Sunday, August 31, 2014

Putin seems determined to take Europe to war!

Putin is acting in a manner that looks dangerously like a situation way back in the 1930’s re another leader! OK, let’s just name it. Hitler took Europe and the world to war and the lead up to that was one characterised by nations paralyzed into non-action in the belief that giving in to the dictator would lead to world peace (‘in our time’). That did not happen. Are we in a similar situation re Putin and his taking Ukraine to the very edge of all-out war because he wants to absorb the former nations that once were part of the USSR? Would he in fact stop at the eastern areas of Ukraine or does he have a more sinister plan? He is very hard to read and he encourages this aspect of his foreign policy, re the nations of Europe and NATO. There are noises coming out of Russia that he merely wants the people of eastern Ukraine to be able to choose which country they want to be part of or at the very least be an independent Eastern Ukraine. We all know what his idea of an independent ‘referendum’ is like. It is one that is totally controlled by his forces and any voices raised against his master plan are quickly quelled. If such a ‘plebiscite’ were to go ahead, it can only be conducted through the works of the UN. Any other plan is tantamount to playing into the hands of Putin and his ‘bullyboy’ things who would rule in his name. In the meantime Europe and NATO are becoming increasingly uncomfortable re the aspirations of the man who would take us back to the bad old days of the ‘Cold War.’ His every move, each and every small thrust into the territories on his borders, gradually adds up to him swallowing more and more territory. The world must stand up to him. Yes, there have been sanctions and perhaps they have made his position more desperate as the Russian economy gradually slides into recession. Like many before him, he realizes that the only way to garner support behind him is to ‘go to war,’ to expand the territories of Mother Russia, calling on that age-old Russian instinct to ‘love a strong leader,’ one who is prepared to risk all in the name or Russian aspirations.’ Europe must be united if it wants to stop this crazy dictator. That he even alludes to the fact that Russia is one of the world’s strongest nuclear powers is disturbing in that he would even go down that pathway to achieve his goals. What is equally worrying is that any voices within Russia prepared to speak out are being gradually silenced; those doing so simply disappear or the means by which they attempt to get their messages out are taken off the air. Putin and Russia need to hear a very clear message that they cannot go against the body of nations that Europe (and others) represent, that they cannot flout international law (yes we know that Putin will point the finger at the USA for doing something similar!) and that at some stage, there will be a counter reaction; one that Putin no doubt fears will sweep him the corridors of power in Russia. That is the conundrum Russia and the world faces---it is all about HIM---Putin---the modern day Stalin! The days ahead are fraught with danger!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Boozy fruit cake, model two! No cane sugar in this!

If you are one of those people who don't give a stuff about following recipes, read this and then go and do your own thing. If it bugger up, give it to your dog or the birds down at the park. Mind you, they may not fly well! I am not going to pretend that this is cheap but I am going to make a claim that it is relatively healthy so long as you don't eat it all in one sitting. In have not had the alcohol content actually measured so you may not even want to drive if you are a claimant of a 'non drinking stance. Into a big bowl chuck I the following: Heaps of dates (non stones or you will break your teeth!) lots of raisins. About a big cup of one of those supermarket bin mixes containing dried fruit, buts and God knows what else. The total for all the above is about three cups. I threw in about two tables spoons of chia seeds and quinoa flakes too. Half a packet of mixed spice, some nutmeg, and cinnamon. I just emptied the left over of a packet of them. Three eggs one and a half cups of gluten free baking mix (use just use the dame of self raising flour) About half a cup of melted butter. Now pour in any liquor--I used Drambuie---about a cup. Get ya hands on and mix it up, licking your fingers to taste! Jeeze --why cook it! If it still feels a bit dry, chuck in some pineapple juice or any juice that is in the fridge. Pour or shove it into a baking tin and spread it out. Cook at about 160C for as long as it take. Take it out and let it cool a bit. When you open the oven the alcohol should smack you in the face---wow! Once sit cooled a bit--make some little holes in and pour in more of your favourite liqueur. That will preserve it and give it the kick you want. If you are worried about the booze, just stick in fruit juice but don't keep it for so long. If you are a dope-head just substitute some of the leaf---but I'm not, so don't know about that. Shite--is that illegal! Enjoy and share if you must, with those you love!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labour and its friends can win this election!

The election campaign is hotting up, hopefully re the real reason for us voting---the policies that are going to lead to a 'fairer' and more equal New Zealand. I am so sick of reading about the increasing gaps between the rich and poor; it's totally time to address that vexing issue. I am not talking about 'driving the Capitalists' offshore, nor am I talking about 'killing off the cow,' to the point that she 'don't wanna give us no more milk,' as some on the hard left tend to wish for. No---I am talking about a New Zealand where there is a 'living wage,' and that may vary region by region, because if you live in some of NZ's expensive parts, simply because you have no real choice (being on the benefit in a region with no jobs is not an answer!)then the figures touted about just what that living wage should be---don't meet the need. Please put the 'Dirty Politics' saga behind us, even though it will be remembered as the 'plinth' that shoved some politicians towards oblivion. For that, maybe that phase was necessary, in exposing something extremely worrying about how far some politicians and their allies are prepared to go in order to keep that balance in their favour. Now is the time to hear about a real vision for this better New Zealand. We must hear about how we are going to tackle child poverty, how we are going to improve the health of a huge sector of NZ society, where 'third world' diseases abound, where we have streets where most of the inhabitants are on some sort of benefit. We must seek to 'clean up NZ, and really live up to that 100% pure label, because right now it is a lie. We need to look at new ways to teach our kids, so that they are prepared for the 21st century and steer away from failed policies; ones that have been proven to be failures overseas. We need a government that sees beyond the three year election cycle, merely holding the 'Treasury Benches,' for their own needs. Listen to the policies of the parties in this final three weeks of the campaign and ask yourself---will that party bring about a New Zealand whereby selfishness is not the byword for behaviours that only serve the select few? Let's turn our backs on the 'Dirty Politics of the recent past and move on--to a better and fairer New Zealand! I believe that David Cunliffe along with the Greens represent the best choice, along with the support of Mana (minus KDC) and perhaps the New Zealand First Party, if only they could stop their fence -sitting King-making tendencies. There may even be National Party MPs who deep down, know that things need to change! Start that process by tipping out some of those who lead you!

Concrete floors---thank goodness! AND a leaking shower connection.

It's a pain in the arse not being one of those 'blokes' who can do----everything. You know the ones on the adverts who proudly strut their stuff, displaying an almost arrogant confidence about how well they can 'fix tings' make repairs to faulty bits and pieces and even contend with a spot of plumbing. Well---I am not one of those dudes. Yeah I can hear you laughing! So when something goes buggered in a house, I am at a loss. I panic, I worry and fall to pieces, wondering how I am going to afford to pay for the said 'breakdown' of a piece of essential home thingy. Shite--I don't even know the names for most of the elements that make up a house. Don't even attempt to get me to correctly label such devices that are needed to fix the misbehaving components of a house that suddenly goes 'bad.' Well something did go bums up in my home. I kept hearing this strange noise, somewhere in the vicinity of the bathroom. My hearing is such that directional identification is nigh on impossible. Hell---when kids call me at school, it sometimes sounds like the voice of God, calling to explain an imagined sin! Eventually---- that is after three days I decided to investigate a little more formally. I listened in great detail and figured out that water was escaping to regions unknown and that potentially---I was in deep poo---well, not quite, but unwanted water ---where it shouldn't be. I called upon my very knowledgeable neighbour---the most excellent man who built my office for an indeed economical and most certainly skilful manner. He quickly concluded that I had a slow leak behind the wall where the shower thingy connected to the water inflow. He set about testing it by doing this and that and we decided that it needed fixing. I took the opportunity to request a more modern type of showering device--you know the ones that slide up and down and can be taken off the wall. Yeah I know---not a very good description. Unfortunately he could not do the job until the following week. In the meantime I have had to live like an inhabitant of a third world city where the water is only available for a few hours a day. For three days now it has been a matter of turning the water off so that the leak does not cause damage to the home. We eventually found out where the escaping water was going---firstly just into the area near the shower, coming up through the tiles, but on the third day it rose again and I saw little patches on the carpet in the hallway. I had blamed Perdy--thinking that she was just excited to see me come home. How very unfair and wrong of me! By now I was starting to think that many thousands of dollars would be needed to fix the damage and issues, something I don't need right now, as I launch the final stage of my book launch. I had a phone call tonight from my incredible neighbour. He is coming in the morning---two days earlier than I had expected---he is going to fix it all. Two more days of wondering what the damage would be, even though I have a concrete floor, was more than enough to keep me awake at night. Please be a simple, job. I shall keep you posted. Damn, I have to turn the water on for a few minutes----nature calls!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

David Cunliffe looked and sounded like a PM in waiting last night. Key?------- well----

The ‘great debate’ last night had all the markings of a ‘turning of the tide,’ for David Cunliffe. Despite the fact that the text-in’ voting broke down, he did well. The dial they had registering ‘agree or disagree,’ consistently had David in the lead. It hardly varied in its favourable response for him. DC sounded great and looked the part, even though at times he did display that slight tendency to patronise Key or to over-speak him. That wasn’t hard to do though, because Key spent most of his time, looking like a’ possum trapped in the oncoming beams of a fast approaching bus!’ I was surprised that the ‘Dirty Politics,’ issue that has dominated the scene for the last few weeks, didn’t really get a look in. For a change, we actually had sensible debate about the issues and the ‘one liners’ chucked out there, by DC seemed to paralyze Key re any sensible response, or get him to move away from the same old, same old responses. For DC this debate was most definitely a ‘make or break’ time. If he had not done well, he may as well have thrown in the towel and we would have seen the Labour Party dawdling to the finishing posts, in the knowledge that they were on a hiding to nothing. That now is not the way it is going to be. The so-called polls have had it wrong many times I the past and this time the gap between reported results and the actual ‘feelings’ on the ground are indeed wide. This election is shaping up to be far closer than many pundits would have us believe. We are going to see more debates and I suspect Key will be going to his ‘people’ to see what he can do to curb the newly found confidence of David Cunliffe. Expect some ‘more dirt to emerge from the side-lines. Maybe that will not actually help DC in a direct manner, but it could well confuse enough National voters to keep a few of them at home, just like Labour ones did in the last election. We all know that elections are not won---they are lost!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An old lady chose to take her life---brave, sad or bad?

