Hobbit Spotting

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A friend read my blog and asked me where I was.  I’m across town in an old house halfway between Columba Collge and the green belt.  It’s an old character house.  This is a nice way of saying it could be warmer,.  The owners are away until the end of the month on a tour across Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.  Mostly cathedrals.  Every so often I see a little photo story from St Magnus in Orkney, Petersborough, Ely or Jarrow.

It could be warmer, especially today with spring snow in Dunedin.  The days are getting earlier in the hypernotides, the islands beyond the south wind.  I wake up to the cold blue sky of the pre-dawn.

Also picked up some books from the library that I have been waiting to read: Rivers of London, the first in the series by Ben Aaronovitch about the wizarding and supernatural cops of that city.  The protagonist, new cop Peter Grant, is a little slow.  I worked out about 100 pages ahead of him that the big bad he is hunting is a popular sea-side puppet anti-hero, who just happens to be on the cover!  I am enjoying reading the magic training classes Grant is doing, so far making balls of light, levitating apples, and now up to casting fire balls.  I haven’t read this kind of description in a while.

The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi, is sitting on my dressing table. I’m getting through it more slowly, only my second chapter in.  It’s a different kind of fiction.  I have set Saints of the Shadow Bible aside while I work through the library books.

At work I have swapped Poems by Iain Banks and Ken McLeod for McLeod’s Descent. It was a mutual swap for titles the other had not read.

After looking at the dictionaries again it looks like ill pasedig a weddir will remain the word for boarding pass.

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.

Ten years of blogging


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!

Hobbit Spotting

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Some updates on a few things.

A shout-out to my friend Henriku.  The disk arrived last week.  It was in the mail when I returned from my colonoscopy operation.  What lovely videos!  So beautiful.  I shall have to show them to people and make sure that they are backed up.

I walked past the last drinks at the Captain Cook tavern last week.  I was not moved to attend.  I am largely teetotal and it was not my celebration.  From reports I have read I found that Cook Brothers opinion on responsible drinking is similar to some farmers’ opinions on clean waterways.  I found it interesting to overhear the talk on the street about the closure of the Captain Cook.  There is a lot of affection for the place.  Maybe it is a focal point for an inner-city community.  I didn’t see it myself.  I will observe the future of this building with interest.  I doubt it will remain vacant.  Whether it will continue as a licensed premise is another curiosity.

I watched the opera Giulio Cesare at the Rialto on Sunday.  Fascinating ideas.  The Romans were all British Colonial soldiers, the Egyptians were all servants.  David Daniels came on as Caesar in red coat and breast-plate.  Imagine such a figure at the height of British Empire.  What a fascinating history that could be.  Then Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra got to sing and dance.  Very different to the fragile and tragic characters she has played in the past.  Between her and Rashid Ben Abdeslam as Nirenus many of the arias became Bollywood pieces.  No one could go into battle without singing an aria first!  I’m not sure if I’m convinced by Julius Caesar as a countertenor, I am convinced by baroque opera!

Finally today the princes of the kingdom have decided that the South Island’s distribution of the mail can be centred in Christchurch, that broken city.  That’s another 73 jobs gone from Dunedin, and expect an extra day for the mail to get through.  It is the usual trend.  First all the small services are centralised.  Then the centralised service cannot provide coverage of all regions so regions are dropped.  Then the service becomes too expensive to be maintained universally.  This is disappointing!

Ascension Sunday

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The Ascension of Christ by Salvador Dali

Today’s contribution to my usual irreverence was to refer to the above image as ‘The CAT-Scan of Christ’.

I bought some new shoes this weekend.  They are a bit stiff and my punishment will be to break them in to mold comfortably to my feet.

I found a diversion on Saturday afternoon by reading the archives of Lady Sabre and The Pirates of the Ineffable Ether.  That was fun.  It looks like their Kickstarter campaign to fund a trade paperback has been successful.  I’m tempted to put in an order with Graphic Comics for a copy when I hear it has been printed.

Finally, I went and saw Rigoletto at the Rialto this afternoon.  The Met Opera set it in 1960s Las Vegas.  I wasn’t convinced that the story of the curse works in such a modern setting.  The sets were wonderful and the popularity of the opera attacted a bigger audience than was usual for a screening.

The next opera is Parsifal and I looking forward to it.  I have it on CD and despite its length it has a lot of beautiful music.  I suspect it might prove to be more accessible to me than the Ring Cycle.  I’m looking forward to discovering why Jonas Kaufmann is wandering about looking like a factory floor worker.


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I’m off to Wellington tomorrow because I want to attend the International Jousting Tournament at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.  I went some years ago and it was an enjoyable day.  Also it allows me to visit my brother The Ghost Who Walks and meet his partner-in-law’s family on that side.  Maybe I might meet other people I know while I’m there.  I have not made any plans.

Life does lifelike things that involve committees.  So far this year I have been to meetings for Interfaith, the Good Friday Procession of the Cross, and Pastoral Care at Opoho Parish.  Life goes on around me and people are changing.  Perhaps if it remains interesting in that perspective and no catastrophic dramas occur then I will be happy.

Catch you later!

Hobbit-spotting for Labour Day

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Happy Labour Day, I hope the Trickle-down Fairy brought you something nice, or not, as the case may be.

It’s a public holiday so I get to listen to Matinee Idle on National Radio.  This may count as a form punishment, or possibly musical masochism.  I can hear the grass grow and it’s keeping me awake at night!  The gym was open earlier so I got a cardio session in before lunch-time.

Sunday across town to church.  I was asked if I could take the opening prayers.  The minister was away and it relieved one of our retired ministers from taking the whole service.  I must have done a good job of the prayers as several people complemented me on them.

I thought I could walk to Mornington on Thursday for an induction service.  Not a good idea, the rain was wretched, coming down like a monsoon.  It was about to get lost when I was on the edge of Mornington which a rabbit warren of streets.  Fortunately that was the time when I was spotted by a nice warm van going the same way.  I got a ride and arrived on time, still soaking wet, which greatly impressed some people.

Barbecue on Saturday on Caversham Heights.  The rain held off and I proved to be reasonably good at barbecuing meat.  If it’s still bleeding turn it over and move it closer to the hottest spot on the barbecue plate.

Current mood: rain and hail

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