Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Open Thread 1: Beach and Backyard

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  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Samthecat,

    Well this year ain't been great. Our Mum died on the 25th December after being very sick for long time, it has been a harrowing 18 months.

    I learned last year, that it doesn't matter how long someone has been sick for, it still seems sudden. I offer my condolences as well.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Islander,

    I will not make you drool with what we had,

    Well, it's a bit late for that! You had me with the pound of whitebait for Christmas breakfast ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Islander,

    (I will not make you drool with what we had, but it did include wild pork & venison, 2 titi, and a freshly-caught searun trout -)

    Yes, I am wondering how this constitutes 'not making as drool'?

    Sam, sorry for your loss. Christmas often reminds me of the ones who are no longer around to share the generous spirit, and good cheer that comes with this time of year. And the Kai.

    We have tended to spend a lot of time in multi-purpose garages at Christmas, ever since I was a child, and now open our own double garage to the extended, blended, whanau to come and go as they please. Still learning how to balance the open hospitality with the need for space and time, but it's a small price to pay for a little shared happiness.

    Can always go read a book, or watch the tennis, or cricket, after all. Incidentally, having not watched the so called 'draw card' yet, finding the other woman's tennis to be of a very high standard. Wickmayer seems to be able to step up her game at the drop of a hat.

    Whoops, I mentioned sport...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Whoops, I mentioned sport...

    That borders on mentioning the news. Naughty chair.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Anyone else had the horror of that stench?

    after years of H.P. Lovecraft
    I was still unprepared for the
    full olfactorial horror of
    the truly noisome carrion
    call of the charnel channel

    Big old house
    off Allenby Steps
    staring straight down
    vertigoing into Boulcott st

    Top floor verandah
    last tenants long gone
    their rubbish bags out
    bleaching in the sun

    The emptied fridge
    baking in the sun
    meat in a black bag
    writhing in the sun

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    the truly noisome carrion
    call of the charnel channel


    Carrion Screaming - like Dr. Who only worse than Dr. Who.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    Not quite a holiday story, but I went to Carols by Glowsticks in Warkworth just before Xmas with friends and family. Lockwood Smith had flown all the way from a parliamentary sitting to host the show. By host I mean be lead singer on every song, doing a fine Michael Crawford impression belting out each number like an Andrew Lloyd Weber production. Bizarre really. Obviously the man can't bear to not be the centre of attention - like the last time I met him

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    We have noticed that other people's rubbish out on the kerb for collection can often have us stumbling away aghast. We're (mostly) vegetarian, so don't have thrown-out bits of meat at any time. However, the poor little dead cat's chicken-and-steamed-pumpkin portions, carefully packed into containers in the probably now-defunct freezer were still lidded, but all had to be emptied. That was ghastly.

    But hey! It could have been a lot worse. Garbage collection today....it's gone!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    We gave up on "Carols by Anything" several years ago when it was obvious that the mic-ed singers believed they had to overwhelm everyone else with their loud singing. Apart from the assault on the ears, it was the opposite of joyful community song. Horrible in fact.

    What I used to adore when I lived in Kingsland - before it became trendy, mind - were the wonderful little Island bands which used to play outside a variety of houses in the neighbourhood. You'd hear them two streets away, playing a couple of carols, then a short intermission, then you'd hear them off in another direction entirely. Haven't heard that sort of thing for years....has it all disappeared?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Does anyone else actually clean their rubbish before binning it? I've made a habit of it, to keep smells down. My recycling is almost fit to reuse immediately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    We have had the Aussie whanau over to catch up with the rest of the family. 30 sat down for Xmas dinner at Lake Hood, 10 of whom followed us down to Tarras. We were busy eating, drinking, cutting wood, eating, drinking ..... It was wonderful.
    The weather is so unusual this time round. We have had nearly 150ml rain over a 2 week period which has turned the landscape nearly green, remarkable for this time of the year. But I hear sunshine is just round the corner, but I'll be stuck in my room working from now on.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to BenWilson,

    I must have spent a couple of hours yesterday, cleaning (in hot water with detergent) the containers I'd removed from the freezer. So, yes, we're into keeping the recycling clean - we like to keep the rubbish bin clean too.

    Thought this morning about the two young guys who began a rubbish bin cleaning service in Australia, where they'd steam-clean (and I think, recycled the water so it was all really green) the bins. Believe me, you haven't smelt anything until you've smelt a bin in Sydney, mid-summer, just before collection, although if I remember rightly, Ben, you had an opportunity recently to do just that.

    I thought those guys should have been knighted for their services to olfactory serenity.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    although if I remember rightly, Ben, you had an opportunity recently to do just that.

    Close. I went to Melbourne, which is not as hot as Sydney, and much more dry. But during heatwaves the bins got pretty nasty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    I had a friend at high school in the 80s whose parents were walking with another couple along a fairly deserted stretch of beach in the Coromandel. They came across a small dune which they walked over only to fall waist deep inside a rotting whale carcass which had been covered up with wind blown sand.

