Wednesday, December 26

nietzsche christmas

Looking for some holiday reading, on hotters' recent recommendation I downloaded some Nietzsche - Beyond Good And Evil in the English translation. I got as far as page 1 and a half. Dearie me!

The leading deifheid dudes are all out of town, so the obligatory two days of Xmas socialising has been less painful than usual. Of course the food's still the usual: designer dips, tortured chickens, and dry turkey. Sugary desserts that are too sickly even for the kids. I avoid most of the food, and fill up on decent stuff when I get back home.

Cellmate Santa gave me three concert tickets for next year. I got two presents from Albert: a blogging app that allows proper HTML with links. And Spinal Tap de luxe blu-ray edition. Recently I watched a Black Sabbath documentary, which reminded me just how accurate was the Spinal Tap film. If anything, the Sabbath story was even funnier.

Santa decided I didn't need one of these, seen recently on a toy shop shelf here:

Monday, December 24

swimming with the fishes again

Caution - this post is rude in parts, and without photos for obvious reasons.

Christmas Eve was spent snorkelling again, this time at a nude beach so Kev could show off his snorkel. For the record, Albert was in a wetsuit.

It was an unspoilt beach, away from habitation and with absolutely no facilities. Not crowded. A couple of families, several gay couples and singles, some musclebound Mediterranean types, and some very sporting nude babes.

I like to chill, but Kev likes to be active. So while he went walkabout I sunbathed on a towel. Soon, a new couple arrived. They had the whole beach to choose from, yet came over and stood about a foot and a half from my head, talking non-stop in Hebrew or Arabic, and rubbing sunscreen into each other. It went on and on. Finally they lay down, still strangely close to me but at least they quit talking.

Later when I told Kev, he said "yes, they do that all the time, the Islamics, it's how they start riots". Kev's world view is unorthodox to say the least. I suggested it was culturally-different ideas of respecting private physical space, and/or the couple simply needing their heads examined. Reminded me of the the lesbian couple with the screaming baby choosing the table right beside Albert.

After lunch we went rock-scrambling barefoot (not just -foot in Kev's case). Kev, who's every bit as sociable as Albert isn't, chatted along the way to spear fishermen, and to a guy with a plastic kayak that comes apart at the middle (for transport and in case you want to insert an extra mid-section to make it a 2-person kayak).

Whenever we walked past nude babes or a nude couple, Kev with his customary tact would swivel his head and pop his eyes out, and say loudly "that Sheila's got a nice ####". You have to remember he comes from Australia.

We passed a leathery guy lying alone on a rock. Kev said "ask him what he's got on his c@!#". Right enough, the guy had ... well, not so much a cock ring as a whole set of interlocking Chinese metal puzzles. The guy rolled over, and Kev said out loud "oh look! he must want people to see what's wrong with his anus!" And truly there was something unusual there, but mercifully I only caught a glimpse, so there's still a chance I won't have nightmares tonight.

Friday, December 21

swimming with the fishes

Yesterday I went snorkelling with Cap'n Kev. My first time. A great way to lose your bearings in all three dimensions at once. Comfort zones are gone. You inhale water until you get the hang of the snorkel.

But eventually you're floating calmly, like flying way above the colourful sea-bed, and you soon forget all about sharks. I saw rays, and started following a fat grouper around. They don't get spooked. Kev jabbed one with his finger, and it turned round and stood its ground.

Back on land afterwards, I was quite disoriented - not physically, but for a while it felt like re-learning how to stand, walk, and converse sensibly. It was not unpleasant. The coffee was like my first cup ever.

I have to do it all over again on Monday.

birds nest fern

I used to wonder how the Birds Nest Fern got its name. It's not as if it looks like a bird's nest.

My workmate Q keeps chickens. Although there's a perfectly good hen-house, some of them have their own ideas about where to lay, and the most popular nesting spot is in a birds nest fern.

Tuesday, December 18

the day after

The pub evening with Kev and his cabin girl went off okay. I got over-animated and spilled my pint, and I managed a few insults without trying. Since the old dear died I seem to have stepped into her shoes as family chief of tactlessness. But I managed to stay sober enough not to be a total twat.

I got a present from Kev. Two bottles of wheat beer from Australia. And a bag of hotboyesian yogurt or pizza, I'm not up on the technicalities. I can re-gift it as a stocking filler for Dances.

Cabin girl:



Sunday, December 16


Day one of the summer holidays! I walked someone else's dog, a strangely pleasant sensation.

