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Monday, 29 November 2010


I am a man of many faults. Please, please don't gasp in horror, it is true. I have some failings. Not many, it's true, but I am not fault-free.



I do however possess (I think) moral courage.

If I'm in a meeting and a statement is made that I don't understand, I'll ask for clarification. I'm not scared to ask. I've found over the years that there isn't really a dumb question, and not asking about an unknown abbreviation or a newly named concept makes you look even sillier later on.



If an idea is presented which is based on concepts that I find contravene my world-view, I'll challenge them.

Last year at the HOF meeting which was deciding which courses would be available to our students the following academic year, a proposal was put forward by our Maori HOF that they introduce a course called Putaio. This was a science course, but based on Maori world-view and concepts. I originally trained as a scientist, in Biochemistry and Microbiolgy and only later did I pick up my MSc in Computing, so Science, and its concomitant ideology is very dear to my heart. I made the comment that "Perhaps Science should be taught as Science not mixed in with cultural references" As far as I know, there is no such thing as American Science, or Indian Science or any "type" of Science, there is just science; an objective method, based on theorems and experiments which tries to make sense of our Universe and establish some sort of system which will allow us to predict a cause and effect

Ringo told me off "For being culturally insensitive" The course went ahead, but I still think it's wrong.

Is a Maori Oxygen molecule different from a European one?

Do Maori electrons travel at different speeds to others?

Complete bollocks.



However, yesterday evening, I displayed a moral courage equal to anything I've done before.



Last month, as I mentioned in my post, I bought my beloved (who suffers from a mild vertigo) a tricycle. Bright red, with a huge white basket over the back axle. I also bought a cheap second hand bike for myself. The idea being that we go for gentle bike rides around the area where we live. Yesterday was the day. I packed all the bikes into the back of my FWD and went down to Trentham Memorial Park.

I re-assembled the bikes, strapped on the stupid bike helmets and off we went



Now I've been on a bike since I was about 4 or 5. Most of us in the Western (and Eastern) world know how to ride a bike. I haven't been on a bike for over 8 years, but I didn't even have to think about it, just jumped on and away I went. I went very slowly, allowing my beloved plenty of time to get used to her new conveyance.

I don't think I've ever seen a sight like it.

My beloved was in the grip of fear. She had forgotten how to steer, so I was gifted with the view of a lady of mature years, face frozen in a rictus of terror, legs extended stiffly and off the pedals veering madly (at about 2 kph) off the asphalt track onto the grass.

Over the next half-hour, I ignored the hoots of laughter from the gin-soaked members of the Trentham Cricket Club (TCC), who, sitting on their clubhouse deck, were being regaled by a continuous comedy of errors as my beloved:

  • went around in circles for 5 minutes
  • went off the path 12 times in 20 metres
  • screamed at me to stop the bloody thing as she had forgotten how to use the brakes
  • managed to strip the chain of the gears
  • tried to stop the tricycle by running it into a bush
  • smiled and waved at a passing pedestrian (he was overtaking us whilst walking his dog) and promptly steered into another bush (This one was the TCC favourite.  Two of the members fell of their chairs rolling about at this.  One actually fell off the deck, but I think he was pissed)
  • forgot how to change gear when going uphill
  • forgot (again) how to brake when going downhill



I was really proud of myself. I didn't flee. I didn't try to pretend that I didn't know her. I didn't even have a sign on my chest saying"She's not with me"

I exhibited great courage (and devotion) and stayed with my poor anxiety-ridden beloved as she struggled gamely to overcome the torture machine know as "The Red Trike"



Eventually she prevailed, and we continued on around the paths of this lovely park. We stayed on the flat, and mostly circled the cricket pitch and the reserve. I deliberately avoided the lovely path down by the Hutt river, I may be brave, but I'm not an idiot.

We're staying away from the river for the foreseeable future.
Look, I may look silly in one of these bloody bike helmets, but I'd look a complete f*cking idiot wearing a life jacket at the same time.

A complete f*cking idiot


  1. How does one even manage all of that on a tricycle? I wish I was one of the laughing bystanders, that sounds like a sight to behold.

  2. How very generous of you for putting that performance on for the TCC members. No doubt one of them filmed it and it is now on the www.

    If you really wanted to exhibit courage I think you should have purchased a second tricycle instead of a bicycle for yourself.

  3. I loved your post TSB (not the arena, the Scotsman). Ah, aren't women funny at times!
    The Putaio thing is interesting too - things do get silly sometimes. You are definitely a man of courage. I salute you.


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