Learning how to read, write and live on my own for the first time in my life
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Back from the Catlins
The Catlins is an astonishing place. It was much, much more engaging than I had expected. I thought it was a formidable land of wind-battered, difficult terrain, hard to explore for a city wimp like me. What I found was something much friendlier and more accessible: as well as stunning rocky shores pounded by great waves (we had only one day of this), we spent our time exploring lovely meandering estuaries and bays and doing short walks through bush and rainforest to thundering waterfalls and tranquil lakes.
Plus, of course, the wildlife. Jenn, my companion and guide, stood in the bush and whistled to bellbirds, brown creepers and fantails. We saw only one yellow-eyed penguin (they're moulting now, they sit on land and can't go out to sea until they've replaced their feathers), but the sealions swam, challenged each other and dragged themselves up into the dunes right in front of us. (I took this with the zoom - we were a very safe distance away.)
I soon felt entirely at ease, and I realised after a few days that this was the first proper leisurely, low-key New Zealand holiday, not staying in someone's home, that I'd had for about three years. It was exactly the kind of holiday Harvey and I had really enjoyed, though we'd never done it often enough. I was so lucky to be able to go with Jenn - she grew up on a farm not far away, and knew the whole area really well, so we managed to see everything without ever feeling rushed or pressured. Working out holidays can be a dilemma when you're on your own, but this was a brilliant solution.
My partner of thirty years, Harvey McQueen, poet, gardener, educator, 13/9/1934 - 25/12/2010
The Colour of Food: A memoir of life, love and dinner
Here's the cover of my food memoir, to be published in June 2013 by Awa Press as an original e-book. Click on the cover to go to the book's Facebook page.
MY FOOD BLOG
Click on the lemons to go to Something Else To Eat
Harvey's last anthology, These I Have Loved: My favourite New Zealand poems, published by Steele Roberts, was launched on 10/10/2010. To see what Beattie's Book Blog has to say about it, click on the cover.
"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most." — Margaret Atwood