Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I was hoping that you had an atlas in your head (The Kooks)

Fanfa muggs the dogs!
IHOP syrup! Oh how I love you so!

Samantha made a whistle stop to Red Phoenix Farm on her latest return to Nu Zild to show some American friends the spendour of the South Island. 

We missed seeing Jesse - next time for my favourite son-in-law!

The IHOP syrup was part of the package though so my Saturday morning pancake treat is now restored to its former glory.

Love and peace - Pops

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I thank the Lord for the people I have found (Elton John/ Bernie Taupin)

Ripped from my Star Wars desktop calendar!

23rd April

Taumarunui, King Country, New Zealand

Dulcie Mary Adsett.

This is the time and place of my mother's birth. 

Taumarunui is/was a pretty isolated place of about 3,000 people in 1930 - with no other settlements within cooee. Hasn't changed much! It's still pretty isolated as a community.

She was the last child born into the male dominated Adsett family - three older brothers and a sawmiller father who abandoned the family shortly after my mother was born. I never met him.

The Adsett clan  at mum and dad's wedding
In 1930 New Zealand was still recovering from the first World War when the Great Depression hit with a wallop. Jobs and wages were slashed, leaving many desperate families. The world didn't venture much into regional NZ and it could care less.

I can imagine what life was like for the young Dulcie, her mum and three brothers. They never talked of these early days, or if they did I was too young to understand things. But it must have been bleak!

After a time the fatherless Adsett family moved from Taumarunui to Auckland and Dulcie went to One Tree Hill Primary School and ultimately a better life until she died far too young in 1983 aged only 53.

This week my thoughts have returned to those few facts as I've been watching episodes of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?

I know a lot about the Purdys but far less about the Adsetts. In that photo I can see people I know - my grandmother Lucy Constance Adsett; her sons Jack, Roy, Mel Adsett, Aunts Millie and Gwen, and two cousins: Alan and Lorraine. That leaves four people in the photo that I'm related to but don't know.

This year she should have been 85.

Love and peace as always - Warren

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sometimes I feel like screaming (Deep Purple)

After helping myself to a swallow of Zero that was half opened and left sitting on the counter when I found it abandoned, I'm about to put on that Deep Purple into the CD slot in Abbey Road Two but then I stop and consider the Keith Jarrett. It always suits this mood as the lengthening shadows hit the Cape Cods. The gold Jeep is parked outside. From inside the kitchen a dim light gets dimmer. I realise that the hand holding the Zero is tightening around the can. The fear returns as I gaze at the hand. And then a flash of emotion begins its build up. From deep inside I recognise this feeling. I don't answer it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I have only one burning desire, let me stand next to your fire (Jimi Hendrix)

You know that post I did a couple back about autumn's non arrival and the burn pile? Well guess what, it did the trick.

It's been raining. It's colder. The skies are grey. It's darker earlier. Daylight saving has ended. The fire restrictions have been lifted! 

As you can see - we celebrated!

Satisfyingly, even though the pile was a bit damp after some recent rain, it went up quickly.

Given that we are now enjoying a late autumn I thought it apposite to include some other autumn flavours in the spirit of Keats.

Here are five things I love about autumn:

1 The picture on the left has me and Bazil enjoying the milder autumn weather while also enjoying the fire. 

Bazie is old now, pretty much deaf, not the best at following me into the Red Phoenix Farm paddocks any more, can't jump into cars any longer, a little night blind, has to take some daily medications, doesn't like the high heat of a Nu Zild summer or the numbing cold of our winter. 

So autumn is perfect for him.

2 Keeping with an animal theme -this Bruegel picture - The Return Of The Herd (Autumn) - captures a wonderful essence: the gathering dark clouds, the still brown hills gaining some green, the change of clothing and the trees shedding their leaves. Love this!

3 Best short read on the essence and lessons of autumn? Try this

4 Bob Dylan composed this terrific song about a relationship. Like summer, it's ended and the winds are starting to howl. Johnny Cash's voice is a perfect complement and the whole thing is made even more wistful by the wonderful visual of a brooding sunset. Genius. 

Watch the clouds go by. Go on - you won't regret it!

5 Ed Sheeran is touring Nu Zild at the moment - this charming young man - so here's an Ed moment to finish us off.

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, April 13, 2015

You blessed a part of me without lying (Embrace)

In a moment of complete serendipity I was listening to this song while I wrote this and posted these photos - the song is the PERFECT accompaniment for my mood right now and for these photos. Have a listen while you read.


