Beautiful armour

Prompt: Hidden scars

I looked at the carefully blended eyeshadow,
and the eyebrows that held the perfect arch…

The long, thick, dark lashes that held
the perfect amount of curve…

Cheekbones subtly highlighted, and skin
so soft, so smooth, that it seemed impossibly,
improbably youthful…

And a sweet cupid’s bow mouth in a shade
that made me think of the heirloom rose
Mother used to tend so carefully…

And I marvelled over artistry so clever
that no one would ever look at her and
guess at the scars she hid beneath
the elegance and sophistication.

The edge of the Coromandel Peninsula

The distinctive cry of gulls
provides a familiar counterpoint
to the low murmur of
salt-scented waves.
Splashes of white decorate
water that leans more toward teal
than the Pacific Blue that
carries its name.
We steal a mental snapshot
as State Highway 25 carries us
around the next corner,
and the next,
imagining
this is how it will remain,
preserved as in our memories,
yet it changes
even as we watch.

Lost in the keep

Prompt: She got lost in the castle.

She trailed her hand along the wall, feeling the coarseness of the stone bite into the soft pads of her fingertips. Her footsteps echoed, a hollow, lonely sound that spoke of her insignificance and mortality. Quiet, fearful pants turned to gasping coughs as dust swirled up in resentful swarms to protest her intrusion into their shrine to time. Then, without warning, the solid reassurance of the rock gave way to a gaping vacuum that reached out and jerked her in.

Murphy’s Aurora

Apparently New Zealand is in the middle of a ‘super massive’ Aurora. The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, are supposed to be the brightest they’ve been in two years. Photographing the Aurora is one of the items on my photography bucket list, so when they said that visibility would be better from the east coast, I headed to my mother and sister’s house. They live about an hour away from me, on the east coast, whereas I’m on the west coast.

I headed up straight after work, and while Mum was making dinner, I did some research on how to photograph Aurora. I found this article really useful.

My mother and sister had a yoga class to go to after dinner, so I sat and read my book while I waited for them. When they came back they informed me that the cloud cover hadn’t dispersed as predicted, and so we might not be able to get a clean shot. I figured I might as well make the most of the two-hour round trip, so I suggested we head out and take some photos of the Auckland city lights at night. Well, we set up our tripods and snapped some shots, but the wind kept buffeting our cameras and ruining the shots. Then it started to rain.  It clearly wasn’t meant to be.

As it turns out, we were never going to see the Aurora. Firstly, it was only going to be visible ‘as far north as Wairarapa’. Ugh. That’s nearly 8 hours’ drive south of me. Secondly, there was a full moon. Thirdly, it was delayed and didn’t arrive until 6am which means it was only there at daylight when no one could see it anyway.

My sister was laughing at me, and pointed out that I had driven all that way to read my book in their house while they went to yoga. #fail

Then, in the way of Murphy’s Law, the motorway was closed for roadworks and it took me longer to get home than it should have. *facepalm*

I’d say that the moral of the story is to do your research first before leaping into action, which would have saved me the trip, but I actually don’t agree with that sentiment. Yeah, if you’re spending a lot of time or money on something, definitely do your research first. But spontaneity has its place. So, it cost me a couple of hours of my time. No big deal. We had a laugh, and learned some stuff.

My kids love it when my husband and I surprise them with spontaneous silliness, like driving to Pokeno (an hour’s drive) for an ice cream, or deciding that each person in the car in turn can decide which direction we turn at the next intersection. Ha ha, that last one saw us driving in circles around Blockhouse Bay. The kids thought it was hilarious though.

While I was at Mum’s, she asked me what I was reading at the moment. We share an Amazon account, as we both read romance ebooks. She reads more historical romance than I do, and she doesn’t read my m/m books, but there’s a lot of overlap. Anyway, I said I was in the middle of a m/m book (Found At The Bookstore by Christi Snow) and she said she was reading a Lori Foster book. She’d read When You Dare, the first book in the Edge of Honor series, then moved on to Bare It All, which is the second in the Love Undercover series. I asked her why she wasn’t reading them in order, and she said that because it wasn’t obvious by the title, she had no way of knowing the reading order. So I looked them up on Lori Foster’s website and made a list for Mum of the correct reading order for the two series. I also thought she might like the Buckhorn Brothers series, so I wrote down the order for that one too. So see, I did accomplish something. Ha ha!

Fire in the skies of Mordor


Fire in the skies of Mordor @nick_crarer

A post shared by New Zealand (@travelnewzealand) on Aug 17, 2017 at 10:44pm PDT

The cool, dim morning strikes a
contrast with the sear and sizzle
of dragon’s fire as darkened hills
are highlighted by the flames of
gold and tangerine that lick the
underside of the heavy swathe
of dark smoke that stretches as
far as mere mortals can see.