Christopher Doig, Placido Domingo, Rugby and oil spills

Quite a lot to ruminate on today. I want to start by paying tribute to a friend who died yesterday. Chris Doig was a born and bred New Zealander who carried on the tradition of great operatic voices. He had a wonderful tenor voice and he was principal tenor with the Vienna State Opera for a decade. I remember him singing Otello in Wellington and he was magnificent. Then he had a second career as a sports administrator, he ran NZ Cricket for a number of years and was on the board of the NZ Rugby Union. He founded Southern Opera. He was that rare mix of artistic talent and able businessman. And he was charismatic. He was tall and well-built and had a lovely head of hair.

I remember when I produced cricket coaching videos for NZ Cricket in 2000 and our preliminary meetings were all about opera and tenors. We had a strong bond, both of us considered Placido Domingo to be “my hero.” And Chris had a dream for his beloved Christchurch, which was to create an event that would contribute in a tangible way to the rebuilding of the arts community. He persuaded Placido to come and sing and raise money. I saw him on TV welcoming Placido and he was very emotional. I knew he had terminal bowel cancer but I didn’t realise he had about a week to live. I think to do what he did, at that stage in his life, reflected how brave he was. Thank you for your voice, your passion and dedication, for having a dream and making it come true. And thank you, again, Maestro for answering the call and raising all that money. My thoughts are with Suzanne and all the rest of his family. R.I.P. Christopher, the heavenly choir will never sound better.

Well the AB team for Sunday night has been announced. Saturday the Welsh play the French and I can really enjoy it and cheer like mad for the mighty dragon. Then Sunday we play the Aussies and I do SO want us to win and I will be nervous all the way through. I do believe we can win and want to say we will win, but it will be a hard game. We have some wonderfully experienced players and an inspirational captain (who is not 100%) but we also have some very inexperienced players in key roles who will need to play the game of their lives. Still, that’s what the World Cup is all about, that’s why it is special and why it brings out the best in the players.

Everyone knows the name Rena now and not because it’s the Christian name of the woman who played Beth in “Once Were Warriors.” No, it is the name of the b****y oil tanker that has run aground off Tauranga. Oil and water, not a good mix, oil and sand, an even worse mix. And containers floating everywhere. You are carrying so many thousand tonnes of oil and hundred of containers, some of which have toxic substances in them, what gives you the right to party as you navigate a reef? I hope the men in charge go to jail for a long time and I trust the company who own the ship will cough up to pay for the clean up operation. We are a ‘clean green’ country with wonderful beaches, the eyes of the world are on us, I know, let’s have an oil spill and spend pictures of closed, polluted beaches around the world.

I saw a cool cartoon the other day, the Lord was introducing Steve Jobs to Moses and saying, “This is Steve, he’s going to update your tablet for you.” Ha.   

Downloads at 185 and I am getting emails from people about it, it is spreading to other WWII forums that I didn’t know existed. Today is the day that the first words of the next novel will appear on a blank computer screen. Let’s see how long it takes from October 14th 2011. I shall keep you posted.



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