Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Span of Time

 Back home from the Christmas - New Year break and getting our head around the fact that we both start work next week (Monday for Robert, Tuesday for me).

Summer in my part of the world is fickle and capricious. There are very few still, windless days. The air temperature is warmer than in winter, but we are not constantly basking in hot sunshine; our reach for a warm jacket or for socks, is relatively frequent.

However, I write this on a day that has been very hot.  As I sat out reading my book in the sun, I wore the large orange hat I bought in Thailand this time last year; a hat with a generous, round brim that covers all of my head & neck down to the top of my shoulders. In Thailand, the locals often wear these hats with cotton scarves to cover the shoulder area as well. We were in Thailand for Christmas last year.

From Thailand, we travelled to Kyoto, Japan to the home of our son & his wife & family. There, January is the middle of winter and very cold. We wore gloves and scarves and several layers of clothes to keep warm. There were crows cawing on bare trees and on a train trip to the west coast, we saw expanses of snow that reminded me of a scene from out of the film, 'Dr Zhivago'. 

All that is very  different to this afternoon, as I write this with warm air on my skin and in my head, thoughts of winter and summer mixed together.

The sun is burning and  I am keeping my eye on the time. I am my son's alarm clock for an early morning wake-up call. He is in Berlin, Germany where it is winter and early Saturday morning; exactly twelve hours behind us. He has a plane to catch and needs to be awake at 4.00 a.m. They forgot to pack an alarm clock, so when he skyped earlier, he asked if I could be the alarm clock and skype him and Jenny at 3.45 am. I'm scared that I'll forget. It is quite a responsibility to wake them up from a deep sleep in the middle of a winter dawn, by pressing a call button here on a summer afternoon.

Time and distance are merging. Opposite seasons are nodding at each other. Thoughts and messages are spanning blue distance, so near, so far. Time too is constantly renewing and constantly expanding, it seems, to allow for memories, recent and old.

Time now to reflect back on the days just after Christmas - funny how it seems such a long time ago, but in reality it was only 10 dyas ago. Time is a tricky element.

We left our brother's place (where we'd celebrated Christmas with some of my family) the day after Boxing Day, and spent the night camping at a place called Pinder's Pond.  We were travelling in our son's van which is fitted with a bed in the back and everything needed for camping.

The large pond is a leftover from gold-mining days. 

 We arrived late afternoon and found a very nice spot to park the van.

 This was our view. We got the gas cooker going and cooked up a pasta meal.

 It had been a very hot day. These sheep were seeking shade under rocks.

I caught the last of the sun with  a glass of red.


Earlier that day I  explored Roxburgh while Robert played a round of golf.

Bridge struts frame and span the mighty Clutha River.

The river was named Clutha by European explorers. Clutha is Gaelic for Clyde; the river Clyde is one of Scotland's largest rivers.

 The old bridge was swept away in a flood.

 'The first Roxburgh Bridge was built about 1876. In 1878, a flood carried away the bridge at Clyde which rammed into the Roxburgh Bridge and demolished it. The Roxburgh Bridge had replaced a punt which then had to be used again. The old piers of the first bridge still stand today'. (Go HERE for more links to historical info. on Roxburgh and its river).

A presbyterian church built from local stone in 1880.


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Clocking Out

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