As a mainlander it’s always a bit of a chore going to the big city at the top of the other island.
My most recent excursion was pretty hectic; traffic, work and other big city kind of stuff, enough to leave any man parched and in need of a cool, refreshing beverage. I was looking forward to quenching my mega city thirst with an ice cold Speight’s in Air New Zealand’s revamped Koru Lounge. It seemed all that was standing between me and my little slice of home was an arduous journey through the world’s least transit friendly city. Thankfully I was couriered to Auckland Airport by my good friend Jo in her white lightening late 80’s Nissan Sunny negotiating the loony’s on the road with consummate aplomb. What a beast of a car, always a highlight of my trips to the big smoke.
Seeing this seasons NRL roar into life without its signature defensive move the shoulder charge bought to mind the now age old (age old being the last 40 years) debate, “is today’s generation just a pack of slick haired money hungry pansies compared to the hardened men of past era’s”, eras where medical research into head trauma didn’t exist it’s worth noting or as we evolving to a more sensible and mature civilisation which seeks to protect its athlete’s from undue risk?
A few weeks ago while exchanging some banter in the commentary box at Rugby Park I got wind of a possible yarn from my old mate, Otago Stalwart John Latta.
The crafty old bugger told me his neighbour was having a crack at Miss Universes New Zealand and had made the final 20. Initially I was a skeptical reminding him that Balclutha while being a bustling southern metropolis isn't known for its topless beaches or lingerie models. He assured me it was genuine and being a red blooded southern male partial to taking a cheeky peak at the odd fraulein I thought this was a story I needed to go dig out.
I finally caught up with Kristie over a few jugs of Speight’s last Friday where she filled me in on why a good southern lass more comfortable on the tractor than the catwalk would want to put herself through all the shenanigans of a Miss Universe.
As tradition states each Christmas I receive a biography tailored for a Kiwi male. Its subject is generally a national or international sporting icon, tradition also dictates that I read this in one day, typically Boxing Day, as I laze around the holiday house in Manapouri. This is a nice addition to the usual fare of sock, undies, petrol vouchers, a few more inches around the waist and strands of grey hair.
It may seem semi-detached from reality but I have no plans for the advanced years of my life.
Firstly, with the rate my memory is malfunctioning (possibly due to the accumulation of quiet ales) coupled with excessive levels of joint degradation, my ability to function into old age will be minimal at best so it would be remiss of me to plan years as a silver fox golfing and tending to my petunias.
Emerging from the scratcher a little dazed and confused after a rather decent session on the soda pop the day before was the easy part of my event preparation. Rescuing my mate’s Foxy-cross Jose from a year of fine dining and couch living was the hard part.
Jose thought his Winter Festival duties were complete after his obligatory appearance in the Air New Zealand Kia ora magazine and a cheeky wee photo shoot for the Otago Daily Times the previous week.
Out of a selfless concern for the future of Queenstown’s tourism industry and inspired by David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series I’ve spent the last two weeks tracking one of the great tourist migrations.
Scandinavian tourist season from January to April each year involves the migration of juveniles making their first trip out of the nest halfway around the world to escape the harsh northern winter.
Wellington 7's - From what I can derive from photos, patches of memory and voicemail, not to mention my imagination, this is how the sevens unfolded.
It nearly went pear-shaped from the get-go, after my Rocky Balboa costume arrived on my doorstep a mere 10 minutes before my sweaty dash through 30-degree heat to the airport.
Arriving sodden, flustered and without time for my customary pre-flight airport terminal Speight's it was stressful times.
At least my costume cost only $110 – the Chewbaccas apparently spent $700 on theirs!
Despite the plethora of tacky campaign adverts, stock standard election-year bickering and vote buying, it’s refreshingly easy to be distracted from the election hype, living in this unique part of the world.
You only have to take a glance out the window at snow-dusted mountains – in November?! – to realise the insignificance of anything a government can do compared with the real forces that shape our world.
INTRO: As seems to be customary in the Ionian Islands my stay at Corfu’s infamous Pink Palace lasted a little longer than the 2 nights I had planned. Upon sobering up long enough to compile some reasoned cranial thoughts I felt it appropriate to pontificate some glaring similarities between the Palace and extremist religious sects more commonly referred to as cults.
Subscribe to updates below