Friday, October 18, 2013

Fifty shades of grey or something like that in Auckland.

Things really are looking like something that one would read in a risqué novel. Damn, I wish I could write something that resembles the 'goings' on  that we are being subjected to each day in Auckland. Forget about Italian Prime Ministers cavorting with exotic dancers, or French and American Presidents indulging in extra-curricular activities. We have it all here in Auckland, the home of JAFAS (JUST ALOT OF F--ING AROUND SYNDROME) and Mayor Len Brown. Initially, many Aucklanders threw up their hands in real or postured horror, invoking high morals or lack of as their measuring stick. Then the worm started to turn as we heard about the orchestrated attempt, possibly during and after the victory of Len, to denounce, embarrass and pressure the winner of the election to quit. Palino and his camp have been left with as much egg on their face as the Mayor. The latter has fronted up and has a task ahead of him re credibility, both with his family and the citizens of Auckland,but the former is conveniently on holiday and is only releasing comments through second parties, and we have Slater, the infamous blogger (even his father is in on the act now!) adding his 'factual account to the pot. The youngish lady at the centre of the 'scandal,' is being chased by both sides, mainly the right wing group behind the ugly smear campaign. Secret meetings arranged to pressure her to release yet more details, from intimate texts sent in, during and before the 'heat' of the passion, to accounts of the whereabouts of the actions that have made some laugh and others cringe, are now making it onto our TV screens. As the saga unravels I am sorely tempted to rush off a story and get it released on Kindle but then I realize that my utterances here are more than enough. Balance will return but it is anyone's guess as to which big trees in the forest will fall the loudest! Pity about the saplings underneath though.

My first solar oven cooked dish---asparagus and fennel with butter and herbs.

I finally did it. I cooked some asparagus with fennel and herbs in butter and garlic. I GOT THE OVEN TO JUST OVER 100c and it took about 70 minutes. Wow it smells good. Now, what's next?
It's misting up.

My slip of the tongue (or fingers) was correct about Palino.

My mind seems to work in strange but maybe prophetic ways. I have been calling Palino (the main opposition candidate to Len Brown for the Auckland mayoral race) Palimino. Is that not a horse? Well my slip is correct in that he is a bit of a dark horse if media (I mean the NZ Herald, here) reports are correct. I rest my case and now feel quite comfortable re my silly typing error! We are going to hear a great deal more about the 'dark goings on', re the election and its aftermath! And those actions are little to do with who slept with who. They are the issues we see and criticise for elections held in countries that we have often had distain for. The message---look closer to home when it comes to corrupt practices.

Eden Coffee comes to the party again!

Last week I used one of the 'clicks on the card' from Eden Coffee, to get my beautiful coffee beans and this time I asked the wonderful barista to grind them for me. He was a bit worried that the grind would be too fine for a domestic coffee machine and as it turned out, he was correct. Given that I have only just got my machine back (from a place in Penrose) after servicing, it was really hard getting through the week without a real cup of coffee. By the time I get home form work, Eden Coffee is closed of course and I didn't wish to purchase any other brand! I mean, I can use the machine but because it is too fine, it only dribbles out and sets up a counter pressure whereby the steamer pours copious amounts of water out, making a wet mess on the bench. I gave up and manned up to the fact that I just wouldn't get a cup of home-brewed coffee for a week.
Today I went back to tell 'my' barista of my terrible woes. he saw me coming and knew what I was going to tell him. Not only did he give a new packet, freshly ground for free but he offered to take a look at my grinder. hell;, I didn't know you actually had to clean them! I also admitted that I am thinking of getting a new coffee machine in the near future. Mine is Italian and quite simple (but not cheap) but getting it serviced at $200 a time is getting a little tiresome and I am not even sure that the latest effort from the outfit in Penrose is all that good. I shall listen very carefully to my barista when it comes to the new machine. He won't let me buy crap or anything that won't give me anything but perfect coffee. Life is too short for bad 'coffee experiences.' Thanks again, Eden Coffee!

Len---stay there---the plot is becoming dirtier and more nasty---DON'T give in to the righteous twits!

It is becoming very clear that the plight Len Brown finds himself in (yes by his own making, even by his won admission) has a dirty and quite sinister side to it. Even the NZ Herald, not known for it's backing of left-centre candidates, in any sort of election, is publishing details of some pretty dark stuff. Today's revelation  that Palino met with Len's former lover in a car park in Mission Bay two days after the election is significant in itself. That Palino seems to have gone to ground and that his backers and supporters seem to be involved in various ways re the youngish lady in the centre of this fiasco, is also very telling.
For a while, even I have been portraying the affair in a less than serious light and going as far as saying that the only real victims in this would be the family of Len. Only he can make amends if they are welcome in this matter.
There is a more sinister side and that is the question of the part played by those who wished to denigrate Len's victory in the mayoral election by resorting to underhand methods. They are bringing the whole democratic process into disrepute, far more then the actions of Len Brown. If for some reason Len does resign, then it must be a given that those same parties who now play the 'we are squeaky clean' game, should also disappear into the wood work from whence they came. That would only be fair---the trouble with that of course---who would we vote for re our mayor then? Maybe John Minto, but the unfair baggage he is labelled with, from people who cannot see past their
'rugby pasts,' would most surely get in the way.
So---Len---stay with it. I believe the tide is turning in your favour after you accept the 'slap' you deservedly need.