Tag Archive: New Zealand


Finally, I Crashed

Yup, just after midnight fireworks which lasted about a half hour in our neighbourhood, I made my excuses and toddled off home. I was ready for bed. Midnight hours are a thing of the past as I advance in my dotage.

My native NZ was the first to see the New Year in. Although news services make more fuss about Sydney, NZ merely gets a mention. Some news services even classify Sydney as being the first; they’d better get the atlases out, or today it would be more appropriate to check Google Maps. They also get their facts wrong, a news item yesterday mentioned 1.5 million people in Sydney. but only 1 million in Copacabana; in fact there were more than 2 million in Copacabana this year.
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NZaheadAuckland’s Sky Tower gets the honours of being the most publicised.

Sky Tower, Auckland

Sky Tower, Auckland

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Anyway, I’ve never seen it. In fact, I never even saw the celebration in my home town. I always thought that people were fools to rush into the Square and much preferred private parties with friends.

It’s all over now, the world can return to normal and continue on its course of destruction.

Today promises to be hotter than yesterday, which was bloody-hotºC, so the temp today could reach very-bloody-hotºC and mean a lot of chilled beer to stay sane.

I went to the neighbour’s for BBQ, just a few friends there. Way to much food, which I made an earnest effort to reduce. Watched the fireworks at midnight and that’s where I came in, read the first paragraph

Watered the plants, checked the passion fruit vines; flowers again yesterday. If they don’t start producing some fruit I may have to pollinate the flowers myself. Because the bees don’t seem to be doing their job.

Time to poke my head out the gate. I know the botequim is open, I may have a beer before lunch.

Later.

I am so confused

I spent all night drinking iced water and having cold showers to try and get some sleep, then at 6am I was drinking coffee to try and stay awake.

Happy-New-Year-2015-New-ZealandNew Year has alredy begun in my native New Zealand.

It will slowly wind its way around the world until it gets to Brazil in 15 hours.

We got our promised rain last night about 6pm, a pathetic two minutes. It was enough to make the ground steamy and appear hotter than before.

The sun is out, so it looks like we’ll get to our sixth day of 40ºC+ which is a good enough reason to have a BBQ and drink beer.

My neighbours have disappeared. They were last seen on Monday when Lincoln got the car out of my garage in the morning.

I really can’t be bothered with New Year, for me it is just another day. The sun rises, the sun sets. I still have to do the dishes. Too much money is spent on fireworks, especially in Brazil by those who don’t have it to spend on food and clothes for the kids.

The fireworks display at the presidential palace in Brasilia (the capital) is being paid for by funds meant for the annual renovation of schools and school transport as well as other social measures. The people are up in arms, the court ruled that it had to stop, the council appealed the ruling in their favour, the people appealed again, the result will come out today. This is a very Brazilian thing… “Oh we don’t have the money… lets rob the coffers!”

New-Year-ResolutionsNew Years resolutions are a lot of bunkum. I make one every year and that is NOT to make any New Year resolutions. It’s the only one that I manage to keep.

But I will wish all my visitors/followers and fellow bloggers…

Happy New Year

And for those where it hasn’t arrived yet.

Keep-calm-and-new-year-is-coming-sayingAustralia has to be the Silly Box candidate for today. They voted against the Palestine UN membership; making sure the resolution failed by one vote. Guarantee the US told them to. Tony Idiott is just a puppet.

I relly should put my pants on and go and water my plants.

I also need more coffee. It may well be the last coffee of the year.

There may be an update, then again, there may not be.

Later.

Nothing Short of a Miracle

Not this type of record

Not this type of record

7am and all my blogging is done for the day. Yes, that’s a record.

Question is… Now what do I do?

I have to try my hand at carpentry. I cut the wood for some shelves a week or so ago, now I have to nail them together.

There’s always the dishes. OMG what a prospect.

Then, there’s the kitty box needs new sand.

I have to put some credits in my cellphone; then ring the ex and wish her Happy Mother’s Day. I didn’t have credits last weekend.

