Category Archives: Travel

Holiday times Ah, let’s let the hair down, escape to the country, see the wildlife, the fish and the fowl. Even time for the hair of the dog if you’re feeling a bit on the seedy side.

A Nest Of One’s Own.

We had all grown weary of the madding crowd,
Of the Apples pings, the Samsungs same old song,
The constant city clamouring had grown too loud,
We knew we’d been cooped up here far too long.

So we sought out a quiet country retreat,
Time, time to leave the big brash city behind,
To just chill, to swill a Sauvignon sooo sweet,
One to wash the city’s cares from one’s mind.

At the Te Kopura lodge we quietly took in the scenery,
The birds and the bees, the boat shed, the duck pond,
A haven of sweet silence, an oasis of lush greenery,
Glass in hand, down to the tinkling waters we swanned.

What dark apparition we found we had stirred
Up in the quiet backwaters of the Wairarapa?
This was one mightily ruffled honking big bird,
A black swan that thinks it’s a bloody snapper.

I blame that hissy pissed-off overly-territorial swan
For my spilling my fave Sav, sadly reducing me to Shiraz,
That swan done put me sat down plumb on my sit-upon
As I hastily backed away to land heavily on- the grass.

Still, at suppertime as I pecked at the chicken roast
I felt the need to stand, to raise my elbow from the bar,
And to the fine company gathered I offered up my toast;
‘To fine wine, fine food, to scrambled eggs and foie gras.’

When it comes to travel and music, look for that driving beat, something that doesn’t drive you crazy.

Hit It Off.

We’d take in a long road trip getting to our holiday destination
So we settled back after settling on the good old Oldies station,
On cruise control we hummed along, signal clear and loud and strong,
Golden oldies, transported back to the old days for which we long.

But on this long trip, something felt strange indeed,
Today our treasured songs sounded somewhat hackneyed,
Every song they played we’d heard many times before,
All too soon my partner in harmony started to snore.

I heard the Eagles reiterate their Californian lament
And just as I thought they’d never leave, they went,
Up until now I’d found them soothingly appealing,
Two songs later I’d lost that peaceful easy feeling.

On the hour I was treated to the best of Fleetwwod Mac,
Six of the best (and the rest) back to back to back,
Ten minutes later and again, the Eagles were checkin’ in,
Now those turkeys welcome was beginin’ to wear thin.

But so long as as my beloved lay a’lolling in her seat
I vowed to listen to whatever sins songs they’d repeat,
‘Tween that and the snoring from my sweet somnolent wife
I spent the most boring day I’ve ever heard in my life.

I swear I’d hand Mephistopheles my tarnished soul
To save me hearing another tinkling trill by Billy Joel,
I’m so over the tragedys of ‘Staying Alive’ and ‘Jive Talking’
-Anything in the catalogue of adenoidal Bee Gees squawking.

Back then, this guy was the most avid champion of Queen,
Now, let’s say this fan of flamboyant Freddie is a has-been,
All that Rhapsodic bombast- oh, and on that histrionic note
I’d love to cram Meatloaf’s every last word down his throat.

Let’s not forget the gals, like the countrified poppy Shania Twain
And her patented line-dancing toons that tap deep into your brain,
And once I loved the pitch and depth in that song by Celine Dione…
But now, couldn’t she just Jack it in, and not go on and on and on…

I drove on, the sun shone on, morning dragged into the afternoon,
Every familiar song had me hope my darling would wake up- soon,
As the miles and day wore on my sore eyes and ears began burning;
More Fleetwood Mac- or a dodgy Big Mac- set my stomach churning.

At sunset I heard a yawn and saw my sleeping beauty had awoken,
At last, along with her spell, my unwanted record could be broken,
Off went the radio, and to say the silence was awkward wasn’t wrong;
So much for happy trails, reminiscences, and a jolly good ol’ singalong

Notre Dame, you’ll be the ruination of me. Consider this a rather un-PC silly and frivolous french folly.

Merde Feu.

What a damnable shame,
Seeing grand old Notre Dame
Fired up and aflame.

Due to the fire
The ol’ Dame does require
A bigger better spire.

When the roof fell
It left Gods glorious citadel
Blazing like merry Hell.

With the roofs falling
The conflagration became, frankly appalling,
For the French, galling.

