Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'I had a dream'---THE COAST!

The ‘Coast’ called, so-----I listened!
Every morning, come rain, wind, sun, storm---I take Perdy for her morning walk---along a coastline near where I live. It hasn’t always been that way. In a former life, there was no morning walk, just the crazy navigation of Auckland’s morning rush. Once at work, I was immersed in the events, stories and exuberant lives of my clients, in a school that never failed to keep me occupied. The ‘walk’ had to wait until the late afternoon, and by then---I did not feel like taking in the ‘not so fresh air’ and the noise of the nearby motorway---but I did.  When One is the parent of an energy implanted Jack Russell, the choices are clear: walk or face destruction of one’s living environment!
I had been a school guidance counsellor since 1988, working in two schools (and an alternate provider for a short time) plus slowly building up a supervision practice in the latter years. Time caught up with me, plus a few health issues, and I came upon a watershed in my life. Combine that with living in Auckland and the realization that I could not afford to live in the ‘city of sails,’ anymore----well, you get the picture.
I remember walking up Queen Street, at a time when I should have been asleep (Blame Madonna----for being so late for her concert!) and an ambulance trip to hospital and then the realization that things must change; all leading me to consider a new journey.
I became ‘busy,’ in another manner: the house went on the market, I purchased a home on the Thames Coast and explored alternate options re generating a small income to supplement the meagre ‘inflow’ from the NZ Superannuation. Why the Thames Coast? That beautiful coastline had been featuring in my dreams for a few years, so I simply responded to the vision.
My little unit sold at auction and I only needed to look at two homes in Thames to find the little 1950’s cottage, near the beach in Tararu, Thames. We both loved the simplicity of the home, plus the garden that was huge compared to the homes I had lived in previously. The Axminster carpets (yes----different in every room!) just had to go, but that was easy----people wanted it. The garden was full of fruit trees and there was a large backyard for Perdy to roam in.
We moved and out new life began; one so different, yet retaining some of the best of the last. We had moved from NZ’s biggest city to a town of less than 10,000 people. We still had ‘links’ to Auckland, in the form or family, employment and friends, more so re employment for my partner, who works 4 days a week re a house cleaning business. That is a common theme for new Thames residents, who hail from the big city.
I have now been in Thames for nine months. I do not enjoy the ‘journey’ re the traffic on the Southern  Motorway, that I must suffer one day a week, during the school year, but I love the work I do with the students at Homai. Add the supervision clients I see, plus the strong possibility for a few days a week work in my new ‘region,’ then I am satisfied re my new life. I have about four days a week where I can explore new possibilities, some old, others, new for me.
I try to have one slot a week at the Citizens Advice bureau, where I have meet wonderful people, who give so generously of their time. I was possibly the oldest staff member at my previous workplace, but now---‘I’m the boy again!’
Then---there’s the rocks! I had been warned by a friend that I could become a bit ‘compulsive’ ---about collecting rocks and ‘tumbling them.’ I did. Tararu, like other beaches on the Coast, has beautiful stones and when they are polished (in one of the two tumbler/oscillators, I purchased) become an object of beauty, ones I give to clients and visitors.
Then---the walks. Perdy has been transformed. She was healthy to begin with, but now---she is an inhabitant of ‘doggie heaven.’ Sure, much of the latter are ‘on-leash,’ but she does get off, to run like the wind, to explore nooks and crannies, chase God knows what and make sure I get out of the house—at least four times a day. Now, she has even trained me to take her out after dinner. Perdy has also been a ‘friend-meeting-tool!’ Her beautiful nature attracts attention and has helped me to meet so many people. I have much to thank her for—even the CAB job! Yes, it was on one of our ‘wanders’ that I was recruited for that position.
I was a little concerned that living in a smaller town, may mean ‘challenging attitudes,’ towards my partner and myself. Sure, we had ‘observed a few’ gay couples, but at the back of my consciousness, was a fear that I could meet a ‘non-acceptance scenario.’ Maybe things really have changed for the better. After nine months----I feel accepted. However, I maintain a ’watch stance.’ I remember my dear old Mum saying---‘join groups.’ She was correct. She also said---‘smile.’ It works. Smiles lead to ‘conversations,’ that in turn lead to engaging with people on a deeper level. They also cause one to forgetting where the car was parked!
Did moving to Thames cut me off from friends and family in Auckland? NO! One bother has moved to Thames, from Hamilton and my sister is about to make the jump from Auckland. She is about to become a JAR (Just another refugee!). My friends have kept contact with me and quite a few make the trip to Thames. No wonder my polished stone collection is diminishing. It also helps that Auckland is at most (other than at holiday weekends) only about 80 minutes away.
The garden: The fruit and veggies I grow make for cheap eating and an excellent ‘hobby.’ It pays for itself and as I become more knowledgeable about this new skill, my food bill goes down. Sure, I have much to learn, as this season has been fraught with difficulties re the weather. Thames, it seems can grow a vast array of produce, from apricots and cherries, to subtropical.
I have become a ‘swapper!’ Yes, I have hens, who provide excess that I can swap for fish from the neighbour who loves fishing, but doesn’t like fish! I also swap the jam and preserves I make for fruit, fish and other stuff I need. Remember that show---‘The Good Life?’
I have had more time to ‘write’ since moving to Thames. I continue to write blogs and I enjoy Facebook. OK---I am a bit random re my posts and I often ‘take the piss,’ and receive the inevitable ’push back.’ I like that! I have sold a few books and would love to pub lish more, but that is an expensive exercise. I out my link to my books at the ned of this article. Feel free to follow the links to Neils Books.
Finally---my move coincided with the discovery of a few health issues, all of which have become more manageable down here. Excellent management re the former and a few ‘tweaks’ re lifestyle, have made a real difference. Perhaps the over-riding change that helped was my decisions to make the change, before I became a victim of ‘staying too long.’ Get out people, while you can, before you MUST!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I thought 'Mccarthyism' was bad---and then came Trumpence!

