why I started my blogging…

To be honest with you, I tried getting my wife involved in this whole blogging thing. She has a knack of painting an awesome picture with words. I don’t have any style to my writing or have good sense of spelling, lucky there’s spell check in here. My wife has convinced me to write on my experiences and my passions in life. So I hope to make people read and laugh, and leave a part of me on these pages for my children to see their dads thoughts…

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Featured post

A Letter to my Princess…

Dear Baby Girl,

Its taken along time to write this special piece. I wanted to have the right words to describe our fantastic bond. Back in November 5th 1993, it was Guy Fawks day and you entered this earth with a huge audience in the birthing suite. It was like an Airport lounge waiting for family to arrive. There was your mum’s siblings, best friends, Nana Bigboat and me your Dad. There was 13 people watching and waiting. You were my first of six children. I had a frontrow seat amongst the crowd. Being a first time dad, I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught from your mum. Your mum pushed, pulled and strangled me. Through all your mum’s hard work you were born, it was one of the happiest days of my life. Picking you up and sharing a breath with you as we had a hongi(Maori Greeting), which was a special moment and I have done this with all your brothers too. As you lay in my arms, I was admiring your jet black hair, your little fingers and toes. My heart was stunned.

You and Mum at your christening.

In your younger years you were very cheeky. You learnt how to speak at about six months old. You could talk the ears off most adults including myself. Most memorable things I can recall is you waiting at the home front door for me. I would finish work and open the door to see this huge smile on your face. This was truly the highlight of my day. You would imitate your Grandma, standing on the table with a hymm book singing at the top of your voice. We would play fight all the time.  These Good times I will always cherish.

You and your Brother David

As you got older, you would test the waters and express yourself in all different ways. Which was good and sometimes bad. It was a good opportunity for your mum and I to get a real taste of hard parenting. You lost your way for abit, but then you found your way back.

Me n my Princess

You’ve brought three more beautiful people into our family Herman, my grandsons Noah and Robin. You’ve grown up to be strong independent working woman. Mum and I are so proud of you. Just know this, without you we would not be the people we are today. We will always be here for you. Please don’t change for no one, just be you.
Love you bubs…

Dad.


The Handshake…

Back in the day a good strong hand shake determined a man’s character. These days its a greeting between mates, or an introduction to new people.

“Formal Handshake”

Pictured above is your traditional hand shake, I use this when meeting people for the first time. I call it my formal handshake. You can get the odd dickhead who tries to squeeze the hell out of hands, I would naturally return the favor. Sometimes you’ll get morons who will turn your hand to position their hand on top, meaning their above you. This is when you salute them with the middle finger. The handsake can also cement peace between two countries. The handshake is a powerful tool and is a deal sealer.

Then you have your real fancy handshakes, which can be quite long and outrageous. Too long for me to recollect, I can barely remember to wear undies. I see alot of sports stars use these hand signals, which looks pretty cool for tv. Also bad boy groups like bikie gangs and street gangs have real elaborate hand clinches. But for me simple Bro Shake is all I need. 

“Fancy Handshakes”

There is a brotherly hand shake, which is widely used around the globe in all boys clubs and bromances. The hand gesture is mainly used with close mates. When I started my job 17 years ago, the handshake before a shift was not common amongst my peers. Growing up and working in New Zealand we would meet with a bro shake and leave with a bro shake, with work mates, rugby mates and best mates. Not saying I started a trend, but I started shaking hands with work colleague’s at the start and end of shifts, which caught on like the plague and has continued to this present day. We’ve progressed from traditional handshake to the bro shake, my work homeboys and I are a pretty tight knit group now. So the trusty handshake brings people together.

“Bro Shake”

Breathtaking Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Great Barrier Island is located 93 kilometers from Auckland City. It’s Maori name is Aotea. From Auckland to the Barrier you can take the barge which will take 4.5 hour, or catch a 30 minute plane ride. The population on the island id around 940 people, in the summer it explodes with many people heading down for holidays. During the summer they hold fishing tournaments, the famous Mussel Festival. Otherwise there are plenty of beaches to laze around on.

