Caught in a barren land

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I was expecting my mother earlier this evening.

She was coming to take me to Invercargill. My brother, the ghost who walks, is going down from Wellington for the Burt Munro Challenge. At the same time there was supposed to be a celebration at Knox Church for our respective birthdays. He’s a 50 year old Sagittarian, I’m a 44 year old Scorpio.

My mother got as far as Balclutha before she was caught in an accident. The car is a write-off, she got through without any major injury, except for a couple of splendid shiners I understand. After the ambulance people fussed over her the police took her back to Invercargill. My mother knows all the Nicest Policemen!

I decided against making any alternative travel plans. Even though it meant saying good-bye to ice-cream cake (my favourite birthday treat). I could stay at home with Tao and not put her under any stress, which a visit from my mother usually implies. She insists on bringing her dog with her, a constant frustration for me.

Southern Dave has offered to come to Dunedin to collect me. As my mother is now without a car and will probably not visit me again this year I have decided to go. I suspect that we will be in separate cities for Christmas this year, and she will not make it to see Aïda next weekend.

I think I can safely shut Tao in the house before I leave. I will only be away overnight and will return on Sunday with four bikers. What fun!

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Another scribble

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Late in the afternoon Ha’penny was still pushing the mover over the lawns. He had been at it most of the day. The weather had been indifferent and the public grounds so near a thoroughfare gave him a chance to watch people going by. Anyone of them could a type the inspectorate like to keep an eye on. The young white-haired man chewing on an ice-cream was at least part-troll. Two foreign visitors out sight-seeing in the city could have been skin-jumpers. Best of all were three working girls on their way home laden with the day’s shopping, entirely human!

Something buzzed passed his cheek. He spun around, his arms flying outward. One hand clenched as he made a fireball.

“Fair does, Hape! It’s only me! Mr. Anghelo sent me out with some coffee!” The girl was less than half a metre in height, with fairy wings. She folded them back under her cloak. “Do anything to me and by the end of the day you’ll be so full of elfshot you won’t know if you’re Arthur or Martha.”

Ha’penny pressed his glasses against his nose. “I’ve met Arthur. I’d rather be Martha than married to his wife,” he growled and accepted the coffee from the girl’s hands.

hobbit-spotting

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Yet again I am suffering under multiple attacks of livingness, long may it continue!

Last weekend was a visit for a sewing session at the Canton of Kettleburn. I didn’t start on anything. We decided that if I’m going to make new medieval kit then I’m going for Turkish costume (death for western European mediaevil conformity!). Then there was the workshop full of knives. Oh, my! Was I tempted!

During the week on Monday there was end of semester lunch at the castle. Then because the Council of Assembly was visiting there were leftovers for lunch on Friday as well. So I had a piece of battered fish, some chips, an open sandwich, an extra slice of meat, two scoops of rice salad, some of the vegetable salads, a mousse, and a bowl of fruit salad. The property staff were looking at me and going Are you going to eat all that? I managed. The fruit salad was wet enough that it helped to wash it all down. Two of us from the archives office decided that we would be propping each other up for the afternoon.

There were birthday drinks last night. I got into a long chat with a guy doing a thesis on ER Eddison. That doesn’t happen often enough.

It was 25 degrees celsius on Friday. We sweltered under the burning hammerfall of sunny winds. One of my workmates got a email from her sister that it was a cool 25 degrees in Lanzarotte! (That’s in Spain.) The sunny weather makes me feel quite euphoric!

It wasn’t my birthday drinks although around this time I have turned 44. My mother came up from Invercargill and we went and saw Tosca, Met Opera Live. It was one of those performances where very large singers get to hold hands. The singer playing Scarpia was deliciously evil.

Next weekend, down to Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge. Told you I’m having a busy time.

I know I am a Southlander Of A Certain Age, when a friend says that they were born in the carpark of McDonalds in Invercargill and I know exactly what they mean.

hobbit-spotting

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Yet again I am suffering under multiple attacks of livingness, long may it continue!

