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!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mrs Brown would read 'Roskill' and 'Talk To Me,' on a rainy day on the Coast!

Of course she would. I and just hear her---'get off ya fecking arses and go to Neil's Books on his website and download them for next to nothing.'

   What can I say except--'God bless the iris.' They know a good yarn when they hear one, and I know they read, because let's face it---they have had some bloody good authors, eh.

   It's fair pissing donw in many parts of God-zone today (oops lots of my readers now dispute that fact these days!) so why not take a trip down a 'foodies, nostalgia, get a few laughs, amongst the tears and anger, but above all---get back your belief that 'it's not all bad----life!

    Do as dear Mrs Brown says and hit up my website!  Don't forget to share with your friends, who if they are in their right mind, would be staying home today, especially if they live in Auckland. I mean---90 minutes from Drury to the city?'  Ya gotta be fecking stupid to want to do that---SHE said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Interesting 'events' on my blog/web-page!

I am perplexed at the strange link between a massive increase re hits on my blog form both Romania and Canada; both countries have never figured before. It seems strange that the hits are occurring on one blog---the one I wrote about Romania and where i was asking them to download my books. Why would readers on Canada suddenly take an interest it THAT particular blog. Perplexed much!!!!!

Romania--you are tops for the last month---WHY?

I am fascinated by the number of hits on my blog from Romania in the last month. Indeed they are virtually tops! I do hope you are actually reading my posts and downloading my books, ROSKILL and Talk To Me.' Now that I know you are 'supporting my bog,' please send me some feedback. I thrive on the interactions from my readers, listening to their suggestions and opinions. I need them in order to target my blogs and to publicise my books. Being self-published is a hard road, one that does not bring in good financial returns. Some would say the journey is a dark pit of broken dreams, but I keep at it. I have other books but will not be publishing them, unless sales hit a peak, much higher than that achieved so far. In the men a time---thanks Romania. get back to me.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The 'old guy' on the Coast!

   Walking Perdy along Tararu beach today, with the suggestion of waves gently lapping the high tide mark, was pure delight. Spring was massing my senses and the sun was dancing on the tiny particles of the quartz-like rocks, that so generously display themselves on the sand. The usual vagabonds were dive-bombing us, thankfully missing with their slimy offerings, so all was well. Perdy, for the most part, ignored them. She has learned that she cannot fly, although should they alight for more than a moment and she be lucky enough to be 'off-leash,' I am sure that bedlam would result!

   I had a more defined task in mind this morning: I was not going to be collecting rocks in my usual haphazard manner---NO---I had a theme; colours were the order of the day; today's target?----the reds! I am not sure yet which rocks exhibit that hue---possibly the jaspers that travel down the streams and rivers on the Coast, and then cast themselves upon the shores. in fragments, awaiting my polishing and tumbling devices.

   Perdy and I had been doing quite well, genuinely attempting to limiting our 'collection,' to the required group. Whether Perdy is actually helping me, is perhaps a moot point, but as I believe in 'choice theory'----well---you know where I'm going. It was at this point on our walk that we were joined by a very 'knowledgeable' person.

   He took a shine to Perdy and believe me---the 'shining' was mutual. If Perdy could have kissed him with the full French version, she would have. She just 'liked' him. He informed me that he had owned (Well--I'm not sure if owing describes a relationship with a Jack Russell, correctly!) a Foxie and he didn't even mind being corrected as to Perdy's actual breed. He informed us that the Foxie he had was in his youth over 80 years ago! OMG----how old was this dude, I thought!!! You guessed it---over 90.

    We talked for quite awhile and Perdy even behaved for a change. That link between them was well and truly]y established, it seemed. 'Ashley was a 'wealth of information,' telling us 'stuff that will remain a secret as to when and how to collect some of the items I so love to collect. That information is for 'locals,' only, he said. Damn I felt good. I am looking forward to 'hearing' many tales from Ashley in the future. His parting gesture?---Ashley bent down and pretended to slip Perdy off the lead. He wanted to take Perdy home with him. He won't need to---Perdy will meet him again, probably daily, because I believe Ashley and others at the village, 'look out' for her as she has her walks. Such is a typical morning on the Coast---well---it's only 9am! The day has hardly started!.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

It's a 'free-power day,' on the Coast, today!

