Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I heard a story tonight that quite appalled me. One of the loaders that I have gotten to know reasonably well at one of the depots I go to paid me the honor of confiding in me tonight. he is an Island boy & like a lot of Island families, he & his wife not only have a lot of love for their own kids, they have also taken an extra under their wings. Turns out though that this kid who is 12 years old is bit of a bad apple, getting heavily involved with a bad crowd. The crowning insult was him stealing money from Mum & lying about it. The punishment was 5 cuts across the bum with a "Soft Belt" Apparently while this was happening, he fell forward & hit his face on a table. He ended up with blood coming from his nose & due to a complaint  by a neighbor, the police were called.

My friend was arrested, threatened with a Taser & spent 2 nights in the cells. On his release he was told that he wasn't allowed to go home. At the moment, he is sleeping either in his van on the side of the road, or, when he can get one, using one of the drivers rooms at his place of work. Now I will be the first to hold my hand up & say,"But this is all according to him & may not necessarily be true, but it isn't the only incident. I was also told tonight of another similar incident where a father was summarily banned from his home on the say so of a young lady with history. Fortunately, the police involved, (It happened in a small town) were aware of her history & his rightful place was soon reinstated, but still the fact remains.

Now I'm not condoning parental violence. Quite the contrary. But I do feel uneasy though about a piece of legislation that allows a vindictive pre adolescent to have an adult banned from his own home, especially when he doesn't have a lot of money to spare & has no relatives to stay with. Surely, this is a counterproductive measure if the hoped for end result is reduction of family violence. Surely, treating someone in that fashion is only going to engender more resentment & anger.

So thank you Sue Bradford for being responsible for one of the most ill conceived, poorly enacted & badly enforced piece of shit legislation ever enacted in this country. Obviously, you have never had the dubious experience of being told by a complete stranger that you have been banned from your own home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hi Ho. Hi Ho

So, I'm officially back in the work force. back to giving money to the government instead of standing in the line with my hand out. I don't mind admitting its a good feeling. One of the things I enjoy about my job is the amazing cross section of people I meet & the interesting stories they have to tell. There is one story that I heard last night that I just absolutely have to share with you.

I won't tell you the young man's name for some very valid reasons. I'll just call him George OK ? Neither will I tell you the name of the company he works for. George is my loader & checker at one of the larger freight companies I visit at night. Large enough to be multi national, so its pretty big. What George does is assemble all my freight in one place, collect all the relevant data & consignment notes for my manifest, hand them in to the office so they can print my manifest out then load my truck & trailor. At this, he is extremely good, using his forklift with the precision of a pair of forceps in a skilled surgeons hand. Inevitably, we have a few minutes every night to pass in amiable conversation. George is a quiet, modest, & extremely well spoken young man with a wonderful sense of humour.

He became very interested last week when I mentioned going to see my Mum, even asking on Monday night how she was. It turns out that his Mum passed away recently leaving him with her dying wish that he takes over the care of his 11 year old sister, a responsibility that he has taken on gladly, though I think it does weigh a little heavy on his shoulders at times. Turns out that his Dad was Tongan & his Mum Maori & he grew up in Northland.

Inevitably, we started comparing tattoos & asked after the significance of one of his. He casually informed me, "Oh thats a prison tat." Then his story emerged. It turned out that he had done 5 years for assault. I asked him if he had learned his lesson & he said, "Oh yes. I used the time to go back through my schooling, get a grade 2 certificate in Horticulture & learn about my Mum's culture. When I got out I was asked to do the welcome at a new Woman's Refuge in Hamilton for a special guest of honour." When he got there he found that the guest was actually our beloved Prime Minister, John Keye. After the welcome was over & George had led him inside, the PM asked him what he was doing. George replied, "I'm just out of prison & looking for a job." JK replied, "I may be able to help you there, I have a few contacts in business," & gave him a name & number to ring. So George ended up seeing the CEO for New Zealand of the company he now works for. I thought it an amazing story & told him so. He replied,"Yeah, but I still don't vote National though," climbed back on his forklift & carried on loading my truck.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

New Beginnings

Well, I made it home alright. Whispa & I overnighted in Christchurch with no other problems than me feeding her something which upset her little tummy badly & gave her a screaming dose of the shites. Sadly, I gave her the second lot of mince before I realised what the problem was & so we both paid the price when I left her in Sherman for the ferry crossing. Thank you Peter for a lovely afternoon with your family before the crossing. Thank God for old blankets & rubber floor mats, apart from the bit I missed & sat in... A night with Heather & Rob, after I had lost my way getting there, then a trip up to Greytown for a stop over with Janet.

