Music 121: The place where I live

A geography lesson! With impending house-moving (still looking) I thought a bit of music attempting to capture the place where I currently live would be nice.

This photograph is taken from the beach near Levin, my current place of abode. Looking south, hopefully the maps and picture below might put things into some context. The island is Kapiti Island, now a bird sanctuary for many of New Zealand’s endangered species. (New Zealand split off from the rest of the world before mammals were invented – so a huge number of the native birds are flightless).

Kapiti Island is the last peak of a gigantic mountain range that over millions of years has folded into the sea (the Tasman Sea). The Tasman Sea separates Australia from New Zealand and is referred to as “The Ditch”. For those with keener eyesight, the South Island can just be made out in the photo on the left of the horizon.



1153. Who’s the suspect?

The front of Melanie’s house was next to the road, but the back lawn had a different neighbour bordering each of the three sides.

Melanie had a little dog, of which she was most fond. It was a Pomeranian and its name was Pom-Pom. In fact, Melanie got on better with her dog than she did with the three bordering neighbours.

You’ve no idea, said Melanie, what Anita Jones is up to. Her husband’s corpse was still warm and she was out cavorting with another man. And then barely three weeks had passed and he’d moved in. Moved in! Anita Jones, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a cheap harlot. That’s all. Cheap harlot! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

Herbie Davidson, said Melanie, is overweight and disgusting. He walks around in his back yard wearing only his underpants. He’s too fat to do that. He’s gross from top to toe. Nor has he any manners. Herbie Davidson, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a grotesque, obese piece of lard. That’s all. Lazy lard! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

And as for you, Andy McAlister, we all know you watch porn. You sit at your computer half the night grovelling over it. I can see it through the window. I’ve a good mind to report you to the police, you filthy-minded pig. Andy McAlister, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a dirty gutter rat. That’s it. Gutter rat! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

One day Melanie saw rat poison tablets scattered on her back lawn. Pom-Pom must have eaten one. It was dead.

1152. Romance reader

Jonathan was nineteen years old and loved to read popular romances. He particularly liked the swashbuckling heroes who rescued the damsels in distress. Then they would fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. Why settle for dark, morose characters when a rumbustious champion could conquer the world? Of course, he never told his friends that he read romances.

It wasn’t silly for Jonathan to think he could be like that. There must surely be some bravery in the world, and some zealous ardour to go with it. All he need do was find the right girl and the right situation.

Anyway, he went to the First World War and got shot.

Poem 45: Sea waves

(The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!)

Sea waves! Kinaesthetic
masterpiece! The earth’s trick to shine
hefty stones into fine
marble and, over time, transform
dull rock. Beauty is born
not in fierce forceful storms but slow,
quiet, gentle to and fro,
wave on wave, stop and go, hard grit.

Children ever question,
perpetual in their din and quest
to know. They prod and pest.
Their parents never rest at all;
but as the breakers fall
on stony shores to maul and grind,
Mum turns into diamond,
and Dad, wave-worn, refined forged iron.

1151. Out to lunch

Two people worked in the office, Patricia and Evelyn. Well three people actually counting Mavis the cleaning lady who popped in and out periodically. When Patricia’s aunt died, she left Patricia two and a half thousand dollars! A favourite aunt indeed!

Patricia was so excited that she suggested to Evelyn that they go out to lunch together to celebrate. “And I’m paying,” said Patricia.

“You’ve no idea,” said Evelyn later (in confidence) to Mavis the cleaning lady, “you’ve no idea. She took me to Mr Slice’s Tea rooms and ordered a cheese and onion sandwich each. You’d think with all that money she’d be able to do better than that.”

“She’s a few crumbs short of a cake,” said Mavis (the cleaning lady). “Count your lucky stars. I didn’t get even a cheese and onion sandwich.”

1150. A botanical saunter

Inspired by the daily wonder-wanders of my blogging friend, Derrick of Ramblings , I have decided to take a springtime saunter around my own garden to celebrate the 1150th story on this blog.

There’s little colour other than green! There has been almost constant rain since last April. The lawn has been under water for a good part of the winter and still is.

The turnips, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, and onions, have all gone to seed without producing anything edible. Among the brassicas a single cabbage is the only one to have made an effort. But heartless!

The silverbeet (Swiss chard), peas, and shallots are doing fine.

The globe artichokes are thriving, and the Jerusalem artichokes are just starting to put their heads above the ground. We had a huge supply of Jerusalem artichokes throughout the winter. They keep in the ground but quickly deteriorate when dug up. The filled bucket (pictured) are just some of them that I dug up to stop them from taking over the world. That’s a huge 10 gallon bucket!

Most of the spring bulbs have rotted with the rain. Mainly what’s left is a couple of irises in a pot!

The banksia rose, the clematis and the potato vine are starting to look pretty.

The wattle has finished its springtime flowering and is now dropping a mess on the lemon tree below. The yellow-flowering kowhai is inundated with nectar-feeding birds called tuis.

The cyclamen in pots have almost done their dash. The cineraria on the driveway are also winding down.

The Christmas lilies are getting ready to show off through the holiday season.

The apple tree is just beginning to flower. I’ve hung a trap to catch the codling moths – it’s a plastic milk bottle cut open on the side, with a potion of molasses, cider vinegar and ammonia. It works well.

The ponga (tree ferns) are starting to unfurl their fronds. The hydrangeas are in leaf.

So it’s cheers from me with some homemade wine! With all the mud, don’t forget to wipe your feet before you come inside!

As some of you know, we are going to move – this place is too small, too muddy, and has too many noisy-nosey neighbours. The house (pictured) we would like to get (to rent, fingers crossed) is next to Mount Egmont (aka Mount Taranaki). Mount Egmont is a volcano that could erupt at any stage, but anything’s better than mud, isn’t it?

1149. Some aliens are never satisfied

“You can go home,” said the doctor to the hospital patient.

“But doctor,” said the patient, “you know very well I am an alien and I was in hospital with broken limbs because my space craft crashed. It’s pretty obvious I can’t go home.”

“I had quite forgotten that,” said the doctor. “It’s amazing how quickly one gets used to seeing you wear that mask that enables you to breathe propane. I’ll see what I can do.”

Special accommodation was arranged for the alien. He could walk around freely while breathing healthy propane gases. But the alien was most unhappy.

“I’m sick to death of the food,” said the alien. “Day after day it’s the same potassium cyanide. Why can’t they vary it a bit, like the drink of carbon tetrachloride I was given last Christmas?”

They tried to vary the food a little after that, but to be honest the nurses in the Psych Ward were getting tired of it.