The news from Canada that an old lady (85) suffering from dementia, took her life in the last day or so, brings to the fore the question of---‘do we have the right to take our own lives?’The ending of a life, one taken by a lady in Canada raises some questions. My heart is saddened as I read this news; about her full life, about her contribution to society, about the fullness of her life and that she should chose to write this thought provoking letter, one that points to the lucidity of her mind, that is when it was not taxed by the steady downfall that IS dementia. I suspect that most of us think from time to time about the nature of our death, how we will die and possibly when we will die. For many, death comes out of the blue, in an accident, or via a sudden catastrophic health event, a failure as it were of one of our vital functions. In a sense this is ‘kind’ of nature to take us so, but when there is a gradual decline from a long lasting health issues (there are many!) or through the slow degradation of brain function, then it is a decidedly sad affair. That we KNOW this is happening can be a blessing or a curse. Think of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia and everything becomes a bit cloudier. Now take the question of, ‘do we have the right to end it all, rather than go through the inevitable failing of our senses and bodily functions?’ There is no one answer and the law varies around the world as to the stance officialdom takes. Unless one is on such a position, then it is hard to understand why the lady mentioned at the start of this article and no doubt people will make a judgement, based on their own beliefs, from both a spiritual and personal stance. This lady most definitely had a plan and I suspect that we may hear more about how the couple discussed this, right from the start of her ‘troubles,’ if not well before. That her partner was there for her right at the end and did not try any acts of ‘heroism’, speaks for itself about the strength of their relationship. As I age, I sometimes wonder what I would do, if such a pathway opened for me. As of this moment, I am unsure----possibly confused, but most definitely not judgmental about the decisions taken by this lady and her loving husband. I do not mean to be morbid or to express a fear of the ‘inevitable,’ but if I do have a choice between the actuality of death, then I think I would choose ---‘not to know’ the where, when and how.’ That of course may change. The experience of this couple makes one THINK! NOW---live for the day in the best way you can!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ireland---I always wanted you to 'read me.'

Ireland, now that you have started, please don't stop. I love that fact tht you have doscoverd my world of blogging and books. There is such a strong link between both parts of Ireland and New Zealand, with mnay people claiming Irish heretagae, but then agian, what country couldn't do that? I suspect that the lonk goes via mnay aspects; inclding our shared humour love of singing and of course the----well the less said about that the better---good old fashioned boozing! If that doesn't get a resposnse from the PC brigade, then I don't know what will! I would love to hear from you and better stil, I want some feedback on my book, ROSKILL. GO look it up on my website --- and follow the links to either download it or but it via Amazon. Hearing from you soon. Neil

'It's the final countdown. It's true I really mean it'---said Key!

Odds on that's what we will hear later today as Judith Collins has yet another melt-down! Maybe she associated just too closely with John Key and she has caught his 'deficiency' of memory. It’s either that or ‘at the end of the day’ she is covering up for the closeness in her relationship with Slater. Those three along with a few of their hangers on make for quite a little powerhouse of lies, lies, misinformation and dammed more of the same, whilst pretending to care about new Zealand. Does John Key wake up every morning and take a long look at a picture of Hawaii and wish that he was there, soaking the sun in an effort to rid himself of ‘what he has forgotten?’ Maybe he wishes he was back in the days of making money, speculating with other peoples’ money whilst getting really rich himself. Oh---isn’t that what he’s still doing? Maybe that’s a bit unfair so let’s rephrase that: He’s setting us up so that New Zealand is for sale to the highest bidder---bet his eye is on Air New Zealand. I wonder which ‘mate’ he has let know about that little bucket of gold! And he retains his followers! That is what gets me. New Zealanders are so gullible as to believe that he has ‘our best interest at heart.’ When are those are same people going to wake up and smell the ‘aviation fuel’ of our leaders plans!? It will be too late by then. Oh well, the latest blurb ‘out there’ is that ‘Paula Benefit’ will take u the reins when he departs our shores. Won’t that be a rosy picture for New Zealand? It seems out pain never ends.

Key---the 'final, final and yet another final ' warning to you know who----

Here we go again. Ms Collins has been forced ti backtrack on yet another of her stupid lies. Even the NZ Herald is reporting her latest ‘truth burp.’ Has John Key had enough yet? Are we there yet—are we there yet, Mr Key? Are you going to rid yourself of this ‘iconic spinner of political Slaterisms?’ I think not, because Mr Key is between a rock and a hard place. Whatever he does makes his and the national party look---well like a bunch of lying cretins. Yes, they rule our country and you get a chance to have your say on September 20th. Expect some real nasty stuff to come out from those on the sinking ship, because desperation breeds something really low in humans---the fight to survive will transcend anything decent left in the National Party. How can its members justify the events of the last month or so? ---actually those ‘events’ were happening for quite a few years. It has only been the ‘expose’ from Hager that has shone the light upon the lowdown manner in which our leader and co. have treated us. Will National Party people just shut their eyes and blindly carry on in the hope that this will all go away? History tells us that most will do just that, but if enough of them face up to the truth about their leader and those surrounding him, then that will be enough for them to look to a different future for their party---that means ridding themselves of those who would support such actions as we have witnessed of late. Tome for a ‘back to the drawing board folks. But---- Something tells me that it will all be repeated, because wealth can go hand in hand with the subterfuge we have seen. Ms Collins---you need to stop now! Just resign and get it over with!

India---I see you are reading this blog in ever increasing numbers. Maybe you are catching up China!

I have been pleasantly surprised that China has rushed up the reading board for my blogs. They have overtaken the UK and if those numbers equated to book sales re ROSKILL, I would indeed be most happy. Of course I need you to download from Amazon for either hard-copy version of Roskill or the EBook version. Please note that if you buy the hard copy pone, you get a free download of the EBook. Now, I see that India is hitting my blog in increasing numbers. Why should I be surprised though? There are many more English speakers in India than any other nation on earth! India is also the home country for one of the biggest groups of people coming to live in NZ and given that---perhaps they are seeking information about ‘life in NZ.’ ROSKILL, of course represents a side of NZ that is not one we are proud of. The drug ‘P’ (Methamphetamine) is a scourge on NZ society, reaching into families, destroying relationships, jobs and finances. I wrote this book after hearing many stories from clients and reading about the havoc that this drug causes in our land. This issue is not limited to NZ---it is a world-wide problem! ROLSKILL is a story of hope, where none existed. It is a message of love and what a family can achieve when they get the right help. It is a story that all parents should read and teenagers too, because they need to know that help is available. ROSKILL features in the September issue of MiNDFOOD, a popular magazine that is mainly distributed in NZ and Australia but is available online. Look at pages 44 and 45 and read about my ‘other story’---my own journey with ‘obesity.’ AS always---go to to see more about ROSKILL and follow the links. Thanks India--- please share this with your friend and circles. Neil

Armenia---how did you find me?

My friends are sometimes quite cynical about the numbers of ocuntries reading my blog and when a nation like Armenia hits the scene and I sort of understand why. Is this as a result of a search engine and I have just 'come up,' or is it via some other random method? Either way, Armeneia you are most welcome along with other nations in the general region, like Belarus. I welcome feedback re my blog and of course encourage you to follow the links to my website and my books. Better still, download ROSKILL, my book about the drug 'P' as we call it in New Zealand and how it affects the life of a family. This could be in your country, in any city or town in the world. It is a book that every teenager should read and all parents. It bis a book about 'hope whne everything seems hopeless Go to the link and click on the links. Please share with your friends and circles.

Party political broadcasts---billboards---past use-by date?

