It is blowing a gale here and looks like rain so I will not feel guilty by hanging out inside with the computer one teeny tiny bit.
Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge. (Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)
I was…and am I huge fan of Sons of Anarchy. I watched the first episode and was hooked right though to the end.
It was a violent TV show. There is no getting away from that. With all the love stories, all the camaraderie…there it was…violence.
It made me wonder. What made me keep watching? Yes the scripts were incredible. The characters mind blowing. The performances…at times there were no words for how good the acting was, but these were violent people living violent lives. So what was it that drew me to this series?
I think I have figured it out.
They did at times what deep, deep inside I wanted to do. We all want to be good. We all to be humane. We all want to take the high road…most of the time.
But there are times when we want to take the other road. We think don’t do it. But…oh my God how we want to. We want to inflect pain. We want to take our pain out on others. We want them to know…what they have done to us.
This violence lies in each of us. Some are just better at controlling it. Thankfully.
But there is always [I think] a moment where we would love to let loose without consequence.
So programmes like this…they let us let go with emotion, they let us revel a little in taking revenge.
It shocks me at times the violence I feel. Have always felt. Have always kept inside. Have never acted on. But it is there…inside.
There was one character I identified with. Gemma. Gemma was a bitch. But she was I who I wanted to be at times. When a boy broke my daughter’s heart or a friend caused my son to lose confidence I wanted to commit violence. I never did. Because that is not who I am. But I wanted to take them apart…piece by tiny piece. I know there is a blackbird perched outside my window often.
Gemma came to a sad end because she did what we do not do. She lost what it was to love, really love and except the consequences, which is what we do. That said…I still understand the violence of her feelings about protecting those she loved.
My heart is sore. I never thought I would feel so saddened by a country. I never thought I would feel so disillusioned with the people of New Zealand. I never thought I would ache with sorrow for the way New Zealand has become a country of people who worry more about their pockets than the future generations to come.
Last night I had decided to stay away from the news, but inadvertently [well maybe not] found myself seeing New Zealand sink in to the mire. The people of this once great country voted for another term of corruption, another term of money and profits for the big corporations above the health and welfare of this land, its people…its very heart.
To those of you considering immigrating to New Zealand I say this.
This land called Aotearoa is dying. We are not clean and we are not green. We do not look after our weak and vulnerable.
Our waterways are so polluted children can no longer swim in many of them. You see keeping the commercial farmers happy is so very important. We must allow them to run our rivers dry for their irrigation. We must allow their cattle effluent to drain in to our rivers and choke the life out of them.
We do not value our fauna. Commercial fishing interests are far more valuable to our government than our Maui dolphins, whose numbers sit now at 55. I imagine that in my lifetime this beautiful creature will become extinct while commercial fishing continues to practise methods that fill their boats but rape our oceans. Commercial fishing interests are also more important than the every day kiwis whose fishing quota has been reduced, who must also catch fish much larger than the commercial interests.
We allow commercial interests to plunder our wetlands to sell swamp kauri to other nations. Just ask Judith Collins whose husband’s company does just that. After all…as she said…she doesn’t care about wetlands.
While we are at it…do not try to protest against the government. They will simply pass laws to shut you up. Then they will run off in secret and meet with oil and mining companies to work out deals to mine in national parks or drill so deep in the sea that should a spill happen it will make the Gulf spill look like a minor mishap.
We allow over 250,000 children to exist below the poverty line. That’s a lot in a country of just over 4,000,000. Many go without breakfast, or lunch. Many live in cold damp houses that make them sick. But our government minister who oversees this portfolio says it is all not true. Those kids who rely on the charities that provide breakfast in some of the more vulnerable areas…why they are just lying when they said they didn’t have breakfast at home. And anyway…according to the same minister…it is not the government’s job to feed the poor children of New Zealand. It is their parents, who generally are either on drugs or spend all their money on booze and cigarettes. They are only poor because they make the choice to be.
So – if you want to come to a country that has sold its soul to America…by all means apply to immigrate to New Zealand.
The following belief system is a prerequisite for coming here and living a happy life these days:
You must believe that corporations should be able to tell the government how to run a country. They know best and need to be able to keep governments in line with their ideology.
