Saturday, September 23, 2006

Let them eat cake....

We are just recovering from Miss R's 5th Birthday Party. A resounding success if noise is any measure to go by. We had the very talented Fairy Trina to entertain the kids and I, erhmm, enjoyed her performance too; nice bone structure for a fairy. This years cake was a bit easier than previous years with a severed Barbie serving as the topping. Mrs R hired a cake tin from Golding Handcrafts for a few bucks which made the whole thing pretty straightforward.

Barbie Cake

It was certainly easier than the effort for Little Miss R a few months ago when this creation was nearly an all-nighter. An interesting choice for a 3 year old girl but she was adamant and who are we to impose our views on her!

Dinosaur Cake

5 is an interesting age. Miss R seems to know so much and I am now feeling mortal. There was a time when 21 seemed a long way away for me and now I'm worrying about her 21st when I'll be the wrong side of 50. Shit and double shit. At least I still have my own hair.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good Samaritan or Dirty Fuckwit

If you remember back to the start of this Blog and its sole highlight the dangers of dealing with building developers and in particular the developer Paul Hewitt and his one time partner Andrew (David) Monro...I have an interesting update for you.

First a recap.
Met Hewitt & Monro courtesy of LJ Hooker. Got fucked by all.
Met Lombard Finance. Got screwed again.
Met Tommy Heptinstall of Tommys Real Estate. White Knight and bloody good bloke and all round hero. Personally helped us out and enabled us to rebuild our future in the lovely house that we now live in. Best Real Estate company in Wellington in our view.

We lost a packet because of LJ Hooker, Hewitt, Monro and Lombard either through stupidity but in absolutely no way related to fraud, greed, lying cheating bastards, bent real estate deal, tax dodge, dubious practises, outright theft, stuff the New Zealand public, let me bend you over and take you for a ride, who's your Daddy?

And here we are today.

We just got a letter from Mr Monro. He has another company. This one is called Nicholson Road Developments Limited. He's had it a while and whilst he is still a director of the company that is in liquidation after our disastrous deal (Beyond the Obvious), he is also a director of this one. He wants to give us some money. Great you think. He wants to repay us back 2 1/2 cents for every dollar that we lost. That works out at $1,950 in exchange for the $78,000 sunk into the house pictured below. Not looking so hot these days, ay? Nice view still though and great indoor outdoor flow.....landscaping is nice, good use of natural grasses I think.

Sepp 06 016

Not a bad deal considering that the original company has absolutely no assets and the liquidators report (kindly reproduced for us by Monro) states that "there are no monies available for unsecured creditors from the company". Whilst not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why oh why would he do this? He doesn't have to pay anything and it sure as hell ain't because he's a nice guy. So tell me, what does he have to gain by effectively buying the debt of a company in liquidation? Is it:

a) He can't sleep at night owing to guilt and is worried about burning in hell;
b) He's an all round fine fellow and just wants to do the right thing;
c) He's looking for a tax fiddle and this is the only way to get it;
d) He has been having fantasies about me and is looking for my undying love;

What do you think? It makes no sense....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Real Value of Money

I don't really know a lot about my family history. I believe my Grandad went some way back into the family tree on my fathers side but I have never seen it and he died before I was old enough to be interested. On my mothers side I have a copy of the tree going back to 1781 but by far the most interesting aspect is that one of my great great (great...) grandparents was a Miss Venus. There are some great names and it is weird to think that I have a Patience Bumstead in my line (born in 1800 and who lived to the incredible age of 84 years at a time before central heating and modern drugs).

I have been given a whole pile of old coins from my mother who has had them in a box for years. They span back through the family and include a Queen Victoria One Penny dated 1897, through Edward V, George V and VI, some African coins from my heritage, and some coins so aged as to almost illegible but certainly early 1800's. One particularly odd one is an American Indian Head Nickel which is so worn I cannot read the date but it is between 1913 and 1938, according to Wikipedia.

USA Buffalo Coin

I have no idea where it came from and my guess would be either during the First World War but sadly I cannot ask. I see these things trade at reasonable prices with collectors looking for mint examples in vacuum sealed cases but I think the value is in the story attached to such a coin. I'll imagine that a young relative travelled on a great journey and brought this back as a memento. Certainly something to hand down to my grandchildren one day.....who'll probably pawn it and dance on my grave!

Either way, hopefully they'll wonder at the 1968 Kenya Ten cents and the Tanzania Five Shillings from 1972 and be curious about my life; they might also wonder at the New Zealand 1962 One Florin (that I got in my change the other day) which feels like real money (unlike the new coins). After all, those loose coins in the back of your drawer are like a piece of personal history recounting the places you've been and things you've seen. I guess plastic will take over the world eventually but until then the real value of money is in the journey made to get it.