Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Foxes Nuzzle Each Other To Say Hello &Other Trivia

I’ll always allude that the truth is stranger than fiction on this blog and here are some odd recent events that again prove it.

Some are scary. Some are gross. Some are surprising. And good.

* If you hang white sheets on the washing line on a lovely sunny day in February in Central Otago be prepared for them to be artistically coloured purple. Ripe elderberries, plus birds, equals purple bird scat. This will not come out in the wash but will require soaking in Nappysan. Sometimes it will take at least 48 hours to get clean sheets. Persevere. Or snip off all the ripe elderberries on your property and make indifferent wine with such a low alcohol content it will not even get you pissed. After one entire bottle.

* Rest assured country dwellers that even if you can’t see them you have stoats in underground tunnels somewhere near you. Possibly right beside your house. Stoats were introduced to New Zealand to kill rabbits. It didn’t work too well. They store their prey and makes nest out of their fluffy remains. They are nasty little fuckers (sorry I don’t like to swear). However, when a stoat walks into your living room goes over the carpet to your sleeping elderly dog sniffs its bum (the dogs) then turns round, looking all butter wouldn’t melt on its hind legs with its creamy ermine tummy and brown back, then walks out again. There is only one word for it.

*Stoats also squeal when scared. I know this because I walked in on one in the chicken house when the chooks were following me in for their mash. Suffice to say. I was SCARED too. And that was not the stoat that walked up the steps across the verandah and into our LIVING ROOM the next day.

*Last October, a woman with short brown hair in a high collared purple coat came up to me outside the Miley Cyrus concert at the Vector Arena. Her lipstick was brown and her smile intent. ‘I’m from 62 Models,’ she began. I thought she must scouting one of my 14 year old charges. ‘We’re looking for interesting older women for our books. You have just the look. I spotted you….” I didn’t really hear much more after that. I was being old and getting flummoxed. I was flattered. I said no thank you. Daughter 14 seemed a bit put out. ‘Imagine coming to a concert looking for old people,’ she said. Imagine.

*If you’re in the radiology waiting room in North Shore hospital for an hour with your 81 year old dad, he might get up and say, ‘I think I’ll cash a cheque while I’m here.' That’s Alzheimers for you. It maybe time for me to stop using my chequebook.

*Sometimes nature presents possibilities that don’t involve rodents. The pretty pink roses pictured in Queenstown gardens for example. A perfect Sunday swimming pool complete with diving platform. And a head in a cloud.

* An amazing opportunity was presented to me on the, 15th December 2014 at 9.59 am precisely. It was an early Christmas presents of sorts that threw me into a spin. It involves a lifetime goal of mine and a character I created 8 years ago. I told my three children if I ever get a children’s book published I'll cartwheel nude across the lawn. I’ve gotten close, but never needed to get in the nuddy. That promise is definitely past it’s best before date. 

I’ll say no more because I’ve been superstitious ever since I was five and lay each night in my bedroom in Beresford St, Bayswater, listing the things I'd done that day in my head. My elder sister beside me not privy to the sinister wishes I hoped for myself if the bad things outweighed the good.

So I don’t want to jinx it. However, if my weekly blog posts are erratic (and they have been), it’s because my mind is tied up with characters and make believe. Elsewhere. 

It’s out with the old and in with the new in 2015. I love surprises and challenges as long as they don’t involve stoats and stings. I've got a big job ahead and along the way I hope I can return some of the kindnesses I’ve received in my writing life. I'm feeling so lucky.


  1. Another thing about stoats, they move like lightning. I saw one once, when we were on holiday on our land in the Coromandel. A streak of colour came to a stop outside our caravan - it reared up and looked around (long enough for me to make out every detail of the evil little critter - and then *poof* it was gone. I didn't know that about them using the leftovers of their meals to make a nest. Is there one redeeming feature in these little blighters, I wonder?

    1. No there is not Yvette! They can also have mixed paternity litters. Use other animals burrows. Climb trees to steal birds eggs. Etc. The H was not thrilled when I started filling him in on all these traits. We actually have four stoat traps on our property but have not caught one yet. Fingers crossed when they get hungry in the winter. They're nasty.


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