    Didn't smell it myself of course but I reckon it must be up there!

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    and Ben Wilson-
    we have a very good recycling/rubbish pick-up system going here.
    R & C pickup my bottles, newspapers, and limited number of rubbish bags once every 2-3 months. I pay them, they’re happy, & so is the local environment.

    Because I rinse ALL my recyclable bottles (milk mainly), compost ALL foodscraps
    (except for the rat-attractive bits – bones mainly- which I burn) and take non-locally recyclable stuff (old computers & such-like) away over the hill every time I head over the hill.

    I vividly remember the stench from crashed (power failure) upright-freezer which I returned to after 3 weeks at Rakiura: I mourned the scallops & ’bait & vension, but had the thing taken away sans rotten food (it composts pretty good.)

    When I finally got inside my home, I discovered my water bed had died, and the drawers underneath the thing were full of mulch (ana dead valuable-to-me t-shirts et al…
    that year, 2005, was not a good one…

    actually, there’s been few very good years since 2001, so I am hoping that a decade’s nastiness is now extinguished.
    And we are all going to live happily ever after.

    Cue: TUI

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

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    December and christmas then new year whizzed past. Thankfully the rain is still falling so we aren't worried about a drought, yet. It would be nice to be able to see across the driveway though.

    New Years' Eve was bonzer. We went down the hill for a hangi. All local product. Venison (courtesy of yours truly (well hubby of)), rabbit, wild pork, local fish, freshly dug potatoes, and much more. I have suspicions that disaster was averted by the wonderful assistance in putting down the hangi by local expert. Music supplied by local musicians and singers. Convivial company found in neighbours. Amazing what a town of 200 can produce.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Karen White,

    Christmas spent on the wonderful Matakana Island. Whanau everywhere, Fantastic weather, clear cool water. The only bummer was the midgees on the beach which feasted on my feet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    A white Christmas in Oxford then back to work. Cold as hell as well, but that goes with winter and snow right? London seems to have coped a bit better with the snow this year, although it seems Scotland not so much.

    I think the problem is that I am still anchored in NZ so I keep hearing about the sun and heat at the wrong time of year for the UK.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1025 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I would just like to complain.

    This whole week I have been coughing and choking on viscous green chunks of purulent mucus. I am on annual leave damnit, with my visiting daughter, damnit, and all I can do is rub my aching cheekbones and grit my tingling teeth (yes, it’s in my sinuses now) and apologize for not being Action Dad.

    Back at work on Monday. The antibiotics are kicking in. I expect I’ll be better by then.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    Does anyone else actually clean their rubbish before binning it? I've made a habit of it, to keep smells down.

    The recycling definitely -- if you wouldn't handle something with food waste that's had days in a sweltering warehouse to get rancid, why the frig should you expect anyone else to? Takes ten seconds tops to rinse out a can last thing when you're doing the washing up. Not that hard. Also, folks three doors down with a large garden will take our compostibles.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Actually in fairness, here’s some good stuff about this period: for the 3rd xmas in a row, I cooked lunch at the Beloved’s parents’ house. Her mum hates cooking, and I love it, so atheist Jewbag or not it works out well. We survived the Boxing Day shock in Ch’chur, played with a small kitten every day, cringed enjoyably at the Ron Mueck exhibition, and were able to make very enjoyable calls on the Haywoods and on the Harvest Bird and Pack.

    Subsequently, I have been able to rise from my sick bed for long enough to cook a lot of charcoal-grilled dinners, washed down with my xmas whisky. So it’s not all bad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    And carrying on the beach theme, you just can't beat this. I have no idea why this beach isn't more crowded, but thank the goddesses for it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Re trams on the waterfront, I noticed this this morning.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Re trams on the waterfront, I noticed this this morning.

    As well as securing a lease of two heritage trams from a museum in Bendigo, Victoria, the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency also hopes to borrow an electric light-railcar for demonstration purposes during the Rugby World Cup.

    The trams will run clockwise on a 1.5km circuit of Wynyard Quarter - between Jellicoe, Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Sts - to draw visitors to the developing precinct and to provide them with on-board information about its attractions.

    But development agency chief executive John Dalzell said yesterday that the council-controlled organisation also wanted to use the circuit as a demonstration pilot for a possible light-rail extension across Viaduct Harbour to the Downtown ferry terminal, Queens Wharf, or even further along the waterfront.

    "We want to gauge the public's appetite for this form of transport."

    Oh, this could be good. This could be really, really good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Sam F,

    "We want to gauge the public's appetite for this form of transport."

    Oh, this could be good. This could be really, really good.

    I keep hearing good things about some aspects of the new council, including local body chairpersons who consider the needs of 'residents' at least as equal to, if not greater than, the agendas of the wider Council. There's no story to link to here, but happened to be in a local community meeting where this was discussed, and was quite (pleasantly) surprised.

    Early daze, but credit where due, etc.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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