I am waiting for a package from DHL sent from NZ. I’ve been tracking it. First it went to Singapore, then Germany, now it’s in Madrid. I guess the next move is Rio. This is so exciting. Now that shows you what a mundane life I lead when tracking a package across the world is the daily highlight.

28 days to go for the World Cup. I noticed this yesterday.

NewZealandorAustralia

Some idiot has given NZ’s flag to Australia. And I’m not sure that South Korea should be called ‘Republic’, it is, but then so is North Korea; this makes it all look like one country. Of course, NZ isn’t playing in this cup, got knocked out by Mexico.

Sunny day out there. I’ve already been outside to chase off two neighbourhood cats attacking my little Clorinha. Lunch is planned, a whopping big pork loin chop more than an inch thick, with boiled potatoes and pumpkin. I’ll probably crack open the bottle of Cocha y Toro Chardonnay that’s chilling out in the fridge.

Clorinha has just brought in a new feather.

She's quick, I nearly missed the shot

She’s quick, I nearly missed the shot

My house is full of feathers! At least she’s not like her father; Cloro brought in coachroaches to play with. I prefer feathers, they’re not so icky.

I do feel a nap coming on…

Later

 

 

 

Farting with Confidence

Darvaza-Turkmenistan The Doorway to Hell

Darvaza-Turkmenistan The Doorway to Hell

Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Two days of suffering the torments of a serious belly ache. There were times I thought that I was on the brink of the Doorway to Hell.

It does exist, you know, talk about ‘a burning ring of fire’ as Johnny Cash put it.

Today is another holiday in Brazil. Zumbi dos Palmares (1655 – November 20, 1695) was the last of the leaders of the Quilombo dos Palmares, a fugitive settlement in the present-day state of Alagoas” – Wikipedia

Last Saturday I was having a beer in the shade in the park in front of the botequim, it was a hot, hot day. We were joined by the local guy who pedals fresh bread rolls around on his bicycle each morning. The conversation became interesting as the guy realised I was a foreigner. We’d never really spoken before apart from the odd time I buy bread rolls, or we pass in the street.

Flat-EarthersThis guy, late fifties of European descent, had absolutely no concept of the world, he didn’t even seem to realise that the world was round and had another hemisphere. His idea of the world was Brazil, Portugal and the heathen Americans fighting in a desert. Strangely enough he also knew that Finland existed, and kept confusing my NZ for Finland. He had no idea that the Pacific Ocean existed, nor of Australia, although he had heard of Africa.

That wasn’t the end of the confusion. He was a Catholic, whereas I am an Atheist, he couldn’t grasp the idea that someone had different beliefs, that was just totally beyond him.

I have met some poorly educated people many times in the past, but never one with such a narrow view of life. It would have been almost pathetic, if he was a decent sort.

Then he left with no idea that he should contribute to the beer he had shared with us, which was considerable.

Zê and I just looked at each other and let him pedal off.

It’s 1am, I have just watched Brazil trounce Chile 2-1 in a good fast clean football game played in Toronto; which was certainly better than last week’s game against Honduras, which as a very dirty game. If Honduras had spent more time playing and less time using dirty tactics maybe they wouldn’t have lost 5-0.

KochApp1Tomorrow tonight, New Zealand plays Mexico… gulp! This game will decide NZ’s fate for the World Cup.

Rather amusing, I saw that there is an app barcode reader that tells you if a product is produced by any of the Koch Brothers industries… I couldn’t believe it; but apparently, if you want to boycott Koch industries it could come in handy.

I got a Happy Blog Anniversary from WordPress…

anniversary-2xMy account is five years old, although I have only been seriously blogging here for two.

I have tentatively had some nibbly things during the evening and it doesn’t seem to have unbalanced my bowels, maybe I can try eating normally today.

It’s now bedtime, if anything noteworthy happens during the day, I’ll do an update.

I’ll leave you with this piece of nostalgia…

Later.

A Lumbering Start

Cure all

Cure all

Today did not start well.

Still have a belly ache, but it is subsiding with the help of the milk of magnesia that I got this morning.

What really pissed me off today was that I discovered that my digital camera had been stolen. I used it on Saturday, but in my rush to clear up the BBQ I had left it on the table in the yard.

