Whanau vs whanau, for who’s benefit?

This morning I was thinking about gangster warfare in New Zealand and I created the title about midday and left it. Little did I realise that my two boys would have a physical altercation and fight one another, both in tears from the emotional trauma. This is one legacy that I had created. I had realised this as I was cleaning Kyle’s apartment, that I was here in Melbourne to fix the conflict that exists in my own family. Emotional scars are long lasting and it doesn’t take much for either of my boys to get upset. I spend most of my time umpiring between the two. Yet, it isn’t just Amani that Kyle fights with. He can act malevolently without provocation. He damaged my MacBook by throwing water in me and thus it. In the same unconscious period, he threw several items at me to inflict pain, simply because psychologically he was in pain. After all misery loves company. I didn’t react but now I’m without an instrument to finish an essay due in tomorrow.

I may have crossed the line from insane to sane but that doesn’t mean that the one’s that I love are going to be walking beside me. I’m going to need to be constantly interceding physically, placing myself as a barrier. The calm voice of reason.

Why?

I am fully responsible for my boys fighting. Thus, I must be the one to help them work through their own pain, relinquish it and let it go.

How?

That’s the million dollar question as there are courses for horses. I have complete confidence in my capacity to resolve the issues in my family and I have too. I intend to spread it amongst across the globe and I need to start at home and get my own house in order. There’s no use telling everyone else that intelligence is required when I’m not walking the talk. As always, I know how challenging it is to walk but I love challenges, it’s my thing.

Sheltered

My father sheltered my brother and I from the Maori community and gangs. The Huhu’s gang from Mangakino is the only gang I was aware of until I was in my late teens. I’ve never paid gangs much attention. I recognise the need to fit in and our warrior ancestry is what makes gangs attractive.

My mother died in 2008 and my father had a stroke a month later. My siblings and I landed in Whanganui to saw our final goodbyes. Except my father died a year later, whilst I was performing in a Ray Charles gig. During the visit to my father, I met an older cousin on my father’s son Ronald, who’s own children and grandchildren were in different gang factions. That has always sat rather heavily with me. I now fully understand why it happens.

Time to take a stand

I will be honest and I will go out on a limb and state that gangster warfare is the global answer to racial cleansing. What better way to eradicate what is considered to be human riff raff than to allow gangs to kill one another. It’s cheaper to pay for a funeral than it is to pay for people to be imprisoned. If the authorities were interested in eradicating gangs, it would’ve been done. When the Christchurch mosque was attacked, gun reforms were immediately changed. Societal reforms can be implemented for gang members and their affiliates. No it isn’t simple, but it can be done. How? In New Zealand by imbedding Maori and Pasifika cultural pride into the fabric of society, not just amongst the indigenous but every New Zealander. If one looks at Maori and Pasifika people whom are considered to be successful and are thus important. It is only because they subscribe to a caucasian form of acceptance and are thus, considered to be successful. How many are applauded for being purely and simply Maori or Pasifika? I honestly don’t know.

Unfortunately, my gangster brothers and sisters have succumbed to society’s expectation of them. I recall years ago when I was feeling the pinch of expectation and how easy it would’ve been to subscribe to the Maori stereotype. However, back then, I was going to be damned if people were going to be right about me. Thus, I shirked the cloak of “Horidom” and strove instead to be successful in the eyes of the western world. Initially, I felt lost and knew there was something missing. However, now I no longer define myself by the limitation of cultural identity. I am of Maori and Scottish descent. My Maori ancestors are from the Cook Islands and Rapanui and Hawaii prior to that. The Scottish are a mix of UK and European heritage. I have lived in Australia most of my life and thus, I am proudly descended from many but live in the best country in the world.

I would love for my people to be stripped of the stigma artificial layer of patches which are a poor representation of people and who they are. Prison in its traditional sense isn’t the answer. However, there would be great benefit for gang members and their whanau from all the different gangs to be clustered together. The similarities would far outweigh the differences. I’m willing to put money on the only difference being the design of the patch. Then, everyone would be educated in traditional Maori and Pasifika culture but acknowledging our current Caucasian traditions. Equal not different and separate.

In saying that I need to learn both my language and culture and, it’s on my list of things I’ll do!!!!!!!!

New Zealand like all other countries is fractionalised because the divide and conquer principle is in play. This allows for capitalism and exploitation. One can’t make money if gangs don’t exist, who else will buy guns and drugs. Furthermore, if people felt good about themselves, drug and alcohol use would be minimal. Cigarette use which is a social interlude would also diminish, because people would feel comfortable talking to random strangers, just because they felt like it. Thus, the government doesn’t have a vested interest in stamping out gangs because it generates a lot of money. Sure, prisons, welfare and healthcare cost money but let’s be real, all of the government’s current administrations are futile.

Distractions aplenty

Te Tiriti O Waitangi is a big distraction, simply because it’s a constant focus on a past that is now simply an illusion. Collective New Zealand trauma. There are so many collective bodies of pain. One that most will readily recognise and acknowledge is the pain often afflicting most women before and during menstruation. I have a vague memory of it, but thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I acknowledged and surrendered to the mental anguish that would erupt days beforehand. It took a couple of years and eventually I became even-tempered. I can remember Amani accusing me of being premenstrual one day in 2014 or 2015 or 2016, when I was simply angry. At the time, I mentally recalled having PMS (premenstrual stress?) the previous month. That was the last time, I’ve ever been told that I have PMS because it’s never occurred again. It was a few months later, that it would be the last time I would be cranky from fatigue. I had been angered over something trivial and Amani told me to go to bed because I was tired. I had started to argue but, I recognised that I was exhausted so I immediately walked into my room and jumped into bed. Lights out!

Collective bodies of pain are rank amongst religion, cultures, cults, schools, sports teams, organisations and families. Everywhere there are humans and misery loves company. In New Zealand Te Tiriti O Waitangi is the collective mindstream that keeps segregation and racism poignant. People’s attention is riveted to it at the slightest provocation. It is politically correct (PC) to acknowledge and inference it’s use in job applications and government agencies but, what does it even mean. I always find it difficult to answer the question of how I incorporate it into work practices. How does one incorporate a piece of parchment that wasn’t signed or agreed too by all of my Maori ancestors. Furthermore, it legalised much governmental malpractice and the confiscation of land, persecution for speaking Maori and being Maori. Then clumsily future, now our past, Politicians will think it a mere case of throwing a few coins at people and hey presto, all gone, all better, all ?. Yet, people are expected to answer how to incorporate Te Tiriti O Waitangi into how they operate professionally. Hmmmm, I could have fun writing that script! Former New Zealand Comedian Billy T James wrote a number of skits about Captain James Cook’s landing on New Zealand shores and negotiating for land. I’d love to have seen how he’d tackle this PC climate of paying lip service to a notion. In Australia there was the lunacy of thinking that Christmas should no longer be celebrated. Stupidly, childcare centers, schools and businesses began banning decorations and traditional celebrations, in an effort to be more inclusive. To date there isn’t a single muslim or Buddhist or an other religious country that started celebrating Christmas to be more inclusive. Fortunately, that stupidity lost it’s flavour, as it became clear, nobody cared. Being inclusive means acknowledging everyone for their individual similarities. Huh? People are composites of their cultural similarities, each unique but clustered in sameness.

It would seem I’ve done a 180 but I was once incensed at how my ancestors were short changed. However, I’ve let the anger go and now I realise that New Zealand and every other country will only be great when it realises that being human is the common thread that supersedes culture, religion and politics.

Mental Constructs

Lost in mental constructs Diminishing ever more Shrinking from reality Afraid to move on Furtive looks of hatred Gleaming through beaded eyes 
Am I safe, unknown
Crying with dry eyes
Mental moans escaping
Calm is not a friend
Laughing eyes are saddled With bright words of regret
Hurt and pain abundant Screaming yet for more
I’m not for you
You’re not for me
Disconnected from all we see Hatred fills the furtive looks Love is not in sight
A word with no significance  Yet there in plain sight Searching eyes a seeking
But blind for what is there Lost in mental constructs
No intelligence in sight Lost in mental conflict
Pain is flesh a fire
Lost in mental conflict
Love is pain personified
Lost in mental subject
Hate is still denied
Lost in mental constructs
Hate is loved with sighs
Lost in mental constructs
Love is not applied
The past it has no bearing What’s done was lost in space Hunger satiates and lingers Abandoned by it’s fate
I know not what is coming
I know I have the faith
I know that mental constructs, no longer have their sway!

Pretty on the outside!

NZ is like a stereotypical blonde, pretty to look at but oh so dumb! I now know fully why I stayed away from NZ for so long and why I cannot remain. Racial segregation and thus prejudice is rife in this country, as is disempowerment, exploitation and a low accepted standard for the unknowing masses. Rise up NZ and make the powers that be accountable for the inertia that leaves NZ lagging behind the rest of the Western world.  It shouldn’t be acceptable to be the ugly step sister to Cinderella, yet that’s why NZ’s finest and brightest leave it’s shores to find value and acceptance, overseas.

10 February 2018

What I’m constantly faced with in relation to New Zealand is Te Tiriti O Waitangi. Slaving over it hasn’t resulted in peace or harmony within the Maori community. Nor has it amalgamated New Zealanders. Why? The them and us dichotomy is rife within the ranks of Politics, Healthcare, Education and Industry. Most poignantly, people aren’t able to bench the past and conciliate. This isn’t an issue relegated solely to New Zealand but I do feel that New Zealand could band together and lead the world unified as one people, instead of continuing to be divided and spiralling downwards.

How?

Maori people are warriors and iwi, irrespective of blood would conquer and absorb other iwi. Chief Hone Heke is testament to that, having enslaved many in his conquest of the North Island. By the time, he reached my whanau on the East Coast, he had thousands of people in tow. We have to accept that we were beaten by an invading scourge. I mean no disparagement to my European forefathers, I’m simply calling it for what it was. Dirty, diseased and uncouth aptly frames New Zealand’s white forebears. As does informed of Europe’s distain for bathing. Hence, why many of my Maori ancestors were wiped out by the influenza. The Treaty does signify the operational intelligence that operated amongst my people, but the fact is that a stronger and armed iwi, beat my ancestors squarely, if not fairly. Crying about it almost 200 years later doesn’t give either my whanau or anyone else’s whanau their land back. Financial compensation doesn’t change the past neither does sorry. However, in 2020, anyone that is a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand is a New Zealander or Kiwi. Even those such as myself who are citizens of other countries. If I’m honest, in my disgust of how New Zealand operates, I have been guilty of having a disparaging viewpoint of New Zealand. Well-founded? Possibly.

In 2018, after living abroad for 24 years, I thought as I’d never been been educated in New Zealand that I’d venture home. I had been accepted into Bond University in Queensland, Canberra University, Notre Dame University in Western Australia, RMIT in Melbourne and the Australian Catholic University in Ballarat. However, I applied to and was accepted into Otago University in Dunedin. I had spent a couple of years sifting through the New Zealand government websites and I was impressed with the inclusion of the Maori language into their websites. As I continued to browse through non-government websites, I saw the same replication of dual language. Thus, mistakenly I put 1 + 1 together and computed 2 but as a child, I also learnt that 1 + 1 = or window. As a child growing up in New Zealand, I had felt the cold hard sting of racism but it was a dual edged sword. Rejection for being Maori was one thing but, as I was raised to speak with a plum in my mouth, I was also rejected for not being Maori enough. Thus, when I saw the websites, I assumed that New Zealand had changed. I also thought there were great parallels between Australia and New Zealand to warrant my simply sliding across. Instead, I slid down and, rapidly. Culture shock is the best description for what I experienced.

Queenstown October 2019

The cost of living in New Zealand is exorbitant but the quality is poor. Petrol prices ranged anywhere from $1.93 with the appropriate discounts to $2.59 per litre. I used to baulk at paying $1.40 per litre in Australia and as I drove around Melbourne, I knew the cheapest places to fill up, such as United on Mahoney’s Road in Thomastown.

The house that Jack built in 1848

Accommodation in Melbourne is costly but the quality partially substantiates it. Thus, my expectation when I moved to Dunedin, due to the similarities in price was the same. Now I know, presumption is the mother of all fuck ups, but in my ardent desire for an All Black, I overlooked that notion. Thus, I was horrendously appalled by accommodation that breaches health and safety standards. One house had an electrical hot water heater that was comparatively aged with myself and this was reflected by the old electrical circuit breakers. Coupled with scorch marks and, burnt and tattered insulation, that didn’t fail to catch my attention. A general lack of cleanliness, long grass with metal objects hidden amongst it leading to the cloths line, missing tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, old dilapidated carpet, uninsulated windows, uneven and creaking floors. Even after two years, I can still see the condition of those houses. The asking price was and still is priced from $99-200 for a room to $170 to $250 for a one bedroom house. Multiple the rooms by a minimum 4 or 5 and that presents an idea of how costly accomodation in Dunedin can be. One house that I initially moved into on Russell St, the landlord wanted to turn a 1 bedroom into a 2 bedroom by making the lounge a bedroom, for the princely sum of $250 per week. When one receives $320 a week from student support, $250 for a dump is unfeasible.

November 2018 – Accommodation on Castle St Dunedin, near Otago University

Fortunately, I moved into suitable accommodation but having predominantly lived with family, it was a steep learning curve. In some regards it was easier to go from cleaning a 3 bedroom apartment and paying all the bills to sharing a 5 bedroom house, where 2 of the occupants were rarely there and, sharing the cleaning and bills. However, I had to revert back to just focussing on myself, which I hadn’t done for 20 years. Also, I’ve predominantly lived with family, so it was a little disconcerting, especially when one is used to sharing everything. Most people live in sharehouses with random strangers when they’re young as a rite of passage. Better late than never I guess.

Qualifying Quality

I’ve never been a snob when it comes to education and I always thought that all universities were of the same ilk. Reputations were/are just somebody’s opinion. Some are warranted and others, not so much. Now I didn’t select Otago University for it’s reputation, I selected it because it was only 1 or 2 New Zealand universities that offers physiotherapy. Auckland is similar to Melbourne and I wanted a different adventure so, I chose Otago University, apparently one of the best universities in the world. I don’t know who determines the rankings but I spent all of 2018 rueing my decision, lol. However, I did make peace with Dunedin in 2019 and I spent many an evening overlooking the picturesque Otago Bay, in complete peace and contentment.

Let them eat cake!

I worked really hard to earn my bachelor degree, which predated the internet. Having studied Science, it was a case of reading and photocopying journals. Thus, I spent hours and hours camped at Melbourne University in Parkville gleaning reams of information for what seemed a passage or two of useful and useable information. My fellow students and I were drilled exhaustibly on discerning between good and not so good research methods and, the professional presentation of fact. My bioscience lecturers exacted a high level of expectation upon us and trained us accordingly. Occasionally, we were thrown a crumb, usually pertaining to what would be in an exam, but that was it. By default, we learnt how to be strong and independent. The self-discipline that I exacted at Victoria University was exhausting but, satisfying because when I did well, I knew I’d worked hard and deserved it. It was this approach that I utilised when planning Amani’s sport and, when I undertake research on the internet. When looking for information, even now, I remind myself constantly of how difficult it was to find something when I was studying. Thus, I’ll persevere through hundreds of pages on the internet to find a slither of information. In addition, the high level of expectation that I had been set, is what I set for Amani. We were groomed to be the best amongst all other science students and thus, with an All Black mentality, I groomed Amani to be the best. Suffice to say, no stone is or has been left unturned. My education coupled with my father’s expectation and, parenting a highly talented child is responsible for the narcissistic arrogance that afflicted most of my adulthood. Hence, my scorning of anything I considered easy. For a highly capable and clever person, most things were far too easy for my contemplation. The downside of being motivated only by challenging oneself to the extreme is that, one develops a win at all cost mentality. People were viewed clinically as being equal or not. I’ll be frank, I considered most people to be inferior. I didn’t care that they were richer and more successful than I. I judged them solely on what they could do and how gifted their children were. Obviously, I wasn’t liked and didn’t have many friends. However, I didn’t care to make friends and I didn’t care if people liked me. I’d already learnt that it didn’t matter what I did, people weren’t going to like me anyway, so I made sure that they didn’t. Guess what happened when I went to Otago University?

I was shocked at the high degree of molley coddling. The academic standard was so low that, everything that I’d learnt at Victoria University was thrown out the door. I did work throughout the year but my care factor was zilch and for the first time ever I failed, without giving up. I have to qualify that I understood everything that was taught but throughout the year, all that went through my head, was how easy and shit the standard was. I had prided myself on earning everything I had and now, I was subject to being fed everything. People have told me over the years that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. More importantly, I get a kick from outmanoeuvring people who are more better qualified and experienced than I. I’m also great at puzzles and strategy and, I’m always looking for that little trick that makes everything fall into place. I feel redundant when it’s all laid out and all I have to do is pick up the pieces. In my life, that had occurred, never. Honestly, I’ve never been trained to do things the easy way and I don’t know how to do it. I went out on the town in Christchurch, September 2019. I remember speaking to one guy who I bought a drink. He was shocked that I didn’t use my feminine wiles to get some schmuck to ply me with drinks. As a strong and independent woman, it never dawns on me to do that. Upon reflection, narcissistic arrogance is responsible for that, I can’t brag that I’ve done everything on my own if somebody else does and pays for things. That and the fact that using people is contemptuous. However, I am starting to think that easy street is a great street to live on. Whatever that means!

