Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ain't too hard for me to jam (Michael Jackson)

Week 16 and Book 18: Slam (Nick Hornby) joins the party.

It's a return to About A Boy territory and style for Nick with Slam. Part of the haul from The Piggery a few weeks ago, I have avoided this book for years.

The skateboard schtick doesn't spin my wheels but hey, this is the guy who gave us Fever Pitch. So, I'll bite.

Nick can write, so I'm quietly enjoying the book. The teenage angst and the teenage pregnancy themes are convincing and well handled but...for me, it's not as accessible as About A Boy, and doesn't trouble Fever Pitch at the toppermost of the poppermost of Nick's back catalogue.

Fever Pitch. Now THERE'S a book!

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Let the Midnight Special shine it's ever lovin' light on me (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

A week for finishing things 1 - F.A. CUP
Phew - finally a reason to celebrate this season (you'll have certainly noticed the dearth of Arsenal related posts). The best whole game I've watched for a long while and we showed great resolve to come back from Costa's equiliser I thought. 

In reality we missed a sackful of chances - shoulda been at least 3 nil at half time, but in the end we hit Chelski on a bad day and WE WON!! Wahoo!!

A week for finishing things 2 - Habibi 2 is done - well apart from a supporting post for the middle of the roof and some cosmetic adjustments that is. 

Put it thus: it's my last photo in the maker series that has graced these very posts for the last two months.

What is this thing about posting photos of the improvements we make to our dwellings? I've noticed on Facebook that this happens.

It's blood sweat and tears and a celebration, I guess. I'm reasonably happy with Habibi 2, given that I am a pretty ham fisted builder.

You be the judge. Here's a recap.

...and here's Grace and Beetle Bomb's view:

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's build a house where we can stay, add a new bit everyday (The Housemartins)

Hey team - wotcha!

Feeling a tad cream crackered today - the SWMBO horse yards (a.k.a. Habibi 2) are nearing completion. It seems I've been working on them FOREVER but in reality only three weekends and a disrupted week of the last holidays.

The roof is the problematic part - the actual yards are a breeze (being my third edition) - as I'm not a builder. ANNOYINGLY, I make mistakes because I'm not a builder.

Plus everything takes me longer BECAUSE I'M NOT A BUILDER!!!!

The piecemeal building programme has driven/is driving me nuts. All my tools and all the materials have be put away after each day's use.

Last night I cam home from school, spent an hour putting up the anti-penultimate sheet of roofing iron, before darkness descended on me. GGGRRRRRRRR.

Still, the end is in sight - a couple more nights and a weekend to hang the gates should do it.

Okay - rant over - time to luxuriate in my favourite version of the Housemartin classic by the most wonderful Zuni.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won (Shakespeare)

At the moment, I'm really enjoying Thomas Oppong's writing via

A recent post focused on starting the day with purpose.
Many successful people spend the first hours of each day alone, to reflect, think, meditate, create or read. Find something that motivates you and look forward to it every morning. 
Time management starts right from the minute you wake up from bed. You are most active and productive in the morning, hence the need to do everything in your power to make the first few hours count.
Leaving aside the 'successful people' thing, my first few daylight hours have remained habitual for the last 20 or so years.

Blame my children for that. I needed to carve out some Wozza time before the hurlyburly of the day began. And when I say hurlyburly I mean kids' hubbubrazzledazzlenoiserush.

This has evolved but the basics remain the same. Waking around 5am, I start with a shave and deoderising regime (I hope that's not too much detail), then move to breakfast.

For some years I would turn on the TV and tune into Sky News from the UK but these days I read whatever book or Mojo magazine is the current one before heading to the computer and doing my daily blogpost (this one was today's).

More ablutions follow before dressing for work if it's Monday to Friday, waking SWMBO to say goodbye, and pootling off to work in the Purdmobile (a.k.a. Rapid Roy).

I arrive at school around 6.45 and start the day by meeting with Trevor, our groundsman/caretaker/handyman.

By the time we've finished more people arrive and then it's full on until around 4pm - when the staff head off home and I can hunker down to do some work for an hour or so.

Full on. So that's why I need Wozza time from 5am until 6.30am.

