs: Possum, Merino, Wild Ferns, Skincare products, Salt Lamps, Kauri Products, Glassware, Garden Art, Ceramics and much much more.
BY the time you wave goodbye and join the busy highway, you should be well satisfied with your stop.
If you wish to have dinner on your return to Auckland--- visit the historic hotel and partake of their legendary huge meals.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I fear for Syria.

The situation in Syria is descending onto hellish civil war where there will be no winner; only losers. The vast majority of ordinary Syrians will pay the price, because as usual, the rich and influential will just take planes, ships and cars out of the country and wait until things ‘settle down.’
We are hearing disturbing reports of atrocities being committed on both sides. Isn’t this the way of civil wars? Has not history shown how depraved people can become as the rule of law (even the cruel law of Assad) breaks down?
Families are often unable to move away from the violence and if they are in the way of the military or the ‘rebels’ and if they don’t show their support, they run the risk of being gunned down or worse. That Syria is plunging towards an abyss is now more than likely. I am saddened at the inaction of the UN; China and Russia of course are blocking moves to even ‘talk about the issue.’
There is no clear united ‘opposition’ to Assad, once he has fallen. It is all too easy to oppose and fight, but once one dictator is tumbled, we will see another power- hungry despot move in to take his place. It may be a fundamentalist Islamic regime or an equally corrupt tribal group.
Syria has suffered enough. I hope I am wrong and that we see something more representative of the vast majority of Syrians--- someone who offers a real future for Syria. I am not confident.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The end is nigh but what is to come in Syria?

It seems that even in Damascus, the entrenched regime can be targeted. How much longer can the ruling clique (for four decades now) survive an ever increasing pressure to resign? If they don’t then they will probably perish at the hands of a diverse opposition.
That the end is nigh is obvious but what is not so clear is who will take possession of the baubles of power? There is no guarantee that this war-torn nation will be delivered into the hands of democratic governance. Waiting in the wings are a variety of groups, manoeuvring themselves into positions of influence.
No doubt the ‘West’ would like to see a democracy modelled on their perceptions, but the situation in Syria is far more complex. Don’t be surprised if the influence of Iran, Iraq and other less reputable groups (based on previous experiences) force their way into power. What will have been gained for the Syrian people then? I fear deeply for the ordinary citizen of this country. Get rid of the present regime---but the troubles are not over.

A marriage of (in)convenience--National and The Maori Party

I suppose you could say that it ‘was a way of getting a foot in the door,’ or an ‘an arranged marriage.’ However you see it, you must be struggling to determine whether you should laugh or cry--- maybe both at once. I for one always found it strange that The Maori Party could ever come to an arrangement with National. Certainly many of its supporters were perplexed to say the least.
No doubt Peter and Tariana feel they have made some gains for Maori, but for those looking into the tent, they must be wondering what will come next after the debacle around the ‘water ownership rights’ rages on. It seems that John Keys, indelicate’ remarks of late have done little to extinguish the fires of love between the two parties.
All is forgiven after the two co-leaders accepted Johnny’s explanation. They will stumble through to the next ‘fall-out’ and carry on because there is a certainty that being ‘in’ is much better than being ‘out.’
Such a pathway carries with it a range of difficulties; the most obvious being keeping ones integrity as a party. Out the window go the lofty ideals as expressed in the past. In stays the desire to stay at the ‘trough.’
Hone Harawira seems to be a lone voice, along with a few labour MPs who are promulgating the real stance of Maori. He has been brash (forgive the word--- I’m sure Mr Brash still ‘admires’ Hone) in the past in his interactions with our leaders but of late he has been almost sounding parliamentarian in his approach. Yes, he says it as he sees it, but that is becoming more and more ‘mainstream.’ Is it his age or a growing belief that you have to take people along with you if you wish to achieve anything?
We shall all watch as The Maori Party try to maintain their position within Government without choking on their machinations in order to stay with Johnny.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do we reallly need the Auckland Rail Loop?

