What We Left Behind In Our Wake


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31 December, and 2019 totters on its last legs.

A wilted flower that is about to be chucked out of the vase.

Seriously, another year gone? ( another decade if you want to take the macro view ).

I may have figured out a few things in my life, but not where time goes. Probably fallen down the back of the couch or stashed in a shoebox somewhere…

All I know is that is once it’s been used up, you don’t get it back.

The quantity of time we had this year, if you got to the end of it (RIP to those I knew that didn’t) – is exactly the same for each of us.

The quality of it is an entirely different matter.

Good, bad, indifferent.

Productive or wasteful.

Exultant, Calm, Boring, Unhappy, Tragic.

Was love present?

And, did we actually learn anything new in the 365 days allotted to us this year? About ourselves, others, and the world around us?

Did we make any sort of difference ? (man, I hate that question but it does run the ruler of significance over what you do).

What, exactly, once the churn and froth has subsided, got left behind in our wake?


Windows On Wake


A view of the wake from a passenger ferry to Waiheke Island from Auckland, through the ship’s windows, appears as if it were three frames in an old school roll of film…

( Ah, I remember rolls of film, but apart from the nostalgia factor, I don’t miss them, partly due to my shot cock-up rate, and also because of the inordinate processing costs.Not to mention exposing film to sunlight accidentally. Actually, the more I remember about the downsides, the less nostalgia I am feeling…..but big ups to you if you still take photos the old way! )

Volcano And Rock Pool


Sometimes you just have to marvel at, and appreciate, what you are so very familiar with.

Being a born and bred Aucklander, it is easy to take to take for granted this gorgeous vista of a rock pool set in ancient lava ,against the backdrop of the volcanic majesty of Rangitoto Island, across the water.

There it was again, for the umpteenth time , on a walk along the Waitemata Harbour earlier today.

Except today, it especially resonated with me and compelled a picture.

I am lucky to see this view any day I want and thought I would share some of that luck with you…enjoy!

Rain Delay

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A damp scene at the lawn bowls last season.

It’s a summer game really, not that you would know it from this picture.

The rains have come, and the water is pooling on the green.

Play is delayed while we wait for the sun to re-emerge, and the little lakes that have formed, to dissipate.

Nothing to do in the meantime  – just wait.

Contemplate your navel, the universe, whatever…

Have a cup of tea.

Chat amongst yourselves, people.

For it is a mere hiatus – play will recommence shortly.


 – Remember, this too shall pass –




Getting To The Point


Down through the enveloping branches, directly to a sharp point in the sea.

It’s a learnt skill for sure.

To pierce through the surrounding issues, to cut the crap, as it were, and get to the point.

To clearly see what those caught in the middle of a situation cannot.

But you can’t have that ability without having had a few branch scratches and involuntary swallows of sea water along the way yourself !

OK, point made then…I’ll just leave you to enjoy the photo from one of my favourite walking routes along Auckland’s Tamaki River.

Through The Twilight

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“You cannot, in human experience, rush into the light. You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape.” – Woodrow Wilson


Those words sum up my own experience; my picture recreates its memory and serves as a reminder.

When you know a darkness, it is tempting, when you are leaving it, to want to parade in the fullness of light.

However, in the ‘tween time – the twilight – you get to really know show the shapes and forms of the important things, dimly lit as they are.You feel them deeply, even as you peer though the mystical interplay of shadows and light.

There will be plenty of time for full light to illumine all the details…


Summer Sets The Scene


Here be summer.

Coming on, and growing by the shortening day. We’ve just passed the longest day but the weather will get hotter. That’s odd I think.

But maybe it’s all about intensity.

Quality, not quantity and all that.

The qualities of scorching heat and brilliant UV-blitzed light will inhabit our little part of the planet, and suffuse us with those same elements, as if by osmosis.

Languid days will create relaxed, kinder people.Doing just what they fancy, just because they can. Holidays at this time of year certainly help!

