Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jah live! Children yeah! (Bob Marley)

Red Phoenix Farm has always played host to friends and family over the Christmas period. This year is no exception.

Adam, Ashleigh and Jade were our latest, staying to celebrate, ride horses, play with the dogs and enjoy SWMBO's legendary trifle (not necessarily in that order).

It'll be 2015 before I post again on Wozza's Place so this is the last one for 2014.

Zat? What's the year been like for me? Well as you're asking - pretty good really. Every year has its up and down bits but November's celebrations of our 30 years of marriage and Adam/Ashleigh's wedding were definite highlights. 

I have nothing to complain about: my job at Woodford House is a dream one and all the family are fit and well. 

So - now it's into 2015 and the new Star Wars movie! Yeah baby!

Love and peace and stay on target!! - Wozza

Friday, December 26, 2014

Too much, magic bus (The Who)

Okay this is pretty cool - Google plus sent me a little slide show of my year.


Seems they have an army of trained retainers who monitor what I put on my Wozza's Place blog. 

Unbeknownst to me, they have been filtering my content to produce a neat little summary of my year. 

What a weird world we now live in.

Weirder still is watching this condensed version of my year - it reminded me of some milestones, as well as the mundane.

Hope you enjoy it!

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's what we are (John Mayer)

And so, this is Christmas...again.

Time to get the tree decorated and the presents bought, Christmas music sorted (nice music according to SWMBO, not that hillbilly Phil Spector stuff), and the pantry fully loaded. You know the drill.

Part of our (okay - my) Christmas routine is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - the perfect Christmas movie.

This year it also means managing work schedules for Keegan, Jade and SWMBO and making contact with relatives in the outer rim (we've had a big gathering of the tribes this year so it's okay that Christmas will be a scaled down event on Red Phoenix Farm).

Wherever you find yourself (and remember: wherever you go - there you are) I hope Wozza's Place finds you and finds you well.

Love and peace (on Earth) to you and yours - Wozza 

Post script: To those who say I lack a little in the old Xmas spirit department - here are the fabs giving it some in 1963 - gear, cor de blimey and he should know!

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It starts with just a little glance now (The Beach Boys)

It's Keegan's turn for a celebration as he turns 30 on the 19th.

Amazingly, if you check December 19, 1984 on Wikipedia you'll find an entry that notes how Keegan Warren Purdy was born to proud parents Warren and Jacky on that date.

Keegan is number one (of four) and so there were no other siblings jostling for attention or trying to get in on the photographs. 

Eight hours in on Planet Earth

And he's off...

Love and peace - Abu Keegan

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hear the whisper of the raindrops (Isaac Hayes)

A recent post outlined why I could never be drawn to horse riding as a hobby. 

You'll remember I mentioned how She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) and Sallie spent a day getting Max ready and then the weather turned to crap.

Well we had a near repeat on Sunday - SWMBO and Sallie again spent Saturday getting Max dolled up and Sunday dawned with rain.

However, this time they braved the elements and Max' temperament in the rain and headed off to their show.

Apparently it was wet and freezing, and Max was 'fun' to ride for SWMBO but all returned to Red Phoenix Farm unscathed and with a plethora of ribbons as well. YEHHH!!!!

Fancy dress - pretty in pink for breast cancer awareness.

Love and peace - Rogue 120

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What will I be when I grow up to be a man? (Beach Boys)

Adam got in touch recently with a typically succinct message - where's my birthday blog?

First thought that came to mind - cool - Adam reads my blog!!

Second thought - better hurry up with scanning the photos and move the publishing date forward to give him a birthday blog!

Okay so...Adam celebrated his 28th birthday last week. 

Amazingly, if you check December 11, 1986 on Wikipedia you'll find an entry that notes how Adam Lennon Purdy was born to proud parents Warren and Jacky on that date.

Adam is number two (of four) and so older brother Keegan had to get into the act as well: 

Ain't he adorable?

