While losing is heartbreaking losing your sense of worth or excellence is tragic

This morning I sent the quote above to my Dragon boys – yes they got beaten by those slippery Parramatta Eels.  While I am sure it didn’t offer them very much comfort,  I do like the sentiment expressed.  Losing sucks but it sure doesn’t negate the effort, the sheer athleticism and the sacrifices that have to be made to perform week after week at that level.

There NattyBugle has spoken, and  those keyboard warriors that are giving them a hard time can go to hell.

Also on my go to hell list

  • The National Government – stop lying and trying to blame Labour for the Saudi Sheep bribes debacle.  Show us the documents that apparently prove why all those millions of dollars had to be paid.  And while I am at it, stop making it so hard for Auckland.  Support Auckland city by passing the legislation so they can have affordable housing and transport – and by the way trying to steal land from Ngati Whatua is not cool.
  • New Zealand Herald – big headlines that say how are rates are going up by a gazillion because the Long Term Plan has been passed, don’t help the quality of debate, and you were lying anyway
  • Creepy politicians who are obsessed with the sexual behaviour of others, and then can’t help behaving badly themselves.  Yes Colin Craig I am talking about you

Right that is the Natty Rant out of the way.  Hey I am nearly 50 I am allowed my curmudgeonly moments.

I have so many great things to Rave about

  • A great win to the Warriors against the Raiders.  One of the advantages of having two teams is while there can be double the heartbreak, you do have a good chance of one of them going ok
  • Another 10k run done and dusted, and in 57.31 minutes.  This time it was just up the road at Western Springs, so Brett and Billie came to be my support team.  Brett was great, Billie was a bit meh.  As far as she was concerned there was no point people going running past her while she was having to be a good girl and sit
  • I got to go to a lovely birthday party on Saturday night, for my good friend Carmel.  What I particularly enjoyed about the party was that everyone there loves her as much as I do, and so they should
  • Okahukura Lodge is going really well.  Thanks to the mad genius that is Brett, we have come up with a place that people enjoy staying at, and they are really respectful of the place.  It is such a nice feeling when something you have planned and worked towards comes out as you expected
  • I went to an awesome headstand yoga class at The Centre in Kingsland with such an amazing and interesting group of women.  I was not very good at the headstand it is true, but I learned heaps.  And afterwards we got to sit around drink cups of herbal tea and smoothies and eat the most delicious sweet treats from the Little Bird bakery that is downstairs.  Seriously worth the pain and humiliation of not able to kick those legs over your head                  http://www.the-centre.co.nz/
  • Although it was freezing this week, in Tamaki Makaurau, we have had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  And I managed to get some really nice photos of the city at about 7am.  So pretty
    Sky Tower at 7am
    Sky Tower at 7am
    Rangitoto from Wynyard Wharf

    Harbour Bridge
    Harbour Bridge future home of the Sky Path
  • I am also lucky enough to have such lovely and tolerant colleagues who are ok with me bringing Billie into work once a week.  Sometimes more especially if it is cold.  On Wednesday the only way she felt she could get properly warm was by lying as close to the heater as possible.  Unfortunately that did mean from time to time the aroma of singed dog hair would permeate around the office – not nice, trust
Hot Dog aka Stinky Dog

Another week has flown by, see I told you I am getting old.  Isn’t that what old people say? 🙂

Anyway I am looking forward to the coming week, Sister Julie will be visiting from Sydney Australia, we are going to see the comedian Beth Stelling perform, and I will continue to work on the inspirational tweet that will get my Dragons over the line.


Happy Matariki

Obviously it was always going to be difficult to top a week that had me going to most boring awards night ever and discovering Spotify and Uber.   but I don’t think I did too badly.

Missy Isla Brett’s and by default my grand daughter turned one this week.  She is a happy and healthy little monkey, with very loving and capable parents, doting grandparents and a crazy aunty who can’t wait to take her on excursions.  All little people should all be so lucky and loved.

