Chapter Six: Being Forgotten

It’s been a while since I was here, I had other things to do. While I remembered I had a blog of course, I’d just neglected the writing. Actually I had decided taking photos was more rewarding. Here’s the thing though, I started a book a few years ago. I’ve talked about the story a […]

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The Deep South

This should probably go on my photography blog, but there is a bit more explaining to do than on the usual photography post so I’ll wheel out the words blog for this one. It’s been a while, Sandysview was getting dusty, plus now you can see the new look blog as you probably hadn’t visited […]

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20 Tips For Surviving Driving In New Zealand

It seems an awful lot more people are visiting, or moving to New Zealand these days. Either because of Brexit, or Trump, or cheap airfares and new aeroplanes, which can fly further. Whatever the reason, New Zealand has more people sharing the roads with the locals than ever before. I’ve touched on the topic of […]

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The Living Is Easy

We have an iconic New Zealand comic character from the 1970’s called Fred Dagg. We were big fans in my home when I was growing up. Fred Dagg was an archetypal Kiwi farmer sort of character, blunt, plain speaking, dry wit and observational humour. He also sang a few modified and original songs. One of […]

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Democracy, it’s not for everyone

I’m reminded of the lyrics to the Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. Although the recent cover of that classic by The Disturbed is by far the better version   ‘Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again Because a vision softly, creeping Left its seeds while I was, sleeping […]

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Road Trip

This can be a travel post of sorts. Well it’s not even of sorts; it’s a travel post. I went for a drive. I know I don’t write much anymore. Not sure why, it’s not like I’m short of things to say. I mostly spend my spare time taking photos these days. You’ll probably know […]

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Part Three, The School Bus

If you have been following my blog over the years, you’ll know I’ve been prevaricating about writing a ‘novel’ for years. I’ve started it. But couldn’t start to finish it. My new year’s resolution for 2016 is to finish it. Happy New Year by the way. Here you can have a preview of where the […]

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What were they thinking?

In England they put blue plaques on the outside walls of places important or at least significant people used to live. ‘Orson Wells lived here once’ sort of thing. A friend posted a thought provoking and mildly ironic photo taken outside somewhere George Orwell used to live. Bolted to the wall below his blue plaque […]

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Because You’re Worth It

I can’t actually remember what caused me to start thinking about this or why. Maybe one just has a moment of quiet reflection when we get to a certain age, an examination of our situations and ourselves. When I say one, I mean me. I do. I’m one of the luckiest people on Earth; I’m […]

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More pictures, less words

I know the wordiness has become less and there is more photography. I actually get more joy from photography than writing. I think this is because I’m better at it, I don’t know. What I do know is that I will happily go to far greater lengths to capture a pleasing image than to construct […]

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Taking pictures

I know I usually string words together for the sake of amusement, entertainment, information or occasionally even inspiration, but I haven’t been feeling particularly wordy lately. What I have been doing a lot though is taking photographs of the stuff all around me. I carry my camera everywhere I go and if the saying, ‘a picture is […]

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Driving south in the North Island

I’ll get straight to the point for once. I said once upon a time that only two towns in New Zealand were worth making a special trip for. Russell and Queenstown. I’d like to revise that outdated advice. Some New Zealand towns have been giving themselves a bit of a makeover since we realised people […]

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A River runs through it

This is a bit of a travel post. I’m going to talk about a place plenty of people on their New Zealand holidays travel through, but not many travel to. I’d venture that most New Zealanders would struggle to point the region out on a map. So this can serve as a mini travel guide […]

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2014. A summary

It’s the week before Christmas and all through the house…etc etc. It’s a funny Christmas, this one. I don’t think I’ve ever felt less Christmassy. I think it’s the dramatically disrupted year I’ve had personally. I won’t bore you with that. I’ve also written much less on here this year than previously. I’ve been busy […]

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Our ‘other’ stuff

Look, it’s me again! I’m like a bus, or something. A British bus, not a New Zealand one. The adage in London is that buses don’t appear at all for a while and then 3 come along at once. I know, hilarious, but surprisingly true all too often. Much news this morning about some significant […]

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Winner!

