Must be the silky soft keyboard of my new HP envy - its a little bit notebook and a lot tablet. The old man is crook. He has the Big C as its found fertile ground in his nicotine soaked lungs. Anyway he is carrying on doing the things he loved. I have always loved writing so I am going to write what I want when I want. Roarprawn was a blog started in another time in my life and its flavour changed over the years. It will change again - less political but always irreverent.
Today we baled and stacked 300 bales of hay. It was a bit of a family affair, Mum always at the ready with a cuppa and a scone, Dad,76 with one kidney and some dodgy pipe work happy to get on an ancient Fergy tractor and haul it around the paddock that has some tight corners. We started the job yesterday in 29 degrees - today was aslightly cooler but sticky 27 degrees uncomfortable.
And then there is the Rock who has a passion for doing things the old way which means using old stuff. Some of it 30 - 50 years old. We had our moments - the Holland Baler busted its boiler a couple of times but the Rock , as he almost always does , fixed it. And the Hay conveyor chewed bales for a while till we worked out a bulging guiding rod was the culprit it was fixed in a paddock moment with the most intricate of tools - a sledgehammer. Two bangs and dang if it didn't slide the bales up like butter.
Son Matthew joined us for the last round of the paddock so there were three generations of Campbells outstanding in their field. It also meant the oldest skited to the youngest by ripping round the paddock only to be sworn at to slow down. Dad might want to do a lot of things at his age but apparently driving a 62 bedford truck scooping up hay sedately is not one of them.
The bales were neatly stacked in our shed - almost all of them - a mate took about 60 straight from the paddock for her stock.
As I sit here typing this , Im still feeling the scratch of a lonely grass wand on my slightly less ample arse but no one stirs.
Asleep they are - dreaming of big bales and noisy machines, dust and a very tidy stack, a cleansing shower and the smell of Mums fresh scones and my strawberry preserves from the house and a cold beer.
Today was a great day. We woke up early at Spring Creek motorcamp and I shot down to the creek to feed the eels. They fought with the ducks and trout for a few crumbs of bread.
Then we decided on a trip up the Wairau Valley. Our first stop was a small pub at Wairau Valley township where we had a toasted sandwich and I had a half of Matsons lager.. It was a nice light drop.
Then we went to one of a myriad spots that motorvan owners (mo'vanners) like ma and pa know about. Todays visual treat was Lake Argyle which is a small canal lake that is diverted from the Branch and Leatham Rivers to create a bit of power.. It holds a few fish - so ma and I went for a stroll to the big rivers while dad had a couple of casts in Argyle. While he claims he got a few nibbles there were no fish in his bag on our return.
On the way back to Picton and our final night in the South, we stopped to get some cherries for lambcut and some good white wines . I wanted some nice aromatics to go with the crayfish dishes I have planned for Boxing Day.
I have a few recipes to try out and will blog about the matches after Xmas.
I am no true believer in biodynamic practices but I am a believer in loving the land and nurturing it and whatever the Flowerdays are doing it is good for the grape. Their wines are probably some of the most complex and interesting aromatics in the country.
And I cant wait to pair them up with a range of crayfish, whitebait, and smoked eel dishes.
Today was a brilliant day.. some great sights, fantastic people and good food and wine.. It doesn't get much better..
Tonight we are in the Spring Creek motor camp. Its a lovely wee place and we are again in a cabin for $80. So what did i get for $80? A really nice bed clean as , a bright and clean duvet a clean toilet and shower.
Its old and built of concrete block but perfectly adequate.