As Auckland continues to grow, its transport needs become more complex. The present Mayor has a perchance for a rail loop costing around NZ$3 billion dollars. That’s just an estimate and history tells us that these things have a way of expanding as new costs come to light.
It is true that the rail system ending in a no-exit underground station at Britomart doesn’t really make sense. The new proposal takes note of this and extends the rail out through and under the city to places that may well benefit from such an extension.
We are beginning to hear the human stories about people being transplanted and losing their houses and business premises. Yes there will be compensation, but that never seems enough to those affected. We now need to take a very careful look to see if the transport needs can be met in other ways.
Firstly, I do not advocate yet more motorways. The inner city is already choked with them and they tend to take an even larger footprint than railways. What do we have that works now? We have all noticed the improved bus system and the increased patronage reflects that. If we extend the bus usage by tweaking routes and increasing the number of busses on the roads, that may go part way to solving the ever increasing demand for public transport in our Queen city.
However, even bus lanes require land--- and that may not be hugely different to the requirements for rail extension land purchase, so we are at a point in time where we have to choose. Do we develop work opportunities in the outer suburbs and therefore decrease the need for ever more traffic heading into the city or do we take the plunge and just get on with enhancing (at huge expense—monetary and human) the rail system? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. Is there a compromised where we can make some additions to the rail system while at the same time embarking on better services for bus and ferry, along with building employment hubs in the suburbs?
I am glad I am not a transport planner!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Have we seen something like this before?---100 high-level

I heard a report today that more than 100 high-level ‘Educationalist’ have signed a ‘letter’ to try and change the mind of the Government to release ‘League Tables.’ I have not seen the content as yet but the move reminds me of an event many years ago when the Labour Government led by Bill Rowling was under fire.  The ‘Citizens for Rowling’ campaign backfired baldy.
Many prominent people sign the ‘petition.’ I remember seeing the huge list in the herald at that time and wondered I thought that the Government couldn’t fail after that. I was so wrong. The Labour Party was thrown out of office in a landslide and we had to put up with the Muldoon Administration for many years.
I am not saying that this present campaign is the same and I strongly agree with the sentiment. League Tables are just another platform to grow the agenda of the ‘Right’ in NZ politics and in our educational institutions. That there is a great deal of research to show that it will not work in any way to improve the education our kids receive is just not getting through to Key and his associates.
It seems that they come up with idea after idea and continue to press their case despite the warnings from here and overseas. They don’t get it. Their ‘competitive model always hurts the lower decile schools and any flickers of improved achievement are more than wiped out by the losses that schools struggling to meet the needs of their students incur.
What is it with this Government? They are incapable of understanding the real issues in NZ education. They seem to be hell-bent on destroying the gains we have fought so hard for ever the years. They have turned their backs on the wonderful ideals of Peter Fraser way back in the 1940’s, where he stated that ‘every child should be able to achieve their full potential.’ How are the moves of this present government aiding that lofty ideal?
So maybe the thrust of the idea of the 100 ‘signees’ is laudable, but I hope that it does not become a target for a Government willing to use any tactic at its disposal to launch yet another attack on New Zealand’s top—class Education system. The least the 100 can do is raise the level of the debate about what is really happening in the area of educating our students in New Zealand. Many of us not so prominent educators would love to sign alongside our colleagues in the list.

All 'Dunne' and dusted-- better late than never Mr Dunne.

