Stability. Settledness. A mostly predictable order to things.
It lasts about four days.
It’s the first week of my new nannied-up routine and I’m just relaxing into the roomy new shape of my week when the email arrives from the letting agent. The landlords won’t be renewing our lease in June. Continue reading “Unfortunately, fortunately”
Here we go: last despatches from Hawea. The trailer is packed, the surfaces scrubbed, the last anchovy and scraping of margarine eaten. The crap that came with the house is all carefully returned to its original positions, down to the last stained, frayed towel and framed piece of wool art (tableaux of farm scenes made from artfully arranged tufts of unbleached fleece), not to mention the fugly plastic toad clock. Continue reading “Homeward bound”
Ship of the desert
Poor old Aratere. Stuck in dock with her broken propeller shaft, no dry dock in Godzone big enough to accommodate her for the required delicate rummaging among her ladyparts. Continue reading “Shipping out”
The first week of the school holidays, and a confession: I really don’t feel like writing this. Partly this is writer’s fatigue; on Monday, egged on by some mild successes in a couple of short story competitions, I finally dispatched 120 pages of double-spaced manuscript to Auckland Uni’s Master of Creative Writing course. Continue reading “To the sea and back”
A coda to my ‘Wild food and wildlife’ post of a couple of weeks ago. Last Sunday morning we discovered a little pile of wood shavings in the doorway to the lounge, where one corner of the French door had been delicately gnawed and a little patch of carpet had been grazed back to its roots. Continue reading “Just chillin’”
We’ve had school holidays, and visitors, and for me, a two-week embargo on writing while ideas burn impatient holes in my head. The house has stood up brilliantly to guests and we’ve relished the advent of treats – luxury foods, alcohol, good company. Continue reading “If this is autumn… (part 1)”
The calendar signals a change of season, and right on cue the first smudges of autumn orange appear on the poplars on the road into Wanaka. A few saplings on Hawea Flat are already bright gold; the straw-gold of summer wheatfields and grasslands will soon be upstaged by the citrus brights of autumn. Continue reading “Otago gold: poplars, caramel and baby poo”
Beauty alone isn’t enough to sustain you, or so went my stock reply to the stock Auckland observation, ‘It’s so beautiful down there, you’ll never want to come back.’
But there is something profoundly nourishing about the excesses of the landscape here: I seem to feed on it, to drink it in. Continue reading “Sustenance for the soul”
Three weeks after arriving we finally get our broadband connection sorted out and our connectivity to the rest of the world restored. Poor Hapless has been trying to work via dial-up through a wi-fi hotspot on my phone and at the mercy of the caprices of rural 3G coverage, and is thoroughly jaded by the experience. Continue reading “Climate change”
The boys are giddy with their new freedom, burning up and down the sleepy cul-de-sac on their bikes and scooters, smashing the cricket ball without restraint, cavorting with the neighbour’s border collie, dashing up the road to check on their great-nana Continue reading “Hiatus”