Archive for March, 2015


As I sit here and write, I’m nodding along to the music of Bombino, but feeling extremely tired.  Whether I can be bothered finishing this blog post….  It’s probably the wine.

WOMAD was fantastic.  I stopped going for a few years because it had lost its magic due to their policy of allowing kids under 12 in free, which led to local kids hanging out and making a nuisance of themselves.  I can’t have been the only one to complain as they sensibly changed the policy to one free kid per adult.  This time the festival had more of the magic I felt when I first went there.

Bombino, above, was one of my favourite performers.  I didn’t get to see Luzmilla Carpio (Bolivian singer), or The Gloaming (Irish group).  I only briefly saw Che Sudaka, but really enjoyed what I did see (and hear).  I hadn’t seen Sinead O’Connor before but she was incredible.  Such a strong singer (and strong woman).  Other highlights included the Romanian brass band, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Buena Vista Social Club, and Ramzi Aburedwan and his ensemble.  The singer in his band was just amazing.  I don’t even know his name.  The name listed on the website is of a man who does not look the same person.  A shame.  Ramzi’s album (which I bought along with Bambino’s) has no singing on it, sadly.  We tried watching Rufus Wainwright, but he wasn’t our cup of tea, and we left after two songs.

The house we stayed at was “interesting”.  If you’ve ever seen “Upper Middle Bogan”, an Australian comedy, you might have some idea.  The decor (along with the two V8’s in the garage, and containers of body-building powder in the kitchen) reminded me of it.  The bedroom I stayed in had shiny black furniture and a butterfly transfer above the bed.  The bedroom next to mine had a sparkly duvet cover.  At night a light arrangement in the corner of the lounge came on (as well as some lights on a bush outside) and at 9am every morning a fountain outside started up.  The toilet had scented sticks, the smell of which was so overpowering, I had to block my nose every time I went in.  Everything in the house looked brand new, with not a thing out of place or a spot anywhere.  It looked unlived in.  However, we didn’t spend much time in the house, thankfully.

mar16 007

mar16 012

I just had to share.  There is no-one at home to share these things with now, so this blog has become more of a place where I might rant or talk about politically incorrect things that I might once have shared with H.

Some photos.  Firstly, the venue – Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl accessible through Pukekura Park:

mar15 001


mar15 029

Mt Taranaki as viewed from Pukekura Park

mar15 004

mar16 028

Places like the Dell stage, surrounded by trees and overlooking the pond, are just magical places in which to listen to amazing music.

mar16 024

The people (great fun to watch):

mar16 068

mar16 071

mar16 088

mar16 089

mar16 095

Pied Piper?

The musicians:



Toumani and Sidiki Diabate

Toumani and Sidiki Diabate

Ramzi Aburedwan

Ramzi Aburedwan

Fanfare Ciocarlia (with fan)

Fanfare Ciocarlia (with fan)

Che Sudaka

Che Sudaka

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O’Connor

There was other entertainment too, such as the hairdressing act, Osadia.  I could’ve watched them for hours.

mar16 031

mar16 034

mar16 041

mar16 042

mar16 058

mar16 064

Fabulous weekend.  I’m glad I went.  I could rave further, but I’m tired.   The weather was fantastic.  Hot both on Saturday and Sunday, cooler on Friday and Saturday nights, but I was still in a t-shirt at 10pm on Sunday night.

We were lucky.  It all turned to shit on Monday and has been cold ever since.  The summer is over.


Read Full Post »

Standing desk arrived at work today, so that will be interesting.  I already like how I can step from one side of the desk to the other instead of leaning over.  It will be a test on how comfortable my shoes are.  Today’s had a pinch on the small toe.

Had a chat to H on the phone.  Sydney trip has been postponed because it was too difficult to align our available times in the short time we had left.  Instead, I’ve decided just to head to Melbourne for a week in late April.  I have just booked all the fares.  I absolutely hate the usual early morning flights out and often late night returns to get cheap fares.  It means I have to travel to Wellington for an overnight stay and get up at an ungodly hour to be there 2 hours before flying out at about 6.20 am.  Bugger that.  For a change, just once, I’ve decided to fly to Auckland and back, to get flights at a more civilised hour.  So, flying up to Auckand on a Friday afternoon for a late afternoon flight to Melbourne, then return at 10 am on a Saturday morning (which is still a fairly early, but manageable, 8 am checkin), and afternoon flight back home.  I was prepared to pay for the convenience of being able to drive home once landing.  If only the local airport were international as it once, so briefly, was.

