Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Feels like lightning running through my veins (David Gray)


A magic number: there were 30 tracks on The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album). 

But I digress.

As the whanau knows, SWMBO and I have been celebrating a pearl wedding anniversary, thirty years of marriage, in 2014.

For some time now we have wanted to reaffirm our marriage vows in a suitable location, within this year, and with all of the chuldrun present.

This has proved tricky, but the planets appear to be coming into alignment. 

Early in November, at the lovely Woodford House chapel, we plan to renew our vows that were made on April 21st, 1984.

As we did way back then, we want to extend an invitation to the whanau to join us if you wish. It will be a simple renewing of vows and blessing of our existing wedding rings.

We also plan to have a relaxing casual BBQ dinner at Habibi Stables (Red Phoenix Farm) to celebrate. 

Given that the Purdy family and their partners (potentially a whopping ten people) will be staying at Red Phoenix Farm, we cannot offer any accommodation if you do wish to join us from out of Hawke's Bay. SWMBO's posh Habibi stables has straw in the stalls so that's a possibility if you don't mind a roll in the hay, but otherwise...

We'll be providing the musical grooves, and your basic BBQ fare.

Oh and we also have a strict no gift policy - we want to keep this s i m p l e!

If you do find yourself thinking, hmmm, yeah - that could be cool, I'd like to be part of that - please get in touch via our emails and I'll provide further time and date details.

Love and peace - Wozza and SWMBO

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I could read your mind (Alan Parsons' Project)

Welcome to Follyfoot...um...actually - Red Phoenix Farm
I can't be doing with sports that require loads of gear, or take all day, or have to happen at certain times of the day.

I could never get into skiing for instance. It requires so much equipment, you need to travel to a mountain and pay loads for ski passes; you have to wear special clothes and stay there all day because you have put so much effort into it you can't leave after a couple of hours. And all for a pointless activity - going down a slope.

Swimming as a competitive sport is the same - requires a swimming pool of a certain standard, and early morning practices. I don't know why they have to train at dawn, but they do. Silly.

And cricket. I coached cricket once upon a time (and, amazingly, I was master in charge of cricket at Mt. Albert Grammar School briefly). All that gear and all that time - the whole of Saturday was a right off.

From my observations, horse riding is...ahem...another one. 

A horse requires a certain amount of land to live on, tack rooms, stables, a multitude of equipment - saddles and yadda yadda.

A soggy Habibi Stables - outside...and inside (below)

SWMBO spent all of last Saturday getting her horse ready for a show on Sunday. She and Sallie groomed it, plaited it and did a plethora of other activities to it that I could tell you about if I had a clue what they were.

At the end of the day, after all of this preparation, the horse leaped out of a stall in the stable complex at Red Phoenix Farm and injured itself, damaged Sallie's shoulder, and broke one of SWMBO's fingers.

Result? No Sunday show. 

A week later and she and Sallie got Max tarted up for another Sunday show. Except the heavens opened over the North Island of New Zealand during the night and Max is no fun in the rain (does he LOOK like he's having fun?) so...no Sunday show for the second week in a row.

Poor SWMBO. 

Give me a ball and a road or a wall or an empty swimming pool or a paddock of some description and I can have fun. Add a couple of people and we have a game of football (any old rubbish lying around can act as goals). 

Six years of lunch times at M.A.G.S. were taken up by impromptu football games involving any kind of ball we could find (a tennis ball on the tennis courts with or without the nets up was no problem for us - added some spice).

Good fun, but horses? Not on your nelly, or should that be neddy?!

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, September 20, 2014

There's so much you have to go through (Cat Stevens)

September 21, 2009

Five years ago Graham Nugent Purdy passed away peacefully in the early hours. Five years??  I know I am incredulous every year but five years? Really?

Jade was around recently and had lots of questions one night about SWMBO's cousins. Although some of my cousins are part of the whanau, she also had questions about them too.

So I thought this post would include some archive material about Jade/Samantha/Adam/Keegan's great grandmother great grandfather (Deedoo), and grandmother - none of whom they ever met, as well as Graham Purdy natch.

I know I've used this photo before but all the Purdy players
and present. William, Graham, Christina, Wozza, Deedoo,
Dulcie Mary, and Ross.