What I did recognise is that by handing everything to students on a silver platter, eliminates the capacity to think for ones selves. Thus, making for a subjugal workforce that can be trained to perform tasks but, won’t speak out and make necessary changes. I suspect this is one of the reasons for New Zealand’s low payrates. New Zealand $17.70 vs Australian $24.49 casual minimum wage per hour. I applied for permanent Community Development positions in Dunedin and Melbourne that paid between $24 to $27 an hour vs $40 to $43.27, respectively. I also worked in construction in Melbourne, which paid $27 between 0700-1600, $40.50 between 1600 to 1800 and $47 between 1800 to 2400, for non-unionised work. Unionised work pays $55 an hour from 0700-1600 and, $103 an hour from 1600 to 0700 and during the weekend. New Zealand pays $20 an hour and if you’re really lucky up to $27 an hour. All ones christmases have to come at once to be paid $27 an hour. I’m also a trained Clinical Pilates Instructor, which averages $60 an hour in Australia but with payrates of $20 an hour in New Zealand, I won’t even roll over in bed to consider that amount. It goes without saying I didn’t apply for a single instructor or labouring position. It also comes as no surprise that I’m back in Melbourne. I’m not about money but I have become accustomed to having my nails and hair done professionally, eating well and travelling. I can’t do that comfortably on New Zealand wages.

Extraordinary people are shaped by ordinary events in extraordinary circumstances

28 August 2019

I met a girl undertaking a PhD and her naivety was astounding. She stated that 25% of drownings occur in the Maori population and, she didn’t want to lead our people but allow them to do as they wanted. The latter partially explains why we’re dying prematurely. I was brought up with the sink or swim mentality, where one learnt to swim by overcoming a drowning incident. I’ve almost drowned twice but I can swim well as a consequence. In light of the high volume of indigenous drownings, I corrected her by stating ignorance is killing our people and that they need leadership and, with a PhD, she by default was a leader. I did see the penny drop and I would like to see that 25% reduced as close as possible to 0%. Truth be told, drownings in a country such as New Zealand, where the abundance of creeks where one can learn to swim easily, means drownings should be as rare as hens teeth.

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I fully accept and recognise that as an educated and astute individual New Zealand is greatly in need of my skillset. I am torn between my cushy lifestyle in Australia and my obligatory duty to a country, that I theoretically call home but I don’t fit or belong in. That too could be a theory as I did enjoy spending October, November and December in New Zealand. However, I wasn’t operating as one normally would ie working, paying for accommodation and bills, running a household and everything that a normal person would be expected to do. Although, I’m not doing that in Australia either. The boys father having had a stroke means that I need to be in Australia for Amani, who wishes to remain here just in case something happens to him. Amani is independent and doesn’t live with me so, theoretically I don’t need to remain in Australia. However, I do need to steer him down a path where he can be productive and lead a decent life, preferably within the sports circles where he’s spent his entire life. We’ll see what happens!

Keys to New Zealand’s demise

Generally speaking, I avoid politics. Voting against former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett is the only time I’ve ever been motivated to vote properly. Usually, I render my voting papers ineligible for counting, because as far as I’m concerned all Politicians are the same, self-serving of themselves and their croonies. My understanding is that former New Zealand Prime Minister John Keys is responsible for much of New Zealand’s recent demise. However, Muldoon and Rogernomics that destroyed unionism and introduced GST set a devastating precedence. Early 2018, I was deeply angered by the political climate in New Zealand and I felt that Winston Peters, whom is still around after so many years, had simply stood by and watched New Zealand decline. I was advised that Winston was one of the better politicians and that he hangs around because there is no other worthy Maori leader that has his temerity. I guess he’s demonstrated that by putting Adern into power, whom people in Australia are most admiring of. As a notorious fence sitter, I’ll await with abated breath.

Lake Mahinapua outside of Hokitika

Writing is my saving grace and my dual edged sword, that cuts through perceived truths.

5 January 2020

Get sick at your own peril

I’m fortunate to be very healthy but that isn’t the case for many. Almost a third of the population in New Zealand and Australia are overweight and obese and there are known complications associated with that. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two side effects, which is why New Zealand government operated Green Prescription and Active Family initiatives exist. These are good programmes but they’re reactive not proactive and only for people who are physically in trouble ie obese. Technology is answerable to the sedentary lifestyle afflicting society, but more so is greed and profit. Big business such as fast food giants McDonalds, KFC, Hungry Jacks aka Burger King and many food conglomerates which are responsible for pumping known contributors to poor health, fat and sugar into the community are equally if not more answerable. Globalisation makes puppet governments accountable to big business for ensuring they make money, otherwise they can be sued. Therefore, it’s not in the New Zealand’s or Australian governments interest to reduce the cost of food and health services. Although, ironically the cost of junk food within the supermarkets is often discounted.

I rarely attend the doctors but in Australia, I’m used to Medicare covering the cost. I’ve never had to pay to see a GP, thus when I was informed that I the average price of seeing one in Dunedin was $50, I was astounded. The cost aside, one was forced to stick to the same GP, because that was the discounted loyalty price. To add insult injury, it’s also $15 for a prescription. However, my understanding is that medication is free. No, that medication cost $65. Subsidised medication in Australia is about $6. Thus, if I need to go to a GP in Australia and I need medication, $6 is what I may have to pay. $9 or $10 is the most I’ve paid for unsubsidised medication. I’ve done that twice in 26 years. I’ve paid less than $300 for medications in total, $170 was for vaccinations for when I was contemplating undertaking a physiotherapist degree. I’ve paid more for sports tape and instant ice. All in all, I think I’m winning. However, I tend to avoid attending doctors clinics because there are sick people there with contagious germs, lol.

Amani needed a mandibular xray for the dentist recently and Medicare covered the cost. I’ve never paid for an xray. I’ve also never paid for an optometrist or opthalmetrist for my right end which I’m supposed to have checked every six months. When I obtained my New Zealand licence in 2018, I had to pay $29 for an optometrist to test my right eye’s peripheral response to changes in randomly placed objects. I prefer to drive manual cars which forces me to be alert because I don’t want to stop completely and need to recommence the dance of feet and hands. Although, it’s now physically automated, so it’s no big deal. I blitzed through the test as I’m used to driving Melbourne’s busy roads, so my right hand peripheral vision is excellent. After all it was my right eye that saw the car that failed to stop at a red light and that crashed into Moishi Moishi my one of a kind, colourfully painted Kia Rio.

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In Christchurch September 2019, I caught an innocuous streptococcus throat infection that rendered me physically ill and prevented me from eating properly. In light of the cost, I refused to attend the doctors and the condition worsened extensively. Fortunately, I returned to Australia October 1 and just being in an environment where I knew I could obtain free medical care was enough to remedy the situation. That and the fact that I was at home.

New Zealand’s ACC that looks after New Zealanders health and wellbeing, seems to be great on paper. I read and was suitably impressed by the ACC act when applying for an administrative case manager position that paid a measly $67,000 ($20,000 below the average Australian wage when one accounts for the differences in currency). However, after speaking with a 70 year old security guard and former nurse Kathy, who’s husband is bedridden due to bungled operations, has almost been completely cut off from ACC support. Thus, it’s partially the reason why she’s working beyond retirement age and why she’s likely to continue working for a few more years yet. She herself had a shoulder operation last year, after a failed attempt of assisting her husband in 2018. Her assessment of working within and receiving support from the ACC was poor, to say the very least.

Where too from here?

I know butting my head against the established regime only exacerbates matters. Thus, I do surrender to the New Zealand’s climate of deeply embedded antipathy which is collectively global, as resistance is not only futile but augments it. Although, it’s easy to say such things, when I’m lying in bed in Melbourne, tapping away on my Macbook. However, I’ve always walked the talk and as I’ve relinquished my destructive mental constructs, I’m sure that I’ll do exactly that.

Where to from here? Hmmm the musical notes of love, creativity, innovation, fulfilment, knowledge, wisdom and intelligence are playing dulcetly. I couch surfed my way through 2019 and as I’m on my life’s path, I only suffered when I tried to unsuccessfully buck the system. Like any rat running the gauntlet, I can be trained to stay on track. Right here right now, I have no idea what or where that track is. All I know is that I enjoy writing and the siren call of music calls to me silkily. After many years of ignoring the lure, it’s time to get caught!

Dance, music and writing are an intimate expression of my soul in any given moment.  

January 2020

I am You

I’m watching the clouds drift pass my window …. I love clouds, seeing what my imagination does, pure magic

I am a whale gliding through the esoteric waves of the universe

I am strong and powerful, yet gentle and kind

I am the force of nature and yet I am human

I am free to enunciate all that is meaningful and yet I am not

I am beautiful to behold for I am the mother of all that is good and evil

I am a contradiction to all that is known and yet I am truth

I am awake!

I am speeding through space, alive to the moment

I am seeing without mind a ghost to the flagrant wind

I am knowing without seeing a past that is my future

I am beauty without grounds and grounds without boundaries

I am love without lines and worries without speeches

I am akin to the light but darkness and glowing

I am magic!


I am a cloud morphing into light and light without darkness

I am singing my truth and yet it is a lie

I am laughing in the rain and yet

I’m not wet

I am sighing my truth and yet I am breathing

I am a universal cosmos and yet I am here

I love without meaning and I’m meaning to love

I am life!


I am simply a woman a beating heart

I am genius beyond recognition and I yet I know nought

I am strenuous work that knows leaps and bounds

I am seeking of value and yet I am none

I am feeling decapitated a widowless tree

I am skilled with labour and yet there’s no work

I am death!

11 July 2019

Sports Junkie – Keeping him ready for the next game!

There is no future endeavour that any one of the boys whom I have had the privilege of being background noise too, that could make me feel any more proud.  How is this possible … I simply know that noone person will ever ask or demand of them more than what I demanded. Playing for a national coach as an adult, will be a damn sight easier than fulfilling my expectations. What were my expectations.  For the boys, it was to be the best.  For myself, it was always to keep them ready for the next game.

(Not good enough) Even now as I sing there’s a little voice inside my head

(Not good enough) My youngest son carves it up in the middle of the field and the courts and yet                                                                                                 

(Not good enough) My oldest son, he’s a wreck cos the only thing he ever hears is that

(He’s not good enough) 

I make it hard when it should’ve been easy ……..

Chorus 1 – Not good enough (2016)

The chorus of the song outlined above, that I had written some years before, had been circling in and out of my head for almost 48 hours. As I cycled home from Melbourne’s CBD to my eldest son Kyle’s apartment in Preston NYE 2019, once again, I thought about the possibility of my youngest son Amani playing Australian football. A sport I honestly thought that if he ever played, I would consider myself to be a failure as I believed he was too good to play it.

2016 SMJFL VS WRJFL 14.1

I had raised Amani to be an All Black and thus, the best. AFL is not my idea of being the best. Truth be told, these were the only things left, that I actually believed. However, as I cycled along Brunswick St Fitzroy, for the first time ever, I thought without any emotion, that if was good enough for him. Then it was good for me. I reaffirmed that thought once more and my mind turned to how I would bring it to fruition. I was then hit with the realisation that, no matter what I did in Melbourne, nothing would compare with the thrill that I used to receive at juggling all the sports that Amani once played, whilst working and running him, his brothers Kyle and Mali, the boys brother from another mother and, their friends around Melbourne. Just before I reached Kyle’s place, the old familiar thrill of the challenge of making Amani an All Black emerged and I pushed it away resignedly. I had moved to New Zealand in September and, as I hadn’t been able to establish myself there, I had returned to Melbourne in the middle of December. Thus, after almost 16 years of sacrificing Kyle, myself and our family, the dream was over.

The road to hell ….

In 2005, the year that I learnt that I could do anything, after my sons and I were unceremoniously turfed out onto the street and we moved back in with my mother. It was the year I completed my Masters, represented myself in the Family Law court and learnt how to write consent orders and, discovered that my mother had an aggressive form of dementia. Furthermore, I had to deal with my eldest brother Hiku, whom had also moved into my mother’s place and suffered from drug induced psychosis that made him physically violent toward his girlfriend and myself, when I intervened on her behalf. Finally, I had to deal with the malice of my son’s father, whom lied pathologically to manipulate 50% custody of our sons. Yet, over the ensuing years, probably only contributed about 10% of the time but, was happy to take 50% of their family assistance payments. Most importantly, this was the year, where I shelved Miss Frumpy Dumpy and out of a need for vengeance, I created “Ms Outta My Way, I’m going to make you pay for that and beat you at your game”. In typical, “wait till you see me now” fashion, I ditched the baggy tracksuits and started dressing femininely.

2005 Mum and I @ Seaford

It’s only now, in January 2020 that I can admit, it was a case of fake it until you make it. Ironically, it’s only after losing everything that I know what success is ….. its a word. Anyway 2005 was well and truely the year I became a cunt, in every sense of the word and, I owned it. I was ultra competitive and compulsively obsessed with, raising an All Black. I had something to prove and I was on a mission to demonstrate that I, was better than Boris. In my mind’s eye it was the All Blacks vs the Wallabies and, unlike the 1990’s when the All Blacks could barely win a game against the Wallabies, I was going to win, at all costs. Suffice to say, an exorbitant price was paid and in the aftermath, it’s clear that there are no winners. Publius Vergilius Maro stated “facilis descensus Averno (the descent to hell is easy)”.

Why!

At the end of the 2015 winter sport season, I sat at a table in one of the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s function rooms, enjoying a celebratory dinner for Prahran Junior Football Club (PJFC) parent volunteers. There was a female guest speaker whom spoke about her son, whom had just been drafted into the Richmond Tigers Football Club. Wayne Oswald, the PJFC Development Coach and former Sandringham Dragon’s Football Coach, also spoke and he stated plainly that the objective of children playing sport wasn’t for them to become professional athletes. I vehemently remember mentally disagreeing with him. As far as I was concerned, it was the only reason I was there and why Amani played sport. I did mention I was obsessed, didn’t I?

Background white noise

I was a tyrant with Kyle and I shattered his self-confidence. This affected his willingness to participate and engage in anything, full stop. I was completely out of line but I didn’t know this at the time. Many years would pass and much pain and damage would be inflicted upon both my boys, before I realised it. I can state categorically that, there are no take backs and sorry, is just a 5 letter word. As a human, it is my biggest regret and at times, I keenly feel the pain and guilt of past misdeeds.  However, I have come to know that the unconscious toxic mind, doesn’t know any better and truely is unaware. Thus, one can’t be held responsible and, it’s a slow but steady, one step forward and two steps back, practice makes permanent, approach. A couple of days prior to when Kyle turned 18, I was making his homemade photo book and looking at the baby photos (the only ones I had of him), I lamented that “If I could do it all again, make no mistake, I’d do everything differently”. How? I’d stop living in my head and live in cold, hard reality and, freeze!  I accepted that I couldn’t change the past but I could make better decisions for the future. Perhaps I can steer parents away from the mistakes, that I’ve made. Honestly, I would encourage parents to trust in themselves and enjoy the ride. After all, parenting is a tango, sometimes, one drives in strong, other times, one waits still, in anticipation, watching the child dance around you.  

2016 Mali and Kyle Sunbury Tigers Under 18s

There is no such thing as extraordinary people and moments; Only ordinary tasks being conducted in ordinary moments, which when strung together in sequence, provide the knowledge of what it is one can do.

3 April 2017

All or Nothing

It is my fear of failure that has seen me operate at extremes. An all or nothing approach. I have only felt that I’m at my best when I’m suitably challenged and I scorned anything that I considered easy. The greater the chance of failure, the higher my motivation. Thus, single-handedly juggling basketball, league, rugby, footy and cricket simultaneously was of course a given. Any unconscious parent with a talented and gifted child, will know the bug of obsessing for perfection and worst still, being dissatisfied with reality, which is never as good as the unrealistic expectations of the mind!   What arises from this mindset is pure narcissistic arrogance, which is isolating and toxic. Blinded by my obsession to raise an All Black and after watching a match I broke the sport of rugby union down into different skillsets.  

AUSSIE RULES FOOTBALL

Despite thinking that Aussie Rules was for pansies, I recognised the athletic endeavour behind the sport. The greatest travesty in my minds eye was twofold, these footballers generally can’t tackle well and when they can, due to the “Pushing in the back” rule, perfect executed tackles are penalised. I had felt that the All Blacks incapacity to tackle the Wallabies in the 1990s was testament to this, so I would watch in abject horror as tackles were either ineffectually executed or worse, not executed at all.

