Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Bob's House

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  • Deborah,

    I've had an encounter with that wonderful Air New Zealand flight attendant, Beauregarde. When we made our big jump across the Tasman, we ordered bubbly wine for breakfast. Beauregarde made some (nice) comment about it, so I explained that it was a big day for us - we were moving countries. A short while later, he came back down from further up the cabin, in the posh bit, bringing stemmed glasses, as in glass, not plastic, filled with a lovely drop, to help us celebrate.

    Didn't stop me crying as we flew over the Australian coastline...

    And a few months back, he was mentioned in a story here, not just doing an extraordinary job helping someone with illness during a flight, but making the effort to go and visit the person the next day - sorry, can't find the story on-line now.

    He's a champion, and Air New Zealand should treasure him.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1303 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie,

    That gun in Edinburgh has always been fired at 1pm rather than noon. I guess if they fired it at noon they would have to fire it 12 times which would be hard on the nerves (and more expensive). Ships in the harbour used to set their clocks by it.
    I liked the photo of you arriving back at Bob's house. Very nice.

    Reply: Ha -- thanks for the correction, Rosie. I guess, now that I think about it, that must be why they call it the one o'clock gun. I have corrected the article -- Cheers, DH

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Foreskin? Really? An showernozzle?

    Good god.

    (great stuff)

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Welcome back! Isn't the cabbage tree evocative? I'm looking forward to getting back and seeing mine, even though it constantly drops its leaves(?) on the bloody driveway.

    "Plenary" and "visiting professor" are essential vocabulary for everyday life.

    Heh, that's going in my book of amusing academic anecdotes.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks for that David. I well remember that right angle baby thing. Cheered me up even more than the manatees on David Attenborough's Life of Mammals on Prime last night.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2027 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Hi David

    More shameless exploitation of Kate to illuminate your lives for us.

    Wonderful stuff as usual, the world through the eyes of a child is an amazing place.

    It's so nice to read something in the morning that makes one smile.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Welcome home. I wonder if Bob will get restless after a few days and pack his toybag and start singing:
    "I'm Beauregard from Dixie! Hooray! Hooray!"

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    At meal-times, each animal must be offered food before Bob-the-baby will consent to dine. And if any are inadvertently missed -- for some odd reason, I often forget the sheep -- then there are terrible howls of anguish from Bob, who clearly believes that they might starve to death.

    Make sure you fix this before you get a family dog. You'll have any dog trainer pulling their hair out if you get the feeding order wrong.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Welcome home.

    If it makes Jennifer feel any better I have, on more than one occasion and always with a little trepidation, breastfed a duplo crocodile.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    and a plastic statuette of a Marks & Spencer's shop-girl.

    The 18 month old that we know,(who constantly makes me think of Bob) has an order of tiger (roar), dinosaur (grrrr) and penguin (no sound effect) but there is a little plastic toy soldier that always goes with the animals.When he had access to water at our place, his entourage swam for hours (because the penguin likes water. of course!) I like that these kids relate the human the same as animals.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6004 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Thanks for all the kind comments, people!

    Rosie wrote:

    That gun in Edinburgh has always been fired at 1pm rather than noon.

    Thanks for the correction, Rosie. I guess, now that I think about it, this must be why they call it the one o'clock gun. I have corrected the article...

    Deborah wrote:

    And a few months back, [Beauregarde (sp?)] was mentioned in a story here, not just doing an extraordinary job helping someone with illness during a flight, but making the effort to go and visit the person the next day - sorry, can't find the story on-line now.

    You're right -- he's an internationally famous nice person! The story is here (search for Beauregard without the 'e' at the end).

    Whoops wrote:

    Foreskin? Really? A showernozzle?

    You wouldn't believe the emails I've had from the Kim Hill interview. No really, you definitely wouldn't. Many, incidentally, supporting my accuracy/circumcision speculation w.r.t to Germans vs. NZers.

    Ian MacKay wrote:

    Welcome home. I wonder if Bob will get restless after a few days and pack his toybag and start singing:
    "I'm Beauregard from Dixie! Hooray! Hooray!"

    You may be right. I get the impression that he's a little surprised how long we've stayed here already.

    Isabel Hitchings wrote:

    If it makes Jennifer feel any better I have, on more than one occasion and always with a little trepidation, breastfed a duplo crocodile.

    I shall pass that on. Always good to know that your child is not alone in their strange requests.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 961 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I guess, now that I think about it, this must be why they call it the one o'clock gun.

