Monday, January 31, 2011

I tick a few nagging tasks off my to do list
I feel lighter
ready for February

Sunday, January 30, 2011


'PLUMS $2 a bag (in letter box thanks)'
handwritten in black on a brown cardboard sign:
a wooden ledge displaying 6 bags of freshly picked plums
invites roadside shoppers

Saturday, January 29, 2011

cyclone wilma whips around the house as I drift off to sleep
my dreams are vivid and confusing
faces not seen for years appear in places that seem strangely familiar
I am woken early by a hungry miaow

Friday, January 28, 2011

when you're covered in a warm white coat of birman fluff
the only place to curl up on a humid summer evening
is in the cool steel of the laundry sink

back in the river

We're back from our holiday up north! After a very VERY wet and stormy start the weather brightened and we had some beautiful sunny beachy days, swimming, boogie boarding, exploring rock pools, collecting shells and walking along bush trails and sandy beaches. We had no internet, virtually no cell phone coverage and no tv. Perfect!
Here is a pocketful of stones collected while I was away :

torrential rain eases to a steady downpour
I take another sip of sauvignon blanc and buy Pall Mall (Monopoly)
the sea is a furious cauldrom of creamy foam
a blanket of grey hangs gloomily over the pot
not quite the tranquil postcard scenes we anticipated
but no less beautiful
after the storm, the beach is a treasure trove of flotsam from the sea:
seed pods, sea weed, drift wood, pebbles and shells
strewn in a tidal trail across the sand
a peace offering
we scramble up the side of the hill to catch a glimpse of the blue bay and rocky coastline on the other side
a large kereru bird emerges from the depths of the puriri tree,
sated with juicy red berries -
and launches himself into the evening air
sometimes a memory is rose tinted and returning to the place it was made disappoints
but then there are times when returning only reinforces and expands one's stockpile of joy

Friday, January 21, 2011


I interrupt this trickle of stones to let you know I'll be 'offline' for the next 6 days. We're heading up north to a beautiful beach town called Matapouri. I'm hoping that we'll see a little bit of that blue sky shown in the picture!

I'll be back next Thursday with a handful of stones picked up along the coast.

image by Reuben Price
the phone rings
I answer
it's my canadian cousin
calling me from yesterday

Thursday, January 20, 2011


cars line the streets around our local church
people spill out of the back of the hall, standing in the midday heat
a hearse is parked across the entrance
I wonder who died:
young or old, man or woman?
someone deeply loved
will be sorely missed

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

friendly ferns reach their verdant fronds across the muddy path
tickling our legs as we pass

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

hot sticky mugginess wraps around my body
as we await the storm

Monday, January 17, 2011

Talya (my animal lover): 'Did you see that Mommy? They even said it on the tv - a dog is man's best friend!'

Sunday, January 16, 2011

it seems like only yesterday that I landed in this land of the long white cloud
changing country
changing life
changing self
it's ten years and I wonder if I will ever find my way back home
to me

Saturday, January 15, 2011

we can't find the gingerbread man cutter in the drawer so we make stars instead
bursting with honey and spices
deliciousness fills the house as they bake

Friday, January 14, 2011

I dash down the dune towards the sea
black ironsand scorching the soles of my feet
it's like running over hot coals

Thursday, January 13, 2011

it's funny how refreshing a warm cup of tea can be on a hot summer's afternoon
I feel cooler and calmer with each sip

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the subtle change in light as I step outside at 6am
reminds me that summer won't last forever

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Anika: 'Daddy knows all about those cars 'cause he was alive in the olden days'
I smile.
Talya: 'But Mommy was alive then too!'
I laugh.

Monday, January 10, 2011


dull grey becomes vibrant salmon pink
as the sun casts its early rays across the morning clouds

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I am lost in thought and
almost miss
the perfect symmetry of vines
brown gnarled trunks securing them to fertile soil
fresh green shoots reaching upwards
promising fine wine

Saturday, January 8, 2011

sinking my teeth into a slice of fruit-bursting spice-infused brandy-soaked Christmas cake,
I resolve to walk an extra half hour

Friday, January 7, 2011

holiday reading

Mister Pip's last page comes too soon and I return to my world with a thud
the only thing to do is dive headfirst into another book

Thursday, January 6, 2011

soft misty rain falls gently as I walk
tiny droplets tickle my bare skin

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

rubbish day

green council bags
stretched tautly around their lumpy innards
await collection

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

warm soapy suds wash away syrupy remnants from breakfast plates

Monday, January 3, 2011

hot air balloon rises above tall trees into the still blue morning;
dragon roar of hot air lifting it higher with each flame

Sunday, January 2, 2011

sea water dries to a salty skin making me tingle with summer

Saturday, January 1, 2011

magenta waterfall of bougainvillea cascades down towards the winding road

Hello 2011!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you're celebrating in the way that feels most right for you and that you wake up to a bright and beautiful 2011.

I've chosen my Word for this year and it's JOY.
Mother Teresa said this of joy: "Joy is prayer - Joy is strength- Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with Joy."
One of my actions to kick off this year is to take part in the River of Stones - an international writing project initiated by Fiona Robyn and her fiance Kaspa. Every day in January people around the world are going to be paying attention to what's going on around them, noticing the detail in one moment and writing it down in a short sentence - a small stone. It's like taking a photograph with words. If you'd like to join in go and visit
I'll be posting my first small stone later today :-)