Thursday 29 April 2010

Tobacco price hike pushed through parliament

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Rudd Chickens Out

Keeping Stock and Cameron Slater are both calling for John Key & Nick Smith to delay the introduction of the ETS till 2013 'because the Australians are'. We have no opinion on this.

We are concerned about the mental state of those who still deny that human beings are causing global warming. This from a promotional blurb for a book claiming that the proponents of AGW are prosecuting a totalitarian socialist agenda:

"Sick of twisted "facts" mass-marketed to manipulate basic living decisions and common-sense energy consumption, Sussman indicts a cabal of elitist politicians, bureaucrats and activists who front the environmental movement to push intrusive, Marxist-derived policies in a quest to become filthy rich." - Climategate

License to Rant

We accepted an invitation to do the occasional political rant ( with certain restrictions and a requirement to refer to ourselves as we inspite of it being just me) while the regular team where away killing defenseless creatures on an island far, far away.The only problem is that we don't know much about politics and indeed find it a little dull.

Politics feels like an insiders game that is no doubt of immense interest to insiders like David Farrar, Cameron Slater and the team over at Red Alert but less inspiring to those of us at the tax paying end of the pencil. We haver been consistently impressed with Cactus Kate that she mostly focuses on policy and doesn't attempt to impress us with her intimate relationships with politicians and players. Cactus manages to write very long posts, something we will not be emulating. Three paragraphs is more than enough.

One blog we do follow with a political bent is , it does an excellent job by targeting a niche market in the blogosphere. Get over there and have a look; it isyour money being spent.

Some things deserve ridicule

Jennifer McCreight is an overnight internet and television sensation with her April 26 Boobquake protest against Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi’s claim that promiscuous women were to blame for earthquakes. Her Facebook group for the event has 205,000 members. While there is no doubt an attraction for some people beyond the political and theological protest it does demonstrate the power of a social media campaign with a simple clear message.

There are of course some ethical feminist issues with the objectification of womens bodies as a tool for protest. Another Facebook group has been set up in response: Brainquake. This groups sponsors are urging women to show off their brains and their accomplishments to challenge Iranian fear of women's intelligence. Sally Benz over at Feministe sees this response as equally problematic as she believes it denies female sexuality.

The power of internet protest to effect change has already been proven. Think back to our New Zealand Internet Blackout protest against s92a. This is why we must be ever vigilant against attempts by government or commercial interests to control our access e.g. The Great Firewall of Australia.

Saturday 24 April 2010


Its 12.30 am and its cold, there is a southerly blowing, and in two hours at 2.30am we will be off on the trip to our muttonbird island Just out from pegasus to the south east of stewart Island. The son and I are travelling on our cousins boat - the Awesome (spelt with an A) . We will be travelling west - about - in short that means the long way. Past Codfish. past Doughboy and Flowercast.

Then we get a bit of a treat. The  Stewart Island Helicopter piloted by Jason Wright will take us from the Big South Cape, and fly over Flowercast down Pegasus and land on the top of our island, which is pretty much half way between South Cape and Noble Island on the map.
Then the Awesome will arrive at the island a few hours later and the helicopter will return to Bluff to pick up ma and pa and drop them off and load our gear onto Ernest  island.  Which is not the Ernest Island outside Doughboy.

Then the fun begins.

This year the birds are big and plentiful.


Thursday 22 April 2010


We ar off to a sparrrow fart  early breekie with PR and Communications types to hear  this fella talk. Eugene Ryder.  Thought we would do a bit of  home work  - we have crossed paths in our past. So it seems that Mr Ryder thinks that gang problems  stem from colonisation and that is worthy of a  treaty claim .


apparently we are going to hear how to do PR for difficult types...  

The chick in charge of the NZ  Prostitutes Collective Catherine Healy is also going to talk on the same topic.

Wednesday 21 April 2010


Suzanne  Carter  is a mate of ours and she will be a "great fit" as they say in the business,  for this job.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler is delighted to announce that Suzanne Carter will join Tourism New Zealand's Executive Team as General Manager Public Affairs from 10 May 2010.
This position is an integral part of Tourism New Zealand's executive team. Suzanne will be responsible for managing and leading Tourism New Zealand's media and government relations, corporate and internal communications and projects, including our involvement in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Suzanne previously headed New Zealand Post Group's Corporate Communications for five years. She has had an extensive and successful communications career over the last 17 years, which has included a variety of communications roles in organisations such as Telecom and AMP, as well as working as an independent consultant.