Giving Peter Dunne a hard time over some of his stands re various issues (The Asset sales coming to mind) has been both easy and necessary over the past few years. His do anything to keep the baubles of power approach has caused many to mistrust him.
 I have to give him credit for his belated stand re ‘party Pills’ though. Cabinet is finally going to act and put the onus on importers and sellers of all ‘Party PiIls’ to prove that a substance is harmless. That will effectively remove all such pills from outlets (it’s dairies that gets me the most annoyed) and hopefully making it much harder for our young people to buy these terrible pills. The news that ‘Bath Salts’ has reached our shores must have been the final straw.
I am giving Peter a bouquet rather than lambasting him about his other failings today so here goes----‘well done Mr Dunne. Now we may consign all the pills to the place they belong--- the dunny!’
But before we get too carried away in our praise we better not slip into some naïve position that the problem has gone away completely. Unfortunately, there will be other ways of sticking this evil stuff ‘out there.’ There always has and always will be the underworld that will continue to supply such substances. All we can say about the latest moves is that at least for some of our kids (and yes--- adults) it will be harder to get the pills.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Keep our troubled kids at school---Principal Youth Court Judge

Of course we should keep our troubled kids at school. Most would agree that the best place for kids is to be at school. We all know that much of the youth crime is committed by kids who are not actively engaged in meaningful, well supported educational courses.
The judge says schools should be well-resourced for this to happen. That is where the idea of keeping the said kids in school falls down. Most schools try their utmost to engage with the students who are falling through the cracks; be it their attendance, behaviours or issues they bring from home. They give students ‘second, third, fourth—you get the picture--- many chances. They provide counselling, youth support and social workers to work with families (In decile 1-3 schools). There are teacher aides (an undervalued and underpaid resource) and special programmes to enhance student learning.
In many schools absenteeism is a scourge. I well remember our last principal continually saying that ‘if you attend regularly we can teach you.’ However, with absenteeism rates often running at 18% plus in many schools you can see that there is a huge problem. If students are not in school it makes their learning problematic. It also ‘steals teacher time,’ from other students when these students return or attend intermittently, because of these behaviours.  Their behaviours fuel a classroom environment that is not conducive to effective and safe learning. They ‘don’t know what is going on and fall further behind their cohort.
Teachers are a resilient group of professionals, but they are worn down by the behaviours that students bring into school. As an institution we are not always able to change the home situation that our students come from. We try to engage with families and we are often part of initiatives like ‘Strengthening Families’ to bring together all of the agencies who may be working with a particular family. Despite these programs, we are still losing ground in many ways.
The Youth Court Judge was correct in that we are in need of more resources to help change the outcomes for the students who have often been excluded. Teaching does not occur in a vacuum. It needs a working relationship with the family and when needed, support agencies. If that partnership is effective, then there is a chance for the would-be-excluded students.
The resourcing the judge was talking about needs to happen with the agencies and within the school. In the current climate of ‘cost-cutting’ I feel less than confident that we can attain this wonderful aim of retaining the students who are most at risk in school.

OH to be a consultant!

I am obviously in the wrong job. It would be much better and more lucrative to be a consultant and be working on projects for the national Roads Board. It seems that NZ$212 million dollars has been spent since 2009. This amount is made up of consultants’ fees for some of the major projects that NZ needs to address.
Given that the Natio0nal party was most vocal about large amounts being spent by the previous Labour Government on consultants’ fees, then it’s a bit rich for them to allow even more money going into the hands of these professionals.
It is at times like this that I wish for a return to the old Ministry of Works and have their experts do that work. I know that it all seemed a bit bureaucratic and I suspect that in the good old days many mistakes were made too. We have run down many Government departments to ‘save money’ and the spectre of national waving the ‘fiscal knife’ isn’t going to go away any time soon.
I wonder if we could return to the past, but add a more professional model and build up these Government departments so that they have the skills they need to build our roads, dams and other major projects. Perhaps it would cost less if it is ‘in house.’ OK--- I’m being naïve, but would it cost as much as these consultants are charging? Let’s at least have the discussion.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

People power-- things could change if we all----

Fantastic--- when a group of thieves ran off with property that they had stolen from a Newmarket shop, they ran into (literally) a group of people who made a decision that the thieves would not get away with their booty.
Three people combined to make sure that the car the thieves were travelling in was going no further. Not only was it a ‘citizens’’ response, it was also an international effort. A huge Ukrainian weightlifter joined forces with the locals and when the thieves tried to run away, they met with more than they could handle. While one got away, the other two (they had the audacity to ‘complain’ about their rough treatment) were grounded and held until the police arrived.
What a refreshing story. We all end up paying more because of these useless low-lives. Let’s see more of this ‘grass-roots’ action and make NZ a better place.

