Thursday, 10 January 2008

A Surprise and A Shock

Imagine my delight when I looked up from the Reception Desk one Monday before Christmas to see that the person wanting to book a place on a tour to see albatrosses, was Fleur Adcock, NZ-born, British poet. I didn't want to say straight out, "You're Fleur Adcock!" - which was what I just about blurted out, until I opted for restraint. I confessed to her a little later that I'd recognised her.

What was even better, she was on my tour. It made my day. You could say I was all a-flutter! I have long admired her poetry. She is one of my all-time favourite poets.

It really was amazing to see her materialise before my eyes like that. Who would have believed it? I could hardly believe it myself, however I assure you, it did happen.

Today reading Harvey Molloy's blog, I found out that one of the reasons she is in New Zealand is to receive an honorary degree from Victoria University. She is a long-time resident of the UK these days, but as they say, once a New Zealander, always a New Zealander - e.g. Katherine Mansfield.


Pleased to say that I have finished writing the review I have been writing. I only hope that those who are waiting for it will see it as passing muster. I've spent long enough on it. So pleased to be able now to get on with writing other things - namely the short stories I have been plotting.

Our d-i-l received shocking news today. A girl she works with - who was in fact due to fly out tomorrow to a new job in Wellington - was murdered yesterday. This is the second time in less than a year that a young woman known to us has been stabbed to death in this city. It is shocking news. My heart goes out to her family. Their lives have been changed forever. Such a tragic waste.



Catherine said...

I wouldn't have recognised her! And I'm sorry to hear about your daughter-in-law's news. I always feel safe in New Zealand, but I think at the back of my mind I know that those sorts of things do happen - it is shocking when they come close to you like that.

Tammy Brierly said...

How awful for those families.

How exciting to have your favorite poet on your tour. Congrats on finishing your review, I'm sure it's a good one.

Enjoy writing!


Anonymous said...

Yes, once a New Zealander always a new Zealander - Katherine Mansfield's unique perspective is very much due to her having grown up in New Zealand - much broader than that Bloomsbury lot!

That was shocking news and stabbings are getting all too frequent in our cities too.

Rethabile said...

Such a tragic waste, indeed. Her family will never forget it. I hope they learn to live with it.

How good of one of your favourite poets to pop up before you like that! Did you shake hands? If so, have you washed your hand yet?

Patry Francis said...

I hadn't read this poet's work. Thanks for the link. She is truly wonderful!

Kay Cooke said...

catherine - It's such a shocking thing to have happened.

tammy - Thanks - life goes on ... shadows and light.

watermiad - She was such a lovely young girl ... only 22.

ret - I didn't shake hands - or get an autograph- just enjoyed the moment!

patry - She is indeed.

rel said...

A wonderful high and the lowest of low in the same post!
We never know what surprises are in store for us each day when and if we roll out of the sack.

Savor each word...each breath!

Anonymous said...

How exciting about Fleur Adcock, I wrote about some of her poetry for a coursework assignment in high school...and how awful about the murder, it is indeed tragic.

Kay Cooke said...

rel - That is sage advice indeed - advice I will endeavour to take on.

kamsin - Funny / awful what life dishes out isn't it?

S. Kearney said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear the news about that killing. I did see it when I was reading the Herald. People here in Europe never believe me when I tell them that yes there are murders in NZ. They have this idea of a peaceful little island with no crime.

How wonderful to meet Fleur Adcock like that! I'm with you re her poems. She shines the NZ beacon!

Glad you're writing is hopping too! :-)

paris parfait said...

Very exciting about meeting the poet! So incredibly tragic about the murdered young woman. Another blithe spirit, gone too soon. Sigh. xo

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