Monday, March 15, 2010


A million years ago, when I was young and almost good-looking, I knew a Vet who proudly bore the name Nick De'ath. He pronounced it De ARTH. I thought the Nick part was quite apposite, but he didn't appreciate the humour implicit in it. Such is li'fe.

Death - without Nick's odd apostrophe - has been on the mind today. One of my readers is on the slippery slope, and it's not easy. He's mid-30s, with a beautiful child and wife. Li'fe just ain't fair.

Co-incidentally, I was chatting to one of the oldies today. This one's a charmer. She wanted me to order a book on arranginging your own funeral, and showed me her coffin. Her husband built it. His one's been used: he di'ed a couple of years ago. Hers is similar to his: he made it out of driftwood. It is fabulously cool, but it looks like it would be a sonofabitch to carry. Looks as heavy as sin, which I'm sure this very cool old lady has a few in her back closet, awaiting discovery by her grandchildren.

I was listening to Hollie Smith's album "long player" the other day, and I wondered why she hadn't released a follow-up. And tonight I find she has - today. Serendipity, thy name is music.

Had to laugh, tonight. TV3 spews had a segment about some Labour back-bencher who - on an aircraft - had the temerity to say what we've all wanted to say: "I wish those kids would shut up". I would have added a couple of four-letter words, but he's a gentleman, or something. Anyway, the parents complained to some blogger, who raised Cain over the so-called incident. Anyway. I gritted my teeth, and said something about non-stories. Then, twenty minutes later, Campbell comes on, and say that the media'd had been full of the story, and that, yes, it was a non-story. Nice to see he does have editorial independence..

Although, does he? How come he's doing a regular "What's On Trade Me" segment? My question is this: does Fairfax own a chunk of TV3? I genuinely don't know the answer, but it's the only reason I can think of that would explain such nonsense.

Listening to: Well,Hollie Smith. Again.

Reading: Nothing new... just rotating through the three I have running.

Word of the day: Death. Without the apostrophe.


He rubbed the repair with some linseed oil, hoping that the beech would soak the oil up at the same rate as the oak: if it didn't, it could swell at at slightly different rate, and that could be enough to throw the aim out of true.
And for the kind of shooting Arthur did, he had to be precisely accurate.
He put a cork into the barrel, sealing the gun-oil in, and hung the rifle on the wall of his solitary bunker. He looked around, reaching for the whisky bottle, and pouring a healthy slug into his enamelled tin cup. He had two bunks, one of which was empty. He'd salvaged a small desk from a torn-apart school, and a one-legged milking stool from the remnants of a barn. It had been made with care: someone had burnt a fanciful design of a cow jumping over the moon into the seat, and it had been painted in gay colours before being varnished. Arthur had been surprised that the local folk know English nursery-rhymes, but thought it was just another example of how everything that was good about Britain did end up with the rest of the world. He kept a week's worth of rations on the rough wooden shelves, along with a gallon tin of whale oil for his lamp, his “housewife” - an army-supplied kit that contained sewing and darning needles, a thimble, cotton, patches, and khaki wool – with which he could do running repairs on his uniform, two bottles of whisky stolen from the Officers' Mess by Corporal Stack, his shaving kit, a quart of water for washing, drinking, and shaving, a bronze shaving mirror that he'd bought in Egypt, soap, a towel, boot polish, and three spare pair of socks, puttees, two shirts, and a thick woollen jersey.

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