Friday, December 23, 2016

Jeeze China!

OMG China! 3000 hits on my blog in one day? Do you realize that if each of you downloaded a copy of ROSKILL and TALK TO ME, that I could come and visit you?! That would be so cool. Go for it. Just follow the links on my website. Go to Neils Books and do your thing.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Coastal crazy times!

Yes, even in Thames the days before Christmas are very busy----the locals would say--- crazy! I, of course put things in perspective. Take today for example.
I toddled off down to the town 's main street, intending to get my haircut and then do a bit of shopping for tonights dinner and to collect my ham from the butcher. I almost collected the wrong parcel, caused no doubt by the constant chatter one gets involved in.
The haircut----I thought I would have to wait for several customers, given the time of the year, but the only thing I had to wait for----was for the barber to finish his yap with a bloke on the street. All good.
Then to the supermarket. The carpark was full, so I assumed that I would be in for a long wait. Yes, it was busy, but they had ALL of the checkouts going and I only had to wait about 5 minutes for my turn. All so easy.
When I arrived home, my 'landscape designer' was busy finishing the chook house. LOL---You can figure that one out. He was also just getting stuck in to areas of my garden that he thought needed attention. Long may he continue. I guess he will help  me make it all more manageable. He's my near neighbour and tonight---he, his partner (She is going to help me to relearn how to bottle plums and to make pickles) and child are all coming for a nice big old fashioned dinner.
I quite like this stepping  back in to the 70's and----even beyond!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

This is hardly a confession. (Super Hen--part 10)

OMG---HE has finally twigged about my escaping. HE hasn't actually caught me in the act, but HE has caught me----after the 'act.' Yes, I go quietly because I do not want to rock the boat too much. I squat down in that submissive mode that he assumes is me giving in and being returned to the coup!

Today---things happened at our place. HE had a visitor---apparently a neighbour and THEY were discussing stuff and measuring things. I heard the words--'well one point eight metres should do the trick. Even she can't fly that high.'
Jeeze mate---that's a bit drastic---that is, if YOU were referring to the height of the new fence!

There is a pay-off though. HE is making the area of containment----bigger,so maybe things won't be too bad. Then there is another issue. I am damned sure I heard that HE is selling the flash little hen house and remodeling the big old garden shed and HE is bringing in more gilrs! Sounds a bit strange for HIM, if you know what I mean---lololol. If even one of them there new chicks clucking well thinks she is going to rule the roost, then she will be lacking a few feathers by the time HE comes out the following morning to collect our treasures.

Life is going to be rather testing over the next few weeks. I better put on my 'planing hat! OH----I hear that there is gonna be a garden party in our neck of the woods, on Christmas Day. At least we are not on the menu---this time---I hope!

Why Bariatric Surgery? (3)

I think by now (if you have read my previous blogs on this subject) you would have gathered that I had quite a journey, arriving at the point where I decided to have surgery. From a skinny youth with long hair, I morphed into a rather large and very unhealthy 50 plus something kinda dude.' All the signs were there that I was heading to an early grave. Indeed my doctor was quite specific with me, around the age of 62, that I would not make the age for the 'pension (We call it Superannuation in New Zealand. It is Government funded for all over the age of 65)

Lets go back a bit. I began to notice a slight 'spreading of the girth,' around the age of 40---nothing to be too concerned about, but I am sure if I had had blood tests regularly, a pattern would have been apparent. My response?----GO ON A DIET. And so began the 'yoyo' period of my life.

Dieting became an addiction, along with food. You name it---the diet---I have done it. I will not name them all, but I am sure you all know the ones I am referring to. Of course they work, in the sense that the weight comes off---quite successfully for a while, then something kicks back in and back it all goes and then some! Those who have never had an issue with weight and food, will no doubt be making all the old judgments, so maybe they should stop reading. I have heard all the assumptions expressed before, in many different ways, so I guess I am immune to them now.

I will not bore you with the list of statements that the above people have thrown at people like myself. Often they come from people close to you, or ones who work with you. At the time---they hurt and led me to feeling incredibly bad about myself. I felt useless and out of control and I put up a facade. You all know the big happy loud guys. It is  nothing more than a veneer, folks. Inside there is a hurting and unhappy person.

I also went down the 'gym pathway' and other exercises. I ran/jogged, for a while and yes that too worked, but all attempts led to the same result. It came off then back it came! By the time I hit my 50s----health issues were becoming very hard to ignore. Blood pressure,  diabetes (T2), sleep apnea--just to mention a few! I had to use a machine to stop me from snoring and risking a stroke or heart attack. I actually quite liked that machine.

Everything came to a head, one day when while visiting my doctor, he gave me that 'ultimatum about not reaching the age for the pension.' It hit home and combined with the support from my family and some close friends---I explored the issue of Bariatric Surgery. If one is over 50 in New Zealand, the Government does not fund it. Yes, we are lucky in NZ to have a free public health system, that for the most part, delivers excellent service. We have not had to endure that never-ending debate my American friends have aorund that issue. MOST NZers accept higher taxation to have such a system, although  there is a tendency for more and more people to have medical insurance. I did and it paid for part of the procedure and I picked up the rest. (The total cost here was abou $US 15,000)

By this stage, the decision was quite easy for me. I went home and within minutes, I had rung up a surgeon who I had been recommended and started the journey. (To be continued)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NO--this is not part 3 re my bariatric surgery---it's about dumb arses on Talk Back Radio!

Bet that raised a few eyebrows. I assume more than a few reacted in a negative manner, some even 'unfriending' me on Face Book. If even more of you reading this, decided that I spend my time listening to the likes of Leighton and few others that you have labeled in various ways---then I have also caused a number of people to 'flag off.'

OK----I do listen to Talk Radio---for research purposes, of course. Hey---I did write a book about the latter, so give me a break. Not many people can justify their position with a statement like THAT! Talk To Me,' is that book. More about that later.

I put myself  through all the rings in the circus that is talk back radio. I listen to all the prejudices within the calls from the misinformed, the overly informed, the religious 'know it all,' the incredibly colorful accents, whereby I have no idea what the caller is saying, the old school, 'in my day,' kinda calls, the total bigots from both sides of the political spectrum, the emotionally charged stories, that have me in tears---you  name it---they call in!

I 'use ' these caller---or should I say---I  used them, for my book---Talk To Me. Go and download it from my website for a tiny cost. If you take the book too seriously, then you need to take a damned good look at your stance on life. You decide for yourself, whether I have gone too far or  NOT far enough.
My final point about why I sometimes get pissed off---especially if I am driving, whilst keeping an ear on talk back radio. If you are a regular listener of the above, then surely you have heard many hosts asking you to turn the radio down or off while making the call. People---people----the feedback makes the call totally useless---have you not gotten the message yet?!

OK---rant over. Go read the book! Follow the links from Neils Books and buy both. ('Roskill' is there too.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bariatric Surgery---why would I? (2)

My journey back from Auckland was one of those where 'thinking' intruded way more than I would have wished. Luckily, I was NOT tired, as in the previous trip, because the eye issue was resolving itself.  I was also very pleased with the visit to the hearing clinic, where I had learned that the Government subsidy had lessened the cost of the new hearing aid. It seems that my hearing in my right ear has further decreased since my last 'test,' about 8 years ago, hence  the need for a new device to replace the one that was damaged by an exuberant Jack Russell, called PERDY!

My thoughts during the drive home to my beautiful Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula, turned to my Bariatric Journey. I laughed, thinking of the massive swings my body has taken; from the skinny youth (see the pictures) in the 70's to a huge dude in the ealry 2000s. There were times in between, when I reversed the trend , but then---old habits and the weight returned.

Perhaps some of you think that it is just a matter of putting less in and exerting a bit more energy so that 'more goes out,' in terms of calories. Yes, for some people, that is the simple answer, but we are all different, complex, and react in different ways to food and to the emotional underpinning that may or may not cause us to 'eat more than we need.' Maybe you feel quite judgmental, which will probably mean that you will stop reading at this stage. I have reached a point on 'my journey,' whereby I no longer care about negative reactions to how I have lived or continue to live my 'new life.'

Let's go back to the 70's. I enjoyed socializing and had a love of food, re the preparing and the consumption. I enjoyed entertaining friends and family, enjoying the many different cuisines, that had begun to thrust themselves' onto the New Zealand foodscape. Gone were the days of 'meat and two veggies.' I can well remember the massive meals I cooked, be it as a BBQ or as a roast with 'accoutrements!'

The serve-sizes were ridiculous, but that was the norm. We returned for seconds and thirds---and then the 'pudding!' I suspect it would not have been uncommon for me to consume about 4000 calories at one of the 'dinner parties.' I was NOT alone in this. The result of this over the decades  from my 20'sto 40's was a huge gain in weight----but it was a journey that had many 'ups and downs.' I started at about 68 kilos and by the time I entered the 'big stage,' I was more like 110 kilos plus, with many health issues.

