Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

RIP Laura Jean Hutton

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

It is with regret, that I advise, that Laura Jean Hutton, wife of Wally Hutton, passed away peacefully in Christchurch 4th of August 2012,after a long illness.

Laura was a muched loved resident of the Wesley Care home in Harewood and mother of her children and grandchildren and will be sadly missed by all.

Anyone who has relevent stories and tales that they would like to add to his blog can contact me at http://www.LMPhotonics.com/contact.php but please, no spam.

I am sure that the Hutton family would be pleased to hear from any of his present and past associates.

Best regards,

Mark Empson,

Web Host.

RIP Wally Hutton

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

It is with regret, that I must advise, that Walter (Wally) Hutton passed away peacefully in Christchurch Hospital on 2nd of July 2012, just three days after his 89th birthday.

He was still planning his next blog post, but we will never know what it was.

Anyone who has relevent stories and tales that they would like to add to his blog can contact me at http://www.LMPhotonics.com/contact.php but please, no spam.

I am sure that the Hutton family would be pleased to hear from any of his present and past associates.

Best regards,

Mark Empson,

Web Host.

The evil within

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Dear Peg and Family,
We harbour within our society many evil people, they spend most of their free time doing harm, and we do very little about their presence. Every week we read about yet another savage murder, or crime where some depraved soul has attacked someone weaker than themselves. For many of the robberies, often gains them very little, and when measure against the damage caused in the execution you wonder why they bother. In the case of their woman victims, this is after they have probably violated the woman. Sometimes after this, they then set about to mutilate her body. I have to ask where did we go wrong in raising these monsters? No matter what the crime, we always have the apologists and liberals popping out of the woodwork, and are prepared to excuse any behaviour.
What is wrong that we allow this situation to continue? Is it because there is no such thing these days as punishment for any crime. A wack with a cane at school these days is out too. To day, we are expected to reason with the youth of today. How do you reason with a youth who knows it all? The heights of stupidity was reached when Parliament passed an anti smacking law. Where do all these  wimps come from, that end up making our laws. Murder, mayhem, assault, battery, robbery all seem to be acceptable, but all this has no effect on this new generation. Should they get caught, a whole aid and denial programme, swings into action to help the perpetrator. And the victim? Glad you mentioned him or her. If he or she is no already dead, too bad they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. These folk seem to be the forgotten ones.
Mix any of the above with alcohol and you have a deadly mix. What’s more you can always blame your behaviour on the booze. Therefor it’s excused. Drugs are also too easy to obtain, many of the young seem to think it‘s smart to binge drink until they are wasted. Little do they realise that alcohol is addictive and once hooked, they will no longer have control of their lives. Am I an expert in this matter? No I’m not, but have watched what happened to many of my service companions over the eighty years of heavy drinking. It always seemed to be the families that suffered. Plenty of money for alcohol but not for the necessities of life, never enough. So drink on youth, you will all find out the hard way.
We need to look at punishment to see if that can be brought line again. something that has been missing is starting the lessons early. Reinstate the smack on the backside slap again. No need to beat the child to death, as some are already doing. Regarding other punishments, anyone caught selling drugs would stand the chance of loosing their capital, home, or anything else purchased with the proceeds from the sale of misery. Sentences handed out by the courts remain and no one fiddles with the result or reduces the original term. Life means life. As far as someone nearing the end of their sentence I favour the system of locking the prisoner only for the weekends. Punishment will be the subject of a another letter.
Love from Central Otago,
Wally
We harbour within our society many evil people, they spend most of their free time doing harm, and we do very little about their presence. Every week we read about yet another savage murder, or crime where some depraved soul has attacked someone weaker than themselves. For many of the robberies, often gains them very little, and when measure against the damage caused in the execution you wonder why they bother. In the case of their woman victims, this is after they have probably violated the woman. Sometimes after this, they then set about to mutilate her body. I have to ask where did we go wrong in raising these monsters? No matter what the crime, we always have the apologists and liberals popping out of the woodwork, and are prepared to excuse any behaviour.
What is wrong that we allow this situation to continue? Is it because there is no such thing these days as punishment for any crime. A wack with a cane at school these days is out too. To day, we are expected to reason with the youth of today. How do you reason with a youth who knows it all? The heights of stupidity was reached when Parliament passed an anti smacking law. Where do all these  wimps come from, that end up making our laws. Murder, mayhem, assault, battery, robbery all seem to be acceptable, but all this has no effect on this new generation. Should they get caught, a whole aid and denial programme, swings into action to help the perpetrator. And the victim? Glad you mentioned him or her. If he or she is no already dead, too bad they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. These folk seem to be the forgotten ones.
Mix any of the above with alcohol and you have a deadly mix. What’s more you can always blame your behaviour on the booze. Therefor it’s excused. Drugs are also too easy to obtain, many of the young seem to think it‘s smart to binge drink until they are wasted. Little do they realise that alcohol is addictive and once hooked, they will no longer have control of their lives. Am I an expert in this matter? No I’m not, but have watched what happened to many of my service companions over the eighty years of heavy drinking. It always seemed to be the families that suffered. Plenty of money for alcohol but not for the necessities of life, never enough. So drink on youth, you will all find out the hard way.
We need to look at punishment to see if that can be brought line again. something that has been missing is starting the lessons early. Reinstate the smack on the backside slap again. No need to beat the child to death, as some are already doing. Regarding other punishments, anyone caught selling drugs would stand the chance of loosing their capital, home, or anything else purchased with the proceeds from the sale of misery. Sentences handed out by the courts remain and no one fiddles with the result or reduces the original term. Life means life. As far as someone nearing the end of their sentence I favour the system of locking the prisoner only for the weekends. Punishment will be the subject of a another letter.

