'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Southern Skies

This is the sun setting as we drove up and over the hill heading north out of Dunedin back in midwinter 2008. It seemed to reflect the odd feeling I had about dropping my son off at Otago University so far away from home. Both exciting and sad at the same time.

This March my last offspring left home. She hasn't gone as far; just over an hour away in Hamilton.

They all come back of course, and bring their friends. And lately, Significant Others. And it's wonderful. My three are like nova in my sky and I love to watch them shine and grow.

Belatedly, I want to mark this event with some special words from a well-known philosopher.

But before his words, I want to reveal a secret to my children. Do you remember the 'Green Eggs and Ham' I used to make for you? Well it was just a ploy to get you to eat silverbeet. I would cook it up, give it a whirl in the vitamiser, and then fold the puree into the cheese scrambled eggs.

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.

- Dr Seuss.


  1. I hope I make you proud.

    I knew all along about the green eggs.

  2. Immensely, darling. Beyond words.

    Oh did you now? Did you peek?

  3. You learn something new every day - thanks to bloggers! Not knowing what silverbeet is, a quick check on wiki tells me it's also known as Swiss chard, a well-loved vegetable here in Catalonia - even by our little kids!
    As they have just got the green eggs book, I think we'll try that recipe out ;)

  4. You're welcome Brian. Here's how most people grow and eat New Zealand silverbeet: http://www.cuisine.co.nz/index.cfm?pageID=33559

  5. You do take the most wonderful photographs.

  6. A sweet post :) I love the poem too.

  7. Thank you RW (s'funny, but I realise I've been thinking of you recently as the 'RW' in Our Mutual Friend. Bella Wilfer's Father... The mother always refers to him as 'RW'. I love her line "I'm sure I would never condone the talking to of strangers in the park,"

    Thanks Emily. I like the poem because it holds a lot more meaning than the simple words would suggest. And also because when my children were young and did something thoughtless, I would say "where are your brains? In your bottom?" Of course presumably you could think with them where-ever they are, but...well..you know how it is when you have a lot on your mind. Where-ever *that* is.

  8. I look forward to your postings because they are always interesting, varied and fascinating.

    You obviously consider yourself fortunate with your children (so do I) and, it would appear, that you are loved in return. No greater gift......

    I wonder if I understand where you are coming from with the poem. Perhaps I do. My son, Gaz, who is very successful (by whatever criteria we would commonly use) once said that he was eternally grateful that I had not tried to 'force' him to stay on at school and go to Uni. He's made his own way in his own time.

    He has brains in his head. He has feet in his shoes. He has steered himself in the direction he chose. And he has been rewarded accordingly. As most of us are - for good or for bad.

  9. GB - your comment was 'eaten' by Blogger, so I had to post it that way.

    I hope I have not forced my kids either. But just encouraged them to use what they have, even if they are not the mostest whatever in the whole world... just use what they have. Otherwise it's just a pity and a waste, and they are not contributing...

    And of course, along the way, you often find something very special happens; that if you practice, you get good. And if you practice what you enjoy, you enjoy it even more, and so it goes around in a wonderful upward spiral of satisfaction.

  10. Oh, that was weird GB, your post turned up after all.

  11. For years now, my standard high school graduation gift is either a thesaurus (for the college bound) or Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Fittingly, colleagues gave me a copy upon my retirement.

    By the way, I have been to Dunedin. I think the view from the top of the castle is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Also been to Hamilton. That's where I bought my first piece of glass by Raos. I'd seen his Monet glass in an exhibit in Wellington, but none was for sale. I spied some of his work in a shop window as we drove through Hamilton. It was a shop on main street not too far from the eatery that has the airplane on a pole up front. As I remember, the plane's camouflage paint job was a chocolate chip cookie pattern. There is also a lovely little church with a red roof on the top of the hill as you enter Hamilton that would make a lovely painting. We had to stop and photograph it from a hill, then went up and did more photos.

  12. Ah, we didn't go to Larnach Castle. But I was wondering about those other places... The red church? Not sure where that is - At Tamahere near Hamilton? but no hill there... There is another just before you get to the bottom of the motorway going into Auckland, ie south Bombay/ Mangatawhiri. I'm wondering if you mean that one.
    But the only chocolate chip cookie plane restaurant I know is at Taupo,...?

  13. I posted an entry on my blog for you. Check it out.