I was not blind to the weight gain. My clothes, the pictures from the time, tell the story. I attempted to rid myself of the kilos---but---the trend was always----well---let's leave that for the next blog. For  now---look at the pictures, and I apologize for the grainy images, but we did not have high resolution in those days. next blog---'The Battle!  

Thats me in the middle at about 21 and ---well the bottom picture---me again, after my failed battle!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bariatric Surgery--Why would I put myself through the ups and downs of bariatric Surgery? (!)

I am off to the 'big smoke,' today. NO---not for anything pertaining to my bariatric surgery journey; but for an issue that bugs 'other people,' more than it does me. In my younger days I played keyboard on a band. Some of my older Kiwi friends from my teaching days at tangaroa College ion Otara, will remember that band---NUMBA! I am pretty damn sure I was the 'weak link. At the time, I had issues with ear infections and the combination of the very loud music we sometimes played, and the former, led to a significant hearing loss in my right ear.

OK---I had that attended to, by acquiring a hearing aid and I have had two over the years. Then came---the PERDY---a crazy Jack Russell, who decided she didn't like the whistling sound, so she 'dealt to the offending piece of hearing paraphernalia and it is now quite useless. If you have ever been chewed by a Jack Russell, I suspect you could understand just how ineffective the device became. 'I,' also became a bit of a pain in the butt to friends and family, by constantly asking for people to repeat their communications to me and they constantly told me to stick the hearing aid back in. Well----today is about getting a new one, so it's off to Auckland for the first stages. Thankfully, it is subsidized by the State so I don't need to pay the full amount ($4000!)

So how the hell does this post have anything to do with bariatric surgery? Nothing!----it's just me MAKING A SHORT STORY LONGER! Setting the scene for what is to come, as it were. back then, in the days of my 'post youth,' I led a life that was seriously propelling into the realms of the 'ealry departed!' I am going to write a series of blogs, that describe my efforts to reverse this emerging trend in my life. How could I have transformed from a skinny young twenties type of person, who even had a nickname---TWIGGY,' no less. pofr those of you of more advanced years, you know who she was and what she looked like. Can you see where this is going?  Look for my next installment and watch, read and learn how a 'skinny guy' with an obsession with food and 'drink,' can arrive at deaths door, but also constantly   attacks himself----by going on endless diets. I need to think deeply about what I write from here on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grab ONE----yes ---get your copy or download ot ROSKILL and Talk To Me.

Chrsitmas is coming.How about you buy  a copy of ROSKILL, via mywebsite, or get a cheaper deal directly from me. Pay the full price from Amazon or get a 50% discount on that price by contacting me direct---- at  You can also download a copy of both books by clicking on Neil's Books.
Talk To Me, is only available as a download.

ROSKILL  'suggests' a controversial solution to a growing scourge on our society. Would you be as 'brave,' to undertake this approach if a loved one entered the world of 'P?'

Are you a fan of 'talk back' radio? Talk To ME,' will either make you laugh or entrench your already stalwart opinion that talk back is a load of crock!

Go and download a copy and decide for yourself, if you turn on the radio when you get back from your holiday.

Follow the links from my website! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Confessions---or is it an observation from Super Hen (Part 9)

I have been observing a strange emergence of a new personality re---- HIM! I listen to HIS ramblings, which is not a difficult position to be in , as I have acute hearing  and HE has a tendency to 'let it all out!'  Here goes---I think HE has 'jumped the fence,' or to put it another way---'switched.' NO---I do not mean he has got himself a 'chick,' to put it in the more sexists terminology, but then again I am not constrained by the needs of the PC brigade, so I shall say it as it is. Cluck off if you are offended!

In HIS former life, before coming to the Coast, HE was surrounded by young people: HIS clients and his colleagues. HE was the oldest. In 'chookie' years, that would have meant---past the laying period, and of little use other than being a display of fraying feathers. I guess humans tend to hang aorund a bit longer but chookies do not always get the chance to retire and live the good life. I hope HE reads this and gets the message about our retirement needs!

The switch or transformation has occurred re who HE hangs out with. It's really quite remarkable; I mean, HE seems to have completely, well almost, because HE does see a few youngun's in his part- time work, but for the most part, HE is now surrounded by people who are all older than him. What does this mean for my life. That is the question as far as my sister and I are concerned. What gets me, is that HE seems happier. He talks about different issues and has slowed down a great deal,instead of running about like a headless---ooops I must never say that, but you get the drift---right?

I am not sure where this is all going. Maybe I shall see a few younger folk visiting over the Christmas period; you know---that time when we are clutching our feathers, in the hope that we do  not end up in the pot. HE is always making jokes with HIS neighbours about that particular issue---NOT FUNNY-----DUDE!

So I hope that the transition is a 'balanced' one, that settles into something that has the best of both worlds. From my point of view, it is called, being in a state of 'heavenly oneness with the world.' OK---roll on Christmas and stay true to the pathway. Look out for my 'Xmas special' in the next few weeks.
ONE MORE POINT:  Go and download HIS two books---'ROSKILL' and 'TALK TO ME.' Even I have read them and we had a clucking good time in the roost as I read to my sisters each night. Nothing like a good old read. You can access the books from HIS website. Just click on Neils Book and follow the links. Don't forget to tell your friends and to share this post. I am relying on that so that HE has the means to keep feeding us and not eating us!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Earthquake in Thames---6.2 on the AFIB scale!

I had a beautiful day yesterday, culminating or should I say 'Colemanating' in a festive, fished-filled evening with a few glasses of excellent vino. The attempt at smoking the fish that the neighbour had sent over the fence (They were so fresh, they almost swam over!) turned out really deliciously moist and flavoursome. One glass turned into three---quite large ones. I suspect some of you know what's coming.

My brother returned to his home, which is just 1.5 KLS down the road and up the hill, from there he is able to observe the habitat of the fish we had just eaten. He also took a few home with him. I turned my attention to the Roskill (No---not my book) byelection where the Labour candidate totally creamed his opposition. I retired to my bed in a good mood.

About an hour later the 'feeling' became apparent. All was not well. I know it well and sure enough, the feeling grew into the AFIB relaity. Certain things happen to one's body, so I won't bore you with too much information! I just knew what was coming. About midnight the 'quake hit.' I had arisen to perform a biological function and and I felt dizzy. (What's new, you say!) Unfortunately, there is a book case in the hallway and it is a very tall and narrow one, not affixed to the wall!

I stumbled, crashing into the book case causing it to fall--- -- just ---OVER----but against the china cabinet pictured below. Inside that cabinet there are my precious hard-to-get Crown Lynn ceramics---quite a few thousand dollars worth. The noise was horrific and even in my addled AFIB state, I was acutely aware of years of collecting going down to the rubbish tip.

It really did feel like an earthquake; the noises of falling furniture and crashing ceramics, mixed with books. At that point, I knew I had to get  back into bed, until the attack was complete. Actually, the episode seemed to 'shock' my heart back into a more regular rhythm. Does that mean next time I have an episode, I just smash up a bit of furniture?  LOL

Rio came to the rescue, along with Perdy, who ensconced herself beside me in the bed, snuggling up close as if to contribute her little heart to my 'healing.' Bless her. In the meantime. Rio started reconstructing the damage, ascertaining the level of carnage. NOTHING broke in the book case (there were some prize ornaments in it) Everything was just scattered. He informed me that only one  piece (A Crown Lynn gravy bowl) lost its handle.

The news set me at ease and I was soon back to normal. That is the nature of an AFIB episode. I am surprised that the neighbours did not hear the crash, because it was momentous, but on reflection, part of the episode entailed a few weird symptoms, one of which is an accentuated hearing. Everything seemed louder.

The learning (again!) from this?  A glass of wine must be a standard drink---not one of the behemoths from the past. Furniture should be attached to a wall if it is likely to fall in an earthquake, be it from 'natural causes, or by ME!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pox on you! Well it happened! Is it your fault Super Hen?

I suspect that little opening will have the desired effect---lots of hits.
'Hardly a Christmassy statement,' you say.
I reply, 'well it ain't Xmas yet, even though the shops are playing those bloody awful commercialized versions of what goes for carols these day!'
Now give me some leeway here and I shall reply and make a little more sense of my opening gambit.

The last few months have been a bit 'off' for me. I have had a nagging eye issue that just would not go away. There was slight redness and a feeling of discomfort. I put it down to a permanent condition I have re the lower lids, that I can't spell so I won't bother you with the details, other than to say that it is managed by using weak soapy water solution in the morning and night to keep it at bay. There is NO medication for it.

So, to make a short story longer, let's say that I kept ignoring with what I was being presented. Then---it all  became too much, so I took a trip to my new doctor and told him what I suspected it was---a recurrence of a condition that is caused by  my youth---MY way past youth back on the farm? Yes---I had the POX---Chicken Pox, along with most kids at that time, and probably something that is still happening today.

