Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lawdy mama, light my fuse (Rick Derringer)

And it's Arsenal, Arsenal F.C. - already kings of London, and The Greatest Team The World Has Ever Seen, and now - kings of the F.A. Cup. The most successful club in F.A. Cup history. Ever!

Hey I'm allowed a brief gloating period ain't I?

Okay - back to business...

With that game the football season is over in Europe, sort of. There is still the Champions League final - that one should go to Barcelona without any problem.

In the U.K. the post season blues will now be in full swing as they head into summer.

I know the FIFA scandal has all the attention at the moment but British football lovers could cast their eyes elsewhere to not one but TWO fantastic world cup competitions.
2011 and Japan savor the moment

As we head into winter in New Zealand* (pronounced Nu Zild) we have the FIFA Under 20 World Cup and the women's World Cup is in Canada. Japan are the current world champions; isn't that great! They beat the mighty U.S.A. team in the 2011 final. Makes a refreshing change from Germany, Brazil, and Argentina huh.

I know FIFA is not flavour of the month (decade) but I hope that doesn't take focus away from the football. These are WORLD CUPS!!!! They don't come around very often and the standard of football at each event will be amazing in its awesomeness.

Tune in - you won't regret it!

Love and peace - Wozza

* Hence the change in template to the wintry scene Netherlands!! We have had snow in the Hawke's Bay recently so I feel justified in using this. So there!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saved, new lives to make us better (Feeder)

At just over 900 pages Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 is a beast!

I've now finished it. Three books in one: it's been a wonderful companion for the last 6 weeks. But boy, it's a big book! 

At times it's been a solid read in a physical sense - 900 pages is heavy maan.

I have loved it, appreciated it and been eager to pick it up whenever I've had some free moments.

The ending was fabulous - I like cyclic stories and those with a journey motif; this one has been an epic one.

Murakami's writing style is inventive and at times extremely evocative.

Here's an excerpt where he goes for a densely descriptive style that reminds me of Mervyn Peak in the Gormenghast trilogy:
With its high ceiling and muted lighting, the capacious lobby of the Hotel Okura's main building seemed like a huge stylish cave. Against the cave walls, like the sighing of a disemboweled animal, bounced the muted conversations of people seated on the lobby's sofas. The floor's thick, soft carpeting could have been primeval moss on a far northern island. It absorbed the sound of footsteps into its endless span of accumulated time. The men and women crossing and recrossing the lobby looked like ghosts tied in place by some ancient curse, doomed to the endless repetition of their assigned roles. Men were armored in tight-fitting business suits. Slim young women were swathed in chic black dresses, here to attend a ceremony in one of the hotel's many reception rooms. They wore small but expensive accessories, like vampire finches in search of blood, longing for a hint of light they could reflect. A large foreign couple loomed like an old king and queen past their prime, resting their tired bodies on thrones in the corner.
Often it's tricky to come up with appropriate similes but he doesn't ever seem to have that problem. The vampire finch (pictured above) is a PERFECT comparison.


When I bought my next book from the sale table at Poppy's bookstore in Havelock North I noticed a new Murakami title in their racks. Definitely have to grab that next time I visit.

Love and peace - Wozza  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Life's too short to be afraid (Robbie Williams)


Yellow brown autumn leaves bunch up 
against my window.
I spend a little time watching them as they
fall onto themselves;
the sun is hiding behind a tall wall
that sends out a sharp outline.
It's a roughly textured wall in off cream,
age unknown.
The clouds are fairly racing across the milky blue sky
but the breeze down here is mild
and I am unseasonal in shirt sleeves.

It's a mid May morning;
the red leaved trees stand in relief
against evergreen
trying to be the last staunch hold outs.

There are many trees outside this window:
pines, silver birches, Australian wattles, Japanese maples.

It's good to watch them sway 
against the moving sky:

accentuating the positive.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You have walked through my dreams (Wild Beasts)

I blog every day. You may have noticed.

I'm not alone.

As Seth Godin says - Blogging every day clarifies my thoughts — it helps me notice things. It’s one of the most important practices of my profession.

Since rebooting  The Purdzilla Show I have maintained writing every day as a discipline.

So far I haven't missed a day. It's built into my morning ritual. 

Each morning I post an update so that I rotate through my four blogs every four days. 

I enjoy each of them for different reasons. Because I love music, Goo Goo G'Joob is a lot of fun to write for; writing about music is almost as good as listening to it. Wozza's Place, and Baggy Trousers are the oldest and most challenging to keep fresh. They stretch me and I need that.

The eagle eyed will have noticed a fifth blog has now joined the ranks: Jewels for the thirsty appears on the weekend and summarises my weekly sensual overload.

Apart from the daily discipline involved in gathering my thoughts and apart from trying to fashion something sensible and interesting to say; apart from all that - I need these blogs to make sense of the world I live in.

In case you haven't been paying attention those would be the worlds of music, inspiration, education, my senses and my inner psyche

Blogging/writing pushes me to get extremely clear on my thoughts. And that is good! 

