Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What a great day to get stoned, my dears---You better read on!

It has been a beautiful day in Auckland, for the first day of 2015. I had taken Perdy out for a walk this morning and I was contemplating another outing, probably to the good old tried and true, Bay, down at Onehunga, but then a friend rang to say how about we try getting 'stoned.' Well, that is a bit of a stretch---what I am trying to say but couldn't resist the provocative and entirely untrue statement thus made. My dear friend was suggesting we take the two dogs, Perdy and Mandy to the Stone Fields near the Auckland Airport. It is a rugged expanse of rocky outcrops with lots of stone fences, built by early settlers in order to get rid of the stones from an ancient eruption, so that they could farm the fields. Off we went and the dogs were in heaven. Of course Perdy's idea of an outing with attitude is one in which she can jump in, roll in, shite, anything with colour, smell and only a bath in a cow trough brought her back to her pristine white with spots! The two dogs smiled the entire time---they just loved this place. Heather and I will be going back, provably with a picnic and more friends---yeah and more dogs! We didn't bother trying to climb the many Avocado tress there, but others did and were going home with generous quantities. What a beautiful day. How could we not stop on the way home at the Ice-cream place that adds real strawberries to the mix. Yeah, you guessed it---Perdy is already on the bed, asleep. She will of course rise again to partake in her dinner. In the meantime a gentle peace has lowered itself upon my little home---for how long--anyone's guess.!

ROSKILL, by Neil Coleman needs a boost to start off the new year.

I have learnt that my 'self-publishing' adventure is one fraught with pitt falls. Not the least is the capacity for one to almost give up as the bills pile up and sales move at a snail's pace. I have pushed the book via various means, including radio interviews, a TV appearance and even a very good interview in the September 2014 issue of MiNDFOOD. I have put up many boosted posts on FB and used the services of a publicist. Some of you have played a part in reviewing Roskill and downloading either the EBook version or buying the hard-copy via the link on my website. That support has meant a great deal to me. I am at a decisive point in my self-publishing' career. One can not keep putting money into a project that does not return good results. I am not a business person and making decisions about money are not my strong point, however I want to make a push by boosting this post. I want to move on to a new project. As to what that is, is still in the clouds, along with my head. I have 'ideas,' some of them inspired by your suggestions, but not all of them reside in a world that is compatible with 'my present day job!' Nevertheless, I thank you for those 'interesting' suggestions. More about those at a later date. In the meantime, please help me again to 'boost' and to reach out with ROSKILL. Get your friends to share and better still, to download Roskill or buy the hard-copy. You can do that via the Amazon link on my website or by contacting me direct at my email address. Feel free to scroll down and find the older blogs with various links to magazine articles and interviews. Thank you so much for your many kind words and support. May you all have a wonderful, peaceful and prosperous new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scam, scam---alert! If it is too good to believe, then it isn't! Today the person in the preceding section wanted to b e a 'friend.' I thought---what the hell and accepted her. (if it is a her!) She very quickly contacted me on the chat line and after only two messages she tried the old---you have won a lottery.' I suspected something as soon as she told me she had good news. She followed exactly the same stupid procedure that previous people have tried. I don't know what country the person came from and don't care but it is obviously a scam that the 'silly' fall for, or desperate ones. I thought I should let you know so we can shut him/her down. Pass the word. No doubt it is just the head of a 'Hydra,' and will appear again in another form. Take care everyone and share this.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Courier Post---is it always worth using online shopping and 'courier services?

No Doubt some of you have seen the clips of a NZ courier driver and his mates, 'handling goods' to be delivered, some of which were clearly labelled, 'Fragile,' being chucked and kicked around. The response was one of anger and derision of the Courier Post service. Hopefully, it was an isolated incident, but people did put up online the results of the same service and it did not make for 'pretty reading!' There is another aspect to shopping online. That in itself is an easy experience but it is the delivery that can be frustrating, leaving one with a sense of, 'Why did I bother!' Yes they 'try to deliver the parcel, but hey---do we have to stay around in order to sign for it? I usually do not mind if they just leave it on the deck, but I hear that the 'sender is often the one who demands the 'sign for' service. That means one has to be around to do this and who is going to know when they are coming? Sure---you can 'track' that the goods are in transit, but that is a very inexact science. They do not have the time or the will to say that they are near your house. The 'window delivery slot,' can be many hours. I wonder if it would simply be more efficient of one's time, to just go to the shops and get your 'stuff' in person. OH well-- where is that courier driver? Thank goodness, the items are 'soft clothes, that don't mind being chucked around.

Mexico is about to sell the 'Crown Jewels!'

It is sad to see yet another country go down the pathway that New Zealand and many other countries have journeyed. I mean the 'let's sell our State Assets in order to get our economy on a better footing,' brigade. That often equates to a narrow group of investors becoming even richer while the people at the bottom get nothing. It also transfers important, strategic assets into the hands of 'oligarchs' and friends of the government. Such processes are little short of corruption and do not in the long run make any difference to the economic performance of the country. Now, Mexico is joining this 'elite club' of countries that sell off assets that belong to the people. Sure there are issues in the Mexican economy, not the least being the battle between the 'drug lords' and the Mexican people. Sometimes it looks like those at the top, in government are part of the problem, certainly at the regional level. In the future, Mexico will regret having sold these important assets and it will join the list of nations who have passed much of their wealth into the hands of a small group of internationally connected groups. Governments are becoming 'less so' and the elites are gradually concentrating wealth and power to the point that they supersede the power of 'Governments. Maybe it is time for the 'worm to turn!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Egypt claims that the three journalists it has imprisonned, have damaged its reputation! WHAAAAAT!

I have heard some dumbass claims recently; some from North Korea, others from the UKIP Party, more from GOP politicians and even a few from 'head in the sand' politicians in NZ, but Egypt's claims that the three journalists working for Aljazeera that Egypt has imprisoned, for allegedly damaging Egypt's reputation, take the prize for their stupendous and outlandish travesty of justice. Come on EGYPT! Get real. What in the hell has imprisoning three journalists for 'doing their jobs' done for your reputation? It is a farce that is as big as the the pyramids!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ed likes your latest 'collection!'

I am sure many of you have heard Ed's last big hit online, the radio or wherever! I kept hearing it and it got to me---in a nice way---it moved me--in a nice way. NICE---wrong word. I actually went out and bought his latest offering and I have not stopped listening. Nah---I didn't download it or get it from the 'cloud.' I don't understand those concepts. I just wanted to own it--in real format. Hell, I would have got it on vinyl if I had to! What is it about this dude's music. He is a 'rapper with a flow' as he says---sort of! None of the gangster stuff or words that I can't hear because of the 'slangsta' shite! NO---what gets me about his 'flowing-rapping' style is that I can relate, understand and enjoy--the words. Then he comes out with a beautiful 'easy on the ear' song. 'I don't know or care what the genre is---I just frecking like it! Even my Jack Russell listens and likes it. How do I know that?---why she talks to me of course. SO---Ed--- You are the 'man' and I love your music, your style! That's saying a lot from an oldie---hell I shall be a pensioner next year! That doesn't mean that I have to act like one! Now---you other older farts---get out there and listen to this guy--ED SHEERAN.

Crazy time of the year almost over!

Merry Xmas! Yeah, In know--for many this time of the year is anything but---that is for a variety of reasons. For many it is about money and the terrible debt that so people get into, while for others it is a time when they cannot even do that, simply because they are unable to 'achieve that' doubtful status! No one will give them credit. Their kids do not receive anything because there is nothing to give. The world of advertising is a cruel reminder that they are not part of the Xmas cheer! Xmas is a lie for them. That does not mean that they do not find joy in their families and friends but it is a difficult time. At the other end of the scale and for those 'in between,' Xmas can be a time of stress and sometimes people come together, simply because they feel they must. Then other factors take over. Old 'scores,' and strained relationships are further put to the test. Over indulgence of various 'substances' cause damage and families suffer as a result. BY the time 'Boxing Day is done and dusted, there are many who throw their hands up with a sense of---'Thank God, that is over for the year.' I am just grateful that it has been a time of simple pleasure, being with family and seeing friends, with little pressure to be or to 'provide' beyond that which I am not capable of. I now look forward to a new year, with hope and a healthy sense of 'challenge.' I wish everyone joy, peace and I hope that you find those 'treasures' you most value, whatever your faith, belief or station in life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The ham before cooking.

Yes, this is the ham, 'before cooking.' We did all the 'decorating thing' and then cooked if for a few hours with a wonderful glaze. Oh---so good and heaps over for the next' year!" lol I shall freeze some in 'snap bags' (thanks for the heads up, Doug!) so that I can use it in soups and whatever. I just wish that everyone could have a nice ham like this or a turkey. In a world that was more caring--they could!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This is an 'outrageous statement!' OR--is it?

In the 19thC. the British 'declared war on China in a most unseemly manner. One usually thinks of war as one involving battles and yes, there were guns involved but it was the other 'weapon,' Opium that was the 'star'--the one that was used to force the Chinese to open their country to the influences of Britain and other major powers. It was for economic gain that the opium Wars were declared and 'fought.' China did open up and gradually became the nation that took another century to regain its united status that it enjoys today. Could one now say that the tables have turned. I do not mean the massive influence that China now has re its economic power, but the sourcing of a 'modern day opium'---the precursors for the manufacture of Methamphetamine or 'P' as we call it in New Zealand. It seems that hardly a week goes by, without hearing about a seizure or interception of a 'haul', either from China or Taiwan. (same country if you hold to Chinas 'one country policy) These substances are then manufactured (cooked) locally and sent to the gangs, the streets and go onto destroy people's lives. It seems a bit ironic that the tables have turned. Sure it is not a result of any Chinese Governmental policy. They too have to deal with a huge problem in their own country, one in which they impose far more dire consequences. To say that it is a war is a bit 'stretched, outrageous, but I merely point out a flip-flop of history and how such events flow and ebb. NZ amongst other countries now has to deal with the results of past failed policies. Perhaps cooperation between China and NZ is the way forward, a solution that was never considered in the days gone by when Colonial powers wreaked so much damage. I wonder what the Chinese Government's take is on this issue. No one asked them back in the 1840s! (I aim to 'provoke discussion!)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Meth (P) haul again at Auckland Airport!

