All Hallows’ Eve

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I finished adding items from Multimedia by doing Sound and Video cards. At that point I ran out of things to do. It was about half past five. Joe and I decided to visit the house on Frame Street during the day and have a closer look at it. There was no one at home so we wandered around the section. The deck that Joe was hoping would be wide enough to practice tai chi and pa kua on turned out to be no bigger than a door step. We are not sure if it is a particularly light house. We will go again in the week with Mike and have a look inside the house.

There were a couple of phone calls during the day. Felicity asked me if I would accompany one of clients from the community house on Grandview Crescent to church on Sunday. He is Anglican but cannot access the local church any more because his mobility is not so good. This is a trial session. Fortunately someone from church also rang to take over my door duty on Sunday for me. Alistair visited to see Mike, who was out at the time. He has gone from the Presbyterians to the Baptists. He is fitting in better with their ethos.

The thunder had started after we set out for the supermarket and we got caught by the rain which came down heavy. It didn’t help that I wanted to stop on the way at the Presbyterian Archives and talk to Yvonne. They have installed new sliding shelves at the archives which has allowed them to free up more space. They look very impressive. She and I are both concerned about the church judicial commission that is going to allow a lesbian woman from Wellington to study for ministry in the Presbyterian church. The decision could easily be overturned by a decision of General Assembly. People will be hurt by this. The liberals are rejoicing; the traditionalists and the evangelicals are moving to oppose it. People are upset by how the decisions was made and how it was communicated to the church.

I decided against going across the road to the fish’n’chip shop for tea. It could have proved awkward getting them home in the rain. None of us drive and we usually put our supplies in a backpack and one of us, mostly Joe, sometimes me, carries it up the hill. It’s only a couple hundred metres but it’s quite a hike. We bought some things from the delicatessen for our tea. The rain had lessened by the time we left the supermarket so we decided not to wait for the bus to arrive in quarter of an hour’s time.

There were only a couple of trick or treaters out tonight. I guess the rain kept them away. I made sure we bought a packet of sweets from the supermarket in case we were visited. There have been fireworks heard at this time of year too. Guy Fawkes Night is in November. When I was younger I was interested in the idea that the different months were ruled by numina based on their name sakes: Janus, Juno, Februa, etc. In this latter part of the year it struck me that the governing forces work in opposition to each other: October is Halloween and darkness; November is Guy Fawkes and fire. Every year Light triumphs over Darkness and heralds the way for the midseason festival at Christmas and the new year. It runs through the last week of October and the first week of November. I sometimes think I would like to write a story about it some day – the War of Trick and Treason.

We watched the last episode of highlights from Scrapheap Challenge and an episode of CSI. I taped Jack Dee: Sentenced to Siberia. He proved to be a dour comedian who didn’t excite me about his travels and trials through the cold of Siberia. Then we watched the final episode of Is Harry on the Boat?. The series sort of fizzed out. Friday nights have pretty much come free from television watching, with the exception of CSI.

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Finally I have the DVD drives on the Australian stores finished and I can move onto other products. It was mid-afternoon by the time I had completed these and I was beginning to slow down. Time to go out and visit the gym.

On the way I visited Bag End Books. It has been a couple of weeks since I was last in, and during that time, I think I have missed out on ordering some titles I would have otherwise picked up. The treat of the day was that I was able to afford a copy of The Life-Eaters, a hard-back comic by David Brin, adapted and extended from his short-story, Thor meets Captain America, a fantasy set in an alternative history where Nazis use necromancy in the death camps to raise blood-thirsty teutonic gods to aid them in their struggle against the allies. I would have liked it if they had kept the original title but those characters belong to a different franchise.

The gym was busy. Some members notice that it becomes ‘warm’ with the number of people uisng the gym, by which they mean ‘ripe’. This has never affected me when I’m training.

Afterwards I stopped at the 24-hour store. Karin was there. She teased me that I mistook her to my mother as Trudi. It was a friendly tease. I bought a flake noir (a flaky chocolate bar coated in a case of dark chocolate) and a bottle of Pickford’s Saspirilla while I was there. When soda machines were popular when I was much younger we used to like mixing flavours with saspirilla. It blends with anything! Pickfords proved to be a strongly flavoured drink. I would like to try blending it with other drinks.

