I'll take your word for it. But what are you doing reading the bloody thing?
Because buried near the back, well behind the objectionable Deborah Coddington piece, was an article on sedition which drew rather heavily on my blog for the background material. They got instant research; I got a free copy. Which was worth every cent I paid for it...
Kia ora Russel
Went across to OZ and specifically Melbourne, where it happened there was a commemorative walk/hikoi, at St Kilda to mark several years since Aboriginal Elder Michael Long had walked to CAnberra to once again protest a lack of work on his people's greivances/needs. Naturally as a KIWI who is involved with Te Tiriti and recognising indigenous rights, I participated, even helping face paint aboriginal children with their flag. Then there was the 21st Celebration of the founding of the Koorie Heritage Trust, so got involved there too, as I write about art and artists and there was a fantastic show by Deakin University Aboriginal art graduates, not to mention the chance to look around their Library which has Gazettes back to the 1880s and is a wealth of information on both Aboriginal issues, traditions and problems also with settlers and governments. It was set up by Jim Berg, who told me he had an elderly woman approach him with artefacts wanting him to take care of a family grinding stone and on that he and two lawyer friends built the KHT. I enjoyed my time on the Melbourne rivers too, the Maribyrnong and tales of its Aboriginal heritage from the Captain of the 'Magpie' and of European settlers aaas well as the trip down and up the Yarra, with a Captain called Bernie, who had a good natured ANZAC joke going, but one-upped him easily!!! Kia ora Juliana Venning
What an enriching holiday, Juliana. I am ashamed, yet slightly proud, to say that every day this week I have stayed in my dressing gown until at least 4pm. In this age of rushing around like mad things, I think I may start up a business teaching people to do nothing. It appears to be one of my natural talents. I'm awfully good at just "being".
it's really great that the automobile has given them independence. allows them to escape the solitary confinement of their elderly years. encourages them to spend those saved dollars productively instead of being couped up in the house.
and driving to paihia has made me realise, i'm agin it.
I've taken an interesting tack on the whole DC is a F*&%tard thing cos I haven't read the article yet but will do so tonight, but read the letters page(s) in the subsequent issue (you go hard Keith) and am thinking could it really be that abhorrent. Soon see I guess. Today was mum's birthday, she got lots of book vouchers and a telescope. We spent the most part of this evening setting it up and checking out the moon. I'm in Whakamarama just out of Tauranga and there is almost no ambient light to speak of, so it's great for stargazing. Spent ages looking for landing sites with help from nasa coordinates and not a sausage. Although I doubt I'd see much anyway.
Back to Dorkland tomorrow for recording and such (sigh). Tell me if this is a common phenomenon but I can smell Auckland from the top of the Bombays, does anyone else experience this also? It just reeks.
Tell me if this is a common phenomenon but I can smell Auckland from the top of the Bombays, does anyone else experience this also? It just reeks.
Are you sure it's Auckland (which is rather far away) and not the Bombays themselves? I mean, there's a McDonald's up there.
I'm pretty sure it is, because it's something that has been happening for years and well before macdeath opened up there. It's a kind of dirty exhaust smell as you come down the hill, it was raining this morning so had the window up. I'd like to think my home town doesn't stink, but unfortunately experience tells me otherwise.
Maybe it's just South Auckland, Coddington could write her next piece of shite about that perhaps. The most startling thing about that article was that the editors of norf and sarf defended her so vigourously, they claim to be the thinking persons read, perhaps that needs a rethink.
