Kate, that’s how long you have been warming my heart, eyes, ears and mind!
lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky.
I genuinely believe Merriam Webster, Collins and Oxford all got together one day and defined ‘Sassy’ specifically for you.
Seriously though, please do not get me wrong, this is not a smitten fan mail letter, I am not declaring my undying love for you (even though I am sure an overweight 53 year old married man is exactly what you are looking for – despite both of us being happily married).
I love your work. The emperor is wearing no clothes and you are brilliant at pointing this out. But the emperor is not going anywhere, not in the immediate future anyway. I know you did not set out to facilitate and accelerate a regime change. I know your job is not to effect change. However, while the President is free at large to lollop about in the nude; why not change the note from a shrill high E,
‘omg look at that naked buffoon!’
To a more resonate and deeper Low D Flat?
Why not change the tone from outrage and shock, to one of empowerment, in the hope this may embolden reasonable people, people who may offer an alternative on how reasonable people would act? It’s not your job to enable or manufacture an opposition, however, offering an alternative may be more constructive than constant displays of bewilderment and aghast (although absolutely justified).
I question whether the next 210 days will be more of the same? We know it will be from the Emperor. The season’s will change, the Emperor blow from hot to cold and then back again, but until he is impeached, he will still ramble, stomp and trample naked among the tulips of democracy and righteousness.
But I know from my sporting days, is that if you had a bum referee, you took him him out of the game. You concentrated not on what he was doing – but what you could do. you became positive and he became an irrelevance. For someone who loves the spotlight, for someone who loves media and fake news – being an irrelevance would be a death of a 1000 cuts. Me thinks anyway.
Anyway Kate, keep up the good work. Keep being sassy and fighting the good fight. But as I say, maybe time to pick up a new tool! After all, the voice of one should never be underestimated and it often grows exponentially into something very special.
Note: I have shared the musical clips in this post from Christopher Bill’s you tube channel. Chris is a talented young musician from Binghampton in the United States; he has been an inspiration to me as I undertake my own trombone journey – I have included these clips not as a political statement, nor a reflection of Chris’s views, but simply because of his talent and the joy his music brings to me. I thoroughly recommend you check him out.
Last weekend I was cleaning out my room; having an early spring clean. For me, having a clean out is both cathartic and painful. Cathartic in the sense I can dump some old treasure and trash, so I can make way for the new lot of treasure and trash I’m bound to accumulate in the coming year. Painful in the sense, in that, unlike some blokes I actually do associate memories with objects. Painful in the sense, I also associate objects with practicality; so when I look at a pair of thread bare undies I start to wonder whether I can get one more wear out of them, or find another use for them!
Take holey socks! When Maddie was younger I used to use holey socks as sock puppets to entertain her. Some crafty people spend hours making fancy pants sock puppets. Not me – ‘get ’em while they’re still warm is my motto.’ Off the feet and onto the hands – the smell simply adding ambiance and atmosphere.
You tell me – which of the above puppets have more character and depth!
Anyway, so I used to put on my holey socks and hide behind the couch and put on a monstrosity of a show called Pecky and Peke Peki. Pecky and Peke Peki were Pukeko’s (NZ Swamp Hens – a very handsome bird indeed – I think) .
In every town, in every city, in every swamp, lake, pond or stream in NZ you are likely to find these delightful birds. However, like many people, their looks are are just a fascia, as underneath their handsome exterior they are the nosiest, messiest and snobbiest bird you would ever want to cross. But I like them none the less.
Pecky and Peke Pecki were brothers; Pecky the eldest, a bully, evil and cunning who used to terrorise his younger, kinder more placid and gentle younger brother Peke Peki. It was a kiwi Punch and Judy show with violence and language to boot (age appropriate of course). Pecky tormented his younger brother relentlessly, Maddie quickly moving to protect Peke Peki; cradling, cuddling and protecting the cowering little bird.
Despite Maddie loving them; almost as quickly as the shows started they stopped. I just couldn’t do them anymore. They were wrong. Like Punch with his big stick – they were against everything I stand for. There is no place for bullying, even in silly 5 minute sock puppet shows. What had started out as fun quickly grew into something I detested. I never told her the reason (I will today) and Maddie was genuinely disappointed when I made excuses not to put on another show.
So, last weekend as I picked up some holey socks and wondered how I could recycle, re-purpose or re-use them, the memory of Pecky and Peke Peki came back to me. Then, I decided I would recycle, re-purpose and re-use Pecky and Peke Peki – and ditch the socks.
Maddie loved the characters so why wouldn’t others? Why couldn’t I change Pecky from being mean and nasty, to being naughty and unthinking? Why couldn’t I change Peke Peki from being a placid and weak bird to a bird who was full of common sense and kindness?
Today, I will talk to Maddie about possibly co-authoring a children’s book for Joe, her nephew and my Grandson, to give to him as a Christmas present. I hope she agrees and helps me turn something that was painful for me into something cathartic and treasured by others.
Is their sexual attractiveness and abundance of natural talents being taken advantage of?
Do they unintentionally objectify women?
Yeah – no – maybe?
Yes,and of course they bloody do!
But me thinks too that many of these young women simply take any opportunity to work that they can. There must be thousands of part time models out there trying to get a break and make the big time. There are thousands more studying who need part time income. In these days of fickle employment you grab what you can get, right?
And, so long as men remain men, they will always be titillated by a pretty face and good body. Advertisers and marketers aren’t stupid – its the men that are.
I’m not gay but promo just girls don’t do it for me.
Not boxing girls
Nor wrestling girls
Stunning though they are, beautiful indeed, not even pit girls don’t do it for me.
No – I like my women classy – I like my women stylish.
Watching Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia this morning was the inspiration for this post, as once again I fell in love as I do for every stage of the Giro, ‘le tour’ and every other cycling classic around the globe.
I love professional cycling, love love love! And despite the sport being riddled with questions of drugs and cheating, there is one thing they do so much better. And that’s there use of promo girls. They call them podium girls for a start!
In my opinion cycling celebrates women rather than just titillate men. Yes, the models are beautiful and nearly always young, but they are fully dressed, usually in the latest designer apparel. They do not wriggle and giggle their bits, their cleavages usually offer a sliver or a hint, not a grand canyon of opportunity. Yes; they do adorn and attach themselves to the winners, smelly and knackered riders – but they do so with grace, style, poise and panache.
Are they being taken advantage of?
Is their sexual attractiveness and abundance of natural talents being taken advantage of?
Do they unintentionally objectify women?
Yeah – no – maybe?
