Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Anticipating fried green tomatoes

Tomato plants continue to creep higher and higher up their bamboo stakes. Red globes hanging from the vines. Luscious. Vibrant. Inviting. In varying sizes. From cherry-like to moderately large. Delicious additions to salad. Sliced and tucked into toasted pita bread, for breakfast. Diced and smothered in homemade pesto. Even simply eaten like an apple, straight off the vine. With a little salt. And while there are still unripe tomatoes on the vine, I plan to make some, as yet untried, fried green tomatoes. Not something I have ever seen served in this country. And today is the day for experimentation I think.

Listening to/Mariza Transparente

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Back Steps

I was going to post this photograph sometime. Might as well be today. Once, such an often-occupied space, now sadly out of bounds. Steps leading to the back garden became an often used spot for morning cups of tea. Especially when the sun was shining. Sometimes in the company of a visitor or two. A child close by. My daughter learned to master climbing up and down steps here. Entertained her own set of friends on this concrete backdrop. I remember her and a young male compatriot sitting out there. Wearing dress-ups, each happily licking a cake batter laden wooden spoon. These steps were also a place for savouring the precious couple of hours alone while a pre-school child slumbered in the afternoon. These days, unavoidable others sit out there smoking cigarettes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grey Seal

Why's it never light on my lawn
Why does it rain and never say good-day to the new-born
On the big screen they showed us a sun
But not as bright in life as the real one
It's never quite the same as the real one

And tell me grey seal
How does it feel
To be so wise
To see through eyes
That only see what's real
Tell me grey seal

I never learned why meteors were formed
I only farmed in schools that were so worn and torn
If anyone can cry then so can I
I read books and draw life from the eye
All my life is drawings from the eye

Your mission bells were wrought by ancient men
The roots were formed by twisted roots
Your roots were twisted then
I was re-born before all life could die
The Phoenix bird will leave this world to fly
If the Phoenix bird can fly then so can I

Music/Elton John
Words/Bernie Taupin

Form 5/1975: I recall illicitly leaving school at lunchtime. Driving in an ancient Morris 1000 to a house not too far away. Along with similarly minded others. No doubt smoking some illegal substance. Listening intently to Elton John's Yellow Brick Road. Creeping back into school an hour later. Where on earth did that memory come from?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fear of the Inexplicable

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths
about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses;
perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses
who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest
being something helpless that needs our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke

(ah, Jacq. . .if only my hair were still as blonde; my limbs still as limber; my feet still as beautiful, and dirty! If only I still had that old waistcoat. Hey, remember your tiered patchwork skirt; Revelstone; Cloud; Church Street; Holloway; Charlie dog. . . . .)

The cicada choir

Sitting in the shower on these mid-summer mornings, the process of washing is punctuated by the cicada choir. The sound of which enters in through the open window next to me. Unlike Marianne, who finds the sound of cicadas aurally irritating, I am soothed and comforted by it. That, and the glorious nikau palm growing alongside the fence, outside the bathroom window. And becoming more and more at home there. A welcome green tui and kereru berry source in the making.

Artist/Paul Gauguin

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Room with a view

It is enormously confusing to be alive on a day like this. Ambivalence reigns. A day perfect in every respect, other than an inabiity to meld into it fully. And be assured, it is a big 'other'. Looking through open windows. My room with a view. Life parades before me. Every colour under the rainbow. I touch it, but as if through a shroud. Inside, I scream.

Artist/Paul Gauguin

Monday, February 20, 2006

A late Monday afternoon in February

It's such a glorious late-afternoon here in Auckland. Sun, blue sky, light breeze. It doesn't get much better than this.

Bethells Beach

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thankyou, thankyou but would you just hurry up and leave now

ambivalence (n) The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.

Hits me strongly from time to time. Like this morning. On the one hand, I am enormously grateful to this woman. Filling in at very short notice. Taking on the job with only minimal training. I know what the alternative might have been. And I was spared. On the other hand, I feel irritated and impatient and short-tempered. I am so particular. I know I am. But then, why shouldn’t I be. Having to explain and re-explain, correct and re-correct. Mustering the energy is so exhausting. Ambivalence is uncomfortable, to say the least. Still, I am certainly no stranger to it.

Artist/Henry Scott Tuke

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Appointment

I do not believe someone or something singled me out. For special treatment. A special appointment. A deliberately engineered situation. Its author, malevolently heavy-handed. Manipulating from the safety of the universe’s back row seats. Like a pupeteer. But maybe you prefer the notion of a benevolent father figure. Operating with underlying goodwill. Brutality with an objective of kindness. The end justifies the means. Ha! A divine vivisector, if you ask me. Still, if that theory comforts you, good luck. Random appointment is easier to swallow. A bitter pill, as opposed to rat poison.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Green Bay on the Manakau

Quite amazing what can be achieved by a simple click. Wiping out one's mistakes. Presenting a new face to the world. Fantastic. Sigh of unbridled relief.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Standing at the Kerb

A reoccurring stream of thought overwhelms. The lives of others whirring and buzzing. Vital, alive. Fuelling that age-old sense of life passing one by. At an incredible speed. Standing at the kerb, one wonders where it will all end. And when. Disturbing.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Email Received

. . . . . . The flat earth society correspondent uses the same up-to-date typographical apparatus as I do. Does that say something about me...or him? T

Cartoon/Garrick Tremain


Nothing succeeds like excess.

Oscar Wilde

Artist/Pierre Bonnard

Monday, February 06, 2006

Email Sent

  1. nowhere in africa & buena vista social club 0n tap here until wednesday fortnight. also, tui beer and a pilsner or two, not on tap.
  2. would you bring 'plants for free' next time you decide to saunter through the gate.
  3. another beefsteak bit the dust. a la avian. or, half of it anyway. i bit the other half.
  4. so, how's tricks?


Image/Kereru (NZ native wood pigeon)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Unbelievable Adventure

Searching the Waitakere Libraries website. Quite by chance I came upon Shackleton . The film. Branagh playing the lead role. Sounds promising, I thought. Click. It was ordered. Suffice to say, I loved this film (in two parts). Found Shackleton to be strangely sympathetic. Ripe with passion. The epic tale quite unbelievable. Only, I knew it to be true.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Marmite on Vogels Toast

Browsing comments on VegWeb I am reminded how a taste for particular foods immediately identifies one as originating from one country or another. Eg. butter and Marmite on Vogels toast = NZer.