Happy birthday to our special little guy from SWMBO and me!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Who saw the harvest home? (Big Country)

Detoxing from school always takes a few days. 

The alarm is no longer set for 5 am and my internal wake up clock re calibrates later and later each day (today was a, shock-horror-probe, 7 am start!!).

The fabric of the day shifts - no longer focusing on school business my brain shifts into physical labour mode (i.e. grubbing/ chipping thistles on Red Phoenix Farm last few days) and reconsidering how my media collection is organised (i.e. reordering DVDs into genres- erm - today).

Those thistles are a real pain - literally. Like anything there is yin and yang, good and bad: they were probably introduced to NZ as an ornamental plant (and our proud Scottish ancestry might have figured into the decision too), oh, and bees love the flowers. That was the good bit.

Horses and sheep and people hate them. Stock won't eat them or anything around them so they need to go!

Ours have been sprayed and that killed the young ones but the established ones laughed it off. HAHAHA! We laugh at your puny spray Earthman!

Now I'm ripping them out with as much of their roots intact as poss just to make sure. 

Every once in a while they hit back - the sharp thorns penetrate the gloves and give a needly reminder of their power to inflict pain. Yeeowww! Mother of pearl!!!

Only a few days into the chipping and I'm starting to see the blasted things when I close my eyes! Jeepers. It's like when I ODed on Tetris back in the day - my brain started looking for Matrix like patterns everywhere. Not cool Robert Frost.

Love and peace (unless, dear reader, you happen to be a thistle) - Wozza

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fantasy world and Disney girls I'm coming back (The Beach Boys)

Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically it's a longing for a period or place with happy personal associations. 

The word nostalgia is from Greek, consisting of nóstos meaning "homecoming", and álgos, meaning "pain, ache". It was coined to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. 

All together it forms a peculiar brand of melancholy.

The Guardian Weekly I bought recently had an interesting article on nostalgia being used as a therapy treatment for depression.

Interesting, because nostalgia is often thought of as a medical condition. Although it is often triggered by negative feelings, it can also result in increasing one's mood and heightening positive emotions.

Quite a complicated little beastie!

Recently, I thought about all this while listening to a CD I bought at JB HiFi: The Beach Boys Live 50th Anniversary Tour.

The songs are all there, and although Carl and Dennis Wilson are long gone, the voices are pretty much all there too (aside from Mike Love's - he seems to have suffered the ravages of time much more than Brian Wilson).

The whole tour is of course a nostagic exercise for the remaining Beach Boys AND the audience - reliving those songs from 50 years ago about surfing, life at school and hotrods must be a real strain.

I was kinda reflecting on that in a general way and then I got to Bruce Johnston's awesome Disney Girls.

Curiously, this song makes me melt every time!

My reflections on nostagia became suddenly clear at this point as I luxuriated in the warm glow of remembering hearing this song in 1971 and entered Bruce's American youth by proxy. This song is all about a nostalgic transportation to a fantasy world.

The boys (ha ha ha in a way, but they'll forever be remembered that way) do a good job of Disney Girls on their 50th Anniversary tour but for the real deal you need to hear the version off the Surf's Up album. Here it is and see if I ain't right!

Funny how those images evoke such emotional connections. Funnier still that they resonate with me given I was brought up in a 1960's New Zealand that knew nothing about Tootsie Rolls, Patti Page or summer days on old Cape Cod.

Ah but a fantasy world? Yeah I know about that.

Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, December 5, 2014

You can count on me, like 1 2 3 (Bruno Mars)

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared - Whitney Young Jnr.

Whitney Young Jnr turns out to be a reasonably famous American civil rights activist.

His was the December quote in my 2004 calendar - the one I've been tracking through each month this year (and every year since 2004).

To recap: this calendar became a prescient source of inspiration during 2004 as we put aside our risk aversion and moved the Purdsters from N.Z. to the U.K.

