Reason enough not to …

Choisya ternata – Mexican orange or mock orange (28 October 2014)

Choisya ternata – Mexican orange or mock orange (28 October 2014)

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A spring afternoon.
Gardening: reason enough
not to write haiku.

(10 October 2015)

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In truth, it was not my own little domain that took my attention today, but the garden of a friend. I was helping to lay out terracotta planters in place of timber troughs which, having rotted, had begun to collapse.

The choisya flowers decorating this post belong to last year; during late autumn and winter the painters’ scaffolding decimated what had been a handsome and luxuriant bush outside my front window. There are a few flowers again now, but full restoration is going to take a bit of time.

 

Choisya ternata in flower

Choisya in flower (28 October 2014)

Choisya in flower (28 October 2014)

For more than a decade, I lived on the seventh floor of a city apartment building, so was delighted when (about two and a half years ago) I was able to move to a ground floor dwelling with its own courtyard and front garden. This Choisya ternata – in the garden to the right of the front entrance – is flowering beautifully, despite the rough treatment it received a few months ago, when roofers erected scaffolding. “Both the flowers and the leaves are fragrant and both have a delicate orange scent. When its not flowering the bush looks great with its lush glossy green leaves.” (Jocees Farm)

Spring sunshine

anemones (11 September 2014)

anemones (11 September 2014)

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There are anemones on my dining table, and vivid orange parrot tulips on the side table – testimony to my inability to choose between them when doing my shopping at Moore Wilson’s Fresh in Wellington on Tuesday. The lovely little green jug was made by Ross Mitchell-Anyon of Whanganui. Beside it, there’s a magnificent hand-built jug by Christine Thacker from a show at Avid a few years back (2007, perhaps).

On Daffodil Day

daffodils, Te Horo (15 August 2014)

daffodils, Te Horo (15 August 2014)

Today there are phony daffodils all over the place – because, as everyone in New Zealand must surely know, this is Daffodil Day.

“Daffodil Day is the Cancer Society’s annual flagship event,” says the homepage of the Cancer Society’s web-site, which regards Daffodil Day as “one of the most important fundraising and awareness campaigns in the country. As well as providing an opportunity to raise awareness of cancer in New Zealand, Daffodil Day is a major funding source for the Cancer Society. We are proud to be regarded as one of the country’s most trusted charities and this is reflected in our fundraising practices.”

In the past, I have been only too happy to donate to the Cancer Society, and to wear a plastic daffodil. I have fond memories of carrying bunches of cut flowers around the city and – on occasion – deriving pleasure from giving them away.

Today, though, I looked at daffodils in Moore Wilson Fresh but did not buy any. Nor did I poke a twenty into any collector’s tin.

The truth is I’m feeling exploited – by commerce in general, and by the Cancer Society’s principal sponsor in particular (even though I bank with the ANZ Bank).

I’m confident that the people of the Cancer Society are well-intentioned and honourable … but I’m sorry, I’m just not in the mood to wear a fake daffodil today.

So here’s a photo of some real daffodils clustered around a tree on the lawn of friends who live in Te Horo.

Telling stories

beginning middle end (18 July 2013)

beginning middle and end (18 July 2013)

The first day of December, the first Sunday in Advent, the first day of our southern hemisphere summer. And the first day after the end of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

My participation in NaNoWriMo had me commit to writing – during the month of November – 50,000 words towards my new novel, the working title of which is “You Wouldn’t Dare!”

The truth is that I wrote about half of what I’d committed to. And about half of what I wrote might ultimately find itself inside the novel.

To me, the three big benefits of being involved were: 1/ the discipline of writing every day, 2/ training myself to write down anything and everything that came to mind, and 3/ I discovered things I wanted to write but didn’t dare write.

It was the middle of winter when the Sky Rialto poster (above) was pasted on the building next to where I live. I have now gained a new layer of understanding of those words. The sequence in which a story is told need not conform to any chronology. The sequence in which the story was written will certainly not do so.