You must believe that corporate profits are more important than the environment. Big business need to be able to protect those profits by any means available. For instance the TPPA will provide profits for decades to come. Either big business gets its way or it can sue the crap out of the government and those pesky tree-huggers if they interfere with the money-making capabilities or profits. It is the only fair way.
You must believe that corporate profits are more important than the needs of the people. They are just tree-huggers or bludgers after all. It is the only way to stop them breeding. It is not right that governments or big business should have to ensure that the little blighters they birth should be kept fed, educated or God forbid come to expect that they might have a right to grow up and have a say in how their country is run. No…make it harder for them then there will be less of them around in the future to start demanding rights. Rights !! I say !! That is just silly.
You must believe that politicians know what is best for a country. Remember they have the big corporations behind them advising them at all times on what is best.
You must believe that the people who disagree with the government are all ignorant, tree-hugging bludging fools who should just shut up and mind their own business.
You must believe that anyone who needs a helping hand at any time from the government is a bludger and should be made to feel like one at all times. Our best way of dealing with them is not to help them re-educate themselves. No, no, no. Ship them off to another country and let them deal with them.
You must believe that American interests should always come before New Zealand’s interests. After all America is the greatest power on Earth. Look how much money they spend on beating other countries in to submission so that they do what America tells them to do. And how else would any Prime Minister from New Zealand get to play golf with the likes of Barak Obama, or have a holiday house in Hawaii ???
You must believe that sarcasm and behaving like a childish fool is a good look for a Prime Minister, as is name calling.
You must believe that rising power prices are great for everyone, especially the elderly or the infirm or the poor…and shutting their power off because of unpaid bills is nobody’s fault but their own.
You must believe that insurance companies are operating fully within their rights with the people of Christchurch. Those that still live in damp, overcrowded garages four years later are just whiners. What do they expect actually, that insurance companies should actually pay up so that they can rebuild their lives ? And just because they are making record profits does not mean they are being unreasonable is raising premiums.
You must believe that although New Zealand is a farming nation it is fine that basic foods are more expensive here than most places in the world.
You must also believe that no politician should ever have to keep any promise he or she made during election time…ever. After all, their memories are a bit wonky, they can’t remember, let alone put in to action everything they said to get your vote. That would not be reasonable now would it ?
You must believe that any politician has the God given right to lie at any time, and say that he can’t remember.
You must believe that it is just foolish to believe that you should be able to own your own house any more. Do not be so silly. Unless you live overseas. Then it is fine.
You must believe that people who invest in real estate should NEVER, and I mean never have to be made to pay one cent of their profits [especially if they own tens or hundreds of houses] in tax. Come on now…that would be silly.
You must believe that earning a liveable minimum wage is another idea those tree-hugging bludgers came up with and is just not workable. It will most definitely send millions of workers to the unemployment line.
You must believe that the more money you earn the less tax you should pay. Once you reach the top…well why pay any at all ? Hell we should be paying you for granting us the pleasure of you company.
You must believe that being sick is just not a good look in this country. So don’t bother us with it. If you do we will think about sticking you on a waiting list for treatment. If you are lucky that is. After all we didn’t make the criteria for getting on waiting lists for treatment when you are sick so difficult for nothing fella. So unless you are dying, well maybe even then, do not expect help from the health system. That is not what we are here for ! As for getting drugs. Ha !! You should be so lucky. We will of course provide the ones the drug companies tell us to, at a price of course. Now just because they are not as good as the other drugs at fixing your problems is no reason to complain. The drug companies need to make a profit remember, so selling us the cheap stuff that is less effective makes perfect sense. We will of course need to make a profit too, so upping the cost of supplying it goes without saying.
You must believe that mainstream media should tow the line at all times. They should never tell the people the truth, because we all know they can’t handle the truth. But keeping the big corporations that own the media happy is the way of the future. Bribe them with tax concessions and they will tell the general populace whatever you want, which is a good thing. This way you can make up stories and everyone will believe them. They will all think you are telling the truth when you say you give your salary to charity, even if you didn’t technically say that at all.
You must believe that convincing the general public that there is a terrorist hiding under every bed is a good thing. This will allow you to pass laws that let other countries such as America, and if you are sneaky enough even your own spy agencies to reach in to their homes and gather information that you can them store and share with anyone you want to when it suits you.