We need to capitalise on our tourism and we are confident she will make her mark on the organisation and will help NZ lift its game  in the tourism stakes...

Tuesday 20 April 2010


Well we did say that the " tent " rumoured to house Party Central for the Rugby World Cup was a bit grander that the teepee that the Herald reckon was going to be ptiched on the Queens Wharf in Auckland - and we were right...
So if the Aucks aint interested we would be more than happy for the   "tent"  to be pitched at our place.

Monday 19 April 2010


We watched Patrick Gower's shift from the Herald to TV3 with interest. He has some talent but  on the face of it  his latest story about Tuhoe stepping up to get "total " control of the Ureweras as part of a treaty settlement is a beat up. A really big beat up - the sort that fuels redneck racism. 
So why do we think its a beat up  - well because the Treaty Minister the gracious Chris Finlayson says so. We are very glad he did. It would be an outrage if the Government was going to give away a big corner of the country lock stock and punga trees   to one group of families as their exclusive fiefdom  because that's essentially what the story meant.


Hon Christopher Finlayson

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

19 April 2010

Media Statement   

Statement on Treaty negotiations with Ngai Tuhoe
At no point in the negotiations have Ngai Tuhoe asked for any form of separatism from New Zealand or an independent Tuhoe state.  Those issues are simply not part of any negotiation the Crown is undertaking.  The Crown has not, and will not, make any offer to Ngai Tuhoe that includes such forms of redress.  Any claims by TV3 or other media organisations are simply untrue.

The Crown and Ngai Tuhoe have been engaged in negotiations for nearly two years.  The negotiations raise a number of complex issues which both parties are working through in a constructive manner and we hope to see progress in the near future.

Ngai Tuhoe have discussed the importance of Te Uruwera and the Crown is currently exploring with them what form any redress might take.  The Crown has made clear its position that any settlement must recognise the rights of all New Zealanders, including public access and conservation values.

So there we have it... Its not a runner...  However we reckon up in the mists of the Ureweras there will be a little band of Tuhoe who think that its all true and even if it never comes to pass, its the way they will see things anyway and if white people venture too far up that a -ways well they just might not come back.....They are the silly buggers Gower probably had a yarn to. 

So Patrick - you owe us a beer for scaring us and the rest of TV3 watchers unnecessarily....

Sunday 18 April 2010


We  have been reading over at Homepaddock that home cooks who bake for charity are under scrutiny..

Homepaddock thinks its bollocks and we agree.

Funny thing is at the Masterton  Sunday morning  boot sale  our favourite little old ladies who bake THE BEST chocky chip bikkies were being accosted by some food official.   Now its just wrong for them to be bullied and harassed because someone has gone all PC over market food.  Now the Masterton Farmers Market is very regulated and the food is understandably more expensive. So we shop for bikkies and stuff at the boot market.. After all  a bag of homemade chocochip bikkies for $1.50 is a steal. 

Now there are heaps of regulars at the market. there is the lady who makes theTHE BEST peanut bikkies in the world and another who does a great date loaf. There is Wendy who sells Wendys honey lovingly supplied from a hive she has in her back garden.. There is rewena bread, someone else does a boil up and there are jams jellies and chutneys to die for.
Our rule is  we try a stall holders food once  and if we dont get a crook guts and die we wil buy it again. Its our choice.
The Farmers Market is a commercial enterprise but the Boot sale is just a few old timers, widows and a few solo mums doing something to get a bit of cash. Whats the bloody harm in that???


W e are on the Wairarapa Train and a chubbyish young fellow and his sister are talking quite loudly  and he is bragging about being bullied by some seniors at his school. Taking great pride in announcing how he has been singled out.

Its a Charles Chauvel moment ..  loud indulged kids with their mother..  but frankly  - what sort of parent would lead a kid to be proud about being bullied?


Autumnal Harvest.... Today we harvest the last of our pumpkins and our spuds. the spuds, long keeping Ilam Hardys are great mashers , fluffy and tasty. The pumpkins, while a decent size have been not been the best in the flavour stakes. No great sweetness and a bit woody. Our Broccoli was great until a neighbouring cow wandered in and took all the best bits. We made another batch of pasta sauce today , fired up with our own chillies. and then harvested the last of the green tomatoes and made a heavenly batch of tomato relish. We wandered down to our pear tree that a fornight ago was loaded with sweet fruit. but alas it appears a possum has chomped the lot. So no pear chutney.
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Saturday 17 April 2010


We have been asked by quite a few people what the muttonbirds are like after a disasterous year last year.

