The Crip and Olivia de Havilland


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.

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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.’

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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!

Image result for errol flynnImage result for captain blood movie

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?

Kia Ora


The spy who came in from the wet

Everyone loves a good spy story – here’s mine (and its 100% true!)

Peoples names, dates and some other aspects of this story have been deleted or changed in case I’m breaching National Security or something; although these events took place over 25 years ago.

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It was a rainy Wednesday in Capital City. I was working at my desk on the 9th floor in one of the many tall Bank Head Offices which littered the CBD. I was in marketing and the grey skies and persistent rain meant work was a good excuse to stay inside. It was going to be bloody impossible to shift any Senior Citizen Banking packages today.

‘Roly,’ prompted Claire, our over efficient, stunningly beautiful, but oh so untouchable Receptionist/Administrator.

‘There’s someone here to see you.’

‘Do you know who it is Claire?’ I asked.

‘No,’ she replied, ‘but he looks creepy.’

‘Tell him I’ll be out in a minute, thanks Claire.’

I tidied my desk and slowly made my way out to the reception area.

Claire was right, he was a bit weird, tall, he was wearing  a Tom Ford twelve -button double-breasted, knee-length black-grey herringbone wool greatcoat with flapped pockets and a black belted back. On his hands he wore tight black leather gloves and on his head was a Lock and Co coke coloured trilby.

This guy either had a serious interest in apparel or was a spook – perhaps both. He was also wet and smelt like a tobacconist shop, with old spice aftershave and pipe tobacco competing to overwhelm.

He had a non-descript face – I am usually very good with faces and all I can remember is that his complexion was almost as grey as the sallow Wednesday sky. His hair was grey also and it seemed to me he was well over 60. Apart from that my memory just can’t seem to focus on anything finer.

‘Gidday, I’m Roly Andrew’s,’ I announced enthusiastically walking forward with hand outstretched, ‘how can I help you?’

He didn’t take my hand, his face remained neutral. ‘Is there a place where we can go in private he asked?’ His voice soft but definitely restrained.

Of course, I answered and ushered him to one of the free meeting rooms that lined the outside of the 9th floor.

‘Please take a seat,’ gesturing politely with with my hand, ‘can I take your hat and coat?’

He didn’t answer, he sat, then removed his hat and gloves placing them upon the table in front of him.

Tea, coffee? I inquired.

He shook his head and started to speak. ‘I’m xxxxx xxxxxxx, and I’m with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.

Now I’m also good with names – but for the life of me I cannot remember this guys name. Its as though he sprayed me with Amnesia Spray before he left!

He showed me his card as well, but can’t remember a darn thing about it.

‘Do you know Peter Peters?’ (name has been changed) He asked.

‘Yes,’ I do I answered, ‘I know him well.’

‘Good, well Peter Peters has applied to become a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad’ (DPS) (Government body guards). And I need to do some background checks on him.

Does he drink, your friend Peter Peters?

‘Yes Sir,’ I answered, we play in the same rugby team and we drink as much as any other rugby player.

The spook scratched some notes on a tiny note book, not looking up he then asked, ‘does he gamble?’

‘Yes Sir,’ I answered positively,’about once a month on a Saturday night the boys get together and have a bit of a poker night, we drink, gamble, talk a bit of bullshit, and have a bit of a laugh.’

‘Does he screw around on his wife,’ he asked, the tone becoming deeper and more menacing.

No Sir, definitely not, Peter Peters and Mary Mary are one of the most loved up couples I know, in fact, have ever met. It’s almost sickening sometimes how good they are together, they are high school sweethearts.’

‘Does Mary Mary cheat?’

‘Hell no Sir, she is one of the most dedicated and loyal people I know, she absolutely dotes on Peter Peters.’

Is Peter Peters homosexual, does he take drugs, is he violent, tell me about his politics, all these questions and many more were thrown at me over the next thirty minutes. It was pretty intense and I wondered whether I was giving him what he wanted.

Then without warning, the spook closed his notebook, picked up his hat and gloves, stood, thanked me for my time and walked out, leaving  nothing but a small puddle of water on the table and a damp chair.

About a month later my good friend Peter Peters, told me he had been accepted into the DPS. He spent many years being part of the team which protected our Prime Minister before returning to his old occupation. He and Mary Mary are still married and very much in love.

And what do I make of it all, well being interviewed by the NZSIS was exciting, but it was just as exciting to me that spooks did actually dress like spooks. Whether they inspired Hollywood, or Hollywood inspired them, their dress style and sense are second to none.


‘Nice coat James, did you pick that up in NZ on you last mission?’ Asked M.


Kia Ora Roly