Long time no see....
My novel is almost almost almost out. Another fortnight I think. I've had one proof sent to me, looks great! Some very minor changes and then I'll put it up ready for sale.
It's basically a fictionalised version of my travels centering mainly on my time in Greece, with some parts in Turkey and a small amount in Cornwall in the UK. All names and situations mixed up to protect the innocent of course. And... it is a work of fiction so don't take any offence if you think you find yourself in there. It is not you I promise.
So if you've enjoyed my blog travels check out the novel, I think you'll find it very similar in writing style (fairly obvious you'd think....), but the 'story' (I hope!) is a little more coherent as it is an actual devised plot (loosely based on reality) rather than a real life messy ramble.
The one thing that is 100% true in it is the places. None of those have been altered in any purposeful way, the impressions I had of those places are the impressions that make it into the book.
So - it's available on Lulu.com It's not officially available yet so can't quite purchase one. But within a fortnight it should be good to go. Price is as cheap as I could reasonably make it so I hope that's not a barrier for anyone. And if you do read it and enjoy please leave a review as this really helps enormously. The reviews really are the 'marketing' of the book. And entirely democratic which we all like don't we. No - not 'George Bush' democracy, or 'Syrian' democracy. Real democracy. If you like it, say so. If you don't like it, say so, and let the score end up where it ends up.
Like I say - not available just yet, but.... those of you with just the slightest bit of digging will be able to find it on lulu with the merest bit of exploration I'm sure.
Let me know what you think,
Pah - And you thought I had gone... Where is your staying power?
Juju and I off to Cromwell for a long weekend. Can't wait. Had a great work trip up to Hawera this week too. Was really great. Met some great people which was very... buoying. Always great to meet some like minded people.
Aside from that - yep, need a good break away. It's been a long season for us who work in the 'off season' at work. Pleased to have people back in, and the factories starting to run again, that means we can wrap up some of our work, and perhaps... just perhaps... if we are very lucky... get a bit of a break.
So the north island... Well the north island was fine. New Plymouth was fine. Hawera had a GREAT restaurant. But...! It was great to be flying back over the Southern Alps and to be back in the South Island again. You sort of feel like you might be missing out sometimes living in the South. But... it is very nice to be back! So that is interesting isn't it.
I don't have much more to say. I'm tired and I've got work tomorrow. Oh - but we're going for a long weekend tomorrow after work! Did I mention that??
just did a vanity search for myself and I'm #3 Simon Wilson in the WORLD. Yay! :-) That ringles my dingle.
Xmas was... xmas.
Ok - sorry to all you people who just LOVE xmas, but for me well... xmas kind of sux. Personally I find it stressful. And I know others find it stressful too so you can all just stop lying to yourselves. Have you SEEN the way people drive in the two weeks leading up to Xmas? give me a break. Almost got killed twice on the way to work in the last week. People overtaking in STA-UPID places because it's oh so important to get to your destination that 30seconds faster. Yeah because dying in your car is such a neat thing to do. Wankers.
And what about car parks in the shopping centre? Watch where you walk because you WILL be run down. And you spot a free car park? Well you better be quick because the xmas spirit doesn't extend to being patient and letting someone else going first!
And then there are the couples in the aisle of the super market having a full on domestic about what f#cking brand of peaches to buy. F#cking grow up. who cares! right, I'm in rant full swing now, what else? Um nah that's about all. It annoys me though that when I say I'm stressed at Xmas people think I'm the mad one. Have a look around you! I'm AVOIDING the madness. I'm going out as little as possible. The irony stuns me of all these blind people wandering about being all stressed out, and then telling me with a big stupid grin about how much they love Xmas, give me a break!
Ahh.... ten deep breaths. Anyway - we had a nice Xmas day. Would have been even nicer if we could have seen some nephews and nieces but that will have to wait until Feb until we take a trip up to Welly. So we had a nice Xmas lunch with Julies ma and pa and gran (gran is just lovely!). Julie did an amazing job, salmon for lunch , and ham, and... everything. As well as ten choices for dessert including the obligatory pavlova of course. And then there was dessert dessert of after dinner mints etc etc.
And THEN there was Murray's wedding which we popped along to. Very nice. And THEN it was time to bring an exhausted and gibbering Julie home to bed and give her a hug and then watch as 10 seconds later she was snoring. hehe. She did well! What a great feast and lovely set table and everything everything she did!
Um, that will do for now.
Oh - yeah. Minor detail. I got a new job.
haha. YAY I GOT A NEW JOB! Still at fonterra, but I am now a project engineer. (project manager really but they call it proj engineer so who am I to argue?) I'm very excited!! It opens up so many possibilities later on! A bit nervous too, I won't know if I like it until I try it. But.... am VERY excited too.
So we have two weeks off, plan to read a lot of books, do some work on the new book I am writing...
