Friday, May 29, 2009

New Zealand, it's not as safe as it used to be.

This, people, is a thief.

A flying, feathered thief.

A flying, feathered, passport stealing thief.

A shameless flying, feathered, passport stealing thief.

There are even witnesses to his crime.

While a tour bus was parked on the Milford Road recently, this flying felon whipped in and stole a passport that had been merely minding its own business in a bright coloured courier bag in the bottom compartment of the bus. Right under the nose of the driver.

However, Te Anau police have decided not to pursue an arrest or attempt to recover the passport, possibly due to the fact that the kea was last seen disappearing off into Fiordland, which is about six times the size of Samoa.

But if anyone stumbles across a passport while they're in Fiordland, there's a Scotsman who would really like it back.

"The kea's probably using it for fraudulent claims or something. I'll never look at a kea in the same way."

I fear tourism to this country is about to take a hammering.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The one about the pig.

How about that swine flu, then?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I can't even think of a title.

This all over me Irish bloggie mates' blogs this morning. When you see stories you read about personalised like this, it takes them into another league of horror.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If I think about it too hard, I might need therapy.

On Sunday my brother Sunshine arrived in town and I went out to the airport to pick him up.

'Are you limping?' Came out of my mouth before any type of greeting.

'Yeah,' he smiled as he allowed his limp to morph into a full blown hobble, 'came off my bike this morning.'

'How come?'

'Going down hill, greasy road, wheels came out from under me round a corner.'

'How fast were you going?'

'About thirty-five ks.'

'Why were you going so fast?'

'Didn't want to hold the car up behind me.'

'You're a mental.'

Ohh it was ugly, no skin on one ankle and I wanted to vomit when he showed me the damage to his thigh. Think an area the size of your palm and then think road and hitting it at thirty-five ks.

I must say my sympathy for him dwindled when he tried to gross me out with his bloodied gauze dressing, though.

Bit like the time he chased me through my bedroom with the freshly shot dead rabbit.

And the time he tormented me with duck intestines.

And the time he fractured my wrist.

And the time he was dubbing me on his bike, just after I had got home from getting my plaster off my wrist(see above), I told him not to go round the holly bush, he went round the holly bush, I put my foot into the spokes of his wheel to avoid getting scratched and ended up on crutches due to having a crushed foot.

And the time he tried to sell me. (Thank god there was no such thing as EBay when we were growing up).

I think I should stop now, otherwise I could see this turning into a very long post.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The upshot of all of this is that I am very confused come rubbish day.

Christchurch has just introduced a three-bin kerbside collection for domestic waste. The whole idea is to reduce the amount of domestic rubbish going to landfill by one third.

This means you now have to separate your rubbish into: rubbish, recycling and organics which is actually just a little tedious but, just as I got used to having to brush my teeth and put my seat belt on, I am sure it won't be too long before I will forget that it's a bit of a drag.

But the thing I can't quite get my head around is the new tag line the Council have introduced in order to launch this new system.

'Love your rubbish.'


If I loved my rubbish, surely I wouldn't be throwing it out?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

When I grow up, I want to be a digger driver.

One of my 'Stralian cousins sent me this story. (I think she's currently working out how to padlock her computer). Meet three year old Pipi Quinlan.

Cute, yes?

Well ,she is about to get a whole lot cuter (particularly if she's not your daughter).

Recently, while the rest of the family were sleeping, she got up, went to the computer and found herself on the auction website TradeMe. With a couple of well-timed clicks of the mouse, she picked herself up a $20,000 Kobelco earthmoving digger!


Later that morning her mother discovered an email from TradeMe telling her she had won an auction and another email from the seller saying something like 'I think you'll love this digger'." Since she had a few Duplo Lego play kits on her watch-list, she'd assumed she'd won a digger toy-set.

However it didn't take too long before her and her husband worked out that their darling daughter had actually won the auction for a $20,000 digger!

Her husband's reaction? "Well you'll have to move the Honda off the driveway to make way for the Kobelco."

Needless to say, the Quinlans didn't have to front for the digger and the auction has been relisted.

But it just goes to show that the early bird bags the digger.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Giddy up, Timmy!

Independent correspondent Alan Carr was being interviewed on National Radio this morning about furore surrounding British MPs’ helping themselves to the public cookie jar.
He had this to say about the mood of the country:

'My oh my, people are hopping mad over here.'

Take that, you naughty MPs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Comment police!

Sorry people! I've just discovered that a whole lot of comments have been trapped in moderation!

Discovered them now.

Dang new fangled interweb.

I reckon my dream brain has discovered the datura plant....

...cause I've been having some crazy-arse dreams lately.

Not last night but the night before I dreamt that my sister and I were on separate business trips to a small town near to where we were brought up. I am not sure what work she was doing but I was being given a tour of the brand new state-of-the-art prison that had been recently built. (This town doesn't have a cop, let alone a prison).

