some things make you stop and think
When Edward Burnsky was born in the late 50s, there were 2.5B people in the world. Now they’re 7B+.
"That’s literally a billion in every decade, so I started recognizing that human enterprise was expanding like a rogue species."“I gave myself the view of the outsider, with the ability to look at the systems we need to employ to support the basic mammalian biomass of seven billion people.”
"What happens at 2:25 in this song and runs through until the end is one of the most amazing things to ever occur in popular music.”
If you’re going to listen to one Lou Reed song today - although I recommend the opposite - choose this one.
The Last Great American Whale…. he was.
there are some places I just wish I had been at a certain time on a certain day - like the Newport Jazz festival in New York, 1975.
This is an article I wrote for the now defunct ‘Player Magazine’ it’s long but if you like cricket it may be interesting and it is sort of relevant to Triumph & Disaster.
Test cricket against Australia was throughout the length of my career regarded by all cricketers as the pinnacle of our sport.
A victory over Australia in cricket is equivalent to beating the All Blacks in rugby or defeating Brazil in soccer, its special because they are special. Like rugby is to Kiwi’s cricket in Australia takes on an almost mythical importance, it is part of the Australian psyche and it has become one of the benchmarks upon which they assess themselves, ‘a poor cricket team does not a great Australia make’.
Which makes it all the more ironic for me, as although I played plenty of one day cricket against Australia I only managed one test match. This was almost entirely due to the exceptionally bad timing of injuries, and the fact that we only got to play them every four years or so, this of course has changed with the introduction of the I.C.C future tours schedule, which sees all nations play each other on a more regular basis, not that this offers me anything more than cold comfort.
My last test match was when I finally got my chance and alas even that ended with another injury, (torn abdominal erectus quite painful when bowling or trying to evade Brett Lee bouncers).
It was a memorable match though, we managed to avoid the ‘follow on’ on the last day and then put Aussie back in to bat. Steve Waugh was captain and before the series had made comments to the effect that Australia would always play for the win so long as he was captain. So being cunning kiwi’s we put him on the spot by declaring and making them bat. Hence placing the onus on them to set us a target as to not play out a boring draw, even though it was the last day and realistically there was only a draw on the offing. So we nearly pulled off a coup, the memory of Glen McGrath bowling a yard wide of the stumps and firing Yorkers down leg to Craig McMillan still brings a smile to my face.
But to get to that position was really akin to trickery as we’d had rain delays and to all intents and purposes had been out played during the course of the match, but we got it together for one good day, used the Australians own publicized stance against them and went about a run chase pretty well. In a sense we all got what we deserved, Aussie a kick in the pants for outrageous over confidence, the Black Caps some needed self belief going into the rest of the series, and me well I got a trip home to recuperate.
But I’d played my test match against Australia, and you know what, it wasn’t that bad. They were strong there was no question, but with concentration and discipline I thought I could match it with these guys. I mean after you’ve been facing 150km thunderbolts from Brett Lee for an hour suddenly Glen McGrath and Shane Warne weren’t half as daunting. And their sledging wasn’t that cutting, possibly because they thought I wasn’t worth the breath. It only really started after I’d shown some sort of resistance for an hour or so, then I distinctly remember Brett Lee mentioning that I was really just quite dumb since now he was going to have to hurt me where as before it was just a case of getting me out. I smiled as I walked away to square leg, however I must concede to a rather cold chill running down the back of my spine which I quickly attributed to the Fremantle doctor (never mind that we were in Brisbane).
Honestly though I can say the whole experience was a pleasure. I mean to turn around from your batting stance after another ball has whizzed by and see it thud into Adam Gilchrists gloves as Shane Warne makes some kind of gesture from first slip as if to say ‘gee that was quick’ and have Mark Waugh staring at you with almost disinterest as his older brother starts to get just a little caustic, and then turning back only to have Justin langer laughing and saying “not long now Nashy”. It’s all like a dream, one you’ve had as a kid and dreamed about living out and here it is real and happening, words can’t express the sensation its all you can do to stay calm and gather yourself for the next delivery.
