Friday, 31 July 2020

A memory sparked

One of my grand-daughters is about to turn 17.  The one I cared for on a daily basis from the day she was born.  For years we were connected at the hip and I still clearly recall my consternation when she stopped coming every afternoon off the school bus to spend time with me, when she discovered the joy of being a girl, doing girly things with girlfriends, chatting on the phone with girlfriends, when I was superseded by much younger, much more fun females.  I knew it would happen sooner or later and got over it after a year or two.  Don't laugh, it really did take me that long.

Her approaching 17th has caused me much angst.  I don't know what she would like for a birthday gift.   I don't know her taste in things any more.  She's growing up in a different world to mine.

Last night as she sat in my lounge chatting with me I had the weirdest thought that her beauty is blooming and I'd like to give her flowers.  Would she think I'm nuts?  I don't have to answer that, she's always smiled at my little eccentricities and, anyway, her birthday is Monday and she will be at boarding school during the week, so it's not practical.  But it must have stayed on my mind because during the night I had a dream about a church Graham took me to visit in the Outer Hebrides, St Clements at Rodel.   Not long after waking up I went looking through my files to find a specific photo of flowers.

Soft light through old and dirty windows illuminating a lovely bouquet in an otherwise empty church.  I don't know what the analogy is. There is one but it hasn't dawned on me yet.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Outrage and righteousness

I commented earlier today that we seem to be in an era of outrage here right now. A little later it dawned on me that I've heard about a BBC show called the Age of Outrage. Much better name for what I was meaning. I can't have a peep of the show because BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. The message says, “Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.“ Isn't it all? We are all obsessed with rights – and righteousness.

The political right and left are trying to outdo each other, the young and the old are at it, people of all races and backgrounds. Everyone seems to find a reason why they are hard done by. How we react to our differences seems to have changed, we don't seem to listen to others' viewpoints without a good dose of outrage or righteousness.

I was thinking for a while this morning that maybe it could all lead to change, to a better world.  I must have had sweet dreams last night.

One of my daughters said a couple of weeks ago she didn't want to discuss our PM with me because she didn't want to get into an argument. Who said anything about an argument? When did we last argue about anything? Why does a 40 something year old think having an opposing view can't be talked about?

With elections on the horizon no doubt I will find a few things that could bring on an outbreak of outrage. I can live with that but if you hear me exhibiting any signs of righteousness, please, please reign me in, tell me to stop being a pompous ass.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Draining the swamp

I can't make up my mind which to focus on today, the weather or politics.  One is as unpredictable as the other.  When I opened my eyes this morning I heard heavy rain on the roof and could hear how strong the wind was.  In the early News broadcast there was another heavy rain warning for the north but no word about any more political resignations.    Whew!  It was getting hard to keep up to date.

But wait, the day had barely begun.  Before lunch time there had been a Cabinet Minister dismissed. 

They are draining the swamp before the elections on 19 September.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

After the storm

It turned out to be quite a storm, although it didn't feel like it where I now live, protected as I am from the elements.  My daughter's little flat was inundated with water, from extremely heavy rain which couldn't drain away quickly enough.  My rain gauge overflowed so that means more than 200mls of rain in the past 24 hours (approx 12.2 inches) and it seems like the rain was even heavier on the coast where she lives.

Flood water beside the road.  Lots of water where there should be just grass and a sleepy little stream.

My son was deceived by water across the road and drove his ute into it thinking it would be OK.  It wasn't, he had to abandon the vehicle and during the night flood water went right over the top of it.  That's a write-off, of course.  I give thanks that he's OK.

My son's utility this morning.  Taken through the windscreen as we crept. 

The road between the two farms.  Don't think anyone will be going that way for a while.

The good news is the access road into the lodge was surprisingly good and, except for a tree across the road, all was well there.

Friday, 17 July 2020

The storm

The storm came and went and another one came along.  I think that's what happened.  Or do the first one return?  I wasn't watching the weather reports.  I know there was a storm-less period in between when I went to the supermarket.

It was weird not really 'seeing' the storm.  I could hear it on the roof and see the trees in the distance waving around, see how wet the deck was but other than that there wasn't much evidence of it.  I couldn't see any water laying in puddles, except one ditch beside the road looked rather full. 

I heard reports of trees down across roads, people losing their roofs, major flooding in some areas yet here I felt untouched by it all, disconnected.  I know that it is a good thing to be sheltered from storms, to not have to worry whether the road is passable but, how can I explain it?  I feel a lack of vitality to life. 

Adjusting to a different life takes time.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Becoming familiar

I feel like an old cat lady saying this but the cats and I are slowly settling in.  I think living in town is even stranger for them than it is for me.  I had the ranch slider wide open for a whole day and a half before they would venture out.  And I'd been so careful to keep all doors and windows shut until then worrying about them escaping.  Not likely!

My AlleyCat on the left, my daughter's Korbi on the right

Like me, they want to check out every noise.  But when a visitor appears they run and hide in their favourite places, AlleyCat under the couch and Korbi under my bed.  This beautiful little creature obviously wants to be their friend but they're not having any of it.

I see more sky here than I did on the farm where I was surrounded by hills, I think I may become a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.  I just checked and, yes, there is such a society.  This seems to be their motto - Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds!  Sounds good to me.

The weather has been threatening so there has been some good cloud activity to look at.  This looked like a storm approaching from the south east.  I think I felt 6 spots of rain.  It went elsewhere.

An hour or so later it showed up around to the north west.  And once again rained elsewhere.

Yesterday evening, in the same direction was this beauty.

Today it is all bleak and overcast, a dirty dull grey.  The Met Service has a heavy rain warning out so we shall see what a storm looks like here.  That's always something to look forward to.  I love a good storm.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Since I last posted

A lot has happened since I last posted on  26 June.  I moved house and believe me, it doesn't get any easier as you get older.

It was the sensible thing to do but some days I had to search for a silver lining.  And one of the ways I found it was in dropping in to a favourite op shop in Dargaville where the staff are always warm and welcoming and so appreciative of anything you have to offer them.  In downsizing, I found parting with my stash of materials the hardest.  I accept I haven't sewn anything in ages (not that I parted with my sewing machine, that would be one step too far just yet) and that I can't sit in the sewing position for long.  But to see the delight my bits of material brought to two customers who just happened to be in the shop at the time I unloaded, well, that made it almost worth while.  And when I returned a week later with more 'stuff' every last piece had gone and I hope they bring pleasure to whoever took them home.

Dargaville seemed determined to cheer me up.  On the three occasion I delivered a carload of goods to the op shop, The Northern Wairoa River, affectionately known as the upside down river because the mud usually appears on the top of the water, was as its very best.  On still winter days after there has been a frost the river takes on a beauty all of its own.  I don't think I've ever experienced it like that on three consecutive visits.

Looking upriver towards the hills of home as a couple of logs lazily drift past on the outgoing tide.  Those will still be my hills of home, I've only moved from the farm into the little nearby village.  Below is an aerial view I found online of the village.  There is supposed to be a population of around 1,000 but I think that must include the surrounding area.  The little school had just 63 students last year.  My little house is just out of the shot.

A few more photos from Dargaville.

Not much left of this old jetty, now surrounded by rushes

A newer little jetty, a bit further along the riverbank

Looking south towards the Kaipara Harbour