Weekend social 26/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, June 26th, 2015 - 14 comments
Categories: weekend social - Tags:

Christmas truce 1914Weekend social is for non political chat. What’s on for the weekend, gigs, film or book reviews, sports, or whatever.

No politics, no aggro, why can’t we all just get along?

14 comments on “Weekend social 26/06/2015”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Jim Henderson has broadcast stories about NZ farm life since 1961. In his book Open Country he starts by telling where the seed of the broadcasting idea came.

    One evening, yarning away at dusk [in WW2 in the desert..near a little oasis called Bagush] Basil the cook put down his hefty onion and cheese sandwich, and remembered with a sort of soft urgency how back home he’d sit in the twilight in the clearing and watch the moreporks come hunting for huhu grubs round rotten trees. And as Basil went on remembering, in his slow drawling voice, a great wave of homesickness struck a lot of us. We knew then we were New Zealanders, and nobody else, with ways and thoughts and a destiny of our own, for as long as we lived.

    Most of us (including Basil Grieg, the kind and gentle cook) were killed, or wounded, or captured soon afterwards by our post-war allies……
    And then at home, now and again we’d hear BBC talks about crofters [on NZ radio] and the art of thatching cottages, and old coots weaving hedges or trapping badgers… Dead right about England…but not about us.

    Open Country got going on ,,,19 February 1961, YA and YZ stations, at 1 pm, with a Canterbury drover, a Nelson memory of smoke-oh time on the sheep farm, a ballad about rouseabouts and shearers from the Selwyn River, and Les Cleveland singing a song about “black-billy tea”.

    We are in danger of forgetting who we are, or never finding out, and losing the special and good attributes of being a NZr, and only passing on the shoddy and expedient ones.

    • Anne 1.1

      Great post and so true. Thanks greywarshark.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Thanks Anne. His way of thinking reflects all the good things we have come to expect from NZrs. Very admirable and likeable.

    • Charles 1.2

      From post above: “We are in danger of forgetting who we are, or never finding out, and losing the special and good attributes of being a NZr, and only passing on the shoddy and expedient ones.”

      You’re right about passing on the wrong stuff – problem is it is sometimes hidden in our methods while we do something “good”. I remember building small boats with my father, under makeshift shelters in the yard. That’s an Auckland/Wellington thing left over from the late fifties and sixties recreational sailing scene; an attitude of working class people doing what they could with plywood and cheap simple fast designs; people, that eventually, supplied some of the great names of yachting known nowadays as “greedy traitors”, rather than sporting heroes – haha! Or building a family home (not mine, my father’s) and – being a young hothead – arguing fiercely with some of the dangerous things he’d do. Health and Safety wasn’t high on his list of to priorites, not even for us. Didn’t bring us closer together. It should have, but the method was all wrong.

      The same trees in Wellington are a different colour in Auckland bush, and Southern hills are something like another country compared to the North – so are the people. Coastal birds here are fast-movers and moreporks generally kip during the day, but perhaps the woodpigeon is equally drunk wherever it turns up.

      Thinking about the question implied in your post, I don’t know what is specifically “NZder”. Perhaps a casual and potentially dangerous “can-do” attitude to most things; fierce independence and valuing the right to do what you like and get it wrong, and learn; or watch carefully beforehand, think, and get it so right on the first go it looks like an inspired work of art. Or that really disarming kind of openness that you often find in people who live in areas that have accepted a comfortable sense of the present, because that’s the way it is, the reasons not important anymore; a way of being that kinda get’s sucked up out of the landscape and imprinted onto people at birth. And the undeniably powerful yet rarely acknowledged influence of women on the shape of our culture and people – sexism, and the blindness that goes with it. This time the incredible good always over-shadowed but unrestrained by the bad. Just like the momentary shock of seeing something different, either in style, form or attitude, or orientation; and the normally musty odour of nostalgia spring-cleaned by a friendly face from Vietnam, perhaps, the new owners of a rural town diner. New Zealand has a curious way of doing things, that’s for sure – like a morepork looking for grubs in the evening.

      Bell tea, too. Bell tea in a billy during a break from whatever we’re doing – over a gas flame now though, so the billy isn’t so black. That stuff’s pretty powerful, brewed damn near to syrup, and whatever we talk about together while we drink. So we still have that in common with the old diggers. It might be that simple. Any of us could buy that at a supermarket if we wanted a reminder, or a welcome to a new country.

      You could post some more of that book when you find what you like.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Hi Charles, so interesting what you have put. I love reading the memories and understandings, the questing thoughts in people’s minds, this ‘wordy’ conversation over the internet. And things that you know that can be passed to others, and vice versa, what a great enriching tool the internet can be. Maybe we can grow more synapses and conserve ourselves and our beautiful planet through our interactions, deeper understandings, shared experiences and thoughts. Hope. 😎

        • greywarshark

          @Charles et al
          The almost stream of consciousness that Charles envisioned from the Jim Henderson quote is very evocative. I think revealing memories, thoughts like this, almost poetic and deeply evocative, would be a good way of getting a handle on what we feel about NZ.

          I will try to remember each week in the Friday post, to put something up about NZ that is outside the present political ploys and is more universal. A paragraph, a few lines of poetry that say something about our national character real or imagined. It would be good if people could use it as a starting point for their own memories and feelings in comments. And if someone else likes the idea, then they could put a particular quote that will spark others’ feelings and memories about NZ and our collective personality and history.

          ‘What are we’ rather than ‘What do we stand for’.

  2. adam 2

    The electric company – With the wonderful Morgan Freeman.

  3. adam 3

    Because I like dance – One of many very great dancers from the world of dance. This however is a different and original. Worth the watch.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Fascinating interview this morning by Kim Hill – from London – interviewing NZ woman in Brit with great mind, ideas re governments. good communicator, very inspiring.

    Professor Ngaire Woods led the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, and is the School’s inaugural Dean. Her research focuses on global economic governance, the challenges of globalisation, global development, and the role of international institutions.


  5. Charles 5

    Good movie on Maori TV tonight: Smoke… 9:30pm

    If you like Harvey Keitel, or Jim Jarmusch-esque movies, this is one you’ll love.

    (Trailer makes it look more crusty than it is.)

  6. Charles 6

    and just to max-out the video quotas…

    Heard this for the first time this afternoon driving home. Never heard of her, dunno what you call this, but it sounds great.

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