Yes, and of course they bloody do!
For intents and purposes the difference between Promo and Podium girls are nought.
However, if it is necessary to flaunt your natural attractiveness then you may as well be well dressed and maintain a modicum of class.
I suppose I am being naive and offering dreary double standards, but anything goes when an overweight 50 something falls in love with every single podium girl to grace my screens. I guess I could always become a spandex weekend warrior and get my kicks on the road trying to make my own podium.
Please note: If any podium girls wish to contribute to this story then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Like a freak; this week, I have been examining eyes. Not in the way of an Optometrist or Doctor, more like a Scientist or an Artist. I have asked family members, friends and work colleagues to let me look directly into their eyes. Weird I know, and I did receive some funny confused looks. But this study has has been incredibly valuable.
You should try yourselves.
Here’s what I learnt.
Legs, chests and bums are very attractive and appealing of course, but they have nothing on eyes. Eyes seem to stimulate my heart, tickle the blood and trigger a deep emotive response. Eyes scream intimacy and purity.
My personal favourite colour is brown, very closely followed by green then blue. But really, any coloured eye is fine by me.
This week I focused on eyes only; not hair, eyebrows, facial expressions, makeup or skin. I learnt eyes are great levelers – even the scuzziest people can have lovely eyes. And some people deemed good looking can actually have only pretty average eye attractiveness.
Green eyes – dangerous and exciting
Despite romanticists claiming eyes are gateways to the soul (I also used to genuinely believe this), I did not sense or receive any personal revelations or deeper understanding into the person I was studying. Afterward, I did not feel I knew them any better, however, on one or two occasions, my heart did momentarily flutter even though I had not previously found that person attractive.
So what is it about eyes?
One of my colleagues had her eyes checked earlier this week (which actually triggered this silly exercise and investigation). The thing is though, I had already checked out her eyes and they appeared perfectly fine to me.
Eyes perform many functions, they dress and balance the face, they capture images, provide information and convey emotion. But perhaps the most underrated function is that they reaffirm and advertise the natural beauty of all of us.
Brown eyes – deep and warm
Someone once suggested many years ago in a very famous book that we are created in God’s image, and if that is the case, then one day I will look forward to gazing into God’s eyes and studying them too.
But before then, I am going to give eyes a lot more attention here on earth. Because to me they are like fine works of art, and you can never get sick of looking at them.
I bet you focused on the eyes – he he he
(Gauguin – my fav – and my eyes did divert from the face)
I think Fantails get a bad wrap. Yes I know, I know one of their kin was responsible for Maui’s death, I get that. Every Kiwi knows the score – Fantails bring bad luck – and if one flies inside your house then someone is about to die.
But how many Kiwi’s know that the ill feeling toward Fantails is actually based on the legend of Maui- and how he met his very strange death? But c’mon Kiwi’s, how long can we hold a grudge?
And to be fair, it was a pretty daft idea of Maui to turn himself into a worm and scurry up and inside the sleeping Hine-nui-te-pō (Goddess of the Night). I would have laughed too! Who hasn’t laughed at an in opportune time? Even now as I write I am smiling, thinking to myself – ‘Maui, what were you thinking?’
To me and my uneducated mind, that legend seems more a wonderful allegory of mans foolishness in seeking immortality – rather than dissing and forever condemning the poor old Fantail for having a sense of humour. So let’s get over it and move on.
Over the summer and now into autumn I have been busy outside. So far I have
Cleared a whole bank, full of gorse and scrub.
Planted close to 100 native plants on the bank.
Cleared and built secret paths and walkways
Dissembled a dilapidated and unsafe car port (a decent 6 earthquake would have brought it down and saved me the job).
Build Maddie a Club House (with an amazing view of the bay) with the re-cycled timber and iron from the Car port.
Starting clearing more scrub (on borrowed land – shush) so I can plant a mini orchard in the spring.
This week a compost bin gets built (the last of the recycled materials).
Next week a herb garden goes in.
The above list is not to show nor prove how good I am – far from it! I am a reluctant gardener and handyman at best. But recently I haven’t minded getting outside on the weekends and getting stuck in.
My daughter Maddie has been a regular companion and helper. I enjoy her company immensely. She sings, she chats, she asks a million questions, she tells jokes, we laugh and we talk about writing and stories. She really is the apple of my eye!
But my most constant companion has been Frank!
Please note that this is not Frank
Frank the Faintail has worked with me almost every weekend over the last 5 months. His familiarity and trust in me has got to the stage where he now waits outside the front door for me in the morning. He follows me around the garden! He follows me into the garage, he tries to get into the house – he actually succeeded once! (God I hope no one dies!)
He is a handsome young bird – with a beautiful orange chest, a lovely tan coloured neck and a tail as white as cotton wool which flicks into an amazing fan; seemingly every 5 seconds! He chirps, he sings, he flutters about me (often within a few centimetres of my head) and thoroughly entertains me. Work doesn’t feel like work when Frank is about.
Every handsome young man has a beautiful wife – and Franks wife is called Frankie. She is a little more timid, a little more reserved, hanging off and fluttering amongst the branches a few metres back. She rules the roost though – often going crook at Frank when she feels he is getting to close to me or the action. When Frank flies into the garage Frankie gets cranky – chirping loudly, no doubt telling him to get the hell out of there!
Maddie and I will be buying a bird feeder this weekend to hang off her Club House, as this is close to where Frank and Frankie have their nest. So when winter bites and I cant venture outside as often; at least I will know that my two new friends will have food and shelter.
I cant wait for spring!
The fantail has 20 or 30 different Māori names. As well as tīwaiwaka, it is commonly called pīwakawaka, tīwakawaka or tīrairaka. In one tradition, it was the fantail that caused Māui’s death, so it is a harbinger of death when seen inside in a house. A fidgety person is described as a fantail’s tail, because of the bird’s restless movements.
So Kate, in my best school boy french – which you know is pretty bad – this post is for you!
La vie en rose?
Non, c’est une longue nuit de noir et de pluie!
Le week-end à Paris s’est terminé trop tôt. La promenade romantique autour de Montmarte est maintenant une longue mémoire, s’effritant comme un vieux pain. Beurre de croissant Rancid, une pâtisserie sans flocons.
Mais les oiseaux continuent à chanter le long des Champs Elysées et les amants continuent à marcher main dans la main. La lumière du soleil goutte des ombres ludiques sur le trottoir, les rayons du soleil dansant par des arbres feuillus.
Et un jour, je vous ramènerai à Paris mon amour. Et nous allons marcher dans le bras comme des amants, aller dans les clubs de jazz et trouver ce que nous avons perdu toutes ces années entre les deux.
