Thursday, September 25, 2014

handbag snatching

Hi there

Isn't it sad about the good samaritan mum of six kids, the one that went to the aid of an elderly woman who was having her handbag snatched outside an Auckland supermarket this week?  The good samaritan mum was punched to the ground, hit her head on the pavement and was rushed to hospital with brain damage and a fractured skull.  The offender, a youth of 17 years, has been caught, thanks to video surveillance and reports from the public.

I had my shoulder bag snatched about ten years ago.  I was wandering through Miramar happily thinking about the joys of the lovely weather, the strap of my bag dangling casually from one shoulder.  Suddenly my bag was snatched by a youth who had come up behind me.  He raced away.

Thank goodness I was in trainers, with no plantar fasciitis and visited the gym practically every day.   I raced after him, shouting "Stop thief".  As I was running, I did think shouting "Stop, thief" was a bit naff because no thief, surely, would stop just because I was asking him to.  So, I changed the shouts to "Stop the thief!".

He raced around the corner and I did, too.  We must have run about 400 metres.  Then a car pulled up alongside the thief and he hurtled into it.

I stopped running, exhausted.  Oh, no, my credit cards and bank details were in my bag-

But then a car came zooming down the road chasing the thief's vehicle, with horn honking frantically.  The car was driven by a young woman, with a child in the back.  She had heard my cries.

The two cars turned a corner, but within minutes the woman drove back ... waving my shoulder bag out of her open window.  The thief had chucked it out of his car.

"I gestured to the driver that I had their licence number," the woman told me.  "So they threw out the bag to make me stop and pick it up.  They sped away."

A woman who lived in the street had called the police.  Long story short, there was enough evidence to leisurely arrest the thief.  He got community service.   I went along to the court date and did a lot of glaring at the offender.  And, today I always wear the strap of my bag across my chest.

I now know for a fact that good samaritans can pop up anywhere ....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prisons heritage centre, Wellington

Hi there

This morning I trotted along to the Corrections Department's heritage centre, a ground floor room in Mayfair House, behind 44 The Terrace, here in the middle of Wellington city, and open to everyone, for free.  There are prison officer uniforms through the years, historical information, early execution details, photos, electronic ankle cuffs, the smallest prison cell in  the country, log books, and prison artifacts.

It was very interesting, especially when I remembered that my pioneer ancestors were the first Europeans to be robbed by bushrangers in the South Island. 

below:  note the ball and chain


Below:  so hard to take a 'selfie' when holding a baton or handcuffs!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Passing through Security at Brisbane Airport

Hi there

As I was passing through Brisbane Airport, Australia, on the way to the United States last month, the lady on the Security counter pulled me over:

"Take your bangle off please."


"I want to see your bangle."

It was a Gucci silver bangle that I'd picked up at a second hand shop for a song.(No, the song was not "Baubles, Bangles, & Beads").  I peeled it off my wrist, handed it over.

After a quick glance at the inside of the bangle, the woman relaxed.  "You can go," she said, with a dismissive wave.

I was intrigued.  I asked why my bangle had been singled out for examination.

"If it had been gold colour on the inside instead of silver,  you would have been in trouble..."

I have been intrigued ever since.  Why would it matter if the inside of my silver bangle had been a gold colour?. Did a 'gold' coating have something to do with drugs? 

Only recently, I watched one of those border security tv programmes (a lot of countries seem to have such a programme).  A woman had silver plated her pure gold jewellery before she entered Australia so as she wouldnt have to pay some sort of duty on the gold which would have been thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Was this why my bangle had been singled out?  Had the Brisbane security folk thought I'd been a gold smuggler?  How exciting.   I maybe missed being on 'Border Secruity Australia' by ..... this much!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hataitai Beach - Seven swims for September


Today J and I got in our seventh swim at Hataitai Beach for September.  It was quite nice in the sea.  We had stood looking at the water for quite a few minutes deciding whether or not to go in.  The wind was positively howling around  us and the waves were rearing up like in a gale.

Yesterday when we were swimming we were laughingly trying to come up with alphabetical happenings in alphabetical countries (if between us we can remember what we came up with we'll let you read it).  The trouble was that we were having such a hysterically hilarious time thinking up way-out things that we forgot to take note of how long we were in the water.  We were twenty minutes!  In the colder months, twenty minutes is too long.

Twenty minutes felt great at the time but when we were out we were shaking and shivering so much.  I couldn't do up my shoelaces, my fingertips were so numb.

Oh, Thong Man was in the water. He  wears a bathing cap.  For warmth?  He has nothing across his bottom.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coincidence. Or what?

Hi there

Remember how, a couple of years ago, I referred to myself as The Sitcom Queen because situation comedy things kept happening to me?  Well, here's a recent example of it all starting up again....

As I type this, it is about  9 45 am, Sunday morning New Zealand time.  On Thursday morning, I was out in my car when I suddenly got it into my head to  carry straight on to Lake Taupo for a couple of nights (a five and three-quarter hour journey away from home).  I only had with me what was in the car.