It’s election time in NZ and as usual we have all the same old, same old methods of reaching out to the masses, in the name of ‘democracy. WE already know that most people always vote the same, no matter what their favourite son or daughter re politics has said of done. Only a relatively small minority are actually ‘swing’ voters, but this group do represent the real target for political adverting. WE have had the TV launches, which most people did not see as they were watching something else on TV---the rugby! Then we have the rubbish stuck in our letter boxes, much of which ends up in bins. We also have the spectre of those ugly billboards (Although Masa are a bit different and the greens are ‘pretty.’) you know---the ones that start off pristine but end up as either works of art, targets of funny arses or revolting examples of hate, indifference or kiddy-like drawings with moustaches. Do the latter make any difference to the way we vote? Do you really look at them and say---‘Gee, that’s a good point, I think I will vote for that party.’ Of course they don’t. They just become the targets of either the wind or dopey people having a bit of fun. Of course there are the examples of the more disturbing—take those eyes of Colin Craig that seem to ‘follow you around!’ I am quite glad that people have set up an improvement society to soften those particularly ugly billboards. Oops, now he will set up a camera to see who is doing it---hell he could always leave them in that trailer he leaves at a 30 minute parking zone all day, eh. So in this day and age of the NET, maybe we don’t need our streets filled with ‘targets for the bored.’ Let’s move on!

Steve Taylor---arrogant one law for us and another for you Conservative candidate!

This one takes the cake! Conservative Party candidate for out 'west,' decides he is above the law and needs proof that he has broken the law. This, from a hard-arsed candidate who wants the rule of law to be absolute! Give us a break, Steve. You parked the bloody trialer or whatever it was in a 30 miniute zone---all day and then have the gall to say that just because you didn't get an infringement notice, you have not broken any law. You, who would be so high and mighty re the transgressiosn of others whould look in the mirror of your own sanctimonious standards---you know---the ones you want us to follow! Your credibility is shot! God forbid that you become part of those who would rule us! Then again, you probably think HE is on your side too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pam Corkery offers ot resign---don't be silly! I don't blame you for rounding on------

So Pam gets a bit pissed off at the media. So what! They need a good barking at from time to time---let's face it---it is all about numbers and stories for them and they often miss the important ones, the ones that need to be told like child poverty, housing and jobs, just to name two. SO---when Pam tells them to desist from trying to interview the 'Man' who would be king of his own party, but can't, because of a few 'legal issues,' then of course she will tell it like it is. That is who Pam is! However---one cant miss the fact that KDC was more than happy to address the faithful,' and tell is story like a naughty schoolboy raiding the cookie jar, then deiceds that he doesn;y want to take 'questions' fomr the media, then he is setting up his 'assistant for an impossible situation. Of course they were going to descend upon him, in vast numbers. I doubt they gave a toss about 'policies;' afterall we have been hearing about them for a few weeks now. They were more intertested in what 'stupidity ' was going to spew forth from KDC's mouth---that is far more 'newsworthy in their view! While KDC fronts the party from behind his shaded windows with the occassional outing that invites chants of hate, directed at the incumbent leader,then expect more frustrated outburst from his party personalities. Maybe the latter will eventually relaize that they have been taken for a ride on a magic carpet.The piper will name his price------eventually.

Whale OIl---How much 'influence does the guy hiding in Israel actually have--or is it have---now!

It is becoming increasingly clear that Cameron Slater of ‘Whale blob’ fame, has had his fingers in lots of holes over the years, either trying to influence policy, politicians and wannabe ‘aspirants’ to Parliament. Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Dirty Politics,’ may just be the tip of the iceberg as to his actual dealings and despite how Nicky came to his conclusions, there is little doubt that a great deal of ‘smoke’ is more than a sign of nasty manoeuvrings on Slater’s part and possibly near law-breaking activities. That Slater cries foul when he too wasn’t too worried about how he gathered his ‘information on those he wanted to ‘hit,’ makes one tend to have little sympathy for him and his present exiled state ‘under the dome’ in Israel. There will be much more dirt from all directions over the next few weeks, adding to an already murky look to the election campaign and it is unfortunate that policy sometimes gets an ‘addition’ to the main news each night. Sadly, the huge gains in technology have contributed to this; such gains quickly become the tool to those who would besmirch the reputations of others, in order to achieve their own goals. Slater of course is not alone in that attribute, nor are such moves confined to National Party supporters and their friends. Will Slater be home anytime soon? Expect a circus at the airport; that is if anyone knows of his return. What else can he expect after the bomb that he loaded and was then ignited by Hager? One cannot delve in such alleged actions without the proverbial hitting the fan at some stage. It just so happens that Slater has been the author of his own destiny, one that has been incubating for quite some time. Maybe New Zealanders have had enough of this filth in politics and other sectors of society, but will that translate into political change? Roll on September 20th, so we can give our collective verdict.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Algeria--hello and welcome to 'my world.'

I love to see yet another country joining my select group if readers for my blog. This time---it's a huge hi to Algeria. I hope that you all take the opportunity to follow the links to my book, Roskill. Roskill shows a side to New Zealand life that you won't find in the tourist brochures. es, all countries have a side they would rather you didn't see. If they claim otherwise then they have their head deeply in the sand. You have plenty of that, Algeria. OK---check out my site==== for an authentic look at life on the dark side in NZ!

Kim Dot Com tells all but won't front for interview! Pam reacts!

There were two Party launches in the weekend, one for National and the other for the Internet Mana collaboration party. National’s was pretty much as expected with an ‘offering’ to first home buyers that may or may not hit the mark. Of course Labour and other opposition parties will tell us how it is just ‘more of the same.’ I won’t go on about National; they have heaps to keep them busy with no doubt more dirt about to come out on various actions they are alleged to have been involved in re ’dirty politics.’ It was KDC and co. who took the limelight. First the ‘gentle German’ told all as he explained his hacking skills to the doting audience. Yes, he was proud of his ‘hacking skills; after all he claims responsibly for destroying the reputation of some German leader, a skill that he wishes to emulate here, based on his hacking skills. After such an outrageous claim one would expect the media to want a slice of the pie, time wise, once the other ‘stuff’ was out of the way. Enter ‘Pam, the lady with attitude, one that takes no prisoners, decided to drag the focus back to the point of the ‘launch---party policies. No such luck! The press wanted KDC…..he, the father and financier of the’ joined at the hip parties,’ was the target for their questions, not the politicians who would actually influence things in Parliament , if they ever get there. OH no---the media scrum couldn’t have given a stuff about such mere details as policy. It was KDC or nothing! Pam reacted as she has shown before. She does not suffer ‘fools and horses. NO--- this race was not going to be about her boss---KDC. Basically she rounded on the waiting mass of media people and told them off in no uncertain terms. She swore at them. I don’t care about that. O just point out that wherever the big man goes he is always going to be in the centre of the scrum, no matter how good the ‘policies are. He, is going to be the magnet—right up until the Americans get their ‘evil’ way and ‘transport’ him back to the good old US of A to face charges for his alleged misdemeanours, ones that will see him safely ‘away’ for a great many years. So---of course we want to hear from him now---while we still have him---and his assets to pay for this play party! Pity though—because I really like many of their policies. If only they could get them across without the ‘piper playing the tune. BUT----- let’s face it---do no the other main parties have their ‘influences, ones who fill their party coffers, so who am I to sit in a ‘holier than thou’ seat? From whence such forces come from or who they represent, has always been a point of argument-----all in the name of political convenience. The roadshow will continue and the personalities will play out on stage and in the media. Roll on September 20th!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kaos cafe in Pukekohe---fun and faboulous, darlings!

If you are one of those people who think that Pukekohe is just a 'hick town,' in the boondocks south of Auckland then I pity you. Sure it had a less than a 'hip' label not so long ago and even some unfortunate history re certain aspects of its distant past but if you visited the town now, you could well be----no you WILL be in for a pleasant surprise. The main 'drag' is better than most towns in provincial New Zealand and one hell of a lot better than those strip-shopping streets that once passed for 'the' main street in suburban Auckland. Those have unfortunately succumbed to the 'same as, same as,' shopping malls where if one closed his or her eyes and then opened them, well you could be in any city in many countries of the world re their 'un-uniqunesscity.' We visited the 'town' yesterday, on a sunny Saturday morning and took a tour of the 'market,' just off the main street. I managed to purchase a hat, some wonderful Turkish hair product, based on olives, from a friendly lady from South Africa, who proudly told men that she had just become a NZ Citizen. How could I not buy from such a positive addition to the New Zealand family? Wandering around a market with a jack Russell who wanted to be off the leash to create havoc meant that we needed to refuel and give her a chance to help me eat some brunch. My cousin lives in this fair town and she 'knew' where we were headed---to the Kaos Café, one that had moved a few years ago from another small town, just down the road in Tuakau. One of the positives of these smaller towns away form Auckland is the fact that you can get easy parking---=a real plus when you are laden with 'produce and facing the possibility of needing to put misbehaving pooches back in the car! That was not necessary however, as Perdy associates going to cafes and getting her chance to compete with me re the intake of lovely food. Staying in the car was not on so we claimed two tables, put them together and waited in the glorious sun until one of the waiters came to take out orders and of course bring water for the Perdy-girl. The coffees came and the 'boss,' came to check how we were. I have to say that his staff and he in particular has a way that transforms an establishment into 'something else. 'Take the standard of the food, the size if the Texas' portions and the quality as a ---well 'that's how it is here folks,' and add in his personality and you have a 'show.' He 'gives,' you 'take,' and be prepared to 'give a bit more back.' He is wonderfully over-the-top and for a town that has not been known for its acceptance of 'diversity,'---well they have been educated and I very much doubt that the townspeople of Pukekohe' would ever want to go back to the boring old ways. Kaos is just that, but in the most entertaining of ways. I can't wait to come back on a Friday night when they have $10 dinners and if you throw in the fun aspect with the good value food---you have 'bliss.' Good one, Kaos. PS---I thought I had taken pictures of the 'boss,' in his funny hat, but I was laughing so much, I forgot to push the button---I think mine were being 'pushed!'

