The magnificent seven ride again…


…through the streets of Wellington…

…but we looked a lot better than these guys…yes, really…

A group of us who had all been young (and in some cases, not so young) officers together, concentrated in Wellington last night for a bit of a get-together, in some cases we had not seen each other for a good seven or more years…apart from a grey hair or two, we were all as slim and sharp as we’d been back then…

Josh from CDSS and I drove down together yesterday afternoon and the drive both ways gave us a good opportunity to discuss a bunch of current affairs topics – we stayed at the Halswell Lodge in Kent Terrace: as Josh said, we really want to be focussing about where we want to end up and less about where we’re starting from. A very good point as my thought had been to stay at someplace like the James Cook but the natural progression of a staff ride through night-time Wellington is invariably towards the bottom end of Courtney Place i.e. just round the corner from the Halswell Lodge…

It’s a good lesson and one that obviously links directly into the Princess Leia Doctrine  – before you come in, have a plan for getting out!! Somewhat topical in a week where the US recognises the rebel “government” in Libya, just as France states that it can see a path where Ghaddafi stay in power…as some have said, a clear application of two of the three stages of the France Doctrine:

– Start war.

– Surrender.

– Claim all glory.

It’s not actually clear who or what the US has actually recognised or what the mid- to long-term results will be when that “government” comes to power – almost assurably there will be a number of score-settling activities to ensure that any and all Ghaddafists are dealt to as well as anyone else that the new “government” feels they need to square away as part of their consolidation of power…It is pretty certain that one of the big lessons of Iraq, that existing governance and other structures should be kept in place as much as possible during transitional phases, will be learned again should this “government” come to power…

It’s interesting to note as well that NATO’s appetite for social and moral justice has yet to extend to Syria where protest and suppression continue unchecked; and that hardline Islamic elements may be gaining the whip hand in Egypt…will the call be made “Hey, Hosni! Holiday’s over, dude! Get back in there and sort your country out again!” ?

Anyway, back to the Seven…we’d hoped a few more might come out of the woodwork but it was a crappy Wellington winter night and there’s a rematch tonight but we could only do the one night…so very good to catch up again with some of those who helped make me who I am now (Yes, guys, it’s all your fault!!) and to have a night out in NZ – normally any big nights I have out are ‘post-dinner networking’ activities while I am working overseas. Very impressed to see that there are still pubs in NZ that not only serve beer in jugs but big glass jugs as well – good effort, the Green Man Pub – great pizzas and fries too!! Of course, we almost didn’t get to the Green Man after leaving St Johns in Cable Street as our SOF rep ‘led’ us in the opposite direction!! “Yeah, I know where I’m going…trust me…” Never a Tui billboard around when you need one…

I think we finished up around 2-30ish after a fun few hours in Boogie Wonderland, a retro disco-era bar (“Don’t touch the glitter balls – puhleeeease!!” Well, don’t put them in arm’s reach then!). Post-pizza I’d had a top-up pie along the way but Josh hadn’t and we grabbed some horrible Chinese food from someplace at the bottom end of Courtney Place – the sole redeeming thing about that was that I bought a bottle of Coke that was well sited for post-crash out dries this morning…

So bit jaded this evening with an early start to get back to the Lodge before it gets snowed in – probably our first snow there this year…watching the reports coming out of Norway…just one nutjob…as one tweet stated ‘Oklahoma City, not 911’…a brutal reminder than in this environment of complexity, you can’t predict and interdict all ‘the people’…sometimes the measure of success is how well you respond…

One thought on “The magnificent seven ride again…

  1. Pingback: Disaster | The Daily Post | The World According to Me…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s