It's always good to see Janet. She is pretty much my oldest & dearest netfriend & we had a lot of catching up to do & a lot of laughing to do as well. Thank you Janet for a wonderful end to a wonderful holiday. And so home, by a slightly devious route, as the Manawatu Gorge road remains closed due to slip damage.

The next day, Dori came up for a visit from Tirohanga Beach & my whole life changed. It was only going to be for a few days, then I was going down to her place for a few days & we were going to sort out what was going to happen from there. To say I was like a spotty teenager on his first date waiting for her to arrive would be a mild understatement. I think our mutual fates were pretty much sealed from the first hug & kiss. It's strange to physically meet someone for the first time & yet know them so well because of the time spent talking online.

To cut to the chase, Dori doesn't live in Tirohanga Beach any more. We are sufficiently smitten with each other that we are convinced we can build a new life together that will overcome the sadness & bereavement that we both have had in our recent pasts. It's taken a few trips to get her here, but here she is & here she stays. Now begins the wonderful task of integrating our mutual possessions, sorting out who does what in the relationship & finding gainful employment for us both. I am going to apply for a position as a Disability Support Advocate with a local Health Group & as yet we aren't sure what Dori is going to do, although there are a number of part time options open to her with similar hours to what I will hopefully be working.

So there it is & here we are. I'm sorry that it has taken a little while to update my blog, but as you can appreciate, I have been a bit busy one way or another. I will be continuing this blog as I really enjoy my writing, so stay tuned. I'm sure the ride will be an interesting one.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thoughts on erectile dysfunction in Dinosaurs & other absurd notions

I've had a lovely day today. Today we had Anna's second birthday party. Well to be more specific, its Anna's second 4th birthday party. You see, she had one on the actual day & this one so that her Rainbow Connection friends could come. I ended up doing more than I sort of envisaged. You see, someone had to go to the supermarket & blow up all the balloons I guess. I'm not really into hordes of screaming kids round my knees, but I must admit that it felt pretty good.

Its my last night here. I'm feeling sad because I am leaving two wonderful familys behind me & I have no way of knowing when I will see them again. Whispa & I have had a wonderful time. She has just absolutely blossomed under all the attention from the little ones & she loves them as well especially when they are gentle. She sits there & gravely accepts all the attention they can offer. Anna & I have had some lovely walks in the park together. I shall miss those. I suspect that Whispa will miss gravely trotting along behind a little girl as well, so I guess we will be a little bit sad together.

We had a lovely little silly session tonight as well. Both the kids are into dinosaurs, complete with sound effects. I was accorded the privilege of being awarded my own dinosaur. Sadly though, he had a wonky wing. Well, to be precise, when I was presented with him, he was missing a wing. I think he may have even been a mythological creature, not a dinosaur, but for the purposes of the game it didnt really matter. What did matter, however, was that being minus one wing made it terribly difficult for him to fly. In fact, it put us at a serious disadvantage. casting quickly around, I found the missing appendage on the floor. Success at last ! But no, it turns out that the wing was decidedly wonky, refusing to stay erect on its own. Not knowing any saurian equivalents to Viagra, we retreated from the field of battle, bloodied but unbowed.

I wont be staying at Waimate either on the way home. Regrettable because I was rather looking forward to catching up with Leonie & Bob, but still, every cloud has its silver lining, in that it means I can be that little bit further down the road when I stop. I'm planning on carrying on to Christchurch & staying at a pet friendly motel there. will make it that much less distance to cover for Picton & give me time for a catch up with Pete before I catch the ferry back across the straights.

It will be good to finally be on the same bit of dirt as Dori. It will be good to finally get home as well. I miss my little puddytats, I miss my own bed & i miss my home. Coupled with that, I have also had a good rest & recharge time & now feel ready to start a whole new life together. I dont know what sort of life it will be. Thats the exciting/scary part. I am facing a whole new existence with a new outlook & a new & exciting girlfriend. It's going to be a little scary for both of us I guess, but its going to be a hell of a ride...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beating around bushes & other stuff..

I have been doing a bit of this lately & in all fairness to those concerned I should really stop it. Those concerned, are myself, the new lady in my life, & anyone bored enough to actually read what I write here. Yes folks, you read it right. The old fellow has a new romantic interest in life. gather round, pull up a bean bag & a sardine sandwich & I'll tell you the tale.

