Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life stories from our unfashionable dining room table

I'm eating a late night snack with a choice of literature in front of me. There is Hairy Maclary's Caterwaul Caper, which isn't much fun without someone on my knee practising her new vocab.

There is the terms and conditions of banking published by kiwibank. I thought John Key might kill kiwibank but it seems that this year you just wait for banks to die all by themselves.

Also on the table, a Spot What? book, a rugby league mouthguard, a toy motorbike and a torch. You need all of these accesories to be interested in the Spot What? book.

Beyond the sudoku, the sunglasses, discarded tissues and the join-the-dots book, an old Guardian Weekly proclaims that "Middle age needn't be miserable for women." I've already read that. It's partly about hormones. Once is enough.

My own choices at the table are a magazine on garden herbs and a book on twentieth century New Zealand Art. I've hammered the herb book before and jab yet another mental note to myself about eating nasturtiums and making el cheapo pesto.

So, Towards Aotearoa. The art book. There is a painting on the front of lots of stones, a tractor and a mountain. Taranaki? I look inside to find out. It's Michael Smither. Of course it isn't of a particular place. How uneducated of me. I watched a tv programme on Michael Smither once, during a brief stint when we had a tv. He was in a cold hut in Central Otago with no money and lots of small children and when his wife got fed up and asked him to do the dishes or change a nappy or some other reasonable thing, he sat down and painted a picture of her looking grim.

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