The witch hunts of the Mccarthyism era was bad. The damage to the USA and a ny expression of thought that 'leaned towards the left,' that free expression was stamped on, that people  lost their jobs, was an era that had been consigned to and unfortunate period in American history. I had thought  history teaches us the errors that politicians and 'others' inflict io us, will not be repeated. Sadly--I am wrong!

The events of the last year, culminating in the election of Trump and his henchmen, are shown us that 'people do not learn from the past.' How this came about is going to be examined, studied and discussed for many years to come, while the focus of this debate undoes much that is good about the USA. That he can undo the right of USA's most vulnerable citizens to have access to adequate health care is just one of the mnay 'unravelings' he has started and will no doubt continue. That he can stomp on the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies, that he returns the USA to a time when 'isolationism' ruled, probably resulting in in a World War, has been totally lost on the American voters.

The latter have been misled, lied to, manipulated (by more than just Trump forces) and it must  be said---they have 'let this all happen,' by not being involved in the political process, by mistaking false news for relaity and by ignoring that which was patently clear about the person they were about to elect to the USA's highest office.

We are now witnessing the dawn of a sad new era in  world history. It seems that each day brings us yet more incredulous news about the utterings of a 'certifiable' sick man and the imposition of  his 'Executive Rulings.'

Sure, we will also see a reaction from within his own party, from his 'former allies,' but in the meantime, he damaging Americans and ultimately the world. That it is happening so fast, is in a sense the reason  that any opposition can not keep up---yet, but 'his time' will end, and people will realize that he is a 'destroyer,' in every sense of the word. By then, however, much damage will be done and by the time he is 'forced' from office, there will be a 'Field of Sorrow,' that generations to come will ask---'How did YOU let this happen?'

Mccarthyism is looking like a shadow of what we are seeing now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The 'pull and push,' that is Auckland.

