Posts Tagged ‘The Watcher’

On a nice day like this, what better ‘office desk’ could one wish for?

Essential Office Furniture in Place. Ready for Work!

Essential Office Furniture in Place. Check! Ready for Work…..

Another tough day at the office desk....

Another tough day at the office desk….


WOMEN IN UNIFORM – from the moment I was brought into this world, they have had an impact on my life – for better or worse.

I’m Phil Manhire, aka “The Watcher” and I’m writing this whilst sitting at a tiny desk in a tiny bungalow on a rather large oceanfront piece of coral which, over the past nine years my wife and I have turned into something more than a graveyard for fallen coconuts. Beautiful gardens, peaceful surrounds facing a white sand beach with our own purpose-built rock pool and a set of stairs that would have done the Sydney Opera House proud.

Beach Stairs Bukura


Vanuatu, or as it is more commonly referred to – “The Happiest Place on Earth” and “The Land of Smiles”, assuming you’ve heard of the place anyway. So before you say “Vanuatu? Never heard of the place. Where is it?”, it’s parked roughly halfway between “The Lucky Country” and “The Land of the Long White Cloud”. If by now you’re still saying “huh?”, perhaps this would be a good time for you to move on – preferably to a place where they give decent geography lessons.

I was with my mother when my first encounter with a woman in uniform occurred. What did she do? Smacked me fair on the butt so that I would bawl my eyes out and there I was, barely out of my mother’s womb! I mean, how sick is that? To make matters worse, she wore white – the supposed colour of purity and wholesomeness! Bitch!

Florence Nightingale...NOT!Ever since that most inglorious introduction to uniformed women, the past six decades plus has seen me exposed (quite literally sometimes, maybe TOO often) to women in uniform.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not deliberately picking on the nursing profession but my next recollection also involved a Florence Nightingale wannabe and she was holding in her hand a needle that was clearly intended for me. That damn thing looked to me like a jousting lance coming my way. I just KNEW that that sucker was REALLY going to hurt. I just KNEW that my seventh birthday, well….. I wasn’t going to make it unless I could make like one of the undead and magically re-appear from the grave like one of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” zombie extras, just so that I could blow out the candles.

Oh, it gets worse! Here she was…with her 3-foot-plus weapon of choice, all the while sweet-talking me….”There, there dear. Don’t worry. All you’ll feel is a tiny little prick because I’ve got this magic stuff  which will stop any pain (by now, she has my arm in an iron-man like grip and swabbing my targeted flesh with cotton wool soaked in God-knows-what while speaking to me in her Grandmotherly sugar and spice tones). Then she did the unthinkable. That weapon in her fist was hurled at me with all the panache of a lightning bolt hurled from the skies by a renegade Norse God.

OUCCCCH!! JEEEE-ZUS!! The next thing I knew was that I got kicked in the upper arm with the force of a mule punch-drunk high on steroids …and what REALLY destroyed my faith in uniform-wearing women, was that I had been stupid enough (then) to let her do it to me! ANOTHER BITCH!

Over the ensuing years, I met many a woman in uniform and not just white ones either. Some were blue, others khaki or green or black or even multi-coloured ones.

WOMEN IN UNIFORM. I have been attacked with sharp objects by them,  smacked by them, cursed by them, helped by them, hindered by them, teased by them and even had them put me into fits of laughter that at times came very close to being amongst the “most embarrassing moments” of my life as I fought to control a bladder that felt like it was going to let go at any moment.

But mostly, some have loved me and I have loved them in return – for many reasons, including for their kindness shown me, for their spirit, guts and determination in battling for a place in “a man’s world” (often being the victor) and for their unique way of dealing with the sometimes-appalling and undeserved treatment dished out to them.

More of my ramblings can be found at

By the way, did I mention that I married a nurse?

The Watcher at

Parliament of Vanuatu

A little while ago, the Minister of Internal Affairs, MP Patrick Crowby, issued a decree regarding the use or should I say, mis-use of the Vanuatu Flag.

In light of some prevailing circumstances at the time, I had no disagreement with the Minister – on most counts…..especially those wherein the flag was being ‘abused’ for commercial purposes on the backs of buses and the like.

Well, Minister, perhaps you should also focus on the abuse of our official emblems within your own government operations, for instance – the graphic displayed on the Vanuatu Parliament live stream site.

The amateurish graphics used on the site are reminiscent of a cut-out kindergarten drawing of the official emblem of the Vanuatu Government which SHOULD look like this….

Vanuatu Government




…..and just for the record – should I choose to fly the Vanuatu flag at any time on my car or outside my home due to my pride for this country, I shall do so, regardless of what some jumped-up politician says!