You must believe that no person should ever think that getting an education should do anything but bury them under a mound of debt. It is much better to give millions to charter schools than make sure that state schools are funded in a way that provides better teachers, smaller class sizes and healthier learning environments. That is not necessary. After all…those of us with money can send the kids to private schools. Why educate the masses…that might lead to trouble in the future as they might do the unthinkable and learn to think for themselves. By burying them under debt they are just too tired and worn down to cause government and big business any trouble in the future. This we call forward thinking.
You must believe that selling of a nation’s assets is a good thing. After all what idiot thinks that keeping those profits in the nation’s coffers is sensible. No !! Much better if rich people and overseas corporations get them. Spreading the wealth around in the country itself is such a silly idea. As is keeping costs down. Profit is what it is all about. Profit above people every time.
Now if you agree with all of the above…then Maybe New Zealand as it is at the moment is the place for you.
Personally, well last night I told The Daughter to stay away. I never thought I would say that to my child. To The Son…I will say hurry up and leave. Go find a country that cares about its people, its environment, its future. Go find a better place. Because this country is headed down a path that will make it a terrible place for future generations.
As for me…well I will stay. I will hope that in the future this country will remember what made it so great in the first place. There are people here who want change. Who want New Zealand to be clean, green and caring again. Just not enough to make it so at the moment.
My best friend took a long time to get to know. She…yes she is a she…is a rebel [in her own way]. According to Jung she fits the rebel archetype that he ascribed to. You see she sees injustice everywhere and wants to shake up the entire system! According to Jungian psychologists, this type believes rules are made to be broken and is driven by the desire to shock and provoke people. She is deeply principled but still possesses a free spirit with few boundaries. I believe she has the potential to really change things, if she learns to reign in her rather extreme tendencies.
You might be surprised to learn that the colour of her aura is…
White – the colour of Perfect Balance – surprising I know, but the longer her I know her the more I realise that her strongest qualities are more spiritual than physical.
If I had to think of a quote that fits her it would be this…
“It is during our
darkest moments that
we must focus to see
Any idea who said that ??
She hasn’t had the perfect life experiences. At times she has been broken…but never it seems beyond repair. She’s had more than her share of heartbreaks, conflicts and disappointments. It was hard, but she always tried to see the bright side of things. When she looks back, I remind her that those experiences helped her become the person she is today. She is living proof that no matter what, the human spirit can always evolve and find happiness!
I have heard people describe her as unique, different. She reminds me of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. Always marching to the beat of her own drum.
People tell her that she is incredibly clever [she has her doubts], but she sees things in a completely different perspective to most other people and I think sometimes that does give her some valuable insights. Although most would describe her as an extrovert, they are not right. In reality she is still a shy little girl and is actually a bit of an introvert. She is incredibly comfortable in her own company. Over the years one thing she has learned is that being yourself is much more interesting than being someone else.
Her favourite Luna Lovegood quote: “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
Astrologically she is a lion.
But deep down she feels much more in tune with Pegasus.
She has been there with me since before I knew what memory was. She laughs at my jokes, she cries at my losses…she even tells me when I am wrong sometimes. Not that we always agree on that.
I have loved many friends [and still do] in my lifetime. But learning to really know her, to understand her, and to love her as my best friend has been the longest journey of my life. Because she makes it hard sometimes…to know the woman behind the mask.
Luckily she stuck with me while I make my way on this journey of self discovery. I sure hope she’s around for a while longer because every day with her is a surprise.
and everything else falls in line.
You really have to love yourself
to get anything done in this world
– Lucille Ball
Oh…and late at night when she can’t sleep, when the characters on the page won’t do what she wants, when the photo images all seem blurry and not very good – she does way to many stupid quizzes. Even she admits that !!!
She also goes looking for hilarious videos. Just to make you smile !!!
I really liked the questions in Cee’s challenge this week. Gave me an opportunity to play with photoshop again. Here we go then…
How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.
I was born in Sydney, Australia
I lived in Wollongong, Australia until I was about eight, then moved back to Sydney where I lived all over the place…it is a big city. Some of the suburbs I lived in were: Fairfield, Guildford, Matraville, Kensington, Randwick, Tregear, Yagoona, Sylvania Waters, Bexley, Canley Heights. There were more, but those are the ones I remember.
Bennekom in The Netherlands became my next home. For three years I lived there in the eighties.
