Sunday, July 31, 2016

The 'Coast' needs one to have spectacular teeth! OR---am I just getting old?

I thought that after today's magnificent slow cooked pork Sunday Lunch, that I would have a very light dinner. Remember for me, post bariatric surgery, 'light means light,' so dinner tonight should have been a quite small portion. I digress: Yesterday I purchased a multi-seed bread loaf. it was expensive----$8, for a very small loaf. he said---'keep it for a week, because it's quite moist.' OK, I thought---great. So---tonight i sliced two very small portions and spread them with left-over dip, then mushrooms sliced and a generous lump of Edam cheese. I grilled them for a few minutes on the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.It was like eating grilled BRICKS! Shite--thank goodness i didn't break my teeth or partial denture! Sure it tasted wonderful and was probably quite healthy, given the multitude of seeds in and ON the bread. I reckon the baker must have been trying to reproduce a Kiwi version of that solid German bread---Pumpernickel. Luckily, I did no damage and the evening shall go on without the need to seek out urgent dentistry, because I am buggered if I know what they do for that, down here on the Coast. Oh well---it all ended well, but I am not sure if I shall risk another adventure with the remainder of the loaf---hello Coastal birds---wanna feed?!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jeeze--the Coast has slowed me down!

The sea---the gulls, wind, rocks and chooks; stopping in the main street, or greeting every person I meet on the doggie walks, sometimes---OK---MOSTLY forgetting the owners name but remembering the dogs---taking a minute that stretches into 20--even Perdy has become more patient, simply sitting and accepting the inevitable---that 'daddy is gonna gabble on about the garden and God knows what.' I leave home for the walk at 8.30, expecting to arrive home before the hour is up----come on---it  NEVER happens. By the time I have helped to sure the ills of the world, traded a recipe, sought advice re the chooks---I am almost ready for morning tea. Yes, I have morning tea and sometimes I even serve it on nice china!
The Coast had 'slowed me down,' I 'notice' the direction of the wind, the colours of the clouds, the size of the swell, the shape of the waves, how far the tide has come in, the new rocks on the beach, cast on the shoreline from the nights storm or the higher than usual river flow---all these events often overshadowing the nastiness of the world beyond my humble abode and place of residence.
I know it's still 'out there,' but I am not as obsessed with it, even though I get angry and sometimes write my usual diatribes against the 'wrongs,' the fools who rule us, the  egos of the latter and the dangerous direction the world is taking. Perhaps I am gathering my thoughts, in a balanced manner, readying myself to take part again on the side of a 'good cause.' Part of me prefers to 'keep it as it is,' exploring those sides of myself, that I had not realized were important.
I don't want to bury myself in the safety of the Coast, because even here there is suffering, wrongness and 'stuff' that should not happen. I have not sought work in my particular skill set; I have immersed myself in more simple pursuits,  but I know that soon, very soon, I shall seek out opportunities to contribute, in the paid workforce (but not full-time) and in the voluntary sector. Indeed, I have taken the first step re the latter.
My time-frame is 'flexible.The Coast has been kind to me and it is my home now. I have not forgotten the 'big smoke,' 80 minutes up the road. No doubt I will point the bonnet of my car in that direction and visit friends, family and places I still love, yet certain in the knowledge that I have found 'my place, at the new slower pace---on the Coast. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Germany--- are you reading my books?

I know that Germany is increasingly reading my blogs, bunt I am not so sure that those same people are downloading my books. I wish that was so, but----anyway---check out my website Germany and read the books by clicking on 'Neil's Books,' and following the links to ROSKILL and TALK TO ME. The two books are very different in nature. Roskill is a sad story but one that carries a message of hope. When a family is threatened by an insidious drug, the mother steps up, even as she watches her family pull apart. Talk To Me is a dark, cynical, yet humorous book that takes the piss out of the talk back radio industry. Perdy (Spot, in the book!) is a little star. She wants the book to be made into a film so she can reach for the stars! Help make that happen, by downloading the two books.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Coast unleashed a furry last night!