We are on the first stay of a three day trip from Christchurch to Wellington. So far it has been fabulous to spend some time with mum and dad in their faithful steel steed - their motorhome known as Bugsys Burrow. We stopped at Waipara Springs winery for a stellar coffee and bought a couple of bottles of wine and then stopped in Cheviot and had a noisy in a fabulous antique shop. Then we looked into a lovely gallery and struck up a conversation to find in ten seconds flat that we found an acquaintance we had in common. This seems to be a national sport for Kiwis. Work out with a stranger someone you both know in the shortest time possible. With well travelled parents and a chirpy and inquiring old man - its a daily occurrence. Now we are not too precious about where we stay on out trips and it makes it easier if its a camping ground with a power site for ma and pa and a cabin for me - that way we can stay together. Their motor home is cosy for 2 but cramped for 3. So our first night park up is in a place called the A1 Motel in Kaikoura. Its a place probably built in the 70's and its bloody tired. Now we dont really mind tired but we dont abide grubby and this one is grubby. It was $30 for the power site for ma and pa and $70 for my room.
We have with us some precious cargo - a mate who owns a lobster exporting company gave us over a dozen cray tails for xmas. so a fridge is good. I unpacked them and put them in the fridges freezer and as i closed the door it fell off. Landed on my toe.. it hurt. but i could not help laughing. the sheets are clean but the toilet would be a great centrepiece in a horror movie of the genesis of some alien life form.
So we wont be back. But like all good holidays the bad experiences are all part of the trip. This morning we are off to cruise around Blenheim. A mate has offered us a cuppa tea and some fresh xmas baking. And then Sunday sees us in Picton for the big crossing on BlueBridge.
A few weeks ago when the International Big Oil was in town a few media politeratti and cliteratti gathered for a bit of a catch up.
There was good wine to be had. Lots of it - we were buying and sharing our favourites with others .
A well known media personality presented us with a new wine.
It was cloudy and sorry boys - but it was the colour of a mucky period..
A diseased ruby color.
We all sniffed inquisitively and as I cast my eyes around the table it was clear that this was not an ephiphanistic drop.
We sipped but our palates were in obvious agreement - it was not a great wine.
The purchaser of this bemusing wine was aghast - "Its bio dynamic! " he exclaimed
Moments like these are always dangerous for us sheilas of advancing years and bladder valves worn by too many evenings on the hops as a young un.
We were characteristically blunt. "Its crap."
Others murmured in agreement . To be fair some thought it was okay - drinkable at a pinch - " A quaffer " someone proffered.
Then the buyee of the bottle thundered "Its $245.. "
About $10 bucks worth shot out the left side on my mouth.
A mate lost control of her muscles and spilt a $20 bucks on the table as she jerked in reaction to the revelation.
Then we proceeded to take the piss out of the plonk. It was universally declared ordinary.
Bio dynamics is a wonderful marketing ploy by the organic lobby. Medieval mysticism gone moderne.
Now I grow a few veges and we have cows and sheep a horse and chooks and as everyone knows manure is good for you. I use it extensively and the results are glorious. Use lots of manure and you get robust, lush fecund fauna.
However playing in shit filling up horns cos they are the seemingly magical "fertile" bit of the bovine and burying them to mature the said crap is just frikking daft.
Doing it in time with the moon and sun indicates that the believers have been exposed to too many solar flares.
We have two heifers of an age where calfhood is calling. One is a big rangy freisian called Missy - the other is a wee Angus called The Angus.
Now we also have a steer known as Bullocky who is destined for the freezer before Xmas.
Now we know that the heifers are keen for a calf as they have been indulging in a bit of lesbian tribbing and the steer seems to be keen to dry hump the girls - so its fair to say that all involved are happy campers..
So we have the lend of a bull. He maybe a dependabull, hopefully loveabull and definitely we need him to be rootabull.
However there is a small problem... He is a bit on the short side - so he has been wandering around the paddock looking a little forlorn despite the best come hither advances of the two heifer hussys. He is going to have to step up and in a flat paddock he has a bit of a handicap.
So only time will tell if Harry the Hereford X will be up to quite a tall order..
Our mates in the VRWC have been joshing with us all day. There have been about 1200 birds killed by the RENA oil slick. Our mates argue that while it seems a lot its not big in the scheme of things. Maybe they are right - they normally are. However we do think that DOC needs a big thumbs up for co-ordinating the effort to save the pandas of NZ bird world - The Dotterel. Its a sisyphean task that requires passion and dogged determination in the face of insurmountable odds.
