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