the view from the tower

arcite's day

Thursday, September 29, 2005


School holidays, so I’m minding Roishan (9) and Tyger (7) full-time as my in-laws have gone on yet another long trip, this time to Gainesville, Florida, where I once lived for four and a half years wasting time completing a Ph.D on a subject I had no real interest in. But that’s another story. (Stupid post-structuralist gobbledegook—why didn’t I focus on what I really know, say American Science Fiction? Why? Because I was young, trendy, and trying to be bloody clever).

I took the boys over to the school yesterday for a couple of hours so some of my senior students could come in and do homework. Then we went into town, had lunch (they ate McDonalds which I hate and discourage but haven’t tried to ban) and then we watched Stealth: one of the dumbest films I have ever sat through. So bad and cheesy and cornball that I’m sure it’s destined to become a classic of crap American cinema.

I’m working hard on my first book of poems as I wait for poems to come out in The Listener, Bravado and that darn SF Poetry Anthology; wait to see if I’ve had any luck with the Bravado competition, wait to see if I’ve snuck into the Poetry Soc’s anthology; meanwhile the slack-ass publisher of our first book on Asperger’s has asked us how we’re getting on with the second book when we cancelled the contract ages ago. We’ve sold about 850 copies of our first book now which isn’t so bad I guess. But I’m relieved that I’m not slaving away on autism studies—you need to be in academiic employ to do that sort of work and then there’s no time for poetry. Secondary school teaching does give me time to read what I want and not clutter my thinking with theories.

This weekend we’ll drive to Wanganui for the weekend. Just for a change. And then next week I’ll start planning for next term.

My sister, Penelope, has now moved over from Melbourne to Otaki where she has a house near the beach on Karaka road. Her neighbour, whom she says is quite nice, breeds Pit Bulls.

And a funny dream last night: I watched massive floods sweep away houses in a valley. On a table a newspaper with the headline The Big Push.

...arcite at Thursday, September 29, 2005...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I spent my mother in law Sujata's birthday money on fresh prayer flags which I've hung in the garden.

With still a little small change left. Bought from Trade Aid--of course.
Got to support Trade Aid!
Oh, how I love our apple blossom tree.
Yes I know the previous post was slack, drifiting, loose, uncoiled.
And I've finished A.R. Ammons Worldly Hopes--odd, sharp, small observations. I'm not sure if it's the emperor's new clothes or not which for poetry is no bad thing at all.
We watched Supersize Me. I've begun to take fish oil tablets.
Didn't the food made by the Vegan girlfriend look delicious?

...arcite at Sunday, September 25, 2005...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I have to say a few things about work this week as it's the end of the first term. I'm extremely happy with the very diverse teaching staff at the school at which I work--nobody there knows as far as I know that I have this blog. Tomorrow I'm driving up to the school for a hangi--and tonight we had a long after school pot-luck dinner at a colleague's house with games and drinks. (Very relaxed--the rugby was on the big tv). Now, normally at work I find a group of like minded souls and cling to them for dear life as they to wrestle against the 'powers that be' or else mingle with them as they percolate into bizarre semi-gang formations (those of you who have worked in design will know what I mean). I'm amazed at how so many secondary teachers have less general knowledge than their tertiary peers but a [note before correction the northern english 'a' for the southern 'are'] far more passionate and holistic--if there is such a thing, ya, ya--appreciation of art. You get better conversations in school staffrooms than university corridors--they don't even have staffrooms--though I must say that I miss the lunches with scientists I had back in Zingerpore. Anyway, chaps, term one is over and I intended to continue on. My work on Aspergers has not gone to waste and I'm now able to recommend that certain students be seriously considered differently than as either just 'slow' or 'naughty.' But I'm not into slapping the label around: only one student I know out of the 90 or so I have met fits this category. But knowing that I act as an advocate on her behalf makes all the bloody difference. The only bummer is that the money's no good--so I'll have to get a grip on myself. And you should know...

...arcite at Saturday, September 24, 2005...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


...arcite at Wednesday, September 21, 2005...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dusk, Wellington (not my photo).

