Showing posts from August, 2021

"Hah, that's me right there!"

The Friday Firesmith story from mid-July 2021 ends: I had a copy of this photo, emailed it to everyone in the photo I could find, but lost track of it when a computer crash took some photos with it. I think I could track the guy down again, but could he track the photo? And why? Have you ever seen an accidental photo of you? How did you feel when you saw it? Yes, yes I did. Back in 1998 I was looking for a new place to live. Judith and I had split up and whilst I had kept on the Marion Street apartment I had grown reasonably uncomfortable staying in it and so out I went looking for a new place. I did all my house hunting by cab, I had seen one place overlooking Lyall Bay that I really like, or was it the two women that had caught my eye? I had visited a bunch of lovely lads on Orangi Kaupapa Road in a cute wee place, and here I was standing in the kitchen of the final place I could be arsed looking at. It was a nice house in Northland, one other fella. I knew once I walked in that it

Ping! Help Please.

If you need any assistance, push the friendly blue button and a capable someone will come to your assistance and ask how they can help. See also: "U OK hun" - It's All About The Timing On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your day going? WHERE TO GET HELP New Zealand 1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat Samaritans – 0800 726 666 Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily. Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7. – or email or free text 5626 Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389) If it

Simpsons Clouds

Auckland and music here we come!

Summer Harbour Sunset

Sunset reflection on a calm and peaceful Wellington harbour.

Waterfront Perspective

Either I stood there at 5:36pm on Saturday 13th October 2018 and saw the lines disappearing to the right and placed my phone perfectly to capture them 🧐 Or I've just noticed it as I lie here at 9:07am on Saturday 28th August 2021 🤔 Either way, I am a genius and should be applauded from the rafters 🥳 


Nature is us, we are nature.

Does this contain 'Cable car'?

 Ha ha ha ha - go home Google Photos, you're drunk!                        

The New Zealanders (1950)

Everything about this appeals to a certain bunch of old white people and how they hanker for thw "good old day". Of course New Zealanders but this would also hit home for many old white English and even perhaps old white Canadians, Aussies, and even Americans. I get it, the film has a certain rose-tinted romantic feel to it. Many of the scenes are typical tourism stuff, and the line about the summer holidays is as valid now as it was then. The 1950s though was a time of devastation for many people, particularly those not white and whose true stories are notably absent. It's all about "absorption" into the "us" that is determined by being from British stock. I'd live in a romantic world but above all one that is honest and fair. One day perhaps coz it ain't here yet.

Behind the old gate ...

"It just an old gate", she mouthed. On Townsend Street, a normal street along the waterfront, was the gate. To you and me it would look just like any other gate, a bit old and unloved perhaps, but that's not unusual in these parts. The gate kept those out, out, and its secrets safe and secure, which is exactly what a gate should do. But everyone knew what was really behind the gate. At neighbourhood BBQs they talked about the old man that had never been seen this side of the gate, or was it the old woman. Or what about the times that number 158 had heard screaming in the dead of the night. Or maybe that was 168, and perhaps they had heard a dog barking. The local committee AGM is always interrupted by one or two concerned residents demanding that the committee find out about the smells, the smokes, the sounds, or even one year, "a general sense of evil". This is minuted and never actioned. Whatever it was, everyone knew not to go near the gate. Even the adults s

WCL Libby Bookclub

Get the Libby app on your devices and then read FREE books, and listen to FREE audiobooks. That's it, do it . (and then check out the  many other apps WCL give you free stuff through) Oh, you will need a library card but who doesn't have one of those!? Aaaaaaaaaaand, the Wellington City Library has a bookclub with unlimited copies of certain books and audiobooks, so no more waiting, the fella in the video will tell you all about it ...

Plump With Skinny Legs

Plump with skinny legs, and so is this bird.

Stop! It's Chicken Thyme

Stop, it's chicken thyme!

