Friday 25 May 2012: A different sort of Koru
Oh dear... emergency blip day today, I'm afraid. In Bahrain, Gypsy is always good for an emergency blip but here, without a dog, I have to rely on the view. It was fairly overcast this evening and we got a quick, 90-second totally unexpected sunset. Then, about ten minutes later, I looked out of the window and saw that the clouds were lit up with a peach glow reflected on the surface of Tasman Bay.
I grabbed the camera, hopped in the car and dashed up to Davis Lookout at the top of Britannia Heights, where the power lines aren't annoyingly in the way. I did manage to break the speed limit (not difficult!) slightly but even so, in the time it took me to get there (about three minutes) the show was just about over. This is my best effort and I feel it's pretty poor, really. That thing in the middle of the sky is, sadly, not a UFO but an Air NZ Link plane leaving Nelson, which means that actually there is a koru in this picture, being the logo on the tailplane!
Because what I did want to blip was a koru, or Silver Fern ('Ponga') fiddlehead that is unfurling above our garden shed. I thought that I might be able to get up there with the aid of a ladder today and now that I think about it, perhaps I should have blipped the ladder. What a palaver! If anyone had been watching me they would have had a good laugh.... I realise that I looked like something out of an old silent comedy film. We have this supposedly 'miracle' Gorilla ladder that my mother-in-law persuaded my husband to buy because she'd seen some very seductive TV ads extolling its virtues and she wanted to be able to borrow it. Apparently it can do something like 57 different things and, quite possibly, the work of a set of Ginsu Knives into the bargain. Unless the person trying to operate it is me. In which case, all it can do is be heavy, awkward and baffling. I couldn't even perform the initial unfolding manoeuvre required to extend it from 'convenient foldaway' length to reach-the-top-of-the-shed length. So eventually I gave up.
Then I remembered that there's a long, simple wooden ladder hanging lengthways in the car-port. "Great, I'll use that!" I thought. Unhooking it from the brackets from which it hangs was easy. I had to walk it sideways out of the car-port, of course, so as not to damage the car which already has a huge crack in the windscreen. Carrying it over to the shed wasn't too hard, either. But then I had to stand it up. I am 5'5" and the ladder must be about 9' or 10', which perhaps doesn't sound very long - but it is surprisingly heavy. As soon as I shifted my hold on it and turned it into the vertical position, it became extraordinarily ungainly and I found myself being dragged rushingly forwards with it, muttering "Oh s***t!!" as it careened towards (luckily) the embankment of the upper garden level. I managed to stop it taking out the Passionfruit vine that my mother-in-law planted for me, but only just.
With some careful repositioning I did manage to get it up against the shed but it was ridiculously high and, more to the point, rested against the guttering which sagged slightly under its weight - so I knew that I mustn't attempt to climb it as I would either a) fall backwards off it, describing a slow but terrible arc, or b) break the guttering. I did briefly consider leaning it against the shed in such a way that the very end was resting on the roof, but that made it such a gentle gradient that it more resembled monkey-bars in a children's playground and I thought climbing it with the camera would be a tad challenging.
Anyway, by then I could hear my hard-of-hearing next-door-neighbour in his garden, yelling (as he frequently does) "I can't HEAR you!" at his wife. I envisaged myself scrambling up the ungainly ladder to stand on the roof of the shed, holding my camera with macro lens attached, to see him gazing up at me from the other side of the fence.
"G'dday! What are you doing up there?" he would probably ask.
"Oh, I just want to, um... take a photo of this koru for my blipjournal..."
"What? I can't HEAR you, sorry!"
It just all seemed too difficult.
So I struggled the ladder away again and gave up on the whole idea for the day. You might wonder why I didn't try photographing the koru with a zoom lens - well, I did that yesterday and found that it was too far away. I have posted a couple of photos on Flickr though so you can see what I was trying to get closer to!
The ladder debacle followed a more successful but equally frustrating exercise in buying concert tickets online. Having now done that, I feel that there's a lot to be said for the old way of buying tickets - in person, at a box office. This business of waiting for them to go online at a set time on a certain day and then vying electronically with 20,000 other people is nuts! It took me half an hour of clicking "VIEW TICKETS", receiving the message "No tickets are available at this time. Try searching with broader criteria such as 'Best Available'. Others may currently be viewing tickets that you want." Over and over and over again. Then suddenly and without warning, two tickets in the South Stand, Row H, Seats 19&20 are available!
"BUY NOW? You have 00:04:59 to complete this purchase." So, no pressure then....
We now have two tickets for Coldplay on 10th November 2012. I don't think I've seen Immy more excited about anything, ever - except possibly when she got an iPod for Christmas!