As you'll appreciate the quote capped off our momentous 2004 well. It chimes well with my boy scout past: be prepared!

How about you? Are you prepared for that next opportunity (the word of the month)? Why not? (If you thought about it for a second and realised you actually weren't even thinking about the next opportunity).

It's always around the bend- get ready!!

Love and peace - Your protecting friend.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Your STINK FOOT puts a hurt on my nose! (Frank Zappa)

Inconceivably, I haven't bought a Guardian Weekly for months, until today.

Before my monthly hair cut appointment I stopped off at Whitcoulls for a browse. Nothing much happening in the magazine section but a copy of The Guardian Weekly caught my eye.

Now, you all know about my devotion to The Guardian- it's one of the things I miss most about living in the U.K. and while I check the online version regularly it doesn't beat reading a real paper.

So, I bought it and shock horror probe- it cost $8.50. Even the girl behind the counter with fifty piercings in her face was shocked on my behalf. I gasped and said it may be a while before I buy another one and she said, yeah, I don't blame you and I departed to get my hair cut.

While waiting- she was doing a fancy cut on some girl, I read most of The Guardian Weekly.

Including a piece on Bill Crosby by Hadley Freeman. The whole thing is here... http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/19/bill-cosby-image-shielded-cliams-rape-lectured-black-america

Hard to believe that the guy who gave us Fat Albert and all those stories about
Ms Freeman - I'm refusing to put
a picture of Mr Cosby on my blog
his kids is such a sleaze.

That's the point though, isn't it. He covered himself in an image brilliantly-so brilliant that our first thought of these accusations is 'how can that be true?'

Apparently it's all been common knowledge for years (same pattern as all those other recent celebrity douches) but it's only being taken seriously now.

Shame on us all. I feel manipulated and sick that he's both done these despicable things and conned us all into thinking he's a nice guy.

If I had any of his albums they would have gone the same way as my Lost Prophet CDs. 

Love and peace - Wozza

Thursday, November 27, 2014

She's my little deuce coupe (The Beach Boys)

A very huge happy birthday to Jade for today - 28th November.

Here's the proof that she's always been cute as a button:

In the pre interweb days of November 1991 I diligently put together a state of the 1991 world from newspaper cuttings and started a photo album for Jade.

It had film listings, the football results, the music charts - all the essentials (oh and news headlines).

These days the guff on 1991 is at the push of a Goggle button, of course.

Amazingly, if you check the November 28, 1991 wikipedia page you'll see a notification that Jade Michelle Purdy was born to proud parents Warren and Jacky on that date.

She is number four (of four) and so her brothers and sister had to get in on the act as well:

Adamski, Fanfa, KW, Jadey Wadey little lady.

Have a great day out there in the blogosphere and rejoice in the knowledge that Jade Michelle Purdy is part of life's rich pageantry!

Love and peace - Jade's dad.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

We gotta move these colour TV's (Dire Straits)

A fun weekend to report. 

This one's about TVs, technology and planned obsolescence:

Abruptly, last week our Sky reception stopped while SWMBO was in the lounge watching news on Al Jazeera.

Sky technician came, saw and delivered the verdict - the TV was the culprit! It's one we'd brought back from Al Ain so it is only 3 or 4 years old.

Said technician swapped the A.R.T. room TV (bought while we were in Stratford, so a year or two older) and we were back in business Sky wise.

The 'new' A.R.T. room TV from the lounge is fine but the connection to my stereo wasn't. Appears it failed like the Sky connection. 

Yikes!! Inconceivable! Calamity! Disaster!

So I had to buy an 'optical digital audio out' cable (and a new home theatre sound system from Harvey Norman).

Seems in the last few years TVs are now using this optical bizzo and so, gggrrrrr, if I want to blast out Rage Against The Machine live in my A.R.T....

This next bit is a return to the smart phone scenario:

I was given a new smart phone by a student at school (she'd won it and it was surplus to requirements, with the helpful suggestion planted by a rather wonderful colleague - student passed the phone to me).

