Friday, 25 January 2008

It’s the final countdown

Almost. Was going to hand in my official resignation today, but my Acting Manager is away for the day. The change of ticket is finalised and paid for, departing these distant shores on 27 March, flying via Sydney and Taipei to Delhi on China Airlines. Haven’t paid for my insurance yet, as I’ve been doing the rounds of all the insurance companies to get the best value for money, as a result of which my travel agent said they’ll match the best offer I get. Nice one. Has been slight problematic in that I couldn’t get insurance for any country listed by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs as being an “extreme risk”. That meant Pakistan and basically all in the border areas in Iran, but I’ve decided that discretion is indeed the better part of valour after consulting Pakistani friends of friends, and will hence give that country a very wide body swerve by detouring to Dubai and then on to Bandar Abbas in southern Iran if possible. Should then emerge into eastern Turkey near Van around the end of April in time to meet the missus somewhere else in that country on or around May 10.


Sunday, 13 January 2008

Back again

Okay, okay, it's been a while, but I'm back from my mental health exile and ready to fire a few more shots from a moderately well-stocked anecdotal arsenal. And just in case you were wondering, it wasn't our dismal display in France last year that precipitated my sudden disappearance. In fact, I'm so over 'The Code' after that flaccid performance against the French in Cardiff that it's not likely to rate a mention at all anymore; at least not until the start of the Super 14 in a couple weeks time. I hope tvc has taken note of the fact that the parcel sent over for Laura doesn't contain even a hint of All Black merchandising - she can use Emma's hand-me-downs after all ;)

Haven't been totally inactive since October 2007, although as usual with the arrival of summer, my Vitamin D addiction has taken control, preventing me from spending more than one minute under cover whenever the sun's out. I've put my time outside to good use by constructing a glasshouse in the vegetable patch. See below. Erection wouldn't have been complete without a few lacerated fingers, of course, though I didn't count on the near-miss that resulted from tripping over while running across a busy road in spongey jandals carrying a large replacement pane of glass. I've had visions ever since of impaling myself on glass shards and dying in 30 seconds flat from eviscerated stomach organs while being cradled in the arms of Libor of all people (more on that at a later date...). Fuck, what a dick I must have looked. The glazier did a good business that day. Anyway, the glasshouse was completed in the end, and the tomatoes, capsicum and cucumbers are doing well. The rest of the garden is all a bit leafy at the moment from having prepared the vegetable patch with too much nitrogen at the expense of some counter-balancing phosphate. All you apartment-dwellers will understand that this comes from sowing too much mustard seed over the winter months and not enough lupin, eh?

Monday, 8 October 2007

Great one-liner

"Belts and shoelaces please." - A Scottish spectator to downcast All Black fans as they streamed for the Millennium Stadium exits.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Bird watching

And while I'm here and have got the rugby thing off my chest for another four years, I'm posting another little video clip taken yesterday while I was off rat catching in the forest again. I came across this Kereru feeding in some bushes as I walked along. It's not so common that you can get so close to one, although admittedly they're not the quickest and smartest of creatures.

You're oot.....again

Well, I guess it was inevitable. I forgot my own Golden Rule: the team that I support never wins. And just in case Bedrich is suffering from a fever and is tempted to post something here, I'm getting in first. I well remember his texted message while travelling back to Prague from Brno in 1999 when the All Blacks were turfed out of the World Cup by the French: a very sympathetic "You're oot!"

And so it happened again. Absolutely fucking amazing. We had 72% of the possession and we still managed to mangle it. The ref had a howler of a match by yellow carding Luke McAlister for a dive taken by a French player and not calling the forward pass that led to the last French try, but a great team should overcome bad reffing decisions. The ABs actually played well, but the coach's rotational policy counted against them in the end as the combinations weren't tried and true enough, and Daniel Carter should not have been playing ahead of Nick Evans because of the injury that eventually forced him from the field. But one must give credit where it's due and the French defensive effort was superb, the break by Michalak a classic and the discipline tremendous not to concede a penalty in the last quarter.

What we need now is to play some really shite ruby for the next four years so that we don't have the burden of being labelled the best team in the world. That shouldn't be a problem actually because this current team will be cleaned out now as a big number of them head toward the money in England and France, so we'll be in a rebuilding stage for a while. I just hope either France or Argentina win the cup coz I couldn't stand the gloating that would come from an English or a Saffer victory.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Cute doggies

Feeling very unimaginative sitting here listening to Bruce Springsteen's latest, Magic. Very bloody good it is, too. The novelty value of posting little video clips hasn't worn off yet, so I just took this one of Lidunka and Petr, plus you get the added bonus of seeing a piece of the back yard and an incredibly well-constructed deck. Nice birdsong too, if you have sound.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Liberec Town Hall, live!

Les gazouillis des bébés de Bedrich en fond sonore et l'humour, en toutes circonstances, de notre ami Charlie!