Monthly Archives: November 2014

Tim Walker’s Energy Spit

Let’s have a cheer of gratitude for the nation’s son, Jared Turner. Such a lovely lad; handsome, clean cut, affable, well spoken…

In truth my sarcastic slander is not directed at Mr Turner at all, it’s hardly his fault the script he is paid to read is fraught with inaccurate condescension that makes him the target of so much ridicule; it’s hardly his fault that the researchers who provide the writers who in turn provide him with the information he has to read as though he knows what the hell he’s talking about when in reality he’s probably born and bred in the city of Auckland thus has limited understanding of all things conservation and is likely the last person who ought to be preaching “here’s a tip” regarding prudent energy usage.

The further truth is that while it is always desirable to be able to say you’re an energy skinflint, unless you are more of a skinflint than other skinflints, being an energy skinflint will have no benefit at all. If New Zealand makes a collective effort to lower its energy consumption, simply, the price of energy will increase. That’s the most basic law of supply and demand.

What, you think if NZ as a whole uses fewer units of electricity from one year to the next power companies are going to sit back and quietly absorb the shortfall? Not a bloody chance. They’ll pass their losses onto you, the consumer, in the form of higher electricity prices – the only area of benefit might be to the energy company’s multi-million dollar CEO, as his load is lightened somewhat.

Same theory goes for petrol. Why do you think that at a time where the price of a barrel of oil is the cheapest it’s been since December 2010, we’re still paying such exorbitant fuel prices? People have finally learned to operate their vehicles in a more fuel-conscious manner therefore, with less being bought, fuel companies cannot afford to lower their prices.

Those Energy Spot advertisements are essentially intended to fool you into helping those companies which have been trying to screw you over all your life. So by all means, live conservatively. Just don’t expect it to reap you any short term benefits.

This is a consumer world; it’s our reckless consuming that keeps the economy from crashing.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Ian Doug Nant

Photography by Jared Turner

Tim Walker’s 365

366 days ago I smoked a cigarette. I didn’t much care for the way it tasted at the time, the aftertaste it left in my mouth, or the way it left me feeling.

This provided the perfect impetus for the decision that was to become an irrepressible fixture of my mind over the coming hours. Curious, I still had half a 50 gram pouch of Port Royal on the sofa behind me and more curious still, out in the lounge, in my secret hiding place, my cache of untouched duty-free totalled another 100 grams.

I can recall, 366 days ago, dropping the king-sized, super-slim butt into the makeshift ashtray which incidentally, I can recall some years earlier, consuming the baked beans that used to call the tin home.

I can recall, 365 days ago, feeling a little lost but assured by the knowledge that to break a promise to myself would engender a greater feeling of self-loathing than anything this world could do to me.

I can recall, 364 days ago, wondering if the mild inclination that I was currently feeling would ever grow into the juggernaut of compulsion that is reported by so many quitters.

I can recall 363 days, 362 days, 361 days, 360 days, 359 days, 358 days – it’s at about this point that not smoking became the routine.

That was it. No profound cravings, no withdrawals, no irrational rationalisation, no deals with the Devil…

Just no more smoking.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by John Player

Photography by John Brandon

Tim Walker’s Harassment

There’s been a lot of talk of harassment of late – problem is we live in a time where the term ‘harassment’ is so very open to interpretation.

The other problem is, regarding Roger Sutton’s CERA fiasco at least, often the only people who know the full story behind the aforementioned calamity are those directly involved in the scandal; so while us regular folk take that classic third party stance of casting premature judgments, aspersions, and veritable buttloads of excrement at whichever party we believe is most deserving of our derision, those people whose voices actually matter – those who know what went on – end up the least vociferous.

As will happen from time to time, once our media network climbs on board, the facts of a story become lost amid a pulsating sea of hyperbole and sensationalism.

As I understand it, sexual harassment is the persistent unwelcome directing of sexual remarks and looks, and unnecessary physical contact at a person, usually a woman, especially in the workplace. Yeah. That’s a pretty verbose definition and in fact my understanding is much more straightforward: it’s doing stuff that makes girls feel uncomfortable. In saying that, making a girl feel uncomfortable once is one thing, that can be construed as a mistake and one would hope that in this case the aggrieved would speak up before things became more serious; after which one would hope increasingly that the offender would have sorted himself out.