2016 East Sandringham Zebras vs East Brighton Vampires 14.1

Tough but fair

The other issue I have is that children are raised by their parents to cheat by deliberately hurting or holding onto the arms or clothing of opponents. Even in the younger age groups such as the under 9s, fathers would tell their sons to hurt Amani. As he got older, the opposition ploys became more dangerous and, he’s suffered from the deliberate appendage to the head and face on a few occasions. I’m not a sook but I did ask the Victorian Football League to intervene and encourage tough but fair playing tactics, due to a serious incident involving Amani. One of Amani’s team mates elbowed an opponent in the head, because his coach had instructed him to hold Amani’s arms and body, in an attempt to keep him off the ball. I’m highly competitive but I play fair.

2016 SMJFL 14.1 – Amani’s protector Sam

My philosophy is very simple, work hard, play hard and beat the opposition because you’ve worked harder than they have. If I’m honest, I also felt that I was tactically smarter than other parents by making Amani learn so many different skillsets that complemented and augmented one another. Infuriated by these notions for many years I wished that all footballers and their fans would be piled into the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the stadium bombed, killing everyone. I can laugh about it now but this was the precedent by which I operated at sport. Sport was a battlefield and I was General and Major but most importantly, Sergeant Major! Urgh! But, I digress. Footy, in addition to instilling kicking skills (perfect for try conversions) and cardiovascular fitness, provided 360 degree awareness. Thus, Kyle joined the South Melbourne Districts Auskick programme in 2004 and Amani by default, joined in. Although, I had my eyes glued to Kyle and hawkishly watched him. I can still remember Amani receiving a handball and perfectly handballing it to another child and running to the back of the line. I didn’t think much of it at the time but, I’ve recounted it many times since.

In 2005, due to Kyle playing league on Saturdays and soccer on Sundays, the boys participated in the Parkside Football Club Auskick programme on Friday nights. Parkside was the great nemesis of his father’s Port Melbourne Colts and, initially he was aghast that the boys were there. However, he got over it. This was the last year that the boys participated in Auskick because in 2006, Kyle joined the South Melbourne Districts under 9s Red team. I didn’t have a car in 2007 but in 2008, the boys anonymously played for the Port Melbourne Colts under 10s. The team struggled for numbers and despite Amani being 6, he was able to participate, under the guise of older children who were absent. The first match I ever watched him play was against Newport Power Junior Football Club at Martin Bryant’s Reserve Newport, whom he would play for four years from 2008 to 2011. Amani was supposed to be in the backline, away from all the action. However, he invariably drifted to the frontline and managed to a kick a goal, one of several that he would kick on that ground. Kyle played soccer for the Port Melbourne Sharks, so he didn’t play that many matches.

The Power to Win

At the age of 7, Amani continued to play anonymously for the Port Melbourne Colts and he joined Newport Power Junior Football Club. Coached by Michael Bosanko, a great man who encouraged all the kids to put their heads over the ball, pick it up and run. Even in under 9s, he was adamant that kids maintain their position on the field. I have the greatest respect for him and his wife Fiona, the team manager, who are down to earth good people, as were all the people at Newport.

The quality of this club, supersedes all the accolades that Amani achieved and I vehemently regret transferring him to St Bernards, an A grade club. Under Michael, Amani won a 3rd and 3 team best and fairest (B&F), best finals player and, the West Region Junior Football League (WRJFL) 11.B B&F by a landslide. His best friend Anthony Carnovale was equal 4th which is amazing, as between the two boys, they monopolised over half the votes available. Despite the awards, Amani would’ve traded all his trophies for a premiership, which would come eventually in 2016.

Turning up the heat

My hunger to know that Amani could carve it up against better quality opposition, was immense. Thus, in 2013, coached by Tony Liberatore a former AFL great, Amani stepped up a grade. I remember one match, which resulted in Boris having a slanging match against the father of WRJFL’s glory boy Josh Kellett, who was irate at his son being shut down by Amani. Neither had ever encountered another child who could not only match his skillset, but beat him. That match set the tone for the season and although, Tony was great at developing the body evenly by encouraging children to practice on their non-dominant side, for an extra $20 of course, I had no respect for his game strategy. In the preliminary final, Amani who excels in the midfield was placed in the backline, away from the action. Tony’s strategy remained in place throughout the entire game and the team were thumped by about 12 goals. Enraged, I went hunting for a new club.

Fallen angel

You are a

Fallen angel

I am a

Fallen angel

We are

Fallen angels

And it took, no effort at all

As we took a fall

Chorus 3 – Fallen Angel (2013)

Fallen Angel

Devastatingly, as the boy who would fight until the final whistle, Amani lost confidence in himself. His confidence had already been heavily shaken earlier in the year when he broke his arm at school. It had been raining on the day in question and Amani decided to leave class and play on the jungle gym, which expectedly was slippery. He fell off and used his arm to break his fall. I recall telling him, next time to save his arms and let the ground hit his face. I was deadly serious. I don’t know who was more distraught, Amani or I. Despite his injury and his arm being in a case, I made him train and attend matches, which included domestic and representative basketball, football and rugby training. Shamefully, all I cared about was that Amani was missing game time and, I have to admit it was the longest 6 weeks of my life. Looking back, I’m truly appalled at my deplorably attitude but, I was a madman on a mission. Despite missing 6 matches, he managed 3rd in the St Bernards team and 6th in the WRFL and, 1st in Keilor Thunder under 12.3 representative basketball best and fairest counts. Small compensation but all in all, it simply fuelled my insanity.

State of the heart

Amani did trial for the Victorian state footy teams but as we lived in the northern suburbs and he played in the western suburbs, the selectors who taught in the area, simply chose their own students. One parent told Boris not to bother because despite seeing that Amani had talent, he knew that he didn’t have a chance. The following year, Boris held Amani at knifepoint and forced him from my home to thwart him from trialling again. Boris had meddled with Amani’s selection for representative cricket a couple of years beforehand. Thus, it was last time, Boris was ever allowed to make a decision regarding Amani’s sports. That incident elevated me to super cunt status and I rocked it! In 2016, Amani trialled for the under 15s and went through to the second round. However, in 2017, he refused to trial, citing friends didn’t want him too. The cards were clearly on the table at that stage and all I could do was watch him fall. Stephen Zayler from Toorak Prahran Cricket club, Prahran Junior Football Club (PJFC) and, the South Metro Junior Football Interleague Coordinator arranged for Amani to work with the PJFC President, David Landrigan, who Amani played cricket with. Lando is a painter by trade and he was a champion footballer. Most importantly he was the winner of the most ducks award in cricket, LOL. On occasion, Amani would sand and paint for him. Steve was a great influence on Amani and I’m deeply indebted to him for all his help over the years. After all he’d done for Amani, it was difficult facing Steve when Amani left PJFC to play for the Vampires and, I told him as much when I spoke with him. Steve would be the nicest person I’ve ever met and I’m privileged to have met him.

Generosity to an upright H

In 2013 and 2014, Amani played for Prahran Junior Football Club (PJFC). I have great respect for this club that was unofficially run by former secretary, Madeline Connors, an amazing generous and selfless woman. PJFC sponsored so many of Amani’s friends, providing boots, mouthguards, uniforms and even feeding the boys. The older age groups were plagued by poor numbers due to private school football. Thus, Amani and his friends would regularly play 2 matches each Sunday. Even Kyle came out of football retirement. Thus, he, Mali and their friend Jye, played and worked for PJFC in 2013. Mali would continue to work in the canteen with Zoe Juricic for at least another year.

2014 PJFC vs Cheltenham 15.5

Enter the Dragon

In 2015, Amani played representative football for the 13.1 South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL). They were severely thumped by the Yarra League, scoring heavily everytime Amani left the field. Imagine my frustration, LOL. Lucky there were only two matches to endure over a day. In 2016, he played in the 14.1 SMJFL team and they annihilated the opposition, including Yarra.

However, once again the team lost the final to Yarra, due to Amani and a few other key players absence. Amani had state rugby league duties in Newcastle and his teammates had family holiday engagements. Later that year, Amani and many of the boys in his domestic and representative teams joined the Sandringham Dragons Football squad, which feeds the Australian Football League (AFL). In 2017, there was direct competition between SMJFL and the Sandringham Dragons. Thus, the strong 14.1 SMJFL team was split in half and the boys received a hiding. To add insult to injury, all the boys whom had played in the SMJFL competition were stung the full amount to join the Sandringham Dragons squad. In light of having paid $1500 for the Rebels State Rugby Union Squad, $1500 for the Victorian Rugby League Squad, $150 for the Craig Shield Representative Cricket Team, $220 for the SMJFL team, I baulked at another $350 for the Dragons, for half a season. All these fees were over and above the cost for all his domestic team fees of over $1000. Thus, once again I reached for the door and took him to the Northern Football League, where the boys couldn’t mark the ball well. A basic skill and not surprisingly, they were thrashed in the matches. In hindsight, I should’ve sucked up the Dragons fee but, I felt that greed should not be encouraged.

Vampires bleed blood

2016 14.1 Premiers – Sam, Mounty, Hilly and Amani

2016 was a stellar yearn for Amani. In addition to playing Craig Shield under 15s representative cricket as an almost 14 year old and representing Victoria in both league and union, he co-captained the East Brighton Vampires 14.1 premiership team with James Hill and Sam Pirola, coached under former AFL premiership winner Stephen Mount. It was Sam who elbowed the East Sandringham child in the grand final. I remember asking Amani at the first change over, why he was quiet. He looked at me pained and told me that he was being held onto. Callen had been sanctioned with the task of holding onto Amani the entire season. In my books, bad coaching and poor sportsmanship. Irony of all ironies is that Stephen Mount whom taught at the same school that Callen attended was cited for bad sportsman and accused of inciting Sam to target him. Callen’s father made it a school thing and humiliated Stephen by formally demanding an apology and assurance not to victimise his son at school. Hypocrisy at it’s best. He’d have mentally thought it acceptable for his son to cheat the entire season but, couldn’t wear the consequences of that thought process. All the boys knew that the Zebras were going to target Amani and, Sam took it upon himself to protect him. I’ve watched and rewatched the video and although, I do not condone Sam’s actions that led to Callen being struck, I know there wasn’t any malice in the behaviour. Unlike the odd team mate of Callen’s, that wasn’t above deliberately concussing Amani with a knee to the head, in an attempt to sideline him. Amani being Amani simply shook it off and continued because that’s what he did and better to have a sore head than to be sidelined on the bench. Also, he’d have known I would’ve been upset and, when I found out weeks later I was mortified. This, I outlined in the letter to the VFL and the President of the SMJFL. I didn’t receive a response from either party, but the following year, some St Kilda player was championing fair play. Incidences like these simply tarnish sport and that football season, especially when the East Sandringham team were awarded Sportsmanship of the year for supporting Will Murray, a rising superstar who dove off a pier at Half Moon Bay and became a quadriplegic. Amani had always played a year above his age group so he never played against Will domestically but they played side by side together in the SMJFL teams.

2015 SMJFL 13.1

It was at a tribute match for Will at the Docklands stadium, now Marvel Stadium at the beginning of the season that I would see both his new team, the Vampires and the Zebras in action.

2016 Vampires vs Zebras @ Marvel Stadium for Will Murray

Surprisingly, it was Amani who elected to play for the Vamps, after a conversation with Hilly, his co-captain. Initially, I was adverse to it as he would be playing in his own age group. However, I took the phone call from Mounty and the rest is history. In addition to winning the premiership, Amani won best on ground in the grand final, team B&F and was runner up in the SMJFL B&F. State league duties probably cost Amani the SMJFL B&F but, he didn’t care about that. He’d won a most coveted prize, an Aussie Rules premiership. I wish I could say that this was only the beginning. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the end.

Fear is Learnt

In 2017, Amani plummeted after I told him that I was going to study Pilates so that I could be of better assistance on the sports field. I had figured that everything was in place and that his father could take over the day to day driving operations. Amani was in both the Storm and Rebels squads and he won the man of the match for the under 17s turf cricket grand final, with 99 not out.

2016/2017 Under 17s Turf Cricket Toorak-Prahran vs Caulfield

He’d not participated in cricket representative because we’d travelled to New Zealand to participate in the Tira Hoe Waka from Taumaranui to Whanganui. At the beginning of the football season, Amani decides he wants to leave the Vampires and play with his friend Anthony in South Melbourne. What ensued was a poor state of affairs with a lot of emails trying to make arrangements for the transfer. In the end Amani remained with the Vampires, but it set a poor precedent for the remainder of the year. Amani missed a few matches, due to the proposed transferred debacle and state league duties. The Vampires dominated during the year but were despatched in the semi-final. Irrespective of his poor showing, Amani still managed both the team and SMJFL runner-up B&F.

Amani moved to New Zealand at the end of 2017 and thus, football took a sabbatical for a year. However, in 2019 Amani joined the St Kilda City Under 19s, a competition well below his capabilities. Lack-lustre is the best description for his performance but despite that he still managed team runner-up B&F. Heavy recruiting meant that the team was stacked to the hilt and the premiership was theirs for the taking. I was in New Zealand during the grand final and I had to contend with watching the match via messenger. The boys controlled the match from start to finish and thrashed the opposition by at least 10 goals.

LEAGUE

To learn how to tackle, which would be important for tackling Wallabies in the future (ha ha ha), the boys joined Altona Roosters Rugby League club in 2005. Poor Kyle wasn’t enthused and with my rantings, it really spelled the beginning of the end. He played for a couple of seasons but eventually gave it up. Amani on the other hand was full of energy and highly enthusiastic but being a little young he became the team mascot. Ironically, this would be the beginning for him!

At the time, Billy Slater was the best player in the world and all the kids back then, including Amani, insisted on playing fullback, the last line of defence. Amani was tiny and despite his sized, he was second to noone and could take down kids much bigger and older.

Amani would play for the roosters most seasons from 2006 until 2012 and then after a couple of seasons playing rugby union, he rejoined the roosters in 2015.

In 2007 I didn’t have a car and in 2009, Amani played with the Waverly Panthers Rugby League Under 8s team. An offer from a Roosters parent to take him to training and Amani rejoined the Roosters in 2010. Ironically, this parent would be the reason Amani left the Roosters in 2016.

In 2011 and 2012, due to a lack of numbers, Amani played 2 years above his age grade. He was coached by Grant McDonald, a highly passionate man who fought tooth and nail for the boys. Unfortunately, poor health has seen Grant pass on but I’ll always remember him generously buying the team hot dogs and chips and, ready to scrape with the powers that be, when he thought the boys integrity was in question.

2012 The Skunk

The photo of Amani above shows the hairstyle he would be famous for that year. The blonde patch was supposed to be curved like the line on a tennis ball but the Asian hairdresser fucked up, so he was known as the Skunk. In footy it would be the means by which Amani was identified and targeted. In the preliminary final, he had not one but two taggers and it took him two quarters to work out how to shake them both. Unfortunately, one of his highly skilled teammates shat himself and thus, the team was always one player short for 3 quarters of that match. By the time the boy was removed, it was too late for Amani to claw back the difference. However, I can still see him order his tall ruckman Slidey out of a ball up contest in the second half and, despite being a shade over 4 feet tall, he rucked and then roved the ball for the remainder of the half. Thank god for basketball and leaping for rebounds! Although, I didn’t think he deserved to win best finals player at the time, now upon reflection, it’s understandable why he did. This is the part where I make it clear that I am Amani’s greatest fan but I was his worse critique. The joke between him and his father is that when I complimented him on a good performance, he must’ve played really well because I’m hard to please. I’ve already stated what a cunt I was.

At the beginning of 2012, just before his 10th birthday, Amani was invited to the Victorian Rugby League under 12s training sessions. He trialled unsuccessfully for the State team later that year but competing against children who were 3 years older and twice as big, meant he’d have to wait until 2016. The state administrator Ryan Walker told his father that he was too young but he would keep an eye on him, which he did.

2011 Under 11s Roosters vs Keilor Wolves

Eye of the Tiger

In 2016, I transferred Amani to the Sunbury Tigers as a few Roosters parents felt that a domestic sports team was more important that his representative commitments. Amani had representative football training Tuesday nights, which clashed with league training. Make no mistake, even now in a conscious state, a representative sports team will always take precedence. The Tigers and Roosters fought well against each that year and the Roosters smashed the Tigers in the grand final, a week after the Aussie Rules grand final. Disappointing but that’s what alcohol is for, lol. The Vampire parents had a celebration that night and I had a lot of fun so, the league final loss was just a speed hump. It would be 2 years later in New Zealand that Amani would win a domestic league premiership.

2018 Taupo Phoenix Under 17s Premiers

In 2016, Amani made the Under 14 Victorian Rugby League team, participating in the Country New South Wales competition in Wagga Wagga in June and July. Stupidly, I forgot my bag as I’d been concerned with everybody else, so Boris was kind enough to buy a lot of cheap clothing at Kmart. Seriously, items of clothing priced between $3-$6 is a steal. Although, the fluorescent pink half calf slippers that I bought from Kmart didn’t quite cut it so, he did splash out on $25 gumboots at pararubber because it poured down heavily that weekend. There were puddles on puddles. I still have the gumboots, which are sitting in Kyle’s apartments caged area down in the basement. Everytime, I look at them I remember that Queen’s birthday weekend.