Heureux anniversaire de mariage
La Vie en Rose
Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast This is la vie en rose When you kiss me, Heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose2
When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Every day words
Seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose
I thought that love was just a word
They sang about in songs I heard
It took your kisses to reveal
That I was wrong, and love is real
Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me, heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Every day words
Seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose
They’re just not nice to look at; thin skinned hairy parcels which wrinkle and contract at the slightest sign of cold or fright. Membranous tissue which seems to stretch a mile before snapping; no, there is not a lot going for them.
Ugly; I readily concede, but they do hold important bits.
Bits men want to keep and protect, although unfortunately scrotum’s afford scant protection as I’ve often found out playing contact sport.
I’ve played in dozens of games of rugby where I wished I had a titanium protector instead of my flimsy sack. I’ve been kicked, punched, grabbed and kneed in the knackers more times than I wish to remember.
But it’s a numbers game; it’s like surfing, hopefully the shark will bite the guy next to you, not you. Now I’m retired from rugby, I reflect that the only comfort I ever took in this, is the times I watched, guffawed and giggled at many dozens of my team mates and opposition who grabbed their balls, sunk to their knees, closed their eyes and screamed. Some have cried, some have impersonated Edvard Munch, some have even writhed on the ground for extended periods wishing to be put down..
You would think that men; knowing the agony created by a low blow below the belt would take sympathy. But, no – we find the howling, the grimacing and rolling lolling about hilarious!
However, there are exceptions to the rule.
I played in 2 games whether players have suffered serious scrotum injuries. On one occasion a testicle was ripped straight out of the scrotum and was left dangling against the upper thigh of my team mate. Thankfully a quick trip to the A&E, a gentle guiding hand, a few well placed sutures and the testicle was safely re-inserted and stitched back into place.
On the other occasion, the poor severed testicle had suffered significant damage and could not be saved. Although the player was in the opposition, there is no comfort there. The poor guy had his testicle removed.
You can rest assured that on both of these occasions there was no giggling, smirks or jokes. Gathered players simply standing in silence, hands on hips with heads down. All of us thinking, thank God it wasn’t me.
Its no laughing matter when your knackers are knackered! Pain is fair game, testicles sacrosanct.
They say New Zealand men are tough, the All Blacks especially so. Many years an All Black Captain suffered a cruel blow between his legs. physically knackered, his knackers knackered, he still managed to find a way to play on. His name was Buck Shelford.
Bring back Buck!
Here is his story:
Buck (Wayne) was a victim of the infamous “Battle of Nantes”, which was one of the most aggressive games of rugby ever played and witnessed. During the game a French boot found its way into Shelford’s groin, somehow ripping his scrotum and leaving him with one testicle hanging free.
Shelford was caught at the bottom of a ruck 20 minutes into the game, losing four teeth, and sustained a large tear to his scrotum courtesy of a stray French boot.
Incredibly, Shelford had his injury stitched on the sideline and played on until deep into the second half, when a knock to the head left him concussed and unable to continue.
The Daily Telegraph.
The aggression of the French rugby team was unprecedented, and many of the All Blacks suspected foul play. It would later transpire that many of the French players were pepped up on amphetamines, a reasonable explanation for their violent physicality.
“When I came out of the tunnel and I saw them, I looked into the eyes of many of the players as I walked past them, and their eyes did not say that they were going into a game against the All Blacks,”
“Their eyes just looked like they were on something, and I could not prove it.”
The French team doctor at the time, Jacques Mombet, much later explained that the Nantes Test was the most obvious example of French players using amphetamines.
He said New Zealand realised their opponents were “loaded” and made a complaint to the International Rugby Board, which eventually led to a clampdown and ultimately drug testing.
Now, I have played in some testy games before, but I recall this Test Match vividly and I am so pleased I was not within 1,000 miles of the sideline, such was the aggression and violence.
I have genuine respect for French Rugby, my pecking order has always been All Blacks first, then France and then any other team playing England or Australia. But on November the 15th 1986, the spirit of French rugby suffered a blow as painful as any blow to the groin, and it was no laughing matter.
Right; let me make myself perfectly clear – OCD is no laughing matter! And this post is not intended to poke fun at anyone who has OCD, or offend anyone who knows someone who has.
People living with OCD generally have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, sometimes both, and these symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships. It can be a crippling condition.
As an Employment Consultant specializing in placing people living with disability I thought I knew a little bit about OCD and how it can effect people in the workplace. But last weekend I learnt a very valuable insight into the work life of someone living with OCD.
It was a cloudy Saturday morning and my family and I were driving from Nelson to Hanmer Springs, an alpine village famous for its beautiful hot springs.
Its about a 3.5 hour drive and we were driving down to meet with family and stay for the ANZAC Day Holiday weekend. ANZAC day is a day of national importance for NZ and as a family we try to spend ANZAC weekend together.
To learn more about ANZAC Day please check out my ANZAC post from 2 years ago:
Also, here’s Maddie singing ‘Lest we forget’, also from 2 years ago (she was 8)
About an hour and a half into our journey (just past Murchison) we were required to stop for Road Works. Being stopped is a bummer on any journey, but on a holiday weekend, and keen to catch up with loved ones, it seems especially so. luckily though we were the first vehicle to be stopped, giving us a clear view of the road works ahead of us.
Graders were working furiously, clearing and tidying up the edges of the road as quickly as the could. Lollipop people holding stop go signs were stationed at either end of the road works, heads down, their eyes averted, trying to avoid contact with seething drivers (why do they do this on the weekend?)
But in the middle of this all this – amongst the activity and noise Cone Man was placing cones to create a one lane passage way for cars to pass through.
Please note this is not the real Cone Man
Cone Man was bloody good at his job. Bloody bloody good! As in the picture above the road works were close to a bend, but this didn’t stop him lining up all the cones so they were perfectly in line. And when they weren’t in line he would make microscopic adjustments to them – one at time. He was precision personified. He would start at one end and then work his way back along the line to the other. Only then to find out the cones in the middle had mischievously moved out of alignment. So he would go back to sort them out, only to find that either beginning or end of the line was then out.
After ten minutes waiting and watching, I could see the importance of such a task, and in the spirit of generosity I genuinely wanted to get out and help him. If I had a theodolite, level and rod, even a simple measuring tape – I would have gladly gifted it to him. Even, Kate and Maddie joined in too, shouting words of encouragement.
‘to the left a little,’
‘to the right,’
‘no the other one’
‘go back, go back!’
