Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Human Zoo

Saturday contravened the audacious weather forecast by being grey and drizzly. Apart from shopping the day passed without event. In the evening friends Kim & Shane came over for dinner for which we had mozzarella and parma ham salad followed by eye fillet in blue cheese sauce with baked potatoes and green salad. It was all washed down with a couple of bottles of Peter Lehrman Shiraz. After a first round of canasta we hoovered up a Rocket chocolate whisky cake, coconut ice cream and strawberries. It's amazing we had room for any scorched almonds but we managed most of those too while poring over the cards. By 1am we said goodbye to the guests and rolled into bed with very rotund bellies.

Today saw sunshine that was due yesterday, so we grabbed our cameras (including the D60x John acquired yesterday) and headed to the zoo to show ourselves to the inmates there.
Most of the animals seemed pretty laid back and most were dozing in the sun, or rolling on their backs, as relieved as we were to see the end (we hope) to the interminable rain.

Here are a few of the species that watched us being human...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Commitment to Dylan

I recently came across Tony Ling's Blog "Every Dylan Song". This "writer, poet and genius" has set himself the astonishing mission of writing a blog entry about every Dylan song ever officially released. His posts are quite lengthy detailed, illuminating entries; he's put a lot of thought into what he writes. He should be completed by about 2021 unless Bob releases new material in the meantime. Tony cites his reasons as his being one of the biggest Dylan fans around (well it seems there are a lot of us) and also he says he "sucks at responsibility", so this is a test of his commitment. I wish him well and read his blogs when I can (oops maybe I have a commitment problem too - lets see what can I do about that).

Fridays NZACres conference was very good. Interesting speakers from all aspects of the clinical research spectrum, from Big Pharma to academic researchers, to regulatory and government funding agencies. Stopped afterwards for some wine & nibbles and the usual "put the world to rights" chatting. Didn't feel like cooking after that so John & I went to Blitza for some pasta and more red wine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tangled Up ....

After finally completing the sorting, spread sheeting, calculating, collating and posting off my tax return information, I rewarded myself with a Bob Surf and came across this great gem from 2000.

New boots and Old music

Wow! Spring has sprung. Suddenly its all blue sky and warmth and blossomy trees and perky yellow flowers.

Am having today off in lieu of tomorrow which I will spend swanning around the Langham hotel in the name of work. Alright, I'll be working, attending the NZACres (New Zealand Assoc. of Clinical Research) conference. Last year I gave a presentation and ran a workshop, so it will be more relaxing this time as a plain vanilla attendee.

Pushed myself at the gym despite my lingering back ache. Driving along listening to Chicago's Greatest. I don't normally like this kind of upbeat music with full on high pitched singing and big band accompaniment. However, when I was 11 or 12 I had a pen pal in the USA who sent me his compilation tape of Chicago, and now when I hear songs like 'Saturday In The Park' and 'I've Been Searching So Long' it makes me feel like a teen again which cheers me up no end - I even sing along in the car. I think its called regressing. Maybe statistically I am 'regressing to the mean' in that its middle-of-the-road music. Ha.

The other day I discovered that my favourite red ankle boots have a crack across the sole, after 2 winters hard use which meant they are only safe to wear on dry days (not that we've had many lately) so I went foraging for replacements. Couldn't find the exact sort but these ones will do the job, and I got the 2nd pair for 1/2 price.
That's two pairs for $70 (about 25 quid in old money). Also treated myself to some new lingerie. Must be the effect of spring. I was going to call this post 'New Boots and Panties' (after Ian Dury and the Blockheads) but thought it might attract the wrong kind of reader.

"Einstein can't be classed as witless,
He claimed atoms were the littlest.

When you did a bit of splittleliness:

Frightened everybody shitless."

~ from 'There ain't half been some clever bastards' by ID and the BH's.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Backache, tax, muffins and wayward accountants

Spent half the day working on my dreaded tax return. Wanted to do some exercise (really!) but had a bad ache in my lower back. So the fall back activity was tax paperwork which I deferred until after I'd had a nice lunch in a local cafe.