Now---feel free to correct me with quasi-truths and bullshit, chucking in a few jelly beans for those who remember. If one had CP as a kid, the 'whatevers' then hide in the nerve thingies and remain there, coming out in the form of 'cold sores and possibly Shingles at a later time in one's life. OK---the medicos amongst you can refine my observation. Do so gently, my friends or  wall blast you with profanities,  straight from Super Hen's butt, given the way I still feel.

About 4 times in the past 40 plus years I have been visited by  the condition that afflicts me today, and it ain't pretty. The eye looks and feels terrible, vision can be affected (to the point that I was once admitted to the eye ward in Greenlane.) It must have been difficult for doctors in the 'way back' to define and make a good diagnosis, because often I was treated with antibiotics which are as about as usless as ttits on a bull, when it comes to viral infections. Eventually they got it right and I became quite good at telling the difference in the feeling---between  Conjunctivitis and the 'virus,'---Herpes Sinplex, I think it is called (OK---correct me again---I am happy with that)

I am of an age, whereby one does not easily 'tell' a doctor what is wrong, but I bloody well did this time, both my lovely new one (who listened and got me into the Eye Clinic, pronto at Hamilton Hospital (that bloody great  behemoth that feels like a big town!  Next time I am getting a fast wheel chair to get around)) and the eye doctor at the hospital.

I suggested to him what I felt was wrong and that he would be giving me whatever passes for Zovirax, these days and he quite quickly came to the same conclusion. He pissed me off a bit. It was at the end of a four hour wait and I was the last patient. (Jeeze, it pisses me off when heaps of people arrived well after me but saw him first!) He kept shoving my head onto the chin thing that holds your face up or whatever, not making  the adjustments for the fact that I was a good deal shorter than the last patient. Oh well---WTF, I thought---at least I was being seen to and I had been HEARD.

I left the hospital with Rio and we collected the 'ointment' from an 'after hours' pharmacy in Hamilton (no such establishment in Thames) and we were soon on our way, past the burnt our car, we saw aflame on the way to Hamilton and back to our lovely Thames. I couldn't wait to stick my eyeful of ointment in and get some sleep. It was not a nice sleep---interrupted by the virus, launching a  night attack. I just knew that if I had left it until Monday---there would have been a different ending to this little ditty. The moral of this---DO NOT WAIT when it comes to your eyes. ASK the questions about 'viral versus bacterial,' infections. They can look similar but have very different results.

It's going to be a quiet weekend  me thinks as I get on top of this. Thanks for all the lovely messages.
Catch ya later.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Local authors at 'The Kitchen' in Thames.

   Thames has many fine cafes and a main street that speaks of 'yesteryear' and caters for the needs of 'today.' One example of a great little cafe, is The Kitchen, owned and operated by Rex and his helpers. Not only will you enjoy the fine food and excellent coffee, along with the friendly service (Rex always makes time to chat with his loyal customers) you will also be able to purchase books by Neil, who has recently moved to Thames. Rex has also been a major part of a project for a childrens book.

   Pictured outside the cafe, are Neil and Rex---with their books and of course---Perdy, who is having a break. She likes going to The Kitchen, because she always receives a  genuine welcome along with a bowl of cool, clean water.

   What more do you need:  Good food, coffee and a chance to watch the world go by as you peruse the two books on offer. See you all there sometime. Please share this post.

Can someone explain this?!

United States
New Zealand

Please look at the above list---it portrays the number of hit in my blog today, This happen a fait bit from Israel. I feel my blog is being used for nefarious reasons. Normally, the figures for a day are more like the numbers for The US, NZ etc.
Google never get back to me with an explanation. I wonder what is happening. I wish it would mean selling my books, re the downloads form my website,---but that is just a WISH---sadly.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Confessions of Super Hen---Part 8

I think I am in Deep doggie poo! It seems that my attention seeking behaviours (yes---they have been described in detail in past blogs!) have caused a few issues. As you know, I tend to hog the limelight compared to my sisters. I lay the biggest eggs, I cause the most fuss, I escape the most, I organise rebellions and party way too late into the night---that is from HIS perspective.

I also like to give HIM the odd reminder as to who is the boss around here. I strut around like a rooster---to the point that I have heard HIM discussing with his guests, my sexual identity---something about me having big---you know the rest! I have to admit that when I escape, HE is quite gentle with me. I pretend to submit and HE picks me up and releases me back into the enclosure.

About 3 weeks ago, I noted that HE was feeding us at night, a little bit after the time that we prefer----like hey---7pm is too late! I talked with the girls and we came up with a plan. HE needed a reminder that we were most displeased. I was to give HIM a reminder---a gentle little peck as HE bent down to change the water and fill the chookatarium. (Don't go on---that's HIS dumb-arsed name for what I call an 'Auto-feeding device!)

OK---HE did bend down and I delivered a fast hit---right by HIS eye. HE yelled and the language was nothing short of---deplorable! I am sure the neighbours heard. Anyway---I am sure HE got the message, but it may have backfired. I just heard HIM on the phone. (Yes, I have excellent hearing---unlike HIM!) HIS eye has not been the same since. I think HE has to go to the Eye Clinic for humans in Hamilton. The nurse creature, is making plans for HIM to see the doctor first---then on to the Glaucoma clinic, whatever the hell that is. Did I cause that? HE will  get it all seen to next week. I must admit, HE doesn't seem to be blaming me for his 'condition.' Better not, or there will be 'clucksequences! Oh well---apart from the sore eye---things are pretty good. I think I may be in the bad books for another reason soon. During my escapes, I have been eating beautiful salads, but HE is blaming me for pulling out HIS veggie plants. Watch this space---things are hotting up around here!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I'm not confessing to anything--Super Hen Part 7!

I believe that HE is trying to make a subtle point. Yeah right. Subtle is not in HIS vocabulary! I mean--announcing to the world that HE is cooking chicken, one that is 1.8 on the 'Chicken Licking Cooking Scale!' Come on---that's just a claw beyond the black stump too close for comfort.

I heard HIM as HE sang HIS little ditty as he collected some tropical guavas, parsley, thyme and some mint. (Yeah, there's gotta be a song in there somewhere!) HE was going on about adding a bit of salt and pepper, along with a few cloves of garlic and---HE's gonna slow roast the chicken. What were all those pointed looks a out dude?

Something tells me that my escapades are becoming a tad too much. I need to inform HIM that they are 'necessary,' in order to keep the creativity re my egg-laying capacity! I need inspiration, hence my wanderings and little games. They are the stimulus and hey---I have to keep an eye or two on my sisters! They need constant cajoling and praise. Hell---one of them is even ;laying the occasional double yoker, so I must be doing something right.

OK---, calm down time. HE has visitors today and I am going to arrange a little floor show---you know---a 'make ya feel good,' kinda production. Just when his guests are drinking their wine in the garden, sitting on those lovely chairs that I have not (as het!) crapped on, we will cluck in that endearing fashion that people so love, and pop over the fence. That is when HE thinks HE has us under a spell----HE will call us and we in turn run across to HIM where upon we sit. HE picks us up and places us in the enclosure. HE falls for it every time. It makes HIM feel powerful. I bet HE informs HIS guests about HIS 'skills' as a Hen Whisperer!

Jeeze---what a girl won't do to keep the peace!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Confessions of Super Hen---Part 6.

Yes, I know---I have been silent for a few days. I have been contemplating my life, down here on the Coast. I have been adjusting to the very changing cycle of life; the weather, the garden as it evolves, as HE keeps planting stuff and to my sisters, who now challenge my egg laying capacity.

I have an issue with HIM. HE has sort of worked put how we escape from time to time. Wow---HE put a great deal of faith in the capacity of the fence to keep us in. He believed that we were escaping underneath the fence and then going on to explore the garden, eating those pesky snails and yes, the occasional  salad type veggie. Hell, we even unearthed a few worms, but that meant catering the odd newly planted plants. Hey---come on---we can't help doing what comes naturally to us. We get in the 'zone' and just DO IT!

Back to that fence. Did HE really think that we could not launch ourselves over a silly little construction like that? HE really was ripped off buying that thing online. I hear that is a particular 'theme' in HIS life. Like, hey dude---our wings do GROW after the initial clipping and one of your friends was correct---we just climb up to the top of the launch pad---oops, I mean cage, and we do what history---human history, has  or should have taught YOU! We take off! Basic Physics and rocket science 101, ,mate! HIS stupidity almost rivals that of those poor followers of a certain Bishop, I see on the news (Yes I watch TV at night through the windows---do not tell HIM!) I do not usually swear, unlike HIM, but---humans are so fecking dumb!

