Graeme

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Lisa from Friend-Link arranged for me to catch up with my friend Graeme.  She took us out to Port Chalmers and took photos of us out there for memories of the day.  I asked if she could send some of them to me by email to share.  Here’s some of the images:

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I’m standing with Graeme on the observation site overlooking the harbour at Port Chalmers.  We are looking at the Diamond Princess in dock.  What a fascinating sight.  It’s really a big hotel on top of a boat.  I think we worked out it had about four decks above the hull and two more below.  The funnels on top of that look like something about of steampunk.  If you look closely you can see the Dawn Princess is in dock behind the Diamond Princess.

I’m glad I don’t see how thin my hair is getting on the back of my head all that often!

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Look to the left at the town of Port Chalmers.  The heritage church Iona is prominent in the photo.  It is a land-mark of the local community.  My work at the Presbyterian Archives means I am familiar with its collection.  It is the second oldest Presbyterian congregation in Otago and Southland, the first daughter church of the First Church of Otago in Dunedin.

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The observation site is next to the Hotere Garden Oputae.  We went in and had a walk.  Here we are standing in front of the artwork Black Phoenix II, a memorial to the fire-burnt boat, the Poitrel.

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The garden has a view of the harbour in the opposite direction of the port and we went and stood in it for a photo.  I’m not sure if that is Quarantine Island or Goat Island in the background.

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Afterwards we went around to Careys Bay Hotel and ordered a small beer each.  Graeme had Speights and I had a Bookbinder’s.  We had a view of the seagulls in the carpark outside the window and a painting from the Hunting of the Snark above us, “Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes”.

Thank you, Lisa, for a pleasant afternoon’s outing which we all enjoyed.

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I attended the Vertical Aerial Dance Studio’s performance of Grease last night.  That was truly 3-dimensional as it involved athletic young women, and one brave young man, shinnying up and down poles and putting on poses to music.

The guest from the juggling club and the belly dancer who performed in the intermissions were also enjoyable parts of the night’s entertainment.  I would like to know if I could learn how to tumble my fedora down my arms like the juggler could do with his trilby.  I think it would be too old and floppy now as I’ve had it for several years.  He recovered from his mistakes by smiling at the audience, shrugging, and continuing with his performance.  That takes confidence.  Perhaps some of them were deliberate, allowing him to flip his batons from the floor with his feet.

Watching the belly dancer reminded me of the performances of the Khamzin Tribe that I attended with my late friend Grace Gardner.  I’m starting to notice the different moves that a dancer can perform.  It takes time.

Our erstwhile volunteer from the Archives was not performing last night.  She was about the studio working as the stage manager.  She tells me she will be performing for the next concert Superheroes.

I need to remember not to hurry to be early in attendance.  Their organization for time is pretty relaxed.

Made sure to be at the Farmers Market today as the Blue Oyster Art Space Project was the sponsored charity at the market this week and they were selling carry bags, a good chance to add to my collection with a uniquely decorated bag.  I came away with one labelled Berry Hadron Collision by Kristina Marotzke.  There were ten printed of each of six designs and I have number nine of that design.  I guess they had keen support from their supporters.  Apparently the ice cream in that flavour will be available next year.

Friend-Link were “at home” at Donald Beasley Hall to celebrate 20 years of their organisation  and I made sure to visit them at lunch-time while my friend Graeme Russell was there.  I spoke to him and he is looking well.  I stayed half an hour before leaving to get home and do some washing.  I may have missed out on the better weather of the day which was in the morning.

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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I did not mention that the snow from last week was gone within a day.  It became too wet for it to settle and fortunately it did not freeze and become black ice about which I was worried.  It would have made getting off city rise and into town difficult.

I needed to buy something on Saturday for Graeme’s birthday which was in June so I visited the Christian bookshop.  I am intrigued that so much of our Christian material culture is based on text.  I didn’t feel that this was appropriate for Graeme.  As a intellectually-handicapped man he is pre-literate.  I was happy to find a fridge magnet painted with flowers and the single word JOY and a bright birthday card and a couple of little Jesus cards which I thought he would like.  I had to explain the little cards to him.  They weren’t immediate recognition, which surprised me a little.  I know he would have liked me to buy him a cross.  He said he was wearing one of two he owns.