I had been trying to get hold of my accountant for the last 2 weeks and finally today he rang, apologising for being short staffed because he'd had to let one of his staff go after he'd been assaulted by them! It seems tax and accountancy can drive people crazy even when they are employed to do it. After 5 minutes talking about my tax affairs he spent another 15 talking about his camera and photography, for which I hope he's not going to charge me.

After the day was nearly done I needed some comfort, so I made an eggplant and mozzarella pie to have tonight with a baked chicken breast while watching Coronation St. (it returns - yaaayy!! although we are about 18 months behind the real-time UK) and a batch of walnut & date muffins. These are they.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spring on the horizon

The last few days I have noticed a couple of signs that we are heading out of winter. A bank of daffodils greeted me near the gym and today it was still daylight when I got home from work at 6pm. It was more noticeable because the clouds cleared. We've had so much rain - Auckland hasn't had a dry weekend since May. Yesterday we had prolonged heavy tropical downpours most of the day.

The real milestone here in NZ though is the Labour Day holiday at end of October - that marks the start of the summer season.

Watching the highlights of the Beijing closing night and wondering if I will be in London (or nearby) in 2012.

A springtime view of Boston from my travels a couple of years ago...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dylan's humour

Dylan is most well known for somewhat serious songs such as Masters Of War, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Desolation Row, Blowin' In The Wind to name just a few.

Not many people realise he has a great sense of humour which is often evident in his music.

This from Bob Dylans 115th Dream :

I went into a restaurant, Lookin' for the cook
I told them I was the editor Of a famous etiquette book
The waitress he was handsome
He wore a powder blue cape
I ordered some suzette, I said
"Could you please make that crepe"
Just then the whole kitchen exploded From boilin' fat
Food was flying everywhere And I left without my hat

this from I Shall Be Free:

Well, I got a woman five feet short
She yells and hollers and squeals and snorts
She tickles my nose pats me on the head
Blows me over and kicks me out of bed
(She’s a man eater,
Meat grinder
Bad Loser).

Thunder On The Mountain ( a couple of verses after name checking Alicia Keys...)

I got the porkchops, she got the pie
She ain't no angel and neither am I

Several of his 'Talkin' Blues' tracks are very funny: Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues, and also Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues, but this one is my favourite...

Talkin' World War III Blues

Some time ago a crazy dream came to me,
I dreamt I was walkin' into World War Three,
I went to the doctor the very next day
To see what kinda words he could say.
He said it was a bad dream.
I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though,
They were my own dreams and they're only in my head.
I said, "Hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain.
"He said, "Nurse, get your pad, this boy's insane,
"He grabbed my arm, I said "Ouch!"
As I landed on the psychiatric couch,
He said, "Tell me about it."

Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past.
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on.
Well, I got up and walked around
And up and down the lonesome town.
I stood a-wondering which way to go,
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
And walked on down the road.
It was a normal day.

Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell
And I leaned my head and I gave a yell,
"Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man.
"A shotgun fired and away I ran.
I don't blame them too much though,
I know I look funny.
Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand I seen a man,
I said, "Howdy friend, I guess there's just us two.
"He screamed a bit and away he flew.
Thought I was a Communist.

Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave,
"Let's go and play Adam and Eve.
"I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin
'When she said, "Hey man, you crazy or sumpin',
You see what happened last time they started."

Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown
And there was nobody aroun',
I got into the driver's seat
I drove 42nd Street In my Cadillac.
Good car to drive after a war.

Well, I remember seein' some ad, So I turned on my Conelrad.
But I didn't pay my Con Ed bill, So the radio didn't work so well.
Turned on my player-It was Rock-A-Day, Johnny singin',
"Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa,Our Loves Are Gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah."

I was feelin' kinda lonesome and blue,
I needed somebody to talk to.
So I called up the operator of time
Just to hear a voice of some kind.
"When you hear the beep It will be three o'clock,
"She said that for over an hour And I hung it up.

Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then, Sayin,
"Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams,
But mine was a little different you see.
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me.
I didn't see you around."

