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.