Monday, 30 March 2015

No Tipping at Non Solo Pizza

Great treat today with a late lunch at Non Solo Pizza in Parnell - in the courtyard with the sun shining you could be forgiven for imagining it was Capri.    I had the seafood salad which was delicious.  I'm currently thinking Non Solo Pizza is indeed much better than Italia Square (which is a bit closer).   Food is very well priced - nice wines - best coffee in Parnell.   In fact there is very little about the place to dislike.....except perhaps the `do you want to tip' option that pops up when the bill is paid.   I really do dislike that.  I know it's terribly, terribly common but that doesn't make it feel any more right.  Presumably it's meant to shame the customer into tipping when they might not actually want to do so.   Unfortunately it has the opposite effect on me - and makes me delay my next visit which is a pity.   Oh well, I guess they can't be perfect.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Double Breasted Pajamas for Winston Peters

It wasn't until this morning that I caught up with the latest about Winston Peters.  I couldn't be more thrilled - it's much more exciting than the cricket!  Well done Winston.
There's something about the man that never fails to attract me - I'll go further because there have been times over the years when he has positively set my pulse racing.  What a dapper chappie he is to be sure.   It's got something to do with his dress sense because he never fails to look sensationally sexy in those suits of his.   
I'm being serious here because it is my belief that you should never under estimate a man in a double breasted suit.
Alongside Winston so many of our representatives simply look like slobs don't they?
At one time I used to fantasize about spending the night with him (just one night you understand) - I bet he wears double breasted pajamas in a dark blue stripe!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Justice New Zealand Style

There is a very scary list of those New Zealanders who might well feel they have received a raw deal from our justice system, our police force in particular – and it goes back a long, long way.  Below are some of that list's more celebrated, some might say infamous, even notorious.

            Arthur Alan Thomas
            David Bain
            Scott Watson
            Peter Ellis
            Mark Lundy
            Teina Pora

There will be many more, though perhaps less noteworthy you might think in that they haven't had books written about them.

Sometimes the behavior of these felons is quite unexpected.  Take Peter Ellis for instance.  A harmless pre-school teacher you might think.   But when he applied for that job in Christchurch and the other workers said to him, `Oh Peter, we do so hope you’ll come and work here with us because you look like the kind of guy who would be thrilled to join us in our side-line of abusing the kids – don’t say No because it’s so much fun,’   in an instant he did so.  I mean, you have to ask yourself what kind of person he was underneath it all don’t you?    But I suppose that’s child molesters for you.

Then there are the murderers.  What is very odd about some of these offenders is the way they steadfastly declare their innocence throughout hour after tedious hour of police questioning and endless probing from friends and family.

`……No, I did not do it, I am innocent, completely innocent…..’   they maintain day after day, week after week.   In fact you would be almost tempted to believe them wouldn’t you? 
Through thick and thin they assure you that Truth Will Out. Eventually they will be believed….. `because I am one hundred per cent innocent of the heinous crime you accuse me of!’

Yet put them in a prison cell with a fellow who’s clocked up twenty five convictions before his twenty first birthday and that’s when the truth does actually emerge.   Quick as a flash in fact!

`……I know I’ve said for the past year and a half that I’m innocent but quite honestly mate, although I’ve known you for only an hour and a half I find I cannot lie to you.  There’s something about you…..Yes, I did it alright – slaughtered the lot of them!’

If the police teams had any sense they would have provided a cell mate in the first place if only to save time.  It's worth thinking about.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Mustn't Forget the Crime of Circumcision

There is something unattractive about very definitely grown up children who blame parents for things that are not going quite right in their lives.  Decidedly unappealing but more common than you might think and in recent months I have stumbled across more than a handful of these middle aged misfits.
For instance there’s the thirty eight year old currently heaping liability upon her elderly parents for not recognizing her musical talent when she was at primary school.   Had she started piano lessons earlier she might well by now have joined the world circuit of concert pianists.
Then there’s the thirty seven year old who was forced – yes forced to practice the violin day after day because he, poor lad, was unlucky enough to have the kind of observant parents who did notice his musical talent;  just imagine that!   It’s led to all kinds of complexes.
I mustn’t forget to include the forty two year old who was sent to an expensive single sex boys’ school when he would have been so much happier at the local Comprehensive ….oh and he was compelled to do Calculus when he yearned for Cookery – poor chap, you can understand why he feels he’s been let down in a big way.   
I cannot ignore the hoards of  unfortunates who were sent to  schools with decidedly religious foundations (Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, Muslim) because their undoubtedly well-meaning but quite irresponsible parents failed to see that their child was simply not cut out for Faith.  You have to feel quite wretched for them don’t you? -  the offspring, not the parents I mean.
And can you imagine what it must have been like for all those luckless little prodigies in Russia during the Cold War who were herded into Dance Academies and Circus Schools when what they might have dreamed about was Advanced Mathematics or Political Studies.  The harm that was heaped upon them is not pretty to contemplate is it?
As for the ill-fated closer to home, you have to shed a tear or two for those kids compelled to undergo home schooling programmes operated by sadistic parents who undoubtedly knew their child was desperate to go back for another bout with the classroom bullies.
Look, I could go on and on – I mean I haven’t even touched on the subject of the vicious and inhuman couples who actually allowed their helpless infant sons to be circumcised.   Totally barbaric, I’m sure you’ll agree. One of these victims, a man in his forties recently charged his father with `the amputation’ of his penis.  And guess what? – that unfeeling old eighty one year old absolutely refuses to take responsibility for his son’s subsequent failure in life.   In fact I won’t even tell you what his response was – it’s too rude!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Elder Abuse Up Close & Ugly

