Block The Sky If You Cannot Scrape It


So, yesterday’s post, “Block 6 & Block 7”,featured two buildings across from my Auckland City work office.This one, just around the corner, is another linear edifice, doing just enough to block the view but not tall enough to threaten the heavens.

Reflective glass sends back the message of the other side of the street, but there are chinks where you can sense humanity within the cubes of concrete, steel and glass – clothes on a rack, pictures on a wall ,lampshades -random personal paraphernalia .

Hope the owners within are doing more than just scraping by…

Is It True?


This large ceramic compass sits in the foyer of a building  I work in.

I love compasses and their myriad designs. I also love the way they tell the truth.

Without the compass I would only be guessing where, say ,north was outside the building. If I stepped outside, my sense of direction would be coloured by the street angle or the positioning of a building, and after dusk the sun’s absence would make matters way worse. I might have a good idea where north is but I can never be entirely accurate.

In life we have feelings that come to us and hunches we rely on. Sometimes real or right,other times false.

The  first question I try to pose to myself in those moments is like taking a compass bearing: “Is it true?”.

If not,then I may move on from that thing, or maybe choose to sit with the unknown for awhile.

If yes,then I can ask myself the subsidiary  questions: What? Where? When? What? How? and Why? And then take action, based on reality.

Is it true? Is it actually true?


There Are No Signposts In The Sea


” There are no signposts in the sea.”

– Vita Sackville-West

When we hit our own uncharted waters or new territory,we have to listen to the tales of who have been there before and depend on our inner strength and sense of direction for the rest. Nobody else can chart our course or sail our ship for us once we leave a safe harbour.

And we will have to leave…




 “A certain power of enduring boredom is essential to a happy life”

     -Bertrand Russell

I can get easily bored. Like the boat lying on the mudflats at low tide, stasis can grip when there is no motion and there are no waves to ride .Sometimes the sameness of daily life palls. I suspect we all feel that way, maybe about completely different things.

But I have to recognise that life largely consists of boring bits; it cannot always be a highlights reel. Those places, people and things which can become overly familiar  are also the very items that ground me in this life. We need to express gratitude for the mundane as well as the shooting star moments.

I am not saying that we do not need to change it up when we get stuck in a terminal rut, for that too is sometimes necessary .However,coping with boredom is actually a life skill in itself, like the art of  conversation or apologising when we screw up. Developing a positive outlook and coping strategies for boredom are essential. Low tide times and desert experiences are inevitable. We do not necessarily need to seek more “stuff “or to busy ourselves just to alleviate boredom, but we are all guilty of that. Actually embracing the tedious  or the just plain necessary will help get us through it. And,without boredom, we would not appreciate excitement when it arrives.

Just remember ,someone else would probably kill for your “boring”!

Autumn Almanac


“Breeze blows leaves of a musty-coloured yellow

So I sweep them in my sack

Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac

     -The Kinks, ‘Autumn Almanac’

Thank you Ray Davies for reminding me that the above leaves ,and hundreds more, burying the back lawn require removal. Too lazy to bother with the sack, will probably deposit them over the fence into the park next door and let them rot there…

The song is an old fave of mine ,which dissects, but not without lowkey affection, a  mundane type of English life where nothing ever seems to change. Worth checking out if you haven’t heard it.

Under The Wharf, Above The Waves (VI)

20190421_123805.jpgSorry if I am repeating myself – actually not really, there can be virtue in repetition (well you gotta tell yourself that just to get through this life!)…this is another in the ‘Wharf ‘ series; studies of  the ‘space in between’.

And, given that it is Easter after all ,right now the recurring motif is about the place between death and resurrection, endings and beginnings. No pause is without purpose. Be the barnacle and hang on in there…

Life Sentence Pending


Captured up  at my bowls club recently… set up and ready for a late afternoon wedding ceremony, all roses and ribbons. No idea whose. No one arrived yet…..weirdly eerie but in a nice way,not the Billy Idol song ‘White Wedding’ one.

The nuptials will be well done and dusted by now and I wish the unknown couple a happy marriage.

Cynical title to this post ,I know.Probably due to many years lawyering ,dealing with matrimonial property, parenting and domestic violence issues amongst other things.Not a lot of laughs.

But you have to be optimistic about love,so the shot gets a little special rose tinting….


New Babylon Hanging Gardens


After yesterday’s post featuring crops in old tyres,here is a shot taken last week of plants out of their usual place.

Rather eyecatching vertical garden of ferns,epiphytes and other non-foliage dropping lovelies built into a wall of the building from which you enter Auckland’s main train station.Mirror glass,which can be pretty awful and impersonal,gives a cool kaleidoscopic effect,and  magnifies the small airborne jungle.Architectural thumbs up from me anyway(not that I know much).

The feature does give out a tranquil,calming aura in the midst of urban perpetual motion,as its creators have indeed suggested – but let’s face it, plants don’t give a f**k whether you’re running late for work or your train…

Re-tread Gently


This shot was taken yesterday at the 25th birthday celebrations of a community organisation that has done of lot of good things in that time for families in its (mainly poor) neighbourhood.

The garden out the back of the centre re-uses old tyres, brightly repainted ,as planters for the food grown there.Lost property from the nearby airport is distributed to those who need it. Waste management and re-cycling are key components of the work .Life skills are taught and passed on. Anything that  can be used is used and those with the time and love can who wish to contribute to the work are welcomed.

Simplicity, sustainability, care and respect for others and our planet are the group’s ideals and practices for growth.

Big corporates and bureaucrats take note!

Collapse Into Fall

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“All at once, summer collapsed into fall” – Oscar Wilde

Easter approaches  – almost on cue summer disappears speedily, and the first autumn chills arrive.

Leaves start to fall; beautiful golden, reddish debris will soon cover the ground.

In the Southern Hemisphere ,Easter sits seemingly opposed to the new season, with its imagery of eggs ,new life and rebirth more redolent of  spring.

But not really, as for every birth there needs to be the death of something ; there is no beginning without a  prior ending….I know myself what it is like to have collapsed, fallen and then started afresh in life.

(PS: Grateful for the end of humidity, hot sleep-disturbed nights and mosquitoes!)

Ponsonby Mansion


In Ponsonby during the week having a catch up with a friend and walked past this beauty. Not sure what purpose it has now , but whoever had this built knew what they were doing. Amazingly well preserved, solid as the proverbial brick shithouse but with fiddly, ornate wrought iron work and wooden balcony, plus a turret at the top, like a cherry on a cake. It is not like a turret is an essential, but they push the heights and limits of a design without changing the whole thing, adding no doubt amazing views.So much more  than just a finishing touch – they are ineffably cool and I adore them ! All boxes ticked for me then…