Oh yeah - I'm starting another book. Lets call it sci-fi for the moment but don't worry, it's not hard core sci-fi. It just has an element of aliens about it....
So... I've re-read a couple of my fav sci fi books for inspiration. Enders Game. Awesome awesome awesome. And Battlefield Earth, brought to you by the insane man who INVENTED the religion of Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard. By the way, what does the L stand for? Lafayette. True! No wonder he was barking.
That will do. Hopefully you'll be hearing a bit more from me soon. Am in a bit of a writing mood.
And. Hohoho xmas sux. (old family joke - me and sister Nick used to exchange presents with the message "And don't forget - xmas sux") haha. And on a serious note - Merry Xmas to everyone and LOTS OF LOVE!
Well what an interesting weekend. Not in the best way either..
We went up to Alexandra for a bit of R&R in the tent. Lovely. Left Fri after work, got the tent up. Nice. No wind, warm, lovely. Birds tweeting, trees swaying, river gurgling, us snoring. All good.
Woke up to a lovely Sat morning so went to climb a hill. Which we did. Walked up the rocky dry hill with the smell of Thyme strong in the nostril, almost pungent. Sometimes we were on a track, sometimes just rambling up here and over yonder, stopping often for a sip of water or perhaps just a break from the sun in the shade of a pine.
We got up to the top of the particular hill we were wanting to get to and we sat and admired the view. Looking back down the valley to Alexandra. Warm breeze on our skin, the odd car on the road now opposite where we sat across the valley.
Julie was happy, she hasn't done many 'Simon' x-country wanders before and she enjoyed the same thing I enjoy about it - just finding a hill and climbing to the top of it. We planned our route down, which was going to take us past some bee hives Julie wanted to take a look at.
Just about to make our way down when we heard a loud 'BANG'. F#ck! Someone shooting. Down in the valley below us was a red car with a couple of people who had let off a shot. Holy crap scared the shit out of us. Too make it worse they were far enough away that we couldn't quite see which they were pointing. 'BANG' another one went off and we scarpered behind a rock. It was extremely unlikely they were actively shooting at us but we had no way of knowing. My concern was that they might have had a scope and had seen a glimpse of colour (us) and confused it for an animal. The other worry was that they might have been shooting randomly up the hill and a stray bullet might come our way. Either way - not good.
So we sat behind our large rock for quite some time and waited for them to go away. Which they they did not. I poked my head over the rock and 'BANG' another shot. F#vck. Maybe they really DO think we are a goat or something?
Julie was worried, I was worried, that was two too many worried people. We were safe behind our large rock, but we were trapped. We were up admiring the view you see. One side was a shear drop, the other side was idiots with guns. If we could just sneak over the top without getting ourselves in the line of sight... now that would be good because we could drop down into another valley and from there we could make our way up to car via another route. But it didn't seem like we could get over the top and remain out of line-of-sight.
I figured they wouldn't be there too long so if we just sat it out for a bit they would head on their way and we would be fine. What F#cking idiots shooting so close to town near all those walking and biking tracks! Grrr. Just then another car came down near the first one and beeped at them. Hoorah! Maybe they were going to tell them to F off and stop being such idiots! People got out of the car they chatted. I hid behind my tree and watched for a while. 'BANG'
F#CK! Back down behind the rock. I guess they were friends. Damn it!
Again - not close enough to know what was going on or in which direction they were pointing. They were on 'our' side of the car, that was bad.
The guns sounded (and I hoped) were just shotguns, but then we heard a shot ricochet off which told us it was a rifle. A serious one too judging my the sound, certainly not a .22 We were certainly out of range of a shotgun, and most likely out of range of a good rifle, but if they had a scope... or an unlucky shot (for us...) Who's taking that risk right?
So my sitting still plan wasn't working as they might now have another gun (sounds like they did) and maybe more ammo. And the last shot sounded like something serious so it was time to move.
I scampered up the rock face to see if we could stay out of sight and get over the ridge. Turns out we mainly could if we stayed low. We were in sight for a second or so buy no longer. So over we went and got down below the next ridge line. Phew! Still not out of jail because now we had a very steep valley we had to make our way down, then up the other side to remain out of sight. Oh well - at least we are out of the worst of it.
So we scrambled through thyme and over sharp rocks down one side and up the other. As we came up to another ridge (a long way away at this stage) I looked over the top and see that the cars were leaving. Thank F#ck for that. They cruised down ridge opposite us across the valley from where we stood. I stood as high as I could on a rock on the ridge line and wolf whistled. It was a good one. The car slowed on a corner and stopped. I waved my fist at him in what I hoped he could see was a fist of: "F#ck you, you stupid f#cking idiot! You could have killed us! If I find you in town I'm gonna punch your F#cking lights out. F@cking idiot you scared the shit out of us!" ggrrrrrrr@@####
So that was that. Up we scrambled, down we scrambled. And finally, a bit shaky in the knees, we made it back to the road and the safety of the car.
