Saturday, October 01, 2011

What life can afford to share

[Note: this post written a couple of days ago but due to internet issues in the Cook Islands I couldn't post it until now]

It's a fundamentally sad fact that we will all be forgotten.

Though we may strive to be good, and achieve much, even the most famous of us will eventually be known only by a few who have touched our lives. When they too are gone, only images or words may take their place, and they are a pale imitation of our true essence.

This tragedy is even more pronounced when the person remembered was afforded such a short life - her chance at life cut so short. How a father could take all that opportunity away in one moment of jealous rage is beyond my comprehension.

I can't begin to fully understand why this death has never left me. I cannot understand why I can still remember someone's image so clearly, as if from an old photograph. Yet, with may years gone now, I realize as a 9 year old boy - I really couldn't have know her at all.

I didn't know what to say or think when I saw her final resting place today. Thirty six years later my 70's color pallet has been bleached pale blue by time, yet the outline of her image is as strong as ever. I have to admit I was looking forward to some degree of closure - It was not to be as I had hoped.

About a year ago a cyclone ravaged the island, and sometime during the night the supported roof to her grave site had fallen over, and the headstone had toppled. Today, with the site obscured by the rusting corrugated iron roof, there were no visible signs that I was even at the right location.

Later I confirmed I was at the right house. I had to admit I was surprised that her brother didn't take the time to clear the damage, especially when some time back, he took the time to adopt a baby girl, taking Janice's name for her own. Perhaps in some way that child afforded him the opportunity to move on. I have to remind myself she really isn't here anymore and I really shouldn't worry.

More importantly I have to realize that this isn't about me.
I realize that life doesn't always allow you the chance to tie up all the loose ends, and get what you want. It's enough that I have finally found her, and that I have the opportunity to say hello again.

Although this part in the journey has been completed, I will never forget her as long as I live. Every time I come to this tropical paradise I will visit for a short while, and in that small way, at least in my memory, Janice Henry will live on.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Is that Tinnitus I hear

There is a silence in my home today.

If I listen very carefully I can almost head the sound of the sea, as you would if you held a seashell or glass to your ear.

My body aches, and my fingers are blistered from racing go-karts and swinging a golf club. My shoulders stiff for the same exact same reasons.

Yet through all this, I am content; for all this pain is a good pain - born of good things and good times.

There is nothing worse than the numb that proceeds a Sunday evening, and bleeds into a week of Mondays.

But none of this today - the quiet and ache sustains me, and all is well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've been a month in my new job, but I keep getting pulled back into my old position, as a part of a "hit squad" looking into various high profile customer issues. It's frustrating, as I'm trying to start a new position knowing nothing - relying on the kindness of the people in my new team, but at the same time it's also nice to be seen as someone who can be brought in at the eleventh hour to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

I was taught by an amazing tech who was so anal retentive that after he fixed a fault he'd always put the old broken part back in to make sure he could fault it again. Although I always hated that last step, I now see it has shaped my technical career to a point I find it incredibly hard to work on issues with people who wont take a logical approach. This week I've been working with two guys that have been all over the place - it hasn't been easy. I have tried really hard, but on at least one occasion I have been rather terse with a manager who I have no time for - He slaps me on the back and laughs while I think of possible shallow grave locations.. not good.

But through this all we have surprisingly made some progress. There is still some work to do, but I guess if you get an infinite number of moneys working at typewriters you'll eventually get a play by Shakespeare. :)

If you want to keep in touch feel free to look at my twitter and tumblr feed. I find the limitation of characters an enjoyable challenge, and as a plus there's less there from me about never being loved, or one day being found dead (6 months late) in a council flat. And that can't be a bad thing :)

I will endevour to post more regularly, but for now I'm retreating a little for the winter - my mind is full of the consequences of recent actions, and I need time to process the outcomes. As always there are good and bad - for now I'd rather focus on the positive (wherever they may be).

