Gathan Beaga


The reverse side of a bottle of 1996 Stonecroft Syrah.“Wine maketh glad the heart of man” – or it would if it were any good. Unfortunately the bottle in question is a bit old and past its best; the eleven years in various spare rooms have done it no good.

Today was wet and cool. B₂ has a cold. I made a beef stew using the slow cooking crockpot thing, which we ate with mashed potato and washed down with red wine.

It feels like winter.

We even did our “brave the weather and go out” thing: after lunch we went to have a look at the Māori MARKet. It was pretty interesting, apart from the bit where I insulted an artist by carelessly saying “There’s quite a bit of good stuff here, isn’t there.” But there really was, even if “stuff” probably wasn’t the best descriptive noun.

I particularly liked a lacquered steel piece, by1 Israel Tangaroa Birch, completely black like a Hotere, but then under certain lights showing a deep red ring, glowing like some vast secret. There’s lots of symbolism here relating to Te Po that I cannot attempt to relate adequately.

The other piece I really liked, and even considered doing something about, was by Reuben Friend: a painting called Union Black, a great reworking of the New Zealand flag with a black field overlaid with traditional elements rendered black on black (can anyone guess I like Hotere?). But it got its red sticker from someone else before we’d even thought about it little bit.

And that was our excitement for the day.

So here we are at home, watching a video and finishing that bottle of wine. The fire is on.

And it is winter.

1 I write as if I know something about these artists, but I don’t. Neither of the two that attracted my attention today were people I’d ever heard of before. Which is not surprising give how little Art I have in my life. (This is something I want to change.)