Saturday, July 18, 2009

Big Chill

The Big Chill...

It was a cold start
to the day
The stocks
on my kitchen bench top
looked cold today

When I drove to the Physio's
at 8 am,
the car registered
only 10*C,
which is about as low
as we get at that time of day,
the sun was up and glowing
but a chill rode the breeze...

But with some physio
and encouraging words
the ankle warmed up...

The Orange Trumpet flower Creeper
blanketed the street

Pyrostegia Venusta

The Greek meaning:
pyros - flame
stege - covering
Venusta - pleasing

a warm blanket
of orange trumpets

At the gym
the upper body
was put through its paces
until it became
thoroughly warmed through

after which a perfectly
hot flat white and
the company of my friend
warmed the cockles
of my heart
whatever that may mean;

I know that cockles are a shellfish
found in the muddy tidal flats
of the Whareama River
where we have a bach,
on the East Coast of New Zealand

so I imagine
the figure of speech suggests
a warming
way down
to the murky
hidden depths...

In the afternoon
warm conversations
with my blogging compatriots
spent a happy hour or two,
and the love in my Mother's voice
carried across the Tasman Sea
warmed my soul

and then
if that was not enough
when my Beloved arrived home
from his day at work
he had with him a box...

what a warm, exciting
tingle of anticipation

and as I later
wrapped myself
in the cuddly, cold evening throw
on the sofa

after my Jamie Oliver
look alike dinner:
an oven bake of -
roasted garlic
sweet potato
chicken sausages
(I had no olives left)
cherry tomatoes on the vine
and long sinuous green beans

I felt warmed





Oh Happy Days



  1. That would warm my soul too Delwyn...although I am unfamiliar with the titles...these have been translated I gather.

    I have read:

    Lisa See: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan & Peony In Love...
    and Amy Tan: Bonesetter's Daughter

    I enjoyed reading of the Chinese Culture immensely and they are among my favorite books!

    Enjoy your reading and walking!

  2. Good morning, Delwyn! It is 54F/12C here this morning and I think it feels lovely! Although we have had a mild and wet summer thus far, this week we have crept into the 90F/32C+ temps with increased humidity. Yuck! Last night a drenching rainstorm cooled things off and it feels crisp sitting here beside an open window.

    Your new books certainly do warm the heart. Even the colors on the covers offer a sense of sitting by a toasty fire. My sister-in-law, my daughter and I read Geisha "together" (passing the book between us ~ not able to put down so it moved like wild fire in little time between us). Enjoy!

  3. Good morning to you Wanda

    I have read many Chinese and some Japanese books. I have loved all of Amy Tan's Books. Have you read Wild Swans - an intergenerational tale? It is wonderful. I have the Lisa See book on order too. 'Mao's Last Dancer' by the Au defected Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin, is another excellent read about post revolutionary China. Another great Chinese author is Ha Jin.

    'The Tale of Genji' is 1000 years old and may be a slow read...

    It was written by Murasaki Shikubu and thus the book 'Tale of Murasaki' by Liza Dalby.

    Dalby is an Au anthropologist who trained as a geisha - that takes us to the third book, and the last I saw mentioned at Friko's place and it appealed to me...

    So I have some reading ahead of me...

    I will keep you informed ...

    Look what was on my clip board when I clicked and expected a 'Happy days' to appear -

    It is a poem by Chinese poet Li Po.!
    How utterly appropriate...

    Sunlight streams on the river stones.
    From high above, the river steadily plunges-

    three thousand feet of sparkling water-
    the Milky Way pouring down from heaven.

    Happy days

  4. What a lovely way to share your day with us. I will check out those titles . . . so which one did you start with . . . or are you like me and you read a couple of pages in each one to determine which "speaks" to you right now?

    Funny, I have been seeing a physiotherapist for my ankle too. She is also an osteopath and has been using more of her osteo techniques on the ankle and foot - I have only one more treatment to do. Pain and swelling are gone.

    I'll drop by again soon. So glad to have found you!

  5. Hello Cyndy

    you too are an early riser like Wanda

    Well that is a good recommendation for 'Geisha'...

    I imagine that 12* is feeling quite fresh... Our mid summer can rise to over 40* but usually sits in the high 30s. Spring and Autumn are perfect at about 25 - 27*.

    I hope it is not too cold tomorrow morning at 6.00 for the Farmers' market.
    It might be a '4 layer day': i.e. T shirt, sweater, jumper and parka... I really feel the cold...maybe even gloves... But I will get the hands around a mug of flat white as soon as the produce is collected...
    Beloved carries it all to the car in shifts, but we can park in the aged and disabled parking spot at present...which is right behind the stalls...there are some compensations for wearing a moon boot!

    Happy days

  6. Hello there Bonnie,

    and welcome to these pages. It is great to meet you and to have you join in.