   I suspect that opening would have read by friends on the 'Coast' with a sense of--'hey---really---for me too?' Sorry---one has to be with a certain company to achieve that status and this is the first one (I think,) for the year, for me.

   So how does this work? Well---one gets to chose a day whereby all power use is free for the day. I went online and chose today as my special 'power-free day!' Yesterday I had it confirmed and I was invited to be 'creative' about how I spent my free day! Wow---do I open up a front lawn cafe for the day, offering laundry facilities and car cleaning services as a side? Whilst walking Perdy along the beach collecting stones and Kauri Gum, I made some decisions, some bordering on the ----crazy!

   OK---ALL washing, for clothes, blankets, dogs, neighbours' cats, dusty plants,----anything can can fit in the washer and dryer will be WASHED and DRIED!
   Anything that can be charged will be charged. Bugger---wheres the elctric cycle and car when ya need it?
   If the temperature does not rise above 15C, then the heater (not the fire) will be used.
   Cooking will be done, but we don't feel like it so---WTF!
   The tumbler, processing the rocks I collect---daily, will stay on without me feeling guilty and I wish    I had the bigger new one that I have ordered from the USA was in action.
   No doubt the vacuuming will be done, but as I exempt from such duties, due to there being an          issue with the 'quality of my efforts'---well, I shall leave that to a better set of hands!
   Long showers will be taken---right to the point of running out the hot water, but not to the extent that dishes cannot be washed! (Another exemption in place---it's complicated!)
   I do not have an electric lawnmower, but i will plug in the battery that starts it!
   If the sun disappears, then the lights will go on!
   I may let Perdy play with the garage door opener--she loves to see it go up and down and then pretends to be frightened.
   We shall leave the TV on all day and play the radio in the kitchen, even if no one is in there.

If we actually 'do any of the above, I wonder if the bill will be that much more---we shall let you know. Now---the 6th load of washing and drying is about to begin!

Thank you Mercury!!!!!!!

PS---Other suggestions welcomed.

All that glitters is not always gold on the 'Coast.'

The Thames area has a long association with gold. Indeed, Thames was once the second biggest 'city,' in NZ, ranking after Dunedin and bigger than Auckland in the ealry 1870s. It had a reputation rivalling Russell in the far north, re it's many 'houses of 'ill-repute,' and for the sheer umber of such establishments. (I have heard figures as high as 90!). Of course once the gold became harder to extract (the gold had to be extracted by separating it from the rocks, involving massive stamping batteries and the use of toxic chemicals) unlike the nuggets that were found on the west coast of the South Island. The gold is said to be still there in the hills behind the town, but hopefully it will stay there, leaving the forest to retain that special character that we all love.
   There is of course another aspect to the 'forest,' that has a history all of it's own. The remnants of that association remain, but in much reduced numbers---the mighty Kauri. The timbers of this incredible tree were much in demand and it did not take long to deplete the once glorious forests that festooned the peninsula. Associated with the Kauri was another industry--the Kauri Gum'gold rush,' that was even stronger in the far north of New Zealand.

   That industry slid into history along with the gold, and the timber extraction 'cousins;' all three contributing to the development or 'plunder,' depending on your world view, of the area. Once again, there are remnants of those times. They wash up on to the beaches of the Coast, and it is the examples of these, that I love to find. I feel like I have come across little treasures when my eyes latch on to the golden delights.
   One must learn to distinguish between the quartz-like rocks and the Kauri gum, ascertaining at a glance the differences. One can kick, receiving a message that the 'sighted piece,' is lighter and therefore not a rock, or use the 'colour clues,' that are not always reliable. Timing for the search is important, and now I am entering the realms of secrecy. Hell--if I spill all of the hard come by secrets of the search, then I will be diminishing the supply of my new obsession and possibly endangering my 'apprenticeship' towards gaining 'localism status,' down here on the Coast!

