Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Freedom, it's what we all crave and some like Kathy and Royce achieve it. Touring this beautiful country we call Aotearoa, the Land Of The Long White Cloud for some years now in their 1966 Bedford called Freedom Fix, Royce spends lots of time fishing for their supper and Kathy makes beautiful button and bead bracelets as well as gorgeous crazy quilting.
Freedom. It's endangered.
Get some today while stocks last...
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Standing Up And Being Counted...

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The Capsule Camper...

It was so good to see Michael Jenzen's Tiny House Living blog update arrive in my inbox this morning after a bit of an absence.
Go to http://www.tinyhouseliving.com/
One of the most delightful things in this issue is Doornob's David Tonkinsons innovative new take on the travellers' trailer.
And I'm sure you'll be pleased that I'm not politically motivated again this morning.
This is one cute camper...
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Help Protect Our Environment From The Department Of Conservation...

Please help protect our environment from the Department of Conservation!
I'm sure the irony here won't be lost on you.
DoC can interfere with Nature anytime it pleases and with complete freedom. It answers to nobody, least of all to the public of New Zealand.
If you or I were to do anything approaching this sort of thing, we'd be in court before you could blink and there'd be a hefty fine of thousands of dollars and a possible prison sentance.
But DoC it seems can engage in this sort of criminal activity and get away with it using a cavalier attitude and much ignorance.
Yesterday I wrote letters to three local Members of Parliament on this matter.
It's time to stop DoC...
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanks DoC...

Thanks for taking a length of pristine beach that wasn't eroding and doing unsightly things to it.
Thanks for changing the natural contours and build up of stones so that the new impoved version will erode as surely as night follows day.
Thanks for the good idea of planting more grasses but why did you have to get all heavy handed and spoil the unspoiled in the process.
Thanks for putting up fences and making access to the beach more difficult for everybody, especially those who want to launch their kayaks and dinghies, or just want to have an uninterrupted view of natural beauty.
Thanks but no thanks says Trevor who with his family have been coming here to Port Jackson on the northern tip of the Coromandel for thirty years. And has seen virtually no erosion in all those years.
Thanks for fixing something that wasn't broken or eroding but is now sure to with the next big tide combined with a good Northerly blow.
Thanks for your interventions DoC.
Now why don't you go and play your silly games somewhere else.
Perhaps you could dig a big hole there and bury yourselves in it.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys...

And some boys given a little authority and a bit of freedom will often act like irresponsible juveniles and even vandals.
When I was a kid, I took my bucket and spade to the beach.
How things have changed.
This monster digging machine is what New Zealand's bureaucratic Department of Conservation is using to 'fix' the beautiful beach that wasn't broken at Port Jackson.
With a mind of their own and no mind to consider anyone else's opinions, they impose rules, put up fences, restrict the enjoyment of campers and act as if they own the land and the beach.
They don't of course.
You and I do, but try telling them that.
As I've mentioned before, I'd shoot all bureaucrats but they won't give me a gun licence...
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time this grand old lady of the road, this magic carpet, transported dreamers and their dreams from one marvellous place of freedom to the next.
Oh, the stories to tell if the crazy world had the time to listen.
Within the walls and under the roof, love was made and found.
Fabulous feasts were prepared and partaken while merry music too was made by folk, free of the pressures of today.
Now, she sits in this place, watching from her little hideaway as the plastic wheelie-bins hurtle by on their way to somewhere with sky.
But nowhere as free as she was, and those glorious good old days...
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Best Little Hardware Store In The World...

Well that's what the many customers who patronise this hardware shop think.
Opened in 1867 it has seen five generations of the Read family meeting the needs and solving the problems of the Do-It-Yourself community here in Thames.
John and his sister, who started coming to work with their dad Stuart when he was about eight and she six, would decant white spirits and turps into small bottles. They were paid about two cents a bottle. Perhaps he gets paid a bit more these days.
If you're ever in Thames and have a need for a bit of hardware...
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Art To Walk On...

Tread carefully lest you step on my dreams.
Portions of a beautiful crazy ceramic tiled floor at the Trading Post in the old goldmining town of Grahamstown.
Known more commonly by the name of Thames, it's the gateway to the beautiful Coromandel.
The place that is so laidback it's always yesterday there.
My kind of place...
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garage Sale Now On Yesterday...

