1889. Award 22: Mystery at Te Popo

How wonderful to be nominated for The Mystery Blogger Award by Dumbest Blog Ever. The Dumbest Blogger ain’t as dumb as he makes out so go have a peek. He’s also going through a bit of a no-job patch, so see if you can have a read. He’s a good friend too.

Te Popo (in the title of this posting) is the name of the area where I live. It means “The Black Night”.

The award was established by Okoto Engima. She (apparently) is your everyday writer who turned her boredom, love for fashion, and passion for writing into something productive. So, being a fashion icon in my own head, I’m delighted to provide a link.

I’m meant to answer the five questions asked, and then say THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF. Of course the very things that some would want to know about me shall remain a secret. Oh! What the heck! Why not expose all? Read on!

Then I’ve got to nominate other bloggers, ask them a similar number of original things in the manner in which I was asked, and finally skedaddle off to bed.

Here are the five questions:

1. Where do UFOs come from?

Three weeks before my fourth birthday (i.e. 21 days before) my parents put a dozen eggs underneath a broody hen. I didn’t know, but they were due to hatch on my birthday. Then on my birthday eve my mother told me the hen was going to hatch out baby chickens tomorrow for my birthday. I went to the chicken coop and watched. Being on a farm I knew that babies came out of the mother’s bottom – like calves and lambs and things. I also knew that chickens came out of eggs. But how did the mother hen get her babies into the eggs after they had come out of her bottom?

I was going to solve this mystery once and for all. I watched all day, and not a thing happened. The next morning the hen had twelve chickens. I do not know how the hen puts the chickens into the eggs, and nor do I know where UFOs come from.

As an addendum to this, all twelve chicks grew into handsome over-sexed roosters, which might lead to the first of the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF towards the end of this post.

This is my faverolles rooster in my later years!

2. Do you like Mexican food?

We don’t have Taco Bell within a thousand miles of where I live, so all Mexican food has to be hand-crafted – a skill which I have developed to a high standard, especially when opening the can of kidney beans. So yes, I like Mexican food. Once, a couple of years back, the farming neighbours asked me to look after their farm for three weeks while they went away for a vacation. (They had never had such a capable neighbour before, and I said yes because they had lots of farm bikes and I was able to roar around all day on motor bikes here and there – it could have been interpreted as testosterone but it was simply post-adolescent inanity).

By way of thanks the neighbours invited me over for a meal, and we had Mexican. I was foolish enough to declare that one cannot claim to have eaten Mexican tacos properly unless one takes a freshly stuffed taco shell and eats it while jumping up and down in a white shirt on a trampoline. That’s what I had seen Mexican children do.

Some idiot actually photographed it

Who cares? The shirt was old anyway. Of course, those of you who want to see me with my shirt off will have to wait until the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF later. I don’t like to reveal everything all at once.

3. Do you believe in life after love?

I’d like to say yes to this question, but basically I’m a bad loser. I don’t know how many times I’ve fallen in love, or even fallen in infatuation. But each time when the saga is over I turn into a complete wreck. I’m trying to select an example…

Once, when all possibility of romance dissipated, approximately around one in the morning, I screwed up an entire packet of cigarettes and threw them into the fire. The nearest in-the-middle-of-the-night cigarette selling place was about two hours walk away and I didn’t have a car. By the time I got home at five o’clock it was sunrise and I was in a ripe state.

No, there’s no life after love. Or, yes, perhaps there is, but it’s a different life – I have subsequently discovered.

I know it’s confusing but this is not me. These are actually models.

4. What’s your theme song?

I’m a bit “yesterday” when it comes to choosing a theme song. I guess it would have to be the song my father banned from us playing on the (back-then) gramophone. It was the flipside of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren’s “Goodness Gracious Me”. The song was called “We’re removing Grandpa’s grave to build the sewer”. I absolutely loved it back then (and still do). I suppose part of the appeal was that Dad had banned it and it could only be played when he was out of the house. Apart from that as a ten year old I got given a collection of recordings of music by famous composers and I thrashed Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” to death. Mum would say, “Turn that horrible music down” but I didn’t.

I still get immensely excited by every note of it, and sometimes take the score to bed with me to read like a novel. But for the time being, if you’re hoping to get an insight into my excitement you may have to wait until you hear about the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF towards the end of this reflection.

Getting ready to take Stravinsky’s Rite to bed.

5. Would you rather eat rice or potatoes?

I had two great-great-great grandmothers die in the Irish Potato Famine, so it would be treachery to claim a preference for rice. Besides, I associate rice with China, and they’re not my favourites at present.

