Monday, November 28, 2011

Living in the material world

The late great George Harrison, used to say to those in pain "We are not these bodies - just souls having a bodily experience".

Yet one of his great albums was called "Living in the Material World".

He died 10 years ago today - 29 November 2001.

But - Here Comes The Sun is still one of my all-time favourites - as played at the Concert for Bangla Desh in 1972:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuis in Town

You will already know that I delight in seeing, watching, and listening to Tuis. Usually, they are observed in our back yard.
But I work in Wellington City, and while it is hardly the largest city in NZ, it's CBD is distinctly a 'city'. My route each day emerges from the Railway Station and proceeds to Stout Street. In doing so, it passes by an area of flax plants separating the footpath and a service driveway into one of the University buildings.
At this time of year, the flax is flowering. And so is visited by Tui seeking food in the flowers.
I was struck by how lovely it is to see these glorious birds in the midst of the urban fabric, oblivious to me and other passersby, almost all of whom barely notice them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It was 38 years ago today ...

Is it any surpise I fell in love? Or that we got married?

I don't think so!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's all in the genes

I have been tracing my family history (or histories, in fact) as well as those of Desiree, for many years now. So long, in fact, I cannot recall what it was that sparked my interest or got me started.

One of the outcomes has been a cluster of websites (because I can).

Another has been what my daughters call their "Another graveyard look". This expression is a mix of bored tolerance and indifference and accompanies a glazed and distant look in the eyes. It usually appears when ancestry is mentioned, or a graveyard which may contain headstones of interest (to me and/or Desiree) is sighted.

It has also produced a not inconsiderable database of relations - near and distant - and some obstruse connections. Related is a library of photographs, most inherited from my parents.

And lurking in the not-too distant horizon is an attempt to document the stories - not just the dry and (admittedly somewhat dusty) recitation of the 'trees' but, where possible, some of the human stories. I fondly envisage a 'novelisation' of the pictures. Such are plans for 'retirement'!

Does anyone else care about all of this? Not really, is the short answer. My brother Ron & sister Barbara aren't really bothered; Ron, I suspect is pleased someone has done it; and Barbara is deeply involved in tracking David's family. Nephews and nieces? Probably not; I've never inquired.

And yet, in a very real sense, that's who I'm doing it for.

I'm confident, that at some point, each of the next generation will want to know the answers to questions of ancestry - who, where, when, why. So while, I've never really bothered to try and inflict upon them tales of the past ("I remember when I was ..." or "You grandfather was ..."), they are aware that there is a fund of knowledge built and recorded, and that all they have to do is ask.

After all, what underpins the whole endeavour, is a sense of the value of continuity. It is not everyone's interest, and even when the interest is piqued, it may be narrowly focussed, or merely a passing curiosity. But the Internet has been a god-send in this sense. It can be treated like a giant 'archive' and will linger, and be accessible when the inevitable questions arise, even if I'm not.

Already I receive sporadic emails from more or less distant relations, from around the world, who stumble on the sites and have further questions, or provide information or corrections, or merely say 'thank you'.

So, do I care if the kids don't take an interest in the pastime? No. They also don't care about basketball, and have different tastes in music and food. What is important to me, is that it is done; preserved; ready to be used or read as, when, and if, they are ready.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our local candidate

Holly Walker

Greens candidate for Hutt South.

Check her profile. Ex-Hutt Valley High, and former pupil of Desiree. So she's got to be good! Deserves both votes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who goes there?

One of the delights of my life is being able to sit on the deck and watch birds hopping around the lawn, hunting worms.

The other evening, this thrush came a-calling. I suspect it is the same one who was hopping around after me when I was mowing the lawn at the weekend, coming within a couple of metres of me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween in the neighbourhood

We don't really 'do' Halloween - never have, although the kids when they young used to dress up.

Not like one of our neighbours, who really dress up their place!

I especially like the spider above the gate - very nervy!