OK---I have established in my immutable style, the fact that we go walk about, or to be more precise---fly about. HE should not worry; we are not going to go far and we know where all the dogs are. The cats seem to leave us alone, having witnessed the 'murder of the sparrow the other week. Even HE is a bit more careful when HE enters our enclosure. Take the other day, for example. HE was a little tardy, replacing our water and as HE placed the bowl on the ground, I gave HIM a bit of a hurry up. Unfortunately, I nearly hit his eye. HE yelped like a puppy and quickly withdrew. I better not do that again, because I heard HIM complaining to the other human, the one who hardly ever comes out. He is totally freaked by us; something from his childhood, I guess,

Given the above issues, I have decided on a bit of professional development for myself and my sisters. It is around the field of 'Dealing with humans in a non-violent manner---involving the three stages: identifying strategies, intervention and surviving the trauma. There---that should bring a bout a more peaceful and yes---a haven of understanding. I shall let you kn ow how HE is coping.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Oscillating on the Coast!

Yes---we do that sort of ting---down here. Whaaaaat, you say. I can just imagine the machinations re that statement. But---it all comes down to the stones---not stoners, although there would be a fair number of them here, too. The oscillating refers to the latest addition to my tumbling. On no---here he goes again, you think? Go back to previous posts and look at the beautiful stones I tumbled in the old machine. Each batch takes a month!

OK---to increase the efficiency of the process, I indulged in a flash new machine from Trumpland! I was hoping it would come without all the bullshit attached to the latter and have a bit more re longevity and actually do what it says it would. Sadly, it did not live up to the promise; for a start it was not adaptable, nor did it come as described. It made claims that were just not true, like having the wrong connections and false plug ins. Trumpland does not manufacture stone tumbling stuff that can just be switched on---oh no---it will need adaptation to make it work, then it can shorten the process tenfold! Sound familiar? Hell---it could even build a wall and make the neighbours pay for it. I'm getting behind myself!

The problem was the plug, which meant that the energy source was---- a 'disconnect'! Trumpland plugs just don't work in NZ! NO---it is not our not being on board here---hell---no of the 'universal' adaptors worked either. It seems that I will have to arrange a rewiring of the plug, which a clever electrician has been employed to do, then he gets deported back to Mexico. Must use him first though!

So---I am quite upbeat about the new 'device.' I can't wait to start 'tumbling' again on the Coast. Events elsewhere will  not change the result. I will have smooth stones, beautiful baubles, I will be 'connected!'

Confessions of 'Super Hen,' part 5.

HE went away for a day and a bit. HE left us to the mercy of 'things that go bang in the night.' HE did leave food and water and I heard HIM making plans with the man over the fence. I also heard the man behind us saying that--'the pot always awaited,' if the girls escape!' NOT funny funny old man!

BUT----I rallied the girls--I made sure they behaved and it was only me who set out to explore and guard our realm. Twice I 'surged in a mass of fluttery  feathers, combined with maniacal clucking and flashing talons towards the 'ginga' cat, that assumes territorial right. No way fellow creature---this is OURS! The said cat quickly retreated under the threat of a mad group of clucky soldiers attacking at will.

I thought that being in HIS good books might go down well, siI had a serious chat with the errant sister who insists on laying soft eggs and placing them in 'hard to find places.' She responded magnificently and laid her first real egg, complete in its hardness, in the correct place---'the box!'

We had one issue. HE had purchased a 'top of the line,;' chookatarium,' a device that allows a constant flow of food, but protected by the an arrangement that stops sparrows and other 'vultures,' from stealing our food. The girls and---yes---me---have not quite gotten the knack of the device---yet. Come on----give us time. Our brains are somewhat diminished---well their anyway. I don;t want to be too 'out there,' re my hen cleverness! Maybe you can guess what happened!

Yes, the clothes peg holding the flap open, broke whilst HE was away. Our source of food was denied!  Luckily HE had left extra Hen food in our pen and there was also plenty of green stuff with loads of clean water. We know HE did not mean it to be so, so we held no grievance against HIM. Indeed, we excelled re our 'production targets and when HE returned, there were four beautiful eggs,' in the box. HE was elated and his recovery from the realisation that his flash chookatarium,' had partially failed, was thrust aside as he heaped praise on our efforts.

All is well in our neck of the Coast. Now, we feel like a party. Mmmm---who shall we invite!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This time it is Japan! What is going on with my blog?!

I have written from time to time that I get somewhat distorted hits on my blog. In the past, it has been from Israel. Today I see Japan has 'played the game.' with nearly 3000 hits in one day from that country. Of course, that does not mean that the hits actually come from Japan. One would think that I should be pleased at such numbers, but---do you really believe that a blog that gets up to 100 hits a day would suddenly take off in the manner described. Nope---I am a suspicious realist.

I have tried to report the matter to Google, but they do not respond. Maybe they are just too busy making money, rather than address my concerns about my minuscule blog! So, I am appealing to my readers, to see if any of you (or the ones on FB and Twitter) can explain what these numbers really mean.  I look forward to your 'explanations! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kindle 'downloads in China?

I know that my blogs are read in China but I am unsure if they can download the two books I have on Kindle. To my Chinese readers------ please let me know if you can download  'Roskill' and 'Talk To Me.' Go to my website and click on Neil's Books and follow the link. Please share my site with your friends.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Confessions of 'Super-Hen,' (Part 4)

Sometimes I really do get the last laugh re setting HIM up. Life has been very settled around our patch lately, with 3 and a half of us laying (The last girl to join the production line, is a bit hesitant) and for the most part, we stay in our enclosure. HE of course was rather busy, with his friend and that huge monster, hairy dog. OMG---it was ten times bigger than the little teaser HE calls Perdy! It did tend to keep the latter in a better frame of mind though.

OK----life can get boring if things are so settled, that 'predictability' is the name of the game. Oh no----HE needed a 'reminder! I called a 'High Council of the Feathered.' We made a plan---well that is, the girls agreed to my instructions. That's how it works in my neck of the garden. Here's how it played out.

As per usual, HE emerged at a 'way past decent hour,' which in HIS terminology is about 6.55. HE has taken to letting us roam at will around our enclosure, because HE believes that his hairy baby has frightened away all the Thames rats---yeah right! I saw one the other day that would have fed us for a week, had we caught it!  The 'plan' was that I was going to give HIM a little reminder that 'There is no fence that can keep Me in!' You know the rest of the song---well maybe not, because I being multi-talented, wrote it! Right, to cut a long story short---yeah I know---you hate that saying, I went 'wandering,'---on the other side of his garden---in the neighbours driveway---to be precise. Now---don't go worrying---I know  the cats and there are no 'Perdy-like' creatures in that area.----

HE espied me, strutting my stuff, while my sisters looked on, with much clucking and prancing. HE emerged in quite a state, calling for assistance and in a right panic! Oops---I sort of said that twice, but it was so funny, I guess a bit of chooky exaggeration is quite suitable. HE came running---no that's wrong----wobbling is more apt----and made a 'hen-line' for the back fence. That's when it turned into a circus. HE just could not quite straddle the fence and HE got sort of stuck, right where I hear it hurts or at least becomes---uncomfortable. Human males of a certain age, are not designed to straddle fences. HE called for help to catch me while HE remained 'ensconced ' in a most unseemly manner, uttering very bad words rhyming with 'cluck,' and becoming more and more agitated.

Help arrived, HE freed himself and between the two of them, they tried to convert me into being a sheep. They 'herded' me---crazy. I let them contain me near the fence and HE picked me up. With a little, but suitably dramatic flick of my wings, I alighted upon familiar territory and glanced back as HE once again mounted the fence. Yeah, I know---to much information. Peace returned and I returned to breakfast---a delicious combination of herbs, leftovers and chooky chow. I hope I have not rocked HIS boat a little too much. Time will tell. Come on---one has to keep HIM on his claws! As for getting the last laugh----

Sunday, October 30, 2016

War---but---it's just not in me to fight! Confessions of Super Hen (Part 3)

 I was all 'beak,' yesterday. I'm not sure why, but I must have been in a strange mood. HE-- had been a bit disappointed re our laying efforts. Hey---we had a bad day---OK. Then---I overrated. I declared war and I must now confess to a very selfish act. Once, HE had locked us in for the night, I called a 'Council of War,' and ran through a few strategies, like:
     Pecking at HIS feet at every opportunity, especially when he wear jandals!
     Placing poops just where HE steps over the fence, meaning HE will take part of inside HIS house.
     Hiding our eggs in places HE find them.
     Braking the odd egg, that we place in the box---so HE can see them.
     Teasing that Perdy thing---make her bark and annoy HIM.

I think you get the picture, but things didn't quite work out that way. As with any action planned by a 'union,' one must have uniformity of action. The other girls just did not seem to have the commitment. They were more concerned about their claws and the shine on their feathers. It was me who enacted all the aspects of the 'plan,' while they simply strutted and clucked, talking nonsense. I bet they don't even register to vote. Typical!

I guess it's time to save face. HE will be back any moment, so I have a peace offering. One large 'super egg,' from guess who, is sitting strategically in the middle of the nesting box and the other is in the next box---not huge like my beautiful double yoker, but beautiful in its own way. If that does not please  HIM, then I'm going walk about. Trouble is HE has blocked all the holes! Anyway---'walk-a-bouts are for Aussies are they not?

