Saturday, 17 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

I WAS JUST ONE OF THE THOUSANDS  who set their alarm clocks for before 6.30 a.m this morning just so as to be sitting in their lounge, wrapped in dressing gown and  cuddly blankey with a coffee by their side, to watch the yachts racing for the America's Cup.

Kawau Island is all about boats, in one way or another and I am one among many of us was brought up on, at the very least. the subject of boats from early childhood. The boating stories stay the same with adaptions. All that has changed is how the shape, construction and speed of the modern boats are so very different in such a short space of time.

I have borrowed the photo of the magnificent yacht off Paul C Gilbert's Facebook page of a photo from Edouard Ollivier to contrast it with a recent photograph of a contestant for the America's Cup. By the way did others notice that the wake from these foiled boats looks like parallel rows of equal marks?

It is going to be days now of thinking boats, boats, boats, so I'll be posting a boat poem over on my poetry page under Facebook Lois E Hunter.
photograph from yachtingworld.com 

Friday, 9 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

BELOW IS A HALF HOUR VIDEO  ALL ABOUT KAWAU ISLAND FILMED FOR NEW ZEALAND TELEVISION . The Islanders are so rapt

with it we all wan't to live here all over again.

But before that, here is what is going to happen to our wharf for the next 3 months. The barge is loaded with gear and ready to start.




They told me that they lift each piles, water blast it, put a plastic sleeve around it, replace pile, then pump concrete down between plastic and wooden pile . Fortunately because it is one of the only two public wharves on the Island the bay does not have to pay for the repairs. Yay!!




I have also been restricted to walking lately because one narrow section of the road has so deeply rutted on one side of the road my car would bottom out on it if I tried to pass - see umbrella indicating depth - but I was assured that it is going to be fixed early next week - Yay again !!!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONPlqKU_bdM&feature=youtu.be


Friday, 2 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

EVEN ON RAINY DAYS I TRY TO MOTIVATE MYSELF  into taking a walk because  by the nature of being a poet I spend a lot of time sitting. Though, as an aside, I would like the choice of using the car when I want to go down to the wharf, which I shall be doing on daybreak tomorrow morning and then return again in the dark when I go and visit with the children in Auckland, Most of the road, though muddy is passable but in one very narrow part the road has become so deeply rutted, and getting more so with the influx of 4 wheel drives in my bay, which means my car will bottom out if I try to pass through. On the plus side, because of walking slower because of  the mud, I become more observant (and nosy) of something I may otherwise glance over because it is so familiar .

Out yesterday in the rain I took more notice of a boat that was stranded/abandoned and just visible in the scrub and I slid through the mud to have a closer look - the rain was quite heavy so the photographs are not as clear as they could be. My first reaction on getting close was thinking how it's so sad to see any boat come to the end of its days, the second being this would make a great "tiny home" and I wished I had the skills to salvage and restore it. The biggest surprise though was to  make my way around to the bow and see it's name - "Hummingbird." another take on the poem I recently wrote  with the same name. -  - - see the poem on my poetry page  under my  Facebook writing name   of lois e hunter




Friday, 26 May 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

WISH YOU WERE HERE we say. Last weekend two of the "bookabach" bookings in our bay cancelled because of the Mainland weather reports, not realising that we have a micro-climate out here on the Island. Yes, maybe we had a few mornings down to 3*C on the waterfront, but the days warmed up quickly to a comfortable 17*C - 18*C once the sun was up.

So this week I thought I would share a couple of photographs of what is looking particularly pretty in the gardens and a brief video clip of what sort of days we were having here, in the beginning of winter (though the Mainland at the time was having wind and rain) when I walked down to enjoy Mansion House Bay and the gardens.



The Hibiscus are still flowering
Clivia Gardenii

Clivia Gardenii have been planted en mass under
native Titoki tree in the front garden.
( Note: the Clivia Society of South Africa have
been advised these plants, originally brought in by
Sir George Grey, from South Africa are here and
they come to the Island to especially see them.
video



This octopus looking tangle are of the
flower skeleton left after the seeds have
fallen off the native Nikau palm 


Saturday, 20 May 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

CONSIDERING WE ARE ABOUT FIVE MILES OF SOLID TREES, despite what some people fear, surprisingly few fall down or cause problems when they do. But yesterday was an exception and a large tree fell across the access road to our wharf. By the time I heard about it and then went down in the late afternoon to get a photograph, already two of our neighbours were well underway to making a walking access at the very least and had already cut away most of the outer limbs.




