Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Open Thread 1: Beach and Backyard

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I guess Bethells is just that little bit further than, say, Piha or Karekare. Amazing place, though, especially the sand dunes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'd only been there once before, Ben. It was absolutely beautiful, and so tranquil. People, the few of them that there were, and there must have been a number cos the carpark was mostly full, were concentrated down the end where the Te Henga stream comes down to the surf. The rest of the beach was pretty much deserted, although we did spend quite a while down near the big cave at the end. There were rockpools with stranded crabs in them which my friend's dog was trying to catch. Cute beyond words to watch a large brown dog stepping carefully to feel where the crabs were and then plunging his entire head into the water to see where they were. Bad fishing day, canine wise.

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

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    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…

    Many condolences.

    @Ben Wilson.
    Yes, I knew you had gone to Melbourne. :) I visited for a few days one Christmas. Christmas Day dawned cool and overcast. Around 10 a.m., in around half an hour, the temperature rose 9 degrees! Suddenly, just walking past an open doorway was like walking past a pizza oven.
    @ Jackie Clark.
    Did you walk across the dunes to the fresh-water lake? It's very deep, and very cold. They made "Children of Fire Mountain" - well, a lot of it anyway, on and around that lake.
    Bethell's itself has quite a history. Don't want to put a dampener on it, but if the stories we were told are true, it's not that good....

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

  • BenWilson,

    Suddenly, just walking past an open doorway was like walking past a pizza oven.

    It gets scary hot there, I'd be running between doors outside, holding my breath because the air actually burned my throat. I think the lack of humidity made it worse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    Enjoying the return of familiar faces and posters.

    Dunedin weather has been up and down today like an up and down thing, as it has for most of the break. We've had a tent drying in the garden since the Whare Flat Festival finished. It's actually been dry a few times today, but there's been too much wind to pack it up.

    Lots of good music at the Whare Flat Festival this year. Mara! played great Balkan and Bulgarian; King Leo and various collaborators played fine blues; Baba Yaga played classy Klezmer. Have you ever heard Bohemian Rhapsody played on two banjos with hundreds of people singing along?

    Great sadness at the news of the death of a friend who was a frequent attender: the pito of one of his daughters is buried at Whare Flat. The death occurred just before the festival. Bugger. Seriously. He wasn't even old enough to be a boomer. These things seem to be getting more and more common. And "we" are becoming less and less common....

    My wife - just as I finished that last paragraph - brought me the death notice of another (elderly) friend. Jeez....

    Actually, it's been a nice break. The sun is shining and things are actually going well.

    Haven't been into town much, but there seem to be a lot of cruise-ship passengers wandering the streets.

    Otepoti. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it.

    Best wishes to all. And thanks for posts that challenge my thinking and encourage me to do more.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to recordari,

    Early daze, but credit where due, etc

    I'm impressed with Len Brown's performance, and with the way council leadership is working. Apart from anything else, they haven't given their political opponents even the crumb of a headline. That suggests some real discipline.

    The Labour Party should be laying out the red carpet for Conor Roberts, whenever he thinks the time is right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    The trams will run clockwise on a 1.5km circuit of Wynyard Quarter - between Jellicoe, Halsey, Gaunt and Daldy Sts

    This is the southern hemisphere. Anticlockwise!!!!! Don't they know it will disappear up the southern vortex?

    Re Xmas. Wifey things family. 5 in the family. 14 kids amongst the 5. Plus M&D. Makes 26 which we have gathered every two years for the last 22 years (so far). The count is now stretching out as 4 are married. No G kids yet. This year was 29. We hire (usually) christian camps [cheap and spacious and no christians about :-) ]
    Four days with arrival the day before Xmas is the usual plan. Rosters are the rage and it gives lots of time to relax. This year was at Waihi Beach. Cracker. Excellent beach walking, shell picking and boogie boarding. The vote was taken and we hope to do it again at the same place in 2012.

    Then the rest of the time at Castlepoint and friends bach, just wifey and the owners. For the first time did no work around the section and apologised for deliberately doing so. Fished for two days. One kawhai. Moved rubbish towards tip on one day. Walked the beach. Visited the lighthouse and climbed the castle. It is still an amazing calender scene. Piccie here

    Causeway is now gone. DOC complaint about H&S. Hmm....

    Now back home looking forward to a week of shooting at Trentham.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Kahawai !!!!!!!!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Nice photo , Ross. Love that place. A trip there 20 years ago, sitting under the light house at night while the beam tracked across the brooding sea has resonated ever since. Enough to make you believe in magic.

    Len Brown

    Yes, he's come a long way from his slap happy campaign in a relatively short period of time.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    Does collecting 4 trailer loads of driftwood from Lake Wanaka count? Love the mid summer northwest storms!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Beach holiday. 2 weeks. Kids, swimming, bike rides, reading all those books I never get time to read the rest of the year.

    And have discovered mobile broadband, so can still spend far too much of my time online.

    We are going camping next week with our two pre-school children. May not be quite so relaxed by the time I return to work.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Kris V,

    break time is almost over.... not that we went anywhere! Boxing Day was interesting, with in-laws and aftershocks arriving simultaneously. Not the best way to spend a day but never mind, we made it to the end of the visit & the shaking relatively unscathed.
    Next week sees both research and the hounding of a certain insurance company resume with gusto :)

    HNY to one and all

    Shakeytown • Since Nov 2008 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to ScottY,

    We are going camping next week with our two pre-school children. May not be quite so relaxed by the time I return to work.