The Coast has been responsible for a return to good health for me since joining the friendly inhabitants down here. I love the vistas, the feeling one gets whilst walking along nearby beaches and bush roads, all close to where we live. Then, there are the rocks I have started collecting and polishing in a tumbler. I can't wait for the first batch to be processed---it only takes month! Patience, dear boy, I say to myself. Now---lets visit a fact of life here on the Coast. We live beneath beautiful mountain range---a rain forest i gues. Last night we were reminded of that fact. Yes, much of northern New Zealand was probably in the same position---we were visited by copious amounts of rain. I came---it poured down the driveway. We had been warned that the manner in which the road is constructed, it can cause issues on our drive. You guess it---it kept coming and coming---right into our garage. It has happened before, but this time, it decided to give the garage a bloody good wash-out! Thank goodness we had spent the better part of the afternoon, yesterday, moving thins around and taking stuff inside. BUT---the water managed to make it all the way to the back of the garage. Some books were damaged and for a while, I thought our big stereo, which we are going to sell, because it is too damn big for out lounge, would have copped it. Nope! The box was dry and the way I had packed it meant that only the manual was on the bottom and even that seems OK. Buggered if i know how it stayed dry. OK---where to from here? I shall visit the Council tomorrow to see what they suggest, given that the water comes off the road and the side drains seem unable to cope. Somehow, I suspect that that option has already been explored by the previous owners. The solution will possibly be in creating a barrier/diversion and a sump hole. We shall also sore things on pallets, because the water never exceeds about an inch at most, so it's not the end of the world, just bloody annoying. Please come out sun! Oh well, I think that's the end of dancing for the Rain Gods, for a while.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What the F are you up to Israel?!

Take a look at the figures today. They supposedly represent the number of hits on my blog page for one day. Normally I get about 50 for the day unless it's a particularly 'good day.' Every so often, maybe about once in six months I see something like this---a huge number of hits from Israel. I have tried to contact Google to see if they can throw some light on this weird phenomenon. but they never respond. I am concerned that my blog page is being used for nefarious purposes! I am not over reacting--I am being circumspect---why would this huge number occur---surely if the numbers were genuine, I would see a knock-on effect re sales of my books or downloads from Amazon, because there is a direct link to my website---the original reason for me setting up the blog---to re-direct traffic to my website to sell my books. What then is the purpose of these 'hits?' Could someone please suggest (yeah I know---there will be some 'comical replies from my dear friends---you are in my sights fools---lol) but I really need to get to the bottom of these events. In the meantime---please go and download my books so I can fund some new 'stories!' Entry Pageviews Israel 2106 New Zealand 22 Russia 20 United States

Monday, July 18, 2016

I was in the middle of an 'air-raid,' on the Coast today.

Now don't get me wrong, folks---I am OK. I survived. NO---New Zealand has not departed from its peaceful state---it has not entered yet another stupid and endless war, following on the footsteps of the USA, like it usually does or enacts that'Where Britain goes, we go,' folly! NO---this was far more basic in its stance, more down to earth---well in the sky above the bay to be exact. Whilst I was walking Perdy, we were suddenly assailed by the noise of an approaching cloud of screaming feathered Stuka bombers. One seagull had been lucky enough to score a wiggling silver morsel, to then be attacked by other wannabe breakfast club members. NO---they were not content to go get their own---they had to have THAT particular fish! It was bedlam in the sky; I seriously thought that they would swoop on us and unleash a sign of their displeasure in the form of a slimy stinky poop! Of course, Perdy took it all in her stride. She has long given up on catching one of them unless they are way too slow to launch. Hell, they have no intention of being her lunch! She just watched, and sniffed around amongst the rocks, while I kept an eye on the shenanigans in the sky. I had to admire the skill with which they manoeuvred their fluffy frames. The original claimant of the fish had long since lost its bounty; the race had been more like a relay as first one dropped it and another dived down and caught it, only to lose it whilst taking a turn too fast, then another. This went on until finally, one of them managed to swallow it on 'the wing.' Then---they simply dispersed as if nothing had happened and peace resumed over the skies of Tararu.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On the 'Coast,'---I just can't do it!~------