My wifes family were the first inhabitants to Great Barrier Island. They are from the northern part of the island called Motairehe which means Katherine Bay. Since being on the island her family worked on the whaling station which closed in 1962. They have old whaling tool artifacts at their homestead, like glass buoys, whale cutting tools. These days her family is of the older generation and retired. My wifes homestead on the island is over 100 years old, which was transported by barge from Helensvile.

When I was living Auckland, every Christmas holidays I’d take the family to the barrier. My first couple of days of my trip, I would have to visit the old people in the bay and do odd heavy jobs. Lifting things, pulling out stumps or giving haircuts to the koro’s (old fellas). Then me and the kids would head out to net fish, rod fishing, hiking and swimming at Maybey’s Beach. The food is so amazing and fresh. My favorite food is snapper, mussels, oysters the size of your hand and crayfish. At night in summer you can  hear generators in the distance. The stars are so clear in the sky, you can almost touch them. Now I’m living in Australia, haven’t been back for about ten years, I’m due for a trip. Missing the taste and smell of home. If you get a chance head over to this beautiful rustic part of Aotearoa.

Pancake time

Directions

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot, with your favorite toppings.

Things I’ll never forget…

I will never forget seeing all my children being born. I’ll never forget the queen of my heart and soul. The sweet smell in the air before it rains, but most of all I will never forget my childhood best friend Paul.  He left this earth when he was 14 years old.

We started school together at 5, along with other close friends Larry and Peter. We all stayed in the same neighborhood. There was a secret whistle call, that we would use to alert each other that meant ” we’re outside bro”. We hung out all the time, climbing trees, making forts and huts. We’d go eeling and eat wild berries in the bush.   We were inseparable, brothers from different mothers.

Peter, Larry and I are pacific islanders and Paul was a white boy, but a Pacific Islander on the inside.  He always stuck up for us if we were racially abused. He was a really good sort, I loved him like my real brother. We did everything together.

As we were getting older we drifted apart. I was busy playing team sports and had a part time job.  I hadn’t seen Paul in a while. I heard through my friends that Paul was really sick.  In the back of my mind I wanted to see him, but I kept putting it off. I Don’t know why, I think it was because I didn’t want to believe he had cancer.  I was too scared to see him, so I kept my distance. I was eventually sent for by Pauls parents. I wasn’t prepared for the words they spoke.   “Say your final goodbyes to him, he hasn’t got long”.  Instantly tears started welling up in my eyes, then I bursted into tears sobbing uncontrollably. The guilt set in, and I was really hating myself. Why I kept asking myself? Why didn’t I visit. Sitting there watching my best friends lifeless body, who was not conscious with yellow tinge to his skin.  He had lost so much weight, he was skin and bones.  I started to talk to him, reminiscing on the funny and crazy stuff we got up too. I reminded him of the time we climbed a massive power pylon with umbrellas, then we mary poppins off it. The thing is we didn’t float, we fell straight down into a pile of grass. I was told he asked after me and I was devasted.  Anguish twisted through me.  Still at the age of 43 I harbor guilt for the way I tried to deny my brothers illness and therefore dissmissing his calls for me to visit.  From time to time memories of my friend creep into my mind and I break down with tears.

The following  week I attended the funeral, with my close friends Larry and Peter. It was one the saddest days of my life.  Our gang of 4 was now 3. It was good to see Paul’s family, and say our final goodbyes. Now our gang of three are all grown up, we’ve gone our separate ways. But we still keep in contact through social media. Peter still lives in our home town. Myself and Larry live in a different country. Our little gang reminds me of the charactes from the movie “Stand by me”. Here is a note to my friend in heaven.

hey bro…please forgive me for not seeing you, when you were sick. I feel like a stink as fella. We had a blast of a good time. Playing in the bush, jumping from tree to tree. Playing war games, getting beat up by your older brothers. Drinking that bottle of VAT 69 getting totally wasted on guy fawks day, Good times aye. Thanks for being my good friend. One of my sons has Paul as their middle name. Please forgive me bro…

My Bestest Buddies

Being a parent of six children which range from 24 years old to 2 years old, you would think I understand children. The answer is No.  I am still learning, discovering new things about all of my kids.  I don’t have alot of money, the one thing I do have is time.  When I’m not working we are hanging out.

 my oldest and my youngest.