Of course if an employer or colleague’s actions are perceived as untoward yet no complaint is made then suddenly the victim decides to hit him with a ‘Sexual Harassment’ allegation, it might seem a little unfair to the accused. Conversely if this employer or colleague has been notified that their actions are unacceptable yet they continue to act in the same way, in my opinion the allegation is justified.

On the topic of ‘My Opinion’, I now hear this ‘victim’ might be entitled to compensation for grievances faced. That revelation made me chuckle. Thing is, when this supposed scandal first came to light, that was my exact thinking.

The truth is I don’t know what actually happened inside that Government funded office. What I do know is that working inside any variety of Government funded office must be powerfully tedious; moreover if this office space is devoid of affection or humour.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Prudence Ironbox

Photography by I La Scream

Tim Walker’s Misconception

Small feet, eh? You know what they say about men with small feet, don’t you?

Yeah, small slippers.

Alright, what about dudes with small hands then?

Small mittens.

Well there’s no denying this one – how do you explain middle aged men with big, flashy cars?

Those same men with similarly big and flashy bank balances, I guess.

Striving to maintain a ripped physique well into your sixties – overcompensating perhaps?

Sure, with an excess of dedication and self respect.

Come on, clinging to one’s youth even though they’re clearly over the hill..?

Over the hill by whose standards?

Gee, let’s see – maybe life’s.

Interesting, so who decides when a person has crossed that threshold?

How about a little number called age?

Fair enough, so at what age is a person deemed ‘over the hill’?

Try retirement age, smart guy.

Tried it, not buying it.


Certainly not.

What, is 65 years’ old not old enough for you?

In fact it’s plenty old enough for me, but not for some.

What, you mean those sad old buggers who are too pathetic to grow old with dignity?

No, those who don’t feel they’re ready to grow old; therefore don’t.

Right, so they cling to their youth like pathetic old men – just like I said.

No, they simply act, dress and behave, as old as they feel.

Still reckon it’s sad.

Seriously? You think all people should turn ‘old’ at the age of 65..?

Not at, by 65.

What if they still feel vibrant – are they supposed to suppress their natural ebullience?

For the sake of their dignity, yes.

You’re a dick.

Takes one to know one.

Did you just make that up then? That was brilliant.

Ha, joke’s on you, sarcasm and facetiousness are virtually indistinguishable though text.

How old are you?

Same age as you, I suppose.

Right, and we both know that if we make it to 40, we’re going to feel mightily exhausted, yes?

I try not to think about it.

Right, but that’s us, we’ve had a tough life; some haven’t and for that reason, small slippers and mittens driving in their fast sports cars notwithstanding, they’ll likely reach 65 and still feel like they’re 31…

Like us.

Yes, but we are 31.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Tim Walker

Photography by Tim Walker





Tim Walker’s Malingering

Whether this 31-year-old frame has simply had enough of its conductor and is staging a subtle revolt or is genuinely feeling the rigours of life as the embodiment of ‘hard slog’, it appears rather more disposed now than it was then to malingering.

Yes, one’s brain accusing one’s body of being a malingerer is indeed a peculiar thing; moreover when the accused is frequently in acute pain which, as a dutiful third party, I am pretty sure the brain can feel.

Seemingly at my late stage in childhood this mineral deficient, worn out and frighteningly unstable body is no longer so keen on all things physical; calling into reference a regime that used to be ‘all day everyday’ but on account of growing indoor commitments has been squeezed into ‘a couple of hours, everyday’, including a few dozen press-ups before breakfast, a few dozen press-ups during breakfast, a few dozen chin-ups with ab-curls after breakfast then if there’s still energy or strength or better yet both, there’s a dozen or so extremely awkward and physically demanding triceps/trapezoid/abdominal lifts to be done; this is followed by the morning’s workload of mowing, pruning, cutting, trimming, and/or mulching.

