Friday, December 04, 2015

Movie Moments

You know how some movies start with darkness? You are left looking at a black screen but listening to a moment or scene and imagining it is you lying with your eyes closed.   I love these movie starts because usually we find ourselves in a summer scene with summer sounds like birds, children singing, a fly buzzing or someone humming or gentle lilting songs.  Then as the scene is revealed it can be veiled and romantic or surprising and confronting.

I had a movie moment the other day.  I was lying on the beach at Birdlings Flat on an unusually calm day.  The surf was not crashing and sucking up all the other sounds, instead the wind was king and it sounded great, dramatic but not frigid.  The hot stones set off a smell of the ocean and warm rock wear.  There was a fly buzzing past and in the distance I could hear the chatting or rather yelling of fisher folk camped up on the stony beach.

When I opened my eyes I was dazzled by the bright sun and bright white clouds.  Then the quiet conversation of my companion.  I was warm and relaxed and drinking in the movie moment.  This movie rolled out over the weekend with many other moments to remember and relish.  More on those another time.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It has been a while...a long while and I can only say, it has not been pretty.  You know when things in your life go a bit pear shaped?  You know how some people use that as an opportunity to share and create great work? And others retreat , retreat, retreat?  Well as it turns out I am a retreater. Beside the support of some very close friends I have gone underground for the past 7 months, dealing with some very BIG things in my life.  It was too hard to share and far too private for the big wide world.

So in saying that, I will say that my life changed forever on 17th June 2013.  Sounds very dramatic doesn't it? Well it bloody was and still is. No regrets and it is not over.  One day I want to share my story, I hope I can. But right now I have to get back on the horse and get the hell on with it.  People need me to be present and alive so, here I am, back to old me, talking about books, movies, the beach and the good things in my life.   You might not know it Justine but you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

So I hope the spark is back and that people who pop in to my little blog find something that sparks them a little bit. I think the bar has been lifted since I started this blog 8 years ago this month with regard to  social media.  Not sure how I am going to respond to that but we will see.  Three sparks to share

1.  Classical Sparks in the Park - courtesy of Christchurch City Council.  My favourite of all summer events in the city.  I love classical music, so does Nic and sitting under the stars listening to music and watching fireworks is a certain form of bliss.
2. Icy Sparks - a beguiling gorgeous main character of this lovely book by Gwyn Hyman Rubio.  Being a non judging loving person I always feel for others pain and in this book I learnt about the strength that people with troubles or differences have.  I don't have to feel sorry for people but rather assume that people are not their disabilities.   Nice one Icy.  Go and find yourself a review of this book.
3.  Ruby Sparks - a DVD I picked off the shelf of the library to help me get my head out of my own sadness.  I don't know that this movie would win any awards but it really 'spoke' to me of  the power of words and stories and of love, its power both for good and for bad, as it builds you up it can also bring you down.

Because I am writing this on my iPad I can't work out how to get the images loaded.  Technology fail. Oh well. Nice to be back and I am really looking forward to getting my spark back and sharing my stuff.  Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Just finished reading

The Brooklyn Follies - Paul Auster

I was mildly embarrassed for not knowing who Paul Auster was when two people in different countries told me to read his books.  I came to the conclusion that as I wander further and further from the path of librarian to facilities slave, my knowledge of books and authors is drifting away.  This does not for one moment indicate any reduction in my love of books and literature, just a waning intense knowledge.  I guess something has got to give and now I am the 'customer' reliant on the knowledge of my colleagues and friends to extend my reading menu.  Thank god for librarians I say.

Apparently The Brooklyn Follies is considered by many as a step away from the usual Auster subject matter and accessibility but still holds the essence of his writing which is well awarded and much loved.  I thought the story of Nathan Glass, 60 something, moving to Brooklyn to live out the last years of his life was a sweet story.  The lessons of life, making plans and  reconciliation were rolled up into a tale of men trying to find a way to a meaningful existence, a purpose and value, I think.  The neighbourhood setting and characters created a very embracing safe place to grow, make mistakes and live.  I expected something a little sharper and no way was I expecting a 'happy ending', you be the judge of if it really is.

A very nice book to while away the hours with, interesting characters, good back stories and of course pretty perfectly written.


Saturday, July 13, 2013


umm, what to say?  50 has arrived.  Feels pretty good, looks better than it might have but 'could have done better' and as I am often heard to say, 'lucky to be here, many don't make it'.  Being away on my work adventure on the day meant I probably didn't spend as much if any time thinking about the meaning of '50'.  There are plenty of reasons to fear it but for me it is liberating and for that I am grateful.  Putting aside the hell that is living in the post eq situation, I can say it feels great to be here.  Happy, healthy and really excited about what might be coming next.  Always looking out and looking up, grasping the beauty and turning my face to the sun.

No party!!  A birthday without a party is just not right, but there is time yet.  Reflecting on my past 50, just want to say thanks to all my lovely family and friends.  Front and centre, the best thing in the world.  Would never have made it on my own


Library Love on my 50th

Helsinki revisted

In all fairness Helsinki did turn out to be a pretty nice place.  The kindness of the people really did make up for my first impressions and I did have a pretty good time on my last day in town.  Now I have finally got my photos off the bloody iPad I can actually get them onto the blog.

Sunday on Suomenlinna Island

Leaving the port on a sunny Sunday

The beach on Suomenlinna Island

Fortifications on Suomenlinna
Best find on the island...not the Toy Museum but the cafe with the best apple cake and custard ever
Wandering around the island

Back in port

Friday, July 12, 2013


Helsinki and I didn't get off to a a great start and I am tainted by that first day still.  However, the weather is stunning and the people are very friendly  when you talk to them.  I am not a loner by any means so I am finding the lack of friends in the town to be very challenging and have had some major dips in my mood, once again confirming with no hesitation that I do have FOBA and that is never going to change.

As you might know I love Saturdays and although I didn't love yesterday, I did recognise that it had all the elements of a great Saturday.  Sun, market, people, water, activity and food.  No family or friends but that is expected on the other side of the world.

With the sun up and high in the sky so early in the morning you are compelled to get out there eagerly and enjoy it.  It is also great coming home from the movies at night in the light.  Funny seeing drunk people staggering around at night but actually in the daylight and I am sure I saw an illicit drug exchange going on from the tram last night too. 

Helsinki is not pretty.  The architecture is grim in some places, perfunctory in others and with a flash of gorgeousness in the form of churches and a few civic buildings.  There are some trees and a few civic gardens but it lacks the charm of many other cities that I have visited.  My guess is that 5 months of snow per year limits what you can do. However, there is as much joy, happiness and colour around the place as you would want.

Interestingly, the women seldom wear black like we do at home.  Every colour of the rainbow is worn and there seems to be scant attention paid to fashion as such although the shops are full of clothes.  Things are casual and individual here and the women do no fake tan or cover themselves in make up. It is refreshing.  The Russian tourists take the form of high heeled made up beauties to  dumpy middle aged women. 

The Finnish language is totally  incomprehensible to me although I have the basic hello and thank you sorted I think. Everyone speaks English which helps but the bus timetables, signs and announcements have no resonance at all. The words are so long and they just all blend into one.  And on top of that there is the Swedish version of everything too so you have to have your wits about you.  I do seem to have some sense of direction and awareness of the city so am finding my way around easily and even in a tricky situation with the tram being diverted due to a parade yesterday I worked out an alternative that worked so was pleased with that
This is the end of this post as I am having a nightmare with the iPad and editing so am going to leave it at that.  Will post some photos in a separate post.