I went to Tai Chi, the first time in three weeks. A couple of the other students were there, but the teacher wasn’t. I guess with me not turning up for two weeks, and I wasn’t the only one who was missing classes that the classes had become suspended until suitable numbers could turn up.

I went home. Joe made a curry with coconut cream and mince. Later we watched the pilot of a new British series about a investigative military policewoman. I enjoyed it enough that I might watch another episode. Mike came home to tell us that he has found us another option for a flat. He has friends on Frame Street that are moving out of a rental property into their own home. They are in a lease until the end of the year. Our rent will go up by $10 extra a week if we accept it. It could prove to be a better house than this one and it is a good option for Mike and myself, both who have put down roots in the Gardens – Sacred Heart Church for Mike, Opoho for me, the connection with the Presbyterian Archives… There is a problem that we don’t know Mike’s movements after he finishes at Library School, he could stay in Dunedin another year, he may not. He finishes his course in March and graduates in May. After that he will be looking for a library position somewhere in New Zealand, maybe overseas, but I don’t know how he could justify it. Joe is somewhat hostile because he is resistant to paying extra, and he was looking forward to moving out of the North End.

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I checked the updates from Golden Leaf, which was a nice break from DVD drives and all their ilk. That took me most of the day. I finally got one DVD drive up that I had been arsing around with yesterday.

At four o’clock I left to go into the gym. I picked up this week’s list of available rentals from Robertsons. One house has been removed from the list. Others have been added.

I went to Nominations Committee at half past seven. We gave a report of the Combined meeting the week before. Afterwards we talked about proceding with submitting to Presbytery premission to seek and call a new minister, and we talked about compiling a new parish profile for the purpose of calling a minister. Some of us would like to be correct about this call and advertise it in the church papers, rather than just circulate it around the ‘network’. My neighbour across the road, Jenny, who is also on the committee, was sorry to hear that we would be moving out of the parish. I plan to maintain my connections with the parish for 12 months at least, because I am involved in the life of the parish. After that – we’ll see.

The facilitator of the combined meeting had not received the minutes that I had written. Nice of nobody to tell me until a week later! I checked when I got home. Joe and I agree that it did not go through because it was lost when Whitestar crashed. I sent it again.

There was a message from my mother. As usual she wanted me to send in an entry for her to the latest competition on ConcertFM. That is easy as it just involves sending away an email.

The flyer for the Saxman Dance in December is out. PUTTIN ON THE RITZ!

Put on your glad rags & shimmy on over to the Party of the Year!! Our theme this Xmas is the roaring 20s & 30s, so come on all you flappers, mobsters & swingers – get out your zoot suits, flapper dresses, spatz, feathers & pearls and swing the night away with the Saxman!

At the Combined Servicemen’s Club, Prince Albert Road, opposite St Kilda Tavern, Saturday 6th December 8 pm. Tickets from Eugenia 476 1444. Strictly no tickets will be reserved or put aside unless paid for in advance. $12 plus a plate of finger food for supper. Note: no ovens available, so no frozen pizzas, etc!

After I got home and had tea Joe and I watched a couple of DVDs: Babylon 5: Legends of the Rangers, the last of the Babylon 5 Sci-Fi movies that they attempted to with the chance of starting a new series; and an episode from the third season of Enterprise. While we were sitting watching these we each hosted a cat. Fremen curled up on my lap, as usual, and Tao sat in Joe’s.

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The Bethisad debate is over. A balance has been reached. I have managed to create a friendship with both sides, if not with each other. That will hold for now. I will return to active participation in ill Bethisad and continue my correspondence with Jörg. It fills me with a sense of relief that is palpable.

Ian and Tracy had not returned home yesterday. I was very lazy and did a couple of items from the DVD stand at Multimedia Technology and spent a lot of time in between just browsing, looking at things on the net. It did not help that overnight the house was draughty enough that Mike shut his door while Fremen was inside his room. At three o’clock in the morning Joe, who was still up, let her out because she was scratching on the door. She came through to me, but did not stay long as Tao was curled up on my bed. She wandered through the house and eventually I had to get up and put her back into Mike’s room.

