Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trying to taste the difference 'tween a lemon and a lime (XTC)

This one's about how I see metaphorical connections between FOOTBALL and LIFE.

I've been thinking about this for a while. Life is a football match. 

Yeah, I know, but give it a chance.

Life/ a football game is a game of two halves (half time is our mid life crisis) - 90 minutes minus injury time. With any luck we make it to the 90 mark without getting injured (as REM tells us - everybody hurts sometimes) and without being substituted or being sent off.

We start off life/ a football game in a faltering way after a period of conception/ gestation/ strategy planning - those early minutes after kick off are spent figuring out the expectations and learning all about our strengths and weaknesses within the family/ team and as an individual.

In the midgets/ early years we're running around in a pack - not aimlessly, we're following the ball but we're having fun - we don't really know what's going on.

Minute/ age 10 and we're starting to get a handle on things. It's still early days but we now know where the goalposts are, which team members we can rely on, what our captains/ parents expect of us and we're stronger. 

Half way through the first half of life/ the game, around the 23rd minute mark/ age and we've settled into the game. We've made some decisions, we've learnt from our mistakes (or not); we've started listening to the coach (or not). We now know what our positions are and we stick to them (or not). 

This essentially sets the tone for the rest of the game/life. Are we a defender - trying to stop the opposition scoring? Are we a flamboyant striker - going for goal in a deliberate, sometimes ostentatious way? Are we mad (that would be the goalkeeper)? A defensive midfielder? A holding midfielder?

We learn to tackle problems and assist others. We're part of a team but we're an individual.

We quickly learn that we don't have things our own way. The opposition is set up to provide a test to our skills of perseverance. They are the dark side - the enemy that must be acknowledged, confronted and beaten. Don't give in to hate.

Sometimes our own team mates are not on our side. They may be a point of weakness. Do we help them? Do we turn against them? Decisions, decisions.

Sometimes that person is me. I've scored an own goal. How do I react to that? Do I give up? Do I heck as like. Never give up! Never surrender!

Minute 35 and we're starting to feel our age. We can't really cut it in the first team now and we have to readjust our thinking. We head off into social soccer and realise our limitations.

Half time comes and that mid life crisis arrives that I mentioned earlier. By the time we get to the 45 minute mark we need a breather, a rethink.  

The first half of our life is over. We don't get that time back. We've made decisions. Some are good ones, some are bad ones. We may have scored a goal or we may be behind. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down.

We need to stay focused for the second half. Our attitude is important. We decide to persevere (or not). Our skills have grown, but unfortunately we're no longer spring chickens. That needs to be acknowledged. 

We're a little older, a little wiser. That refocusing results in better passes, better tackles, better strategy and more opportunities to score goals. Now we really need the coach and his/her sage mentoring advice. By now the crowd has grown too. Some are supporting us and some are supporting the opposition. But we realise this too. We're using our head better now.

By the end of the game we're weary. It's been a long game but the time has flown by. If we're fully in the moment we haven't heard all the crowds comments (good and bad). We're a zen warrior but, just like at the start of the game, we are more dependent on others, some of whom may have left the game, to see you through.

There's the whistle, the game is over. We sink to the ground. At peace - we've given our all.

...or something. 

At least it beats the hell out of 'life is like a box of chocolates'!! 

Love and peace - Wozzinho 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Like a square peg in a round hole (Be Bop Deluxe)

Alright - the group stages are over and time to review my initial picks for the round of 16.  

Group A: 1 Brazil / 2 Mexico 
Group B: Spain (1 Holland) / 2 Chile 
Group C: Ivory Coast (2 Greece) /  (1) Colombia 
Group D: (2) Uruguay / Italy (1 Costa Rica) 
Group E: Ecuador (1 France) / 2 Switzerland 
Group F: 1 Argentina / Bosnia (2 Nigeria)
Group G: 1 Germany / Portugal (2 USA)
Group H: Russia (2 Algeria) / (1) Belgium 

So I got 9 of the 16 teams right and I got 6 of the 9 right in terms of where they finished in the group. Not too bad really. 