So in clarification, Deborah Coddington and the English cricket team should be sponsored by Kirby vaccuum cleaners because their both overrated, overvalued, but in reality they just suck.
please to be obliging, substitute their for they're, in lieu of edit feature.
kia ora all
well i'm in malaysia, and yup, it's raining. but it hasn't been all rain, and the consolation is that i'm staying in a mini-palace, with 2 full-time maids, a part-time gardener, a driver and sundry other luxuries. it just goes to show, when you're rolling in money, asia is the place to be (if you can conveniently forget about minimum wages, the 40-hour working week & various other basic labour laws... hmmm, i daren't antagonise my very gracious hosts by trying to unionise their labour force!)
have also been enjoying the food, the shopping, the hairdressers, and yes even the dentist - everything being so much cheaper here. have been trying to keep away from all the news, but couldn't avoid hearing that they're hanging saddam today. i guess this proves they've won the war.
i haven't really tried to get a sense of what people are thinking here of such world events. we're getting al-jazeera in english, which i've so far avoided. everything is pretty much controlled and censored here anyway (including all the "rude" bits of foreign films & tv programmes!), so there is not too much overt criticism. and malaysia is definitely prospering from the results of the tensions in the world today. many arabs and africans are now coming here for their holidays instead of going to america or europe, which is great for the local economy. so i guess they're not complaining too much.
well, i'm off for a lunch invitation, and hoping for better weather tomorrow, when we celebrate eid here. have a happy new year everyone.
Well my holiday's over already, in the away-from-town sense. Now I'm back home belatedly catching on to that mp3 thing due to the player I scored for Xmas (what a great opportunity to procure all those terrible songs you were too embarassed to actually purchase -Girls Aloud anyone?).
The holiday was in Rotovegas for a few days of family Xmas with the in-laws. I distracted myself from various things, including missing my own family - my nieces were getting kittens back in Whangaparaoa, grrr - by doing crosswords most of the day.
Then we hung around in town for a while longer, did some walks, saw Casino Royale (I never thought I could actually really like a Bond film, but I was so wrong), ate out a great deal, and missed out on the luge 'cos of the crap weather on the last morning. When is Auckland going to get a luge? I'm not sure we can be a truly international city until we get one. Humph. (Does that qualify as emo?)
From now until work starts again on the 8th I'm anticipating quite a lot of cleaning and rearranging of furniture, not to mention wasting time on the internet and possibly working my way through that coveted Firefly boxset (again). When it's raining of course, when it's sunny I'm hoping to be out doing stuff that doesn't involve giving in to the inexorable pull of St Lukes.
Christmas was almost non-existent, but all the better for it. New Years has been interesting - I'm sat on the sofa in Glasgow at 3am on New Year's Day, the only thought in my head about maybe having another cigarette, none of this 'oh whatever will the new year bring'.
Not yet anyway. That'll hit me when I'm home.
Season's greetings from a rainy, galeforce-wind-ridden Glasgow.
Ka kite ano
Well Christmas day was at our place with some English friends who have been in NZ for about 5 years - so we had a laid back lunch/dinner on the deck with too many nibbles, a huge salmon done on the BBQ, too many deserts and lots of great NZ wine. My daughter was stoked to get a red iPod Nano with her name on it - great to have the Apple store in NZ now.
I worked the non-stats, but we came up to my Aunt's place at Red Beach on the 28th - the place has views to die for across the Hauraki gulf, and it is great going to sleep with the sound of waves breaking on the beach.
New Year's day was what I remembered as a child. Breakfast on the deck with a smooth blue ocean in front of us then a lazy lunch and a jigsaw was brought out. In the afternoon, we took the sea kayak down to the beach. Some kayaking and swimming in beautiful warm water - then some wine back on the deck. One of those beautiful hazy days of my childhood relived!
Christmas was the usual extended family affair, although considering I had been on holiday since the beginning of November it hardly seems like a bona fide Summer Holiday. Summer School starts on Thursday, I'm taking a course on European Union politics; it seems like a nice way to spend warm summer days. Then about 2 weeks off till semester starts proper.
Time-and-a-half and a day in lieu
Somewhere, in a far corner of my mind, is the memory of one of those classic Kiwi summer holiday things. The one with the beach and the Pohutukawas in bloom and the simple bach and the barbecue and the beach cricket.
But it's a distant, fading memory. It's not 1982 any more. It's 2007 and I've got to work the stats, baby.
Working the stats is office gangsta speak for working on statutory holidays. So while everyone else is lying on the beach and drinking beer and eating sossies, I'm inside a cool air-conditioned office doing that essential work that refuses to go on holiday.