Take care out there :)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Another step in the path

I've been immersed in the world of the Foo Fighters.

I've just finished watching the documentary "Back and Forth" which was incredibly interesting.
When it comes to following bands I have never been bleeding edge; I've never been a cool kid. I always thought of Paul as my favourite Beatle, when those who supposedly know better would always pick George then John, then possibly even Ringo beforehand.

Even when it comes to the Foo Fighters, I'll post an acoustic number rather than something indie from the first album that was a defining moment for the band.

Although I admire the musical layering on what otherwise may be seen as a simple song like The Pretender - the song that stays with me long after my stereo is wound back from 11 would be this little number from Skin and Bone.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mrs Splendid's Return

Chilean dust clouds dispersed with, Dunedin fog thought better, and diverted my flight 500 kilometers away to Christchurch. I smiled inside as the captain gave us the bad news, as nobody complained.

Our flight landed at 9:30pm and we were soon leaving the city of Christchurch for our 5 hour road journey south. The bus was old and very cold, yet people were loathe to fuss. Two hours in, one brave soul asked the bus driver if he could turn on the heat - 20 minutes later we were all stripped down to t-shirts, wondering if it was better to freeze to death or suffer the trials of heat exhaustion; it was one or the other.

I sat by myself at the front, with a clear view of the road ahead. The rhythmic drone and gentle swaying as the bus as it meandered its way haphazardly south, gave me pause to think of my hectic week, and Mrs Splendid's eventual return to this blog.

I find that good friends make the simple effort to be in each others lives. Although they may be busy in their own right, good friends take time to consider those that surround them. They call, text, or email to keep in touch. They worry when you are ill, they listen when the weight of the world presses down just that little bit harder. And you do the same for them.

When you look at your friends, I believe they reflect the nature of your soul. Perhaps in some cases they even serve as an aspiration to a person you may one day become - if you are lucky. I look at my friends and see all the character and support i will ever need in this world. Mrs Splendid is one such friend.

As the bus continued through Timaru and on to Oamaru, I also realised that if i was to be truly happy I couldn't waste my energy on those friends whose recent actions seemed designed instead to push me away.

When a friend makes you doubt yourself, you realise, with some sadness, that something has changed, and for them, you simply no longer matter.

You fight for any friendships you make, as well you should, but in the end the simplest explanations seem the most probable; there was perhaps was nothing much to save in the first place, and for what ever reason - they are gone, and you are sad.

In the end your soul can not grow on scraps of friendships thrown your way. Better to surround yourself with a garden of those that love you, and get to some serious weeding.

We eventually arrived in Dunedin. I directed the driver to the Dunedin train station where families were waiting. We all thanked Derek (the bus driver) for responding to the call and delivering us all safely home at such short notice; such is the way of these Southern folk.

I thought about my long day; from my conversation with a dear friend that morning, through to this last ten minute taxi ride to my parents door. How different it would have been, if I hadn't had all those extra hours to ponder ? Would I have reached the same conclusions as quickly if I wasn't delayed?

Sometimes we travel so fast, to arrive too soon; our thoughts lost in the past. Sometimes we need these diversions life afford us to keep pace with our lives.
To divine a path toward more happiness.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can't Go Back Now

I thought this apt, although the puppets seem a bit smug if you ask me :)

I can't really say
Why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter
Are the ones you take all by yourself

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Likening

It was like the first day at school.
I started my new job today, and for the life of me; subconsciously I must really love a challenge.

I have so far to go, so many things to learn. I feel like I'm surrounded by savants speaking a language that sounds a bit like random English words placed haphazardly between acronyms.

I wonder how my brain will rewire itself - and how I will survive the process.

And through this all turmoil, I still really like the girl.
And, as is typical the nature of these things, my timing could not be worse.
So - what to do? To walk a fine line between water worlds, living in neither?
Dipping back and forth, as to not create ripples too large to spill?
Some days the sea seems too large to contemplate.
Yet, the like remains, and in that, I have no choice but to swim.

