Midwinter

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We are turning back to the light having reached the cold season of the world.  The Pleiades have heralded the turning of the world.

At Opoho Church the music group celebrated Matariki by wearing loud summer clothing.  The music was so fun that I wish we had a U-Tube page.

In the evening a couple of thousand people gathered in the Octagon to celebrate Midwinter Carnival.  Kapa Haka led the procession of paper lanterns borne by children with serious solemnity.  The high-light was a large lantern held by three people in the shape of a unicorn.  Jack Frost and the Winter Queen and her attendents were the centre of the parade followed by the membrous trees in winter.  The song-bong drummers remained as the procession left the Octagon accompanied by the dancing frozen dolls until fireworks ended the formal part of the festivities.

One of these years I should volunteer to be a steward for the procession.  That would be fun, and allow me to see it as a participant.

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Keep MMP in Dunedin

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The lingering effect of last week’s cold weather is that I still have a cold.  It started off as an irritation in my nose with sneezing, mucus, a headache and a dull pain.  All that remains now is the mucus and I’m hoping that will go away soon.

Also I attended a meeting of the Dunedin Campaign to Keep MMP.  I was the first to arrive and the guy in the office recognized me by sight.  Nice to know I’m still distinctive!  Other interested people turned up and I was sitting with one of the campaign’s national spokespeople Philip Temple.  Best line of the night was his story about emailing an MP who was advocating SM to point out that SM in the form advocated for  New Zealand would increase the Maori seats from six currently to nine.  Aforementioned MP has since revised his opinion.

Second good story is that the Dunedin seats has done well out of MMP with several MPs on the lists over a range of parties across the right-left spectrum deserving respect as representing the local electrates.  People in the campaign are ready to advocate for the MMP referendum in Dunedin so that is a positive move.

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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).

Day two of the Snowpocalypse

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Archives office down to two people today.  The snow was still powdery so two of us could walk in.  Others phoned in and stayed at home.  We kept in touch with the archivist all day.  If the snow turns to ice tomorrow then I will be leaving later for work.

Finished reading Michael King’s History of New Zealand.  I’m no historian, it still made enjoyable reading and what I know of my history all slotted in the right places, from the coming of the Maori 800 years ago to the beginning of the new millennium.  I think I can recommend that one as a modern history.  I will have to return that one to D. when I see her next.

What to read next?  I am still involved with Charles Brasch and am on the verge of his departure from New Zealand to further his studies at Oxford in England.

Midwinter lunch

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Part of Opoho church’s midwinter lunch was an invitation to the Sweet Adelines to sing for us. One of our members sings for them, and their conductor is a livejournal friend. I’m hearing feedback through the grapevine that they were much appreciated. Much thanks.

My flatmate loaned me a pedometer this evening. In the last couple of hours I’ve done over 800 steps. Fascinating.

When winter first begins to bite
And stones crack in the frosty night,
When pools are black and trees are bare,
’tis evil in the Wild to fare.