M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D


the bloody newslettern
ISSUE #169

Lobby Loyde's Coloured Balls looking sharp at Sunbury get a mention in the P&W
Mike's Pith & Wind - The Book
I might’ve found this note when I went downstairs to pick up the milk, but there are no stairs, there hasn’t been milk delivered for decades now and, in fact, there was never any note. But I’ll persist with the fairy story.
‘Mr Rudd’ the note might’ve read. ‘You have been on this earth quite a long time and despite kidding yourself that your life is unending you have been selected by a panel of your peers to write your memoirs as a matter of some urgency.’
‘Piss off!’ I might’ve said as I screwed up the note and threw it in the waste bin. Then, on reconsidering I might’ve fished it out again and transferred it to the recycle bin.
And that might’ve been it. But things have rather caught up with me and I now find myself contemplating the prospect of devoting a good part of what’s left of my life trying to remember something even slightly interesting about it to include in what will most likely be a slim tome with very thick paper and big writing - and lots of pictures.
P&W readers will have noted that lately I’ve been reading quite a few books written by my contemporary musicians and entertainers. An unsolicited biography about Paul McCartney and auto-biographies from Jimmy Barnes and most recently Mark ‘Tinno’ Tinson come to mind, which means my brain is about as alert as it’s been recently. (Reading is good for the brain).
I enjoyed them all too. With regards to Paul McCartney, despite my thinking that I might already know all there is to know about him, it became clear that my waning interest after the demise of The Beatles meant there was half a life’s worth of catching up to do with his post-Beatles’ adventures.
And that was interesting to me, because the Paul personality was blended in with the other Beatles and with even close associates of the Fab Four, like George Martin, (The 5th Beatle), and so it’s only now I’ve managed to get a real sense of who Paul really is beyond The Beatles.
I didn’t see his much-lauded concert in Melbourne recently, but Maria and I heard the Band on the Run single on the Poodle’s radio on the way back from the Lomond last night. (That’s almost the same, isn’t it?) I was struck by what a mish-mash of a song it is, and despite being laden with hooks the most substantial hook was and still is Paul himself. (Maria said she used to own the Wings’ album, which reinforces our age difference).
Anyway, The Beatles could actually do NO WRONG in music or fashion or anything I cared about, until their break-up in whatever black year that was. I suppose you could say that I was a Beatles’ tragic. For instance I saw the band when they came to Christchurch (my second ever concert, the first being the Trapp Family Singers) and I camped out overnight with my brother in the Cathedral Square to be at the first showing of... read more
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Dick's Toolbox - The Zoo
You can go to the zoo on a hot day and not see very many animals, as they sensibly go and find somewhere cool to lie down. From the shade at the back of their enclosure, through half-closed eyes and smiling quietly in a camouflaged way to themselves, they watch humans trying to work out where they are. If you were unlucky I am sure that you might think that the zoo only had butterflies, a few meerkats fresh from their TV appearance - and the ubiquitous seagulls and sparrows. There are far more homo sapiens than any other species, demonstrating the plague proportions of the genus here as with everywhere else. They are not on show despite their gaudy plumage, screeching cries, and unusual skin markings.
I can still remember back probably sixty years to the Auckland zoo with its forlorn polar bear in a deep concrete enclosure painted blue and white with fake icebergs and thinking, even at an early age, that the poor animal was deeply, deeply unhappy. I believe that it got its short-lived revenge some years later by eating someone that fell into the pit.
The Auckland zoo also had one elephant that transported kids around on some form of Howdah on its back – something you don’t see nowadays. I thought it pretty cool.
For my first few visits to Melbourne’s zoo I was highly sceptical of the zoo’s claim that there were elephants. One walked the bamboo track which claimed to have elephants at the other end and found a closed kiosk, confused tourists, and a couple of well-worn elephant statues. The zoo claimed that there were elephants but I had never seen, heard or smelt one and I think that they are pretty hard to hide. I developed theories that under the new zoo regime they and other large animals were off in a large savannah-like park that mimicked their native surrounds down near the Werribee Sewage Farm. They, along with rhinoceroses, hippopotami, okapi and wildebeest, ambled, galloped and frolicked in imaginary freedom far from the city’s tight-fenced pens and enclosures.
Or that it was a test of visual acuity; all the large animals had been artfully disguised by the World Wildlife Fund as fast food outlets and coffee stands so, should they not be spotted (unless they were hyenas who are nearly always spotted), they could go back to their homeland and train their brethren in the art of concealment. Or making coffee and doughnuts.
But suddenly, after a month of visits, a gate was suddenly open and the Trail of the Elephants unveiled. And there they were. Large imposing and defecating in prodigious quantities - apparently up to 75kg a day of shit. It would have kept my roses going for a few years after I had dug them out from under the steaming heaps. What our grandson would have said had he been at the talking stage can only be conjectured, but I hope the piles of ordure haven’t scarred him for life. read more
Wazza's Trans-Tasman Tales - Water, water, everywhere..
Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. (Coleridge, 1834) Living in a remote coastal area and relying on rainwater has made me very conscious of the impact of freshwater on my life and consequently has me alert to water issues that arise in the news. There’s been quite a bit of water news recently on both sides of the Tasman – over on my side there are issues such as high consumption of aquifer resources for dairy farming and bottling of spring water for export, for example. The latter became an election issue, with the Labour Party proposing to regulate and charge for what until now has been a free resource, although limits on take rates have applied for natural resource reasons. On the other side of the Tasman, I’ve been reading about the trials and tribulations of the two great Australian rivers Murray and Darling. Both of these have been suffering from not dissimilar issues to those in Aotearoa-New Zealand – namely over-exploitation of the resource for in/conspicuous commercial purposes. One common effect I’ve noticed is the alacrity and rapidity with which vested interests are able to whiz their way through the bureaucracy maze to receive permissions and achieve miraculous engineering feats. As an opinion piece in The Age ‘Cry me a river’ by Helen Vivian (11 March 2018) reported ‘It’s good to know that Australian steel manufacturers can produce 28,000 tonnes of steel and deliver a significant proportion of the 270 kilometres of rolled steel pipes, approximately 80 centimetres in diameter, in just two months.’…when needs must. read more
mmMeet the TBN crew
M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D