Alas, with our windows closed, he couldn’t hear us.
After 15 minutes of waiting, it was our turn to proceed along the one lane passageway, past the Lollipop lady, who once again averted her eyes, past the graders, and as we approached and passed Cone Man, Kate wound down her window.
‘You’re doing a great job‘ – she offered, but all to no avail. Cone Man had his head down and was busy adjusting the cone in front of him by a few millimeters.
This week this little encounter has had me questioning my assumptions about suitable jobs for people living with OCD. And I know I am going to be more judicious about what might work and what won’t. I’m not sure being a Road Man does.
In New Zealand, before 1970 men were men and women were grateful.
Pakeha New Zealand was barely 100 years old, the blood of the pioneers persisting, pumping thick and strong. The land was still being tamed; work needed sinew and muscle not fingers and pens. Apron strings were still heavily tied to the Mother Land but ultimately swiftly cast aside upon Mothers entrance into the Common Market.
It was a mans world.
Rugby, racing and beer. Sweat and toil. Men hunted, they provided, and so did women, either in the kitchen or in the bedroom.
New Zealand was and still is a land of contradictions. She was the first country in the world to give women the vote, but the first also to throw them the dish cloth and tea towel. There was genuine affection toward Maori, but this manifested itself in condescension. New Zealanders were generous, yet unthinkingly stole land they had no right to steal. At will they bastardized and and mis-pronounced the beautiful local tongue.
Within all this hubbub though, a national identity slowly started to emerge. A strong independent stand alone culture. A rugged, ‘sort it out, she’ll be right’ attitude toward life.
Peter Cape was a first generation Kiwi born to an English family and was the most unlikely minstrel of our early cultural emergence. Although through his music and cleverly crafted lyric he captured the essence of what it was like to be a kiwi man.
But what about the women you ask?
Well no need to worry about them, the sheila’s will be in the kitchen cutting the supper.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like Peter Cape’s folk music. I believe his life’s work is seriously underrated; while musically simple, lyrically it’s clever, and historically accurate – painfully so. His body of work is of significant importance to NZ – so on that count give me Peter Cape over Lorde any day.
It’s nostalgic to look back. But to appreciate it best you need to look back in with corrective lens of context not romance.
As for the man himself, Peter Cape was the perfect kiwi man. A complete and utter contradiction. Unusually for a singer he had a speech impediment which you can quite clearly hear in his vocals. He was Kiwi born to an English family. A man new to NZ but one who captured the essence of being a kiwi man perfectly. He was an ordained Anglican Priest, yet thought nothing of leaving his wife and children to follow the arts and crafts movement evolving in Nelson.
So what do I think of Peter Cape?
As a Musician I believe he was a talented man and I enjoy his music.
As a recorder of history – he was absolutely brilliant with perfect insight into the psyche of the Kiwi Male.
As a bloke, well I think he was probably a bit of a bastard.
But then again I think most men were back then.
It was all part of being a kiwi.
PS: When I hear Peter’s music – I hear the song of my father’s life.
I’ve just had a three month break from social media!
And it’s been wonderful.
So, to all my old blogging mates, ‘hello again’, to my new friends, ‘Haere Mai’ and to the 1,000 Twitter followers who have deserted me over the last 3 months – ‘Haere Ra’ (plenty more where they came from!)
Over the summer I’ve been swimming and practicing on my trombone, I’ve been in the garden. I’ve continued trying to live a more healthy lifestyle.
And, in between all these pursuits and luxurious time invested with family, I’ve been reading and exploring such random concepts such as:
the essence of evil, and
Blogs focusing on these themes will be a feature of 2017.
I’ve not been writing over the last 3 months, although I have been thinking, thinking a lot.
So I have re-launched my blog page with a fresh new look and a brand new tag.
‘Take note’ – is a call to arms and a nod to my musical ambitions for 2017.
During 2017 old favourites will return and you will meet some new characters. Stories not yet finished will be finished, and new ones begun.
Its going to be exciting and fun, I hope you join me and also enjoy my first post back.
He was only 15, maybe 16, but he looked older. He could easily pass for an 18 year old.
He wore a pencil thin Errol Flynn moustache. It suited him, sitting proudly on top of well formed lips and beneath a shapely nose. His complexion pure and unblemished. This guy was handsome. His skin appeared soft, full of stretch and fresh. He was the perfect specimen.
This guy had attitude. He had it in spades. Set perfectly within his beautifully formed face were brown eyes of steel.
His head didn’t lift when he saw me coming, just his eyes. They looked at me with total disdain. Pure arrogance and attitude. I looked at him, I looked into his eyes and immediately thought to myself,
‘I’m going run you over you little shit!’
But please, first let me give you some context before you judge me too quickly.
The teenage turd was immaculately dressed in a shade of blue someone between petrol and royal. He stepped onto the road in front of me, that’s when he lifted his eyes. With nonchalant grace he sauntered right in front of me, silently telling me, silently challenging me;
‘Man I’m a Crip, I own this road, and I don’t give a shit. You wont have the guts to honk your horn, abuse me from a wound down window, or run me over.’
But he was wrong!
Here’s a tip!
Never ever get in between me and a meal. I was on the way home for lunch, I hadn’t had breakfast that morning, I was hungry and I wanted to run the bastard over. I wanted the next words he uttered to be ‘hello God.’ I wanted him to die with his boots on. I wanted to send him to uncertain glory on the roadside dead opposite Pizza Hut.
But I didn’t.
He can thank his lucky stars my mind is a very random and strange thing. Instead of giving myself the green light, putting my foot down and starring in my own version of the charge of the light brigade; I started thinking about Errol Flynn and Captain Blood. I’m weird, we all know that. So it will come as no real surprise that I started to imagine Errol Flynn as a Crip and being asked to play Captain Blood. Wow, what a mind flip!
Errol Flynn – what a man, what a story.
But what’s he got to do with this particular story anyway?
Well everything and nothing really.
Over the next few days I thought more and more about the young man and I actually started to like his attitude. He was a cocky little git unquestionably. But I actually liked that. Not only did this young man look like Errol Flynn, he acted like him too. It’s great to be young, it’s great to feel invincible and not give a stuff. These are things I remember about my youth and miss. Responsibility and sensibility are things that will come later and therefore can wait.
Now, Errol Flyn was no angel. He treated women terribly, he treated his body terribly. He trashed his body with women, wine, and song and tobacco so badly that he died at the tender age of 50. But by God was he handsome though, and in my view, considering the type of roles he played, and the times in which he acted, he wasn’t a bad actor either.