Travel

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Dear Peg and Family,
Before World War. II, we as a Nation never travelled very far. Sure many commuted by rail to a nearby Schools, or worked close in cities. But for most, that would be the extent of our wanderings. For those of us, who didn’t get to enjoy these odd excursions, there was always the occasional picnic train.
‘Picnics’, were a popular form of an outing which was sponsored by the Friendly Societies, or other local institutions, such as Churches. In other words, no one from that era travelled very far. If we did, where were you going to stay? On arrival at an destination. Often we did have a loose referral system, if you had a relation, or the friend of a friend, who could put you up for a night or two, then you took advantage of what was on offer. As far as Motels went, as yet they didn’t exist. They were tied to the fact that you required a motor vehicle in every home to make them function.
Change with a vengeance arrived with the outbreak of what is now called ‘Hostilities’. If and when you were, ‘called up’ to Serve your Country. You would find that you were being posted to various camps through out the length and breadth of New Zealand. Travel was now a necessity, should you wish to return home.
Given a leave pass, it was always a struggle, even with it to return home. All travel was now on severely overloaded systems. Air traffic was still in it’s infancy. The Air Force itself was only being cobbled together. Most of the planes that we being trained on at the time, were of the open cockpit type not what the ordinary commuter would look at. Actually not an improvement on what had been around during the previous War. However it must be said, that if you could fly one of theses early trainers well, you could fly anything.
My travel experiences came about quicker than expected. I was inducted into the Army at the tender age of 18 years of age. Switched across into the Air Force, immediately commenced their required study. You also needed to be a volunteer and  have required educational levels to do this. Passed their exams and then completed a primary trainer flying course at Taieri Aerodrome. Three days later, I was holding onto a ships hand rail, part of the grey Ghost, a huge converted liner, watching Wellington disappear into the gloom. I had even shaken hands with the Prime Minister who had come down to the wharfs to farewell us. We were now headed for America with 30,000 other first time travellers. We were unescorted, relying on the speed of our vessel to keep us safe.
There was always a wind across the deck of about 30pmh, so special arrangements were made for the toilets. No peeing into the wind as they used to do in the days of yore. Someone is bound to get it wrong, we only had about a metre of space each to sit on. A pipe about a metre in diameter was laid across three sides of the deck in the open, with a hundred holes a metre or so apart and filled with running water this took care of the toilet problem. There were salt water showers under which soap didn’t lather, when cold it left a sticky rubbery feel residue on the skin. There were fresh water taps, but they were all under armed guard. You were only allowed what you could drink on the spot. I must report too on the new food we were being given. It all seemed to be sloppy, served by bored handlers who couldn’t give a toss of how they dispensed it. It seemed that thy didn’t care if they landed it on the stainless pressed plate we were given, or onto our uniforms. As we had no way of washing our gear. It had to happen, and one of our lot ‘king hit’ a food handler. Sending him and our dinner serving pails into a tangled heap. This started a riot, with everyone joining in. However it did fix the problem. From then on you could hear some say, ‘Look out, it’s the New Zealanders again.’
Of course scuttle butt knew exactly where we were headed, and when we were about to land. However it came to pass all too quick. We ran down the West Coast of USA because of a storm, and on arrival at San Diego, disembarked and we were bundled on board a train for another equally long journey. This time through the ‘Rockies’ to where were now headed. The Flat interior of Canada.
Initially our course had been split into two halves. The half that remained in New Zealand immediately commenced Service flying, formed into squadrons and did a couple tours in the Pacific while we waited in Canada for something to happen to us. Where we were at least no one was shooting at us.
After I gained my wings, I still had a  lot of travelling to do. Sometimes  we travelled first Class, and sometimes we travelled in the hold of a ship which certainly was not first class. I promised myself that one day I would return on a proper cruise and would accept all the pampering these events normally have,
Love to all from Christchurch,
Wally
Before World War. II, we as a Nation never travelled very far. Sure many commuted by rail to a nearby Schools, or worked close in cities. But for most, that would be the extent of our wanderings. For those of us, who didn’t get to enjoy these odd excursions, there was always the occasional picnic train.
‘Picnics’, were a popular form of an outing which was sponsored by the Friendly Societies, or other local institutions, such as Churches. In other words, no one from that era travelled very far. If we did, where were you going to stay? On arrival at an destination. Often we did have a loose referral system, if you had a relation, or the friend of a friend, who could put you up for a night or two, then you took advantage of what was on offer. As far as Motels went, as yet they didn’t exist. They were tied to the fact that you required a motor vehicle in every home to make them function.
Change with a vengeance arrived with the outbreak of what is now called ‘Hostilities’. If and when you were, ‘called up’ to Serve your Country. You would find that you were being posted to various camps through out the length and breadth of New Zealand. Travel was now a necessity, should you wish to return home.
Given a leave pass, it was always a struggle, even with it to return home. All travel was now on severely overloaded systems. Air traffic was still in it’s infancy. The Air Force itself was only being cobbled together. Most of the planes that we being trained on at the time, were of the open cockpit type not what the ordinary commuter would look at. Actually not an improvement on what had been around during the previous War. However it must be said, that if you could fly one of theses early trainers well, you could fly anything.
My travel experiences came about quicker than expected. I was inducted into the Army at the tender age of 18 years of age. Switched across into the Air Force, immediately commenced their required study. You also needed to be a volunteer and  have required educational levels to do this. Passed their exams and then completed a primary trainer flying course at Taieri Aerodrome. Three days later, I was holding onto a ships hand rail, part of the grey Ghost, a huge converted liner, watching Wellington disappear into the gloom. I had even shaken hands with the Prime Minister who had come down to the wharfs to farewell us. We were now headed for America with 30,000 other first time travellers. We were unescorted, relying on the speed of our vessel to keep us safe.
There was always a wind across the deck of about 30pmh, so special arrangements were made for the toilets. No peeing into the wind as they used to do in the days of yore. Someone is bound to get it wrong, we only had about a metre of space each to sit on. A pipe about a metre in diameter was laid across three sides of the deck in the open, with a hundred holes a metre or so apart and filled with running water this took care of the toilet problem. There were salt water showers under which soap didn’t lather, when cold it left a sticky rubbery feel residue on the skin. There were fresh water taps, but they were all under armed guard. You were only allowed what you could drink on the spot. I must report too on the new food we were being given. It all seemed to be sloppy, served by bored handlers who couldn’t give a toss of how they dispensed it. It seemed that thy didn’t care if they landed it on the stainless pressed plate we were given, or onto our uniforms. As we had no way of washing our gear. It had to happen, and one of our lot ‘king hit’ a food handler. Sending him and our dinner serving pails into a tangled heap. This started a riot, with everyone joining in. However it did fix the problem. From then on you could hear some say, ‘Look out, it’s the New Zealanders again.’
Of course scuttle butt knew exactly where we were headed, and when we were about to land. However it came to pass all too quick. We ran down the West Coast of USA because of a storm, and on arrival at San Diego, disembarked and we were bundled on board a train for another equally long journey. This time through the ‘Rockies’ to where were now headed. The Flat interior of Canada.
Initially our course had been split into two halves. The half that remained in New Zealand immediately commenced Service flying, formed into squadrons and did a couple tours in the Pacific while we waited in Canada for something to happen to us. Where we were at least no one was shooting at us.
After I gained my wings, I still had a  lot of travelling to do. Sometimes  we travelled first Class, and sometimes we travelled in the hold of a ship which certainly was not first class. I promised myself that one day I would return on a proper cruise and would accept all the pampering these events normally have,

