Dear Diary

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Last entry for the month, where was the Hobbit spotted in the end of October.

  • Third Wednesday of the Month is Parish Council night.  I talked in preparation for our Rugby World Cup Final night; and the Parish Self-Review, we will look at the questions when they come out, the self-review looks like too much organisation for a small parish like ours
  • Last Wednesday went and heard the Venerable Doctor Maitree Moorthi of the Sri Lankan Buddhist community in Dunedin speak on the topic How to control an agitated mind and body during exam times.
  • Last Thursday the Assisi Day of Prayer was celebrated at Holy Name Church with prayers being led by representatives of the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities.
  • Sadly missed out on the Hallowe’en Hafla at the Kasbah, I decided to stay in as I had my mother visiting me.  Otherwise I would have provided a report.  Apologies to my Khamzin tribal friends.  Perhaps next time.

Taieri Gorge Train Trip

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Sometimes an event can interrupt a weekend. This time it was a visit from my mother. She came up as the Girls’ Brigades of Ashburton, Timaru and Southland joined with Dunedin to ride the Taieri Gorge Train to Middlemarch. I hosted her for two nights as there is no bus service between Dunedin and Invercargill for most of the weekend. We managed.

The train trip proved to be pleasant. Since there is no significant public transport throughout the South Island using trains at the moment I had forgotten how pleasant travelling by train can be, its sound and motion. There was also the unpleasant affects of watching objects speed past me at near distances. It disorientated me rather than setting off any motion sickness, a discomfort that sometimes affects me. The mayflowers were in bloom.

We watched the Taieri River go past, a muddy looking river. It had tributaries and we crossed over Christmas Creek where the flow of clear green-tinged water created a border where the brown water tried to invade it. The deep river valley inspires me with visions of the Nile or the mythic canals of dying Mars. Perhaps this is what it could have been like to live in those legendary places. The horizons bounded by the edges of the valley on both sides, and beyond the chilly iron-red deserts. At the end of the trip the train rises out of the valley and into the hills of heaven, a rocky landscape on the edge of Rohan, the March of the Riders, where gold-miners once huddled in a previous generation.

Middlemarch proved interesting. We wandered down to the public domain. The Lions put on a barbecue with a sausage each for everyone, and there were pony rides for children all eager to have a turn on the animals.

The local museum was opened for us to have a look around. I could have spent more time there. Originally the Masonic Lodge it just rambled further back as they extended it and included its history. I was surprised to find that so much of it was not roped off and objects like books could be picked up and touched. It included the old Masonic regalia, including a chair. If there had been any decorations in the building it had been stripped bare beforehand.

Now we have done the journey in spring and in summer. We would still like to make the trip in winter. I can imagine it with mists and cool weather. I would like to see that.

Rugby World Cup Final in Opoho Church Hall

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We put out chairs and tables, brought along some catering, and plugged a t.v. into the projector to screen the match on the north wall of the church hall, pained white.  About fifteen people turned up, mostly from the church.  There were a handful from the community who came along to watch the game.  In some ways this was a disappointing response.  Otherwise everyone had a good time, enjoyed the game and enjoyed the company.

It was an exciting game.  New Zealand took the lead.  In the second half the French made wave after wave of attacks to equal the score.  They couldn’t break through New Zealand’s defence.  I loved to watch the ball in play.

Everyone went home happy.  Our next event will be a Candidates’ Meeting in November before the National Elections.  That one is always well attended.  I’m looking forward to it.

I’m also considering going to the Phoenix Roar match played between the Wellington Phoenix and the Brisbane Roar at the Dunedin Stadium in December.  I haven’t been to the Stadium yet.  That could be a good game.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Beyond World’s End

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While I haven’t been to see On Stranger Tides yet it is Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan who are the characters that interest me, whatever one may say about the actors.  In some ways At World’s End ends on a depressing note.  Turner has become the Captain of the Flying Dutchman, the immortal psychopomp of all who die upon the seas, and Swan is left to grow old and die.  Watching it again last night I was more optimistic about the ending.  She has become the Guardian of the Captain’s Heart, and after her, her son.  Swan and Turner will meet every ten years to renew their relationship and their love for each other.

Cutler Beckett gave up too easily in my opinion.  He had the flagship of the fleet.  Had he given the orders he could have manoeuvered out of danger and used his own fleet against the Brethren.  Instead he lost a valuable ship and presumably the lives of all the soldiers and sailors on board.  My guess there is someone in the Admiralty who would be keeping a ledger of these things, a player who has not yet shown his hand.  The East India Company have taken a serious blow but are potentially not out of play.  They will want their revenge.

Presumably Elizabeth Swan, now the Pirate Queen, will leave Shipwreck Cove taking the Dead Man’s Chest and her son with her.  If she was to return to England, or possibly New York, then other agencies would come into play and a curious series of events would ensue.  If she was in America then the American war with the Berbery Pirates could come into play.  There’s an interesting idea for a story seed.

Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song

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The Silence are a cruel and callous Order who will destroy people simply because they have the power to do so.  They oppose the Doctor because in the asking of the obvious question will bring about their fall (and it really is obvious).  Does this mean that they are intrinsically villainous and evil?  They have their self-preservation in mind, not ours.

Reading the description of the final confrontation, the Eleven sounds like the Doctor himself.  I suspect it will prove to be a regeneration scene.  So there could be another season or more before they reach the fields of Trenzelor.

I have an annoyance with the re-imagined series using military personnel as mooks.  I have fond memories of UNIT from the original series.  There were re-occuring actors who played characters in their right.  Now they are just a running total of characters for target practice.  The same happened to the Silurian soldiers who supported the Doctor in A Good Man Goes To War, and with the human soldiers in the collapsing time-line.  They couldn’t defeat the Silence, but Amy could, shooting them in the same way!  Inconsistency?

My life as a….

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I like adding new things to my face-book interests so having been told that the Blue Oyster Art Project Space had a presence there I went and checked out the page. Pages actually, there are two of them. I was bemused to discover that the most recent news on one page was a review I had done after my visit for a talk that they had on there. Good grief! Am I the only person in the blogosphere who is reviewing Dunedin as a space of art and culture and public events? It would be humbling if it was true. I have no qualifications to be a critic, or say if music, dance or displayed art is good. Where are the real people who should be doing this?

I plan to continue blogging about events that I attend and that I find fun. People who stumble over my blogsite are going to be surprised by the eclectic mix of things that I have discovered. Perhaps I’m not as broad-minded as I make out to be.

And shout out when your event is on. I’ll be glad to come and see. Look out for the little guy in the big green felt fedora. That’s me. I think I’m slowly turning into an old identity in this city. And if you think my opinion is wrong then tell me, or if it is right. It’s the only way I’ll learn better.

Maybe I should go talk to the people at Hidden Dunedin. It could yet prove that I am a force for good.

Dear Diary

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There were two open lectures that I attended this week:

  • The Centre for Theology and Public Issues hosted Climate Change: Just Sit Back and Enjoy the Grapes? with Jim Salinger, Rod Oram and Laura Black, a combination of a cultural and ethical Jew, a practicing Anglican and a professional Methodist.
  • Murray Rae presented his inaugural professorial lecture Theology and the Pursuit of Truth, apparently there is some overlap.

If I’m not blogging much at the moment it’s because I’m anxious about the screening of the Rugby World Cup Final at Opoho Church next weekend.  While I’m relatively confident that it will all fall into place this doesn’t stop the sin of panicking lurking where I least expect it.  (Usually about four in the morning.)

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