I wish I could convey better, the fading light, the bitter wind, the smoke and sounds of chainsaw and falling limbs, the smell of freshly cut pine and chainsaw fuel, the grunts of exertion - just add them into the photographs.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

LET THERE BE LIGHT. When I first moved into my cottage there was no garden left other than 2 diseased apple trees which I had to remove, an apricot tree, a grapefruit tree and 2 bamboos - so I started planting, and with much hand-wringing over having only the poorest of clay that went like yellow custard in the winter and yellow brick in the summer a garden was tempted into growing.







It seems like I am going to have the spend the rest of my gardening time from now on, cutting it back to let in the light and air movement so the garden will continue to thrive.  Don't worry, I haven't killed the bottlebrush - By summer it will be back at hedge height where I want it to be - I have found from past experience if I don't keep it trimmed, it will be over my head again in a couple of years Only another 4 trees to go.




Wednesday, 3 May 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

THIS  POST IS ON MY ROLE MODEL WHO I CARRY WITH ME, WHEREVER I LIVE.

Gwyneth Strayer

Gwyneth Strayer 

21st December 1916 – 2nd May 2017. 
Born in Wales, but grew up in Glenfield, on the North Shore Auckland when it was all farmland and metal roads - and no harbour bridge.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. in the Whangateau Hall on Saturday 6th May.

Gwyneth was the Plunket Nurse for Takapuna, North Shore of Auckland, for many years and retired in her 60’s. She was known as being an exceptional Plunket Nurse especially for babies with health problems and with her expertise would diagnose what was ailing them, where often the doctors were at a loss. She loved her babies. Allergies, coeliacs, colic, hip dysplasia, eczemas – she would design a routine, diet, exercise, or whatever, for them all, and so many mothers, as I do, still bless her for her advice and cures and of her going out of her way to help them.

I was fortunate enough that Gwyneth also became a family friend and she gave me free access to her extensive library, on what would be now be called alternative subjects - from natural therapies, to organic gardening and farming, naturopathy to environmental subjects, to healthy house building. It goes on – you name it she had studied it. She never stopped learning and was a fascinating conversationalist, never matter what your age, colour, nationality or religion. We could, and did, talk for hours.

Here is Gwyneth, now days away from 90, and though not well on the day, came to a family party and is seen here, totally holding the interest of one of her more difficult babies, my daughter, who thanks to Gwyneth overcame all her health problems, and like her sister, didn’t have an anti-biotic until well into her 20’s.


And though I did not see much of Gwyneth after she shifted north to be with her niece, I am going to miss having her in my world.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

TODAY WE ENTERED INTO THE MONTH OF MAY and as far as the tourist season is concerned we have another two weekends to go and it will finish on the 14th which is Mother's Day.


Already the  skies and seas have turned into its winter shade of blue and the Island is noticeably slowing down. The Kawau Cruises ferry is bringing out less day-trippers with only a few now walking the Island tracks and many of the rental cottages are already closing up until Spring.





A late group of hardy yachties came in at 4 for hot chocolate
The cafe has changed from being open daily to only being open these last two forthcoming weekends.
Kawau Cruise Ferry has less tourists now.

For me this is the week when I change over my curtains and cushions from summer to winter colours, and the heat-pump is already being turned on in the evenings. Nearly time for winter singlets, but not quite yet - when that happens I know winter is really here.



Saturday, 22 April 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL -  ONE. ONE. ONE.



Despite what you may presume, it takes a medical emergency to realise just how fortunate we are to live on Kawau Island. 

AUCKLAND CITY HOSPITAL
One of my neighbours had to make the emergency call at 10 p.m. the other night. That brought in the Island's First Response Team to stabilise her and within the hour she was loaded on the ambulance helicopter heading for Auckland Public Hospital. It took 12 minutes from the helicopter's take-off to arrival at hospital. Her partner went down to be with her and after arriving on the Mainland, because of the heavy commuting traffic, it took three and a half hours to get to the hospital.

In the meanwhile txts and phone calls raced around our bay and immediately there were people ready to be of any further assistance. My neighbour was operated on the next morning and is safe in her hospital bed and only awaits full recovery before returning to the Island.

Friday, 14 April 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER. As I am seeing the first flowers appear on your Northern Hemisphere posts, so ours are now leaving us until next Spring. - but they're not quite all gone, yet. The pre-winter tidy up continues and there was a big internal sigh as I took down the shade sail and packed it away. Time for the long tail critters to try to make a dash inside and set themselves up a home for the winter. Tara, the cat caught her first one and thought that I was going to take it off her, like I did the lizards and cicadas. She couldn't quite believe all the praise she got and being allowed to keep it - outside.



