Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Beery Merry Xmas

A secular green tree at the local pub.
Not much "holy" about this holiday spirit,
but plenty of good will.

Cosmic event

The summer solstice total lunar eclipse shadow slowly ebbs away, revealing the full moon once again. Dunedin 21st Decmber 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

From the Archives

Longsuffering Tabby must repay the humans for all the Fancy Feast and once a year dress up in Santa Costume. Sigh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Flotsam & Jetsam

I am getting a little tired of all the "10 best" and "100 best" end of the year lists, and I am NOT going to do one myself. I think they are spurious, and I have learnt enough now to know how bogus and commercially-controlled some of them are. Or how fear and love and mutual obligation control the choices. But I thought I would photograph a pile or two of the books that are being processed here at the tabby ranch right now. Many of the books I have read have been filed away already or are at the office if they were work-related.

I liked lots of books and I hated a few (there were some distasteful revenge fantasies I had to read for work, and they've been filed under "d" for "demented old has-beens"), but because it is Xmas I will point out some highlights.

I am totally happy to recommend any of the following:

FREEDOM ~ Jonathan Franzen (HarperCollins)
Anyone dissing this, even with the typos, needs their head read.

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.)

STEAL AWAY BOY ~ poems by David Mitchell (Auckland University Press) Divine.

BLOOD MEN ~ Paul Cleave (Random House NZ) crime. Chilling and well written. And puts most of the bland literary fiction coming out of the universities, in the shade.

NO FRETFUL SLEEPER ~ Paul Millar (AUP) Literary biography, a fascinating portrait of someone who chose the easier path.

THE COLLECTOR'S DREAM ~ Pierre Furlan (translated from the French by Jean Anderson) The best novel about New Zealand has been written by a non-Kiwi. The story is based on a real family but the author has the integrity, in fictionalising them, to give them fictional names. Bravo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So this is Christmas

Waiting for Santa.

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.

You won't find any grinching or bah humbugs on the Tabby blog this year.

I hope you all enjoy a very happy and safe holiday season.