They are funny wee birds that hide on the shore line and put their nests in the silliest of places. The go for bloody miles to find a feed and when the chips are down they will abandon their chicks and its not like they have a big brood - nope they only have a couple or three at best.
In essence they wiggled their fluffy arses just enough to make a wee indent in the sand and squeeze out a couple or three bumnuts. But just above the high tide zone is the equivalent of gang riven Farmers Crescent. Its hell out there. All manner of predators lurk there from skua, stoats and the heavy feet of hairy legged trampers. So what happens if the eggs or chicks get killed? Well the dotterels are persistent - they go and wiggle there wee botties and do it all over again.
So they are as succesful as parents as Sonny Bill Williams would be at trying to maintain a hard on in a locked room with only Helen Clark for company.
We reckon Dotterel are winged Pandas because despite the fact that they are deliriously cute, these little feathered moths that flit almost undetectable on the sandy shore line - need human support to exist. So New Zealand, is in essence, providing state support for the useless dotterel parents. What do NZ'ers get in return? bugger all as you cant see the wee buggers as they only thing they are much good at is camouflage. However they would stick out like the balls on a St Bernard against the oil stained sand.
You see our mates reckon that we have had a far greater impact on the country's bird population - killing over 40,000 muttonbirds singletoothedly over our lifetime. That is very true. We are of course very old so its taken nearly half a century to reach that figure. So while we have dispatched a lot of oily birds to eat - the RENA's oily slick hasn't really eaten a lot of birds.
However, we think that what is really worth saving is the little blue penguin.. The wee pengys never fail to raise a smile either on land or at sea. Gentle wee buggers - efficient hunters and good mums and dads. And they apparently taste like crap.
We like that in a bird.
and what is our favourite Seabird? This one of course-
As we were watching the big game last night between NZ and Australia we mused to our Aussie partner, the Rock, that despite the vilification of Quade Cooper, there were many signs that NZ and Australia were finally understanding that we had more in common than not.
The mere fact that a kiwi born boy like Quade called Australia home, as do hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders, is a case in point. He is well aware and proud of his kiwi heritage but for him Aussie is home and he wears the Aussie jersey proudly.
We think that Cooper is an outstanding athlete - he is Sean Maitland's cousin so his sporting lineage goes back aways.
We agree. The All Blacks French final should see the All Blacks trump the Frogs. And while the world knows the strength of our rivalry with Australia the world may not realise that we have never got over the Gallic bastards coming over here to blow up a boat in our waters.
Referee Alain Rolland single-handedly sunk the honour of the Rugby World Cup last night. Rolland showed Welsh skipper Sam Warburton a red card following a spear tackle on French wing Vincent Clerc in the 18th minute of the game. The tackle itself did not appear to be carried out with malicious intent. It did not result in any injury to Clerc. And, it was not at the high end of such infringements where a player would be deliberately driven into the ground. Rolland, for a second time in the tournament showed himself to be an officious spoiler with a prejudice in favour of France. The French winger’s reaction was to grovel on the ground, milking the moment with an Oscar winning performance. The act of a cheat. In the France - All Black pool game, Rolland distracted the All Blacks with a little chat on rule interpretation allowing the French to skulk over the try line unopposed. He, clearly, does not understand the spirit of Rugby or any other sport. Rolland’s father is French and he speaks the language fluently. This apparently, made him a good choice of “neutral” ref for the French games. IRB logic defeats me, Wales and belief itself. I don’t recall seeing anything so contemptible since the French Secret Service came here to bomb a peace ship. If any glory can be salvaged from such a display it all goes to Wales who played on valiantly without their young skipper. Of shame there is plenty, for Alain Rolland and his French friends.
Roarprawn is a blog by people of the Global village who hate bad shit
This blog is about politics and stuff and just so it doesn't get too boring, it's also about other news that takes our fancy or irks us and food and wine . Roarprawn was started by Bustedblonde. A feisty gal who knew her shit and was scared of bugger all apart from wasps, and shipwrecks. And if you want to join us or comment or give us a tip, then email the Brunette on email@example.com