366 days of gratitude

11/09/2016

It started as a reunion of our first flat in Dunedin and grew to include any friends who’d known us when we were students.

Finding a when and where that suited everyone was like herding cats but we eventually agreed on this weekend in Twizel.

Why Twizel? One of our number had suggested Lake Ohau but the lodge couldn’t accommodate us all and Twizel was close.

As the date approached some dropped out and we ended up with the five of us who had flatted together (three hes and two shes) plus three wives, one husband, another friend from Dunedin student days and three children (offspring of one of the former flatmates).

The flatmates and spice have kept in semi-regular contact over the years but most of us hadn’t seen the friend since the weeding of one of our number 32 years ago. That didn’t matter, as we reminisced, laughed, caught up on who’d done what and laughed lots more.

Waking to a cloudless blue sky yesterday we agreed that an expedition to Mount Cook was called for.

Those with little people walked up the Hooker Valley while the rest of us climbed up to the Red Tarns. They’re about 300 metres up via about 1,000 steps which some managed more easily than others, however the view once there was worth it.

red-tarns

mt-cook

We regrouped for lunch after which the parents and little people returned to Twizel to play, four others took a helicopter flight while the rest of us walked up the Hooker Valley (in the hope my theory that if you’ve gone up and down steep hills, a walk over flattish territory keeps you from getting stiff would work, and it did).

This morning we had a long leisurely breakfast before three headed north, five headed south and the other five of us took the long way home via Lake Ohau and the Temple Valley.

temple

Now I’m home again, reflecting on the blessing of friendships which endure, nature’s beauty and the opportunity to explore it with very few other people and oh how I’m grateful for all of that.


Lucky or blessed?

16/11/2008

 

“Aren’t we lucky?” I said.

“Aren’t we blessed?” she responded.

She wasn’t nit picking, she was pointing out the important differences between being lucky and being blessed.

I thought of that while we were driving through the Mackenzie Country on Friday and stopped to look across Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook:

cook-pukaki

I also thought of this from Katherine Mansfield:

It was one of those days, so still, so clear, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.


Sunday social

17/08/2008

Several blogs have Friday free-for-alls which has prompted me to have a Sunday social where you are welcome to talk about the week that was, the one that’s coming and/or the weekend you’re having.

I’m just about to fly home from Wellington where I’ve been for the National Party list ranking meeting – results will be announced later this morning.

We had dinner at a wonderful Italian cafe  last night. I’m a bit vague about it’s name and location – it might have been called Cafe Italiano and was in or near Cuba Street. I am in no doubt about its quality though – delicious pasta, wine, desert and terrific service from Italian waiters.

Super Saturday was indeed super – our best ever day  at the Olympics and the medal count is now two gold, a silver and a bronze.

This might help TV ratings because deeply shallow people like me take only a passing interest in the games until we start winning.

I fell asleep part way through the rugby and won’t divulge the score in case you missed the game to and want to watch it without knowing the result.

The six Australian climbers have been rescued from Mt Cook.


Buttercups at Mt Cook

15/08/2008

This Friday’s poem is by Diane Brown from her collection learning to lie together, published by Godwit in 2004.

Buttercups at Mt Cook

 

all day I try to remember

the rhyme, then conclude

 

there wasn’t one

it was just a game

 

for idle moments

in paddocks, the placing

 

of a buttercup

under the chin

 

the question

do you like butter?

 

there wasn’t a choice

back then, we all

 

said yes knowing

if there was no

 

yellow reflection

we were deemed liars

 

today I leave

the buttercups alone

 

there are too few

these are white

 

and butter is bad

for you now

 

– Diane Brown


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