For the final part of my recollections of our holiday in January of this year, I want to describe the food / meals we ate in Thailand and in Japan. However, right now it's hard for me to write cheerfully of our happy holiday. The sad news we received recently is still affecting me. Soon the memories of our holiday will merrily flow again I'm sure, but right now my inclination is to stop, take stock and consider the present.
Today is Easter Saturday and we are at a golf course in Queenstown. Robert is playing while I sit in the car and read, snooze and write - every so often taking a stroll to the clubrooms for a coffee.
The weather is perfect. No wind and not a cloud in the sky. Here at the golf course, the silent lake can be seen through the trees. Despite its remote blue, its heft and unsettling depth feel very close.
A trick of the late-afternoon light as it strikes the peaks, flattens the Remarkables mountain range back against the sky where it lies, brown and grey, gasping for breath and snow.
The same light playing on the mountains on the other side of the lake (Cecil Peak and Walter Peak) gives them the hides of rhinos.
Robert has just trudged past with his golfing buddies-for-the-day (not being his local club as such, they are guys he doesn't know). His grin is rueful and he puts two fingers to his head as if to say, “Shoot me now”. I don't think he's having a good round.
I'm reading Fleur Adcock's collected poems. She's a master. I have also been thankful for the chance to at long last read my friend Joyce Ellen Davis' poetry collection, 'Pepek the Assassin'. Her work is masterful too; she surrenders poetry that is strong, fascinating, vital and trustworthy. Both poets give me confidence to relax as I read, thoroughly absorbing the journeys they take me on. After each poem, I feel glad, satisfied, often astonished.
It's getting on into the afternoon now, every so often, a jet roars off from the airport. Helicopters rattle overhead.
A wood pigeon (kereru) crashes into the pines, its wings whipping the air as it flies over.
The warmth of the autumn sun is fading, the shadows are filling in the light and a coolness is starting to fall over the grass and paths. It is time to go.