Tessa has yet to be groomed to get the knots out of her fur. Both Joe and I brush her. When she gets impatient with me I allow her to take it out on my hand. Some of the scratches are deep. Joe tells me I should not let her do that.

The leader of the National Party, Bill English, has been voted out of the leadership by his caucus in favour of his deputy, Don Brash. The National Party is broadly right-wing in New Zealand. While I have definate left-wing sympathies – a sort of pastel red – I don’t think this is a good move. English is a Catholic family man from Dipton – quite the stick in the mud. Brash, the now-retired chairman of the Treasury Bank, and a Presbyterian like myself, is known for favouring dry new-right financial policy. I don’t see this as a good thing. Fortunately the National Party is our leading opposition party this term, and not in government.

Joe is sympathetic with the idea that we could consider Keith Duthy as a third flatmate for next year. When Mike finishes at Library School he could leave Dunedin – although he is applying for a position at the Dunedin Public Library. He is keen about the move. I don’t know yet. If he did get this position and we continued flatting with Mike then I would consider this arrangement stable and our household should look toward buying a house to share. He would be the first one in our household to have a permanent income. On the other hand I would like to gain some space in my relationships with others that I feel I don’t have while I continue flatting with him.

In the everning Mike and I went to Friend-Link Discussion Group. Lisa collected us in the Naphtali van because it was raining. They discussed how they can find new friends for their clients. They have 80 people waiting on their books and after 11 years since the closure of Cherry Farm Felicity and Lisa have run out of ideas to encourage people to volunteer. Felicity has visited my webpages and looked at my stuff on Brithenig and the Uniting Church, which is nice. She liked reading them.

Labour Day

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A public holiday, although much of town was open for part of the day. I went to the gym. I was happy with the workout. They have started new forms to record progress and they are different in format to the old forms. I walked through the shops on the way home seeing if I could pick up a cheap small teapot. Maybe another time. While walking through the Meridian Mall I went to Whitcoulls. Hardback editions of Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett are coming down in price, and Monstrous Regiment has been released. Tempting!

I know I have to write to the people involved in the “Bethisad” debate on the Conlang list. It took me all day to write what I had to say. I have to make peace with the people involved. I will have to be the one to eat humble pie. I’m ready to do this.

A friend from the Presbyterian School of Ministry at Knox College had left a call to me when I got home. She wanted to know about how the combined meeting of the North End churches went on Wednesday. She is writing a report about it for one of the staff at the School about the history of the unification among the North End churches.

Harry visited in the afternoon. He had been to a barbeque up the road from us. No wonder it’s raining! We drank tea and huddled in front of the heater in the study. He hopes that Joe will help him to convert his computer from Debian to Novell, which he is more familiar with. We showed him the Brithenig pages and he was impressed with them. If I wanted to create some imaginary languages for Majellan then I am free to do so. He took us for a ride around town to look at prospective flats for next year. There is one that we like in Mornington. The problem is that it becomes available a month before our current lease expires. We hope that it will remain available.

What do you want from me?

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I am continuing to think through the situation on the Conlang list. I cannot bring about a reconciliation but I need to make peace with all involved. I am responsible for that.

A good sermon at church today, based on the words of Jesus – What do you want from me? What do we hunger for? Are we the blind who want to see again? Or are we the people who, having sight, refuse to see?

Tessa’s turning a lighter shade. Some of her fur looks brown now.

Lots of delaying tactics to avoid writing emails, stuff that I have putting off doing. I wrote up the most recent notes from Robert’s memoirs and emailed them to Felicity.

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Gym in the morning. I was better prepared for this workout. I have lost quarter of a kilo in the seven weeks since I last weighed myself.

On the way home I met a friend who told me there is a theatre in Wellington that will have ten hour sessions of Lord of the Rings after the third movie comes out. They will have breaks between movies. The alternative, I suggested, would be to provide the audience with catheters.

I have just seen a private correspondence from one of the protagonists in the “Elves and ill Bethisad” debate to another. It is time that I spoke out.

