Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunburnt impedance machine (Mugstar)

We live in a society people!

We also live in a mechanical age and mechanical things go wrong.

There seems to be a conspiracy going on at Red Phoenix Farm from time to time when the mechanical things get together and collude to stop working all at once.

The tractor, the outdoor fountain's transformer, the chain saw and the cross trainer all conspired against me recently.

It's so aggravating!

I am not a mechanical person. I am interested in using said appliances but I am not skilled in fixing them when they stop.

The tractor's 'distributor' became 'live' recently and the tractor suddenly (as I was driving it) stopped. It's being fixed now having been towed to a local mechanic. Yeh him!

The transformer? Apparently I was sold the wrong kind and so 6 months later it stopped. Isaac's Electrical (Waipawa) are making good with a replacement. Yeh them!

The chainsaw's chain guard failed, it developed an oil leak and the starter pulley thing wouldn't retract. Under warranty, Mitre 10 Mega Hastings had it fixed it in a matter of hours. Yeh them!

And so to the cross trainer. It developed a bizarre message 'ERR4' on its display and has not worked since the start of November. Bought in Al Ain, it has been a faithful companion since then but it now needs expert remedial action and I have not the skills.

I took off the cover to the resistance motor section and looked at the wires and mechanical things like I do if a car stops and I open the bonnet to look at the motor stuff. Pathetic!

I should have learned my lesson from Fielding Melish!!

This is all so frustrating. Sometimes I just wish I lived in a less automated world (if you thought I was going to wish I was a different person who could fix these things you don't know me at all).  

If you know where I can get it fixed (or if you have a spare Execu-cisor going), I'd love to hear from you.

Love and peace - Wozza

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ooh, that's what you get for dreaming aloud (Tame Impala)

Yeah baby, yeah!! 

The visual colour explosion eventuated from a faffing-about-Sunday when we couldn't agree whether we actually could be bothered going out and me asking SWMBO for advice on jazzing up the blogs' layouts a bit.

All four blogs have had a layout makeover of varying degrees. The most radical being this one!

Would love to know what you think - positive or otherwise.

While I'm in an arty mood - take a look at these satirical images I collected a while ago and then forgot about. Sadly, I've since forgotten the details of the artist.

I'm particularly fond of the statue one.

Love and peace - Wozza

Friday, January 23, 2015

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show (The Kinks)

A few days holidaying in Wellington has reignited my love of tea from teapots.

These days Wellington is more noted for movie stars than teapots so I'll get to an explanation in due course.

Speaking of movie stars: Te Papa currently has a few of The Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings costumes on exhibit, even our hotel featured a life size prop which appropriately indicated the power of Peter Jackson and what he's done for the place. 

The man's presence pervades inner city Wellington: as I bought a leather men's bracelet the shop guy quickly told me that Peter Jackson shops and buys his there. Okay.

And so - to the teapots...our hotel was on Cuba Street - boho central and so all the cafes and tea shops aiming for that retro feel retain the use of a teapot. Quite right!

This pleased me no end. There's something very comforting in a cuppa from a teapot. It also appeals immensely to the skinflint in me - I can usually squeeze out three cups.

When we returned home I bowed to pressure from SWMBO to buy a teapot to go with her hand made tea set from Staffordshire, which she's been eyeing up for some time now. It's fab.

This purchase prompted a discussion with Jade about the old days of my youth when we didn't have tea bags and so used loose leaf tea in teapots. I have no idea when we first got tea bags in NZ but we certainly didn't subscribe to them in the Purdy household.

Anyway I maintain that a cuppa in the old days in mum's best china far surpasses the modern expedient methods.

But I digress - here is our latest teapot on its inaugural brew:


Peace and love - Wozza (milk and one)

Monday, January 19, 2015

When the heat's got you down...get yourself in that cool cool water (The Beach Boys)

Summer holidays on Red Phoenix Farm contain some routine elements:

  • A project (this time it's been trimming trees and gardens on RPF's 13 acres)
  • NFL playoff games leading to the February first Superbowl (these are always closer than the regular season games - more focused eyes on the prize now)
  • 35 degree heat (crazy)
  • The silly season on TV and in the English Premiership goes into hyperdrive (Arsenal doing okay - currently 5th; Rochdale spectacular in League One and FA Cup)
  • Books - Lee Child seems to produce a new Jack Reacher adventure on cue (and others like Pete Townshend, Neil Young and Ray Davies autobios)
  • Brown fields and hills (keep reading)

Red Phoenix Farm is rebranded as Brown Phoenix Farm about now until autumn rains kick in. 