Here we go again! More misery brought into NZ, to go out to our streets and bars, to destroy peoples' lives. The police are doing a great job to try to lessen the effect of this insidious drug. What would you do if a member of your family entered this 'dark world?' Who would you turn to for help? What lengths would you go to, to 'win back' your loved one? Read about my 'take' on this twilight world in my book, ROSKILL. Go to ( and follow the links. You can also get one from me at ( Check out my ROSKILL by Neil Coleman FB page and watch the TV1 interview about my book.
Auckland International Airport Ltd Auckland Region ... Crime NZ Customs Service NZ Police Taiwan Photo / Thinkstock Photo / Thinkstock A drug haul valued at $22 million has been intercepted at Auckland Airport, in the second biggest border seizure in New Zealand's history. Police and Customs intercepted 22.6kg of methamphetamine hidden in the cargo of an international flight from Taiwan. Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand said the seizure which was code-named Operation Georgie took place on December 5.

North Korea is 'totally outaged!' Wonder why.

There are reports on BBC and other news outlets that North Korea is experiencing a total outage re internet access. This comes just days after the USA, Obama in particular, warned that there would be 'a response,' as a consequence of the USA's belief that NK was responsible for the attack on Sony. Now it seems that the USA has struck back and anyone thinking that they are not capable of delivering a telling blow is indeed deluded! Now it is a matter of how serious this 'attack' is, whether it is a sign that 'wars' are going to be taken to the Net in ways we cannot imagine, or if is just a 'warning to NK' to back off with its threats to seriously attack the USA and others. China must be watching this with intense interest as in many ways it still sees NK as an ally. I am sure that many will see this as the USA once again 'bullying ' a smaller nation, but it must also be said that NK has put itself in a position where it has become a target. Very few nations would line up behind the 'mad leader' in his efforts to 'punish the USA!' Hell, even Cuba is going about major changes as relations between it and the USA are approaching the 'norm' that should exist between neighbours. It is the unpredictability of NK's reactions that is most worrying and the possibility of a nervous China entering the 'fray.' Maybe Putin will use this as an excuse to launch further 'foreign adventures.' Maybe the USA will also chose to settle some old scores with other nations. What is right or wrong is a quality that is much to the fore for debate. Reactions will be governed by the 'world view' of nation states and those power groups that control them. We are in for a 'torrid time!'

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Russia and Turkey---maybe a little too similar!

A 'rebound' from history seems to be uniting Russia and Turkey! How?---well-----Russia has Tsar Putin and Turkey has it's new Sultan. I wonder if they meet to compare notes! One should be very careful before 'critiquing' the two men. I may give the USA heaps of 'stick,' but at least one can still take Obama to task without worrying too much. That would not happen in Turkey or Russia! One tends to get 'rounded up!'

Friday, December 19, 2014

Will Sony and the USA bow down to the North Koreans---if it was NK who hacked them!

President Obama has portrayed a very 'measured' demeanour to a TV reporter today when asked about an American response to the hacking of Sony and the ongoing threats. He seemed relaxed. Does he know something? He almost 'ridiculed' Sony for their caving in to the supposed NK demands-----that the film in question never be released in any form. OK--what is so important about all this? One would hope that a backroom group of hackers, based in NK, who could cause so much damage and bring a huge corporation to its knees, could be neutralized in some way---that is short of some sort of 'military reaction. Should the film makers take a more 'responsible' approach to their 'art?'Should they self-censor? One does not have to look far to find many other examples of satirical films, depicting various 'leaders' in a less than positive light. Obviously the 'self absorbed, power hungry control-freak, who leads North Korea, had other ideas. He does not want his people to see the film--a film that portrays him way closer to the truth than he would wish known to his subjugated population. If Sony gives in completely, a precedent is being set; one that must not happen. Hell, before we know it, other leaders could take a leaf out of the 'Dear Leader's Book of Tricks.' Can't you just see our John Key passing legislation forbidding any untoward depictions of his leadership? Well no, I can't because we are already doing it, although at the last election, he did take exemption to a certain song that briefly appeared on social media, or was it done on his behalf? Back to the main event---Sony, North Korea and an America response. Obama is so calm that it leads one to think that 'moves' are already afoot in regard to a response. Maybe the USA is going to 'cyber bomb' the democratic republic with endless cartoons that cannot be turned off, sort of a modern day mass brain washing. Perhaps it will take the form of a 'special edition' of the Simpsons, with a particularly galling message to the people about their leader; perhaps one in which he is made to look 'silly.' Oops, that would not present a particularly difficult challenge! The mind boggles at the possibilities, when one considers the response that the USA could bring to bear, compared to the efforts of NK. It could well be the cause of the demise of the 'difficult leader.' The only fly in the ointment?---Why---China of course! They too could well be a victim in this new age 'cyberly-challenged' times. I bet the candles are burning in more than one capital city.

China and the 'West' have very different 'lenses,' when it comes to 'freedom!

Without a doubt, more people in China now could be classed as 'middle-class,' with access to goods and services that most NZers take for granted. Famine is a thing of the past for the most part. Political choice and 'freedom are a very different issue though. I am sure that my Chinese 'friends' would say though that 'for most Chinese, public order' is a far more valued quality and that disorder is a 'scenario' that is far more scary than the right to publicly criticise the regime or the dominant Communist Party that controls most aspects of life in China. If one of course is a dissident and there are ever increasing numbers of such people, then my statement will be viewed as RUBBISH! Tell that to the 'artists, poets, authors and 'quasi-religious' groups who wish to express their viewpoints or simply 'exist.' There remains the question of the vast numbers or ordinary workers, who work long hours for relatively small amounts of money. It is the 'West' and the rest of the world that drives the demand for the results of these workers---cheap 'goods' that the world now heavily relies on. The very same workers are demanding better working conditions but they can only push so far in this 'controlled' economy. Many in the West are increasingly uncomfortable, if the reports of the long hours and heavy-handed manner in which these workers are treated are indeed correct! Forget about 'workers strikes' that actually succeed in bettering the conditions that no NZer would accept. (although there are those here who would disagree with me!) Human rights issues are something that the Chinese Government would happily sweep under the mat and if the reaction of a high Government member, interviewed on CNN, today is the norm, then it is obvious that moves to improve those issue is a distant goal. China faces a dilemma: does it continue to be the 'workhouse of the world,' producing a vast array of goods at competitive prices or does it gradually increase the wages and improve conditions for the workers, putting its dominant position at risk as other countries like India, Vietnam and Indonesia start to challenge China's dream run? China has come a long way since the 'revolution,' but it will find it ever harder to control the aspirations of its people, who like all people, have dreams of a better life. It is the manner in which such aspirations are delivered and the amount of control the State' has over those people that will remain China's long term challenge.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Dear Leader's hackers can do this?---what else can the henchmen of North Korea do?

It seems that Hollywood and the Sony Corporation in particular had folded under pressure. The nasty deeds of Kim Baby's dirty little henchmen have reached out from the 'hidden kingdom, that is if they actually work from within the confines of that secluded hell-hole, 'making real waves in the entertainment industry; ones that have sent shivers through hearts of the big names in Sony. Naturally the actors in the film that offended, have come out swinging, claiming that their bosses have curtailed their freedom to express their artistic freedom. I cannot help wonder why the USA Government has not come out a bit more strongly on this issue. Are they not telling us something?---- ops, the 'conspiracy theory' hat is a bit tight maybe, but it does seem strange that a huge company, with GDP nearly twice that of the 'Democratic Republic of North Korea,' much of that latter Government's spending going on unnecessary nuclear adventures, bows down to the threats of hacking 'conglomerate!' AS I said in a previous post, if NK gest away with this, what else are we, nations, companies or even individuals in for? Forget about some of the issues we fought for---in comparison, this latest threat is symbolic of a potential scenario that taunts the mind as to its possibilities. Watch this space because there is much that is not yet apparent!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Australia has been 'prodded' by recent events but it has brought out a 'good side' too!

We should have no doubts that there exists a true Australian 'spirit.' We see it on the sports field and in times of war, often with New Zealand taking a share when our journeys converge. What we are witnessing 'post' the hostage situation in Sydney with its sad culmination, is an example of a nation prodded when things go wrong. One should never underestimate this Australian quality. They do so at their peril. Put aside the Trans-Tasman rivalry or the jokes that emanate from both sides of the 'Ditch; forget about the 'sheep jokes' thrown NZ's way---believe that we are almost one when the 'other' is threatened. On the scale we are witnessing re the terrible events in Syria and the Middle East, perhaps the week is a small scale affair, but rest assured, Australia has awaken to a very real threat and hopefully they do not take matters too far. What has happened must be handled with care and an overreaction must not occur. That a young woman started a #tag re 'walking with you,' shows a softer more reasoned response than what could easily have been a very negative reaction. The Aussie spirit has indeed followed the Sydney deaths, and the future will prove that this will always occur. At the same time, Australia is saying to the world, that they will not let one madman or any group wishing to impose a foreign set of values on the Australian nation ever succeed. You on ya mates!

If North Korea can mount a 'cyber attack' as witnessed in the last few weeks, then--------

Should we be worried about the effectiveness of the cyber attack, mounted by North Korea? Does this episode represent a new level of threat from this 'rogue state?' Is it possible that an even more deadly from of attack cold be launched from behind the border separating the two Koreas? Perhaps the 'kick in the butt' to Sony is a timely reminder that the possibilities re bringing some of the Hollywood scenarios re cyber war are perhaps more real than we would like. The USA and other economies and industrial complexes will be looking very carefully into the robustness of their 'protection' re their respective 'empires.' If the fears of those in the 'firing line' of the 'Dear Leader's anger are realized then, we are in for rather interesting and unstable times---or---a response from the USA and 'friends' will be forthcoming---real soon. Does that not point to the need for real communication between nations? The 'net' has shown us that the world is indeed shrinking! Or---put it another way----is the 'Net' the big 'leveller?'