It's a brand new phone so a better prospect than Jade's Sony Xperia.

It needed a cover so I got in the Purdsmobile and pootled along to the Hastings Spark office (was Telecom but they rebranded - don't get me started), only to be told in a sneery kind of voice: oh no we don' have one, we don' carry this model phone any more - best try Trade me!

I'm so sick of this!

More and more, it seems technology is outdated within weeks, days, hours!!

I remember when (yes, I'm really going to start a sentence - I remember when)...TV's lasted years and years and years. Phones? Before cordless came along and WAY before cell phones, we had the same land line phone in the house for decades.

Now - if it ain't the lastest device like an iphone 6 (which renders iphones 1 through 5 obsolete) it ain't nothin'.

Landfills are filing up with discarded technology that dies or is updated after too short a time. Fer shame!

Bah humbug, and yet, love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You take what you need and leave the rest (The Band)

Recently, during a class, one of my Year 9 students asked me about my motivations for starting a blog in the first place. 

She was asking because I'm using the blogging facility on Schoology to get them all to write posts about their current work in English.

She has an inquiring mind and has no problem voicing her thoughts.

I dimly remember writing that first ever post on Wozza's Place in 2008 and explaining why I decided to start a blog, so I told her that - not thinking she'd actually find it, read it and tell me loudly that it actually didn't help her much.

Like I said - inquiring mind.

Intrigued I am heading back to the future to see if I can find that post which articulated my motivation... 

Okay - got it!

It was a tentative start in 2008 for sure - more like an email update - the main reason from those first posts was to keep in contact with my family. Back in 2008 my dad was still alive, Jade was still living at home, and home was Stratford. 

At the time I saw it as a one way monologue, as I said then...
 this is not an exercise in making you feel guilty - it's designed to  help my burden of guilt!
It's changed a lot since as my blogging has expanded beyond my need to only keep in touch with family and friends. Actually I'm pretty sure my family only dip into this blog from time to time (and ignore the other three).

So my reach has extended beyond that need.

In particular, Twitter has really opened my eyes up to other possibilities.

A student gave me a new smart phone this week - I was floored! It's meant I now have greater access to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

I'm sure the fascination will wane eventually but for now I'm thrilled to engage with complete strangers via Twitter on a daily basis.

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare (David Bowie)

I caught Ben Stiller's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty a few nights ago and I can see why it only scored a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film is a remake of the 1947 film starring Danny Kaye, which was based on the James Thurber story.

Ben's good, the love interest is good, art direction and cinematography is good, with wonderful locations, the flights of fancy interesting but... the premise is bizarre and far fetched.

 My suspension of disbelief took a major hit as a result.

Best bits for me were the huge Life magazine covers and that Life magazine quote - the purpose of LifeFirst sighting in the film resulted in me going - WHOOAAA and pausing the playback to check it out properly.  

The film also peeked my interest in the source material. Apparently Jerry Stiller's son and the '47 film deviated from the actual James Thurber short story. So back to the 1939 story I went.


Interestingly, It's a very brief story. Interestingly, Stiller's movie 'version' has nothing in common with the source material beyond the idea of daydreaming.

The rest is a smoke and mirrors love story which is ultimately not convincing. Still- it's a harmless enough film and a pleasant diversion, and there's always that 'purpose of Life quote'.

Love and peace - Wozza

I may be paranoid, but no android (Radiohead)

Spot the difference...

 One was 23, other is plus 34.

 Which is which? 

Hard to tell right? 


Love and peace - WNP

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I want you to rock me baby, like my back ain't got no bones (B B King)

This one's about mobile phones, smart phones and my Nokia.

I'm not a fan of mobile phones. I'm suspicious of smart phones. I have a Nokia.

I am aware that this fact instantly stigmatises me. No one these days has a Nokia (okay, I exaggerate - me, Awesome Greg and a guy in Helsinki - that's it).