My very best pre-winter news though, and I'll start at the beginning. I live on one of the only two short access roads on the Island, at a top of a very steep hill. Which means I rely on an "Island Car." - which is something that'll no longer pass a warrant of fitness, ever again.  It has meant that they don't always go when needed and I have done a lot of winter walking up the hill from the wharf. Number 3 car got so bad last winter I barged it off the Island to the Mainland, then it was towed to the village garage to repair it before reversing the process back to the Island. Expensive (ouch) but cheaper than getting a replacement car. All went well late winter, spring, summer, autumn, and I was looking forward to easy winter travelling until the steering locked - solid. I tried. My friend Jenny tried. A week went by and I was not a happy chappie. Then, dum de dum de dum, dum dum dum - up rode Russell early this morning and - fixed it!

LIFE IS GOOD.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

TIME TO CATCH-UP WITH CHORES. All a bit mundane really.

Because so many weeks were taken up with getting my poetry book MEANDERINGS published, and having amazing periods of endless rain, I have been running behind with keeping the gardens up to date - so before the rains come back ( due this coming week ) over the past few days it has been all systems go!!


This deck had been worrying me about how to clean it up. I kept looking at all the specialised products on the market, but I am sensitive to a lot of chemicals and damned if I could either make up my mind or buy a product. Then one wet day, with the deck by front door so slippery, I thought I'll just give it a bit of a scrub with water. Why didn't I think of that before???. I shall go and finish this off after I have finished this post while having a late lunch..

All the lawns behind have been mown and now the hedges are cut as well.

Chinese lantern is one name for this  shrub - the flowers are actually a very deep red.  I have just taken cuttings of this one and the yellow one below from my neighbour's garden and hopefully they will take. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

STRANGE CRITTERS. I came across two insects that I had never seen before, quietly mating in the late afternoon and it was a rush to get the camera and invade their privacy to photograph them. Not easy to do as on a bright white post and both only 1.5 cm long ( i.e. just over an inch).  Fiddling around with editing though I could blow up the photos and fiddle around with editing until I could get clear images along with their colouring.

Now how to contact the bio-security people? Why do government department have to keep changing their name? To hide away from the 'common' people? Or do they do it to show a new guy is in charge?

So no longer is there a DSIR - Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, founded in  1926. One always went their with their queries to identify strange plant, plant disease or insect etc. But it was Reconstituted into initially 10 semi-independent entities called Crown Research Institutes by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.

So try Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry - Commonly known as MAF - that was dissolved in 2012 and became Ministry for Primary Industries - but when googling that title it seems to keep coming back to the fishing industry.

By luck rather than remarkable skills in googling I finally got my answer from - wait for it...reckon you'll find it in the phone book real easy - NOT

IDCPHEL Auckland Public Enquiries <Auckland@mpi.govt.nz>

Hi Lois,
Thank you very much for your enquiry and photos. This is a male and female lichen bag moth, Cebysa leucotelus [Lepidoptera: Psycidae]. This Australian moth has been established in New Zealand since about 1981. The female is brightly coloured metallic blue with orange markings and is sometimes mistaken for a beetle or wasp. The wings are never fully formed, so she hops around but can’t fly. The male looks quite different and is brown and cream/yellow in colour. The caterpillar lives inside a silken bag camouflaged with bits of dirt stuck on the outside, and eats algae and lichen. When ready to pupate, they often crawl upwards and hang quietly in the resting stage. They may sometimes be seen hanging under the eaves of a building. They are not of biosecurity concern. Thank you for your interest and for taking the trouble to report it.
Kind regards,
Stacey

Stacey Lamont | Entomology
Plant Health and Environment Lab | Diagnostic and Surveillance Services | Operations
Ministry for Primary Industries - Manatū Ahu Matua | 231 Morrin Road | PO Box 2095 | Auckland 1140 |
New Zealand
Web:
https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/finding-and-reporting-pests-and-diseases/laboratories/plant-health-and-environment-laboratory/  


Australian Lichen Bag Moth











------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BELOW - 

The common  New Zealand Bag/Case Moth which we are familiar with in our gardens. We know them by the overnight torn edges and holes in the leaves of trees, lemon trees in particular in my garden and yet are so hard to detect as they look like small twigs. They feed on a very wide range of native and exotic broad-leaved and coniferous shrubs and trees. I think this is maybe the moth that was swarming this summer and the Islanders were wondering about? 