What do New Zealand and the USA have in common? Read on!

The USA has much in common with New Zealand. Let me count the ways. Yah, nah, as we are alleged to say in New Zealand. I want to highlight a trait that is attacking the fabric of family life in both countries. That is the scourge of 'P' as we call it or you may label it as Ice or Methamphetamine. Whatever the name---the threat is the same. You have all seen the terrible 'scenarios' played out nightly on TV or via your other news links. A homeless man or woman, once a successful business person, or a teenage drop out: perhaps a 'gangster,' ---all have a common 'demon'------'P' or 'Meth.' They may have started slowly but gradually the 'goal posts moved. They needed more and more. They may have started with a simple 'joint' laced with the 'stuff,' but that soon became a more desperate need, until their lives were consumed by the 'master.' They began to live in a 'twilight world,' one in which every moment was consumed by the need to score the next hit. They lost friends, jobs, business and families as those former 'networks became irrelevant.' If a family member spoke out, violence and abuse became a constant companion, the law intervened from time to time, but the journey continued--towards an abyss. BUT---there is hope--if someone tell someone or seeks help, but solution may be dangerous, certainly not one that can be achieved alone! I invite you to read about my 'take' on this vexing issue. Go to my website and either buy or download ROSKILL.IT is available on Amazon or contact me direct if you have any questions about my book.

Russia falters---what will Putin do?

Without a doubt the Russian economy is in serious trouble. The currency is in free-fall and share market is carving billions off its value, meaning that the cronies Putin helped to buy off the assets of the Russian people are also becoming nothing more than junk! This leaves Putin in a difficult position, one that he has not experienced in quite the same manner. He is used to adulation and a certain amount of success. How long will the Russian people hold him in high regard? How will he react when the streets fill with 'discontent?' How will he treat the criticism that is inevitably coming his way? Will he look for a 'scapegoat'? We have seen how he marginalized the gay community with his heartless comments and we have witnessed his policies re the Crimea and Ukraine. Will he look west towards the Baltic States and enter into a new era of expansionism, much like his predecessors in the Soviet period of history? Perhaps he is not so different to other leaders and other 'big power' politicians in the 'west' or China. One does not have to look too far to find examples of economic expansionism or fraudulent politics. Let's keep some balance re how we see the events as they unfold in Russia and keep the door open so that the Russian Bear is not cornered to the point that it has no option other than to respond. This a time to reach out, not exacerbate the situation in Russia. It is for Russia to find the solution to its problems, some of which Putin sincerely believes are the result of Western interference, rather than his own actions. Time will give us the answer but we may not like it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hey, my dear blog readers---become a 'friend' on Face Book and 'like' Roskill!

My blog and FB are linked---well I think they are! Go and find me on FB and 'Like' Roskill, by Neil Coleman. While you are at that point, download the EBook version or buy the hard copy for someone you love for Xmas. Follow the links.

'Death in Pakistan.' History is full of cruel senseless acts!

I awoke this morning to the news that the Taliban have murdered more than 140 people, mostly children at a military school in Pakistan. No doubt their justification will be that the schools are the source of future recruits for the Pakistani army. That the army was involved in action against the Taliban will be used as the pretext to cause the maximum hurt to the army and the families it employs. Any country has the right to defend itself and in the case of Pakistan, it is a nation under attack from within and from external sources. Of course the army will resist attempts from rebel groups to de-stable and destroy the nation that is Pakistan. Would we not do the same if such a threat existed? Sure there is much that is 'rotten' about Pakistani politics; the corruption, the violence and the ongoing battles re gaining control. All nations have aspects of such battles, but the Talban and other groups who resort to violence, represent another level; one that is foreign to any civilized group. That the Taliban claim legitimacy, from their 'book,' does not make their battle righteous one! Killing children, be they the offspring of the military or any other group, is not a justification to take such murderous action. Their attempts to dispirit the military will not work. It will merely give strength to the resolve of most Pakistanis to rid themselves of these groups on the borders and in the midst of their cities. I opened this post with the header---'that history is full of such examples, as those we have just witnessed in Pakistan. One only needs to look at the Spanish Civil War and many other historical conflagrations to see how cruel man is to others in the battle to win power. Both sides in the Civil War in Spain committed atrocities; other countries too have a history that they would rather forget than acknowledge. Perhaps the history books written by those 'outside' the country, would in many cases provide a more honest view of history! Pakistan---you are in our thoughts!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

'ANZACs' need to stick together! The 'Ditch' just got narrower!

I wonder if my fellow Kiwis are wondering if the 'Ditch' just got a bit narrower, re the events unfolding in Sydney. As I prepare to take Perdy for a walk, I am pondering how close the ISIS threat has just become and how it is a bit more real. I also wonder why we are possibly going to enmesh ourselves more deeply in the sad happenings in the ME. I say---stay out and concentrate on helping people in our neck of the woods. NZ is a tiny nation at the bottom of the South Pacific, not some wannabe 'big player' trying to bat outside our capabilities. Yes, we support Aussie as we always have, but---please Government---do not put us in a position that brings the big nasty eye of these criminals to NZ! Stay safe Aussie cousins.

Japan's voters stay at home---they get what they deserve---a Government that they don't even like!

Just over 52% of Japan's voters bothered to turn out to vote. As a result Abe has returned, easily and he will be able to go forward with his 'questionable' policies. These low figures are much worse than those we have been criticising in New Zealand for our recent elections. But the scenario is the same. If people do not like Government policies, they have little to moan about if they choose not to vote. For those who say that is a way of getting a message to an unpopular Government, I say---Rubbish. You had your chance and surely you could have supported a political party that was more likely to represent your views. Now, Japan and New Zealand have much in common--apathy!

Assembling a BBQ and drugs! And a Russian TV programme!

What the hell does a BBQ have to do with a Russian TV programme about drugs? Only I could make such a tenuous link. OK---I was supposed to be assembling a BBQ I brought on Trade Me. Anyone who knows me will either be smiling or throwing up their hands in despair. I very quickly gave up the 'assembly game, and concentrated on soeht9ng more interesting. Hell, I would only destroy the BBQ and anyone trying to fix the results of my efforts would use language far worse than that emanating from my mouth, soon after unpacking the aforementioned BBQ. I am not made for such endeavours. SO---I turned on ALJAZEERA and there was a programme from Russia about the plight of a young woman, married to a drug addict. He regularly beat her and the young son; destroying the lives of his child and wife. She feared him, she loved him but that was turning to a loathing. She felt trapped and only stayed alive for her boy. The police were useless an it was only the intervention of a social worker and a TV documentary that offered any help. The above scenario could be replicated in New Zealand; the hopelessness is the same, whatever the country or setting. When a partner in a marriage delves not the dark world of substance abuse, the lives of his or her family are at risk. The family members become enmeshed in the hopelessness of the situation and it is only when they reach out and get real help that things can change. The 'agencies, both Governmental and non-Governmental are there but hey are under resourced, in most countries the results vary. Please check out my book ROSKILL, which tells the story of a family in crisis, in New Zealand. It could be anywhere; Russia, the USA, in any town or city, in any family. ROSKILL is a story of hope, where the family felt there was none! You can download it or buy the hard-copy from my website. Just follow the links at the bottom of the page. ROSKILL will make a great XMAS or New year's present. Please share this post. Merry Xmas from New Zealand!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What can you do on a rainy day?

It's raining cats and dogs in Auckland today; so much so that Perdy, my Jack Russell, was decidedly 'undecided' about going for her usual Sunday walk. Finally she has gained some sense. Sure, she joined me for the ride into town to take Rio to work, but as for getting out and running---forget that she said. Today is the perfect excuse to curl up with your Kindle and reading a download of my book, ROSKILL. You haven't got a reading AP? Easy---go to my website and download that too. Roskill is a an easy read, but at the same time---challenging. Read some of the comments on my ROSLILL FB page. Now---go and download it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Neil Coleman | Author of Roskill and Talk to Me: Roskill and Talk To them together for X...

Neil Coleman | Author of Roskill and Talk to Me: Roskill and Talk To them together for X...: Xmas deal while stocks last (for Talk To Me). If you want both books I can do a cheap deal -----Both books for $33 (NZ only) Contact me d...

Roskill and Talk To them together for Xmas or singly.

Xmas deal while stocks last (for Talk To Me). If you want both books I can do a cheap deal -----Both books for $33 (NZ only) Contact me direct at P and P $6 NZ wide. You can of course buy one. If you are outside NZ then go to my website and follow the links. Sorry, Talk To me is only available in NZ. Merry Xmas Neil Coleman

Finland!---great to see you.

Hi Finland. Great that you have joined the ranks of my readers. Sweden, Norway and Denmark have already hit on my blogs. Now all I need is for you to download or buy the hard-copy of Roskill, a book that tells it all when it comes to a family being pulled apart by a terrible drug. Methamphetamine is a huge problem in many countries. Roskill, my book is a story of hope; about how a family comes to grips with this issue. Go to my website and check Roskill out. You can get a free download of you buy the hard copy. Cheers Neil Coleman

Monday, December 8, 2014

Just a bit of hair enhancement.

What a crazy day.  Is this what people do all the time to enhance or recapture  their past glory?  Today I did my thing at Servilles. One of the students told me that I looked like Elton John. OMG.  Hope not but then again. ......I am  of  that  age  and genre.  LOL.

Please Mr Taxi driver.

So we are on the way to Servilles again.  Yippee.  But the taxi driver decides to play  religious commentary.  The look on the kids  faces. ....priceless.  Their reaction. Turn on their nice music.  Appropriate-?. Yes.  We did not hire the taxi to receive some sort of message.  He however  got the  message

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kids just love to play--that's why I am a kid!