2016 Victorian Rugby League Squad @ Wagga Wagga

The boys won all but one match, which they drew. This cost them the opportunity to play in the Trophy final and they had to contend with the Plate final which they lost in Newcastle against Newcastle. Actually, they were thrashed in Newcastle against Newcastle. However, one year later, against the same team, in the same location, hot off the heels of winning the Under 15B National Rugby League final, the boys exacted their revenge. Newcastle were receiving a resounding beating, but were repeatedly able to exploit a weak Victorian corner late in the second half. Amani played half-back and not centre this year, so he was well away from the action. However, due to Newcastle capitulating to pressure and missing a crucial pass that would have surely ended in a try winning victory, Amani held the ball at the final siren. I can still see his team mates pulling the Newcastle boys off him as he stood and threw the ball behind him in celebration.

2017 Victorian Rugby League Under 15 Team

2017 was a bitch of year for league and Amani’s motivation waned heavily. Amani had played Centre in 2016 and knowing that he was better utilised in the middle of the field, I nominated him for the halfback position. He was bereft at the trials because he hadn’t expected it and more importantly, it was the same position that his Tigers teammate Trent played. He complained to me afterward as we sped to cricket and, looking back it’s definitely a moment where I can see his self-worth ebb. That year, Amani barely played domestic league, choosing to play for the Port Melbourne Colts football team instead. Further to that, Amani missed a number of state trainings and, his coach Ash pulled him aside one evening and told him that there were boys out on the paddock whom would be out on their ear if they missed a single training. But he, who had missed 5 or 6 training sessions for no reason was still in the squad because he had more talent than all those boys. Suffice to say, Boris who recounted the story to me later was relieved of driving duties and I resumed taking Amani to training. Amani continued to spiral downwards and he had dropped out of school. The conundrum with that decision is that the state team is a school team and, the same league parent who was responsible for Amani moving clubs, quite rightly tried to have him removed, so that his son could make the team. In the car, I told Amani firmly he was going back to school and under no circumstances, was he to let anyone, not even himself, take away what he’d be working for his entire life.

The Phoenix rises from the ashes

My brother Atene is a massive sport buff, travelling the breadth of New Zealand to coach or referee athletics, rugby, league, touch rugby and sevens. He contacted Stephanie Tahana the team manager for the Tuwharetoa Under 17s Maori Rugby League team to enquire as to the possibility of Amani participating in the tournament held annually in Rotorua. Irrespective of Amani living in Gisborne, a 5 hour bus trip from Taupo, he made the weekly sojourn for training and to play for the Taupo Phoenix under 17s rugby league team. It’s pertinent to point out that Atene didn’t know Stephanie or her partner BJ and, Amani was included in the team based on his sport resume and a few videos. Apparently, BJ’s sister was drunk the day they all met and tried to lick Amani whilst he was seated on the couch, which was the right recipe to break the ice. From then on in, Amani was part of the family, as he’d been given the lick of approval. Atene paid for me to attend the tournament and I travelled to Rotorua from Dunedin to meet Amani’s Taupo whanau.

2018 Tuwharetoa Under 17s Rugby League Team

A couple of Amani’s former Tigers teammates Trent and Legacy were in the Tuwharetoa team, so he had friends. The team gelled well but liked to give their opponents lots of leg room and they always had to come from behind to win their matches. The danger team, Taranaki were hot favourites but the boys dispensed with them in both the round robin and final.

Trent, Amani and Legacy

BOP till you drop

Despite my contacting both the coach and the president of the Bay of Plenty (BOP) representative team and BOP region, Amani was a very late inclusion into the squad. Apparently, being selected for Australia the previous year was meaningless. The squad which was filled with boys from the coach’s domestic team was talented but fronted by a small minded, but apparently really nice guy. The Phoenix boys thrashed the coach’s team in the grand final by a mile and a country, but again such credentials didn’t warrant inclusion into the BOP team. Thus, some boys refused to participate and only 5 of the Phonenix boys including Amani, thanks to Stephanie’s persistence, were selected. Amani wasn’t short changed during the tournament, spending only a half of the entire tournament on the bench. The travesty is that, his equally talented Phoenix teammates spent a lot of time on the bench because Jason sacrificed them to showcase his domestic team talent for the WAI-COA-Bay regional representative squad. Thus, they lost the final against ordinary opposition in howling wet conditions. Amani and many of his Phoenix teammates made the WAI-COA-Bay regional representative squad but, Amani participated in the Wellington Rugby Union tournament that was stupidly held at the same time at the National Rugby League tournament. Selfish and/or mindless decision making by rugby officials. However, not everyone is open to their child playing multiple sport like I am, so it’s understandable. Sadly, after 13 years, this would be the last time Amani would take to the league field. As a child anyway, who knows what the future holds.

2018 Phoenix boys in WAI-COA Bay Squad

SOCCER/FOOTBALL

Sunday soccer at Dendy Park Brighton in 2005 and 2006, gave the boys full body awareness, eye feet coordination and the capacity to run. I prefer this code of football to any other, not only due to the skill involved (minus the hollywood acting) but, due to it’s neutrality. Boris was all about Aussie Rules and I was all about rugby.

In 2008, the boys joined the Port Melbourne Sharks under 6s and under 9s. Amani would sometimes play for Kyle’s team when he wasn’t playing footy. I can still remember how disciplined and talented some of the children were at 5 and 6 years old. I’m sure they’ve gone on to play a high standard of football.

Football is very expensive and so Amani joined the Altona Magic under 10s team in 2009, which at $200 was only half of what the Sharks wanted. The one thing that stands out in my mind is opposition parents verbally attacking children from Amani’s team. In hindsight, I guess they mirrored my own depraved behaviour when I spoke at my own sons. Cringe!!!!! I spent that match telling those parents to shut up and stop attacking 7 to 10 year old children. It’s amazing even now, that on a sport field, it’s quite acceptable to bully children. Yet, in the school yard, teachers and principals are held accountable if their children are bullied. It’s sad, that signage is made and displayed, reminding adults that children are playing and that referees made mistakes. Looking back, I realise those parents and I were the same ….. hindsight is 20/20.

In 2009, Amani would play football and then play 2 footy matches, one for Newport Power and the other for the Port Melbourne Colts. On Saturdays he’d play league and then basketball and, even after all that running around, he’d still continue to run around at full-tilt. I used to get tired watching him and need to nap in the car. LOL, probably explains why I was overweight and unfit.

In 2010, I was away on tour and Boris seized the opportunity to remove Amani from football. Such is life!

CRICKET

Cricket, once the bane of my existence began at South Melbourne Districts milo cricket in 2004. Growing up in New Zealand, there were only 2 channels on TV and during summer I had to endure watching it. OMG, I hated that sport with a passion. I remember complaining to Boris years later. Tongue in cheek he said, that he hoped the boys would bat first and lose their wicket immediately, so that I’d have to sit and watch the entire match. I made the decision right there and then, that I would tolerate cricket. Little did I know that I would develop into a competent bowler and spend many an hour bowling at Amani. He wouldn’t let me bat often and if I did, he endeavoured to hurt me. One day, he had to remind me to use the allow the ball to hit the pads because instinctively I’d jump when the ball was bowled to me. I remember one of the Dad’s told me he should be nicer to me, LOL! I never batted again. The most important I can do score and many a cricket book have been demarcated with my love of colour, both in and out of my onesies!

Cookie monster scoring in cool weather

Suffice to say, I recognise cricket to be a game similar to chess and I do admire the game for this. Furthermore, it hones eye hand coordination and the ability to hit and catch a ball delivered at rapid speeds or curving in space at weird angles.  Fielding provides patience, discipline to return to where placed by the captain, vigilance and the ability to react in microseconds to a ball designed to impound damage. Unfortunately, after moving Amani to Toorak Prahran Cricket Club where participation was championed, Amani lost his confidence bowling. Many children were afraid of getting hurt and didn’t know how to field, so many a ball of his were sent to the boundary. C’est la vie.

McTony’s @ Port

Amani and Kyle spent a couple of years participating in Port Melbourne Cricket Club (PMCC) Milo and of course, I insisted that Amani participate with the older kids. Thus, when I learnt that there would be an under 11s team in 2009, I signed the boys up in 2008. Strike whilst the iron is hot, right?

2006 Port Melbourne Cricket Club Milo Cricket with Andrew Gilchrist

In 2009/2010 the boys joined the PMCC under 11s team and lost ever match. At the age of 7, Amani was the smallest and youngest but that wasn’t evident when he played. The club secretary Tony was awesome and every week after cricket, the boys would have breakfast at McTony’s aka PMCC clubrooms. Hot raisin toast which I still love to eat. There were eggs and scones and bacon. Tea was oreos and water melon, which at the time was awesome. Years later I would see cricket teas that were kids party spreads (North Balwyn and Oakleigh Cricket Clubs) and and this was elevated to chic Soirées when the Jewish families from Caulfield catered. I do mean catered, because one of the families owned a renown restaurant and simply ordered food in. It’s the only time I’ve eaten salmon at the cricket. Seriously all that was missing was champagne.

2009/2010 Port Melbourne Cricket Club Under 11s Team

The best thing about PMCC was Merv an old stalwart who would regale me with tales of his own playing days. Merv used to drive a horse and buggy to deliver the milk and was a fast bowler, despite being short and, had a crocodile jaw snapping action when he caught the ball. He truly is the last of the gallant gentlemen who once pervaded the world. To commemorate his involvement at the PMCC, the best and fairest trophy is named after him and, proudly Amani and his coaches Daniel and Sam are photographed with him.

Inaugural Port Melbourne Cricket Club Best and Fairest 2009/2010

In 2010/2011 thanks to a recruitment drive, 2 under 11s teams were established. Controversy erupted over selection and one family left after I threw in my 5cents worth. The precedent was set for the season and the two teams would meet in the semi-final and Amani’s team the Blues would beat the Reds in a rain delayed match. The final against Spotswood was equally thrilling, with the boys losing by a whisker.

Boris who was a bigger cunt than I was at time, had prevented Amani from playing in the representative cricket tournament for the Western Region Junior Cricket Association (WRJCA). He claimed that Amani’s coach, Sam who was also the representative coach said he wasn’t good enough. For a ticking time bomb such as myself, I exploded with rage. What ensued was a toxic wasteland which saw Sam leave the club and me fighting with the administration. It’ll come as no surprise that Amani played for another club the following season. I have to apologise sincerely for my deplorable behaviour and if it’s not too late, I’d like to wish everyone the very best.

Raging Bull

A funny story I can recount about myself is that I was called the Raging Bull when I played indoor football, due to my charging at the player, who obviously had the ball. Anyway, in 2012 Amani joined the North Balwyn Bulls under 12A team, after being rejected by a Hawthorn team. Whilst trialing, he stepped away from his wickets a couple of times and the coaches felt he wasn’t A grade material. Little did they know that years later, Amani would be invited to trial for the State Cricket team off his own bat. A few paid cricket lessons sorted out that flaw and very soon, he could place pressure on the field with his capacity to steal runs, drive and pull the ball. Amani isn’t a 20/20 player, he doesn’t smash the ball successfully. He’s pure class and places the ball deliberately. Amani was a late entrance to the team and it was a toss up between him and another child, who used his feet to try and stop the ball, instead of bending over to pick it up. I knew instantly, Amani who fields better than he bats, was in the team, which was very talented. However, so were all the other teams and, it came to a showdown against the Hawthorn team to make the finals. The team stars capitulated and, the son of some Balwyn official who couldn’t play cricket well was elevated above Amani in the batting order. By the time Amani batted, there were too few balls to bat and too many runs for Amani to scrape back but, he did an admirable job. What I did learn that season is that the better teams get the better grounds and walk less.

Where the grass is greener

In 2013, Amani joined Toorak-Prahran Cricket Club (TPCC) with his friends, Anthony, Rhys and Foxy. Sure, I was annoyed with the coach from North Balwyn Bulls but after looking at the website, I saw that TPCC had several teams. Intrigued I took the boys to a training session run by Stephen Zayler, the Junior Coordinator during the September holidays. Not knowing anyone, the boys were clustered around me and Jim Hallam, the treasurer approached us and asked why the boys weren’t with the all the other boys. Before I knew it, all the boys were ushered into the clubrooms and fully kitted out and were registered to play on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It wasn’t too long before Amani was playing Friday nights and filling in for the seniors Saturday and Sunday afternoons. In the 2014/2015 Amani was registered to play in 5 domestic teams and in the Southern Districts Cricket League Nolan Representative team. This spelled the end of representative basketball.

Why is the grass greener? It isn’t, it’s just that we saw a lot of it. Suffice to say, Amani is better at cleaning whites than I am. The secret is that he adds everything, napisan, bleach, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner. Basically whatever was in the cupboard, was added. I can’t bring myself to add moisturiser to the whites bucket. I spoke to another mum, who’s son also adds moisturiser to his whites bucket, so go figure.

Jim Hallam is extremely generous and loves to help those that are disadvantaged. He bought the boys brand new asics runners, clothes and sports equipment. Rhys and Anthony’s parents were already in awe with the boys playing for the likes of Toorak and, Jim’s generosity rained down on them. Jim still makes regular contributions to the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, where I worked for many years. As cricket legend Richie Bernaud used to say, he truly is Marvellous!

The first season at TPCC was interesting because Amani went from A grade to the worst grade of cricket, I’d ever witnessed. Steve fostered a participation philosophy so every child rotated through the batting and bowling ranks. I can see the intelligence behind this mindset now but at the time, I wanted to walk. Fortunately, things improved over the years and the highlight that first season was Amani’s 95 not out. The elusive 100 was a few years away and, would be made in seniors not juniors. His first cricket premiership would also be in seniors but he did win a few junior premierships. The highlight of his cricket would be 99 not out in the under 17s turf final in 2017, where his teammate ran 1 short. There were a lot of great moments over the years and Amani was recognised for it at the 2017 TPCC senior prizegiving.

2016/2017 Toorak Prahran Sunday Turf Under 17s Team

LITTLE ATHS

For sprinting skills, my sons joined little athletics in South Melbourne, where some genius decided that a 300m running track was appropriate. Hilarious but WTF! This story is short lived because the boys were very young. Although, Amani did spend a season at the Collingwood Little Athletics Club in 2009.

MARTIAL ARTS

Kyle took up karate for a couple of years, which was part of the after school care programme at Port Melbourne Primary School in 2004. I like martial arts for self-discipline, self-mastery and precision. As a result, Amani followed at age 7. This story too is short, as my tyrannical behaviour led to Kyle losing interest in sport at about the age of ten and thus, for many years I concentrated solely on Amani.

BASKETBALL

Amani took up basketball at the age of 7, playing for Middle Park Primary School. There were so many kids that the team was split into 2. Amani drew the short end of the stick and was lumped with all the kids that required alot of practice. I was resentful of the unfair segregation of talent because I didn’t want Amani to know the burden of carrying an unfair load. However, this was merely the precedent. Upon reflection, experiences like this developed my efficacious skillset, which I’m now thankful for. But, I didn’t see that and my truth or should I say, my contextualised perception, which was dependent upon my historical experience, saw persecution. The fact, without embellishment is that Amani played basketball with his classmates. Unfortunately, my childhood lenses distorted reality and ignited an emotional neurotic stance that would see Amani dragged from pillar to post. That aside, basketball was amazing for developing ambidexterity and, the capacity to move rapidly between offence and defence.  Add to that sprinting, jumping and the capacity to minutely judge and react quickly enough to steal the ball.

When Amani first joined the frogs, there were very few boys and Jacko was injured. Thus, he’d have to play 1 against 5. However, over the years, more Tigers boys joined the team and lost the grand final due to injuries. Foot injuries are very common in basketball due to the high impact of leaping and landing on growing plates within the feet. Unfortunately, talented children are over inundated with commitments and thus, the Frogs folded.

After 3 years of mediocre basketball, finally Amani was surrounded by highly skilled children who could play basketball. The team played well but due to the only tall, Paul, who now represents Australia, being injured the boys lost in the first final. The following season, Amani missed selection in the 12.1s due to the coach selecting a boy from his domestic team. I remember watching the child trial as his father is a friend of Boris. Lost is the best way to describe his performance over the trials. Thus, appalled Amani joined Keilor Thunder and the Central City Breakers in 2013.

The Thunder boys were well coached and highly talented. Unfortunately, they had to play against their own lower ranked team in the final and won very comfortably.

In Amani’s first year with Central City Breakers, he played for two teams, an underage 11.5 team and a 13.4 team. Not shockingly he won the Hawthorn Basketball League 11.5 best and fairest. During the 2013/2014 summer season he was elevated into the 12.1 CCB team and they cleaned up. The following 2014 winter season, 3 boys including Amani were elevated again into the 15.1 team and despite not progressing far in the finals it was good to watch a high level of basketball. Amani rarely played in the 2014/2015 summer season due to cricket and 2015, would spell the end of basketball.