Roskill publicicty--here's my itinerary. Check it out.

There's a fair bit happening over the next month or so re Roskill. There will be three radio interviews and one on TV. 1)Tuesday 2nd September: 8.50-8.55am (NZ time) Interview with Colin Magee. 1XX Whakatane 9.00-9.05 am Interview with Brian Kelly, Coast FM --Nationwide. 10.45- 10.55 Interview with Nigel Hopkins. Kapiti Beach FM (Paraparumu.) Thursday 25th September 9-10am Interview with Good Morning TVNZ (TV1) Nationwide. Details re live link will be published later. Gonna be a nerve-tingling time. Cheers Neil

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ethiopia joins the list of countries reading my blog----welcome.

I often wonder how some readers find my blog. Is it via a search that is meant for something else and the 'newbie' stumbles upon my post, or is it as a result of 'word of mouth,' the latter being my preferred belief. Either way, Ethiopia is most welcome. I would love to have a two way conversation with my readers, but it seems that most of you are 'content' (or not) to read and move on. I want to hear from you, either about my 'opinions' or books, of you have downloaded them. The post I write are meant to 'entertain, to stimulate discussion and possibly to inform those who wish to know about 'events' happening in New Zealand. Of course, I do not limit myself to NZ issues only; I also express an opinions re 'world events' and I am always happy to have my mind changed, if you express an alterative view that 'moves me.' So----Hi---Ethiopia and let's hear from you.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

John Key is getting the speed wobbles!

Mr Key has accused ‘others’ of stealing the election.’ He also says it is all a ‘left-wing conspiracy.’ Sure the left wing is attempting to ‘end your rule’---nothing ‘conspitorial’ about that, Mr Key, but your first piece of verbal refuse is just like saying----‘I poured petrol on the fire and it burnt my eyebrows.’ Get real mate. To put it another way—‘you throw crap at the fan, it may well splatter back on to your visage----so—OMG---how can I say this----‘At the end of the day,’ ----you get what you give. I am sure everyone will have their own favourite saying re your utterings.

Mr Key has so many 'explanations!'

Sometimes one can almost feel sorry for politicians as reporters and their political foes attempt to trip them up re various issues---well almost-----but when the PM consistently comes up with a myriad of explanations and excuses over an important issue, in this case the integrity of the position he holds as Prime Minister, then how can we feel anything less than extreme doubt as to his overall honesty? John Key has flipped and flopped his way through the revelations that Nicky Hager has brought up in his book. That there is a great deal of truth in the allegations is well illustrated by the body language alone and more specifically by the attempts to cover up. Now we have a total plethora of deceptions, near lies and outright lies. Maybe the PM should take a leaf put of the Leader of the Opposition in Australia and come clean and let the law and the public decide as to the ‘honesty’ of his arguments. Hell if one believes the polls at present, then he has not taken the huge hit his opponents would like so what’s he got to fear other than fear itself? We have a month to sort this issue out so that we can vote on the other issues affecting New Zealanders; the ones that affect even more NZers than the mere ‘integrity of ‘he’ who would lead us for three more years. Both strands are important. Let’s get this done and dusted and concentrate on jobs, housing, education, health, the environment and the vision of a New Zealand that is far kinder than the one brought to us courtesy of John key and his cohorts!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top ten countries for reading my blogs

The top ten countries re reading my blogs are as follows. Of course they can also be sourced on FB and Twitter. 1) USA 73712 2) NZ 36757 3) Russia 2353 4) Australia 2231 5) China 1166 6) UK 1151 7) Germany 8) Luxembourge 467 9) France 296 10) Ukraine 177 And about 50 other countries with smaller numbers but growing Thanks for your support.

What does a nation do, when its citizens enlist in a foreign war?

Many people have been shocked at the terrible shots online of an American photographer being beheaded by a masked IS fighter. That he was obviously British makes large sections of the British public even more uncomfortable. The perpetrator has been called a murderer and no doubt would support any move to bring him to ‘justice.’ The events in the area controlled by the IS are subject to draconian laws that completely reject any philosophy other than ‘their own’ narrow interpretation of Islamic law. If one is not in agreement with that stance or belongs to another ‘faith, be it a branch of Islam or a different ‘ethnic group,’ then there are few choices, the most being, leave, pay protection money or die if one doesn’t convert. Such actions as we are witnessing do not exist in this time alone. During the 1930’s in the Spanish Civil War, many foreigners flocked to the aid of the left-leaning Republican Government as it tried to retain power and the Forces behind Franco, aided by an emerging Nazi Germany attacked the regime. Atrocities were committed on both sides of the fray and even today, many do not forget those times. New Zealanders joined the International Brigade that supported the Republican cause and no doubt witnessed many of the crimes against humanity, including the murder of priests and the decimation of entire villages. Sound familiar! In today’s analogy, we are seeing something similar but on a more vast scale. Combined with the events in Syria, the suffering of large segments of the population in huge areas of Iraq are troubling because the IS does not allow for any negotiation and resorts to methods that have only one goal—the complete takeover of most of the Middle east, stretching from Iraq right through to parts of Northern Africa. Empire building, not unlike so many historical precedents but run by religious despots who will quell any forms of diversity and be completely intolerant of those espousing even a slightly different interpretation of how they would have us worship. There is little that is good about those who control this IS. They are not similar to the forces opposing the Crusaders of old. They do not represent the cultural richness of the Islamic Empire from that time. They do not value education, the arts, science or any other cultural experience. They are narrow minded bigots who would set the region on fire, in order to impose their quasi- political dogma. They should be feared, by all people who wish to live in peace, caring for their families and having a modicum of freedom. History will look back at this time, but I wonder from what bastion! Will the IS have succeeded in imposing its will?

John Key--'At the end of the day-----I----read on!

By now anyone watching TV or listening to Kohn Key on the radio and other media, will have come to a conclusion that John Key has a very limited vocabulary and that he is stumbling his way to what he thinks is a forgone conclusion re the election -----that he is going to romp in because NZers have made up their minds that he represents the best choice re the outcome. He arrogantly assumes that most NZers think that any criticism of him, his policies and his Government is just a left-wing conspiracy. For a while there, that seemed to be the case---well the fact that he was on the home straight re a victory for National; that was until we started to hear (although many did not find the latest revelations about his style of politics to be something they didn’t already know!) about some pretty damming evidence about how he has maintained his hold on power. Nicky Hager’s book is the catalyst for this growing under swell of opposition to something that is just not right. Every day seems to bring more ‘dirt’ to the fore as various parts of emails and reported (an unreported) communications between politicians in the Key camp and government departmental heads, makes it into the public sphere. What we are witnessing is a government and a PM in particular who will go to almost any length to confuse, diffuse and outright lie to the public about policy, and the day to day running of Government. We are hearing about the manner in which he suppresses opposition and criticism, via links to some incredibly dubious characters, notably Slater and his cohorts and contacts within the National party. These actions have transformed NZ politics to a new low. Now that the limelight is clearly focussed on Key and Slater, along with is Achilles Heel, Collins, Key is beginning to unravel as evidenced by his peculiar overuse of the term, ‘At the end of the day.’ TV three did a count, over the period of a day and I think they stopped counted once the total had reached beyond 20. I am not sure how it affects others, but I oscillate between feelings of frustration and absolute mirth, when he opens his mouth now. Any real attempts to get ‘policy out there’ are diminished every time he utters those words. I bet households are having ‘lounge sweepstakes, with the ‘winner take all,’ as to who guesses the correct number of usages he has in a defined time. So what we now have with John Key is---‘At the end of the day, I forget what I said or heard and I will probably lie about it anyway.’ SO this is the person you want to lead us through the next three years! Not a question---a statement!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

USA launches its airpower against ISIS! Anyone complaining?

I regularly give some stick to the USA re its actions in various regions of the world. I have railed against it over-reaching military and other influences throughout the world. I have accused the military/industrial complex as being the only winner in many of these ‘adventures,’ and no doubt have made some USA supporters angry. I do however support some of the actions taken by the USA in recent days re its attempt to stop the expanding military invasion of parts of Iraq and probably Syria because no one else seems to be willing to help those dispossessed and r=targeted groups who are feeling their homes, many of which have been destroyed. I also accept that there may well be other reasons, for the actions of the USA that drive this action, mainly that of its own influence in the region and access to oil! BUT---there is no doubt that this mediaeval group that goes under various names is creating human suffering on a massive scale. They seem to be attempting to wipe out religions groups who do not conform to their narrow interpretation of ‘faith,’ and what we are seeing is nothing short of ‘ethnic cleansing. The Kurds were their only impediment to their overall plan! However, even the Kurds were facing defeat as the ISIS forces gained weapons from other sources and those they captured from an Iraqi army that did not seem to be too keen to be involved in defending their nation. Now that the USA has launched airstrikes against this dessert foe, fortunes are reversing and the Kurd fighters are beginning to push back the enemy, one that is almost at the gates of Bagdad. Whilst not trusting the USA totally, I accept that if it were not for their actions, then we would soon be witnessing a total annihilation of the Kurds and many other religious and ethnic minorities. Now that the former PM of Iraq has gone, there is a tiny ray of hope that the new PM can bring together the forces who would oppose the plans of ISIS and rebuild Iraq, but those hopes are much tinged with cynicism, given past history. We do not want to see the USA and its allies being drawn in to yet another protracted war in this region. Local forces must find their own solutions but that must also start by them ‘talking to one another to find a common cause—a strong and if possible, united Iraq. The model? ----One that works for Iraq, not one imposed by ‘western desires;’ ones that ultimately serve the interests of the latter. So, keep helping the Kurds, USA but do so with extreme caution.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Prostitutes and leaks--how low has NZ politics really sunk to!?

