Title: Songs of My Life

Author: Bill Manhire

In: Sport 11: Spring 1993

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, November 1993, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 11: Spring 1993


I looked to see why he wasn’t making music one particular morning and there was this dog—aroused, you know, moving against his knee. Nice dog, friendly dog, just restless in the desire department, the way dogs are. Well, we took on this dog and called him Gospel Song and he has been with us these last something years. Pingao saw him as a fellow minstrel, sympathetic prop. I saw him as an independent dog with his own dignity. Maria wouldn’t have him in the house.

Then I won the underhand chop for the whole of New Zealand’s South Island, working to a handicap of 27 off dummy one.

I tried lawnmower racing, not without success, but the bit I liked most was when we all sat down afterwards and had some cup of tea.

When I moved from flares to stovepipes, the words of Johnny Pingao celebrated this event. Was there a song called ‘Platform Souls’? I don’t remember.

Maria. Old hands on a young body. Otherwise, you know, totally present and correct.