Last weekend was a visit for a sewing session at the Canton of Kettleburn. I didn’t start on anything. We decided that if I’m going to make new medieval kit then I’m going for Turkish costume (death for western European mediaevil conformity!). Then there was the workshop full of knives. Oh, my! Was I tempted!

During the week on Monday there was end of semester lunch at the castle. Then because the Council of Assembly was visiting there were leftovers for lunch on Friday as well. So I had a piece of battered fish, some chips, an open sandwich, an extra slice of meat, two scoops of rice salad, some of the vegetable salads, a mousse, and a bowl of fruit salad. The property staff were looking at me and going Are you going to eat all that? I managed. The fruit salad was wet enough that it helped to wash it all down. Two of us from the archives office decided that we would be propping each other up for the afternoon.

There were birthday drinks last night. I got into a long chat with a guy doing a thesis on ER Eddison. That doesn’t happen often enough.

It was 25 degrees celsius on Friday. We sweltered under the burning hammerfall of sunny winds. One of my workmates got a email from her sister that it was a cool 25 degrees in Lanzarotte! (That’s in Spain.) The sunny weather makes me feel quite euphoric!

It wasn’t my birthday drinks although around this time I have turned 44. My mother came up from Invercargill and we went and saw Tosca, Met Opera Live. It was one of those performances where very large singers get to hold hands. The singer playing Scarpia was deliciously evil.

Next weekend, down to Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge. Told you I’m having a busy time.

I know I am a Southlander Of A Certain Age, when a friend says that they were born in the carpark of McDonalds in Invercargill and I know exactly what they mean.

A scribble

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Two of them were crossing the showgrounds. The inspector watched them as they crossed over. She could do nothing to stop them as they were registered citizens. They came from beyond the showgrounds, further down the tracks, towards the etherport.

Both were short, and their golden hair marked them as typical changeling types. Who for, the inspector wondered briefly. It would be on file somewhere.

The older of the two, must be respectable enough as she wore a teacher’s black gown. It billowed out behind her. She plowed through the crowd which scattered in her path.

Her companion, a younger man, lengthened his pace to keep in step with her. He glanced around hungrily before the flood of humanity washed over them.

They disappeared back into the crowd. Only the wake of their passage marked their progress.

Ahem

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Stroke.

Dave has probably seen it. If not then let me bring it to his attention.

Hat-tip: Red Alert

Memento Mori

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Occasionally I think about changing the details of my will. I put it together through Public Trust in Invercargill before I moved to Dunedin. I signed it in my first year in Dunedin. Most of my thinking has to do with what do I want to happen in my final rite of passage. I disagree with people who say it doesn’t matter because they won’t be attending their own funeral in person. I think it does matter. In my lifetime I have sat through enough funerals that I didn’t enjoy. I want mine to be done right when it comes (which I would prefer to be in another 30 something years, not sooner!)

My will says cremation. I keep thinking I must get that changed. I want to be buried with grave goods. My family have a plot in the Eastern Cemetary in Invercargill so I can be buried there. The grave goods should provide an interesting treat for any archeologists who disinterre the grounds in a couple of centuries’ time.

I am happy to allow for a eulogy and a act of committal. I rule out a sermon. Just because I’m leaving the planet is no reason for anyone to run a recruitment drive. I’ve heard them often enough at funerals and it annoys me. There is enough material in my own life if a speaker wants to use religious language. Restrict it to that domain.

Readings: from the Bible Luke 24:5; From Reaperman by Terry Pratchett, pages 263-265 (“There are a billion Deaths…And Death returned home with a handful of Time.”); from Playing God by Glenn Colquhoun, the poem On the death of my grandmother.

Music: there is so much to choose from: I would like the song I shall fall from Garth Hewitt’s album Stronger than the Storm, although I’ve not heard it sung live; perhaps the hymn Rainbow People by Colin Gibson; and I like the idea of the song What a Wonderful World being sung by a congregation.

That should do for now.

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