TOUCH

Touch rugby opportunities for children in Victoria are rare but Amani did play the odd game both in Melbourne and in New Zealand. Touch provides fast tactical thinking and the capacity to read and exploit gaps. I’m going to ring Victorian Touch on Monday January 13 2020 to enquire about Amani joining an A grade touch team, to work on these skills.

SEVENS

Unwittingly the sport where Amani’s skillset culminates perfectly is rugby 7s. Speed, exploiting gaps, tackling, kicking, quick tactical decision making, ambidexterity, vigilance, patience, awareness of all other players on the field, capacity to intercept the ball, strength to toss the ball great distances and knowledge of everyones strengths and weaknesses.

In 2015 after winning the under 14.B grand final against Melbourne Unicorns, the team was entered into the Bendigo 7s tournament. Amani’s future Tigers teammates would join the team and they would go all the way to the final. I’m probably bias when I state that, the worst referee ever adjudicated the match. In one of the round robin matches, Amani had clearly scored a try but the chump referee didn’t award it. Thus, the final was just wave after wave of biased calls against the team. As I stated I could be bias but, the stacked state rugby union Melbourne unicorns team won by a whisper. Ironically, I would employ the same tactic of stacking a team to win the tournament the following year. If you study the photo below, you’ll find alot of the state league team boys in it. When in Rome do as the Romans do!

2016 Toorak-Prahran Cricket Club Bendigo 7s tournament winners

Mere weeks before the 2016 Bendigo tournament, Amani’s under 14 Melbourne Unicorns team lost the grand-final against Moorabbin in the Harlequins 7s tournament. Amani and one of the Moorabbin boys both won best on ground in the final. Meanwhile, Mali and Kyle’s under 18 Northern Panthers team won the tournament.

Amani excelled in the 2015 tournament, possibly due to the Tigers boys being shy. Amani had been off the field for a minute, when his coach Fetuli asked who wanted to go on. Amani piped up first and his teammates grumbled that he’d just come off. I told them next time to seize the opportunity and speak up when the coach asks the same question. Amani’s performance at the tournament caught the eye of the State Rebels under 15 coach. Amani had trialled for the team but he wanted to leave early so he could play seniors cricket. Not surprisingly I received an email inviting him into the squad. I sent an email back saying that he had cricket commitments but after speaking with Amani, he withdrew from his Friday night cricket team and was unavailable for Sunday afternoon cricket.

RUGBY UNION

Rugby union the game that I had been grooming the boys for initially, caused me great grief and disappointment. I’d been expecting caviar and felt that I’d received mussel shells. League, Aussie Rules, basketball, cricket and soccer all operated professionally. Union was grossly lacking in that area or maybe it was the fact that Northern Panthers Rugby Union Club, where Amani joined in 2013 was impoverished, financially and of children. I was afflicted by emotional neuroticism at its best, so naturally everything went pear shape. Nothing was good enough and instead of working toward improving conditions, I made things worse. I should’ve known when a scuffle broke out in the playground with a parent threatening to hit some of the boys, that it was going to be a dog fight. However, I persevered and the boys entered a 10s competition at the beginning of the year and won.

Evala the under 14s coach wanted Amani to play in his team but he broke his arm and was sidelined. Depressed I spent the first 6 weeks of the season crying into my soggy weetbix. There were so few boys in the team and often they would need to forfeit. Disgruntled I became rancid and for the first time ever, Amani misbehaved at training, earning him a suspension that prevented him from playing in the semi-final. Only two boys turned up to play for that match, Anthony and Rhys. I was stoked at their performance. Unfortunately Amani’s exclusion caused distress within the team and they were beaten soundly.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom. The boys took part in the guard of honour for the Wallabies, when the British Lions toured, due to former Panthers and current Wallaby Christian Lealiifano being in the team. The boys reaction was priceless and I read that Christian was thrilled to see the boys when he ran out. I was fortunate to meet Christian when he presented the awards at the Club’s prizegiving in 2015.

Boxed In

In 2014, there was no team for Amani due to a lack of numbers. Thus he joined the Box Hill Rugby Club, where Kyle and Mali played. I have to state that Amani playing in his own age group in B grade was a waste of time. I had asked the former President of the Melbourne Unicorns to ask for Amani to receive dispensation to play in the under 14s. He refused so he had to contend with watching Amani run singlehandedly around his team for Box Hill. When Kyle received dispensation to play for Northern Panthers under 18s at the age of 16, I knew that Nick didn’t even try. However, Amani did end up playing for the Unicorns two years later.

Kyle spent the majority of his time on the bench for the under 16s, so he lost interest and quit. Mali on the other hand as a prop was an integral part of the team. I spent a lot of time that year speeding through the streets from Armadale to Box Hill, as Rhys and Amani had PJFC footy training Wednesday afternoons and then Amani would have rugby training. Saturday mornings, I’d sprint between the various venues to drop and collect the boys. Saturday afternoons, I’d flit around Balwyn, Hawthorn and Kew for basketball.

Amani trialled unsuccessfully for the Victorian Rugby Union team in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, for some reason he trialled for the winger position, which he’d never played before. Rhys made the team and Foxy’s mum Ana and I would take turns driving him to state training. At 2014’s trial, my brothers Lance and Atene and I watched in abject horror at a very ordinary trial session. Atene coached representative rugby union in New Zealand, so he begged to be taken away. I had dropped Rhys off at the footy earlier, so I removed Amani too. I didn’t care that he didn’t make the squad that year, it was obvious that the quality of the team would be rubbish. It was the same every year that Amani was top age in the state team.

Quality vs Quantity

In 2015, I swallowed my pride and returned with Amani, Kyle and Mali to the Northern Panthers. I forgot to mention that I’d left the club in a blaze of fury, refusing to turn up to the prize-giving due to perceived grievances. My reception was tepid when I returned but I worked hard to turn that around. Once again the Northern Panthers team was severely depleted. Most games they would scrape through with the bare minimum number of boys to avoid a forfeit. Often the boys from Ivanhoe Grammar would run onto the field just as the whistle blew. Despite the lack of numbers throughout the season and even with 12 boys in the semi-final, they blitzed the opposition. The final against the Melbourne Unicorns was just a formality. Amazingly, there were 16 boys that turned up for that match.

Unicorns are magical creatures

In 2016, thanks to the Rebels Team Manager Adrian being a Unicorns man, Amani joined the team, flitting between league and rugby. Fortunately, as most of the team attended private schools, matches were held Friday night. The team manager’s son Tom is the only boy I credit with being capable of playing rugby that season. He unfortunately broke his arm, so for most of the season it was Amani vs the opposition. Clashes with footy, league and rugby training made it difficult for Amani to attend training. It was this reason that Amani failed to win the team’s B&F. Snivelling and ungrateful is how I would rate some of the parents, who barely bothered to turn up. When Amani couldn’t make a crucial match that would see them make a final due to a league final, the reception was incredulous. As team trainer I’d attended all other matches, unless Amani had representative commitments. The sniping comments that were rotated via email cemented my decision to form the Toorak-Prahran Cricket Club 7s team that relinquished 1 try for the tournament. During that tournament the Unicorns development manager spoke to me about Amani being included in their high performance squad the following year. However, that ship had sailed.

2017 presented an exciting prospect of an amalgamation between the Tigers and Panthers. In anticipation, I arranged with Jim Hallam to donate $1500 to help the team with registrations and uniforms. However, the team would need to compete Friday nights. Once opponents realised the quality of the team, they failed to endorse Friday night matches. Instead of thinking about development their fear of losing was costly. Such mindsets are the reason why the Wallabies and rugby union are in a downward spiral. I maintain even now, that to be the best, one has to play with and against the best. The losers are rugby union because the boys they failed to play against were predominantly state league boys. Some of the boys could’ve been persuaded to change codes. Suffice to say, things ended poorly.

Game changer

Let me tell you my story

Of how I lived my life in the dark

Yeah I was looking for glory

But so full of doubt

I kept jumping at the shadows

I was afraid of the dark

But the truth is much more mellow

Come lets walk in the park

Verse 1 – Me, Myself and I (10 May 2015)

Amani attended Gisborne Boys High School in the first half of 2018 and the XV coach tried punitive methods upon Amani. He didn’t understand nor did he try to help Amani academically and so Amani was penalised repeatedly for poor behaviour at school. Thus, Amani spent the majority of the time warming the XV bench or playing in the second XV. My assessment of Tom is for a huge man, he’s a pussy. I can still see him cowering in front of me the day I removed Amani from the school. I didn’t think much of the Principal either. Neither had the balls to look me in the eyes. I have stated that I did think all men are useless and I have a penchant for elucidating this quality. It’s the reason why Amani didn’t attend Manukura in Palmerston North. That and the fact that I’m a bitch!

Gisborne Boys High School form part of New Zealand Secondary School Boys top 8 rugby union teams. Tom is the national boys coach. Boys will repeat year 13 in an attempt to be noticed and selected for a quality rugby club. The boys in these teams are treated the same as super rugby. Matches are televised and the boys are royalty. My sister Roi said that Amani’s skillset was far superior to these boys but as a 16 year old, opportunities would’ve been forthcoming. Thus, preference was given to the older, albeit lesser skilled boys. Amani did state that it was a challenging competition but I know he would’ve handled himself well.

In the second half of 2018, Amani attended Chanel College in Masterton. They didn’t have a rugby team and due to provisions in New Zealand’s Education Sporting sector Amani had to play for one of the lower teams for another Masterton school. Naturally, they were rubbish but Amani did play a few matches seniors. My brother Atene had warned me that Masterton rugby was weak but that didn’t prepare me for what I saw.

Rep Rugby ……. Are you sure we’re in NZ?

Off the back of the matches I’d watched, I asked one of the parents if it was the first time their kids had played representative sport. I was assured that it wasn’t. If marking the ball is a basic 101 footy skill then the same applies in rugby. Even if the ball was covered in velcro and the boys had the appropriate gloves, it didn’t seem like they could catch the ball. The entire B grade competition played worse than Amani’s under 14 Melbourne Unicorns team and that was saying something.

Fourteen years of working tirelessly, planning everything down to the last roll of tape, had come down to this. A complete waste of fucking time, effort, energy, sacrifice and money. All of the sports had created a well-rounded athlete whom had only received the usual knocks associated with contact sport.  Amani had never had time off due to a sports injury as his development was well-balanced and engineered to perfection. Granted, psychologically my emotional neuroticism had left tell-tale signs. But, now I was well and truly broken. My involvement in Amani’s sport to date has been minimal. Although, I did clock up many cycling miles when I attended Amani’s footy matches in 2019.

The Thrill of the Fight

So many times, it happens too fast

You trade your passion for glory

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past

You must fight just to keep them alive

Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

Monday January 6 2020, it truly hit me that I’d traded passion for glory a long time ago. I can remember the occasion that I’d contemplated pursuing my passion for music or develop Amani’s sporting abilities. I can see myself looking at my car dash and down further to my pedals, when I made the decision for the 3rd and final time, waiting at the lights to turn left onto High St, 200m from home. It was then I decided to suppress passion and go for glory.

The competitiveness that I had ditched in New Zealand began to course strongly through my body. Years before I had intimated for many years that Amani was so good he could afford to lose a year and still compete. That year was 2019, which I had drifted through without vision or drive. The hunted is now the hunter and, as my totem animals are the Tiger, Honeybadger and Eagle, I fancy my chances. LOL! Seriously, intelligence is now operating. The thoughts that have dominated my psyche for so long are no longer worthy of contemplation.

Risin’ up, back on the street

Did my time, took my chances

Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet

Just this girl and my will to survive

Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

Where to from here?

Does it matter? I guess this is the part, where this blog ceases to be a memoir and becomes exactly that, a blog! A reflection of the now not the past or future.

Intelligence

What I know I can fit on the end of a pin but if I hit you with the pin I’m going to have a profound impact! You’re going to be aware, so I want to be a pin injecting awareness into people

March 16 2018

Intelligence is often quantified by numbers as a measure of brain and or mind superiority. Yet, despite the number of people wielding impressively high numbers and whom are producing a wealth of products to solve a retinue of never ending issues. Very few people are at peace with themselves, let alone anyone else. Unfathomable amounts of money are squandered regularly and yet as rapidly as a solution is found, another problem is identified. This is hugely compounded by the fact that hardly anyone can look in a mirror and like or accept what they see.

I’m a person who has a few numbers to assign to my person and yet, like so many others, I contributed to the world’s problems because I suffered inexhaustibly from an incessant thinking and an overactive mind. I had a toxic mindset and was governed by many mental constructs that were extremely difficult to eradicate. Thus, I challenge the regular definition of intelligence and assign that instead to academic cleverness. Not that one needs to be academic to be clever but for those whom are influenced by numbers associated with intelligence quotients, it’s fitting.

What is the definition of intelligence?

Who you are needs no words but who you think you are requires explanation!

9 June 2018

Kaukau’s definition of intelligence is “being at peace with oneself and thus others”. True intelligence will guide one to do what is necessary to extract the best result. Things are accepted for what they are and although a story or stories may arise about a situation, there is no emotional suffering.

A fairytale ….. right?

No, but it hasn’t been easy to live intelligently. In fact, it’s been a veritable nightmare or, for unenlightened beings, normal! However, pain is a great motivator for change because, it forces one to either deal with it or the normal practice of deny, suppress, cry and suffer extensively.

What you’re willing to do based on what you think you need to do and what you actually have to do, are often, 180 degrees apart.  Why, because what one thinks is governed by ego and what one needs to do, is governed by, true intelligence.  How to tell the difference? Take a deep conscious breath,  focussing on every aspect of the inhalation process and how it fills the body, Control the exhale slowly.  Watch the thoughts trickle in …… the egoic mind rushes straight in and is all consuming.  True intelligence, hovers on the periphery and, is more of a soothing dream of knowing awareness, where one is comforted and knowledgeable.  Suffice to say, I often act like a bat out of hell! Fall over my big fat mouth, roll over and realise, fuck that hurt. Get up and do it all over again, insane right? Exactly!!!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_20191115_094536991-1.jpg
Taken in Dunedin New Zealand November 2019

The picture above was taken very recently and I love that dress because I love the way I look in it. Vanity …… most certainly. However, I spent most of my life, avoiding the mirror, repulsed by my reflection, unable to like or accept what I saw, let alone accept who I was. The scars were not only physical, they were indelibly mental. Self-abuse became prolific, resulting in a lifetime of yoyo dieting, leaving behind a trail of telling stretchmarks up and down my body. Having been raised not to seek medical assistance, simple ailments such as carbuncles proliferated, exacerbated the scarring extensively. I couldn’t bear for either myself or anyone to look at my skin, let alone to see me naked. Thus, I’ve spent most of my life alone, hiding my shame, in plain sight.

What changed?

I have awoken from my slumber and realised the wreckage before me.  I shed tears for the grief and destruction that I have avenged upon the world.  Always I have vindicated the wrong that others had done to me.  But more importantly that I had done to myself.  To seek and punish, hunt and destroy my adversaries, myself and I.  I am shaken to the very core of my being, for I am sober with the consequences of my being.  Shattered and torn I am humbled to the very depths of my soul, so I bow and ackowledge the very foundations of existence for I am love, so I am found.  Be it not me to cry pity for I am strong.  Be it not me to follow the meek for I must lead trusting in the strength that I am.

1 July 2011

I got sick of the suffering caused by my mind. I recognised there was something inherently wrong with what I thought. I remember walking along Merri Creek in Northcote in 2010 and mentally screaming to myself, that I looked forward to the day, when I was no longer plagued by the self-inflicted mental torture. I used to pray for amnesia to eradicate the tortuous memories of my childhood and early adulthood. That was a long time ago and it’s been “slow but steady wins the race”! I can see the memories now and I may cry but, with no adverse emotional contextualisation.

How did I change?

I can no longer pillage my soul and reap the hearts of my fellow man.  My unconsciousness was born out of necessity to combat the unconsciousness inflicted by my human neighbour.  But I am strong enough to withstand the challenge and now I let the tide ebb as it should.  Wash away my solace and my tears and leave nothing but the base element of sand, strong in number if weak in size.  For I am not one mere individual but a composition being of billions. Who am I to discard myelf so vainly. I bid you a fond thank you for delivering me to this point in time, tarnished but true.

4 July 2011

I changed the hard way! The only way that I was going to learn what I needed to know. Destruction is the only outcome when the mind governs behaviour. Unfortunately, collateral damage means that alot of people were hurt and I’d done it  to them. Irreparable? I’d like to think not.  However, one can’t always determine what people can and will recover from.  Where does one start? At the place where one feels the most pain ….. In one’s mind which is afflicted by memories of the past and fear for the future. What would you do, if you came face to face, with your worst fears? What every normal person would do!  Run!!! Away, right?

Imagination – enter at your own risk!