Well our cuzzy Storm Wardrop, a star of Million Dollar Catch reckons they are big assed mommas. An average season means you get about 20 to a bucket - At this stage of the season if they are really big they would be about 15- 16   a bucket as they fine down as they lose their chick fat - so by the time we get there you should average about 20 a bucket..

However Storm says the birds are very big - the birders can only fit 13 in a bucket!... Yikes.....


Well we have been in mourning over the loss of our favourite Wine Bar Beaujolais  and its impending closure. Rent appeared to be an issue.  We facedbooked Lloyd Morrison yesterday asking him if he owned the building - he doesn't and he says that there is a fair chance that his companies may be looking for other premises in the near future. Infratil bought Shell's retail business in NZ.
Apparently the building is owned by Heritage Properties.


Well it appears that we were onto something when we suggested that the  Mayoral race down south maybe overshadowed by the Masterton Mayoralty.

Then this morning we open the Wairarapa Times Age to find that paper (story not online yet) has conducted a poll on peoples voting preferences.  Beyer has coming out and gazumped the sitting Mayor Garry Daniell securing 63% of the votes in the poll. Georgina has not formally stated her intention to stand but she  must be bouyed by the result. She has made it clear that she is keen to support council amalgamation and it may be her support for this issue alone that already has her snaring a large body of support.

Former NZ First Party MP Ron Mark had indicated that he would be standing for the Carterton Mayoralty 
however he has just been appointed the CEO of the Federation of Maori Authorities - one of the political powerhouses of Iwi commercial interests.

So it will be interesting to see if he still pursues the mayoral option.

Friday 16 April 2010


Trevor Mallard has made some predictions over at Red Rag  that the stodgy Aaron Gilmore might be prepping up for a tilt at the  selection for Invercargill  on the basis that Eric Roy may resign. Well if Eric decides that it is time to  hang up his kilt
( and we are not sure he is ready to hand over his dirk) then we expect a good candidate to step into the breach. But it wont be Aaron Gilmore.

We reckon that if the Nats want a logical successor to Eric there is only one candidate.

Thats the Don.  Don Nicholson. He's the man for the job.


NAH -not even close..  there are 500 reasons why it will be more that a tent.

It will  be   party -   True..     We know this stuff.


Our favourite watering hole is to close.

15 April 2010
 To All My Dear Customers
 After many months of negotiation with our landlord over a rent increase, it has become clear that we are no longer able to stay at our present site of 11 Woodward Street. A new tenant will be moving into the space sometime in May.
 Our 20th Anniversary party on April 30th will certainly still take place but it will be our last day of trading and also a fond farewell from us all at the bar.
 In saying that, there has been some activity regarding new investors and potential new sites in which to relocate, but time constraints and commitments elsewhere exclude me from any involvement for now. I firmly believe a new and enthusiastic team could easily take up the reins again and continue the Beaujolais tradition at another site. Watch the spaces!
 For myself, I would like to thank all of you for your unwavering loyalty and patronage over the twenty years that I have owned and managed the bar. It’s been a hair-raising   and wonderful ride that seems to have finished in an instant and I am left with many fond memories, many, many friends and enormous respect for an industry that really sorts out the ‘men from the boys’. (And as a woman in this racket, I’m amazed that I’ve lasted this long!)
 So for the next two weeks I urge you all to come in for a last drink (or two or three), a last meal, a last gathering of friends in the special ambience that belongs to Beaujolais. I will be at the bar all day and night of the April 30th with Anton, Casey et al to say my farewells and shed a tear or two with you.
 I sincerely hope to see you there.
 Kindest regards
 Debra McMillen

This is very sad as not only is Beaujolais our wine bar of choice it's also one of our favourite lunching places. 
We have had many, many of a good evening ( and afternoon) in the back cubby  talking crap, plotting to change the state of politics, gossiping, and generally raising our glasses to the  passing  of the day with the best of mates. 

The wine list was great, the food was some of Wellington's best and the series of mien hosts always convivial. 
It had the sort of small and intimate bar feel that will be hard to recreate in another location. 

We will keep you posted if there is a reincarnation in another location as suggested above

Thursday 15 April 2010


We have it from a very good source that the United States Government has asked the Australian
Government not to do anything stupid or rash about taking Japan to the
International Court of Justice in the Hague.