There’s so much more one can do with a potato. Rice one can boil or throw over the bride and groom at a wedding. What a waste! Imagine throwing boiled potatoes at a bride and groom. It could be the harbinger of awkward things to come, especially if the groom got bits of mashed potato on his black tuxedo.

THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF

At last we have arrived at this most revealing section. Some of you have been faithful online friends for seven or eight years, and some just a few weeks. Some know things about me that others don’t. Anyway, here are bits of me in no particular order and for no particular reason:

1. I am gay. My partner is Eric. He is French. We get on well enough. He speaks nine languages and I speak English. He uses the eight other languages when he doesn’t want me to know what he’s saying. I never chose to be gay. My five siblings are now all GREAT grandparents. Such things would have its joys and non-joys (and expenses). I have a dog and a cat. I love them nonetheless. It’s not quite the same but it’ll have to do!

2. I was a catholic priest for nearly thirty years. Those years, plus the eight years of training, were an important part of who I am. Sometimes, when people hear of my past, they say “Good on you for leaving”. I always get a little hurt by that. It was almost forty years of my life! I don’t think there was much wrong with what I did!

3. I have had a chronic heart condition for 25 years or so. Apparently I need a heart transplant but I’m not going to be given one because there’s a paucity of hearts about and I haven’t made a big enough contribution to society to be very far up the list! I said to the heart specialist when he told me that, “as long as the heart I would’ve got goes to someone younger who has a life ahead then that is fine”, and he said that no one had said that before and he burst into tears. I thought that might’ve improved my chances but it made Sweet Fanny Adams of a difference!

Anyway, it’s just as well that this wonderful award asks for only three, otherwise I’d be talking about myself all day.

I now have to ask five questions and nominate others. Well, this is the sad bit. I should’ve said it at the beginning. I don’t nominate, but I mention the blog addresses of other bloggers I follow that I like and maybe you miss out on. If I don’t mention you, know that I don’t NOT mention you to make you feel bad.

a). Passing on the flame. This is an archive of poetry translations (Medieval/Baroque/Modern/etc) from the German, by Peter Lach-Newinsky. I like this site because it exposes something to me that I wouldn’t have a clue about otherwise.

b). Observation Blogger. Lifelong learner and blogging enthusiast. Matthew is an Australian who lives in Colombia with his family. I think he’s currently in permanent lockdown – the poor bugger. He posts interesting stuff about music and things. The bits I like most are his introductions to Latin American music, singers, and songs.

c). Lisa of arlingwords blogs about a number of things, but mainly about her communal garden in Washington DC where she creates produce for the poor and gets eaten out by wild and pernicious rabbits.

d). European Origins. As a (lily) white Caucasian I enjoy Marcel’s blog and dream about my European ancestral lineage! I hope I’m allowed to…

e). Sweet Life Kitchens. Noel presents country-style cooking and baking. I like it because it gives a few ideas and shows how to cook things without a million pop-ups and ads that have now taken over recipe sites. This is good stuff!

Now I have provided no questions because these are not nominations but recommendations. But if so desired then recommended bloggers can answer the same five questions no doubt more satisfyingly than my response!

Thanks again to The Dumbest Blogger for his kindness in nominating me.

Here’s a picture of my washing to let you know that despite all I’ve said, it’s a cow of a life.

58 thoughts on “1889. Award 22: Mystery at Te Popo

  1. observationblogger

    Hey Bruce! I’m delighted you mentioned and linked my blog in your post! Most kind of you, Sir. I was also intrigued to read new and interesting information about your good self. Takes guts to put yourself out there like that, but very encouraging that such transparency still exists in the blogosphere.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. observationblogger

        Well this is our second round of being in touch and I can’t remember an awful lot about our first round. Mind you, my memory is like a sieve. I had thought you mentioned being a catholic Priest, but in this round you mentioned teaching and we hadn’t broached the subject more than that. I had probably mentioned in our former blog-selves (Haha) how I had a lot to do with Catholic Priests and Protestant priests and pastors while I served in the Navy. We basically all went on a retreat together while I reviewed their indoctrination course into the Navy. To cut a long story short they were a fantastic bunch and we forged some great friendships. The same could be said about Gay friends who I have known well in Australia. I hadn’t known you were Gay unless my memory serves me poorly.
        À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible. -Jacques Cœur

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Bruce Post author

          Yes – I don’t remember much about our “first round” – except some sort of version of “O Holy Night” which your mother liked, and I liked the version of thingy singing at the Vatican Xmas show- what the hell was her name? I’ve got the video on my computer but I can’t search for it because I can’t remember her bloody name. Anyway – that’s about the limits of my memory.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. observationblogger

            Your memory is better than mine and because you now mentioned it I do remember we talked about Patti Smith’s rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ at the Vatican. Since then, of course Patti went on to forget Dylan’s ‘Hard rain’ at Dylan’s Nobel presentation which I still can’t or will watch a second time. That doesn’t mean to suggest that I don’t admire Patti! On the contrary.

