Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Streamlets of Conciousness

The railway station is looking rather resplendent today..

The path home, harbour at high-tide.

 What lies beneath?

Kapukataumahaka  (Mt Cargill) a compass point; useful for finding N.E.

Breezy is good for yachts.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Summer Garden

Sometimes you just don't hit the jackpot.

Weather-wise, this summer we haven't hit the jackpot. It's been cold. However, the flowers in our garden still know it's summer.

We just need to take a leaf (so to speak) out of the garden's book and keep the faith

that everything will come up roses ... or daisies ...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Dine From the Vine

I'm no vintner, or viticulturist ... just the humble caretaker of the glasshouse-grapes we inherited when we bought our house seventeen years ago.

Quite a family we've got this season. Despite what the experts say, the secret must be not to prune because I never got around to it this time and we've got more grapes than ever. Maybe it's vintner's luck!

Give these sour grapes a few more weeks (fingers crossed we'll get enough sun - so far this summer it's been rather sparse) and they'll have turned a profound shade of purple. Then it'll be harvest time, but no pressing required - just straight from the vine to the table. Or mouth.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Bobbing To Flapping

 Without the routine of work and daily order, I am like a bobbing cork. Oh, it's pleasant enough for a time, just enjoying the ride and letting the days' currents take me wherever. Until it begins to feel too much like a vacuum, with no forward momentum or motivation to steer my own course. It begins to feel like I am going around in lazy, hazy circles. As I said, very pleasant in itself, but after a time it become tedious and I am ready to take control of the wheel again; to look at the map and decide where to head next.

Now that the holidays are over, I shall return to writing - picking up where I left off before Christmas.

I reckon there is still two years (at least) work ahead for me on the book I am writing. Already it's taken me three years to get to this point. Good thing I am in no particular hurry, but just happy to enjoy the journey. Good thing I am my own boss and that all deadlines are flexible. (Bad thing that my boss doesn't pay me).

I have been given April, 2014 as the likely date of publicaton for my third poetry book, 'Born To A Red-headed Woman'. I have to pinch myself that after all these years - three or four - the book is now an entity, soon to be found between its two covers in bookshelves in shops, libraries and homes.

The release of this poetry book and the poetry readings that are in the pipeline for 2014, will keep my poetry wing flapping.

I have always found it hard to keep both prose-writing and poetry-writing going at the same time. It's difficult to give each their due time and attention. Same for writing and reading; it's hard to balance both. I prefer to have separate seasons for reading and writing. I'd also prefer to have the same seasonal separation happening when it comes to poetry and prose; but that is not always possible.

 Perhaps it would help if I imagine poetry and prose as wings; both wings needing to be used at the same time in order to achieve an elegant glide and avoid a lop-sided flop.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Old Year and New

Old Year

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?

The highlight for 2013 was a trip in June - July to Paris (for my 60th birthday) then on to Germany to meet our son's partner's family and from there to Kyoto to stay with our son and daughter-in-law and family. 
We had a terrific time. So many memories to cherish.

A few days after Christmas we drove through Central Otago to Queenstown, stopping off along the way at  couple of fruit stalls.

We can thoroughly recommend the real-fruit ice creams ...

 Farther down the road and armed with a parcel of fish and chips (from Clyde's gluten-free fish-and-chip shop) we stopped by the Clutha River to eat the f'n'c at a picnic spot popular with jet-boat owners.

We spent a pleasant three days in Queenstown with Robert's family, celebrating Robert's birthday there in the town where he was born and where he lived until he left home for uni. at 19 years old. (It is also where his parents have lived now for nearly sixty years). 
This time while staying there, I wasn't in the mood to take photos - I just wanted to read.

New Year

On New Year's eve, we made our way back home again from Queenstown, with a one-night stop-over at my brother's in Miller's Flat. 

On the way there, we made another stop to have lunch by the Clutha River - this time below the Alexandra bridge.

We also decided to check out the town's clock on the hill.

Spot the difference:
Those with sharp eyes will note the passing of nearly two hours (and indeed the differing weather conditions) between the two shots above and those below.

That's because the first two photos of the clock were taken on a different day. 

The first two photos were taken when we were going to climb to the clock a few weeks ago; on another trip we'd made through Alex. However, on that day it began to rain, so we'd canned the idea.

December 31st, 2013, we finally made the climb (it only takes five minutes ... maybe a bit longer for those of us not built like a mountain goat).

The clock is an impressive engineering feat. It is one-of-a-kind; planned, designed, engineered and built - largely by locals - in 1968. It has kept perfect time there on the hill for over forty-five years.

To get to the clock, you cross the Shaky Bridge - a narrow swing bridge that has been built where an original, wider and older bridge once spanned the river. The original had to be wide enough for horse and dray. The new one, considerably more narrow, is for foot-traffic only.

After spending a quiet but pleasant New Year's eve in Miller's Flat with family, we travelled back home to Dunedin where our daughter-in-law cooked us a New Year's Day dinner: Mediterranean lamb chops with mint sauce, roast courgettes and peppers and a Greek salad. Delicious indeed!

 We'll take a cup of kindness yet, 
For the sake of Auld lang Syne!

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...