It’s a pretty lonely life here at the Eye of the Fish – tough at the top, as they say.
But there are some things that have become a sort of yearly tradition, and one of those is to leave a gone fishing sign, or something that indicates that the author may indeed return one day. Readership plummets as well, as everyone is at the beach and no one is reading a blog. Which is a pity really as it is the time when I have the most time on my fish fingers, tap tap tapping on the tiny keyboard. But the iPad doesn’t work so well 6 feet under water, or so it seems. Perhaps I need a diving bell.
This year seems to have been particularly long, with no breaks, unless that is just the new normal under the Covid hellscape we live amongst now. For light relief, I have been reading Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year – written in 1722, so not contemporaneous with the plague in London which of course headlined during 1666 and the Great Fire (which mostly put an end to the Black Plague as well as burning down the timber St Paul’s cathedral). There are a lot of parallels between then and now – they of course had a much nastier pox and a lot less medicine, but they also had nutty deniers and crazy concoctions as well, although none quite as stupid as “drink bleach” or “stick an UV light up your insides”. There was a fair bit of locking up the seriously ill, and then occasionally burning down their house (with them inside, naturally), which is almost as bad as the Chinese approach at the moment (welding the external doors shut). There was no vaccine back then, but we are so much more clever and advanced these days, developing a vaccine that almost guarantees that you won’t die (and then for the brainless Zombies of the Undead to refuse to take it).
Of course, for every dark cloud there is a silver lining, and it was certainly that way for young Christopher Wren, who got a commission post-fire for some 50-100 replacement churches. I think only 53 churches were actually built – but still, not a bad record. Like the Miles Warren of our generation, only not as successful nor as prolific. (Post-script: is this Sarcasm? Hmmm. Time shall tell).
One thing that I have been doing over the past couple of months, while isolating at home with the dreaded lurgy, is to watch a lot of Game of Thrones, seeing as the whole thing seems to have been put on Prime late in the Sunday night to watch. It did make me hyper-aware of how much GoT is modelled on the British
Anarchy Monarchy and the countryside full of indescribable plebs (the plebs feature in Love Island and things like that…). However – so many of the characters of the GoT franchise seem to have been taken directly from life of the modern monarchy, that there are so many parallels – draw your own conclusions, although I’ve made some subtle suggestions in the pictures above and below. Peter Dinklage really deserves someone better to play.
One of things that I do really wish would happen is for the two Princes to stop pussyfooting about, and commit to some genuine ultra-violence. None of this pathetic whimpering behind a Netflix screen mouthing vague obscenities, hiding behind the skirts of your Queen or lover. Time for these two young would be rulers to seriously get down to duelling and a dirty great knife fight. When you think about it, there’s probably no rule against it – Kings and Princes have always been able to chop off a rival’s head at a whim, and who is going to stop them? Not some aged courtier that’s for sure, or the Court Eunuch, of which there seems to be a fair few contenders these days. Fight to the death boys! Off with his head!! Are you for Team William or Team ‘Arry? Avenge the insult to your favoured wench my ginger-bearded sculker! House of Windsor should have it all over House Stark, or the bloody Lanisters. Or is the modern day Lanisters actually House Windsor, seeing as in reality it is still House Saxe Coburg, in drag since Hitler was in short trousers? Oh the wicked paths we tread! Watch out for low-flying dragons!
The other thing that watching Game of Thrones makes me yearn for is another visit overseas, and particularly to Dubrovnik, city of my dreams (long before GoT made it popular). Or perhaps our country could provide a suitable backdrop for a GoT Down Under? GoTDU? Do we have any buildings as magnificent as the grand cathedrals of Europe to stand in as the background props that the HBO team have with their show?
Of course we do – as could be seen when PJ and his team built the sets for LoTR and tH – opportunities abound – some better than others.
Should we have left our House of the Rohan up, down in te Wai Pounamu, or is it better that every last pebble was restored back to the original state? You decide – myself, I’d quite like to have a bit of the architectural ruins!
IN the mean time, assuming that summer does indeed last longer than that nice weekend two weeks ago – have a nice break and I’ll hope to see you all back here again in 2023.
Happy Christmas !
Happy Christmas Nemo
Have fun swimming about your holiday destination; perhaps composing an article about what the hell is up with all of these modern gable roofs at the moment or how a certain shade of grey can be tracked down to 2012
Sorry no soaring gothic stone arches here but I can recommend doing the patuna chasm walk if you want a good experience for a fish
(bloody hell the price has gone up)
The whole town goes to sleep until Anniversary weekend anyway
Thanks 60 – our most loyal reader and commenter! You’ve been coming here for years, it seems, and commenting too, which is always nice, even if the Fish does go AWOL every now and then. Have a great Christmas – and yes, I might just visit the Patuna Chasm, if only just to remind myself of an old girlfriend, Petunia. More to come, that’s for sure!