You met me at a very strange time in my life.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Where Firefly and real life intersect

I channeled Shepard Book this week.

When a close girl friend asked me about a girl I like, and stated "Oh, you have to tell me who"
I paused for a moment and replied quietly, yet firmly; "Oh, no I don't" .

Thank you Joss Whedon - it was a haiku moment.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


You'd be so proud of me - I'm doing everything differently.

I have a new job, a new bonus, a new salary: a new me.
Well I'm not sure I can really suspend disbelief completely with that last one, but change is most definitely afoot.

I haven't been posting lately, because I was seeing a trend I didn't want to continue. There was some angst it was fair to say, and I was sick of making it more "real" by writing it down. I have, however come to the conclusion that getting things like rewards, jobs, and money often only serve to bring into sharp relief the things you're not getting, or that are missing from your life.

I've resisted the temptation to charge on regardless, as I have done every other time - with limited (to no) success. Instead, this time, I have decided to sit back and wait - to see what might happen without forcing my own luck. I'm beginning to understand that much of what we want involves a certain degree of trust. I was also reminded that much of what we want involves the action of others; actions that should be true and unforced.

For now, more that ever - what will be will be.
Being truly open to that will be a painful lesson I'm sure.

Wish me luck :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moments of clarity and lucidly

I sent someone a text today. Simply put - I believe it was probably the best writing I've done in a long long time. All through today I referred back to it - I can't believe I wrote it. These moments are sent to remind us of magic of words - that they can move us so much, yet can come from a part of ourselves we can't recognize or touch.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tumblr and being in love

I've been wandering around Tumblr lately posting random quotes and images on my homepage.

Although Tumblr is mostly porn, there are some other amazing images to be seen and digested.

It's nice to know that while a lot of the stuff pitched to us in this world is sterile and ultimately false, the internet remains a bastion of hope in so many places.

See the best of it it before the soulless bastards ban it and try and sell us a Prius instead.

Maybe even the porn.

Out of limbo

I got a new job yesterday.
Over one hundred people applied, and when my new manager gave me the good news he actually mentioned the high caliber of the shortlist, and how pleased he was that he had me to choose.

This new job is requires an entirely new skill set - one that I must develop over time from scratch. I look forward to the challenge - the focus, and the change. I'm just not as happy as I should be; and that makes me angry.

Knowing what you really want is a curse of sorts - especially if it's nothing you can plan or work toward. I guess that every now and again you have to rely on someone else to make a difference, even if you're used to flying solo.

And flying solo is something I'm sick of right now.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Zombie didnt eat MY brain

I'm hating my brain right now.

I'm trying hard not to listen to it, to fall into the same traps as always.
I'm trying to evolve, do things differently.
I'm reminded that doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome is sheer madness.

It's not easy living with my thought processes right now - but maybe that's a great reason to try another tack - and perhaps as a result, a different outcome.

And that's a thought I can deal with.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gentleman have to live with themselves

Probably why I'm still single; I refuse to compromise.

This rule, and so many more from here

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Observing the Octopus

Isn't it unfortunate when you meet someone you like?
I find it odd when the realization dawns; like in that ever so famous "filim" Love Actually, when Hugh Grants character meets Natalie. It's so...well... inconvenient.

It's also horrible when you realize that once again, your brain and disassociated hormones have swung the lever on some cosmic one arm bandit; yet instead of being showered in joy you simply feel sick to your stomach.

It's even worse when you know that you're not the Prime Minister of England, nor is she a tea lady. Personally, I think my brain has an ironic sense of humour, and would be better served concentrating on World Peace or some other achievable aim - rather than a foolhardy pursuit of someone so laughably beyond my reach.

Yet, regardless, the feeling persists - in much the same way morning sickness doesn't. :)

Lots of healthy denial and sweeping under carpets methinks.... yep - that should do the trick :D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stuff I wish I knew 25 years ago

Although I know this cant possibly make sense, it's important to know that it doesn't matter how much you're into another person; it's how much they're into you that really counts.

