“Garden as though you will live forever.” — William Kent
Gardening is both an act of faith in the future, and an investment in it. At a personal and a global level, we need plants to sustain life.
My little garden is flourishing right now and giving me enormous pleasure, as well as putting food on our table.
As the Big T and I plan our escape from the city, there is quite a lot of uncertainty about where we will g, but top of my wish list (along with high-speed Internet and a good local cafe) is space for gardens and maybe a little orchard.
It’s taken me a long time to grow a real connection with the food I eat, and the environment I inhabit. That is something I want to carry into my future.
The boy-child started looking at the world through a camera lens when he was quite young. He made his first videos at primary school, gained a A* grade in Photography A Level, and now earns his living as a photographer.
This photo was taken on a trip to Wellington in his first year of studying photography at school. The camera is my old Pentax 35mm and the assignment included developing the film he shot — quite a challenge for a digital native!
This image represents for me the point at which his love of photography started to really shape my son’s life — his future.
My little escape to the Waikato is over and I’m back at my desk. Although the sun is still shining today, I’m already missing the big skies and expansive views that both dwarfed and nestled me while I was away.
It is sometimes said that “real” New Zealand begins south of the Bombay Hills, which mark the place where southern Auckland becomes northern Waikato. I spent some of the happiest of my early years in a small South Waikato town, and still get a rush of longing when I feel I’ve left Auckland behind.
Traffic congestion is one of the things I find most stressful in my current life. I hate the environmental impact of thousands of semi-stationery cars and I hate the waste of my time and emotional energy; trapped in my car, or planning alternative routes and workarounds. New Zealand isn’t a huge country, but there are so many places where traffic isn’t a problem — what are we doing wrong?
I am happiest near water, and while I’ve been a long way from the coast for the last couple of days (relatively speaking — this is New Zealand), I spent time by the Waikato River, and finally “found” Lake Waikare — which I’ve glimpsed hundreds of times from the car. Apparently it’s less than two metres deep — and sadly, quite polluted. It did look lovely from my vantage point though (1).
Despite the brevity of my time away, I think I have achieved some of the clarity that Lindbergh talked about. I don’t know what the future is going to look like, but I do know that it’s easier to plan when I’m not in the middle of everything that isn’t working any more.
Almost three weeks of a persistent low-grade snuffle and sore throat has left me weary and foggy of brain. Not at all helpful when there is so much to do and so many decisions to be made about the new life the Big T and I want. So I’ve snuck off for a change of scenery and mini road-trip. I do my best thinking in the car and out walking so with a bit of luck, I’ll get home with renewed energy and a less foggy head.
A walk around Hamilton Gardens today has helped. The sun was shining and everything seems lush and verdant. In a tiny corner of the tropical garden the marriage of earth, sky and water reminded me how simple our needs really are.
A thought that could guide my decisions in the weeks ahead.