Merry Fishmas Nemo.
I’ve got a house to get finished (bloody aluminium window fabricators!) so no rest for the Whanganui chapter of the EOTF supporters club. As soon as we get the pool filled up and working again you are welcome to come and splash around.
Starkive – you’re on! I thought you had planned to fill it in and make a sculpture garden!
It’s a complex, Nemo. It’s a complex.
Happy Saturnalia darling. We always enjoy the blogs. We think that oil wrestling at a private wresting ring in Barcelona would be ideal for Harry and Wills (Etienne’s business at http://www.wrestlingmale comes to mind). They’d need to put some beef on, and obviously better budgie smugglers for those Janet Jackson moments. But we agree, there is real potential. Some people love ‘The Crown,’ but in our view ‘The Windsors’ is probably a more realistic portrayal of the Royal Juicer family. Here’s to the arrival of giant tractors to remove NZ’s burbs – and we can start afresh! Happy Hogmanay xxx
Gilbert and George !! Royalty from afar ! Could it really be you? (I checked your IP address – no clues!). I’ve taken your advice and changed The Crown to The Windsors – I agree about the budgie smugglers. That’d probably bring in a whole new audience – and drive out a certain segment of the old one!!
Can we start with Karori?
Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure
This little beauty may help with the planning.
5 kiloton airburst, no worries
If only there was some way to entice everyone who wears crocs to be standing underneath it we would do the world a service
Some sort of croc festival like the Fyre festival?
Original quote from Aliens, of course
Putting the annihilation of poor sweet little Karori for just a minute, has the NZ Herald been reading the Fish? Or even the international press? Exhaustingly puerile Royal Watcher, called Daniela Elsa, who loves all this sensational tripe, notes in her latest blah blah blah tank piece:
“Elizabeth I might have held back the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Prince Regent managed to keep that upstart Bonaparte on his side of the Channel in 1815, but our newly-installed sovereign might just have proven his considerable strategic nous.”
“How? His Majesty has reportedly invited none other than his son and daughter-in-law Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex to his coronation next May. It would be hard to find a soul right now who doesn’t know that this surprising gesture comes after the Sussexes’ latest and most comprehensive round of palace bloodletting with the release of their Netflix documentary this month, an effort more than 12 months, two directors and one $140 million deal in the making.”
“In the lead-up to the debut of the first tranche of episodes, expectations and hype slowly built, with the biggest question being, just how painful of a blow to the monarchy and the House of Windsor would the Sussexes’ revelations be?”
“The suspense grew and grew and then … We got a six-episode hodge-podge of saccharine home movies, largely already-run claims about the royal family’s dreadful ways, all with the occasional legitimate point wedged in.”
“If the royal family had been expecting to meet a broadsword-wielding knight on the field of battle, what they instead got was an ale fume-wafting, wobbling chevalier on a mule.”
If only I could get the that nuke map to take out Daniella Elser.
Yeah, me too. She’s a fairly toxic little number. Having just watched, some 30 minutes ago, the interview with Harry on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, I was impressed by how relaxed Harry was with discussing everything – literally, everything – and how respectful Colbert was (of course!). Made the British tabloid style of ‘news” seem even more vapid than usual.
I like the quote early on about the Middleton sisters being called the Wisteria twins – “Pretty, smell nice, incredible climbers”
This metaphor of Elser’s is a good example…
“It’s generally all about as exciting as a cup of lukewarm, weak tea and a crumbling ginger nut that has been overeagerly dunked, all a bit soggy, but what is remarkable is that this year we have not gotten so much as a social media crumb from the couple.“
You don’t that quality here.
I shouldn’t laugh at this, but I can’t help it:
Greatest headline !
“Under the ‘we pay, you entertain’ deal, Harry is now the hardest working royal”
“What else is a monarchy for these days? It doesn’t “represent” anything modern Britain agrees with. It represents the triumph of birth over talent, for example, in a country that prides itself on being a meritocracy. It represents colonial rule in a Britain that feels rightly uncomfortable about that part of its history. It celebrates first-born boys and fecund women (would the media love Kate as much if she were infertile?) in a country that strives for sexual equality.
Perhaps we keep the monarchy for a whiff of history – a sort of comforting nostalgia, drawing us back to the Tudors and Plantagenets. In which case, we should be delighted at Harry’s leaks. What could be more nostalgic than a fight between two “arch-nemesis” princes, or royal wives, or wicked stepmothers, or kings doubting the legitimacy of their sons? What could be more traditional than the business of the royal bedchamber (or field) being a matter of public interest, whispered about in taverns throughout the land?”
Back to Architecture sometime soon, I promise, but maybe I’ll watch the Harry special tonight on the telly first…