Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Akaroa- Where Some People Drive Around in Citroens and Generally Act the Poseur

Hi! I'm writing this in Akaroa - beautiful little harbour town that has a French influence due to some French explorers deciding they might like to colonise NZ. But didn't. I may have some more accurate info. after spending a day here exploring and becoming informed.

I am here with my two sisters (sorry you couldn't come too McD - there's something missing ... and it's you!)and a couple of nephews, a niece and a brother-in-law. There was a lot of complaining from one quarter about the basic accom. I booked it, and I don't think it's all that basic. Okay it's in a camping ground, shared cabins, shared kitchen, etc. But we have a tv, a fridge and an electric jug in our little cabins AND it's HALF what a motel would've cost. But niece S says I will never - never - live this one down for as long as she lives. (my rejoinder is that it will be a memorable experience for her and she must dig down deeper into her inner resources.) All in good fun - a lot of ribbing goes on in my family - isn't that right McD?

Anyway the sun is shining and I await the rest of the family to catch up with me - for once I'm the early bird - unusual for me - so that we can swim with the dolphins, catch the Black Cat and generally explore. Keeping Oz s-i-l away from the pub may be a challenge (just kidding B!) - also keeping niece S happy (this is perhaps the most major challenge of all!)

More later ...

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Beach Jewellery

Belle made these pieces of jewellery I now have in my possession. I love the way they remind me of collections of stones and shells. I have photographed the necklace with some beach glass I've collected which match the beach glass Belle has incorporated into the design. Check out her website and scroll down to a November post for another look at her very fine jewellery.

The other day was one of those warm, still summer days rare in Dunedin, so I decided to take full advantage. The only thing I forgot to bring was an apple to eat - but I had everything else.

A piece of cloth to lie on, my sandals to hold down the corners, a thermos of coffee, a book to read, a book to write in, a pen, my sunglasses, suntan lotion, a floppy hat, my mobile phone and the bag my Australian sister gave me just the other day. (I should make this a 'Can You Spot The ...' competition!)

University students and lovers seemed to be the only other ones here. The lovers strolled the beach as if time didn't exist and the students, free to gambol before classes start up in earnest next week, desperately tried to kick rugby balls into the ocean.
A lone female surfer in a wet-suit (necessary in this cold part of the Pacific Ocean) managed to find a bit of surf, but the breakers were lazy and low. There was just not the usual surfing waves on tap.

The sky was six shades of blue, with some long, smooth clouds of purple and grey to give it texture. To the east, some clouds had a faint green tinge to them. The view I looked out at was a fine one of White Island. No-one knows whether it is called that because of waves crashing into the rocks around it, causing it to be constantly surrounded by white foam, or because of the guano it is covered in. (Or, who knows, maybe it is simply named after a Mr White?)

I spent a very pleasant couple of hours in my spot, all alone for several meters on all sides, and read and dreamed the afternoon away. And yes I did think, "Ah. This is the life." Several times.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Poetry Thursday's Poem

coupled above the asphalt

My body has cells that will not be scattered
by anything other than the sound of the sea.
Its hands are as wrinkled as a petrified forest
in the ocean, as a crushed satin dress.
My body instantly recalls the smell of leaking ink
raw as black blood, and the sight of white butterflies
coupled above the asphalt.

My body cannot heal itself except in a mirror,
my mind removed so far as it is
from its own scaffolding, its skeletal frame.
My body likes to think it has heard a million lawnmowers,
a thousand times the sound of a dog lapping water.
Likes the smell of fermenting plums, dark-red,
defaced by birds.

Remembers the smell of fat, of grass,
of fresh earth. My body tastes salt on its lips,
the sting from a cut on the side of its tongue.
Watches. Breathes. Fingers the tree, the seed,
the grain, the white meat inside the shell.
Like a dog that likes to be where its owner is
my body likes to be where I am.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The Horrified Leaf

Curio Bay Petrified Stump
Originally uploaded by missy_elle.
Petrified Forest in the Ocean

Wendy at Quiet About A Lot of Things left a comment on my last post saying that she would love to see the petrified forest at Curio Bay, so I have gone to flickr to see if there are some pictures to show others who may be interested as well. And here we are.