Wozza, Deedoo, Grandma and Ross

Their passport photos for the trip to England to see Christine

Graham and his mum

Graham and his dad

Mum and dad with Ross and a photobomber

Graham and Dulcie - together again

Love and peace to you always - Warren

Friday, September 19, 2014

All the comforts of home have been denied (The Only Ones)

I'm just emerging from a marathon marking session and I'm cream crackered. My brain struggles to remain on task for long periods of time generally but when faced with a continual stream of essays it overloads and turns to mush.

It's been a dollop of English internal standards for three year levels with multiple essays for each student followed by a plethora of benchmark practice exams which generated a whole new pile of essays to mark. Student reports were thrown into the mix as well.

Sadly the Wozza blog and the lawns suffer at these times as a consequence. As well as exam marking I also spent nine hours over the course of last weekend trying to tame the lawns at Red Phoenix Farm. 


We do have a study break coming up next week during part of which I am attending the ulearn conference in Rotorua. The break will, at least, provide some regular lawn cutting days, smiley face.

I feel like I've short changed you a bit with this post so here's a poem to tide you over.

This is a little something I call...

I awoke close
by the trouble on the bus.
Fuming alongside the conductor 
I discover 
the day inside my life.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Behind every great man is a women rolling her eyes (Jim Carrey)

Weddings smeddings.

Recently, we had a visit to the Red Phoenix Farm from Adam and Ashleigh. Jade also popped in for a few days.

Adam/Ashleigh are considering their marriage plans at the moment and considering their needs as well as the needs of their families.

It's tough trying to satisfy a diverse range of people. I offer the sage words of Karl Pilkington as the definitive word on marriage.

According to Karl, in his book The Moaning Of Life which Jade gave me for Father's Day, "if two people want to get married , they should just get on with it. Why all the palaver?" 

Wedding cakes sum up the whole wedding situation for Karl - over the top, unnecessarily complicated, no one really enjoys it, and it's sickly sweet.

The man makes a lot of sense.

Something that doesn't make sense for me right now is the reaction to the death of Joan Molinsky (better known by her stage name - Joan Rivers). 

Why all the emotion surrounding it?  

I never liked her style of bitchy, abrasive, satirical comedy; making fun of the Holocaust is never a good idea.

She once said to me, "You can tune me out, Wozza, you can click me off, it's OK." So I did! 

Of much more interest to me is the start of the new NFL season. Go Steelers! Go 49ers!

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, September 1, 2014

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined (Henry David Thoreau)

Rachel Joyce, who wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, really understands my September 2004 quote.

Harold Fry goes (increasingly) confidently in the direction of his dreams and by so doing repairs his marriage, recaptures his life's purpose and brings a satisfactory closure to his friend's life via (spoiler alert) an amazing death bed scene that I found profoundly moving.

Phew - yes - a long sentence! It's all true though.

Given to me by a colleague, ...Harold Fry is a lovely story that I can cheerfully recommend to the blogosphere.

The basic concept is that Harold Fry gets a simple idea in his head - to not post a letter but keep on walking past the postbox to see an old colleague who is dying of cancer. Think Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart (I took a wrong turn and I just kept going).

The walk becomes a pilgrimage of sorts because it's pretty much the length of England (map is down below).

Living the life you've imagined sounds easy. It should be easy. It's not though, it takes work and dedication and perseverance. And compromise.

Harold comes to appreciate this during his long walk. He's become trapped in a still life -the opposite of a moving image. He can't bust out of his reality because he has failed to cope with the death of his son and a marriage which has drifted into nothingness.

Deep stuff? Well not really. Rachel does a great job keeping the story on track by writing in a simple style, which is almost childlike at times.

Anyway that's not quite what I wanted to focus on. I kind of wanted to talk about those covers.

I don't really like any of them much. 

The copy I read had the first cover - pair of shoes and the bird. The shoes are relevant but not the bird. I do like the sepia browns (is that even what sepia is? Maybe not but you get my drift).

I've arranged them down the page in the order of preference. The first covers typography does appeal - homely and idiosyncratic-the opposite of the last heavily stylised cover.

Interesting how enigmatic they are as a bunch. In two of them Harold is seen only as a distant figure who's the opposite of dynamic (yes - that's appropriate to an extent), but I don't think I would have picked up these books in a bookstore, which is surely the point.

I'm not sure what the green stylised hills on cover three are about either.

Nevermind. If you're looking for a quick, pleasant book to read - there it is.

Love and peace - Wozza

P.S. Danny Wellbeck? Really?