8/31/05

hi mum

“the same week our fowls were stolen, Daphne Moran had her throat cut.”

I’ve been trying a little to read some New Zealand writing whilst here, you know. cultural experience no. 267. I asked friends what I should read. they asked what I’d read. the only thing I could think of was this great book my mum recommended when house-sitting for them earlier in the year. scarecrow. by Ronald Hugh Morrieson. this is in North Queensland & the book was given to my mum, Prudence by her dad, Bill when she was 15. it’s a gothic tale of a sex-criminal in small town new Zealand. narrated by a 12 year old boy. granddad bought it for mum, maybe because it had a character in it called Prudence. and being the only Prudence around at the time, and being teased for that at school she might’ve needed support, poor prunes. in the book Prudence is his big sister who is blossoming into the most beautiful girl in town.. it’s a great book. but no one here I’ve spoken to has heard of it.

which is why I was happy to see it mentioned in an article in the dominion post, noted as the author’s favourite opening line in a book. hence that line about the fowls. I want more favourite first lines. anybody? Raymond Chandler’s. the lady in the lake. reminds me of kate. hi kate, how’s that report looking???

anyway Prudence was ok. everyone was jealous when two years later The Beatles wrote a sweet song about her. “the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you, dear prudence… won’t you come out to play…”

but what about the kids of today who will never be given a brilliant book like this because it brushes on some of the more unsavoury aspects of society. the times... speaking of which.

I have been trying to read the paper everyday as part of my house-sitting / cultural-experience regime (it’s tough) but I get a little glazed over by all this election business. it’s hard to engage when you have no stake & the system is totally different. I’m gauging public opinion though, and it seems that a lot of people who voted for Helen last time won’t be doing it this time. i hope they're just foxing to give helen a scare… what will all of the Australians who threatened (emptily?) to move here after another disgraceful election result last year do when New Zealand has a coalition between Winston Peters NZ first party & Don Brash’s National? (if he’s in the nuclear-free policy would be ‘gone by lunchtime’… and he would’ve done the same as George W in the Iraq situation) hairy maclary. move to where? or just fucking vote John Howard OUT.

anyway. I’ll stop talking politics, I know it doesn’t suit me. I’ll post more lego pictures. on that happy note. sweet dreams sunshines.

oh, one more New Zealand note. at work the other day, with the kids… pinning up cool kids paintings on the notice board. I asked someone to pass me a pin. 2 children handed me pens. it’s true. you really have to ask for a pun. if you wants to be clear...

self portrait in lego on a jersey under a storm cloud on the flloor

3 comments:

little nemo said...

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L P hartley, the go-between. haven't read the book though.

computerkate said...

ah yes, The Lady in the Lake. Best first chapter, only a few pages but perfect setting of scene style character humour.
I couldn't remember the first line though and you have to love the internet, this site http://www.giga-usa.com/quotes/topics/books_first_lines_t013.htm said it's "The Treloar Building was, and is, on Olive Street, near Sixth, on the west side." which I guess is not All That just by itself

But how about these ones from Chandler...

"The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers"

"The voice on the telephone seemed to be sharp and peremptory, but I didn't hear too well what it said--partly because I was only half awake and partly because I was holding the receiver upside down."

"I wasn't doing any work that day, just catching up on my foot-dangling."

beautiful pulp

computerkate said...

ps. The ballooning report is coming, I promise