Tomorrow, I am going to launch a 'charm offensive.' (To be continued)

PS:  There is another huge dog, living with us at the moment with a lovely lady from Nelson.  It was her who talked to me about my 'attitude.' Do not tell HIM!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Confession of 'Super Hen.' (Part 2)

Goodness me---much can happen in just 24 hours. Yesterday, I introduced you the 'skeleton's' of my (OK---our) existence, illuminating the bare facts as to how we arrived in this idyllic back yard. SHUUUUSH---do not tell HIM! I have managed to explore the 'greater area,' of the aforementioned yard and much to HIS displeasure, several yard beyond. If HE only knew just how far I have ventured, I am sure HE would suffer from 'dehentia!'

Take yesterday for example. HE arose soon after sunrise. You see, we have managed to make HIM feel guilty, if he does not attend to our needs first thing in the morning, before HE takes the Mutt names Perdy  for a walk. We set up this gentle background 'clacker,' somewhere between clucking and crowing. I guess it sounds like we are suffering in some way, because it elicits an immediate response, once he pokes HIS head out the back door of HIS simple dwelling. WE have yet to see inside that place, but believe me when I say---we are working on it!

I digress. When HE returned from HIS walk yesterday, two of us were not to be seen. We had absconded, but on hearing HIS noisy mutterings, we made ourselves magically appear in he extension to our generous enclosure. It was most important that HE did not discover the means re our escape. This is when we 'feed' HIS ego. Yes, we walk across to HIM, squat and let HIM pick us up, whereby HE returns us to the enclosure,, whilst going on in a boringly familiar manner about 'how the buggers escaped!'

Then HE sets about searching for beautiful eggs we have laid. The others of course place theirs in the egg laying area. I do  not. Mine---are placed in a nest, just by the garden shed. HE has found that area and takes them into the dwelling. I hear HIM 'crowing' about how wonderful I am---yes I produce double yokers. It's all a ploy to 'control' HIM, of course. It takes the focus from my escapades. HE seems less anxious about my absconding, thinking that HE knows the whereabouts of myself and the girls.

Unfortunately, there are traitors in the neighbourhood! Yes HIS Dutch neighbours turned me in! They noticed that I had found a means to escape, using the compost stinky bin to jump on and clacker through a hole in the fence. Freedom---we thought! Nope, those very same people, grabbed us! They can run very much faster than HIM, being younger and in possession of two very sprightly young boys! They kept returning us to the enclosure and they told HIM about our exploits. HE thanked them and immediately set about closing off our escape route. To rub in the 'salt,' HE even offered some of our hard won eggs. How very dare HIM---using us and our labours to suit HIS means. War had been declared!  (To be continued!)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Confessions of 'Super Hen' (Part 1)

Let me introduce myself. Yes, I know---'HE' calls me Super Hen. I kinda like it but truth be known---HE actually can't tell the difference between myself and my sisters! Yeah, I know---I let HIM catch me when I escape our quite generous enclosure, but on several occasions we have swapped and one of my dear sisters has stood in for me while I pretend to be---a normal hen.

    My sisters and I arrived n the Coast about 17 weeks ago and we were delivered by our former owner to this lovely back yard. Don't tell HIM, but we really do appreciate the efforts HE made to make us a home. The only downside would be that hairy monster called---PERDY. Me thinks that if she gets half the chance, our feathers will be permanently rearranged!

   How did I get my name? Right from the beginning of our new life, I was different from my sisters. There are two side to me; one the gentle loving sister and the other the adventurist and killer chook! I look after my sisters and woe betide and stupid sparrow that assumes that the food is 'shared product,' hence my tendency to chase off and yes---if necessary, go to battle for our 'stuff.' HE thinks that the dead sparrow was as a result of my violent foray, but actually, the poor wee thing died of a heart attack! I guess that's how legends are formed, from a simple event and the subsequent additions to fact.

   Perhaps you are pondering the use of 'language' re my telling of this story. Get used to it my friends, because hey--I am from royalty. I know---I'm not the only 'queen' in this story, but a little competition adds to the rich and varied tapestry of 'being here.'

   HE thinks that it was me who defended our 'realm' from the birds. HE also assumes that it is me who lays the eggs. Damn---HE will be thinking that I produce 'golden eggs at this rate.  OK---I am working on that. I hear HIM squealing in that annoying manner, every time he eats one of our eggs, stating the obvious. Of course the bloody yoke is golden!

   I intend---yes me----'Super Hen' to feed the legend, to give HIM stories, but told by me. I shall escape----everyday and those events will be truthfully reported. BUT---there is a problem. ANY super-hero needs a costume. The other person in the household claims HE is going to design one, but perhaps YOU can help out there! I shall await your efforts that MAY be rewarded, if you live nearby. I may be Super Hen, but I have yet to perfect a deliver system re the production efforts of my sisters to places more than twenty metres from our nesting boxes (in and out of the enclosure!) I do have a cousin with some of those flying robots of course. perhaps John can help out there---just saying.'

   Right---I'm off to create some mischief in the neighbourhood. I am thinking of getting that hairy beast, Perdy into trouble by a little bit of old fashioned 'blame shifting.'  Cluck with you---later.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

'Coastal chickens' demand a very high standard re their cuisine!

Since my feathery daughters joined our Coastal family,  I have had to learn about pleasing their culinary requirements. Not for them, is just throwing a few handfuls of chicken food, purchased from one of the outlets in Thames. Oh no---they have become connoisseurs!

They demand that I procure nothing but the best in 'chooky chow,' plus deliver only the very highest quality 'leftovers,' or the prizes I collect on my walks. The later activity is now focused on finding little treasures; take for example the native New Zealand plant---Puha---the chooks just love it and I am running out of places where there is still an abundance.

Indeed, I have taken to 'farming the weed: taking only the top parts, leaving the plant to branch out and produce new succulent tips, for later collection, whilst trying not to draw attention to myself, lest others take up the practise. I probably look a little strange and I have had a few quizzical glances cast my way as I walk past people, who may be assuming that the large bulging doggie bag contains doggie poops! All that poop from such a little dog?

My veggie garden is starting to contribute 'produce too. I planted Kale and I am not that fond of it, so guess were it goes---yes----over the fence into the beaks of beasts who enjoy the green vitamin package. Various herbs also go the way of the Kale, but I 'experiment'  with those, on a'let's see what they think,' basis.

Of course, I am not alone re the 'bringing up of my new family. They do say after all, that it takes a village to raise a child.' I have often found various 'offerings, or the remains of them in the enclosure. The other day, a rather large bone, the remnants of a roast was evident, having being pecked clean of anything edible. before you throw your hands towards 'chooky heaven,' in the belief that my neighbours will poison my girls, step back! The  neighbour who tends to partake in such generosity, knows a great deal more then I do about hens.

The ramifications re the end product can be seen in the beautiful eggs I am now getting. As some of you may know from previous posts, it seems that I have one hen who is producing double yokers---everyday. That, I am told, is very good luck. So----long may the hens of the Coast keep adding to my new life. The Coast delivers in ever more wonderful ways!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

China---keep reading my blogs.

Thanks China. I am amazed at the number of hits from your way---on my blogs. I am not sure what you like about them and I guess the only way to 'know' would be if you make some comments---give me some feedback. The next step would be for you to download my NZ stories. You can get them on my website and download from Amazon. Just follow the links from Neil Books and click on the free AP if you do not have Kindle. I would .love to know mt books are being read in China. I am of course making the assumption that oyu are able to do the above in China. I am sure you 'will find a way!'

Thursday, October 20, 2016

'Coastal learning,' It's never too late!

Maybe I have learned to slow down; perhaps I have retreated from my 'let it rip,' attitude and then looked on to see an 'object, a utensil or a mechanical device of some kind, laying on the floor, in pieces or at the very least, not 100% ---functional.

Take the little battery operated vacuum stick, that suffices for a 'clean-up' for me, as the big flash 'kick arse' cleaner is usually in the back of the car as it is used for other servicing---elsewhere. I don't like it,because to seems to go its own way, never in the direction I aim it! However, after a few 'operations' with the stick---it runs out of juice, or worse----'spin!'  It doesn't 'pick up' as it should, so yes---I empty it. But---it is not up to the task, as evidenced by the bits left on the floor. Such 'bit's become the subject of a 'record of discussion,' from 'you know who!'

The above 'decrease in functionality' enacted itself upon my attempt to clean the lounge and other areas of our little home today and I was forced into exploring the options as to why this was happening. The head was blocked, so I painstaking  pulled the bits of frayed ma,, dog hair and other unmentionables, all Perdy's fault of course, from the head. It felt like I had succeeded--well by just looking at it. I turned it on and proceeded to  vacuum again. NO PICK UP! Bugger!!!!!