See more at http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/Pests/Liothula-omnivora .






    Wednesday, 29 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND


    WHILE YOU WERE AWAY doing your city life the Island has recovered from the two big rain bombs we had in quick succession and this morning your empty holiday cottages are all shining in this early morning sun.














    I thought I had the bay to myself, except there must be someone on one of the moored yachts for even though it is so early across the water comes the smell of frying bacon.














    Note: For those who pre-ordered copies of my book MEANDERINGS. They arrived later on this morning and your copies are stacked here waiting for me to address them tonight and I'll be sending them onto you in the post tomorrow when I go over to the Mainland.

    From the day I sent the manuscript off to the publishers, Xlibris,  to today, the whole exercise took just the 7 weeks and that was despite me not realising I should have chosen the poetry template option. I am not sure when it'll be available in the New Zealand libraries.
    It is already available through Amazon, and also through www.Xlibris.co.nz as a hardback, paperback or E-book





    Sunday, 26 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

    WHICH PATH TO TAKE - going the longer way to get there, or the short way?  

    The Kawau Kat is the cruise boat that visits all the bays as it goes and the one the tourists select and the little water taxis are for those who wish to get to and from the Island directly.

    It always depends on the circumstances and the nature of the person involved. Personally, I usually prefer taking the longer, more thoughtful way, and for those who notice such things, it is obvious from the time they open my gate and walk towards any home that I have had, that this is my nature. The path to the door is never direct, and at my Island home, I have a wide curved path where the stepping stones are also carefully placed so that one has to either take smaller steps, which automatically slows their pace, or take them at a run to land on every second step. Coming off this path, part way down is a smaller direct path to access the side lawn, the studio and also to my door. Most of the time people choose the difficult but shorter path, even though it is not much shorter, and they have to climb around plants, garden tubs, hanging rose tendrils etc. to do it. I have even put tubs across that path to stop people taking it, but after hesitating, they jump over them and arrive at my door irritable. 

    Before starting an action, pause, breathe, move forward. After finishing an action, pause, breathe, move forward.

    So what brought me around to thinking on this subject? A while back I shared with you photographs one of the special places that are only known by a few of us - the surprise of a large hidden pond nearby which is only accessed by a slow winding walk through a magical canopy of trees and ferns. But someone has decided it should be able to be instantly accessed and seen by all, and with their chainsaw has cut a direct path from the public road straight to the pond as seen now on the left. No, not the work of D.O.C this time. Hopefully the pond will be just as cared for as it was before. Personally, I am quite devastated seeing it stripped like this of its mystery.





    Saturday, 18 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

    AND SUDDENLY IT IS AUTUMN after a very short summer. The change of season virus has been and gone and now it is time to prepare for the coming winter - and when I think of preparing for winter it means storing the cupboards with the blessings of summer - i.e. bottling fruit. Because it was such a wet spring there were no bees around to fertilise the apricot tree, that usually produces around 12 quarts of fruit as well as jam, I had to succumb to buying in peaches to bottle. Sound silly because it works out cheaper to buy tinned peaches instead, but I convince myself that doing them myself, they taste nicer. The pear trees don't rely on bees to fertilise them ( our wood pigeons do that as they go from flower to flower selecting buds to eat ) and in a race to beat the Rosella Parakeets I am picking the fruit and bottling them as soon as                                                                                           they ripen.


    P.S. Reminder: for N.Z'ers. To those who have shown interest, I need to know by tonight, SUNDAY, by messenger https://www.facebook.com/lois.e.broom -           if you would like a signed, discounted copy of MEANDERINGS at $NZ35.00 which includes postage, as I place my order with payment, tomorrow morning.

    Thursday, 16 March 2017

    MEANDERINGS - a special note for NZ'ers


    I HADN'T THOUGHT .... I would get so many pre-order enquiries for my latest poetry book, so I thought you may like to be included.

    The publishers, Xlibris,  have offered me a discount on books that I sell personally which I can pass on to my New Zealand friends. I am in the process of adjusting my previous order to the printers and have to confirm the numbers by early Monday morning the 20th March.

    The price to buy a paperback via the publishers is $NZ34.99 and then postage a further $A5.00.

    I can pass on a discount and the price would then be a signed paperback copy at $NZ30 plus bubble bag pre-pay postage bag $NZ5.00, making a total of $NZ35.00  - a saving of $5.00.