Once there was Milk Delivery

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
Dear Peg and Family,
Just after the War and returning home, I was very unsettled. I could get a job with the Railways in their Dunedin Workshops. The work there was really dirty, and it didn’t appeal. No adequate washing facilities were provided. As well, it was never going to lead to anything. As well, you would always be a Second Division employee, The First Class division status, was reserved for their clerical staff. In fact the Government had been treating the workshops as a device to sop up any unemployed. What I really wanted, was to work for myself, should this opportunity arise. I had mentioned in an earlier letter that my parents were busy working in their own business, they had formed a close relationship with the Stewart Brothers, their milk suppliers. They were at this time actually selling up, preparing to start a transport warehousing business in Dunedin. Further, my brother and I were being offered a chance to buy their milk company, which we were delighted to do.
And what did we know about selling milk? Absolutely Nothing, It shouldn’t be all that hard, should it? But in retrospect it would seem we had a lot to learn. Back then there was no designated ‘Runs’ or Zones, it was strictly, dog eat dog. We paid the going rate for goodwill £10 a gallon. Our opposition immediately paid us a visit and said, ‘If we respected their boundaries, they would respect ours’. That agreement lasted exactly one day, and in that first week we lost 10 gallons of our run to them which equated to £100 goodwill. Clearly we had to do something, and do it quick. The milk thieves were laughing at these new bunnies who had arrived on the scene. But the agreement regarding boundaries wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
At this time help arrived in a strange way. One day I was stopped driving up the road and a ‘suit’ got out of his car, he introduced himself. My name is ‘Bough’. And I’m your milk inspector. Can I have samples of what you are carrying? As we called at all the local Town Milk Suppliers farms, with the task of transporting the milk to the City. We could use any of the milk we picked up, and sell it, but with the proviso that we had to take a full churn. At the outset it was difficult, as we never knew what supply we were going to use.
I inquired from the inspector the cost of these tests. ‘Free’! Unbelievable, Can I have a copy of your tests, and what exactly do you test for?
1 A Reductase Test, The speed any sample turns sour. (Very handy when milk only lasted a day)
2 Butter fat and solids. (Nobody wanted skim milk back then)
3 A Bacteria count
Now armed with this information I was ready to do battle. I couldn’t believe my good luck. No one back then had refrigeration. So by putting our best milk on the boundaries and with the assistance of the Health Dept. we were now ready to do battle. All we had to do was wait for a spell of warm weather. It came, and immediately we recovered our missing ‘good will’, and soon had the opposition banging on our door again. Reminding me of our supposed agreement. I said as far as I was concerned this agreement only worked one way. Their way, and I wanted to have nothing to do with it, or them.
At this time all milk was sold ‘loose’. We carried a couple of ‘carriers’ about two and a half gallons each, inside was a pint dipper. Each customer put out a jug or billy. Most receptacles seemed to be recycled Golden Syrup billies. Not a good choice, as these had a concealed fold where the lid fitted, this made them difficult to wash. Frankly they stunk of yesterdays milk. We also had to put up with the odd kid who quenched their thirst with a couple of gulps before the milk could be collected.
Many put out money, but this was a big temptation to the young ferals as a source of pocket money. So I contacted Impact Manufacturing Lower Hutt and ordered a couple of chests of tokens. We were the first to introduce this system. That fixed the theft problem, but upset the bad payers. Especially some of local constabulary who exploited their position, and were difficult to get money from, We also observed the same people  used ‘stand over’ tactics on the local Hotels who placed bottles of booze outside the door, as the price of trading after hours.
There was another form of policing that effected us, and this was from the Milk Board. Local Councils elected members, and we drew the short straw in this. Harry Williamson was our elected member. His diligence and application to this job was unbelievable, he took extraordinary steps to try and catch us out in some misdemeanour or other, he would even stoop to the most extreme tactics. Such as hiding, and crawling through the long grass at 5-00am on the road verges to report us to the transport Authority for driving on the wrong side of the road. Back then we only had a couple of traffic cops to cover the whole of the City, I was sure too they had more important duties to attend to, than chasing up a Milk Truck that was unloading bulk milk before their breakfast. I must say too, Harry was putting him self in harms way by doing what he considered his duty. It was tempting to resist the urge, not to drive through the long grass.
Then the glass bottle arrived on the scene. It meant we had to buy new vehicles as our delivery weight now doubled overnight. They offered the best system, but plastics had arrived, and the bottle was being pushed aside by the ‘throw away’ brigade.
The business made us a good living, but the constant seven day working week was too onerous. So after eight years we sold up, and looked for new careers.
Love from Christchurch, Wally.

Just after the War and returning home, I was very unsettled. I could get a job with the Railways in their Dunedin Workshops. The work there was really dirty, and it didn’t appeal. No adequate washing facilities were provided. As well, it was never going to lead to anything. As well, you would always be a Second Division employee, The First Class division status, was reserved for their clerical staff. In fact the Government had been treating the workshops as a device to sop up any unemployed. What I really wanted, was to work for myself, should this opportunity arise. I had mentioned in an earlier letter that my parents were busy working in their own business, they had formed a close relationship with the Stewart Brothers, their milk suppliers. They were at this time actually selling up, preparing to start a transport warehousing business in Dunedin. Further, my brother and I were being offered a chance to buy their milk company, which we were delighted to do.

And what did we know about selling milk? Absolutely Nothing, It shouldn’t be all that hard, should it? But in retrospect it would seem we had a lot to learn. Back then there was no designated ‘Runs’ or Zones, it was strictly, dog eat dog. We paid the going rate for goodwill £10 a gallon. Our opposition immediately paid us a visit and said, ‘If we respected their boundaries, they would respect ours’. That agreement lasted exactly one day, and in that first week we lost 10 gallons of our run to them which equated to £100 goodwill. Clearly we had to do something, and do it quick. The milk thieves were laughing at these new bunnies who had arrived on the scene. But the agreement regarding boundaries wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

At this time help arrived in a strange way. One day I was stopped driving up the road and a ‘suit’ got out of his car, he introduced himself. My name is ‘Bough’. And I’m your milk inspector. Can I have samples of what you are carrying? As we called at all the local Town Milk Suppliers farms, with the task of transporting the milk to the City. We could use any of the milk we picked up, and sell it, but with the proviso that we had to take a full churn. At the outset it was difficult, as we never knew what supply we were going to use.

I inquired from the inspector the cost of these tests. ‘Free’! Unbelievable, Can I have a copy of your tests, and what exactly do you test for?

1 A Reductase Test, The speed any sample turns sour. (Very handy when milk only lasted a day)

2 Butter fat and solids. (Nobody wanted skim milk back then)

3 A Bacteria count

Now armed with this information I was ready to do battle. I couldn’t believe my good luck. No one back then had refrigeration. So by putting our best milk on the boundaries and with the assistance of the Health Dept. we were now ready to do battle. All we had to do was wait for a spell of warm weather. It came, and immediately we recovered our missing ‘good will’, and soon had the opposition banging on our door again. Reminding me of our supposed agreement. I said as far as I was concerned this agreement only worked one way. Their way, and I wanted to have nothing to do with it, or them.

At this time all milk was sold ‘loose’. We carried a couple of ‘carriers’ about two and a half gallons each, inside was a pint dipper. Each customer put out a jug or billy. Most receptacles seemed to be recycled Golden Syrup billies. Not a good choice, as these had a concealed fold where the lid fitted, this made them difficult to wash. Frankly they stunk of yesterdays milk. We also had to put up with the odd kid who quenched their thirst with a couple of gulps before the milk could be collected.

Many put out money, but this was a big temptation to the young ferals as a source of pocket money. So I contacted Impact Manufacturing Lower Hutt and ordered a couple of chests of tokens. We were the first to introduce this system. That fixed the theft problem, but upset the bad payers. Especially some of local constabulary who exploited their position, and were difficult to get money from, We also observed the same people  used ‘stand over’ tactics on the local Hotels who placed bottles of booze outside the door, as the price of trading after hours.