We were both going to stay with our parents afterwards and on the bus back we realised we had left our luggage at the hotel (this place doesn't have a hotel and the only bus service that would have got us to our parents would have been the school bus).

On the journey back we realised that we were going to not our parents' house they live in today, but the one we grew up in. On the journey down a little country road we passed an enormous swimming complex. (The village near where we grew up in barely has a school pool).

But this swimming complex wasn't made out of concrete and the normal stuff swimming complexes are made out of. No, no, no old datura brain invented a complex that was just channels of water dug straight into the paddock, like a massive racing track but with more bendy bits. Oh and, it was full of many many swimmers with red and yellow swimming caps.

When we eventually got to our parent's house we discovered they had a lodger, television presenter Newsboy.

He's walks into my parent's living room and proceeds to work out in a lime green g-string, in front of us.

(My parent's are more likely to be raising baby monkeys in their living room than have a home gym in the living room. Can't speak for Newsboy).

And then my uber-fit, very slim brother walks in and he's laughing cause he's suddenly developed a belly. NO other body fat, just a belly.

Last night I dreamt I was about to go to a dinner party that David Bain, who is currently being retried on five counts of murder, was attending. And I suddenly became a little anxious as I didn't know whether it was cool to ask him what twelve years in jail was like, or not.

And then my father's off to Borneo for a conference.


I am weird.

Okay, so the bit about Borneo is actually true.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Change the country and the climate and some food just becomes wrong.

After my last two posts regarding dubious food, I received an email from a friend in England who said they reminded him about a book he got for Christmas. “The Essential Alan Coren – Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks” and a piece entitled “Eight Legs Worse”.

I quote:

'The late AC writes about a dinner party where the hostess serves Stuffed Squid, served in its own ink. “Oh Wow, the guests cried. . . . . . Though not a household name where marine biologists foregather, I know why the squid has ink in it. It is so that it can squirt it out to put off predators attempting to eat it. It works.”

He points out that “It is not a question of sqeamishness over this exotic dish or that, it is only one of suspicion and unease when faced with the ambitions of the amateur. For while it is one thing to order tiger stew from an Ulan Bator restaurateur with three rosettes in the Mongolian Michelin, it is quite another to have it ladled out before you in Stoke Newington by an English ophthalmologist whose hobby is deciphering oriental cookbooks.” '

And doesn't he have a point ?

It reminded me of not such a scary eating experience. We were on a job in Malaysia. We had a driver who took us to the local joints to eat. (Our first breakfast at the hotel cost $45 each, our breakfast at his local the following day, $1.60 for four of us). We were always served a really sweet coffee along with dahl and roti at breakfast time. The coffee (that we later discovered was just condensed milk and instant coffee) was poured, very theatrically, at great heights from the pot to the cups. While we didn't think that we would take home the dahl-and-roti-for-breakfast habit, we were all reasonably confident we would love to make that coffee when we got back home.

Heh. What dreamers.

While instant coffee made with condensed milk is perfectly acceptable in the sticky hotness of Malaysia, I cannot begin to think how wrong it would be in New Zealand.

About as appropriate as tiger stew in Stoke Newington, I suspect.

Friday, May 15, 2009

While I really like risotto....

... squid ink risotto just seems a bridge a little too far.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The most disturbing blog I think I have written.

My shark swimming friend emailed me a list of the six most terrifying foods in the world. They include such tasty delights as as baby mice wine.

If you fancy a glass of it, you'll find it in Korea.

Also on the list was cazu marzu .

It doesn't look too scary from the picture however, I quote:

'This, dear reader, is a medium-sized lump of Sweet Christ. Casu Marzu is a sheep'
milk cheese that has been deliberately infested by a Piophila casei, the "cheese fly."
The result is a maggot-ridden, weeping stink bomb in an advanced state of

But wait! There's more! It also comes with translucent larvae that can jump six inches in the air when you eat it. Little wonder it also goes by the name of 'maggot cheese' and has been outlawed in Sardinia.

The scariest morsel on the list for me was the number one.

I am sorry I am doing this to you, but I would like to introduce you to balut.

It's from the Philippines and I quote:

'Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture. They are enjoyed in Cambodia, Philippines and the fifth and seventh levels of hell. They are typically sold by street vendors at night, out of buckets of warm sand. You can spot the vendors because of their glowing red eyes, and the faint, otherworldly sound of children screaming.'

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I will go and vomit in the rubbish bin.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Email I received today.

'Hi Kate, thanks for your offer of your vehicle, can you please be here at 9.15 a.m so we can pack your car.?

A coupla things.

1. I, um, didn't offer my car, but that's neither here nor there.

2. Into my car they were going to have to pack: big camera, tripod, lights,other assorted paraphernalia, three strapping blokes (one of whom is 2.6 metres tall) and myself.

3. My car has two doors.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Could it be construed as double dipping ?

Today's expected high, 9 degrees.