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"I said that.

Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

So next time you feel like a chuckle, listen to some Dylan lyrics. I can recommend it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dreamin' Of You

Here's one for all the family & friends I haven't seen for ages...
Feel like a ghost in love
Underneath the heavens above
Feel further away then I ever did before
Feel further than I can take
Dreamin' of you, that's all I do,
But it's driving me insane.....

Dreamin' of You is the pre-release track from Bob's upcoming Bootleg Series release 'Tell Tale Signs' . Great song. And interesting to hear lyrics that he used or changed slightly on studio albums like Time Out of Mind.

Groin strain and how to encourage children

I went to the gym this morning and pushed heavier weights on each machine which seemed to earn me the right to get trained on 2 new machines, one was called an 'abductor' or something like that and involved mighty pushing with the groin muscles - if there is such a thing - or maybe they are called the abducts? - anyway I thought this would be very useful to do if one was preparing for childbirth. In my case I think it will just mean aches and pains in my groin tomorrow - which will give me a good excuse for a lie in followed by an unhealthy brunch.

Been a bit social today too. Had a cuppa with Kim next door and then went for a late lunch with Mo at the Takapuna Beach Cafe and a wander around an art gallery afterwards. We must have a similar sense of humour because we always manage to have a good chuckle about something.

She had read an article about how to encourage children. Apparently if you recognise something good by telling them "they were clever" it doesn't help as they won't know how to build on that but if you say "Didn't you work hard" then they have something concrete to focus on that they are in control of. Makes sense to me.

It made me think of my school report aged 14, where my form teacher wrote : "Amanda must realise she is growing into a young lady and not a clown" .... my Dad thought it was a great compliment but my mum never had a sense of humour anyway. I tried to find this report (I know I saw it recently) but tis not where I thought it was - dammit. I was going to scan it for here. There is another one where the maths teacher wrote "Amanda seems to be interested in everything other than maths during the class" - which was pretty much true. No-one ever told me "Didn't you work hard" - which now I think about it is probably for a very good reason. Maybe I was clever enough to get away with being lazy :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All that glitters...

Continuing the theme of His Bobness as Econo-guru - this from The Telegraph: Which song best sums up the UK downturn?

Went to a Pub Quiz tonight, at a new place called The Quarry. Had some pub grub and the quiz was good fun but it makes you realise how much you don't know when you try to work out things like the 5th largest desert in the world or remember who sang "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Yes, it was Bonnie Tyler and yes, it is something I'd rather not have had to have remembered.

I hear child molester Gary Glitter aka Paul Gadd has been deported from Vietnam which puts an end to my plans to go visit him in his jail cell and sing "Do You Wanna Be in My Gang". Oh Yeah!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A taxing time, with cat power

Noodle reflecting on life in the sunniest window.
I couldn't face the gym, so I wrapped up warm and went for a walk down to Milford beach. Rain clouds rolled in pretty quickly though. On returning home I tracked down the cats, as they always know where the warmest place in the house is, and sat with them to read the paper. Looking for more distractions, I helped Paul move some furnishings and stuff we had donated over to his new flat in Belmont.

Then I could not come up any more justifiable excuses so I sat down and spent the next 4 hours spread sheeting data for my tax return. Oh Joy.

Milford before the rain.
The afternoon was eased mightily by listening to Cat Power. Here is her 'Song To Bobby' - about Dylan of course...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Byrne & Eno and Olympic overdose

Had Monday-itis all day. I think I may be suffering from Coronation St withdrawal. Handball and synchronised swimming doesn't really do it for me like Ken & Deirdrie yelling at each other or someones house burning down.

As for the cycling points races, I've watched 2 now, at 100 laps each and I'm still not sure how it works. Why do the leaders keep peeling off and dropping to the back of the pack where they score exactly zero???