And maybe I am just a little bit pleased and proud to get smiles and cuddles

me and Missy Isla

Officially with the shortest day having just occurring we should be in the middle of winter, but we all know that is rubbish.  Winter is just starting.  I actually found a wonderful diagram to illustrate this perfectly.

It is called A Realistic Calendar for Wellington New Zealand, but it isn’t too off the mark for Auckland.  Particularly Sep to Dec.

Wellington Calendar

Thank you Hello this is Amy @amyherself for the image.

There really has been some shocking weather in the lower North Island this weekend.  It must be so miserable to be cold and wet and having to deal with a flooded house.  I know there are still plenty of people who deny climate change is occurring, but if the Pope can announce shit is getting real about this stuff.  It might be time to pay a bit of attention.  How awful would it be if little Isla grew up and wasn’t able to experience a weekend in Whanganui because half of it had washed away.  It just doesn’t bear thinking about.

A special shout out to my dear readers in the Manawatu, I do hope you are managing to keep dry and warm and have not run out of essential supplies like coffee, sweet treats or tonic.

Another momentous event this week is Sister Julie left her role as customer experience manager for 12WBT.  She did a fantastic job there, and it is obvious from the Facebook posts from her staff she was deservedly loved and really made a difference.

I mention this because thanks to Sister Julie getting her role at 12WBT, the great program and her supportive team.   I have made huge lifestyle changes.  I will always be susceptible to the couch, salt and vinegar chippies and alcoholic beverages.  But I will also now get my sorry arse out of bed in the morning and go for a run, or go to the gym.

I cannot speak highly enough about the benefits of regular exercise and a bit of mindfulness in the nutrition department.  Not just physically but mentally as well.  Making positive changes isn’t always easy (well not for me anyway)  But knowing that Sister Julie and her awesome crew had my back really made a difference.  I can’t thank you enough.  Next Sunday I am going to a yoga class on perfecting your hand and headstand.  Can I  just say the Natty of two years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this.  Brett is just bracing himself for more party trick demonstrations of me trying to do a headstand after a couple of gins #notpretty #notgraceful

I discovered an interesting website this week.  Thank you Kim Hill for interviewing Ross Ashcroft and bringing to my attention Renegade Inc.



Sometimes I feel that the economic path we are following is the only one that exists and we will continue to go down the path of the poor getting poorer, and the rich getting richer.  And to be honest that scares the bejeezus out of me.  But Ross spoke very eloquently about the need for change, a new economic model,  how young people are getting this and why rising house prices are killing the art of conversation.

Now for the League – Anne you can avert your eyes.

The Warriors had a great win against the Titans on the Gold Coast last night.  My cousin Brenda actually went to this game.  Here is her review Umm ’twas different and cold.  Now maybe she is not the greatest sports follower in the world, but I think she has summed up watching the Warriors quite well.  It is often cold (Mt Smart in the afternoon when the sun goes down anyone?) and one of the joys of being a Warriors fan is, it is always different and heart stopping.  She just missed out super exciting and fun.  Next time Brenda.

My Dragons had a bye last week, so hopefully they will be well rested and ready to go against the Roosters on Monday night.  The good news is Jason Nightingale and Will Matthews have agreed to respective two-year contract extensions which will see both remain at the Club until at least the end of the 2017 season.

Jason plays for the Kiwis, knows his Te Reo and has a wonderful calm presence about him.  There were rumours he would sign with the Warriors.  Good news for the Dragons but I think he would have been great at the Warriors too.  Will is playing really well this year, and it is great he will be staying on.

Oh and do I happen to have photos of myself with these two nice gentlemen.  Well since you asked, maybe I do.

Jason and me

Too funny when I showed this photo I did say to Mum I was so thrilled to get my photo taken with Jason.  She said that was obvious, but was Jason as thrilled?


Here is young Will, as I said he has played really well.  I may have been pleased to get my photo taken with him as well.

Good luck against the Roosters, Dragons.  Don’t give them anything to crow about.

