2020 NZ Tramping Calendar

The Tramping Calendar Blues (or Rap)

by Harry Smith

(Best spoken aloud with a heavy 4/4 rap beat)

(Apologies to everyone for this silly nonsense but Tony Gazley  makes me do it every year).

Oh God, it’s that time of the year

When Tony Gazley’s calendar’s here

And he has asked me to review it

And I agreed and now I rue it!

I could’ve refused but I went and blew it!

How on earth am I supposed to do it?

He seems to think there’s nothing to it!


To write reviews is easy, innit?

Just whip up something in a minute!

But it’s hard to know just how to spin it

And whatever I write I usually bin it!


He makes me do this every year

I live my life in mortal fear

And I’m condemned for all eternity

Like Sisyphus in Greek mythology

To roll a boulder up a hill

Endlessly against my will

Then watch it to the valley spill

And start again – a bitter pill

The whole damn thing makes me feel ill!


What can one say about a calendar?

I may as well review a colander

Or some carrots or cucumbers

It’s just a grid with lots of numbers

Illustrated with a mixture

Of Tony’s outdoor tramping pictures

There’s one each year – one of life’s fixtures

And every year I must review it –

How the hell am I going to do it??


I know – I’ll do it as a poem!!

I’ll come across like Leonard Cohen

Like Keats or Coleridge or Byron

Just like a brooding, dark romantic!

Or maybe something fast and frantic

Like an expert ghetto-rap grandmaster

But maybe I’ll be even faster!

It could be great – or a disaster!


So here it goes – I hope it flows!


Tony’s calendar’s a beaut

You should buy one – it’s a hoot!

It’ll only cost you 20 bucks

If you don’t buy one – yah, boo, sucks!


Tony’s calendar is awesome

If you were in a shop and saw some

You would buy one in a jiffy

Because the photos are so spiffy!


Tony’s calendar is cool –

if you don’t buy one you’re a fool!

’cause it’s a really useful tool

Much better than an old slide rule!

(God, that’s awful but I don’t care –

I want to get the hell out of here!)


Yes, Tony’s calendar is cool

With lots of photos that are cool


And if you think that you are cool

You should buy one – that’d be cool

(I like my rhymes there – they’re so cool!)

Tony’s calendar is nice

With lots of shots of snow and ice.

And if you want my real advice,

I think you ought to buy it twice!


And you can hang it on your wall

In the den or in the hall

In the kitchen, in the basement –

That’s a really useful placement!

And you should hang one in the loo

You really need one in there too!

I think you should buy twenty-two!

I really, really, really do!

(And I’m sure that Tony thinks so too!)


Tony’s photographs are pretty

With outdoor shots, not in the city

(I’m trying to think of something witty

To help fill out this stupid ditty –

I can’t escape it, more’s the pity!)


There’re photographs of happy trampers,

Hikers, bikers, climbers, campers.

Sometimes they are wearing parkas

And there’s a great shot of a kaka

And even photos of big trees –

It really is quite the bee’s knees!

(There’s even a photo of bee’s knees!)


Tony’s calendar’s really pleasant

It’ll make a cracker Christmas present

Like socks or chocs or roasted pheasant

Or some pliers, or a crescent.


(God, I’m desperate for a rhyme!

I think it’s really getting time

That I went off and did a bunk

Down to the boozer to get drunk.)


Tony’s calendar’s just the ticket

For when you’re on a sticky wicket

Or lost in some God-awful thicket

And I know a place where he can stick it

(On the wall, I mean, like an art critic)


Tony’s calendar’s tick-a-boo

And he has made it just for you

So I think the least that you can do

Is go and buy a hundred or two!


I hope this review makes Tony happy,

That he will be a happy chappie

So buy one now and make it snappy!

And if you buy enough of them

He’ll watch the moolah rolling in

And if you buy a million copies

Tony will be rich!!


And he’ll rejoice in his good karma

And fly  off out to the Bahamas

Sipping rum and coca-colas

And rolling in the mega-dollars!


Then he’ll decamp to fair Tahiti

And hook up with a South Seas sweetie

And munch on mangoes and drink martinis

And watch the flower-bedecked wahines

Dancing in their cute bikinis.


Then he’ll mosey off to Acapulco

And put up in a luxury hotel

And mingle with the wealthy people

And wallow in the thermal spa pool.


Then he’ll join the jet set down in Rio

Where there’s a certain Latin brio

Dancing all that fiery salsa

With all the pretty senoritas

And drinking wine and margaritas.


Then up to Vegas and out to Reno

To try his luck at the casino

Then off to Rome and San Marino 

And then Provence and Monte Carlo

To splurge out at the roulette table.

Then he’ll be off to Biarritz

Staying in the Hotel Ritz

With all the glamour and all the glitz –

And wearing his old tramping kits!


So come on, make our Tony happy!

Buy a calendar and make it snappy!

Buy one now you stingy bastards!

And meanwhile I’m off to get plastered!



You can take a look at the calendar before rushing off to Bivouac, Mercer Street with your $20 cash.

4 thoughts on “2020 NZ Tramping Calendar”

  1. Such a long poem
    A Haiku would’ve sufficed
    Buy the calender

    Excellent! Short, sharp, and to the point! You’re a natural! I’ll pass your name on to Tony and you can be his victim, er calendar reviewer, for the next five years.

  2. If it wasn’t for you Harry
    Tony’s calendar might not carry.

    You entertain us with your ditty
    now we are all very giddy.

    I remember your 2018 pitch
    it was as strong as any tent stitch.

    I’ve looked back in the archives
    you are a staple in our lives.

    I’m glad Tony makes you do this
    going forward, please don’t be remiss.

    Thank you Harry for making us smile
    it makes us want to walk a mile
    to Bivouac with $20 cash – or more – for whānau, friend or foe,
    or to bum slide on the calendar for a long way down the snow.

    The author of the above won WTMCs 2016 Women’s individual downhill bum sliding event (with a direct hit on a spectator) but has no intention to use Tony’s 2020 calendar as her next novel slider.

  3. Ah Harry
    I’m so glad you didn’t tarry
    you wrote a poem
    and really showed ’em
    that prose & verse
    aren’t such a curse
    when penned by a man
    who’s not terse!


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