 There is a meeting in Washington DC this week to discuss the compromise
option being put forward. We have  attached the compromise where it currently
stands at present, and Japan's statement on this. These can be found on the
IWC website:

The International Whaling Commission will work cooperatively to improve the conservation and management of whale populations and stocks on a scientific basis and through agreed policy measures. By improving our knowledge of whales, their environment and the multiple threats they face, the Commission will strive to ensure that whale populations are healthy and resilient components of the marine environment

So here is the report

Support Group Report                                                            

and the Japanese  position


The stakes are high and its not about whales - its about trade. Silly Pete Bethune.


While we know we have had a strange effect on some men  - we have never had an effect on them like this. 

We think he has to  play tinky wink with the rabbits gonads or girly bits  to get them to do this.. How do we know that?  


And just when you think it couldn't get any stranger - a couple of crims avoided capture by dressing up as sheep... 
true ....   baaad behaviour... 

Wednesday 14 April 2010


This is very cute.....from mashable


Public - private partnership prisons - perfick!

All the bleeding hearts will be wailing and weeping over this . However  Greg Newbold is absolutely correct.Success will be  largely driven by the robustness of the contract. 

Something we have always supported and the reason that Judith Collins is one of our fav Ministers. Great stuff.

Tuesday 13 April 2010


This is  the noise we will hear at the muttonbird islands every night. You get used to it. It mainly occurs in the evening and the morning  as the parent bids communicate with the chicks. For the record we do not eat the eggs. Muttonbirds only lay one.  We harvest the chicks at night. This video, apart from the the error about eating eggs is cool. Sort of an avian Blair Witch project. 


A town in Malta is all a lather over the  impending visit of the Pope as he  heads there to hear claims about more sexual abuse by paedophile priests. Apparently there are 45 claims that  the island priests have preyed on kids. Meanwhile the towns Mayor is  worried what his Holier  Than Thouness will think about a big bit of pottery. 

The sculpture, which Mayor John Schembri described as "obscene" and "embarrassing", should be removed "as a sign of respect" for Pope Benedict XVI, he said.
"Colonna Mediterranea" (Mediteranean Column) is the work of ceramic artist and sculptor Paul Vella Critien and was installed on a roundabout at the entrance to the village of Luqa in January 2006.
Many residents of predominantly Catholic Malta have complained about the sculpture, which Critien describes as a modern three-dimensional representation of a symbol dating from ancient Egypt.

So instead of being disgusted in an institution that has tried to hide the vilest of crimes  -  they get  all pious about colourful big art work.  
Hell the Pope only has to look to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to see a few  willies. 

How could this possibly offend the Pope if he is not offended by the  predatory actions of his former peers? 

And you you want to read a truly artful study of Papal hypocrisy they take a peak of this at Salon 

Monday 12 April 2010


It appears that Masterton may provide a better sideshow to the main event on the Local Government election card  than Invercargill.   Georgina Beyers  is contemplating a tilt at the Masterton Mayoralty  and remember that Ron Mark has his eye on Carterton. 

despite the fact that Beyers is a ex Labour lacky  - she is all for amalgamation of the three Wairarapa councils.
Shit we might have to vote for her on that basis alone.


A GOOD UN.. We are done with Apples now.




In celebration of the WTO ban to over turn the Aussie ban on New Zealand apples heres some good recipe for Apples  . We have chose  aussie recipes because their apples are so bad that their recipe must be really good to make them taste good. 

Apple Crumble 


7 large green apples
1/2 cup caster sugar
1tsp cinnamon (ground)
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon (ground)
2 tsp nutmeg (ground)
2/3 cup butter (melted)
2 tsp vanilla essence

Preparation method

1.APPLE MIX ( seriously  use NZ  apples if you want a really good crumble!) 
2.Peel and core apples, then cut into rough 1-2cm cubes. Place apples in large saucepan and cover with water. Simmer covered with lid on high until apples are tender but not too soft (usually 5-10mins once water is simmering). Drain apples well and place in large bowl
3.Combine caster sugar and cinnamon (ensures even spread), then toss through the apples.
5.Combine flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl until evenly mixed through.
6.Melt butter (do not burn or boil it) and add vanilla essence to butter, stir through.
7.Add butter mix to dry ingredients and mix well using a fork. Ensure all ingredients are moist and mixture has a crumbly texture.
9.Place apple mix evenly in medium casserole dish. Spread crumble mix over top of apple. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-40minutes, or until crumble topping is slightly browned.
10.Serve with vanilla icecream, cream, or custard and ENJOY!


