Sunday, 30 March 2008


drawing in



shadows on the grapevine

shadows on the garden seat

detritus on the lawn

dead plums

bright decay


battening down,
heading for wherever we believe home to be.


Sure Signs

Red leaves like mouths in the gutter.
The hard-earned flight of a large butterfly.

Bellbirds tune the air. Among berries,
the scuttle of waxeyes. The shift of wind

in the silver birches.
The smell of fermenting plums

This urge to feed, to brightly let go,
to burst into death.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


ABM has just brought me a pre-dinner wine. Another Sunday is coming to an end.

Today puts on its coat,
gets ready to leave. But
before it turns
to lime, a layer

for some future
dig, I need to state: I was here.
I saw. I lived it through
and did not give up.


Son C was here for the weekend. It was good to see him again - he seems so big, so tall and self-assured. While here he caught up with his two brothers - M who is here most days painting in his studio downstairs. And S in Japan. Skype is the most amazing thing. We can talk to a drowsy S in Kyoto before he heads off for his morning shower. And he can tell me what C texted him on the computer a minute before that.
"I'm not sure where ABM and C went," I say.
"They've gone to collect C's car," S in Japan tells me in NZ!


I'm looking forward to going down to the Southland Arts Festival in Invercargill in May to help run a poetry workshop down there with Cilla McQueen and to take part on the Saturday night in a poetry reading with other poets - Emma Neale, Richard Reeve, Michael Harlow, Peter Olds, Jenny Powell-Chalmers, Jeanne Bernhardt, David Howard.

So, even though summer has come to an end, there are good things to look forward to in the autumn. Not least, the Indian Summer we are enjoying right now, with warm days and balmy nights. Long may it continue.


Saturday, 29 March 2008

A New Venue

Well, Glenfalloch as a possible Blessing of the Vows ceremony for S&E in January 09 fell through (see older post) so a new venue has been chosen.

Broxburn Park

Looking forward to the Big Day!


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

As it Happens

Thanks to Mapiprincesa of All (green) Thumbs blog for the challenge to write a memoir of myself in six words. Now I in turn challenge anyone to whom the idea appeals. Let me know when you've added it to your blog. Flower Text

... wherever I am planted!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Days and Knights

Some photos I took today on a walk along St Kilda beach towards St Clair.

Brown seaweeds

One of New Zealand’s most common brown seaweeds is Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira banksii), with its chains of beads. This is a hardy species, able to withstand time out of water. In sheltered sites it can grow up to half a metre in length, with beads of 2–3 cm in diameter; a smaller form grows on open coasts.

(Thanks to Te Aro - Encyclopaedia of NZ for above information.)

The 'common brick'!

A favourite subject for photos, these old posts that form an old groyne.

(A groyne is a low wall or sturdy timber barricade built to halt wave-erosion.)

Going by the sand-dune erosion evident here, I don't think it's working. A huge storm last winter cut into the sand banks, exposing the back of playing fields and leaving the area between land and sea a little smaller than it was previously. Sadly, the golden sand hills have been replaced with unsightly, scrubby, rocky debris. Maybe one day the ocean will return all the sand it took away.

The groyne is a very old landmark of St Clair beach. Some of the posts look like they have faces.

They put me in mind of Ned Kelly, or some washed-up knights in rusty armour struggling ashore.

Like most shores, the sand level at St Clair and St Kilda beaches, rises and falls. Some years these posts are buried to within a few centimetres, their 'faces' under sand and just the tops of their heads visible. That is a lot of sand to dump, sometimes all in just one storm.

Rusty Nail aka 'The Rock Climber.'


The new job is going well, although I am re-discovering some muscles I had forgotten I had. Moving from sitting at ground-level with the babies, to standing, takes a bit of effort for my age-ing joints.

I am enjoying having more available time. Time to write. (I just have to do it now.)

Reading: A book on some famous poets given to me for Xmas by M&K. I find it a mixture: inspiring and daunting ...

Listening: To music to entertain babies by ... I put together a cd for work with music that ranges from Daft Punk to Nana Mouskouri. From 'Video Killed the Radio Star' to 'Stupid Cupid'. Also includes Postal Service and Múm. (I'm mulling over including The Mountain Goats and The Pixies.)


Monday, 3 March 2008

A Fine Day in the Rain

Today it rained. We ducked between drops to visit a few art galleries interspersed with cups of coffee ...

from one end of Lower Stuart Street ...

to the other; and the Octagon, where Robbie Burns looks on with his back to the church and facing the pubs; so the saying goes ...

Glass bottles in the window of the place where we had our second cup of coffee.
It wasn't until I looked at this photo more closely later that I noticed the word Tobermory on one of the green bottles: the name of the village on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, where ABM and I worked in the summer of 1977.

My first Sunday off since before Christmas; celebrated by a day with ABM and rain, coffee, lunch out, art, a movie and take-aways on the way back home. Nothing could be nicer.

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...