The groups were tight and the football WAY better than I had hoped for so I'm pretty happy really.

My predictions for the round of 16, for what they're worth, are next.

Brazil V Chile
Colombia v Uruguay
France v Nigeria 
Germany v Algeria
Holland v Mexico
Costa Rica v Greece
Argentina v Switzerland
Belgium v USA

I love the World Cup (you know it) but I especially love the knock out stages - no strategy at work apart from WIN. No away goals shenanigans - just WIN, at all costs - WIN.

Just like heaven.

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why didn't evolution make a giraffe good at carpentry so it could build a ladder? (Karl Pilkington)

A brief break from the  football - the early mornings are taking their toll on me but it's worth it - it's only every four years remember!.

Karl Pilkington has made a return to our screens in An Idiot Abroad series 3. This time Ricky sends him off with a little helper - the actor Warwick Davis with dwarfism.

Karl and Warwick travel the Marco Polo route and it was originally broadcast as a three part Christmas special in 2012 but I haven't seen it before.

It's hilarious! Karl is a whinging pom to beat all whinging poms but he has some great ideas.

Adam sent me a couple that have been made into motivational posters. Here's my pick!

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Sunday, June 22, 2014

You can't always get what you want (The Rolling Stones)

Time to check how my predictions are going.

Here is my original stab at the group winners / runners up again to remind you

Group A: Brazil / Mexico 
Group B: Spain / Chile 
Group C: Ivory Coast / Colombia 
Group D: Uruguay / Italy 
Group E: Ecuador / Switzerland 
Group F: Argentina / Bosnia 
Group G: Germany / Portugal 
Group H: Russia / Belgium 

Given the results so far - here is my revised list with my place changes in red and my additions in blue:

Group A: Brazil / Mexico 
Group B: Netherlands / Chile 
Group CColombia / Ivory Coast 
Group D: Costa Rica / Uruguay  
Group E: France / Ecuador  
Group F: Argentina / Nigeria 
Group G: Germany / USA 
Group H: Belgium / Russia

So the quarter finals I'm NOW predicting will be: 
Argentina v Ecuador (likely winner is Argentina)
Germany v Russia (Germany)
Colombia v Uruguay (a really tricky one - Colombia)
Ivory Coast v Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
Netherlands v Mexico (Netherlands)
Brazil v Chile ( a really tricky one - Brazil)
         France v Nigeria (France)

       Belgium v USA (Belgium)

Right, so -  pretty bad huh - Spain are gone against everyone's predictions, France have been typically unpredictable, I underestimated Holland after a dire friendly pre tournament and Costa Rica have stunned group D. 

Costa Rica have played like England should have played but I'm betting that lesson will not be learned as the lads head back to their squillionaire lifestyles and exalted status back in old blighty in under a week's time.

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Whenever I'm in trouble, won't you stand by me? (Ben E. King)

Germany 4 Portugal 0
England 1 Uruguay 2

These ones lived up to my pre match speculation but really I can't take any credit. Germany to beat Portugal by many? Ronaldo to sulk and pout? England to capitulate to Suarez and Pirlo? Not hard to call was it?

The deluge of goals in the cup this time around has been awesome. It took ages for a nil nil draw between Nigeria and Iran to roll around and it came as a shock -   I'd gotten used to every game being a goalfest.

The England game yesterday sadly went to script as England (like Spain ) now can't advance from the group.

I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Four more years. Let's hope it's Russia in 2018 that they can fulfil their potential!

And Ronaldo? At least we're spared his shirt off Champions league win pose.

Meanwhile - time for another dose of People Are Awesome 

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Sunday, June 15, 2014

You're so far away and so long ago but a dream goes on forever (Todd Rundgren)

England 1 - Italy 2

Maybe it was me, but I thought the Italy v England game was slower and less intense than the other games I've watched so far.

England didn't press and so Pirlo ran the show...again. Rooney fizzled. End of story.