So we discussed on the way back into town whether or not we should go and see the cops. 'Probably' it was a shotgun. 'Probably' they weren't aiming at us. But all the same - what a stupid place to shoot! So close to town and so close to so many walking and biking tracks. How ridiculous! So we drove down to the police station to at least have a chat with the cops and let them know what had happened.
No cops in the shop of cop. So off we went. Well we tried. Driving out of town and what is that coming towards us? A cop car. Flashed my lights and indicated for her to come see us. Which she did. Nice. So we told her the story and she took our details. Not much she could do, we had no rego of the car or ID. Well at least she knows and she was going to pass it on to the local guys, they might know who it was and maybe they could have a chat with them and tell them to go a bit further out of town to shoot.
Well that was good enough. Not a nice experience but we did the right thing. Next day Sunday and I said to Julie that we should 'get back on the horse again' and go for a walk on the same track. I was certainly spooked by the experience as was she so I thought it would be best to get back out there again (as the common wisdom goes...). And I wanted to find the site they were shooting from and see if they left any shells behind to tell us that (hopefully) it was shotgun after all.
So jumped out again - taking a few precautions this time. Two cell phones, and a good look around to make sure no one was about shooting already..
And for good measure we stayed high on a track near the road that would allow us to get onto the road should it all go wrong again.
So off we rambled we looked across to where we had been stuck behind a rock, and down to where I thought the shooters had been. 'Julie - just think I might pop down there and see if I can see where they were'. She was delighted...
Well we got down there and sure enough I came across a plastic bullet holder. No need for them to take away their rubbish of course, just chuck it on the ground you lazy pieces of shit. A bit further on and there they were - empty cases. Oh oh. Not little ones. Not .22 Not shotgun shells. Big 7mm hunting cases. F#ck me. Julie lost it. I was none too happy either. I don't think they could have got us from that distance but the bullet certainly would have made the distance.
We had a look around and fortunately... found a cardboard box on the hill. And through it were 13 rounds. So they did have a scope... Anyway - at least that was in the opposite direction to where we were. So turns out we weren't in danger, but we didn't know that at the time and had no way of knowing it either. The way they were shooting was up towards the road which was silly, and they were just far too close to town to be doing that sort of shit with big bullets (or any rifle really).
We took a couple of the cases and took them back to the cop shop and just to give them a bit more info. We had a car make and colour, and we knew what kind of ammo they were using, so hopefully the police records might be able to match the two up. If so - would be great to tell them that they scared the shit out of two people and next time bugger off further out of town when they want to play bang bangs. AND... don't have your target pointing up near the road you f#cking ding bats.
So - very exciting weekend. I was going up to chill out...
Having said that - it was nice to have some time out of town and in the tent. Though I must say we were a bit put off with Alex after that 'thrill'. Added to that was the experience of sitting in town having a coffee and watching as many cars full of young idiots (I presume local) drove by in shitty old lowered holdens and falcons. Morons. Windows down, drinking beer in the back, shouting out at people etc etc. Hmmm. Maybe next time we camp somewhere different. And somewhere nice that people don't shoot at you would be a really nice touch too.
Work - stressful as hell so I'll keep it slim. All consuming, stress making, vaguely depression making if the stress is not contained. Not flash. I hate this time of the year. Everyone loses their little heads.
Applied for a 'promotion' at work. Keen if it is the job I 'hope' it is, not keen if it turns into the job I 'think' it is. Will wait to see if I get an offer and will work it out from then. But - given how much stress I'm already under, I'll need to be careful in my considerations...
Location: New Zealand
In Welly for a couple of days R&R post a Hamilton work trip. Work trip went ok - we took our team up for a bit of a look at part of the company which is a bit more advanced than us in the way they do things. Were some good conversations and hopefully a bit of thinking about the way we do things and maybe about changing some of our habits for the better.
Sooooo - in Welly now at parents house. First job - check the intertubes. Hey - what the hell is this cable hanging out the side of the laptop? A LAN cable?? what the hell? Ok - job one fix wireless. 1.5 hours googling the problem it was having - check. Uninstall driver. Check. Re-setup wireless. check. Done.
Now what is this - service pack two needs updating? Oh good lord, go ahead then. Oh and you want to update Firefox? Sure, why not. Oh and you haven't had flash updated for a while? Well you'd better do that at the same time then hadn't you.
busmans holiday. check
So.... looking forward to a day or two of R&R in welly. Gee they haven't put on the weather for me though. It's colder than invercargill! Grey, windy, etc. oh well, didn't come for the weather. Nice to see the fam. Saw one set of nephews and nieces last night, will see the other set tonight.
Off for a walk soon for a bit of reading and writing and nice coffee down the road me thinks.