I discovered its absence this morning. It’s pretty obvious where it went as the only person to have been in my house was the laundry lady on Sunday morning who hung clothes alongside the table. Missing also was R$2 in coins I had left on the coffee table; this had happened once before, about six weeks ago with a R$2 note.

I was so rattled after discovering the theft, I couldn’t even nap. Then my afternoon student rang and cancelled. Okay that’s when I was off with a hiss and a roar. I went out for some therapy.

One of these

One of these

I bought some new handkerchiefs, milk of magnesia and then went hunting.

I found my prey after visiting three shops; a nice little Canon digital camera. I don’t feel so bad now and managed a nap when I got home.

Now I have to learn my new camera.

This time I’ll be a little more careful.

Oh, and the laundry lady, she’ll be getting a don’t-bother-coming-back when she turns up next week.

Now all that remains is to find a replacement laundry lady, or I could buy a washing machine; I’ve got the money there to pay cash.

1mensalãoBrazil has arrested most of the politicians and bankers that were found guilty in the mensalão scandal, although one escaped to Italy. It will remain to be seen how long they stay in prison. Some have already applied for habeus corpus, which is used far to flippantly here. Brazil’s justice system is a real mockery. Half of the accused, those sentenced to less than 8 years will start off spending only the night in prison, they will be allowed out during the day. Several more, who were sentenced to lesser terms (2 or 3 years), will never see jail, because they will be serving community based sentences. What a bunch of clowns?

The naughty Toronto mayors loses more powers…

Looks like New Zealand has lost its bid for the FIFA World Cup. Mex vs NZ last week, 5-1; next play off is on the 20th, Wednesday in New Zealand. There needs to be a miracle.

Looks like the beginning of the end, just had a nasty altercation with the bathroom. Looks like the old ENOs ad “If the bottom’s falling out of your world… take ENOs and let the world fall…”

With that inspirational thought.

Later.

Which brings me to this point

CastlePointLagoon

Castle Point Lagoon

AH, but which point? You may well ask.

No, not Castle Point in New Zealand, pretty and idyllic though it is; nor am I stalking about PowerPoint, nor indeed an exclamation point.

Neither am I referring to pointing a gun, nor point blank (although the ‘blank’ bit referring to my mind is a possiblility – that’s why I am waffling until inspiration strikes).

I am referring to a point in time.

Point in Time - image: David Middlebrook

Point in Time – image: David Middlebrook

“Paleolithic fossils help us determine points in time. The scale of this replica of the sacred Egyptian “Ibis” bird skull is referring to a possible future point in time. The balancing block of basalt was formed in the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago when the last great extinction of the dinosaurs took place. The lone survivors became the birds of today”… – Read more

Yes, this particular point in time is nearly 10am and this is the last blog post of the day.

I have surpassed myself, I have excelled, I have… well, I have.

Saturdays are often an easy blog-load, because there is not a lot of thinking, rather it is choosing. Finding images and ideas that suit the Satireday on theme on most blogs, ideas that are both satire and/or funny, and that suit the general theme of each blog. On Nether Region, it is always Caturday, and I collect cat LOLs and Memes throughout the week during my browsing. Whatever keywords you put in a search engine, you are almost guaranteed there is a ‘cat’ image somewhere along the line.

So now that I have completed my blogging obligations, I should, begrudgingly, look after the house. I could start with the dishes, but the use of ‘could’ denotes a certain level of unwillingness, or improbability; and that’s how I feel about the dishes.

I may (strong possibility) cook bacon and eggs for breakfast, now that’s a good idea. It does have a drawback though, it creates more dishes, which take me back to the ‘could’ dilemma.

Life is a vicious circle.

Here’s an example of a vicious circle…

See what I mean?

cachaca_51The bacon and egg idea appeals, because it may be (strong possibility again) beer o’clock by then.

But then I have to spend money, which I don’t have much of this month…

Another vicious circle!

I will probably (stronger possibility than ‘may’) put a bottle of wine in the freezer and take that to the bar when suitably chilled. Or I might (weaker possibility) make a caipirinha and take that to the bar, but they have a propensity to get one plastered, not  prospect that I enjoy.