There was another form of policing that effected us, and this was from the Milk Board. Local Councils elected members, and we drew the short straw in this. Harry Williamson was our elected member. His diligence and application to this job was unbelievable, he took extraordinary steps to try and catch us out in some misdemeanour or other, he would even stoop to the most extreme tactics. Such as hiding, and crawling through the long grass at 5-00am on the road verges to report us to the transport Authority for driving on the wrong side of the road. Back then we only had a couple of traffic cops to cover the whole of the City, I was sure too they had more important duties to attend to, than chasing up a Milk Truck that was unloading bulk milk before their breakfast. I must say too, Harry was putting him self in harms way by doing what he considered his duty. It was tempting to resist the urge, not to drive through the long grass.

Then the glass bottle arrived on the scene. It meant we had to buy new vehicles as our delivery weight now doubled overnight. They offered the best system, but plastics had arrived, and the bottle was being pushed aside by the ‘throw away’ brigade.

The business made us a good living, but the constant seven day working week was too onerous. So after eight years we sold up, and looked for new careers.

World Wide Depression

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Dear Peg and Family,
Many years ago we experienced and lived through  a world wide depression. We were badly effected as a Nation, we had slowly been getting to our feet again after fighting World War One. Our country we had borrowed a lot of money, and were endeavouring to repay same. At this time the money supply in circulation was short, and kept that way deliberately by the Government, which added to our misery. Returning Servicemen were slowly finding employment again, reinstating themselves in various jobs, some were starting up businesses again. The signs were all good, and it looked that this situation would continue to improve. Then with out warning the stock market in America crashed. The results of this was felt world wide, and catastrophic to all nations. All trade stopped, unemployment returned again to haunt us. Shipping which had been the lifeline between Nations, was being tied up because of the lack of cargo, crews were paid off.
My father at the time had a Movie business. He owned the plant, which consisted of a couple of heavy German Projectors, and a generator to turn the local electrical supply into D/C current, suppling the right kind of current to operate the arc lights. It was onerous set up, but he carted this around to the various Halls that he rented from the Council, and Friendly Societies to exhibit his movies. But unfortunately he had no secure tenancy, and before the American crash, he had decided that the time was right to build a ‘purpose built’ movie theatre. This would be in the late twenties, and the movies at this time were all ‘Silent’, but mood music to suit the movie was being played on the piano by several local players. My mother being one. Patronage at the theatre was dropping because now, not many people were in employment. When things had reached a point that for us they couldn’t get any worse, they did just that. ‘Talkies’ had arrived onto the scene. This meant that we now had to buy new plant, to screen this innovative technical advance, or get out of the business. One of the problems as I saw it, was the lack of confidence by all concerned. Farmers couldn’t sell their stock, people didn’t have the money to buy their meat from the butcher.
Our family borrowed $2,000 by debentures to buy the new plant with misgivings, unfortunately only a year later, we found that we were unable even to service this small loan, and the business was placed in receivership. From then on it would seem the receiver ran the business for his own benefit, as we found out later. He had no intention selling up the business, or ever of returning it back to the family. The economy was showing signs of recovery. My father got by, picking up casual work as a ‘seagull’ on the wharf, or later as a watchman. The act of  applying for the Dole, for him he found very degrading. He took the loss of face personally and very much to heart.
World War Two broke out at this time, so he re-enlisted into the Services again. This time as a leading airman into the Air Force. I don’t know whether he did this out of patriotism, or just to get a job, and a regular pay cheque. Money was still tight, and to make ends meet and to put food on the table, my mother went out as a cook for the Navy Patrol. Rising at 5-00am every morning making her way to the Yacht Club to prepare breakfasts for the crews of the harbour launches who had been on patrol all night. These were all privately owned launches generally crewed by their owners as an anti submarine deterrent. We kids never really knew, or perhaps comprehended what a struggle our parents were having to keep a roof over our heads, and to put food on our table.
The War ended, and we all returned to civilian life again. All the male members of our family had been in the Services. One we were demobbed it was now time to look again at getting the Theatre Business returned to the family, as we still owned all the shares. I had saved $2,000, what with my flight pay, and the inability to spend it on anything. I gave this to my father and he repaid the Debentures. We were solvent again, and at this stage, the receiver should have handed the business back to the family. But the receivers had another agenda. They had no intention of doing just that. They clung to the licence given to the theatre by the local authority, citing this as ownership. The Supreme Court saw it in a different light. After our day in court it handed control back to the family. However before we could take over the theatre, it went on fire and destroyed existing Plant. Accident? Who knows with their track record, it wasn’t unexpected. We replaced the plant and enjoyed a dozen or so trouble free years, until another threat arrived onto the scene. ‘Television’. It took time for the full effect of it’s arrival to be felt, but it spelt out the end of the Suburban Theatres, of which we were one. The City theatres survived, only by closing, ‘Stand Alone Theatres’, their day had finished too. Their future now depended on building ‘Muliflex’ units. We should have known, that nothing stays the same.
Another opportunity presented itself about this time Jimmy Miller who had operated a milk bar, green Grocer business in all of my living memory. He had decided to sell, and offered it to my parents which they accepted. Dad loved it, and they introduced many innovations. They even made their own icecream, and they had a soda stream, both of which were very popular. I can remember one episode, when Dad returned from the Sale Rooms, to declare he had picked up a bargain. Forty cases of apples for a couple of shillings a case. (Normally we could only sell about 4 cases a week). I can still hear my mother’s shout of rage. ‘How were we going to shift all that lot’? Well she did, Toffee apples to queues of kids, who had been starved of such goodies during the War rationing, special bulk and Case lots. She was the same if she got stuck with trays of strawberries that didn’t sell before a long weekend. They became jam. The only problem was the constant visits from Govt Inspectors. You can’t do this! You are not a commercial kitchen.
I can remember once someone came to me to ask, How would they know if their business was profitable? I said that’s simple, just go around the back of your shop and look into your rubbish bins. They will tell you, ‘Are you selling, or just throwing away your profit.’
With the education and confidence, the Services gave me, I switched to a commercial career but I never forgot all the lessons I got from growing up with my parents.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally

Many years ago we experienced and lived through  a world wide depression. We were badly effected as a Nation, we had slowly been getting to our feet again after fighting World War One. Our country we had borrowed a lot of money, and were endeavouring to repay same. At this time the money supply in circulation was short, and kept that way deliberately by the Government, which added to our misery. Returning Servicemen were slowly finding employment again, reinstating themselves in various jobs, some were starting up businesses again. The signs were all good, and it looked that this situation would continue to improve. Then with out warning the stock market in America crashed. The results of this was felt world wide, and catastrophic to all nations. All trade stopped, unemployment returned again to haunt us. Shipping which had been the lifeline between Nations, was being tied up because of the lack of cargo, crews were paid off.

