Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Imprisonment for Sorcery in New Zealand

As Brian Rudman points out today (NZ Herald) Justice Minister Amy Adams’ rejection of a Commission of Enquiry into the nasty business at the Christchurch Civic Creche all those years ago appears to have gone unnoticed with all the excitement of recent days.   You might feel that the long weekend has been to blame but I have to say that if only the media could have got over their obsession with pony tail pulling it might have been better brought to our attention. 
For those not familiar with the case, Peter Ellis was jailed for ten years in the early nineteen nineties on a number of sexual offending charges.   Apparently Ellis and his teacher colleagues  were paedophile satanists and we know that for sure because of the children’s evidence.  We all know that preschoolers do not lie.  
The innocent little mites, dropped off to kindy by unsuspecting parents, were subjected to what can only be described as sexual sadism that verged on the worst excesses of medieval torture.
There were a number of underground tunnels in the crèche basement, at least one of which led to a graveyard, and another to a suite of rooms in one of the city’s upmarket hotels.
Their teacher tormenters often peed on the children, and sometimes pooed on them as well.  Imagine that!
They were pushed through trapdoors into dungeons and left there for hours.   They were half cooked in hot ovens.   They were buried in coffins.
Burning paper was pushed up their bottoms.   Parts of their anatomy were wrenched from their bodies with pliers.  Pins were pushed through penises.
They were left for hours in cages that had been hung from the ceiling in the main playroom by Peter's mother.  Yes, even his mother was in on it!
One four year old was on one occasion forced to help with the murder of a baby.
I must be totally truthful and say that despite the daily persecution sessions no actual signs of injury were ever found on the children but as far as I’m concerned that only proves how terrifyingly efficient these South Island Sorcerers were.
I admit that it’s odd that the parents of the boy who was the subject of the ritual slaughter never ever reported him missing.   Doesn’t that merely demonstrate how petrified they were of the vengeance of the group though?   I know I wouldn’t have wanted to cross a malevolent mob like that.  In fact I’m surprised they were ever employed in the first place.  It’s a disgrace!
And we should be very, very concerned.  In this context I could not help but note Claire Robinson’s comment on Sunday’s Q&A programme during the discussion about closer trade relations with Saudi Arabia.   She was rightly anxious about the possible ramifications of cosying up to a society `that still imprisons people for sorcery’ ….. and there were murmurs of approval for this observation of hers from the other panel members.   I did so want to re-assure her that if and when the social complications of the prospective trade deals come to pass we might not notice as much as she thinks.   We imprisoned Ellis for sorcery as long ago as 1993 after all.   

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Mondayfication of Anzac Day

Anzac weekend now draws to a close and because of the Mondayfication (horrible word) of the day itself, seems to have gone on far too long.
Like so many of our neighbours I suspect, we fully intended to get up in time to attend the dawn service outside the War Memorial Museum but somehow failed to make it.   Six fifteen am found me sleepily watching Maori TV instead.   I have to say Maori TV and pageantry seem to go together;  they do it particularly well so I started crying at six thirty and cried on and off all day.  By the time Prince Charles laid his third or fourth wreath of the day at around eleven pm I felt totally exhausted. 
We did get to the ten forty five am Museum service along with thousands of others complete with small children in double pushchairs and picnics.    The very fair haired family in front of us on the grass got through a huge number of sandwiches and muesli bars and the three year old daughter dressed completely in white was heard to announce loudly `When all  this prayers stuff is over I'm going to get a pie - but only if I'm a good girl'.    I looked at her disapprovingly but she didn't seem to notice.
For the eight year old boy on my left boredom began to set in around the middle of `Abide With Me' and that's when he began to closely examine the dog excrement on the path, crumbling it through his fingers and offering some to his small brother who wisely declined.   I gave him an even sterner look which he noticed immediately and half stuck out his tongue so I fully stuck out mine which seemed to startle him. 
We had coffee at Non Solo Pizza on the way back to Farnham Street where the rather beautiful Italian waitress the husband is currently in love with, apologetically said there was a surcharge because of Anzac Day and we said that was quite okay.  Anyhow it's definitely the best coffee in Auckland whatever it costs.   So home just in time for me to start making lasagne and half watch the dawn service live from Gallipoli.  A much better bugler than the one at the Museum of course and inevitably more tears.
I finally fell into bed at midnight after Charles did his thing at Chanuk Bair - and oh my goodness aren't those disembodied voices of  the wailing Maori women just gut wrenching?   I vaguely wondered what I was going to do with all the lasagne cooling in the frig.
Yesterday we drove up to Red Beach for a splendid lunch with Kevin and Shirley O'Brien and assorted guests. It was an Italian lunch and yes, one of Shirley's dishes was lasagne!
While we ate I sat next to Jennifer and we talked about writing which is what we normally talk about.  The men at the table began to look bored and started to talk about medicine.    However, a great time was had by all and Shirley's desserts, especially her Mediterranean Walnut Cake, were spectacular as usual.   
It was getting dark when we got home and as I had warned the husband that he should not expect dinner, he did not mention food all evening.  We watched the two hour first session of `When We Go To War' which was a bit like a play I might have written when I was fifteen or sixteen.  The dialogue was embarrassingly trite.  However, some of the shots of Edwardian Auckland were fun to watch and try to decide just how they had managed it.
Today was Mondayfication Day itself and as number one son had half said he might call in for coffee, I more than half expected him all morning but he failed to appear on the horizon and I can only imagine he imbibed a little more than he intended to yesterday.   So I finished the housework, while a storm raged outside, stepping carefully around the reading husband who is now on to the second of the Wolf Hall books called something like Bring Up The Bodies.   The deluge has now ceased and the courtyard plants look totally refreshed.    And guess what, we're definitely eating some of that lasagne tonight!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

John Key - Hair Fetishist!

