Saturday, December 22, 2012


On the thirteenth day of Xmas
my love sold on Trade Me

12 Drummers Drumming
      kids who had found drum kits under the tree very early Christmas morning left there by Santas who should have had more sense..

22 Pipers Piping
       most fom Otago's Scottish Pipe Bands, some from an Irish band and a couple from    Waitaki BoysHigh School.

30 Lords a leaping into Oamaru Hartbour to escape the drummers and pipers.

36 ladies dancing; Eighteen practising River Dance, Fourteen doing a Highland Fling above crossed swords and four poi dancing and doing Hornpipes at the same time.

40 maids a milking; cows, goats, llamas and sheep; farmers' daughter working furiously because their mothers are dancing, their fathers leaping and the Fonterra tanker is due any moment.

35 swans a swimming; black swans, naturally this being the Antipodes.

42 geese a laying, not one being the goose that laid the golden egg, it having been culled centuries ago, but if those ladies ever stop dancing, or their daughter finish milking, goose eggs make great pavlova!

40  G-O-O-O-LD RINGS The Olympics are three years away.

36 calling birds making more noise than drummers and pipers combined.

30 french hens, laying les oufs pour les omelettes for the lords to eat when they stop leaping.

22 turtle doves cooing like mad and doing unspeakable things under their perches.

No partridges, sorry my love ate them all and spewed up over the pear trees.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


My personal income us quite a long way below that imaginary line which is supposed to divide supporters of Key, English & co from the poor. I live in a fishing crib which was a workman's hut when the Waitaki Hydro scheme was being built. My car is 20 years old, But I don't feel poor. I have kind neighbours and we help each other out according to our abilities. It is a very pleasant life..

This morning I received a little video from Rose Ward, one of my Loutro friends. I have pasted it on to my Facebook wall for others to share because I think it says a lot about human values.

We have all read and heard about the people who live on rubbish heaps and make a living from scavenging, well this community (I think it is Brazillian but I could be wrong) still scavenge, but they have turned their piece of the rubbish dump into a suburb, with trees and little shanty houses AND

they have made instruments out of rubbish so their children can learn music AND

the children's orchestra is playing at symphony concerts!

They call themselves The Landfilharmonic.

And in my opinion they are having a richer life than the celebrity billionnairs on their umpteenth marriage who have to go into detox regularly.

Just shows we don't need a high income to have a rich life.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I always thought of Shakespeare's Tempest as a comedy but Thomas Ade's grand opera made me think again, Ade's is a very English composer and conductor and his music for The Tempest was exactly that, tempestuous, full of discords and clashes. The libretto, was adapted from the Shakespeare play by Meredith Oakes, but I am a phillistine, English libretto in a grand opera grates on my ear.

But the singing was magnificent, especially Audrey Lunar as Ariel who had to screech incredibly high notes yet kept in tune while flitting about above the stage, she never really comes down to earth.. Ariel and Caliban were undoubtedly creatures of a non human world, yet they showed their humanity brilliantly, especially Caliban.

The set of Prospero's Island was a recreation of Las Scala Opera House in the nineteenth century. The chorus was unidentified. In the play they are spirits of air and water. In the opera they could have been the audience of La Scala, in opulent costume, strolling about in a dreamlike trance.

The costumes were opulent. Prospero's tattooes, newly applied for every performance were a work of art in themselves.

We left the Cinema after three hours thirty minutes, feeling rather stunned, with a lot to think about' where modern music is going ' the brilliant stage effects possible with to-days technology; and what was Shakespeare really getting at in this play?

Saturday, December 8, 2012


What a lovely idea, a summer wedding in the open air at Wilton's Bush. Trouble is, nobody told the weatherman and he sent a cold southerly. But it was a nice wedding, nevertheless. The overriding theme was Simplicity, a do it ourselves affair with just the two families and very close friends.

The bride looked beautiful in the wedding dress she had found on Trade Me, a simple Grecian style chiffon with gold shoulder brooches; cost $10.00 including the shoes! Her bouquet was a sheath of day lillies out of the groom's sister in law's garden. The groom's eldest brother took the photographs.

Instead of an organ and church aisle the bride and her father walked to the wedding site to the music of a string qhartet, four retired people who play at weddings for pleasure.  Instead of Lohengrin they
played 'I can't help falling in love with you' because bride and groom are both Elvis fans. Lunch time joggers passing by smiled and waved.But it was so cold both bridesmaid and flower girl, aged eight, were shivering. Somebody crept forward and wrapped young Jessica in their own windbreaker.

Afterwards we all headed to the Petone Working Men's Club, ate sandwiches, scones and chocolate wedding cake.

Remember the story of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas?' Well this wedding reminded me of that, all the expensive trimmings were stripped away and we were left with what a wedding day should have; happiness, love and memories, in spite of the weather.