   But---what I can do is put up a picture of a rock and a piece of Kauri
gum---the piece I collected from my 'source today.  ENJOY! OK---the one on the left is the Kauri gum and the other, a nice rock that will find it's way into one of my 'polishers.'

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A good nights sleep on the 'Coast' tames ones 'anger!'

Yesterday I was a mixture of a 'boring, bad mouthed, cantankerous old fart!'There's no way around that description; one that elicited all measures of calming statements from friends and some funny 'get backs!' Why----well I was trying to deal with an insurance claim, using a phone that ran out of juice, because i had to wait so long to speak to a person. I gave up and wnet to bed, hoping that if i planned my call in the morning right; meaning using Mum's old phone that is plugged into the wall, then I would be able to get through an expected marathon call.
    I set myself up, with a pad and pen, a long hot coffee and shut Perdy well away, in case she decided to 'nuttso' at he neighbour's cat across the road.' I made myself comfortable and did some 'deep breathing exercises---nah---I didn't do that. I was actually quite tense, expecting the worse! My finger pushed the buttons---no mistakes--anticipating a long wait listening to crackly and very bad music. There was going to be NO REPEAT of last night's fiasco with phones running out of juice and I promised I would not use the 'F' word unless severely provoked.

   OMG! I got through immediately, prompting me to mistakenly believe that they had 'prepared the way for me, knowing they had really pissed me off last night. Oh---come on---let me believe that! I was put through to the beautiful Tania at the ASB insurance call centre. She took me under her wing and there was not one cynical, bad worked, negative emotion exhibited from me, during the entire call! Why not?---Tania knew her stuff and she guided me though the first part of the claim and then exceeded my wildest dreams by informing me that my loyalty to the bank and the fact that there were no claims for many years, that I was entitled to some quite spectacular benefits.Suffice it to say, that the claim will go through without penalty, along with me adding my dentures and hearing aid damage to the list---all without losing any bonuses I had---all because i have been a loyal old fecker!

   To top it all off, I can also ring through directly and not go via that annoying call centre. I guess (as long as this all comes to fruition!) I will not be changing banks and insurance policies after all. Yes, I know there is no ASB in Thames, which is a pity, but if I can get this service replicated in other areas of their 'packages,' then I will be satisfied.

    What a difference 12 or so hours can make. I want to believe that things won't go to custard, but my hopes are high that things will go smoothly.. I can feel a nice feed of fish and chips served donw at the wharf, with my brother and Perdy of course, standing guard against the pesky seagulls!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Google----- 'Talk To Me Neil Coleman!'

Do it---see what happens. Have fun and follow the links.  My book sales are slowly (very slowly) increasing, but I need your help. If you share my links re my website and ask your Friends, their Friends to share the links, I may break through, FINALLY. Yes---I need you----and you. Self -publishing is a road that is way too bumpy if you do it on your own. Please share my website.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's just a 'Coastal way of doing things!'