Now I suppose the courts will smack them with a floppy bus ticket!

The rediculous spectre of Charter Schools recruiting kids at shopping malls

The PPTA (Post Primary Teachers’ Association) has raised the spectre of Charter Schools attempting to recruit students for their schools in South Auckland shopping malls. At a recent meeting the ire of the audience was raised at such a prospect. There were accusations of racism made and the Chair (A National MP) had to try to calm the participants down.
What’s the big fuss? I say let them. Are not many kids absent at any one time? I have heard some pretty high figures (around 18% plus on some days) for absenteeism. If these Charter School enthusiasts think that they can make a dent in these figures and reengage the students in education, then let’s see if they can succeed.
The argument that they will be taking resources from mainstream schools will be a transitory issue as the same kids start showing a similar reticence to attend school as they are doing now. Anything (although I would prefer to see the alternate education as we have it now, being tweaked and better resourced) that can be done to get these kids back into education is worth a go.
I see that some sections of the debate worry about such schools being called ‘McDonalds’ or some other name representing  other business sector. I know there are philosophical arguments against this practise and I do not trust the reasoning for their involvement as being anything other than wanting to increaser their market share, but----- let them do it and see what happens.
Instead of constantly trying to block these initiatives, let them flow on a small scale. If they take some kids off the streets, then that is good. I just don’t believe that they will achieve anything lasting.
I hope that my musings stimulate some feisty replies. We need this discussion --- so hit back, repudiate and shoot me down. If it helps to raise the level of discussion around Charter Fools---oops---- schools--- then good.  

When are they going to learn? Don't flee the police!

Call them what you like----‘boy racers,’ ‘fleeing joyriders,’ drunken idiots or just people trying to get away from police. Tragically, the results are so often the same when any of the above decides to flee the police and end up wrapped around a power pole or some other object. Unfortunately it can often be another car, compounding the tragedy by killing other innocent people.
Whether the drivers of these cars fleeing the police are being egged on by their passengers or they are acting under the influence of booze or drugs, the result is the same---death and carnage on our roads and grieving families left to deal with the results.
No one wants to see people die but it all comes down to a few salient facts. It is the drivers and occupants of these cars who must take the blame. The police are going about their jobs and they have policies about how they handle fleeing cars. There is a very delicate balancing act that they have to go through. Do they just let these people carry on driving; putting others at risk or do they decide to actively pursue the cars? It seems that they cannot win which ever decision they make.
There is a certain amount of risk involved when the police decide to chase a car that is trying to elude them. Often they have received reports about the said cars being driven in a dangerous or erratic manner. Once the driver of these cars decides to outrun the police then the blame has to rest on them for the resulting crashes. That they have partaken in drinking or other substances is their choice. They made the choice right from the time they took their first drink of the evening or when they decided to take a group of friends in the car ‘for a spin’ that involves dangerous driving.
I am sick of the public and the police being put at risk. The rest follows from that point. Run from the police and you set in motion a series of events that so often end up in death. STOP BLAMING THE POLICE!

Its nice to see people reading some of my old blogs

I was about to cull quite a few of my old blogs---- but I see that mnay of you are still reading them. Please give me some feedback, because having more than 460 blogs online, it may be making it hard to filter your way through them. I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The end of the freebies for ROSKILL and TALK TO ME

I hope you have enjoyed my free release of ROSKILL and TALK TO ME. I do hope you will consider buying them from my website in a few weeks. will go live very soon. Roskill is about to go to print again (with a new cover and ISBN). It will be availbekl directly from that site and at a few outlets (to be advised) I am working closley with my website designer and my printer (The Colour Guy). All three books will be available soon.
THE RIVER ALWAY FLOWS is experimental and I shall keep releasing chapters, once I get the other books up and out there. I hope you can help me get my website to as many people as possible. Once it's live---please go for it. Doing this on my own, without a big publisher behind me is quite a task. I ain't gionna get rich, thats for sure.

