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Archive for the ‘One Sentence Post’ Category

The day dawned cold, crisp and clear, a welcome change from the rain and wind and bitter cold of the last few days, in this particularly wet and windy (so far at least) winter; a winter that has given us day after day of low clouds and dampness and some of the wildest winds we can remember, leaving our poor house with yet more pronounced cracks in the wall, and even when the winds have abated, Wellington has lived up to its windy reputation and there’s been enough to deter me from stretching my legs and clearing my head around the hills of Ngaio, and although there was no such excuse today, I worked out at the gym enjoying the views of Evans Bay – the water with just enough movement in it to sparkle like a bed full of diamonds in the low morning sunlight –  and anticipating the coffee on my way home, before spending the rest of the day here, doing some writing and correspondence (though still not the hand-written card to someone special, as I cannot decide which photograph to use), some chores around the house, and even some job-searching, and whenever I leave this rather dark office, I marvel at how glorious this house is on a sunny winter’s day, the low sun reaching all the way to the back walls of our rooms, filling the house with light, a rich warm glow from this distant mid-winter sun, managing to heat the house naturally (though maybe only for an hour longer, though certainly not two), before the smoke will start rising from the chimneys in the valley below me, and the street lights will come on, and maybe some mists will rise as the sky darkens and the hearty red wine calls.

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I spent the afternoon at my computer, finishing a surprise project for a friend, and then I did some writing before deciding it was time for some exercise, and after beating up my body and a refreshing shower as a reward, I returned to my desk, and as I settled into my chair I looked up, through the skylight above me, to a strange sight, a sight I haven’t seen for months, and was surprised to see just now, a sight that was something rather than nothing, a sky that was still light, not bright daylight, but it was far from being dark, as it is dark now, 25 minutes later, 6.30 pm on a winter’s night when I would normally feel gloomy but right now I don’t, because at about 6.05 pm tonight, I realised it was still light, and you know that is something to celebrate, because it means the sun is on its way.

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Losing sleep

The alarm, a strumming guitar playing on my iPad, roused us from a deep sleep and weird dreams at 2.50 am, and we groaned as we contemplated the possibility of simply turning over and going back to sleep but even groggy as we were, we turned that option down, not wanting to miss the occasion, going through the usual pros and cons, weighing up the possibility of missing a great game, against a few more hours sleep, and so we made our way downstairs, arriving at the TV just in time to see the competition’s national anthem, and settled in for the next hour and a half of rugby action, never expecting that – after this year of a so-far perfect record of international tests – our All Blacks might torture us with a lack-lustre display, threatening to make history in a different way, with a first ever loss against Ireland, Ireland of all countries, a team (and not the only one) that has never beaten us in 108 years of test matches, although they always play with pride and strength and skill, cheered on by a crowd filled with passion, but still, a team and a record that always induces an over-confidence, more so in us (the supporters) than in our team, although I have to say that their performance in most of the game did tend to indicate that – even when they were 19 points down – they were playing with a certain dangerous complacency; a complacency that was only replaced with urgency and skill and dominance in the last minutes of the match, as Ireland had still not let up, their historic victory almost in their grasp, and the All Blacks, a team with an extraordinary record over the decades from this small country at the far reaches of the world, could sense humiliation looming (the gloating from Australia and England would be unbearable) and so at last, leaving it to the final minutes, they finally played the way we expect them to play, scoring the try they needed, and kicking the final goal (being gifted a second attempt after a wayward first attempt, by desperate errant Irish players), putting us into the lead at last, and then the whistle blew, ending the tension, the stomach-churning sense of doom that had been with me since ten minutes into the game, and as the first tendrils of light snaked across the sky, we went back to bed, more relieved than celebratory, but blissfully able to sleep.

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I found myself writing this, without a breath or misspelling or edit, to accompany a gift. I post it with a tip of the hat to Indigo Bunting, the master of the one sentence post.

You know of course why this is late, but you should also know that your gift was purchased early, not in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, or in a market in Provence (though I have some soap from there if you’d rather), but in Kapadokya, outside or perhaps more accurately above an underground city; a city that descends about six storeys into the earth, where thousands of people used to hide when their enemies or marauders came through on the Silk Route; a city where I could make it only to the second level before, bending double in a rock tunnel, unable to move forwards or back because of the hundreds of tourists in tour groups (of which I was one) making their slow way through the city, it became too claustrophobic for me, and I escaped up, up into the light, into the fresh air, into space, where shopping for your birthday represented freedom, safety, and delight. Or perhaps, more accurately, joy.*

(*The recipient’s middle name is Joy.)

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