My daughter named him Popcorn, a cockatiel that came into my possession as a present some years ago. There are many things that come into the unwise-present category, and animals come near the top of the list.
Category archive: The Good Life
He boarded the outbound 737 from Auckland looking out of place and time.
He was a Buddhist monk, replete with flowing brown robes, practical sandals and on his left wrist, corded bangles. Not a sober sort, he joked with other passengers as he settled into his seat. One asked him what religion he belonged to. A pause.
Winter lingered like an unwelcome visitor, but finally Spring arrived – one little step after another.
Jasmine scented the air on crisp mornings in the lull between seasons; daffodils thrust dreary winter aside, lambs gambolled in Auckland’s Cornwall Park and in the burbs, pink cherry blossom brightened the streets – on days when it wasn’t raining!
It’s always been there.
And I, like so many other Aucklanders looked on it as an iconic sight, simultaneously everyday – and spectacular. Like Mt Eden where we could climb any time for 360 degree views of Auckland. Or humble Mt Roskill where as kids we hurtled over sheep ruts in wooden sledges. Or gracious Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill, (now better known as None Tree Hill).
If I had my way on this autumn day, I’d be standing with my back to the sea, near Seddon in Marlborough, amidst grape vines with their lime green and gold lines. And I’d be looking out over gentle tanned hills, up to a great hunk of a mountain streaked with snow.
Instead, I’ve got to make do with the cover of a book.
Never mind the Pin Oak leaves swirling in a sudden backyard leafstorm – those russet layers of red and gold are the stuff of deferred gratification: raking them in the backyard, in the pale autumn sunlight. And forget pulling out the spent summer crops, trimming trees and the other gardening chores.
Most can be ticked off as done and dusted but the one I’ve put off longer than usual because it’s been such a gloriously golden farewell to summer, is cutting back our grapevine.
There’s not much to look at from a barber’s chair. On my last visit a notice at the bottom of the mirror caught my attention: “Like us on Facebook and follow your barber on Instagram.” since the barber was standing behind me with shears in his hand I was afraid to ask if it was a joke. Perhaps it’s just in Wanaka where this kind of strange behaviour can be found? Not that I’m paranoid, but I’ve noticed that most of the books in Wanaka library are written by women – well, maybe I am paranoid, but I can read. So why is every book a world-wide best seller?
I had just celebrated one of those ‘big’ birthdays. I found myself musing, “How did I get here so quickly?” A question that surprised even me! I had hit the end of one decade and was starting another. While moving through the previous decades had been pretty effortless, this one felt different. The realisation that most of my life is behind me. Now the future is not sometime out there but is right here, right now!