Above the gathering crowd
Arose a bitter Gauloises cloud-
Smoking oughtn’t be allowed.

One man, eyes a’stinging,
Amongst klaxons blaring, bells a’ringing,
Stands hunched, hands a’wringing.

Travel the world, broaden your horizons, but above all respect other countries customs.

Touch Down.

We deboarded blearily upon our belated arrival at LAX,
We wearily complied with Customs and Security checks,
I regret to say I might not have been at my diplomatic best
By asking the flunky why he treated me as an unwelcome guest?

He took much umbrage with my query, but that’s not all he took,
I lost my dignity when he gave me more than a searching look,
It’s been an uncomfortable welcome to the land of the free;
All that poking and probing don’t sit too easily with me.

Air New Zealand, venerated around the world, look at their own back yard. After years of sky-high pricing, NOW they’re slashing prices! Too many aircraft, too few bums on seats and suddenly Mike Tod the Munificent discovers they have the capacity to be caring?

Fickle And Flighty.

To our quiet, little visited and far flung town
Air New Zealand are back, bringing fares down.

What could have caused this touching turnaround?

As financial clouds darken Air New Zealand’s sky
The word comes down from Almighty Tod on high-

Tod’s pitch takes on that familiar whining sound-

‘Cute little destinations we’d dropped when it suited
Will be reviewed, revisited and profitably rerouted,

It’s past time to retread long forgotten fallow ground

And high time we gave Heartland New Zealand a fair fare.’
Odd, Tod, till profits went down you wouldn’t go there.

Who knew in his corporate chest a heart could be found?

Another time, another place. Music and photos bring you right back, don’t they?

Frank, David, Gabrielle And Rose, Et Al.

In a forgotten corner, discarded in dusty disarray
Lies a vast array of CDs I treasured back in the day,
Stacks of musty relics that don’t spin me any more
Since I transferred my allegiance to the iTunes store.

The living room expanded by two more precious feet
As I boxed up and labelled the old, odd and obsolete,
There were a few whimsical purchases to our collection
And so Shaggy went the same sad way as One Direction.

As I put Kylie and Right Said Fred in their rightful place
An old photo slipped out from ‘tween a plastic case,
And there I saw the face of my father, gone so long,
And in a trice ‘Too Sexy’ became a trite sad little song.

And I recall our holiday to Yosemite and that stop at Sonora,
Dad, me ‘n’ the kids packed in the back of the black Explorer,
Pouring out of the air-conditioned cool into the discomfiting heat,
The pool at the Gold Lodge offered a cool welcoming retreat.

Oh, I saw Dad in the shadows, sheltering from the sun and spray
As silly-ass sons numbers two and three and kids splashed away,
I only wonder now, as I look back on the best of Dads vacations
If I saw a twinkle in the eye of the oldest of three generations?

Ah yes, the joys of travel. Off to strange lands, to see culture at its best. (Inspired by a blog on Bonnywood Manor/WordPress- Present Tense-#9 (and our trip to Old Scotland that had a few similarities.)

A Breath Of Fresh Air.

It was wonderful to depart the plane in Spain
After a flight at the height of the tourist season,
Yes, it seems I’ve picked up the travel bug again-
Ten hours of recirculated air would be the reason.

I thought all would be well once at the hotel
But upon arrival, well, sadly I was not,
So I laid my heavy head on the pillow a spell
Awaking to find no piffling sniffle, this was snot.

No, no not for me a sick bed holiday,
I was dying to see the Medieval sites,
Down the cobbled streets I made my sway,
To climb to the castles rarefied heights.

Thus we began the now-historic climb;
Those first steps were hewn by a craftsman;
Higher up steps were taken to cut the time,
Carved by ‘prentice or cut-price artisan.

No miss-step was quite the same,
Some a stretch, some one leapt up;
Any stonemason worthy of the name
Surely should’ve looked, then stepped up?

At every switchback, at every frikkin’ fork
I’d clutch my ribs and cough and blow,
Down every declivity I’d hack and hawk.
My apologies and sympathies to those below.

But I’d climb my Everest of a mountain
Though snot ran in an unending stream,
At a thousand steps and still countin’
It became more nightmare than tourists dream.

Ah, but when one steps upon the crest-
Oh, the view is quite breath-taking,
I clasped my hands to my breast-
It’s a heart attack in the making.