In this, nothing you do has any influence; it's all the things you did to get to that moment of awareness. By then it's either happened, or it never will.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Greater Expectations - the Omelette Experience

It's horrid to expect more from life; especially when we should know better. There are many certainties in life; if you hold your hand on a hot stove element you will always burn yourself. But people seldom follow the same laws of physics when it comes to emotion.

I keep looking for something or someone to change my mind. I'm open to change - open to being surprised - just not in a birthday kind of way.

I also realize that this is entirely my own fault. I understand that every now and and again you will get chicken instead of cheese in your omelette (true story). The truth is you may not like the omelette, but it is what it is.

You pick at the omelet and try to pull out the chicken, but you realize that it's not entirely possible to remove the two from each other. You almost decide to give up and eat the paltry excuse for a meal, when you understand you just cant bring yourself to.

From a distance your plate looks like a war zone, and you're still hungry.

You go to McDonald for a Fillet 'O' Fish, and although that will do at a pinch, you're always looking for something to satisfy the deeper hunger inside.

But it will never be chicken.

Monday, April 04, 2011

A life more Appl-ee

I remember building my first real computer. Anything before was simply an imitation; something I got up early, and cycled to school for in the middle of winter.

I had a black and white monitor, a basic case with no sound card; yet financially I was tapped out. Weeks later I'd unwrap a new card from its static proof enclosure, waiting for the dulcet tones of Windows 95.

I loved to play, explore..inadvertently, eventually destroying : no longer me.


I want it to run out of the box -
I have no need to make it unique.
I've seen it in all its iterations,
I just want it to work.
I want it to be secure.

I don't want the possible thrill of a virus; I no longer care that I run everything through iTunes. Now It's there for me through it all; like a constant companion, ever reliable.

It's just that I saw a friends son in the weekend - he showed me his Android phone, and scoffed at my notion of an iPad. I saw in him a return to the days of my first PC. Poles, and a lifetime apart we smiled and went our separate ways.

Later still, I saw that all this was simply a conversation about different life choices, and thought it odd that we may have been speaking entirely different languages at the same time. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

hard truths

five bottles of wine
truth bubbles to the surface
buried in concrete

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Being there

The question; is one man meant for one woman?

But it is not an interesting question.

It is the question of a little girl, who believes in fairy tales.

No. It's an everyone question.

I am constantly surprised at what I take for granted.
What I think is, and isn't; and how I can never decipher the difference.

I once thought I had a grip on this life.
Then, much later I realized I knew much less.
As time goes on I see the chaos; I see the subtle shifts in the ebb and flow.
I see it - but its meaning is lost to me now.
I just see that at the end of all of this, all we have is each other.

Our time will come and go; others will take our place. For a time we will remain a memory then that too will be gone.


When we reach out a hand, touch a shoulder, hug a friend - in that moment we are immortal. The strength we give each other in these times of need is so great - yet it never seems enough.

In that instant, that time to shine, I wish I was all I could be and more.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tumblr mashup

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.
— Haruki Murakami, “Norwegian Wood” (via sunfollower)

I want to disagree with this violently, but I realize I may also be wrong.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nothing to see here

I haven't been around of late. Any communications to the outside world are simply two line updates on twitter or Facebook.

I've been in Christchurch for another week now. As much as it feels odd to say this - things seem to be getting back to normal.

Except really - they aren't.

The real risk with all this is that we have almost acclimatized to the status quo. The signs and symptoms of the quake are still there to be seen but we have normalized or trivialized their existence.

All this would be fine if everyone had power - if everyone had running water - or if everyone had a working sewerage system.

Now the media have thrown away this poor cousin for the horrors of Japan, I worry if the rest of us will also see Christchurch as secondary.

I just worry when I hear of adult men bursting into tears when they're offered a chemical toilet; when people are so grateful for fresh water and a hot meal.

