Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Horse in the lounge--true story

The following story really did happen and I think the other day when Phil Goff came around, he gave me permission to let the world know about this dashing exploit. Mind you we were both very young then--- I think this comes from the early 70’s. It has been publicly aired once at a wedding anniversary party for my dear parents many years ago.
I once flatted with my older brother in an old flat on the corner of Carruth Road and Puhinui Rd in Papatoetoe. I was hardly twenty years old. It was a typical cheap flat that you would expect students to have and I was in my experimental days re cooking. My brother had quite conservative tastes in food. For example, garlic was an exotic no no and God forbid if I cooked mince with anything other than salt, pepper, onions and carrots.
He accepted my slightly wilder life style. I had met Phil through other friends and I was soon involved in the junior section of the NZ Labour party, rising to the exalted heights of Junior Representative for Auckland, along with Phil. I did not of course follow along with Phil and enter at a constituency level and on to a glorious career in Parliament. Just as well, eh--- too many skeletons.
I often visited Phil in his flat in St Georges Street, almost next door to my granddad. Phil would also drop in on me from time to time. Now, this is where the story takes a turn for the mad.
Phil has an equine background---No he doesn’t look like a horse, even though he did support a flowing mane of hair in those days, somewhat horsey, one might say. I too sported locks that would be the envy of many. Phil’s parents had a lifestyle block in Alfriston (we didn’t call it that, back then) and he had a horse which he often rode beyond the confines of the said block.
On a lovely day in God knows what month or even the year, I heard a noise at my door—which was quickly followed by a rather unusual sound of snorting and a clomp clomp, which gained in momentum until a horse with Phil atop, came into the lounge. God, I thought, I hope that thing doesn’t crap on the floor, but mind you—the flat is such a mess, no one would notice.
I’m not sure how long Phil stayed, but I know that he stuck the horse's head out the window, just as my brother drove along Carruth Road and turned into our flat. He walked nonchalantly into the lounge, sat down and didn’t say a word. I am sure he noticed the said beast. Maybe he had such a calm demeanour about him that he wasnt in for a rise--- possibly from having to put up with me on a daily basis.
Perhaps this shows all and sundry that Phil too has had his moments. Don’t underestimate his capacity to live life as it should be lived--- have fun, do your thing and laugh. I think he should have repeated the same stunt in Parliament a few times and found the Key to people’s hearts. He’s great bloke.

Phill will be pleased that Perdy helped me today--well sort of until---

A few days ago, one of Phil Goff’s office staff--- (I think that’s who it was— maybe at electorate level), dropped off some letters for me to deliver along with the map to show which street I should cover. It has been ages since I did anything like that for any political party.  I saw it as a public duty, because Phil was inviting people to contact him when he is next on the ground in his local electorate. One thing about Phil is--- he is very available to listen to the concerns of his constituents--- even when he was Leader of the Opposition.
I took the opportunity to take Perdy for a walk, innocently thinking that if I was accosted by anyone for sticking unwanted ‘circulars’ in their (labelled---no un posted material’)--- letterboxes, that she would diffuse any anger---- Silly me.
It’s bloody hard carrying a few hundred circulars in one hand and an energetic Jack Russell (Phil’s got one too, so he will understand) doing her best to run up each drive pulling on her lead in the other hand. That plan lasted one hilly street. She also had another trick up her hairy sleeve.
Just when I had placed a circular in a real flash house (obviously not a Labour voter) Perdy decided to crap on a large flowering plant by the also flash letterbox. To compound matters, the lovely lady decided to ‘collect her mail at that time. I was mortified as I glanced sideways at the streaming plop of poo, strategically placed just where the lady would see it (and smell it). What to do, I thought.
Sorry Phil, I had to use one of the circulars to bend down and pick up the poo while I expressed my most sincere apologies. Luckily Perdy’s wonderful nature came to the fore; she tilted her head in her endearing you should love me look, totally winning the lady over. She didn’t even collect her, mail; so enchanted was she by Perdy.
I scurried down the road and ran out of circulars, with 3 houses to go. I turned and trooped back up the steep hill (I hope you are feeling sorry for me Phil) and plomped myself down in the car seat and turned the air-conditioning on full.
Hey Perdy--- you’re goin g home and I’m finishing this myself---OK?
I felt a bit sorry for her, so we went off down to the bay that Phil has been fighting to clear up—I am very pleased about that. She had a quick run around after the ball and I dropped her home and went to finish the hilly bits of my run. All I have to do now is the long main road and I shall do that tonight.
Just as an afterthought I think I shall give you an inversion of a recipe I put up about my Feijoa crumble the other day.

 It’s easy---do everything upside down. Put the crumbled (but add extra butter--- if you are worried about your weight, help me deliver Phil’s circulars).
Press the butter enhanced crumble firmly in to a baking paper lined dish--- you can press some up the edges if you like too. Now, pout in the Feijoa mix, but make sure it is thicker than you used for the other recipe--- maybe thicken it or cook it longer until it naturally thickens. I’m sure you know how to do that--- you’re not thick.
Bake the upside-down crumble and make sure you don’t burn it. Take it out of the oven and have it hot or cold. It holds together better when it is cold. --- Yummy.