Thursday, 15 October 2020

The Final Mile

If I have written about this before you will have to excuse my age-related decline. 

One thing I have learned about long-distance travel in my years is the last hop can be the worst. It can be an evaporating driver, traffic congestion, or an odd delay.

Imagine my surprise when last Friday this occurred. 

I landed in Auckland at about 5:30pm from Rotorua. There is a new regional Koru lounge at the airport and after having a very sober isolation I thought I would give the local libations a good going over.

I started with a couple of (de)ciders and sampled some of the buffet to fortify my stomach. The (de)ciders went down very well so I thought I would throw a couple of Gin and Tonics down my throat before my 7:30pm flight. I was feeling pretty good about life and then boarded my plane.

The flight was soon all seated and I busied myself reading Air New Zealand paraphernalia from the seat pocket in front of me. Imagine my surprise when a very embarrassed co-pilot had to make this announcement.

"I am very sorry but I lost my pen on the flight down and I have had to get an Engineer to dismantle the cockpit to find the pen we will be delayed by 30 minutes or so"

Imagine my abject horror at this announcement. It took me screaming back to work a couple of weeks ago. It was all too familiar. I started messaging my Chief on board with some very colorful language.


"Why do we need pens in 2020 to fly planes?"

"Why do we need Aircraft Engineers to find pens?"


Eventually, the pen was found and we were able to fly. Unfortunately, I had not counted on this delay and had to wake the passenger beside me to use the facilities on a 30-minute flight. This sparked up a conversation with the comatose passenger beside me and the rest of my flight went swimmingly.

Today I was asked for some feedback on my flight. I shall send them a link. Penless planes what do you think?

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The (G)Holden Ratio

As I emerged from the womb that is managed isolation I was reminded of something I learned working at sea.

In my experience, three out of four Kiwis are good people. If you have four on a boat usually one will be an odd egg. Starved of conversation, I rapidly indulged myself in banter with the mostly good people of Rotorua. I bandied words with a member of the Army who helped me with my bags.

I caught an Uber to a rental car location. The driver was very personable and was driving an electric car the same as my own. It was only a $7 fare but I squeezed that ride for every cent. 

The Gentleman at Hertz was a nice bloke. We commiserated about isolation. One of my thoughts earlier in the day was that a firm punishment in prison is to be given solitary confinement. I think a firmer punishment would be to be placed in a hotel room with an estranged partner or child for two weeks. 

Collecting my rental car I spent about 10 minutes reacquainting myself with the familiarity of being in the driver's seat, pairing devices, etc. Excuse me for sounding a bit posh but my last two car drives had been in S Class Mercedes strictly as a passenger.

I very conveniently had some familiar faces to spend some time within Rotorua before my flight so after setting up my GPS I pulled very gently out onto the road and started driving (sedately). Unfortunately, I was driving a bit too sedately for someone in a Golden Holden. I unintentionally had ruined his life by driving slowly in my embryonic state. He roared his engine and then did a strange maneuver which I guess would be equivalent to doing the fingers. 

I smirked to myself my ratio was proven correct.

And to be fair everyone who drives a Holden is a wanker. 

Friday, 9 October 2020

Leveling up

Today is my Son's 4th Birthday. Sadly given my location and logistics, I will not see him today. But we had a good korero this morning. He had some unique thoughts about attaining the age of 4.

He has demanded that the training wheels be taken off his bicycle. He also thinks he can automatically wear shoes that don't fit and clothes he has not been able to wear.

This is Gamer theory. As you attain new levels in a game you gain new abilities or costumes and flair.

For all of the time, I have had in the last 2 weeks I have not played any games. Which is quite astonishing. I still have two hours though so I might gain a level or two :-).

Happiest Day of the Year

What a relief.

I woke up to the tremendous news the All Blacks will not be away from their families for Christmas.

New Zealand has been in a state of terror knowing that a professional team that has not played any games for 7 Months could have missed out of Christmas with their loved ones. Forget COVID this is life-threatening stuff.

Sardonic mode disable.

Anyway. I am very happy to leave my little four-walled room. I have had many thoughts over the past two weeks. Some dark, some light many in between.

It is a strange world, the commodity we most complain about not having enough of is time and when we are given an abundance of it we still manage to complain. 

I still have a few hurdles before my next four-walled room but these are minor details. They probably won't be reported.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

The Lowest Point of my Life

That is clickbait. Thanks for clicking.