Lucky Chips & Gravy

Lucky, a central Wellington fried chicken takeaway housed in a disused toilet. It took a while for me to partake of their wares as I'm not really a fried chicken sort of lad. One fateful evening, after a few beers, I made my way towards Courtenay Place and I ordered myself some chicken bites (or whatever they are called). Gravy on the chips. Not just the gravy or just the chips, but both, together. It was like a taste sensation I hadn't had for such a long time. I was hooked. The chicken is ok, tbh the sauce is way too sweet for me. But I will crawl over broken glass for their chips and gravy.

Out On A School Night

Whilst most of Wellington's famed nightlife is open of a Monday evening there's rarely that many people about.

Don't Panic

Seems more than appropriate at the moment.

Before and After

After a hard days talking, thinking, and writing ... 

Avoid The Safe Pair Of Hands

I hosted an inter-agency event a few years ago and to kick it off I asked the 50 or so attendees to just go wild with ideas, pop down every dream they've ever had about working inside government no matter how small, how big, how "crazy", how "mundane". Yeah, I know, a bit like telling people to get creative!! "Und now, you vill be creative!!" The intention was to get it out, know that you're not alone in your thinking, everyone has something they dream about. And to dream is to hope is to plan is to focus is to do. Here's just a hint at what some people deep inside government, the boring bureaucrats, the upright civil servants, the people like you and me dream about. I like a few of these dreams from government workers, I especially like, "Avoid the safe pair of hands", and "Try more stuff?". I also think free WiFi at police stations should happen!  

Well, That Worked Eh

A look that says, "Hah, the sneaky move worked exactly as I intended [and I am very happy about it]!"

"New York", But Manhattan Really, Explained

The names are world famous, Central Park , Harlem , Broadway , Downtown , Fifth Avenue , East Side , Wall Street , who hasn't heard of these New York places!?! Through endless movies we think we know New York, but do we really ... where is Harlem , what are the Avenues, but then what about the Streets ? I sort of thought I did, maybe I had an inkling about it. I knew it was a grid system, sort of. I also knew that the "New York" I heard or thought about was actually Manhattan , that's the skyline I 'know', the one that King Kong clambers over. If you're like me, you wouldn't really be comfortable explaining where Uptown and Downtown swaps then this is the video for you. I couldn't stop exclaiming, "Ohhhh, so that's what that means!!"

Topical, 2 COVID-19 Info Videos

Two videos that seem timely for Aotearoa New Zealand right now - how does the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine work AND what is it about the Delta variant that makes it so damned scary.


Pac-Man, not just a classic of video gaming but still, 41 years after its initial release, a game you'll find in all good arcades - quite amazing! You know you can play it online for free at Google, just do a search for "pac man" or go to the Google Doodle .

Penny Love

Just a penny for all the love you need, deal!

Excuse Me!

For what now??

Ahoy Me Hearties

This scene is part of a long standing Maritime History exhibition in Wellington Museum and the wheel holds a special part in my memory as I have a photo of cousins Jacqui and Char holding a 2-year-old Jack up to it. Also - whilst it's not the "Ahoy hoy" from my chat messages  it still evokes a rasping piratical, "Ahaaar, ahoy and avast there me hearties!" 😁☠️


The World Of WearableArt is a wicked event and since it's move to Wellington has always made a massive impression.

Fancy Train Station Innards

I never know what they're called here in Aotearoa New Zealand, that place that you buy a ticket and wait on platforms for trains. Is it "train station". Or "railway station" This is directly inside the Wellington Railway Station*, the cavernous entrance area but not actually the useful working part of the place, merely the bit you walk through to get to the useful bit. Looks good though eh. I do love Wellington Railway Station. *  even if the Wellington one is called "railway station", are all AoNZ ones called that?

Ship Stickers

Protest stickers from around the world.

"You can do it Mel!"

September 2018 and it was a lunchtime at Te Papa so I had popped out to get a breath of fresh air. At the diving board there was a crowd, always a sign that there's someone throwing themselves into the harbour water. Music playing though, and the crowd were looking to the left of the diving board. Two perfectly reasonable looking office people had unreasonably dressed up in 80s leggings and tutus and were giving the cheering crowd a show to behold. Synchronised dancing was happening, and they had obviously practiced. Then up popped the man. Up to the top of the diving board and without a care in the world he launched himself off. Kersploosh followed by cheers! It was Mel's turn ... would she be so brave ...  I have an album of photos and videos , including dancing - top work those two Plunket peeps and spo typical of Wellington Waterfront to throw up something like this of a random lunchtime.