I booked without consulting the girls.  It doesn’t matter if neither of them can take time off during their working week.  I can still amuse myself in Melbourne, and perhaps take a train trip to Bendigo.  It’s something to look forward to.

Weather’s looking patchy for this weekend, but should be ok overall for Womad.  Might have to buy myself a decent wet-weather jacket with a hood (which for some reason I don’t currently have – I rely on an umbrella for work).

I’ve discovered my antidote for feeling miserable is a cup of St Johns Wort tea and dancing.  If the music makes me want to get up and jiggle around, I do so, and I feel miles better.  Of course it all depends if I can feel bothered to go to the effort.

Read Full Post »

Another week zapped by, another week of boredom and routine.  I thought of going to the summer Shakespeare thing, but it’s only in the evenings and they’re doing King Lear as a ‘circus theme’.  Na.  I hate that sort of shit.  Stick to traditionial.  I don’t like “modernised” versions of Shakespeare (especially when done by American actors, just as an aside).

Anyway, apart from next weekend’s Womad, I have nothing to look forward to.  The semi-planned trip to Sydney doesn’t look like a goer at this stage, unless the girls can organise themselves.  If they’re not keen, so be it.  I can’t bear the thought of the approaching long, cold, dark winter alone.

I’ve been feeling rather grumpy this weekend, stemming from depression and disappointment.   Disappointment that, in this day of multiple forms of communication, people don’t communicate – unanswered emails and messages, waiting on shit for others do decide/act before I can do anything further – the usual.  I just get pissed off.

I went along to the anti-TPP protest in town, knowing full well that no-one I know would turn up.  People either don’t know anything about it or just don’t give a fuck.  Apathy will be the end of us all.  I saw the usual suspects – the same people turn up to these things.  I did, however, see a colleague, which was a nice surprise.   She wanted to tag along with me, but I saw E, H’s friend, and dashed off to hug her and talk to her.  I guess it’s the nearest thing to being in touch with H.

Emptiness and loneliness – that’s my life these days.  I’ve been playing Sims 2 again, just as something to do, feeling at a loss, not knowing what the fuck to do in the weekends apart from the usual chores.  I wonder what the point is in keeping anything tidy, as no-one will see it anyway.  It’s just me.  Nothing on TV, so the evenings are just as empty.  Oh, the self-pity.  Pour me another G&T.

At least this working week will be short – Friday off for travelling to New Plymouth for Womad, even though AL can’t pick me up til 4.30.  I’ll use the day to do the usual weekend chores.

Read Full Post »

Sorting through cables I discovered the mobile phone one and connected it to the computer to retrieve photos.  I’d given up before because the process was not easy – downloading software which takes forever.  Our internet connection wasn’t up to it before.

So, software downloaded, stupid program didn’t recognise phone.  Had to restart.  (Rolls eyes.)  Eventually, everything worked and I could upload photos from the last three years.  I actually hate this phone and paid too much for it at the time (not even a smartphone), but can’t justify buying a new one as I rarely use it (and don’t particularly want to use it to connect to the internet 24/7 wherever).

Anyway, long story short – a selection of old (unedited) photos from crappy phone:




Gollum, Wellington airport, 2013




Melbourne Chinatown, 2013




Jasmine and The Sims 2

They came out better than I expected and I actually like the effect in the Melbourne night-time shot.  I only had 20 photos on the phone – barely used it because I thought it was crap and didn’t think I’d ever be able to upload them to the computer.

That done, I came across another airport review site, so thought I’d add a brief one about Sydney.  I had to re-do the “captcha” code about six times.  How the hell was I to know whether it was a 0 or O or 1 or I?  Whichever I chose didn’t work.  Finally they had one without those letters/numbers.  Man, the time I’ve wasted this morning.

Trying to get any decision-making from the girls about return trip to Sydney is proving difficult.  C seemed keen but hasn’t provided anything apart from a vague timeline (early May).  H is also keen but is not even sure if she can get time off work.  Time is marching on and accommodation is getting booked out (school  holidays?).  Pain in the arse.

H rang on Thursday night (said she was walking home and was “missing my mum” – aww).  Was good to talk to her.

Finished watching “House of Cards” season 2.  Started watching “Suits” as they’ve been talking about that at work lately.  Not really into it.  I don’t like legal dramas, don’t like the main characters, and it just doesn’t hold my interest.   Will return the DVD set to colleague at work.

Read Full Post »