Hobbit spotting

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I am finding no incentive to report on lectures at the moment.  Perhaps it’s where I am.  There have been a sudden flurry of opportunities to house-sit for friends in the latter part of the year.  A friend visits his partner in China for a month in winter.  I house-sit for him and care for his cats.  Another friend hears of it and I jumps at the opportunity that I could care for her sixteen year old cat while she is on leave overseas in Europe.  I’m happy to provide for them and sit here typing into their spare laptop while Glitzy Candle-bears curls up beside me.  A happy situation.

Friends ask me if I still have a flat.  Yes, I visit my studio room to keep my pot-plants watered and cared for.  They look after themselves.  I will go stay there for a couple of weeks in October and then I go house-sitting again.  This time with chickens instead of cats.  This should be a challenge.  Chickens are a specialised highly evolved form of dinosaurs.  We kept chickens when I was a kid.  I should manage.

Other than that life goes on.  I heard today one retired minister at Opoho is going into Ross Home Hospital in the interim.  It sounds like he will be permanently moving there.  Another death has happened in the congregation.  Unfortunately at this stage I will not be getting to the funeral.  We have too many people away from the Archives this week and I will be the only permanent staff member on that day.  I feel I need to be at work.  I will have to put in my apologies.

Current Brithenig project: translating words from Te Wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week).  I going to have to stop at the university library again and look how I want to create a word to mean ‘pass’ in ‘boarding pass’.  I thought passedig would do it, but that means ‘walkway’ or ‘drive’.  The usual word for ‘passage, ride’ is pas, and I know that the word I want to isn’t that.  I will look again to create the word I want.

Stick Figures

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Second week of house-sitting in North East Valley.  The cats still tolerate me.

I saw on the back of a car a window sticker where a group of stick figures were being chased by Jason with a hockey mask and chainsaw.  The caption under the image read No one cares about your stick figure family.

While the humour was twisted enough to amuse me I had to disagree with the sentiment.  Stick figure families intrigue me.  They are on the back of a family car looking for an identity.  People can choose which figure represents them: the shopper, the well-dressed, the gardener, the barbecue, the body-builder, the mountain biker, kids on bike or active at sports, pony-riders, and cats and dogs.  Democracy allows us to identify ourselves within the bounds of simple imagery.

Where do they come from?  I have no car, and I have no stick figure family.

Pentecost 5

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I notice the inevitable day has passed.  The spam counter now reads higher than the number of posts on this blog.

I caught up with one friend on Saturday before he leaves next week  for a month with his partner in China.  While he’s away I will be house-sitting for him, looking after his three cats: Bao-Bao, Qin-Qin and Niu-Niu, not necessarily in that order.

After that I saw my old friend Graham who’s now across town at Taieri Road.  We had drink and chips sitting on John Wilson Ocean Drive and I threw the crunchy bits to the gulls who caught them on the wing.  Graham has had another birthday and looked forward to breakfast at church.  Perhaps I should buy him a gift before we meet again.  Lisa from Friend-Link arranged for us to get together because she had a day free from other commitments.

At church today I found myself thinking of the poemJesus of the Scarsby Edward Shillito after World  War I.  I know it through the works of the troubador Garth Hewitt.  A search on the internet finds that it is well known and others have also set it to music.

If we have never sought, we seek you now…
We must have sight of thorn-marks on your brow,
We must have you, o Jesus of the scars…
Show us your scars, we know the countersign…

Have a good week.


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Back from House sitting with three cats. Friends of mine took themselves to Australia for a week’s holiday and I looked after their house and their cats for the week.

The long-hair was affectionate. She tended to be wild and a bit flighty, especially around the other cats. I’m rather fond of her.

The ginger, a boy, was the most assertive. He was come looking for me before dawn, expecting me to get his breakfast. He’s a bully who tries to assert himself over the other two. If there’s food around he will push himself to the fore. The least favorite of the three.

The third was a little gray tiger. She could be affectionate too. If she got the least food of the three, it did not upset her.

Not much happened over the week, which was a holiday week coming after the new year break. There was a surprise at church when the celebrant, a retired minister of the congregation, had a spell after giving the sermon and fainted. It was clear moments beforehand that he was unwell as he was having to support himeself. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital which marked the end of the service. Ironically he has been a senior chaplain for the St. John’s Ambulance in his retirement and it was one of their ambulances that took him away to hospital.