I have tried so hard to make the transition from the madness of Auckland, but there are just some things that I can not do. It has taken me a while to get it---to realize that it is simply too much----to achieve the 'place' in my life where I can handle this serious issue---it jumps up on me all the time. I did not think that such manifestations of a life that was left behind in Auckland would creep up and affect me in this way---but it has.I guess---for some people---it would be too much and they would give in---but I thought I would give it one more try. Here's how it panned out today. While Rio was getting a hair-cut, I thought I would test yet again this strange phenomenon: just ONCE more. Perdy and I dropped Rio off in the main street and headed for the walk behind the field and the supermarket. My anxiety levels were bubbling away---gradually increasing. I was determined not to let the beast get to me---it bloody well did!'It's OK, Perdy,' I said, trying to make sure she didn't suffer from the 'spill-over' effect--you know---pick up on my anxiety! The first target approached; a dear old lady in one of those ubiquitous ride-on wheel chairs. 'Don't worry, Perdy---we will just ignore her and rush past her--no worries, eh!' Yeah right. No sooner had we approached within hailing range when the sweet old lady committed the sin of demanding an interaction of the non-Auckland category----you know---taking time to talk! 'Is she friendly?' she asked--then, 'May I touch her?' I looked at Perdy as if to say--'over to you little hairy friend.' Perdy sniffed and the lady was able to bend from the riding device, which as per usual, garnered my interest, in the admission that such a machine may well be part of my future, hopefully one that does not attract a fine like the one I received today for my excessive speed! Five minutes later, the gracious lady released us from her clutches and sent us on our way, having invited us to partake in similar meetings in the future. Two minutes later, then five after that, the experience was 'mirrored'---over and over again. Perdy seems to have accepted that 'this is life on the Coast,' suggesting to me that I better bloody well just get on with it and 'get in the groove re Coastal life.' This is what people do--and guess what---I give up and will just enjoy it. I love this slower pace and yes, I CAN DO IT. I suspect that I am not a shy ex-Aucklander! I was just hiding my shyness in the mangroves that flank the walkway. Yeah----I can do it and to hell with time!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Talk back radio---wow---thank God-the callers aren't running the country---maybe they are!

I often listen to Talk Back radio---Call it 'research,' if you like--or 'punishment,' if you feel like it. Maybe the callers represent 'Middle New Zealand,' that possibly large segment of society that exists 'out there,' silently (Well, not if they are calling in!) suffering the 'impositions' of our elected politicians or the 'perceived threats, that are apparently 'coming to NZ to take over, to impose Sharia law---the list goes on. Some of the 'callers today, may be spurred on by their understanding of what is happening in the USA----you k now---that country that 'have guns, will use, and is at war with itself!' Oops--I am getting ahead of myself. Let's bring it back to NZ. One would think that the many views, as expressed on radio talk back, yeah a bit like "As Seen ON TV,' minus the nice package that arrives on your doorstep, to be stored in the garage for a Trade Me sale, later on! Yes the views expressed are a range of the kooky, the sublime, the take the piss and the occasional gem!I see talk back as entertainment and I know---that will be seen as arrogant, but if you listen to enough of it, it is either that stance or one where you become hot under the collar. Bottom line---- to the the radio stations, it is ABOUT making money: nothing more, nothing less! Yeah I know, some of you see the programmes as a 'mouthpiece of the incumbent Government'---the radio stations merely lackeys for the former. OK---I love to take the piss. Wanna know what I mean? Then----go to my website and download my book Talk To Me.' If you want to take it seriously and get back to me with enlightened arguments as to the 'falseness of my 'story,' then go for it.Go to the site and follow the links for the download---it will cost you stuff all and you may suffer form a few giggles or outright---rage! Your choice. Oh---while you are at it---download ROSKILL Right ---get busy and start downloading and sharing my post. Who's that girl in the picture? Why---she's the STAR of Talk To Me.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tales and tails from the Coast!