There was an earthquake here. Lest we forget.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christchurch revisited

I heard about the latest earthquake in a typical understated way.
One of my Christchurch workmates emailed "Big earthquake about an hour ago, having issues with communications, please start emergency management team right away".

I was in Wellington, doing some pretesting for planned work later that evening. An hour later all national planned work was canceled, and we stood in shock as the television news showed us the damage.

Within 24 hours, we had filled our vehicle with as much food and water as we could carry, and caught the ferry to the South Island. Stopping in Blenheim, we hired a trailer and purchased over 300 litres of fuel, before continuing on to Christchurch.

We arrived in the city as darkness fell. One of us dashed home to recover his household items, and ended up pitching a tent in his front lawn for the night. Another settled in to the night shift, while I took a car and headed to my aunts to grab some sleep.

Today we worked through a myriad of issues trying to keep our cellular network up for emergency services and our customers. You see the best of people in times like this - people reaching out to help complete strangers. You see rules being bent, so that something that might take a week, can now take a day. You feel that on days like today, as a species, we might actually have long term prospects.

Though it all we now refuse to watch the news - we know the suffering - we work to help. Seeing the coverage would make the issues seem too big to overcome - it's important to know that this city is not dying. Many people have died, and that is very sad, but many more have survived; have homes to live in, while power and running water are slowly being restored.

I'm not sure about the role of the media at times like this. I'm torn between highlighting the needs of the people who live here, and their privacy. Many of the people I feel are being taken advantage of - I wonder if they will be angry when they look back. I just don't know.

Tomorrow we may have enough hot water for showers. I might be able to wash my clothes - I originally planned to be in Wellington for only 2 days and packed light.
We will make more progress tomorrow, and the city will respond in kind. There will be much more good than bad, and this community will grow through it all.

Christchurch will endure; if only those outside believe, as we believe.

Have some faith in us. Please.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Long hours at the office

Some days I don't feel like a good person.
Some days I am led by emotion
And when I'm tired, and stretched mentally, my veneer is stretched to transparency.

At times like these, when the world becomes black and white;
you're either with me or against me.

I find it odd that even when stretched to these extremes, certain things can still keep you in check.

I've come to discover that respect can help you step back for the edge of self destruction.
That when someone you admire has something to say you can file everything else away for another day. That listening to that person can often calm the storm inside.

The problem evolves when you don't respect the person talking to.
Any of the words you share, either with yourself or others,
Can later make you feel like a bad person, even if the words themselves are valid.

There's something to be said about honesty being the best policy.
And living to fight another day.
But life never conforming entirely to either ideal, just makes a mockery of the entire situation. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am the deadliest Jelly

I am deadlyjelly. I'm mad as hell and I cant take it any more.

I have a confession: Ive been writing deadlyjelly since the inception.

It all started when I watched Jack Nicholson in As good as it gets. He said to write as a woman all you had to do was "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability".

I wondered if it was that easy. Turns out it was.
At least until last week.

How was I to know that ;
1) There was a real Niamh Shaw
2) That she was actually a writer and
3) That she'd seen DeadlyJelly.

Now the real Niamh Shaw has lawyered up, and I have received a cease and desist letter in the post.

I worry. I wonder what will happen to Hunkahubby and Jed, now I'm gone. I mean - I used to worry about world peace but this - well this kinda takes precedence.

But mostly I agonize about the posts that I have written that will never see the light of day. The true saga of the windmill power generator - Jeds next big life adventure, and My (sorry) Niamh's next attempt to cross Cook Straight.

All this will be lost now. Lost in the legal read tape of the real Niamh Shaw. The Niamh Shaw that knits doilies and writes love stories from her spinsters apartment in Dublin, fricking Ireland.

This Niamh Shaw is no Lara Croft - this Niamh Shaw is more likely to turn deadlyjelly into a recipe of the week blog - or even worse carry on in a feeble attempt to continue the life of my fricking heroine.