Their batting line up was strong, always is, but the wicket was true and flat, and they, like us, made mistakes and got out, and sometimes we even put them under pressure.
Although when they were 200 odd for no wicket towards the end of the first day the pressure was hardly immense. Hayden in particular just seemed at peace in the middle it was as though we were only there for his benefit, like third formers asked along to bowl at the first eleven practice. He just kept planting a big hoof down the wicket and hitting through the line, he was in some kind of form.
But then they lost a wicket or two and with it their concentration, it was like the others were not quite ready to bat, its easy to do when you’ve spent a day and a half waiting for your turn as the openers plunder runs. And before you knew it Craig McMillan had bounced out Steve Waugh and had Damian Martyn caught at point, we were on fire.
It was a bit like being in a boxing ring with the heavy weight champion of the world feeling like you’d been taking a hiding only to land a lucky punch or two and in the process realized the champ was human, he got tired and bled like everyone else.
And as a team we were mature enough to recognize an opportunity when it was presented.
Against great opposition chances to gain ground are few and far between. You not only have to identify when they come but slam a crow bar in the crack and leverage it open as wide as you can because as quickly as chances appear they fade away if not taken. You might have to play out a whole day’s test cricket to furnish one chance to get in the game, through tight bowling and fielding and slowing the run rate in order to place enough pressure to produce a false shot, this is the reality, and the reason it is called test match cricket.
A five day test match can be won or lost in a twenty minute period, its all about total team focus and concentration throughout the five days. And as a collective being aware of that crucial moment when it arrives, and either avoiding it, or capitalizing on it whichever the case may be.
My one test against Australia was not enough; you only really gain an Australians respect after you have beaten him in a fair dinkum match. I got the sense that if we were to beat Australia during my time it would require almost the perfect match, our individual stars would need to perform, the team as a whole would need to lift themselves and play at a heightened level for the duration, confronting, challenging and generally getting under the skin of the Aussies. We would have had to manufacture situations, recognize opportunities, take advantage when we could, throw in a little kiwi spirit and a bit of luck and you’re there or at least somewhere close.
Australian teams assert themselves upon you and the match. Their demeanor is confident and aggressive and they come at you in a pack, to the point where you have the sense of being hunted by wolves. They come to play and make no apologies for it.
This is what sport offers, gaining the respect of your peers and having respect for yourself and what you are about. It’s this that makes playing against the best in the world so lucrative. To succeed against the best, rewards you with not only a sense of achievement but also a level of self-confidence unequalled in everyday life.
So it is with a sense of excitement tinged with sadness that I watch the current series; excitement because it promises to be an outstanding spectacle, and sadness because I can no longer take part. No more do I have the opportunity to pit my skills against the best in the world.
apologies for the rather longwinded self-reflection piece - promise it won’t happen again DJN
the travelers mojo is a precarious thing – roads are dusty and long, people let you down, rendezvous are missed, plans derail, stuff gets weird. So travel light, move with a sense of calm, know that all roads lead somewhere and every one of them a chance to feather thy nest, carry a journal, enjoy the moment and make sure you have a damn good dopp kit.
Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata)
Only grows in Aoteoroa - New Zealand. This ancient shrub is a member of the primitive Winteraceae family, common to the Southern Pacific. It has features of the earliest evolved flowering plants and appears in fossil records over 65 million years ago.
Horopito has a long history of medicinal use by Maori. The leaves were bruised,steeped in water and used for paipai (a skin disease) and venereal diseases. The leaves were chewed for toothache and were rubbed on mothers breasts for weaning infants. In recent years studies have highlighted excellent antibacterial and antifungal activity that we believe makes it an excellent ingredient in our moisturiser, treating the skin for any blemishes or cuts instead of using denatured alcohol or synthetic chemicals that many products use for this purpose - Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways.
'Triumph & Disaster' and 'Matt Nash bags' have collaborated to create Triumph & Disasters take on the humble 'Ruck sack', a bag that has served the world with integrity and valour. Many a travelers greatest journeys have been completed in the company of this utilitarian piece of equipment, look after it, and it will serve you well in return.