Recently I observed close up an astonishing case of elder abuse where a woman in her late seventies appears to have been defrauded both out of significant sums of money, and what she thought was her home by the combined efforts of her daughters astonishingly each working independently of the other.   Yes, I know it’s hard to believe and furthermore you simply do not expect that kind of thing to happen to people you know

It had all started with her wanting to move North to be near the family, and the subsequent sale of a property in the South Island.   It was slow to sell but her older daughter and partner said they were happy to help out in the short term.  Subsequently what she had fondly imagined was a `down payment’ on a unit in the central city turned almost overnight into two years’ `rent’ and she found herself being unceremoniously turned out almost onto the street when she felt she could not meet the ongoing rental demands of helpful daughter number one and her belligerent partner.

`If you thought the money you gave them was a deposit on the property why didn’t you check that the place was in your name?’   I asked incredulously.

`Well first of all I trusted my daughter……. and I didn’t quite like to keep pestering her when she’s busy for ownership papers….’

To make matters considerably worse it appears that while this was taking place, daughter number two was given a `loan’ with which to start an on line fashion business which now appears to be in some jeopardy.

Ever obliging mother did not like to say no, `for one thing she knew I had the money just sitting there doing nothing very much….’
Why didn’t she talk to friends or neighbours about this situation before it got completely out of hand?   Because once she realized what had happened and how she had been duped, her most significant emotion was one of deep shame.  She wanted to avoid at all costs anyone finding out how badly her beloved children had behaved towards her!

`I found it hard to believe.  These were my little girls and I loved them.  I trusted them.’

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Hot Day & The Forgetful Mother

Should the mother who left her baby to die in the back of a car instead of delivering him safely to the creche be charged with manslaughter?    It's very easy to feel sympathy for her, with her mind in all probability on the day's work and hastening to get to the first patient before a row of complaints lined out.   Any one of us could have done the same......or could we?   
It wouldn't have happened of course if she had not been a working mother and I imagine she has also come to that realisation.   It's much harder to `forget' to take the toddler into the supermarket with you though I was tempted more than once if only to avoid destruction of the lower shelves caused by son number one not to mention the hostile glances of other shoppers.    These days, however, the stay at home mother has become very much a thing of the past, almost an oddity and those of us who not so very long ago were able to choose not to work, to instead look after our children ourselves and allow our brains to turn to mulch probably didn't realise how lucky we were.  
But to get back to the forgetful mother on that very hot day, to be fair I have to say I think she should be charged with manslaughter.   That is undoubtedly what would happen if she had inadvertently reversed over the child in the driveway as he played on his tricycle.  
There is no doubt that she will be found not culpable and that too is only right. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Seat Belt Rules For Travelling Toddlers

Loved the story a day or two ago of the three year old boy who absolutely refused to wear his seat belt on an international flight.  Guess what?  The plane was unable to leave the runway.   The combined efforts of airline staff quoting laws and bylaws regarding air travel were quite unable to persuade his parents that they must make him comply with the regulations.   His mother said he knew his own mind and he just hated to be so confined.  He could sit on her knee.  Both parents were quite shocked when it was explained to them that he could not sit on her knee.  That was for infants under two years of age.   Maybe they might think about not traveling after all.
Well, after some discussion the family said they would not leave the aircraft because they had a right to be there - they'd paid for the flight after all.   By this time the other passengers were getting mighty edgy and various suggestions were made like making the little chap an offer he couldn't refuse.  But these parents were not into coercion  and neither were they into incentives because their son had strength of character as was being witnessed by all and sundry.   Eventually when another twenty minutes passed during which time they also spurned the idea of giving him a thick ear, someone said the police should be called. 
Now you would imagine that at this point this spirited little fellow would have been forcibly strapped into his seat, by his Mummy and Daddy,  kicking and screaming and possibly also biting wouldn't you?   But no, the family then decided to leave the plane after all, threatening to sue the airline.
It makes you think.  If they can't get him to do what they ask when he's three, I do wonder what he will be like when he's ten or eleven.