Saturday, 5 January 2008


This is a photo our son C took of a West Coast bay near where he works.

Thanks to you all for your kind wishes for a Happy New Year.

Work continues to demand more hours than I would prefer, the long trip to work along the peninsula and out to the headland, then back again at the end of the day, takes time away from home and writing. The up-side to all that though are the harbour views I see on the way

and the chance they offer to reflect and think, even if I'm usually too busy to reflect on anything other than keeping my eyes on the narrow road with hairpin bends so as not to end up in the drink. (Apparently you are not considered a local until you have gone into the harbour ... needless to say, I'm more than happy not to ever be considered a local.)

On the colony at the moment, the albatross are incubating a single egg per nest. Four of them can be seen from the observatory windows, patiently sitting on their shallow nests, feathers as thick as fur rippling in the wind as they wait for their partner to return and the exchange to take place. For them this means sitting there for up to a week without food or exercise. It puts me in mind a little of the Dr Suess story about Horton the faithful elephant.
I meant what I said, and I said what I meant:
An elephant's faithful one hundred percent.

Another up-side to work is that there hasn't been a working day yet when I haven't witnessed the grace of flight these birds offer. Usually the birds we see gliding around the headland are one of the young birds who spend the summer hanging out on the colony. They've returned to where they were hatched to look around for a mate and to generally socialise (forming what we call teenage parties.)

Other birds also appear on the headland - the sight of the kitchen-utensil shape of a flying spoonbill labouring against a stiff southerly elicits compassion. I can identify somewhat with their less than graceful fight as they battle away, hardly making any headway. There is an owl - a Little Owl by identification - and its chick, and a gimlet-eyed, white-faced heron, often with a lizard tail hanging out of the side of its beak like an extra tongue.

On the home front, it's just ABM and myself with plans for summer maintenance, including a big clean-out of our garage. Transforming the spare bedroom into an office will now have to wait until I finish writing a book review and a couple of short stories. Until then, painting walls white will have to wait.

Reading: 'My Revolutions' by Hari Kunzru.
Listening to: The Chemical Brothers.
Watching: 'Midsomer Murders'


rel said...

A joyous life away from the computer and blogging....I kinda thought there might be something out there! Glad you glimpse it everyday. ;)

Kamsin said...

Not sure I like the sound of driving into the harbour!

Mama Llama said...

Chief, you are back!!!

Or are you???

I loved the photo taken through the side-view mirror. That was brilliant.

I have missed you. Greetings in this New Year 2008!

Be well...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me too. That rear-view mirror image just blows my hair back.

Kay Cooke said...

rel - yes I have enjoyed my break - yet ... I really missed the blogging too - kinda like a drug ...

kamsin - It takes some concentration not to!

mapi - YES!!! I'm back for good! :)

wayne - Why, thanks. I think. ;)

Catherine said...

It seems like not so long ago that you were regretting that the job was going to be for fewer hours than you were promised. I know myself, when I'm working I wish I could have more time off, and when I have more time off, I wish I was working (well, not these holidays - I'm really enjoying the break).
Glad to see you back!

Kay Cooke said...

catherine - Yes you're right ... it's the travelling hours i regret ... 45 mins each way - AND we're expected to be there 15 minutes early - unpaid!

Becky Willis Motew said...

That's what I call an unspoiled beach!!! I don't know where you'd have to go to find that here any more.

Welcome back, CB, and get writing!!!!


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Sounds (and looks) wonderful and peaceful out there. I suppose the weather is getting really you get a cooling breeze off the water often enough to keep you cool?

I'm glad to see you this morning!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Somebody famous is supposed to have said that he (or she) who would write must let the grass grow long!

...and leave the walls unpainted.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. I too loved the photo in the wing mirror. Blogging is good and forms part of my New Year resolution to write more! At least your journey is through pleasant terrain. I'm glad that I no longer lose time and patience in queues of traffic.

S. Kearney said...

Ooooooo! Good to see you back. Lovely photos and I can only imagine how glorious it must be to watch those birds when you're working. How lucky. I hope 2008 started well for you and yours. I look forward to reading your posts. :-)

kj said...

welcome back chief!!

you know, i think you would like anonymous bird's blog. her australian back yard...

here's to a great year of writing and loving words and colors.

January said...

Ahhhh summer! What a way to greet the New Year. Glad all is well with you in NZ.

(I like The Chemical Brothers, too.)

Belle said...


such nice pics and heart.

KieKay said...

Hi, Chief! Here I am in the deep South where it is reasonably warm (at least it's not 7 degrees and snowing). I've just set up a blog for my friend who is new to the phenomena of cyberfriendship. She is definately trying to "resurface" and I'm hoping this will help. Drop in sometime when you have the chance!


Kay Cooke said...

becky - Okay ! I will. Thanks for the boot.

pepek - It's not balmy weather here in Dunedin - we are very temperate; a mean average temp of about 15 probably. Suits me tho' - I'd wilt otherwise! Thanks for the link to KieKay - will do!

watermaid - There are distinct advantages ... I've missed blogging.

shameless- Likewise! :)

KJ - Will look her up - thanks.

january - If you lived here your name would mean Summer! ;)

belle - You are sweet.

Tammy Brierly said...

I'm glad to know you won't be a local. lol Glad to see ya!

Avus said...

Funny ain't it? We paid thousands of pounds to be able to take your "drive to work" and the Otago peninsula is one of my memory's highlights of NZ.(The views, the fauna, those skies and the gorse and hawthorn were in full bloom).
You have made me realise that I must take more notice and appreciation of what's around me on my more mundane journeys here (but you keep your eyes on the road, madam - we don't want you going off into the harbour!)

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...