During that time I also lived just out of the town of Boppard, working at a camping ground on the Rhine in Germany for six weeks.
Back to Australia after that and I moved to Childers in Queensland where we had a lychee farm. We also grew longans, mangoes, tropical peaches and nectarines, We even grew okra…goodness how I hated that stuff.
After Queensland it was back to Bennekon for nine months.
Next stop New Zealand. For a month we lived in Martinborough with friends while waiting for our container to arrive from Australia. Then we moved to Napier [where I hope to move to again in the future] for a couple of months. I loved it there. Our plan was to buy an apple orchard, but the ex was colourblind. This meant he could not see when to pick the apples, so we moved to Katikati. I am still here 20 years later…the longest I have lived anywhere.
What type of music relaxes you the most?
That is a hard one to answer because it really depends on my mood. At the moment I have these on my computer for when I write.
Florence and the Machine
The Beach Boys
Iron & Wine
Mumford and Sons
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Frank Boeijen Groep
Kings of Leon
The Rolling Stones
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Fine Young Cannibals
If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?
Italian, Italian, Italian. Because you talk with more than your mouth.
If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?
Hard, hard choice. Being a mermaid would be absolutely wonderful.
But you know I have always had a fascination with flying. The thought of having wings, hearing them whoosh as they flap…I can’t choose.
I think I should be another Persephone. I could spend half the year in each world.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Very grateful to have heard from The Daughter while she is away. For hearing the crackle in the light switch and getting it fixed before my house caught fire. For not having any damage to my home in the storm that hit us the day before Good Friday. Two friends of mine did, and they are doing it tough. I never know what is going to happen in the future. A planner I am not.
Writing for me developed from a love of reading. There were not enough books in the universe for me to devour. Winnie The Pooh, Daktari, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights were all beloved favourites. They taught me so much. They taught me that there are all kinds of stories to be told, in all kinds of ways.
The first thing I remember writing was a poem. I used to love writing poetry, but sadly all those pieces are gone. Everything I wrote was contained in one book, and that book is lost forever to me. Yet I still feel those stories surrounding me. Changing form perhaps, but never completely abandoning me.
Those stories were a way to escape for me. I could dive in to other places than the one I lived in. But they were only for me, at least until I met a childhood friend and for the first time trusted the stories to another. There was only one person who ever got to read anything I wrote. I wonder if that was because I had such little self worth as a child. Was I too afraid I would be mocked for what I said in those first efforts? I think so. I still sometimes feel like that today. It is very hard to put out anything I write, especially my stories.
Poetry…now that is different, and I am not sure why that is. That I can and do share, but my short stories and longer works are difficult to put out there. I try not to let that stop me writing them though. Still, like everyone else who writes, sometimes it is hard to get one word out. At those times it is as if I am wearing gloves. Those gloves cut off the flow from me to the outside world. And I can’t get then off me…no matter how hard I try.
I look in awe upon writers like JK Rowling, who have enough belief in themselves to actually not only finish their projects but to publish them for the wider world to read. I am not sure I will ever be confident enough to contemplate approaching a publisher.
In this moment I shall just put down the stories as they come to me. They come from so many places, and until I have them out and on screen, a little niggle makes itself felt. Write it down, write it down, write it down it says to me. Is it possible I have my own Jiminy Cricket sitting on my shoulder ? I should like to think it is possible, just like I believe in the fairies in my garden, who weave their lives in and out of mine.
Sometimes they come when the night is at its darkest. They push open the kitchen screen enough to scramble through before making their way to my room. From behind my closed eyelids I see their bright, shiny sparks and hear their chatter. They run amok over the covers of my bed. One has a tendency to pull the duvet back, until I shiver and sit up in search of it.
Opening my eyes sees then scatter and with their gentle laughter they leave my awake and staring in to the darkness until an idea begins to form. My slumber is lost to me, but the loss is not felt too keenly as the ideas that hovered in my dreams begin to take a more solid form, and I write them down, I write them down, I write them down.
Yesterday I told you I was taking part in a march against animal testing. No one from the government in power here bothered to attend any of the marches to address people’s concerns. Though with this government it sadly does not surprise me.
