Monday, January 31, 2011

Battle Of The Bathtubs...

Over a thousand people turned up to watch the 10th annual Bathtub Races at Bowentown yesterday. There were fun rowing and motorised events for young and not so young.
Blustery conditions made for some exciting racing as these motorised tubs reached impressive speeds.
The premier event for the baths using 8hp motors was won by Number 2 seen below...

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beautiful Bowentown...

Beautiful Bowentown the morning after Cyclone Wilma made her mad dash through the region. Just how it usually is, and one of my favourite places to spend a couple of days...
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunrise At Bowentown...

Yesterday's stunning sunrise was a benign beginning to the last few hours as Cyclone Wilma began racing her way over the top of New Zealand's North Island on her way to somewhere else.
In her wake, this naughty lady has left flooding and destruction, power outages, landslips, destroyed homes and disrupted lives.
The Flying Tortoise is grounded by 120kph winds and bucketloads of horizontal rain at the moment but the sun is still shining.
Life's not all that bad...
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Friday, January 28, 2011

New Zealand's Iconic Images In Mosaic...

Con Kiernan is a major New Zealand Mosaic artist. Living and working from his studio home in Waikino, a little area between Paeroa and Waihi, Con and Diane offer live-in courses in this ancient artform and provide accommodation with gourmet meals in a beautiful, tranquil bush setting.
Con's work is widely known with commissioned pieces displayed in homes and public places throughout the country.
Much of his work features the Pohutakawa and the Kowhai.
I'm glad I stopped by for a look.
You might too...
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Inspired Living...

Goji from Prince George, British Columbia, was so inspired by Lloyd Khan's Homeworks book, he built this mobile dwelling that is pulled by bicycle.
You're inspirational too Goji.
Much joy and laughter to you...
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Postcard From Paeroa...

Paeroa, world famous for the softdrink that bears its name is also the Antiques Capital of New Zealand. Situated on the Hauraki Plains, it's not far from the Coromandel, Tauranga, Hamilton or Auckland.
The historic Karangahake Gorge between Paeroa and Waihi is a must see with wonderful walks, stunning scenery and white-water kayaking.
Very user friendly for motorhomers makes Paeroa an ideal stopover for a day or three...
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nature Comes To The Rescue At Port Jackson...

After the weekend storm, the only things remaining at Port Jackson which DoC put in place before Christmas are some lines on the grass and some post and wire fences that have nothing now to protect.
Nature has reclaimed it's position and rescued the campgound.
The plantings that were placed in the 'dunes' are now no more and neither are the man made dunes.
The bollards removed by a large group of irate campers wait in piles for DoC to come and collect them.
The sand and stone 'reclamation' bulldozed onto the grass verges have been washed away.
Only the scars from DoC's butchered operations remain but Nature will heal these too.
Nature has done what it always has done.
It has won.
Nature will always win.
The 1080 petitioners will be overjoyed with this result but will also realise that the battle is still to be won on other fronts.
I intend to put in place a procedure to hold the idiots at DoC who were responsible for the stupidities at Port Jackson to account.
Listen for the sound of heads rolling...

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Monday, January 24, 2011

DoC's Vandalism And Stupidity Exposed At Port Jackson...

We told you so!
We told you exactly what would happen when a north-easterly blow combined with a high tide.
And it has!
It wasn't rocket science DoC but it was way beyond your level of competence wasn't it, way beyond your intelligence level wasn't it.
It wasn't broken DoC. It didn't need fixing DoC, but it does now.
And not by you either!
It will take Nature some time, perhaps years to fix your environmental vandalism, and now it's time for you to take responsibility for your bureaucratic bungling...
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Colville Connection...