'The Liar's Diary'
Another blogger, Patry Francis at Simply Wait, has just had her book 'The Liar's Diary' published. Once I started reading 'The Liar's Diary', I couldn't put it down. To just call it a story does the book an injustice; it seems more than that - it is a mystery, a psychological thriller, a study of dysfunction, of flawed friendships and misplaced devotion.
Patry has masterfully spun a seamless tale that had me hooked. The trouble is, it's such a finely balanced, finely tuned plot, I feel that I can't really say much more about it for fear of saying too much - and even that may be saying too much.
I only know that from now on, every time I look at it sitting on the bookshelf, I will remember the two summer days I spent reading it, engrossed, reading it out on our deck until the sun slipped down behind the trees.

Horrified Leaf

I was walking back from shopping the other day and spied this leaf (as is - I haven't doctored it or changed it at all) lying on the footpath. Maybe its horrified expression is due to the fact that autumn is due here in a week's time.
I'd walked quite a way past this horrified leaf before I realised what it was I'd just seen. I was tempted just to keep walking on, but either the child in me, or my very strong gatherer instincts (I can't come away from a beach or river without a stone, a shell, beach glass, some grasses or a piece of driftwood ...) won out and I turned back to go look for it.

Punch Mark
The exclamation mark has got to be my favourite punctuation mark. Those of you who have known me the longest will know this is so! I don't know why - I think maybe it has such an appropriate shape. You can't help but be startled by it's sudden appearance!

Music That's Out Of This World
I'm reading the first book in a trilogy called 'Durdane' by the science fiction writer Jack Vance. He's a gifted, poetic writer who knows his physics inside out, but doesn't dazzle me with it, rather he simply, with fine writing and an almost laconic voice, effortlessly persuades me to believe in an otherworld that seems perfectly reasonable, perfectly imagined, perfectly appealing. The stories have solid, sound plots about good versus evil and quests to avenge or put to rights a wrong. Vance has a secretive sense of humour - the funny bits almost, but not quite, sneak by me. And I like that. This is the third Vance book I've read. The protagonists seem to be in the main quiet, determined, brave types, usually cynical. or at least suspicious, and usually reluctantly caught up in something that's beyond them. They seek a quiet life, but find that before they can get on with it, there's something they have to do. They are usually young males - with a sensitive, artistic side to them and who love and protect their mothers. (Well, the one I am reading about at the moment does anyway, which of course endears him to me.) Apart from saving his mother, he is also a musician. Here is a passage I was taken with: "Become a musician and make a living complaining of your woe; but remember: complain of your own woe! Don't complain of the faceless man! ... What's that you're playing now?"
Ertzwane, having strung the khitane, had touched forth a few chords. He said, "Nothing in particular. I don't know too many tunes. Only what I learned from the musicians who came along the road."
"Halt, halt, halt!" cried Frolitz covering his ears. "What are these strange noises, these original discords?"
Etzwane licked his lips. "Sir it is a melody of my own contriving."
"But this is impertinence! You consider the standard works beneath your dignity? ... You tell me now that I have wasted my time, that henceforth I must attend only to the outpourings of your natural genius?"
Etzwane at last was able to insert a disclaimer. "No, no, sir, by no means! I have never been able to hear the famous works; I was forced to play tunes I thought up myself."
"Well, so long as it doesn't become an obsession ..."
It reminds me of the friend from whom I've borrowed the book and his inclination to start up a music group.

The Smell Of Fermented Plums
As I sit out in the sun, I see dark-red plums scurry across in front of me like dark mice. The birds are picking at our neighbour's plum tree. The defaced, picked-at plums bump and roll across our driveway, to line up like wounded soldiers along the gutter among the golden drifts of silver-birch casts. In the air there's a strong smell of the plums fermenting in the sun. It is a smell straight from my childhood in Orepuki - from Harry Finn's orchard and huge, Black Doris plums you could lose yourself in.
Wax-eyes and starlings are the keenest for the plums in our neighbour's tree. Occasionally a kereru joins them. The sound of the birds is secretive. Furtive, complicit rummages behind closed doors. There's some conspiracy afoot. Political goings-on - a closeted meeting just before a leak to the press.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Australian Invasion

We've been inundated with Australians!

My sister, who has lived in Australia for thirty years now, her Australian husband and their two sons, have been staying with us as part of a month-long holiday in NZ. It was the first time I've met one of my nephews - and he's twenty-five years old.

