Monday, March 25, 2019

Life is a game we play (Oasis)

c. Jesse Rowbotham
A return to positivity. Familiar territory.

Visiting Los Angeles on the way back to NZ from England was lovely. We stayed with Fanfa for a few days and Jesse's picture (above) hangs on her apartment wall.

It's an awesome reminder of Nu Zildness: the relaxed pose, the emptiness, the open space, the remoteness but at the same time the sense of purpose in a crazy world, and my binary love/hate stop/go attitude to the land of my birth. 

Jesse has a talented eye and he managed to capture the essence of the place succinctly.

Sometimes, it's good to go away because you appreciate what you left behind when you return.

After 8 months living and working in England, we are back to the relative warmth of life in our home country: New Zealand.

It's genuinely good to be back (yes, really) and to be able to announce that, finally, I'm done with living in England.

Austerity and bad Brexit vibes have transformed a place I love, although I still have a feeling of belonging to pre 1974 Lancashire and my relatives in Ramsbottom, Bury, and Rochdale are very important to me*, I know my place is no longer there. 

It is here, with family and a grandson who will need our TLC.

All up, I am cured of my wanderlust.

I know my family will be shaking their heads with a resigned look on their faces which is fair enough. But I'll prove them wrong. 

We're back baby!

Love and peace - Wozza

*Huge shout out to Irene Purdy, Christine and the Kirkhams (Fran, Tom, Lew), the Geddes and Haigh families.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Sorry that I keep apologising

Apologies - I'm in transit back to Nu Zild, normal service will resume shortly!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Liar - oh everybody deceives me; liar - ooh, why don't you leave me alone? (Queen)

Wie gehts?

This is a public safety warning: don't be sucked in, as I was, by clever advertising for James Patterson's Liar Liar.

Constantly walking past London Underground billboards proclaiming Liar Liar features the female Jack Reacher did me in big time.

Unfortunately I had nothing to read on a return journey, so when LOML needed a comfort stop between the London Bridge tube station and the Southern rail service to Caterham, I ducked into a WHS Smith and bought Liar Liar too quickly.

Bad bad bad mistake.

My heart started sinking on the train and then I went through a bloody minded phase - I paid 8 quid for this so by crickey I'm going to read it - that lasted until an hour ago, when I stuffed it into the bag of stuff to go to the charity shop tomorrow.

Why is it so bad? 

  • The writing fails abysmally compared to Lee Child  
  • Juliet Blue is NO JACK REACHER
  • It's a serial killer story (I avoid them)
  • It's set in Australia

Yes, my expectations were high thanks to the advertising, but that's not my fault is it?

But, yes, I agree, I should have taken some time on due diligence before handing over my debit card. Mea culpa.

So: don't get sucked in like I did and avoid this novel (and James Patterson) like the plague.

Love and peace - WNP

Monday, March 4, 2019

I think I want to reconnect with the self I left behind (Tracey Thorn)

Wie geht's?

If you look closely, you'll notice Tracey Thorn's third book (Another Planet) in my 'to-be-read-before-we-leave-England' pile pictured above.

This pile is constantly being added to (Liar Liar by James Patterson - got sucked into the advertising: meet the female Jack Reacher) and having items removed (finished the underwhelming Eric Idle Sortabiography - he spends more time documenting parties and name dropping famous friends for my liking).

Tracey Thorn is the real deal though.

Here she is in the preface (the preface!) nailing my current feelings precisely:
I think I want to reconnect with the self I left behind. It's partly that common impulse of curiosity - which informs a TV programme like Who Do You Think You Are? or a song like 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely?' I want to look inside my head and remember just where I came from.
Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

There's a mockingbird singing songs in the trees (Barclay James Harvest)

Wie gehts?

Been looking out of the front window at the view a lot lately.

Luckily, it's a great view!! Of trees and sky (no sheep yet though Adam).

And the squirrels are endlessly fascinating as they make their way from one tree to t'other, across what LOML calls The Squirrel Highway. 

The view this morning - weird clouds at daybreak

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash
Wie geht's?

Yesterday's page (February 23) from 365 Days With Wisdom by Venerable Master Hsing Yun succinctly summed up my life of the last 7 months:
Things happen when all the conditions are ready. Things end when all the conditions cease.When all the conditions are ready, everything goes smoothly. When all the conditions are not ready, everything fails.
Love and peace - WNP

P.S. Something for you to mark on your calendars: the LOML and I return to live back in New Zealand on March 22.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

We been riding, we been riding upon a railroad, singing someone else's song (James Taylor)

Photo by Pau Casals on Unsplash
Wie geht's?

Since returning from Vienna, we've been riding the rails, pretty much on a daily basis.

I'm going to miss the trains when we return to NZ and get a vehicle again, but in the meantime, with four weeks to go, I'm enjoying being without a car and using public transport.

First up is a ten minute walk to Caterham station; during the week Southern branded trains are regular (and reliable), so it's a 50 minute journey to London Bridge. We take up a double seat, I sit facing backwards and LOML likes to face the direction we're heading. Is there a metaphor in there?

At London Bridge we transfer to the London Underground and go deeper under the world (I love this - another metaphor?) - then it's a choice between the Northern line to Bank then Central line into central London, or further north to Angel and Upper Street, or else it's the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf then Dockland Light Rail to Greenwich or...the combinations are many!

The longest we ever have to wait for a train at any of the tube stations is 2 minutes. That's pretty remarkable.

Here's to you, rail network!

Love and peace - Wozza