My country is going down the gurgler in many areas and many of the people I think feel they can’t stop it so why bother to try. Our Prime Minister seems to think that the novel 1984 is a handbook on how to run New Zealand. The alternative isn’t that much better either. What happens to politicians ? Many enter the political arena with high ideals. Very few seem to retain those ideals once they feel the power. The media doesn’t help. Often treating them like celebrities. One of our local MPs is a prime example of ego run rampant.
Greenpeace erected a billboard of this MP after claiming he lied to Parliament about meeting with oil companies prior to a bill being passed that stopped Kiwis from protesting at sea against deep sea oil drilling along our coast.
Mr Bridges reaction…at a press conference he said:
“Ha,” when informed about the billboard. “Well, forests on fire. Actually.”
“Suck on that,” he then so succinctly added.
Mr Bridges then finished his press conference with saying that Greenpeace was picking a fight they couldn’t win, and that they should spend less time erecting tacky billboards and more time “watching the fuck out.”
So mature is our Mr Bridges.
But I digress…as this post was supposed to be about yesterday and trying to fight the government on another very important issue.
It was fun. Chevvy was well behaved except for one small incident when she put another dog in its place for sniffing her nether regions. Here are a few of the images I took that hopefully will show you a bit of my day.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that the computer will cooperate and this post will see the light of day.
I am also hoping that soon all will be sorted on the insurance front. It is proving more of a job than I first realised. I think my insurance company must be sick of me. First there was the leak in the kitchen/dining/lounge room. When the inspector came he found that there was also damage from a long ago leak I never bothered to claim. I did not at the time realise the amount of damage it had caused to the flooring under the linoleum in the kitchen. So this then eventuated in a second claim. It took eight months to settle the first claim…now the second is in the works it will be interesting to see how long that takes. I hope it happens a bit faster as I can’t begin any repairs until it too is settled as it seems silly to repair one part of the floor then go back in again.
Then there was the lawnmower. It caught on fire…long story that you really don’t want to hear about, but the repairs came to $700.00+. May as well get a new mower then. Turns out after the excess and the loss of my no-claims bonus it costs me over $700 to claim $700.
It made me a little mad because after years of never claiming…and paying them buckets of money…what do I actually have insurance for I wonder.
But this weekend was a time top put it all aside as The Daughter was home. Which meant I got to cook. I made all the things she likes, and a few extras. One of the extras didn’t quite work.
Brown sugar meringues. They came out perfect actually…but a little big. They are supposed to be the size of a biscuit and be joined together with cream. I guess I got a little carried away and this was the result. Next time I will try to make sure they are smaller. In the meantime…I am enjoying an occasional sweet treat.
The break in has seen me going through cupboards and drawers to figure what is missing. During the searching I find myself getting side tracked a bit. I came across a box of old papers/cards/mementos.
With The Daughter home I pulled out a few to show her and she and I had a few laughs over some of the cards she has made me over the years. This one in particular had us both in hysterics. She was quite the little manipulator was The Daughter.
In searching through drawers to figure out what was taken in the break in…and they did take some odd items…I found one item that I had thought gone. It is just a small item. And at the time though it seemed expensive to me it really wasn’t. But that one item has made me so happy to find it NOT stolen.
I gave it to my father for his birthday one year. It is old, it is worn, and it does need repair. But it means the world to me that I still have it when so many other items that marked a time in my life are now gone forever. I have decided to get it repaired and cleaned up and wear it myself. As a reminder of that time in my life and that the little stuff counts.
Things such as these make the computer woes seem minor indeed.
I have been thinking about lately. Yes I do think occasionally. About how we take it for granted we will have time to do the things we want…later. Too often we let it slide past us without making each second count.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon with two gorgeous ladies at an event in Tauranga to celebrate not only life but TIME as well.
Watching the afternoon unfold made me remember an important truth. No length of time seems long enough to accomplish all we want to. But if we make the most of it, live in every second as it happens…it is an eloquent sufficiency we leave behind in the memory of others !!
It is a day of rejoicing for those who have fought and won the battle for more time.
It is a day to remember those whose time has come to an end.
Both of my friends are cancer survivors. They are beautiful, bright, feisty women who have made my TIME on this Earth better for their presence in my life. As they walked the SURVIVORS HONOUR LAPI had to run to keep ahead of them.
That doesn’t happen often with these ladies…me keeping ahead that is. But as I sure have fun trying, for now I will just keep hanging around them !!