Some Days are Diamonds by Trevor Plumbly
I’ve got that bloody block again! And as I sit fumbling at an indistinct keyboard and a vacant screen struggling to conjure up another personal outpouring, I feel I’ve got to blame someone, so my thoughts idly stray to my fellow bloggers, mourning the recent paucity (been dying to use that word for ages) of their posts. It’s hard to believe that Emily’s capable hands have been gripped by a rheumatic rictus caused by a sudden burst of employment, or that Ange’s flying fingers have become cryonically inert attempting to leapfrog verb and verse. The problem facing me this morning is that there’s not really a lot happening; uneventful is practically a New Zealand national pastime. It’s quite nice, in a way, to know that extremists aren’t going to take over; sure, we’ve got some, who hasn’t, but down here they tend to drop off the tree from malnutrition rather than bear fruit. All-in-all it’s a green and pleasant land populated by largely pleasant people with sheep, cows and rugby players to spare, which again is nice, but bugger all help when you’re trying to write a blog.
News in NZ doesn’t really break here, it sort of seeps out, but I felt sure that if anything was going to stir the old juices it would be in the paper. The main story featured the stunning news that a leading politician has fibbed! I was less impressed by the newsworthiness of this revelation than I was by the journalist’s ability to get two-and-a-bit pages out of a patently accepted political practice. Next up was ‘The Night a Beatle Called Round’: it seems that during the Beatles’ 1964 tour of NZ, George Harrison visited an ex-neighbour from Liverpool and, wait for it … they had … POACHED EGGS ON TOAST! Unable to bear the suspense through the entire story, I flicked the page and there it was: ‘Fish Have Feelings’. It seems that after a great deal of research, a behavioural biologist at Macquarie University has discovered that the fried stuff I’ve been eating with chips all these years is not only a social species, but according to the Prof, has a functioning memory. Trust a bloody Aussie to come up with something this important, and if the learned bugger’s right, it might be a good idea for me to give up the Friday treat: it doesn’t make sense to make an enemy of an entire species at my age.
Some Days Are Stones
But we’ve always been a bit funny about creatures we share the planet with: in bygone times it was relatively simple, you either killed them to eat or killed them to stop them eating you; then came the protectionists extolling the importance of the most obscure creatures to a healthy world balance. It seems that they in turn have been devoured by behavioural biologists whose sole mission in life is to impress on us the importance of ‘the food chain’. In England in the 1960s, they managed to persuade the powers that be to construct little tunnels under roads to allow ‘natterjack toads’ to cross without getting spattered (I bet you’re all feeling warmer already). In Australia, possums are protected: if one of these oversized rodents gets in your veggie garden, on no account are you to plug the thing, you should immediately call a qualified chap to transport the offender out to the bush. Tomorrow, guess what from the veggy garden? ‘Honey I’m Home!’ I am constantly monitoring behavioural biologists to see if their findings could add to my personal well-being. I note that one once opined that given a typewriter and enough paper a monkey could write Shakespeare; all I can say to that is that the furry little sod would be welcome at my place in times like this. In the meantime, heed the warnings of the learned Prof or prepare for a visit from scaled vengeance seekers (they remember you know).