The last few weeks have been a weary stagger to the finishing line. First there was the heat exhaustion after sand papering the outside of the house for hours in the sun. Then there was the frenzy of chaos at work. Excessive multi-tasking and task-switching wound me down to a befuddled paralysis - actually a new experience for a Bavarian toilet-trainer.

To drive myself onwards at work, I resorted to drug abuse - swilling so much tea that I could barely taste it any more. What a waste! And when that stopped working, I moved on to coffee.

Tonight I meet Cap'n Kev for our usual Xmas blooter. 2 or 3 half-price half-pints in happy hour. After that, my diary's free till next year. Hurray!

I just remembered, Dances is on his way over here to be a bad influence. To this day, his old mother still believes that I was the bad influence on him! Just because I gave him some orange sunshine I was too feart to take.

Saturday, December 15

scientists un-discover phantom island

A South Pacific island identified on Google Earth and world maps does not exist, according to scientists who went searching for it during a geological expedition.

The sizeable phantom island in the Coral Sea is shown as Sandy Island on Google Earth and Google maps and is supposedly midway between Australia and New South Caledonia.

"It's on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no Sandy Island. We're really puzzled. It's quite bizarre."

A New South Caledonian commentator pointed out that the recent hurricane was named Sandy, just like the missing island. Coincidence? I suspect the hurricane blew its own island away, to balance things up.

Friday, December 14

riches and riffs

At the allegedly auspicious 12 minutes and 12 seconds past 12 on 12/12/12, we were in our first-ever meeting with a financial planner. We're obviously going to be rich! Or at least according to the guy, we'll never be poor enough to be entitled to a state pension. Good news which is also bad news - I had always consoled myself that one day I'd get something back from the government.

We began our new life by paying him several thousand caledonian dollars for his advice. Of course, just being still alive is the best riches you can have. At 20 I couldn't imagine living to 30. Then at 30 it looked like I'd be lucky to make 35. Now that I'm umpty and time's running out, the main challenge may be how to blow all the gold before I kick it.

The music of Queen always struck me as just a blue-collar 10CC. Hyperactive warbling for listeners who like the idea of liking music but find this is the nearest they can get, because really they only understand visual pomp. But recently I enjoyed a documentary about Freddy Mercury, who seemed like a really nice guy - shy, sad and self-deprecating. And you have to admire his energy and power on stage. I even caught myself singing along with most of the awful anthems.

When I was about 25, I would escape Edinburgh most weekends, to stay at Dazzle's estate. One Saturday night I had to share the living room floor with Dazzle's pal Rich, just back from a long job on an oil rig. You know how certain people can cause an instant dislike? An extreme deifheid with no interest in what anyone else had to say, he kept me awake half the night with stories of the concert he had recently been to, raving about some guy Freddie Mercury. From then on I decided to avoid both of them.

Next week there's a documentary about Black Sabbath, whom I saw before they were famous, at the Electric Garden with my school chum Dances. Long before the wonderful riffs of Paranoid. They were a blue collar band too, on a mismatched double bill with Rare Bird, whose claim to fame was their one morose hit, Sympathy. In those days the audience sat on a bare floor. Nowadays concert halls have proper seats but everyone stands up.

The groupie grannie at work has become a raver since her old dear passed away. She went to concerts almost every night last week - Devo, Blondie, Simple Minds (who started out playing outdoors for free across from my place, and I had to listen to them whether I wanted to or not). Best of all she saw The Stranglers (who in the 70s fell out with The Damned and Sex Pistols - probably because the Stranglers could actually play).

If you haven't yet seen the dogs taught to drive a car around a race track, google something like NZ Dog Driving Test.

Friday, December 7

two fingers

First, a quick thank you to the late Dave Brubeck, for the joy of all that music for head, heart and feet.

Last weekend, I agreed to go to yet another deifheid affair. This one had fawning catering staff bring the finger food and champagne to you, so there was no need to tear yourself away from the endless conversation. Oh joy!

I only consented to go because it was promoted as pre-Christmas drinks, just 2 hours out of my life. But in my particular corner of New South Caledonia, all deals become void as soon as you walk in to a party, and I was trapped yet again in an endless hopeless tunnel of waste of time. And I was driving, so I didn't even have the alcohol option.

After the first hour of listening to the usual random snippets of self-promotion, I went to talk to the cat, before settling down on the front doorstep with a good e-book and a cloud of mosquitoes. Like a good chauffeur, I waited patiently for my fare.

Three months ago I left a deifheid dinner party right after the meal, offering the genuine excuse that I had to go home and lay concrete. Our host from that time took offence, and snubbed me on Saturday. So I guess I'll have to resign myself to being off their guest list. I'll try and make the best of it.