Not a winning ticket

Coronavirus day 52

I’ve started a zoom call, interview birthday celebration podcast thing. Had the first call today with the fastest facebook commenter, JB.

He made the astute point that we’re not, strictly speaking, in lockdown anymore … so I deleted that word from the subtitles.

Today was a domestic bliss day – cleaning, washing, gardeing, chainsawing. Reclaimed the view from the dining room by giving the silk tree a bit of a haircut. Now have about 50 tonnes of green waste to move.

Supermarket trip, few beers, and later the call with JB. We covered a lot of ground, how we met at the National Library, fortunnes and failures, and how time flies, as well as some sad news.

I’m asking everyone to include a song in the interview. JB chose Hallelujah by Pentatonix. We’ve had a few nights around the guitar singing this song, but never this well!! Cheers JB, great to catch up.

Can you take the ums out please?

Coronavirus lockdown day 52

The morning was fixing up some final video tweaks, and some administrivia.

Friday afternoon beers were welcome, a friend visited, then a zoom call with bandmates. I was late, but we had a good chat. I realised during the course of it that my basic job at the moment, audio and video editing, had become deleting a procession of ums – my own and others – from various takes and tracks.

Not tedious. Everything is fine.

Day 50 billion

Coronavirus Lockdown Day 51

Today was the first day of Level 2, after 7 weeks of lockdown.

It began early, after another nice sunrise, with an 8am zui (zoom hui). Looks like a positive outcome from that, so another project on the list.

Then there was a bit of waiting and non-meetings. I missed a call for pick-up of a purchase, and after 1/2 an hour on the phone, was told I could just waltz on in. Such luxury.

The shop though had walk-ins going in through one door, and click-and-collect round the back. It was pretty well organised and fast, with hand sanitiser and plenty of distancing.

The gold though was the new hard drive I bought. It’s really sped up the machine I do my day-to-day work on. The catch was I had to re-format it, change some deep disk settings, install the OS and migrate all my existing hard drive content. It took quite some time…

But now, the main apps I use open lightning fast, so I will make all of that time up, over time. Good times.

It was also Budget Day, a $50 billion covid spending plan. Lots for housing and infrastructure, not much for direct support of beneficiaries or low income earners. But trades training and community education and $4b for health, bravo. Most of the hot takes I saw were, yay for this; grumble, grumble for that. What’s the old saying? If you piss everyone off equally you’ve got it about right?

Fifty, and nearly 50

Coronavirus lockdown day 50

View from Queen's Reserve, Nelson
Dusk on Day 50.

Day 50 was a budget preview day. Big Norm got a mention. It will be a real change to see an investment budget.

Work has been slower the last couple of days (that is not a complaint) and I had time to do a few online tutorials about After Effects.

New neighbours arrived, although there’s no sold sign on the house next door.

The sunset, and the sunrise today were magnificent. it is my favourite time of year.

And soon, my birthday. So what will I do? Probably, a few folk over on the night. Shashlik. A vodka or two, snacks and the like. Singing perhaps.

But I am tempted to do a 50 at 50 thing. Something creative, something different. Something I wouldn’t normally do.

50 zoom meetings with friends old and new… this could be a good podcast … 50 bike rides? 50 rambles and rants? Hmm, thinking cap on!


A few minutes after writing this I posted on social media. I had 10 people within about 30 minutes.

Folks, your attention. Soon I am 50.

I can only have a few people over in person on the day, so I’m thinking of a way we can celebrate together.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll schedule a zoom chat (or similar) and we’ll swap a memorable story with each other.

It might be how we met, some hijinks, things that went well, things that spectacularly didn’t, or any of the nicks and scars we collected through our lives. Memories, hopes, dreams.

Or you could mix a drink for me and we’ll share it virtually. Or something else fun and creative.

Here’s the catch – I’d record it, and make it a podcast.
Who’s in?? Like for yes!

Richard Liddicoat – celebrating 50 years.

Seven-week slowness

Coronavirus lockdown day 49

Seven weeks this weirdness has continued, and soon it will be Level 2. I’ve been thinking a lot about what lockdown has meant.

