Is it day four or five? Maybe six?
Nope. She’s a week gone already and today it’s stopped raining. Briefly. The sky’s still got that don’t-make-a-wrong-move-suckers-or-I’ll-let-rip look. It’s morning and I’ve just delivered Billy breakfast in bed – fruit toast with plum jam and a large coffee. Not my finest work, but outweighs the usual grunt. I’ve done the dishes too. This always strikes a flare in the dear boy’s eyes given how fond he is of cleanliness.
We’ve had our friend Ed to stay with his enormous lens, a pet guinea pig, two stylish tripods, a wacky mind and an adorable three-year-old. Having such activity in the house seemed to ameliorate the writing frustration and put paid to the imaginings of ghosts for a few days, and now the house is remarkably quiet – settled in mist.
We ventured up to the top of Rainbow Mountain courtesy of Rob at DoC and a four-wheel drive. The day was picture-perfect – blue and crisp allowing spectacular views to the Ureweras, the snow capped peak of Ruapehu and down to a steaming Waimangu Valley. Ed got some footage of us and it sure was nice to sing about a mountain sitting on the very top of one.
I’ve been writing a song about my historical heart-throb, Mr Alfred Warbrick – a dashing celebrity in these parts some 120 years ago for his boat-building prowess and gallant rescue missions post eruption. He lived a long life but from what I can garner appeared to have remained unmarried. Oh Alfred, if only we could go back an age….
Billy has alighted from bed, pleased with the tidiness of workplace and kitchen, ready he says to write a song. Fancy that. Good thing we’re here. Our songs this trip (so far) seem to straddle the real and the imagined, the loathed and the adored. They deal with those sequestered, they ache for the revival of a perfect world.
We’ve both read Don Stafford (a local historian of repute who passed away when we first arrived here)’s book Wild Wind From The North which details Hongi Hika’s gruesome revenge on the Te Arawa people. It’s a fascinating but spine-tingling read and I’m interested to see how the idea of utu or retribution might surface in a Teacaddy tune.
I trust the real world is still there, just as we left it. The pigeon hasn’t been visiting much lately so I do apologise for the tardy contact. It seems the deeper we get into winter the more isolated our mountain makes us.
Best, Betty x
P.S: I have a terrible head-cold that is destroying olfactory pleasure and making recording a great deal more nasal. Feel free to send home remedies or pharmaceuticals.