Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Open Thread 1: Beach and Backyard

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  • andrew r,

    Read Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape, really good in that Richard Dawkins kind of way. La Nina is good for surf on aucklands west coast beaches and they have not disappointed, lots of clean slightly overhead surf days, water fairly warm too - though alas never as warm as Bali. Auckland sea temps get to 20c at best - 25c would be sooooo nice.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Hawkes Bay weather brilliant, family around, lots of garden tending (great crop of tomatoes, beans and strawberries this year), planning trip to Canada in April, bike rides, read Keith's biography and coolest of all was a flight in a little Cesna yesterday around Napier with a friend who is a pilot and has hired a plane for a little holiday jaunt around the lower NI. Interestingly these holidays have seen me playing the least amount of music over the summer than I ever have and what's strange is I don't miss it much. Anybody want a mid 70's P Bass? ;) Today I went to school to check on the servers. Couldn't get away quick enough.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I only discovered this week that Mrs Sonia Pottinger, the great reggae producer, died in November, after some years suffering with Alzheimer's.

    She worked out of Duke Reid's Treasure Isle studio, and produced many of the same artists, but I think her productions are sweeter than his -- and, indeed, sweeter than any other rocksteady there is.

    It's also music perfect for summer. The excellent rocksteady blog You & me on a Jamboree has posted some of her albums as MP3s -- my all-time favourite is still the first collection I owned, Put On Your Best Dress - Sonia Pottinger's Rocksteady (1967-68). It has given me some magic hours.

    The blog is associated with an outfit called Jurassic Sound System, who paid tribute to her passing at their shows in Mexico. Check out the crowd singing along to The Gaylads' 'It's Hard to Confess':

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to andrew r,

    Auckland sea temps get to 20c at best - 25c would be sooooo nice.

    Hell yes. Pt Erin was 23 and that was pretty nice, 25 would probably seem like a bath.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    The theme of my summer so far has been being with my mother, and taking the dog to the beach. Mostly Takapuna, but a friend and I are off to Bethells tomorrow. Swimming buggers her (the dog, not the mother) but it’s so good for her little tiny wasted back legs. And also, because she’s diabetic, and very skinny (she does look a bit starved what with her ribs and spine being so prominent) and her back injury means her legs shake all the time, we get interesting reactions from fellow beach-goers. Last week, a running woman stopped to tell me how gorgeous she was. And then there are those that look pityingly at her, and somewhat judgementally at me. That’s right, lady. She’s an abused dog and I’m bringing her to the beach to show off how badly I treat her.
    As for my mum, it’s been so lovely spending time with her. We normally have a family holiday at this time of year, but due to lack of interest and an extended member of the whanau being sick and then dying (very old, very sick, no sympathy required), our holiday just never happened. Since Dad has died, Mum has found this time of year very hard, and out there in Kumeu, it is very lovely but very lonely in the New Year. All Mum’s stuff is on hold over the holidays – book clubs, garden clubs, volunteering at my nieces’ school, – and most of her friends have gone away. I always think how sad this time of year is for so many people, so, y’know, I do my bit. And being out there doesn’t hurt, either. There’s a swimming pool, and beautiful surroundings, and all the home comforts plus the added advantage of my favourite puppy. (Or Mum’s Boyfriend, as we refer to him.) And mobile broadband has been a revelation - turning my stays with Mum from being a bit ” You want to see my brother’s facebook page, Mum? If you had broadband, we could do that!” into “Yes Mum, we can book your flights and accommodation RIGHT NOW”. So all in all, it’s been a very quiet and very lovely holiday so far. Thanks for asking.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    Ooh, thank you Felix! Much appreciated. I'm not looking forward to this at all, though.... :(

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think quite a few tourists didn't get the memo about Auckland emptying out: the CBD is full of people with backpacks looking for something to do.

    I rode in and picked up my Public Enemy tickets. How long has the Edge box office also been a rather pretty cafe on Level 3?

    Down on the waterfront, the ferries were full and a blustery breeze was blowing. There are some big yachts in at the Viaduct, American millionaires standing on the dock chatting, a hip-looking couple in their late 20s using a laptop on the deck of one of the boats.

    The Viaduct Events Centre is looking quite impressive -- it's hard not to think about how it will all gear up for the RWC.

    Also: why are there tram tracks exposed at the corner of Halsey and Gaunt Streets?

    What on earth is happening to Jellicoe Street?

    And why were six or eight cops on board a Korean fishing boat boat moored by the tank farm?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Also: why are there tram tracks exposed at the corner of Halsey and Gaunt Streets?

    http://www.bettertransport.org.nz/2010/06/trams-make-waterfront-comeback/

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think quite a few tourists didn't get the memo about Auckland emptying out:

    It plays pleasantly merry hell with your estimated travel times -- we had a very nice day out last week in Onehunga. Best second-hand bookstore in town, DressMart and generally a rather nice part of town for aimless wandering and window shopping.

    Otherwise, why the hell didn't the usually impeccably on-trend PAS tell me about the truly wonderful Janelle Monáe? The ArchAndroid has been getting heavy sweaty living room dancing airplay:

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What about audio books, if the radio is letting you down? They're available from libraries. (I should confess that I produce and sell certain NZ-based ones, but audio books come from all points on the planet so I don't think I'm being too precious in suggesting them).

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It plays pleasantly merry hell with your estimated travel times – we had a very nice day out last week in Onehunga. Best second-hand bookstore in town, DressMart and generally a rather nice part of town for aimless wandering and window shopping

    I swung by Dressmart on my Boxing Day ride. Sheer bedlam.

