Hard News by Russell Brown

Communication Fatigue

"Could you point out Che Tibby for me?" asked the nice woman from State Services. Over there, I said - the tall dude in the blue shirt. And by the way, you're the third person to ask me that in 10 minutes. Our Che, it would seem, has a cult following in the public sector.

"He doesn't look like I thought he would," she said.

No. We were all looking for a dude with dreadlocks the first time he hooked up with the rest of the PA crew in Auckland. But even in his respectable, post-PhD phase, there's still a whiff of eau de bogan about him.

We were networking (or, if you prefer, milling around, drinking and listening to Ladi Six) after Wellington's mini-Great Blend on Monday night. It went just as well as Sunday's event in Auckland, and I'm really grateful to Ashley Highfield for making the long, long trip from London for our events. Richard Naylor's son videoed it and it'll be posted online, as will footage from the Auckland event. I'll have another special download related to the events for you in the next day or two.

Just one thing: I'm a bit grumpy about the fact that around 30 people RSVPd for the Wellington event but didn't turn up, which meant that we needlessly turned away people who actually did want to be there. For shame, you lot.

Afterwards we adjourned to The Matterhorn, which was going quite thoroughly off. Lee Prebble's little bro' Ryan was doing a sort of Ben Harper thing for an appreciative crowd, and the place was packed ("This is Monday night, isn't it?" asked Ashley, rather startled by the Wellington nightlife.). We set about enthusiastically unwinding, I met Barnaby Weir and by the time the Pead girls and I left, 2am was looming.

When I opened my eyes yesterday, it was 8.05am and it dawned on me that if I was to make my flight back to Auckland, I'd need to be in a taxi in 25 minutes' time. Which, with some effort, I was. I didn't do much on arrival: I was a little hungover, a bit short of sleep, but mostly just suffering communication fatigue. There were urgent emails that went unanswered yesterday.

But I'm back on the horse today. And those of you who enjoy National Radio's Off the Wire might be especially interested in tonight's recording at the Classic Comedy Club in Auckland, because it's Damian Christie's debut on the programme. I'm on too, so it's a bit of a Public Address benefit. If you want to join us, you can call Linda at Radio New Zealand on 367 9320 or email tickets@thedownlowconcept.com . The recording starts at 6.30pm, but you'll want to arrive a bit before that.