David Byrne and Brian Eno have released a new album titled "Everything that happens will happen today" - it is available from this website . You can listen to it stream for free or purchase the download. I like what I hear so far (am listening as I blog) and will be adding these tracks to the 10,000+ on my iPod.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dylan's economic theory and my tax return

This New York Times journalist has been compiling Dylan lyrics that speak to the state of the economy. There are quite a few.
Here is Bob pondering the economics of whether to get a haircut .....It rained all day. Didn't go out at all but made a big hole in my tax return paperwork, although most of the time was sent sorting and filing with a couple of short breaks to see what was happening in Beijing. I reckon I could finish it with another full day on the job.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And another one...two...

After a week of nothing, we now have 5 medals as Hayden Roulston just got the SILVER in the Cycling pursuit.

And late last night Valerie Vili heaved a lump of metal into the stratosphere for GOLD at the shot put. I heard she has 19 siblings here in Auckland.

It's being called 'Super Saturday' here in Kiwi-land. We've never made 5 medals in a day before..

Gold medal and hot advice

Excitement here tonight as we watched the Evers-Swindell twins bring home GOLD in the rowing. It was so close - literally millimetres in it. There were several minutes before it was clear if it was NZ or Germany across the line first. And NZ scored two bronze medals - also in rowing - including a very brave effort from Mahe Drysdale who was ill beforehand, had received fluids intravenously and also needed medical attention at the end of the race, yet still managed to get a medal. He looked decidedly wobbly when he was helped up to the medal ceremony. What a trooper as they say here.

We watched the excitement with Jaz and Mark who came over for dinner. We also chatted about their wedding plans over fish & potato pie and blueberry crumble. It was lovely to see them as always.

Need some advice? My friend Alan has written a very interesting blog about the "advice theorem" which is great news for those who give advice, take advice or tend to avoid it in either direction (like me). Apparently, "all advice is good advice, because there is some course of action , between the advised course and its complete opposite, which must with mathematical certainty lead to the best possible outcome". Read more here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunshine and salad does not a summer make...

I out-stared Zappa for at least 30 minutes this morning while having a lie in past his breakfast time. He must think he can stare so hard that he can will me out of bed. Pushed some weights and had a swim (in a nice empty pool) then met up with a friend for coffee.

Driving back from the gym it was so sunny and warm I opened the sun roof but despite it being just past midday the sun was not above me - i had to lean sideways to get any rays on my face - not recommended whilst cruising down the motorway at 100k!

Stopped at Sabato and picked up the prime ingredients for a tasty lunch - fresh ciabatta, vine tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, rocket and a lovely tangy Spanish olive oil. I even managed to tempt John from the office with this feast and it set me up for the rest of the day.

Spending this afternoon catching up on some boring paperwork - preparing for tax return time, organising plumbing repairs (still) and scanning some photos for a FilmScan customer - a wedding album, B&W from the 1970's.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leaks and Leaps

It has been a frustrating few days with a series of problems to sort out, not least plumbing leaks at two of the rentals. At one house the overflow on the hot water tank has gone into overdrive and is dispensing hot water at an alarming rate and thereby upsetting the tenant who is worried about the power bill. Fair enough. However, after 6 visits to attend to it, (so far unsuccessfully) the plumber has not yet managed to fix the problem. When (or if) he does, am I obliged to pay for 6 call out fees, or should he have fixed it properly on day 1? It is the same company that installed the hot water tank there last October.

As for Mari's comment about 'peloton', I must have had a sheltered upbringing because whilst watching the gymnastics tonight I learnt another new word - 'Kachev'. Some of those manoeuvres look positively inhuman.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Kiwi Olympics

Have been watching some of the Beijing coverage last night and tonight, not that I am a sports fan but the country is, so I am going along with it for the ride. The only problem is it is very NZ-centric so you don't get to see much of the sports with no Kiwi participants. The TV has even postponed showing Coronation St. for the duration. I've relocated my laptop to the TV room so I can blog & browse the net and keep an eye on things. It's very educational. Last night I learned a new word 'peloton'.

It looks like NZ are most likely to strike gold in the rowing, with Emma Twigg and Mahe Drysdale doing well in the heats. I learned the other day that a work colleague of mine is the partner of Ben Fouhy - the kayaker who won Silver at Athens, so we will be keeping an eye on him too.

