Monday, March 26, 2012

"How does one become a butterfly?"...

she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."~Anonymous

Imagine spending your days flying around, alighting on flowers & drifting on gentle air currents (yes - I am studiously ignoring any negatives here!!). Butterflies transfix me, sighting one will cause me to be still, almost holding my breath without realising I am doing so, & just watch. And I could watch for hours, gentle, silent, beautiful creatures that could teach us humans a lesson or two .....& have if we stop to think about it.

If nothing ever changed there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

When I grow up - I want to be a butterfly. Besides being able to fly, be free & for the most part beautiful,  they get to hang around a whole heap of orange from what I observed today ;) Rarely do we get to see admirals & monarchs at the same time so they must be attracted to this plant.

And with that Deb quietly toddles off to bed making a mental note to plant some Tithonia rotundifolia in her next garden.....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Keeper Of The Memories

I do not hoard!! I accumulate stuff! OK, so sometimes I find that stuff hard to get rid of...just in case I might want to use it again/ fit back into it/ need it/re-appropriate it for some other use. But I do not hoard.

It became obvious when I got my first quote to ship my 'stuff' across the ditch to Australia that quite a bit was going to have to go. I'd already decided that the beds, my big ass lounge suite, the freezer, washing machine & one lot of bookshelves weren't going with me. Some other large items were optional &, fortunately, quite a bit of what I definitely wanted to take can be flat packed.

I was given two options for shipping; the first involves shipping the, lot minus the items I'd stated weren't going, in shared containers. It turns out that I have 39 cubic meters of 'stuff'. Yikes!!
Option 2 was to have a 20 ' container to myself. Now a 20'ft container technically  holds 32 cubic meters.... if you were to fill it with water that's how much it would hold anyway. With wrapped furniture & boxes it's realistically something like 28-29 cubic meters.
Even I know that 39 cubic meters isn't going to reduce to 29 without some really serious minimising. Looks like some of those 'optionals' will be staying in Kiwiland...& then some.

But it's the small stuff that is holding me up. There are 8 boxes full of 'small stuff'.Things I rarely look at, but are there & I know they are there. It's easy for some to carelessly say get rid of what you don't need.
That sort of blasé comment will usually come from someone that hasn't created their family memories yet...or doesn't have a family ( or any interest in art or crafts - but that's a whole different story!! lol!)

Turns out I've saved everything from small beaded felt Christmas decorations I made 33 years ago when I was a young single Mother & too darn poor to buy anything, but determined to give my toddler some 'pretty' for his second Christmas - through to the all of the kids first artworks, birth cards, albums, inscribed books, a few special baby clothes & once much loved, but now outgrown, soft toys..... & on the list grows. We haven't even got to their early school books yet.....

Then there is Dad's 'stuff' - a beautiful hand tailored sailor top purchased at Ballantynes when he was little... probably around 1932, his wonderful old tobacco jar & scree's of other bits & pieces of his that Mum gave to me.

I'd already started sorting & getting rid of the more obvious months back, thinking that I best start sorting things out earlier rather than leaving it closer to the anticipated time of departure.A lot of Dad's things I've given to my boys, really just keeping the two things I mentioned above for myself. Dad was more like a father to those two & a huge influence in their lives. I know they'll look after those bits & pieces.

As to the rest it's really a matter of trust. I thought about giving the kids their stuff, but the time just isn't right.Things that were theirs when they were younger wont have so much meaning until they have children of their own. This I know from experience as I well recall regretting, much later, giving away all the things I deemed babyish or such as a teenager or even later as an adult.
I also recall the feigned disgust & the inner warm fuzzies whenever Mum would whip out one of my early notebooks filled with a 7 year olds first attempts at writing poems or fantastical stories, to show one of my kids.

It's those things that the kids have done that I'm finding hardest to even go through - let alone think of parting with, or entrusting to their creators. Not only do I smile at some of the things that were written, or marvel at the vivid imaginations of the very young,  I'm also transported back in time & memories are evoked of things that I had forgotten. I know when I show a special letter or card written by a 5 year old to their Mum to them as teens & adults that they have forgotten too.

No, I don't hoard stuff - 
I am keeper of the memories.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Last Chance & New Opportunities

I think summer finally came to Christchurch this weekend - we've had a spectacular couple of days. It's been far too nice to waste sitting & working inside for the most part, but that is what I've been doing.

What I wanted to be doing was something entirely different. This was the last weekend to take the chance to walk through the red-zone of the central city & view our Cathedral before it is demolished.Yes, the Anglican church has decided that the Cathedral that gives this city it's name isn't worth saving. I'm not sure what to think about that - aside from the fact that we may have to change our city's name to Christchurchless.

I really felt the need to say goodbye - but had no one to go with & it's not particularly the sort of thing I wanted to do alone. 

Over the last year I have questioned why I feel such strong ties to so many of the buildings in the city, why the CBD as a whole seems such a part of me when really it is, after all, just buildings....inanimate objects that can be replaced. 

I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that 51 years ago there was a 19 year old student working towards her art degree whose city this was too. Many of the same buildings were there in the early 1960's, the structure & the layout have changed not at all. Subconsciously I have always been aware that many of the paths walked by me, would have been walked by my birth mother before me. The city itself is a connection of sorts.

On the other hand I have absolutely no idea at all why I have always been drawn to the many Churches, aside from the fact that I have always liked the Gothic revival architecture so many of them offered & often quietly wished that I was confidant enough to attempt them in pen & ink.

With all that said there are Churches whose architecture I can to look forward too exploring in Brisbane. Here are a few I spotted in the CBD there in December.

This one took the prize for flamboyance - from the side it was more like a castle from a fairytale.

 Sometimes you really have to look to find them among all the tall buildings!

 At other times you find one in an unexpected open space (with a big glassy backdrop!)

This is the first church & in the background is the Soleil Tower, 243 meters high. It's the tallest building in Brisbane & the second tallest in Australia & was completed earlier this year.

This is a zoom in of the Brisbane CBD from the Mount Coot-Tha lookout, you can see the Soleil Tower on the left....just to put it all into perspective.

It has to be said that I'd far rather be viewing the tower from the top of a  mountain (albeit a small one), than viewing the mountain from the top of the tower....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Back End of a Bus...

Ever heard the idiom "Looks like the back end of a bus"? It's a very British figurative saying & I have to admit I heard it more than once growing up ( thanks Mum & Nana!!), but not in reference to people - rather to things. These days we'd just use "fugly" in it's place ;)

Of course some bus ends can be quite interesting - especially when it's an Army bus & it's your son pictured on the back end of it! A somewhat dubious honour in light of the above - & boy am I going to have fun with it when someone gets back. Of course that's after I'm forgiven for showing it here.....