Certainly it is history in the making and the end of many things. As the US and the UK have shown, the world really could do with looking elsewhere for leadership.

Here, budgets at local and central government level will change dramatically. Things won’t be the same.

On a personal level, it has been a period of creativity and productivity. It’s also given me a fairly good idea of how I want my future to be, and how lucky I am to be able to have some input and direction over how that future might turn out. I like the slower-ness. I like doing less, but with better focus. I like learning about new things, and with new teams. Change isn’t bad, or good, it just is.

As the sun sets, the moon rises.

Port Nelson
The Moana Chief in port (bottom left)


Coronavirus lockdown day 48

Monday, and there was only one thing on the calendar – the Level 2 or not announcement.

And it was Level 2.

So will the country go crazy rushing out for a haircut and some cafe food? Who knows, but probably.

I saw one dude complain that it took Jacinda 752 words to get to the announcement of level 2 or not, and I’m like: If that’s your biggest concern then we don’t have much to worry about do we?

Unfortunately I think a lot of people reckon we’re going back to life as it was, but it won’t be, not for a long time.

Mother’s Day

Coronavirus lockdown day 47

A trip to the supermarket last night yielded ingredients for the Mother’s Day breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, banana, maple syrup, icing sugar, lemon … and it was good. Not quite as good as the birthday pancakes, probably because I didn’t have help this time …

Anyhoo, it was another lovely day and we went for a drive to take the dog for a walk. It was good, but the dog puked in the van on the way home. Yummy!

After that delightful task, came inside to find a a new mix of the song we have been working on waiting for me, and man, I am proud of it. In less than a month it’s gone from very raw to almost finished product. There’s still finesse work to do, but it’s got a great feel, and my bubblemate said it was ok – which is high praise indeed.

Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics:

Ooooooooooo (Four bars)


Nice day for it …

Coronavirus lockdown day 46

It was close to a day off. Bit of a sleep in to start, which was nice.

Went to Mitre 10. This was a regular pre-lockdown activity, and how it had changed.

Two doors, which used to be entry and exit, were now Surname A-M and P-Z. You were given a time to arrive. You lined up, showed your ID and got your item.

It was pretty efficient, but a bit weird. We picked up a small freezer. Moved it, unpacked and moved a chiller.

We took a side trip to the airport – all the planes were lined up on the tarmac, and of about 5 or 600 car parks, about 10 were occupied. It was surreal.

Planes lined up on the tarmac.

It used to be that almost every hour there’d be a plane over our place, now it’s a rarity. The regional maintenance facility is proposed to move to Christchurch. Air New Zealand have cut back their timetable by 80%. Some tough times ahead.

Gently down the stream

Coronavirus lockdown day 45

Today it was hui and Pānui, meetings and email, conversations and best of all Friday.

Couple of beers at the end of the day and a chat with friends and a quiet night in front of the tele.

Get busy living

Coronavirus lockdown day 43

A cold and clear morning with snow on the Double and the Grampians and Mount Richmond, and a dusting near Motueka.

More work, delivered a couple of eps of a radio programme; more taking the ums out of videos; more music, more life.

Redid some tracks that I had been casually murdering. They’re now only half awful, maimed, you might say. Guitar break was great though!

THe track we’re working on is in triple time, 6/4, and it has this odd, rolling feel, where you can be perfectly in time, but at the same time feel hopelessly at sea. It’s weird and magic and wonderful and I can’t wait for it to see the light of day.

Ted’s dead

Coronavirus lockdown day 42

42: The answer to life, the universe and everything. Ironically, also a miscalculation.

One thing you couldn’t get wrong though was the temperature today – after a couple of days of rain, some cold southerly snaked its way up the island and dumped snow on the hills.

We put the fire on and – well I was going to say chilled, but we , um, warmed. It always feels luxurious, and the day sped away with work tasks and an episode or two of Scrubs.

That was the theme song of course, sped up for tv (or slowed down for the album).

Another element of the show I always liked was Ted’s band:

Hey Ya!
Take on Me

Close harmony is hard, and these guys are masters. Sadly, while researching this I learned Ted (Sam Lloyd) died at the end of April in the US. Very sad, such a talent and a new Dad too.