Sadly they leave tomorrow morning for the next leg of their journey. As my sister has six siblings to visit - and all in different parts of the country - they've got a large part of the two islands to cover.

So far while with us they've seen a castle, a sea-lion and her pup, seals, Chinese New Year celebrations, taken part in a Dunedin karaoke experience, drank at a few Dunedin bars, met Robbie Burns, seen bumble bees (the part of Australia where they come from doesn't have bumble bees - or sparrows) watched a cardboard-boat race, tasted different flavoured food such as hokey-pokey ice cream, pineapple chunks, Cadbury chocolate ... (according to my sister the food tastes better over here.) After years of being without, she wants to taste again whitebait patties, mutton birds, oysters, crunchy apples, apricots, mutton pies, egg-and-bacon pie, ice-cream soda ...

Today they went on a train trip into country not unlike the wild west, but which happens to still be part of the city. (The actual boundary lines of Dunedin city stretch for miles into the surrounding country.) Dunedin's railway station, constructed from bluestone and Oamaru stone, is apparantly listed as one of the top 100 buildings in the world. (Much to the amusement of one of my nieces, who was over for dinner last night to see her Australian cousins, and who said it was just a railway station after all, and really wasn't in quite the same league as the Taj Mahal!)

On their trip south tomorrow, they're hopeful of seeing dolphins, more seals, a petrified forest in the sea, the most southerly signpost in the world ... and more. My sister is looking forward to visiting old childhood haunts and showing them to her sons.

I hope to catch up with them again next month, after they have completed the North Island part of their journey (part of which will involve a visit with McD and Dinzienz) and just before they fly back home. I'm going to miss the laughter my sister brings with her.

Last night we rang McD in the North Island and we all spoke together over the internet, some of our recollections causing much raucous laughter. The males in the household were very tolerant (you know how loud women can get when they are hooting and screaming with laughter!) At times we almost couldn't breathe, we were laughing so much. What a workout. I hope it was good for my heart - at times I was laughing so hard it felt like it was going to stop.

Friday, 16 February 2007

She'll Be Right

For me his week's Poetry Thursday is very timely seeing as I have been having this poetry / prose battle of wits - all in my own mind you understand.

* 'she'll be right' is a national kiwi (New Zealander) expression, meaning 'everything will be okay'.

** 'chilly bin' is a white polystyrene box for keeping things (beer or picnic food) cool.

The Most Beautiful Word in the English Language

He should have listened to me, she said, but he's too 'she'll be right'. Always with the 'she'll be right.' Says I'm just being paranoid. Anyway, what I thought would happen did. Of course.
The dog whimpers from the back seat of the car and under the tartan rug, with his groggy, frog-eyes and his face screwed up sad, he looks like a grandfather who can't remember anything anymore. So of course the dog got run over didn't he? I told him but would he listen? I said it wasn't a good idea to let the dog run along beside the car. He said he's seen his mates do it and it'll be all right. Don't worry about it.
I had to carry him like a baby in my arms. He weighs 20 kilos. The vet weighed him. 20 kilos all squashed up into a fat little body is a lot of weight to carry. It's 7 three-litre bottles of milk. Heavier than you, she says turning to her daughter.
The vet said that there's probably a fracture and he'll need an x-ray. Bring him back in the morning. Can we keep one of the pictures? my granddaughter asks.
The turtle in the tank by the front desk swims up to the glass. A grenade with legs - his cake-rack patterned tummy the shade of milky custard, his head a thumb.
The vet called the injured leg his arm, she said.
Over a cup of coffee at 'Rhubarb' that used to be a butcher's, we note the white-tile walls, the band of decorated tiles and the stained-glass window over the door.
And what's more, she says, he hasn't said sorry nearly hard enough. We both laugh and I think about how daughter must be one of the most beautiful words in the English language.
Friday tomorrow, she says. Work again. What is it with these Third World wages?
At the top of the hill on the way to the second-hand clothes shop to look for cardigans,we see the sea. A kidney-shaped piece of blue. She says don't you hate those days when the sky is all white? For all we know we could be locked inside a box. A chilly bin.

Monday, 12 February 2007

It's What Trees Do

Daily Blogging

Now that I’m not working it is going to be too easy to blog - every day.