At approximately 5:20pm today I hit a new low. I was trying to think of things I could do to kill time before Dinner. Admittedly my formidable intellect has struggled at times to keep sanity in check this year.

I did think about having a coffee but then thought against it as it is quite late. I have already drunk my room out of green tea and then.....

I saw it.


That terrible stuff. Absolutely pointless. I have always laughed at mirthfully.

But clearly, it does have a point.


Sources Close to a Friend of said.....

I spend quite a bit of spare time listening to podcasts. I like the long-form conversations, the banter, the things that we usually share with humans in a time of increasing disparity. 

I have also taken to recording voice memos when using messaging programs. I just find recording my voice a lot faster than thumbing my phone. I find that akin to a closeted ape trying to extract bananas from a mysterious handheld banana vending device. One of my favourite podcasts is comedian Bill Burr's The Monday Morning Podcast.

Some notable people in my sphere of confluence have expressed varying degrees of accommodation at my well thought out often rant toned voice recordings. So I got thinking. If I was to regularly record and syndicate said rantings what would I call them?

When I stray into the media by accident like a brown bear who has run out of forest animals to eat and decides to visit someone's campground only to die eating a bag of Doritos. I am always struck by phrases used when a Journalist wants to write something less than true or not true at all. Speculation.

What would I call this thing?

"Sources Close to"
"A Friend of"

Or something else?

This might be where this poorly thought out exercise falls down. Maybe it is for the best. I can see my accent being a bit of an issue for most of the world's population if my time at sea is any indication. But I shall keep writing. These words may lie but they are spell checked. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020


I was going to record this at home where I felt it would be easier,

But one thing I have learned about this year and life in general. Do not assume anything to be easy or go to plan. So after a leisurely 2-hour siesta, I set about and recorded this.

It is a tribute to my numerous friends dotted through the cosmos and like of us all it has few blemishes and may have passed through a meteor shower. Some I see frequently, yearly or not nearly enough but I am happy to know you all the same.


Black Face Tuesday

 You see, to the untrained eye that headline would make most people feel uncomfortable. 

But it pales in comparison to having your noise invaded by a swab and how do I link these things together?

Well, as part of my routine maintenance schedule. Today is black bamboo mask Tuesday. I had cleansed said face and shrouded it in hot towels for the recommended amount of time. I then applied the black goop with a plastic brush and paused to admire my work.

Unfortunately, I then had to attend to a phone call. It was reception telling me that I had to go and get the last PCR test of my stay. I said this was fine, I was just doing some treatments and I would be down in a second. So I leapt into the shower and started peeling, gouging and scratching said blackface off. I had barely finished having a shave and my door started knocking.....

It was the Nurses. Luckily I had my large black gown which I use for such occasions. My temperature was fine. I've been running quite cool here. Certainly cooler than I do in Europe. 

I went down the lift and I had the final test of my stay here. I can certainly smell Rotorua so I believe I am COVID free.

Monday, 5 October 2020


I had a bit of a low key Sunday. Initially, my plan was to wear as little as possible and do less than anything.

Unfortunately, I still had my daily Nurse visit to contend with. So I chose a morose black ensemble. When I am feeling excessively sanctimonious in my abilities to do very little I shrowd myself in black. Think of a Ninja that never attacked anyone or did a thing. A black canvass. 

I did have quite a good movie marathon. I started with Goodfellas which I am somewhat loosely connected with via a previous employer.  I then moved onto The Dark Knight Rises, and he's always in black and housebound at the start of the film. I dallied with Scarface having spent a bit of time in Miami in the last few years. I think people wear more clothes now than they did in Scarface. I then meandered into The Godfather, which if I was to choose had to be the pick of that crop. I had to abandon the Godfather halfway as it got a bit late.

Today I had a good bout of hotel room exercise. I have become very good at doing things with suitcases and chairs as well as my swiss ball and yoga matt. My breakfast arrived on time but I would not have known it as by this point I had lost my watch. There is something quite comical about a man with all of the time in the world losing his watch. It was under my bed of course. The last place a person would look for a timepiece. 

My nurses still managed to me catch naked as I was having a shower but I did all of us a favour by throwing on some clothes. I then continued to watch the Godfather and created a terribly shoddy meme.

It has got very warm here now. I believe it is currently 24 degrees outside. I would partake in some superficial solar radiation to stimulate melanin but no. That would require clothes and it still feels like Sunday.

Tomorrow I hope I have my last COVID test of the year. Not long now.

In closing have also managed to craft a new acronym.


Thriving in a perpetual state of purgatory.