Posts Tagged ‘funkypancake’

Chinese Roulette

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Contrary to what it might seem, this is not a photo of conditions on either of the listing ships making the news recently. Rather, it is a picture of my good friend and fellow blogger Dave Funkypancake during one of our regular lunches, during which we catch up on family news and plan great things.  Given that I have recently moved into the office building Dave vacated not so long ago for another one elsewhere, our favoured ‘lunch special’ haunt is no longer a convenient meeting point half way between our desks.  So, back from our holidays – he in England and me on the couch – we set out to find a new lunch venue equidistant from our respective desks.  This turned out to be a small, new  and as yet not on the web food court on an uninspiring stretch of road on the southwestern edge of the CBD.

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Due to Chinese/English translation issues during the ordering phase of lunch, I was served first but with the wrong dish. After assuring our lovely server that, despite her encouragement, accepting the wrong meal wasn’t something I wanted to do, she took it away. Dave’s order arrived without drama shortly thereafter and I filled in the time by taking a photo of him starting without me whilst looking suitably quizzical. The lovely server arrived once more with another dish that I hadn’t ordered but, whilst the meal was cooked in an entirely different way, it did contain most of the same ingredients as the one I ordered.  This being the case and with our lunch hour rapidly running out, I nodded excitedly like I’d just won the lunchtime lotto and tucked into my surprise lunch of not-satay but still beef on soft-rather-than-crispy noodles with not-ordered-and-not tasty vegetables.  Only time and a few more lunches will tell whether we will make this place our new default m/eating place.

Bach to the future

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Through the love and generosity of good friends, we have been blessed to be able to spend the last few days in their family bach on the Hibiscus Coast.  In the spirit of many a Kiwi holiday home, it is only 45 minutes away from where we live but just 100m from a great beach, so the delightfully quirky (no two doors the same width) and slightly confusing (three levels in two and a half storeys) 1960s bach made a lovely place for a long weekend of relaxation and fun before I headed back to the office this morning.

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The bach was a testament to decades of a loving family life lived well together and was full of charming period artefacts like the bakelite Philco valve radio and the 1970s vacuum cleaner, not to mention the carefully labelled family albums and wonderful EktaChrome slides, complete with viewer.

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For the family, it has meant long sunny days at the beach with a bag full of books and sunblock, Sunday morning devotions together before a long walk on the beach to enjoy cappuccinos and juice at a cafe and leisurely stroll home through the tide pools and sand.

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It also provided a great opportunity for us to catch up with friends like the Smiffs and funkypancake & family, recently returned from Blighty and bearing large quantities of watermelon and cookies, which were consumed with lashings of tea and soft drinks.

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For all that, most of all, it was a great time for the younger members of the family to enjoy the very best of what the Kiwi way of life has to offer – fun in the sun, friends over for sleepovers, lazy days, takeaway dinners, kite flying, card games, jigsaws and crosswords, warm nights in creaky wooden baches  – and the chance to simply smile and be happy!

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Vivid & varied vinyl memories

Friday, May 15th, 2009

My first ever exposure to electronic or synthersiser music was in the unlikely venue of an aunt’s living room somewhere in Middle England.  Undoubtedly bored with the family conversation, I snuck off, donned headphones and listened to records on the ‘music centre’.  One of the records was a ‘stereo sampler’, a 12″ vinyl record designed to show off the then-new technology of stereophonic sound recording.  Among the tracks was the senimal Kraftwerk track, Autobahn.  I can still recall the sensation of the ‘cars’ on the track ‘driving’ from one ear to the other and back again.

During a recent exchange about music in general and electronic music in particular, Dave of funkypancake mentioned a few online on demand music sites that I might like to try.  As Spotify has yet to find Aotearoa on the map, I have been trying out We7 (wee-seven) instead and very good it is too.  While the range of available music doesn’t always match what I’m after, there’s plenty to keep me happy.

When we emigrated, I carefully packed up the best part of thirty year’s vinyl and given I currently have no turntable on which to play my collection.  With the help of We7, I’m enjoying listening to on demand versions of all those LP albums, 7″ B-sides and 12″ single remixes I have tucked away – readers under 30 might like to ask their parents what these are.

One interesting discovery in all this audiophiliology is how my long-held perceptions about certain tracks are not always in sync with reality.  For instance, listening through Replicas by Tubeway Army once again, I am struck by the fact that they were really more of a post-punk New Wave guitar, bass and drum combo with a Mini-Moog than the full-blown synthesizer band of my memories.

Elsewhere on the site, I’ve found the ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ live concert versions of Thomas Dolby‘s ‘The Golden Age of Wireless’ tracks.  So familiar from years of listening, they now sound new, different and more rounded in these later versions.  This and the deft touches he brings to his songs, like weaving the Martin Luther King speech snippet into ‘The Flat Earth’, will surely mean that Dolby will never be the nostalgia act so many of his contemporaries have become.

Fresh Start

Sunday, May 10th, 2009
Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

‘Found by you’ because I obviously have been – the phrase can be also be found here – and ‘Fresh Start’ because this is the first post of a new blog.  While I have occasionally blogged recipes elsewhere (see links), am active on Flickr and have embraced Twitter, it has been twelve to eighteen months since I last blogged in earnest.  However, in recent months I have felt drawn to begin blogging again but much has changed in my life in recent years and my last long-standing blog no longer seemed a good fit.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat with a fellow blogger and all-round nice bloke Dave, the photo-diarist behind the funkypancake phenomenon.  While we have corresponded for years, until he visited last month, we had never met so it was a great chance to talk about blogging, photography and a whole lot more besides.  After mulling things over for another week or so, I have decided to stop mulling and start blogging.

Off to lend my trailer to a friend and make Mother’s Day soup.