Right---you are seriously pissing me off---machine. I am getting to the point whereby---things happen and the result is and has been--a new machine. NO---that will not do these days, now that I live on a less than generous income! Let's pull the bugger to  bits ,eh? Yes, that is a question and one that I pondered for more than a few seconds. I waited until my blood pressure dropped a little and then decided to pout my glasses on and seek 'signage' that indicated that the head of the machine could be opened. Success!!!!

I gently---yes GENTLY prised open anything that said---'open.' and before long the device that sucked up, was in several parts. the 'blockage' easily visible. Bits and pieces, many of dogie nature, fell away leaving a clear and relatively clean passage, allowing a free-flow of things to enter the 'collection chamber.' Hey====don't expect me to read the bloody diagram, to attain the actual name of the various components of the cleaner. Guess what---I succeeded in reassembling the head and attaching it to the stem of the machine.

I turned it on and directed it to the task at hand. OMG---it worked---just like new. Whatever has come over me----yes me-----following a simple process without damaging the device, or any expletives, other than those that exuded a joy in managing a task! Surely the Coastal air and the beautiful stones I collect, have worked their influence into my psyche? What the hell---I will take every smidgen of Coastal charm that comes my way! The result? One unbroken pristine machine and a 'cleanish' house---until the 'someone' uses the flash machine and the standards rise.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

'Coastal chicks' don't give it up to just---anyone!

So I lost a few 'friends' with my opening gambit!  He's gone too far, you say. He's just a bit 'edgy,' the slightly less PC amongst you, opine. As that lovey Doris Day used to sing, 'Whatever will be, will be,'

As you may know, my 'girls,' have very upfront behavioural traits. They 'are what they are,' sometimes, real beasts, frighteningly returning to basal instincts, in order to meet their varied needs. I am left wondering what tricks they have up their sleeves, never pushing them too far, as being a mere male, I sometimes lack  empathy for the needs of my girls.

They often exhibit qualities that border on the criminal, but once again, I step back. Let's face it, they are only defending that which they see as ----theirs! It is not the male of the myriad of species inhabiting this blue planet, that take 'territorial disputes to the extreme, regularly resulting in the death of those who transgress. Sadly, I see such wanton acts of destructive violence on a regular basis. I accept such acts as being within the 'norm.'

Being rather close, to my 'girls,' I have come to understand that I can not use the skills I have acquired over the years from the other side of my life----my professional life---the counselling skills, involving mediation, conflict resolution and time management. NO---I am too close and experience has taught me that one should always seek the help of fellow 'specialists,' and NOT be afraid to refer clients on. I have done that. Even Perdy, agrees that I do not have the answers to all of the problems exhibited by my 'girls!'

Today, I returned home with a special treat for the girls. On my walk with Perdy, along a beach that shall remain secret, because, selfishly, I do not wish to divulge the source of the treats. I gathered some delectable treasure, no----not the usual pretty stones that I 'tumble.' I picked some lovely fresh Puha--a bag of it, stuffed to an explosive state. Yes, I used one of Perdy's poop bags for the collecting. I returned home,  knowing that I was going to be very popular with the girls. They love Puha!

I emptied the bag within their reach, then I stood back---waiting for the accolades coming my way. NOOOOOO! They morphed into these creatures, who had not picked up on any of the skills I had hoped they learned in their therapy sessions; cooperation, sharing and caring about one another. If ONE had a stem, the others desired it, yet there was plenty for all. I was so disappointed in the behaviour my feathery friends were exhibiting.  They were a bunch of demented hens, no less! I tried, but came up short in the final delivery. When the chips are down---chicks will be chicks!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Coast time---forget hours or minutes---just a number.

This morning has been an 'illustration' of alternate time. No---not another 'plane,' or some sort of mystic illusion, but something more---primal.
 I set out with a few targets to fill the morning. I had allowed about an hour to complete them, but in some recess of my ethos, I unwittingly made adjustments that could extend the morning by quite a margin. As long as I purchased some 'safety' glasses and ear muffs, I did not really care how the morning went.
My 'appendage,' Perdy, read the usual signs; me putting on a jumper, socks and yes---going to the toilet. She reads way more than she should, given the fact that old buggers go to the latter---quite a lot! I'm kind of surprised that she hasn't quite got to the point where she heads to pick up the lead, from where it is stored by the back door, but no---she just 'knows.'
We were soon heading the short distance to the main drag. Yip, there is another 'drag' in town! Our first stop: The barber. I had noted my unruly hair, starting to look a bit 'hillbilly!' I prefer the label. 'post semi-retirement, don't give a stuff, syndrome.' Either description is acceptable. I wandered into a barber that I had not used before and was greeted by an older bloke, not too dissimilar to me in appearance---yes he had that 'handsome, well used, knowledgeable, a little bit unPC,' look. He looked a bit grumpy too, a feeling I can display when 'issues' are in the forefront of my persona.
   'Just tidy me up a bit,' I said as he ushered me to the vacant chair.
   'Nice day, eh,' he said. 'At least the suns out for a change.'
   'Sure is---might get the weed eater going,' I replied.

    The conversation flowed in  that comfortable manner that ensues when people are content. Yes, we discussed local, national and international 'stuff, In essence we seemed to agree on most issues. We got into the 'railways versus trucks,' debate and that reflected our unison of ideas re many other important matters. I decided, I had met a like-minded soul or he was a bloody good actor. I left the establishment, looking somewhat more presentable.  (Sorry---pictures not included)

   As I left to join Perdy in the car, I thought of other reasons for my Friday townee visit. Memories flooded in re a bygone era, way back in the 1950's and the Friday visits to the little town of Eltham in Taranaki---fond memories. Carmens, (I think) was a shop that had 'everything. Not flash---somewhat like a 50's version of a more upmarket Two Dollar shop, but maybe a bigger range re pricing.

   I wandered into the smaller of the two options that are right next door to one another. I'm not sure why, but it does make for good competition.
   I like the two Korean owners---friendly and helpful.
   'Hi ya,' I said. 'I'm after some safety glasses and ear muffs.'
Before he could answer, a guy dressed in a high-vis outfit called out, 'Down here mate.'
We all laughed. Only in a small town would the customer do the job of the shop keeper.

   A few minutes later, I was back in the car, with my $6 purchase---both items way less than from one of the larger name-brand stores, but I was totally OK with the quality. I wanted safety and protection for my eyes and to retain what is left of my failing hearing.

   Perdy had her walk---along with the many stops, so I could chat. I met a former counsellor and we chatted until Perdy called --'TIME!'
TIME? What the hell is that on the Coast? An Illusion to measure how one spends the time? No---it's a goal post that constantly moves. Use any other definition if you must, but I am content with the latter. The ebb and flow of the tides probably makes more sense.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I often meet people on the Coast---who I just----like!

I walk everyday down here on my beloved Coast. The other day I took an early morning walk, to get a sick doggie out, avoiding an 'accident on the floor, as she had exhibited for the previous two days---or nights. Things have much improved in that 'theatre of operations.' It was dark and I assumed  I was walking at about 6.30am. When I returned, I looked at the clock on the stove, to realise that it was only 4am. OMG---what was I doing? .Actually, it was wonderfully serene, quiet and the fairies in the hills were just starting their day in the early morning mists.
   I walked Perdy this afternoon and as per usual, met her friends from the retirement village, which always transforms a short walk into a long leisurely  ramble, much of the latter taking the form of 'conversations that inform, entertain and delve into the decades long gone.' I love it. There be 'stories in much more than them there hills!'

   On today's walk, we encountered a gentleman whom we had met before----he remembered Perdy's name but not mine. That's something I note that often happened in Onehunga Bay. Indeed I regularly reversed the naming, calling the 'mum or dad,' the dog's name. Many laughs ensued. The gentleman was pulling in a small boat and it looked like he needed a hand, so I offered Perdy's help.Of course, I lent my doubtful strength and between the three of us we soon had his boat attached to the car.

   Then we talked for so long that Perdy started to tell us off. Whilst diverting her increasingly strident pleas to---move it,' Cedric showed me his catch; three good sized Snapper, all caught just a hundred metres off Tararu Beach, from a very cheap boat, purchased from Trade Me. He informed me that I could do the same by casting my rod (still in the garage) at the river mouth and that NOW is just the right time as the Snapper and Kahawai are bountiful.

   I meet lots of friendly people, but sometimes you 'click.' I like people with stories. I just know I will run into Cedric again. That's how it is, down here on the Coast.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A walk is just a matter of 'distance' on the Coast! NO.

You have often read of my wonderful walks on the Coast. They have been my 'saviour, my tonic---my source of joy!' If I feel a little bored or our of sports, I go for a walk. I return home---invigorated, restored and calm. How does one measure such experiences?

    We could measure how far we walked (you know who 'we,' represents!) I would be reporting in steps walked, (as measured by the AP on my phone) or by the distance in kilometres----or how long we walked. None of the aforementioned work for me, as they do not 'record' what happened on the walk.