I'm not proud of it: I shrink with embarrassment if I get a call from SWMBO in a shopping mall.

But there are reasons why I maintain the Nokia.

My Nokia is the phone Cognition gave me to use in the UAE when I worked for them from 2010 to 2012.

Of course it's a piece of crap but it's done me well up to now. Although the keyboard is small and the display is hard to see if it's daytime, the battery lasts all week, I can receive calls on it, I can text on it and it is idiot proof. Just.

I have a problem with mobile phones per se. They tie us down - SWMBO gets upset with my lack of availability (I won't take it to class) but I know they are a necessary evil in the 21st Century.

Smart phones worry me - they are basically  a scam perpetrated on us by big business (The Man is sticking it to us!). Telecommunication companies throughout the world are coining it and I don't have any hankering to add to their coffers.

I also worry about all the functions smart phones have, my ignorance means they can syphon money off like crazy like car mechanics. I also worry that I'll never understand them. As far as I can see- all the bells and whistles mean there are more things that can go wrong.

Remember- I'm Mr Less-Is-More.

But...still...but still.. the lure of checking my vitals (football scores, Twitter feeds, the cool apps to monitor your health) remains in the dim middle distance: a shimmery mirage haze that beckons me to walk zombie style towards it.

And the fact that I'm rapidly getting left behind concerns me. I am a long way from an early adapter to phone technology but, ironically, I do love gadgets.

After she upgraded, Jade gave me her old Sony Xperia. It's been sitting on the desk at home for a few days. I know that there is no turning back once I swap SIM cards and start paying money for data.

But there it is again - hark - Karl Pilkington's words are ringing in my ears as I think about the impending transition: "We've invented most of the stuff that we need and now we're just messing about" 


Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, November 10, 2014

We got married in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout (Johnny Cash/ June Carter)

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe (Anatole France)- the November quote.

Sam, Jesse, Ashleigh, SWMBO, Adam, me, Keegan, Jade.
On Saturday we (The Purdettes, me and SWMBO along with Jesse) celebrated Adam and Ashleigh's wedding in Auckland. They dreamed, planned, believed and on Saturday - they acted!

It was another quality family night on the town. Adam and Ashleigh (the latest Mrs Purdy) decided on a smallish number of attendees - that meant the Purdy and Hope families, and a simple ceremony with a marriage celebrant who was a friend of Adam's.

It was the wedding that they wanted to have and it was wonderful largely because of that.

It made me reflect, again, on the circle of life - we entered into the children-get-married era with Samantha / Jesse and now Adam / Ashleigh (the smart money is on Jade next). 

As Adam embarked on married life it also made me realise that in the scheme of things we only really spend a tiny bit of time with our children as adults. 

From 0 to 18 Adam lived with us but he's already lived away from home for 10 years - won't be long before our family time together will be in the minority.

Not a particularly profound thought but it does make me think of my own life and my time living with my parents - precious memories that are becoming more and more distant as this new generation of Purdys move further and further away from the nest.

Love and peace - WNP

Friday, November 7, 2014

Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy (Cat Stevens)

I have a post on http://googoogarjoob.blogspot.co.nz/ that my Wozza's Place blogosperists may be interested in. 

It features a recording (yes - a record!) my dad made in 1967. 

The actual process of putting the audio file on the post tested my skills. I used Evernote to record it off my speakers at home, then transferred it to an MP3 file using OpenDrive.

I really wanted the sound recording (okay, yes - audio file) to be on the blog so the whole post is rather cool! Technology can be great!

Love and peace - Graham Purdy's eldest son.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Now this journey appears before my candle (Jackson Browne)

All hail Adam and (saint) Ashleigh. 

They're getting hitched, spliced, joined in matrimony this weekend. 

Yeah!! That's a big deal!

Well done Ashleigh on becoming our latest awesome Mrs Purdy!!  

We head up to Auckland on Friday to be there for the wedding on Saturday.