Factoid of the day: there are 134 steps down the length of Haddon Place between Cargill Street and York Place. This does not include the steps at the top of the place on the other side.

While I was away I finished Lord Sunday by Garth Nix, a closure to a seven part series. It was a satisfactory ending which could have consequences for a later series if he picks up the characters again. I felt the story he was working on in the series has been done more substantially by other writers. I would like to read his earlier trilogy which I haven’t seen in the library in the right order of titles yet.

Also finished Bloodlines by T. Roxborogh; and Shadowrise by Tad Williams. Williams admits that this was supposed to be the final title of this trilogy but it has been split into the last two books of the quartet. The man can’t write a fantasy trilogy without causing further continental drift!

Third earth song

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Home again.  I have been out this weekend looking after a friend’s cat.  That’s the third time this year.  I’m making a hobby of cat sitting!  This one was bigger than normal and quite a handful.

I’m also quite happy to go dog-sitting.  Offers welcomed!  So long as they’re within my traveling distance.

Also did a presentation at the Genealogical Conference this weekend.  It was a last moment thing as the Archivist who supposed to do it dislocated her knee and is now at home.  So with Jennie (note spelling!) from ResearchWrite we took up her theme and put together the presentation Going Beyond the Obvious: Using Church Archives. We ran into a technical hitch which led to Jennie racing home to get her laptop.  She was under a lot of pressure this weekend and took the load of the work for the talk.  Don’t be afraid to visit her website.  Especially if you are looking for genealogical and historical research in Dunedin.  The presentation was well received by the audience.

Got home for Matinee Idle so I can’t complain (except about the quality, that’s the reason why everyone listens!)

Doctor Who and the Curse of the Black Spot

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I’ve discovered that if I blog about Doctor Who WordPress will aggregate my postings onto their Doctor Who site.  Well that’s worth doing.

I missed the beginning of the episode as I was out being introduced to a new friend whom I’m caring for this weekend, a beautiful Maine Coon kitten.  At seven months old he is bigger than some adult cats that I have met.  And cute, and playful, and armed with pointy bits.  Note to self, do not teach him bad habits.

So when I tuned in the episode had already established that the Tardis crew were marooned on a pirate ship with a hostile entity.  The Doctor is not fazed.  ‘We all have to go sometime’, a response that leads to Amy and Rory giving each other a significant look.

The Doctor and the Captain make it to the Tardis.  The Captain is not fazed by the Tardis’s instrumentation, once the obligatory ‘it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside’ reaction is out of the way: ‘Wheel, telescope, astrolabe, compass; a ship’s a ship.’

Both crews are cornered in a cabin with the Siren lurking outside.  There is no honour among pirates as they try to save themselves, and are caught in turn.

Second appearance of the woman with the eyepatch behind the shutter.  She also appeared in the abandoned orphanage in The Day of the Moon.  Obviously her appearances relate to this season’s story arc.

The Siren comes through mirrors.  And for good reason, there’s another ship out of phase with the pirate ship.  I know about this.  I’m old enough to remember Doctor Who and the Stones of Blood in the Key to Time season.  I kept expecting those annoying justice machines to turn up.  Script writers don’t do that anymore.  Instead we a get a hologram going ‘state the nature of the medical emergency’!

In the end, the Captain must go with his ship.  I hope this one has radiation shielding strong enough to resist binary suns!  I don’t think we get to see an exterior shot of the alien ship.

Karol Wojtyla mi alasharia la, shantih, shantih, shantih

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At this time 2 million people are gathering in Rome. Italian organisation at its finest, or perhaps Roman. They have all gathered there to observe the burial of a human child in time. They don’t need to be there. Perhaps it is their Gallipoli, the same impulse that compells young anzacs to attend from half a world away. It is a place where a moment happened.

Tessa followed me down to Hatfield Street when I left for GURPS last night. I didn’t find her when I came back. Perhaps she has followed someone else and can’t find her way home, I thought to myself before I went to bed. No – she met me at the gate when I returned from the archives today.

The new Hewitson Librarian has been appointed, John Timmons who previously worked at the Settlers Museum. I don’t know if there is going to be a shake-up, certainly some cages will be rattled.

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