While I agree the Spanish don't have a wide spice palate and certainly don't embrace other countries cuisines, we had some of the best food experiences of our life in four years there. As for local ingredients being inferior, fruit and vegetables from the local Spanish market were way better than in NZ. the tomatoes in particular were off the lip. You are still able to buy ripe fruit there which is something we no longer can do unless you have access to a local orchard shop.
I also marvelled at the choice and variety of seafood even though being on the Med, a lot of it had travelled a bit. The other good thing it was all labeled with country of origin and whether farmed or ocean caught. Mind you the Spanish being pretty infamous for pillaging the oceans so I am not sure accurate the labelling was. Having the ability to catch your own fish is something we should hold dear.
The best meals we had were the simplest with the best ingredients, Anchovies, sardines, calamari (not fried) cheese, peppers and the famous Valencian tomatoes.
As an old man, when I am asked what the biggest changes I have seen in NZ in my lifetime, my first reply is always food. When you talk about meat and 3 veges, it was overcooked as well! As a young man, I still remember an uncle cooking me cabbage, (which I hated) steaming it and adding lemon juice. Wonderful! Another old neighbour cooking rare steak with garlic, unknown at the time. Both gentlemen were gay.
We sailed off in 76, in a boat we built and caught lots of fish. We used to steam, salt, and pickle the tuna, because we new nothing about sushi or raw fish. What a waste!
JFK's assassination was the first news story rhat had a big impression on me. I was at high school. Since then the strongest memories have been tied to the places where I heard the news. Camping at a Coromandel Beach during the Wahine storm. Listening on sw RNZ to the commentators describing the flour bombing of Eden Park in 81, while sailing across the Pacific. Watching the siege of the London Iranian Embassy on TV in Amsterdam. Turning on the TV, while getting ready for work early in the morning in Washington State and watching live as the 2nd plane crashed into the twin towers, not believing what I was seeing. That was a strange day at work!
Since then I guess the two big tsunamis and the earthquakes have left the strongest impressions.
Saffron in Te Pai Pl off Lincoln Rd is a great place to buy herbs and spices and dry goods. They have a huge range in bins. They also have Medditerranean foods.
I enjoyed that David.
I worked in a cotton gin in Wee Waa in 69. I cant remember if they had matches in the toilet. It was a very stratafied society. Living in the gin camp, we didnt even get to see the farmers and families let alone meet them. There was quite a sizable local aboriginal population but only one employed in a workforce of 150.
There was no local libarary so I used to go to the local store, steal a book, read it, take it back and exchange it for another one.
I have no desire to return to find out if they have matches in the toilet or pay for the books!
Just a bit of local colour. This week I have been off work and both days we have had a spray helicopter and fixed wing aircraft flying very low, both at Piha and Anawhata. The local Facebook pages are full of angry comments from residents with tales of babies being woken up and just the sheer invasion of privacy. Some of the spraying appears to be haphazard at best. From what we can tell they appear to have got just a few small plots here and there. Everybody is commenting on what a sheer waste of time and resources it is.
Last year my partner heard some noise in the street and checked it out to find 3 police cars, detectives in flak jackets raiding a late middle aged working couple apparently over a few plants. Luckily the couple were at work, otherwise they might have had a heart attack.
Now, if people want a smoke they are going to go to town and probably buy some gang supplied skunk weed at 3 times the strength. It is just so counter productive.
Kelly Slater in surfing would be up there in individual sports. 11 World titles including 5 consecutive and both the youngest (20) and the oldest winner (39)
When I was part of the first 3 NZ Americas Cup challenges the sailors had a deliberate policy of not showing any emotion when we won. In San Diego especially, it was a reaction to the high fives and over the top (we thought) celebrations of the Americans. A hand shake was allowed, but anything more attracted a fine. God forbid anybody hugged!. While some of the old boys are still a bit staunch, It has mostly changed for the better now though.
I would love to have been able to go tonight, but cannot make it. I saw the Selector (along with Madness and the Specials) at a dancehall in Bournemouth in 1979. A wonderful night. I would have been the oldest person in the room at 31 and a dancing fool.
There is a court case going on in the States at the moment where the editor of a sailing site (Sailing Anarchy) is being sued by a yachtowner for calling him a shyster. The owner specializes in student loans at exorbitant rates and has huge debts. Brad Butterwor.th sails for him
I have thought about a book in a gonzo style of journalism. I used to tell my daughter bedtime stories of my travels. One of her favourites was from when we were sailing from Darwin to Bali. When sailing downwind in the trades we used to hang off the mainsheet and drag in the water to cool down. One day one of the crew was doing this when we heard an almighty scream and he came leaping over the side with a bluebottle jellyfish draped around his penis. After we had stopped laughing, we looked up a book about what to do. We chose vinegar over urine. My daughter who was about 7 at the time, went off to school the next day and told the story at Show and Tell.
In the mid seventies it seemed. every second house had a boat under construction in the back yard. When Harold said his plasterers had done 29 boats, the guys that did ours(probably the same ones) had done 80. Although lots didn't get finished and some were pretty rough, there were still plenty sailing. When we sailed into Tel Aviv in 78, there were 4 kiwi boats there, 2 of them ferro.
We nearly sold the boat in England, but after all working in different countries for a year decided to spend a year sailing home which I am glad we did, as on the way we spent 3 months in the Caribbean and San Blas Is and 3 weeks in the Galapagos, plus I got to surf in some fabulous places. I went that whole year on $700 and arrived home without my mothers $60. This was a pain at times particularly in Tahiti.
I had arrived in England with long hair and a full beard and left with no beard and a shaven head. I had met up with some kids (I was 32) in Hamble (Southampton) where we had the boat. They had a band together and played support for the visiting groups that came to Southampton and Portsmouth. I ended going backstage for all the bands of the time 1979-80. the best being The Clash at Portsmouth Town Hall and their manager Kosmo Vinyl's birthday party.
We sold Aokautere within a month of returning and never saw or heard of it again. I always check out marinas in my travels but not a word. While we would have been a lot better off financially building a timber boat, it did the job and set my life off on a different path. I ended up becoming a composite boatbuilder and have since done 7 Americas Cups and a Volvo Round the World Race on the Shore Crews and I am still a proud leftie (probably the only one!)
And yes Harold, I dislike John Key as much as Muldoon. If not more so. At least you knew what Muldoon was like, he did not have the nice veneer. We took part with the boat in 2 of the anti nuclear blockades, one against the USS Buchanan. They were amazing, so many boats. We had to turn away people that many wanted to come. I cannot imagine the same thing happening now. I often wonder what became of all those idealistic baby boomers, do they vote for Winston and National now.