I never quite know what adventures lay ahead for me when I arise each morning. Sure there is an element of predictability re the 'bones' of my day; be it the first walk with Perdy and the gathering of little treasures from the shores and rivers that surround my humble abode. But---I can never be certain about who I am going to meet, who I am going to end up talking to for a few minutes that sometimes stretches to half an hour, where I parked the car, then forgetting where----maybe unimportant to busy friends in the city, however forming the basis for quite a high percentage of my time down here on the Coast. Of course, there are also the 'happenings of my own making, that leave me frustrated but eventually in a state of-- 'laughing at myself!
     Today, I managed a beauty! Upon completing a few errands after a gentle walk in the rain, I returned to my car and headed home, suddenly remembering I had the handyman coming to finish the job he had started yesterday. Everything had gone to plan and he was soon on his way. I bet you were thinking that he was going to tell me about an impending disaster---another sewerage leak, or a broken window, caused by passing trucks, or maybe an unusually high bill for his work. NO---none of the above. I actually went out again, to search out some more reading, as I have much more time for that wonderful pass time.
    This time, I returned home with two books from the library and a pie. Yeah, I know-----Friday is Pie Day, but I will be in Auckland---fixing another 'disaster'---my broken denture. Bugger---that's a regular occurrence. I rescued Perdy from the back seat, straining at the lead, seemingly quite happy to head inside. I reach into my pocket for the house key---I reach into the other one, then my 'man bag,' my pocket again---I empty the bag, I search the  car---I SWEAR---quite loudly--thank goodness my neighbour 'understands,' but there was no sign of her keeping tabs. Damn! Bugger and----you can add the others! LOST KEY SYNDROME! Don't laugh---it'a a serious condition, recognised by the American association of fuckwits! Trump supporters feature highly in the list of those afflicted.
    What to do?!
Option ONE:  Call Rio to bring the key from---AUCKLAND, as he is working there today.---NO!
Option TWO:  Call Rio to meet me half way, like Maramarua!---NO
Option THREE: Smash the fecking door down. NO---Be realistic---I don't have it in me and anger is  a negative emotion  in such situations.
Option FOUR:  Go back into Thames and find a locksmith---Yip That's what I decided to do---but where---ah I know---go to the real estate agent and see if he can help---ask JON!

    I parked, left Perdy to watch the car and yes---JON was there. He smiled when I asked him for a locksmith suggestion. 'Don't waste $90 on that,' he said. What---I expected at least  a couple of hundred dollars.  "Just go to (XXXXXXX---not sure if I should name them!) and they will sell you a key, as there are only about 5 possibilities====that's a lot cheaper than the other option.''
    A few minutes later, I was talking to the same guy who had helped me re a suggestion, aimed at a cheaper way of solving a smelly issue at home, from a few days ago. He GAVE me 12 keys and all he required was my name and address. OK--at this point my mind was buzzing. Surely not just anyone could receive the 'keys to the town.' NO---he KNEW me, from many of my visits to the place. TRUST is big down here. A short time later, I was trying the keys and it only needed three pokes at the lock and ---viola---it worked. I quickly wrapped the correct key in kitchen paper and returned to the 'place,' purchasing three keys and tabs. NEVER will I need to do this again as I carefully place them in places I will remember!

   Once again, the friendly folk from Thames and the Coast, saved me from myself. Damn---I love this place!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The 'Coast' has an 'anger busting ' quality!

   I reckon I had a fair amount of anger in my previous 'city-bound life.' I was always angry at what I saw on TV, social media and about various social issues. Whilst my observations of the above still taunt me, I have somehow managed to put them in a place that is more manageable. I am still concerned about what is happening on the world stage and about the growing social unease in this beautiful country, made worse  by the increasingly dangerous gap between the rich and the poor/working poor.
   BUT---when I am walking along the beach with Perdy, dodging gulls as they take offence at the very presence of the aforementioned beast, I seem to 'go to another place.' I replace my angry thoughts with ones that seem to centre on, what's for dinner, choosing plants for the garden, flicking over colourful stones for polishing in the tumbler and wondering what to name the chooks! The 'real world' is somewhat modified, when you are removed from the craziness of Auckland house prices and ridiculous traffic.
   I know that I will collide with the events 'as seen on TV,' when I turn on the box, or hit upon a site, or read the opinions of my social media mates, or yes---turn on talk back radio! I also know that all it takes to garner strength, to return to a sense that it is possible to live a life that includes the link that exists between coping with the sadness that so many live with, the economic stresses that an increasing number of NZers now face and the realization that it is possible to live more simply! I wonder how much living in a 'big city,' because that is where the jobs are, friends, family, is a choice as much as it is a 'necessity.' The stresses of the latter--feed anger.  The 'Coast' nurtures 'hope and balance.'