The Wing-Friends and Other Books

In Blogger's slideshows images are greatly reduced, so lose much of their impact. And captions added to them in Picasa Albums vanish, so the images shown above are: the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Earth, Earth with New Zealand circled, New Zealand, Auckland & the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island, some native NZ forest, a Fantail and chicks, various doves, etc.

(If you want to see the first ten images in their original size, they are in a posting made on the 24th of November 2011.)

My book The Wing-Friends is an imaginative tale of a small brave boy, a magical adventure, a magnificent Pegasus and the wonderful Kingdom of the Pegasi. It has been given very good reviews, and virtually every reader on Goodreads has so far awarded it five stars. It is available here. Some of my other writings are available as e-books, such as The Lower Deck, which is an over-the-top take on Waiheke happenings--sort of.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Thirteen doves greeted me this morning when I went outside at seven o'clock, on this the 241st anniversary of Beethoven's birth on the 16th of December 1770. To my surprise most of them look a lot cleaner than they did yesterday; some almost have their pristine whiteness. I wonder how they do it. Whatever their secret, the newest chick has yet to learn it. She still looks as if she has been stained all over by strong tea. I expect it was rain dripping on her through the great epiphytes that they like to roost under.

The present Waiheke Island Board has invited the incumbents who were elected in the previous local-body term to a joint meeting this afternoon to consider various matters. Obviously they cannot do the job without us and need a bit of help. ;-)  I shall raise the matter of introducing electric vehicles to the island ASAP, starting the Nissan Leaf. I talked to the managing director of Nissan New Zealand yesterday and he is happy about that proposalt (a pity it cannot be <a href="">the EStarCar,</a> but the next best will do very well in the meantime). I expect that will get a good response, because the present chair is environmentally aware, and one of the members has just been elected to Parliament as a Green MP. The Council should be taking the lead in the move from the Black Stuff to electrons, and I shall push that hard.So today my work work is going to be very compressed, squashed between the clock and a double Board.

But first things first... Beethoven's anniversary must of course be celebrated in grand style. So my working day is beginning to the majestic sound of his Ninth Symphony, the Choral, played by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert Von Karajan, the recording made by DGG in the 1960s that formed part of their prize-winning set of all Beethoven's symphonies.

The whole performance is magnificent, but I particularly like the way Karajan brings out the slow movement. There is a moment after the two themes are resolved together that no other conductor that I have ever heard does in the same way. Only a few notes, but it lifts the soul to a wonderful, unimaginable place.

The choral finale, of course, is the supreme movement, reaching a heaven-storming climax on the words 'vor Gott' in the line that in English means 'and the cherub stands before God.'

Thus a day blest by God: beginning with doves, Bible readings and Beethoven's Ninth. Then work, then off to the joint Board meeting to think about ways of making wonderful Waiheke Island even better.

Now the choral finale is beginning its divine thunder across our office, so I shall publish this, and luxuriate in Beethoven's genius.