Monday, 19 September 2016

Ich Bin In Berlin



Where I'm staying at my son and his partner's apartment in Prentzlauerberg; in what was once East Berlin 




Bikes and Berlin go together




I'm rather taken by the full frontals of Berlin apartments ... 




Just one of the many tree-lined, cobbled avenues around here


Street art and tagging is rife in this city


Yellow is such a great colour for trams


I appreciated visiting Berlin's Neu Museum and the many ancient pottery and ornamental exhibits on show there from places such as Egypt, Cyprus and Eastern Germany ... Stunning. Including the bust of Neferetiti (not allowed to be photographed). 


Berliner Dom - Berlin cathedral. Certainly makes its presence felt! 


Tagger Central


My fav. piece of street art so far


No portfolio on Berlin would be complete without ... 


My son says he wonders if Berlin will ever be fixed. Everywhere there are cranes and street works ... 


An Instagram treatment for the photo I took yesterday of a flower-seller I spotted across a street


Even the trees don't escape the taggers of Berlin


Zionskirche ... Historic for the part it (and other East Berlin churches) played in the fall of the wall.

Churches and trees are a significant feature of Berlin. I particularly appreciate the trees. As I write the leaves are turning. Maybe I will get to see them in all their Autumn glory before I leave here. Certainly expect some photos of the process.

***

Dear Reader,

Travelling overseas for someone as right-brained and spatially-impaired as me, creates a steep learning curve. Negotiating airports; finding and getting to the correct gates and then once landed, managing such formerly simple things - such as keys (did you know in Europe the keys seem to turn in a different direction?) adapting to apartment living, trying to be in the right place at the right time (more difficult than you'd think for my non-spatial brain) remembering when walking to stick to the right - not left!!! because that puts you in danger of wandering into a bike lane and getting bowled over. 

Oh! and working out rail ticket machines. Don't get me started on those.

Etc. etc. etc. etc. 

It's all been about training a very right-leaning brain to be more left; waking up my slumbering left brain. So, I've been doing crosswords. And one-nostril breathing! Apparently that encourages left-brain thinking. Who knew? (The experts, that's who). 

Listening to music is also meant to strengthen left-brain activity. (That's an easy one. On with the headphones and turn up Spotify, real loud). 

An inherent shyness, or fear of rejection, or both, usually prevents me from asking for help. Here in Berlin, speaking English is not considered a problem, but even that is not proving enough of an incentive for me to boldly approach strangers. 

Oh how stuck my brain feels. How slow to process. How shy. How socially awkward. How dis-located, here at the wrong end of the clock. 

Kay



Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Back to Back, Mountains & Lake


Thursday in Wanaka, was a little grey with threatening clouds storming in from the south.


What snow could be seen on the mountains, quickly became hidden by scarves of misty cloud.


However, the next day dawned bright, clear and blue. Fresh snow from the the previous day's cloud, plain to see.



Fresh spring leaves making their appearance.






Dear Reader,

Last weekend I was in Wanaka with my friend, writer and poet Jenny Powell. Together, as 'J&K Rolling', we roll along to the more outlying areas of the country, not only taking our own poetry, but always hopeful of finding out the poetry of the locals as well.

Read more about that aspect of our visit HERE

As it turns out, because Robert and I are visiting his mother in Queenstown this weekend, for me it's going to be back to back weekends of lakes - lakes and mountains for two weekends running! How lucky am I?

When I am beside a lake I miss the sea, but maybe not vice versa. I love visiting lakes, but I believe I am more of a sea person. Not that I don't love mountains. And lakes. But if I had to choose (and thankfully I don't) it'd most likely be the sea I'd choose.

Which reminds me -  I need to re-dress the balance somewhat and visit the beach (after all, it's just down the road from where live). Too often these days I head into town rather than out to the coast. (If only my gym was right by the beach, that would help).

Kay

Monday, 22 August 2016

Swapping Seasons



Robert's profile pic! 



My friend gave these beautiful flowers to me the other day. Love them! Yes, Spring is 'brinking' away. * brinking = on the edge - a word I've just made up, I believe.


My granddaughter makes a friend ... Luckily this time it didn't follow us home. 


A pic by Robert of early Spring blossom above our son's van.

This post is a bit of an experiment to see if I can use the iPad to blog while I'm away. Looks like it might work kind of ok. The laptop would be better but too hefty to travel with. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Winter Creek Walk


shady shrubs


ghostly gorse


frost-green


like giraffes


winter in the sunshine


sun makes light
of moss


tracking the light


silver streaks, winter
look


grabbing at the sun


dead leaves
lovely
still


sunny dip


tiny green
floating
world


cold mud,
wet grass,
the smell of creek


drip and rustle,
the squeak
of hidden birds


a creek close by
creeps
and seeps


felled log


caught light


***

Dear Reader,

As winter in this part of the world begins to come to an end, I thought it timely to celebrate its shady beauty; the bleached-out colours and ruddy mulch of grounded leaves. The smell of damp bark and wringing wet moss, drowned grass, muddy puddles and the bite of ice.

However, I guess much of winter's beauty lies in the fact that it ultimately gives way to Spring.

The photos above were taken at the end of June when I spent a week at Tunnel Cottage.

I was there to write, and write I did.

And when I felt like a break from the slog of editing and pushing through to the end of the second draft, I'd go for a walk; a cycle track across the road from the cottage making this easy.

This portion of the Lawrence - Roxburgh track follows a small creek and dips in and out of damp, frosty patches of shade that lie in wait among the drier, sunnier areas.

For me now, writing is going to take a back seat. Ahead are preparation for two poetry readings, and my trip to Berlin in less than a month.

Kay

Monday, 8 August 2016

Re-Visit; Turangawaewae; Orepuki


"Get a photo of those trees in the sea mist", my sister said.


We were back in one of our favourite places, the place where we were brought up, in Orepuki, Western Southland.


The sea was in high dudgeon - as it often is there. The deep swell and roar thrilling and scary all at the same time.



The trees tell the story of this place of salt-laden winds.


We agreed that it's a wonder the little house has survived this long, hunkered down under the cliffs - unseen in this photo, but easily imagined sheltered under wind-swept trees.


"Take a photo of those trees".



Of course we had to go see Monkey Island. The tide was in, so no scramble to the top today.
I swear it gets smaller every year (and it's been over sixty years now that I've been paying attention).


My sister wanted a photo of the Longwood range with its dusting of snow on the top (you can see it if you look closely). We remember how these hills stood like guardians beyond the back of where we lived in 'puki.


And of course, the obligatory photo of our great, great, great grandparent's home; York House. Now over 150 years old. My aunty has an idea it was built of kauri. Maybe that is why it is lasting so long? We'd love to see it receive protection status as a heritage building ... but how does one go about trying to get that established?
Ah well, photos will just have to do as a record.
At the back, Pahia Hill that was once covered in bush.


Down the road from Orepuki is the sea-level settlement of Colac Bay, where these stones had been dumped by the ocean on the side of a road by high-sea encroachment. Part of the narrow gravel road that winds alongside the beach, was closed due to the damage.


All day we had been seeing rainbows, with the fattest, brightest rainbow any of us had ever seen blasting away right in front of us as we travelled home on the Lorneville - Dacre highway.

There is more to tell, but I'll leave it for another time.

Suffice to say it was a rich visit comprising, among other things, of a hunt for the location of ancestor graves, the smallest library in New Zealand and the naming of streets no longer to be seen.

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'