Friday, 5 August 2011
Not So Intrepid
I feel a little like Kupe this week - on a voyage of discovery, pointing intrepidly in an onwards and upwards direction. My expression is maybe a little less intense. Definitely less focussed. As I walked down Wellington's Lambton Quay, it was probably more one of someone lost, desperately seeking bookshops and coffee.
My brother tells me that the likelihood of running into someone you know on Lambton Quay is very high, even if you're from out of town. I haven't see anyone familiar. (Not that that means much, I am well known for 'not seeing' people. Once when I was out walking, I was about to walk right past one of my sons walking towards me, until he blocked my path). This afternoon, I may have seen a writer, but I'm not sure which one it was ... Kate Camp? Or Elizabeth Knox?
Yesterday just after I arrived in the capital city, the sun left. It just couldn't compete, you see, so it scarpered.
Central Wellington is full of mirror-glass high-rise buildings, but also has its fair share of splendid, wooden buildings, with attachments and decorative touches. The piece of heraldry in this photo is atop a building that has something to do with the government and history. A lot of the wooden buildings in the centre of Wellington seem to have something to do with the government and history.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bath. Three Dunedin poets will know what I mean - I took this for you. (You know who you are).
There are parts of Wellington that remind me of parts of Dunedin, but this isn't one of them. For me this is Wellington and couldn't be anywhere else. If you asked me why, I couldn't tell you. It may have to do with the ridiculous (redundant?) yet at the same time strangely necessary, chimney. Or the way the building looks as if its ready for something to occur. Or the way the hills opposite are reflected in its windows.
Another historical Wellington building. It also happens to be where I will be reading poetry on Monday 15th August as guest reader for the New Zealand Poetry Society. When I saw a street-sign announcing they had a muffin and a coffee deal for $6, I stepped inside to partake, but the sight that greeted me of tables full of dark-suited men talking about money and not a poet in sight (maybe they come out at night) scared me. I quickly scuttled out again. Opening a varnished, wooden door that launches you into a place full of confident people is a horrifying experience for the shy.
So ends my short stay with my brother and his family and time spent tramping the streets of down-town Wellington, being greeted at every corner with this city's history and personality (so many statues!) Tomorrow I head off to Palmerston North (as opposed to Palmerston South, you understand) to spend time with my mother.
I shall return to Wellington though, to catch up with family again - and poetry. Also, I will do a little more historical research. A little more delving into archives and rifling among National Library CD Roms. Something tells me I have only just begun.