Major Climate Changes Inevitable And Irreversible

Golly, and eek, and ... 

Arthur Knauful and Evel Knievel ... Really?

Where does the name Evel Knievel come from? It’s a memorable one for sure. The surname was all his own. Born Robert Craig Knievel in Butte, Montana, the young man lived an active life and wanted to do stunts from an early age. Falling foul of the law, he spent the night in prison. There, he met Arthur Knauful, who had the alternate first name “Awful”. According to ABC Balancing Beads, the cops christened Robert “Evil” Knievel to complement Knauful. He changed it later to the more distinctive “Evel”. Yes! YES! YES! YES! Arthur Knauful and Evel Knievel ... come on! I recently heard this story on the  No Such Thing As A Fish podcast  and voila here it is again in my RSS reader from The Vintage News :) Now, is it true ... dunno. By Kat Walsh (User:Mindspillage) - , CC BY-SA 4.0, A search for Arthur Knawful brings up a lot regarding the 1978 play, The Adventures of Awful Kn

There Is A Niche For Everyone

It would be so so easy to take the piss. It's hard not to grin, I'll give you that. It's a lesson in empathy and seeing things from someone else's passion. If you can do that then we'll get along just fine. AND, you will learn something, seriously, you will ... well ok I can't guarantee that, but I now know why there is a gap in the roundabout signs. Come on, 21.9K subscribers can't all be wrong. And neither can the 955,845 views by 955,844 people on this video,

Women In Science, They DO Exist

In 1967, Burnell made a discovery that altered our perception of the universe. As a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University assisting the astronomer Anthony Hewish, she discovered pulsars — compact, spinning celestial objects that give off beams of radiation, like cosmic lighthouses. (A visualization of some early pulsar data is immortalized as the album art for Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures.”) But as Ben Proudfoot's "The Silent Pulse of the Universe" shows, the world wasn’t yet ready to accept that a breakthrough in astrophysics could have come from a young woman. See more of "Almost Famous:"

Flags At Half Mast

27th September, 2018 ... anyone remember why the flags all over Aotearoa New Zealand were at half mast? Answer here ...

Full Rainbow Warrior

I was obviously enamoured by the Rainbow Warrior, here's me taking even more photos. [ previous ]

Māori Data Belongs To Māori

"Māori data belongs to Māori", a statement that seems self explanatory and obvious, and yet this is a (edited+filtered) photo from the Stats NZ hosted Data Summit in 2018 and I suspect Professor Tahu Kukutai could brush off her awesome presentation and it would still be valid with very little, if any, progress/changes having occured in the intervening years. "Māori data belongs to Māori" hits systemic hurdles at every stage of enacting this simple phrase. Why is that? Are the questions you are forming the same when you think of the phrase, "Individual data belongs to the individual"?

3D Light

Pavement patterns made with lights that look slightly 3D-ish and have a furry body.

Top View

Top down view of two very popular buildings.

Rainbow Warrior, part 3

As everyone in AoNZ knows the original Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace's flagship, was blown up and sunk in Auckland Harbour by the French foreign intelligence services , the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure ( DGSE ) 10 July 1985 killing one crew member - read about it on Wikipedia . This is the 3rd version  Rainbow Warrior , on a visit to Wellington Harbour in August 2018.

Poor Knights Lily?

Anyone able to confirm that this is a Xeronema callistemon also known as Poor Knights lily ? Gotta love the etymology thread of this plant: The common name of the plant originates from the Poor Knights Islands on which it was discovered. The islands, in turn, were so named because of their similarity in shape to the Poor Knights Pudding – a bread-based dish popular at the time of their discovery by Europeans. [source : Wikipedia: Xeronema callistemon ]

Obsessed With Marvel

Meg's journey with the Marvel movies has been one of a long non-start, a deep dive, and 'ended' with a ♥️ moment I shall never ever forget. Watching your daughter grow and evolve is a gift that nothing can surpass.

Fractured View

Looking through rippled glass.