The Flying Tortoise landed at the Colville Cafe on the way back to Coromandel from Port Jackson the other day. My first cafe experience in a while, complete with a very yummy chocolate brownie.
Crossing the road I saw what I thought to be a 'like minded soul' and of course we chatted. I didn't know him from Adam and it turns out he wasn't Adam but Tom, an original hippy who's been living here for years. An invitation and a little while later I was a guest at his very wonderfully quirky home in the hills overlooking the sea. The windows here are all car and truck windows simply fitted to suit. There are no ninety degree angles in this house, with freedom loving rooms flowing in all directions and levels.
You might meet Tom someday and enjoy his company too...
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Robyn's Nest...

My friend Robyn is a gorgeous person, talented artist and potter.
Her home, somewhere on the wonderful Coromandel is always a source of delight to me and we always catch up when I'm passing through.
Every corner of her life is filled with wonderous things that invite attention.
I'm allowed to share these images and more with you...

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Friday, January 21, 2011

The Bollad Of Port Jackson... Not A Swansong!

Silly me. I received an official looking email purporting to be from Google, asking me to update some account information.
I had my doubts but I didn't want to jeopardise my account, so, I pressed send and nearly lost this blog. I had given away my identity and password.
Not only that but many many people in my Gmail address book received an email again purporting to come from me, saying that I was in Edinburgh on business and was robbed of my passport, money and credit cards and please send me US$1700 or as much as they could spare.
Watch out for this one.
After many complexities and filling in spaces on forms and wondering if a human was involved in the process of recovery, I received the email with instructions of how to return to the fold.
And here we are.
We're making music again...
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Bollad Of Port Jackson...

With every protest, there's a protest song.
So here's mine.
The verses use minor chords, I think, and the chorus, major ones.
Sing it with gusto as an old road gang might, with the swing of the hammer.
You might put two verses together and reduce the number of choruses, you choose.
Use whatever tune or delivery suits you.
I hope you enjoy it.


The bollards of Port Jackson
Thank god they are no more
The people rose up in the night
And took them from the shore

Bang bang bang went the hammers
Up two three went the men
Up two three and they pulled the bollards free
Up two three went the men
Putting stones in the holes went the women
And the kids filled them up with the sand

The managers were out that night
So the story goes
They didn't see, they didn't hear
And nobody round here knows


There will they say be hell to pay
But we don't care
We've had our say
And told DoC to stay away


The petition is all over
The irony isn't lost
The total number symbolised
What people hate the most


1080 was the final count
1080 people signed
1080 should be given
To DoC's bureaucratic kind


The people of Port Jackson
Now they've had their say
Want DoC to do the proper thing
And leave alone the bay
And leave alone the bay

(Repeat last verse)
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Petition Ends With Ironic Twist...

1080, the name of the poison DoC loves to use and the poison most of New Zealand is passionately opposed to, became, funnily and ironically, the total number of signatories against DoC's bureaucratic bungling at Port Jackson.
God sometimes moves in mysterious ways...
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Todays Newspaper Headline: Campers Fear DoC Deals...

Private campground operators may get the chance to run pristine sites...
This was the headline in today's top rated daily newspaper, New Zealand's Herald On Sunday.
What I've been saying on this blog for some time has been found to be true by the investigative reporter Kieran Nash.
DoC does have plans to lease out some of our pristine camprounds for a profit... go to for the story so far.
Meanwhile we have a lot of very upset campers here and the PJ Petition continues on its final day with more than 1050 signatures...
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Port Jackson Petition Passes 1000!

The petition I started almost a month ago hit its target of 1000 signatures at 11am this morning when Stephanie and Brent from Hamilton arrived at their favourite campground.
Stephanie, who's been coming here every year for thirty years was appalled when she realised the changes that DoC had implemented but delighted that she could do something about it.
The weather is glorious, the sun is shining, the sea is flat and the only thing that's blue here is the sky.
The mood here is of jubilation that the goal has been achieved and by petition close tomorrow night the total will probably be...
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Friday, January 14, 2011


"Hello. I'm Brianna and he's Sam and we love this place. It's awesome!"
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