fair enough.

And part of the joy of blogging is the endless coffees, no?


told you … there I was, quietly pecking away at the keyboard when the wee bubble of thought in the back of the miasma is that is an over-heated and overactive wannabe mind finally reached the surface and went BLOOP into my attention.

Hadn’t I … didn’t I? Put the coffee on recently—like about too long ago?


Let me not digress—other than the occasional lattés in town, I stay away from coffee machines. The nearest this old poseur comes to mechanised coffee is a percolator.

My home-brew of choice comes courtesy of the notorious French Press (did the Americans ever call it a ‘Liberty’ press?) (In a national fit of pique their so called French fries were renamed ‘liberty fries’ — the gustatorial equivalent of picking up your bat, ball, and glove and bimbling off home in a fit of petulance when they wouldn’t make you captain) … but I digress:

I sometimes stray into using a mini moka pot, which often looks like this. Mine certainly …


But now it looks like this—


—which I think is quite artistic. Accidental art? Spontaneous enough to be an unconscious abstract?

Or not—to me it looks more like a petulant Daffy Duck.

Anyway, I now know to never again leave my moka unattended (yes, I do have another one.) (Not so very long ago I had two …)


The Spouse was out at the time. And I discovered with great delight that the aluminium had dribbled down through the coils of the element without becoming one with them. Even more better, no damage to the stove at all. The major leftover parts of the pot went out the window to cool off, but once I’d separated it I kept the above to serve in the office (of and as) a paperweight.

And as a practical aide memoire: to remind me that blogging is serious fun but coffee is best drunk, rather than wasted as aluminium flavoured burnt steam …

I knew I always preferred French Press—



now getting used to cold treacly coffee …



WPC: Local

Springtime down here is


—right now but still pretty darn chilly in the park. So be warned, I love making everyone’s day a little more surreal whenever I can … especially when meeting The Challenge. I hope.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 08.46.57.png

A bug.

So? He’s a local yokel and the closer I got the bigger he got. Patient little guy, I ended up almost about to push him off the leaf but he stood there like a good one. That particular shot didn’t turn out so I moved on; I swear I heard a buggy sigh of relief …

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 08.43.44.png

Don’t spend too long on this image.

It wasn’t intended to be anything special—I was hoping to home in for a closer shot but as always something disrupted the best laid spontaneous plans of ol’ Argus, namely—

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 08.44.09.png

—this little guy.

Don’t growl, whatever else is in focus baby ducks never are. They are born out of focus, dammit—must be something to do with all the fuzz; honestly it’d get any photographer down or is it just a local phenomano  phenomomo  quirk of location?

As for the ship—she’ll beat up for more, by thunder!*




* Totally irrelevant quote from RLS (Treasure Island) but I couldn’t resist …

Weekly Photo Challenge:


which if you’re British makes one think nostalgically of a way of life now almost extinct: the friendly and intimate neighbourhood pub. Failing that and half a world away, here’s yer friendly local “southernmost in the world” Starbucks. Franchised or not, this one is actually comfortable and (despite some SB experiences elsewhere) purveys good coffee—

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 09.07.58.png

—Invercargill’s answer to the despised (hoick, spit!) Auckland sophistication. Moving on, lest my cynicism show—


an oasis of green, and for the nonce some olde worlde charm. It won’t last, the park management seems determined to remove any and all trees; but for you tree huggers right now—

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 09.05.44.png

—a guardian of the approaches. You can approach these guys but warily, despite the Olaf-like “I love warm hugs!” soft and fluffy street appeal. Soft and fluffy … not. Each of those spears is a blade as hard as copper and as sharp as steel and as pointed as a needle.

Moving briskly by, we approach the local museum—

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 08.56.00.png

—in whose car park local cars have been locally parked by local locals. And now, in front thereof and using an antique effect, here’s an antique mailbox.

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 09.01.10.png

I used to think it was just a bit of decorational whimsy but watching a whistling mailman emptying it the other day I guess there’s sufficient whimsical tourists to keep it in commission. The mail went into his bag and the apple cores into that wee garden with the anchors—


—that were salvaged from shipwrecks a century or more back. Lovely old things if you like rusty iron, I found one of them just nicely placed to shoot a Roman variant of an ancient Greek goddess who used to perch atop a local insurance building downtown.


I don’t know if I’ve posted this before—it’s the mascot of The Cheeky LLama, a coffee lodge in Queens Park. Nice people, good coffee and oodles popular; but they know me now and usually my brew is waiting for me on the counter by the time I reach the front—

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 08.52.43.png

And they call me ‘Darling’ …



Which some would call a bit


but who would I be to cast asparagus upon the choosers of The Challenge?

H2O is of course water. From memory that complex formula means two atoms of hydrogen to one of oxygen, giving us a very powerful solvent. (And bet  you thort I were dum, no?)

So here’s yer water as a gas. Not gas? Okay, as a vapour then—


—taken the other day in town while I was in a holding pattern awaiting the delicate fairy-footsteps of my beloved Spouse. I remembered reading somewhere that a small cute fluffy little cumulous weighs about ten thousand tons—the beast before your eyes here was neither small nor cute; and I guesstimated it must weigh … oodles and oodles of tons.


they stop being clouds and precipitate into precipitation they sometimes collect into little rivers and swarm down main street, which is why the city council folks install drains and stuff all over the place; which leads me nicely to this drain which I snapped some minutes prior to walking around in small circles awaiting my aforementioned damsel—


It appeared to my jaundiced eye that some klutz may have had an accident with a huge bag of polystyrene beads. Luckily beads flow to the nearest low point too; I was sorely tempted to gather some but in all honesty I’d paid two bucks a bag for two bags just last week at a local Op Shoppe. Free beads would have devalued my holdings, so I didn’t. (Hah! And they call me dum~!)