   There is a far more accurate measure re our walks. Just take it as a given that we explore beautiful places with heavenly vistas, along with the sounds, of birds and gently lapping waves---those experiences just happen! How about we use the 'encounters' we enjoy along the way----yes the people we meet. To put a finer point on this----let me use the 'conversations I have with the people I meet. There---we have it. By today's measure for our walk the result was five conversations; five meetings and exchanges of ideas and stories.

That is how we measure a walk on the Coast!!!!

Walking on the Coast is--'talking' on the Coast.

I could hardly be accused of been a shy, 'keep it to yourself,' sort of guy. I can't help it---I just talk. (lots of grins and knowing nods as some of my friends and family read that opening!) Since moving to the Coast, that 'attribute' has been enhanced by the sheer beauty of the area and freeing up of the 'me' that the Coast has brought out.

   Every time I walk along the foreshore,  up a valley, or alongside the retirement village, I meet someone, I never get far without the need to stop and chat. I suspect that Perdy is the draw card, as most of the people, some with their own  'hairy companions,' stop to pat, chat and swap yarns. It is at least a twice daily ritual now.

   I learn a great deal about the area I have moved to and about other far flung places, not just in New Zealand, but the lands from which so many of the people have come from. I love their stories and as I get to know them, they go deeper, sharing aspects of their lives that I feel special, when I hear them.

   There have been times in my life, when I have exhibited a fair amount of impatience when  it comes to standing still and listening, but something about this place, makes me want to take the time to 'play the Coastal game,' and enjoy the pace; indeed it is my furry monster, Perdy who is literally chomping at the bit to get away, once the chat goes beyond ten minutes. Several times I have looked down and my nutty Jack Russell has chewed through her lead. Thank goodness, she has only bolted for the hills and streets of Thames, hunting cats and other vermin, a couple of times.

    One aspect of meeting people with their own dogs is that I forget the names of the humans but remember the dogs' names. On occasion, I swap names---I call the human the dog's name. Even that seems to be acceptable behaviour down here. Actually, I remember doing the same in Auckland so maybe it is a quaint failing of dog owners in general.

   I like the  pace of life here; the easy welcoming from locals, the smiles and willingness to share helpful knowledge about  where to get 'stuff or services,' the shortcuts that avoid issues and yes---'what not to do.' I was expecting a it of 'push back,' re coming from Auckland; yes I was prepared to say I was from the Naki,' in an attempt to avoid that bloody awful label JAFA! I have not needed to do that. They seem to have changed the label to JAR (Just another Refugee) I am not sure that this willingness to accept Aucklanders will last long term, because there is a huge shortage of houses to buy or rent donw here now. The HALO affect of Auckland stupid prices for houses, is going to cause issues as locals are locked out of the market, just like many Aucklanders are now.

   There are many other beautiful regions in New Zealand. I would like to think that people like me, who have tired of the 'rat race' of the bigger cities, will find a way to make the changes necessary to move to the gems that are scattered like the rocks I collect from the beach here---find them and make the move. Find your place to slow the pace and meet the people on the beaches, parks and wild spaces. You will wonder why you struggled for so long!

Friday, September 23, 2016

There are some really good support groups out there on Facebook!

A few years ago, I had bariatric surgery. Soon after that event, I decided to form a support group for people who were either about to undergo the procedure,  were thinking of having it and those who were post op. It started slowly, mainly form people in NZ, then it spread---big time. Now it has about 800 members and is growing ever faster, some would say 'exponentially.'

   With that rapid growth, the group attracted the 'vultures,' religious nutters' (that will get a few of you moaning!) and the 'issue orientated groups,' none of whom have a place in the group. The group was set up to support people with 'love, ideas and to encourage people to take a journey towards a new life.' It has succeeded beyond even my most hopeful dreams.

    I had to ask for a friend to help me moderate the groups and that has been wonderful. I have yet to meet her in person, but I will. What started as a Kiwi group has virtually been enlarged by lovely people from the USA and to a lesser extent, members from other countries. What hits me is the 'journey that unites,' and once the 'fools, wannabes and others' are expunged from the group, we are left with something special---mutual respect and support. Who needs anything else.

    Today, I found another great group, online. It is for people suffering, enduring and wanting to learn about AF---Atrial Fibrillation. I have recently had that 'nasty fact of life for many,' diagnosed and at times I have struggled to understand it and see a way forward. Joining the group today, has lessened my anxiety and perhaps taken one of the 'triggers' under control  by doing so.

   My purpose in writing this blog, today, is not to exhort people to join these groups;it is more to say---- there is always hope out there and if one seeks support for any 'condition, issue or ailment'---then it is out there. If you really want to know, just type in something like 'bariatric support group or Atrial Fibrillation support group----you get the picture.  Both groups will come up. You choose the type of group you would like to belong to. Both groups I belong to are 'Public.' If you want to join a 'closed group,' those options are available too.

PS   I may form a group for 'survivors of owning a jack Russell,' group!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Japan---Hi ya!

It's great to see Japan reading my blogs. Please go to my website and look at my books. Do you want to read some stories from New Zealand? It's easy.    Just click on Neils Books and follow the links to the Kindle downloads. If you want hard copy, get in touch with me directly for a better deal.   Use my website for the downloads.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maybe the Coast will enthuse me for this years book festival in Auckland!

Last year I attended a book festival on the North Shore, at a venue totally unsuitable and hard to find for the participants and the general public. Suffice it to say, not many sales were  made by any authors and I suspect that those presenting 'supporting' roles re publishing also were very quiet. I did make some good contacts though should I need 'producing ' in the future. That of course depends very much on sales for Roskill and Talk To me.

   This year I am in a very different position as I no longer work full-time, having made the decision to 'mostly' retire and move from Auckland. However the move to Thames has energized me in many ways. I have more time to think, to go off in various directions, re new hobbies, new friends, but keeping in touch with those special people from my time in Auckland and more importantly---I have a desire to write more. To do this, I want to take one last shot at pushing my two books, hence my decision to take part in the upcoming book festival in Auckland.

    Over the next week or so, keep an eye on my blog page and FB page and I shall put up the details of when and where the infinitival will occur. In the meantime, keep downloading my books and if you want hard copy, get in touch with me directly so you can get a better deal.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Is it the 'Coast' or is it something else?

Since moving to the Thames Coast, there have been a few notable changes in my life. My health is much improved and I seem to be---calmer. That of course does not prevent me from letting loose on here from time to time---but----

    Just a few short months ago I was working as a counsellor in an Auckland school. That was 'stimulating,' but after nearly 30 years in the same job, but in different schools, one has to accept that there is a 'use by' date, whereby 'things' catch up with you. Others may call that state, 'hitting the wall.' Had I---the answer would be---'it depends who you talk to.'

   Let's put the above 'question' aside and look at what  happened that led me to decide to leave the big city, I had a few warnings. Yes, I had been through the 'Bariatric surgery journey and had probably saved my life by shedding about 40 kilos. There was an immediate health benefit and a noticeable improvement in my outlook on life generally. Many insidious life threatening 'ailments' simply disappeared, including type two diabetes and sleep apnea, plus there was better control over cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

    However, there was still the stress, combined with the feeling that I was getting nowhere, financially. For various reasons, which some would put down to  BAD planning, I was in a postilion that debt seemed to be stalking me, in a manner that was suggesting that life was a never ending excuse to seek diversions. Spending money was a stupid answer, but one that had been part of my 'therapy.' An intervention, not of my choosing was just around the corner. I met it head on----New Years Day, 2016!

    I ended up in Auckland Hospital with possible heart issues and being a crazy time of the year, they kept me in for a week. That was good as it allowed the specialists to get to the bottom of the problem. I have nothing but praise for New Zealand's free public health system. I was treated magnificently and I now have a management plan for the condition I have. It's quite a common one---Atrial Fibrillation, and with the right support, it is manageable . Initially it was a bit frightening, and some of the triggers, were unknown to me at the time, making for increased anxiety.

    I need to digress for a moment. For a few years, I had been entertaining the possibility of leaving the city of Auckland, but I could not make the leap between actually planning it and doing it. I made up all sorts of excuses, whilst checking the fantasy of ----'where,' if I ever did.' One place that continually entered my thoughts---and dreams was the Thames Coast. But---I put those thoughts on the back burner, thinking that I would never actually do it.

    That week in hospital and the ramifications as to my future if I stayed in a high pressure job, combined with that 'financial wall,' coalesced  into an action plan. I discussed my concerns and plans with my partner and we came to a decision to start looking for a home in Thames. I had already seen a two and within a few weeks we had visited the town and checked out these homes, agreeing on the one we now live in---a very modest little two bedroom 1950's retro home, not far from the beach at Tararu.