Guess that means winter's moved in before autumn's moved out.

Bigger sigh.

Is there any way winter can be evicted early due to arriving before it was booked in?

Monday, May 11, 2009


My brother-in-law over at Quote Unquote often does Sentence of the Day. I particularly liked this:

Noel Gallagher of Oasis on his brother Liam, whom he calls “the angriest man you’ll ever meet”:
He’s like a man with a fork in world of soup.

And I thought I'd a few sentences that I have either read or heard over the last little while that have made me smile.

Long haul bus travel being described as transport of the damned.

Being put on hold being described as the curse of modern civilisation.

Mark Broatch of the Sunday Star Times writing about Rome as a city 'where you can't bury the cat without digging up a new civilisation.' Or something like that, the article was written sometime last year, but the line has still stayed with me.

And finally, last week White Rabbit described a guy she encountered as 'scarier than a clown dressed in a tuxedo gutting kittens.'

That's all.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I'd like my parking ticket to go to the Shelter for Obese Three Legged Chihuahuas, please.

Just currently I've got $132 of traffic fines to pay. While some people got chocolate eggs at Easter, I was lucky enough to get a $120 Easter speeding ticket.

And then last week I got a $12 parking ticket. Which I kinda deserved, as I had left my car in the same spot all day in the hope that the Parking Cowboys were patrolling another part of town. Apparently not.

Anyway, I'm not too bummed about that cause I haven't had a parking ticket for a couple of years and if you add up to the amount of free parking I've had I still reckon I'm up for the day.

Now I've come up with an idea that would take away most of the pain of paying fines.

Ching! Ching! Ching!

Could you all put down your toys and please pay attention?

Everyone listening?

Holemaster! Get the magnet away from Tinman!

Right, here we go.

How would you feel about paying fines if the money went to the charity of your choice, instead of your money going back into some massive faceless system, 'Now, madam that'll be $120, now what charity would you like your money to go to?'

'Child cancer thanks. And why don't we just round it up to $200?'

Under this system I reckon you'd find the $450 million that is currently owed in this country in overdue fines would be swiftly cleared up.

Wouldn't you feel so much better about getting a speeding/parking ticket? Kind of smug (towards the person who is writing you the ticket because you no longer resent them) and philanthropic, all a the same time.

Possibly best I'm not running the country.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

If you take two of the red pills and one of the blue ones....

I've always thought that if I got to redesign humans I think I would add wings.
But then if I had to hand my wings back in due to being rubbish at landing, I think my second choice would be paws or furry feet.

What would you choose ?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Move over swine flu, the sea lion is set for world domination!

Shucks, ain't it cute?

Apparently not, especially when s/he's playing chicken with the traffic.

This sea lion has made Bluff's Marine Parade his home for the last month and the residents of really sick of him terrorising the 'hood.
They've tried to get rid of him off the road in a number of ways, including the Bluff Fisherman's Store Station Manager Meri Leask giving him the full wrath of her garden hose at 7.30 a.m, in her dressing gown.
But s/he isn't keen to be moved on as apparently sea lions are territorial and once they form an attachment to a place they tend to come back, so the locals my have get used to s/he becoming part of the furniture.
I've done a few stories with sea lions in my time, they can be scary fuckers when they come lumbering towards you with their great big fangs and breath so bad that it reaches you a good week before the sea lions does.
I pointed their appalling state of their personal hygiene out to the local Department of Conservation guy who said, 'You'd smell the same if you just lay around and ate fish all day.'
But at least I'd floss.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ten bucks says Ozzy Osborne lives till he's about 90.

Shazzer Osborne has been on the blower to BB2 Radio 2 and told them that Ozzy was stoned for the entire series of The Osbornes that was filmed between 2002 and 2005.

Each day he would have a pipe at the end of day and chase it up with a case of beer.
Ozzy admits that prescription drugs were part of the whole cocktail and that he wouldn't have been able to tell you what time of the day any of the shows were filmed.

Who woulda thought?

Monday, May 04, 2009

I will just have to move to a more sophisticated level of corruption.

I was talking to my sister last night and she said, ' I've just got to coax the five year old out from under her sister's bed so she can go and brush her teeth. Perhaps you'd like to have a go.'

The phone was handed under the bed.

'Hey gorgeous girl, now do you know why you have to brush your teeth?'


'They're really tired and they need to go to sleep. And brushing them is like putting their pajamas on.'

'But teeth don't have pajamas.' (Literal translation:you're a fool).

Sigh.Guess that's my bullshitting-my-nieces days well and truly numbered.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine flu: the pin up disease of the 21st Century.(And I promise this is the last one about the sniffly pig).

So the World Health Organisation has come out saying that we must all pull together re: (formally known as) swine flu as all of humanity is effected.

So far, 149 people have died from swine flu.

Yet, this year alone, starvation has killed around about 15 million.

Shouldn't we be feeling just a little bit sheepish?