Monday, February 27, 2012


On the first warm sunny day for over a week, we went to the movies. Movie World, Oamaru, screens operas from the Metropolitan Opera, New York every second Sunday afternoon, and I would rather miss a rare sunny day than miss one of their screenings. Yesterday was The Enchanted Island, a new work by Jeremy Sims using music from Handel, Vivaldi and others to create a Baroque pastiche sung in English. Now that sounded really odd especially as most of the soloists sang with Italian or French accents but the singers were enjoying themselves as they sang and pranced about the stage and it showed. Not all the braoque effects sounded right in my modern ears.The villainous Prospero was sung by counter tenor David Daniels, and I can't get used to a woman's voice issuing from a man's throat.Imagine Dame Kiri with a beard and moustache!But the singing was superb, especially the duets and the choruses. The story line? The Lovers from Shakespeare's Dream are shipwrecked on Prospero's Island after Ariel has got her instructions mixed up and has wrecked the wrong ship. Lysander and Demetrius are magicked into forgetting their wives and chase after Miranda, Prospero's daughter who has the hots for her cousin Sebastian,Helena falls in love with the monster Caliban. It is all very complicated and funny, with many sly puns and references to the Shakespeare plays,in one scene dancers wear masks of Shakespeare characters. Eventually Ariel appeals to Neptune for help, and there is an incredible scene of his underwater kingdom, dolphins and mer folk 'swimming', Ariel in a diving suit, and Neptune aka Placido Domingo delivers a long solo asking why he should help humans after what they have done to his kingdom. He may have grey hair and wrinkles, but the voice is still magnificent. So we have Shakespearean comedy, baroque music, great singing,incredible stage effect and scenery, sumptuous costumes and topical allusions to modern issues. No wonder the Oamaru audience applauded.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I self published a novel on the web just to see if I could. Now instead of getting on with the next novel I am trying to stay afloat in this sleazy pool of cyber crime. I shall make a novel of it if I live long enough.

It seems my e mail address was hi jacked and my address list stolen. The lady on Telecom fixed that for me I thought, and issued me a new pass word.
My address book disappeared so I have to build a new one.

This morning I logged on to a message saying there had been '├╝nusual activity'on my credit card account, and if I logged on to that message it would be mended. Fortunately the account they mentioned was one I have never used, so I consigned it to the trash bin.If I had forwarded it to my accountant son I could have infected his machine and those of his contacts.

I use my credit card a lot to buy books from Amazon and City Lights, book travel and accommodation, buy and sell things on Trade Me.I take the prescribed precautions, but now I shall have to alter my style of living because of these cyber criminals who are getting away with their dishonesty because it seems to be too hard to catch them out.
There does not appear to be any world wide organisation able to deal with cyber crime. THERE SHOULD BE.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This morning I could not log on to my e mail. My friend Shirley who writes cracking YA novels rang me from Masterton to ask if I was in Spain. Hers was the first of several calls. Evidently someone had ji jacked my e mail site and is sending e mails to everyone in my address book telling them I am stranded in Spain and need money.
I managed to get on to face book abd tell people there I would be closing my e mail down until I had dealt with the low life who was trying to make money using my name.

Actually they spun quite a tale, maybe they should turn to writing fiction for a more honest living, they could sell it on Amazon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Last Saturday my eldest son, Frank, turned 68. He did not do a lot of celebrating, he was busy doing his job at the radio station.

Next Satrday my sister Pat will be 91. I don't know what she plans to do but most likely it will involve beer and darts or indoor bowls at her local R.S.A.

Next Wednesday I am going to a lunch party for my friend Rita. She will be 100 years old. I will giver her some fancy salmon lures to celebrate because she likes to go fishing. She still drives her car and reads without glasses.

So to-day I went shopping for suitable birthday cards. Frank's had been eas cards with pictures or beer, cigars, fishing rods, sports cars and busty blondes leaping out of champagne glasses and humourous greetings. But for Rita and Pat's age group nly prissy pastels bouquets and 'improving' verses about being proud of being their age and exhorting them to look back on their achievements Yukk!!!

Card manufacturers, get real, study your market.

Rita's generation grew up in the 'roaring twenties.' They wore very short skirts and silk stockings, they performed indecorous dances like the fox-trot and tango. They were called 'flappers' and 'gay young things' before'gay' changed its meaning.

My sister's generation took over men's work during world war 2. Pat drove a truck in the Army Transport Corps.That is why she likes to drink a beer and play a round of darts at the Returned Dervices Club. We had our indecorous dances too. Jive and Jitterbug shocked our seniors.

And the women reaching their eighties, nineties and 100's now are the people who battled for real women's rights - like permission to wear bikinis on the beach, to wear trousers as everyday wear, to use cosmetics without being labelled 'fast', to go into a bar and have a drink if we feel like it.

They deserve more than bland and patronising borthday cards.I commented to the girl in the stationery shop.
"Wait a minute, I know just what you want," she dashed away and from another section of the card display showed me a cartoon of a middle aged housewife in fluffy slippers making love to her washing machine. It was hilarious.

So Rita is getting that on her birthday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I listened to the Maori Party politicians claiming our fresh water. What next?
Well air is made breathable by oxygen expired from trees, trees grow on land and need fresh water, some of it rain much of it from rivers and lakes.
So perhaps we should be paying Maori for the air we breath?


If Maori own the foreshore and sea bed, the rivers and lakes, the forests etc as owners should they not be responsible for damage caused by these?

So when a river floods will Maori pay owners of adjoining land?
Tangaroa has been eating away at the coast south of where I live, a road had to be closed. Could the District Council prosecute Ngai Tahu for keeping a dangerous animal on their land? They own the sea bed and have allowed the sea to occupy it. Surely that is comparable with the householder who allows dangerous dogs to live on his property without restraint.

Think about it.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Oh, tut tut, so a crowd of youngsters in London on their O.E. got drunk.
"Shouldn't let them our of the country, bloody irresponsible," said Fred, age 75.
"You never got drunk when you were away?" I asked innocently.
"Course not."
Well maybe my memory is a bit longer and less selective than Fred's, but I remember growing up in the 1940's when the pubs all shut at 6 o'clock and every dance hall had a truck out the back selling beer.
And I remember when my own sons were on their O.E's hearing about how people in Munich had to carry umbrellas to shield them from vomiting drunks on the rides at the Munich beer festivals, and most of these drunks were Australians and New Zealanders.
Binge drinking has been part of the (male) kiwi culture since the whalers and sealers came ashore in the 1820s.
It's a rite of passage. They leave home, drink themselves legless, and if they survive they eventually settle down and become respectable, like Fred.
What a pack of hypocrites we are!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


A moment ago I clicked on to someone else's blog; Up in the tight hand corner a photo of the moon;waxing gibbous65% full'
I must drop that into the conversation sometime