If you want to know what the FIFA World Cup means to ordinary Nu Zilders here's a story:

I watched the game wearing my old Umbro England shirt (one star above the three lions - that one) and stuck with it for the rest of the day. When I was out and about in Waipukarau (service station, New World foodmarket etc) I got lots of comments:

"Didn't help ya last night did it mate" (The All Blacks played the second test against England in Dunedin)

When I pointed out it was a football shirt and I was supporting the English against the Italians this morning they looked at me with a billion questions in their eyes.

"Football? You mean soccer?" No I mean football.

Oh nevermind.

In this part of the world rugby is King and the All Blacks are the anointed ones; football is soccer and, ipso facto, soccer is supported by fanatical passionate tribes of weirdos elsewhere in the world. 

The gathering of the tribes happens every four years.

And here we are again - watching England at a World Cup finals, hoping like crazy we can have our very own 1966.

But then the Prince Valiants fall at the first hurdle and we're in familiar territory. 

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Friday, June 13, 2014

I left reality in a hurry (Golden Earring)

Mexico 1 - Cameroon 0
Holland 5 - Spain 1

Wow! Sport is wonderful isn't it. I still can't believe that score line.

What an amazing game the Netherlands played but..can they sustain it?

What a shocking game Spain played and Iker Casillas in particular but...can they come back like they did four years ago?

In some ways this was like the under performing Spain of old - fragile and blunted in attack (Torres missed an open goal from indecision and surely that's him done); Holland were the flying Dutchmen of old - they do tend to peak early in tournaments and fizzle in the end.

I still rate Chile against these teams so this group is wide open.

Love and peace - Wozzinho

Oye como va, mi ritmo (Santana)

The long four year vigil was lifted this morning. Wahoo!

I'm not huge on opening ceremonies of anything but I did enjoy checking into it every few minutes while I was getting ready for school (the thing kicked off at 6 am this morning). Plenty of dancing and young Brazilians having fun, what's not to like?

It did get a bit surreal watching it this way though - at one point I walked in to see J Lo in a skimpy outfit and some beefy rapper guy doing their thing. What the hey??

When the game finally got underway Brazil did the business against Croatia and looked like they were full of goals at both ends. That's fine with me - I like that philosophy of - doesn't matter - we'll just score than you!

The penalty will be debated I guess (by Keegan and me at least). Watching it live I didn't think it was one but the subsequent camera angle from a side view showed Fred being pulled back and that's all it takes in the penalty area. For me - stone cold penalty.

So - my picks to progress from the group stages? Glad you asked.

Group A: Brazil / Mexico 
Group B: Spain / Chile 
Group C: Ivory Coast / Colombia 
Group D: Uruguay / Italy 
Group E: Ecuador / Switzerland 
Group F: Argentina / Bosnia 
Group G: Germany / Portugal 
Group H: Russia / Belgium 

So the quarter finals I'm predicting will be: 
Argentina v Portugal
Ecuador v Germany
Uruguay v Colombia
Ivory Coast v Italy
Spain v Mexico
Brazil v Chile
Yes, that's right - I don't think England or the Netherlands will make it out of the group stage. Not that I don't support them - I'd LOVE England to go all the way, but they are not like Italy who scrape results together and Uruguay are almost playing at home.

As for Holland - they are in a tough group with Spain, who will beat them again, and Chile, who are almost playing at home.

Love and peace - Wozzinho   

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Through sacrifice - bliss (Joseph Campbell)

I've just heard that my friend and mentor and your fellow whanau member, Colin Prentice, passed away today.

I have been very lucky in my life. I've known quite a number of genuinely good people. 

Amazing people who see the good in others, see wrongs and try to right them, see suffering and try to heal, act with integrity, are genuine and nice people. Inspiring people.

My parents, Jacky, my friends. 

I try to be good. To be of good character. To live well and serve. But I have often fallen short.

In terms of male role models I  can immediately make a list of five whose example I have admired over the years, looked up to and tried to emulate. Some are younger than me.

They are the one's I think - what would ---- do/ think?

Colin Prentice and my father (Graham Purdy) are the topper most of that list.

Lucky old me. I got to thank them many times for what they'd done for me. And, certainly, I was lucky enough to do that shortly before they each passed away.

Colin sent me back a lovely message last week, thanking me for my beautiful words. Humbled me incredibly.

