WHAT TO DO ON A WET WEEKEND
What do you do on a wet weekend?
my toastmaster days, I presented a speech on this very subject, and it remains true today as it did those [now] many years ago.
Of course we clean out the garage on a wet weekend.
THE TROUBLE IS that as you can see the picture my [carpeted] garage is as near pristine as it is possible to get, as the major Operation Cleanup was carried out in June.
So what do we do? Fortunately I am still living in 1985 with my in-progress story "Twelve Thousand to One". How is your memory of that period? What technology do we have now that we didn't have then? To me, a techno ignoramous,
I have to keep checking, on such things as were there ATMs then? What about credit cards? The Internet? When did Air New Zealand start a Christchurch to London service? On which plane was the service based? Memory blurs. Progress is slow, but the direction
Another wet day occupation is of course reading, and I have acquired Ken Follett's third part of his Trilogy - "Edge of Eternity" - all 1158 pages.It starts in a very significant
year for Jan and I - 1961 [apart from reading the same when upside down] - it was the year we married. So Follett's story of several families - in Germany - Russia - America and Great Britain, takes in the events of that time the major ones being building
of the Berlin Wall - the assassination of the Kennedys - and a whole lot more to come.
That is as far as I reached, so I need a few more wet weekends but the trilogy is a masterpiece of
Along with our girls providing us with a dozen eggs a week, we harvested
our citrus crop last week see the photograph.
It's a start, and it is a new tree.
IN PROGRESS - 2 - KEEPING THE GIRLS HAPPY
At first I misnamed it the Death Ray, mainly because I write fiction. I was very wrong as it is a life [and egg] giving tonic for our two birds.
With no thought for their comfort
we placed the chook house in a Winter-sun-free-zone. So the Ray of Life is much appreciated by the two girls.
Egg production has been two a day, so unless we can encourage a night shift I think we can ask no more from them.
I have calculated
we need 570 eggs to cover our costs to date, excluding my labour in building the chicken-run. At my [pre retirement] rate it comes to $1,200, as it took a week to craft out of virgin timber.
You might ask what has this to do with writing a novel, and
the answer is not a lot, but the contented clucking can be quite inspirational.
I am enjoying delving into New Zealand in the mid 1980s when the country changed, never to revert. A time when an essential suffix for a new company was CORP - when companies
were formed to buy and sell other companies - when greed was paramount. A time when a company called European Pacific Investments was floated at $7.50. No one knew what it did, or anything about it, yet within a few weeks shares were trading at $38.00.
My story is about a scam - fiction based on fact - the subject being something dear to the heart of many Kiwis - bloodstock, or in other words racehorses.
Again I am asking for anyone with memories
of those times which start with Mr Asia and terminate with the major stock market crash, via The Rainbow Warrier and many broken hearts and bank balances, to give me a call on this site. I am sure there are many memories of those mad times.
WORK IN PROGRESS - 1
My life changed for me in 2015. No more worrying [yes if any ex clients are reading this – I did worry] about clients.
Now I should have all the time in the world for concentrating on writing and books but chickens [two] are coming into my life [see photo].
Maybe I can write on an egg a day.
First an apology to those two to three hundred regular weekly viewers,
you have been neglected, and for too many months my website disappeared into a personal black hole.
Do you remember New Zealand in the mid nineteen eighties?
Rogernomics, the growth of white
collar crime. The creation of money market millionaires gorging on the acquisition of assets paid for by New Zealanders.
Do you remember the Share Investment Clubs?
When lunchtime in the
pub meant poring over the financial pages - share markets, tips, the latest golden boy, rather than the racing page.
Do you remember Gold Corp 1988 – Equiticorp 1989 – Energycorp 1987 –
dates being when those empires tumbled down leaving a trail broken shareholders.
The bloodstock and movie scams
Do you remember Mr Asia? Marty Johnson? – Terry Clarke?
If you have memories or stories from this period of NZ history I would love to hear them
because my next novel goes back to those times.
Fiction based on fact. When Roger Douglas changed a Welfare State into a Market-Driven State, the doors were opened for white collar crime. Two major
scams involved the financing of movies and bloodstock [race horses].
My novel provisionally called “Twelve Thousand to One” tells a South Island version of a racehorse scam when for the first time New Zealanders were allowed to purchase
and manage overseas bloodstock. Cunning, but smart lawyers grasped the opportunity to use the naive and antiquated New Zealand Company and Inland Revenue rules and laws to make a killing.
For every winner there are half a dozen losers.
title comes from an Englishman finding a body of a childhood friend in native bush twelve thousand miles from home.
Your stories or memories
of those days will be welcomed.
BOOKS AND READING
My favourite books involve
tired English Detective Inspectors living anywhere from Edinburgh to Portsmouth, and only one in LA - (the sole American detective).
They follow a pattern of broken marriages, love of sixties music and being at odds with their bosses.
Graham Hurley [I was upset when he killed off Joe Faraday one of my favourites] Quentin Jardine, Peter Robinson, Mark Billingham etc etc. Once I counted fourteen auch writers.
It is refreshing to find a new author and a new slant, and recently I read
a couple of novels by Martin Walker set in rural France. His key character is a village cop, involved in a small community.
One story involved
fraud in the local truffle business, and the other a French Resistance Hero.
Good reads both.
I can't say the same thing for my bad decision to read a Linda LaPlante story.
She writes in a crime chick-lit genre. Terrible writing
all telling and no showing. She writes as if it is a television script. (Maybe it is).
The only reason I haven't thrown it down is because her plot development is okay and is keeping me curious.