Monday, April 12, 2010

it's all just life and death

You rest one hand
gently,
oh so very gently,
on your son,
reach over the waka tapu,
smiling through
your salted desolation,
stroke the baby-cheek
of his sister’s son
his nephew
your grandson

I smooth out the dirty,
crumpled, silver paper star
tangled in the grass
where I sit aware
of every sign of life
even of the pressure
of my finger
against the nail
as I smooth
over and over
and over.




Waka tapu = coffin

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

WOMAD 2010


Mac, Jeff, Konny, Heidi and Steven with our flag.

Me, Jeff, Konny, Heidi and Steven with our flag.

In February I started making a flag to mark our campsite at WOMAD the weekend after next. Two years ago we decided to take some of the flags that Heidi and I made for her wedding to Steve, and then last year I made one especially for WOMAD and now it seems to have evolved into a tradition. I am so happy with how this year's model turned out, although it does make me wonder how I will improve on it next year! I just love the flags at WOMAD and spend lots of time looking at them and getting ideas. I can't resist showing a buch of this year's flags, and if you want to see more have a look at the website of the guy that makes them for WOMAD:



Our group of friends who came camping with us grew again this year which made it even more fun. I just love the whole social aspect of WOMAD, of being there with three of our sons, their partners, and various friends.

Setting up camp


Tim signing the flag - which now hangs in our hallway at home.

Simon and Jeff

Ruby


Isaac
Rebecca, Simon, Luke

Emma

Jeff, Simon, Ben, Anya

Heidi, Anya, Nick, Emma

Steve

Heidi, Steven, Mac, Jeff, Cate, Ruby

Jeff, Konny, Cate

Mike, Ruby, me

Heidi, Emma, Anya

Rebecca, Simon, Luke, Mike

There was one year when I was the only grown up (I won't say adult as I fear that implies a level of maturity I haven't yet achieved, despite my age!) in our group, but this year not only did Mac return, but also another long time friend brought her 'children'. (Cate and I also had a lot of fun going down to Napier a few weeks earlier, to the Mission Estate Winery Concert - Mowtown and awesome.) It was different but just as good as ever. We still spent lots of time with the 'kids', especially Steve and Heidi, and Jeff and Konny.

Konny and Jeff

The only downer was that first Jeff, and then Konny got sick with some nasty virus that seemed like a cold, but had the added nasty of hyperventilation and panic attacks. Poor Konny, who was attending her first WOMAD, was sick enough from this that we took her to the A & E at the New Plymouth Base Hospital: that was a waste of time as they didn't take us seriously at all once they realised we were from WOMAD. They asked questions about what we'd been drinking, smoking and eating - specifically mentioning mushrooms and roasted crickets - say what? I've heard of the hallucinogenic properties of magic mushrooms, but roasted crickets? What are they supposed to do if you eat them - other than make you vomit at the thought? Two other WOMAD people were given a hard time too: perhaps the rash that was slowly making it's way up a woman's leg might have been a reaction to some food or drink or drug, but it's hard to understand why they gave the guy with the beesting and a hugely swollen arm should be treated with such suspicion!


The music was good, the company was excellent, the food was yummy, the shops tempting and it is just such a wonderful experience, stepping outside of ordinary life for a weekend and living a life I wish could go on for ever.

Except I'd get too tired!