And we will be, temporarily at least, the best versions of ourselves, all flowers and blues skies.

So, the scene is set…let play begin!




Christmas time.

‘Tis the season to be jolly! (it’s compulsory apparently)

Also, that time of the year when we look back on what transpired.

Lists are compiled in magazines and on websites of the “best of the year” in various fields and genres, to mark the achievements that signified the 360-odd days thus far.

Day by day, we tread our narrow path, in small steps.

Hindsight is a virtue alright, and as you, and I, look back at the path through the tunnel that was the year almost gone, I hope we reflect on happenings and memories with  a wider, wiser viewpoint.

And that if we didn’t achieve all of our goals, there was progress rather than perfection.

Okay, we can turn back around now, and keep plodding on…


Streets Of Your Town

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“Round and round, up and down

Through the streets of your town

Everyday I make my way

Through the streets of your town”

 – The Go-Betweens, ‘Streets Of Your Town’

A marriage of a picture of one of my favourite towns, Edinburgh, with the lyrics from one of my favourite bands, Brisbane’s Go-Betweens, who spent a good deal of time in the UK forging their career, a long way from home.

There is something about the song that captures the displaced feeling of pounding the pavement in a town that will never be your own.

Song here:

Not A Christmas Song (Thankfully)

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Over Christmas music yet? Well, may I give some respite from the sheer awfulness of most of it – here is a prime cut from my album of the year, Devendra Banhart’s ‘Ma’.

A  typical offbeat piece of Venezuelan/American Banhart’s warm songcraft, enhanced by a surreal video. Enjoy! If it’s not your cup of tea ,it could be worse (‘Little Drummer Boy’ anyone…?).

(By the way, the recent photo features a community piano in a central London shopping mall . Some outstanding young talent created amazing sounds for free –  I love community pianos for their surprise element!

Link to the DB song below:


Criss Cross

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Spectacular curving, criss-crossed ceiling at London’s King’s Cross Railway Station.

So elegant with its purplish backlighting, and just vast as a piece of design

Even I hadn’t been hanging around for the train north to Edinburgh, this would have dragged me in to admire it.

Lines crossing over and over again, like the passengers scurrying to their trains, heading to different destinations.

Indeed, the kinetic and life energy in the place is amazing – all those journeys, with their beginnings and endings ; those unknown (to each other) plans and dreams – in the one place at the same time, intersecting for the briefest moment and then arching out and beyond, perhaps never to cross over again.

And when you board the train, it’s a little simpler – you’re away again on your own trajectory and at least the tracks run parallel !




Self-help/lifestyle books and sites are full of tips to assist you to “lead your best life”.

I  am not exactly in love with that phrase, nor some of the iffy suppositions behind it.

The general themes involve the person with the less than best life adopting new mental and physical practices,and sooner or later(preferably sooner) their life is transformed.

There are big assumptions in all of this – first, that you are able to help yourself (it wouldn’t be self-help otherwise!) and, secondly, that what has improved one person will do the same for another.

Sometimes true, often false.

Hard to assess, given the range of “solutions” on offer run the gamut from plain old common sense to ludicrous and even dangerous fads.

And mostly, the improvement schemes are aimed at ,and picked up by, those whose lives are just a bit “off “. Easy marks.

People who are broken, whose lives are fractured, fragmented, do not reach for lists with titles like “10 Ways To A Happier You – Now!” They don’t give a flying f**k about trite inspirational messages on cushions,bumper stickers or coffee mugs. If the Dalai Lama  himself showed up on the doorstep,with his sweet infinite wisdom, they would tell him to piss off. And nobody, I repeat, nobody, needs a coffee enema…

When you cannot do life ,you can’t do “need to do” bullet point lists.

The ones who are lost, trust me on this, don’t need to be told how to make themselves whole or found ,or whatever.

They need to be understood and accepted ,and there is no quick fix in that. Only time, and the love of others, will reach the soul and give the fractured the wherewithal to move themselves on.