Emerging Artist Son and Son in Japan

Son M has been commissioned to do another cd cover. I wish I could post images from the cd cover he has already completed for a friend in Wellington, but I fear that it would be breaching copyright. His art is awesome. But then I am biased. He is gearing up for an exhibition somewhere in this city (or country) sometime soon. What you say is what you get. I believe this implicitly. That is why I’m saying he will get his exhibition. And that ABM and I will get to visit Son S in Japan before he leaves there, in around a year’s time. A quiet, underground determination is always the most successful. Ask a tree.


Trees are amazing. The way they silently, powerfully, slowly grow - sometimes shaped by the elements or conditions, but still they grow. It’s what they do. We’ve all heard of the axe left behind, forgotten , leaning against the trunk of a tree and the tree growing around it, assimilating it; the axe swallowed up by the tree. Once I saw an old plough that was slowly becoming embedded into the trunk of a willow.
My favourite trees are the ones at Orepuki where I was brought up. Trees that have been twisted into knotted shapes by salt-laden winds. I’ve written about them many times. I have a picture of them on my website. To me they are toughness exemplified.


Sparrows are ubiquitous birds - or so I thought. On my sister’s first visit back home to NZ after 24 years living in Australia, she saw a sparrow and said - Look! A starling! I was astounded. She’d forgotten what a sparrow was. Apparantly it’s too hot for them in Perth. That‘s when I realised that sparrows aren’t everywhere. Like when people realise not every country has crows - we don’t in New Zealand. (Unless they are in some tucked away place at the top of the North Island where I’ve never been.) And we don’t have snakes either.
ABM’s father has made pets of some sparrows at his place that come to call for a crumb every day - sometimes they hop right inside the house and peck a crumb from his hand. He is able to identify them and has named some of them. (They all look the same to me.)


I am banking on the idea that if I shift my poems out from where I hoard them, it will be an incentive to write more to replace the gap.
(I used the words ‘black wings’ from a Joni Mitchell song as inspiration for this poem. It turned into a poem about memories of times when I wore black, or was surrounded by people who did. Unlike Johnny Cash, I haven’t worn black - next to my face anyway - for a very long time ... maybe this poem explains why.)

black wings

A black sleeve lofts like the blade
of a windmill. “In the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost,”
is pronounced slowly and with care
as if the words might suddenly burst
open. Black cowl, black tunic, black
rosary, the nuns ram down the air
caught inside wooden-floored corridors,
with the noise of a blind
suddenly released.
With the sound of black wings.

My high school uniform was black;
black gymfrock, black tights,
black shoes,black jersey, black hat,
black gloves. Dad said, “You look
like you’re going to a funeral.”
Not long after that, again I wore black
to his.
And two years later a short, black dress
to a party memorable
for its brutal revelations.


The dust of the country road
paints my black, school shoes
grey as I trudge back home
from the bus-stop,
cocksfoot borders performing
empty handed dances
with a low skyline. No cars.
But if one ever does slowly nudge
it never fails to stop, the driver,
always a stranger,
winding down the window
to ask, “What place is this?”

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Rare Recordings

Now that my position as nanny for Baby H (*in my many random blunderings around cyberspace’s entangled root system, I stumbled across the fact that 'Baby H' happens to be the name of a rap singer!) has come to an end, I find myself free. No job. No commitments, no obligations. I have time now to pause for breath, to write, research, ponder and generally potter about. Hopefully at the same time, I’ll be able to clear up both my list of To Dos and some of those pesky loose ends hanging about, like laggardly relatives that have overstayed their welcome.
It was certainly sad to say good-bye to the wee baby boy - with the unerring heat-seeking instincts of every cute lil critter, his aim for my heart was a direct hit.
His parents are keen for me to come visit, to see him again and regard his progress. I realise I haven’t even got a photo of His Cuteness, which is probably one more reason to get myself a digital camera.
Digital cameras somehow facilitate visual recording more so than the (now) old, more cumbersome style of photo-taking. I guess it’s the digital cameras' immediacy. So much so, that a whole lot more visual recording is now being done. ABM reckons it’s to the detriment of any full immersion into the event being recorded - the photographers are often so busy focusing on the job of recording, it disables their capacity for full attention. Maybe so.

