Thursday, 20 September 2012

Visited the Chinese garden in the Pearl yesterday and enjoyed an exquisite lunch of delicacies. Then went for a Happy Hour dinner at an Indian place later. Portland groans with the satisfaction of fine foods promoted through the Happy Hour idea. Food at half price. How can a girl ever get skinny living here? Yet Melanie stays willowy. Not fair.
Also visited the Contemporary Art Gallery. I am astounded to learn that 90% of the world live in slums!!!At the gallery, an small building expo shows the ways housing can be cheaply built for these unfortunates and adapted to their geographical situation. There just is no justification for their governments not to get off their arses to house their people. And this includes the New Zealand government and bureaucracy esp. now with the problem of earthquake-smashed Christchurch.
Then Powells' the biggest private book store in the States. What an eye opener it is. I was happy to find they have my book Memories in the Bone on their website. So introduced myself to a lovely lady called Tina and handed her my ever-educational name card. Promising. Memories can be found on all ebook sites, people. You will love that book for its imagery and characterisation enveloped in a great historical plot. Enjoy!
And finally, went to a neighbourhood cinema to see Queen of Versailles, a doco that was in the Auck. film fest. this winter. Tells of the Seigals and their lifestyle that went crashing in the 2008 financial fiasco. What sinful, tacky opulence. What useless people! I recommend you all to take it out on Blue Ray and learn a lesson or two on what not to do if you ever strike the National Lottery.Retain your dignity, for the sake of the planet. When so many live in slums, one can do without a 90,000 square foot house with 19 bathrooms.
Live well and happy. I still think the best things in life can be free. Like the sunsets.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Well now, it's been a little while since I last posted and that's because I don't want to sound like a desperate chirping baby bird that says, 'feed me, feed me' or in blogspeak,  'read me, read me'. However, I may have got that all wrong and the intention of a blog is  'read me, read me.'
Anyway, in the meantime, I have been to Seattle, built in a lovely space with mountains, woodlands and Puget Sounds that makes our Auckland's gorgeous Hauraki Gulf look a tad dimunitive. And below the waters, I have been told, are the great Gooey Ducks. Heard of them? Those of you who are from there?Gooey Ducks are the biggest misnomer for a kind of a giant shell fish with the rudest appearance ever. Highly priced and prized on the Asian markets as a Viagra substitute because of its great resemblance to the human male genitalia, it tastes not  much different from an abalone - so I am told by a young woman who has eaten it in Seattle. Okay, some male followers would dispute my opinion that its resemblance to the male genitalia is rude, but this is an old bird speaking!
Anyway, I visited the newly opened Chihully gallery and glass garden that is stunning and then shot up the Space Needle which I've always called the Seattle Tower, to have an overview of the surrounding environment. Such a pity that Mount Rainier is blanketed by the smoke from nearby burning forests on the other side.  But the few minutes' view I had of it while being driven by dear friends, Kati and Al on the way back from viewing the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, was of a spectacular, rugged version of Mt. Fuji, Mt Tarawera, etc. It's a gutsy mount of volcanic rock, and a great pity its beauty is shrouded for now.
Overall, my long weekend there visiting old chum Kati and her lovely Al has been most enjoyable and it is, as all of you would appreciate, great to catch up with old friends and find you have both grown older and wiser but still retain the values that bonded you together in the first place. And though it was my second visit to that lovely city, I feel I know it better this time round. Thank you, Kati and Al and for introducing me to all the lovely vegetarian eateries around the place.
Also spent time at the famous Pike's Market, laid on movie set, which actually puts Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco in the shade - it is so big, so interesting and so full of the local die-hards who certainly know how to entertain as they sell. My only regret is that I didn't have time to investigate the underground streets of the old city. maybe next time. Meanwhile daughter Melanie of the BlueLotusHenna fame is taking me to the tunnels of the Shanghai'd. Mort of that later.
Catch you next time.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Well now, this is Portland Calling!! An update on my travels so far. Spent a good week in San Francisco, city of my dreams, Golden Gate Bridge seen through thick fog, cold wind blasting up my skirt, great food to expand the ever-growing waistline and miles of uphill and down dale to lengthen the shins and calf muscles.To befriend Mark Twain, I must borrow his line -I've never felt so cold as that summer in San Francisco. But what a nice week it was. Met a lovely Dutch girl Inge with the very nice double-barrel surname and hung out with her and a couple of others she picked up later in the week. That is the bonus of travelling alone. Highly recommend it.
Then  twelve damn hours at the airport to wait for the replacement flight to Las Vegas. My 9am flight on United was cancelled and could not get on till the 5.55 pm one which was then 2 hours late!!! Needless to say, I was sooo browned off by the time I walked into my hotel at midnight to find loud 'funky'music blasting out all over. I must admit I dislike the town intensely, can't do desert and heat and keep my dinner down and a cool head up at the same time.
 As I sat at the quick food joint adjacent to the Flamingo and gazed out at the scores of fat, people pushing buttons on the poker machines; faces and brains on neutral, I came up with the thought, LV is an adult Disneyland with evil intent, founded by evil men way back to use as a most effective tool to plummel the money out of the gullible. The only saving grace is Ka - Cirque de Soleil the most incredible show ever!! In Auckland I used to drool over the Met Opera's Ring Cycle with their great staging, but Cirque leaves that far behind. I truly recommend it to you all for quality entertainment. That was what saved Vegas for me.

 Got out after two days and am now in Portland, Oregon, at last a real city! Been here before and loved it. Daughter Melanie works on her henna art here and last night took me to the first of her yogic chant class. Quite, quite amazing. the clarity of the voice from this beautiful child of my womb. Okay, please forgive me for clucking.

Oh, and needless to say, all along the way I meet lovely people to whom I give my calling card with Memories in the Bone cover and precis of story. Now my line there is 'Read it and tell me what you think and maybe one day when I get famous, you can say "I knew her when...." Adios till the next time. Wish you all very well  and keep happy and healthy.