But he was also a bit of a shit too, I remember holidaying in the pristine Whitsundays on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and being shown Errol Flynn graffiti. It was at Nara Inlet and there in amongst the tranquil beauty Errol Flynn had the audacity and nerve to vandalize the environment! Bastard!
My mind leaped.
I focused on the young man’s motivation in stepping out in front of me. I imagined him on dawn patrol searching for his own Olivia de Havilland. I imagined his thoughts being a million miles away’; ‘thinking, ‘I adore you, please never say goodbye.’
Being in love; well it’s a great feeling isn’t it? And if your partner is as stunning as Errol Flynn or Olivia de Havilland, then, well its worth stopping traffic for isn’t it?
Abigail Sweet laid the petite fours on her Gran’s Burano lace doily. The graceful sweep of her arm only surpassed by the stunning offerings she had prepared.
‘Oh my!’ Scarlet gasped. ‘You really have surpassed yourself this time, must have taken you an age to prepare.’
‘Well, you know what I’m like,’ Abigail replied, looking over her shoulder while turning back toward the Kitchen with a wag of her hips and swish of her skirt.
Abigail loved food, she loved opulence, she loved her friends company and she loved men. With her cherub shaped face, her full lips and twinkling eyes she looked like and was dressed like a 1950’s suburban siren. She carried the weight of one and a half women and the curves on her curves were homely and soft.
(writers comment – yum!)
Abigail returned from the kitchen with a pot of percolated coffee. ‘Coffee, everyone?’ She asked.
Her friends all chiming back merrily with different forms and styles of affirmation.
These savories are delish Abi, is that cottage cheese I can taste?
Abigail looked up and smiled at her best friend Jane. ‘Sure is Jane, its infused with cream corn.’
Abigail loved her monthly gathering of friends. The last Sunday of the month was special and this Sunday’s gathering just happened to be at her house. She had designed, trialed and prepared her menu since the first Sunday of the month. Last week she had bought a new skirt and yesterday had her hair set.
She had known all of her girl friends since school and they had met once a month for the last three years. Despite their differences, their careers and families, their scholastic bond remained strong and alive.
Strictly no men were allowed at their gatherings! They had their golf, their football, cars, bars and sheds and the girls had their monthly afternoon teas. Abi was always amazed though how quickly their discussions turned to men.
The girls sharing stories of the their mens activities during the preceding month.Their triumphs, their failures, their bad manners and indiscretions. It was all laid bare, naked and raw. And the general consensus was that all men were bastards. But definitely worthy of conversation.
‘This food is so good,’ Jane added, ‘its absolutely positively man bait! So anyway, how did your date with JP go?
‘Yes, tell us,’ the other girls added, ‘tell us everything, the whole sordid story.’
‘What was he like in bed?’ Scarlet asked eagerly, ‘was he well packaged… I’m sure you know what I mean doll?
‘Scarlet!’ Paige interjected sharply, slapping Scarlet’s forearm gently, ‘we all know that that’s all you are interested in, but give Abi a chance.’
‘Well as you know Abi,’ started tentatively, ‘I’ve been chatting with JP online for some time. He was the one that stood out from all the other dick pickers and the drunk married guys wanting friends with benefits, or instant gratification.
Dick pickers? Asked Leonie.
The other girls laughed at Leonie’s innocence.
Yep, Dick Pickers, you know, the guys who send you pics of their dicks Leonie, Scarlet beamed.
‘Oh how gross,’ Leonie replied, nearly choking on her coffee.
‘Well moving right along ladies,’ Abi continued; ‘JP seemed the nicest of them all, so we went out on a date.’
‘So what was he like in real life? Was he what you expected?’ Jo asked raising her eye brows.
Abi smiled, ‘well girls why don’t you come and meet him yourself – I have him chained up in the basement.’
I was saddened this week to learn of the death of NZ’s Mod Father; Ray Colombus.
Ray and his band, the Invaders were the first NZ act to have an international number one hit with the song;
‘She’s a Mod.’
I was lucky enough to meet Ray once. At the time I was part of the North East Christchurch Road Rats (NECRR). At that time he was the host and the big star of very popular Variety Showcalled That’s Country.
Ray actually approached us after hearing our scooters being parked outside a local cafe. Seeing we were ‘Mods’he strode across to our group and introduced himself (he needed no introduction of course). We were aghast, Ray was the real deal, the original!
Ray appeared genuinely interested in the second Mod Revival when he could have easily treated us as poseurs. I have subsequently learnt since his death, Ray was a great supporter of youth and mentored many young Christchurch (and NZ) acts onto bigger and better things.
Ray, to me, it was 3 minutes in person not vinyl that you proved what a outstanding guy you were. Ray you will never be forgotten, becuase how could anyone forget a song like this:
Ray was the real deal. Of course everyone only ever remembers ‘Until we kissed’ and ‘She’s a Mod’ but if you have the time please check out his back catalogue. Songs like ‘Yo Yo’ and ‘Kick Me’ are forgotten classics.
Ray’s death has stirred up memories of my time as a mod. So I have decided to reprise a post I made to this blog last year.
For me; when the feeling is gone I will no longer be breathing. For there isn’t a day on earth that I can’t imagine not being in love with Betty-Anne Monga.
I was in my late teens when Betty-Anne and Ardijah burst onto the NZ music scene.
‘Who is that ‘Atua Wahine?’ I asked myself after seeing her for the first time on Ready to Roll. Not only was she stunning, she sounded like an angel – a siren singing straight to my heart. I would have gladly drowned enveloped in her supple brown arms, be tangled and strangled within her long dark hair. God, her beauty hit me right between the eyes and the ears, and to be honest I’ve never fully recovered.
Of course Ardijah didn’t really just hit the scenes. They had been working the pub scene in Auckland for many years – but for all of those early years they were a covers band. Not a bad thing to be, because they honed their skills, they learnt their craft. So when the big time came they were ready. By god they were ready. It was only after a wag called out during one of their gigs, ‘play something original’ did they feel empowered, did they feel brave enough to unleash their brand of music upon Aotearoa, and I’m so glad they did. Time makes a wine indeed.
Now, I’m no great fan of RnB. But when it is fused with a Polynesian back beat, reggae, funk and ska roots I’m a convert. To me Ardijah is a seminal band for NZ in the way they achieved the finest quality and subtle blend of these elements. They coined the term Polyfonk – it stuck and it is now the name of their recording label.