There be many strange tales emanating from the Coast. You may not always be there, first hand to hear, to observe, hence my propensity to illuminate your day with a direct report from the 'source' of some rather unusual sights. I even predict some discomfort re some of these episodes---sort of in the vein of a 'warning,' because one does not want to cause any issues on the 'morrow.' AS some of you may know, a growing number of Aucklanders are moving to the Coast---Thames in particular and then make the daily journey back to the big smoke for work. Others, like myself, only return a day a week and even then, try to find an excuse NOT to make the journey. The Coast is a place of magic, of fantasy, so there are other solutions for the more 'unusual amongst us. Take for example, someone very close to me---he has come up with his solution for the journey, quite different and I suspect, not one that most of us would attempt. For a start it involves the use of a tail and given the natural human resistance to wearing a tail---well-------oh come on folks---they have been around for aeons---mermaids and mermen! So---if you are travelling by boat or any other floating craft tomorrow, because you either work in or on the sea, or transverse the shorter distance between Auckland and Thames, then do not be surprised by the sight of a smallish boat been towed by a mythical creature---with a large colourful tail!The craft will be 'empty,' unless I hitch a ride of course, but there will be cleaning gear aboard---for use in the stately homes of Auckland. Thus---a message to share--- there is a very good cleaner in Thames, who is happy to come to Auckland to sort out your mess---do not be concerned---he leaves the tail on the boat and assumes human form---just don't push him into a full bath---he will grow a tail. Plus---it will slow down the cleaning of your house. Enjoy the unusual sight tomorrow and other days and do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you want your home cleaned to a standard that most humans can only dream upon! ( Get in touch. OK---I'm off to polish and make sure the mertail is up to the journey!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Perdy went to Mars today!

I was inevitable---yes I have finally flipped---gone to the 'other side,' gone crackers! It had to come to this---from a simple 'observation from afar,' I have crossed the bridge----yeah--that bridge to nowhere! Call it Erewhon if you must, but today was a special day. Yes, whilst at the doggie walk venue, with Perdy, I espied a delight to behold: a giant apparition that seemed transfixed---returning the gaze that Perdy had sent its way. The brown glorious creature was a huge Poodle and it was running free----remember, Perdy has not been allowed off-leash since her various escapades around the township if Thames. I continued to walk along the pathway, the one that overlooks the mangroves. Just before we crossed to the area behind the big supermarket, the huge dog ran up to Perdy. Yes---all the sniff-greets ensued, followed by Perdy bursting to the length of her restraints, exhibiting that famous--'lets run mate,' behaviour. 'Let him go mate,' the guy implored. 'She will just piss off across the field and chase all the cats,' I returned in that gently correcting manner I have perfected when someone mistakes Perdy for a bloke. 'I've got treats' he returned and that was all i needed. I crossed my fingers, and steeled myself for a major chase if things didn't go to plan.Never believe anyone if they try to tell you that dogs don't smile----they fecking do! It was all on. The two dogs chased one another, they flipped, nudged at speed and even though there was a massive difference in size, Perdy led the way. It was bedlam, warmed up on toast, served with a dripping pleasure that just warms the faulty cockles of my heart. The term, 'flat out,' accurately describes the vision that flashed passed us as one or the other chased, then reversed thrust, transversing the field and disappearing into the distance. THEY CAME BACK! The guy offered Perdy a morsel of cooked chicken and she sat mildly as i out her lead on. 'You did well girl,' I said proudly. If only she can repeat the experience and avoid the crazy dashes to freedom that could go so wrong. The secret is to have a dog she can play with and treats to bribe.Life will be less stressful and Perdy will get those runs she so needs to keep her sane! Mars----Perdy did go to Mars---Mars was and is the beautiful huge brown Poodle!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Zealand 'stories.' Check them out.