Despite the most popular brand of cachaça (sugar cane brandy) being 51, which is synonymous (because of a TV ad) with being a good idea. Drinking it before the sun is over the yard arm is most certainly NOT a good idea. Because a caipirinha doesn’t last long, and then you need another, and….

See, yet another vicious circle.

Caipirinha mit Limonen

Even the German site I got this image from says ‘Limetten‘ (lime) It’s bullshit!

A caipirinha is very much like a women’s breasts…. one is not enough! They really are so yummy, if they’re made properly with green lemons.

AH, I hear you all, “green lemons are limes!” No, they are not! This, sadly, is an American supposition; if it’s green then it’s a lime, because lemons are yellow. Lemons are sour, limes are sweeter. Here in Brazil, we have green lemons, and it is those green lemons that are used in a caipirinha. The net is full of this erroneous idea that a caipirinha is made with limes. If you make use limes in a caipirinha recipe, or indeed any other fruit, it then becomes a batida, which is NOT a caipirinha!

This is a pet hate of mine on the internet. Along with Brazilian waiters, who should know better, asking if I want a caipirinha made with cachaça or vodka. If it’s made with vodka, then it is a caipivodka, or caipiroska. If I wanted one, I’d ask for it!

It’s now heading towards eleven, a good hour to have breakfast on the weekend.

So I will leave you with this thought, it’s hard being an English teacher, you know too much about the language; sometimes I yearn for the days when I could write without having to justify (to myself) the use of modal verbs.

Later.

BRrrrr! With a capital BR

winedownDamn, it was cold this morning!

It’s not often that one wakes in Rio de Janeiro, beach capital of the world, and shivers as one gets out from under the covers. In fact, it’s not often that one even uses covers.

My feet froze as I had my morning pee, and froze some more as I made my morning coffee. While that was brewing I had to hunt around in my drawers to find an old tracksuit pants to wear.

No classes today, no classes tomorrow, so it’s weekend! Time to wind/e down.

magic door

Magic door

While I was in Barra on Tuesday to visit the magic door, I visited my favourite shop. Lidador is a wonderful place, full of imported wine and foodstuffs. It’s where I get my Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce and Coleman’s mustard powder from. Although, they were out of Lea & Perrins.

*Sulk*

Didn’t want to waste the trip, so I had a good browse. Last time I saw they had a wine from New Zealand that was well under the apparently statutory price of R$100. I had though of getting a bottle, but they had both (only had two) been sold.

During my browsing I spied a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Uruguay. I had never seen a wine from Uruguay before. Flashing lights and warning bells went off in my head and the bottle somehow made its way to the counter, jumped into a bag and the girl was asking for R$35. In a trance I paid.

yserntriple

The bottle on the left now sits in my wine rack awaiting a ‘suitable’ occasion. I’m sure I’ll find one, soon.

3pm, and the sun has been out all day, but not warming appreciably. I am still in my tracksuit pants and my arms are close to being goosey.

I have my pork chop marinating and waiting to be grilled, so I guess I should do the honours.

Later.

Blow divine eau

Christmas is over in Brazil, we don’t have Boxing Day, so  it’s back to work in 20 minutes.

In case you’re wondering at the title, it’s a common expression used by New Zealanders and, I think, Aussies to express doubt or a lack of knowledge. Say it aloud, you’ll get it.

45thermometerYesterday was officially the hottest day of the year. 46°C, in Fahrenheit it sounds even hotter, 118°F. The thermal sensation was 53°C. Today is also hot, but not quite yesterday.

Looks like we’re in for one hot as hell summer, because these temperatures don’t usually arrive until mid – late January.

It’s time I was off into the wild blue youder. Did you get the title?

Here’s another, ‘Immense pest frenzies dog.’

They’re actually from an old book called New Zild and how to speak it, it takes a swipe at the way Kiwis talk.

Listening for the rumble…

Must go to store and buy new calendar

Well, yesterday I had hoped for a ripple, and today the day, not even a rumble.

Have we been duped again?