Just yesterday, for example, we were at a 60th birthday party and when it came time for D to cut the cake, suddenly there appeared in front of her about five people armed with digital cameras - like a small swarm of paparazzi. Something about it seemed surreal. The fact that those using the digital cameras were all over 60 years of age may have had something to do with it. Grey-haired, wrinkly paparazzi seems wrong. Like a list of ‘Things That Are Just Wrong’ that I saw somewhere on another of my inter-galactic (oops sorry, cyberspace-ic should I say?) rambles. I remember one of the things on that list was: ‘An elderly woman text-ing on a mobile’. Somehow it just looks wrong.

Back to Baby H ... he is now going to go to a Nursery. His special carer there is about my age, with a name from the same era as my name and who happens to be a bit of a clone of myself - short, fair-haired and with a ... shall we say, matronly figure?
“He’ll hardly notice the difference," Baby H’s father said. (Humph!)

C&N - Baby H’s parents - gave me two books as a ‘good-bye and thank you’ present. Two NZ books - one by Jackie Ballantyne called ’How to Stop A Heart from Beating'. It looks good- very good. It's about a child's perspective of life on a South Otago dairy farm in 1961. I am interested in reading this book because it's set in an era I'm fascinated with myself. An era I've found myself writing about more and more these days.
The other book, called ‘From The Writer's Notebook; Around New Zealand With 80 Authors' is written by Lydia Monin. It's about famous writers who have visited New Zealand in the past hundred years, and what their impressions of us were. Which smacks of NZ’s tiny-country paranoia about not being liked or appreciated by ‘those who matter’ ‘Those who matter’ being anyone from beyond the outer rim - from the Real World - from the Big Brother pool of countries, such as Europe and America . When will we, as a country, stop worrying about what others think of us?
Another book which arrived in the mail this weekend and which has been added to my 'To Read Pile', is Patry’s book, ‘The Liar’s Diary’. I opened it today for a sneak preview. I even, like the bibliophile I am, smelt the pages. Suffice to say my appetite has been whetted: the book actually smells rather yummy!

I listened to a Hank Williams Jnr cd this afternoon (and because I was the only one home, played it extra loud) as well as a Jim Croche cd and a Patsy Cline. I was in the mood for some music that reminded me of the kitchens of my childhood. It certainly did the trick. Suddenly, just like that, there was the shiny linoleum floor, the yellow-gingham curtains, the coal range, the hearth-rug, the hearth-board speckled with burn-marks from spitting sparks ...

Remaining with the theme of recorded nostalgia, today I put up on the wall in my writing room, some scans I did of b&w photos from 1966 ... I look up from the screen as I write now - and in just that spot my gaze lands on when my meandering mind hits a pothole - there it is, the holiday photo of my parents, brothers and sisters* the littlest one is my sister McD who some of you may have noticed, is in the habit of leaving cheeky comments on my blog! standing on the Capburn bridge, all looking at me the photographer - aged thirteen - as if to say, ‘just get on with it why don't you?’. No doubt I was ordering them about, trying to get the perfect shot, asking them to stand closer, or more to the left ... There are eight of them in frame - half of them are smiling ‘at’ me and the other half have an uncertain search to their gaze - as if they suspect I don't know what the heck I’m doing. I often get that dubious look from people. Does she even know what she’s doing? (Of course more often than not, I don’t. It’s that air of uncertainty that goes with blonde hair.) It was a photo that turned out a bit blurry - thus proving my family right. However, with Photoshop I've managed to bring it a little more into focus. It’s still an unclear photo, but for all its imperfection, it has the ultimate power to snap me back into that day faster than any fancy time-travel invention ever could.

In late January, the 500th albatross chick was hatched at the Taiaroa Head's albatross breeding colony. Here is the website - I hope the web cam is working ... it wasn’t last time I checked. It is an amazing experience to see one of an albatross soaring, and out at Taiaroa Head (only twenty minutes from the centre of the city) it’s possible to see these gigantic birds with their comical grins, arriving back from journeys out to sea for food; or, even more exciting, returning from months away (or in the case of adolescent birds, years away) circumnavigating the southern hemisphere.

