Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Further Sods and Odds

Roger has given me interesting feedback about two recent blogs. On 28 August I wrote about the mythical Greek runner Atalanta and on 6 September I wrote about the sinking of the Titanic. I said as far as I knew Atalanta and her successful suitor lived happily ever after. That’s not how the story ends. Apparently they made love in a sacred temple and chief God Zeus punished them by turning them into lions. Hardy wrote his poem about the Titanic two weeks after the event for a memorial concert in London.

We need rain. The month is half over and we’ve had only a fifth of the normal September average. There have been a number of dry blows, a threatening of moisture but very little precipitation. The shrubs and trees are O.K but some flowers look unhappy. Green leaves are appearing on the weeping elm next door, a stunning tree at any time of the year. The camellias are past their best. Anne has a superb crop of rocket. I noticed the first white butterfly of the season so we had better gorge ourselves on the tasty green before the caterpillars wreck their havoc.

Amongst my birthday presents was a copy of Fiona Kidman’s Beside the Dark Pool, her second volume of memoir. Talleyrand has been put aside as I burn though the memoir. I’m loving it. Both volumes describe a writer’s evolution. Last night I put the book down having accompanied Fiona on her first overseas trip to England, Paris, Greece, Nova Scotia and New York – researching background for her novel about the Waipu settlement. The section ends with a moving description of being home again. I found myself with tears in my eyes. Kipling’s line sprang to mind – ‘all earth to roam, one place to love.’

Phil Goff has said sorry for the mistakes of the Fifth Labour Government’s last term. I suppose he has to distance himself from Helen Clark but I hope he doesn’t go on abjectly. Admit mistakes yes, but don’t grovel and don’t prolong the process. John Key is still enjoying the electoral honeymoon. It is the nature of the system.

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