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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

GIVING 200 PERCENT AND CONTACTING ME

What did I mean in the last posting by saying that I would give the job 200%? Board members are paid $10,000 in round figures (set by the Remuneration Authority). I would give at least $20,000 worth.

But that is an easy promise for me to make, because I always give a job everything. I can't help it. My brain runs at a million miles a minute, and I just have to tag along.

If you want to fire questions at me, use the email address below. I shall try to answer every one. But there are nearly 8000 islanders (5594 resident electors), so promising an answer might land me in a promise I could not keep.

I'm sorry I've not made it clickable, so you'll have to key it in. But if you make them clickable the spam-merchants can pick them up with their nasty software and you get deluged with even nastier advertisements. So you'll have to change the square brackets and everything inside them to that little thingy with its tail curled over its head. (It began life as the short way the clerks of old spelt out such things as '6 shoes at 2 shillings each = 12 shillings.' They wrote 'at' so fast that it ended up as an 'a' with a flicked-over tail for the 't', the @. But that fell out of use as accounting moved to machines. Now we use it again for a very different reason.)

Nobilangelo Ceramalus: nobilangelo [at symbol] ceramalus.net

2242 is my phone number (Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm)

My surname is not it seems the easiest to spell at first glance. You may find it best to break it up into two groups, thus fitting the pronunciation: cera malus (kerra-marliss). Or, if you prefer to concentrate on the letters without the pronunciation, two groups of three letters: cer ama lus. I hope that helps.

If I had a dollar for every question I've ever been asked about my name, I would be richer than Scrooge McDuck. It does get very tiresome. But to answer the common ones. No, it is not Greek, or Italian. I'm your normal European mongrel. Nobilangelo comes from Latin. Ceramalus comes from over there somewhere. Yes, it really is my real name (unless the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages is guilty of forgery or a mind-boggling error). Yes, I was given it.

It is a surprise, even a shock, to find the outrageous extent to which some people will ask questions. Someone standing for public office has a private life, but some refuse to see that, and their questions can become merciless interrogation. For all of us the information about ourselves is as much a private possession as the contents of our drawers and cupboards. No one has the right to rifle through them, not because there is anything untoward or particularly secret there, but because it is private and we all need privacy otherwise we cannot function properly. We need to withdraw to think. So people who trample all over the lives of the people they vote for are denying them the opportunity to do their best, because they are interfering with what they need most--clear thinking. A very strange irony.

We also need to feel proud of our names, but when someone turns yours into a club and beats you about the head with it that becomes hard. It also interferes with your ability to do your best. More irony.

.......

When attacks on your character and thinking descend into the lies, snide remarks and nonsense that Waiheke Week has decided on, it is particularly disappointing. But not everyone who lives on Waiheke is really a Waihekean. As has been wisely said, 'Hatred is the poison you drink in the hope that someone else will die.' So I am not affected. Just saddened and wearied. That publication should take note of the island's oldest, Gulf News, which is a newspaper worthy of the name and has a clutch of national awards to prove it. It deserves to be a Waiheke institution. It gives us real meat, real vegetables and real fruit. Its younger sister, Marketplace, whose format Waiheke Week copied, serves us well also.