If you choose to get pissed, then don't blame the police when they get a bit rough!

When I think back to my younger days and the parties I used to attend, I know that if the police came, we gave them a bit of ‘verbal stick’ but nothing much else. Yes the Springbok Tour brought out something in my compatriots and some violence did ensue, but something in me always took me away before things got too heated.
One of these scenarios was booze-driven while the other was ‘belief based’. Both have in common the fact that we chose to put ourselves in those situations. I guess it is easy to look back and in hindsight, say that things were different then.
They were. Parties got out of hand from time to time. I think we loosely used the term, ‘gate crashing.’ That was when we drove around looking for parties or we may have heard about one and just turned up without an invite. That sometimes led to problems and the police may have come. Usually, it only took their presence and things toned down and the party dispersed.
Now it seems that the police are regularly called out to disperse such gatherings. What is most noticeably different is the age of the ‘attendees.’ When you hear that young people, ranging in age from 12-17 are off-their- heads on drugs or alcohol (or a mixture of the two) you have to wonder at where things are going from here. What can the police do?
They can try to lessen the effects of these gatherings or arrest the worst of them---then what? --- Call in their parents? --- Take them to the cells?
Are we just going to standby and say---‘it’s normal for kids to let off a bit of steam?’ I say no. We must draw a line in the sand. It must be so hard for parents to know every move their kids make. They know that if they take a strong stand; one that is perilously close to using a physical response, that they will come a cropper re the law. It must be so frustrating for those parents who want to take back some control, yet they are hampered.
It takes a huge amount of consistent, flexible parenting to be able to lay down some ‘non-negotiable’ ground-rules that both parties adhere to. When it comes to D&A, well those rules can go out the window. Perhaps the ‘hard school of knocks’ is what it is going to take for some teenagers to get the message. It is better they ‘get it’ while they are still open to some sort of ‘persuasion’ than let their lives get so out of hand that every weekend becomes a test of wills between young people and the police.
One should look at less developed nations where there is a real fear of the police. It is difficult to find large groups of youths, ‘off their heads’ in some of these countries. Yes, the law is not loved or respected in those countries, and there is an element of corruption involved. We have a situation where we have to choose between, hard-hitting police actions and the complete bedlam we see on our streets. There’s got to be a better way.
It comes down to the ‘culture of drinking we have in NZ and other Western countries. It is normal for young people to challenge authority, but when that is mixed with D&A, then all bets are off. There is no ‘thinking and weighing up the possibilities’ when any of us are in an intoxicated or drug enhanced state.
We hear people saying that we need education in our schools. The fact is that we have that and there is little evidence to show that this works. I have seen some pretty ‘switched-on’ presentations from outside groups in secondary schools. It feels like they are getting through, but these same kids then go out in the weekends and get ‘loaded’ and anything they may have seen or heard, is way back in some hidden corner of their brains.
Are things just going to get even worse? Is what we are seeing now, a prelude to the behaviours we will see in the next few years? Has there ever been a time in history when the pendulum swings in the other direction?
For your own kids the best present oyu can give them is time. That is the one ‘gift’ that so many parents see as in the ‘too hard basket.’ You say you need that ‘time’ in order to pay for the ‘necessities’ you need to provide for your family. I know that just meeting basic needs, particularly in our bigger cities, takes a great deal of effort. It is these ‘necessities’ that has become problematic. Our belief that such and such is vital or we ‘need’ the next generation cell phone--- you get the picture.
Perhaps our desire to ‘live in a better suburb’ and then enjoy the so-called ‘higher decile school’ probably drains even more from us--- we need to work even longer hours and lout the window goes and real time with our kids--- right at the time when they need us most.
So it all comes down to the choices we make: about what and how much we drink, about what we think we ‘need’ and about how we spend our time.
There are some damned good examples of families out there who have made these choices and they aren’t all living in the top suburbs!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