    Heh, word to that. Just because you love it doesn't mean it won't shatter you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Kahawai !!!!!!!!!!

    Thar she blows!

    Sounds like your fishing skills rival my own.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @Islander. Thought of you, as we passed by Okarito in the rain. Hope you got the soya/edamame seeds I posted along the way--I mailed them to Okarito rather than Whataroa (had a minor mind l;apse--blame it on an excess of Blenheim cherries).

    Now in Wellington, after a two week circumference of the South Island, with visits to 20 small/independent cinemas along the way. Now I am thinking of how to put all this information together + adding in the North Island, in the most useful manner.
    There will be gaps (Arrowtown, Akaroa) so I may be calling on the wisdom of folk here, in the coming months.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Len Brown

    Yes, he’s come a long way from his slap happy campaign in a relatively short period of time.

    I think that was just nerves.

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

  • recordari, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    I think that was just nerves.

    Certainly. He doesn't strike me as the kind of person who seeks, or feeds off, excessive public exposure, and during the campaign he couldn't really avoid it. Much more comfortable getting things done, which is surely what we want in a mayor. Makes a pleasant change.

    Sincerely hope he doesn't buy a Harley.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Speaking of beaches, the Herald's John Roughan strikes a pose in defense of the budgie smuggler. Here's why he reckons they went out of fashion:

    Yet by 1970 or soon after, boardies had taken over the beach. The hedonism of the sixties was giving way to the new moralisms of the seventies: feminism, environmentalism, political correctness.

    Someone buy the man a drink (or a brain).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to recordari,

    Sincerely hope he doesn’t buy a Harley

    Oh so agree!

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

  • Sacha,

    Revealing road trip asks who's really restricting access to Northland's beaches.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to recordari,

    Sincerely hope he doesn't buy a Harley.

    Which is why Phil Goff rides a Triumph instead.

    Speaking of beaches, the Herald's John Roughan strikes a pose in defense of the budgie smuggler. Here's why he reckons they went out of fashion:

    Then why do today's women wear G-strings? For fsck's sake Mr Roughan, Speedos went out of fashion not because of PC-ness. They got laughed out of fashion.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Then why do today’s women wear G-strings?

    Barely concealed masochism?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Speaking of beaches, the Herald's John Roughan strikes a pose in defense of the budgie smuggler. Here's why he reckons they went out of fashion:

    I have exclusive footage of Mr. Roughan's fashion sense:

    If anything, the popularity of the board short was a textbook example of how subcultures feed into -- and eventually become -- mainstream style. And far from being capitulation to eco-feminazi "political correctness", I won't be seen in public in a lycra cock-sock because it's hideously embarrasing and uncomfortable to look like an over-filled mini-muffin cup. Roughan might be beyond caring about looking ridiculous, but I'm not.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I won't be seen in public in a lycra cock-sock because it's hideously embarrasing and uncomfortable to look like an over-filled mini-muffin cup. Roughan might be beyond caring about looking ridiculous, but I'm not.

    In other words, laughed out of fashion. All the more so if, well, a guy's body betrays him.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    Hello everyone, and a happy New Year to you all; if somewhat belated. I too am enjoying catching up with all the holiday news on PA.

    A quick apology to those who may have felt that my last 'story' was insufficiently Christmassy and rather bah humbug. My timing has been rather off with PA postings. I normally get into the Christmas spirit with great gusto. Not sure what happened this year (tempting to blame the government).

    Today has been a rather stunning day in Auckland, the city to which we recently returned, somewhat reluctantly, after a three-week road trip around the South Island. The trip meant a rather untraditional, but quite Kiwi, Christmas dinner of fish and chips on the Queenstown waterfront far from (extended) family and friends. Also, our eldest (17yo) was back in Auckland honing his independence while feeding the cats and watering the young garden – and Christmassing with friends. Our first xmas apart.
    I am writing a piece on our time in Dunedin (or plan to) for PA, so won't say too much else on the trip for now. There were many scenic highlights that I hope to bring to you in visual as well as narrative form in due course, though the scenery doesn't always 'speak' to me in so many words.
    NZ's south is great for geological diversity (if I may be so bold to say so from a point of view of relative ignorance, even now). The Franz Joseph Glacier was positively Gothic, arched in defiant retreat; an ice dragon with jagged jaws open wide and menacing (I wasn't high). Tourists abounded here as elsewhere on our journey, which kind of sucked a bit, though added to the sense of 'could be anywhere in the world', especially in the ‘hot spots’: Queenstown and Milford Sound.
    Great to hear so many languages; looked and sounded pretty much like every continent of the globe was represented. In Queenstown we stayed at the lake front Youth Hostel and jostled nightly for stove and storage space. The German woman working there and filming the hectic semi-communal dinner preparations on her pocket digi-cam, later explained, when I failed to turn up a wok for my stir-fry: “This is Queenstown. They know they don't have to make it good, people come anyway". And she was right. The hostel was full to capacity and under-resourced; we ate with plastic forks from our picnic set (cutlery normally provided) and watched with mild anxiety as a many-membered Spanish family was made to wait for hours for the BBQ to be re-fuelled so they could cook their massive cuts of meat.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

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