Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Open Thread 1: Beach and Backyard

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  • Andre,

    We took 8 days at Matauri Bay camping on the beachfront in the "whanau only" zone before Xmas and enjoyed avoiding the New Year crowds. Fresh crays and scallops every day and I caught a few schnapper. The kids loved it but it's getting more difficult keeping them out of the sun for any length of time. Since then we've spent the time at home next to the pool chilling out. Read "Scar Tissue" by Anthony Keidis (what a 100% wasted dude), "True Crime Through History (100 most infamous murderers of last two centuries)" and a lot of pulp fiction. I've also taken time out to be told off by Brian Edwards: http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2011/01/i-receive-and-respond-to-an-email-from-amanda-hotchin/
    Lovely jubbly!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to Andre,

    I've also taken time out to be told off by Brian Edwards:

    Bizarre...

    Have to admit though, despite all else I laughed heartily at Whale's doomed attempt at grammar-based attack questioning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Poor old Whaleoil... even the wingnuts are disowning him. Like Palin without the good looks.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Amongst the things we picked up in our South Island travels (Oamaru) was a tiny book of William Falconer's "The Shipwreck and Other Poems", published in 1836 by Tilt and Bogue (great name, eh) of Fleet Street. Apparently Mr Tilt and Mr Bogue published the first graphic novel "The Adventures of Mr Obadiah Oldbuck" (also 1836).
    An interesting local connection is that this book used to be owned by Pat Lawlor, a significant figure in the Wellington literary scene in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Which means that there are treasures still to be found in NZ secondhand stores. Better than the Kaikoura bookshop owner who had never heard of Graham Greene!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Congratulations on your find, wonder how it wound up in Oamaru? Must be some kind of literary lodestone deposit underlying Janet Frame’s kingdom by the sea.

    Lawlor was once NZ correspondent for the Australian Bulletin. His two books on his childhood reminiscences of Wellington, published in the early 60s, were great pieces of storytelling. Apparently he wrote a couple of novels that no-one seems to have read.

    One for the guy in Kaikoura.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    You were visiting “Slightly Foxed” Geoff?
    Or the marvellous recycle centre?

    I have heard rumours, for yonks, about a copy of Aubudon in Oamaru – and certainly have obtained a copy of G. F. Angas from there…there were erudite people of a number of races colonising Oamaru early, and not only the Scots-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @Joe . Yes, the ghost of Janet does linger around Oamaru. An odd coincidence in discovering this book was that we had just the day before we had trekked across a paddock to see the grave where the drowned of NZ's biggest maritime disaster were buried (131 on the Tararua which foundered off the Catlins in the 1800s)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Slightly Foxed was closed but I found it in a store selling antique clothing in the Victorian Precinct. My daughter went gaga over the clothes. I think that Oamaru is one of the most interesting towns in NZ. The olde worldy stuff does get close to twee but those old buildings are just magnificent. I used to dream about such a place.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    There's an Edward Lear painting in the Oamaru art gallery. Don't know how it got there, possibly via 19th century Oamaru artist Emily Gillies, who was his great-niece.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I’ve been travelling to Oamaru since before I was born…my mother lives again in the house her parents built & extended*, and her garden blooms as her father’s bloomed (it is across the old trade trail incidentally, and permission had to be sought before the house was built – it helped that Mary’s father, Tame Rakakino Mira, was well-born Kai Tahu…)

    I *love* Oamaru (& Moeraki, and several places further south, including the Caitlins, Colac Bay, and Rakiura) and will die that side of the hill. Yep: there is now a large element of twee, but a much more substantial thriving quality of nourishing the past…Janet F came relatively late to the place – my mother went to school (Waitaki Girls’) with her younger sisters…Oamaru is a place of secrets, and I know where some of the bodies are buried- heh!

    *in the v.late 1800s

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joe, the Forrester has some bloody fascinating stuff - and their staff are both very knowledgable, approachable, and congenial folk-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I loved Oamaru when I was there a few years ago travelling around with my partner... I really liked the old part. The best was discovering the gentleman who still makes marbled paper covered dairies by hand, and an interesting whiskey shop in another building, selling remnants of NZ made whiskey that was distilled in Dunedin.

    The gentleman in the paper shop dressed entirely in Victorian clothes - not a modern thing on him, and we joined him and his wife for elevenses - she equally in Victorian clothes, and operating a fabric shop. They were, no surprise, refugees from Auckland.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    ANZ's best bookbinder has a shop in the precinct (think he still makes the diaries & notebooks.) The whisky shop has, aue! closed.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ..and hasn't Fleur just opened a new restaurant in the old Oamaru Stone precinct, as well?
    Hope she still has the one at Moeraki also...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    At last check (Dec30th) the precinct Fleur's was only open for coffee & nibbles.
    The Moeraki one is still going strong-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I should have put it here but a piece I wrote on What We Did In the Holidays has just been posted on kiwiboomers.com

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Do put it here Geoff - the boomers site doesnt work for this machine-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    a piece I wrote on What We Did In the Holidays has just been posted on kiwiboomers.com

    you *are* allowed to link to it :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thank you Sacha! - and Geoff-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Thanks, Sacha. See you at the picnic?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    that's the plan

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Made good use of Sunday morning by catching up with a cousin who works on Motat's military vehicle collection at their running day. Got to enjoy a spot of paddock bashing in their newly acquired British personnel carrier and a 1942-vintage jeep (both as a passenger, naturally), as well as getting to know a few of the volunteers. All good people.

    Got mightily caked in dust etc - that and climbing around a few of the vehicles got me thinking a bit about what it must have been like to exist in these things for months on end - the older stuff in particular is unbelievably spartan. Interesting to note how in the time since I last went along I've swung from interest in nuts and bolts and statistics to trying to imagine the daily experience of people who found themselves using this gear in conflict. Half tempted to blog it somewhere if it was anywhere close to being a novel insight, but y'know...

    Anyway, as long as the weather holds, more normal summer activities will resume this afternoon with a trip to Point Chev beach. Excellent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Might see you on the beach. Looks like a beautiful day for it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    I'm back in the UK after my first trip home in 5 years. Was fantastic weather, had lovely Christmas with family together for the first time in 10 years, and had a chance to show my two girls a little bit of New Zealand life. Ngaio met 3 cousins she hadn't seen before (including the latest addition, 7 weeks old at Christmas time) and was re-acquainted with those she hadn't seen since she was 6 months old. Sinead was in heaven meeting all her big cousins - the more the better to her! Interesting seeing NZ after so long away, and to realise that there is so much different now that I feel a little more like a stranger than I ever did before. This latest family gathering will be the last that will include my dad, so very sad about that, but also very quietly contented that he had this time with all of us, and with my girls.

    Felt a little bit like a child abuser putting the girls through that long, long, long flight - we have been back 4 days, and they are still not caught up on sleep. I had the most uncomfortable flight I can remember - having been bitten to bits the evening before we left NZ, sitting on the verandah of our friends house on the Te Atatu peninsula. Happy days...

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

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