Urban Elf Tribes

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One of the projects I dabble with is to create a city in a fantasy world that could be a mirror to the one I live in.  I watched parts of the movie Peter Pan at the weekend.  It contributed to an idea that has been germinating that in such a city the elvish and fairy citizens are an artistic sub-class overlapping with criminality.  They walk among the other peoples of the city with otherworldly gifts and immortal foods that offer addiction: lotuses, viaticum, elf-shot.  They also steal children when they can, and run gangs of unageing flying thieves.  They need to policed and kept within their boundaries.

As for the image of a pirate ship riding the fog of London between the clock towers, that’s an evocative image.

After the book sale

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I have no idea how posting links to Facebook works with the current version so here’s a link to the Otago Daily Times article on the Book Sale.

I even know the date for next book sale: 26-27 May 2012.  Fortunately using a calendar that goes from June till May I have it already marked in.  The sale for things people donate which are not books will be in March.

24 Hour Book Sale

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With the Regent Theatre closed for renovations for the better part of this year the high holy day of the Zen Bukkhists was postponed until September.  It usually takes place close to the hypernotian shortest day.  This year it took place while Dunedin was hosting one of the opening matches for the Rugby World Cup: Argentina versus England.

I watched the game on t.v.  It proved to be an exciting match.  I decided to cheer for Argentina since they are regionally closer than the English to Dunedin.  Vamos los Pumas! and all that.  The Argentines did well in the first half.  In the second they were beginning to crumble and the English got a conversion that took them into the lead.  The Argentines took some heavy hits and came off the field without dishonour.  (I think I’ve got the sports talk right.)

Back to the sale.  I was there with my mutual friend Southern Dave from Invercargill.  I had taken the day off and we got in earlier, after the booksellers’ rush.  I’m glad we did.  The renovations to the theatre meant that the aisles were no longer being used to display books and everything was either on the stage, or in the area underneath the stage.  It took me a while to find the language books.  I found four books there to take away: a Teach Yourself Russian phrasebook from the Soviet period; Teach Yourself Basic German and two of the Made Simple series: Italian and Spanish.  I will start adding notes to my eclectic language files.  The language books were depleted very quickly and I might not have picked up anything that would interest me if I came in later in the day.

In the nearly new area below the stage I picked up a copy of Wise’s New Zealand Index (1945) and a copy of Shona Dunlop MacTavish’s autobiography which I can give to my mother when she visits.  She feels an affinity to the dancer as her mother was a servant to the Dunlop family when they were the minister’s family resident at my mother’s church in Invercargill.

Hopefully Southern Dave has set up the R. S. S. feed so he is reading this now.  He’ll let me know.  I’ll remember his visit.  Apart from the two volumes of New Zealand as it might have been that he left for me to read, his watch is sitting on my book shelves!

The Rugby World Cup and Developments in Phenomology of Religion

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The Rugby World Cup 2011 has begun in New Zealand.  I had a guest staying with me for the last couple of nights for the 24 Hour Book Sale in Dunedin, my friend Southern Dave.  We watched the opening ceremony and enjoyed it.  I would love a DVD release that includes all the detail for which there was no time to show on television.  It was an entertaining show that included indigenous culture and rugby playing in a performance that would make the producers of Doctor Who envious.  I’m still waiting for New Zealand to produce a science fiction or fantasy show that includes that level of visual imagination and detail.  Oh, well.

Instead of watching the game I changed channels and watched a action movie based on a video game.  I hadn’t seen it before and it sank to new levels of tedium compared to the extravaganza we had just watched.  Maybe the schedulers put it on because they knew nobody would be watching it.