I know, I know, there was another post on here for a while, I took it down. Varied reasons, none of which matter all that much. I will be putting more stuff on here soon. Life has taken another change of direction and I will have a bit more spare time on my hands. Speaking […]

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That’s what friends are for…

I’m back! I was left to my own devices for a bit and had too much time to think. I’ve been brewing this for a few days, wasn’t sure whether to post it at all or quite how to approach it. Then I had the best angle delivered into my lap this morning on Facebook. […]

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It’s all good

Well this feels a vaguely odd; it’s a bit like getting a beloved but neglected toy down from a shelf when you are feeling nostalgic. It’s only been 6 weeks since I put up ‘the Freedom Years’ but I didn’t write that, I don’t write anything much these days. I haven’t the need. That’s what […]

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An open letter to the internet

Hi Internet, you remember me? We’ve known each other for about 20 years now. I remember when we first met; you were very young at the time. You were pretty shy I guess. I mean I’d ask you something and you’d take ages to answer. You liked to show me stuff you knew about but […]

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An interview

I was asked to do an interview by one of those expat blog sites. There are a few of them where people who like to spend their time living overseas can go to find out all sorts of things about living overseas. They have an expat interviews section on this particular site where they ask […]

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In the news

When I lived in England I used to be an avid reader of newspapers. I used to watch the news on television every night without fail. Since returning to New Zealand my consumption of current events seems to be almost entirely via the radio or online. When I am consulting news media on the Internet […]

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Misconceptions

Misconceptions often, or even usually, arise out of ignorance and I must confess to my own ignorance. I have no idea at all what people from Asia or the Sub-continent think of when they think of New Zealand. Having said that, I also haven’t a clue what the people of South America or Africa might […]

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Dawn and Dusk

  I wrote recently how I was of the opinion that despite the adage, a picture was not in fact worth a thousand words because I felt you generally needed so many words to describe the picture. My position, put simply, was that each great picture needed volumes of words to explain it. I was of […]

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Home away from home

Did you know that despite having the perfect platform in this blog, I hardly ever make any strong points about anything important to anyone but me? I don’t even do that very often. Part of the reason is that my blog is intended primarily to entertain, inform, educate, amuse, or maybe even inspire. Yeah, I […]

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It must be love

That’s not so much a heading as a command. With the recent death of tall glamorous designer L’Wren Scott in the news, it’s hard to miss all the pictures of her alongside her boyfriend, the less photogenic Mick Jagger. Mr Jagger is a worldly famous rock musician with a very famous band. They still tour […]

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Keep it under your hat.

Did you know I almost always wear a hat? This story is not about hats but in my house there is a thing known as the Panama hat cycle. I wear hats a lot. In the summer, my headwear of choice is a splendid Panama hat. I also have had dogs for most of my […]

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The Fencers

I’m not a poet, I don’t write poetry, well hardly ever. It’s outside my comfort zone so I don’t go there, much. However this is quite a cool little story about a poem, an Island in the Indian Ocean most have never heard of and my Dad. There is also a poem so stick around. […]

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A list of things to do

You’ll have noticed I’m not putting much on here anymore. I’m not sure why not, but it may have something to do with the fact that I’m back home in New Zealand and busy doing things outside rather than inside. It’s still summer time here and the living, almost as the song suggests, is in […]

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Somewhere else

This is a tale that goes nowhere, what’s the point then you may wonder, why does there have to be one? I might respond. It’s kind of like an open discussion, designed to give pause for thought and reflection. I have the platform of this blog, the luxury of time and the inclination to ponder […]

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People are awesome!

Who knew we loved Lions so much? We knew we loved Polar bears of course, but now we really love Lions, we don’t love Melissa Bachman much even though she helped us realise how much we love Lions. There was me thinking Lions just spent all their time lounging about beneath an African tree in […]

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A word to the unwise

I spoke to someone the other day who is going for a big adventure overseas. Traveling they said. They’d not been far from home before and were having an epic adventure out in the world. Going to visit a few far-flung unfamiliar cities and see some things they’d never seen before. Experience foreign cultures and […]

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The nature of New Zealanders

So here’s a thing. well two things. This is about us, not our nature, but our nature. I’m also going to put a couple of images of the incredible New Zealand scenery among the comments. Silly not to really, it’s not like I’m short of them, all you have to is go outside and point […]

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Our name is still on the boat!