    I just noticed that we share a love of Irvin Yalom. Isn't he inspiring. I would go back to counselling after reading his works with fresh vigour and renewed enthusiasm. I think I have read all of his books.

    To tell the truth, so far I have only read the cover flaps of the new books. I am still engrossed in Mary Oliver and at night am making my way slowly through a novel about Korean families in the US.

    I think I will start with 'Geisha' in order to learn about Liza Dalby before I read her novel about Novelist Murasaki and then move into Genji - that is the plan that seems logical at this stage but logic often flies away when creative urges impinge...

    What did you do to your ankle?

    I have a fracture and the surgeon said no physio but after 3 weeks 24 hrs a day in the boot I am relying on the expertise of my physio who travels with our Olympic skiers, so I think he knows a lot about injury rehabilitation.
    I am doing a few exercises and taking the boot off for short periods to walk around the house. Only 2 weeks to go in the boot now - hallelujah...

    I like forward to our future correspondence...

    Happy days

  7. hi delwyn, as soon as i saw that box i knew!!! i love it when they arrive on my own front door step. sometimes they take long enough that i can't remember what's inside and then it's like christmas!!!! i'm familiar with a couple of the book titles but have read none of them. perhaps you could give us a taste when the time is right!
    now all of this is not to overlook the beautiful trumpet flower. what a gorgeous flower!!! a lovely happy making warm post all 'round. if it's any consolation - our evening temps have been in the low teens and it's summertime here by the way!!!!
    have a peaceful snuggled up day. steven

  8. Hi Steven

    I was surprised to receive the box as had only paid for std shipping. Expedited shipping to Au is very expensive, so was amazed to see it arrive in 10 days. I will not purchase the expedited mail in the future as it cannot arrive any sooner than that. I have a 2nd order supposedly shipped before this one so it will be interesting to compare travel times when it arrives.

    Books are very expensive here ($30 for a regular sized novel) so having Amazon is great even if the exchange rate is not too good - only .71c US at present, but up from the .65c when the recession began. The dollar had been up as far as .95c before that.

    Yes that trumpet certainly bellows out a welcoming warm hello.
    I need the warmth - I couldn't live in NZ again with the cooler temperatures there, after having lived in this warmth for over 30 years now.

    I hope you get some more warm days soon ...It must make for a long winter time otherwise, but then it's all relative to what you know as cold and hot isn't it...

    Enjoy your weekend ...

    Happy days

  9. Oh dear...please let me know how you like these books (some of which I have meant to read but...argh)!
    Don't you just love it when a box of books arrive?! Happiness can be bought sometimes...

    I love the flowers... especially the orange ones are very uplifting, kind of like vitamins for the eyes!

  10. Delwyn, I love the trumpet vines and your cozy winter dinner. How did you get so interested in oriental culture? I need to read more of Any Tan's work. Going to a book store is one of my favorite ways to spend the day, but I also love to receive the books in the mail. It is so lovely to open a box of new books! It takes me back to the days when I was a librarian & opened MANY boxes of books to process & get out to the children!

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  12. Hi Delwyn.

    How beautiful Pyrostegia Venusta is! The color orange is so lovely.

    O You are a great reader!! Although I'm not sure you would like Prince Hikaru( I wish I could kick him down..) who is a hopeless Don Juan, I'd very much like to know how you feel about the story when you finish reading it.

    Liza Dalby's book is Murasaki's diary, isn't it? or something else? I think her worries are like those of a modern career woman. I'd like to know your view on the book later on too.

    Seishonagon's "Spring is~" has always been on the first page of our hish shool textbooks of Japanese classics.

    As modern Japanese translations of Genji are rather difficult, many people enjoy Genji by reading its manga version "Asaki Yumemishi". O a little embarassing!!

    Thank you for sharing all these!!

  13. You have a lovely blog! I sense a restfullness about you. The poetry feels effortless, the photos illustrate beautifully. I will try your tomato porridge recipe with our on tomatoes. Loved the tour of your home in earlier postings. What a fine abode and location!

  14. I found Dalby's Geisha in the public library several years ago, shortly after reading Memoirs of a Geisha. It's a fascination book (actually, both are). Have a happy read.

  15. Oh - forgot to say that the macros of the trumpet vine are wonderful. I still haven't played with my new lens. You you suppose that's evidence of resistance to examining things too closely? :)

  16. Fine post, Delwyn. I loved the build from the cold early start of your day to the exciting and warm coming home to the package on your chair. What a beautiful chair at that.
    These look like wonderful books and has me thinking I really must set aside more time to read again. Been a while.
    Beautiful blog

  17. Hello, dear Delwyn!

    I'm glad you found so many things to warm you up. Although your winter sounds wonderful compared to our long, long deep-freeze winters up here! The flowers, as always were glorious, your dinner sounded delicious, and your throw looked so warm and cozy. Those books, will undoubtedly give you many hours of pleasure.

    It sounds like your ankle is healing nicely!

    I have an award waiting for you on my blog when you have a moment.

