Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Autumn has gone. Winter has arrived. There is something dramatic and heavy about this season.
The dying, followed quickly by the simmering of new life, just under the surface.
These photos were taken at the bottom of our long driveway. Walking up the drive, I noticed buds already beginning to form on branches, all ready for their spring reveal.
This maple tree usually carries its leaves (some still green) until well after the beginning of winter, crossing the seasonal border with style and aplomb.
It carries its own sense of timing and defiant air.
Out of any direct hit of prevailing winds, it proclaims, "I will go. But only when I am good and ready".
I'm sure the other trees already into their deep winter sleep, do not hear. Or care.
Saturday, 26 May 2018
Robert and I go curling every Tuesday night through winter. We started last winter and as we escaped concussion or broken bones, have turned up again this year.
Apart from the obvious benefits of fun and exercise, I also enjoy the cold ice. By nature I am not a 'tropical bird ' - even though my DNA results show a (entirely expected) Pacific Island - Hawaiian - Mid-China strain. In my case, I suspect the 38% Scottish strain is mostly to the fore.
That I am learning in each of my turns to wield and control, direct and aim, manage and choreograph, a couple of cheerful-looking, highly-polished granite stones (or rocks as they are sometimes referred to) also adds to my enjoyment. Along with the tam-'o-shanter camaraderie.
I am disappointed though that no-one has offered me a complimentary (or congratulatory; depending on the circumstances) wee nip, or dram, of whisky. I though that was par for the course. I'm putting it down to liquor licensing laws.
A curling poem is simmering. I have a feeling that it will have something to do with stones aka rocks, that sometimes 'kiss', sometimes 'kill'.
This time last week while the royal wedding bride, Meghan Markle, was still asleep (or if she wasn't, should have been) on the night before her wedding to Harry, I was reflecting and pondering on a silent, mini-retreat out at Brighton - a small. seaside town on the outskirts of Dunedin.
Among other pleasant sights, the Otakia Creek on its drift to the sea, the manner of its cut through rippled, wind-and-tide patterned sand, was both inspiring and soothing.
And so I drifted into the week ... uplifted by a couple of words and the ideas those words bestow. Sadly they are words that through over-use, mis-use etc. have become cliched. But when looked at from another angle, they hold power. The words are Freedom and Love.
So of course all I could see in the ripples, were hearts. And teardrops.
As I head into another week, as always, family and friends are here for me as both buffer and spur. I think another word should be added to my arsenal - Thankful.
Thursday, 17 May 2018
Wains Hotel. Taken from out of the bus window yesterday.
Lately I have been enjoying life more than I have for a long time. If you want a bit more more elaboration as to the whys and wherefores, go HERE
One of my husband's favourite songs is 'Freedom' as sung by Richie Havens on the Woodstock album.
These days I can hear that song ringing out in my inner ear.
Freedom to take a bus or walk.
Freedom of choice.
Freedom to believe in something, or not to believe.
Freedom to speak your mind.
Freedom to be a good person.
It's all something I do not take for granted. Ever.
Freedom to imagine God not as a puppet master, but a parent.
Freedom to believe there is no God, no heaven.
Freedom to believe the opposite is true.
Freedom to imagine.
Freedom to be a realist.
Freedom to be yourself, true to your own nature, leanings, personality, temperament.
My very Scottish city, Dunedin. This photo was taken in the Octagon (the eight-sided middle of the shopping centre). In the background, the Town Hall and in the foreground, a statue of the Scottish bard, Robbie Burns.
If you look closely you'll see that yesterday Robbie was holding a joint / smoke ... No doubt placed by some joker, or protestor, and no doubt it will have been removed by Council workers by now. Not a good look for tourists. I found it rather amusing, however. I liked the idea of Rab chilling out, having a toke while the ever-present, opportunistic seagull took a rest on his curly locks.
Dunedin (the old name for Edinburgh) was settled by Presbyterian Scots, one of whom was Robbie Burns' uncles (or was he the nephew? Nae matter). Some would say that a remnant of that conservative Scottish influence can still be found in this rather reserved city. There are families living here who can trace their ancestors back to the first settlers who arrived by ship from Scotland in the 1860"s. However, Dunedin is growing more and more cosmopolitan, and I for one love to see that. Different cultures and languages and customs, add welcome variety and diversity. It's what makes the world go round. Its where progress exists.
As well, Dunedin prides itself on being a UNESCO City of Literature. However, in my experience, so far it is failing to fully employ, or utilise, this status. The city is not very good at supporting the people who supply the literature. Not on an equal basis, anyway. It needs to embrace more innovative means of supporting the many writers and artists who live in Dunedin.
I am pleased to have been included a little in the Dunedin lit. scene, with a poem of mine being printed on a wooden seat in a part of town that is being refurbished to enhance the historical aspect of what was once the city's wharf area; now quickly becoming a place for cafes and artisan studios and businesses.
Another Dunedin icon - a rather more modern one than the Burns statue. A wind sculpture positioned outside the city's library. I'm rather fond of it. It has a very eighties vibe. I have no idea of its official title, but I quite like the idea of dubbing it the Twirlyjig.
Ah, the freedom to give a sculpture a nickname, to blow with the wind; or not. At present I am in the mood for leaning towards following whims and where the wind takes me. Let's hope it doesn't twirl me dizzy, or simply lead me back to where I started from.