    If you would like to be included, just send me your name and email address via messenger and I'll get back to you with  eta delivery details.

    Cheery,
    Lois

    Friday, 10 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

    LET'S TALK ABOUT BAMBOO - not the suckering kind which unfortunately some people associate with the word bamboo, but the other ones which are grown for building materials, soil erosion control, their  aural qualities from a gentle whispering/rustling to sounding like the roar of surf, or just for their sheer beauty in the garden.

    Wherever I live I plant bamboo, of various varieties for all of those reasons. I could even be called a bamboo nut. But a very big reason is that I call the larger ones like the Bambussa Oldhamii,  the woman's building material. It's easy to cut, easy to use and when used as pegs or stakes will last in the ground for about 5 years - a very quick way to make a windbreak of driven in stakes to protect plants which is so necessary on the Island.

    Pictures of Bamboo in my garden.




    Pictures of bamboo being used as a building material - a whole ecco/ educational village in Bali is  built of only bamboo and well worth googling.





    And finally - here is a link to a use of bamboo that I didn't know about, and will give you a smile (?) for a wet Saturday afternoon.

    https://youtu.be/205igPbrq84  

    Thursday, 9 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND - MEANDERINGS PREVIEW

    YOU NEED A PREVIEW was the suggestion. Thanks for that suggestion Diana:  so I went looking on Amazon to see what had had been put up by the publishers Xlibris - it seems it takes a couple of days for the actual preview to become live though. (By the way at Amazon,  Meanderings is listed in New Releases, under Poetry from British and Irish authors).

    I guess it's o k to preempt here what I supplied to the publishers:



    MEANDERINGS by lois e.hunter.

    Life had come to a point of burnout culminating in an accident and badly injuring my back. Just by chance though a buyer approached wanting to buy my lifestyle farm and as a part payment came a cottage on Kawau Island, which is a small sub-tropical island, resident population fifty, in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand.

    As a temporary step I shifted to the island to take time out to heal and follow my dream of being able to become a full-time poet. Since arriving here, in the next seventeen years I added, to my previous three published volumes of poetry, another four volumes with MEANDERINGS being my fifth.

    The consistent theme of my poetry is being a witness to life and capturing those special fleeting moments that can too soon be forgotten. My previous book, `When We Were Old,' was centred on entering the world of retirement. Where we have become too old to be employed in our previous positions and finally we came to acknowledge, and accept, we've entered the final chapters of our life.

    Now, after the world of retirement has been experienced, comes the question, what next? Already my closest friends have chosen new paths and scattered in different directions into new lives. MEANDERINGS theme is about exploring, mentally and physically, places and people in preparation to my returning to Mainland life again. There is no urgency, as yet, to make a decision but also knowing it is time to leave this island and find my forever home. I'm open and waiting to be shown, with a complete faith in my long history of unexpected serendipity, and especially how each deeply loved home has been incredibly surpassed by the new one.

    Not Quite an Autumn Poem

    It's late summer and under
    a sky ablaze with blue
    it's hot  - we loll around
    in a fairy-tale trance.

    I look at the ocean
    but there's nothing to see
    -no boats, no birds;
    it stares back at me
    -only the slight swell
    to prove it's real and
    not a painted fantasy.


    Jiminy Cricket is here  - he's
    trying to climb into my ear;
    remind of chores to be
    done before Autumn ends
    -but keeps slipping away
    on slicks of sun-tanning cream

    morning slides into evening
    into morning again

    how could anyone believe
    there'll be an Autumn? We live
    in the moment where love
    and summer go on forever.



    The Man on the Park Bench

    You cannot see by looking at me
    all the country roads and cities
    my eyes re-call and I now name
    my own, because I've walked them
    step after step, back and forth,
    back and forth

    listening to voices, collecting scenes,
    noting in exact detail: the store
    with a blue window-box of red
    geraniums on the floor above,
    which side of a street gets
    the morning sun, the sudden
    view after a turn in the road.
    I know the sounds of each place.
    I know the smell of it.
    I know the taste of the food.
    And I know how my familiar,
    the wind, always walks with me
    varying its moods to the place.

    I may appear to be loitering
    on the park bench half asleep
    but my world is expanding
    and contracting as my mind
    recalls and roams with the wind.


    Not Only in NYC

    Twice a week a man hips-up
    onto a barstool, expectant
    of a welcoming smile and
    being greeted by name

    there's no need to order,
    already the barman pours
    his triple gin, straight up, no ice.

