20190228_204312.jpg Pictured is the tekoteko , carved figurines, representing ancestors of the Ngati Whatua,the iwi( tribe)  whose main marae is where I was working today,at Orakei ,Auckland.

Fascinating and fearsome in black! The bird of prey at the bottom is different to many such meeting houses – I need to look into the story behind it,and all three figurines,will get back if I find out more….


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“You don’t need to have a plan”

“Once we say yes to life, yes to our wholeness and true wisdom, then the intelligence of  life will always provide all the  growth you need. Growth is a potent serum of  life. Life is always trying to always grow and expand us. You don’t need to have a plan.We need to work with whatever comes our way,moment by  moment to grow and expand  our  sense of self.”

Louise Marra,2017.

The person who wrote this is an acquaintance of mine and has taught me a bit about mindfulness as a way to approach life. She is very definite here,”…say yes to life….”.

We Kiwis have a colloquial expression .”yeah, nah”(sometimes nah, yeah”).To be uttered when asked a direct question and when unsure or equivocal. People do it without thinking (and it is good for a laugh!).But much as the cynic in me wants to reach for my proverbial gun upon hearing such unequivocally positive words, the kernel of the matter is reaching true acceptance of life, its circumstances and ourselves.

Only that, no inspirational quote or well thought out strategy ,will allow the personal growth Louise mentions. Life is pretty random and can be unkind too, but those unplanned and often unwanted moments are often key growth initiators.

Peace, Andy.

My Bowling Happy Place

20190206_101708.jpgWe all should have at least one physical place that makes us joyful, a spot where you can just be. I have a few as it happens and thought I would round off the series of lawn bowls posts with a shot of my own club and its green in Auckland.Sometimes noisy with the sounds of bowlers playing,at other times it is just me there in the parklike grounds,with the sounds of birds and cattle,the wind in the poplars and pines.Bliss…

On The Green

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Brightly coloured lawn bowls on a bowling green

I took up the sport of lawn bowls (played throughout the British Commonwealth in the main) some thirteen years ago ,and it is something I just adored from the get go. I play it competitively as well as socially. It’s like chess on steroids –  a great amalgam of eye/hand skills, individual technique, strategy, rules and etiquette ,combined with an immense variability of people (team mates and  opponents)and  playing conditions. Complex at times  but a simple game at heart.

Those blue bowls with the bat motif are mine by the way. Every set of  bowls is unique in size, weight and trajectory as well as decoration  and are very personal to the bowler. Playing with bowls other than my own is like walking on the moon, sorta feels unnatural.

You learn a lot from playing a sport, not the least of which is not to take yourself, your mistakes ,and losses, so seriously. Mistakes and losses happen and you are what you are. And, in the end, if  the game is not fun, maybe  you are taking it way too seriously!

Beach And Bleached

There is something alluring and reassuring about walking along a beach. Time stands almost still amidst the motion of waves and wind and the heat of the sun and sand. And, in this case, there are ancient , bleached rock formations that have been sculpted by the elements and will continue so, long after the walkers have departed and the holidaymakers returned home.

Mangawhai Heads,NZ. January 2019.

Nothing Is Separate From Anything Else

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Double Rainbow, Nelson, NZ.  July 2018

“You must stop seeing God as separate from you, and you as separate from each other. Nothing exists in the  universe that is separate from anything else.Everything is intrinsically connected, irrevocably interdependent, interactive, interwoven into the fabric of all life”

–  from ‘Conversations With God’, Neale Donald Walsch

I took this picture at the airport waiting for a flight home from holiday. Near me was an old friend that I do not see often but there is a connectedness when we do .She has given inspiration to me at times I needed it. It was a ‘coincidence’ that we were vacationing in the same place at the same time, and then again that we were on the same flight . There was rain around ,and then a stunning double rainbow appeared. There was a sadness in my friend when she talked and a tear in her eye, as the skies wept rain and spread colours around. Not a lot I could say in comfort ,only to share in those feelings of hurt, but it was a little ‘God’ moment when the universe appeared smaller, just sitting there ,connected at a confluence of human paths and nature.

The Power Of Power Pop -Ain’t That Enough(Song by Teenage Fanclub)

“Summer’s in the city, do what you gotta do”

Thrilled to be going to see the Scottish indie/power pop legends tonight in Auckland. Where do you start, or end, with such brilliance? They are total mavens of their craft, honed over decades. I always feel better after listening to them and that is the highest accolade, really. See if it works for you….

Hot Hibiscus


So, it’s Valentine’s Day today and it has been stinking hot ….I finish work and grab something cold to drink from the supermarket. Lady behind me in the queue ,a complete stranger, looks at the cans, and says “I thought you would be  buying flowers, other people seem to be”,or something to that effect. Say what? Ever the romantic, I reply that “it’s a commercial hoax” ,and go pay for my stuff. I don’t feel bad , but please have a summertime flower ,all you lovers , lovelorn and loveless, just in case no one gave you any.

Morning (Song by Beck)

                                        “Can we start all over again this morning?”

A slice of slow gorgeousness from Beck,from his excellent 2014 album ‘Morning Phase’, that  manages the neat trick of being melancholic and uplifting at the same time – sorta like some mornings themselves  – and the sample lyric above echoes my thoughts in the the last post ‘Tamaki Ebb Tide Morning’. Enjoy!

A Design For Life

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I apologise to any arachnophobe having to suffer through this post and the previous one today, ‘Silken Castle In The Air’. This is fact the same web as in the last photo. Different angle, background and treatment .So, sinister or beautiful? Depends on your perspective, as the spider may have whispered to the fly.

It is not International Spider Day or anything…. but as the spider historically inspired Scottish king Robert the Bruce in his fight against the invading English when he was in defeat and despair, the creature has something to teach us now.

Assume for a moment that you are like the spider. You find or get yourself  in some major life difficulty – the web you have woven is tangled, as the saying goes . Matters appear hopeless. But here’s the thing – it is your web, you created its silk, you gave it a unique design and built it all yourself. And only you can navigate your web like you can ,straighten the tangles and repair the tears in the strands.

Whatever driving force or spirit you had in the creation of the cobweb will also help save you now. Trust in it.