Love/peace - Wozza

Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm so tired (The Fabs)

I'm on no sleep, I'm freakin' out man!

For various reasons SWMBO and I have struggled to get a night's sleep for a while now.

Part of the problem is my snoring. 

My father was a real window rattler and I seem to be following suit. 


So I went to the doc and, of course, he couldn't help me apart from a referral for the sleep apnoea and the snoring.

That referral resulted in a visit to the hospital to pick up a sleep monitor and a short talk with a sleep scientist.

I kid you not. Sleep scientist.

I did a Seinfeld eye roll and took the device home. Slapped it on and after a fitful night sent the device back. 

After a month I got the results.



Love and peazzzzzzz - Wozzzzzzzza

Monday, May 11, 2015

I'm clearing all the crap out of my room (Laura Marling)

Minimalism. Less is more. Spring cleaning in the northern hemisphere (and if you're reading the Guardian's special features).

I've been engaged in my own simplify, simplify regime of late, even though it's autumn. 

In a former life, I may have been a cicada, or a snake, or some other animal that sheds it's skin. 

I'm a fan of decluttering.

Currently I'm working through my CDs and placing them into one of three categories: 
  1. The loved ones I am apt to return to often. I can't begin to count how many times I've played Big Country's Live Without A Net
  2. These are not to be confused with classics that are sacrosanct, they appear in the second category - I may not play them often but I need them around just in case. Led Zeppelin. I loved the vinyl and bought the CD reissues but over-familiarity is a bastard.
  3. That leaves category three - the ones I don't play often, nor need around particularly. The CD I read a review of and bought but was disappointed by, the one I bought out of loyalty to the band that was a dog but I hung onto it anyway because you never know, I may return to it in ten year's time and find a buried treasure (hello David Gray). 
I decided to play every CD. I figured if I had to fast forward a lot or couldn't be arsed (I've noticed a few ECM esoteric European jazz CDs being added to pile 3) then I didn't need them cluttering up the shelves.

Decluttering appears to be in vogue. It seems every second best seller is expounding on the joy of tidying.

Japanese author and 'organising consultant' Marie Kondo is one such example. She advocates keeping only things that 'spark joy'. As she says, "human beings can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time".

Which justifies my putting Motorhead's No Sleep Till Hammersmith into category three baby!

Love and peace - Wozza

Thursday, May 7, 2015

You can have it all and wrap it in the world (The Kooks)

This poor little guy thought he was onto a winner. 

Just like Smaug sitting on his pile of gold this little mouse thought he'd reached nirvana - sitting on a pile of parrot food - until I heard the rustling and closed the zip bag on him!

I showed SWMBO and she was amazed, but not as amazed as the mouse!

There was no way I could dispatch the poor wee mite after his adventure so I liberated him in some trees between horse paddocks. What a big softie!

Love and peace to all creatures great and small - Wozza

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Since I been loving you I'm about to lose my worried mind (Led Zeppelin)

When I think back to the stuff I used to eat I shudder. It's not that long ago mind, about five weeks, so it's a fresh memory.

About five weeks ago I decided to lose some weight. I weighed in at 83 kg at the doctors during a check up and my BMI indicated I was overweight. 

When I got home I worked out what I needed to do to get back to the okay weight; the answer was - lose at least 5 kg.

So I decided to cut out all junk, eat three meals a day but nothing around those meals. I've been a grazer all my adult life (ha ha ha - how we kid ourselves!) okay - all my life, so this was a tough decision. I am blessed with a strong mental fortitude though, so I went cold turkey.

I decided to cut out sugary drinks as much as I could as well, replacing them with Coke Zero and water. With autumn and the end of daylight saving we started having dinner around 5 to 5.30 pm. I kept my gluten free stuff going but only in terms of cereals and bread. I cut out all the Gluten free snacks that are chock full of sugar and fats.

I also decided to up the activity - walking at lunchtime is about all my 57 year old knees can stand but at least it's something.

No wonder I lost 3 kg pretty quickly, in two weeks, via the first thing - no junk. That meant no chips, no chocolate, no biscuits or cakes, no Snickers bars. No Coca-Cola. No beer.

I knew it would work. When we lived in Al Ain that was pretty much my diet when I was forced to cut out all that stuff and I lost weight quickly there.

In the old days I would have had peanut butter and jam sandwiches on white bread followed by large slices of cake, washed down with a large Coke. Now I have a no added salt/sugar peanut butter sandwich on gluten free seed bread with a Coke Life (introduced in NZ in April this year and tastes way better than Zero). I would have sneered at that this time last year - now it's just normal.

I read an article about weight loss and it suggested that the craving for the bad elements of an old diet take about 18 days to subside. That was about right in my case.

Although those last two Kg proved to be pesky my weight is now down to 78 Kg.

Clearly, I need to maintain the regime to keep Mr Overweight from returning. I'm celebrating but I'm aware I am right on the cusp. 

Yes SWMBO, a few more Kg...

Mind over matter!

Love and peace - Wozza