...arcite at Tuesday, September 20, 2005...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

top whatever

1.Labourite Greens
2.‘We Deliver Broader Coverage’ Brittle Lemon CD
3.The Crofton Downs Service Station
4.Kowhai and blossoms: all flowering trees
5.Tuis in said Kowhai
6.Cult of Friday

Oh these pre-election nerves. Ugh. Let's all make the right choice please. As my Grandad used to say in his cap "Think on!" Fingers crossed. All the best.

...arcite at Saturday, September 17, 2005...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Over the weekend we went to a Trade Aid exhibition of carpets made by Tibetan refugees in India and spend a portion of our Singapore savings on a fantastic carpet. Word-Girl calls it a heirloom. I’m looking forward to the exhibition being over and the carpet coming home.

In Crime & Punishment, a 100 rouble note flies out of Sonja’s pocket in the middle of a funeral party. Brilliant.

Last night we also booked a weekend in Wanganui. Our first medium priced motels were booked so it was a toss-up between a more expensive motel and a cheap one. Of course, I picked the expensive one. I reason that if it’s really scungy word-girl and Roishan won’t like it and if it rains you’re always better off in decent accommodation.

I’m getting into the work routine. Last week was pretty grueling and a great strain on the nerves—it takes a while to get used to teaching 4-5 hours solid a day! But this week has felt a lot better and I’m finding my feet.

The dreaded neck and neck election is coming up. Obviously, I don’t want the Tories to get in. But I’m also weary of the demonisation of the National Party. I guess I support our electoral system—this means that if people are stupid enough to vote Tory and undo all the work that has been done and become another US controlled dominion then so be it, the stupid gits.

...arcite at Friday, September 16, 2005...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Just a quick note about two books. I'm still working my way through Crime & Punishment but as I read to Roishan most evenings I've just finished Roald Dahl's excellent autobiography Boy. I'd now like to read the second volume called Going Solo.

I've also just finished Bernadette Hall's book of poems Still Talking. These are very tightly written, almost stern poems, which explore Hall's Irish ancestry and her relaionship with her mother. I'm not sure if this was the right book of Hall's to begin with as I've read a few of her poems which are very different in tone and form. There's no doubt that she's a major talent not content to be simply breezy.

...arcite at Thursday, September 08, 2005...

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tuis in yellow kowhai

We had Tyger's seventh birthday party on Saturday. A lovely sunny day. The tuis have started to eat the kowhai so I guess spring is here. Kavita, word-girl's sister was down from Auckland and she insisted that the tuis were blackbirds which caused Conchis--who had just popped in for tea--and me some amusement. Tyger's pinata was a zeppelin.

Yesterday, I tried calling Leo and the blogless--but who isn't nowadays?--Aurora Floyd just to say hi and to make sure Leo's mum's ok. Yea, I watched CNN. Anyway, all I got was this answer machine which spoke to me in a robotic north American voice. I'm sure that this time I called at the right time but got the wrong number. If Leo and Aurora had an answer machine they would use their own voices--or Sandra Bernhardt's.

This is cheap DAB beer. Large cans have risen in price from $2.50 to $2.90 in one hop. Jeez.
Up again at 5.00 AM.

...arcite at Monday, September 05, 2005...

Friday, September 02, 2005

What a bummer
Katrina didn't hit Iraq
With all those troops
Already on the ground.

But seriously
New Orleans
God, I love that city
(But I love so many cities--even Singapore!)
I've been to the Big Easy three times
When I lived in Gainesville
We'd drive up the panhandle
Through Mobile, Alabama
Once I drove through a tropical storm
& now it's wasted
But looting?
Who was looting after the tsunami?
I mean you got to wonder.

And the blogoshere/fear seems to be shrinking
So many blogs flatlining:
Brittle Lemon
Nomen est Numen
Under a Bell (which had such great photos)
Ikrek Hava?

Are you reaching an end?

I'm going to keep going
Even if I have to chop it up
Whisk it around
Risk all the nonsense

(I had a funny dream last night about a Rune
But that's another story)

(Until you realise
It's just a story).

...arcite at Friday, September 02, 2005...