My former colleague Sandy exhibited her paintings at the Mairangi Bay Art Centre and we went to the reception.

The Art Centre itself is pretty cool…

No more to roam

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything on the blog. We’ve made a big life decision, and I felt a bit superstitious about announcing it too early. But here we are. And as of mid-September, there we will be.

After looking at a lot of houses and waffling back and forth about what was truly important to us, we took a second look at this one… once before lockdown and once after… and it just felt like home.

It’s in Birkenhead, on the other side of the harbour. That means we will both have a commute of up to hour if we take the bus. But we got a lot more house for the money on a quieter street, and we decided it was worth it, particularly as we move to some amount of working from home thanks to the virus.

The closing is pushed out till mid-September so the current owners can find a new place. The market is all over the place thanks to the pandemic so it will be some time before we know how our investment will pan out. But interest rates are insanely low, so we won’t be paying much more than our current rent each month.

It’s the biggest commitment we’ve yet made to the idea of staying here permanently. But with the USA literally and figuratively on fire, that choice is easier than ever. In 30+ years together we’ve amassed a large body of evidence that there ain’t no such thing as permanent, so it would be silly to start making predictions now. Let’s see what adventures come our way.

Now begins the shopping…

La la laa la in a bear tree

Our rubber tree, which sits outside our courtyard right at the sidewalk, produced this surprising flower or fruit! I looked online and can’t find another example on a rubber tree.

It looks for all the world like a weird little stuffed bear with a body inexplicably shaped like a donut. We’re going to watch and see if it ripens or produces a seed pod.

Drought… what’s the problem?

Having emerged basically unscathed from the first wave of the pandemic, New Zealand’s attention now returns to “anything else.”

One thing is a drought affecting big chunks of the country. Here in Auckland the reservoirs got down to around 40% capacity, enough to trigger modest restrictions on water use. In some of the agricultural areas, it’s been much worse, with the harvest essentially ruined for many farmers and lots of livestock slaughtered before they starved in the fields.

I took this picture of a lush lavender hedge and a bright green lawn under a drizzling sky thinking how it can be hard to juxtapose the statistical, long-term, and remote reality of the drought with the immediate evidence of our own eyes. Doesn’t look like a drought to me, what’s the problem? As long as there are snowballs, global warming might just be a hoax.

And so it is with the pandemic. I’m at this pool party in Missouri, and I’m not sick, and that hot girl over there isn’t sick either. In fact, I don’t see anybody sick at all. What’s the problem?

Is it the same with racial violence? I’ve never killed anyone, and that black guy with the Mercedes seems to be doing all right. So what’s the problem?

And is it the same with dictators? First they came…

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