General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.


  1. Gezza

     /  September 12, 2017

    The trouble with the young uns today is too much of their heavy music is played too loud by weird Goth-looking clowns who can’t be taken seriously! Not like back in my day! 😠

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 12, 2017

    Yeah, man, KISS, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper….those were musicians, man. Not like the stuff they turn out on machines today-pah ! Call that music ?

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 12, 2017

    How to stop the rain-hang something out to be rinsed in it. It dried up at once, except for a few spits. I should have done this yesterday and at the weekend.

    • Gezza

       /  September 12, 2017

      Luvly day so far in North Welly. Clouding over a bit now, but I was up before 5am in the dark to hear the start of the dawn chorus. The moon was shining, gibbous, nearly half-moon, the terminator marking out the mountain & crater ridges & shadows clearly, at about 1 o’clock northwest – a creamy white, with a rainbow halo shining round it thru high-up wispy stratospheric water vapour – took some pics.

      My two ducks were snuggled up together over my fence at the top of the stream bank, heads tucked under their wings. God they looked cute. I moved reeeeally silently along the fence line so as not to wake them, to just above them, & found myself looking down & smiling like a loving dad looking into the cot at sleeping twins.

      The stream & foliage was lit up in places by the moonlight, & by the soft orange-hued sodium glow off the building over the other side. The air was still, and reasonably warm for this time of year, tho I had a hat & warm jacket on. Until the first few tweets & chirps started, all I could hear was the tinkling, gurgling, & bubbling of the steady flowing, light-rippling, water over the small section of little-stones rapids.

      I came back inside, quietly opening & closing the back screen door, then the slider becos that scene with those birds of mine seemed so beautiful & peaceful I didn’t want to wake them.

      Later, when I awoke from my nap around 9.30 am, I went back out into glorious warm sun.

      All the shrubbery, trees, & riverside greenery looked fresh & healthy – lightly coated in drips of water. Bluebelle, my little pooky mum, was up atop a creeper growing over some 15 foot trees on the far parenga (stream bank), yanking away strongly at strands of creeper, turning round & flicking her white bum feathers up every now & then when she bent down to grab another strand.

      She saw me & she made a few pukeko noises, one for warning chicks not to move & the other two types to let Pooky & Bluey know I was there, & get child protection. Pooky came along the bank from downstream. The chick ran up to him, & they slipped into one of their tunnels in the blackberry & other streamside foliage. I noticed yesterday, & also today, there’s only one chick. She’s cute & cheeps a lot, so I’ve decided she’s Jo. Something must have happened to Joe.

      Young Bluey walked & swam up through the water from the south – upstream. The stream’s really clear, except where patches smear the surface with mirror-like blinding sheens, & ripples give off hundreds of little light flashes. He flapped his wide black wings & half-flew, half-walked up the bank, into more tunnels, & eventually appeared up in the tree top next to Bluebelle.

      She then started to talk to me across the stream ,with a lower pitched series of shrieks she only does with me. I answer back & repeat “good girl”, ending on an up-pitch, because it mimics her calls. She then walked to a good launching point, made the series of high pitched piercing single “wheeps” that always precede their taking flight, & flew & glided over to a point below, eventually strolling up through the long slender-leafed orange flower bulb bushes, wandering jew creeper & assorted shrubs & trees, to where I was.

      No more black-winged flapping up onto & over the fence. Not since the twins hatched. She stays where she can keep an eye on things. I filmed all these events in small clips on my 3G cellcam. She doesn’t mind. She’s used to starring in my movies now.

      She used to join my mallards in the patio to daintly peck up her wheat grains one by one, coming at them sideways so as not to hurt or blunt her red beak, I imagine – while they greedily hoovered up shovelfulls at a time with their broader bills. How the ducks pick up the grains like that still puzzles me, but I sometimes have to feed them individually with a few grains held to the ground in my palm or they steal all hers.

      The pooks are exceptionally wary. Big or sudden movements from me make them instantly run or fly a short distance away, with piercing shrieks, to a safer distance & they take a few patient minutes of reoeated calm & soothing words – & looking away from them – to entice them back closer again.