Yesterday I spent the day in Auckland. To avoid stress, I planned to avoid the crazy traffic, that has  returned to the Auckland norm, now that the working year has begun and schools are reopening.'

I left Thames in time to coincide with the opening hours of the 'doggie care' facility, as I did not want to leave Perdy in the hot car, whilst I pursued the goals for my visit. I had planed to be at my first appointment by 9.30.

All went well, until I hit the Southern Motorway near Papakura, then it was down to a stop, start, crawl. My inner thoughts until that time were relatively subdued and calm, but once the leisurely drive became a game of 'survival of the fittest,' I could feel a certain 'meanness' taking over---for myself and other lane-jumpers!' I quite reasonably accused the other drivers of being selfish, because they had not caught public transport, leaving the roadway clear for me and my little I20.

I arrived at my sister's house with little time to spare before we had to drop the car off for it's 'maintenance schedule' with Hyundai in Greenlane, then over to Dilworth hearing, to have my hearing aid checked as part of the agreement. By this time we were in the 'eye of the storm,' that short time of the day in Auckland, when traffic almost becomes bearable.

We were able to find parking in New Market, where we wandered around looking at shops, that simply don't exist in the smaller towns of New Zealand, but then again, my ability to purchase the 'goods on offer,' is also somewhat diminished these days, so I guess it all balances out.

After a tasty lunch  made cheaper by 'loyalty points,' we decided to 'Tiki Tour,' around some of the eastern suburbs of the 'City of Sails,' taking us to places I had not visited for many years. The growth of the city in the intervening years, left me with the feeling that Auckland is like a huge blanket, rippling ever more towards the regions, to where I escaped nine months ago. I was also reminded of the sheer beauty of some of the vistas, especially those emanating from the beautiful Gulf with its myriad of islands, some large, other mere 'rocks in the stream.'

Reality dawned as the time to collect my car approached; reality in the form of the fact that I was not going to be able to pick it up until after five. Oh no! The 'window of sanity,' re the traffic would well and truly be over. I said goodbye to my sister and after picking up my car----'Auckland rammed me in the gut!'

I crawled into the lanes, in my newly cleaned car (part of the service) that had been beautifully serviced---a fact that did little to calm my increasingly anxious nerves, as I attempted to attain motorway status. Yes,----it took 30 minutes to travel 1.5kls--just to get on the latter!

Even when I managed to achieve the stupidity of the motorway, I still took another 30 minutes to reach the point where I could leave the bedlam, well short of the southernmost suburbs. I decided to get off and travel via the Clevedon Coast. After another twenty minutes, sanity returned and the glimpse of the Firth of Thames, the brown/green fields and hills, were once again the main vistas.

I could feel a calmness descending over me, one that I celebrated by ordering fish and chips at an iconic little village on the Firth at Kaiaua. That I had to wait another thirty minutes was but a small price to pay for the 'escape from madness.'

I loved my little sojourn to Auckland. I enjoyed the energy, the diversity and the company of family, but I doubt I could ever handle that craziness of the traffic on a regular basis again. That part of my life has well and truly been consigned to----history!

Friday, January 20, 2017

A guide to purchasing ROSKILL or TALK TO ME.

I don't know why, but today I had a few inquiries re buying my books online. Only ROSKILL is available as hard copy, but both books are able to be downloaded from AMAZON. There is a downside to buying hard copy online (Amazon). It costs about $54 whereas by contacting me direct (neilcolemanauthor@gmail.com) I can sell it in NZ for $25, postage included. to Aussie for $32,

If you wish to buy the downloads from Amazon, you could of course do a search, but here is the easy way:
1) Go to my website (www.authorneilcoleman.com)
2) Click on Neils Books
3) Click on Roskill---or Talk To Me
4) Click on the Kindle option---there is a free AP tere if you need to use a device other than Kindle

Happy downloading and PLEASE---leave a review. That helps me a great deal.

PS---If you want me to write more books, I need to sell the two featured here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Coastal 'hearing!' Seeing with your ears is great.

