Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
QUININE ~ Kelly Ana Morey (Huia NZ) Brilliant, energetic, and irreverent. A romp, a bricolage. Spoof of a historical novel, set in Europe and New Guinea. Flawed and funny, the best novel by a New Zealander so far this year. (I haven't read Lloyd Jones yet, but I'm not hopeful: it sounds like a calculated piece of journalism, but, he's so good, he probably pulls it off anyway.)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
And here he is, but no free chocolate this year.
Some of the floats seem a little dated but I guess any spare money has to go into the stadium from now on.
We're lucky to even have a parade.
There was a huge crowd. One of the floats broke down and Santa had to take a detour.
But it all worked out OK in the end.
I especially enjoyed the planes and the boats and the trains.
And the bagpipes.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Don't look at this link if you are easily shocked:
Friday, November 26, 2010
For myself it's poetry that speaks to me.
Jeffrey Paparoa Holman "In the house of my body I carry that river"
TS Eliot "Who then devised the torment? Love."
Philip Larkin "The Explosion"
Friday, November 19, 2010
Anyway, we found quiet vast spaces with fresh mountain air, roaring fires, and hot tubs.
Sometimes you have to go a long way to learn to sit still again, and remember how to relax.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is a beautiful book of poems by Elizabeth Smither accompanied by photographs by Jane Dove Juneau. (South Pacific Light Press 2010)
It reminds me a bit of the genre of book I was once familiar with, in my past: the devotional prayer/photo book I used to pick up when on a contemplative prayer retreat at a convent or monastery or other spiritual centre.
The aim is not to hurry through the book, but to stop with an image or a word or a line.
And head off on your own direction, or even into stillness.
Smither is a fine poet, so there is no question of this being a mere coffee table book, or even that her poems needed enhancement in any way. They didn't. The addition of the photography is just a gift, allowing for visual as well as poetic meditations, and for connections to be traced or developed if you feel like it.
The book is a treasure. An indulgence perhaps, because of course, including attractive glossy full-page photographs means it costs more than a slim volume of verse, and it's probably too big to read on a bus or a plane.
I think it would make a fine gift, for oneself or for someone else.
It's like a portable refreshment for the mind and heart - and the soul, if you like.
Here's my current favourite phrase from the book:
"all cats are publishers"
(from 'A Cat called Straus')
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Sparrow family is a sprawling dynasty that supplies endless delightful year-round entertainment to us.
Right now the viewing is x-rated as the courting couples carry out their copulation. (No photo I'm afraid. In any case it's "blink and you miss it" stuff.)
And then, as spring follows winter, the birds are kept busy building their sprawling nurseries.
The snapshot below was taken a few moments earlier than the one above. It shows how large the stalk of dry grass was. I've never quite seen such a grandiose undertaking from such a small bird. A Sparrow Gus is not visible; he's tugging the stalk in, while being carefully watched by the matriarch.
Here is a link to a pic of Gus in late 2009, bringing what we thought of at the time as a large plank back to the nest. He has outdone himself in 2010!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Every self-respecting Tabby knows that.
Here's an excellent article by Emma Neale, who edits the weekly Monday's Poem in the Otago Daily Times. I'm guessing Emma has read one-too-many furious letters to the editor complaining about the new-fangled non-rhyming rubbish that passes for poetry these days.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
The top Geonet graph is a record of the aftershocks in the past 24 hours; the one below it is the picture early last week, 3 days after the massive shallow earthquake near Christchurch. I guess the tremors are reducing in magnitude over all, and are perhaps less frequent; but what a barrage!
My heart goes out to those who have suffered damage and who are still faced with the anxiety with each aftershock of wondering how big THIS one is going to be...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Oh no! Could it be an evil plot to infiltrate Earth once again??
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I am so over days and months named after ancient gods and emperors - aren't you?
Let's throw them all out and have an internet poll where everybody gets to vote for new names.
For the days of the week, we could probably keep Moon Day and Sun Day - they're nice - and maybe add a Star Day and an Earth Day. Although the science fiction fans will want to call that one Terra Day. And greenies will want to call it Gaia Day.
In true 21st century style, we'll let the majority txt vote decide...
For the sake of tradition we should keep some gods in the days of the week. The Muslims will want a slot I guess, although they'll probably argue amongst themselves about whether any particular name is blasphemous or not.
If we just had one God-Day, then everybody who believes in a God could just think that was their one, that would save a few other slots for the graven idols so many of the rest of us worship.
Well, and there could be a Buddha Day, and well, anyway, let the peeps decide!
There'll be more slots left over for prophets and deities and their offspring in the names of the months.
It really annoys me that our current label for the 12th month, December, really means "tenth". So first off let's sort that mess out. If we must number them, let's get it right.
Personally I like "January" - that's quite clever naming it for the deity that looks forward as well as back.
But it's open slather on all the others. Julius Augustus just doesn't mean much any more, for heaven's sake.
What's big these days? The current equivalent of emperors and minor deities?
Google, or McDonalds? Harry Potter, Twilight. Fifa. Disney?
Time for an overhaul. You heard it here first.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
"Does the world really need another blog?" I called it, and answered my own question: "Apparently so."
I honestly don't look at the stats very often, or care about how many readers I get, but at times there have inexplicably been more readers than might be expected for such a slight 'web log'.
I think it's the cats - cat lovers just can't get enough of cats. (That's how I feel!)
Unfortunately the Magnificent eponymous Tabby passed away last year (or so I think - she's in Schroedinger's Box now and there's no way to tell) and since then the blog has tended more to the birdy than catty.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
The same photograph used on different book covers.
It's trendy to use photographs, but it's also cheaper not to pay extra for exclusive use of an image.
It leads to the possibility of a new pastime: spot the duplicate book cover image.
Here are a couple of links to some sharp-eyed commentators:
* (The 3 books pictured above were identified by Kevin on the Caustic Cover Critic comments thread.)
I am Very Sorry that I have not been Blogging here much lately.
Or... Or... Or... well, Facebook...
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
How fevered is the man who cannot look
Upon his mortal days with temperate blood,
Who vexes all the leaves of his life's book,
And robs his fair name of its maidenhood;
It is as if the rose should pluck herself,
Or the ripe plum finger its misty bloom,
As if a Naiad, like a meddling elf,
Should darken her pure grot with muddy gloom;
But the rose leaves herself upon the briar,
For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed,
And the ripe plum still wears its dim attire;
The undisturbed lake has crystal space;
Why then should man, teasing the world for grace
Spoil his salvation for a fierce miscreed?
~ John Keats
More Tuesday Poems
Monday, May 10, 2010
Poster produced by Phantom Billstickers
for NZ Poetry Day 2006
Poem (c) Janet Frame Literary Trust.
First published in THE GOOSE BATH (Random House New Zealand 2006)