The following morning (Friday), I was at the AC Pools in Taupo, having had a swim - naturally, my swimming gear was in the car - and doing up the shoelaces of my trainers in the changing room.

Oh, no ... I was wearing odd shoes!!

I had been wearing them, obliviously, since I left home.  I would have to wear them all day - being totally aware of my feet all the time - as I shopped around Taupo.  I would have to wear them the next day when I drove home.

But then, coincidence, karma, call it what-you-will ....    After listening to my cries of woe, a fellow swimmer calmly said, "Isn't today 'Wear Odd Shoes to Work Day'?"


"It's a charity thing to help awareness of kids with cancer.  There will be collectors on the street."


"You're safe," said the woman.

OMG.....  Could you believe it?  I strode out through the Taupo area, head high, shoes ill-matching.  I even got a wink from the street collector after I dropped a sizable donation into his box.

It's not every day coincidence rears up to rescue you....

Below:  Two Mile Bay, Lake Taupo.  My fave Taupo walk (Lions Walk)

Below:  On way to Taupo, approaching Mt Ruapehu (Mt Doom in "Lord of the Rings" movies").  Click to get a better picture.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The McCarthys - new tv show

Hi there

In Las Vegas, I trotted along to the MGM Grand to review a couple of work-in-progress  tv shows.   I see that one of them - The McCarthys - has been bought by Prime TV, here in NZ, and will show,perhaps, over the coming season (spring).

When I was rating the show for the tv people, there was no music or credits.  It was in a rough state.  I was asked at the end to review every character in the programme, the plot, the show itself.  It's difficult to think that what I typed down on the form might sway a giant studio as to how they finish  off on a show, the casting, etc.

I enjoyed The McCarthys, gave the show and its cast a high rating.  It was a situation comedy about a close-knit family, including a gay son.  T'he family are continually trying to partner him off.  They want him to stay at home, instead of zipping off to another city to live.  So much so, that they give him a job as assistant coach to the father's basketball team, even though the son doesnt know a thing about basketball.

 I wonder if the basketball aspect will find favour with overseas watchers?

It will be shown this Northern Hemisphere autumn in the States.  Here's the trailer.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wonderful little memories...

Hi there

After I had grizzled about the cold last week, a reader of this blog sent a comment about a nice experience she'd had that day.  She was sitting in front of a bandstand in a leafy square in Paris  (jealous, anyone?), listening to some music, when a Frenchman asked her to dance.  There was nobody else dancing but, still, she happily took up this guy's offer.  A magic moment?   I bet this reader will remember that spontaneous dance with a stranger for a long time...

Our friend, J, told me that she  had a similar few magic moments.  When she was younger, a boyfriend took her for a ride on his motorbike.  They stopped off at a fish and chip shop.  Sitting on the curb, eating those fish and chips, bike and boyfriend beside her, sun beating down,  J was radiantly happy.  Suddenly, she  felt sorry for the Queen who would never get to experience anything as simple as sitting on a curb eating fish and chips out of newspaper.

Sometimes a five, ten, or fifteen minute period in our life has been so wonderful or fulfilling or so humorous that we rate such an experience as high, or higher  than any of our overseas trips, posh cars, or designer clothes.   Isn't that nice?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seal watching in Wellington.

Last Sunday, I decided that enough was enough...  No more literally pussy-footing around.  My plantar fasciitis of the heel, after 22 months, was unofficially Cured!  I was determined to walk along the Red Rocks track to see the seals.

What a marathon.  I'd forgotten that a good half of the track would be seeing me trudge knee-deep (I do exaggerate) in stones, rocks, pebbles.   The other half was sucky sand.  Because of this, the trek was kind of exhausting.  When I returned home, I could hardly drag myself through my front door, I was so tired.  Really, I should never have made My First Big Outing over such rough ground.

I did see some seals.  Afterwards, I was telling my friend, J,  that the sign at the colony said the seals were only there from May to August.

"So, they'll be gone tomorrow," I said.  The next day being the 1st of September.

"How do the seals know to leave by the 1st of September?", asked J.

"They read the sign,"

"Oh, of course," J said.

If you look real closely, you can see seals dotted here and there in the above photo.

In the below picture, you can see, in the distance, the South Island of New Zealand.

Oh, I see I have a few readers from Turkey who have popped in for a look-see.  Now, let's hope I get this right, or my Turkish friend will never forgive me ...  Merhaba Nasilsiniz .....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wellington Blown Away Sign - WOWington???

Hi there
As my five readers know, I took a photo of the "Wellington Blown Away" sign when Weta first put it up on the hill leading to Miramar:

Then just recently the 'W' was replaced by a 'V' to advertise "What We Do In The Shadows", a vampire movie created by Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement, and set in Wellington:

Yesterday, the sign was changed to "Wowington"


PS:  one hour later:  I now think it's to publicise The World of Wearable Arts (WOW) which is on next month.  Several Weta workers, in the past,  have had costume entries in WOW and won prizes in their respective classes (see a blog from last year).  It's worth looking up past winners of WOW; you will be over-awed.  I promise.