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.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Taking A Walk On The Mild Side

The mild winter that we are experiencing has everyone remarking. I put out sugar water for the birds, but so far it has only attracted wasps - most unusual in June. The little waxeyes (pihipihi) have as yet to come seeking food.

The other day was another mild day in a run of mild days, but grey. Not that I mind grey days (as long as there aren't too many of them in a row).

in celebration of grey

A blank canvas,
an empty page,
a backdrop, a screen
of grey,
so all the colours
can have their say.
Red, orange,
yellow and blue. Pink
and purple and green.
All in the limelight
when placed against, or upon,

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Renovation, Innovation, Inspiration

Positioning my writing desk in a corner of the living room where I can see it out of the corner of my eye, has proved conducive for me. I find that these days, after a longish spell of not writing, I am back to writing regularly.

Ideas for poetry are flowing, and having the desk within easy reach means that I am 'catching' more poems as a result.

The room I usually write in, has been emptied of furniture, bookshelf and many books in readiness for painting. This is the first of more rooms that need to be stripped and painted. The interior of our home is long overdue for refurbishment. What this will entail, fills me with something akin to despair; thus the photo above of a maze, seems appropriate.

So rather than dwell on the task ahead, I distract myself with writing.

Knowing that there is a path to follow - the goal of freshly-painted rooms - helps.

And knowing others are going to help us walk this path, also helps. At the end, the promise of a fresh look for our home, provides a sense of purpose.

We need not feel stumped.

Instead, we can feel invigorated by the thought of creating rooms that will bring our mid-century home into the 21st century, along with highlighting its original features.

It is not a time for ducking the issue! Renovation is long overdue.

There is promise of inspiration ...

and a reservoir of ideas to be drawn upon - both for the refurbishment of the interior of our home and for my writing.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Early Morning Gem

Now that family have left our shores to return to Berlin, Germany, we are settling back to situation normal. We miss them, that particular precious branch of our ever-growing family tree. However, we have other branches closer at hand to enjoy, which helps ease the ache of absence.

And we have our memories of an amazing couple of months. And images, both mental and in digital form. (I have also printed out family group photos and grandchildren cutie-pie pics for albums ... you cannot beat the real thing when it comes to photos - or books for that matter).

Here are some memories of a trip south we made to my birthplace, Orepuki, Western Southland:

Gemstone beach keeps Orepuki on the tourist trails ... I remember as a kid keeping on our bedroom window sill, jam jars full of water to keep my stash of gemstones bright and colourful - until an algae-green sludge smothered their attraction and I had to throw them out again, allowing the rain and air to keep them instead.

My son and I treated ourselves to a sunrise visit to the beach. Magical.

Back at the place where we stayed, we exhibited our hoard on the outside table.

I recently ordered and duly received, a beautiful book from Britain. 

I guess it's a universal thing, this thing I have for stones. (I'd include shells and beach glass).

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...