Here in Brazil it’s nearly 11am, which means it’s 2am on the 22nd in New Zealand, and I have scanned the news and apparently New Zealand is still there, and Google Earth shows no gaping hole where Australia should be.

Oh well, all that hype for nothing. I guess I will have to pay for the beer after all. I was informed yesterday by a realiable source, that should the world end and we all finish up on the other side that there the beer was free… sounded a bit like heaven to me.

As I said, it is 11am here, already the day is hot, the fan is blowing hot air, Lixo is looking for a cold place to cat nap, I even let my coffee get cold so I would break out in a sweat drinking it.

Looks like the USA is about to meet the ‘fiscal cliff’. The Republicans have withdrawn their Plan B and there is nothing else on the table that would appease the Obama admin, and there is unlikely to be within the next ten days.

I rather hope that the moment arrives, because it’s about the only thing that shows promise of a solution to the greed of the 1%, the bankers and Wall Street. Of course, it will have serious ramifications for the rest of the world, but given the current climate, I think it is necessary to bring the world back to some form of sanity because anything suggested by the government would take eons to reduce the debt and reduce spending. It might just bring America to heel with regard to military spending. No money, can’t fight wars and kill innocents. The whole system has become one massive failure.

Maybe that’s what the Mayans were on about…

Ah, a rumble!

Is it happening?

But alas no, it was just the truck delivering beer to the botequim next door. At least there will be beer this weekend.

 

On the 7th Day he Blogged

And on the 7th Day he Blogged

Hell of a week, but I am back, determined.

My kitchen looks like the city of Homs after Bashar al Bastard’s revenge on the opposition, no dead Syrians, but there is a cockroach corpse…

Last Saturday, I got in a huff. My blog They Say it’s in the Genes has lost it’s graphics again which took the whole play on words jeans/genes out of the game. It has happened before with my original blog. It was my only blog that I had resurrected on Blogspot, done simply because the template wasn’t available on WordPress free. But in a pique on Saturday, I resolved the situation and created a reasonable resemblance, facsimile, copy, call-it-what-you-like. Then I struck problems transferring the posts (50 of them) across. Unwittingly, I had chosen to do the task on the night Brazil went out of Hora de verão (Daylight Savings Time), so I screwed up the sequence and dates of the first few posts…

Yes, it slowly dawned on me what the problem was. Sunday, I moved the remaining posts and all was okay. Lethargy set in, by Tuesday it had become apathy. Wednesday, I recovered somewhat and made two posts on Eco-Crap that took most of my available day. Thursday was just screwed up with the split day at work. Today I woke, low and behold, it is the 7th day since I have posted here. Deep shame set in; well it did until I got my first coffee.

This morning I read the news. Yes, newspaper and coffee are still my standard breakfast, even if the newspaper is electronic; it saves space on the kitchen table.

The Anglican Cathedral in Christchurch after the 6.3 mag earthquake in February 2011

The landmark of my childhood, under whose shadow my mother caught trams with me in my pushchair; under whose gaze I guiltily smoked my first cigarette is to be demolished, apparently it cannot be saved. It is structurally damaged beyond repair.

“a new cathedral with a different design would be built in its place.” BBC News

That would signal the death knell for the city. Christchurch, a city often referred to as ‘more English than England’ will have lost its identity. It would no longer be the place where I was born, merely a geographical location. In a rare moment of solidarity I agree with a politician, ‘Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the decision to demolish the cathedral was “heartbreaking”.’

Rio, looking from above across Botafogo

Yesterday was Rio de Janeiro’s birthday, the city was 447 years old. I made a small BBQ and had a beer to celebrate. One does these small things. In a bar full of Brazilians, the question was asked; “Whose birthday is it today?” The only person with the answer was not Brazilian; yes, me.

The photo shows Cristo Redentor perched on the top of the mountain called Corcovado (The Hunchback) to the right, Pão da Açucar in the middle, both famous landmarks of the city. Copacabana is over the hill to the right and to the left the suburb of Flamengo. Niteroi is in the background on the other side of Guanabara Bay.

Now, I need more coffee, I must set my kitchen to rights and blog the rest of the day away.

Later.

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