    He's their poet-mascot, another
    Ferlinghetti or maybe a Hemingway.

    The man considers the restaurant
    as his family  - who else to talk to
    if he didn't come here.

    He will push back his glass
    for a re-fill  - only this once he'll say
    with a deprecatory smile

    as he accepts complimentary
    nibbles; he's in no rush to leave

    and weave his steps out onto
    the street and climb the stairs
    to his one-room home to eat.

    Dargaville

    If I came to live
    in this West Coast town
    that does not talk
    in decades, but remembers
    in generations  - I would
    come as a barren tree, for
    no more fruit can fall
    from my limbs. I would
    stand with no history
    before me, no history
    behind me  - I'd be
    no more than a ghost
    in the wind.

    Wednesday, 8 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND - THE PROOF COPY ARRIVED


    WELL HERE IT IS - All those months of selecting, correlating, refining and editing poems that may have been written over a period of years has been delivered from the publishers, way over in in Indiana, to the shed on the end of my wharf in the form of a small packet 1500 mm x 2300 mm - in other words, the proof copy of my book has arrived.

    FRONT AND BACK COVERS

    Lois E Hunter is a New Zealand poet, who after living in and around Auckland, now lives on the small island of Kawau Island, on the coastline of Auckland North.

    She studied American Poetry at Auckland University and has been writing poetry for the past thirty years. Her poems have appeared in various magazines over these years and the National Library of New Zealand holds a selection of four of her seven previously published collections of poetry. She writes in an easily accessible style of free verse which often invites the reader into recollection and/or conversation.


    Next step was to read through the proof copy and give the go-ahead to the printer - and yippee, today the book has gone LIVE.

    Now I can order my copies of the book. I have a couple of pre-orders and because I get them at a discount and I may have one or two spare copies for New Zealanders after reviewers etc. but I'll let you know after I have sorted them out.

                                                                             *   *   *

    I thought I would share with you how MEANDERINGS appears in the blurb on the Xlibris.co.nz site under their heading, Poetry - women.






    By lois e hunter
    Lois E Hunter is a New Zealand poet, whose ancestors arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, five generations ago from both Ireland and Cornwall. She grew up in Point Chevalier, Auckland, and has been writing and publishing her poetry for the past thirty years. Now retired, she has accepted her age. She can't go back, only forward, and the time is approaching where she's aware she needs to leave her home of seventeen years and select her "forever home." As she moves further and further out from her existing home, her poems follow the paths she takes both mentally and physically, contemplating which direction to take with, as yet, no urgency to decide. These are poems of people-watching and places, both from her past and the present. There are four parts. Part one is a preview to choosing her existing small island home. Part two is taking day trips away to familiar places. Part three is travelling further afield. Part four is a plateau that has been reached with her future still ahead. Lois says, "The special thing I love about poetry is the similarity between poems and cartoons. With a few deeply considered pen strokes, they give the reader a complete minimalist story, thought, or vision." 

    #poetry #womenwriters #kawauisland #retirement #househunting 

    Sunday, 5 March 2017

    NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

    TICK-TOCK

    The mornings are a little cooler now and neither the dog or the cat are in such a hurry to leave their beds, that is until they hear my call , 'biscuits!'

    It's a strange limbo time this waiting for the proof copy of my book to arrive. Instead of it going to my post box over on the Mainland, it is to be couried to the ferryboat office and a water-taxi will deliver it to the end of my wharf.

    This is a whole new experience of using a commercial publisher. A quick learning curve of how to do everything in a virtual world by email and phone-calls from unknown faces. For today's computer literate world, it's all easy-peasy as my children used to say, and a couple of times I had to call on the youngest daughter to bring me through contract-speak.

    So different from the first time back in the '80's "when I had a dream". When the Women's Press took pity on my budget and obvious enthusiasm and helped me through the process, every stage was a physical hands on, visiting offices, meeting people experience. I supplied them with a large box filled with a carefully stacked pile of poems I had first printed with a daisy-wheel typewriter and had got photocopied into 50 books worth of pages, along with a cover design made with the help of Letraset, my choice of cover card and paper quality, which they then put together and turned into books. Then I was off to a commercial colour printer ( there were only two in Auckland City then ) for 50 copies of  the selection of photographs I had pasted onto a large card.

    And finally, I am off to the local Bookstore/Stationers with forty copies of my first poetry book, illustrated with pasted-in photocopied photographs. The Gods of Dreamers were smiling on me and they were all sold within the week.