Exchangetide Greetings 4

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A card arrived from Sam today.  I glad he is on my exchange list.  He does cards from an interesting imagined culture, Selen.  This year’s card came with lots of owls.  It talks about the owl goddess, Lya, who walks the wintry earth during January inspiring intellect, wisdom, and really stupid behaviour.  Good luck with that last one!

I will enjoy the owls.

Exchangetide Greetings 3

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Back from the holidays.  Two more cards came while I was away.  The arrival of cards gets dodgy at this time of year as statutory holidays plays merry havoc with the post .

  • First up is New Year greetings in Sandic.
  • Second is friendly greetings and a wish for happiness from Lhaa Siri.

Both cards are winter-themed.

 

Exchangetide Greetings 2

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Another three cards have arrived at the end of the week.

  • A post card of introduction from Robert Murphy who is working on a reconstruction of Parseltongue called Stilio.
  • Yule-tide greetings sent from Elimtilas in the Eastlands of the World where the savage Yeolfather visits children at the feast of Yeol.
  • Solstice greetings from Andrej Šuc, a poem in Laefêvëši

That is all for now.  I’m sure that there will be more after I return from Christmas with my family.

 

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

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This proved to be worthy of a visit.  I went twice to museum for a visit, the second time because ARANZ Dunedin, the Archives and Records Association held an end-of-year tea and we wandered around having a look.  I have already started referring to the museum as Toitu, a Maori word meaning To Preserve Forever and the name of a stream that runs under High Street.  People seem to know what I refer to, it’s easy to remember and less long winded than calling it the Settlers Museum.

The Presbyterian Archives donated a stonking huge pulpit bible to the interactive settler’s hut display.  It had been sitting on my workspace for half a year because I knew that there was someone who needed one.  I though it was a parish who was looking for a new pulpit bible.  It’s found a new home now.  The idea that the settlers brought a huge bible like that across for their spiritual comfort which would have taken up precious space that they had for luggage is an act of faith.

If you visit the display then try out the bed.  It’s padded with rushes and absolutely no give.  Could we have lived like that?  It would be a challenge and demand sacrifices.  They were a hardy lot.

We admired the big chunky horses that the museum had created as part of the carriage display.  Perhaps they come alive at night and race around the museum.  It would be quite fun to imagine a fantasy written using the elements that are available in the museum.

I found my ancestors among the portraits of the first settlers.  It was easier to walk around the walls until I found them than use the screens.  The display of the Chinese who settled Otago is gone as a unit.  Parts of it are scattered in other displays around the museum.

Even after two visits there is still a lot to see.  I will be going again.

Despite the end of the Mayan calendar the end of the world is not come upon us.  This means I will have to go out and do the last of my Christmas shopping.  Hopefully I beat the rain.

Exchangetide Greetings 1

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The first of the exchange cards came yesterday.  An attractive card in the Interlace alphabet of Kelen from Sylvia Sotomayor.  It was a wish that the year brings joy.  The dying year or the imminent year?  The choice is ours to make.

My cards are drawn, written, addressed and posted.  They go today to imaginary language makers in Australia, China, America and Europe.  As they are posted so late they will probably not arrive until after Christmas.  The cards I receive this year will be added to my collection from previous years.

Moot Court

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The last event for the Centre for Theology and Public Issues in 2012 was a report back on a survey that the Centre held earlier this year to get feedback on its activities.

The Centre has interest from students at the University with 25-35 at the under-graduate level and 4-5 going on to study with the Centre in post-graduate studies.

As public broadcasting is under threat in New Zealand the Centre continues to provide a forum for discussing issues.  It has become a service of its own.  It attracts the interest of the public who are not interested in theology, but are interested in the public space the Centre creates.

In the question time I put in a push for more research to be done with the Presbyterian Archives.  As one of the topics someone with the Centre is researching is prayer and the public health system then I know of one collection of papers at which to point them.  Further work for the archives staff should only be encouraged!

Advent 3

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There comes a point in Advent when the daily lectionary readings stop being set out according to which week in Advent we are in, and specific dates in the calendar set in.  December 17th marks that date.  We are a week out from Christmas.  It stalks us with terrible inevitability.

This was the weekend of the Friends and Family Invasion.  Southern Dave turned up with Mum in tow, banging on the door of Manono House and banging her luggage-on-wheels up the stair-case.

Dave came up for his nephew’s band playing at the Musician’s club for the ‘Not So Silent Night’.  From my hearing of them it was heavy drums and guitar and inaudible lyrics.  There is a slogan ‘If it’s too loud, then you’re too old’.  In that case this music was too young for me.  It was like listening to a boy racer or that party across the road in the middle of the night that is going to make you get up and call sound control.

I was told that ‘This was not your music, it’s ours’.  As my day began with listening to Karl Jenkin’s Mass for the Armed Man, the Wellington Ukelele Orchestra doing It’s A Heartache, and listening again to Jessye Norman singing Zueignung which had been used beautifully and tearfully for carrying out the casket at the funeral of a gentleman; the day had not progressed.

Sunday left me with a ghost of a headache which disappeared as Mum and I enjoyed Thomas Adès’s The Tempest.  Prospero awaits on his island for revenged against those who exiled him there.  He is dressed in the wreckage of his courtly robes, his spells tattooed on his body like a pirate.  It’s the revenge of the undressed on the dressed: Ariel is an inhuman and elemental spirit who rides on the shoulders of kuroko; Caliban is half-Mohican, half-feathery beast (which annoyed me less than the painted orc from The Enchanted Island in last year’s season).  In hindsight the character who journeys the most is Ferdinand, washed ashore he is divested of his nobility and then restored as Prospero and Miranda are restored as rulers of Milan.  There is a story that has not been told.

Having been introduced to the opus of Thomas Adès I would like to give it more consideration.

In the evening I attended Knox Church for the evening service Celebrating Christmas Down-Under as the choirs of five churches participated.  I am told the music group from Opoho stole the evening when they walked to the front dressed in hats and bush-shirts for a version of Peter Cape’s poem Nativity:

They were set for the home, but the horse went lame
And the rain came pelting out of the sky
Joe saw the hut and he went to look
And he said, ‘She’s old, but she’ll keep you dry’

So her kid was born in that road-man’s shack
By the light of a lamp that’d hardly burn
She wrapped him up in her hubby’s coat
And put him down on a bed of fern

Then they came riding out of the night
(And this is the thing that she’ll always swear)
As they took off their hats and came into the light
They knew they were going to find her there

Three old jokers in oilskin coats
Stood by the bunk in that leaking shack
One had a beard like a billy-goat’s
And one was frail and one was black

She sat at the foot of the fern-stalk bed
And she watched, but she didn’t understand
While they put these bundles at the baby’s head
And this river nugget into his hand

Gold is the power of a man with a man
And incense the power of man with God
But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod

Then they went, while she watched through the open door
Weary as men who had ridden too far
And the rain eased off and the low cloud broke
And through a gap shone a single star

Merry Eczemas to one and all.  The weather is too hot to sleep now.

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