That is a very misleading heading. It was just a ploy to grab your attention. If you have stopped reading, then I have failed! Today is the first of two whereby a teacher mate of mine and I took 14 wonderful young ladies from James Cook High School to the Servilles Hair dressing school. Their behaviour and enthusiasm was exemplary. Many, out host and mentor was so welcoming, how could the students feel anything but included and respected. Mandy had the students so involved in the activities, that time just flew by. They learned how to wash and condition hair, create clever pony tails along with some other secrets of the trade. Tomorrow they get to have their hair done, along with the two staff. God knows what is in stall for me. With a wedding to attend, I suspect that it may be 'dramatic! I can't wait for day two. Here are some pictures of me fooling around and the surrounding buildings. OH---I chucked in a few of Perdy too. I bet she would love to have her 'hair done with all the extras. Can I bring her in, Mandy?

It's all about the stick.

Yes Perdy will chase anything.  Sticks, eels  and balls.


Which one is Perdy? They all look so innocent.


It's all about the pumice stones.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

South Korea---glad to see you back!

I have missed seeing South Korea in my reading list. You were amongst my most avid readers, then you disappeared. It's not as if I was writing hard-hitting blogs about you---no, I reserved that for the 'Dear Leader' to the north. SK is one of my favourite countries and proof of that can be found in my purchases. I love my Samsung phone and TV and my car is a Hyundai. Yes, I would love to visit SK---not so sure about your neighbour of course! Now---how about you purchasing from NZ---my book, ROSKILL. It is a hard hitting story of what can happen when a parent 'does what he tells his children not to do! Just follow the links from my website and either order the hard-copy or the EBook version. Please share this post with your friends and 'like my ROSKILL page on Face Book.

My artistic day with plenty of 'sustaining gourmet delights.'

Today began with a quick trip to the 'Bay' with Perdy to see if the much vaunted new cycle/walk bridge had been installed in the middle of the night. Voila---it had. Now we need to wait patiently for the remainder of the bay enhancement programme (NZ$28 million)to be completed. Perdy and I then headed to Doug's where after a quick cuppa and a slice of his delightful cake, we set about drilling holes in pumice and threading the 'stones' onto fishing line. Yeah, I know--not necessarily artistic but with the addition of a few shells collected from special places, we were both happy with the results. Perdy 'helped' and then resumed her endless search for the elusive possum. All that's needed now--a visit to the Gypsy Fair and a feed of NZ Green Lipped mussels and a small helping of chicken stew, cooked gently in the oven. Perdy of course had yet another walk. What's she doing now? Why--she's crashed on the bed!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Feedback needed re Windows 8.1!

OK---Time for some real feedback. On several occasions, I have attempted to install Windows 8.1 on my newish Toshiba Lap Top. Each time it has made the computer slow, not downloading completely many of the sites or material that I want to access plus a few other issues. I get annoyed about this and generally solve it by restoring the older version and peace resumes in my house. I am thinking that, maybe I have not completed the process of downloading the 8.1 version--well that is the message I keep getting now, with the instruction to click OK and then waiting while the computer restarts several times and not to use it for at least 40 minutes while the 'stuff' happens.' Now--- get over your derisive thoughts about me and my feeble attempts and give me some real feedback. Keep your language 'kindly.' I am of an age that sometimes precludes sensible actions re computers!.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sons of Orpheus Chapter 6

6 The Rocks and the Park. The two young men wandered across to an area of seedy, run-down buildings. They looked like they had seen better days. The windows were shuttered, as if a storm was approaching. The rusted fastenings indicated that they had not been opened for quite some time. Outside on the rutted footpath, gaudily dressed ladies were wandering up and down, challenging anyone within hearing with lewd suggestions. Even in the early afternoon, the prostitutes were vying for the attention of prospective clients. They did their very best to attract the attention of the two new arrivals. ‘What ya reckon----do ya want a bit of that then?’ Jack said. Adi’s face was a mixture of curiosity and confusion. ‘Very colourful----I don’t understand. What they doing?’ ‘Oh my God---don’t you know what they are?’ One of the prostitutes closed in on the two boys. ‘Want some fun lads. Bet ya haven’t seen a pair of knockers like this then eh.’ Adi’s eyes were drawn to the woman’s breasts which were barely contained within her flimsy top. ‘Wana feel luv?’ the prostitute taunted. Ya can do it for free---but the other---well that’ll cost ya.’ Jack could no longer contain himself. He burst out laughing as he watched Adi. Adi finally understood. ‘I have no money,’ he lied. ‘Then you better piss off eh, and stop wasting my time. All you youngins are the same----wantin’ a bit of me for nothin’.’ She crowed. She turned her attention to a couple of sailors, while Adi and Jack wandered off towards a nearby park. While the exchange with the prostitute was going on, two men who had followed the boys from the tavern were watching from a short distance away, concealing their interest by pretending to chat with other prostitutes. This had not gone unnoticed by the waitress who had served Jack and Adi’s table. She had gone off duty just as Jack and Adi had left the tavern. Her name was Eileen. While she was serving, she had overheard some of the conversation. It had been quite obvious to her that Jack and Adi had been followed. It wasn’t the first time Eileen had seen the two men lurking around the tavern. Eileen was not much older than the boys and when she saw the men leave the tavern, her suspicions were aroused. Jack and Adi continued to explore the area and quickly came to the conclusion that they needed to go into the town to find shops or markets selling clothing. Jack decided to ask a constable, who was patrolling the street. ‘I think you may find what you need up in Paddy’s Market in George Street, boys,’ the constable offered. ‘I’d steer clear of this area tonight, if you want to avoid trouble. There’s some pretty rough characters out and about lately.’ ‘Thanks Sir,’ Adi replied. ‘Let’s go through the park,’ Adi suggested. They left the street and wandered along a pathway lined on either side with bright flowers. A few down-and-outs were sheltering from the hot afternoon sun. Jack suggested doing the same for a while. As they rested in the shade under a huge spreading tree, a couple of men approached them. ‘What ya doing lads?’ the taller one asked. ‘Just resting,’ Jack replied, noticing the other one moving to the other side of Adi. ‘So how ‘bout you young fellas help us out a bit eh? Come on, we seen ya get that money from that guy in the pub, so hand it over or we’ll kick ya dumb arses so hard you won’t sit down for a week, and that’s if you’re lucky.’ Eileen had followed the boys and became concerned when the two men from the tavern shadowed them when they entered the park. One suddenly stood up and drew a knife from his jacket. ‘Hand it over—now!’ he yelled. At that moment Adi kicked out and his foot connected just behind his assailant’s knee, causing him to fall heavily to the ground. Eileen rushed forward screaming. ‘Help! ---These two have got a knife!’ She continued screaming, attracting the attention of a wandering constable, who immediately ran to the scene. As he neared, the two thieves fled from the park, one hobbling as a result of Adi’s kick. ‘You need to be careful around here boys,’ he offered. Eileen moved forward and introduced herself. ‘I saw them fellas watching you in the pub and then they followed you here, so I thought I would warn you. I guess I was almost too late, but you’ve got a mean kick there,’ she laughed looking at Adi. ‘Thanks Miss,’ said Adi. ‘I’m not Miss. Call me Eileen. Where you going anyway? ----cause those two knew you had money. They were watchin’ you in the pub.’ ‘We were headin’ to Paddy’s Market. We heard that there’s some good bargains there,’ said Jack. ‘True enough, but I think I better come with you. From what I’ve seen, you two need a minder and I reckon the stall-holders will rip you off real good,’ she said laughing. Just before they arrived at Paddy’s Market, they heard a shout from across the park. ‘Hey Jack! We’re you going?’ Dick hurried over, puffed and slightly under the weather. They informed him of the events of the last thirty minutes. ‘Damn,’ Dick said. ’It didn’t take you long to find trouble, did it?’ He agreed to accompany them all to the markets, although the numerous beers he had drunken took the edge off his initial enthusiasm. Eileen observed his condition and suggested that they all go back to her house and perhaps visit the markets the next day. There was no disagreement from the others and twenty minutes later they arrived in front of a run down cottage not far from the Rocks. ’It ain’t much, but its home,’ said Eileen. Tiles were missing from the roof and the front porch had a distinct lean to it, giving the impression that little had been done in the way of maintenance for many years. ‘Well, come on in and make yourselves at home. I’ll chuck on a batch of scones and make us a nice cup of tea----Sound good?’ ‘Sure does!’ the others responded and trudged into the tiny front room and combined kitchen. The room was tidy but sparsely furnished. There was a small table, three rackety chairs and a patched sofa that looked like it had been handed down several generations. Whatever colour it had once been was but an indistinct memory, only partly hidden by a colourful rug. In an offset alcove, a blackened wood-burning stove stood in a corner under the only window, with a few pots and a skillet hanging above. A door led to a small backyard where there was an outhouse and a well tended vegetable garden. Eileen’s cottage. Dick and the boys settled in around the table while Eileen rekindled the stove and mixed the ingredients for the scones. Eileen retrieved some butter and milk from the safe on the southern side of the house. Eileen gave it a sniff. ‘May be a bit sour but that will just make it taste better. It’s so hard to keep anything cool in the summer.’ She mixed the soft butter with the flour and baking powder and added the milk, along with a pinch of salt. Then she rolled the mixture out on a floured side board and cut a dozen squares which she put on a baking, ready for the hot oven. The room filled with the warm yeasty smell of baking scones, while the kettle boiled on the stove top, emitting a puff of steam every few seconds. A short time later, Eileen removed the scones from the oven and arranged them on a cooling rack in the centre of the table. She then rattled about the cupboard and added four cups, milk, sugar and a jar of home-made plum jam on the table where everybody could access them. ‘What d’ya reckon boys? Tuck in.’ They needed little encouragement, and demolished the scones smothered with the sticky jam and melting butter. Adi was particularly taken by this new experience. ‘You gona make someone a good wife eh,’ he joked, as the butter ran down the side of his mouth. ‘Like hell,’ Eileen laughed, perhaps a little uncertainly. ‘That ain’t gona happen to me if I can help it mate,’ she added. ‘Anyway, I’ve got plans to leave ’ere soon. I’m sick of these bloody hot summers and that crazy place where I work.’ ‘Doesn’t look so bad to me,’ Dick suggested. ‘At least it pays the bills, and you must get the odd tip or two.’ ‘Easy for you to say-----It’s not your arse getting pinched or worse, is it?’ Eileen retorted. Dick’s face turned a bright red, much to the amusement of the two boys. ‘So where you gona go Eileen?’ asked Jack. ‘I got this mate. He’s a Maori fella from New Zealand. He’s on a schooner that trades corn and vegetables from the Waikato and they are due to leave for the return, the day after tomorrow. I’m going to be on that boat as the cook.’ ‘That’s a bit sad,’ replied Adi. ‘We just make friends and you leave us already.’ ‘A girl’s got to look after herself and think of the future. Maybe I’ll miss this town, maybe not,’ she added ruefully. They became quiet. ‘Well, maybe we will meet you again sometime then,’ said Jack, hopefully. ‘Ya never know, do ya,’ Eileen replied. ‘I think we better get back to our ships boys,’ said Dick. ‘You can see Eileen tomorrow when you check out the markets. Better make it early eh.’ The three left for the short walk back to their ships. Eileen tidied up the cups, deep in thought. She was quite taken by the two boys and looked forward to guiding them the next day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Methamphetamine (P) reaches out and snares more victims!

