Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A little of this and that,1.30am Belgie

Sitting here next to an open window at 1.30am, listening to 'Somebody's Darling' by Wild Geese.

I can't resist the lyrics, they take me back to my Central Otago life .... 5 years in Cromwell as a young wife and mother.

As another sunset steals across another day,
and shadows stalk the skyline as the daylight slips away
here beneath southern mountains
wrapped inside Otago clay
somebody's darling lies sleeping.


So these days I'm living with a daughter who uses my blog as a playground for her artistic self ... hence the parade of new blog headers.

Tonight I was handed this new poppy-themed header on a usb stick.
Promises were made that I could go back to my cat header as soon as this month of world war one commemorations was over.

Next month I'm photographing the Queen of England, writes this smiling woman.

I wish it was as I said but it's really about the fact I have the chance to be in the same place as her with my camera next month ... there's even the possibility of a very good position for me and my camera. We'll see about that and I'll be grateful however it pans out.

Anyway, my daughter ... she designs blog headers I simply adore so I guess the look of my blog might continue to undergo these regular transformations.

My grandfather had this little one-bedroom cottage in Northeast Valley that we loved to visit. He would put his long ladder down into the Leith Stream next door to the house and we would go searching for fresh water lobsters.

My grandfather George.
Without intending it, I've followed his war footsteps.
Initially living in Turkey with two visits to Gallipoli where the Turkish people were extraordinarily welcoming then later, this move to Belgium where I realised that his war on the Somme was only one country away ...

On Friday night I was given the opportunity to view previously unseen New Zealand wartime film from the archives. Dr Chris Pugsley narrated the silent movie while New Zealander John Broadbent accompanied him on piano ... in the tradition of all silent movies.

Imagine, I was sitting there in the darkness watching the young New Zealand men go through the draft selection, then training and on out into the war in Europe.

We reached the point where the battalions fighting at Mesen (Messines) in Belgium were marching past the camera and as I sat there, Grandad's crowd ... the Otago Mounted Rifles, rode by on their horses.

It was an emotional moment, despite the fact he came home after the war.
To see the vitally alive young men riding past somewhere quite close to the hall I was sitting in but 90 years earlier was the oddest sensation ... and so many of those men passing by went out and died on the battlefield.

The writer friend I was wandering with nudged me when she realised that the subject of her book was possibly up on the screen at one point. That moved me too because her man never came home ... he died and is buried here.

It was an incredible few days over in Mesen ...

6 comments:

Manic said...

Your new header looks superb, as does the entire blog update.
Your father was a brave young lad, coming all the way to far far Europe to fight. Like I said many times over, we are grateful, certainly if you know that New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in the world.
So the queen aye, well use your Kiwi talent and try and sneak up to her and ask for an interview. ;p

womanwandering said...

Argggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my grandfather, Manic, my grandfather!

If he had been my father I would be so old. He would have been 108 now if he had lived ... so I guess I would be about 88 now.

I have to write of him whenever I trip over him out here in the 21st century. It was so surreal to see his company on a film black and white movie.

Lisa said...

No modest apologies for the blog headers, my dear. They're gorgeous and I've really been enjoying them, greedy being that I am. :)

While I'm on the subject I have to sheepishly admit something you probably already know. I admire and enjoy the content - and the mind behind it, of course - but the initial draw for me is the eye candy. Just can't seem to get enough.

womanwandering said...

She's brilliant, isn't she Lisa. She suspected me of loving the blog headers because I'm her mother ...

The eye candy?
Lol, the blog headers? she writes, trying to think if any beautiful men have been posted on here lately.

Sigh, I missed Ralph Fiennes in Brugges ...

Manic said...

Your not eighty eight? And I thought you looked good for your age.

womanwandering said...

Beste Meneer Badness, I was told THREE times that people thought I was in my early 30s last week, they were stunned about news of my granddaughter ... really stunned. I'm going to stick with their interpretation of my age ...

Greetz, Di