Sorry you missed it.
One and All were there.
This is a different type of billboard, not the old original sort where the message was painted on the walls of caves.
That was the standing still variety.
This is the Walking Billboard, a wonderfully effective style of advertising, nearly as good as word of mouth.
So what a surprise I got when I saw behind this sign of the times was my old friend Geoffrey. You might remember him, he married the beautiful and gorgeous Pru a few years ago.
Well it appears that Geoffrey is the CEO of Walking Billboards and he walks and works Saturdays.
I was at the weekly and famous Thames Saturday Market.
You'd have really enjoyed it...
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wonderfully Creative...

I have always enjoyed good Billboard Art and this billboard is a wonderfully stunning and creative example of that medium. Congratulations to the advertising agency who thought of it, the client who approved the concept and to the city bureaucrats who allowed it to actually happen. It's not advertising paint by the way, it's promoting an insurance company... You'll find it at www.amusingplanet.com
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Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Not Black Mr Ford...

This beauty from early last century passed through Kaiaua the other day and delighted everyone with its presence.
It ran so quietly, all you could hear was the ticking of the clock.
No, it wasn't a noisy clock...
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Genius At Work...

My friend Ben, you remember Ben, the creator of the Arthouse and my adjustable wooden Guitar Footstand.
Well Ben, the boy genius I call him, is making a new housetruck based on a 1967 Ford D200 chassis.
He's painting most of the little component parts and not so little parts with Hammerite Enamel.
I'll be showing you updates of this amazing build from time to time.
This is one of those times...
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Wicked Is Very Very Bad...

Two German tourists seen in this photograph, both from the Wicked Camper on the left were seen urinating in the open by a number of motorhomers yesterday at Ray's Rest at Kaiaua, on the Firth Of Thames.
Exactly the same place as a Frenchman in a Jucy Camper was photographed urinating a few days ago.
Somehow, some tourists think that New Zealand is one giant receptacle for them to relieve themselves at their convenience wherever and whenever they like!
Is that why they come here?
Would they like us to do it in their countries?
Would they give a damn?
These two Wicked tourists were approached by people here and were asked if they had a toilet. No was the reply. There's nothing wrong with what we're doing they said.
These are the sort of people who are giving 'Freedom Camping' a bad name in New Zealand and create huge problems for the folk who have spent many hundreds of dollars making their vehicles 'self contained'.
The president of the NZ Motor Caravan Association said a few months ago that 'these people should be shot!' I didn't agree with his 'figure of speech' at the time...
I've phoned Wicked and was told that the boss doesn't speak to people on the phone.
Such amazing arrogance!
Perhaps he'll answer my email.
Perhaps he'll do something about his clients showing disrespect to my beautiful country.
Perhaps pigs will fly...
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Isn't This Gorgeous...

One of the many beautiful housetrucks
you will see on the roads in New Zealand.
Stu has a wonderful collection of them on his HousetrucksNZ site.
Have a look at www.htnz.co.nz
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Style And Simplicity...

There was lots of style and simplicity
in the 2010 London to Brighton Car Run.
Not a lot of speed but who cared about that.
This 1903 Peugeot was one of 572 who started but only 433 actually made it to the finish nearly sixty miles away...
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Net Gains...

A small investment in time and energy while enjoying the sun and there was a couple of beautiful 35cm flounder waiting in my net.
One for dinner last night and the other for breakfast this morning.
Flounder's a favourite, pan fried and with a squeeze of lemon, herbed potatoes and a salad.
Oh life's a beach...
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kaiaua Sunrise...

Another beautiful day dawns at Kaiaua.
So damn gorgeous, it should be bottled...
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Go On. Say Cheese...

Photographer Daniel Fox must have said something that this Black and White Hawk Eagle took real exception to.
Maybe he asked the old bird to say 'Cheese'.
I wonder if it's another of Einsteins relatives.
Perhaps his mother-in-law...
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meet The Crowned Eagle...

Photographed by Daniel Fox in the Argentine Jungle, this magnificent bird reminds me of Albert Einstein.
A cousin perhaps, once or twice removed...
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010