Well that was pretty devastating. You know what I’m talking about. If you are a kiwi you do. So many New Zealanders got up, stayed in, stayed home, didn’t get to where they should have been and if they got there, they weren’t paying attention to work or school. They, we, were watching Emirates Team […]

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Some enlightenment

  I’m not what you would call a Sci-fi buff, I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a science fiction book but I do like the odd science fiction movie from time to time. Not just any old one though only the big ones. Things like Star Wars, The Matrix, Star Trek, the Aliens films and […]

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Going for a drive

I’ve been back in New Zealand for just over a month now. For three weeks of that month I went for a bit of a drive, just to have a look around, as one does. I drove about 3,500 Kilometres or 2,100 miles in old money. I didn’t see all that many other road users, […]

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The trip home

The 2nd of July 2013. 8:30 am on the 2nd of July, my dear friend Dawn, my colleague, the person who does what used to be my day job in another part of England dropped me off at London Heathrow Airport. Terminal 3 to be precise. Terminal 3 is for flights to and from what […]

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The wrong place

This is the continuation, the next stage of what started as the giant eel story which is the opening of my novel. (There is no mention of eels in the rest of my novel. Actually yes there is, right at the end). If you missed that story, it’s here. You should read it first. Click […]

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The Extinction of the Falcon

As you probably know, I’m off back to New Zealand in a month or so. When I say a month or so I mean I set off a month today. At the time of writing this, this time next month,  I’ll hopefully be boarding my Singapore Airlines flight to New Zealand, by hopefully I mean […]

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Going home

Momentous day today, it’s worth a note. Friday 17th of May 2013. Sounds non-descript, a day like many other days in mid-May. However, it’s my own May Day, nothing to do with whatever May Day is about, I don’t even know what May Day is for now that I think about it. Something to do […]

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Just words

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.  That’s a pretty common phrase, as though great imagery is better than great description. While it’s a nice concept, it is almost entirely rubbish. That’s just my view of course, I can’t paint a picture of my view on that so I’ll write a thousand words or so […]

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Wisdom

I’m not sure how long this post will stay up for, but it needs to be said. It’s not part of my usual repetoire, but it’s something I need to say and it’s this. It’s simply an observation or two, a bit of wisdom maybe, an admission and something significant to finish. First, some wisdom […]

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New Zealanders at War

I was in the New Zealand Army for a while and take quite an interest in NZ military history. There are some very inspiring and interesting stories about what Kiwi servicemen and women got up to in the world’s great conflicts. Kiwi’s have a pretty incredible military history and I want to talk a bit […]

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About a giant eel

This is a fictional short story, it’s loosely, but not all that loosely, based on a true story. I’ve changed some names of course. But the situation is real, the eel was real, This could be a true story and sort of is. All I have done here is alter some minor aspects of reality, […]

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On The Hobbit.

This is not a film review. It’s an essay about how you view things can affect how you see things. It’s written off the back of the recent release of The Hobbit on DVD. Sometime earlier this year ‘The Hobbit’ was released in cinemas. I was very excited. I’d been waiting for years, since ‘The […]

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The truth about Dragons

This post is primarily intended as an educational resource for young people but clearly the information contained here is useful for adults as well. I think it’s time to unveil my greatest secret. The thing that no-one but me knows. The thing that no-one knows about me. If you read my stuff regularly you will […]

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East Cape, revisited

This post is special. It’s about an amazing part of New Zealand. I wanted to get some proper images up of the location this story is about. It’s an incredible area and deserves to have some appropriate photography to show the place off properly, so I’ll pop a few among the words. There is a […]

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A look to the West

It seems there is a bit of a travel theme setting in to the blog now, this is, what, Three in a row? My blog isn’t a travel blog but I do like to be at leisure rather than at work. It’s probably not just me. If I’ve got a long weekend, which we just […]

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On getting robbed in Italy

This is going to be something like a travel essay. I had to look up what an essay actually was though. For your information in case you don’t know either, it’s a ‘short piece of writing on a particular subject’. So that’s easy! The subject of this short piece of writing is a weekend break […]

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The games boys play

I have friends who have boys. Young men, little chaps, whatever they call male children. It appears there is no consensus but little bastards seems a common description as well. My friends with boys often bemoan the amount of time boys spend on computer games or engrossed in an internet based interaction or a mobile […]

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