If prostitution is 'one of the oldest professions' and you add in politics, then I say the two have actually gone together under different formats for as long as people have sought to control, to seek power and to gain the upper hand by seeking out information on one's opponents.It should come as no surprize that we have heard about allegations of the above activities by leaking information via the questionable actions of Slater, the 'whale blogger.' Every day we are waking up to yet more news that Slater has indeed been active for quite some time in this twilight world of 'dirty politics,' yet he claims innocnence and that others are doing it too. New Zealand is not exempt from what we have assumed is the domain of politicians and power brokers elsewhere; it is happenning everywhere.It has probably existed in one form or another for as long as New Zealand has had a 'western sytle of politics'(and before then?). Sex is a very convenient tool when it comes to control and the desire to rule! Yes, we have seen some 'below the belt' actions and alleged nasty and dirty politics. Nicky Hager is well known for bringing issues to the fore and even though a large number of NZers will simply shrug off the accusations, they will not go away. The election is shaping up to be the dirtiest in NZ's history. One can only hope that on the day, that policy will still be a major driving force in how people make up their minds as to where to place their 'ticks.'

Ukraine---you have joined the top ten on my reading list. Welcome!

I have noticed an increase re Ukraine readers but this morning I saw that you are now number ten on my list, replacing South Korea in that spot. Sometimes my posts have been critical of your government but more often they lament the terrible events, particularly in the East of your country. I shall continue to watch and comment and hope that peace returns and you can rebuild your economy and heal the wounds caused by the 'struggle.'

Sunday, August 17, 2014

China is chasing the UK re hits on my blogs.

Unless something unusual happens, China will overtake the UK re hits on my blog this week. I find that fascinating, but at the same time one must take into acocunt the fact that there are probably millions more poeple speaking English in China thatn in the UK. There is a new trend in China to look beyond its borders and I would like to believe that chinese people are reaching out to experience life 'outside.' That they can gain snippest of infirmation about life in NZ fomr my blogs is something that I take pride in and I welcome my Chinese readers. Reaching out is by far the best way in which to lessen international misunderstandings and can only have good results. That I would like my Chinese friends to download my books is also a reason for me to encourage the increase in hits on my site, so---go for it China and the UK--don't foget me!

Those pesky polls!

WE have the usual range of polls in th lead up to this years general election in NZ and most of them say they have an accuracy of about plus or minus 3%. Depending on whom one suapprts, the usual statemetns are made. If the poll faviours your party of choice then there is a tendancy to crow about the reuslt and if is shows a negagtive result, then we hear the usual, 'the only poll that matters is the one on election day.' The latter statement is of course true but there are some observations that need to be taken inot account. A poll is that and only that. It can represnet a snapshit in time, one that is not really going to count when it comes to the make-up of the next parliament. People know this and feel free to 'play with the possibilities running through their minds at THAT time. They know that their repsonse is not binding or going to make any difference to the final outcome. THey may be stating how they feel about how a particualt issue that is trending at the time of the 'snapshot,' and that may be very differnet when it comes to the place they put their 'ticks' on election day. There is anohter issue that should be taken account of: That is who is taking the poll and who are the pollster contacting. As far as I am aware, most polls are done via landlines. Many epople are not contactable simply because of timing and even the probability that they do not have a landline. Ask any teacher in a lower decile school and they will describe the difficulties around phoning parents, both on landlines and ever-changing cell phone numbers. The figures are therefore unreliable as has been shown in previous elections when many polls are upto and over the 10% margin of error. These very same polls clain the ususal 3% margin. The message to the 'crowers,' on boths sides of the political spectrum is---'don't count your chickens and be preapred for a rough ride in the run-up to the elction in September! In the meantime I shall enjoy the silly postings (including my own)on Facebook and other social media sites, that do little more than entertain as the contributors try to get at thier opponents.Lets try to keep it seemly and not fall not the trap that some of the more flamboyant exemplars are displaying!

Then and now! let's have some fun. No words needed.

The pictures are all that I need to remind me that ------I am not going back!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Gold Fish---that were not quite what I had expected!

Earlier in the week, I was contacted by my eldest brother (yes I am from a bog family)who lives in Putararu, a little town in the South Waikato, because he wanted me to pick up some Gold Fish he had won on Trade Me, new Zealand's [premier online site for the selling of---everything. All I had to do was pick them up ands bring take them down on Sunday, because we are having a family reunion---very convenient and easy enough to do. I rang the 'seller, who could only be contacted after six as he worked and couldn't use his phone at work. I guess that still happens! The arrangement was made for me to pick up the fish on Saturday just after six. I sent the guy a text and he said come on round. I had forgotten what it is like trying to read street numbers when it is dark, especially in areas that have changed so much since one had lived in them. Actually, I lived at a house with the same brother in my early days when I could be called 'young.' How it has changed---there are so many houses that have been built behind the original ones, consequently meaning that there are lots of cars parked on the narrow street. So I had to give way many times to allow other cars to pass by me while at the same time trying to figure out number 52! I gave up and got out and luckily for me---there was number 52, right in front of me. I trudged up the dark drive, hoping that there were no horrible people about to jump me--well it had that appearance---I'm not being a snob. I couldn't even see the main door--it was some sort of boarding house. I knocked on the door at the top of the stairs at the back and a guy came to the door, whereupon I suddenly realized that I didn't have the sellers name! Bugger!!!! I mumbled something about picking up fish from Trade me. Thankfully he was friendly enough but had no idea what the feck I was talking about. So much for my expensive education. I remembered that I had a card with the guys number on it and while the 'friendly guy' watched and allowed me to use the light of his kitchen, I was able to talk to the seller, who promptly directed me to the flats downstairs or correctly, an array of rented single rooms. He took me to his room (don't get excited!) where he gave me a little bag with 6 tiny fish in them. It was then that I noticed the tank form whence they came---a heated tank---yes ---tropical fish. I had pictured six big goldfish and was all prepared to be carrying several sizeable plastic bags that would taken up half the back seat of the car on their journey to the new home in some huge outside pool in Putararu! It occurred to me that the fish I was responsible for would need to be kept warm---well they are exotics from the tropics--right? He nice guy said--they would be fine as long as I kept them at 'room temperature.' So---big brother---I do hope the dear little and very pretty little fish survive their ordeal tomorrow. Maybe I shall hold them close to my chest, mothering them all the way to Putararu. If they die, we can make one special fritter. They sort of look like colourful Whitebait, after all. We can have it with that watercress that I saw on your film. As Miranda's mum says---such fun!

Friday, August 15, 2014

I am open for business--my new office! Clinical supervision and a place to 'write.' A home for ROSKILL?

Yes, I am 'up and running,' so to speak. My new office, built by my 'old school' neighbour; you know the ones, who really know their stuff. Thanks John; you are 'legend.' You have built me a truly 'all purpose little room; one suitable for the occasional 'stay over, when too much has been consumed, or ready for my clients who are seeking clinical supervision. It is also a peaceful place, so long as I let Perdy in for therapy reasons and not for her 'destructive manic and exploratory sojourns!' Yeah, I know, she will wheedle her way in, within that endearing tilting of the head that is impossible to ignore. I want to acknowledge the skill of my dear cousin Barbara and the encouragement from my sister, Janice and also from my partner who is quite capable of expressing an opinion when I go down the wrong road vis-à-vis décor. There will be a few more personal touches and that will happen as an when the opportunities arise. I do not want to have all my books stacked up for too long. They 'need top sell, so help me out and rid me of the 500 that are stacked out of sight on the shots online. I hope to sell some at the upcoming School Guidance Counsellors' Conference that is going to be held at Waipuna Lodge from the 3-5th of September. I shall have a stand there. Also the article in MiNDFOOD (Sept, 2014 edition, pages 44-45) may help, along with some scheduled radio interviews (dates to be confirmed) Roskill is available on my website of course or directly from me. or

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Expect some action in the next few weeks re ROSKILL.

ROSKILL is about to make some waves. It has been a long time coming and with the ‘make-over’ of my book and by bringing on a team who know what they are doing, by getting some traction re publicity, perhaps there is a future for this book. The hard work has been done in re-working some of the production and accuracy issues along with some advance publicly in MiNDFOOD, that happened on the back of the article they wrote (with me) on my Bariatric Surgery journey. I could never have afforded to pay for such an ‘event.’ Go and check it out in the September issue on pages 44-45. Legend, MiNDFOOD! Then came the publicist (Lighthouse). They know what they are doing—big time. They have created a flurry of activity and that will become apparent in the form of radio interviews and various other ‘attention, from the media. This all happened as I was about to give up on this very emotionally and financially draining process. Now, I feel invigorated and hopefully, you will see and hear more about Roskill---not just from me and the Facebook and Blogger pages, but other sources. Of course, there is now a dedicated and about to be boosted page on Facebook, just for Roskill. GO check that out in the next few days. You don’t have to wait for all this. Go and check my site out yourself or download directly from Amazon! This link will take you straight to the download-- Or go to the website Or just email me direct at and get an even better deal---direct. That would be for the hard copy. Please share this with your friends and circles and ask them to do the same.

