Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Quaker Quote

No spoilers I promise (oh and Lucy I've finished it now!) not even oblique references like Kate put in her post...

As you open Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows you come across a couple of quotes - one of which has meant a lot to me for many years. Here is a longer extract of the text as found in Britain Yearly Meeting's book of Quaker Faith & Practice, thought some of you Potter fans who aren't so well acquainted with William Penn might appreciate it...

The truest end of life, is to know the life that never ends. He that makes this his care, will find it his crown at last. And he that lives to live ever, never fears dying: nor can the means be terrible to him that heartily believes the end.
For though death be a dark passage, it leads to immortality, and that's recompense enough for suffering of it. And yet faith lights us, even through the grave, being the evidence of things not seen.
And this is the comfort of the good, that the grave cannot hold them, and that they live as soon as they die. For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. Death, then, being the way and condition of life, we cannot love to live, if we cannot bear to die.
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle, the root and record of their friendship. If absence be not death, neither is theirs.
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal
William Penn, 1693

(the text in bold is that quoted in HPVII)

What I will say (and no this won't spoil it for anyone) is that Dumbledore's insistance in earlier books that love is stronger than anything else comes through even more strongly in this one which has prompted many thoughts. But right now they are whirling around as if in a penseive (and yes Mum I have spelt that right, you really are going to have to read them you know!) but they haven't quite got themselves in enough order to make sense for a blogpost. But needless to say this has decided to float around along with it all - WGYFers and ANZYFs will probably recognise it better than most =)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

delayed gratification

(hands over ears) I'm not listening.... nobody's hearing nothing.....

ok, so that's from a different cult classic but I don't care - just don't tell me what happens. Given I'm in no state to cycle into town I probably won't get my (reserved!) copy until Monday. Meanwhile I'll go back to re-reading through I-VI and pretend HP VII hasn't come out yet...

I said don't tell me ok... Martin, Lucy, Audra - that means you too! Howlers heading in the direction of anyone who tries to spoil anything.

Lousy timing for dizzy spells I can tell you, and they aren't the magical kind either... law of sod I'm home alone again this weekend. Bah humbug, or should that be Cockroach Clusters?

Chocolate frog anyone?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

raining again

It's raining again, hard, and has been all morning.... the fire station siren went off about half an a hour ago, after all the flooding last week I can't be the only one sitting here wondering how high the waters will get this time and if that was a flooding call rather than a fire.

Metservice is warning we could be in for rain most of the day and it's not so much the amount of rain falling that's the problem but the existing saturation levels of the ground - 'Lake' Tangonge will no doubt be expanding further - usually swamp land yet an ever increasing amount of it has been under water for a while now with the winter rains, it's now extended further than most people I've talked to can remember. I know I'll be fine where I am and that I don't need to go anywhere today if I don't want to - I had planned to go to Phyllis' and sort through a crate in her garage to see if it got water got into it last week but as her garage is also full of a neighbour's belongings from her badly flooded home across the road I need to be able to put stuff outside which would seem somewhat counterproductive right now!

I know I'm one of the lucky ones, not only for being above the flood levels but for having enough faith in the way the world works to know that the whatever happens the important needs in life will be met. That might seem a little naive but despite several occasions in life where I've wondered where I'll be living next somewhere has always come up, I've always had who I needed there - even if they weren't who I expected or perhaps wanted. I know that whilst I'd be sad to lose various possessions with sentimental value there are far more important things in life and life's too short to dwell on things rather than people.

Along with many of those rendered homeless by the floods I don't have a clue where I'll be this time next year. I know where I'd like to be, but as life has a funny habit of giving you what you ask for but not necessarily how you expect it to happen I'll not be making any assumptions!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

swings and roundabouts

I've been housesitting for a F/friend in town for the last few days - kind of handy being 10 minutes walk from the shops and the library (where I volunteer a couple of afternoons a week) and of course from the boys too.