Photos will follow but for now enjoy this irreverent view from my hero:

Love and peace - father of the groom.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You're gonna be the one that saves me, and after all - you're my wonderwall (Oasis)

Awesome weekend with a Purdy famly reunion for me and SWMBO to reaffirm our marriage vows.

For us it was all about celebrating our love for each other, saying thanks for the last 30 years (it's been our Pearl Wedding anniversary year), especially the last two which have been really testing at times, and receiving a blessing for our future including for our family and friends.

We had the bonus of doing all this in the wonderful chapel at Woodford House with Rev Joy.

During our celebration we had Jacky's sister read this fantastic passage from Corinthians:

Love endures and is kind. 
Love is not envious or jealous. 
Love wants not for itself. 
Love is not puffed up, nor does it behave wrongly. 
Love seeks not for it’s own. 
Love is not easily provoked. 
Love is not rude. 
Love thinks No evil. 
Love does not rejoice in wrong, but dwells in the truth. 
Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, and love never fails.

We rarely have the six of us together in one place so this was a valuable photo op as well. Left to right: Keegan, Jade, Adam, LOML, Wozza, Samantha.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book! (Paul's grandfather to Ringo)

My second book: The Story of Ferdinand was a birthday present in 1962 from Uncle Glen and Auntie Nancy.

I don't know who they were/are. I wish I did. They were certainly not real uncles and aunties, but friends of my parents obviously. In mitigation: I was 5 at the time.

I am forever in their debt though (maybe they are on Twitter, Facebook, or they scroll the interweb hoping I'll get in touch) because I loved this book.

First published in 1937, everybody knows the story of Ferdinand, the reluctant Spanish bull. 

The story must have struck a chord with me because I know I've read it a billion times.

It helped turn me into a reader. Age 5.

What a gift Glen and Nancy - you and Ferdinand opened up a window, not only to the lure of exotic international destinations, but to wonderful book worlds with secret gardens, tight friendships, thrilling chases, monsters, heroes and evil doers who always get their comeuppance.

The third book that I've managed to keep hold of from over 50 years ago is apparently my third best book: The Lone Ranger Annual from 1964 (I was nearly 7).

While I lacked consistency with spelling my own name - I did have total command of the apostrophe rule!! I'm seriously impressed!

The book is a collection of adventures in comic form by The Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion and it kick started my love of comics and heroes.

I loved the TV show, the comics, and the radio serials that played on a Sunday morning and no amount of 21st century revisionism (Johnny Depp?? Eh??) can dampen my ardour for the masked man.

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, October 26, 2014

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse (Pink Floyd)

The first time always remains in the memory does it not?

The first kiss, first day of school, first time seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, first time ever I saw her face, you get the idea.

The loss of innocence and the venturing into the unknown can be scary.

As an episode of Grey's Anatomy that we watched recently discussed (the one where April reveals she's a virgin) - the first...you know...time, is also always memorable for a variety of reasons.

For me the first time was when I was very young. She called herself 'Ladybird' and she was very beautiful and I fell deeply and instantly in love. 

I still have her, actually.The love affair has been going for over five decades so far.

Her full name was Ladybird Book of Bedtime Stories and she entered my life in 1958. I was one year old.

The book is not in the greatest state of repair - it was read to me a lot and the years of shifting and storage have created many wrinkles and rough edges. 

I pulled it off the shelf recently with my next two memorable books, I'm not sure why. I wasn't feeling especially nostalgic or anything but I'm glad I did.

I sat down and reread it and the magic in the pictures and the stories is still there.

One of the rhymes sums me and my surreal Wozza's World up pretty well so I have included it here for you to share:

Isn't that just wonderful? My mum read that to me when I was one. My fleeting glimpse. Says it all really.

Begs the following questions:
  1. What was your first book?
  2. Do you still have it?
  3. What are the 21st C kids getting for theirs?
Love and peace - Wozza

P.S. Books two and three to come next post.