Harry rang soon after. After Joe had a shower we headed around to there. We were late, but we weren’t the last to arrive for this session of Majellan. We survived this session, and even found food and drink. It’s a little scary to know that our characters are in the company of people that our pursuers, the farquar, fear. After we finished we stayed for tea: fish cakes, a roast chicken, and a lovely salad, followed by ice cream, rubarb pudding and a jam pie. We watched Dark City and the original Dune movie, not the version the Sci-Fi channel produced a couple of years ago. Joe and I had a marathon session in the kitchen washing dishes for Harry and Richelle.

There is a good chance that next week could be another odd week, so that Majellan sessions are in sync with all the players. We have one member we haven’t seen in a couple of months.

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Apparently Whitestar, which is Griffler Enterprises’ box based in Dunedin is down. No mail, no access to the online stores. I have no work I can continue on with today. Ian and Tracy are coming into town from Otematata to salvage Whitestar. Joe is waiting for them to turn up, but they are late due to the bad weather slowing them down from coming into the city.

When they arrived we introduced them to our new cats, Tao and Tessa. Ian’s comment was ‘This is Tao and these three cats are Tessa’. Tessa’s not a big cat but she is a longhaired cat who looks ‘explosive’ in size.

After they had left I decided to go to the gym. It was a hard workout as it had been less than 24 hours since my last workout and my body had not fully recovered.

It was late in the afternoon when the others returned. They were all tired. Whitestar was up and running again. My email was coming down the line again, beeping at me every few minutes while I was writing up notes on my Wiki pages about Brithenig. Some notes I wrote in the Wellington Library about Welsh folklore when I visited Nick last year; and a historical timeline I sketched out from a book I read earlier this year.

The whole “Elves and ill Bethisad” debate has led me to think that it is about time I returned to the Ill Bethisad Shared World Project and resumed the guardianship of Kemr north of the Severn after two years away from that project. I feel consternation about the whole thing. The turning point has been a near flamewar between two fellow conlangers who hold opposing views on how Kemr and ill Bethisad should develop, or should have developed. Can I steer a middle way? I don’t know.

Everyone came back at five o’clock. They were tired. Tracy and Ian dropped Joe and myself off at the Otago Museum so we could go and see the dinosaurs on display there. We decided not to go into the display, but rather we will come back on Sunday and spend the afternoon there then.

We walked home again and then made our way down the hill to the supermarket for our weekly supplies. We watched the grand challenge on this season’s final episode of Scrapheap Challenge, and CSI. I was still working on the computer into the evening. Joe is grumpy with me because I did not give him a call for Is Harry on the Boat.

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Lots of activity yesterday. I’m still working on DVDs from Multimedia. I had to ring the Mission Resource Team Co-Director to get his email so I could get the minutes from last night circulated. Opoho’s Parish Clerk rang to ask about how the meeting went. A real estate agent rang to ask me for some details. At half past three a man came to change the meter. Soon after that I went to the gym.

I did not go to Tai Chi tonight as I wanted to pay bills and did not want to spend any extra money.

Joe is grumpy because nobody has done the dishes before tea. He normally dries and puts dishes away, but he expects somebody to do them. Tessa actually jumped up on his desk and sat on his keyboard last night. A remarkable achievement for her, normally she takes a more circumspect route to climb up onto a deskspace.

I need to write something about my political orientation because I have been thinking where my opnions lie recently – especially in relation to the politics in ill Bethisad. Now is not the time though.

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I continued to do DVD drives for the Australian store from Multimedia today. Two new orders have come in: one from Thailand for a very expensive camera, and another from the US for a Hewlett Packard printer. It seems to be cheaper to buy the printer from us and ship it to the US than to buy it in the US. Go figure.

I stopped at four o’clock and went to the gym. On the way I dropped off a form at Edinburgh Realty. One of the people at the gym was lamenting that now he has a girlfriend he is starting to get fat because they go out for meals so often. The guy probably has less epidermal fat than I do! And he’s taller than me!

There was a combined meeting of the North End Presbyterian Churches at Opoho at half past seven: Opoho, North East Valley, Pine Hill and Port Chalmers. The meeting went very well and the feeling was positive that this time, under their own initiative, the churches could work together towards a combined ministry. I kept the minutes of the meeting and they will be disseminated once I discover the facilitator’s email address – of which I didn’t keep a copy. I was an hour and a half later getting home for tea than I expected.

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