simple way to get rid of these drug selling parasites

The Government is sort of keeping up with these so-called new legal substances being sold in dairies and other places. They appear and in the next few days another one comes along. It really is quite simple--- ban these parasites from trading. Close them down. They cannot claim innocence about the substances they sell. They know bloody well that they are causing havoc in our communities and putting our young people’s lives at risk. Freedom of choice is fine, but not when it leads to the damage we are hearing about these new nasty drugs coming in under innocent sounding names like ‘bath-salts.’
How dare these ‘traders’ be allowed to go about their business. I am sick of the soft way we are treating them. Get tough Government, or they will continue to ply their evil trade.

I have always enjoyed the shifting moods of Onehunga Bay

The crazy dogs.
 Yes, be it tides, the weather or  people and dogs, the bay is always changing. I shall let the pictures tell the story.

Tide coming in.

The misty bay

In the drink!
Ever changing, forgoteen by the rest of Auckland. It was once the place to be on a Sunday afternnon, until the sewage and later the motorway cast their black spells.

This brunch was wicked and wonderful!

Yesterday I took Perdy for her first really long drive. I have some good friends living in Pirongia, a beautiful little village under the lee of an equally magic mountain by the same name.
The journey took about two hours so I took Perdy for a run at her usual place don at Onehunga Bay. She seemed to sense something was different. Maybe she saw me loading up a few supplies for her; water, food and more protective blankets and towels than usual. (In case she had a little accident in the back seat).
Short run around turned into a longer one when she decided that getting Back in the car would be on her terms--- the bitch!--- it took me ten minutes to coax her in, and then it was lonely on her terms.
We continued our drive into the misty Waikato. Perdy was constantly on watch, barking at me in an attempt to discuss the issues of the day. You see, we were listening to ZB talkback and Perdy is quite an opinionated doggie. I don’t know where she gets this trait.
I stopped at Ngaruawahia and shared a pie with her. Well, actually, I dropped it and she pounced on it. Just as well, considering what was coming our way on the farmlet.
Back on the road again and Perdy settled in to a side to side traversing of the back seat as she checked out the different vistas on offer. She just loved observing the cows in the fields, chomping away on their hay. We arrived at the destination and she was out in a jiffy and the cheeky little bugger ran straight into the warm and welcoming home. She said hi and then explored the house, without even asking. It was then a quick walk around the section, peeing as needed and then back in the car for a short drive to a wonderful lake.
I was informed that I could not let her loose at this lake in the summer. Many dogs have died from toxic algae that kill instantly any dog drinking the water. All this in Green NZ--- yeah right. It may be that the ‘run-off’ from fertilizing our green and wonderful farms has caused this. Thank God, it wasn’t present in the winter.
Now, back to the farmlet and into a huge brunch, much of it produced on the said farmlet---- The sausages and eggs for a start. Wow--- the usages were to die for (and when you look at the picture, you will see why--- that’s of the bloody picture loads). They were nearly 100% lamb meat. The bacon was locally processed and the veggies most definitely had no carbon footprint. Who needed toast with that lot?
Perdy had her share and more when it came to coaxing her into leaving. It seems that she likes this little farmlet. She has her eyes on the multi coloured sheep. The sheep were sort of more goat-like than sheep. They are a Persian variety and very pretty--- very similar in colouring to Perdy--- No wonder she liked them---well she did--- she and my friends were eating their coussies!--- Sorry vegetarians--- don’t you dare go writing letters dot the editor--- Me!
After a relaxing time and another spin around the garden with the compulsory peeing, Perdy was captured and we were back on the road. This time, Perdy decided that napping was the thing to do. Before we knew it, we were back on the Southern Motorway. I decided to let Perdy have a stretch back at the bay--- just a short one before arriving home. Dinner--- more sausages of course. Dinner for the next night--- why not--- curried sausages!

It's OK--- I didn't eat it all!