Also on the same visit to the Christian shop I was pleased to buy a copy of the CD The Best of Rich Mullins, a selection for which I have been looking for several years.  In hindsight I don’t find his lyrics as exceptional as I originally thought.  I found myself still enjoying the music.  It contained two pieces that I was happy to hear again Awesome God (which was the reason I was looking for this collection) and Calling Out Your Name (which was a forgotten pleasure).

Week-end Round-up

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It looks like the review of my work-place, the Presbyterian Archives, is going ahead.  We had a meeting on Friday.  Apparently we come under human resources.

Anyway onto happier things.  I met with my old friend Graeme on Saturday at Saint Clair Beach.  He is the intellectually handicapped friend that I sat with at Opoho Church.  He is now across town at Taieri Road and goes to Flagstaff Church.  They pray for him every week and make the sign of the cross on his forehead with holy oil.  That’s progress.  At Opoho we used the minister’s drinking water to make the sign of the cross.

In the evening I took up an invitation to the Al Quds Mosque in Dunedin to join in the daily breaking of the fast for Ramadan.  We arrived in time for sunset prayers.  It was the first time I had seen the Muslim community at prayer.  It was interesting because the prayers are formal and follow a liturgy of word and action and at the same time it is flexible with people arriving all the time and the young boys appeared to join in when they are ready.  Then we sat down on the floor for a prepared meal of rice, coleslaw and meat.  It was an example of Muslim service and hospitality.

I was amused to see the Imam preparing for the later evening prayers with a laptop in front of him.  We truly are in the 21st century.  The man next to me also said he uses an iPod!  I really am behind the times.

Interestingly most of the men of the mosque present are middle eastern.  So close to the university I imagine most are attending it.  Some of them might be here for the long-term rather than returning home.  As one of the men I was sitting among was Iraqi I suspect he might be one.  It is going to be interesting to watch the emergence of Dunedin’s first generation of home-grown Muslims.  The immigration to Dunedin happens quietly and contributes to the diversity of the society among which I live.

I hoped to catch the talk at the Art Gallery for the Nollywood exhibition today, a creepy display of photos from the Nigerian film industry.  Imagine  Buffy the Vampire Slayer with explicit violence and nudity.  The threat of snow meant the speaker hadn’t arrived.  A pity because the talk was going to be about the influences of this film industry, the world’s third biggest, after Hollywood and Mumbai I guess.  They produce loud violent movies with a fantastic fusion of traditional and Christian religions.  After a look around I went to the museum to look at the Hard on the Heels exhibition of Rugby photos.  The Rugby world cup in New Zealand begins in less than 20 days and already it’s getting inescapable.  Also the display of glass work up in the People of the World wing was definitely worth seeing.

As I post this I’m counting down to my 1000th posting on my blog.

Last weekend

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Instead of Majellan I went to Friend-Link’s midwinter concert at Caversham Baptist for their clients. Very pleasant day. The artists this year were a group called Quintessence. There were only four of them, the fifth member had been called away. Not quite the music for an audience of intellectually handicapped people. Most of their material was original songs, and unfamiliar to the audience which did not allow them to get up on their feet and dance. At the end they did a couple of more popular songs, ending with Mama Mia. I came home with Graeme and Rex from Grandview House.

Sunday I went into town to change my library books; and later in the day I went to chapel at the Castle and was not greatly depressed (paraphrase of quote from Swift). I feel the place involves a lot of pomp and privilege. At the same time there is a good meditative feel to the worship in the chapel, in the choir and the liturgy. I just have to relax and allow it to wash over me.

Also reading John Scalzi. I started with Android’s Dream. It was about finding a lost sheep. Anyone who gets the reference in the title will not be too surprised to know it also is about intergalactic empires. It amused me and made me laugh aloud. The first chapter was about farting! It pleased me for being military-orientated science fiction that didn’t have me grinding my teeth. Some things are universal: politicians are either competent or venal — honestly this book is a diatribe about why people should not be appointed to office! They rise to the level of their incompetence and stay there! At least until a scandal forces them out of office. There is also a great chapter about a hack-attack on an sentient AI, very imaginative revenge on the hackers. It irritated me later in the book when the same AI started acting stupidly, the only speedbump in the book. Now I’m going backwards to read Old Man’s War.