He was fond of this poem by Langston Hughes. Used it a lot when he was a Principal. So much that I know it off by heart. I always hear it in his distinctive voice.

It seems appropriate to leave you with it.

I got my mind on eternity, some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me (Bruce Cockburn)

The World Cup is one sleep away. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Hello happiness - hello football World Cup.

My sweep stake entry has been lodged at school and I am pumped and ready for the action to start!

Before I get to the football though, here's a dose of happiness.

A colleague at school alerted me to this Coke advert which I have to share on the blog as well. 

Keegan suggested I put my picks on the blog and I'll do that tomorrow at school while I'm waiting for 3.15 to roll around so that I can drive home and see the game (Brazil to beat Croatia by 3).

Breathe Warren, breathe.

In the meantime - check out this link sent to me by Adam. Hilarious and SO EXCITING all at the same time.


Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stand in the wind as the carousels spin (Big Country)

Welcome back to poetry corner boys and girls. Here's one written in 2006, two years after the event. 

Anyone with a passing Wozza knowledge will be able to guess which crossing this alludes to.

The Crossing

A transcendental journey this, from the tube -
a navigation, a direction finding exercise.

I follow the sentimental star that hovers in the east
along the manicured grove to the end, past
a school, a hospital, and neat Georgian homes. I rest

on a wall             for a time,
to get                my bearings, and
take a cool         sip

from a water bottle bought from the coffee cafe in exalted mood.

Warmed by the pleasant April sun I immerse myself
in the good morning sunshine of London Town. And so it is
that I find myself here, alone
but for the tourist guide and the belief that
I'm close.

The crossing has ever been a fix ed mark
on my internal map, its location -
close to my heart, for many years I've tended and watered
the warm trees that border it, ancient automobiles,
blue sky and above all,
far away mythical figures negotiating that crossing.

I'd lingered at the coffee cafe by the St John's Wood station,
rededicating myself to the warm nostalgic glow
of that constant mark, that youthful holy place
of monks and lofty imaginings, it was very heaven.

How appropriate, I mused, that the abbey lived nearby
and provided the sacramental shadow to this holiest of shrines.
Daily come the penitent to wash away the trappings of modern folly,
pay homage to heroic youth, and meditate on solitary pursuits.

At Grove End Lane I turn the corner,
the clouds part, the sun hits me with a spotlight,
that beam of radiance stops time and traffic and pulse and mood.
Distant church bells peal and choirs glory to Their name and the buildings
slowly stop spinning in a heady vortex of motion.

I am

The Crossing.

Love and peace - Warren Ono Purdy

Monday, June 2, 2014

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need (Vernon Howard)

June's quote (from my prized 2004 calendar) comes from Vernon Howard - an American spiritual teacher, author and philosopher.

Howard (1918-1992), from Massachusetts, began his writing career in the 1940s. He began speaking on the principles of personal development in the late 1950s while living in southern California. In the 1960s, he began writing books that focused on spiritual and psychological matters. These writings emphasized the importance and practice of self-awareness. By the early 1970s, he taught spiritual development classes. 

I really like the title quote. It's similar to the one on the left that I found on Brainy quote. 

In 2004 I used the title quote as inspiration in our move to the UK.

I analysed what I really needed during that process and it wasn't much. Basically it was a will to change and embrace a new start in England with SWMBO and the chuldrun. 

In terms of material possessions - we sold a huge amount of stuff we didn't need and couldn't take with us (house, cars, beds etc). We decided that it was basically clutter that we could do without. 

We did store a load of stuff in a self-storage facility in Cambridge NZ (a lot of which we threw away when we returned to NZ). These were irreplaceable things like my record collection, photographs, and personal items - the stuff that we cherish.

And the things we needed to take with us? That managed to fit into one large suitcase for each of us.

When I look around Abbey Road Two (the ART room) the only things I can see from that period are those records, books and photographs. Everything else has been accumulated in the years since then and will go into storage or be shed when we move again.

Hmmm - come to think of it, maybe it's getting to the point when we need to exfoliate some dead skin again.

Love and peace - Wozza