    The best part was working out why I kept seeing dudes parked up in orderly grids outside Glassons et al. I thought it was queues at first, but they were actually waiting outside while their wives and girlfriends swarmed over the sale bins. Because they sure as hell weren't going in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    http://www.bettertransport.org.nz/2010/06/trams-make-waterfront-comeback/

    Well stow the croze!
    Didn't someone here also suggest this very thing at some point last year?

    ETA:

    Because they sure as hell weren't going in.

    Whimps.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    I love audio books. I especially love classics in the public domain read by amateur volunteers - the good people at LibriVox, for instance. And the Internet is a trove of podcasts of all kinds - there really is no excuse for listening to Matinee Idle if it's not to your taste.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I swung by Dressmart on my Boxing Day ride. Sheer bedlam.

    Shit, yes -- we were going to a party on Boxing Day evening, and in a fit of madness thought a wonder around Westfield Albany in the morning would be pleasant. Ended up having to park in the stadium parking lot, and I swear it was so hot I had to peel my clothes off when we got home. Needed four solid hours of the lovely Doctor Who box set Santa brought to deal with the trauma.

    Still, got Inception on BluRay (and hours of hi-def bewilderment for all the family) for an utterly ridiculous price from JB.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to recordari,

    Well stow the croze!
    Didn't someone here also suggest this very thing at some point last year?

    Um, wow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A post with heaps of details is up at Auckland Trains (where else?).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Um, wow.

    Has hell frozen over?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Has hell frozen over?

    No, but here's your money quote: "in time for next year’s Rugby World Cup"

    Sigh.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Anonymous Author,

    Beach and backyard is exactly right. Mostly day trips from the farm across the road to Mahurangi Harbour, particularly Sullivans Bay and Te Muri, plus a not-so-secret-spot known as Big Bay (accessible only via my wee leisure craft – The Little Brown Floater.) Late evenings are spent with friends and family around a bbq on the lawn, with a medley of beer brands loose in an ice-filled chilly bin and a variety of experimental cocktails. The format has become an entirely pleasant habit. First foray back into city life is for Public Enemy on Saturday night.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway, in reply to Ben Gracewood,

    No, but here's your money quote: "in time for next year’s Rugby World Cup"

    I think you'll find it is this year's RWC.... fortunately it is just 360 days until we can refer to it as last year's RWC.

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    On the homeward leg of a two week of the South Island (currently residing at the Camelot Motel in Chch), beginning in Collingwood and travelling south to Stewart Island. Along the way I have been seeking out independent /small cinemas (my 2011 research project is to set website devoted to such places) and I have been greatly heartened to find 16 great cinemas to date--in towns such as Hokitika, Wanaka and Geraldine. My travelling companions have been more interested in secondhand stores and there are treasures to be found there.
    My son has been despatched on a plane back to Wellington and the 87 year old father-in-law on a plane to Nelson, so there is suddenly more legroom in the car. The highlight, so far, was most probably the deserted hilltops of the Bendigo Goldfield--and the sealions on the beach at Sugat Bay.
    I would contact PA people in Chch but we are onwards to Picton on Friday and Bob is probably the beach.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Samthecat,

    Well this year ain't been great. Our Mum died on the 25th December after being very sick for long time, it has been a harrowing 18 months. We had been prepared to a degree and now, after the funeral we have dispersed to beaches near and far to just deal as best we can....she was 80 and an incredible woman.

    We believe she was the first ever woman pathologist in NZ though we have some trouble proving it as they registered in the UK back then. In later life she helped out with a school literacy program and she could never get them to understand that she didn't carry a gun and solve murders....that was the CSI effect.

    So now the family are spread out - Wainui Beach, Waikanae (the Kapiti one) and Ocean Beach....we will remember all those long wonderful beach holidays we shared

    Wellington • Since Feb 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Samthecat,

    I am so sorry, Sam. It doesn't matter how old someone is when they die, or how long they have been sick. It's hard saying goodbye, regardless.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sam - commiserations. While none of my immediate whanau has been seriously ill,
    friends have died, friends have been ill...&, what Jackie said-

    Oamaru for Christmas morning (cooked a pound of 'bait, courtesy of my neighbour for my mother's & my breakfast.) Waimate for the great koha opening fest with my brother's whanau, and a long & relaxed & joyful celebration - great food (more 'bait, crays, roast chook,cherries everywhere (homegrown), the Best Potatoes In The World (Heathers), a really great trifle (thanks our mother!) and really good bubbles & other wine. And the best possible available company...

    Back to the Coast with my mother on the 31st and a truly brillant day (high blue sky sunshine! Windless!) for the umukai on NY's day (I will not make you drool with what we had, but it did include wild pork & venison, 2 titi, and a freshly-caught searun trout -)

    Didnt fall off a cliff this time, didnt break another 3 bones (whew!)

    It has been hard rain ever since, and tumultuous seas, but have had a Scrabble tournament with my mother & my youngest sister (who's brought home a really nice new mate) which was great, even if I lost-

    best greetings & Hogmanay salutations to all PAS people, especially our host & his whanau - & to Jackie Clark (response on the way!) David Haywood (books & cd on the way!) & Jolisa, Emma, & Cecelia for the lovely responses on another thread.

    Kia ora tatou katoa-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Very sad, Sam. I hope that the day she died will cause you to remember her fondly every year at the same time. My first love's father died on Christmas day, although tragically well before his time. She and her mother would always take a particular time on Christmas to remember him, a special private moment between them. It seemed more affirming than mournful, a recognition that they still had each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

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