That same morning

I’d got up early to drive to town to catch the golden sunlight beaming across fields and stuff before ricocheting from the serene surface to light up some distant pink spring blossoms—


—and in accordance with the law that makes it compulsory for any dropped slice of bread and butter to always land butter side down, I didn’t get me snap ‘cos of foggy mist. Misty fog. Bugger, advection moisture fallout …

I shot a few snaps but the mists didn’t clear enough to score what I’d envisioned so I went home and dragged The Spouse off to town. Funny, coming back the fog and mists had cleared, but The Spouse whimpers if I remove a camera from concealed carry so I made a mental note. Words to the effect: “Next year”. Yeah, right …


here you get your H2O both in embryonic form and as it looks post delivery, but stacked up in the ready-use positions:


—and H2O also comes in the prepackaged deep frozen form, looking larger than human on the frozen hills—


There! Is that wet, or what?

Challenge met … I hope …





WPC: Quest


Actually … liberties, plural (I tend to take ’em all the time).

So here’s your first, a saddened cynical look at the ages-old Quest for immortality

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 08.47.28.png

—be it physical, spiritual, or simply within living memory. The Winton cemetery is kept well mown (and fairly well de-rubbished) but I guess maintenance of individual graves and things is left to the survivors for as long as they too shall last.

After that, the Hero of the past becomes just a name on a slab (and even that loses lustre in the fashions of the times)—

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 08.15.42.png


Just look at those rifles—state of the art in their time—they wouldn’t pass muster today even as rabbit weapons. No magazines anyway (artistic licence?).

Immortal glory … do you remember those glorious immortals of the great Battle of the Pass? The 300 Spartans whose name liveth (forgive lithp) for ever more? Most folks do remember Thermopylae, but who can name any of the Spartans*?  So how about instead—


which in nature is an ongoing affair. Very few animals plough, sow, reap, hoe (some bugs do though) (sort of) which means the quest for a full beak is also eternal.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 08.49.38.png

I shot this QT from above, she was intent on beating against a strong current and I was intent on shooting her efforts. Sadly I was completely out of goodies or she would have been rewarded … possibly just as well because any she missed she might have turned back for (and then would have to spend more calories simply catching up again than she’d have scored).

SO, a quest for JOURNALISM?

Who didn’t marvel at those eyes, I ask, when first ’twas published? And who didn’t wonder whatever happened to the wee lassie? (Not me.)(I never gave her a thought until I came across this update)—

those eyes.png

—and here she be again. According to Nat Geog that’s her, right enough.

You know, it never occurred to me that anyone might go on a quest to relocate her, but there ya go …


to find the world’s very best farming practises.

First let me set the scene:

often on my walks I like to pass through Winton and hoof on out to their golfing course and beyond. Along the road there used to be a wee line of beautiful young oaks, and in season I’d gather a few acorns for The Spouse (she’s an artist).

The last time I walked by there I discovered that those gorgeous young oaks were now less than half their previous height, they’d been expertly pruned by some arboreal husbanding genius’s delicate touch.

One has but to admire the precision—

prune 2.png

—and the artistry, delicacy, and craftsmanship of the oaf horticulturalist concerned.

prune 1.png

And that is how we do things down here: damn the torpedoes! Full ahead both! Yeah …

There were several dozen such survivors but I don’t think they’ll ever amount to much now (if anyone wants I can go on a quest to capture more shots like these?).

Yep. Here in Southland we have the world’s best farmers, tree trimmers, rugby players, most svelte battle-maidens women … you name it, we have it all. But—

—but I’m now going on a self-imposed quest to find a modest Southlander.

mod dog.png

The only genuinely modest Southlander

A real challenge; I fear the cruise may be a long one. Don’t wait up.


* Other than the commander, of course



open, honest, and sometimes acerbic commentary: may I draw your attention to my more forthright blog “Cassandric”.

I created it to replace one of my others (Forestall). Forestall tried to say what I think but kept running into very lengthy screeds—so I popped it off and replaced it with Cassandric. I try (and sometimes fail) to keep Cassandric under three hundred words.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 21.28.31

So if you want to pop over for a quick look (or to stay) you’re very welcome:


CASSANDRIC    click <—— there and explore. Or not.


But please: ‘Follow’ only if you really want to—no more ‘spam’ followers. (And no, I won’t trade—I don’t play “I’ll follow you if you’ll follow me”.)


though—if you want reinforcement of contemporary ‘group-think’, or if you want PC (politically correct stuff), or if my opinions of beliefs (there’s thousands of them, all the One True Path …) offend: don’t go there.

Your call …



WPC: Rare 2

When it comes to honouring the deceased it’s rare indeed sometimes to find absolute honesty.

And yet … it happens—


—such candour is refreshing indeed.

(Wow … only another 46 to go, and this rediscovered ‘Drafts’ folder will be empty.)