Ask any Kiwi worth their salt who were their musicians of the eighties, the answers will invariably be:
Split Enz, The Exponents, Dave Dobbyn (and bands), Herbs, Dragon, Mi-Sex, the chills and Hello Sailor, The Clean and more. But where’s Ardijah? Where the hell is Ardijah?
To me they were the sound of the eighties and the nineties. Hot summer days at the beach, picnics, long drives with the window down, arm out the window and my ardijah cassettes on auto rewind. Balmy nights spent wondering where Betty-Anne was playing and wishing I could be there too. Wishing I could drown…yes, yes, heard it already Roly.
Time has flown by, I am now a 50 something overweight pakeha male, but Betty-Anne is still an Atua Wahine. She is still my imaginery 80’s girlfriend.
Ardijah still gig and make music; now they are master craftsmen who have dug even deeper into their polynesian roots. They have immersed themselves into music of the land, of the islands, of the people and themselves. They are also doing covers again, and their version of Prince Tui Teka’s E-Ipo is a beautifully sculptured piece of immense gravitias and mana – easily equal to Herb’s ‘Sensitive to a smile,’ to which it gives a well deserved nod. Bravo!
So Betty-Anne for me the feeling will never be gone. We have never met (damn-it) but I look back at the eighties and am very grateful that you played such a major part of those years. It was a journey I loved sharing with you. And as you sang so many years ago – time does indeed makes a very fine wine.
Quite a few years ago Keane recorded the song ‘Bed Shaped.’
According to the composer Tim Rice-Oxley the song is about feeling that you’ve been “left behind” by an old friend or lover, and about hoping that you’ll be reunited one day so that you can live out the end of your lives together the way you started them (…) a hope that they’ll eventually want to get away from the bright lights and come back home. it’s a sad and angry song, but also full of hope.
He said, ‘I think I’m right in saying that in hospital when someone is ill and has to spend a lot of time in bed they can become ‘bedshaped’. It sounds a bit depressing (…) but in the context of the song I wanted to suggest old age and frailty.’ (thanks Wiki)
Personally, I love the concept of being Bed-Shaped. Coffin shaped could also easily applied to those prone to lying down a lot. Of course, there’s bed heads, but has anyone ever considered being bed legged?
I have, purely because I am bed legged – I do have them! My 10 year old daughter has longer legs than me! She’s Maddie Long Legs and I’m Daddy Bed legs. Attach some castors to the ends of my limbs, cover me with a duvet and voila – a perfectly acceptable billet. Add two perfectly nobbled knees and you have an article and artifact of style and fashion.
Having bed legs is not all that bad. Up until I stopped playing rugby about ten years ago, I had calves, quads and gluts to die for – even if I say so myself. My wife reckoned it was my calves that attracted her to me in the first place (something for everyone I guess).
Nb: None of these guys are me.
Unfortunately over developed calves often lead themselves to injury and in the the last few years of playing rugby, calf injuries were common, once even completely blowing a calf during a game with the associated ‘pop’ (more like a gun shot) being heard from 30 metres away. A wobbly bed indeed.
As I’ve aged my shapely bed legs have become more stump like, no longer am I styled like a chaise lounge, no, alas, I am now like a divan, perfectly functional, but a fashion free zone. Still having a long torso does mean I carry my weight well and look deceptively less weighty.
Buying clothes off rack is problematic. Not once have I ever been able to purchase pants that don’t require taking up. Never, have I been able to wear long shorts as they automatically become short longs.Wearing dress shorts and socks result in a 1 inch window of knee exposure. A sliver of skin contained within a frame of cotton and polyester.
On formal occasions I have been known to adorn a kilt and this is where having bed legs really come into their own. Stumpy short legs suddenly becoming sturdy supports for a tartan full of opportunity.
As I grow older, as my skin loosens and muscles fade, one things for sure, and that is that, like it or lump it,I will always have bed legs. At 52, you would have thought i would have gotten over it.
“It is very queer, but not the less true, that people are generally quite as vain, or even more so, of their deficiencies than of their available gifts.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables
Do you remember the fun, the energy, the optimism and the innocence?
I bet we all do!
Every writer worth their salt has written about the transition from child to adult, the rites of passage, the coming of age, journey’s of discovery.
Very few though write about the unbridled joy and sheer loveliness of being young. Of a time in our life when the only worry we had was the Maths test on Friday. When we could have a fight with our best friend in the morning and be bestie mates again by lunchtime.
Is it the fear of being labelled a sacchariney children’s author, the fear of being a niche teen writer that stops of us? Or is it because we have become so cynical we know for most; the innocence, the generosity and the love will disappear as soon as the horrible hormones kick in? At any age, there are always a good stories, and here’s one of them.
Maddie and one of her besties, Sally, wanted to raise money for the Earthquake Victims in Kaikoura. So on Wednesday they set up a Lemonade and Cookie stand at Tahunanui Beach. They raised $53.70 to be given to the St John’s Earthquake appeal.
I asked Maddie how she felt inside afterward. She said, she felt so good, she said she felt so joyful in that she and Sally could actually do something to help. When she spoke her eyes lit up, a smile came across her face and I could actually see and hear the love from the way she spoke and moved.
I will let the photo’s do the talking.
The following song is called ‘Feel Inside’ it was written by The Flight of the Concords and used to raise money for ‘Cure Kids.’ It ’tis a sweet song but what’s best about it is that all the lyrics were taken from Children.
Comfort Women statue, facing the Japanese embassy in Seoul, S.Korea
While the Japanese government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe puts pressure on the South Korean government under President Park Geun-hye to remove or relocate the comfort women statue from in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in connection with the agreement the two countries reached about the comfort women on Dec. 28, 2015, even more comfort women statues are appearing both inside and outside of South Korea.
This month alone – which includes the International Memorial Day for the Comfort Women on Aug. 14 and Liberation Day on Aug. 15 – new comfort women statues will be unveiled in 10 more locations. There are 20 other locations that are taking steps toward installing a comfort women statue, though the unveiling has yet to be scheduled. “Starting with Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 6, unveiling ceremonies for the Monument…
I took the VCR tape from his grey shaking hands, his nails clipped but chipped; yellow. Veins protruding standing proud beneath the saggy skin of his hands, lower arms and neck. Visually working my way up, I studied his face, the sockets of his eyes sunken and dark. His eyes themselves, red, not bloodshot red, more a dull crimson. They looked dry and painful.
‘How long have you got?’ I asked more out of interest than concern; years of war reporting and hard nosed journalism dulling and hardening my sensitivities toward death.
‘Not long,’ he answered without emotion, ‘maybe a couple of days, a week max.’