It is all very wondrous. They are truly awesome birds.
Check out these links. I promise you're in for a treat. Two amazing flowers. The Campbell Island daisy - or blue sunflower - pluerophyllum speciosum . And the Mount Cook lily. Both rare plants, both daisies (despite the Mount Cook being called lily - it's really a daisy.) I happen to like daisies. If I had to choose one flower as my favourite, I’d have to choose the humble lawn daisy.

I laud these two species of daisy because they not only survive but thrive in adverse conditions. Mountains and subantarctic islands; two harsh environments. Two plants, rare and hardy. An admirable combination of traits.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Things Tribal

As Baby H lies in the pram, his eyes widen at the sight against a grey sky of peoples’ heads as they zoom in and out of shot, and of all the other sights to see on Dunedin’s George Street. The sound of a bus’s hissing brakes, the sudden rataplan of a motor bike, the yelping bip-bip-bip-bip-bip-bip of the signal to cross, don’t seem to faze him at all. It may have even got a little boring, because he soon drops off to sleep.
We are off to a Mothers and Babies Group - not that I am Baby H’s mother. As his Nanny, I can be nothing more than a facsimile. Mothers of young babies are like a foreign species to me now. It’s been twenty years since I’ve been anywhere near a meeting like this.
I pass a poet/magician I know and laugh at what must be to him (who only knows my writing-side) a rather incongruous sight: me wheeling a pram. I explain that the baby is not mine, or even related. I don’t know why I feel the need to explain, but it has happened before - if I meet someone I know, I feel compelled to explain. I guess I’m a little embarrassed, at my age, to be wheeling a pram.
He says, “I need one of those.”
I say, “What? A baby?”
“No,” he says, “The pram - for my magician’s gear.”
At the next intersection, across the street, I see someone I know I should know. The hat. The stance. Is he a painter? The pieces slowly assemble until it’s not a male at all, it’s K, Son M’s fiance in her paint-splattered working jeans, her hair shoved under a cap. Lately she’s been painting houses to earn money, but not for much longer - she shows me the new, black top she’s bought herself for a job interview.* I wish her luck.
* She ended up getting the job.
As I suspected, I felt ancient at the Mother’s Gathering (they used to be called Coffee Mornings in my day. And there were no such things as flat whites or long blacks either - just plain, instant coffee, New Zealand being for the longest time the backwater of any coffee culture.) Plus, all my babies slept on their tummies, their noses buried in a sheepskin. I was never as paranoid about germs or the sun as these mothers are. I never had a friendly mid-wife to grow so attached to I cried when it was time for her to ‘cut the cord’, so to speak. I only had a formal relationship with an aloof, although well-mannered, doctor - which, I hasten to add, was quite enough for me to handle at the time. And, I am happy to report, that ‘nipple confusion’ was not a term bandied about over our early-80's brown, pottery coffee mugs.
The terror was beginning to build. Luckily, I spotted yet another poet (what was this? Poets Outing Day?) and so I scuttled over to escape the talk that had turned to the merits of ginger and rhubarb to relieve wind. Together we lamented the lack of poetry readings in Dunedin at the moment. I was grateful for this distraction and the reminder of another world outside of babies.
After what I deemed to be a respectable amount of time, I made my exit and happily wheeled the pram back along George Street, back to the apartment where Baby H and his parents live, with its seagull colours of grey, black and white, its orange accents, its hermetically-sealed interior; its quiet cover. I could relax. That was more than enough exposure to the outside world for one day, thank you.


At the moment in NZ there is a bit of a buzz about a book just published called '8 Tribes, The Hidden Classes of New Zealand' in which the writers expound the theory of there being in NZ society, 8 tribes, which they have duly defined and named according to the suburbs or areas which best portray the tribal characteristics. Their website has a test you can do to find out which tribe you belong to. I am always a sucker for these sorts of things (Why is that? Maybe because I am still self-actualising.) Anyway, I took the test and it was as I had suspected - I belonged to the Raglan tribe - the free spirited tribe that likes to live by the sea. As well, I closely affiliate with the intellectual tribe - called the Grey Lynn tribe. Thankfully I had nothing whatsoever in common with the Remuera (upwardly mobile and materialistic) or the North Shore (well-heeled, well-mannered and well-schooled) tribes. Which probably means that as well as being a free spirit, I'm also an inverted snob.


Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...