Well it appears that the Prime Minister has at last been outed as a hair fetishist.    Horror of horrors it seems he feels compelled to pull on pigtails and ponytails.  Just imagine what it must have been like to sit in the row in front of him in primary school.
To be totally fair to the waitress concerned she is entitled to do her job without having her hair tugged upon whether or not the tugger is the Prime Minister.  But quite honestly did the incident(s) really necessitate all the drama?  
My underlying feeling is that if this is all the Loony Left can dig up to discredit John Key then he is clearly doing much better than any of us expected.   So it’s Keep Calm & Carry On John – but please do try to STOP pulling hair!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Pilkingtons on a Sudden Whim

We went on a whim for lunch at Pilkingtons in Shortland Street.    A late lunch because it was almost two pm when we arrived.   We ordered Beef Carpaccio and Kingfish Ceviche to share with a glass of wine each.   These dishes were quite divine.   We then shared an Orange Custard which looked very pretty but did not quite live up to its appearance.  It was rather too sweet though the dried segments of orange were to die for it has to be admitted.
The coffee was disappointing – strong enough but far too bitter.
The service was good though a spoon might have been offered to aid with the doling out of the beef and fish, and to spoon up the delicious sauces.
The venue is very pleasant but as the sun goes down it would be wise to take care where you sit in the room. 

The husband commented that the food in Auckland must undoubtedly come as a surprise to foreign visitors.   I said yes, just as long as they go to the right places.

We both agreed that even though we know London extremely well it is often difficult to find good food in the city at lunchtime.  Invariably we resign ourselves to a corner of the nearest pub and share a sandwich and chips - reliably revolting.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Abandoning The Landline

When we moved from St Heliers to our miniscule bijou residence on the city fringe, nearly three years ago, we had an in depth discussion regarding the landline;  to be more precise, the necessity of it.   I pointed out that anyone who wanted to contact me now did so via email or text or, on the very odd occasion, by a mobile call.   I could not remember the last time someone rang me on the landline, I lied.  I could of course remember but those that still did were either cold callers offering insurance and heat pumps or acquaintances who laboured under the misapprehension that they were friends.
The husband fiercely disagreed and said that as he did not own a cell phone and had yet to learn how to send emails on the Tablet I had given him two birthdays ago, the landline was for him an absolute necessity.  It was duly installed of course because on matters like this he usually gets his way.
As I predicted, however,  it rarely singles me out for attention but two or three times weekly those organizing games of golf or beery assignations to discuss the state of the nation’s finances ring for him.  This is all very well of course but irritatingly he does rather expect me to attend to these calls, sift through them and alert him as to who exactly is calling before he deigns to take the receiver in hand.  In other words I have of late become a kind of secretary or PA.
So a week or two ago I rebelled and told him I was no longer prepared to continue in this role. He was offended, as is his wont but the odd thing is that he has now become very choosy as to whether or not he actually answers the insistent call of the landline that he needed so very much.   When I queried why he said, `Uh…it might not actually be for me you know!’
He is not as yet though, prepared to abandoned the landline altogether.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Massive Cockroaches Invade City Suburb.....

The other day I came upon a cockroach that could quite fairly be described as the size of a small mouse.  In fact at first I thought it must be a mouse as it scuttled past me on the dark stairway of our bijou residence.  Not the sort of wildlife I would have expected to happen upon in trendy Parnell I have to say.
When we lived in our divine bush valley in Kohimarama all those years ago when the children were small, we were infested from time to time with a more miniature style of cockroach.  There were certainly plenty of them but as we also lived side by side with giant wetas and rats they were a minor problem.  Somehow or other we grew accustomed to the teeming wildlife over the years, even when the rats regularly ventured inside the house to escape the chill of winter.  They seemed to alarm the cats more than me in those days I have to say.  The three cats, Hector, Harriet and Heidi were respectful of the wetas and only Hector was game to tackle the rats.  It has to be admitted that they were a little on the large side those Kohi rats.
When we finally exchanged the bush valley and rather ramshackle dwelling for a  more upmarket house in St. Heliers we merely had to contend with ants and spiders, plenty of both but the latter were not too intimidating;  not as bad as those I remembered from London at any rate.
The downsizing move to the city fringe two and a half years ago brought nothing more alarming than occasional house flies so the advent of the mouse-sized cockroach the other day was cause for a great deal of agitation and the speedy accumulation of a number of insecticides.
Once the creature’s death was brought about by half a spray can of  Super Strength Mortein, I gingerly displayed the body to a neighbour or two.
Jill, from the heart of England, looked at it with little interest and said, `Yes – you tend to get them in buildings like ours…..’
Ina, from Australia said something similar and looked at me curiously I thought -  though she did add that spiders were the things she didn't terribly like.   Having given the matter more thought I think she was probably referring to the Australian variety - probably those that consume birds and small children.