Nicky Hager tells it as 'he' sees it. Is there 'smoke?'

Are you good at interpreting ‘body language? Can you see behind the smiles of people when they are confronted with an ‘allegation?’ Well, you had your chance to test yourself over the past few days when you watched the news items re Nicky Hager’s allegations that ‘something stinks on the state of ‘Keydom.’ Nicky says that he has thousands of emails from various members of Key’s Government and its stooges that implicate the national party in some rather nasty machinations to discredit its opponents. Of course those who are the focus of such underhanded goings on will try to deflect the argument onto the fact that these emails were ‘stolen.’ Maybe that is a moot point given that the very same complainants have allegedly stolen ‘stuff’ from those they are attacking. OK, back to the body language. Did not Colins, Key and his blogger ‘babe,’ Slater plus the National party hack at Key’s side, look ab it like a possum, caught in the lights of a speeding car? They looked like they had just been caught with their hands on the cookie jar. Any parent, jilted lover, speeding driver, knows that look. They feel the guilt as it displays that ‘knowing’ aura. It’s in the eyes, or the way the person moves—it’s all there for the world to see. Not enough to convict the stooges, you say. Of course it isn’t. We are going to have to wait to hear more and that will come out in the reactions of those accused of the ‘dirty politics.’ They will go on the attack but they have failed to realize that Nicky Hager is hardly likely to go to bat on such serious allegations without checking very carefully with his legal team. He has done his homework and all the protestations and usual clap-trap we are going to hear from National Party and their friends, is nothing more than ‘being caught with their pants down. They have and will be truly ‘done over’ in the run up to the election. What does this mean for the said event on the 20th of September? Probably a ‘game changer;’ maybe even enough to sink National’s chances, but only if those stimulated into the ‘pissed-off’ camp, get out and vote. Hell, we are g-hearing that many thousands of under 30’s have not even registered to vote! I say---get off your butts, stop complaining about things ‘being bad,’ and have your say---otherwise---shut up! NIcky---I hope you keep to your path and have a hard hide for what is about to come your way. It will not be pretty! BUT—you have your supporters!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Soup---a healthy afternoon 'pick me up.' Sheffield Soup maker.

This is a short blog because when one gets home, tired but not quite ready to cook dinner and just a tad hungry, I could eat an ice cream or some biscuits but in light of the need to get as many vitamins and minerals into my system, post Bariatric surgery, I often crave a healthy soup. What better on a windy cold afternoon after walking the crazy dog-----so----out comes the soup maker and in goes some 'cut up veggies (carrots, cauliflower, celery, and whatever is in the chill box on the fridge. I chuck in a rinsed can of chickpeas and a dash or curry powder and slat. Turn the soup maker on (oops---don't forget to top up the mixture with some water or stock.) and let it cook. The beep sounds 20 minutes later and I add some low fat cream cheese and blend. Wow---what a great taste and I know its all good for me!

Nicky Hager does it again!

Here we go again. We have seen Nicky Hager publishing a book, just before an election that brings up possible election type hype that could influence the outcome of the looming election. He did it with Helen Clark’s Government and from both sides of the divide. We had an indication that he was up to something and that was probably because he wanted the maximum exposure for the launch of his latest book. There was a good deal of conjecture about what the subject matter was and to give Nicky credit, he was able to keep it under wraps and when it did come out, there were many surprized faces. He claims he did this because he wanted to avoid any legal ramifications that could have stalled the launch. Now that we know the thrust of the book is about the dirty politics of the National Party and how their ‘dog,’ Cameron Salter has been used to attack anyone who is against John Key’s Government, we are going to see a response. That action will ferment and break in a number of ways. Key will deny all knowledge of the dirty tricks and his cohorts will react by going on the attack. Slater will come back with ‘his version’ of the truth and it will be on---big time. The emails that are included in the book, if true paint a picture of ‘power’ in its ugliest form. The nasty comments made about the residents of Christchurch should be enough to take away any support for the Government in the region. Over the next few days and weeks leading up to the election, there will be red faces and the only way to counteract the claims made by Hager in his book, will be more of the same from their side. Expect absolute filth to come out on individual opposition members. Expect a major denigrating of KDC and David Cunliffe. Expect lies and more lies, all in the name of retaining power at all costs. I am not saying that everything in Hager’s book is correct but if even part of it turns out to be factually based then we are in for a torrid election campaign. The issues that really matter, like jobs, health, education, the environment and others, are going to be pushed into the background, but the issues raised by Hager, must be addressed too. If we have leaders who are prepared to go to the extent that Hager claims they have, then New Zealand is becoming a very ‘sorry place to live.’ The belief that we live in some sort of paradise is going to be sorely tested! I shall wait and see, listen and come to my own conclusion; once met I shall make it very clear. Yes, I favour the left block, but I am also a believer that no one ‘belief system has all the answers. Call me a ‘fence sitter, call me pragmatic—but I do believe that everyone should contribute and not stay locked into the belief that ‘their way provides all the answers. Has Nicky Hager done us a favour? Toe will tell---and that will be soon! It is those of you who are genuinely sitting on the fence, who will deice the outcome of this election. Make sure you seek the truth behind Nicky Hager’s claims and then act accordingly. Have your say on Election Day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sure last nights meatballs can become a lasagne!

I love my new way of eating; from health perspective and how it is so kind to my bank balance. Last night I took about 400 grams of minced beef and made a dozen meatballs. That fed two of us plus a little for breakfast. Tonight there were still 5 left over. What to do---why---break them up and make a lasagne with them! Layer a medium sized baking dish with some frozen vegetables. Break up half the meatballs onto that. Place a layer of lasagne sheets atop that. Place the remainder of the meatballs on that. make a sauce with water, pepper and some blue cheese--thicken it with cornflour. Put the final layer of lasagne sheets on the top. Pour the cheesy sauce over the dish and then stick some cheddar cheese over the top. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 180C. Go on--have a nice red wine with it! Pure easy pleasure and as I don't eat much---not worried about the fat!

Fruit cake (no not me!) or booze cake?

Upon returning home from my walk with Perdy last night, I espied the array or 'top shelf' booze that my sister had kidnly given me about a year ago and I wondered at the strength I had displayed over the last year in NOT drinking them. OK, I thought---maybe it's time to 'do' something with them. A cake---yes a lovely ruit cake with the addtion of copious amounts ot Drambuie (Stuffed if I remember the spelling!) and Frangelica! I chuckedinto alrge bowl some dates, raisins, half a packet of allspice, three eggs, a cup or two of assorted nuts, some gluten-free baking mix and squished it all up. INto that I dribbled very large cup of the first booze. I scrunched that up with my hands. ONG---the arom---the oozy smell in the kiotchen. I lined a cake baking tin and poured the thick heavenly smelling mixture ionot it and placed it in the oven at about 160C for 70 or so minutes. Whne I openned the oven, my eyes watered as the discipating booze hits me in the face. I could have gladdly ripped the cake out and eaten it thne and there (Yes, only small amounts these days). Damn, I thought---doesn't booze evapourate when above its boiling point which happens to be lower than that of water? OK---so I took it out and let it cool for about 20 minutes then I poured some orange juice over it (after making small holes to let it soak in) and then poured anohter large cup of highly booze over it. I stuck it back in the oven for 5 minutes and then let it cool. The kitchen smelled divine. I disciplined myself and showed great restraint before cutting a peice off and devouring it. Pure absolute heaven. Who needs recipes? Today I shared some with colleagues at work. I don't think they were terribly badly affected... they just smiled alot. Let's just call it a 'health cake'---hey---it didn't actually have any sugar in it!

Robin Williams bows out to depression---the silent killer! Gonna miss you big time!