    Maybe guns are like some farmers and don't do daylight savings?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Louise,

    I like that these kids relate the human the same as animals

    ...and inanimate! My 20 month old son treats all alike in his desire to play with stuff ... 'cuddle mummy', 'cuddle pigeon' [real ones - shouting and running in hot pursuit down the beach], 'cuddle helicopter' [at MOTAT, a Xioux]...(cuddle is kind of his shorthand for 'play with me')

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    It seems that 1pm is sort of standard. I was pretty sure (and just double-checked) the Lyttelton timeball was dropped at 1pm

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The Greenwich time ball (the mother of them all) also drops at 1pm and , apparently, here is why.

    1pm was originally chosen to enable the astronomers to undertake telescopic observations at noon. Ref

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4665 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Thanks for the interesting info on the time balls, James (and Steve).

    I'm highly delighted to see that they're now dropping the Lyttelton timeball daily at 1 pm again.

    Wouldn't it be great if they also fired a cannon when they dropped the ball? I may have to start a campaign to institute this as a new tradition.

    P.S. The time ball at Edinburgh claims to be one of only two still working in the world. But I calculate that Edinburgh + Lyttelton + Greenwich = 3.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 961 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Steve's link suggests that Washington DC reinstated there's for the millennium, so that might be 4?

    In other time related nerdery, I was explaining the time pips to a recent NatRad convert the other day, and how the exact start of the hour coincides with the start of the final pip, still synchronised to an atomic clock in the Hutt.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Actually the ships in Leith would not set their clocks by the one O'clock gun, its too far. On Calton hill, opposite the Castle with the faux temple remnant on it, sits and old observatory and next to it is a tower. Atop the tower is a tall spike with a golden ball on it. The ball would be hoisted to the top of the spike and then dropped to indicate the time. A ship's captain with a telescope could easily see the bright ball fall, in real time. They are currently renovated the structure so the ball will fall again.

    David when we took our children to newly de renamed St Petersburg in '94 and travelled on the Metro Babushkas in headscarves would give up their seats to our children (6 & 5) and then delve into their handbags and produce boiled sweets. Our kids knew that spasibo is Russian for thanks and would elicit even more smiles when saying it in response to the sweets.

    Sting needn't have worried, the Russians love their children. I agree that the English are anti child, its not quite as bad up here, bairns are more tolerated. When forum discussions turn to the effect of the smoking ban on pubs one of the eternal complaints is that since those serving food are the ones surviving that 'there are no pubs without bloody kids in them'. The attitude is strangely schizoid though since there is also this 'wrap them in cotton wool and have moral panics about paedos, MMR, non organic food or whatever.

    Let Bob grow up in NZ, we regret bringing our kids here overall. They were much less free. It wasn't that we would not let them out but that with no other unaccompanied kids out they felt exposed. In London when they were 11&10 ish we sent them along the road on their bikes with some recycling. The youngest fell off and this busybody woman would not let her just come home but sent the eldest off to fetch us (a potentially nasty situation) and the look we got! This is a modern phenomenon though in 1970/1 when I was 5/6 in Ayrshire I would go doon the toon with my friend Andy to the flicks of a Saturday morning all by ourselves.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the manatees on David Attenborough's Life of Mammals on Prime last night

    Saw that and recalled your earlier mention, Hilary.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    the manatees on David Attenborough's Life of Mammals on Prime last night

    Saw that and recalled your earlier mention, Hilary.

    We nearly lost it giggling. Manatees always remind me of this.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I can see how that would resonate. And they do move slow as a blimp..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    What does Bob think of manatees?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Welcome home Bob's family. I know you aren't supposed to exploit your kids, but more! More!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I can see how that would resonate.

    Very slightly more on topic, I also giggle every time I see Alan Bollard these days.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Peter Ashby wrote:

    On Calton hill, opposite the Castle with the faux temple remnant on it, sits and old observatory and next to it is a tower. Atop the tower is a tall spike with a golden ball on it.

    Yes, we spent many happy hours at the time-ball station on Calton Hill -- where, incidentally, they also have a very magnificent cat!

    I agree that the English are anti child...

    I must say that I found myself quite depressed by the commonly-encountered attitude to children in England (will write more on this subject one day).

    We had one particular experience on a train from England to Scotland where the carriage gradually emptied of the English (who'd be staring daggers at Bob, and saying in loud voices "I can't believe people would bring a baby on a long train journey") -- to be replaced by nice Scottish people saying "Oh, look at his bonny wee face!" and fishing in their handbags for chocolate to feed him. An amazing cultural shift as we crossed the imaginary line of the border.

    Jackie Clark wrote:

    Welcome home Bob's family.

    Thank you, Jackie! Extremely nice to be back...

    Emma Hart wrote:

    Very slightly more on topic, I also giggle every time I see Alan Bollard these days.

    Bless you, Emma -- makes me feel my life has not been in vain.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 961 posts Report Reply

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