God is the unfounding peace that arises when the precipitating stories diminish 

12 May 2018

Initially, it may seem that one is running away, but invariably one runs straight into the very depths of hell from whence they were escaping from. How? In one’s imagination, which initially is a safe haven. As a child, one such place of escape would be into the illustration of a children’s playground. I spent many a countless time pouring over the image, that I yearned to be able to play in. Sweet childhood innocence. Despite being the 15th child out of a total of 16, and because many of my siblings were so much older than I, we all lived in different places. Thus, I was often alone and without anyone to interact with, I would escape into my imagination often. Especially at nap-time. That began before the age of 5. At about the age of 8, due to bullying, the innocent day-dreams burgeoned into nightmares that became reality.

Neutralising the nightmares

There is no greater roadblock than the human mind …… release that and everything is acceptable and anything is possible.

18 April 2017

Fear governed my reality and after I made each of them manifest, I realised that what I had been running from wasn’t that bad. Lack of trust in myself is what the fear fed off. Once I realised that I could deal with what I had created, I began to trust myself.

Enter the spiritual guru

I am passionate about the creative elements of talent, that is consciousness. It is present in everyone and everything. It is my primary purpose to elevate creativity and thus consciousness, globally and therefore, universally.

December 2019

In 2005, the year I completed my Masters, the father of my children, had my children and I thrown out of his mother’s flat that we had been residing in. My children and I landed on my mother’s doorstep. Unbeknownst to me, she had advanced dementia that saw her living in a fantasy world of epic delusion. She believed that she owned Air New Zealand and promised my eldest son that when she passed away, he would inherit it. On other occasions, neighbours would report her standing in the street, wearing her, now my, faux fur coat on hot days, waiting to be taken to the airport. The dementia took its toll, impacting her physically because she became very thin from not eating.

In June of 2005, my mother and I attended a graduation party for one of her friends. I chatted briefly with an attending Swinburne professor, whom directed me to Eckhart Tolle and the Power of Now. What has played out over the ensuing years has been a gradual progression towards facing all my fears and eventual emancipation from them.

What Eckhart points too …….

God is not separate to us. God is us. There is no higher order being that deigns to acknowledge us on occasion. We are and have always been God. What is God …. The state of being when one is with the universe and all is as it is and thus perfect. No one person provides access to God, we can access who we are at anytime without permission or guidelines. Just by allowing ourselves to be!  Thus, I am an evolving masterpiece and I am perfect exactly the way I am in any one given moment … so is everyone and everything that exists! In this way, we change the world, planting seeds in which we as humans remedy the problems that we’ve created.  Thus intelligence which is without academic qualification emanates. The result, without human prejudice is wisdom, where there is neither good or bad, just waves that ebb and flow.

There’s nothing left to fear
When all your worst nightmares come true
I’m staying 
I’ve lost interest
I need to find love and creativity will arise
Love is not necessarily romantic love but that which arises from trusting the universe
Passion isn’t the same as lust
I love unconditionally so I don’t need any physical reciprocation. I just need to let it go and in so doing let go of all my desires, my fears, future and past

Stop resisting what is
Accept and surrender to love
Love unconditionally 
I’m drawn to love

8 June 2015

Being ok with not knowing the outcome

There is only one truth and when you know that, then all justifications, excuses and questions cease because you have true faith in the unknowable. Truth or maybe it’s fact, is simply what is without embellishment and perspective.

28 February 2018

Fear convinces us that we need to know the outcome of everything. We fool ourselves into believing that if we keep thinking about an issue, we can control the outcome. To an extent this is true. In my experiences, I’ve made many things manifest ….. both good and bad. However, the thinking is continuous and never ending. Scenarios arise in one’s mind and play out in reality. However, reality is never good enough and so begins the never ending spiel of what went wrong and why it’s wrong. Before one knows it, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Paranoia of people working against one and fear kick in. Fear of what? Fear of loss! Loss of what? Everything that one holds dear, family, employment, property, position, power, anything of value. Anything of mental or mind value.

Where we are now

I’ve accepted the unconscious choices that I’ve made and, now that I’m aware, I live consciously guided by true intelligence. In turn, I shall guide others with love, which is not a limited emotion, dependent upon either expectation or reciprocation. Rather, love is a state of being, a limitless and inclusive energy that should never be filtered or exclusive.  However, one may be exclusively sexually, physically and emotionally intimate with another party or parties.

May 2019 Middle Park

Be the unknown potential

1 May 2017

In New Zealand, sadly it is cheaper to be fat than it is to be healthy.

One third of New Zealand’s 4.7 million population is overweight or obese, second behind the mighty USA. Suffice to say, New Zealanders are overfed but undernourished! The food on display is typical of a New Zealand cafe fare. Only 2 of the food items available could be considered healthy ie they were vegetarian pizza options but used white processed flour.  The lesser of two evils.  Even the supermarket aisles are bursting at the seams with brightly coloured packets of sugar and fat, at a fraction of the price of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, meat, dairy, nuts ….. food that provides nutrients and eliminates toxins and waste from the body.  

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Longwhite Cafe – Christchurch Airport

In New Zealand, sadly it is cheaper to be fat than it is to be healthy. I find it difficult to buy fresh produce, including seafood and meat in New Zealand for two reasons. The price and the quality. Quality fresh produce is like blood diamonds, expensive and hard to find! I prefer to buy fruit and vegetables from a market or a farm. However, the prices are boutique and being on a tight budget, I learnt to go without.

Island hopping experience

I took a 9am Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton and didn’t eat breakfast before or pack food for the trip. I was greeted by a typical Kiwi breakfast of  scrambled eggs, baked beans, bacon, sausages, cheap toasted bread, overpriced McDonald’s sundae sized bircher museli, apples and oranges, stingy serves of California Rolls, a plethora of tired looking meat and salad rolls, mostly containing fatty bacon (which ordinarily I love), which was microwaved before being toasted? When I looked around, I was the only one eating.  Obviously, I was with seasoned travellers who knew to eat beforehand. Rookie mistake!  When I asked about other hot food options, I was told that lunch would be carbohydrate and fat rich lasagna, which I do enjoy eating.  However, I wanted something healthy.  Seeing my state of agitation, one of the kind customer service attendants suggested I try one of the other cafes.  I bought a fruit salad that tasted like it came from a can but it looked fresh and, a tired looking salad roll, without bacon.  

I did post Interislander reviews but didn’t get a response …… I travelled back from Picton to Wellington on Bluebridge ferry and, although I didn’t buy any food, as I was seated beside the bar/canteen, I did notice the food was predominantly junk food. The Interislander Ferry, with 3 levels for passengers was far more spacious than the Bluebridge Ferry, where we were crammed onto a single level, about a third of the ferry length. However, Bluebridge Ferry did allow me to change my booking date for the supersaver non-refundable fare, without a penalty charge.

Blind leading the blind

I walked into a Work and Income center in Christchurch, a welfare office and 85% of the staff were obese, 10% were overweight and 5% fell into the healthy weight range. These people are tertiary educated and are employed to help New Zealanders. Yet, they’re incapable of helping themselves.  Staff would earn an average of $50k, which suggests that even paid employees lack the capacity to buy healthy food.  

Why? The majority of what New Zealand produces, which generates 19% of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product  ie dairy, beef, sheep, seafood, fruit and vegetables is exported, driving the domestic prices up. It’s a luxury to eat healthy in a country that touts being green and pristine. Unfortunately, the latter is a con because the likes of 1080 a poison to control possums and every other animal that eats it, fertiliser, ocean acidification, agricultural-farming including dairy, beef and sheep are contributing to greenhouse emissions,  due to increased levels of methane gas release, the leaching of nitrogen and phosphorous from the water.  Thus, the demise of the New Zealand environment and erosion of the ozone.  Hence, why fair skinned New Zealanders age prematurely.  Am I a greenie who’s on the global warming bandwagon? Yes, but I obtained the information from a New Zealand government issued paper, available for public consumption, addressing the Food and Fibre Sector in New Zealand.  To add insult to injury, most of this produce is exported.  Thus, driving the domestic prices up and, forcing people to eat cheap fat rich mince and sausages, drink watered down over priced milk, consume sugar rich yoghurt and eat bland edam and Colby cheese, because tasty is $2 more per block.  Fruit and vegetables are equally expensive and wholegrains are only for those with sums of disposable cash.  

Tell me why?

I eat a lot of fruit and nuts in Australia because it’s affordable even on a tight budget, if one buys the store brands from Aldi, Coles and Woolworths. It’s best to buy from all 3 stores to get value for money. Fortunately, they are all predominantly congregated together. However, New Zealand produces smaller packets of everything, including dried fruit and nuts. Hence, I posted a comment on Woolworths Australia, who own Countdown and asked the following:

Hi, I’m currently in New Zealand where Woolworths Supermarkets trades as Countdown. I’m also aware that Supervalue and FreshChoice Supermarkets are part of the Woolworths chain. I’m interested to know why Woolworths charges New Zealand consumers more for the same products that are sold in Australia. Australians earn more and the dollar is worth more but Australians pay less at the register. Also, the products available are so in smaller packaging and yet cost more eg 200g Woolworths branded Apricots in New Zealand costs $3 but that size isn’t available in Australia, it’s 500g for $5. The cheapest 1kg block of tasty cheese is $12 in NZ, as opposed to about $7 for the same quality in OZ. These are but a few of many examples and I’m aware that the 15% GST has an impact but $5? I’m aware that Foodstuffs New World and Pak n Save are the other supermarkets fleecing New Zealand consumers but where is Woolworths Groups justification? One reason I ask is that obesity is a massive issue in NZ and it’s largely due to the over priced and poor quality supposedly fresh produce and meat sold in NZ supermarkets. Whereas there are always specials for junk food. Why are people in NZ paying more????

Posted October 24 2019, Riverton New Zealand.

Woolworths were kind enough to promptly post the following response.


Woolworths
 Hi, we’re committed to providing quality service and products so we do apologise for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction caused. We always endeavour to ensure that we’re competitive over the range of products we stock, withstanding factors over which we have limited control such as price movements at other stores, changes in the supplier’s price or increase in costs. Our prices reflect the cost of goods and of doing business and we will continue to aim to ensure that our customers get the best value basket of shopping in the market. Please feel free to contact the Countdown Customer Service, please contact 0800 40 40 40 or you can email them at customerinfo@countdown.co.nz. Thanks.

A random person made the following amusing but sadly true comment in response.

Price difference because of population difference NGA why is half of NZ living in OZ , and why are they the size of 3 people ..using up the resources of 3 people per 1…. and why do they eat KFC like for breakfast lunch an dinner…..fat there fat here.,….its KFC and Karnt XXXXXXX COOK …

I responded to her with the following factual but useless information. Useless because knowing it doesn’t change things for consumers in New Zealand. I sympathise greatly with them and it’s a primary reason I can’t live in New Zealand.

Thanks xxxxx I’m aware of why the differences exist, I wanted to read what Woolworths had to say. If you read the response, you’ll see that it’s political speak for “money first at consumers expense”. How do I discern that, I highlighted specific issues and they were ignored and, the spiel was what I expected to read. What you may not be aware of is that about 75% if what NZ produces is exported for profit and what’s left being is shit. Woolworths and Foodstuffs is exploiting the NZ consumer and contributing to the obesity factor in NZ. Woolworths are lying when they state they’re ensuring that NZers are getting the best value for money because all 3 if their shop fronts ie Countdown, FreshChoice and Supervalue Supermarkets all have the same pricing structure. I will grant they they are slightly better than Foodstuffs ie New World and Pak n Save which sell numerous tiny packets of food substances at extortionate prices. Thus, when I return to Australia I will discontinue buying from Woolworths, including Big W. Whilst I’m here in New Zealand, I’ll make an informed choice as to where I spend money. The primary issue why Woolworths and Foodstuffs and every other organisation that provides services to people are able to exploit NZers is twofold, people voted in greedy politicians and kept them there and there’s no competition, to keep the prices down. Finally, if you’re going to eat junk food because you can’t cook, subways is the best junk food choice followed by vegetarian pizza.

Back in Melbourne, I didn’t make good on my promise not to buy from Woolworths. However, with Aldi and the Preston market across the road, the need to purchase from Woolworths is grossly diminished. However, recently I needed products that could only be purchased from Woolworths or Coles and because I wanted to go to the market, I shopped at Woolworths. One of the products I needed was butter and I inadvertently purchased the New Zealand Westgold 400g block of butter pictured below, for $5.15. Upon realising that I had been shortchanged by 100g (Woolworths brand 500g butter is $5.00), today (December 30 2019) I posted the following on Woolworths Facebook page.

400g block of butter from New Zealand based Chinese conglomerate Yili

Woolworths, I made contact 2 months ago to ask why there were so many overpriced smaller packaged products such as the butter in the photo, being sold in New Zealand, when it isn’t being done here. I grabbed the butter without realising that it was a 400g not a 500g pack. Priced at slightly more than the 500g pack of butter, it’s obvious that the tactics that are employed in New Zealand are now here in Australia. I hadn’t noticed the Hokitika based Westgold brand in New Zealand and I thought it worthy of trialing here in Melbourne. I’m cognisant that New Zealand exports the majority of it’s food products and Westland owned by the Chinese conglomerate Yili would all be about profiteering. It’s dastardly what Woolworths and Foodstuffs do with over inflated prices in New Zealand in light of how little people are paid over there. I don’t mind paying more for quality and I’ll be interested in the quality of the buttter. However, I’d prefer to pay for a 500g block. Stop shortchanging the consumer.

Another random person, not understanding the point of what I posted, made the following comment.

If the shelf ticket says 400g…you have no one but yourself to blame for buying it….and 400g looks smaller than 500g

Also there is unit pricing which is another dead giveaway of the size

I responded with…..

you miss the point i was making. in nz the sizes for many products are smaller and more expensive than they are here. I’m letting woolworths know that what they do in nz has been spotted here. Thus, it’s about accountability, not blame.

Following on from the same theme as the random, Woolworths posted this ….

Hey, thanks for sharing your feedback with us about the price of 400gm Westgold butter. We attempt to ensure that we provide the best value to our customers on as many products as possible and aim to offer our customers the most competitive prices. Our Buying teams also review the promotional program regularly to ensure that our promotional offer matches our customer’s expectations. We appreciate your thoughts and have passed them onto our buying team for their review and consideration. Thanks.

Obviously, I hadn’t emphasised clearly that it was the size of the butter ie 400g and not necessarily the price, $5.15. Thus, I’ll need to ensure that I clearly demarcate the issue of future posts.

Even the blind can see

I met a young girl inviting people to sample Californian grapes in New World Prestons. There were 3 available, white, red and black. She’s commented that black wasn’t normally sold in supermarkets. Having bought black grapes from Melbourne supermarkets, I stood there puzzled before commenting that they were available in Australia.

She had just returned from the Gold Coast and stated how she and a friend lived on the 7 eleven salads that were available Monday to Wednesday for $3 each. 7 eleven isn’t reknown for great healthy options but even I noticed the sign on my way to the airport, the previous evening. She told me how she and her friend bought salads 3 times a day and when I looked online there were some impressive varieties. She lamented how depressing it was too live in New Zealand because one couldn’t afford to eat healthy. I wholeheatedly agreed and we started talking about and one thing lead to another and I invited her to apply for a job that I’d held previously in Melbourne, passing on my details so I could help her write her application. She like I believed in fate and I encouraged her to jump on a plane and work in Australia.

Are ready made meals the answer?

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New World Prestons Christchurch Ready made meals.

I’m not big on ready made meals from the supermarket, as they’re usually frozen.  However, I was interested in this New World display in Christchurch, as I hadn’t seen such a display in a supermarket. I probably won’t ever purchase any of the meals available, which claim to be made instore, but with prices starting at $6.99, I did take a second look. Especially as I know quality ready made meals are expensive. What is obvious is that most of the meals cater to the New Zealand palate ie meat, vege and gravy. Good old kiwi tucker. Now, I have no idea about the taste and I can’t vouch for the nutritional value. But, I have looked at the photo and thought if I’m ever desperate, I might purchase one. Incidentally, I do find the salads from the deli which are made by Pearsons, whom also supply Countdown and Pak n Save, are tasty. Albeit, expensive. Again, I can’t vouch for the nutritional value.

Qualifying my position

Am I a skinny anorexic who hates fat and sugar, NO! I am of Maori and UK descent, 5’8″ and 78 kgs, which puts me in the overweight category. I love butter, bacon, full cream milk, cream, sugar and spice and all things nice. So yes, I do carry extra fat on my body but, I’m not dying to fit in with many of my fellow New Zealanders! Fortunately, I have studied nutrition, fitness and wellbeing at university so I’ve used the information to stay healthy. Being educated has meant that I’ve avoided fads and people touting what is really obvious and profiting from it. I don’t contest a person making a quid but, if people take a step back and think about what mother nature provides, it’s really obvious what we should be eating. Now more than ever, food allergies are rife and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why. Genetically modified food, an alphabet diet, seriously look on the internet and I’m sure there’s a diet for every letter of the alphabet. I do recognise that the prices of quality produce makes it cost prohibitive to purchase what people really need. Thus, people need to stop looking for secret formulas to being healthy and make sensible decisions and, put in a little bit of hard work. Some of the hard work amounts to growing one’s own vegetables. I’ve lived in apartments for over 20 years and it is possible to grow vegetables in pots with very little room. Following a youtube video and scrounging stuff from a place I worked at for a few months, I managed to make my own worm form. The most I spent was $5 for the worms. However, one can buy one from Bunnings or buy 2 buckets, one with a lid.