Gone will be the margaritas and ice cold sea swims. Gone the glory of Jed chasing a tennis ball down a rugged Blenheim mountainside - Gone the Hunkahubby and his glorious KTM.

I fully expect that even i will no longer feature.

And that, dear reader - will be a tragedy of epic proportions. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011


MarkJ and Sandy:
London 1989

I have a good feeling about this year. I really cant quantify why this particular year should be any better than the last couple - I just have a feeling that after some time things are progressing again.

I think it's been fair to say that catching up with NFG was very much a mixed blessing. The good was that we connected again - along with all the emotion that came with that; the bad was that we connected again - along with all the emotion that came with that. :)

I've loved very few women, and when you know those emotions mean something - it's hard to let them go overnight. In many ways I'll never be over her - I suspect that she probably thinks I hate her - but she was always wrong about that. Sure I was sad and disappointed, but it would have been a monumental move for her and I respect her choice. Any other reaction would have been infantile on my part. When John Lennon once said "All you need in Love" - he couldn't have been more wrong. Relationships are also about time, place, and responsibilities.

I can write this now - two years later on, because I suspect she no longer visits this place. I wish there was a way of turning off these emotions - so in someway we could remain friends. Once upon a time I thought I could do just that - but I couldn't have been more wrong. Part of me would have died inside. I suspect life may yet have more in store for us - but what that may be is outside of my control and may always be.

Still, through all the emotional highs and lows we had a perfect moment in time. Fate conspired to put us in the same time and place, and for the longest time I thought it would be enough.
I know I was lucky to love her, and to have that amazing emotional connection. It serves to remind me that such things are possible in life, and one day may be again.

So - I am moving on. Casting off, settling sail; I suspect it will still take time to gain momentum - but in part my journey is already starting.

And believe me when I say that's no small thing. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thomas Hardy rocks!

We kissed at the barrier; and passing through
She left me, and moment by moment got
Smaller and smaller, until to my view
She was but a spot;

A wee white spot of muslin fluff
That down the diminishing platform bore
Through hustling crowds of gentle and rough
To the carriage door.

Under the lamplight’s fitful glowers,
Behind dark groups from far and near,
Whose interests were apart from ours,
She would disappear,

Then show again, till I ceased to see
That flexible form, that nebulous white;
And she who was more than my life to me
Had vanished quite …

We have penned new plans since that fair fond day,
And in season she will appear again -
Perhaps in the same soft white array -
But never as then!

- “And why, young man, must eternally fly
A joy you’ll repeat, if you love her well?”
—O friend, nought happens twice thus; why,
I cannot tell!

stolen from

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Maybe knowing less is more

It's amazing how you always come back to certain songs.
No matter how many times you may have heard it; after some time apart you always get back together, because it resonates somehow.
I like that often you don't even know why.
I've come to believe that we can look to closely for reasons. I wonder if by trying to understand everything, we lose something in the process.

Perhaps in more than one way, ignorance is truly bliss?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011 Redux

I've been thinking about how I'm going to approach this year.
We've been circling around each other for four days now, and it's like neither of us want to make the first move. We both know however, when it's on there will be bruises.

I know there will be changes this year. I cant stay doing what I've been doing with the same management structure - I need a change. I've a few plans around that and have already done some background work to get that happening.

Socially - I'm unsure. Frankly I've never pushed this aspect harder than in the last few months of last year. New friendships are difficult, made no easier by my approach to new friendships. Simply put - I hate putting myself out there. Hate it. That said - I got a lovely text this new year that made me think my efforts were bearing fruit. I hope so - she's totally worth the effort.

I have a feeling that in 2011, less is more. At work I'd like less emotion, less crap, fewer mistakes. In saying that I'd still be happy with new mistakes, because at least I'd be learning.

I am in the eye of the storm - around me I can see the devastation gone and the year yet to come.

2011 we be real enough, soon enough. But for now, perhaps we're both enjoying the holiday :)