Watched the football last night between NZ and Brazil but it was so poorly matched that I resorted to a bottle of Corona and a bag of Walkers Salt & Vinegar. Theresa - you'd be proud of me. In fact I was reminded of that day we went for an extremely strenuous swim at Little Shoal Bay and raced back here for beer & crisps (and I don't like beer).

Medal results table.

The Good Life in Taranaki

Friday morning we loaded up the Nipple's tiny boot (John joking that at least you can fit a ham sandwich in there) and headed south to New Plymouth. Gawping as we passed by flooded paddocks and fields in the Waikato district with their surreal lines of fence tops peeking through or disappearing into the shimmering water.

At Ngaruwahia we noticed a small crowd with cameras standing around the railway river bridge, so we pulled up, grabbed our cameras and asked an old guy what was happening. A few minutes later we witnessed the passing of a steam train on its way from Wellington to Auckland. It was pulling the original carriages to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of the main line and purportedly carrying our P.M. (Helen Clark). I took a rather shaky photo as the train roared past - it was a section of track with no fencing whatsoever, so you could stand as close as you dared to and witness the sleepers bouncing up and down quite a bit.

We took the alternate route through Otorohanga and TeKuiti and after a couple of minor diversions and an impromptu photo session with some rather good looking bovines we arrived at Richard & Patricia’s about 5.30. We had become good friends when they lived next door to us here in Auckland, and kept in touch when they moved to Taranaki four years ago. Part of their move involved giving up the fast paced city life (as fast as it gets in NZ) for a more leisurely lifestyle. They now grow a variety of fruit & veges on their 3 acres just outside New Plymouth, are certified ‘organic’ and majorly involved with the Taranaki Farmers market.

It had been many months since we had last visited (for WOMAD 2007), so much catching up was done over a delicious dinner courtesy of chef Patricia. A warm & spicy pumpkin soup, snapper parcels garnished with a range of home grown veges and a mouth watering parsnip mash was all washed down with a nice Shiraz. After dinner Richard taunted us with some Belgian music, some of which may have been a type of pseudo-rap.

Saturday saw clouds atop Mt Taranaki (formerly Mt Egmont) so after a leisurely breakfast we opted for a coastal walk. Starting from the city we went around to the port, passing beaches, new housing developments and closed down water parks as we weaved our way to & fro across the port railway line. Later we went to Pankawalla for dinner – a very bright & trendy curry house in town. The food there was great and the owners very friendly too. As we know from Auckland, Richard & Patricia are good at sniffing out the best eateries in town.

Sunday was still cold and windy. After a lie in we had brunch at a French cafĂ© and walked around the Farmer’s Market where we bought some local produce then packed up the Nipple for the 5 hour drive home. Chatting in the car - refining our own 'escape to the country' plans. Just a small question of 'which country'?

Richard & Patricia at New Plymouth city waterfront: ... and having a rough ride near the Port....
Some of their pumpkins ripening in the sun:
View from the coastal walkway:
Waiting for a train to the Port:
Some friendly Taranaki cows:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Two bobs worth and a couple of hats to boot

Phew. A hard days work followed by some down time. With my feet by the fire, and a glass of wine in hand I spent an hour browsing through Bobdom where I gleaned these nice pics of a behatted Bob. Sometimes all a gal needs after a long day is something nice to gawp at!

Back to serious blog-stuff maybe tomorrow, maybe never.
One more day to work then we are off to Taranaki for a long weekend staying with friends. New Plymouth is a 5 hour drive to the south west of Auckland, on the coast. Our first escape from the 'smoke' for what seems ages. Hoping the rough weather holds off - two days ago the main highway to Taranaki was closed due to a slip. With a bit of luck we may get trapped on the other side of one and have to stay a week or two :-)
I realise that I've been out of the UK so long that I can't remember what 'two bob' is worth. I've a feeling may be one bob = a shilling = 10p? Or is it 5p?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

RIP Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

As a teenager in the Seventies I was an avid reader, and none stuck more in my deepest memory than reading Solzhenitsyn. I devoured the Gulag Archipelago, A day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward. He was a truth teller and yet the stories were shocking compared to any fiction I had read.

