"This is Jimmy Saville: he invented 'bling'"


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Napier
August 12th 2006
Published: August 21st 2006
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I have been on the road, moving from hostel to hostel, now for five weeks and I’m getting grumpy. I didn’t really enjoy Napier that much, which is a pity because it’s a very pretty city filled with pastel hued Art-Deco buildings. There are so many of these “style-moderne” structures that Napier could be called the Art-Deco capitol of the world (though Miami also claims this crown). This was all down to the big quake in ’31 which at 7.9 on the Richter scale and lasting over two minutes, destroyed the town centre in conjunction with the fires that broke out immediately afterwards. The regeneration started immediately and was almost wholeheartedly constructed in the then popular Art-Deco style: all ziggurats, lightening bolts and sunbeams. It all makes for a beautiful city but somehow it didn’t lift my spirits. I have decided that I will find somewhere lively and settle down for a bit. Wellington is my favoured destination at present. Fingers crossed.
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I tried going out again on a Friday night but again was collared by the middle-aged barfly. This one talked to me for over an hour about the logging industry and his suspicions that the lead singer of
Art Deco shopArt Deco shopArt Deco shop

It used to be a fire station.
the band that was playing was a member of the constabulary. After he repeated these nuggets of information for the tenth time, I made my excuses and left in a huff, wondering if I’ll ever have an enjoyable evening in rural NZ.
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The next night some Japanese girls also staying in the hostel invited me to a sushi party. We watched the last ever Top of the Pops. It was a surreal experience as I tried to explain to them the enigma that is Jimmy Saville.



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The Daily Telgraph BuildingThe Daily Telgraph Building
The Daily Telgraph Building

Full of Conservatives?
From the Masonic hotelFrom the Masonic hotel
From the Masonic hotel

The guys who REALLY run the town.
Napier beachNapier beach
Napier beach

Notice the evil, black sand.
Typical New Zealand countrysideTypical New Zealand countryside
Typical New Zealand countryside

South of the North Island


22nd August 2006

Deco schmecho
Impressive earthquake trivia Mr Garner. Glad to hear you are being the narky Englishman abroad. Take advantage of the fact you will never see these strange bar dwelling Deliverance-ites again and adopt a different personality/life story/set of comical lies with each one. Thus you can become a con artist par excellence while travelling. A sort of modern apprenticeship in phoney baloney. The culture shock is a tricky beast, especially so in a country where they speak English, one is suprised by how much it grabs you by the er...ball bag. I found the best way is to revel in your Englishness by talking about Princess Di in a Noel Cowardesque drawl. Eventually the whole population will come round to your way of thinking and you will have cured your culture shock at the expense of 3m Kiwis. Keep up the good work.

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