My father at the time had a Movie business. He owned the plant, which consisted of a couple of heavy German Projectors, and a generator to turn the local electrical supply into D/C current, suppling the right kind of current to operate the arc lights. It was onerous set up, but he carted this around to the various Halls that he rented from the Council, and Friendly Societies to exhibit his movies. But unfortunately he had no secure tenancy, and before the American crash, he had decided that the time was right to build a ‘purpose built’ movie theatre. This would be in the late twenties, and the movies at this time were all ‘Silent’, but mood music to suit the movie was being played on the piano by several local players. My mother being one. Patronage at the theatre was dropping because now, not many people were in employment. When things had reached a point that for us they couldn’t get any worse, they did just that. ‘Talkies’ had arrived onto the scene. This meant that we now had to buy new plant, to screen this innovative technical advance, or get out of the business. One of the problems as I saw it, was the lack of confidence by all concerned. Farmers couldn’t sell their stock, people didn’t have the money to buy their meat from the butcher.

Our family borrowed $2,000 by debentures to buy the new plant with misgivings, unfortunately only a year later, we found that we were unable even to service this small loan, and the business was placed in receivership. From then on it would seem the receiver ran the business for his own benefit, as we found out later. He had no intention selling up the business, or ever of returning it back to the family. The economy was showing signs of recovery. My father got by, picking up casual work as a ‘seagull’ on the wharf, or later as a watchman. The act of  applying for the Dole, for him he found very degrading. He took the loss of face personally and very much to heart.

World War Two broke out at this time, so he re-enlisted into the Services again. This time as a leading airman into the Air Force. I don’t know whether he did this out of patriotism, or just to get a job, and a regular pay cheque. Money was still tight, and to make ends meet and to put food on the table, my mother went out as a cook for the Navy Patrol. Rising at 5-00am every morning making her way to the Yacht Club to prepare breakfasts for the crews of the harbour launches who had been on patrol all night. These were all privately owned launches generally crewed by their owners as an anti submarine deterrent. We kids never really knew, or perhaps comprehended what a struggle our parents were having to keep a roof over our heads, and to put food on our table.

The War ended, and we all returned to civilian life again. All the male members of our family had been in the Services. One we were demobbed it was now time to look again at getting the Theatre Business returned to the family, as we still owned all the shares. I had saved $2,000, what with my flight pay, and the inability to spend it on anything. I gave this to my father and he repaid the Debentures. We were solvent again, and at this stage, the receiver should have handed the business back to the family. But the receivers had another agenda. They had no intention of doing just that. They clung to the licence given to the theatre by the local authority, citing this as ownership. The Supreme Court saw it in a different light. After our day in court it handed control back to the family. However before we could take over the theatre, it went on fire and destroyed existing Plant. Accident? Who knows with their track record, it wasn’t unexpected. We replaced the plant and enjoyed a dozen or so trouble free years, until another threat arrived onto the scene. ‘Television’. It took time for the full effect of it’s arrival to be felt, but it spelt out the end of the Suburban Theatres, of which we were one. The City theatres survived, only by closing, ‘Stand Alone Theatres’, their day had finished too. Their future now depended on building ‘Muliflex’ units. We should have known, that nothing stays the same.

Another opportunity presented itself about this time Jimmy Miller who had operated a milk bar, green Grocer business in all of my living memory. He had decided to sell, and offered it to my parents which they accepted. Dad loved it, and they introduced many innovations. They even made their own icecream, and they had a soda stream, both of which were very popular. I can remember one episode, when Dad returned from the Sale Rooms, to declare he had picked up a bargain. Forty cases of apples for a couple of shillings a case. (Normally we could only sell about 4 cases a week). I can still hear my mother’s shout of rage. ‘How were we going to shift all that lot’? Well she did, Toffee apples to queues of kids, who had been starved of such goodies during the War rationing, special bulk and Case lots. She was the same if she got stuck with trays of strawberries that didn’t sell before a long weekend. They became jam. The only problem was the constant visits from Govt Inspectors. You can’t do this! You are not a commercial kitchen.

I can remember once someone came to me to ask, How would they know if their business was profitable? I said that’s simple, just go around the back of your shop and look into your rubbish bins. They will tell you, ‘Are you selling, or just throwing away your profit.’

With the education and confidence, the Services gave me, I switched to a commercial career but I never forgot all the lessons I got from growing up with my parents.

Today’s Wedding

Monday, April 9th, 2012
Dear Peg and Family,
We were recently invited to attend my grandson’s wedding. It is some time since we have attended a Church wedding. The last wedding that were actually at, was when my daughter married her partner Roger in their front garden. That time the ceremony was conducted by a ‘celebrant’ one of a growing band of people who have been authorised by the Government to marry couples. This was a service that didn’t exist when I was young.
Gareth’s wedding was being held at Rangi Ruru’s Presbyterian Church. The service was transferred to this venue from their first choice. St Andrews Chapel, this was where Gareth went to school. However this chapel was so badly damaged in one of the earthquakes or after shocks, it couldn’t be used. The Rangi Ruru Church is a sister church to St Andrews and is old but well preserved, it’s constructed entirely of wood, but really beautifully crafted. a lasting credit to it’s builders of some 150 years ago. It is situated in a narrow lane off Merivale, and driving down this lane, we came across many others, all driving around  aimlessly, obviously looking for space to park. These folk were all weaving in and out the rows of parked cars, as we got close to where the church was situated. We were wondered what was going on. They all couldn’t be going to the wedding, or could they? But we soon understood when we discovered that we were in the middle of a popular Farmers Market.
We need not have worried as there was ample parking alongside the Church. Our attendance at the Church at this Easter time brought memories flooding back to me. Some 60 years ago Laura an I were married at Easter in a iconic Church at Port Chalmers. It seems now, that it was only yesterday, where did all the years go?
Over the years since 1952 there have been many changes to the marriage ceremony as well, in both fashions and accepted behaviour. I noticed one departure from is considered the norm was when the Bride’s mother marched down the isle alone. She strode out twenty yards ahead of the procession of the bride and her father, all on her own. This action was explained during the speeches, when she got to her feet to put forward, in a very forcible manner, her views on the women’s place in this day and age. This should spell out to Gareth a message, that perhaps in the future, tread warily, as latent ‘Mother in Law’ problems could be lurking somewhere in the background.
Many of the women looked as though they had just stepped out of their shower, and their wet hair to me looked uncombed. I noticed also that some of the male guests were actually wearing jeans. In my eyes too, the woman over the years seemed to have got bigger, much, much, bigger in fact, and I suppose to disguise their weight gain, instead of a fitted dress, they all seemed to have only draped several lengths of material over their body. Without fail, they all wore long trousers no matter what they wore on top. I know I may have got it all wrong, but this is what is regarded as the high fashion of today.
The service was short and sweet, a couple of readings, and all the other things you expect, such as the exchange of rings and vows. There were no hymns which suited me, I never sing in Church, but just mouth the words. The register was signed and that was all.
After the Service, we had two hours to fill in. So we made a visit to the Hospital to visit Laura. While we were there, Gareth and his new bride also called and gave Laura a bunch of flowers. The reception was being held across town at the Riccarton Race Course. There, they have extensive grounds and buildings, which is surprising, seeing that they only have two meets a year. However many outsiders make full use of this space. Every Sunday 7oo stall holders assemble on the grounds for a ‘Market’, run by Rotary. As in common with Racecourses throughout New Zealand, the extensive ‘out buildings’ are lavishly fitted out with facilities, I found this out during the War, when I was inducted into a racecourse by the Army, who had taken it over.
I suppose the highlight of the celebrations was the Barbecue, that Rod and Hillary threw for all the guests and folk and their children, that didn’t get invited to the Church and the formal breakfast. He had a spit roast, and loads of food for the 100 guests. The kids ran riot in the spacious grounds, and being blessed by perfect weather, everyone had a great day.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally.

