Thursday, March 27, 2008

Library Executives. . .

It may well be my last day in the library at the University today - hardly anything to do yesterday afternoon, and as you can see, little today. AND none of the executive present to pour a dampening influence on my enthusiasm. Poor Michelle the receptionist got dragged into learning how to use the library camera, and the movie function, and starring in the movie as well. If I had any sense I wouldn't put this up here, it's not flattering, and what if someone googles 'AUT Library' and finds it?
If you can't have fun on your last day, when can you? I'm safely within the confines of my own studio at home now, and SHOULD be working here.

Stop Press: A review from a viewer has just come in and I thought I'd publish it here if my hands and sides will stop shaking with laughter. . .

Film Review: “Executive Vacuum”

An initially disarming and then gripping portrayal of power and passion in the sterile, academic setting of a university library. A coup during the absence of the executive staff leads to the dizzying rise through the ranks of two women who, in a Thelma-and-Louise-esque feminist adventure, find themselves out of their depth, trapped in roles they grabbed for themselves and then cannot relinquish. The central drama is furnished by the interplay between the powerfully-portrayed personalities of the leading characters. Tension builds as the acquiescent receptionist pleads, “What are we supposed to be doing?” This plaintive cry for purpose, dignity and identity is pungent, as she senses she is being dragged along by a stronger, more forceful personality who is pursuing her own fantasy of unattainable goals and unsustainable follies. The receptionist’s horror and then compliance with Jenny is evocative of 1940s Germany, aware of the madness of her dream-merchant dictator, aware of the hideous fate that her choice to follow is dooming her to, and yet willing to embrace the leader’s Quixotic foolishness with glee. An ever darker theme that threads through the film, underlying the apparent capriciousness of the Jenny character, is the evolution of her power-mad megalomania. She relishes the opportunities that fate has delivered to her: a power vacuum and a coercible accomplice. The viewer can see her pathology gestating from initial assertion of control over her colleague to the chilling climax where she gives ululating voice to her Messianic delusion: “We are the library!” “We make all the decisions!”

««« ½ JC

Monday, March 24, 2008


Now don't get me wrong - I love chocolate. This is a scan of what I have left to eat sometime. I think I'll find someone to share it with. . .
Quite HOW chocolate got mixed up with Easter I don't know. The pagan egg symbol works for me, because it speaks of new life. I guess I can make chocolate mean JOY and divine food, and that's all part of the great celebration. I'm hoping that when we are all gathered around the Wedding Banquet in the culmination of the Ages, there will be chocolate in front of me as well. Guilt-free of course, because I can't get fat. It reminds me that my Lord has a great sense of humour. Years ago, when first I encountered Weight Watchers - in my early years of teaching in my twenties, and joining my flatmates in an effort to keep our figures trim - it was a spartan diet indeed. All I remember of it was cottage cheese and tinned tuna, and lots of lettuce. I remember coming home from a WW meeting, feeling despondent and slumping down on my bed and reaching for my Bible for a bit of comfort. Imagine my delight upon flapping it open, to find my eyes falling on a section of Isaiah where it said something like, (describing the marriage supper), "there shall be meat with fat, and wine on the lees" - the very things I'd been told to avoid. I roared with laughter, and still get a kick out of that. And believe me, I'm counting on those words being totally, 100% true!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

It's come around again - Good Friday - and I've let my dough rise overnight, and kneaded it again this morning, and let it rise in buns while I walked for an hour. Then made these dense little yeasty hot cross buns out of it, and handed them around the neighbourhood.
There's only these left. I, of course, am ever mindful today, especially as I walked in the rising sun, of the reason for the buns, and the sun rising, and life as I know it. He truly is the bread of Life, and because of the great Love He Is, we can see light where there was only shadows and death before. The words of one of my favourite old hymns comes back at such times:
See from His hands, His head, His feet
Sorrow and Love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
It were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my life, my soul, my all.

Amen to that!
My delightful mother!
My beloved father!
and last Wednesday night, a large portion of the clan gathered at my oldest brother's place to meet my cousin from Pennsylvania for the first time in 20 years, and her husband and two kids. They're over for two weeks, and presently touring the country.
This is big bro Steve and one of his cats, down at the foot of his section, checking his bait trap.
Some of the kids hovering in the setting sun.
and my cousin Liz and myself. She's around 10 years younger, slightly taller, and just gorgeous. ALL our other cousins seem to be long, slim and dark haired, and our family turned out to be, well, almost opposite! Ha ha. It's been 19 years since I stood in her father's living room with her in front of the grandfather clock.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Light of heaven

Sunrise over Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland
I tried uploading the beautiful music that goes with the poem below, but can't. It's the music to 'In My Life' by John Lennon.