      Anyway, Bluebelle finished her wheat grains, warily, looking up at me every few pecks to make sure I wasn’t up to any funny business. She wasn’t talking today, So when I said, all gone, no more, three times (thry do a lot of theur calls in threes), she calmy turned & strolled slowly & elegantly down thru the bushes, little white bum feathers flipping up under her glossy black back & wings, and her blue-purple body-stocking. She walked back over to the boys and Jo further down the stream.

      A mummy duck came swimming down, accompanied by a week-old ? fluffy black & gold-speckled swimming fluffball, zipping around her like a tiny speedboat, so funny to watch. Inquisitive little thing, it would run up onto any surface it could & but hop back in to join mum in the water when she tugboated slowly upstream, clucking. She had 5 of them with her yesterday. But at 5.30 pm last night Ella the tuna appeared again, curving & lazily gliding around to & fro across the the stream.

      I scrambled down the bank, through the shrubbery, grabbing tree trunks & creeper, slipped, & thudded onto the part where it forms a hillocky landing. Thought it must have scared her off, surely – but then she appeared right below me, on my left, lazily swishing her tail & body holding position, looking directly up at me – checking me out too. She’s bloody huge! Magnificent. My God what a fish! She looked medium shiny grey in the water, but she comes up dark brown on the cellcam clips.

      She showed off her willowy water dancing for me for about 20 minutes, and as the light was fading she then stretched right out & moved off upstream, in a slient & stately manner, waving her tail end slowly side to side over on the farthest side of the stream. She cruised slowly past Pooky, the big fulla, standing in the water. I have the scene on my cellcam as he suddenly notices her, going past, three feet away, & slowly strolls right on up to look right down at her, fascinated, then turns & calmy strolls back to the beach & up the bank, heading to his bivouac.

      Pretty sure Ella, & maybe Elvis, are the reason why the ducklings are going from 10 to 5 to one all the time. And why she’s here after a couple of months abscence.

      So, it’s clouding over again, but still quite warm, despite the gentle northerly that’s been here all day. I’ve been out, & down the bank, & watched a little pied shag swim by, more ducks, Charlie fly down, beat thru the water, & chase off three very handsome drakes, had blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows – & goldfinches – hopping & flitting about in the leaves & tree branches, and a joyful visit from a gloriously glossy dark blue, white-laced, parson-collared tui, two coffees & a ciggie at my stream today.

      Being near water makes me feel different, entranced, calm, relaxed. My stream, and all this, is all worth a million bucks to me. I get all this for free! I am a very happy man. 🆗 ☘ 👍🏼

      • Gezza

         /  September 12, 2017

        Shit !
        🤔 I just kept on writing that thru the day as I came back inside at various times.
        😬 It’s a bit long isn’t it? Missed a coupla typos too. 🙄

        Maybe I should’ve written it in instalments, & serialised it over three days or so?
        Oh well – next time maybe? 😳

        At least one nature-hating wanker’s been happy to vote it down. They’re everywhere, you know – wankers. A couple even lead political parties. Best to avoid them in my experience.

        • pickled possum

           /  September 13, 2017

          I read your story to a young man at his bed time last night and he was enthralled the whole time … No questions No interruptions No blinking … it looked like!
          So your work has been critique by a very young book worm and given the thumbs up and the, “That was good I hope Ella and Elvis, the river sharks go away and leave the little ducks alone.” … was very heart felt!
          Actually I had better phone his mum to see if the sleep went uninterrupted. 😉
          copy paste print stapled … ready for another bird history lesson.

          • Gezza

             /  September 13, 2017

            🌹🌹🌹 🌹🌹🌹
            🌹🌹🌹 🌹🌹🌹
            🌿🌿🌿 🌿🍃🌿

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 12, 2017

        So you wouldn’t change places with Trump and his marble staircases ? Nor would I. I don’t know anyone who would swap even their house for any of his.

        Goldfinches have suddenly turned up in quite large numbers in my garden again. They have been around, but not in this garden. Swallows abound. There are a fair number of grey warblers-these don’t now look much like fat little sparrows to me. Shining cuckoos appear from time to time…

        I spend a lot of time loking at the birds of all types in the big tree outside the window-this will never be cut while I live here. It’s a real bird resort. My ‘wallpaper’ is a tui sitting in it.