Before I started in my current job, I held public holidays as sacred. I wouldn't have dreamed of working on one. But having worked on various public holidays now for a few years, I'm surprised at how ordinary it is.
This year I worked New Year's Day and the day after. The biggest annoyance is the buses running on a reduced timetable and that some local food places charge a public holiday surcharge (but not the cafe across the road from work - sweet!).
I just showed up to a near empty workspace, worked for a bit, shared a pizza with a co-worker, did some more work in the pleasantly quiet office, then went home. It wasn't much of a hassle at all.
But the best thing is that I get a day in lieu, so I can still party like it's 1982, just at a later date.
I used to love working the stats too, although I haven't worked one since the new legislation came in for both time and a half and a day in lieu. But then I used to take very few holidays at all, at one point they had to pay me out for a whole bunch as I'd accrued so much.
My current workplace has a compulsory shut down for two weeks, and I've heard of another (office-ish work) that closes for four whole weeks! My work is also very big on making you take your leave in the year you earnt it (actually effectively taking your leave in advance), which makes it hard to save up for special occassions, but is generally a good idea I think. Otherwise I'd go back to not taking any leave and then ending up with ME all over again...
Back at work now - my choice, although I was expecting/hoping for a quieter office this week. Staff numbers don't seem to have diminished at all. Most distressed to discover that every coffee stop between me and my work is closed until next week, unless I can spare 15 minutes to walk to Roasted.
Spent christmas with family, alpacas and a slobbery labrador. Languid country living - large deck, patchy dial-up internet, limited-to-zero cellphone reception, no traffic to negotiate, mostly-decent weather. Ham, chicken, salad, an entire eye fillet, mountains of home baking, traditional christmas pudding with wishes stirred in, wine, beer. Watched The Wedding and Outrageous Fortune. Watched Labyrinth (gift from sister). Got to feed alpacas every day. Got spat at every other day. Read 5 books from mother's Whitcoulls-top-100-dominated library. Was actually disappointed when brother took family home, including 3-year-old & 6-month-old nephews. Not quite so disappointed to see back of lovestruck sister, due to much (I suspect somewhat deliberate) PDA.
Spent new year in an Auckland suburb dominated by bush, after being rescued from bus station by friends. Oddly identical country living to family farm. Didn't quite get hang of new year junk-food-fest - roasted chicken & kumara. Watched Labyrinth. Got awesome view of sky tower fireworks. Pancakes and beer for new year's breakfast.
Is it just me or have there been a *lot* of bloggers complaining about how much they hate christmas? I get mighty stressed in the month leading up to christmas, but the actual holiday is usually pretty ace.
Given that blogs are often all about sharing the hate, I guess it's probably inevitable that a lot of bloggers will complain about christmas.
I certainly didn't enjoy it much when I worked in retail and we didn't have any children around on Xmas day. While the food was always fab and the presents were nice, there just didn't seem to be anything special or magical anymore. Maybe it was natural for me to cultivate a dislike for the occasion which created so much stress and grief (particularly at work)?
Now that I have two stellar nieces who say amusing things (eg, a few hours into playing with her brand new kitten the 5yo says "I couldn't believe it when I saw it! I mean it was just so real, I couldn't see a remote!") it's all about family again. Somehow the proximity of short people will so much whimsy and energy makes me feel more connected to my adult family members too. Which is what makes xmas nice for me.
I certainly didn't enjoy it much when I worked in retail and we didn't have any children around on Xmas day.
Yeah, I guess that nails it - the presence of all the bad elements & absence of the things that make it really good. I definitely noticed a change in my own attitude to the Christmas lead-up this year; every time I walked into St Lukes I felt sort of polluted - like I was buying in to something crass & tinny. My heart reached out to every shop assistant that had to put up with ugly Whitneyesque caterwauling about presents (WHITCOULLS..). I guess the hateration is just a backlash against the fake enthusiasm of trashy Christmas advertising, and the resulting frantic consumption, rather than Christmas itself. And fair do's.
DPF holidays in Golden Bay. Days later - reports of Rock Snot in the Takaka river.