Here we go again! Yet more families will be affected by this latest criminal foray by a group of people who have gone to the 'dark side.' Go to my website and either buy the hard copy of Roskill or download the Ebook version. "Two people wanted in relation to an alleged kidnapping in Queenstown last week were found hiding out in a remote hut, police said. Joshua Veint, 23, and Lilly Boden, 21, were found by a police team in a remote hut on the shores of Lake Wakatipu yesterday afternoon, as a result of information received from the public. Around six hours later, police also spotted Pita Wilson, 38, leaving a Frankton Rd address. He was apprehended on the Frankton Queenstown walkway. The arrests were the culmination of a six day manhunt after 22-year-old Joseph Armstrong went missing last week. He was found on Tuesday at a camping ground in Queenstown, with injuries that needed medical attention. Police today praised the local community and "solid police work" for helping to solve the investigation. "Police thank the Queenstown community for their support during this investigation, which, combined with excellent police work by our staff, has led to an outcome that clearly demonstrates that working together we can all have a part to play in keeping our community safe," relieving Otago Rural Area Commander Inspector Olaf Jensen said. "The police's investigative team, comprising of Otago Rural and Southern District staff, has worked tirelessly over the past week to get a result." The investigation would now focus on the criminal liability of people who may have assisted those involved to avoid arrest, Mr Jensen said. "The investigation has also identified activity involving methamphetamine possession and supply which will result in further charges and potentially arrests." Three people were due to appear in Queenstown District Court this morning on a range of charges relating to the alleged kidnapping. A 38-year-old man and a 23-year-old man face charges of kidnapping, wounding and supplying methamphetamine. A 21-year-old woman faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine and will appear in the Queenstown District Court on Monday, while a 22-year-old woman is due to appear in the same court on Monday charged with being an accessory after the fact of wounding. Two other men also appeared in court in Invercargill earlier in the week on charges related to the incident." - NZME.

'Problem' gamblers 'helped' by an industry that preys upon them---yeah right!

Who the hell came up with the bright idea that ‘problem’ gamblers would be identified by staff in bars, casinos etc. and be ‘helped by them,’ apparently by means of refusing them service? It seems that very few people have been stopped and offered help. The numbers are a joke. Well actually---no---it is an abysmal failure. How successive Governments could possibly believe that some sort of ‘self-policing’ in the gambling industry was going to help alleviate the issue of ‘problem gamblers,’ is just a figment of the bank manager’s imagination. Why on earth would an institution that relies on someone believing the impossible dream, come up with a procedure that limited the profits that such institutions make? It’s a no brainer. Would it not be like a vineyard telling people they should not buy their wine or a movie theatre saying to patrons that the movie was a sad one and that it might be better that the patrons not buy a ticket. Come on---let’s get real about the gambling problem and yes, offer help, but that should be offered by a third party having access to patrons---in the actual bar or casino. Can we see that happening any time soon? Maybe they could issue ‘gambling speeding tickets!’ So let’s be honest about this and approach the issue from a different angle. Start by closing down so many of the gaming lounges and insist on those that remain have robust interventions and those interventions triggered by trained people who can assist when needed. OK---who is going to fill that role and under what circumstances would the ‘trigger-point’ be reached.’ There needs to be much discussion around this, but we cannot continue to let those who are least able to, decide to accept help, continue to ruin their lives, while filling the pockets of the institutions that prey upon them, and worse, take away opportunities’ for their kids! It is going to take a very brave group of politicians who can stand up to the gambling industry and the masses who believe that---just one more turn of the wheel----- and their problems will be over!’ To use the words of our Dear Leader, ‘At the end of the day, gambling is just another form of ‘P!’ Yeah I know---I am taking liberties. Read about ‘P’ in my book Roskill and see how a family deals with issue of ‘P’ and how it threatens to destroy a family. Go to my website for a hard copy ( or just click on ( for a reader AP (Kindle) download.

Roskill--the old edition is in some libraries---tell me which ones!

I have been hearing that the very first edition of ROSKILL is in some libraries. I want to find out which ones and make sure that they have the 'improved' version, the one that I am in controll of. So---if you see one and it is the 2011 format, please let me know (This post will be on FB too) and I shall contact the library concerned and provide them with the new edition.

Nigeria battles Boko Haram!

Nigeria faces an almost impossible battle to try to stop the establishment of a Sharia Law based state in Northern Nigeria, if not the entire nation. The advocates of this ‘ideal,’ are the Boko Haram group who are prepared to use any method, including murder, genocide and kidnapping. They have struck fear into the inhabitants of the villages and cities, striking almost at will to achieve their goals. So far the Nigerian Government has been at a loss to reverse the tide of destruction and terror that BK inflicts on the nation. The Government has come in for much criticism re its inability to stop the group. This trend may be about to change. It appears that vigilante groups are allying themselves to the Government and are fighting back, using equally crude methods to fight the scourge that is BK. The villagers are arming themselves with basic weaponry, ranging from bush knives, agricultural implements right through to captured arms and they are taking it to BK. There is little organization at this stage but local Governors are now encouraging people to fight back. It is only when the people are behind the Government that things can change. Yes, Nigeria is not known for its ‘lack of corruption,’ but the alternative ‘state’ as espoused by BK is a massively negative choice. It is only when the majority of the population gets on board and follows through, identifying those aligned to BK and passing on information to the military that things will improve. Of course, even if BK are defeated, some of the reasons for their existence will still exist. The huge disparity in wealth distribution feeds directly into the establishment of groups like BK and ISIS. Unless real change occurs, politically and economically, there will always be dissidents fighting for change. When those groups use ‘religious extremism,’ combined with terrorism, then Governments will have little support. Nigeria has a narrow window of opportunity. If it wishes the people to support the Government, then that body must take a look at how it operates. The ‘look in the mirror,’ may not show them what they need to do, unless they open their eyes to the reality of life I Nigeria for the vast number of its people. BK can be defeated but it may also represent a Phoenix, ready to rise again at the ‘slightest invitation,’ one carrying the seeds of despair!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I saw some black Rum so I baked a ---stuffed if I know!

I was in a mood---you know---couldn't sit still---didn't feel like sitting watching crap on TV, or playing too much online with FB---oops I am doing it now, but there is a reason! I had finished a FB posting about people Liking; Roskill, without knowing it was a bloody book! GRRRRRRR! OK---calm thyself beast within! There--that's better. Just baker one of the things ---a cake-biscuit or whatever it is that comes out of my head at these times. No recipe, just using what's around. In this case--Rum, organic Cacao, courtesy of my sister and of course vanilla extract--the real thing and sugar=r eggs and self rising flour. Oh and heaps of butter. I did what I normally do and mixed the hell out of them and then put the 'stuff in cupcake dishes--adding at the last minute a prune in each one. The kitchen is now filled the a heady mix of chocolaty rum something. Wow. Rest gentle beast within---you can eat them, soon.

Are books just a quaint thing of the past?

Sometimes I wonder if people read books anymore---my reason for thinking this? When I look at my 'Roskill' FB page and see the likes for Roskill---it seems that most of them are liking something that is 'not' the book. Then if I look at their profiles, it seems that many of them do not have any books on their 'Like list.' So sad eh. Is the love of reading, a thing of the past? So, if you love books, go to my FB 'Roskill' page and like it ---only if you like it though for the book that it represents. Better still, go to my website to see what Roskill is all about. Here 'endeth' my very scientific survey! OR go direct to for a download to your reading AP

The battle continues against methamphetamine (P)

The following article appeared in the NZ Herald. It tells us that the battle against 'P' is far from won. We know that many families are being ripped apart. Download my book, Roskill or buy the hard copy by following this link. OR go direct to for a download to your reading AP. Couple imported drugs like 'ordering pizza' 12:46 PM Wednesday Dec 3, 2014 Save Like on Facebook59 Tweet on Twitter8 Post on LinkedIn0 +1 on Google+0 File photo / David White File photo / David White A young Auckland couple imported drugs using an online website like they were "ordering pizza", a court has been told. Daniel Wayne Fowler, 23, and Lisa Marie Clark, 24, used a website similar to "Silk Rd" - which was recently shut down by the FBI - where customers anonymously use online currency to purchase the illicit substances which are then sent in the mail. Over the course of a week at the end of September last year, Customs intercepted three packages containing a total of 201 ecstasy pills and 16 grams of cannabis. Fowler's lawyer Tudor Clee said his client was "clearly not a master criminal" and only shelled out about $200-$300, but Crown prosecutor Georgina Woods-Child said that on the street in New Zealand, the drugs could be worth nearly 100 times that. The mail - which came from Germany and Belgium - was addressed to Clark but Fowler later told police they were for him. A search warrant executed at the pair's suburban Howick home found Fowler also had a cannabis-growing operation established in the garage and interception of their cell-phone messages showed they were complicit in the offending. Mr Clee said cases of this nature were increasing in frequency because of the convenience of online drug-dealing networks. "It's safer and easier to order the drugs - which are the subject of the charges before the court today - than it is to order a pizza. Choose the delivery location, choose the toppings and place the order," he said. When it became a choice between "walking down the local gang pad or tinnie house" to buy drugs or doing it online, safety also became an issue for young people, Mr Clee said. Fowler had worked hard as an engineer but a back injury saw him at home in pain, with time on his hands, the court heard. But after being apprehended, he was on bail in the same position when police caught him dealing cannabis, which led to a further charge. Ms Woods-Child argued imprisonment was the appropriate outcome because there were likely elements of commerciality to the offending but Judge Philip Recordon said it was "naivety rather than stupidity". Fowler, after pleading guilty to four charges, was given the maximum home detention sentence of one year. Clark's lawyer Ish Jayanandan told the court her client was considering a career as a nurse and drug charges could bar that pathway. Judge Recordon agreed a conviction for the "silly things" she did would have a disproportionate impact on her future. She was discharged without conviction on charges of possessing class-B and class-A drugs. - NZME. Read more by Rob Kidd Email Rob Kidd Save

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Russia and the USA have much in common!