I have a couple of old mates and a heap of work buddies.  On occasion I will head out for a beer, but otherwise my sons are my bff’s. When I’m cooking dinner, while having a stubbie my sons will explain how their day went, or tell me all about their training sessions.  They’ll come to me and say dad need .5 fade, so I turn into the local barber.  When I’m cutting their hair I’m also counseling them. We play fight, wrestle and we have heart to heart discussions.  At night we are usually challenging each other on the Xbox or having debates about world issues and most times it’s just about crap, but i’m happy even if it is crap chatter.  Sometimes we’ve woken my wife with our loud debates, and she’s not impressed.  So everyday I am learning from them and they from me.

I’m so glad I can connect with my children on so many different levels.  I try to keep all my opinions and views positive. They do come up with problems and situations, that we work through together. The one thing my wife and I have discussed and implemented from the birth is to create great memories. I hope for them we have done it.

Me & my son’s journey home…

It was 5am Saturday morning, the sun was just starting to appear. I had just finished nightshift, I was on my way to pick my son from work. He’s a 21 year old Bartender at the Casino. My son jumps in the car, we start our hour long journey home. The mood in the car was a little awkward, because I felt I had to get something off my chest. We both start our conversations with the routine words like “how was your night, busy”. Then I start with “Son you know that I love you aye”. He replies “yeah I know dad”. I’m feeling butterflies in my tummy as I say my next piece “You know son I don’t care what your into, with your sexuality and being gay I still love you. Don’t worry about what anybody say’s or thinks, me, mum your brothers and sister will love you and protect you.” He replies “Yes dad”. I look across at him and tears streaming down his face, my heart breaks a little as the water works start running down my cheeks. I know he’s been wanting off load this to us for so long. The tense awkward air in the car is now filled with positive energy and love. My wife and I have known since he was young boy that he was gay. We promised to wait till hes ready to tell us. I cheated abit, by letting my son know my feelings. My son was really happy and the expression on his face said thanks dad. We chatted like old pals on the way home like nothing had happened. Life was good again.

Raising boys to become men…

My Wife and Boys,
My Wife n Boys

What can I say. My children are procrastinators, tricksters and dreamers, but all and all good kids. I have 5 son’s and one daughter ranging from 24 years old to 2 years. The one thing I remain steadfast on, is my children being respectful and honest, to themselves and to others.  I am here to talk about my experience and relationship with my boys, my next post will be about my princess. The first thing I want to mention here is there’s alot of testosterone in my house, too much for my wife to handle. The standard dress code at home are boxers and singlets.  On occasion there’s chest bumping , arm wrestling and my wife’s beautiful things getting smashed up. You would think I need a ringmasters whip to keep them in line. But no, I need just to give the eye’s of death and that sort of works.

Each one of my boys are different in their own unique way. I have 3 golden lessons I’ve taught my kids, when they are out playing sport or just hanging out with mates. 1  Don’t give up! 2  Never start trouble, but if it comes your way finish it. 3  Always help those in need. People might disagree with me, but these lessons has served me to be the man I am today. I just want them to be strong independent men.  To not to be followers, but leaders for whatever they choose to do in life.

My life has been truly enriched by my wife and kids. I have seen all my beautiful children enter this world, through the strength of my wife. We have had some incredibly tough times, times I was not able to shelter my children from.  My wife and I became homeless with four small children and we found ourselves in the system.  From emergency housing in the red light district of St Kilda, to lining up with our babies in tow for food at the City Mission daily.  We were finally given a full time place to stay in a Commission housing block in Fitzroy Melbourne.   I felt so helpless, not being able to feed my kids it tore my soul apart.  My children learnt quickly not to take things for granted.  I will never forget how my kids hid biscuits and fruit up their sleeves like squirrels because they didn’t know when the next meal would come.   Keeping them from seeing too much was impossible.  My wife made up games to keep them occupied while a prostitute and a homeless man traded blows and called one another vile putrid names.  “Whats a C***t daddy?”   “Why is that man hurting that lady?”  My children were the pi├Ęces in a chess game.  My eldest were the pawns.  I can ruin their sweet innocence by asking them to help mummy and daddy make sure the two babies were never in harms way and read them books and sing songs while waiting in food and clothing lines.  Humpty Dumpty saved the day.  I have asked them over the years what they remember,  thankfully, the two babies dont remember anything.  My two eldest……….. “were ok dad”

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