            Yes, I was surprised you liked her version’s O Holy above David Hobson’s. I’m awfully picky about that carol above all else about how I like it sung. lol https://observationblogger.com/2014/12/29/confirmed-david-hobson-is-the-greatest-singer-at-an-australian-christmas-carols-event/

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
                  1. observationblogger

                    Haha. There is so much wisdom in that quote.

                    You’ll hate me, but give Hobson’s ‘Jerusalem’ a run for your money and see if you think this guy’s any good. Oh, I’ve just noticed I can no longer search that on YT, possibly because they think its too pro-Israel or such.

                    Have a great day Bruce. In my thoughts you ageless man!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Reply
  2. dumbestblogger

    As someone who lives almost 30 miles from the nearest Taco Bell I feel your pain, but you are absolutely right about the proper way to eat Mexican food. I will definitely check out “We’re Moving Grandpa’s Grave to Build a Sewer.” Sounds like a real classic.

    I will nominate you for these awards any time. You knock them out of the park.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Bruce Post author

      Thanks – I could be nominated every day – and then I wouldn’t have to crap on with a story!, I meant to check on Youtube for Grandpa’s sewer but I forgot…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Yvonne

    That was so interesting to read, Bruce. I do like how honest you are in evrything you do and say.

    I was also excited to see your shirt off, in fact, many shirts off.

    Have a lovely day, scribe of Te Popo.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
          1. Timothy Price

            I don’t have the patience for most of the questions. I’m so counter-culture that I don’t know what I’m being asked most of the time.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
            1. Bruce Post author

              That’s spot on, Timothy. When I don’t understand the question (which these days is getting more and more frequent) I play at being silly – pretending I know but giving a silly answer! These awards are very time consuming and they’re to aid the creator of the award – but I manage (I think) to turn all the attention onto myself!!

              Liked by 2 people

              Reply
  4. arlingwoman

    Patti Smith…O Holy Night…Vatican…Whaaaaa??? That was kind of mind boggling, but thanks for telling us all sorts of things. I didn’t know about your partner or his languages or even Grandpa’s grave (which is hilarious, but I can see that it might have irritated your father). And thanks for the mention!! Maybe I will get more visitors to tell about the vagaries of gardening and evil rabbits…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. badfinger20 (Max)

    Bruce …you are not missing anything with Taco Bell… it’s where the meat flows from tubes.

    You are expanding my vocabulary.

    sweet fanny adams
    UK slang (abbreviation sweet FA)

    nothing:
    And what does she know about it? Sweet Fanny Adams!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Post author

      Well I’m learning new things every day too Max, like I didn’t know that Fanny Adams wasn’t alive and well in America. It’s a good expression that even my mother could’ve used! Apart from all that I know sweet Fanny Adams.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Bruce Post author

          Yes – perhaps we should both move in together – and create a hovel. I said “hovel” not “novel”. I’m used to being ignored too – in fact I get about 20 likes to your every hundred. I can’t help it that I suck even more than you.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. João-Maria

            Yes but look at you, Bruce, you’re glowing. You live on a pacific island, have an intelligent partner, a sturdy garden, two unwavering pets, two oceans for eye sockets.
            What do I have? Poetic brilliance. That’s all. Been single since birth. I had a pet snail that died when I was three. He just died. Never again.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
            1. Bruce Post author

              🙂 I once had a pet snail too but you eventually get over it dying. All this “glowing” life grows dim at times. I pine to write one stanza like yours! So often you put yourself even further down than I put myself down. We should have a convention.

              Liked by 1 person

              Reply
                1. Bruce Post author

                  I’m going there to read. I might take a while to digest. I didn’t know you were creating away. I thought you might’ve been doing sweet FA. So I’m quite excited. You lift a guy’s spirits João-Maria. Apart from being a brilliant poet. Going there now…

                  Like

                  Reply
  6. Andrea Stephenson

    Well I’m speechless. All this time we’ve spent together and those are some pretty big three things I didn’t know about you. I always knew you’d had an interesting life, but didn’t know just how interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Post author

      Gosh Andrea! I wasn’t trying to hide anything. It;s amazing what one presumes people know! I don’t wear such things on my sleeve, but I don’t hide them either! Anyway – I’m delighted that omission has been rectified.

      Like

      Reply
  7. inese

    Congratulations, Bruce! Cool award, sure it has something to do with all those murders you wrote 🙂 Way to go!
    Great to learn more interesting facts about you. I love to read the “Share Your World’ thing on WordPress, but I have never done it myself. I rather love reading about others 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

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