Rubbish, you say. How can two nations, with very different histories, one purporting to be the bastion of freedom and the other a failed Communist nation , ruled by gangsters, have any similarities?. I leave it to you decide the vagaries of such distinctions, but there are a few points I would like to highlight. Both nations have vast differences in the distribution of wealth; one with former 'friends' of the 'former' ruling party having been 'given' the assets once belonging to the state and the other arriving at the same position simply through the system that allows such acquisitions on a vast scale. In one country it is called the military/industrial complex and in the other, nothing more than former 'state' employees and oligarchs having such wealth. (I make no apology for the overuse of that word) In both countries, millions struggle to maintain a dignified life, with access to health, housing and good education a mere dream. In both countries the media is controlled by a narrow range of interest groups and in one case the State plays the dominant role. Both countries embark on foreign adventures, simply badly disguised attempts to keep the influence of the described groups at the forefront. Both have a wealth of medical experts, but they cut the access to such services, leaving a significant number of citizens without adequate health care. The differences are those of geography, culture and language; the similarities are easily describable!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Why did Doug say fuck?

That's a question most needing an answer. Well......we were trying to disassemble the BBQ so that it would fit into his van.  We  took the cover off the BBQ and ........'fuck!   Cockroach. ...fucking huge....he ran....Leaving me to  squash it.  Thank God there was only one. Thank God  the BBQ is now at Dougs  place.  Hope he doesn't read this.

Dougs haven.

What to do on a Spring like day. Why,head  for the hills of course or more  precisely , to  Doug"s  place and the secret garden, the gardens that sustain, that reward his efforts with bounty.  Then the kitchen stars with Doug as the support act. What more could one wish  for.....

Austrlalia has a huge issue with Methamphetamine. Massive drugs haul in Australia! 1.5 A$ billion of misery!

The news today of a massive drugs haul worth one and a half billion dollars just highlights how this scourge is worldwide. In this case it was for the drug 'P' (Methamphetamine) as we call it in NZ. If this 'cache' had hit the streets, imagine the damage, the crime, the families ripped apart. Strong words, but no words can adequately describe the terrible damage caused by this substance. Read about my take on how a family is taken to the 'edge' by the behaviours of a parent; someone who the teenage children look to for guidance. What do you do when a parent enters the dark world of 'P?' Read about it in my book, ROSKILL.> Roskill is a book about hope when there appears to be no way out! Download it or buy the hard copy from Just follow the links at the bottom of the page.

Friday, November 28, 2014

So either 'things' have resolved re the hacking, or it's a quiet day on the 'Eastern Front!'

I have not had a repeat of the massive hits from 'Israel' (I somehow doubt that they originated there anyway, despite what the 'stats' tell me!)for the last 36 hours. Maybe the moves I took stopped that, but perhaps I should not be too confidant as you all know what a techno-deficient individual I am. Maybe I was wrong and the hits were genuine but if you saw what I did re the 'anti-Israeli' demagoguery that I witnessed, then perhaps you would have come to the same conclusion as me. OK====may peace be restored to my 'Net-world' and you all have a wonderful weekend, hopefully reading my book, ROSKILL which you can either download, or buy the hard copy, from my website. Just follow the links and don't forget to buy a copy as a present for a loved one.

John Key forgets ----again!

At what stage will voters become as bored with John Key as much as he 'forgets,' yet again? Is this a sign that he is about to be replaced or will he just disappear and the end of a few very 'unfortunate days?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

An example of hacked site--from Israel but not real I think!

This is what I mean by--hits on my site! Not really possible unless hacked eh! Israel 2089 United States 46 New Zealand 29 United Kingdom 3 Canada 1 Germany 1 Spain 1 Ukraine

I think (I hope) that I have blocked and reported the person 'pretending' to be me!

What a pity my surpise that more then 2000 hits had occured on my blog! It would have been great of that had equated to sales for ROSKILL, but given the nature of the posts that person put up, I doubt it. They had a real 'beef' with Israel and even though I may have agreed with some aspects of their posts, I do not advocate 'downing Israel,' or any other such extreme actions. That the posts purortedly originated in Israel may not be true. I wonder who it could be. Hell, they even had a space where I could 'friend' HER! I didn't and I wont. Oh well--one learns. I just hope that by 'reporting her to the Google plus administrators, that it all stops. Now my 'figures for hits on my blog are a bit 'bent.' So, in my head, I need to take into account that 2000 plus hits do not exist. I also hope that the 'event' does not represent something more sinister. OK--if you are reading this, please pass onto your 'friends,' the real ones, the links to my site and book. Have a good 'non-hacked' day! THE REAL ONE. The one who has bad typos and says unPC things and doesn't give a shite about pissing off bad-arse world leaders and other wannabe politicians!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Maybe I will have to close this blogsite down because of the hacker from ---Israel or nearby!

I shall let this ride for a day an then possibly close tis site down. there is no way in hell that more than 2200 j\hits from Israel in one day are for real. Also, when I make a comment, whoever is doing it are taking crucial wording out of the post, making it look like I have it in for Israel! One of the downsides of blogging, I guess. I know that some say---'any publicity is good publicity,' but not this way!

OK--the plot Thickens re the hits on my blog!

It seems that someone has a hatred of Israel and has taken hold of my blogs. Someone posing as 'SH M' has taken over an aspect of my blog and they are saying 'Down with Israel.' OK, I may not agree with the policies that Israel follows but I certainly do not support some Arab organization that resorts to hacking people's accounts. If anyone knows how I can get this B off my account , get in touch with me!

Israel makes 1800 hits on my blog in one day---impossible!

There has either been a 'mother of all glitches' re my blog site or I am now the target of Mossad or something sinister. I very much doubt the latter as I cannot remember saying anything terribly untoward against Israel. True, I may have levelled some criticism about their polices re the West Bank and Gaza, but I firmly believe in Israel's right to exist peacefully as a nation, free from terrorist attacks, but I genuinely would love to see the Palestinian people have the same rights as Israelis. The sad fact is that two peoples want to retain the same land and the reasons for this are a long litany of foreign adventures in the 'Holly Land.' OK, the other possibilities are: I am the victim of a dumb arse hacker or Israel now loves my blogs. If so---buy my book ROSKILL or download it. Let me believe the latter to be a fact.. Doubt it, somehow!

A beautiful cat came to work!

From time to time, animals follow kids to school. Usually they are picked up by their 'caring' parents,' but this time that has not happenned and I do not think that many people (teachers and kids) are too worried, given the nature of the said beast! I had heard that this black cat was wandering into classes and making herslef at home. I also saw her in the playground going up to kids and smirching her way into their hearts. I wonder why no one has claimed her. Hell, if she was my cat I would move heaven and earth to try to find her. Why do I say that? Well, it seems that she has decided that my office and the comfortable couch is where she belongs. The kids and a parent so far have included her in their sessions with me. She has this calming influnece on them but she also lets them know if she does not want their attention. In the words of our 'Dear Leader,' John Key,--'At the end of the day,' if she decideds that she aint going anywhere, we will have to make some decissions. She will either remain a 'shared school cat,'or I will be joining the wannabes who want to take her home.

Politics is as much about 'perception' as it is about real policy!

Yes there are power-brokers behind every Government, be it the shady military/industrial forces as in the politics of the USA, or the Communist party officials in China and ‘big business’ in New Zealand, but there is also the part, the major part, that ‘perception’ plays to support the myth that the public has the real say, especially where an election process based on ‘universal suffrage’ comes into play. The last six years in New Zealand have been dominated by one man, the one leading the National Party. He has won two successive elections, many would say because he has captured the minds of the ordinary New Zealanders who have bothered to vote. He has projected an image that somehow manages to connect with enough NZers to garner the seats in parliament he needs to continue his regime. Many of his supporters, including large numbers of people contributing posts on FB have been part of this process and along with the Media in general, have been drawn into his web of support. He has been able to maintain his position simply because he has projected an image that attracts enough people to vote for his party and thereby keep his hold on power. It seems that no matter what the issue, or his responses to various accusations; no matter how low he appears to go in some peoples’ eyes, the mud has not stuck. The perception that he connects with ordinary NZers has been his main appeal to those who vote for him. That he ‘turns off’ a significant number of NZers, allowing them to pullback from voting is just one more ‘peg in a hole’ that pushes him over the line each election. So far this allusion had served him well, in that enough NZers have held him high. This is an unpalatable morsel for those who oppose him to digest. The perception that PM Key is the ‘man’ to lead NZ has carried him over the line, leaving the opposition to fragment and turn on itself several times. Perceptions change over time and when they do, it is often dramatic. Since Nicky Hager released his book, ‘Dirty Politics,’ the discussion around PM Key has taken a new direction. Sure, he survived yet another challenge, but he seeds of doubt were sown. That perception of ‘a leader in control,’ has been severely tarnished. Even reporters who could see no wrong in the PM have started to question him in a different and more strident manner. I was extremely surprised to see one of the hosts on ‘Seven Sharp’ actually starting to take it to Key the other night. An influential journalist (John Armstrong) writing in the Herald, a newspaper well known for its support of the National-led Government, has launched into a series of damaging attacks on Key. These changes do not happen unless there has been a major shift in perception, at many levels. Are we seeing this groundswell of support for the PM finally starting to dissipate? I believe we are and the process is going to accelerate as his colleagues begin to make the link between their own political survival and the need to cut their support for Key. Watch over the next months as prominent members of the National Party being to pull back, leaving their leader more exposed. Once the public perception changes, the message will be clear---‘it is time to go Mr Key!’ That leaves of course the question—who will fill his shoes? Many of the ‘wannabe feet’ also have the taint of foot odour!’ For Labour’s part, the new leader, Andrew Little, has already signalled his intention to take the battle right to My Key and the National Party. If he manages to sort out issues around policy, he is well placed to bring about a revival in that once great Party’s perception with the public of NZ. WE are in for exciting times in NZ. Hopefully the needs of most NZers will be served and not just those of a narrow sector at the top of the pile!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How many Jack Russells would you think are too mnay?