We've been looking at the eternal things that existed in the garden in Genesis 1 and 2, and also in Revelation 21 and 22. I find myself thinking especially these days about the Light of the World and how He is the original. There's so much about that throughout both testaments. It reminded me of the words of a song I wrote when I was working from a trailer home in Maine, for Gene. Sometimes it felt very lonely, and dark, away from family, friends, and the church I met with in Atlanta. It's a prayer I do not often find myself saying but which means a great deal to me. I know, it has a certain arrogance to it, but believe me, ALL the light, and ALL the glory, come from Him, and any revelation I might have had, or will ever have, comes out of that indwelling Lord. This is true of me, the individual, and definitely true of Her, the church.
When I was reading about these things, I was surprised to see that the first thing God uttered were the words "Let there be Light", and one of the last things spoken concerning the Bride, is that she no longer needs the moon and the sun, because He has become that to her. In the middle, however, is the period of time we have here, when He has made it our task to shine for 'a city set upon a hill cannot be hidden'. Let Him shine. . .

Light of heaven, shine within me
Let your will be done, your ways be shown
In my depths I see such glory
More riches than I have ever known
As a vessel I receive you
The Light of the world, so bright in me
Nothing will be dark or hidden
Your grace is at work, invisibly

Light of heaven, burn within me
Reveal yourself, for all to see
What a shining revelation
I can know you more perfectly
My body must be broken
It cannot endure such radiancy
I will walk out in the open
with you as my lamp, eternally

Light of heaven, overwhelm me
Open my eyes that I might see
All these things that now surround me
Are shadows lost in eternity
Shadows lost in. . . you

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fairies, picnics and Titirangi beach

This is my business mentor and the head of Enterprise Waitakere, where I did my small business course. Barbara has been a great encouragement to me in starting out again, and a lot more New Age than me in her expression. She had a birthday last Sunday, to which I was invited, at a picnic at Titirangi beach dressed in our finery.
Here are some of us - friends and new business owners - reclining on the grass.
. . . and blowing the requisite bubbles upon arrival.
and drinking sparkling wine whilst listening to music and bird song. OH, and sharing our hopes, wishes, and gratitudes for the last year and coming year.
The only male brave enough to attend, was Barbara's partner, who sat a wee distance away and took photos.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Another Summer Barbecue

We had another barbecue around at the Duncan's last night. Gene is going away with them for his first foray to Europe, and they needed to do some last minute planning, and I just need an excuse to get together over a meal to be there. (Even if I wasn't going too! What a sacrifice).
FROM the table on the deck, this is the view of Rangitoto nicely framed by the neighbours bushes and trees.
Lamb chops, sausages, coleslaw, crispy roast potatoes, beetroot, red wine. Mmmmmmm.
Gene was his usual amusing self. Someone who shares the same birthday as me, should be!
Lovely fresh tropical salad for dessert - guava, pineapple, plum, nectarine and grape.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Road goes ever on and on. . .

We left a little later on our walk this morning, at 7am rather than 5.50, so the sun was already up. I took my camera anyway to record the voyage. Here are some of the shots. . .
past Fuse, the best cafe in the Peninsula, opened last year, and enjoying MY business regularly.
Down to the path along the harbour, with the usual glorious views of the city and inner harbour
zoomed in on the SkyTower and the glint of the sun through the clouds.
It promises to be a blue day, and the early Autumn means some cool breezes and more blankets at night.
We walk up to the pylon at the very top of the pic and return.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Great movie

Saw this movie in the afternoon yesterday, on a particularly wet and non-busy day, and really enjoyed it. I already knew from of old that amazing story of the five missionary guys who were speared to death in the Amazon by a tribe they were trying to reach. THIS movie told it from the point of view of the tribe, and was better than I expected. There was no overtly Christian message in it, although for those of us who know the story so well, it was there. I really liked the theme which came through strongly, of redemption and grace. Sigh.
. . . and just before I went out, I made use of a half hour to start the first painting I've done in well over a month. That is just too long away from the brushes. If you look closely you'll see a carp coming through the water.
Postscript: Here is the finished painting as of 3.45pm Friday.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mmmmm. . . dolcetto and syrah

My sister discovered this! And with a name like that, how could it NOT be good? Listen to the description:

2007 Dolcetto & Syrah

This wine is vibrant magenta in colour and the nose has fresh, lifted aromas of red berries, blackcurrant, red jubes and hints of spice. The palate has flavours of ripe summer berries and a natural grape sweetness that is balanced by the frizzante mouth feel providing a refreshing and vibrant finish.

Yep - it's a rare red sweetish wine that you actually cool before drinking, and is my present summer favourite! Not to suggest that I get to drink it (or any wine) THAT often, but when either of us have a bottle, it is eeked out for a few days. Glorious.

My old digital camera (given to me by my father) finally died, and Dad very kindly offered me ANOTHER one of his for a small price. It seems to work fine, but for the life of me, keeps putting wrinkles on my face, around my eyes, and neck, and a certain shine that I'm sure is not usually there.