Monday, July 28, 2014

An Important Video

No one except evil psychopaths are happy with the wars and man made disasters that blight this planet. But it is good to always remember that the evil that often dominates the news every day doesn't represent the human goodness that exists within ordinary people everywhere. I think that we can celebrate this fact without ignoring these heart breaking tragedies. People of good will can stand in solidarity and sympathy for the victims and their families who are dealing with these unspeakable crimes. But in seeking justice we must never demonise or dehumanise anyone.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Que Sera Sera (What Will Be Will Be)

Here are two people that I love. Charlotte and Nathan. As I type they are in England enjoying some time with Nathans mum. When they return Charlotte will enter year three of her Nursing degree and Nathan will continue his degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, completing it in November.

Every year of his studies Nathan, along with a few other students, has been given a high achieving student award. To obtain this a student must have an average A+ score in all assignments and exams - no mean feat. Charlotte has also surprised herself with very high marks in her nursing studies.

Nathans goal is to get some sort of scholarship to Oxford University where he will complete his PhD. Of course he will require his father in law, who taught him everything he knows, to visit regularly so that he can straighten out any illogical arguments in his philosophical treatises and point out the odd adding mistake in his maths - tough work for me, but someone has to do it. So I shall not argue about living in Oxford from time to time, and there are compensations such as good pubs and bookshops. And of course daughters need their mums, so Christine will be able to be there for Charlotte.

But it's all early days and if a junior lectureship was to come available in New Zealand who knows... No pressure Nathan!!
Just remember the grandchildren have to be bilingual - English and New Zillan. Your father in law requires them to be able to say 'fish and chips' and 'fush and chups' why?  - coss uz in New Zillian are chuss duffrunt.

Maori Language Week

Shipmates - Zane Alexander Smith was one year old on the 21st of July 2014 - An auspicious day and one month after the anniversary of my heart operation on the 21st of June 2013. Both of these events are not really connected except in my own mind. I remember wondering before the operation whether I would live through it all to see Christine and the children again and also whether I would  live to see our first grandchild. I made it through and I am not disappointed. 
Whanau are the true riches of this world - and as it is Maori Language Week this week in Aotearoa New Zealand it is appropriate to say this ......
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shiver Me Timbers Shipmates If It Isn't - Sea Fever (Again)

Painting by Claude Monet
Shipmates, if I've posted this poem before I give you permission to whack me with a teak belaying pin; but in defence I think some things bear repeating.

Sea Fever
By John Masefield 
I must go down to the seas again, 
to the lonely sea and the sky, 
And all I ask is a tall ship 
and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's 
song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face,
 and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again,
 for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear 
call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day 
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown 
spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, 
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way 
where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from
 a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream
 when the long trick's over.