One of the Jack Russell puppies in the picture is Perdy. I think it is the one on the far right----the runt of the litter! You wouldn't think so now, if you could see her, experience her craziness and zest for life. She may have begun life as the 'one always left out,' but she has gained a life that adds so much to mine. When I look at the picture, I often wonder what her brothers and sisters are doing now and where they live. I htnk about howthier lives might be. I just hope that they have owners who love them, spoil them, take them everywhere. If not---I wish that I could have them all. That woud really be a crazy over-the-top scenario. My poor little house!

Bariatric surgery---old habits await those not prepared!

It has been about 19 months since I had my bariatric surgery and there is little I have to complain about re the results. From a hefty 120 kilos (Remember I am only 169cm so that equated to a BMI of about 45 plus!) I was able to get down to about 77 kilos---I don’t count the bout of tummy upset that took me briefly to 75kilos!---- and I also relieved myself of many health issues, including type two diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea and high blood pressure. Life is looking good and it seemed that my weight loss was permanent. I helped to set up a Bariatric Support group on FB and it soon had a good number of supportive members. I managed to garner a little publicity via MiNDFOOD magazine re the efficacy of the operation, but my real aim was to sell my book, ROSKILL. I make no excuses for that of course because when one is self-published, any publicity is good publicity! Of late I have been hearing about some people who have had the operation or one of the several available, that they had put on a high proportion of the weight they lost, some within a year. At first I put this down to them ‘not sticking to the programme.’ I thought---they are just sneaking calories in---like too many liquid ‘sweeties’ or easily taken in calories. Believe me that is entirely possible. For most of us, we hit the wall pretty quickly re the amount of food we can eat in any one sitting, but if one does that with the ‘wrong food’ on a regular basis---well something has to give----or gain in this case. The above scenario happens slowly---it can creep up on you. Before you know it, you are returning to the ‘old habits.' You make little excuses, just like you used to. So---in a sense, this is where the head stuff comes in; those old behaviour patterns that helped to get you into that massive state in the first place. If you do not exercise this pattern is even more obvious. One must walk---every day and slowly increase the intensity. One must be vigilant about those creeping kilos. Watch and take action. All that effort can be lost as the kilos apparently start to reappear! It is support groups like this one that can help. It is important to be honest with yourself and fess up when you see a pattern emerging. I am not suggesting a return to the yo-yo diets of old---the ones that probably propelled you to gain your ‘massiveness’ in the first place, but I am saying—take stock of what you are eating and stay away from too many carbs, especially those in the form of processed sweet things and bread. Join a walking group or get a dog; one that demands long walks or you risk your house being eaten and trashed! Jack Rusells fit the bill nicely! Those of us who have had the operation, know that we have to take supplements. I find that if I go more than a day or two without my intake, I hit the wall pretty quickly. I get tired and lack energy. The couch looks more inviting than the walk, but that is easily remedied by returning to my strict pill popping. I was using Centrum and it worked well. I have since swapped to some Usana products and the cost is similar, especially if you become a ‘preferred customer.' That means getting regular orders and combined with their other products re skin and hair care, it is well worth the extra money. I did think of becoming a ‘distributor,’ (that is a pending decision!) but knowing someone is enough for me. I have included the link for that in this posting. OK---from here, I need to do the following. Look carefully at what I am eating again but not dieting. Taking a few simple steps re my creeping desire to eat ice-cream and baked goodies (or not so goodies) and about five times a week, using a Usana meal replacement. I know that when I take these I am not hungry for quite a few hours. I can combine that with my regular ‘grazing’ in my veggie patch. I have this new fun thing, whereby, while dinner is simmering, I water the greens in the garden and then proceed to have my ‘salad on the hoof!’ Yes, I pick raw greens and chew away on them, hoping that I have not included any critters’ in my intake!Pullng a few weeds out also adds to the exercise regime. Will this be enough to prevent the ‘repackaging’ of my former self? I hope so and it is the Bariatric Support group that may make the difference. I am sure we all fear going back to that place we inhabited before. Let us keep encouraging one another and tell our stories so that others can support as we will help them. This journey is a never-ending story. The link I talked about The link to my book and a direct link re downloading the eBook version

Monday, November 24, 2014

'Dirty Politics' was just the entree!

Many New Zealanders were shocked at the so-called ‘revelations’ portrayed on Hager’s book, ‘Dirty Politics.’ The remainder chose to consign the opinion Hager attempted to put upon us as lies and dammed lies or just ignore them as a ‘what the hell does it have to do with me?’ kind of reaction. Now that the truth is about to come out, the PM’s part in the saga can no longer be denied. That he won an election, twice re how he used the events surrounding the allegations is a strong possibility. New Zealanders were sucked in to his ‘smiling assassins’ face and the manner in which he attacked those trying to put forward an alternate point of view re Hager’s opinion. We now have the spectre of the GCSB needing to apologize to Phil Goff, the Leader of the Opposition in 2011. Many would say that the election in that year was stolen by the actions of the PM and how he directed the GCSB via spurious leaks and underhanded manoeuvrings, leaking information and having his fellow conspirators (Slater and CO.) do his dirty work. That much of what those ‘allies’ put into the public domain influenced the outcome of the 2011 and the one just held, will be debated for many years, but at the very least, the actions of our PM should be questioned. New Zealand has to endure the present Government for just under three more years. What will the PM and his party come up with next, in order to further their aspirations re holding on to power? One can only guess, but be prepared for more of what we have witnessed over the last 6 years. Politicians of all persuasions and power-brokers in general have this tendency—one that cares only for the ‘baubles’ of such power and the need to hang onto it--- so it is--- New Zealand----be aware and trust sparingly those who would rule us and especially those who actually DO!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Roskill needs reviews!

If one Googles 'Roskill by Neil Coleman, many hits will occur, but what does not happen enough is the reuslts for 'reviews of Roskill.' I would like to change that. You can help me to achieve this in several ways: Firstly by buying a hard copy via my website ( or by downloading the Ebook version. You can also contact me directly at and I can sell you a copy. I know, many people do not want to review a book as they think it takes time. Take a look at what others who have reviewed Roskill have said and you will see that it doesn't take much time. OK, please spread the word and the links and yes, I can take a bad review. I shall just go for a long 'review walk' if it's a bad one! Cheers Neil

This little bundle of 'joy.'

Just over 4 years ago this little bundle of joy came into our lives. She has seen me through my bariatric operation and helped me to maintain a healthier lifestyle. She demands at least one good walk a day and in the weekends and holidays that increases to several 'adventures' each day. Perdy is responsible for me extending my friendship group as I meet other 'mums and dads' of her caninie friends. Yes, dogs most certainly choose who they wish to cavourt with in the parks, beaches and other favourite places. She has brought joy to my life and I cannot think of her 'not' being in my healthier and happier life. Thank you Perdita (Perdy). You are a treasure!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Indonesia--you present yourself as a forward thinking modern nation---but virginity tests for your female police recruits?

When I first saw reports on FB about female recruits undergoing 'intrusive,' traumatic virginity tests, all in the name or 'moral behaviour,' I was aghast. But several news reports later, I am forced to accept that this is indeed happening. Come on Mr Widodo--here is your chance to put an end to this barbaric practise. Show some strength and solidarity with the women in Indonesia and bring about change. Do men also undergo some sort of test? Of course they don't! Indonesia has made huge strides in its struggle to bring a better life for its citizens and is showing real progress in its fight against the extremists within the country who would take this proud nation back to something more akin with what we bare seeing in other Islamic countries. The newly elected President is well aware of the forces that mitigate against the aims he espouses as the way forward for Indonesia, but this example if how things 'used to be,' must be firmly expunged and consigned to the past. www.authorneilcoleman.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sons Of Orpheus---Chapter 5.

