THE BIGGEST IMPOSSIBILITY
is to accept the advice so cheerily given: “Always expect the unexpected!”
But the unexpected is often pure serendipity too …
Let me set the scene: There I was in the Band Rotunda in Queens Park in Invercargill, happily testing the abilities of my camera with respect to the scenic scenery scenes and the passage of passing peoples (human-interest stuff) when a disembodied voice asked me very conversationally (and to mind a bit intrusively brashly) —
“What are you doing?”
—and normally being a fairly aware sort of man I was quite startled. I’d thought that I was alone in the rotunda. How anyone could have sneaked up on me should have been an utter impossibility. I glanced around, saw nobody so continued snapping my snaps secure in the knowledge that (a) yes, I am all alone here, and (b) now I know I’m going doo-lalley, and hey, it’s not all that bad. So far—
“What are you doing?”
Yup! Two beans short of a can, and emptying rapidly.
I looked around and there on the rail was a brightly coloured non-native. How nice. He flew down. With nothing but admirable sang froid I re-aimed the camera in his (her?) direction and snapped quickly as he/she/it strolled briskly towards me—
—chattering away and seemingly oblivious of my nonsensical replies (among other things he asked me the time but didn’t thank me when I told him).
What I found unexpected about this unexpected was my ability to accept at a moment’s notice that I could keep up my end of a conversation with a bird.
THIS NEXT ONE
is sad in a philosophical sort of way. New Zealanders, for all we delight in being fiercely free-spirited and independent with minds of our own blah blah blah are actually conformists and obedient to the nth degree. Southlanders especially take the latter qualities to heart—so when I was strolling through a graveyard visiting an ex-boss and I happened across this—
—I was gob-smacked. Our modern local cemeteries are stark, austere serried ranks of conforming tombstones with the only decorations or grave-goods allowed being flowers. Sometimes a blind-eye is turned to the (rare) teddy-bear, but statuary and ‘intrusions’ are OUT. So the above blew me away and evoked a loud honk of surprise.
Even more surprising is that the bottles of beer are both genuine, still there, and still full. The dog/wolf statue is the only such that I saw in the place—but the whole comes together to present a living picture of someone who recently was not only alive but VERY alive. This is indeed a celebration of a life that although too brief was well lived and meant a great deal to a great many people.
I prefer the older cemetery at the other end of the town (no formality beyond approximate rows), huge statues of angels with trumpets alongside simple little almost illegible ancient wooden crosses—the full range of social accomplishment set-in-stone as it were. Anyway, I like marble …
THE TELEMICE ABOVE
Once I had an interesting and well paid job that had boring bits. During the boring bits I doodled (illicitly). One such is at the top of this page … let me explain: The Spouse (The Fiancée at the time) was some forty kilometres away and it was lunchtime. I doodled, alert but bored.
The Fiancée was contemplating lunch, missing me, and doodling. She is an artist which probably explains the minor differences but to my mind those are two identical drawings.
When I got home that night and presented my magnificient doodle with a cheery flourish she went all quiet, excused herself, toddled off briefly then came back with hers. No collaboration, both spontaneous — make of them what you will.
Expecting it, I was not …