Follow by Email

Sunday, 11 March 2007

A Grey Warbler and A Pink Cadillac

It’s an autumn sound, the song I heard today in the trees around our house. It came from our resident grey warbler. For all its tiny-ness, it has a very penetrating song. A monotonous falling scale. Heard in the rain, it seems particularly mournful and dreary. But we’ve not had much rain around here lately. Water restrictions are in place and the fire danger’s high. Today was soft and warm and the grey warbler's song seemed to fall gently into velvet air.

K and I went for a four k. walk over the hill to a suburb called Tomahawk. Then we walked farther on again, over to Smaill’s Beach - a rusticated, unpretentious little beach where people drive their cars right down on to the sand. We took M’s dog Jedi with us. Jedi is about thirteen years old now, hard of hearing and doesn’t see that well either. K thought she should be wearing a sign that said, ‘I’m the seeing-eye for this blind dog’. Twice we had to scramble to Jedi’s aid and pull her out of the way of cars. She just about upset a wedding party that was standing on the sand dunes for a photo shoot, by almost barging into them all. A bridesmaid in a pretty pink frock squeaked,
“Oooh dog!”
They’d all arrived in a sleek Cadillac the same shade of pink as the bridesmaid’s frocks.

We found some shade near a sand dune because Jedi was hot and thirsty. I decided to text M to pick us up as I didn’t think she’d have a very comfortable walk back. After arriving, M texted twice saying he couldn’t see us. I told him to look out for a pink Cadillac.

So for Sunday’s Scribbling’s topic of ‘ dream journey’, I really don’t need to look any farther than today’s walk to Tomahawk. It was an unplanned spur of the moment invitation from K which in the end I couldn’t resist. We walked over the hill, past the cemetery and down the other side into that dreamy, slightly tumbledown seaside suburb with the unlikely name, where people fix their cars in driveways and grass sprouts merrily and untidily in cracks and gutters.
To me Tomahawk’s always been a little strange and a little weird. For example, after we’d walked quite a way, I asked K, “How far to go now?”
“Just up there - see? Past Birdies, and then on up to where you can see that bomb shelter."
Yep. Bomb shelter. That's Tomahawk. A little strange, a little weird.


Remiman said...

"A little strange, a little weird."
Just the way a good dream should be. ;-)

lampad said...

Bomb shelter! Wow. I think that's the area near the fortifications John talks about in the first chapter of Pleasant Hell. Dale (our friend with the Irish Wolfhounds) owns one of them.
Sounds like a nice walk.

paris parfait said...

Sometimes unplanned journeys are the best! And sometimes strange and weird journeys are the most fascinating, that stay with us for a long time.

Dana said...

This is a great story, and a fun journey. All I have that's strange near my house are goats. They wouldn't make a story as interesting as this one.

Regina Clare Jane said...

I loved the bit with the bridesmaid squeaking, "ooh, dog!" I can just see it!
Walks certainly can make for a very interesting journey!

Emily said...

I loved getting a taste of this walk.

Mardougrrl said...

This really DID feel like a dream...I felt dislocated throughout, in a good way.

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Abraham said...

A wonderful post.
I felt I was reading a Susan Hill.
That same spontaneous description of a countryside moment. :-)

chiefbiscuit said...

rel - Thanks - well put!

lampad - The very one - I thought of you & J and your friends when we were walking around there and I wondered if what K was referring to as a 'bomb shelter' had anything to do with that description in John's book ... the mystery begins to unravel ... To me it's even more amazing to discover on my own doorstep something I didn't even know was there - after twenty years! I am rather ashamed to admit it ...

pp - So true.

dana - I don't know Dana - I remember reading something you wrote once about those goats which had me entranced.

rcj - Yes I loved that bit too!

emily - Just paying you back in kind for your vivid descriptions of your neighbourhood which I enjoy reading.

madougrrl - Thanks - I felt that a little dislocated myself!

susan - Praise indeed!

david santos said...

this work is very good, thank you
have nice wkend

Kimberley McGill said...

Hurray for strange and weird!I love the dog's part in the story and the idea of a "seeing eye person". Happy walking!

chiefbiscuit said...

david - Hi and thanks.

kimberly - Thanks for dropping in and I intend to do some happy walking immediately!

Jennifer said...

I love that. It's like a dream that really happened or something that really happened that's like a dream. Be thankful you don't have to use the bomb shelter! ;-)

apprentice said...

Sounds a great walk. The dog sounds a great character, I loved the quote about being the eyes for a dog. It seems appropriate that we should exchange roles occasionally.

I can't believe you're in autumn now, it only seems a moment ago that you posting about Spring, and yet I'm glad for my own selfish reasons as it means we are getting more light each day.

chiefbiscuit said...

jennifer - I am. Every day!

apprentice - Thanks. Yes it is indeed autumn. I can't believe it myself. Time soon for us to hunker down just as you guys begin to spread your summer wings!

Catherine said...

Is the cemetery Anderson's Bay Cemetery? I do have a vague idea of the geography of Dunedin. I wish I had more time for walking - now that I'm working full time, and daylight saving will end soon, I'll have to come down off the hills and walk where there are streetlights, except in the weekends.

Gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

This certainly seems like a dream sequence the way you crafted this excursion. I was hooked from the beginning. What an unusual tale from cheerful bird songs, an interesting hike, to background on M's dog (love her name) to a pink caddie, the wedding, and a bomb shelter. I think the bomb shelter surprised me the most!

Becky said...

I'd like to tell someone to look for me in a pink Cadillac.

That'll be me, baby!!!

So far it's only a dirty Honda.

Good writing, CB


Jan said...

I love your STYLE, CB.
Enjoying your blogs as ever.

Jan said...

I love your STYLE, CB.
Enjoying your blogs as ever.

Tammy said...

I enjoyed your dream journey in all its beautiful simplicity. You make a great seeing eye person. lol


wendy said...

Being a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.. You had me at Pink Cadillac. Love it!!

As for the bomb shelter, almost quaint, really this relic. As if we could be shielded from the devastation..that there was a time the thought that duck and cover was a good strategy...

How the world has evolved????!!

chiefbiscuit said...

catherine - it is the Anfy Bat cemetry - where I believe you have ancestors buried? Shame you have to forgo the hill walks thru the week.

gel - Thanks - the bomb shelter surprised me too! Altho' I don't think it is a bomb shelter really - it's just what K called it.

becky - May your grey Honda become a pink caddy ... one day;)

jan - Thanks - and Jan don't worry - you can comment as many times as you like!!! :)

tammy - Ha ha! Thank you Tams! :)

wendy - As I mentioned above - I'm not sure that it is in fact a bomb shelter ... it just gets called that by the young surfer-dudes - of whom K is one and so is M!

gautami tripathy said...

This is what I call a very beautiful post...


Journey within the mind

Camille said...

tell me more about the bomb shelters! Who is going to bomb New Zealand? Are they made of cement? Are they empty? A relic of the cold war? Can you go inside?

chiefbiscuit said...

gt - Thanks so much for visiting me and for your compliments.

camille - K called it a bomb shelter - the surfers apparantly have named it that but it's not actually. I really must research it and find out just what it really is (one day! ;)

Camille said...

Hey CB,

Our California coast is dotted with gun platforms and various other fortifications from the same era (WW2) and for the same reason (Japanese)!!

Here are some arty pictures of ours from my friend Mike.

chiefbiscuit said...

camille - Thanks for th ephotos - very interesting - the main one looks so like a hand! Now i will have to go and take photos won't I? But I probably need to get a digi cam first ... :)


'how this all harbours light'