New Zealand – Slovakia

Welcome from Fordiebianco HQ, were weare all gathered to watch big one, the one we all have been waiting for: New Zealand against the Czech, er, sorry, the other ones with the past dabbling in racism, Slovakia.

The singing was very impressive by the Kiwis, and I almost didn’t recognise the strange blown up version of their national anthem.

So here we go:

4:08 nice chance after a freekick. Tests the Slovak goalie. Good on them.

6:20 even though the stadium seems to be less than half full, the bloody Vuvuzelas are blathering on.

08:59: nice delivery behind the Slovakia defense. Corner

10:49 Am I dreaming or are the kiwis actually dominating the game?

13:13 oops, toast is burning

14:26 Mark Paston so far making a decent job in the Kiwi goal.

15:29 ditto

17:00 According to Wikipedia, Paston is only first choice goalie becuase of his predecessor’s ‘improper conduct’

20:00 I think Tesco’s decision to stock German peppered Salami was an enlightened one.

22:00 The Mexican wave has apparently started 7 minutes earlier than during the Algeria/Slovakia game.

24:00 Insipid midfield kicking

27:00 According to Wikipedia, Ricki Herbert’s win ration for the teams he’s coached outside the national team is 34.91%

28:00: good shot on the Kiwi goal by the Slovaks.

30:00 Alex Ferguson’s win rate is 57.51%

32:01 good shot on goal by All Whites

33:00 blatant defending error by Paston. Kiwis lucky to get out of that one.

35:00 more shooting in direction of Kiwi goal.

37:00 Former mayor/principal’s wife accused of having sex with his pupils

37:30 Nice shot by Fallon on outer net of Slovaks. Well done.

41:00 Yellow card against New Zealand. Beautiful save by Paston after powerful mid range shot my Hamsik.

46:00 Half Time: Well done New Zealand. Even Alan Hansen is happy with them

48:00 “More urgency” from the Slovakians. Didn’t they go to the loo in half time?

49:00 0:1 ! Goal for the Slovaks. Bummer.

59:00 Slovakia has woken up. It’s all on one goal now.

64:00 another chance for Sklovakia, but way over the box

70:24 Slovaks falling all over the place. They should play against the All Blacks for a change.

72:00 Chris Killan replaced by Wood. No, not that Wood.

77:00 Christie comes in for the Kiwis. In Oamaru a scaffolding comes down

86:00 nothing much happens.

87:40 almost 1:1. bummer

92:00 Goal!!! kiwis equalise!!! Winston Reid for OBE!!!

Nice one Kiwis. And now please destroy the bloody Italians

Music from Kiwiland and trimalleolar fractures

Hi all, my ISP has finally delivered and I can finally blog from home, so hopefully the infrequent posting is finally coming to an end.

So what’s it all about this March at the Outhouse?

Well, fairly essential stuff. The best girlfriend ever two days ago sustained the mother of all ankle injuries: a trimalleolar fracture pretty much seperates your foot from the rest of your leg. Ligaments, your tibia and fibula and the rest of your support structures say good bye and leave your foot hanging in an extreme awkward angle. Needless to say what follows are some extremely painful procedures to reduce the fracture and some major reconstructive surgery, culminating in a 6 weeks limbo without weight bearing and no guarantee of fully regained mobility. With other words, the mood is rather sombre at chez Fordiebianco. Nevertheless a challenge is a challenge, and we here at ‘Message from the Outhouse’ are embracing the idea of a 100% male-led household. There is nothing a man can’t do if he focuses properly. Even it’s arranging daffodils and lillies in a pleasing manner.

Additionally to this it’s now 13 months since we left the friendly shores of New Zealand.  While there are infuriating aspects to life in Kiwiland for Europeans (the complete lack of respect for the environment , political dominance of a weird white right wing agro-business lobby, the non-existence of public transport, the reliance on gasguzzling cars, etc)  Kiwis also have one of the most classless societies, a genuine optimistic, can do spirit, a refreshing friendliness and one of the most gorgeous countries to live in (all of the positives don’t apply to Auckland, of course). Sometimes I think that England could benefit from a little Kiwi spirit.

And why do these Antipodeans have some unbelievable good musicians?

For some weird reason musicality must be a genetic trait, otherwise those 4 million souls wouldn’t be able to breed so many excellent songwriters. While most readers in my age bracket might have heard of Crowded House and Spilt Enz, there is so much more to New Zealand’s excellent musical output. Listening to artists like Goldenhorse, Brooke Fraser, Che Fu, Dave Dobbyn, Anika Moa, Don McGlashan, Bic Runga or even Ladyhawke it becomes evident that these Kiwis sing some sort of Fado of the South Pacific: Haunting, reflective and often sad songs that easily conjure up the landscape I lived in for more than half a decade. Brooke Fraser’s  ‘Arithmetic’, Dobbyn’s ‘Loyal’ or McGlashan’s “I will not let you down’ evoke at times bizarre landscapes that one encounters when living on these two islands. A good start to experience a taste of kiwiana is to head over to and put ‘kiwi’ into the tag search box, sit back and let the music of Aotearoa dazzle you.

As for me, there is the washing to do.


Finn, Runga, Dobbyn. Heaven.

While I am the first man to step forward to say that New Zealand is not the paradise that most Europeans believe it is, the musical output of this community the size of South London is impressive. The recording of the 2000 tour (and a 2002 London gig, I believe) of these three veterans of Kiwiana Pop is especially gratifying, as it combines the sparse melodies of Bic Runga with a ‘best of’ Dobbyn’s oevre and some of the best of Tim Finn’s three decades of music (including his solo work, Crowded House and Split Enz). Together with a tight band of musical mercenaries they sing, whistle and hum together and created an outstanding album that showcases the best of New Zealand’s recent musical heritage. All three are songwriters with an outstanding ability of capturing their touching lyrics in ultimately hummable songs that linger around in your brain for a long time.

Even if you have no idea who these people are and have never been to New Zealand, Together in Concert is an excellent introduction into this culture’s musical culture and apart from that a damn good album.