Gutter language

It happened again this morning on my way to work. An elderly man (not the same man as before) doing his ‘civic duty’ by throwing rubbish into the drain beside Hunter Stadium. This time however, I foolishly decided to challenge him about this, and in return copped a gobful of abuse telling me to mind my own f****** business.

As I rode away afterwards I reflected … I’m a human being living on this planet … it IS my business to care about how humanity is trashing the planet.


Creature from the drain

Cycling home from work this afternoon I found this tortoise, on Bates Street Hamilton North, rapidly dehydrating in the heat of today, and in a prime position for being run over by a car. I placed her1 beside the road under a tree and verified that I was looking at a live’n and not a dead’n, and then pondered for a while.

I’m guessing that with the recent heavy rains she’s been washed down the drain and eventually managed to crawl out in Hamilton North. I wondered what to do for a while – putting her back in the bare concrete drain nearby didn’t seem suitable, so I carried her upstream in my lunchbox, and released her in Kerai Creek in Lambton Park, which is looking pretty nice after the recent restoration work by Hunter Water.

I went back later in the evening with my daughter to see how she was going, and found her lying submerged in the middle of the flow, and my immediate thought was “oh no, she’s slipped in and drowned”, but on picking her up she poked her head out slightly and gave me a healthy but  exasperated “not you again” look.

My daughter has named her “Flo”.


1. Actual gender unknown. Assumed gender for narrative purposes.

Spring has swooped in


“Cracticus tibicen hypoleuca male domain” by JJ Harrison ( – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Many people have various markers as to when spring has sprung. I have three, all of which have happened in the last couple of weeks:

  1. Taking my gloves off while riding to work.
  2. The smell of blood and bone fertiliser in the air.
  3. Being swooped by a magpie, which happened to me yesterday in Chatham Road, Hamilton North, just in time for the official start of spring today.


I’ve been checking every day, and right on cue, on the first day of spring my mulberry tree sprouted its first green leaf buds.