The books were banned in the USSR and yet here was a teenager in North London reading about atrocities against people whose own countrymen could not access the same books. I found this equally shocking.

Solzhenitsyn was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda and of "founding a hostile organisation". In 1945 he was sentenced to an eight-year term in one of Stalin's labour camps, to be followed by permanent internal exile. His writing was mostly undertaken in secret during this time and published overseas. A.I.S. passed away this week aged 89.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Westward Ho!

Saturday dawned with a definite determined feeling. We would go for a walk in nature regardless of what the skies could tip on us. The wild west coast was calling. For those who don't know Auckland the western suburbs quickly give way to native bush clad hills and wide open beaches that glimmer with shiny black volcanic sand. Sometimes you can't resist the call of this wild place and the 40 min drive is not much of a deterrent.

Equipped with all manner of coats, scarves, and hats we set forth, stopping in Titirangi for a tummy filling feast at the Hardware Cafe. I tucked into eggs benedict with salmon & portobello mushrooms and a mochaccino. Feeling replete we continued along Huia Rd.
The Lower Nihotupu dam was full and a lot of water was flowing over the curved edge to the canal below. I was keeping my head warm in my possum hat.

Further along we made several detours on side roads to check out wharves, bays and reserves - all devoid of other people which added to the peaceful feeling of wilderness. Mostly the rain held off or only fell when we were driving.

One of the viewing platforms was inhabited by a bunch of very fancily dressed multi-coloured chickens and roosters who swooped on us and danced around with joy as we fed them some exotic walnut & honey bread we had purchased in Titirangi. The black one with the long blonde hair looked like some Hollywood porn star out on the town, the way it swaggered around as if on high heels.

At Whatipu peninsula we donned raincoats and zipped up for the walk across black sand dunes and native bush to the rocky coast. On a previous visit here (with Mari) we had ventured around to the caves but today was a bit rough. I remember feeling gobsmacked when I learnt that the largest cave used to have a dancefloor and balls were held there. The thought of people at this wild and inaccessible cave on a deserted coast in evening dresses and suits made and still does make me smile. I guess life was different in those days.
Whatipu is home to many burial caves, terraces, rock shelters, middens and four major Pa sites.
In the late 1870's up until 1922, there was a timber mill at Whatipu. An old dance floor from the timber milling days in the late 1800's and early 1900's is believed to be still under the caves at Whatipu today.

When we got out onto the flat sands the wind picked up and the rain got heavier so we did a quick circuit and headed back to the car feeling virtuous for at least giving it a go. We rewarded ourselves with a couple of delicious hazelnut and cinnamon buns from an isolated cafe/corner shop. More Whatipu history here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Brighter Day all round

Not quite sunny but it is a lot brighter with some blue patches so my mood is better today. The rain got to me yesterday. It has also cheered me up that a few people have been leaving comments on this blog. Thank you. Makes it worthwhile to know there are some people (maybe not 10,000!) listenin'.

I am entranced by the beautiful photos of Auckland appearing every day here . Today I discovered there are many more cities being photo blogged daily, including Hanoi - which cheered me up even more to get a glimpse of Vietnam.

The weather is still pretty rough here. As I drove up to Albany this lunchtime I passed one of the green Motorway overhead route signs lying bent and buckled in the middle lane of the motorway. Traffic was carefully weaving its way around it.

Our storms made front page news on Guardian UnLimited today - with this video clip showing a lucky near miss as a tree fell on a departing car bumper in Nelson (which for those who are hemispherically challenged is a town at the very top of the South Island).

Pete's blog post about the Brighton Pride parade on this weekend reminded me of the fun we had watching the 2006 parade while visiting my ex LUL colleague Andrew. Here's a couple of the many photos I took of that day.

And a photo of Bob for no reason at all. Except maybe to show that some people just get sexier the older they get :-)