Friday, August 29, 2008

The First Time I Have Ever Won Anything!

A couple of weeks ago I read in the Sunday Star Times newspaper an article by the Southland poet Brian Turner. Included at the end of the article was a competition to win a copy of his new book called "Into the Wider World - A back Country Miscellany". The entry was open to wives (and others I think) to tell how their husbands /dads / sons etc like to waste time - wasting time being one of the values high on Brians list (of course it’s not time wasted at all!) - I entered on Christine’s behalf and cut and pasted something from my sailing blog [one of the bits that was up to Nobel Prize winning standard :-) ] - and won a copy of the book! - it arrived yesterday and a veritable tome it is to - full of essays, poetry and very very beautiful photographs of Central Otago. Below is the winning entry:

This is how my husband likes to waste time, he has told me about it so many times that I know the time he wastes doing this is close to his heart. I think this sort of time wasting is certainly within the spirit of what Brian Turner was talking about in your 'Books' feature (Sunday Star * Times - August 10th)
Below is a description of how he wastes time which I copied from his BlogSpot when he wasn't around, he says it best, but I diagnose best how this waste of time enriches his very being.

"Sailing is at the heart of what I love to do. It's not just the sailing itself which as an activity and sensation is to me poetry in motion, it is the associated peripheral things, which when gathered together make for a pleasing and enchanting whole. To steer her up the coast hard on the wind, at the tiller hour after hour thinking only of the relationship of the angle of the Genoa jib to the eye of the wind and to exult in the way the boat cleaves herself through the waves; or to run downwind like smoke feeling her make use of each wave, is to be immersed in and aware of every interaction of the boat with its environment. To do this is to enter into a meditation of sorts, it is a way for me to be entirely in the present moment and I rejoice in that. For me, experiencing the many moods of the sea is a blessing. Each time it is as if I am experiencing it for the very first time. The wind, the waves, the sky all have an elemental cadence to them.Watching a mirror like calm change to the spindrift blown spray of forty knots or more of wind and wave, and to sail through all this after reefing her well down and watching the destination grow slowly larger on a bright or hazy horizon, for me is being immersed in contentment itself.Then the safe harbour, the snug anchorage, rowing ashore, pulling the trusty dinghy up on the beach. The walks along the beach and climbing a hill to look down at the boat now a toy anchored contentedly in the bay below. At night the meal shared, to lights reflected in varnished mahogany and the warm glow of conversation and camaraderie - and the stars. Not just any old stars - sailing stars, high, high, high stars clear and bright, bright, bright, away from the pollution of the city. The whole sweep of the Milky Way and the cosmos - and as the chill of the night comes, seeking the cosy haven below in a little cabin made for reflection, reading, meditation and contentment.But you must remember this, the nuances of sailing are a life's work, it is always a work in progress and it doesn't suit a plastic caravan mentality, for you see wooden yachts are living things and if you are very quiet and listen carefully they will reveal to you their secrets"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Happens To Me All The Time

Book of Yacht Designs by the Canadian Naval Architect William Garden

On Saturday June 21 2008 on my other blog spot I posted a photograph of a little yacht called 'Bullfrog' and wrote about the yacht and its designer William Garden. I put the post on the blog and thought nothing more of it really:

............... " Now there are yacht designers who are competent designers and then there are yacht designers who are artists. William Garden is an artist. This little yacht enchanted my father so much that he bought a set of plans. Well 'blue prints' as they were called in those days. The blue prints are in my possession now and many a voyage has been planned in winter months while wistfully looking at the curvaceous body of this enticing little ship."......... etc etc etc etc

NOW: William Garden is one of my favourite yacht designers. It is not just his designs which are attractive but also the way he has lived his life. His life is a sort of amalgam of 'The Wind in the Willows' and 'Swallows and Amazons' all rolled into one. He lives on a very small island in British Columbia where he has a design studio, a workshop where yachts are built and all the other accoutrement's from living a life in that space where personal passion and making a livelihood merge. Garden is still alive (in his 90's) and is loved and respected by many around the world. That island is one of the places I would like to visit before I go off to the great eternal spinnaker run in the sky.

THIS WEEK: The teacher who teaches in the classroom next to me had an adult student teacher start a teaching section in her room. This lady is Canadian, her husband is a boat builder and designer. They emigrated to New Zealand in their beautiful ketch. They left to come to NZ from that small island off Salt Spring Island off Victoria Island in British Columbia. They lived on their yacht tied up to the jetty at Bill Garden's island for 2 years while her husband worked in Bill Garden's boat building business. She knows Bill Garden and has told me a lot about him. Her and her husband also know another great designer in the area, Philip Gartside who designs beautiful traditional small yachts. I have a link from my sailing blog to his website. This lady had a similar sailing upbringing as me and there are many associations and connections which we share. It has been very interesting to talk to her.

I am not sure that this coincidence would qualify as the phenomenon called Synchronicity, but in my mind it comes close. It's not so much the meeting of someone who has a close association with someone I have read about but rather the timing of my blog posting and its contents and then the almost immediate connection arriving on my doorstep. - Quite odd, but very, very, very interesting indeed. What is even more curious is that this sort of stuff (coincidences) happen to me in both small and large ways all the time. Coincidence?