Reasons to be cheerful - part seven

We continue the occasional series wherein Winston expounds onthings that currently make him happy.

50) It's time for feijoas! Also known (elsewhere) as the pineapple guava or gauvasteen, feijoas are – as Dr Who would say – cool. So obscure that their name isn't even recognised by my spell-check, the little green jewels originally come from Brazil and the trees here at the Watusi Country Club are just about ready. I made my first crumble of the year last week. For Jan Preston (she too loves feijoas). Unlike the kiwifruit, feijoas are genuinely unknown by 95 per cent of tourists. Amaze passing foreigners with feijoa chutney, feijoa wine, feijoa muffins… And remember – feijoas are cool.

51) The seventies are back! Everyone was pretty embarrassed by the clothes they wore in the seventies. Until they saw the outfits that people donned in the eighties. (Every decade since then has just been a reworking of previous decades.) But the one thing we can all agree on is that the music was better in the seventies.
We all have a guilty secret lurking in our closets from that free-wheeling time and mine comes in the form of an original album by Paper Lace (there were only two), the English storytellers responsible for gifting the world with “Billy Don't Be a Hero” and – even more famously – “The Night Chicago Died”. They told it like it was. Yeah.
“Daddy was a cop on the East Side of Chicago, back in the USA, back in the bad old days …”. I used to love that stuff. Later in life, upon visiting the Home of the Blues I discovered that Chicago doesn't actually have an East Side. Who cares?
The joy of silly pop songs seems to have evaporated somewhat since those innocent times, but in 1974 “The Night Chicago Died” was the biggest selling single in the world. Now Paper Lace is coming to town along with The New Seekers (who had a hit or three of their own). They're at Baycourt on Tuesday 1 May. Forget disco, time to spend that money y'all saved by not going to Earth Wind and Fire and check out some real seventies music.

52) The kids are alright! They say that music is in the blood. It may well even be true. There have certainly been a number of “second generation” Tauranga musicians out and about recently and, for some reason, it gladdens my heart. Singer/songwriter Kelsi Bullot is the daughter of Kokomo's harp player Grant Bullot; singer/songwriter Dylan Israel is the son of singer/songwriter John Michaelz. And Oscar Laven is the son of multi-instrumentalist Robbie Laven and the ridiculously talented Marion Arts.
Oscar, who plays trumpet, clarinet, bassoon, and several saxophones is currently studying music down in Wellington and playing with a gypsy jazz duo called Gypsologie, combining dazzling playing with youthful exuberance and outrageous dress sense.
Of course, this phenomenon is nothing new. There are many examples. One name that springs to mind is Alana Milson, jazz pianist, one-time rock sax player with Sons of Beaches, and daughter of respected jazz cat and ex-Big Band leader Leith Milson.

53) Psychobilly! I've always dug the various forms of rockabilly music out there and in Tauranga we have our very own (fantastic) psychobilly band, Molly Gun. Originally formed as Absynthia and the Riot, Molly Gun is fronted by vocalist Shannon Avery and deliver all the excitement and energy you could ask for. They're dangerous. And they've recently put out an EP. Last week they performed live for the Soundtree webcast. You can see them at

54) Taste sensations! I'm a sucker for a taste sensation. Any sort of sensation really. But I was lucky enough to eat at Somerset Cottage recently and had my taste buds well and truly blown by their Banana Soufflé.
Served with rum-spiked pineapple, it was a thing of ephemeral beauty, the texture so light that it seemed to dissolve on my tongue, with the pineapple providing a subtly acidic counterpoint. In my mind I regard the finest desserts as “D'Yquem Desserts”, ones that would merit eating alongside a glass of Chateau D'Yquem (if I could ever afford it). This is one.


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