Reading

From Sp!ked. Mark is reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemmascary” in a word. Be sure to have a look at Oliver Kamm (read the comments) it can be lots of fun. I did mention this the other day. I’m reading lists, mining Google and compiling this. Abbie has left The Travelling Hornplayer by Barbara Trapido beside my bed saying I might like it – not her cup of tea apparently. Arianna’s list. That’ll do.

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2008 – My list

Favourite album: Raising Sand Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Favourite song: Through The Morning, Through The Night

Favourite singer songwriter of all time: Robert Johnson

Favourite blog: The Daily Dish (followed closely by Public Address)

Favourite writer: Oliver Kamm (followed very closely by Abbie Jury)

Continue reading

Ripening plums

This year’s Sharps Early crop is lighter than 2007’s bumper one. Far and away my favourite plum – I have known it all my life – harvested, as it is, at this special time of the year. Our tree is a cutting from the tree at Whitehall. Dad is still making relish from fruit frozen last December. His plum relish seasoned meatloaf is very tasty.

The short history of a tree: Dad says he is fairly certain the tree comes from the Scholes farm, next door to ours, at Whitehall (if you have reason to visit Whitehall Quarry – the remnants of this orchard can be seen to your left as you come up the rise from the bridge after leaving Whitehall Road). Trees grown from cuttings from the Leamington tree can, in turn, be found on properties on Mount Pirongia, in Te Puke, at Maungatautari and here in Leamington – if you know where to look. 

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Moving right along

On Friday it was a caller asking for advertising dollars in support of local schools – that’s schools plural. I was corrected when I asked which school; singular. Goodwood, Whitehall and Karapiro. Seems the support is in the form of work books for the kids paid for by local enterprises.

Then yesterday, Monday, it was a chap calling on behalf of ‘Child cancer’. Well, a variation on the term. When he began reading a prepared statement I cut him off asking that he get to the point. I think I may have been a bit rude. I offered him my email address so I could consider his ‘sponsorship offer’. The phone was disconnected as I recited the address. There are books involved in this, as well, I think.

Anyone else having similar experiences?

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Monavale Homestead

It’s years since I visited Monavale Homestead out on the Cambridge Te Awamutu road (all of 5km from home). I came here from time to time to photograph weddings. It’s now home to Capernwray’s Monavale Bible School. What a neat setting for Carols by Candelight.

I had forgotten how Monavale draws you into the world of it’s creators. I’m not too hot on architecture and gardens – influences and terminology – I understand the house is American – the grounds are Waikato English – if that’s a genre. There is an other worldliness – set as it is in flat, conventional Waikato farmland. Especially at dusk.

Highlight for me is Hilly Boyce‘s solo Holy Night. And a sublime choral piece – refered to as a Nigerian Christmas carol – I think – (I see from the programme it is called Betelehemu) Very WOMAD. Very beautiful.

And it all happens again tomorrow evening at 8PM. Do go. (If too many turn up they may need to rejig their parking arrangements).

There is a gallery or slideshow; your choice. The frog, in full croak in the last frame, is in the pond at 69 Milton Streetgo and look.

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Beckham, Auckland and authenticity

I was thinking about messages, advocacy and autheticity when taking the photos of the parade yesterday. The angels got me thinking. I quite like Beckham the footballer. I am not a recreational sports watcher – sport goes on all about me all the time – in one ear and out the other. But some stuff sticks.

Beckham’s fluidity of movement and boyishness has seeped through to me as much has Tiger Woods determination and Daniel Carter’s zen. All three are most interesting men and though not a fan what they do, well, fascinates.

Mt Smart’s marketing of the Beckham visit seemed odd from the start. There was no leveraging of his joyful visit of a year ago. I know about the fun because I talked with a friend in the Cake Tin by phone while it was all pumping. In fact until late last week Auckland seemed to have forgotten that Beckham had been here at all. I wonder was this a marketing ploy?

Didn’t work.

Edited 17:56 8/12/08: Typo