        I saw two woodpigeons yesterday. The lake is a few minutes walk away. I’d love my own stream, but the lake is lovely.

        It’s been a gorgeous sunny day after an early shower, but surprisingly cold. Bugger, I think that I hear rain.

        I did love the two pooks who seemed to spend most of their time running down the hills, with her looking over her shoulder to make sure that he was close enough not to lose hope.

        • Gezza

           /  September 12, 2017

          I have to go up to Kaitoke Forest Park on the way to the Rimutakas to see Kereru. There were about 50 of the big fat apron-wearers in 3 trees when we ended a forest tramp there one day! Amazing sight. All the berries were out, the branches were bending under the weight of the little fatties.

          I found out what the pookies are doing up that creeper-covered tree. Around 4 pm, Bluey pulled out a beakful of strands of leafy grassy material, waded across the stream, walked up some trailing vegetation, disappeared into a tunnel & nek minit popped out again up top – building a high-up nest for the little one. The two boys & Bluebelle are all cooperating raising young Jo. They share the parenting & tasks. Amazing.

          The pookies are phenomenal climbers, as you know. They’d rather shin up a tree than fly up, tho they can. Jo can’t fly yet, she’s still a lanky orange-legged black fluffball, but she’s much bigger now & her beak’s turning red. She does what they tell her. If they say hide, she hides. Play, she plays.

          • Gezza

             /  September 12, 2017

            PS: On a hunch I climbed a little way up a tree about 4.30 pm, to see if I could get a clearer view of the water, with less surface light pollution, & look for Ella.

            I didn’t really expect to see her, just really a proof of concept test. But whammo – there she was, unmistakeable, wafting down the middle of the stream in the fading light. Clear as a bell. She came & checked me out again, & hung around, slipping in & out of tree roots, disappearing into them altogether, but coming out to check small branches I threw into the water.

            She’s dark on top, dolphin grey under her chin & pectoral fins, a laconic but powerful swimmer, very sensuous movements, 4 feet long – and much thicker towards the business end. I’ll tell you what she reminded me of – a shark! Ella is a river-shark! Got some great cell video of her I think. I’ve got to download them, ran out of memory.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 13, 2017

            I love their cream overalls. Hee ! I have seen them on my lawn in the Birds Hotel Tree. A drunk one is a funny sight-not that I think that drunkenness is funny as a rule. I still hope to see one falling out of a tree crying ‘I’m not so think as you
            drunk I am.’

            It was very sad when one flew straight through a large window at my mother and stepfather’s house. It must have been flying very low, going by where the hole was (the window was really shattered, but they could tell where the poor pidge had hit it) They thought that they’d had a break-in until they found the unlucky bird with a broken neck on the other side of the room-it must have hit the window at great speed.

            Pooks running up trees are a lovely sight. So was the tightrope walker on the wire fence. Yours sound like a wonderful nature film. (envy, envy)

            I wish that I’d been able to film the waxeyes and dogs when they collided in the doorway.

            Lovely sunny day today except for about 30 seconds of what can’t even be called drizzle.

      • Right. If you don’t write a book, I’m going to plagiarise the ideas and stories and do it myself. Great prose Gezz

        • Gezza

           /  September 13, 2017

          Ok, trav. You & Possum have sold me on the idea. I’ve copied, pasted, edited the typos out, & kept it. 👍🏼

          Also keeping me pomes. You never know. Someone mite want to read one out at mine or someone else’s tangi – or ignominious dissolution of a political party, or woteva! 😀

          • Gezza

             /  September 13, 2017

            My man informs me he is working on a suitable epitaph.
            Good solid, dependable chap. Won’t let on what it says.
            Sir Gerald.
            🤐 👇🏽

            ‘Ere ‘e lies, my employeur, the greate Sir Gerald B
            He may not haven’t mattered much but least he isn’t me
            Cos ‘e is dead, and I is not, for that I’m bleeding glad
            Unless the bastard sits up now & yells out “you’ve been ‘ad!

            O. Wright

  4. Himba children, Etosha