Monday, May 04, 2009

An hour and a half of sky

Naseby - Ranfurly - Kokonga - Hyde - Middlemarch - Macrae's Flat - Clarke's Junction - Outram - Three Mile Hill - Home.


An hour and a half is a little less than it takes to drive from Naseby (where I've been doing a bit of maintenance on the Mud House) to Dunedin. The same stretch of time is about what you need for a yoga class or to walk the beach from St. Clair Esplanade to the St.Kilda rocks and back; it's as long as it takes for skin to form on oil paint, yeast bread to rise or a slow-cooking casserole to reach perfection. In an hour and a half, a person can watch an average-length movie, stack a couple of cubic metres of firewood, attend a symphony concert (Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ is being performed in the Glenroy Auditorium tomorrow evening), check the oil and change the car tyre (nope, I'm not as zippy at this as some of you might be!)... When you think about it, an hour and a half has just the right number of minutes for all sorts of things - and nothings. 

When I arrived home this evening, I sat quietly in the dark on the steps overlooking the harbour and lit a candle for the Lookout Soldier who keeps watch from his distant peninsula hill. 

An hour and a half can seem like no time at all, and too, an eternity. 


  1. Claire, As someone I once knew once said, The sky is always beautiful. You're living that dream. Awesome. Everything. Thanks for the tour.

    How's the Mud House?

  2. Aquarian Eyes (forgive my presumption? You're Aq. AYE, yes - and will continue to be - but for the purposes of today's exchange, look what happens when you change the A to an E and add an -s. Suddenly there's a whole new set of images to contemplate... E, Iris, Yes and sight).

    Your friend was right - the sky IS always beautiful.

    The Mud House is standing resolute on firm feet - thank you for asking. She needs to have one of her downstairs window sills replaced but is otherwise looking cared-for and prepared for the coming winter months. Snow is forecast for the weekend, so my visit was perfectly timed. I ordered a fresh supply of firewood, drained the pipes and hot water cylinder and turned the water off... necessary procedures for winter in a small town '2000 feet above worry level.'

  3. Ah.... such sublime skies! How the land opens up in that part of the world.
    And I like your take on the hour and a half measure!
    BTW I popped a response to your comment on my review blog.

  4. What I failed to say, and what bears returning to again and again: it's not just the skies that are beautiful, but your eye, my dear. These are wonderful photographs, and a truly inspired sequence. Tis the art that comes out of you that is always rare, always fine. Thank you (or Q!, as the situation allows) for making your drive anything but routine.

  5. Ah, perfect, to start the day with a deep breath of Maniototo sky, thanks for stopping along the way, Claire. An hour and a half of editing till coffee time... Just right. P.