‘That’s a shame, I said, ‘I’m sorry.’
Aldric nodded slightly, Sailor Vee, he said, immediately selling me a beaming smile transforming him from a dying old man into a charming charismatic dandy.
He really would have been something in his day I thought, somewhat alarmed and uncomfortable he still had the ability to turn on the charm and draw people toward him.
‘You mean, ce la vie?‘ I corrected.
‘Oh no,’ Aldric answered with a thin smile, lisp and twinkle. ‘Sailor Vee, always asked how long I had? But he knew the answer well enough. He was such a lovely lovely man, a Chief Warrant Officer at the Naval Base on Treasure Island. But I used to call him my own personal Rear Admiral (lower half). He’s gone now, like all the others, all gone!’
His eyes still looked parched and sore, but above his wounded smile I could see a tear welling in the corner of his right eye. The tear was yellow, his liver playing one last indignity on the old man.
‘This tape, this cassette,’ I asked, it tells your story?
‘Oh yes, it tells my story. It tells the story of all my friends. It tells of our demise, both here and in New York. I had friends and lovers in both San Francisco and New York. And before the 80’s we had a blast. Lived the high life! The colour, the creativity, the gentle souls and the free love. But then Aids came. It ravaged the community we fed on. Then it ravaged us. It decimated us, one by one we expired, we dried up and turned to dust.’
‘So what do you want me to do with this tape,’ I asked.
Aldric looked at me, his face open and calm. ‘I want you to tell our story. I want you to play this tape on your Television program. I want the world to know that Vampires existed. That we lived, we killed, we loved and we died. That we were not mythical! I have given my Executor instructions you are to be notified upon my death. You are not to permitted to play the tape before then – understand?’
‘Yes of course,’ I re-assured, ‘but Aldric one thing I don’t understand is that HIV, is and was, largely contained within the gay and drug communities, how did you and your friends contract the disease?
‘Oh come on Lester,’ Aldric scorned, ‘you are not that naive. We are, or at least were, creatures of opportunity, we were creatures of convenience, we targeted those who may not be missed. The addicts, the young gay men who may have of run away from home. And Lester my darling, I may be old and close to death, but only a moment ago, I sensed your loins stir! We are androgynous, we are bi-sexual, we are vampire and very soon we will gone.
‘There are very effective treatments these days’, I responded, ‘drugs that suppress the virus. Why don’t they work on you,… didn’t work on your friends?
I’m not a doctor, nor scientist, but the Viral Suppressants kill us quicker than the complications of HIV. Our choice was simple, die almost immediately by taking the drugs, and believe me many chose that option; or linger until we dried out, until our organs stopped working and eventually our hearts stopped completely. After I contracted Aids, I had nothing to live for, except that is to tell our story. And this is where you come in Lester.’
Aldric attempted to stand, his elbows struggling to lock as he pulled himself out of the chair. His arms shook and he wobbled. I rushed over, bending over to support him. He lent foward, his arms embracing me, pulling me close. I smelt his cologne, I felt his breath on my throat. I wasn’t afraid.
‘You would have been easy,’ Aldric whispered in my ear. ‘Very easy!’
Kia Ora Roly
Ps: The idea of this story has been floating around in my head for some time now. I hope one day to turn it into either a short story or novella.
I’d run out of Daivobet and I needed to get it sorted.
Summer was coming and I wanted to look my best down at the beach. No scabby scales for me, just a wobbly splodgey tummy and splotchy pink skin sprouting patches of thick pig like hairs.
It took me weeks to get everything together and when I did, I drove straight down to my local Church.
‘I think I’ve got everything we need,’ I said to the Pastor.
‘I’ve had to compromise a bit. Wasn’t sure what Hyssop was so I’ve brought along some Italian Herbs, hopefully they’ll do the job?
Now,…the crimson stuff, I wasn’t sure what that was, or how much I should bring; so I’ve brought along a few crimson things. You can decide on what’s appropriate. Personally, be good though if I can get my wife’s bikini bottoms back – she doesn’t know I’ve pinched them, and she looks pretty hot in them down the beach, if you know what I mean.
Here’s the oil and cedar wood,’ I added, passing them across to the Pastor.
He looked at me strangely.
I wondered whether he was pissed because I hadn’t brought everything in.
‘Oh, I’ve got the lambs in the ute in the carpark, and I’ve brought a pig and a couple of dogs as well, just in case. You just tell me when you need them. I tell you what, that grumpy old bastard at pet shop over the road refused to sell me 2 budgies when he found out that one of them was going to be killed; so I had to catch a couple of pigeons. What a fucking performance that was, feathers and shit everywhere, oops sorry Pastor, forgot where I was. They’re in the Ute too!’
Now with the water; I’m thinking that we could use your tap in the kitchen. Hopefully that’s okay, after all I guess it’s close to being holy water coming from a Church Kitchen and all.
We ready to go then?’
The Pastor still had a funny look on his face, he scratched his head. Ever so slowly he started to smile.
‘Are you on day release from the Unit?’ He asked in a soft calming voice before stepping away.
‘Hell no, I shot back,’ I’m here to get my psoriasis fixed. I know you guys are experts about these things, do you have time to do it now?’
Ancient Jewish oral tradition dictates that I don’t deserve to be alive; that I should be dead. And the reasons I need to be outcast into the desert and left for dead is that I am poor and afflicted with Psoriasis. That’s what you get for being an unclean sexually perverted deviant. And the fact that I have patches of psoriasis on both elbows must mean I’m doubly perverted.
Now all you readers can stop sniggering about my fate right now, because if you’re poor, blind, or childless then we’re all in the same boat. A boat full of poor sexually depraved people with impaired vision and skin conditions. Bloody good trip I reckon! Who needs the Titanic?
The Roman Catholic Church has played a big part in my life. My family, my upbringing, my education, all playing their part in teaching me about Christ and the ultimate uniting force of the universe – God. However, I gave up Catholicism many moons ago, and these days I would consider myself a very reluctant Christian. However, that does not stop me from living my life trying my utmost best to adhere to Christian values. So, for all intents and purposes, I am a Christian – but just don’t do the Christian God thingy! I believe in a supreme being, but in my view, generations of pompous (not Pious) fat Italian cross dressing men with vested interests have warped the true meaning of Christianity and our view of God.
Pope Leo – Fernando Botero
When I did call myself a Christian, I was a New Testament man! A renaissance man, a man of forgiveness, of hope and faith. Faith, in that I believed there was a man called Jesus, faith in that he was a leader, a teacher and freedom fighter. Faith in the fact that was crucified, faith in that many of the events in the New Testament actually did happen and much of the teachings Jesus gave were real, deep and meaningful. For all these things I have no doubt.