Equipment needed for worm farm
Worm farm construction

In New Zealand, if one is willing to travel, there are plenty of farms selling their products. Honestly, if I lived in NZ, irrespective of the cost of petrol, I would travel! Unfortunately, I no longer have my home made worm farm because I moved in with my sister temporarily and there was a garden there and compost bin, so there was no need for it. Now, I simply put all my waste into a bag, which I leave in the fridge and cycle with the bag to a little garden with compost bins near Rushall Station. However, I will look at either making another or buying one from Bunnings when I start growing potted herbs and veges.

Another aspect of hard work is exercising, even if that means walking part of the way to school or work or whereever you can manage. Perhaps, like me it means buying a second hand bike and using it regularly. I’d definitely recommend youtube to find exercise videos, which is how I started doing yoga. Now I subscribe to yogainternational and I generally stick to yin yoga, which I describe as passive stretching. I now pay $11 a month but, I used free trials to get started. Note, the s on trials ….. I used quite a number of different email addresses to obtain several months of free trials, due to a lack of funds.

October 2018 North East Valley Dunedin

I have to make an admission, a lack of funds meant a reduced caloric diet in the latter half of 2019. Thus, I’ve lost a lot of physical strength, fitness and more importantly, motivation. I’ve been spending up to 23 hours in bed and I’m having to start again. Today, I awoke early and before 7am, I had watched several episodes of star trek, did yin yoga and had tomatoes on wholegrain sourdough toast with butter of course. I’m about to cycle to South Melbourne and collect my youngest son to visit his father in Caulfield hospital. Late 2019, he had a stroke, which has been compounded by another couple of strokes and a heart attack. Four years ago he had a quadruple bypass and he didn’t learn from that experience. Melbourne provides many cheap options to eat healthy thus, his condition was preventable. However, his mental state wasn’t great and thus, he shares the fate of many Pacific Islanders and New Zealanders. A slow and uncomfortable demise.

How I look through the eyes of my worst enemy

Most of us are barely able to keep our heads above a vortex of misery that always draws us into it’s depths to spit us back out gasping for relief. Many find solution in a bottle or a substance or a behaviour that provides a temporary numbing before succumbing once more to the never ending spiel of torment and misery. For so long this was my addiction, an addiction to chaos that governed all that I did and all that I knew and all that I feared. This is the story of Hine and it’s not unique nor is it incredible. The cratered scars of my life are physically, socially, intimately evident. I witnessed the entire devastation through a thinning film of loathing and repugnance that ensheathed my psyche and lay waste to a victim that I blamed vehemently, myself.

I had held and maintained a fantasy for so long, that in 2020 I would become a wandering minstrel alone without human interference. It was a dangling carrot that kept me going for many years. On the odd occasion that I would see the memes asking if people would spend a year alone in a wooded cabin for a million dollars, I’d scream hell yes. Make it a trillion dollars and I’ll spend the rest of my life alone. I remember telling a former boss that if I never saw another person again, it would be too soon. I fervently desired to be free of people and their problems. The truth is I wanted to be free of my perception that there were problems and that other people are the problems, because in reality my thinking was the only problem. I suffered inextricably over the years because of this and other unattainable desires. Ironically, in a distorted manner, thanks to COVID19, what I had desired has occurred. Finally vindication for the loners and the reason to be alone that I didn’t have to fabricate. Ironically, I no longer maintain that mental illusion but I am busy so I’m grateful for the reprieve. However, the fact is I prefer being alone, the lone honeybadger guarding my territory with ferocious intensity, especially now that I’m no longer suppressing my creativity to fulfill an idealistic notion of perfection. I love the creative interplay of word, action, photography, singing, gardening, cooking, couture, business, exercise, knowledge gathering and joy. Finally, 8 am free to explore my capabilities without worrying that someone won’t like me because I’m highly capable.

5 January 2020

Repelled by the established story

I don’t need religion 

To deliver who I am

 

I don’t need cultural identity

To face who I am

 

I don’t need information and labels

To define what I do

 

I don’t need gender identification

To govern my path

 

I don’t need sexual preferences 

To determine who I should be

 

All I need is to be

For then I know who I am

26 April 2016

I’ve spent my entire life being rejected for what people perceived of me. This created a mental hell in which I became repelled by established stories of who I was and why. I too in turn, have been repelled by a person’s, town’s, country’s, established story.

What do I mean by an Established Story?

Let me tell you a little bit about my story.  As a child I suffered prolifically from eczema and so my skin, from my head to my feet was scaly, itchy and red.  This left alot of scarring and I was the butt of much ridicule and condemnation for this skin condition.  This became the story by which I was judged. As the years crept by, other taglines appeared, poor, Maori, darkie, ugly, stupid. These became the established stories by which I was judged and which made me, repulsive. Throw in sexual molestation and I am a good old recipe for a lifetime of self-determined and self-inflicted torment. A story to behold.

Living by the stories

The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

3 January 2018

When one continually receives a barrage from the”established story”, one’s perceived identity is defined by it. One becomes conditioned to the narrative and then it’s just easier to act out the prescribed role. Troubled tween, becomes out of control teen, truant, feisty, with a mouth that could cut down the devil himself. “Get you before you get me”!

What one learns in the school yard

Kids are cruel and I was tormented mercilessly, not only for my skin but for being clever. I didn’t fit. I was the wrong colour for the Pakeha ie brown, because I am of Maori descent. Yet, I was too clever for the Maori. This was compounded by my father’s insistence that my siblings and I speak English grandiloquently and his repulsion of Maori, despite being full-blooded, without a known trace of Pakeha blood. Thus, we were forbidden from associating with our own Maori people, which I deliberately and flagrantly ignored. Torn between expectation and reality impacted heavily upon me and, this in turn affected me at school. Academically, I was the classic under achiever. Extremely capable and clever but rarely did I complete or submit school work of any description and, my grades reflected this. In class, I was disruptive, belligerent, recalcitrant and down right rude and nasty. This is how I interacted with everyone, in and out of the classroom.

Mindset to retaining established stories

Why is someone else’s non-acceptance more important than than ones acceptance of self …. personally I’m very comfortable being despised by others, in fact I think I actually enjoy it …. simply because I recognise that fear governs judgement but, more importantly because it gave me more reason to want to outcompete them.

12 March 2017

Self loathing and distrust were the foundation for all the stories that I began to weave, to reinforce and to retain what had now become, my established story. This lead to destructive, toxic and self defeating mindsets and thus, behaviour. No good can ever arise from such a state of mind and, so misery and devastation lay in my wake. Like nuclear fallout, poisoning the environment. Suffice to say, there were victims aplenty.

I am a creature of darkness that lives in the light. Anger courses through my veins in place of blood. I tick like a bomb ready to explode at the slightest trigger. I am seeing myself through the eyes of my worst enemy. I am normal.

Once upon a time …..

I read avidly as a child and soon the fabric of the imaginary landscapes became interwoven into my own fervent desires. I used stories to dull pain, boredom and loneliness, ducking in and out of various different story lines, desperately trying to escape reality. Like all innocence, I did believe the fairytales at first, but that was eradicated within the grim reality of cheap and ugly patterned wallpaper, on paper thin walls with cheap material in place of doors. Christmas 1982, after watching a typical American Christmas movie, where Santa clambered down chimneys to deliver presents. I laid my red woollen tights at the end of my bed having childishly believed that it would be filled with presents when I awoke. I can still taste the bitterness of disappointment and I knew instantly that, fairytales were just books.

It was 1982, that my family had moved from Tokoroa to Mangakino and it is here where the bullying began. However, it was something a little less innocuous that caused the burgeonings of fear. The Lord of the Rings animation that was shown in class. The hobbits cowering from the ringwraiths, filled me with terror and later that night, I too cowered under my thin blanket, trying desperately to drown out thoughts of orcs and black riders. Despite having spent much of the previous year living alone in the subdivision of Tokoroa, due to the separation of my parents and, my mother working away from home. It was in Mangakino, that I would learn about isolation, segregation, poverty, molestation, human stupidity and cruelty.

Why does sanity become insanity?

Sanity became insanity, in a cesspool of childish taunting for being afflicted head to toe by the skin condition eczema and, living with a cold and bitter father at home, who would constantly remind my brother and I that our mother had abandoned us. My father having endured his own nightmare life, was devoid of affection and raised us the best way he knew how, astringently. Suffice to say, home and school life were torture. After moving from Managakino to a tiny hydrovillage Waipapa, but continuing to attend school in Mangakino, I would spend most of my time, alone. Isolation created the perfect breeding ground for irrational fear and quickly, the student overtook the master or in this case masters, which were vast, over an extended period of time. Thus, operant conditioning festooned an exceptionally acerbic tongue, that would shred people’s sense of self-worth, including my own. How could it not.

In light of my skin condition, I tried desperately not to stand out, a difficult feat as I was extremely clever. To counter this, I was the classic underachiever, morose, recalcitrant and disruptive, as I had come to expect the worst. Thus, I instigated many an altercation with student, teacher, my father and brother alike. Get them before they got me and never back down. All foes and no friends, instilled and consolidated distrust of other people and self, exacerbating my isolation and providing a fertile breeding ground for fear and predication.

An acquaintance of my father’s Mr Palmer, who lived at the top of Tanekaha Terrace in Mangakino, introduced me to a lifetime of sexual frigidity. He would’ve been in his 70s and almost 40 years on, I can recall every detail with minute accuracy. Unfortunately, he was the first of many, whom thought that sexual touch without permission was acceptable. All of these combined molestation experiences left psychological scars and contributed to my inability to have intimate relationships with anyone. It also generated a fierce protection of my own sons. Hence, very few adults had ever been to my home, when my kids were young. I was born in the Chinese astrological year of the tiger, during the Scorpio cycle and, I am represented in Primal Astrology by the honeybadger. Honeybadgers are solitary creatures and are known to attack lions, which aptly describes my protective behaviour, from other people. If only I could have protected them from myself in the same manner.

Alone in my room, my eyes would trace the decrepit wallpaper patterns and the contours of my bedroom, until my mind could transport me out of the doldrums of my existence. It was this capability to leave reality behind that, I utilised whilst I was being molested and to cope with trauma. My fantasy world would be interwoven into the pages of the books that I poured over, the fictional characters as real as I was. At the very least, the emotion and feelings were real and I fought, ran, loathed and conspired my way through the remainder of my childhood. As an adult, I was haunted by variants of the same dull wallpaper and furniture everywhere I went. Blinded by the same dull eyes, my mind was a toxic infection laying a destructive path ripe for precipitous cancerous growth.

When fantasy and reality collide

I spent most of my teenage years scared and angry, barely passing at school. A week before the end of my 6th form year, my friend Carlene and I both left school, knowing that we would fail miserably, as she and I had spent a lot of time “wagging” school. I never saw Carlene again and I was told she died 7 or 8 years later of an asthma attack. Carlene of the Jehovah faith was a beautiful soul who wouldn’t harm a fly. I think of her whenever I hear Elton John’s Daniel. Barely 17, fear of my father’s wrath, drove me to runaway with my friend Maryanne to pick squash in the Bombay Hills just outside of Auckland. After a couple of months, I was sent packing to Tokoroa and spent the remainder of my 17th year, learning how to sew, couch surfing, getting drunk, experimenting with marijuana and oil and, lost in a cloud of doubt.

Defined completely by the scarred appearance of my skin, haunted by molestation and having barely been touched as a child, apart from the odd fling (and a tumultuous relationship with the father of my sons), I have been single. Although, I do platonically befriend the odd equally mentally bereft person, it’s been easy to justify isolation. I fed myself a regular diet of toxic mental constructs ie “I can’t do anything”, “I’m ugly and repulsive”, “nobody would want to be with me” and a never ending spiel of perceived truth.

I crawled home at 18 and spent the year unsuccessfully trying to finish form 7 or year 12. Most of my friends were getting pregnant and in a desire to avoid the same fate, at the beginning of 1994, I bought a one way ticket to Australia. Doggedly, I finished the form 7 equivalent and enrolled in Victoria University in 1995, hell bent on becoming a psychologist. I was determined to find myself and thought I could do so on the shelves of Melbourne’s libraries. Initially, it was difficult studying because I hadn’t adequately developed the skill in secondary school. However, with single minded determination, I staved away self-doubt and worked assiduously. In addition to studying, I worked part-time at KFC and I was living at my mother’s place in South Melbourne. In 1998, self doubt caught me and I tried to destroy all that I had worked for by involving myself with the father of my children and getting pregnant. My worst nightmare and the reason I had fled New Zealand had materialised.

Emotional neuroticism

I destroy everything beautiful that I create because I believe that it’s not good enough. I truly didn’t know any better but, this knowledge wasn’t going to fix the havoc I had created.  All I could do was allow the tears to roll silently down my face and cry, not sob cos then other people would know I was in pain and I had a penchant for suffering in silence. At least I did back then.  As the stillness deepened, pain and suffering diminished.  I could allow myself to view others pain empatheticly without being drowned into the abyss, even the pain of those that I loved. My family.  

The stories are more obvious now as they dissipate, as I learn to allow the pain to be. It’s like watching a rain storm rage and slowly stop, petering out into a trickle, but taking eternity to cease. It’s strange that ordinariness can seem to be so painful, on both counts which I had aligned and defined myself by for so long, was insanely normal.

31 May 2014

Boris was a lost cause, he had an addiction to gambling coupled with the inability to hold down a job, he was indolent, ill-mannered, lived at home with his mother, had dropped out of school in year 7 and was unable to string a simple sentence together. The perfect recipe for disaster and for a woman imbibed in self-hatred and loathing. It wasn’t long before I threw school in and commenced working at KFC full-time, which I hated. I realised that I was going to have to support my child and I as Boris wasn’t volunteering to help out. I stupidly rented a properly and due to Boris spending the rent money, we lost that soon after our son Kyle was born in 1999. Everyday of the pregnancy, I had prayed I would miscarry and on the day of Kyle’s actual birth, that very nearly materialised. Kyle had wrapped himself around his umbilical cord, which had settled around his throat and neck. My waters were manually broken and after a couple of hours, after no movement, Kyle was born by caesarean section at 1244 April 7 1999. Kyle was a beautiful baby and I felt unworthy of him. What ensued over the years was a litany of torment and sorrow.

Parenting 101 – why adopting your child out may be a great option

Kyle and Amani 2002

Every terrible thing I had learnt and every fear I had, I projected onto Kyle. I was afraid of raising a child alone and thus, despite many misgivings, I stayed with Boris. Homeless, we moved in with my mother and in an effort to eradicate the feeling of failure, I reenrolled in school. However, I drowned in my own depressive sorrow and gave up.

That year, I shed many a tear wallowing in self-pity and hating my life. Everytime my son cried, my soul screamed in agony and I lived in sheer torment. I was afraid to love Kyle, scared he would share the same fate. The truth was, I didn’t know how to love Kyle or anyone else until recently, when I learnt to accept myself. I felt obliged to be his parent, as my father had before me. However, a vast part of my mind, that rejected myself, was repulsed by parenthood.

Kyle and Amani 2002

Scar tissue leave telltale signs

Unwittingly, haunted by childhood memories and things that my parents had said to me, I made my fears for Kyle and subsequently, Amani manifest. I can recall with great clarity, the moment my mother told me that, if contraceptive had existed, that I wouldn’t have been born. I was seated at the white marled round formica situated in a corner near the heater of Park Towers and I responded that, I wished that I’d never been born. Her comment stung, contributing to my sense of worthlessness and confirmed what my father had shoved down my throat repeatedly. He made it clear that he resented having to care for us and when enraged, he would taunt me with the knowledge that my mother had abandoned my brother Atene and I and, had threatened to put us into a foster home if he didn’t return to care for us.

My mother had been fine leaving me to my own devices but then Atene too, was thrown into the mix. We never created a fuss about living by ourselves in Tokoroa, we simply rose everyday and went to school. Unfortunately, malnourishment caused Atene to suffer from shingles, which almost killed him. I got off lightly with optic herpes zoster, ergo I had a cold sore in my right eye. Under severe stress, I suffer from the odd cold sore and in 2016, I suffered from another case of optic herpes zoster. This time due to over exercising and malnourishment. The great thing I learnt is that when food is scarce, my body can survive with few repercussions. After all, I have 2 eyes and with better than 20/20 vision in my left eye, I see exceptionally well. The eczema and carbuncle or boil scars that proliferate my body tell a different story.