1-1/2 cups chilled applesauce
finely grated peel of (1) orange
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. whipped cream
candied orange peel

In a large bowl, stir applesauce with peel and vanilla until well blended. In a seperate bowl beat whipped cream, until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold cream into applesauce mixture. Serve with candied orange peel. Serves 4 * applesauce works best when chilled * Simple to make .... and very good !


2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/3 c. cooking oil
3 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
3 c. apples, chopped
1 c. nuts

Mix ingredients thoroughly, folding in apples and nuts last. Turn into greased and floured pan (9 x 13 inches). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool, cut into squares.


1/2 stick butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk

Combine all ingredients into a boiler. Boil for 1 minute. Spread on hot cake.

and apparently this apple chutney goes well with grilled kangaroo

  • Green Pepper & Apple Relish

  • 500g green pepper, stem core removed, chopped

  • 250g green apples, cored and sliced

  • 40g peeled fresh ginger, minced

  • 12g peeled garlic, minced

  • 1 green Serrano chili, sliced

  • 250g sugar

  • 100ml cider vinegar

  • 25ml aged red wine vinegar

  • 40ml fish sauce

  • Place the green peppers, apples, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process until the size of lentils.
    Combine with all of the other ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
    Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the relish is glossy, thick, and delicious, about 45 minutes. Refrigerate until needed

  • Sunday 11 April 2010


    There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Whanau  Ora launch - the new way to get families off the poverty tread mill. 

    Now the above diagram is half crap and half sense. The Green segements  are the important bit. 

    There is still too much of a sense of entitlement within the ranks of Maori leaders for them to make much of a difference. Self reliance and and personal responsibility are not intrinsic Maori values otherwise we would not need Whanau ora. The reliance on the collective is part of the problem. 

    However we see much merit in a focus on the Whanau taking more responsibility for its own. and at the end of the day the families who are most in need  may eventually  benefit from a reconnection to their tribal roots but  a night class in computer literacy and nutrition could well provide more benefit. 

    Now for a start the one point that everyone does agree on is that there are a group of families through out the country who are in a hell  that many of us know little of. Sometimes of their own making sometimes not. Its about intergenerational dis-functionality, despair, hopelessness, and a life that is  nothing more than an existence and their existence is dependent on the state. 

    One of the issues has been the handout mentality that has been entrenched in our past socialist welfare system. The sense of  entitlement is deep rooted in the collective psyche of the poor and dare we say it Maori. 

    For us the most exciting things about Whanau Ora  is  that  government departments would finally be called on to work together. 

    Thats got to be a winner. 

    There has also been some cynicism over the level of funding  -- no new money  . Fantastic! That's great.  It means all the crock of shit programmes that have not provided any social payback can be canned. The new Minister  of Whanau Ora, Tariana Turia has the  various agency chief executives reporting direct to her and she will want progress quickly. 

    Thats  got to be music to the ears of all taxpayers and beneficiaries. 

    The bad things is that the way it is designed could lead to the possibility of misuse funds as it relies on a measure of ' bulk funding.'

    However the solutions are not going to be simple and sadly the changes will not happen overnight. We just hope that the groups who have been selected to roll out the first wave of Whanau Ora  realise that there is an awful lot riding one some pretty quick and demonstrable outcomes from this policy change.  So when the government departments don't deliver,   the - in the field providers, shoud have an open line direct to  the Minister so she will be able to tell  the Chief executives  in no uncertain terms to sort out their departmental deficiencies. 

    It is a lot to expect people who don't make decisions about their existence to suddenly make the psychological shift to self determination and in the end nothing will be achieved unless the individuals and whanau take responsiblity for their lives. However we  believe that there are some very good providers out there , who with the freedom to do things their way and the ability to  make government departments deliver for their clients will see Whanau Ora become a reality. 


    We will be keeping a close eye on what is shaping up to be the second most interesting mayoral battle  in the country. 

    It's the one between  Tim  Shadbolt and Suzanne Prentice.  We have never liked Shadbolt that much  - He has  done some good for the south though - his constant attention seeking has meant that the South has enjoyed a reasonable media profile. 
    After all Tim is famous for being famous. 

    Suzanne is a business woman who also knows the art of  promotion and  her first foray into local body politics as a sitting member of the Invercargill Licensing Trust has obviously whetted her appetite for a wack at the Southern Local body crown. 