SONS OF ORPHEUS---Chapter 5 5 Sydney Harbour. Alex was surprised at the number of ships anchored at the nearby quays. He had heard a few tales from sailors who had visited the port in the past and assumed that Sydney was little more than a provincial town. Even from the deck of the Orpheus, it was clear that the bustling town was bigger than he had been led to believe. Once he had completed his duties, he was free to explore the city. Alex decided to head to a nearby tavern, which was visible from where he was standing on the deck. He joined several fellow officers. They could hear the sounds of the patrons before they entered and once inside, the smell of over-heated bodies, intermingling with the aroma of roasted beef was almost overpowering. Alex suggested they head for a table where there were several empty seats. ‘Are these seats taken?’ Alex asked politely. ‘Don’t look like it matey, now does it,’ a half drunken sailor answered. Alex ignored the reply and took a seat next to a well-dressed gentleman. The tavern attracted a wide range of clientele, due to its proximity to the port area. ‘What can I get you Sir?’ The waitress ignored the bawdy remarks from several sailors behind her. Alex felt uncomfortable at the apparent lack of manners on the part of the men, but chose to leave it, preferring to get a few tankards on the table instead. The waitress reappeared a few minutes later with a tray of overflowing frothy tankards. ‘Ah-----that’ll hit the spot, I’d say,’ one of Alex’s companions uttered greedily. Jack was still aboard the Emerald. He was quite content to lean nonchalantly on the railings as the passengers disembarked, and the crew unloaded the cargo from the holds. He laughed at the men cursing and teasing one another, sometimes to the point that the Captain had to curtail their exchanges. Jack’s thoughts strayed to his immediate future. The Cook had made it clear that he would be quite happy for Jack to continue in his position as “assistant Cook”. Although he had enjoyed his time in the galley, Jack was unsure. ‘I don’t think I want to be cooking the same stuff, day after day. It’ll drive me round the twist’ ‘There’s many a lad who’d love to have your job, but I can see your point, especially with the likes of what we can see from here in good old Sydney town then,’ the Cook acknowledged. ‘I hear that Australia’s bloody hot and has beasts and insects that’re pretty nasty, like sharks, crocodiles, snakes and dangerous spiders. I don’t fancy coming across them now do I.’ A shiver rippled down Jack’s spine at the prospect of encountering even one of these scary creatures. Jack’s thoughts were interrupted by the cook. ‘I have a little surprise for you Jack. Here, take this,’ he added and handed Jack a large coin. It was a guinea; a coin that Jack had never seen, but he knew its value was far more than anything he had ever possessed. ‘Make it last lad, cause there won’t be any more of those for a long time. The Captain reckons we’ill be setting sail in a week for the return voyage back to Liverpool, so you better get a good look at Sydney. Watch those tarts in the tavern, ‘cause sure as eggs they’ll ‘ave ya money’, he added, barely able to keep a straight face. Adi looked down at his threadbare clothing. ‘Well for starters, I’d like to get some decent clothes, and maybe some real shoes instead of these sad looking things.’ He glanced at his guinea. ’Will that buy me much?’ ‘Be careful Jack, ‘cause there’s plenty of crooks out there who will be only too happy to rip you off, so maybe I better come with you. You wanna go now?’ he added. ‘Sure. Let’s go. I feel like some real fresh meat too and I think I know where I want to go,’ he added, looking towards the tavern near the docks where the unmistakeable waft of roast meat was coming from. They made their way down the boarding plank, dodging the busy crew who had yet to complete their unloading. Jack and Dick dodged the sweaty workers on the key and arrived at the tavern a few moments later. They had decided that shopping for clothes could wait until they had sampled the roasting meat and a tankard or two of ale. Other members of the crew also joined them. The tavern was particularly busy, with sailors from several ships competing for service with numerous locals, some of whom looked decidedly shifty. In one corner a group sat around the bench, talking in whispers, whilst observing each new arrival. They were dressed in rough clothing that had seen better days. Every few seconds they broke out into raucous laughter, drawing glances from those at the next bench. Jack noticed a young lady, balancing a tray of tankards on her shoulder, trying to squeeze past a group standing near the bar. As she passed by a bench, one of the men reached out and slapped her behind. The response was immediate and effective. She brought her free hand down in a vicious whack across the offending man’s face. ‘Keep ya filthy hands off me you dirty bastard!’ she yelled. The man’s friends broke out into laughter as they teased their mate. He stood up; his face contorted with rage and made a move towards the waitress. Several hands grabbed at him, forcing him back to his bench. ‘I’d leave it boyo. Yu’s askin’ for trouble----just leave it,’ one of his mates said. The incident was over in seconds. He continued to drink and the waitress carried on as if nothing had happened. ‘I guess he’ll learn the hard way then eh?’ Dick ‘Keep your wits about you boy, ‘cause I don’t like the look of some of these bastards, and save your money. I’m gona buy this for ya,’ Dick added. The smell of the beef was almost overwhelmed by the odour of unwashed bodies and the cloying smell of cheap tobacco. The noise in the crowded tavern was enough to make it almost impossible to make oneself heard. As they made their way towards a bench-like table, Jack accidentally bumped against a young man similar in age to him, almost causing him to trip. Jack politely apologised and the young man just nodded his head in acknowledgement and continued on to the same table where he and Dick were headed. When Jack and Dick sat, the young man squeezed in beside them. He was with a group of sailors from another ship. Adi looked around at the strange scene. The young man sitting next to him appeared to be observing the rambunctious behaviour of those around him as the waitress took the order from the older, better dressed gentleman further along the table. Adi’s observations were interrupted by the clumsy placement of tankards of ale in front of him and his companions. ‘Drink up boy,’ Doctor Thomas encouraged. Adi had not enjoyed the wine that Captain Smith and Doctor Thomas had offered him and was a little reluctant to try this new beverage. His friends were insisting that he try the ale. ‘Come on Adi, be a man ----drink up!’ shouted one of the crew. ‘Ale never hurt anyone. Adi reluctantly raised the tankard to his lips and took a swig of the golden fluid. It tasted sweet and yet slightly bitter; not unpleasant and certainly more drinkable than the wine he had tried before. To his left, the young man was observing his reaction closely. Jack waited for his food and beer to arrive. Unlike Adi, he had experienced beer, whisky and on occasion some of the cheaper spirits available in Ireland and Liverpool. ‘Go for it Jack!’ they chorused. ‘Give ‘im another!’ someone encouraged. ‘Hey, leave him alone. Don’t want some hussy taking advantage of ‘im now do we?’ Dick responded. ‘We’ll make a man of ‘im yet,’ added another. Jack continued to drink his ale, although, not as greedily as his companions. Adi wondered at the antics of the men who were trying to get Jack to drink but remembered the older men in his village were also quite capable of pressuring younger men into taking on more than they were ready for, and then laughing at the results. Two waitresses appeared with trays of food and placed them before the men from both ships. A pleasing aroma arose from the steaming food, trapped in clouds of steam. Along with huge quantities of roasted beef and gravy, there were bowls containing crispy brown potatoes and boiled cabbage. The noisy discussions from the men were replaced by the serious matter of contented eating. Jack and Adi needed no encouragement to join in. Eventually, after much belching and secret farting, the men began to settle into more drinking and jovial discussion about how they were going to spend their wages. The men from the Emerald and the Plymouth began to swap tales and experiences, leaving Jack and Adi to enter into a dialogue of their own. ‘I’m Adi. These are my crew mates,’ he indicated towards the now noisy men at his end of the table. ‘Yeah, I figured that out. I’m Jack, and these noisy buggers are from the Emerald. Was that your ship we passed on the way through to the docks - that whaler?’ he asked. ‘Looked like it had been through a storm or two.’ ‘So many questions,’ Adi retorted with a smile on his face. ‘It lost mast---before I join,’ he added. Jack’s natural curiosity got the better of him. Adi’s strange accent and slightly hesitant manner of speaking intrigued him. ‘So what you doing with that lot then? You don’t exactly look like the others,’ he laughed. ‘Sort of a bit darker, if you know what I mean.’ ‘Mmmm – what about your red devil hair? Does not fit with them others either, does it?’ Adi teased back. ‘Is it real?’ ‘Cheeky bugger,’ Jack replied, not sure if he was annoyed or amused. ‘I’ve seen darkies like you in Liverpool, but you aren’t quite so dark, sort of just toasted a bit,’ he said, laughing at his own joke. ‘Where’s Liverpool?’ Adi asked, missing Jack’s barbs. ‘A long way from here. What about you? Are you a native from ‘ere then?’ ‘Native? ---what you mean?’ Adi replied. ‘Mmmm-----I think you’ve got a lot to learn.’ Jack suddenly remembered the guinea in his pocket and his need to get some new clothes. He noticed that Adi was similarly dressed in others’ off casts. ‘What say we get out of here?’ Jack suggested. ‘I wanna find some decent duds, ‘cause these ones are just about falling off. Looks like there are shops up the road.’ Adi understood most of what Jack had said and quickly agreed. He remembered the Doctor had said he was holding some money for him. ‘Wait,’ Adi said. ‘I’ll ask the Doctor for my money. He’s saving it for me, for clothes too.’ He left his seat and approached the red-faced doctor. After a few mumbled remarks the Doctor handed over a handful of coins. ‘Don’t spend them all at once lad, and remember what I said about being careful. Come back to the Plymouth before nightfall, cause it isn’t safe round here then,’ the Doctor advised. Others had also noted the exchange of money. Adi returned to Jack and they left the tavern together. Once outside, they welcomed the cleaner air and quickly found a bench to sit on and take stock of their surroundings. Away from the tavern, the street was busy and loud. Street vendors implored passers-by to buy their wares, including, fruit and vegetables from outlying farms, alongside others who were selling clothing and cheap housewares. As the boys watched, they settled into a friendly conversation. ‘So strange-------so different,’ Adi said. ‘It’s a bit like Liverpool actually. Even the way many of them speak,’ Jack added. Some of them look a bit shifty though.’ ‘What is shitty?’ ‘Shifty----not shitty,’ Jack laughed. ‘Mmmmm----let me see----I suppose it’s like I’m not sure I would trust them much,’ Jack said. He was once again reminded that Adi had much to learn about English. ‘Yes---a good word---shifty. I like it. Maybe you are shifty, Jack,’ Adi teased. ‘Hang round long enough and you’ll find out soon enough.’ Passers-by glanced at them, noting their very different appearances; Jack with his red hair and freckled complexion, while Adi was darker with long wavy black hair. Jack and Adi were oblivious to this and continued to share their respective backgrounds, leaving lots of gaps for future discussions. One concern they had in common was their questions about what the future might hold for them. For now they put this aside and started to amble along the street towards the area known as The Rocks. Back at the tavern, Dick noticed that Jack had disappeared, along with the young man he had been talking to. He was sitting next to the Doctor, who was by now quite drunk. He would never have set the boy loose if he had been in a more sober frame of mind. ‘Where’d the two young lads go?’ he asked no one in particular. He temporarily came to his senses. ‘I think your l-lad went with ours. Young Adi said somethin’ about going to get some---new gear, so I gave ‘im some coins,’ he slurred. ‘Maybe not such a good idea, ‘cause he’s never seen a city before, particularly one---so different from his homeland.’ ‘That’s for bloody sure,’ replied a worried Dick. ‘I’m gona go and look for them. They can’t have gone too far. You stay here Doctor and we’ll meet back at the Plymouth later.’ Dick motioned to the waitress to pay the bill, and then left the tavern.