And finally if you are having a rough day or week, may your song come on and make everything a little bit better


Clarification and Corrections

Sometimes you click publish on WordPress and then you realise that maybe you could have made things a bit clearer or you didn’t have all the information to hand.  Anyway after yesterday’s blog I realised that I didn’t actually explain why I was stalking Mike McRoberts.  Believe it or not I do have some criteria.  Mr McRoberts is on my stalkee list because he is Mr Silver Fox and I really want to get a  photo of us rocking our do’s.  The closest I have come before is this – which isn’t really the same I will admit.

Silver Foxing It Up

Mum wrote Thanks for the Free Tickets Eric on her banner.  Sister Julie queued up with half the New Zealand population of Sydney to get the tickets which were for the game against the Roosters.  They were free to anyone with Kiwi passport.   Worth every cent.  And then Mum made Julie drive through the Eastern Suburbs with a Warriors flag flying out the back of the car.

I did say that Young Nat’s don’t count.  But on reflection, I think I am wrong  about that.  Any young people whe want to get involved with the democratic process should be encouraged.  It does scare me if you start off as a Young Nat how right wing you might end up by time you are 50.  But the thought of the majority of people not even bothering to vote or have opinions about our political process scares me more

I did not send the Warriors an inspirational tweet and now I feel really bad about it.

Winter is my least favourite season.

That is all

Natty Bugle Drinks, Reads and Stalks Men. So just a normal week really.

Kia Ora, no post last week.  I was actually waiting to see how my Dragons would go as I was starting to feel pretty confident about my magical inspirational tweet powers.  But Hubris bit my ass big time.  The Dragons got beaten by the Doggies and I felt just a bit too sad to put down any words.  I fear I may be coming a St George Tragic.  It is a known condition and is referred to on the excellent Ladies Who League blog.


One of the parts I particularly enjoyed in this post was Mary writing about making her banners.  A few years ago, Mum went over to Sydney to stay with Sister Julie when the Warriors were in the Semis, unfortunately I don’t remember all the details.  Sister Julie does vividly.  (FYI Sister Julie is not a Nun – although she does rock a habit, she is my sister, ok glad we sorted that out)

Mum invested a lot of time and effort in making the perfect banner.  Her first attempt got a bit of flack from opposition fans (she used the back of wallpaper – not good enough) so the following week she went all out.  Nek Minnit her, Cousin Richard Warrioring it up and her banner were getting picked up by the cameras.  Good times.

Anyway onwards and upwards, the Dragons have a bye this week.  They meet the Roosters next week.  Who hopefully will be beaten tonight by the Warriors.  The poor Warriors of course had to fly to Perth last week to get a hiding from the Bunnies.  All the best for tonight guys.  (I think I will send you a tweet, they work sometimes)

Many great things to focus on this week however.  For starters today is International Gin Day!!!!  I am so glad this lovely clear spirit gets a day all to itself.  As you may or may not know Natty Bugle is a bit partial to the occasional (ahem) G&T.  And not that I need a reason but I have found on the excellent Gin Monkey site 52 reasons to love gin and who am I to argue with that?  Number 7, who knew?


Coincidentally last night Brett and I attended the Property Council of New Zealand Property Industry Awards.  Yes it was just as exciting as the name would suggest.  But there were some highlights.

  • Rogue Society Gin had this awesome caravan and were serving gin cocktails.  Hooray.  It is probably just as well, I did not find this until the end of the evening.  But a very cute innovation, I think it would look fabulous at the Lodge

    My kind of caravan
    My kind of caravan
  • Bic Runga sang 3 songs, her voice is so lovely.  I had never seen her perform live before, but she was great.  And it wasn’t like she had a particularly easy crowd.  Put it this way if a killer virus hit the Vector Arena the well liquored white middle aged man population of NZ would taken a major hit
  • I got to try and stalk Mike McRoberts for a Silver Fox Selfie.  Unfortunately having survived the major world trouble spots as a journalist he knew enough evasive tactics to keep out of my way
  • Guy Williams entertained us as well and he was very funny, but quite nervous.  I saw his hands shaking.  I am pretty sure it wasn’t because he was so overwhelmed at getting to talk to Nick Smith
  • And finally I had a good time because it was a chance to get glammed up, eat and drink and spend a night out with my lovely husband.  So I can put up with a few tedious speeches for that.  And trust there was a bit of tedious going on

