Saturday, January 12, 2013


Renew.  Refresh.  Do over.

When you get this far from where you planned  to be, there's only one thing left to do.

Alright, two.  But acceptance isn't  working too well for me right now.  It's part of the reason I'm here; in this place I'd rather not be.  So bring the change.  Usher it in.

It can't be any more painful, tedious or dislocating.  It can't be less.

Today's track...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hustle here, bustle there

For the more than 200,000 people who descended on the waterfront/down-town Auckland for the opening of the Rugby World Cup, this track may resonate; especially for those who were stuck on the trains and ferries that simply stopped running - overloaded and overwhelmed.

I had to forgo seeing New Zealand's Electric Wire Hustle live on Friday at Hagley Park as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival because he who is living dangerously decided he had to be in Dunedin the night before the England/Argentina game rather than grooving out to these guys with me.

And then there was the not inconsequential matter of the tickets selling out while we were debating the aforementioned arrangements.

One of the limitations of having a central city that is cordoned off while crews demolish up to 1,000 earthquake damaged buildings, is that there are basically no performance venues left.  EWH played in one of the several temporary spaces (various tents/yurts and domes) erected in the park.  I think this is the dome below.

Consequently, gigs are small.

I recently went to Bernard Slade's 1973 comedy play Same Time, Next Year by the seriously displaced but not disheartened Court Theatre.  (The Court and Forge Theatres were tenants of the much loved, neo-gothic Arts Centre - originally Canterbury College - that sustained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage during the September, February and June earthquakes.  It may be ten years or more before we can again wander its cloistered grounds.)

It did look rather magical; in a carnival-esque way.  But it was quite cold, despite the heaters (and the wine), and the canvas did little to repel the sirens as emergency vehicles zapped around the North Hagley perimeter.

I thought the Court Theatre actors did so well considering back-to-back performances were scheduled with barely enough time to change in to Act One, Scene One garb.  The tent holds approximately 150 people, so turnover becomes everything, aided by the sale of delicious platters and extortionate prices per glass of freezing reds and iced whites.  (Note the coats and scarves my friends are wearing above - they didn't come off once inside!)

After being ushered out at speed, it was nice to amble through the park and admire the lights.

A little unsteady with the phone cam, but you get the idea.  We are improvising where we can in our beleaguered city.  And it's not all bad.

PS It's Monday 12 September here in NZ.  But I am very aware that for millions of people, 9/11 and the dreadful significance of the day, is unfolding.  Peace be with you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Postcard, postscript

Here's the sound of love misplaced.

The soft awakening to love.  The yearning to be seen; to be seen.  The knowing you'll never be enough.  The why, why, WHY NOT ME?  The resignation of loss.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bring change

I have blogged before, using a different name and exploring ideas and themes that lit the idealistic rage within.   I used to connect it with Twitter even.  I thought I was stroking the thwarted journalist within - that self-same media junkie who bowed out of the post graduate programme because I was sick of having no bloody money.  (And then, to douse irony with cliche, went in to PR.)

But I stopped.  It was partly to do with the spooky attention I attracted from various members of the dairy cow conversion lobby (for and against).  And partly to do with my own desperate attempts to stand up for something or hide behind nothing, which, let's face it, a non de plume blog with two followers (one of whom is family) is not.

Truth be told, 'free-ranged' is much the same.  It turns out my blog evolution is microscopic in two very pertinent ways: I'm still hiding; I'm still lounging.

I began 'free-ranged' because I thought that if I spent my evenings on the laptop too, it would ease the resentment of watching him tap away night after night. It doesn't.  Anymore.

Also, my summer read was Backwards in High Heels.  I enjoyed the writing 'voice' so much I Googled the authors and discovered Tania Kindersley's blog, which I liked very much and very much wanted to emulate in a muddled sort of a way.

Of course, the blindingly obvious problem is, I'm not her.  I'm me.

I haven't got anything to say that excites me or anyone else.  I've forgotten half the vocabulary I once knew and used fluently.    And if I reveal the real me, this blog will be even more bleak and self-indulgent than it has become since February.

I don't really do anything, and I day-dream my way through the rest - mothering my children, keeping house.  I know mothering your children is important, I just happen to be one of those people who gets a bit lost in the process, especially when there is no respite, especially when how unlikeable you have become is etched into the faces of the people you live with.

I saw my mother almost daily since she was first diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour four years ago, until she died last month.  (She lived with us for nearly a year.)  She needed me and I wanted to be there for her, but sometimes I was just so freakin' tired; so over being needed for anything.  And now, of course, my time with her has ended, and even though I knew it wasn't forever, I didn't always do my best by her.

I need to be able to put that somewhere, to process it, but my three children are like newly hatched starlings bobbing in the nest.  They want, want, want what I can't seem to give.

It's a recurring theme.

Recently, a supportive friend said, "But you have your blog."  But if this is my value-based redemption, I am in  serious trouble.  This pish-pash of trying to be engaging and interesting, while channelling someone with an extremely dull life, is worse than a diary because I cannot bring myself to say all the truly awful things that need to be said, on record.

How's that for ducking and weaving?  How's that for obfuscation?

When I dream of respite, I dream of being alone, and very, very still.

At other times, I picture myself driving a ridiculously expensive car far, far away from here, way too fast and listening to something like this, really LOUD.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Snow

And again Christchurch city has closed - snowbound for the second time in a month. It's day two and counting.

We are very grateful for our one remaining wood fire.  The heat pump the Government kindly installed as compensation for having lost three fires (earthquake damaged chimneys) keeps icing over.

Not looking the gift horse in the mouth though...

No al fresco breakfast 

Serious dumping on the rocking horse

New patio in the making - half laid with
salvaged bricks from our chimney stacks

From our bedroom through the
french doors to the veranda

Thursday, July 28, 2011