I am always intrigued by the fact that many different countries read my blogs. I am also thankful. Now, my friends, take the next step and read 'stories from New Zealand.' Just go to my website and follow the steps and links to my 'downloads. If you have a reading AP, then please download my two books on the site---'ROSKILL' and 'Talk To Me.' There is even a free Kindle AP on the Amazon link. If you want hard-copy of Roskill, just get in touch with me via my email. for a much better deal.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Coastal 'produce!' Hopefully that is what I shall serve you!

From time to time, friends drop in to my rustic little home in Tararu, Thames. I love making them a cuppa, or a coffee. If they time it right, there will also be a meal awaiting. I have made some other 'discoveries,' whilst searching for a ball, that Perdy had failed to retrieve, because she was 'otherwise engaged,' chasing after some other exotic beast or fragrance. Amongst the growth, it is me who makes these discoveries. I have been informed that what I thought were tomatoe plants, that had sprung up at the end of summer, only to fall prey to the vagaries of the weather, will actually survive the mild Tararu winter.I have been reliably informed by a very knowledgeable neighbour, that these tomatoes will be true to form and that they are 'Heritage' varieties. I must say that they look pretty damned healthy and the one frost we sort of had, did nothing to impair their growth. I guess that means that when spring arrives. they will have a head start. I look forward to an early harvest. I have chillies and capsicums, still producing, albeit it at a slower rate, but I intend to leave them and plant a few more just to be sure of a bountiful harvest later on. There are mnay fruit trees that are already just about to burst into blossom. I will check out some safe sprays to ensure a healthy and pest-free product. The fruit bowl will hopefully match the largess of the veggie garden. If the garlic sprouts are anything to go by---then I shall not be visiting the fruit and veggie shops very often. Roll on 'productive season!'

Monday, July 4, 2016

On the Coast they don't spell 'Walkies' the same way---it is------

I know---I make heaps of typos when I 'massage' the keyboards here---and I do not see them until much later. 'Take your time,' you say. Nope---that's not how I write; I need to get it down, the words flowing more naturally that way, the ideas flitting around in my brain, then disappearing---receding into some dark recess, never to surface, except in my dreams. Some would say, I have entered a permanent dreamworld down here on the Coast! But---there is a word that is constantly used in this house---'barked' rather than spoken, except by me. The 'barkee,' is a four legged dominating little bundle of hair. So---when I say, walkies or she orders that time of the day, which can be up to three times, on a good doggie day, then one must jump to it. However, Perdy does not have it all her own way---yes, we walk and then--STOP. Walkies becomes---TALKIES, and the word transitions into yet more long conversations between myself and whoever it is that is similarly disposed to passing the time of day, expressing opinions, receiving good advice---or questionable suggestions---it's all the same to Perdy---it is an interruption of her 'time!' I must say, she has adapted to the many occasions, whereby I stop, meet, greet and opine my way through the day. I guess she has come to accept the new meaning of 'walkies,' only occasionally showing her displeasure when it really does go on for too long! I think Perdy has become a true 'Coaster,' too!!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The 'Coast:'----I just can't help it------BUT

