Ten years of blogging

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The one thing that I forgot in the middle of my decrepit computer is that 17 September was the tenth anniversary of The Irrefutable Proof about Hobbits.  I am such a bad parent that I didn’t commemorate this special day!  I have been thinking about it for a while.

The Irrefutable Proof about Hobbits started ten years ago on Livejournal.  The account is not updated now.  It is still there if I ever go back to it.  The title was a nod to the movie The Irrefutable Truth about Demons.  Actually I’ve never watched it.  There is no proof about the existence of hobbits in this journal except that I record my life, The Hobbit.   My icon was taken from the National Geographic website, the image of a Homo Florensis Hobbit, Ebu Gogo, the flesh-eater.  I liked the irony of not being identified as one of Tolkien’s hobbits.

The subtitle Satura I picked up from a year of classical studies.  It is a Greek word with multiple meanings: the origin of the word ‘satire’, a mixed dish of fruit shared as a dessert.  On Livejournal I used it as the name of my friends’ page.  It was always in the back of my head as a title if I ever wanted to publish a fanzine.

Originally I blogged daily, recording my life.  That palled after flatmates I lived with used it to track what I was doing.  It became irritating to post a blog and have some one come and say to me ‘so you XYZ…?’ about half an hour later.  I started thinking ‘Why, yes, Captain Obvious!  And you only know that because you’re stalking me!’  My life returned to my written journal.  The Irrefutable Proof about Hobbits became more sporadic.

Still I kept returning to it.  I find I like to blog and report on events as I encounter them.  It’s not going to be a popular blog.  It’s way below the radar to get the hits.  And I don’t want to promote it.  People still find it.  I moved it off Livejournal to WordPress.  It’s still followed by a handful of friends: Southern Dave, Jason Goroncy, Traci Voss, Tony Skaggs.  I share it on Facebook and Twitter and I know people visit from those sites.  I never know who they are and they never speak.  They are still out there.  I lost one follower and friend, Grace Gardner, when she took her own life.  The world is diminished by that loss.  She is not forgotten.

And after this year’s break for house-sitting I return to blogging.  I look forward to finding new things about which to report, gripe and be  curmudgeonly!  As well as new surprises to delight me.  I hope for another ten years!

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After the Weekend

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Saturday was busy.  I went into work and sat down with the former curator of photographs who showed me how to enter stuff.  We got halfway through all the things I needed to know in a morning.  At midday I left to meet with people to take me out to Karitane for a memorial service for Grace Gardner.

I travelled with members of the Khamzin Tribe.  There was a simple service for Grace in the Karitane Community Hall.  Several people who knew her in the last year spoke, including her partner.  The Khamzin Tribe danced, photos were shared and we ate together.  We walked around the Huriwa Historic Reserve as she had once done with her partner, following its story, stopping to watch the gannets dive into the sea.  We laid flowers around a native tree that they had planted together on the reserve.   As we came home I learned about her death from the Tribe.

After church on Sunday I caught up with the little tasks for which I use the weekend.  The season is getting colder and it has reached the point that I can air clothing outside, but I cannot get them dry.  Now the weekend is over I can set my mind to little projects.  The time to do them becomes limited as winter gets colder.

Saying Good-bye to Grace

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I have been waiting for the news to be announced before writing this entry.  It was confirmed by police that one of my long-time friendships has come to an end in this life.  The body found in Karitane was identified as my friend Grace Gardner.  The police contacted me last Monday to see if I knew anything of her whereabouts.  We had not spoken directly for some months.  I travelled with her regularly to support her at Khamzin Tribe’s haflas.  Then, as far as I can tell, she pulled out of that to start a new relationship.  We passed occasionally on the street, going in opposite directions to our workplaces.  There was never time to stop and talk.

As the week progressed a body was found at Karitane.  I heard through other sources that she was dead.  The final announcement was by the police on Saturday in the local paper.  Her death is unusual and the police are awaiting further tests.  I expect to hear that there will be a memorial service for her.  So ends her life.  I had hoped to meet up with her again.  This is not to be.

I first met Grace at a bible study camp years ago.  She was a convert to Christianity in a country town.  We met years later when we both joined the Otago Mediaeval Society.  By that stage we had both moved into new places in our lives.  I was becoming more broad church; she had left Christianity behind.  I don’t think she could reconcile it with her life and education.  While at university she was introduced into neo-paganism and Islam.  While I did not press on her spiritual life I think maintained a tolerant magical practice to the end.

She worked at the Anatomy Department.  Her life was adventurous.  She married briefly, and after they separated amicably she had partners.  When she could she was consciously created places of sanctuary.  While I’m not a social extrovert I remember attending gothic parties in a big flat on Queen Street with some fondness that she organized.  She was a coeliac and everyday was a blessing for her.

Then she left her belly dancing group and began a new relationship which took her out to winter in Karitane.  I was tolerant of these changes as I knew we would catch up with each other again.  Her life was her own affair.  Indeed her name wasn’t the first one I meet her by.  She valued her privacy.

This makes her death all the more startling.  It turns out we will not catch up with each other again.  I do not understand what happened.  She left a note and disappeared from a relationship.  It sounded too similar to a suicide of another friend of the Archives that took place earlier this year.  Grace was extremely sensitive to the cold.  I accused her once of being an exotherm and she did not deny it.  To disappear without taking anything with her was irregular.  This is not yet a closed case.  I will await further news, and also hope to join with others to honour her memory.

She followed this blog.  There is a good chance that this entry will still arrive in her inbox.  Sadly she will not reply.  Whatever aspect awaits to receive her across the other lands I hope will receive her with kindness.