Its not a very long one. Dori & I met on the internet. Yes folks thats right, an internet romance. It didnt take us very long to discover a mutual spark that went beyond just getting to know each other as friends. Talking via Skype has only brought out a much greater depth of feeling than either of us ever thought could be possible. We haven't actually physically met yet, but we already feel that we have known each other half a life time. We are both really looking forward to our first meeting when I return home in a few days time.

We both have an awful lot in common. I'm not going to bore you with details, but we both feel that we are kindred spirits enough to be happy together & I know we will. So be happy for us. We have both been through the mill a bit & lost partners/spouses. I thijnk we deserve our place in the sun now, so look forward to hearing about us. I'm sure the ride will be interesting.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A new years starts.

Well, I saw the new year in, as you know, in Invercargill. It was good, apart from being pretty much as far as it is possible to be away from home, so the trip back to Dunedin was sort of like theb start of the long run home.

I'm staying with Sean & his family at the moment & enjoying it. Taking Anna for a walk every morning to the park & being really very silly. its a good release. Also it means that for the first time in her 4 year life, I have been able to share her birthday with her. That means a lot to me, & I thoroughly enjoyed it. The little dog is enjoying being here & is becoming very protective with the kids which is lovely to see. She even went in & gave them both a kiss goodnight the other night.

The whole trip has been a wonderful healing process for me. Although I did much of my grieving while Jude was still alive, the time away has given me breathing space & imbued me with a new firm sense of direction & a fresh sense of purpose. I know now where my life is heading & what I want to do now. So I'm staying here till Monday. Sunday will see Anna's big birthday party. Monday will see me & the little dog on the road home. I will be a lot more relaxed thiis time. My first stop will be at Waimate to stay a night with some old friends there. I will probably cross on the ferry sometime Tuesday night, then will stay in Upper Hutt the next night. Then on to Greytown for the final night of my holiday with Janet & her man. Then heigh ho for home.

Im ready to be home now. There are big things happening in my life, with promise of even bigger things to come. I'm ready for it now. My life is holding a lot of promise of things to come. That is of course if it all doesnt come to a shuddering halt in December like the Mayans reckon.... Happy New Year

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year with Madz

One of the nice things about travelling is that you get to meet new people & go places you haven't been before. Sounds a bit obvious I know, but I don't look at going someplace you have been half a zillion times before as travelling. I just look at it as going some place to do something. To me, travelling is going to new places & meeting new people. Therefore, by my definition, I am travelling. This leg of the trip is the first bit that I have truly done on my own & its been an uplifting & exhilarating experience. I had almost forgotten what it is like to be truly free on the road. Not that I didn't enjoy travelling with Jude. A lot of my really good memories of her involve the trips & travelling that we did together. But still, being on my own is a whole new experience. Well, nearly on my own. I still have a little travelling mate to consider. She travels very well. She has figured out a cosy little nest in behind the passengers seat where she can stretch out & be comfortable & not get thrown around at all & lays there with her head on the center console only coming out for a sniff when I slow down.

So, here I am at Madz' place in Invercargill. I have never been further south than Balclutha on SH1 before, so it was new ground. I stopped at Gore for lunch & me & the dog shared a lovely steak & onion toasted sammy & chips. Lovely just sitting on the pavement chatting to people as they walked by. So on to Invercargill.

Madz is lovely. Aside from an 18 year old daughter, she also has an 18 month old as well. Also there is a seemingly endless stream of her daughters friends in & out of the house which is great. They are all wonderfully polite young adults, some of them even calling me "sir" I havent been called that in a long time. One of them even elected to stay & have a few drinks with Madz & I rather than go partying. We had a most interesting talk about anarchy versus self determination that I think came out ahead on points in. At the very least, I hope he has gone away with something to think about. In a nice way of course.

So we saw the new year in with the aid of some rum & coke, & the net, so my new friend that I have could join us on line. This morning, I decided to take my dog for a nice long walk along the railway embankment. Thats when I found out that Invercargill weather is like the little girl with the curl right in the middle of her forehead. When it is good, it is very very good & when it is bad it is horrid. We had beautiful weather yesterday. Lovely & sunny. I thought that I would be able to go out & have a good vigorous walk to shake off the post alcohol blues, but no. No more than 5 minutes in, the wind came up & a cold southerly front with rain started moving in so we came home. A descision that the little dog was more than in agreance with. Madz is going to do a nice roast of pork for new years lunch today. I'm looking forward to it. Tomorrow i will head back to Dunedin to spend time with my eldest son. I am looking forward to it. It marks the start of the long road home & the beginning of a whole new life for me.