With the opening of the Rugby World Cup I wanted to post this extract from Rev. Pr Albie Moore’s autobiography:

A more positive experience of the natural wonder of southern New Zealand was provided by a visit to Fiordland in western Southland.  Driving in the late afternoon we passed through Mossburn; darkness would soon fall and there was a mysterious and primeval air about the place in the half-light which brought out the myth-maker in us.  [Ninian Smart and I] stopped the car and began to concoct a fanciful myth of origins, which linked the Máori of New Zealand with Scottish antiquity. In the mythical past, we conjectured, this had once been the amphitheatre at the centre of the world at Mohaparana (Mossburn).  Out of the great egg of of primeval creation stepped Hakota (the Scot) and partner Makiwi (the mother of New Zealanders). They had thirty sons who strove mightily in two teams of fifteen.  Crouching down, they formed the sacred hakarama (scrum) to produce more eggs of creation.  And so was born the ancient tradition of rakapi (rugby football) festivals.  (I recounted our fantasy myth to a stage I class the following year, and apparently one or two of the student were first inclined to believe it, but at least it illustrated the appeal of a myth of origins).

This is post 1001 of The Irrefutable Proof about Hobbits.  At last we have entered the new millenium.

I’ll write later about the 24 Hour Book Sale.  Back then!

And The Brook Ran Dry

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Yesterday the Archivist was organizing some sermons for a visitor who wanted to examine them.  They were typed in shorthand on little bits of paper.  I tried to read one and I found it hurt my eyes.  During her work she read out the title of a sermon And The Brook Ran Dry.  I considered it for a moment and said, Old Testament, Book of Kings.  I was right.  I am disturbingly fluent in some parts of the Bible.  Of course when I recounted this story to others at a meeting of the local members of Presbytery last night I had it confirmed to me that the prophet in question was Elijah and the name of the brook was the Cherith which survived as the name of Trust in England.  I have a fun job.

We were at a meeting last night for a discussion about insurance policies after the Christchurch earthquake.  A consequence is that the cost of earthquake insurance has skyrocketed to shocking levels.  The Book of Order requires that each parish must have adequate insurance.  In the case of an earthquake not all church plants are going to be replaced.  This has led to some parishes arguing whether they want total cover insurance or not.  There appears to be a lot of evidence that insurance companies can be cunning as a pharisee when it comes to paying out on total cover insurance.

We are humans and we are from Earth

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Dedalvs has linked to this page [link broken and removed] to encourage translations of the above sentence from natural and immaginary languages.  It is a simple translation into Brithenig:

Nu sun llo ddyn e nu sun di lla Der.

As I was walking to work this week I realised that I could count one to five in the eclectic language I have been working on: údin; yilí; tig; mapat; lim.  I have written them out and and taken note of their ordinal forms as well.  I can count up to one hand.  The words of the second hand have not presented themselves.  No word for ten although there are words for hundred and thousand.

Anyhow all this is a distraction as the Rugby World Cup approaches and I should be seeing if there is a way that I can organize at least one screening of the matches in the Opoho Church hall.  The church’s own projector is unavailable as it is a permanent feature in the church.  Fortunately I think I can arrange one through the Knox Centre.  However I am procrastinating over organizing the event and the whole thing makes me anxious.

That’s Life

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Big event for today was the Dunedin Harmony Chorus’s musical show That’s Life.  I know a couple of people involved with this chorus and made sure I attended.  It was held at the Otago Boys’ auditorium.  The conceit of the performance was that the theatre was being closed down.  Two of the Chorus’s members played the cleaning lady (in curlers) and the wardrobe mistress (with measuring tapes) tidying props away as the bridge of the show as the Chorus and guests performed songs and items around them evoking memories of the theatre’s life and highlights.  The audience was well pleased with the show and left still talking especially about the piece If I wasn’t on stage then I would be…, a piece that requires coordination and concentration or else someone is going to get a slap to the face.  The support for this Chorus meant that their fund-raising tickets for a raffle to raise money to go to national competitions sold out and was presented before it reached my row, and people were still willing to donate a gold coin.  Naturally with such support there was no chance that the theatre was going to be allowed to die.  Everyone went home satisfied.

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