We're not alone as these snaps show:

SWMBO lunges her horses in this paddock looking north-west

Looking north-east from our house 'lawn'

South-east-ish and our sheep have slim pickins (treeline on right is our

The road east to the beach (middle ground tree line is our boundary)

House on the left (northwards)

Treeline again our boundary. South hill paddock with some green at the

A yet to be harrowed paddock also looking north - dry!
Middle ground treeline is our boundary

Love and peace - Wozza (Go Seahawks!)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Down at the end, round by the corner (Yes)

The fourth and final of the holiday slide shows: and the theme of this one is the end of family holidays!

Family holidays have a limited shelf life. By the late teenager years we become more independent and our horizons shift from the family to friends and new adventures. A pity - but natural and that makes our family holidays increasingly special as the years drift by.

Our last family holidays took place at the Taupo house (mum and dad's holiday house at Rainbow Point).

SWMBO and seasoned bush walk adventurers

One Tree Hill - with Wynton. Fanfa
concerned about my hair - even then

Not sure where this was taken

Taupo - a rare bush walk for the lion hearted

We'll always have Paris

The girls in Leigh-on-sea

Jade and the snake

Northern holiday to the Kirkhams

Tourist central!

The much loved Taupo house

The Fantastic Four sign off on family hols

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Touching, touch time, travel, twilight, taken so high, taking your time (Yes)

The third installment (of four) in the archive dive into past holidays.

Welcome to the years of colour, smiley faces and warmth.

Water is often a feature of childhood holidays, whether it's summer or winter, so here we go with a water theme.

Ross and Wozza - often spotted together in childhood photos

SWMBO and Ma Belle enjoy a beach blanket bingo

Jade removed from the pool in Singapore

Jade helps me across a swing bridge

Winter in Scotland  with KW and friend

Jade gets help to cross a swing bridge

Fun down by the river with the rock steady crew (ha ha ha)

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I'm a wild hearted son (The Cult)

The holiday retrospective show continues:

Growing up, family holidays for Wozza's junior world revolved around my father's work schedule. He worked for Burrough's Welcome and often had to attend business meetings overseas but we often tagged along when he went to conferences within NZ - places like The Chateau Tongariro, Rotorua, Wairakei, Napier/Hastings.

We didn't know how lucky we were!

We also had memorable holidays in Tutukaka up north, but after a while, before my parents built their own property at Rainbow Point, we settled into a pattern of using a family friend's house in Te Rangiita (Taupo) and went there for many years to fish, read, swim, and have rowing adventures up the river. 

By then we had an idea how lucky we were!

Here's a selection from the monochrome years:

I'm feeling awesome coz coolness was a Caltex hat!
Riding on the Toot and Whistle in Kuirau Park, Rotorua,
the mud pools, and the playground tank were must visits.
Feeding the ducks has always been a thing.
I wasn't that keen on the swans though.
Ross skives off with the bread!
We rowed for hours on the Taupo/Tauranga river,
Te Rangiita and sometimes Ross was allowed to row!
Huka Falls - clearly we were prepared for the spray!
A summer stay on Ruapeha.
Our routine southward journey meant a lunch stop in Hamilton
- we were organised!
SWMBO and Mabelle go to the zoo in their
own monochome adventures.

 Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It was a new day yesterday (Jethro Tull)

Time for another couple of forays into the photo archives. 

Given that it's the summer holidays in Nu Zild these wallows in the new days yesterday are themed around that idea. Think of it as if it was an invite 'round to Wozza's place to see the holiday slides! Yikes - remember them - hiiinnnhhh!

Many of these photo's are pretty iconic - our NZ holidays of yesteryear followed a pattern and they are pretty representative to a point.

First up in part one - the obligatory picture with a (sometimes scary) Santa:

Keegan age 2, in Coca Cola colours, 1986;
Adam, a week old, piked.

Jade's first Xmas - 3 weeks old 1991; Adam, unimpressed but
knowing he's not above a rooftop, scans for goodies; Fanfa
tries for her 'I'm so cute' look; Wozza with mullet in it's swan
song looks dazed with a fixed smile - he's wondering how
SWMBO  got out of this one.

A serene Jade and Samantha 1996

Adam (still not impressed) and Keegan 1987

An unsure SWMBO and a young Santa 1964

Adam now an experienced Santa sitter patents the pout 1988

SWMBO and a pretty vacant Santa

I'm not sure why there are no photos of me and Santa - we were certainly taken to George Courts and the Farmers department store in central Auckland by mum photos. 

Instead here's a bonus snap of mummy kissing Santa pre mullet!

Adam, a week old, and Keegan 1986

Love and peace and happy holidays from Wozza.