Son of God? Ergh not sure about that one sorry.
When I called myself a Christian I always struggled with the Old Testament. I appreciate that the first 5 books of it form part of the Torah and I understand that the Quran regards the Old Testament as a valid and authentic spiritual record. Me, well I think its all make believe fantasy, jelly beans and bullshit.
And you see this, and what I do with my ‘willy’ are the reasons why I have psoriasis! This week Bishop Brian Tamaki of the Destiny Church reminded me of that.
Image source – Wiki
Bishop Tamaki is a prominent Christian leader and advocate of the gospel. He has appeared on all major Prime Time News and Current Affairs broadcasts and tabloids defending and upholding the faith and traditional Christian values. He is a man of Christ, a man of love, a smart man who clearly understands the will of a loving and forgiving God. He has built his Destiny Church on the following beliefs:
We believe there is one living God, the God of creation, who exists eternally in the three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God. We believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, His second coming and eventual eternal kingdom.
We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the Bible. It is the Word of God.
We believe in the spiritually lost condition of mankind and the need for every man to repent and be born again of the spirit, which is essential to enter the Kingdom of God.
We believe in the sacraments of baptism by immersion in water, and the Lord’s Supper – communion.
We believe in the person, ministry and baptism of the Holy Spirit, with signs following.
We believe in the resurrection of the saved and the lost, one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.
We believe the church is the body of Christ and His corporate expression of Christ on the earth, and represents the manifold wisdom of God.
He is the head. The church comprises of all people who have been saved and born of the Spirit. The church is God’s only hope for the human race.
We believe it is the believer’s privilege and responsibility to bring the tithe and offerings in to the local church.
While mainstream churches would never dare to wallow in the murky waters of the Old Testament, Bishop Brian has no problem immersing himself and extolling and validating it’s teachings. He sprays it’s teaching the way a shower head does water without a curtain – all over the bloody place! Like most fire and brimstone preachers Leviticus is one of his favorites, his go to. There is certainly some profound stuff in there and I encourage every reader to give it a crack (not).
It’s from Leviticus that I learnt my sexual depravity caused my psoriasis, and that as a result, I deserved to die (Leviticus 12 thru 14). It’s just amazing and incredible that a book written by a legendary (but not historical) figure called Moses, circa 1400 BC (but collated in Persia 500 years before Christ) knows more than modern medical science about the causes of psoriasis. It certainly has nothing to do with my arthritis, or that it can be traced through the generations of my paternal lineage.
Leviticus even knows what causes the earth to spew up thereby creating earthquakes. Its amazing! Honestly why would anyone want to waste their life and time studying seismology?
Please, please please check this out – go on – its under 2 minutes long.
Subsequent to this sermon:
Brian Tamaki has defended saying that gays, sinners and murders are responsible for earthquakes, saying he actually meant anybody indulging in illicit sexual behaviour, adultery, child abuse and more.
“It’s about adultery, morality, it’s about any type of extra-sexual behaviour,” Tamaki has told Willie Jackson in an interview on RadioLive.
Tamaki has refused to apologise to anyone and said he did plenty of good in the community and should not be judged as a monster.
He blamed the media for not giving him a right of reply, despite turning down the Herald earlier when he was asked to defend the Sunday morning sermon.
Tamaki said since news of his sermon broke he and his family had received death threats and threats to burn down Destiny Church.
He said it was important for people to remember this was God’s view, not his.
Source NZ Herald
What I think
Well Brian I would like to quote some scripture at you too. And once again this comes from Leviticus.
Brian you need a haircut
Letting your hair become unkempt (Leviticus 10:6)
“You will die” and God will be angry at everyone!
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire.
2) Leviticus 35-37
If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.
Destiny Church demands more than tithe, former members say
By Heather McCracken
4:00 AM Sunday Mar 7, 2010
Former Destiny Church members claim families are pressured to give “love offerings” and other cash donations above the expected 10 per cent tithe. The claim comes as TV3 confirms it has sold broadcast time to the church – funded by Destiny’s new “Give It Heaps” campaign which asks families to give $2000 over seven months.
The church came under scrutiny last week after the walkout of Brisbane pastor Andrew Stock and a number of his members. Replacement pastors were sent across the Tasman to take over the church and church leader Brian Tamaki said that members who did not give money were “robbing” God.
Former Destiny Taranaki member Randolph Pratt said members came under pressure to contribute to the fundraising drives above their 10 per cent tithe.
“There’s a lot of people in Destiny Church in low-income families,” he said.
“How can they afford to give that sort of money?”
Pratt said he left the church after four years because it became too focused on money. He gave $1500 a month above his 10 per cent tithe.
“There are good things happening in Destiny, but just taking money from people all the time is wrong. There’s just no need for it.”
Pratt said he expected “a lot of flak” from Destiny members for speaking out: “I don’t care because it’s the truth, and it’s got to come out.”
Another former member, who did not want to be named, said members were expected to fill in tithe envelopes with their names, how much they were giving and any added donations. Offerings were used to fund church buildings, even though the buildings were owned by a separate company, which the church paid rent to.
“It’s the tithing and offerings that are paying the buildings off, and then they’re paying rent on top of that,” he said.
Another former member said they were told they would be “blessed by God” for giving their pastor extra “love offerings” – a cash donation given directly to the pastor.
In a statement, Destiny Church said Give it Heaps aimed to raise $3 million for the Destiny School in Auckland. It would also pay for producing and screening the TV programme.
“What members decide to contribute towards this goal and how they wish to contribute is purely their choice.”
In a statement, Destiny said “honorariums” received by pastors were at the discretion of the local church.
TV3 has defended its decision to allow Destiny to buy a 30-minute segment on Wednesday mornings at 6am.
Spokesman Roger Beaumont said the critical coverage of Destiny Church by current affairs show Campbell Live had no impact on the network’s commercial decisions.
Herald on Sunday
For all the people of Kaikoura and surrounds, for all the victims of Natural Disasters throughout the world (and there are millions of people suffering), I urge you to judge this clown as he has judged you!
Brian, are you a homophobic bigot exploiting people’s faith and bank accounts? Are someone who likes to hide behind obscure scripture from 3,500 years ago? Or, are you just another in a long line of pompous (not Pious) rich, well dressed men with vested interests who have warped the true meaning of Christianity and our view of God?
There, I told you I wasn’t much of a Christian!
I wrote a similar post last year. If interested please check out the following link.