Thursday, September 4, 2008

Update 30

Just got off the phone to dad and he asked where this week's update was! So here it is - it's been one of those weeks where days went by and when I look back not a lot was achieved, plus tragedy struck as our little cat 'Ellie' was killed up on the road outside our neighbour's house. She was a lovely little thing - Jade's cat really and we miss her a lot. She wasn't damaged externally when she died so that was a small mercy. Sallie was staying for the weekend to check out her horse and was invaluable when Ellie was discovered by our neighbour. Thanks Sallie.

Other noteworthy events - 1) I have had to swap the class that I teach at school. One of our staff has not returned from ACC leave and so I've taken over her Year 13 English class (A2 in the UK)and another staff member has taken my Year 11 class. This has meant a fast refamiliarity with King Lear! I had been doing a blog for my Year 11 Unit Standard class (GCSE in the UK) that was doing all internal standards (no exams). Now I've gone into rapid exam mode with the Y13s. Take a look at for details if you'd like. This preparation has taken a lot of my time as you can imagine, but the buzz with taking an exam class again is palpable. I'm full of palp!

2)The facebook thing continues to grow - more people added by the day. Many colleagues from King John School are getting in touch and this is magic. 3) The other exciting news of the week was Tom's email about the Silent Alliance vinyl single. How cool is that! Vinyl!! God bless you Tom. You (yes you - dust off the turntable) can order this via the link in the left column (listed as Silent Alliance web page). The Silent Alliance album is coming in November. Yay!!! 4) John McCain picked a much younger and way more photogenic politician as his running mate for the US presidential elections. I think I like Obama (or what he could be) and don't like McCain - but my feeling's a bit irrational. McCain's comparatively old, and in the mold (mould) of George dubya Bush. That makes his running mate (Sarah Palin) a heart beat away and that's a scary thing given she appears very inexperienced (but so's Obama). I do like the comparatively youthful JFK/Camelot inspired (I hope) Obama but like I say it's an irrational feeling. The whole US election is always surreal but having a candidate named Palin makes it even more Monty Pythonesque.

On facebook I joined a group of former Wakefield residents and that lead me to remember some great sunsets. So that's my inspiration for this week. The Wakefield scenes reminded me all about Lake Taupo generally and specifically one special sunset in particular. It featured in a poem I wrote (oh yeah you know it) in 1993 in Wakefield, NZ> Here it is:

File under 'Wonder'

The fat ol' winter sun
wasted no time
chasing down the pines
on the ridge above the house

The weak blue glow
lingered a while,
trying hard to poke some daylight
into the day.

But it couldn't compete
with the giant round Caltex sign,
opposite us,
which lit our front room
too harshly for our liking.

The pines on the ridge
took a while to give up mother sun,
but eventually they couldn't avoid
heaving the deep starry blueness
into their branches.

I watched for a while,
thinking about the far ago,
when I was glad of the sun's radiance
on a journey to Taupo, from Havelock North.

Driving towards a holiday weekend
at Te Rangiita, the car crested a hill
on the central plateau.
My mini and I heaved ourselves heavenward
at the wonderment
of the red streaked sky which
spilled out
in all directions
before us.

On the road into Taupo
this scene of kaliedescopic scarlet
pressed into my imagination
and stored itself in the
file labelled 'wonder'.

Lodged there until accessed tonight
when layer upon layer
of blue between the pine trees
decoded again that password.

Another time for regretting
the sun's exit lines,
and revelling in the starry deep blueness
above the Caltex sign.

At crucial times the wonders of my world
rip the breath right out of the body,
leave me gasping, oxygen deprived, cast,
then fill me again with the joy of living,

of horizons.

Rereading this I can hear again the echoes of Wordsworth, Honi Tuwhare, Bruce Springsteen (the Caltex sign) and Pink Floyd's Fat Ol' Sun. I like the poem tho and it does remind me of Wakefield and Taupo - a place of regeneration and inspiration. I love that drive around the lake with all the twisty corners, beaches, rocks and vast blue water below and beyond. A magic place!

I thought I'd add a portfolio of our mountain views to get you all inspired.

Daffodil watch - they have come into bloom really well in the last week (dry too amazingly). We're still having fires during the night but it's definitely getting warmer. Enjoy the week ahead wherever you are.

Currently grooving to Paris St Germain's 'Tourist' - the megaseller, and REM 'Reckoning' - the most perfect spring album ever. When Keegan was born we lived in the pink house in List St (New Plymouth) and I thrashed this album during the spring of '85 - especially the first song - Harborcoat. keegan was about a year old and loved this song!

Love and peace - w

1 comment:

Tom said...

Thanks for the mention :o)

And don't overlook Fables of the Reconstruction, one of the less revered, but nevertheless excellent albums in the REM back catalogue...