Friday, May 2, 2014

Autumn, my favourite time of the year---one of beauty, promise and reward.

The warm days and cool nights of autumn are just that so right for me; I can sleep better, feel great during the day as I take my favourite walks with Perdy and cook the produce from the farms and seas of New Zealand, drink the wine from last years vintage, or older and get ready for the blustery days of the next season. Yes, winter may just be around the corner but for now, I enjoy all that the 'golden season' offers.
Those warm afternoons, that invite you to walk under a sky kissed by fluffy clouds, a sun not bright but just right; by a breeze that cools but doesn't yet chill and a welcoming dew, sometimes punctuated by mushrooms, if you know the secret location.
Take your walks in this bounteous season, forget the sadness from overseas battlefields of sorrow and rejoice in the knowledge that we are far away, down at the bottom of the South Pacific. Yes, just for today, take in the peace before the reality of what life can be like, for so many, scattered in so many places of unhappiness and suffering; man made or nature impelled. You can 'pinch' yourself on the 'morrow.'

China and Taiwan

Since the rise of The new China, the possibility of tension between the China and Taiwan has been a constant presence.  In recent years the links between the two have brought the possibility of a reunion (China has never recognised the breakaway nation) between the two economic 'powerhouses.' No doubt these moves towards reconciliation will one day, in the not too distant future become a reality.
Unfortunately we have on the sidelines the presence of the USA, a 'super-power' that holds on to its desire to control events way beyond it's borders, using the pretext if 'freedom' for the people of Taiwan. Given the track record of the USA and its protection of freedom-loving people, in other countries and the inconsistency of such a stance, one would suspect that the real reason is to maintain USA's hegemony of as much of the world as it can maintain.
That position has been the realm of other nations in the past; take the British Empire during Victorian times or the empires of Russia, then the Soviet Union and now Russia again, so why would we treat the Chinese differently in our  understanding of regional politics and economic rivalry?
Perhaps the economic ties between Taiwan and China, along with the massively important links between the USA and  China will lead to a peaceful resolution of the former issue. No country would gain from a 'shooting war,' or for that matter an 'economic war. The events in Ukraine and the tension  between Russia and the EU will show us the futility of such dangerous pathways.
I do however feel a level of discomfort re the bullying tactics, of the larger superpowers and their allies as they try to forge a world that suits the needs of themselves or to be more accurate, the forces within those nations that have always existed---the industrial/financial and military complexes that transcend borders and nationhood.
Let peace break out and the smaller nations of the world have a bigger say.

Fine Wine Company and walking the dog--is there a link?

Where's he going with this, you may be thinking. Well, there is a link. What better combination is there than being able to walk your dog at a beautiful place and then on the way home call into a reputable wine  (and other products) company to peruse a huge range of quality wines at good prices? I had heard the adverts for ages, re The Fine Wine Company and when I woke up to a beautiful autumn day, I thought, how could I combine the two---take Perdy for a walk and come back with some nice wine?
Now, let me take back to the days when Chardonnays were big and buttery with lovely underlying complex fruit tastes, possibly with a touch of oak. My memory may have lapsed into the area that has possibly combined a few other wine experiences so I could not be sure that capturing the past was going to be possible, but after hearing a description of a Chardonnay that possessed some of these qualities, I felt I had to give it a try, hence my quest to the East.
I took Perdy (my Jack Russell) to  a foreshore walk in Pt. England, next to the sports fields that were busy with kids and their families playing whatever it was. I think it was the 'round ball game!'
We put Perdy on a long lead and off we went. What a beautiful walk along the estuary, with good paths and possibly OK for off the leash. I didn't risk that tough, because there were Pukekos in the fields and I noticed Perdy eyeing them up and the last thing I wanted was a repeat of the experience when Perdy decided to take on  one of those feisty birds a few days ago, down at the Onehunga Bay, ending up near the motorway, with me causing the police to stop and take  a close look at me.
Perdy seemed quite happy to stay on the lead and her reward was to be released on the beach and after a few quick dunkings in the sea, bringing back a stick a few times, she submitted to her lead again and we headed towards Lunn Ave and The Fine Wine Company.
What a professional, unobtrusive welcome. Combine passion, knowledge and damned good personal skills and that gives you a picture of what it is like to visit this huge shop. I came away with two examples of the wine I described at the top of this blog. Costly---well maybe a bit more than I spend at the supermarket, but hey, the new me is into 'less is more;' that goes for my food and my beverages. Is it not better to experience something 'good' or 'special,' and in the long run not actually spend any more than in the days when I went for quantity over quality?
I was struck with the way I was 'looked after,' and left The Fine Wine Company with two bottle of wine, knowing that I can peruse their stock from home online, and either order on the phone or via the Net. I won't be doing that, because I shall be taking Perdy back to the 'estuary or to the Park that is a little closer by the golf course.
What better combination is there for a Jack Russell walker?' Thank you for the great help, Fine Wine Company. I shall be back.