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Showing posts from January, 2010

Cops and Robbers

Copyright Ashburton Guardian Yesterday Clemency and I drove up to Christchurch to meet and talk with Bishop Victoria Matthews. It was a pleasant conversation: Victoria and I seemed to agree on pretty much everything, so she is obviously a person of discernment , intelligence and taste. The weather was clear and still so the 4 hour drive was pleasant, though not without incident. Two hours up the road, just north of Timaru we were passed by a couple of police cars with sirens blaring and lights flashing. Relieved that it wasn't me they were after, we pulled into Temuka to see if we could get a cup of coffee. Temuka is a three horse town, minus about two and a half of the horses, and usually, parking is not a problem. Not yesterday. The streets....sorry....street was filled with cars most of which had a zipper pattern on the side and flashing blue lights on the roof. There were burly guys in blue serge and bullet proof vests wandering around with little high tech boxes sewn ont


There's no particular reason for this picture. It just happens to be one I have taken lately on this holiday which has not been a holiday. There has been a lull in work related activities, as Dunedin clears out for the summer leaving a sleepy little provincial town to mind the fort while our bustling, urbane little city heads off to Central for the summer. While everybody has been gone, I have been clearing out stuff. Clearing out junk from cupboards and the cellar, and I'm not finished yet, no sirree, not by a long chalk. Clearing out self sown natives and convolvulus and jasmine from the garden at Anderson's Bay and I'm not finished yet, no sirree, not by a long chalk. And sitting with people who have old issues that need to be resolved and listening and praying and crying with them and I'm not finished there yet either. But it all gets done. Skis, bikes, sleds, books and chairs pile onto the beat up old red trailer en route to the landfill or the op shop; greener

Holy Communion

Yesterday, to escape the rain and cold, we drove into Central. It was wet and cold , although it was a lovely day back home in Dunedin by all accounts; at least, it was until we arrived back just in time for the southerly change. It was a pleasant day, all the same, and , ended graciously, gracefully, meaningfully with dinner. There were five of us: two men and three women, two of us ordained, although in different denominations. There was a most delicious vegetarian casserole, a bottle of excellent pinot noir, a comfortable room and of course, conversation. All of us had undergone profound and challenging experiences in the past few months; we were all very aware of each of the others present, and of our dead and of the one who had guided all of us through this past year. We sat and talked as the food was passed around, and for a long time after. The darkness seeped into the room ; it truly was a holy time, and no one wanted to break the warmth of the communion by getting up to t


Over the years, the Diocese of Dunedin has changed the Episcopal residence a few times, and at every trade and exchange, the house has got a bit smaller. We will be carrying on this proud tradition by moving into our own house sometime in the next month or two. The official episcopal palace in Mosgiel is a nice enough place but we'd prefer the novelty of paying our own mortgage and of planting a garden that isn't going to be handed over to a non gardening successor and a committee of blokes with chainsaws in a decade's time. We bought our little house in Glenfinnan Place, Anderson's Bay about 3 years ago with the intention of retiring there some day. Who knows? We may still. But in the meantime, it will serve us very nicely and the fact that it is really just a three bedroom town house is part of its appeal. Anglican bishops have long since ceased to be princes of the Church and it's time to remove any vestige of pretence that they are still. Time, perhaps, to rem

Music Hath Charms

Last night I participated in a symphony. Clemency's extended family (and therefore, of course, mine) gathered at Helen and Alan Edward's place to see the new year in by performing Haydn's Toy Symphony aka Cassation in G major for toys , 2 oboes, horns, string and continuo . We didn't have a lot of oboes or horns but there was a piano and a clavier and for the rest we made do with recorders, electric guitar, bass, a violin, a bird whistle and a lot of rattles, drums and other things that could be whacked or shaken by musical illiterates such as myself when someone who knew what they were doing gave the nod. I sat with 7 year old Emmie, and drank red wine and ate quince jelly and contributed my part to the wonderfully structured mayhem. Gilbert giving a virtuoso performance on the nightingale decoy We have always been a close family but an hour of making music together means we are somehow even closer. Such is the miracle working power of noise. Earlier in the we