It's nice to feel that I don't have to do everything in one go when I'm in town, I can come back later, or tomorrow... I could collect Liam and Ryan myself when I was spending time with each of them and take them home again, none of us needing lifts or for me to cycle in (which given the changeable weather is a blessing!).


It's just not home. I hadn't realised just how much William and Elizabeth's felt like home until I wasn't there. I also hadn't really appreciated how much company Cammi is - even when she's getting under my feet and driving me bananas - at least when I'm talking to myself there I can at least pretend I'm talking to her!

I miss the view too, just standing on the deck with a cuppa and enjoying the fact that the horizon is, well on the horizon and not across the road. I miss the cows and paddocks (fields!) being over the hedge and there when I draw the curtains each morning. The same things I missed when I started flatting in Newcastle and traded my Castle Leazes Halls room on the 5th floor for a view of the backyard and the rear of Dilston Road in sunny Arthur's Hill - all my childhood homes had had views of fields, trees and usually cows too so that 1st year view had only really lacked the hills. After 18 years of no real view in three cities and two hemispheres it's surprising just how quickly I've got firmly attached to having one again!

It's been nice having a few days in town, but I will be glad to get home again. Even Ryan, when he stayed here with me last night, conceded that I was better off at 'Grandma's'. Given he's often telling me I should get a different house so he'd have another place to go and stay I reckon he's right.

It must be said though, the internet connection is much faster here.... ah well, you can't have everything I guess.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

home and dry

Well for anyone keeping a weather eye on the news around here this is a quick update to let you know we're all ok!

Gales and severe flooding hit Northland yesterday - our only excitement out here was when Elizabeth and I had to go and dig out round the shed so the water went around it rather than through it and into the sleep-out which involved clambering over and relocating half the woodpile not to mention getting rather soggy! (Don't worry Simon, the sleep-out has dried out nicely)

Phyllis (William's mother) got evacuated early evening when the flood banks in town were breached, she's just gone back, sounds like the water only got into the garage not the house. Power and water are off in parts of town but Mathew and Co don't seem to be affected. Like us the Bradleys are high enough up not to be really affected. Ruth and Stephan are stranded in Whangerei at Ruth's mothers so no idea what Diggers Valley is like yet, thankfully it's not calving time. The cows on the flats below us had to be moved up a few paddocks as the one they were in became more of a paddle than a field!

Kaitaia College is being used as a refuge so the phone was busy last night with calls for William as various heaters, mattresses etc were being located and updates given. It sounds like the Far North District Council Emergency Plan that got put into place last year all ran as it should which is good to hear. Our mailout from the Government about Emergency kits was sitting unopened until breakfast this morning - but about the only things we hadn't had to hand were sun hats and sunblock but somehow we managed without them =)

I've taken a few 'after' photos of the creek and the flats which I'll post to Flickr once the camera battery has recharged enough...

Anyway, best stop hogging the phoneline

Friday, July 06, 2007


There's a somewhat contradictory part of my nature that really enjoys being organised, putting things in an orderly fashion, setting up filing systems. My fiction books and cds tend to be arranged alphabetically, aged about 7 or 8 I tried inventing my own version of the library cataloguing system when I realised that non-fiction didn't work so well alphabetised by author. I actually enjoyed pulling everything out of my cupboards and reorganising my toys - even if I did need to be told umpteen times to do it first. You see there is the crunch, the contradiction - I love setting these things up but then I get bored and want to do something else and somehow chaos resumes and returns everything to a more natural state.

Today was a day for sorting - I spent a couple of hours helping Simon sort the Lego out, one of those tasks that once started somehow managed to consume most of his day. Then he dropped me off in town to help Libby in the library where I was shelving returned books - putting books in their proper order and moving strays back to where they belong. And this evening? I sat with the script making sure people read the right lines in the right places and rescuing them from straying.

I enjoy it! There's something really quite satisfying about having put everything where it belongs - so why oh why don't I manage to keep on top of order in my life, doing it the sensible a little bit every day way rather than it gradually slipping until the orderly part of me gets exasperated and blitzes the lot? But that wouldn't be half as much fun....