Russell Kirkpatrick's Journal
A number of you have asked for my thoughts on the cricket.
Very well, though it's a painful subject. The cricket (family Gryllidae) is an insect closely related to grasshoppers, and is regarded in many parts of the world as a pest; though, perversely, often seen as a sign of good luck. The New Zealand cricket (middleorder collapsus) is generally seen as a harbinger of doom. It makes a great deal of noise but runs for cover when subjected to any form of stress. I have provided a diagram to explain the physical appearance of the New Zealand cricket:
The recent Cricket Whirled Cup was a scientific symposium in which crickets from various countries were placed on a field and compared to one another. The New Zealand cricket did fairly well until it was matched against the Sri Lankan cricket. It is expected that the larger Australian cricket will be judged the leading cricket of the symposium; however, cricket-lovers from other countries are unhappy at this prospect, as this cricket crows rather than chirps.
There's been a lot of disparaging talk about my calf, Gillian. So I've decided to end the speculation by displaying the calf, viz:
It is not, as some have unkindly remarked, a fatted calf.
I'm intrigued by yet more discussion fo a single Australiasian market. There was apparently some high-powered meeting in Sydney recently to discuss this, and the possibility of a single Australasian currency.
So I've done some thinking, and come up with this:
It's a Kozzie, a combination of the Kiwi and Australian currency. Naturally, it's in the shape of a cozzie, which will fit nicely into most wallets, or serve as a pair of briefs in a pinch. Ministers of finance would have to be very careful shaving value off this beauty!
All this is to say i don't feel like being serious, but I will be. I've been very annoyed by the coverage of Anzac Day, which in NZ at least appears to be the most sacred day on the calendar. Fair play to those who went and risked their lives, and all that. But it's not a religion. We don't need to venerate these people. By and large they got paid, and many volunteered. Anzac day these days is cruising awfully close to glorification of war. And the crowning hypocrisy was when Hayley Westenra was invited to sing at a dawn 'service' (note the religious wording) in Christchurch, and a number of onlookers complained that her performance of the national anthem 'distracted from the solemnity of the moment.'
Yup, definitely a religion. We have our first schism over liturgy already!
I'm walking for my health. Now Hamilton is considered a boring city. In fact, it's the butt of jokes in New Zealand in the same way Canberra suffers in Australia. So, you'd expect my route to be boring, right?
Well, it's not. Hamilton has this great river running through it, and the council has provided magnificent walkways. So, for an hour a day, I'm striding out and frightening my fellow citizens with a generous exposure of well-turned calf.
Pictures tomorrow, because I can't get the picture function to work. Drat.
Of the river, I mean. Not the calf.
We didn't think much of it for a while. About 5.30pm yesterday there was a bang somewhere in the distance: it was hard to tell whether it was a small noise close by or a larger one further away. Turned out it was a kilometer down the road, the sound of a transformer blowing.
It was late afternoon, so we didn't immediately notice that we were on reduced power. But when we tried turning the tele on, we found it wasn't going. Oddly, though, my computer was working fine. Lights still worked, but at a much reduced brightness. Hmmm. Bang + reduced power = problem.
At 6.30pm everything went off, including our half-cooked dinner. It was dark by now.
What an evening. Here I am, a fantasy writer who puts his characters in strange places by moonlight and even by starlight. But it's been a long time since I tried to do anything by starlight. I wasn't very successful last night, knocking over chairs, not being able to find food in the fridge and standing on the cat. Sorry, Mist.
We went to bed early, but I couldn't sleep without the reassuring hum of electrical equipment. Fortunately my laptop had plenty of juice and, without an internet connection, I wrote half a chapter. There's a lesson there, Russell.
The power came back on at 5am this morning, but only lasted twenty minutes. By now I was worried: we are in a gully and have to pump our waste water up to the street. The pump is, of course, electrical. We have a 24-hour septic tank but I had no idea how full it was. It's Easter Sunday and the chances of getting things fixed looked grim ...
Meh, needn't have worried. Power was restored at 6.30am. I was able to shrug on the somewhat tattered garment of civilisation and resume my pointless and time-wasting internet surfing (which is probably how you got here - admit it). I feel much, much better now.
This was the description of Australians on a local radio station. A bit cruel but very funny, I thought. It led me to wonder about a few things:
• why do we love taking the mickey out of people we are affectionate towards?
• How are New Zealanders referred to in Australia? (No rude replies, please. Cleverness is of the essence here.)
• What are the dangers of ethnic humour?
• Borat, for example, makes me uncomfortable. What about you?
I'm thinking about this because, by all accounts, I'm quite humorous in person - sometimes intentionally. But I find humour extremely difficult to write into my novels. I do think there are types of humour almost impossible to render in writing. Well, there's gurning, of course. But most forms of word play don't work well. I'll keep thinking ...