Monday, August 29, 2011

Farewell Peka / Names #2 / Joe Cocker

Farewell Peka

I still can't bring myself to call him that ridiculous name starting with H.F.  The penguin I caught up with on Pekapeka Beach on June 22, has set sail this evening for the sub-Antarctic on board the Tangaroa. I took this photo of the vessel leaving Shelley Bay from my deck just after 6pm this evening.

In the foreground is the new ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie. I was one of the 15,000 people who visited on its open day on Saturday. What a fantastic facility and a great community asset! Lose a penguin, gain a stadium... Yeah, we'll be fine.

Naming Characters #2

On the subject of crap names and fantastic names, here's another article from Papers Past
ODD NAMES [Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLII, 13 September 1907, Page 1] 
We publish hereunder a [slightly slimmed down -- CC] selection of Odd Names. All the names are genuine, and not invented for the purpose of publication. The majority of them are taken from the records which are to be found at Doctors' Commons, Somerset House, the Probate Court, etc. England.

Temperance Dry.
Thomas Jolly Death.
Friendly Churches.
Dover Beetles.
Jonas Whalebelly.
Young Fry.
Frederick Smallbones.
Leicester Midland Railway Cope.
John Richard Pine Coffin.
Sabbath Church.
Robert Rainy Best Best.
Pickup Pickup.
Nelson Monument.
Winter Frost.
Butter Sugar.
Morning Dew.
Wilde Field Flowers.
John the Baptist Arrighi.
Christmas Day Jones.
Daft Coggins.
River Jordan.
Urbane Cheese.
Carolina Gotobed.
Petronella Frederika Mess.
Brown Fox.
Time o' Day.
Lesser Lesser.
Bride Best
Parsonage Pope.
Urbane Cook.
Christmas Day.
Honour Bright.
Jolly Death.
Henry Hot Coddlings.
Queen Victoria Burr.
Peternal Hole.
Randalina Seedlum.
Moderina Belmontina Kimberina Robertson.
Ivynest Cowmeadows.
Choice Tippling.
Ambulance Bunn.
Only Fanny Thomas Jones.
Maher-shalal-hash-bas Sturgeon.
Lily Margarine Sturgeon.
Agathos Everley Alexander Eager.
Mabel Helmingham Ethel Huntingtower Beatrice Blazonberrie, Evangeline Vise-de-lon de Oreliana, Plantagenet Plantagenet Todemag Saxon Tollemache Tollemache.
William Rains Kneebone.
Emma Sheepwash.
B. L. C. Bubb (Beelzebub)
J. L. Bird (Jail-bird)
Through Great Tribulation We Enter Into the Kingdom of Heaven Slappe.
Hurry Riches.
Diehappy Harper.
Merelthalfcar Lamb.
Kerenhappuch Death.
Jacob Choke Lambshead.
Styleman Percy Bell le Strange Herring.
Hephyibar Hibberdine.
Philbrick Frank Colechin Elliott.
Naaman Napper.
Waples Canwarden.
Tamar Anna Manship-Ewart.
John Hadnot Kiss.
Rose Shamrock Anthistle.
Baron de Roths Child.
Ann Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louisa Maud Nora Teresa Ulysis Venus Winifred Xenophon Yetty Zeus Pepper.

Peka Post Script

I felt conflicted about going up to Pekapeka in June for a number of reasons, a big one being that it was a 'writing day'.  In the last two months, however, I've discovered that THE NOVEL will have a portion set on one of New Zealand's sub-Antarctic Islands. Probably not Campbell Island, which is where Peka will be dropped off (or nearby), but close enough. So there'll be penguins in THE NOVEL (probably not emperors, that risk 'The Shangai Knights effect' -- or whatever the animal equivalent is?), meaning it was totally research.


Palmy's Pushkin

I have nearly finished listening to all of the New Yorker Fiction Podcasts. Get excited because I'm going to do a meaningless, subject-to-personal-taste top ten stories from these podcasts when I've finished (and probably once I'm back from Melbourne).

Anyway, today on the way home from work I listened to 'My Russian Education' by Vladimir Nabokov, read by Orhan Pamuk. In the story (which is actually from Nabokov's memoir... is there such a thing as a non-fiction short story? I reckon) Nabokov mentions his father's passions: butterflies, chess problems and quoting Pushkin -- three passions Vladimir Vladimirovic inherited.

As I walked down Houghton Bay Road I thought about what passions I might have inherited from my father. He wasn't a prominent politician like Nabokov's father (nor did he get assassinated), he was a polytech lecturer in New Zealand's sixth or seventh biggest city (depending on when we're talking about and who you ask). He didn't quote Pushkin, or any poetry, but he did 'quote' Joe Cocker (and Brian Wilson and Lennon/McCartney and Captain Beefheart...).

He took me (and my mum and his mum) along to see Joe Cocker at the Rainbow Stadium. My first ever concert.

In honour of the fifth week of disruption at my flat as the landlords put in a new bathroom, and my musical inheritance, here's Joe Cocker 'quoting' The Beatles...

A Close Reading

The CatastropheI went to the Wellington launch of Ian Wedde's new novel, The Catastrophe, at Meow on Friday. The next day, my column appeared in the Dom Post about Wedde's poetry, specifically 'CO Products Ltd'. You can now read my column online here, but you'll just have to ferret out a copy of Good Business to read Wedde's poem (although you can read Metalworx Engineering in Best NZ Poems 2009).

The book launch on Friday was immediately followed by a concert featuring Lawnmaster, the last ever gig by The Tenderisers (featuring poet John Newton and music reviewer Simon Sweetman), and The Close Readers (lead by writer Damien Wilkins) who claimed to have only had two rehearsals but sounded pretty tight. I'm not sure if I've ever been to as literary a gig (or as musical a book launch).

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