(Taumarunui, Hakiaha Street, June 2014)
I don’t know whether to believe in rebirth and several life-times. Maybe I should because there is no other explanation for my relationship with Taumarunui.
I heard about the place 20 years ago and we bought a little cottage there as a ski hut – Mt. Ruapehu ski fields are 30 minutes away – and sold it again 13 years ago. Ever since I am ‘home sick’ for it.
Last weekend we went to the ‘Mountain’ for a break. The moment we left Te Kuiti and got onto the hills on that 70 kilometre stretch to Taumarunui, my heart did all sorts of jumps, from delight to joy to love to sadness and a deep-seated pull with a strong sense of ‘coming home’.
(Lounge at Singapore Airport)
If you want to travel in style – trust me – you better have enough money to fly at least business class. Anything less is torture. You better stay at home.
I, of course, did not heed my own advise. I booked my flights in the most crazy way, all with the intention to save a few bucks. When my husband heard of my travel arrangements, he rolled his eyes … you know the kind of rolling that earned Anastasia Steele a severe spanking. But I digress.
Even though I am usually not endorsing big companies, this post will end up to be a praise of Lufthansa – a partial praise would be more correct. Why, because their inland planes suck. There is no softer or kinder way to convey it. They have all the trimmings of a normal air plane, BUT the layout of the seating is designed for the transport of people not taller than 135 centimetre or 4 foot something. So you can’t sit and you can’t stand because that is forbidden during flight. Unless you want to use the ‘facilities’ which of course are – again – for little people. I still don’t know how the 300 pound heavy passenger fitted in there, he barely made it through the aisle. And I won’t even talk about the food. I won’t!
(The Sacred Spring – Glanum, greek-roman settlement, St. Remy de Provence)
There is something mystical about walking through ancient ruins. At least, for me it is. It’s one thing to open a book and look at monuments, statues, and remnants of cultures long gone. It’s a totally different experience to visit such places, to be there.
The weather was on my side. A crisp, clear morning waiting for the sun to rise higher and start warming up the air. Not many people were about on this public holiday. Armed with my new pair of sun glasses, my trusted old Lumix, and heaps of time on my hands I was ready to be transported into the past.
Hearing the song “A Natural Woman” performed today, made me think of the men I have met over time, beginning with my dad and my grand dad who all in their idiosyncratic way helped me to develop or unlock parts of myself I didn’t knew I had then.
With some of these ‘gifts’ I wasn’t too happy at the time, but looking back over 60 odd years, I can see that even they held a learning for me – propelled me on my way to becoming the woman I am today. So, here the lyrics – be glad that I am not singing LOL – as a tribute to the men who inspire us woman to be the best we can be!
by Leonard Cohen –
I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
If you walk the streets of any village or city in the morning and you don’t see people scurrying home with a long stick of bread under the arm, followed by the distinct whiff of freshly baked wholesomeness, a smell that quickly captures unsuspecting passers-by, you are not in France.
Unlike us culinary savages, no decent French Femme will be caught serving for breakfast ordinary toast, baked by the thousands in sterile food plants, cut into even slices by machines, to be imprisoned in plastic bags with the label “Big Fresh” or something to that tune.
Waking up was a slow climb from the darkness of deep sleep into wakefulness and the light of day. Sounds of the early morning wrestled their way into consciousness as they chased the remains of nocturnal dreams. The chorus of tweeting birds punctuated by a passing car or the occasional clatter from a nearby busy yard came more and more into focus while fragments of her last dream still hung at the edges of consciousness like spiderwebs. Not quite gone but also no longer in charge.
Fragments of the dream flickered up, being lost and not finding the way home. Despair, while helpful, kind people gave directions that lead deeper into obscure landscapes looking like a Dalian painting. Time dripping slowly creating a suffocating heaviness on her chest.