We were recently invited to attend my grandson’s wedding. It is some time since we have attended a Church wedding. The last wedding that were actually at, was when my daughter married her partner Roger in their front garden. That time the ceremony was conducted by a ‘celebrant’ one of a growing band of people who have been authorised by the Government to marry couples. This was a service that didn’t exist when I was young.

Gareth’s wedding was being held at Rangi Ruru’s Presbyterian Church. The service was transferred to this venue from their first choice. St Andrews Chapel, this was where Gareth went to school. However this chapel was so badly damaged in one of the earthquakes or after shocks, it couldn’t be used. The Rangi Ruru Church is a sister church to St Andrews and is old but well preserved, it’s constructed entirely of wood, but really beautifully crafted. a lasting credit to it’s builders of some 150 years ago. It is situated in a narrow lane off Merivale, and driving down this lane, we came across many others, all driving around  aimlessly, obviously looking for space to park. These folk were all weaving in and out the rows of parked cars, as we got close to where the church was situated. We were wondered what was going on. They all couldn’t be going to the wedding, or could they? But we soon understood when we discovered that we were in the middle of a popular Farmers Market.

We need not have worried as there was ample parking alongside the Church. Our attendance at the Church at this Easter time brought memories flooding back to me. Some 60 years ago Laura an I were married at Easter in a iconic Church at Port Chalmers. It seems now, that it was only yesterday, where did all the years go?

Over the years since 1952 there have been many changes to the marriage ceremony as well, in both fashions and accepted behaviour. I noticed one departure from is considered the norm was when the Bride’s mother marched down the isle alone. She strode out twenty yards ahead of the procession of the bride and her father, all on her own. This action was explained during the speeches, when she got to her feet to put forward, in a very forcible manner, her views on the women’s place in this day and age. This should spell out to Gareth a message, that perhaps in the future, tread warily, as latent ‘Mother in Law’ problems could be lurking somewhere in the background.

Many of the women looked as though they had just stepped out of their shower, and their wet hair to me looked uncombed. I noticed also that some of the male guests were actually wearing jeans. In my eyes too, the woman over the years seemed to have got bigger, much, much, bigger in fact, and I suppose to disguise their weight gain, instead of a fitted dress, they all seemed to have only draped several lengths of material over their body. Without fail, they all wore long trousers no matter what they wore on top. I know I may have got it all wrong, but this is what is regarded as the high fashion of today.

The service was short and sweet, a couple of readings, and all the other things you expect, such as the exchange of rings and vows. There were no hymns which suited me, I never sing in Church, but just mouth the words. The register was signed and that was all.

After the Service, we had two hours to fill in. So we made a visit to the Hospital to visit Laura. While we were there, Gareth and his new bride also called and gave Laura a bunch of flowers. The reception was being held across town at the Riccarton Race Course. There, they have extensive grounds and buildings, which is surprising, seeing that they only have two meets a year. However many outsiders make full use of this space. Every Sunday 7oo stall holders assemble on the grounds for a ‘Market’, run by Rotary. As in common with Racecourses throughout New Zealand, the extensive ‘out buildings’ are lavishly fitted out with facilities, I found this out during the War, when I was inducted into a racecourse by the Army, who had taken it over.

I suppose the highlight of the celebrations was the Barbecue, that Rod and Hillary threw for all the guests and folk and their children, that didn’t get invited to the Church and the formal breakfast. He had a spit roast, and loads of food for the 100 guests. The kids ran riot in the spacious grounds, and being blessed by perfect weather, everyone had a great day.