   Things moved rapidly from that moment and a decision to leave my employment happened even faster. I was able to secure an early release and looking back---maybe a bit too fast. There were a few 'reminders' that I should have slowed down, as the AF hit back when I overdid things, but here we are---living on the Coast and living a far more balanced life. Sure---I miss aspects of Auckland; my friends and family, but technology comes to the rescue  when the feeling is strong and frequent visits from friends and family fills the gaps. I do not miss the craziness of full-time work and the everyday commute. I am forcibly reminded of just how bad the traffic is in Auckland when I return to see the few clients I now work with, both in a counselling relationship and a supervisory one.

   I am embracing the local community---meeting many people on my walks with Perdy, my crazy Jack Russell---the escapologist! I have started my training to work at the local Citizens Advice bureau and my new obsession with rock collecting and polishing seems to take a bit of time. It's a wonder I have any time to actually work at all!

   There is also a strong possibility that family members will be moving to Thames, one quite soon, so any feelings that I am cut off--are rapidly diminishing. I may find some time to start another book, or work on  one one that has been on the 'burner' for quite a few years. The support group I started re Bariatric Surgery, has totally taken off, now having over 600 members. That takes quite an amount of time--to check and moderate, but  a good friend is helping with that.

   I feel I have a beautiful balance in my life now. Sure---there will be the odd 'curve-ball,' come my way, but that IS life.In the mean time, I shall seek new adventures and report on them, sometimes seriously and at others---well---you know my style, so be warned.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Nothing like a tumble on the Coast!!!!!

I bet that got ya going!   yes I am an older bugger today---WTF---I intend to be even more 'outgoing,' so be warned.

   OK, I started the day in dramatic fashion. I had prepared the chicken drumsticks for the BBQ and decided to get out of the house with Perdy for a quick walk so Rio could ready the kitchen for 'activity.' Off I went to the usual nearby beach. Perdy was in an exuberant mood as per usual and we walked along the tide mark---the sea was right in---hopefully no tsunami warning today!

   Perdy chased off a few gulls and a bevvy of shags plus, a few other waders of unknown origin and we headed home. The cellphone went. I dropped it, along with Perdy's lead. She was off like a rat up a shit-house pipe! Jack Russells do that! She was in someone's backyard before I could breath, trailing her lead behind her like a bouncing ball. That didn't slow her down at all. I followed in a more leisurely manner as I did not want to draw the attention of the entire neighbourhood, warranting a mass call-out of all and sundry!

   I noticed she had gone down the side of the house where the ubiquitous sight of a boat greeted me. It seems everyone has a boat down here on the coast. Great---I thought  I could trap her as she came out It didn't quite work out that way. I slipped as I made a grab for her and flopped down, making a rather undignified stretch with the accompanying pain as I felt what I assumed was a rip of various bodily parts. FUCK!---I yelled---loudly. Perdy, in the meantime was dancing without a care in the world around the backyard of the house, seeking critters.

   I dragged myself up, a feat I can achieve since the weight loss, and retreated to the more dignified position on the footpath. I was going to ring Rio, to come and assist in the capture of the beast. In the meantime the owner of the house, who was even older than me came out, laughing, the bugger, and invited me in to his section to retrieve the Perdy. He knew about 'foxies' (But not enough, apparently to know that Perdy is a fecking Jack Russell!). Together we managed to trap Perdy in a narrow space and at that point she meekly came to me. Yes her escapade was over and she had to behave herself while I chatted away to the fellow escapee from Auckland.

    I was feeling better by this stage and trudged my way home. I suspect the pain will revisit me tonight. I intend to drown it for the next 8 hours or so with a few celebratory drinks, whilst entertaining  friends, family and neighbours. So, it appears that 'tumbling' is quite a feature for me here on the Coast---if it's not stones---it's ME!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Romania---'Talk to me,' or at least read my books!

I am still fascinated by the huge numbers of hits on my blog from Romania, but complexity perplexed as to why you don't communicate  directly. Come on---talk to me. I want to know what you think, what you are doing, if you are downloading my books. I wonder how many 'individuals are hitting on my blog or is a just a few who are reading the many blogs i have written---over 2000 now! Email me   neilcolemanauthor@gmail,com  so I can stop writing these blogs that my friends in NZ and elsewhere,' are beginning to think I am overly 'touched' by your attention. It's kinda strange knowing I have all these 'silent' readers in far off Romania, so put me out of my delusions about WHY you are such avid 'fans.'

Friday, August 26, 2016

I did a little research about the Coast--quite 'fruitful!'

   When I was looking for a property in Thames, one of my 'desires' was to have a bountiful garden and orchard, along with a few hens. Yes, I know---it sounds like I am a 'wannabe Good life,' kind of person, but one who is rather 'stumbly' when it comes to putting plans into action. Let's put that 'quantitative quality assurance ' issue aside for a moment and explore the results of my 'research' using Aunty/Uncle Google!

    I came across a piece from  a newspaper in 1886, which extolled the virtues of the Thames Region, and Tararu on particular and how it could supply the fruit and vegetable needs of Auckland across the water. My thoughts were--'Hell--Auckland must have been tiny.' Well, of course in the 1870's Thames was BIGGER than Auckland! That can be put down to the dreams of many seeking their fortunes on the gold fields.

    All the usual were there---the vegetables we all love---well not all of us, judging by the rubbish that passes for food, that many eat in these times, but there was a surprise on the list re the fruits available. Yes---cherries. That got me thinking. I already have a very productive apricot tree, so surely cherries would thrive. Both are stone fruit requiring a certain amount of chilling time. Thames is a little colder at night than Auckland, so maybe I can source a cherry tree and see what happens. In some dark recess of my ageing brain, I seem to recall an old syaing that--'where's there's gold, cherry trees grow.'Today's task?----Down to the two nurseries to see what they say and if they say wrong? I shall go further afield on my search for the Holy Grail!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Romania---You have done it!

Yes!----Romania has displaced France in the top ten for hits on my blog--for the time it has been going. I do not know why but---it's cool with me. Now---please make some comments, Romanian readers. Maybe you will be instrumental in getting more downloads for my books. Go for it---make Romania my top readers. Please share my website for my books. Amazing---Romania!

OMG---you have one of those!

This is the second 'story' from my walk this morning. The 'Coast' is indeed rich, for more than the gold. Stories, last!
   Whilst walking along the coastal path today, in the wind, but thankfully, no rain, I came across the usual friends and met a few more, remembering the names of the dogs, but not their 'parents'! One gentleman in particular made me smile. He made me----laugh!

  ' Oh my God,' he quipped, 'You have one of those---I used to too,  but I had to give it away,' he said sadly.
'Why?' I replied, thinking of all manner of scenarios, some no doubt very familiar to my experiences.
'Well, for starters---he kept escaping, no matter what we did. We spent a fortune on fences and even installed an electric fence system that he activated via a collar he wore.'

   'That would have done the trick,' I said confidently. He looked at me as if to confirm my stupidity.
'No---the little shit just figured out that a second of momentary pain was well worth escaping to chase cats, possums and whatever else took his fancy, Basically the little sod was one step ahead of us, no matter hat we did. He would run up the wooden fence as if it was FLAT!'

   My thoughts went to the pathetic excuse for a fence that exists at my place. I have often thought that Perdy just doesn't know she is more than capable of jumping it, but  hasn't felt the need!

   He continues his story. 'So we gave her to  family , living in the country, where he chases cats, chooks and rats along with possums. They now have no cats, rats, possums or chooks but they love him!'

    'I hope you weren't listening too closely to that 'telling,' Perdy I sad as we headed for the car. She titled her head in that way she does to endear herself to me. What am I in for, I thought!

One gets the very best advice on the Coast!

Every day I seem to hear a great tale or receive a piece of very god advice. Today was particularly interesting and possibly very good for 'our' health, in the first case.

   You may remember our little white Toyota Tercel got rammed in Auckland last week. I took the car to the panel beater down here in Thames and started the process off to get it back on the road. The car is drive-able but the back hatch doesn't lock. OK, so we were told to contact the firm this week and when i did today,Ii was informed that there is a huge line-up for the assessors and a few other issues. It doesn't really matter, given that the car is safe. This is where some very sage advice was really appreciated on our part from the company.
   When I called in to the panel beater today (That was only about one kilometre donw the road---Jeeze I love the convenience of not having to travel fat for service!) I leaned about having to wait, but his concern re the back hatch was re the possibility of fumes coming into the car and possibly causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The danger is that one may not know that this is happening. I was advised to keep the windows shut and to turn on the heater at low or  use the air conditioning, to keep the car ventilated. I would have opened the windows but he said that that only increased the flow of the fumes across the nose.

   He also advised us to keep a milk based drink in the car, because that counteracts carbon monoxide poisoning! I intend to find out more, because his words brought back memories of driving a car in the past, whereby I had nearly fallen asleep. As it turned out, the car had a leaking manifold, if memory serves me correctly and I well remember the things I did to stay awake, ranging from open windows, slapping my face and drinking coffee. How stupid---on reflection. I'd love some feedback on my 'explanations, because sometimes I get it wrong.

   My other story: Read my next blog!