Admittedly, I’ve yoyo dieted ever since and had a chronic abusive eating pattern, oscillating between being skinny and fat. Feast or famine! At the age of 10, I severely overdosed on sugar, lemon and lime ice cream, minties and macintoshes toffees. I suffered from a raging fever and the next day and for many days afterward, I didn’t eat. It wasn’t that food made me sick, I simply wasn’t hungry. I was eventually admitted into hospital and spent a month on and off a drip, that provided sustenance, until I could eat again. I’ve never eaten lemon and lime ice cream since and I rarely eat ice cream. To this day, whenever I get stressed or sick, I cannot eat. Thus, as much as I loathe being overweight with excess fat piled unceremoniously around my body, with stretch marks galore, being skinny reminds me of my childhood and, being unwanted and feeling unloved. I predominantly knew torment and misery as a child and this was how I raised my children. It is why I was agonised by my son’s cries. Deep down I knew that I would create the same misery. This remained as such, until the latter half of 2019. Better late than never, right?

On and on …..

It’s one thing to wreak havoc upon oneself. It’s quite another to systematically destroy the confidence and well-being of another. Unfortunately, I pitted my sons against one another. They are hardly civil toward one another and made or make little effort to spend time with each other. That changed in early December 2019, after Boris had a stroke. Kyle is a hermit and rarely makes an effort to venture out. However, at Amani’s insistence, Kyle made an effort to visit with his father in hospital. He’s visited a couple of times since then. Amani who hadn’t attended the movies for many years, also extended himself by attending Star Wars with Kyle and I Christmas evening. They still bickered but, at least we all spent some time together.

The silver lining of Boris’s stroke is that hatchets were buried. Boris had been estranged from his brothers and mother due to a violent altercation between Amani and his family Christmas 2018. Immediately after Boris had the stroke, I was at the Alfred Hospital visiting with him. I spent many hours by his bedside whilst he slept. He needed to pee and I held a bottle for him whilst he relieved himself. One of the nurses hovered near the bed in case he required further assistance. Facetiously, I said out loud, that I was the best ex ever and that not even our sons were there to help him. I surreptitiously added that he should rescind all the times he called me a cunt. I looked at the nurse who just swore Switzerland and I laughed.

What goes around, comes around!

I remember at the age of 7, my parents had a minor verbal altercation in front of me. That coupled with my father constantly verbally mauling my mother, made it seem completely normal to fight with Boris in front of our boys. Financial problems fuelled verbal and physical abuse and forcing Boris to leave on a regular basis became inevitable. It wasn’t long before intervention orders were necessary. Familial violence from all parties became normal and misery seeped into the boys schooling, just as it had mine. Over time, I watched 2 beautiful bright children turn into a male versions of myself, isolated, angry and frightened. All fed on the insane mutterings of a crazed fiend, me! Guilt and regret compounded by viewing the present and future through my childhood lenses, blinded me to the gifts of beauty that I had been presented. My children and most importantly, myself!

Caught in the headlights

Dementia often causes paranoia and I was at the butt of it. Nobody, not even I, knew how bad my mother’s condition was. She accused me repeatedly of stealing from her to my one of my sisters Roi in New Zealand, who insisted that I move out. I asked our younger sister Wai, who had been living in New Zealand to return and support mum. Wai found it difficult to cope and we decided to send mum back to New Zealand. Neither of my sisters Roi or Sugar were able to care for her and within a couple of weeks she was sent back to Melbourne. I reached out to my siblings once again for support and with no direction, I decided to put her into a nursing home. The first nursing home was immaculate, it was open and spacious, she had her own room with an ensuite. Apparently that home didn’t meet health standards and she was moved to another home, which was set out like a hospital ward. All the patients were drugged and placed in a chair in a communal lounge. Mum aged rapidly and occasionally she would ask if she could come home with me. I was living in a flat at the top of 3 flights of stairs and, mum struggled up and down them. Thus, I knew my home wasn’t appropriate. However, Park Towers was an option and I started to put things into place to bring it to fruition.

You’re a good girl!

The last words my mother ever said to me

The last four words that my mother uttered to me as she lay dying on a hospital bed, September 21 2008, days before she passed away. They would be some of the last words she would ever say. I looked into her eyes as she spoke with the last vestiges of her soul and my heart broke. I immediately said to myself that if I’d been a good girl she wouldn’t be on that bed. I had failed my mother. My Melbourne siblings and I had tried to get my mother home. Ideally to New Zealand but her deteriorating health made it impossible, thus we tried to get her to her Park Towers home in South Melbourne. My brothers Hiku, Eddie and my sister Wai and I were all committed to caring for her. I had felt personally obligated to complete my mother’s legacy and, seeing her home would have done that. Unfortunately, fate works it’s only path and mum died September 28 2008. I can still see myself howling on the floor near the table in Boris’s flat in South Melbourne.

I now had a healthy fear of failure and obsessed with that notion, I resigned from my job. I felt that if I’d put my mother before my own selfish desires, she’d still be alive. My mother had always put her career ahead of her children but from that moment onwards, I decided to put my children first. What actually transpired was something different. I put my obsession with trying not to fail first and thus, I became obsessed with Amani’s sporting success. I sacrificed everything. Kyle, music, relationships with family and friends, a career that matched my true capabilities. But, that wasn’t enough and so, I suppressed my sexuality, creativity, spirituality and any semblance of self. I didn’t trust myself or anyone else. I dragged Amani from sporting club to sporting club. If anyone did anything that I didn’t like, I moved him. Simply put, I fucked up and yes, I failed.

Eden’s Apple

I’m addicted to the highs and lows

The way it feels

The way it flows

I’m addicted to the way you turn me on

I’m deciding here if I should act

But it’s in my head not an actual fact

I’m addicted to the way you turn me on

 

CHORUS

oh oooooh woooooh

I’m addicted to the story I must tell

oh oooooh woooooh

Because the more it hurts

The more that I can yell

oh oooooh woooooh

I’m addicted to the story I must tell

oh oooooh woooooh

The devil she’s a sleeping well tonight

First Verse and chorus – Addicted (2008)

Homme Fatale, my Eden’s Apple! Temptation but more importantly, a reinforcement of my low opinion of myself. I can spot them a mile off and I know how to run straight to them. I can lump them all into one simple category – reflections of my mind. Simply put, unavailable. So of course I’ve suffered extensive motion sickness due to my addiction to the highs and lows.

The flip side to these Homme Fatale attractions is that, it stimulated great creative and spiritual growth. Most importantly, they were all parts of the yellow brick road to my ascension. Albeit, like most of my life, shrouded in the dark and gloom. Yet, light is best displayed against a dark back drop.

Not all men have been lost causes. In fact, I’ve equally attracted some of the most mentally, spiritually and physically beautiful men. The depths of unworthiness that broiled within me, kept them all at arms lengths. It is their light that brightened up my world and I am equally grateful to each one of them. I desired to protect them from my own viperous nature and if I’m honest, my egoic mind, couldn’t stand to know that I had been feeding myself malignantly perceived truths. To acknowledge that I was a reflection of their beauty and thus love, would’ve meant that I was a mythomaniac and suffered from pseudologia fantastica, ergo, I was a pathological liar. Obviously I was but, I hated to admit being wrong. Far better to be miserable, right? After all, fairy tales are books.

Thanks to one Homme Fatale, I woke one morning in February 2007 and began to spontaneously write songs. Both continued for several months and some songs are cringeworthy but one song in particular, I’ve sung at family gatherings. Like the drummer boy, my gift was a simple verse and chorus, made and sung with love. I’d had an epiphany a few years earlier that I needed to pursue music, despite having no knowledge or experience and barely having sung to myself. However, music has always been my greatest ally and there is always a piece that reflects my state of mind. Be I happy or sad, whether I’m right or wrong. They’re playing my song. Thus, on nothing more than an inkling that I could sing, in June 2007, I began singing in my first band, St8, which covered rock music, whilst working on originals.

She’s a stubborn one yeah yeah

She’s addicted to her labels

And conditioned by the ones who used to make her cry

She’s a selfish one yeah yeah

She keeps her heart disabled

She attracts the one’s she knows that she can leave behind

First half of Verse 1 – She’s reaching for the door (10 May 2015)

Boris imparted strength and resilience as I learnt to stand alone and how to operate efficaciously. These two attributes allowed me to raise the boys, work, help people where I could and, drive the streets of Melbourne. However, as a result I developed a penchant for thinking men were useless. Not just him, but all men. Irrespective of how good they were, I could always come up with one thing that made them inadequate. In my stupidity, I equated cooking with relationships, which fuelled my yoyo dieting tendency and, thus I barely cooked. I would be damned if I would carve a way to a man’s heart through his stomach. Lucky I had learnt not to be hungry. Instead I attracted situations where I would be fed through work, events and people who loved cooking. That mindset coupled with my sport obsession added a sophisticated layer of unconscious reasoning. This set me up for a date with destiny!

She’s pulled from sleep

By recycled dreams

The gingerbread man taunts

“Yeah you can’t catch me”

At times she weeps for broken dreams

But the fox is fed

Truth is dead

So she must be flee

 

CHORUS 1

Runaway, runaway

Second half of Verse 1 – She’s reaching for the door (10 May 2015)

Enter stage right!

I managed to successfully run from intimate relationships for many years, so predictably I ran head first into a brick wall. My obsession with Amani becoming an All Black meant that I had to return to New Zealand. In the weeks leading up to my moving to Dunedin in 2018, I would feel physically and mentally ill. When I arrived in Dunedin, at the Manor Place Backpacker reception, I almost fainted. I was shocked at how antiquated New Zealand operated and the appalling standards of accommodation, the education system, payrates and the expense of everything. I hadn’t led a lavish life in Australia but compared to New Zealand, I was swimming in caviar and, I felt like I was slumming it. Everyone knew I didn’t want to be there and I should have taken an “Exist stage left” when my enrolment at Otago University was cancelled. However, I knew before going to Dunedin, I wasn’t there to learn information from an institution, I was there to be educated. Thus, with great resolve, I sucked it up like a princess and I remained. After all, I knew I couldn’t continue to raise an All Black in Australia.

I moved into a dump of a house, 81 Russel St, Dunedin. It was a one bedroom house but, the owners wanted the lounge as a second bedroom. The place was a fire hazard and falling apart. In my haste to procure accommodation, I agreed to take the place. In the cold light of dawn, after a thorough inspection, I realised just what I had signed up. Suffice to say, I terminated that lease and found accommodation at Allen St, North East Valley. I had an appointment at the Otago University Maori department and thus, dressing for that appointment, I turned up to inspect what would become my room in Allen St, later that day. Dressed in a beautiful red strapless maxi dress, Melbourne Kaukau was on display. Within minutes of meeting Dan, I called him a cunt and seriously, I wasn’t wrong. LOL! I don’t recall why I said it, I just remember being shocked and he responded beautifully with “yes but there are good cunts and bad cunts and I’m a good cunt”. I have to qualify, there is no such thing as a good cunt. Cunts are simply cunts. LOL!

How do I explain Dan. Can I explain him. Everyone’s looking for the person who completes them on the level of form. The human level. This has nothing to do with the concept of love, rather that, human beings are one half of an equation. That’s what Dan is for me. I recognised weeks before we were intimate that we were a dyad, two story tellers adrift on the cacophony of life and, where we differed we were extreme opposites. Knowing he was subject to dysfunctional behaviour, I was happy to leave it with just my knowing it was so. However, I was never going to evolve and I had been dying to evolve. All I can say is, be careful what you wish for!  

Dan’s behaviour epitomised everything that I despised in men and I mean everything. Thus, to the prejudicial mind, we are incompatible. As I mentioned cunts are cunt, well I too was a cunt because Dan was married. Even worse, Beth who is a great person, lived in the same house. Albeit, in separate rooms. Furthermore, they had only agreed to separate, mere weeks before Dan and I became lovers. Fortunately, wisdom has taught me that people and situations are pointers and, I’ll admit that, there are many junctures where I despised the lessons. Dan’s egocentric behaviour and self-defence mechanisms were as expected, repulsive and my incapacity to tolerate weak men was tested. However, these dissipated in the second half of 2019, due to a realisation that I needed to slough off numerous layers of mental constructs that I had erected over my lifetime to protect myself. In plain speak, I had to stop judging people, including myself. The downside of being exceptionally clever and extremely smart. I also needed to fully embrace who I was and that meant I had to stop suppressing the siren call of passion that forces one to pursue the elusive dreamscape of spirituality, creativity and intelligence. Seriously, I have asked myself why I needed to learn this way. The answer is always the same. Arrogance had caused me to spurn the easy way a long time ago. Thus, I was only ever going to learn the easy way. Suffice to say, I’m no longer interested in pursuing challenges, LOL! I did mention I was a pathological liar, right?

Dan ended things for a while, soon after I returned to Melbourne and then we reconnected in March 2019. After I had a tantrum in July, we didn’t speak until November, when he messaged. I had been travelling around the South Island of New Zealand for a couple of months, fulfilling a lifetime dream and benefiting from the capacity to sift through my minds unconscious layers. I recognised fully that, I had become somebody I never thought I could be and I was able to see my old behavioural patterns in other people’s reaction to me. I was shocked to the core and it was outside of Twizel, that I eliminated all but one mental construct and felt settled within myself

Dan and I picked up from where we left off and despite telling me that I always looked pretty, my hangups still rendered me slightly insecure. After all, I knew what I looked like naked. He quickly followed that by accusatorily stating that I’d spent half of my life focussing on my children and the other half focussing on my looks. I hurriedly denied it but, the truth that I admitted later was that, I’d spent almost my entire life focussing on my appearance. The last 15 years I’d been focussed solely on looking good in the many camouflaging costumes that I owned. On another occasion, Dan himself admitted being insecure about his own appearance and, through his eyes, I saw how narcissistically silly I was. Thus, days before we met again in December, I fully accepted my body’s flaws. However, it was back in Melbourne just before Christmas, that I eliminated my narcissistic and final mental construct. For the first time in my life, I was unladen of emotional, mental and physical expectation and able to see and accept reality. I had already run the gauntlet in Dunedin in 2018 and as such, I was already unburdened with fear and had developed complete trust in who I am. No longer am I afraid of either the past or future and how I look. Now, I truely know I am free!

The honest shot – January 5 2020

I’ve come to realise

The only thing I’m running from is me

I’ve come to realise

I don’t need my own permission to be free, yeah

Hook 3 – Me, Myself and I (2007)

Kaukau’s Blog

I’m always thinking about what I want to do and now it’s time to do as the time to act will only ever be done in the now! So let’s act and be done with time!

Excuses for not acting are for the thinkers who just think! For many years I’ve been intending to write but it’s so easy to put down the proverbial pen and discontinue writing, because of an unabiding fear of how I will be perceived.  Not by strangers or even people I know, but by myself.

— Kaukau (3 December 2019).
May 2015 Northcote

A couple of years ago, my eldest son Kyle, his father Boris and I were sitting at a Maccas restaurant and I lamented that I’d not led an eventful life and, Kyle stated that I hadn’t led an eventful life before moving to Australia. I corrected him and said, “since Ive moved to Australia”. He corrected me by saying that my life had been eventful for what I had done for others.  Poignantly true.  However, I don’t always receive thank yous and people aren’t grateful for the things I’ve done for them, in fact I’m often  shunned for it.  Thus, I stopped helping everyone else and started focussing on myself.  

Sunday April 19 2020 – Alot had changed thanks to COVID19 and I’ve been focusing much of my energy creatively, studying, writing, gardening, DIY, taking and using my myriad of photographs, learning Te Reo, vocal practice and engaging with people in person. My entire world has changed because I have removed all mental limits and opened myself up fully to myself and thus, others.

What am I about?

Evolution of self and elucidating the pathways for others to see.

This blog is about how I worked through insanity and slowly began to practise my way to sanity and now my journey is pushing me to a state of no-mind where I can no longer cause problems for myself or for others. Practise makes permanent and it’s nice to be able to see through the illusions. Now all my life and professional skills coupled with my education and passions have culminated to enable me to help you see your path. It’s there in front of you ….. visit Facebook.com/kaukau.life. 

There is no such thing as good times or bad times……… there are simply situations where somethings are great and one is grateful and some situations where somethings aren’t so great and ones nerves are grated! The latter applies to me 99% of the time!!!!!!!

8 March 2017
December 2019 Preston

Music is my passion and I love all genres. However, I spend very little time listening to music, as I’ve given up music for a number of years. This I aliken to ripping one’s heart and soul out of one’s body! To numb the excruciating pain, I became obsessed with my youngest son Amani’s sport.

No good comes of obsession, no matter how honourable one says one’s intentions are!

  • There are always repercussions.
  • There are always victims.

The underlying premise of pain, anger, resentment and loathing is always fear!

Fear will always make itself manifest because one invests energy into it by thinking about it!

  • The thing and or person that one fears the most is in the mirror.

It’s fed by the toxic thinking mind, which inhibits joy and creativity.

Who am I? I am you!

Although, this is my journey. Perhaps you’ll see yourself reflected in my footsteps and learn where to step!

December 2019 Preston

There are people who walk the talk, and people who talk the walk. Over the years, I’ve had to walk the talk of others and, in turn I’ve made my sons walk other people’s talk.  Number 1 question to ask …….. why?

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