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Showing posts from December, 2009

Kipling

Someone gave me a book of poems for Christmas. Apparently, a survey was done asking New Zealanders about their favourite poems and this book contains the top 100. It's an eclectic mix. Lots of James K Baxter, and all the stuff we learned by rote at school, and some nice little whimsies by people like Margaret Mahy; all of The Lady of Shallot and and bits of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ; Fern Hill and Ode to a Grecian Urn and The Tyger and all the usual suspects, including this one from dear old racist, sexist, imperialist Rudyard Kipling. I know it's not very PC but out of all of them, it spoke to my present circumstances the most. If... If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you But make allowance for their doubting too, If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't lo

Costume Dramas

image (c) to, I suppose the BBC. Don't nick it. Like most families, we have inviolable rituals for the spending of Christmas Day. There's a couple of church services, of course. There are particular foods to be eaten at their apportioned times, and the contents of crackers to be guffawed at; and once the food and the red wine and the effects of the past week have taken effect, there is, for me, a couple of hours asleep. There is a particular time for parcels to be unwrapped and a time honoured way of going about it. There is the ritual phoning and texting and skyping to be done, and then, finally there is the one thing that happens on the evening of every Christmas Day: the watching of something long and absorbing on an LCD screen. There are some rules about suitable content, of course. It must be British (or at a pinch, something directed by Peter Jackson or something Canadian). It must involve people dressed in costumes from another time and/or place. It must have belie

Where The Heart Is

When we first saw the St. John's Vicarage it was 4 degrees celsius outside the house and 4.5 degrees inside. We went home to the green, wet, warm Waikato with a memory of a large dark scruffy house with gray walls and a bizarrely patterned carpet. The opportunity to live at 373 Highgate wasn't high on the list of motivations for becoming the Vicar of Roslyn, but after 11 years of living here, we are very loathe to leave. The house was built in 1925 and its first occupant described it as "well designed and well built, providing what is desirable without showiness or unnecessary luxury." It has 5 bedrooms, 4 living rooms and a couple of sunrooms. All the walls, interior and exterior are double brick and sit on immense concrete foundations, so that both stories and the basement all have the same floorplan. You can feel the solidity of the place as soon as you walk over the threshold. Doors and stairs are of thick, simply fashioned cedar which hasn't warped or crack

Windows 7 again

It's now ben a month since I got rid of Windows Vista. I haven't had a single BSOD since then, but I have had a run of smaller crashes: programs freezing up; Windows Explorer not answering to the switch and refusing to shut down; my screen resolution changing to 640x480 all by itself and not wanting to change back. A couple of days ago I updated my video driver and so far, that seems to have fixed things. I have a fairly ordinary NVidia video card, and assumed that the Win 7 installation would have sorted out any driver problems but apparently not. So. A resounding two cheers for Windows 7! I am almost impressed.

Waiting and Knowing

Here we are, 3 days into December and still with an extra duvet on the bed and the heat pump running. Autumn is passing but the Summer is not quite here. I'm in an odd limbo time between the known and the unkown and it seems the weather has come out in sympathy. I have been down to Invercargill a couple of times, meeting people I already know quite well, letting them and me work out the beginnings of a new relationship. A couple of days ago I sat with a group of them, bouncing ideas around, trying to think about what might happen. Some of the ideas were great, and one or two of them will probably happen, but it wasn't really a time for plans and actions. It was the meeting and the talking that mattered. I drove home through the Southland Plains feeling energised and excited about what lies ahead. Richard and Hilary Ellena dropped by on Wednesday. Richard is a friend from a long way back, although I haven't talked to him much since he was made Bishop of Nelson about 3 ye