Monday, 21 January 2013

Book Bus Day At the Bay

It's always interesting to see what flag is flying from Fox Hall, Silverton Street. Every day there is a different flag. Today fittingly enough it was the Otago cricket club flag. (Yesterday the Otago cricket team Volts won the National Provincial 20 / 20 Competition).

I was on my way to the Book Bus and appreciating the luxury of being able to take my time about it.

In the seventeen years we have lived in Anderson's Bay, I have only ever sat here at the Plunket Rooms rest area twice ... says something about taking time perhaps.  

I was still too early for the Book Bus, so I  sat down and enjoyed the sun & view,

with my overdue library books in a Kyoto plastic shopping bag that was looking a long way away from home.

Just around the corner, the bus-stop paintings depicting Scottish crests and shields.

 Some more of the paintings on the walls of the Anderson's Bay bus-shelter. 

(Co-incidentally, as I write this, on tv is a documentary about the London blitz during World War Two, with references to the bomb shelters called 'Anderson Shelters').

On I plodded to the Book Bus, where I chose far too many books.

While there I overheard a very elderly husband and wife chatting to the librarian- driver. They put me in mind of that song / verse, 'The wee, wee man and the wee, wee woman ...' How does that go now? Anyway, the woman was saying in quavery little voice,  "Of course the nature of a man's work means that they have far more time to read than a woman does". (I presume she means once you have retired?) I must say, when we get to that stage, I plan for a fair share of any workload between Robert and myself.
Before they toddled off down the stairs (I was glad that it wasn't a windy day;  I think if it was they'd both be in real danger of getting blown away!)  I heard the wife ask her husband if he was sure he had enough Westerns. For some reason, the thought of that tiny, frail old man reading Westerns made me smile.  

If You Know Where To Look

For a change, yesterday we walked along the west-side of the harbour.

On one side the harbour, on the other side, the railway line inspiring conversation about train trip memories. Passenger trains are few and far between these days.

This reminded us of our som Mike who when he lived in Dunedin, carried out a bit of guerilla street art ... there is still at least part of one of his pieces on a wall in town - 'Floating Red Man' - if you know where to look.

And a floating boat. Left high and dry, this boat seems to be yearning to try sailing the sky for a change.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snake Skin

New year, new blog title.

 I like new starts, that refreshing feeling of sloughing off the old, adorning myself with the new.

I was born in the Year of the Snake. The idea of a snake  ridding itself of its old skin to reveal a glistening new one, appeals.

And as this year is the 'Year of the Snake' in the Chinese calendar, its even more fitting (so to speak).

I haven't really made any new year resolutions. There are dreams and wishes I'd like realised - the publication of my 3rd poetry book, 'Born To A Red-headed Woman' beings one.

I'd like to continue hanging out with family and friends, keep with the little bit of gardening I'm doing, create some knitting, go for walks, collect beach-glass, keep taking photos, keep blogging ...

 My main aim as far as writing goes would be to make significant progress on building my novel, 'Blue Creek' (working tiltle only).

... dipping my toes in a fountain somewhere in France  (aged 25)

 The main focus for this year will be the planning and execution of a trip to France & Germany and the celebration of my 60th birthday with my husband,  family and friends in Paris in June. Excited!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Star Turn

While in Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range is an imposing presence outside the windows of Roberts' parents' place.The lake is also visible, but the mountains are really the star attractions.

The day after Robert's birthday, a rainbow appeared just as dinner was being served. The meals in Queenstown are to die for. Always top notch and cordon bleu. Robert's father is an excellent cook.

The rainbow was welcomed but didn't stop the flow of dinner (except for me - I just had to forget about loading my plate for a minute,  and run for the camera).

Then on the day we left for home, we woke to snow-dusted mountain tops. The Remarkables were bidding us good-bye with a show of snow.

Don't forget - this is in the middle of our summer!

Cecil Peak and Walter Peak were not to be outdone. Look how proud they are of their new summer coats.

We bid Queenstown good-bye and headed for home. 'Til next time, Queenstown.

A Day At The Cricket

There was a cricket game on at the Queenstown Sports Centre. I said I was going to take my book.

 I would have liked to have got a shot of the two caspian terns that spent the whole time the cricket was on, diving and swooping upon the worms that were being nudged to the surface by the passage of many feet (cricketers and crowd). Plus I guess, they were being brought to the surface by vibrations from the (very loud) music the organisers seemed to think was a good idea to have blasting out from speakers dotted around the ground. Sometimes there was only time for a snatch of a song in the gaps, which made me think; What IS the point?

 Of course the terns were far too quick for me to get a good shot of them. I thought though that they were a step-up  from the common-old-garden seagulls cricket grounds are often host to.

 It was a 20-20 game between Otago Volts and Auckland Aces. Otago Volts won - which was very sweet. I rather like bite-sized cricket, even though it meant that there really was no time to read my book.

 Luckily I wore a jacket as it was very cold. (Typical cricket-watching weather this far south in New Zealand). I asked Robert if it was like Sevens with people dressing up and waving rude signs and doing silly dances. He said No.

 It was New Year;s Eve in Queenstown, and the weather was changing to cold and rainy.

The crowd was very quiet right up until the last two overs, when someone behind us, who was the worse for drink, began to shout abuse at one of the Auckland players.

We were sitting quite close to the ropes, but some boys were sitting even closer. One of them just about got killed by the cricket ball coming straight at him. He dived away just in time. Then not long after (same batter) another 6 came right at us and just about got us killed. It wouldn't be my choice of dying. Luckily I had my book. A book is an excellent defence mechanism. 


... gate that looks like it could do with a fence to prop it up (Clyde, Central Otago, December, 2012)

... hollyhocks seem to suit Clyde's grey stone ... (Clyde, December, 2012)

... as do yellow roses, Roxburgh ... (December, 2012)

... disused wooden water-tank for steam train ... (back road, Millers Flat - Roxburgh, December, 2012)

... old seeder ... (Roxburgh Museum, December, 2012)

... wooden wagon ... (Roxburgh Museum, December, 2012)


... taken on a walk from Whitechapel to newly-opened  Edgar Bridge ... (29th December, 2012)

... Edgar Bridge ... (December 29th, 2012)


... birthday baklava ... made for Robert by his brother. Very yummy it was too.


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...