For some reason I love these images of the empty underground. Yeah, okay, I know - I love London's underground - I always have. Something about being underground, trains, destinations, bustle, body spam, people with purpose that gets me. And, call me weird, but I love the smell down there!

But I digress - I love these empty peaceful underground pictures (thanks to his awesomeness James Whatley for the link):

Go to this link for more

Love and peace - Wozza

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I am yours, just a dream (Fleetwood Mac)

As you know, I'm a big fan of Occam's razor

William of Ockham (c.1287–1347) was an English Franciscan friar, philosopher and theologian. His day of commemoration is, coincidentally, 10 April (also two whanau members, Denene and Suzanne's birthdays).

The widespread lay person's maxim that "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one" appears to have been derived from Occam's Razor. Wozza's take on this is: the simplest solution is usually the correct one.

Life is simple when you allow the most important things to dictate. 

My 2004 calendar has St. Francis of Assisi's quote: Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you're doing the impossible

[I've posted on this before -]

This quote makes sense to me now. The key to it is in that first bit - 'start by doing what's necessary'. In a moment of great clarity I know exactly what that is. Once you've figured that bit out, everything else falls into place.

I love it when an epiphany sits me on my ass.

That calendar includes another quote I love by Vernon Howard - You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. 

[I've also posted on it before -]

Recently, all of this came to mind when I began to think about my possessions.

If you had to pack up in a hurry and had only one suitcase (total weight about 25 kg) to include what you need: your clothes and the things that are most important to you, what would you include?

These are the kinds of things I think about from time to time.

Here are the first things I pack:
  • A spoon that used to belong to the US navy, then my dad 
  • A framed photo from my parents' wedding 
  • My ipod and Klipsch ipod dock (I need immediate access hence the dock) 
  • Arsenal and Beatle ties 
  • That 2004 desktop calendar
That's it!

There are plenty of other things I'd want but those are the things I need to include.

Everything I am staring at right now - my books, records, CDs, DVDs...wanted but not needed.

Necessary and needed. A good mantra!

The spoon? It's the emotional investment I have in it. It connects me to important things.

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (John Keats)

The spring collection.
Annoyingly, I wanted to write this post a while ago when the first pleasant signs of autumn started creeping over the land but since then we've had a second summer. 

Bah humbug!

It's April and yesterday we had 30 degrees on the deck's temperature gauge. We still have doors and windows open throughout the night to keep cool!

Last April we had fires going each day to keep warm. Right now I'd still need a council permit to fire up all the branches I collected and dumped into the huge burn pile in the paddock during the summer holidays (as exhibited in the photo above).

As you know, I love autumn, I really do. So I'm hoping this post will spur nature into action and I can dig out some singlets, prepare the thermals, attack the burn pile, and marvel at the maple tree putting on it's autumnal coat. 

Until then, sigh, I'll luxuriate in John Keat's Ode To Autumn and wait.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire and though the holes were rather small, they had to count them all (The Beatles)

SWMBO and I recently watched The Newsroom Season 3 on SKY TV (Soho has a nifty box set thing going on the weekend where they play a season of a show back to back throughout the day).

I particularly loved it because it was intelligent, funny, smart, post-modern, quick, and bright.

Yes three of those adjectives mean the same thing.

SWMBO found it exhausting - I can see why - they pack A LOT into each episode.

I loved it so much I bought box sets of Season 1 and 2 (the completist in me). We are watching Season 1 this week. The pilot took a while to get going but episode 2 and 3 have been superb.

I can't help reflect on and bemoan the state of our news services as a result. Yes I know I've mentioned this before - I remember banning the news in the house a few years ago because of its pandering and fluff and wall to wall focus on lowest common denominator stories.

SWMBO likes to watch the news so we often watch TV One news. It's shockingly bad. But no more shockingly bad than the rest.

The only news I can actually tolerate are the BBC News channel and Al Jazeera. The rest are piffle.

Oh for a Charlie Skinner, a Don Quixote, and a Will and Sloan and Jim and Mac to stand up for what they believe in. No ratings whore. No pandering to popularity. No acquiescence to the advertising dollar.

The reboot of the news in the first season of the show was to follow these three 'i's: 1 Is this information we need in the voting booth? 2 Is this the best possible form of the argument? and 3 Is the story in historical context?


I think Al Jazeera and BBC News (the versions we have access to on Sky TV in NZ anyway) are the closest at following these guidelines. Bravo!

The rest? get with the Newsroom 2.0 programme.

Love and peace - Wozza