I walk often, more than 4 times a day, sometimes---be it along the beaches, up valleys with flowing brooks, on on wide open spaces, where perdy can let rip, chasing her ball and 'hopefully' returning to me.

Today, it was very different. I HEARD things, as I have not for quite some time. You see, Perdy tried to eat my hearing aid, some time ago and as a result, I have been suffering from'aural input deficit.' In pother words, I was becoming a deaf old bugger and a bit grumpy with it.

I decided, just before Christmas, to do something a bout my hearing loss. Friends, family and maybe clients were possibly getting a bit 'over' having to repeat themselves, so it was time to act.
My insurance company came to the rescue and in the process, I learned that dogs are 'a major threat to the existence' of hearing aids. They are attracted to the whistling sound and do their very best to expunge them from emitting that sound--the best way?---just eat them.

Today I had my first walk along the beach and near the trees over the road from my house. I was immediately 'bathed in sound, caressed by birdsong and massaged by the playful sound of running water.'

I observed Perdy casting glances towards my era---I k now that look. 'Thou shalt not goeth near it,' I said.
'Oh hell---just like the chooks, is it?' she implied, re that next look.

There is another interesting and perhaps excellent ramification of being able to hear: I can hear the cars and actually place other sounds in a 'directional mode.' That makes for distinguishing whether a voice is fomr a neighbour GOD! Not that I am aware of messages from the latter.

I guess the bottomline is that I feel more balanced. One forgets what it like having one ear, not performing as it should. I feel like I have stepped back in time---for all the right reasons. I don't feel SO OLD!

Don't get too cocky, dear readers, I shall still posts 'off the wall,' politically unPC and whatever the hell I feel like---posts! The COAST does that to ya.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The 'Racists,' Debate' and Talk Back Radio---'Talk To Me.'

The airwaves, or the Talk Back Radio hotspots are full of a certain debate today, about an event that occurred on Waiheke island a few days ago. A well known 'celebrity' uttered a comment that he no doubt put little thought into before it's tidal wave response from many sectors of the New Zealand public. I very much doubt that there is going to be much in the way of agreement, given the stance that 'all sides' have taken.

The 'Mad Butcher' (Kiwis, know who I mean) used language that reflects a certain sector in NZ society; the response to that, from another. Now, everyone and his/her dog is putting their 'bit in.' It has become ugly; it has become a watershed for some, whereby they want to take the 'utterer' to task. Others are rallying to his defence.

For its part, Talk Back Radio, is milking the issue for all it is worth---why?  That's simple---for ratings, for advertising revenue, because Talk Back radio is for entertainment and is carefully crafted to attract big advertisers. You can be sure that if a subject is garnering a large portion of the ever suffering public, then the revue increases exponentially.

The above debate is taking many twists and turns, further increasing the number of those listening and partaking in the debate. I take a cynical view that the real driver of the 'show' is the big dollar! The more entwined and outrageous the debate(s), the more the coffers are filled.

I used that feeling to inform me, re the writing of my latest book--'TALK TO ME.'
While I was writing this book, I often found myself getting angry as I 'lived' the attitudes and felt the emotions of the 'callers' into the fictitious radio station. I also found myself laughing uproariously, as I put pen to paper---oops fingers to keyboard.

In Talk To Me,  I am the talk back host; I listen and respond to the callers; Perdy (alias SPOT!) is my trusty friend and things go bump in the night. If you take my story too seriously, then I am not responsible for your reactions! Lighten up, or you will expend unnecessary emotional energy, that should be saved for the real underlying issue in NZ society. I could list them, but my other blogs should inform you re my feelings about THOSE! (for example, my other book---ROSKILL).

Go to my website and follow the links from Neils Books.
Download and you can use the free AP for your phone or laptop. Alternatively you can contact me on  neilcolemanauthor@gmail.com for a good price on ROSKILL---hard copy. Both are available as downloads from Kindle/Amazon.

Now---go and listen to talk back---if you dare!