Posts by Ian Hickling
Island Life: Couldn't hit it sideways,
David we did the same thing three weeks ago. Two kids in a car, driving from Turin into the Provencal mountains and down through Digne-les-Bains and into Cote d'Azur. Completely agree with your views on Nice etc. Lovely to look at but having stayed there at a conference three years ago, the ever-present Russian hookers along the main drag (pun intended), make it a pretty sleezy place, and too many people. We far prefer the less organised but more earthy Italy of Piedmont than Provence.
I remember long drives with my parents many years ago - the abiding memory is of playing I-spy all the time. These days with me behind the wheel, there are far too many "Fuck!" as we miss a turn and end up driving an extra 10 miles down the autostrada.
It's nice to know someone else has the same problems of navigation and worrying about where to stay the night, and your experience in Lyon may also happen as ours did in Turin and Toulouse.
Enjoy the trip. It is so good for your daughter's education
Hard News: Connecting the Box,
totally unrelated: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7021444.stm
Apparently Maori living in Australia living in Australia are being targeted by the NZ govt to return. Interestingly,
"One in seven Maoris now lives in Australia. Many cross the Tasman Sea for better job prospects and to escape social problems and racism."
and just to belabour the point:
"Some Maori migrants moved away to escape drugs, gangs, domestic violence and racism from the white population. There are also tensions within their own communities."
It's sure not the impression I get these days. When I went to school, the Maori culture was dying, but the Bastion Point protests seemed to bring a rennaissance to the culture and I'm proud of the way Maori have brought their culture back to life. Maybe I have a rose-tinted view, as I only get to visit "home" once a year? Or is this the bias of the BBC's Sydney-based reporter?
Island Life: Sound as the pound,
I think you're right Neil, this is primarily a supply-side issue - too much credit available in the world, all looking for a home, and the RBNZ says it is moving the rate up to control Kiwis' spending habits. It seems there is a lack of balance in this that wasn't there a decade ago. A lot of private cash looking for high returns at the same time as the US govt has an insatiable appetite for credit. We're just caught in the middle of it. Bollard's got balls, but I think he's a small guy in a global game
I'm astounded at the depth of feeling that has gone on in this thread, and of the suggestion that I be stripped of my nationality because I've been away.
I was born in NZ, to Pommy parents, am married to an Eritrean, and have lived in Barbados for eleven years. I have a NZ passport and a UK one by didn't of my parents. We have two Kiwi children. I am a fiercely proud Kiwi, pay taxes in NZ, pay mortgages in NZ and bring in a lot of foreign currency to pay those. We've lived away from home - a big sacrifice in my mind - so we could build a future and a nest egg in NZ. We're moving back next year and will continue making that contribution by bringing new skills learnt abroad.
I've lived for 13 years having to jump through hoops to get visas for my wife for every country we've visited, so have some understanding of what might be causing this venom in Michael, but I can't work out why I should be excluded from returning to the homeland that I carry in my heart and think of constantly.
Hard News: I'm marking Youth Week by…,
ah Baseline. I remember them. Wonderful place. We could sure do with an oasis like that here - away from the unrelenting soca-dub and imported R&B scmaltzopop
Speaker: Part 22: Not the Last Post,
I'll be going to the final on Saturday (Greenidge & Haynes, with my conch shell), sad to be watching Oz and not Us, but we weren't good enough to beat the Sri Lankans. The game of the tournament so far was England/Windies - huge crowd, big occasion, tight contest.
I'd love NZ to win the Cup, but we do pretty damn well considering how many people play the game, how many professionals there are (didn't someone mention that we only have 150 professional cricketers in NZ?) and how small our population is in comparison with others. It must be tough being a sportsman with the expectations we ladle on them. Shouldn't we be patting ourselves on the back that we're better than India, Pakistan, England, Windies etc, rather than being angry at our failure to meet a somewhat unrealistic expectation of meeting and beating Australia in the final?
The tournament has truly though been a sorry event for the region. Govts (and hence the populace) has spent a fortune on building new stadia, only to have poor crowds. The hotels have lower occupancy here than is usual at this time of year - because the "regulars" have been scared away by the thought of large crowds of roaming roudies.
The anticlimax has been palpable, and exacerbated by the Windies poor showing. The amount of soul-searching here has been a lot more raw, because of Windies ongoing decline towards oblivion. People truly live cricket here. It's in the fabric of people's lives.
At the base of the problems has been the issue of "management" of the game. The Cup fiasco has been blamed on Speed and his greedies at ICC; Windies' demise blamed on Ken Gordon and his hangers-on in the WICB. If anything good comes out of the Cup, many here hope that it will be a restructuring and rennaisance in the national game of the Caribbean.
The world of cricket needs some serious re-thinking and reorganising before the next World Cup comes around.
Random Play: Age shall not weary me,
I think that explains why I'm getting to be a grumpy old bugger who always complains about the numerous spelling mistakes on the NZ Herald site and BBC World.
Speaker: Part 10: Like Comedy, Timing is…,
so what about today's (mis)match. Great clinical batting but the bowling didn't look so sharp. I'm afraid Tuffey won't be getting much more bowling in this tournament.
Can I start a minor conspiracy theory? Me and a fellow Kiwi mate living in Barbados, noticed that with the Black Caps beating England, that would make us top of the heap (i.e. C1) and mean that we would have some of our Super 8 matches played here in Barbados. Yeeha, thinks we. Until we check the on-line timetable again, scratch our heads and notice that C1 no longer plays here, but C2 does. So I wonder off to cricinfo.com and ask their commentators during the Kenya match now on, "what's going on lads?"...their response, "Er ... it's all about tourism and who plays where, so that people could book to ensure they followed their team and didn;t end up paying $5000 to watch someone they didn't want to see."...that hardly seems fair. Now I have to fly to Grenada or Antigua to see the Black Caps play again. That is of course, until the FINALS!
Speaker: Part 4: Embarrassment of Riches…,
From where I sat in the stands, that wasn't a jet-lagged stumble against Bangladesh; it was something to do with the rum stumbles! Embarrassing to have all my Windies mates yelling for Bangladesh that day.
And then to cap it all, when trying to get in to watch the Sri Lanka game, the damn thing is sold out! Didn't get to see a marvellous win.