And Thomas is right - I look forward to it every morning.

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I should have listened, baby, to my second mind (Led Zeppelin)

A few more books to document from week 14:

Book 14: The Future Of Learning (Mark Treadwell) Check out my Baggy Trousers post for this one.

Book 15: Meditation (Franz Kafka)

Book 16: I'm With The Band (Pamela Des Barres)

Book 17: What The Buddha Taught (Walpola Rahula)

I picked Meditation up from The Piggery recently. It's a nifty little volume combining Kafka's seemingly random musings/meditations with some great photos from the late nineteenth century.

Here is his meditation on Resolutions:

To lift yourself out of a miserable mood, even if you have to do it by strength of will, should be easy. I force myself out of my chair, stride around the table, exercise my head and neck, make my eyes sparkle, tighten the muscles around them. Defy my own feelings, welcome A. enthusiastically supposing he comes to see me, amiably tolerate B. in my room, swallow all that is said at C.'s, whatever pain and trouble it may cost me, in long draughts.
Yet even if I manage that, one single slip, and a slip cannot be avoided, will stop the whole process, easy and painful alike, and I will have to shrink back into my own circle again. 
So perhaps the best resource is to meet everything passively, to make yourself an inert mass, and, if you feel that you are being carried away, not to let yourself be lured into taking a single unnecessary step, to stare at others with the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, in short, with your own hand to throttle down whatever ghostly life remains in you, that is, to enlarge the final peace of the graveyard and let nothing survive save that.
A characteristic movement in such a condition is to run your little finger along your eyebrows.
Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, May 8, 2017

I'm tipping over backwards, I'm so ambitious (Talking Heads)

Recently, I added this link to my Jewels For The Thirsty blog - the suggestion being to read books you normally wouldn't.
Here’s a reading challenge: Pick up a book you’re pretty sure you won’t like — the style is wrong, the taste not your own, the author bio unappealing. You might even take it one step further. Pick up a book you think you will hate, of a genre you’ve dismissed since high school, written by an author you’re inclined to avoid. Now read it to the last bitter page.
But what exactly in this bizarro world would be a book that I would normally hate?

As I'll usually give anything a go, I'm struggling to think of something. 

What would you choose?

First thing I tried to do in a recent visit to The Piggery (quality second hand book shop in Whangarei) was to think of a genre that I haven't tried. I wandered around for about an hour, ended up with an armful of books I wanted to read, but nothing that was a reading challenge as outlined above.

I'm up for a challenge, so, after some further musing, and after the current pile, I'll give it another go next time I make it in to the vast urban metropolis of Whangarei.

Love and peace - Wozza 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

That weren't no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive (David Bowie)

I've always been fascinated by astronauts and their journeys to the moon. I'm not sure, but I think it started with The Jetsons. I could really relate to Elroy and loved all those speedy rocket cars. 

The Jetsons with Astro.
The word 'astronaut' is so evocative too. My mind would freefall.

Anyway, the fascination culminated in 1969 when my dad tuned in to the Apollo 11 landing on the moon via radio (NZBC wasn't up to the bizness of broadcasting it live back then) and we listened in wide eyed fashion.

Now this - a film about Apollo 17 - the last time we visited the moon, popped up on one of my Walrus Gumboot news feeds.

It's a great little film - take a look...

The Last Steps | A Really Great Big Story from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

(Seth Godin takes over: 

And then we got bored!
Six missions after Apollo 11 amazed the world by going to the moon, Apollo 17 was the last trip.
It fell off the cultural radar. Flying to the moon, driving around and getting back safely wasn't interesting enough, apparently.
And the miracle of the internet, which connects billions of people, instantly, is something we all take for granted after less than a generation.
Is it any wonder that your magnificent Facebook post or clever tweet isn't racking up ever more likes?)

I like Seth. He makes sense and he writes succinct pithy posts. They overflow with pith!

Sadly we had to say goodbye to Mo and Bottle - actually, on the same day I posted that last post. His real owner turned up - ironically, our lovely neighbour. She thought they'd flown away and joined a flock of Lorikeets.

Then she hear them squawking at our place.

Love and peace - Wozza