    The South, despite its conservative streak, has been kind to women local body aspirants. They voted in Eve Poole , one of the best and most formidible Mayors of Invercargill and ex kindy teach Frana Cardno has become, as Southalnd District Councils Mayor of long standing, its best cheeleader. 

    So Suzanne's tilt will come as no surprise. She is independently wealthy enough that the job is not about the money  - for her it will be about making a difference.

    Its a different story for Shadbolt though - the best he can do is go back to pouring concrete. He has never done much else  - He is humourous enough that perhaps he can do the country pub circuit and spin a few yarns but thats about it. 

    So for him, he has everything to lose.  He isn't above fighting dirty and and he has made some very significant enemies in the south. 

    The ex driving instructor Neil Boniface  and current deputy Mayor is the other possible contender for the Mayoral chains and there is no love lost between he and Shadbolt. He is also a career politician. He is a nice enough bloke but not Mayoral material. 

    So our money is on Suzanne. She is a sensible, smart  savvy and loves Southland.  Just what the South needs . 

    Thursday 8 April 2010


    We cant claim to watch breakfast TV. Occasionally we will take a peek at the news at the top of the hour on TV1 but Oliver Driver was always too smarmy for us. 

    Paul Henry's irreverence fits us well. 

    So we did not even blink when TV3 Sunrise programme got the chop today. TV3 is in the business to make a profit - not to aid our early morning digestion. 

    And then we flick over to the Eye to the Long Run Blog  by economist and irreverent cynic Brent Wheeler. 

    He says what we wanted to only better. 

    Now “Sunrise” – apparently a commercial disaster – falls. But we have a Canterbury University media academic commentator saying…. well with the “owner” being Iron bridge (a private equity group) as owners, we cannot expect a decent owners interest in news…. these guys are only after profits.
    So what do you want in a business????? Profit is utterly neutral. It has no interest in left, right or centre…. it ought to be the ultimate owner.
    Bad case of be careful what you wish for.

    THE BOB's

    We had lunch today with the BOBs. - The Bad Old Bastards club. Trader Jack , Te Thorpe and Alister Holden and some young whipper snapper called Murray B who rents stuff to an awful lot of people and organisations here there and every where. And of course the grandson of Te Thorpe   - Thorpe the 3rd.
    Alister  and Trader ( Jack Cooper )  have both been well known Wellington publicans in their day.  Alister had the Cricketers Arms and Trader had the St George and the infamous 1860.

    The gathering was at the Boulcott Street Bistro and what a fine occasion it was. It has been 30 years since the Trader had darkened the door and then the place was known as Plimmer House.

    The food was spectacular - it was easy to to see the Rex Morgan touch - we have have long since regarded him as the master of meat and todays steak clearly showed that when it comes to offering up a good bit of boeuf - he is king in the kitchen. Trader, who has spent far too much time in the tropics  - reckoned  his pork belly was very fine indeed. Starters were also exquisite -  most had squid but we had salmon. It was all smokey without a trace of bitterness and the celeriac will have us heading to Kings seeds next season to grow  our own.

    We supped on a Urlar pinot gris from Gladstone . For a start it shocked  the palates of some but soon we all fell in love with its  rich complexity. Its all we drank and drank and drank.
    Desserts were sublime  - mine was a rhubarb crumble in such a teeny tiny wee pot that it hardly seemed sinful at all. Trader and Te Thorpe  dined on  some exquisite cheeses which included a roquefort that was nastier than an unpaid dirty girl. And it smelled like one as well. Al had a line up of plump profiteroles pregant with cream all set about with chocolate. Trader inhaled one and Al hoovered up the rest before Trader could get another  look in.

    It was a fine day, fine food-  great wine and great stories from some great Bad old Bastards.

    And lucky  old us - the boys picked up the very sizeable cheque...

    Wednesday 7 April 2010


    We have been waiting for the Bill Liu court case to come up. Keeping Stock has good roundup here

    Definitely a story to watch.


    We share our muttonbird island with these smelly noisy beautiful majestic big buggers. They live in the bush as much as on the beach and will literally scare the crap out of you if you come across them in the dark. On land they are very aggressive. At sea they play. We have hand fed them mussels from a rock - they are highly intelligent and an endless source of amusement. They can clean out a gill net full with about 20 green bone in a matter of minutes. Video courtesy of Stewart Island Helicopters