Since finishing the excellent Tarzan Presley, I've been spending my reading time with Maurice Gee's In My Father's Den. Oh gosh, to be able to write like that... I've been a Gee fan since a flatmate of mine got given Plumb (circa 1984), and since he was an engineering student who didn't read, he asked me to read it, and fill him in on the details so he could tell his brother how much he enjoyed it next time he saw him... I loved it. His brother was pleased.
Anyway, In My Father's Den, I'm meaning to check out the movie version shortly after I finish the book. The plot reminds me of Mystic River, which I saw last week also (and which is fantastic, but a real downer...). Teenage girl found murdered, man she knew suspected of the crime... I reckon I've figured out whoactuallydunnit & why, but we'll see... a lovely book.
I'll be catching the film Fractured soon too, based on another Gee book. My mum's in it apparently. Since she retired she fills in her days with all sorts of activities, including on occasion it seems, being a film extra.
Sunny O. We spent 3 weeks there from Boxing day. The weather was pretty good (it only really rained one day & that was the day much of the rest of the coast flooded. Since we're on sand, we didn't, but gawd, it persisted all day... The rest of the time tended between brilliant sunshine & overcast, which we didn't mind, since for 2 of the 3 weeks we had things to do & overcast meant we could do them without expiring from heat exhaustion.
Actually, the day after the storm we took Wilma for a walk & the Waitohu Stream was about 4 times its usual size. We ran into a noted historian on a walk with his mum & partner, and I don't know how he missed the storm the night before, but he was under the impression the local council was to blame for the big mess of debris on the beach, thought they'd brought tractors down & changed the flow of the river. I pointed out that it changed all the time, especially after a big storm. But he looked skeptical. Have I mentioned this already? Anyway, there were logs the size of ships coming down what is normally a stream.
and for some reason, every time there is a storm, tonnes & tonnes of onions are deposited on the beach. There must be a pretty cleaned out onion farm somewhere upstream.
On the home front, T shifted 5 metres of mulch from a large pile near the shed to newly created gardens. Funny, when this was ordered, we gave instructions for the guy to drive it down the drive, and dump it somewhere near the shed on the left. A few days later, I got a call at work from a guy who knows how to follow instructions:
"Acme mulch here, I've got a load for you & the instructions say to take it down the drive & dump it near the shed on the left."
"That's right" I said.
"Well I'm down the drive... and there's a little shed on my left... you want it there?"
"Good as gold!"
Meanwhile, I dismantled an entire length of post & rail fencing & felled one of the old willow trees which would have landed on the fence if I'd left it there.. Then I put the fence back together, this involved digging 6 very deep holes for new fence posts, and even managed to install a new (recycled from elsewhere on the property) gate. It looks very cool. I defy the sheep to escape from that!
Because that's exactly what happened shortly before Christmas. When we arrived, we noted what looked like sheep poo around the house area, from which the sheep are normally fenced off. Then we noted that 3 young citrus trees, which had been very recently planted, were completely stripped of leaves & one had been ring barked. The rosebuds were all gone too.
When next I saw our elderly neighbour, I asked her if one of the sheep had got out.
"They all did!"
Turns out a week or so before, there was a dog on the property. Fortunately it didn't have a go at the sheep. The best we can figure is that a neighbour on the other side of the property, came to get their dog, and then couldn't manage to close the gate between the house & the paddocks (retards).
Next thing, Janet & Norma, who both border our garden, and are, I imagine, both in their 70s, spotted the sheep browsing where they shouldn't. The advised course of action at this point, is to go get Master Tim, yet another next door neioghbour (we're bordered by about 15 properties in all), who is a retired farmer & has featured in this blog before.
But these two thought they'd liven their day by rounding up the beasts themselves. With the help of Janet's 6 year old grand-daughter.
Wish we'd seen it... they managed in the end, but not before a lot of thundering of little hooves all around the property & house. Most exercise either have had in decades, they reckon. Actually all you need to do is open the gate & walk into the paddock, they'll follow you. Especially if you have a few slices of bread in hand.
We've just spent the last two weekends up there. temperatures in the 30s. I've pretty much finished processing the old willow tree (look, it was in danger of falling over), I plan to make one large block of it into a seat, and the stump, if I can maintain a steady hand with the chainsaw, will become a table. Also... these things are indestructible, the woodpile is already starting to sprout willow leaves & my proto-table & seat are bound to live on.
And we've discovered a neat swimming hole on the Ohau River. Mindful that my opthalmologist warned me not to go swimming this summer, and worrying greatly that I'll dislodge the plastic lenses in my eyes... (which BTW, reflect light in certain circumstances & give people the creeps - COOL!!), I nevertheless succumbed this weekend. If you can't trust mountain rivers to be pure, what can you trust?
Sometime soon, I will probably update this post with some piccies - gates, rivers... whatever else I find on the camera.
PS: I forgot, I also read Get Shorty, the Elmore Leonard book from which the movie was made. It's exactly like the movie. Fun.
PS: I thought I'd figured out whodunnit & why for In My Father's Den. I now know I got the why wrong... so chances are I missed the who also.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Posted by llew at Monday, February 07, 2005