You connect the dots...
Heather, how did you guess with the Whitcoulls? Spooky.
I didn't work at St Lukes (thank all the deities), but for two Xmases we took over the shop next door and had a Xmas shop - a new brand of torture, as not only did we have only one Xmas song tape on permanent loop, we had concrete floor only (resulting in very very sore feet and back, also I must have been the youngest thin person with varicose veins ever). Not to mention the customers who would try to convince you to give them 50% off now, two weeks out for Xmas, because it was all going to be on special on the 26th anyway. And don't even start me on the senseless long long opening hours - we did 12 midnights one year, in a mall that really didn't justify it. I believe I did a lot of dusting that year.
Shop assistants are convenient targets for the stressed out Xmas shopper - I'm so glad I've escaped. I try to do as much Xmas shopping as possible by internet these days. And think about my nieces and what a delight they are on Xmas day - and how happy that makes the rest of the family too.
Well I'm one of those anti-Christmas people so I guess it's time to for a grinch to have his say.
I've never been a fan of the whole family get together and, to be honest, many others in my family feel the same way. Don't get me wrong they're great people but having them all in the same space at the same time with alcohol just isn't a good idea. The last family Christmas was in 1998 and as I recall my father and I were having a race to see who could be over the limit first so the other one would have to do the get away drive (I lost - he had an extra 25 years drinking experience on me). It was pretty much decided there and then that that would be the last family gathering.
I'm always frowned on by my friends for the way I like to spend Christmas Day. Apparently it's not the done thing to spend it in isolation and every year I have to avoid the Christmas Police. That is, multiple invitations to spend the day with friends and their families all because they don't think it's right that I like to spend the day alone. Their offers are very sweet and I almost feel like a churl for turning them down. Give me some decent music, some solitude, a good book, and some quality alcohol and I'm as happy as Larry. This year it was a Brit' music bonanza and a couple of bottles of very good Central Otago Pinot Noir.
I just don't like the fake commercialism of Christmas. The best assessment I heard of it recently was this; it's a great time right up until the moment the kids learn the truth about Santa. After the magic is gone it's all about the presents.
Also if family is so damn important we'd be visiting them more often, not just at Christmas.
Rant over :)
(oh and if you read this Dad - I'll be popping in your neck of the woods sometime in the next couple of months)
I too, spend Christmas alone ... and LOVE it!
I cook myself a great meal and then go out to a movie. No hassle, no screaming kids, no fighting relatives..... nice and easy.
Sure just like Felix above, I have a chance to spend Christmas with others - and I have done that sometimes. But for me.... a day with no obligations or stress, it's great.
I haven't left Wellington for the holidays but have taken the chance to be a tourist in my own city. Hanging out in Te Papa and the City Art Gallery is actually a lot of fun (and since the weather hasn't been great - a warm, dry place to be). I've spent a lot of time checking out cafes I haven't been to and walking in parts of the city that I haven't had time to check out previously.
Nice to know that a place you have lived in for eight years still holds some surprises.
Another great thing that I have done during the break is check out all those movies I haven't had a chance to get to during the year. "Good Night, and Good Luck", "Syriana" and "The Constant Gardener" are movies I definitely recommend.
Anyway however you have chosen to spend this holiday - hope it was good for you and that this year will bring you all you hope for.
Thank God there's another one!
Cheers Jo :)
Was a slightly strange one this year in London .. stranded with our friends in more interesting climes we couldn't quite face the traditional british get pissed and watch telly approach on our own.
We saw an add for a christmas day cycle which came near our place.. so at 11am met up with a strange combination of fellow expats and cycling nuts and headed off.
There were about 100 people (great thing about a city this size, whatever nutty thing you are doing at least 50 other people are doing it too).
We headed south through a strangely unscenic tour of south london estates (ladies in shell suits and fags hanging out of mouths looking a bit shocked), then north through hyde park culminating in a half-arsed sprint down the Mall.
Very odd experience with empty roads and friendly passers by. Certainly didn't feel lile London!
Headed home for a roast dinner and dreams of pohutakawas and sun.