IN THE interests of trying to retain some hint of contact between our common languages of English and American (and Ozz and NZ and any others that might also have sprung from the common well)(or dribbled …) I should really


that ‘parky’ in this context means a tad on the cool side. You know, as in chilly—like in ‘brass monkey weather’. Oh dear, you aren’t familiar with that term either? Okay … it is literally—


“Now what?”

“Bloody cold out here tonight!”

“Oh! Yep. Parky enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, no arguments there.”

—all very well and good. Except that the reference to ‘balls’ might need some explanation lest your jumping to undeserved conclusions sully my reputation for being of drawing room standard. So rather than yet another brief Argus summary I’ll let the good ol’ Apple onboard dictionary beat me to it, like so—

one image is worth a thousand words—Confusious

One picture is worth ten thousand words—Confusesus

—but in the scheme of things that’s neither here nor there.

My topic was literally ‘parky’ as in the parking of a car. I imagine that in some parts of the world a state of anarchy exists on the highways with concomitant causality count but here in NZ We, the People, are nothing if not as well drilled as our sheep. Probably better so, in fact …


I was hoofing through the pleasant wee suburb of Windsor when it occurred to me that although most Southlanders have independent natures on the roads, this lady was indeed using her initiative—

the hiker ...

—and getting the best of both worlds. I stood staring in rapt contemplation of an absolute masterpiece of devil-may-care flamboyant sang froid in the parking department. I watched as long suffering locals—obviously accustomed to a local character, beloved enough to make allowances—fitted themselves around what any damned Aucklander might have deemed an obstacle.

I even enjoyed listening as my hyperactive imagination coined a conversation between two little old ladies in the front seat—

“Errr … Myrtle?”

“Yes, Dear?”

“We seem to be a wee bit sticking out—?”

“Oh, don’t fret Dear. We can always walk to the kerb from here …”

—and walk they must have. I just hope they had enough rations to last the trip …


I like Southland (believe it or not). Down here people have gumption enough to damn the torpedoes and go full ahead, devil-take-the-hindmost. Southlanders carve out their own future and are earthy enough to not even blink when some old poops talk about frozen brazen simian balls or practise original parking techniques. Their tolerance of eccentrics bodes well for our future …









but I love it! The Nativity Scene is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as snow, holly, Good King Wossisphace and Xmas puds.


we are of course diametrically removed from winter. Our Santas wear lightweight cotton red suits and their beards are the skimpiest they can get away with. Nativity 1I’ve seen Santas in sandals, how the hell they crank up that jolly smile whilst holding a sticky infant balanced on one knee beats me. That, Sir/Ma’am, is genuine ‘above and beyond the call of duty‘ …

But the Nativity Scene sets the scene and is seen everywhere. Nativity is ubiquitous and here’s just a wee sampling—sadly uncredited (I forgot to note when and where—bad dog, Santa will put coal in my water bowl instead of rum this year, I just know it).


I do know was taken in Gore, the wee church in King Street. I remember it especially for the superlative cleanliness of the devoted parents (even if the lil’ guy does seem a bit disinterested). Those whites are whiter than white—I think they missed their calling, they should have been in advertising.


is also from Gore, across the road from one of the other churches. It seems that in days of yore the pioneers took housing God seriously, He had His pick of shacks to doss down in until Sundays.

Nativity 2


I honestly don’t know—I think a Sallie Army shop somewhere. One thing I do note as I stroll the streets seeking targets of opportunity is that some folks go to a great deal of trouble whereas others couple ingenuity with goodies available at hand.


is one such. Dee Street in Invercargill. I very much admire talented people and folks who do the best they can with what they’ve got; which in this case was an arrangement and a concession to the times.

Recently there was a motorbike convention in Invercargill, ostensibly a race on the beach in honour of Burt Munro (‘The World’s Fastest Indian’)(Indian being a breed of motorbike at the time ol’ Burt did the impossible).

Nativity 3

(I’d happened across this talented craftsman when he was beavering away creating a wooden sculpture of a motorbike, sadly he was just a little out in his timing—the Convention moved on before it was completed.)


miss Christmas, as the ingenious use of articles to hand and a wee bit of imaginative improvisation shows in the fourth photo. In fact I was a bit preoccupied and only realised after I’d toddled by what it was. A quick about turn, couple of snaps then into the shop for a nosy-beak.

First up, the world’s largest doberman came over to check me out but it turned out she was also the world’s friendliest doberman—not that I’m at all nervous around dogs bigger than me. The guy was very amiable and we chatted, he has some lovely stuff in his place. There but for talent and skills would go I.

Nativity 4THE SPOUSE

is (and always was) an Elvis fan. Me, I can take him or leave him but some of his numbers do rate high on my list. His ‘You Were Always On My Mind‘ is an absolute winner. I like his ‘Dixi’ but have never found it as other than part of a compilation; sad.


the guy (John Timpany, of Solid Furnishings at 86 Dee Street) has talents and is quick off the mark. I just loved the way he recruited ol’ Elvis to the cause and fitted him in. The King, I think, would be saying “Thank you for making me a part of this” and meaning it.


to enjoy the Christmas story. Even we atheists can appreciate art when it appears—just a real pity I didn’t catch the concrete yard’s Nativity in time for this post, I’ll snap it en passant next time and give it a place of its own, even though for the last two times they’ve left out the donkey. Dammit, I liked that donkey …

a shepherd?








for organised religions, which I regard as businesses dedicated to the milking and fleecing of the gullible or desperate. Toss in cults and other opportunists—anyone who makes a dishonest buck in like fashion*.


whilst refreshing on something else I happened across this aside and thought it worthy of comment—

“Many of the outer walls, usually just a few feet high, are intact. Mauricio points out the little island of Idehd, where priests fed turtle innards to an eel, the sea deity, kept in a well, before sharing among themselves the rest of the turtle as a sacrament”

read more:  LINK

—make of it what you will …


* tax-free, too. Nice ‘work’ if you can get it~!