Robin Williams reached across generations; from those who knew and loved Mork and Mindy, right up through to his latest films. How many of us laughed whilst trying to supress a tear or two last night when the media showed us Mrs Doubtfire with a burning bra, along with so many other treasures from hs life in all of its apsects. NZers loved him and the feeling was mutual. He loved to take-off our Kiwi accent and he got away with actions that some here would not have; willing and apparently able to get away with taking the piss re some cultural icons of NZ. Robin will be missed and his life must be made meaningful; that his way of leaving us must not be swept under the carpet; it should be an apportunity to once more brining to the fore, the subject of depression and where it can lead---death by suicide! Feeling 'down,sad, angry or all three at once is a normal part of life. It is when such feelings become part of our everyday life for weeks or months on end that problems and danger lurks. When a person feels so sad for so long that they feel like they are in a deep and dark well, with slippery sides that make it near impossible to climb towards the light, that we use the term 'clinical depression,' that is when help is most needed. It has other names but the signs to be aware of are its intensity and its length. If one feels so alone, without a helping hand reaching into their dark world, then life itself is at risk. Depression is not the 'possession of the rich and famous alone,' it affects your kids, your neighbour, family and you! I am not talking about those times when you get sad about a loss of a pet or loved one, where you need to take your time to grieve, but you know you will come through---it is those times when there is no light, no hope---you feel helpless and the feeling is never-ending. If that persists then the danger of something more serious expands, made worse if no one else notices.People who have 'been there,' often describe this state as being one that totally immobilzes them. The triggers to 'depression' are as varried as the people who suffer from it.It is not limited to any particular group, but it can be a scourge when there is some form of mass societal failure, like being in the position we are are witnessing in Syria or Iraq, but it can also stalk the halls of what we assume to be safe places; our schools, homes and workplaces. No scenario should be dismissed as being unworthy of investigation. Depression needs to be managed, ranging from simply listenning to an individual's 'story,' right through to an intervention from 'professionals. Depression may need 'talk therapy' or prescriptive medication. Many people suffering from severe depression are unable to help themselves; that is where a caring community comes to the fore, where people help the people they know are needing it and calling for help to make that happen. The 'resources' needed are not always readilly accessible so those helping need to be able to call on others to make things happen. That is where parens, teachers, nurses, support staff and counsellors in our schools must work together to keep our kids safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and for those outside 'the system,' those iscolated are most at risk. Poeple turn to 'subtstances to manage their depression and we all knnow of people who use booze, drugs and other substances to 'take the pain away.' It is this 'feeling alone' to face the world that feeds inner 'demons' that take away our resilliance, that take away hope and replace it with hopelessness that concerns those working with 'depressed people' the most. Our direction must be to 'provide hope and good management, getting the support, lending an ear and enlisiting the help of 'specialists,' to enable hope to be restored. The message is---that we must work together--no one person can do it on their own. I have written a book about what can happen when a parent succumbs to depression and turns to a substance ('P'--methamphetamine) in order to cope with life. His slide towards the darkness is slow at fist, but it soon affects his family. ROSKILL is about a family in crisis as the the father struggles with his addicition. It is a story of hope! All teenagers should read it in order to explore solutions that explain wat to do when your parens 'do what they tell you not to.' Download it or buy it fromy website. Roskill is also featured in the September issue of MiNDFOOD, 2014, pages 44-45. Go and check it out.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What a total waste of time---the debate in Kumeu?

If you were in attendance last night at the much vuanted 'debate' between the candidates, you could have been forgiven if you yawnws your way through it. The rules for the audiecne and particiapnts were pathetic. No cheering was allowed fomr the audicne, no mentioning of other parties' policies or 'persons' was allowed and generally one had to sit on his o her hands.The loudest and possibly only 'allowable' cheer came at the end whne the moderator received applause for calling the evening to an end. Yes, the audience was relieved to have it finish, such was the level of boredom. What one earth was the point of the evening; such was the 'contolr' as to take away all that most of us love about these evenings. They are ususally ones full of spirit and a great deal of one-up-manship, calling out, generally bad behvaiour and plain old good fun. Hey, lets face it, the winner in the election is going to be subjected to a hell of a lot more than good manners in the parliamentary chamber, so they should have had some practice last night! I hope that the meeting last night did not set some sort of precedent for the meetings coming up around the country, because if it does, expect lots of empty halls. OK, get real moderators and candidates. We want to hear from the real you about your 'promises' and predictions. We want audniece interractions, right upto the point of ejection, something just short of violnce but certianly robust. Yeah, we want entertainment along with the real 'you.' ow are we going to make up our monds of we do not witness you acting under 'stress?' Sure, chuck out the more extreme in the audience who insist on stopping porcedings, but have that tip point at a pretty high level. Sure, make sure that any one candidate does not 'hog' the floor but let's see how the others react when that does happen. New Zealand has a long history of 'energetic' political meetings and long may the continue. If we are going to be dragged away from the TV or computer screens, then we will need a damned good reason! Last night did not provide that!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tofu and an airfryer---a marriage made in ----ah---my place!

I know----- you've sort of heard it all from me before---'he's got another toy from the online shops!' Yes, I brought an Airfryer and it's bloody good. I have tried some of the recipes that come with the package and yes, I changed them to suit my tastes and gave them a boost== that's what do! Yes, I have done the chicken, chips, fish and a few other delights. I will no doubt 'invent' many other recipes. here's one that will challenge even the 'haters' of tofu to change their minds about this healthy alternative t meat! CRUNCHY TOFU/ Buy some fresh firm tofu. Cut it into cubes and marinade it in almost anything. I used sesame oil mixed with balsamic vinegar, chilly flakes and soy sauce and topped it all up with water to cover. After and hour I drained it and stuck it in a plastic bag. Into the bag I shoved about two tablespoons of gluten free baking mix (you can use flour) and more sesame seeds and crushed nuts. I tossed it all; and then placed the tofu pieces on the wrack and cooked it in the Airfryer at 200C for twenty minutes. I took it out and shook it and gave it another ten minutes. Keep an eye on it and once it darkens (shake some oil and soy sauce into it) and feels crunchy on the outside, it's ready. If you still don't like the result---you are indeed lost to your boring old same as, same as way of living! Oh well--one can't pleased everybody. I am sure the characters in Roskill, would love it!

Maliki=====it's time you 'resigned."

It is becoming increasingly obvious that PM Maliki of Iraq is totally incapable of uniting his country. His main aim is simply to retain power. He is unable to work with the elected Kurdish President and even factions within his own ethnic group do not want him. Is it any wonder that the Islamic State fighters are able to cower his army and attack the people of Iraq at will? If he does not depart the political scene he is condemning his country to further disunity and violence and the very real prospect of a victory to the Islamic State. If that happens the people of Iraq will suffer needlessly. Whoever takes over from this 'power at all costs' man, then they will need a great deal of support from the international community if Iraq is going to be anything other than a 'description on a map.'

Kurds---your time has come!

IT is time that the group we call Kurds should have theri own nation. They have suffered at the hands of overbearing colonialits and other overlords for centuries; in Turkey, the former USSR, Syria and Iraq. Now they are trying to deflend an area in the North of Iraq from the military incursion of the Islamic State fighters. If they fail in this endeavour, they are doomed to annilation at the hands of this cruel and dangerous group of religious thugs. They along with other minorities are being forced to either pay 'proection money, convert to Iislam, flee the areas they have inhabiited for eons or die. They have been resiliant up until now but the Islamic State fighters seem to have aquired waepons that are superior to those the Kurds have. Christinas are also unsafe in Iraq and Syria and we have witnessed them too leaving theri homes and seeking p[rotection in the Kurdish controlled aeas. Perhaps the only hope for many minority groups is the estbalishment of a Kurdish antion; one that accpets others as part of a new state. They have so far proven to be much more accepting of other 'faiths' than any of the alternative governments or those apsiring to 'rule' this region. With the entry of the USA and possibly the UK, perhaps the tide will turn. President Obama has reluectanlty ordered his bombers and drones back into the sky abive this God-forsaken region. This time the calls for them to desist are much quieter. Whilst uncomfortable with most actions of this sort, this time I quietly agree.

China----hey---you are closing in on the UK!

It is only a matter of a few days before China overtakes the UK re the number of hits on my site. That's great. If only that wuld translate into download for my book, ROSKILL. Perhaps yu have seen the article in MiNDFOOD, a very prestigious magazine that featured my bariatric Surgery journey and also placed a very good article about Roskill. If yu can't get the magazine in China, you nost certainly get it online. Goand search it----MiNDFOOD. Check out the Septemeber issue, pages 44 and 45. Pricelss exposure for me.

Small town New Zealand (or not so small!) Take a look at Te Awamutu!

I had the pleasure of travelling away from the 'big sticks,' that is Auckland on Saturday to visit a dear friend in Te Awamutua , or 'TA,' as the locals call it. With me, were my sister and a friend who goes back many years and is facing a very challenging time at the moment. TA is a prosperous farming town, with its associated industries and companies serving the expanded area. It is also close enough to Hamilton (On the main road to Taranaki)to be a viable 'outer suburb,' where a person can live and not pay the huge prices re rent or purchasing a house, something very different to the situation of those struggling in the big cities. One has to wonder why so many of us 'choose' to stay trapped in that mindless and tiring battle to keep afloat, living week to week, just to make ends meet. I wish it was possible for more NZers to be able to live in one of these very vialble towns. If one looks closley, it seems that most of the services available to us in the cities, are there for the experiencing too, even if the choices may be a bit less. There is a multi-theatre complex with the smallest being an intimate 15 seater, ranging up to the the bigger 'models.' The shopping is good and if one wishes even more choice, Hamilton (which is growing at a heady pace) is just up the road. Many of the 'smaller towns,' are 'on the way' to other interesting places, conveniently placed to take advantage of a great deal of what NZ has to offer. Why do we continue to grind out a living in the cities like Auckland, when there is such a plethora of choices? WE must develop our regions and I hope the election focuses on this aspect of NZ. Much has changed over the years to make this possible, not the least being the abiltiy of people to be able to work from home, using the 'Net.' Latest figures show that working from home, even if only for a portion of the week, is really happening.The more viable our towns become, the healthier the nation. Let's hear from our politicians at this important time in our history. Lets hear some ideas about how we can rejuvinate our towns. We will be better as a nation and maybe one in which the gaps that are increasingly becoming a terrible social issue, will become less. It is not about 'going back,' but looking forward to a wonderful future---for all of New Zealand.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

MiNDFOOD---thanks for the publicity re Roskill.