Early Maori

Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Dear Peg and Family
I find the Maori a very strange Race. If you were to listen to then carping on about how unfair the white people have been to them. How their land has been stolen, and further more, how they were forbidden to use their own language while in school. When the situation was exactly the opposite. In fact in most cases it was their parents who pushed their kids into speaking English. In spite of all the supposed dissatisfaction, nearly every other Maori family has married into white families. Now it’s got to the stage where it’s getting hard to find someone who can claim to be a 100% Maori.
In spite of all the rewriting of History that has gone on over the last 160 years, Maori as an individual was very lucky that the white race came along when it did. Many of the Irish, Scottish, and English immigrants who were themselves escaping a similar situation where it was difficult make a living. The new immigrants were grateful for what they found here. Most found what they were seeking.
The Maori was endeavouring to do their best under  difficult conditions as well. What with a poor diet, coupled with primitive medical treatment, the majority of that race could only look forward to a life span of only 35 years. In fact their future, as it stood back then was abysmal. And as if all this wasn’t bad enough, too many had to live under the standover tactics of the stronger tribes. If anyone thought the gangs of today are bad, when compared to the Maori of yesterday. Today’s lot are only pussy cats. The behaviour of some their these people in the past was appalling. In too many cases they actually resorted to cannibalism, and slavery was an accepted practice.
Today you never hear any discussion about the treatment meted out to the tribes that occupied another’s land. The Chatham is one that stands out, and it took place in relative recent times. As well It’s well documented. The tribes living in peace on the Chatham’s were invaded, and occupied by their Maori neighbours who coveted their land. What happened on the Chatham’s, was genocide at it’s worst, they were wiped out as a tribe. They were either killed and eaten, enslaved, or if they were lucky driven off.
If you carry in your head a picture of a happy Nation, with all of the population sitting under a pohutukawa, strumming a guitar and dancing. Forget it, this was back then, in too many cases  an unhappy Nation. Far too many were living under the most appalling conditions. Mostly their idea of dancing, was in your face, Hakas. They didn’t seem to have a soft side, far to often much of their culture, was confrontation and hostility.
Today there are still remnants of the bad side of the Maori culture about. Today they make up 50% of our prison population, yet they are only a small part of our society. Many are work shy, and think that the good things of life should be handed to them on a plate. As far as I’m concerned, too much is coming their way, via The treaty Of Waitangi. They seem to have the ability to make some of us feel guilty about our treatment of them as a Race, pinning their faith to the Treaty. Legally this document is a very shonky document, it’s in two parts. Maori and English. Maori is the written language that the Missionary’s cobbled together for them, as they didn’t have a written language of their own. To make it worse, the two documents are not even the same, but to listen to some, they are the Country’s most important agreement. In my mind the terms are all one way. The Maori have received millions in money, but do they spend any  these funds on say improving the lot of ‘Our Peoples’ in housing? for example? Another point huge fishing ‘off shore quota’, was also signed  over with the idea of doing something about the unemployment. Futile hope, the Maori then signed the quota over to foreign fishermen, and took the money. As someone said they didn’t want to leave home.
I come from the South Island, up until recent times we had few Maoris living amongst us. The ones I knew personally were all hard working, and many were very high achievers, they all made good neighbours.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally
I find the Maori a very strange Race. If you were to listen to then carping on about how unfair the white people have been to them. How their land has been stolen, and further more, how they were forbidden to use their own language while in school. When the situation was exactly the opposite. In fact in most cases it was their parents who pushed their kids into speaking English. In spite of all the supposed dissatisfaction, nearly every other Maori family has married into white families. Now it’s got to the stage where it’s getting hard to find someone who can claim to be a 100% Maori.
In spite of all the rewriting of History that has gone on over the last 160 years, Maori as an individual was very lucky that the white race came along when it did. Many of the Irish, Scottish, and English immigrants who were themselves escaping a similar situation where it was difficult make a living. The new immigrants were grateful for what they found here. Most found what they were seeking.
The Maori was endeavouring to do their best under  difficult conditions as well. What with a poor diet, coupled with primitive medical treatment, the majority of that race could only look forward to a life span of only 35 years. In fact their future, as it stood back then was abysmal. And as if all this wasn’t bad enough, too many had to live under the standover tactics of the stronger tribes. If anyone thought the gangs of today are bad, when compared to the Maori of yesterday. Today’s lot are only pussy cats. The behaviour of some their these people in the past was appalling. In too many cases they actually resorted to cannibalism, and slavery was an accepted practice.
Today you never hear any discussion about the treatment meted out to the tribes that occupied another’s land. The Chatham is one that stands out, and it took place in relative recent times. As well It’s well documented. The tribes living in peace on the Chatham’s were invaded, and occupied by their Maori neighbours who coveted their land. What happened on the Chatham’s, was genocide at it’s worst, they were wiped out as a tribe. They were either killed and eaten, enslaved, or if they were lucky driven off.
If you carry in your head a picture of a happy Nation, with all of the population sitting under a pohutukawa, strumming a guitar and dancing. Forget it, this was back then, in too many cases  an unhappy Nation. Far too many were living under the most appalling conditions. Mostly their idea of dancing, was in your face, Hakas. They didn’t seem to have a soft side, far to often much of their culture, was confrontation and hostility.
Today there are still remnants of the bad side of the Maori culture about. Today they make up 50% of our prison population, yet they are only a small part of our society. Many are work shy, and think that the good things of life should be handed to them on a plate. As far as I’m concerned, too much is coming their way, via The treaty Of Waitangi. They seem to have the ability to make some of us feel guilty about our treatment of them as a Race, pinning their faith to the Treaty. Legally this document is a very shonky document, it’s in two parts. Maori and English. Maori is the written language that the Missionary’s cobbled together for them, as they didn’t have a written language of their own. To make it worse, the two documents are not even the same, but to listen to some, they are the Country’s most important agreement. In my mind the terms are all one way. The Maori have received millions in money, but do they spend any  these funds on say improving the lot of ‘Our Peoples’ in housing? for example? Another point huge fishing ‘off shore quota’, was also signed  over with the idea of doing something about the unemployment. Futile hope, the Maori then signed the quota over to foreign fishermen, and took the money. As someone said they didn’t want to leave home.
I come from the South Island, up until recent times we had few Maoris living amongst us. The ones I knew personally were all hard working, and many were very high achievers, they all made good neighbours.

GPS and a Stair Lift

Sunday, March 25th, 2012
Dear Peg and Friends,
Today I have had a ‘Stair Lift’ fitted into my home. What is a Stair Lift? I hear you say. It’s a chair that sits on a couple of rails, powered by a 12 volt battery, and the chair sitting on the rails either climbs or descends stairs. It’s fitted on top of, and to one side of existing stair way. I have been having trouble for some time negotiating the flight of stairs in my house. Climbing or descending stairs was something I avoided if I could, and many times resorted to tossing my door key out the window, asking my visitors to let themselves in. Regarding the Stair Lift, I remembered back to  advertisement I had seen in a magazine ‘People’s Fiend’ that Laura subscribed to for many years. They were selling stair lifts back then to people who had a need. So I did a search on the Internet looking for this item. I discovered that this very same company, actually had an office in Christchurch. Contact was quickly made, it was everything I wanted, so now I have a unit fitted. It was a  reasonable price too, which I could afford. This gadget if you can call it that, means now I won’t need to move out of my home.
Today I have been waiting the arrival of a service man. I phoned him to call and change the backup battery in my intruder alarm, as well adjust my alarm to give me back the control of my security system from upstairs. The key pad which controls it all, is downstairs which was OK when I had my full mobility. What I require now is a remote that controls all functions from both levels, as I have been having trouble negotiating my stairs at speed. Although I have no trouble walking on the flat, I do have trouble with the stairs. My problem is now, that I’m too slow to get downstairs to turn off the alarm within the allowed time. I have compounded to this problem by fitting a stair lift, which is also relatively slow.
When the service man arrived he was very red faced and clearly upset. He said my home was a very difficult place to find, and get to. The small van he was driving was only able to get up to our street after a real struggle. In fact he didn’t think he was going to make it. He also had trouble passing other motorists coming the other way on the very narrow road. His problem was, that his GPS showed the only route to here was a lane at the end of our street. But it’s not the only way, unfortunately for him it happens to be a very steep lane, and ‘One Way’ only. Certainly not the way the GPS had sent him. Without the aid of the GPS, you would come along the main road. I have had one other workman in the past who also got fooled by this glitch. This wonderful aid does get it wrong sometimes. I actually saw a picture in our morning paper, where some Japanese tourists also followed their GPS instructions slavishly. In fact followed a ‘paper road’. So quickly that they ended up being immersed in the harbour. Clutching a bill for $1500 that they were given to recover their vehicle, they have now returned to Japan a lot wiser. A cheap lesson that these units are not infallible. I too have a unit, but today I seldom use it our City. With all the road works and redirection’s going on, it’s next to useless. I delight too in disobeying the lady giving instructions.
Today it’s still difficult in getting around Christchurch even with the GPS. In fact it’s getting worse. The reason being, that buildings you have used in the past as ‘Markers’, have been pulled down. This is an on going situation and shows no sign of winding down. There are still many more buildings, yet to be pulled down. These it would seem are the large buildings. I have given up trying to get to one place in the centre of town, as it would seem it is where most of the current activity is taking place. The last earthquake has torn the heart of this city.
We have now put in all our claims into the Insurance Company for repairs to our home. It looks like we will sneak in under $100,000, so this makes us an Insurance claim, not EQC. All we have to do now is sit by patiently, and wait. At least we have a roof over our heads, and not paying $600 or $800 a week which some house owners are asking and getting for rental properties. When weekly rental gets that high, it becomes extortion, or that the Government is paying.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally
Today I have had a ‘Stair Lift’ fitted into my home. What is a Stair Lift? I hear you say. It’s a chair that sits on a couple of rails, powered by a 12 volt battery, and the chair sitting on the rails either climbs or descends stairs. It’s fitted on top of, and to one side of existing stair way. I have been having trouble for some time negotiating the flight of stairs in my house. Climbing or descending stairs was something I avoided if I could, and many times resorted to tossing my door key out the window, asking my visitors to let themselves in. Regarding the Stair Lift, I remembered back to  advertisement I had seen in a magazine ‘People’s Fiend’ that Laura subscribed to for many years. They were selling stair lifts back then to people who had a need. So I did a search on the Internet looking for this item. I discovered that this very same company, actually had an office in Christchurch. Contact was quickly made, it was everything I wanted, so now I have a unit fitted. It was a  reasonable price too, which I could afford. This gadget if you can call it that, means now I won’t need to move out of my home.
Today I have been waiting the arrival of a service man. I phoned him to call and change the backup battery in my intruder alarm, as well adjust my alarm to give me back the control of my security system from upstairs. The key pad which controls it all, is downstairs which was OK when I had my full mobility. What I require now is a remote that controls all functions from both levels, as I have been having trouble negotiating my stairs at speed. Although I have no trouble walking on the flat, I do have trouble with the stairs. My problem is now, that I’m too slow to get downstairs to turn off the alarm within the allowed time. I have compounded to this problem by fitting a stair lift, which is also relatively slow.
When the service man arrived he was very red faced and clearly upset. He said my home was a very difficult place to find, and get to. The small van he was driving was only able to get up to our street after a real struggle. In fact he didn’t think he was going to make it. He also had trouble passing other motorists coming the other way on the very narrow road. His problem was, that his GPS showed the only route to here was a lane at the end of our street. But it’s not the only way, unfortunately for him it happens to be a very steep lane, and ‘One Way’ only. Certainly not the way the GPS had sent him. Without the aid of the GPS, you would come along the main road. I have had one other workman in the past who also got fooled by this glitch. This wonderful aid does get it wrong sometimes. I actually saw a picture in our morning paper, where some Japanese tourists also followed their GPS instructions slavishly. In fact followed a ‘paper road’. So quickly that they ended up being immersed in the harbour. Clutching a bill for $1500 that they were given to recover their vehicle, they have now returned to Japan a lot wiser. A cheap lesson that these units are not infallible. I too have a unit, but today I seldom use it our City. With all the road works and redirection’s going on, it’s next to useless. I delight too in disobeying the lady giving instructions.
Today it’s still difficult in getting around Christchurch even with the GPS. In fact it’s getting worse. The reason being, that buildings you have used in the past as ‘Markers’, have been pulled down. This is an on going situation and shows no sign of winding down. There are still many more buildings, yet to be pulled down. These it would seem are the large buildings. I have given up trying to get to one place in the centre of town, as it would seem it is where most of the current activity is taking place. The last earthquake has torn the heart of this city.
We have now put in all our claims into the Insurance Company for repairs to our home. It looks like we will sneak in under $100,000, so this makes us an Insurance claim, not EQC. All we have to do now is sit by patiently, and wait. At least we have a roof over our heads, and not paying $600 or $800 a week which some house owners are asking and getting for rental properties. When weekly rental gets that high, it becomes extortion, or that the Government is paying.