I keep doing it. it happens all the time. Perdy has changed forever, as she too is afflicted by this condition---'Coast Fever'! It seems we are not the only life forms that succumb to this phenomenon: I have a growing sense that the Thames township has a plan---well it's inhabitants do. When I came here, a month ago from the 'City over the water,' I was a tad nervous about how I would be accepted. Lets face it; Aucklanders have not always endeared themselves to other areas of New Zealand and they are sometimes on the receiving end of some quite petty and even nasty innuendos; take JAFA and some even stronger terms to describe us. At its worst, one could even say that it has approached 'parochialism plus! Thames is DIFFERENT. I am not sure of it is the fact that Auckland is almost visible, just across the water, or if history has united the two areas from way back. the links have always been strong and now that Auckland has 'exploded beyond the Bombay Hills, perhaps it is that my fellow JARS (Just Another Refugee) see it from the 'other side'---that Thames is a distant suburb! I hear that as mnay as 500 cars a day, travel to Auckland for work. In summary---it feels like for the most part, Thames welcomes these new arrivals. For me---the evidence for that statement is in the welcome I run into everyday. Perdy usually accompanies me and perhaps it is her who breaks the ice, as it were. It feels like I just can't go for a ten or twenty minute walk---because the 'walks' turn into 50 minutes---to an hour and a half, and Perdy has to sit and wait while I chat away to the fellow dog walkers and others who invariably greet us and start a little conversation that is added to as others join in. It happens twice a day. I totally forget the names, but remember the dogs' names. I hear all about how to circumvent the 'no dogs off the leash,' law but do not transgress it, not just because Perdy is a pain re 'returning,' but more because one does not endear oneself if local laws are broken by a JAR---well that was my thinking, but not that of locals. LOCAL now means this growing number of Aucklanders (Damn it---JARS is so much easier to type!). I guess I am coming to the realization that 'time is different' in Thames; being busy is fine, but taking time to connect with others is an unspoken rule. Maybe it is 'who' I am encountering everyday: Maybe they are like me---they have time to spare; they have had their 'fill' of the crazy busy life and want to pursue a more relaxed pathway.If that is 'their way,' then i have joined it--The Thames Way! I suspect there is no going back now---well maybe for a visit to remind why I did this 'Coastal thing!' It's not that I 'cant help it---it's that I don't want to be like---THEN!'

Friday, July 1, 2016

I must be a 'Time Lord! What have ya done to me, Thames?!

Time 'slips, slides,cavorts and dances with me: Yes---that is Thames. One minute I am wandering around by back yard, watching Monarch Butterflies kissing amongst the Poinsettia, which has no business being so verdantly scarlet at this mid-winter season. Then in the next I am stanza, I am transported to a nearby beach, stepping over stones that look like they have once held the promise of gold, only to have my moment splattered by the beat of a thousand wings as the Oyster Catchers flee the sight of a frustrated jack Russell, who wants nothing more than to 'be amongst them! Then---time stands still why I fritter the day away, chatting with strangers, on-leash to their beloved four-legged children; that is until we are collective reminded that another 'plane' awaits us---further down the beach. None of the inhabitants of this kingdom seem to be wearing watches; none of them have that look that imprisons--the----'I need to be somewhere else,' look. A flick of the psyche, takes one to a warm kitchen, where the waft of tonight's dinner escapes the slow-cooker, promising a comfort equalled only by the clink of cutlery, as he table is set for repast to follow. The Time Lord moves again, gently transitioning the subjects to the front sitting room, where a fire awaits------time becomes-----slips past us and melds into day's end. I think---I must have done other things--I must have gone places--or was that yesterday by the babbling brook or the shady bush?!

The 'Coast' is having a strange effect on me!

I have been a month in this idyllic part of the world--the Thames Coast, and I am noticing something that is somewhat of an enigma. I no longer struggle with the traffic that not so long ago was a regular determinant of my mood. Yes, I used to cover my mouth, whilst expelling expletives at an imagined slights on my driving or more often (stop laughing!) the lack of skills or good manners on the part of the others on the daily grind to get to a destination in that far-flung 'City of Sails.' Then I would have to endure the daily 'parade of stupidity,' as exemplared from our politicians, each night on the box and then add my own commentary on FB and other platforms. Yes, I still do that, but there is something else taking over--a realization that sometimes, simply living in the moment is way better for my health. I shall strive to retain my concern for my fellow humans as I read each day of yet another attack from a privileged twat who cares nothing about the lives of an ever increasing number of our people. It would be so easy to succumb to the natural flows of the tides, the garden and the joys of wandering along a foreshore, chatting to fellow dog-walkers and then heading home to prepare 'simple fare,' to share with a neighbour, in return for their largess from the sea.NO--I have not forgotten that life for many is not so comfortable. I have had a break from relaity and those issues that face our nation are not going to go away. I know that keeping my head beneath the 'turrets' of life under a Government that does not care will not work for me. I will keep my base--as my 'touchstone,' and seek out like-minded people down here on the Coast,' because I have had an 'inkling,' that people here care too, for the direction NZ is heading. The 'Coast' will be my 'strength.'