  18. Don't you love to see boxes from arrive? delicious! I have the two Dalby books. I don't know much about modern-day Japan. My son knows Manga and video games in which you talk to Japan with a headset. The Manga portrait desn't include a mouth. A whole world out there I know virtually nothing about. Interesting how you chose two orange flowers--orange is the sacral plexus chakra, very sensual as is your story in evoking all the senses. Glad the ankle warmed up. Luv :-)

  19. Good morning Margaret

    The arrival of Amazon boxes are like Christmas out of season.

    The flower is actually all the same vine - the orange trumpet. The last shot close up may look like a different plant.

    Did you enjoy Liza Dalby?

    Happy Days

  20. Hello Angela

    another are too generous...

    Yes it was a heart warming day...and yes our winters are very mild in comparison to those of you in temperate US.

    Happy days

  21. Hi Gary

    I think I will sample the first book today...have an appetiser...I have done the farmers' market shop, the washing is out in the sun, the day is warmer, now about 18* at 10 am,

    "all is well in God's Heaven..."

    Thank you for the kind words. The fabric on my chair we sourced in Hawaii when we were building a South Seas themed resort in Noosa.
    It is a copy of the old 50s style fabrics, which are very relaxing and cheerful- full of aloha!

    Happy days

  22. Hi Meri

    you are filling me with anticipation now. I am thinking I will put aside my unfinished novel and start on the geisha story.

    The trumpets I snapped on macro with happy snapper, still waiting on the Canons arrival...

    Now get that manual out Meri...

    Happy days

  23. Hello mkreider

    and welcome to the south seas. It is very nice to meet you...

    Thank you for adding your comments - it makes for a lovely cross pollination of thoughts and ideas...

    I will come by and visit you later this morning

    Happy days

  24. Goos morning shining sapphire

    I know that Genji might be a struggle, but I was keen to read it as close to the original as I can after reading all the articles on Murasaki this year when the 1000 year celebrations of the book were held...

    The Dalby geisha book is about her training as a geisha - she is a westerner anthropologist, maybe the only western trained geisha.
    Her Murasaki Tale is a novel based on the facts she had available and filled out with her knowledge of the C11 culture of that Heian period.

    I am looking forward to the Pillow Book - didn't know of it before I saw it at Friko's place.

    I will let you know in due course how I am progressing and my thoughts on the works...

    Happy days

  25. Hi Lizzy

    I always thought I'd like to be a librarian or own a book shop if I had another life...

    As you probably know I have one daughter living in Japan and she developed an interest in all things Japanese as a child. So that possibly was the original impetus. (And we also have a daughter born in Korea - so I have an Asia past life link somewhere!!!)

    I have travelled there only 3 times but the walk last year gave me a greater depth of understanding of a very different culture. I have only scratched the surface and would love to learn more.
    I have always loved the Japanese sensibility in art and poetry and I want to go and do a language/culture immersion program if I could find a friend interested in staying a few months, at some time in the future.

    I had planned a trip there in August en route to a wedding in Portugal, but the wedding was cancelled...they are having a baby instead!!!
    So it might be next year before I get back to Japan as have other plans for later this year.

    Happy days

  26. Hi Tulsa

    you haven't read them, oh well you will be interested in my perspective when I have read them...

    That's right orange is full of energy... I used to have a crazy thing about the colour - even had an orange shower and our first home...can you imagine... Mother in law, forever one for calling a spade a spade, said it was a "hideous colour" and I think in that context she was probably right.

    Happy days

  27. Wow, that's quite a haul of books! They all look great, Delwyn.

    I'm envious of your fabulous weather. The photos are beautiful, too. Blessings!

  28. A lovely touch of orange on a cold day warms the cockles. And, what a lovely box of goodies! I also adore that throw of yours.

    Carpe diem!

  29. Hello Delwyn,
    Thank you for dropping by my blog for the lovely comments.
    I will be back tonight for more commenting as I need to rush out for teaching and will be back at around 10.30pm. Thank you for waiting!
    Busy day for me.

    happy day OK!

  30. Hi Marion -

    I was actually complaining about the weather...but I know it does seem mild for winter compared to what many of you experience.

    Books galore..I started Geisha...gooody...

    Happy days

  31. Hello Alaine

    Do you know what the cockles are ?

    I made the throw - and single bed quilt really, because I loved the fabric...and it is long enough for us both on the sofa when we watch TV... its a Love throw!

    Happy days

  32. Hello my little friend Yoon see

    You deserve any lovely comment I give...

    Have a great and busy day..see you soon...

    Happy days

  33. ahh, even the sight of someone else's amazon books warms my heart. :-) but that quilt is lovely too!

  34. Hi Julie

    ahhh that must be 'vicarious book thrill' I know the syndrome well...

    Happy days

  35. Thank you Delwyn,

    You are welcome. I love your beautiful Japanese book collections:)


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