Monday, 3 February 2020

Local Focal

A very Victorian Presbyterian church on the corner. This church is now empty - not because of disinterest, but because it didn't pass the earthquake standards and its congregation couldn't afford the requirements needed. The fate of many such churches in New Zealand.

Across the road from the church, this view over the inlet and the more distant harbour. This is the view from a neighbourhood cafe we like to frequent. Its name, Bistro on the Terminus, alludes to the fact that its location is the site of where once upon a time the trams would begin and end their journeys.

It makes me feel happy if, rather than trawling into centre city and the malls for what I need, I can do it all locally, in my local suburb - in my little corner of the city. That way, it feels like the larger corporations and chains aren't getting it all their way.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Two Butterflies and Two Empty Chairs

I feel I neglect this blog terribly, yet always return at some stage to add more. My other more cared for blog can be found HERE 

Me, looking sceptical outside a private residence inside a public park - the Oamaru Gardens to be exact. I was wondering what it would be like to live in the middle of a Botanical Garden. My cousin took the photo. We thought the house with its verandah, reminded us a bit of our grandparent's old house. Long gone now. 

These deep red glads I saw in the Oamaru Gardens, live up to their name and gladden my heart, reminding me very much of my mother's garden when we were kids. 

Petunias remind me of a children's story I remember from my childhood - Petunia the Goose.

My cousin and her parents gathered at the Gardens - a mid-point to our respective homes - to remember our Aunty Lorna, who died two years ago, as well as other members of that line who have died. My Aunty there with us that day, is the only one left of her siblings. I asked her how that felt. She admitted it felt strange. She found it especially difficult when she was trying to remember some family fact or story and the realisation that she had no-one left to ask anymore, really hit home.

While we sat in a sunny, sheltered spot, surrounded by the beauty of the Gardens we noticed that by chance, we had brought too many outdoor seats, resulting in there being two empty chairs. I pointed out how it was like having my mother and Aunty Lorna sitting there with us. As we talked, I kept imagining them chipping in.

At one point, I noticed a butterfly - for me butterflies often show up when I am thinking of, or missing, someone who has passed on. Suddenly there were two butterflies fretting above the flowers. Like two sisters, or the past and the present intermingling, tangling, making their presence felt.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

In a Good Space

I have written in a previous post at the beginning of the year about a planned new writing space ... and it is here!

I am over the moon with it. Still have a few things to bring in and to add ... but that will slowly happen.

A favourite tree in the Dunedin Botanical Gardens

Busy with some poetry events coming up. And some good news re my fourth poetry book also to share when the time is right.

Life is busy almost to overflowing, but good.

Spring is being very capricious. We have had a week or more of unsettled winter-like weather. But I am not complaining - it's great writing conditions. I write better in cold weather than in hot.

One of my grandchildren running ahead -as they do!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Short Breather

A while ago, with my daughter in law, I visited a small Dunedin beach called Second Beach. It is literally the next beach along from the larger, more well-known St Clair beach, hence the name.
However, this is no 'second-best beach'. It is in fact a wee gem.

I was particularly taken by the quiet, almost secret, atmosphere embraced by the small bay. The deep sea water bashing and lapping in turn against the basalt rocks, adds to the sense of calm and mystery. This reflective mood is in stark contrast to the more forthright, frantic, crazily thrashing breakers of its neighbour, St Clair.

It doesn't take long to walk the track, but the short breather from being indoors that it supplied me and K. made it more than worth its weight in distance. As we walked we talked, so a lot of the scenery no doubt passed us by. All the more reason for a return visit. In fact, make that plural: return visits.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Winter Green

Here in Aotearoa, spring is in a hurry and winter is growling about that. As result of winter's displeasure (pardon blatant 'seasonal anthropomorphism') we've lately been treated to bitter weather blowing in from Antarctica.
However, the signs of spring persist.
It's a time to celebrate what is left of winter and get ready to welcome in the new season.

In our glasshouse, grape leaves are dying in resplendent umber.

Glasshouse guddle waits to be used.

The rhubarb sprouts.

Tulips and daffs share the one pot. Ready to bloom. Soon.

The celery has bravely forged on through the winter. Its bright green, able to be seen from our kitchen window, a tonic for the eyes.

The neighbour's wilderness of a backyard allows wattle to creep through our fence. This will be chopped back. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy its colour and perfume.

 No doubt there are some real variety hibernating hedgehogs sleeping under leaves around here and will emerge once spring truly arrives.

After spring comes summer, and beach days. Shell gathering. Ah, but I mustn't rush things. The days are going fast enough as it is.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Photo Shoot

Sometimes it seems that on a familiar walk, you've run out of photos to take. Nothing to see here. Nothing to inspire me to unpack my camera and take a shot.

And then ... I spot something. Like this lamp. Who knew?

And once the eye has been 'unlocked' so to speak, photo opps. begin to appear almost as if out of the blue.

Just in the one spot, three photos materialised after I took time to look.

There's something endearing about objects / machines that quietly, humbly provide a service ... do their thing without hoop-lah or ceremony. Almost invisible until someone notices. Sometimes all it takes to notice is a little casual mindfulness.

I'm sure this couple is useful for something. No doubt, indispensable for a certain job. Waiting patiently to do their thing in summer? as winter litter gathers at their feet.

No protection for these exposed tree roots situated on ground high school children trample over every school day. Even so, they do not give up and die. They still do their job.

Some metal and plastic primary colours to break winter bland.

Aotearoa gradually losing the coal, doing so slowly, resolutely, through such forums as advertised on this power pole poster. These forums petition councils to have a green heart. They will not let up until their goal is reached. A coal-free planet earth.

As I approached home I spotted this survivor.

And this small, white star flowering on a shrub along our driveway capped off my catches for the day.

Saturday, 29 June 2019


Something rather lovely happened to me on my birthday week, but rather than repeat myself, I want to point you (by clicking anywhere here) to the latest post on my website, which describes among other things a gift of gemstones given to me by a fellow blogger and gemstone-enthusiast. 

Below, is a photo taken in the summer (being the middle of winter in my fair land, summer seems a particularly long stretch at the moment).

Dunedin's Botanical Gardens

Summer is also when the ferns are looking particularly green and alive, unlike their more amberly-umberly aspect at the moment.

I was at the Gardens recently with family, my two-year-old granddaughter running around this (very safe) fountain in the newly completed Mediterranean Garden.

Strange, in a kind of wonderfully weird way, to be there having a picnic in the middle of winter in a (manufactured) European setting. A pleasant whiling away of a winter's late afternoon. We finished up drinking mulled wine at a cafe in town - one with a fireplace.

While there, and as my granddaughter ran around under this tree, I took my eyes off her for a minute - hard to achieve with such magnetic little personalities as grandchildren - and spotted a couple of survivors. Ripe for an Enid-Blytonesque tale of either love, faithfulness, hope - or all three combined. 

Another winter pair. I saw these two on playing fields adjacent to the west-side of the Gardens, North-East Valley. Paradise ducks. Putangitangi. (Shelduck). Endemic to Aotearoa.

I will end this post with a photo of rowan tree branches taken at my mother-in-law's home, Queenstown. 

'The Rowan tree has a long, 
sacred history. Since ancient times people have been planting a Rowan beside their home as in Celtic mythology it's known as the Tree of Life and symbolises courage, wisdom and protection'.

My mother-in-law is personal testament to the above.

Local Focal

A very Victorian Presbyterian church on the corner. This church is now empty - not because of disinterest, but because it didn't pass...