Bank Buildings

Today was my first visit to the new ANZ Centre.  The seven metre high tree in the atrium is spectacular, although a real one would have looked better.

The centre is pleasant to walk through, and the clothing stores seem not as upmarket as the ones in the Restart Mall – a welcome change.

By contrast, the old BNZ site is now a lake:

At least there’s progress here, of sorts.

“A bright new centre, ANZ
the BNZ’s a lake instead.”


Recent rain has encoraged the growth of fungi, and there were lots on the path to the beach.

Dark toadstool


Golden toadstools


Twin toadstools

Orange toadstools

Back home, there’s a small colony at the back of the garden.

Cottage toadstools

I can’t identify any of these,  and I definitely won’t be sampling them.

“It seems to me that only fools
would try to eat these odd toadstools.”


Breakfast Al Fresco

24 hours after the patio was flooded, we were breakfasting outside in 20 degree sunshine.  Our weather is certainly changeable!  Now that we’ve stepped aside from paid work, every day is a holiday, but we can’t help joining in the general pleasure of a holiday weekend.  For Easter Saturday Stephen made us a special breakfast of Oefs en Cocotte.

Chicken and mushroom, together with a baked egg, make this especially delicious.  We sipped our tea or coffee, leisurely read the “Press’, and thought lazily about how we might spend the rest of the day.  I hope my readers are all enjoying their Easter break.  Great to hear that so many volunteers are helping those in the Bay of Plenty to sort out the aftermath of Cuclone Cook.

“Although each day’s a holiday
today’s a special time to play.”

Pond on Patio

Continual rain overnight (thanks to Cyclone Cook) meant that our patio was flooded when we got up this morning.

Patio Pond

We’ve not seen it like this before.  There was 40mm of rain overnight, and the ground underneath must still be saturated from the previous week’s rain.  Luckily it’s draining now the rain has eased.  The river was also high, and was over its banks in several places.

Avon/Otakaro near Barbadoes Street Bridge

It’s flowed onto Fitzgerald Avenue near the Kilmore Street intersection.  We’ve been spared the high winds that have caused problems in the North Island, and a fine afternoon is forecast.

“I’ll stay inside, the river’s high
and I want to keep warm and dry.’


Easter in Error

Easter is a spring celebration of fertility and rebirth.  In autumnal Aotearoa, beset by the winds and rain of Cyclone Cook, it’s the wrong time for this festival.  Spring for us is months away, despite pots of daffodils being offered in the supermarket.

In the Southern Hemisphere this is a time of dying.  During the last week I’ve spoken at the funeral of a loved friend, and there have been two other deaths in my wider circle.  The demise of John Clarke/Fred Dagg was a poignant reminder of the Easter death of my brother, who also died while bushwalking in the Grampians.

The rich colours of the trees around me are a sure sign that the wheel of the year is turning, and a poem by Nancy Wood is brought to mind:

“You shall ask
What good are dead leaves
And I will tell you
They nourish the sore earth
You shall ask
What reason is there for winter
And I will tell you
To bring about new leaves
You shall ask
Why are the leaves so green
And I will tell you
Because they are rich with life
You shall ask
Why must summer end
And I will tell you
So that the leaves can die.”


My Mother

Mother and me with koala 1981

I am the child of a single parent who was the child of a single parent.  My father died when I was five.  My mother’s father died when she was two.  As a child I never met anyone else who didn’t have a father.  I never thought to question my mother as to how that had been for her, and while she sometimes talked about the things she and her mother had done together she never mentioned her lack of a father.

I’ve been listening to a radio programme where children of single parents talked about how the experience has shaped them.  Many became more resilient and independent.  Most talked about how hard their mothers worked to provide for them which was true for me too.  I think what I mostly learned from my mother was the importance of being good and kind.

I wonder how many other fatherless daughters are out there.  I’d love to hear from you.

“There was no-one else I knew
who didn’t have a father too.”



Autumnal Arbor

Red and gold trees are everywhere at present, and they frame the rebuild.

BNZ demolition framed by trees


New Central Library framed by trees


New Oxford Terrace Baptist Church framed by trees


Colourful trees close to home


“In every direction I see
a red or gold autumnal tree.”