We have all been enjoying a very balmy summer in NZ that has drifted into the end of May. But now for me I am ready for the change of season. I like the golds and reds of autumn, the soup on the stove and the lavender bath before bed. I enjoy lighting the scented candles, picking up my knitting again and cosying into bed with a good book now that it is darker earlier.
I like the soft lighting that comes with autumn, it’s easy to see why English people find it hard to take Christmas seriously in the summer.
I even like rugging up for a walk in autumn, not having to worry about sun screen. I like boots, socks and merino singlets and the corny old cliché of rain on the roof. It makes me feel safe and grateful to have a roof over my head. It’s pretty nice too, to go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon when it is raining outside like today.A friend and I went to Carol and it was one of those rare American movies that had a lovely understated, languid pace filled with erotic tension and uncertain outcomes. Very satisfying, not to mention cheap. It was $5 cheap Wednesday at the Academy where the ice-creams are the same price as the ticket. I hope going to the movies doesn’t die out as a social activity as predicted as it is so delicious to sink down into a seat with an ice cream covered in chocolate and nuts that I would never buy at any other time or place. In fact, why do they have those particular ice creams only ever at the movies?
I think autumn must be my favourite season; spring is too sneezy, summer is too sweaty and winter is too gloomy.
My wing woman and I went exploring the local hospice shop the other day and came across a rather pretty coddler. I had never coddled an egg in my life and she kindly bought it for me. It is a bit time -consuming for what is essentially a poached egg and the thing is a pain to clean but I like the little ritual of it and the feel of the smooth porcelain. I have scarcely used my microwave since shifting here as most days I have time to take my time, set the table even if it is just for me, and eat without having to gobble and go.
And when I do have to go to work, I have yet to tire of the early morning light down at the landing. A ferry is very different from a bus or train somehow. It feels a little like being on holiday, and that there is possibility in the rhythmical pace of casting off and then arriving in the middle of the city.
And then autumn is the right season for baking bread, it’s a good excuse to warm up the kitchen and it is another slow-paced, unhurried activity.
And somehow it is easier to write for longer periods and read. I am having fun getting my next Fluffygeorge Postal Poems ready for sending. It is quite daunting attempting to write poems, (who do I think I am?) when Keats is so accomplished. However, Elizabeth Gilbert is my go to person for permission to write, especially as I’m never going to be a ballerina now. I’m not expecting that anyone will make room on their bookshelves anytime soon but maybe once a month they might stick something on the fridge with a fridge magnet.
Anyway, there is room on my bookshelf for Keats and while it isn’t helping anything out there in the world, it soothes me and allows escape from the dreadful death of Moko, the burnt body of the young woman in Canterbury, the mother and child dug up from under the bridge and that dangerous buffoon in America. I was shocked and chilled watching the audience at his rallies- the vicious hatred, the punching of people who were just there to protest, the utter crap coming out of his mouth. In my nightmares I see the red and orange army (don’t ask me why red and orange, maybe its the hair and the face) with the tacky gold emblem goose stepping its way across America inciting hatred, divisiveness and misogyny in all its ugly forms. I confess to seeing assassination as a viable pathway right now which I know is a contradiction in terms.
I think the Trump supporter below is meant to represent “Making America great again.” I’m hoping for a massive heart attack for him as soon as possible. Call me unkind.
If this isn’t terrifying??
This picture evokes the most awful feeling inside and it reminded me of the similar visceral reaction to this picture taken in South Africa and reproduced in the book Mandela- The Authorised Portrait .
I’m no politician or political analyst but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a person with a very low IQ to recognise a complete fuckwit when one sees one. How can I move from lovely women knitting, early morning mist and home made bread to the injustices of the 1950s towards gay women, to the everyday violence perpetrated in NZ, to that modern day Hitler. I started out with the sound of rain on the roof and even that just reminded me of the families with no roof over their heads or if it is a roof it is the inside of a car.
I have no answers, just a whole lot of questions. it’s too much. Keats, get me out of here.
Ode: To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or, by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
I’m just going to look for something beautiful each day to be grateful for and starting right now with the story of Old Blue, now there’s a story of hope of ever there was one. If you have children (or even if you don’t) I highly recommend it. The illustrations too, are gorgeous.
Happier days, FG