Sunday, May 16, 2010

What A Marvellous World

I woke up this morning wide-awake and early. Leaving the mask on I used the commode and then put myself back to bed. No go! I was obviously not going back to sleep again. So I got up, turned the night’s machinery off, put on my dressing gown and switched on the computer.

I surfed the news – unrest in Thailand, (for the first time a decent analysis of what’s happening), space shuttle Atlantis’s last take-off, pre-budget speculation, lizard extinction with global warming (scary), a skinny-dipping Canadian tourist had a katipo spider bite on his penis (undountedly painful), and both super 14 rugby semi-finals will be in South Africa. NYT has a scathing review of Russell Crowe's Robin Hood. I read Beattie’s Book Blog, Auckland Writer’s and Reader’s Week. I’d have loved to have been there. Robert Reich’s column helped untangle the chaos that is the American banking system. Mary McCallum has a fascinating piece about a new biography of Emily Dickinson with comments also by Mark Doty (see blog 26 February this year) on that American poet.

I then flicked back to my blogs of a year ago – what was I doing and thinking then. Following that line of inquiry I went back to the beginning. Why a blog and why the name? A fairly early blog was about the historian Gibbon. And I see I used the phrase ‘I realise how thin a veneer our civilisation is.’ I used the same phrase in yesterday’s blog. A danger of blogging – repetition. Originality is rarer than I realise.

Emails keep me abreast with events and friends. Cousin Sally has sent through information about Little River in 1886 the year our grandmother was born. There were floods in May that year and the railway line was under water. Roger in upstate New York is reluctant to use his front door, a pair of redcaps are nesting neaby and do not like being disturbed. (I understand this feeling). Colin has sent photos of his recent visit to Korea, lovely cherry blossom. Nieces Jenny and Cherie are taking their mother Margaret my sister-in-law on holiday from London to Venice; all are understandably excited. Anne’s son Jonathan reports from China where he is teaching.

What a marvellous world. A few days back the New York Times had a video clip about jaguars in Costa Rica. As tui in Wellington need bush corridors so do jaguars. They need jungle corridors. Speaking of tui, a pair seem to have taken up residence in Barrie and Jenn’s big kowhai. They always seem to be there. It’s a bit early for that tree’s blossom.

1886. Mt Tarawera erupted here. Little River was a mill town. Overseas. Burma was added to the British empire, Victoria secure upon the throne. The first trainload of oranges leaves Los Angeles for the USA East Coast. Coca Cola is invented and the gasoline-driven machine is patented. The Folies Bergere stages its first revue. Grants whiskey distillery opens. Diego Rivera was born. Emily Dickinson died.

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