I am most impressed by the way MiNDFOOD carried my Bariatric Surgery 'story' in the September issue of their magazine. Not only did they do that, but they also gave me some priceless publicity for ROSKILL. I hate to think how much that would have cost if I had paid for it. Naturally I am telling all my friends to buy the magazine and to check it out online via their 'subscribe' system. It has been a double journey for me: one that I share with my dear friends on the Bariatric Surgery Support group on Facebook. They too have a story to tell and I am so proud of them, most of whom I have not yet met----YET---but I plan to. Thank you to Doug, Mel, Janice, MarryJane, Ahi and the rest of you. Our group is growing. We can all tell our stories and none of us tell others to follow our exact same route because we are all different. One thing we have in common (apart form the increased clothing bill!) is that we have our lives back. Thanks dear FB friends.

Australia hits on Roskill!=== Neil Coleman's hard hitting book about a parent's foley.

Why are Australians reading Roskill? The book that all parents should read and teenagers relate to has caught the attention od MiNDFOOD. Go check lout the September edition of MiNDFOOD and find out why. Then, either download the EBook version or buy the hard copy. Follow the links.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Putin continues to dig a huge hole for himself and Russia.

Putin is showing all the signs of a desperate leader; one who knows that he unable to stand up against the EU and the USA. His economy is nose-diving as the sanctions against Russia take hold. His intimidation of Ukraine and the backing of the 'separatists' is unravelling as the world sees them for what they are---terrorists, acting on behalf of the aspiraitons of Putin. Sure the Government in Kiev is not exactly a model for democracy and open Government, but it is showing some resiliance to the pressure Putin's thugs are putting on it. The Russian economy is totally dependant on selling to the 'energy needs' of Europe and China. Without that income flow, the Russian economy would collapse within months. It may indeed be aproaching that point, making Putin even more dangerous as he tries to hold onto power. He will revert to previous 'failed Soviet' strategies; ones which invlove invading other territories, not disimilar to the policies of colonial Europe from the past. In the meantime the Russian debt climbs. Some have suggested that Russia is now a 'vassal state' to China and given the deal made recently re supplying China with oil and gas at a price that is barely at 'break-even ' point, then it doesn't take much to make the leap towards seeing Russia as being a 'yesterday power.' The problem is that it is led by a man who does not see beyond his own distorted view of reality.' Any oppostion to Putin within Russia can expect a reaction that is rapidly approaching those of his predecessors. Will Russia ever throw off that age-old tendancy to be ruled by despots? Will it's people ever have real freedom? Oh well---it does tend to be the catalist for some of the best literature, music and art that the world has ever seen. It seems that 'suffering' is the stimulus to a certain 'Russian beauty.' Mr Putin---please retire to one of your many dachas! But then again--who would take your place?--another oligarch!

Lost my phone, somewhere in the 'cosmos' that is my home!

OK---I am sure you have all experienced it. It is the scourge of today's life. Yes we all depend far more than we would like to admit on----our cell phones. Today of all days---when I really need it at work, both for my 'professional' needs and for a game we are playing last period, where the students are going to be hooking onto various sites in order to complete a game we are taking part in, school-wide.' Yes our school is well and truly in the digital age. I shall spare you the details but suffice it to say that without my 'smart arse'phone I am going to have to rely on the students and their phones. No big deal because I wasn't up to speed any way. Right, I can hear some of you saying--'why didn't you ring the cell phone while you were at home, using the land line---it would ring eh? Great except that the last thing I did last night before retiring was to stick it on silence. Then, when I arose this morning, I stuck it somewhere--I suspect it may have dropped into some dark recess on the lounge suite. It was not until this morning that I realized I did not have it---and that was when I arrived at work. NO---I am not going all 24 kilometres home in order to find it---no---it will be a frustratingly 'yesteryear' reminder of what life used to be before we became so heavilly dependant on that little contractions we call a cell phone or our link to the world. Please let the day go speedilly and yes, I can't be stuffed spell-checking this blog. My whole day is out! Right now---back to task---I shall have to actually do things a little differently today! Maybe we should all have ONE official 'cell-phone free day,' once a year! That's my way of suggesting that you share the 'pain.!'

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kim Dotcom--a message from NZers. WE don't need yourt style of politics!

For quite sometime I have been critical of KDC, despite there being some issues that he raised that also caused disquiet. Yes, he brought attention to the manner in which our security forces operate but if it were not for his 'money,' we would probably not have had quite the same attention being focussed upon him. There are many other NZers who do not posses the largess that he displays or who do not have the leverage he brings---so they do not have their stories aired. I then felt more discomfort when he allied himself to Laille and Hone and tried to place himself on the 'radical left' of NZ politics. He can not of course stand for Parliament so he basically brought a political movement and many flocked to his standard in the belief that he stands for something 'good.' Well today we see the real KDC and the aspiring politicians who have jumped on his band-wagon must be wondering at the ride he is providing. That he gets up on stage and encourages the chanting hate-filled mindless screaming directed at the PM (You should know by now that I am NOT a supporter of John Key) is something we have not seen before in NZ. Those crazed wannabe supporters have latched onto something that seems more like a 'party' a long way from us, in a time gone by, that took the world to war, with its Brown shirted ignorant supporters acting at the slightest whim of their leader. How much thought are these modern day rabble who screech out their venom really thinking? If the 'episode was merely to beat up some steam at a political rally, not aimed at the media, I guess I could understand, but when the powers within the party then placed that 'outburst of stupidity online, for the world to see, then it becomes something else; something very ugly and not needed in NZ. Yes, let's have debate and policies (much of what the Internet/Mana Party says is not far from how I think, but to act in the way we are seeing is simply wrong; from a moral point of view and also in a pragmatic way. Can KDC not see that he has simply played into JK's hands by this behaviour. All he has achieved is to drive many wavering voters-- back into the Key camp. If they were swinging---they are not now. KDC--you have made an epic mistake! Hone and Laille---you have misjudged who you should ally yourself to and I very much doubt that you are going to get much leverage from this! What are you going to do to distance yourself from this megalomaniac man! Laille, you took umbrage at the way Key spoke about you and I will not repeat HIS absurdity, but I find it hard to reconcile your fine upstanding way of looking after the working people of NZ with being in league with this man who is only in this for HIMESLF! You have some explaining to do, if you wish to retain any credibility.

Window washers at the intersections--pesky or dangerous?

‘Bugger,’ you mumble under your breath. You have just pulled up at the traffic lights and you are at the front of the line-up of cars. Before you have a chance to take a breath, a hooded figure appears in front of your car, and splashes some liquid on your windscreen. NO ask, no indication or any form of permission required---he just does it. Part of you is a bit mad at him. For a start, you don’t carry around coins very often. Most purchases you make these days are via the EFPOS card, so you search around the side panels on the door and hope that a renegade coin can be found. In the meantime the guy finishes the job and comes to your window. You blush, stumble for some words and he glares at you as if you are a ‘mean bastard,’ and moves to the next victim. OK-- that may be just one scenario, but it is one that many of you can relate to. Some of you ‘come prepared,’ because you have an affinity for these, mainly guys, who get off their butts and actually do something. You do not spend much time thinking about their circumstances; about whether they are on the ‘dole,’ or if they could be working at a ‘real job;’ no you just pay up as if you sort of ‘owe’ them some kindness. Not everyone thinks like that though. For some the process can be intimidating, especially if you are a woman, alone in the car. I know that there may be some sort of ‘code’ amongst the ‘window jockeys’ that they do not cause discomfort, but that is by no means the norm! For me, it depends on how I am feeling on the day, the manner in which they approach me and whether I actually have any coins. I am quite prepared to ignore them, indicate by using my wipers that I do not want attention, or not make eye contact with them I am quite random in my response. The Herald highlighted this situation again today and it seems that some of the young people are being taken to court for disobeying the law about providing this ‘service.’ The cleaners have hit back, unfortunately in a way that for some may be seen as ‘sticking the finger’ at the law and trying to intimidate the public by making claims that if they don’t do this ‘job,’ then they may resort to robbing people. I do not accept that justification for their plight. There are many other people out there who depend on some sort of benefit and they do not go and rob people—so pull back on that one guys! What I do have some sympathy for is the fact that for many, finding job is still difficult. Even though the unemployment figures are lower than they have been for quite some time that does not equate to everyone having a job and for others getting that job may be problematic because of other circumstances. So---try not to be too judgmental about those who are struggling to find work. OK, if the reason for not getting work is because of past ‘mistakes,’ then at some stage we have to get people back on track, in the workforce. Just because someone has been ‘inside’ for a while, should not bar them from employment later. After all a sentence should be over and done with once finished. Everyone comes out (Usually) at some stage and they have to be able to live a normal life, WE SHOULD NOT KEEP punishing them! So, next time you see the guys on the street, try to look at it from their ‘point of existence,’ but at the same time----GUYS----be very careful, about how you go about your ‘activity.’ Each time one of you cross the line, you make it more likely that the law will bust ya!