Mademoiselle

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

 

 

Just above where I’m currently working, hangs a picture of Mademoiselle. This was our families pride and joy, a yacht we owned for several years. We had christened her ‘Mademoiselle’ and she was well named. She was of Fibre Glass construction, fabricated or moulded, by Aquarius of Auckland. ‘Second Hand’ when we bought her, but was in tip top condition. She was one of the new breed, made from fibre glass, conceived in a ‘mould’ where the same mould could be used to produce any number boats. Twenty two feet long but very wide at the beam, as the manufacturers were trying to get the best of both worlds, sailing and cruising. We also had a set of storm sails, ideal too as we sailed in all weathers. I also learnt that you never let anyone go forward of the mast to attend to the spinnaker especially under stormy conditions, as this quickly upset the balance of the boat, and you would be all be tipped into the Lake so fast, well before you could even say Jack Robinson.

 

All this was part of our learning curve. We also had an auxiliary 5hp Johnson out board motor, that we used very reluctantly. I just loved this boat, and wished that we could have afforded it earlier in our lives, I know Laura shared my feelings as well.

 

Buying the boat was the catalyst to the making of some wonderful friends, Sugar and Sue Robinson, Jim and Leslie Jeffery, Ray and Shirley Butel, to name a few. Many of these had had just purchased new boats as well. Sailing was one sport that the whole family could take part in and enjoy. Another factor was that gasoline suddenly had got very expensive, so sailing was the way to go. Mademoiselle was a designed as a Trailer Sailer although we didn’t tour all that much, as we had enough water with in Lake Wakatipu at least 80 kilometres long. She was fitted out with four bunks. It had a small cooker, but I preferred to do any cooking ashore. I considered Gas and Boats a bad mix. Wakatipu didn’t have many shelving beaches, so in most places you could moor and just step ashore.

 

Up until recently, all trailer yachts were much smaller, and of wooden construction, home built from plans supplied by Hartley. They were all small because of the expense, as well as the degree of skill required to construct same. Our boat had been completely renovated before we took delivery, and the squabs recovered or replaced. The gel coat was immaculate as was the interior. We travelled to Auckland to see it and purchased it on the spot. Then pulled it home with our valiant. On passing through Bombay I stopped and filled the cockpit with sacks of produce. Onions, of cauliflower, cabbage, carrots all at 2/6 a sack. People in our street back home, couldn’t believe their good fortune,

 

What we now needed, was how to competitively sail our new purchase. So next stop was the library and we read up on every book ever printed on sailing, and boat handling. I can remember one time sailing across to Walter Peak, we had on board, a young German. He proceeded to put me under a very close cross examination. Did I have a Captains ticket? No. Had I been to a sailing school to learn how to sail the boat? No. But I had read all about it in a book. Did I even have a permit to buy the boat? No. You would need too do all these things if you lived in Germany.

 

Next the best thing I did, was to join the local Yachting Club, and later on, race the boat in their Club races. There were some very good sailers in our club, and they were only too pleased to give lessons and impart some of their knowledge to the novices. Of course we made every mistake that it was possible to make, but Mademoiselle was very forgiving, and didn’t drown us during this probationary period.

 

You only had to broach once, when running before the wind with more sail on than was prudent. That situation could turn a yacht in the matter of seconds, into an out of control monster. This also was the first purchase that we had ever made, by taking out a loan from a Finance company. I had been saving to be in a position to pay cash, but at this time, inflation in New Zealand was out of control. If we didn’t grab the boat when we did, we would have never caught up, so our caravan was sold to get the deposit.

 

After a days sailing we always returned home dog tired. We never folded our sails just draped them around our lounge to dry. No need to wash them as we were sailing on fresh water. We just fell into out beds and folded everything up next morning. Laura took over as the purser, and made sure we always had an ample supply of food and hot drinks on board. We quickly learned to ‘read’ the Lake. Dust in the air twenty miles away at Glenorchy meant a front, or line squall was passing through the flats at the ‘Routeburn’, and in an hour conditions where we were would be very unpleasant. Winds on the Lake mostly blew up the Lake or down.

 

Our time sailing was one of the most enjoyable and it was a sad day when we sold Mademoiselle.