Somewhere in the midst of all that excitement, a few weeks ago, I seem to have upset the muscle that lies over my right shoulder blade. In fact I have experienced this kind of injury in the past which, given the disproportionate usage of my right arm, also the contorted poses into which I force this unfortunate limb, is unsurprising but going by this past knowledge, I knew that with the right amount of mineral supplementation and a less strenuous workload, it shouldn’t have taken more than a few days to come right.

Weeks on, I am now starting to believe that perhaps the damage was something more severe than first thought – my first indication could have been the way that one aggrieved muscle was affecting my entire right hand side…

Day one, the area was outwardly tender and moving the arm into a particular position caused a sharp, stabbing sensation very much akin to an electric shock, in what I could only assume was the pinching of a nerve – I dropped a few dozen reps but continued life otherwise unabated. By day two it was much worse – I dropped more reps, upped my magnesium dosage, and carried on. By day three the pain had moved up to my shoulder/upper arm and it could be excruciating – I partook in no exercise that day. By day four, the shoulder blade inflammation had all but subsided, and despite resting it the previous day my right triceps now felt strained, making it impossible to tense thus lock the arm for increased steadiness, rendering the quest for dexterity a debacle, thereby limiting overall production.

Therefore, I see fit to expel allegations of malingering; the body is clearly in disrepair and yet, is doing the best it can with what little wherewithal is still at its disposal. As for the brain, I suggest that you, Sir, learn to be a little more accommodating towards your body’s needs, stop being so demanding of its constant high level of performance; so expecting of its continual esprit when you know as well as I do that it’s getting on in years. The body in question was, after all, not put on this earth for the sole purpose of serving you.

Court dismissed.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Judge Roy Schneider




Tim Walker’s North West

Regarding airflow, it is to Mid Canterbury what pollution is to Beijing. It’s unpleasant, it’s omnipresent; it’s infuriating, it’s inimical; it’s downright bloody awful – springtime on New Zealand’s Canterbury Plains and gale-force nor’ west winds go together like sweaty scrotums and itchy arse cracks.

Some years aren’t so bad, some years this delightful breeze is felt only occasionally and seldom for prolonged periods; these are the years where everything living is not rendered a dehydrated, wizened shell of its former self but the other years, the spring of 2014 for example, this ubiquitous, this vicious, this pernicious air current…

At least once a week for over a month now the Canterbury Plains have had to endure winds of 120, 140, or even 160 kph, bringing down trees and subsequently power lines, tearing off shed roofs and blowing over earthquake-weakened structures, decimating garden crops and uprooting freshly planted vegetable saplings, browning off lawns and sucking the moisture out of everything in sight; usually bringing with it a wave of unnatural heat, further fraying irascible temperaments, causing chaos on the roads and in general, leaving in its path a veritable swathe of destruction – here’s an old saying that I just coined: Nothing is safe from a Mid Canterbury nor’ wester.

Beginning life as an otherwise typical wind current moving off the eastern shores of Australia, this dry north westerly breeze collects moisture as it makes its journey across the Tasman, meeting with the South Island’s West Coast and, more to the point, the ostensibly insurmountable mountain range now thwarting progress. In its current state, water laden and weighed down as it is, there is no way it can cross the South Island so what does it do? It dumps its thousands of kilometres worth of absorption on the people of the West Coast where, from its drier hence lighter stance, it ascends to the top of the Alps while releasing every last modicum of precipitation then careers down the other side reaching massive speeds along with equal quantities of heat and desire to irritate.

This famed air current then reaches the hapless souls of Mid Canterbury as an uncomfortably warm, bone-dry, hay-fever-inducing, temper-flaring, gale-force, property-destructing, infuriatingly insolent, invariably irreverent, piece of shit, good-for-nothing-except-drying-washing, wind.

Aside from the ability to dry a pair of jeans before midday, there is a truly beneficial aspect to our nor’ west wind: the enormous volume of water it drops on the Southern Alps replenishes rivers while maintaining Canterbury’s water table, setting up us rural folk for a long and scorching summer of irrigation.

There’s always a plus side.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Wynn D Planes

Photography by Dee Struck-Shinn