But a woman can’t live on gin alone.  On Wednesday night we went to the Metro Top 100 Wines tasting at Glengarrys.  This is a great way to try some different varieties or wines that you are too mean to buy and to talk to some of the wine makers and distributors.  I don’t know what it is (maybe I just had my wine glow on) but people in the New Zealand wine industry really do seem to be a nice friendly, genuine bunch.  And I would like to make it very clear that the reason I tried and enjoyed the Babich Irongate Chardonnay, had nothing to do with the fact the young man serving the wine had that lovely dark Dally look going on, and everything to do with I wanted to try a good Chardonnay.

I was also impressed with the

  • Framingham Gewurtztraminer (the Framingham crew were great and very generous with their servings – I may have spent a bit of time there, just to be friendly of course)
  • Tyrrell’s Stevens Semillon
  • Rutherglen Muscat
  • Leveret IQ Brut – this is a really good yeasty bubbles and a great price
  • Did I mention the Babich stand?

Another fun thing (for me) at the wine tasting was being able to meet Simon Wilson Metro editor.  Unlike Mike McRoberts he did not have enough field experience to escape me, so he was forced to smile and nod while I told him how much I appreciate and enjoy his work.  But I do regret not telling him how much I love his 10 Rules of Writing – because love them I do.  I don’t always do well with rules, but I really do find these inspirational.


I didn’t actually take any photos at the tasting.  Sometimes I do try to be in the moment as opposed to recording it – believe it or not.  However on my run that morning, I did get a nice snap of a sunrise at Coyle Park.  If you stop to take a photo during a run it doesn’t count as resting #nattyrules

Sunrise at Coyle Park
Sunrise at Coyle Park

It hasn’t all been alcohol and stalking men this week.  I did manage to discover 3 new apps.  That’s right, I might be nearly 50 but I am all down with this technology shit (we won’t mention the fact I still can’t get the tv to work without written instructions)

Clever Brett found the first one.  We have now joined the Spotify whanau.  I don’t know about you gentle readers but Mr Apple used to get a few of our hard earned dollars when we would purchase songs.  Particularly on weekends after a few wines, when you just had to buy that album then and there.  But now for $12 a month we can just go crazy musically, and needless to say yes we do.  Love it.

My second app is called Flossie.com Concierge.  Made by a New Zealand team.  It is basically an app that lets you search for local beauty services, their availability and make a booking all from your smart phone.  Very quick and easy.  Not something I will use very often, but ideal if you find out you are going to a very interesting Property Awards Dinner and you want/need some beautifying at the last minute.


My final app of the week is Uber.  I had obviously heard of it, but I was a bit dubious about the safety and reliability of online booking of private transport.  But after last night I am hooked.  It was a wet and cold Friday night in Auckland, and we couldn’t book a taxi.  In 10 minutes however, I was able to download the app and have us being driven in a nice Prius with a lovely driver called Michel.  And leaving Vector super easy and quick to find someone to take us home at a great rate.

The main reason I mention these apps is because I find it a bit freaky and clever and amazing (all at the same time) that you can see technology changing models of operating and behaviour so very quickly.  Lord knows what will be happening in 5-10 years time.  I am however pretty confident I still won’t know how to turn the tv on.

Finally I do want to make a shout out to some people whose work I appreciate this week.  Duncan Garner thank you for bringing attention to the plight of people in inadequate state housing.  Keep that up, and you might get a Natty stalking.  And this guy – White Man Behind a Desk.  Sometimes I despair, thinking young people have given up on politics (Young Nats don’t count ok)  But this guy is very funny and clever, and the Bollinger twins that produce these clips went to school with Lauren.  Kia Kaha Western Springs