Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sometimes we get to do 'homework in our Writers' Group.' Here's mine.

I watched you … every day!   
So, I’ve been up here for months now. No one has painted over me and there are only a few scribblings on my periphery, that sully my visage. Sure … a few kids have tried to whack up some inferior ‘bombs,’ but for the most part, I have been left here, undisturbed.
    Sure, the sun, rain and rubbish have all blasted my shiny surface, but I’m made of quality paints, born out of the passion of an enthusiastic and talented ‘artist.’ She comes by from time to time, reminding me of the hours we spent in my berthing; laughing and even the odd tear or two. I met some of her friends … and family, not always sure of the distinction between the two. It didn’t matter.
    I wasn’t looking forward to the day you finished me … leaving me alone. Would I feel lost? I started noticing people; the ones who passed at the same time every day, on their way to work. Then … there were those who came to the park most weekends. I surmised that they lived nearby and did not have gardens or backyards. Two have earned a place in my heart. I even know their names.
    James, a willowy twenty-something, ‘alternatively-dressed’ guy, with long blond hair, tied up in a 70’s style pony-tail, always stopped and watched the progress of my ‘birthing.’ He never said anything. He just stopped and observed. If someone else came and started a conversation, he quickly moved off, after muttering a brief reply, that did little to encourage more meaningful conversation.
    Then, one day, a slightly younger guy, different in so many ways, came past. He wore torn or was it ripped jeans. I wondered if he had paid an exorbitant price for them, or was he just …poor?  He always seemed to have the same T-shirt. That led me to think he either had many of the same types or he washed them every night because believe me … I tried the ‘smell-test’ on him when he approached to touch my surface, stopping only when the artist glared at him. He smelled fine ... fresh and clean. His name was Jessy. The T-shirt was tight, showing off his muscular chest and well-defined arms.
    That day, James took longer to move on. I noticed him glancing at Jessy and moving off … reluctantly. As he left the park, he looked back. Jessy returned the look. I felt an ‘energy,’ a connection, but neither said anything.
    Two days passed, Jessy coming on the first day, staying a little longer than he did on his first appearance. The next day he didn’t come, but James did. That’s how it was for the next week … Jessy one day, James the next … until James started coming again … every day. He even came when it rained and my ‘creator’ didn’t come.
    Finally, I was finished. I stretched over a wall, a myriad of colours. Jessy and James both came. There was quite a crowd … at least a hundred people, and a TV news crew. Yes, I was on TV that night. Anyone could be forgiven for mistaking me for a ‘Banksie creation!’
    James kept looking towards Jessy. Jessy pretended not to notice … for a while. It was Jessy who moved closer until he was right next to James. Their shoulders almost touched. They were silent. People began to move away, the TV crew packed up after interviewing the artists and gathering a few reactions from the people.
    I ignored the ‘ceremony of my ‘coming out.’ I was way more interested in the two guys. When the last of the crowd had left, Jessy and James remained, still silent. It was James who spoke first.
    “I guess if I said, ‘Do you come here often, you’d throw up.’
    Jessy laughed. ‘I’ve heard that corny pick-up line a few too many times, but I guess it’ll do.’

    My heart missed a beat or two. They left together. I have never seen them again. I often wonder if they are still together. I wonder if I will fade. Love is a bit like a mural … in some ways!

My clients at BLENNZ Homai got up to some mischief ... probably a daily event! Love them.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Don't go to the shop ... open the cupboard and cook up a healthy and cheaper treat.

I am a 'treat-lover.' I like to go to my 'cookie-jar' when I have a cup of tea or a coffee. There is something comforting about being able to do so. Howwwwever, I know that the 'store-bought' ones are not the best option. Now ... I am the first to admit, that one needs a bit of time to make the choices that I do ... but then again, the following recipe or variations on it, are not exactly time-consuming.

I had to really think before I wrote this little number up because it is so random. I never make it the same way, and results most certainly vary according to how you apply it. It IS QUITE HARD TO STUFF IT UP if you stick reasonably close to my 'suggestions.' Let's call it THE WHATEVER IN THE CUPBOARD MUFFIN/COOKIE. Yes, ... is it a cookie or a muffin ... or is it a bun? I guess the answer to that is how long you cook it and at what temperature and the moisture level.

1) Go and turn the oven to bake at 160C.
2) Get a big bowl.
3) Have a few trays of large (or smaller) muffin trays. Non-stick is best.
4) Chuck two cups of rolled oats into your bowl.
5) Biff some butter (Maybe two tablespoons.You can use a light oil if you wish)
USE A PLASTIC BOWL< because, at this stage, I microwaved the mixture on high for about 40 seconds, then mixed it all up.
6) Slide a cup of desiccated coconut in.
7) Use half a cup of sugar and/or some molasses (half a cup)
8) Throw in about 2/3 cup of ANY mixed dried fruit ... I used the cheapest, which even had peel in it.
Mix in a generous amount of powdered ginger/cinnamon or mixed spice ... whatever is in the cupboard.
9) chuck in one or two eggs.

NOW---get ya hands in or if you are a wimp ... use a spoon to mix it up. For a 'wetter' mixture, add a little milk When it all feels and looks mixed, spoon it into the muffin pans, press it down evenly. If there is heaps over, just freeze it in plastic bags until the next batch, or use it as a topping for an apple/feijoa/ rhubarb crumble.

Bake it in the preheated oven for about 25-40 minutes, but keep a watch. Don't burn it.
When ready, leave to cool, then gently loosen them from the pan and leave to cool, unless you really can't wait to try one.

I love them as an anytime snack-food.

I'm still not sure what to call them, but  I guess, Harry will do!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Sitting on the 'SEAT' in the Bay, just tumbling my thoughts away:

From time to time, I like to sit and contemplate the last two years.
Two years since I left the city over the GULF.
Sometimes I can almost see it,
over the water as an imagined glow at night.
I know it's there, hiding behind one of the many islands.
It casts its influence wide and far,
sending its children, scattering them in new directions.
Some come here, to my new 'hometown,'
seeking solace, relief from pain, debt and NOISE.
They find the time that's kind, a pace that is more gentle,
a time that was.
They reach out, meet people, connect and live.
As I sit on the green seat at TararuBbay, I look in a different direction,
Towards the old town, the 'City of Gold,'
or is it?
You can still find treasures, but they are defined anew:
Peace, tranquillity and a life that makes sense.
That is what I see, what I feel, as I contemplate my two years.