Friday, May 7, 2010

100 not out!

The number 100 has got something that other numbers just don't seem to have. If you live to the ripe old age of 100 years, it is reputed that, if you are British, the Queen of England will send you a telegram! Forget it, if you only live to 99!

Imagine...., You are visiting a second hand car dealer. The cars..., there they are, sleek, glittering in the sun, and smelling of polish and a whiff of deception! Greeting you with great bonhomie, the car salesman whisks you towards a low slung machine that looks like it is already approaching the speed of sound, whilst standing still. "This", he says in oily tones, "will do 99 miles per hour!"

Nah, it's just not the same as "doing the ton" is it!

In Cricket (and I refer to this game again, just because I know how incomprehensible it is to most of you!)..., in Cricket, 100 is a very significant number indeed. It is known as a century, and batsman, and probably batswomen, seem to be calibrated in centuries. Statistics are particularly important in a game that is played over the course of 5 days in moments of sunshine between showers of rain.

A batsman/woman..., person of the bat, will be remembered for how many centuries they amassed in their career, and to a much lesser extent, how many 50s they scored.

Dipak Patel, who was born the same year as me, 1958 bless him, played cricket for New Zealand from 1987, until 1997. I always liked to watch Patel, he was a spin bowler who was also a most elegant batsman. Spin bowlers are rather fun as a species, they don't have to run far or fast which means that they can have very long careers, but they do have to bowl accurately, and with great cunning. By clever technique, they are able to get the ball to spin as it leaves their hand, and it can bounce sideways as well as in the up and down sense when it hits the ground in front of the person with the bat.

As I have said, Patel was an elegant batsman, he always gave the appearance of a man who could score many runs, and probably had numerous centuries under his belt. Sadly, the magical 100, never came his way. I was listening to the cricket commentary in 1992 when he made his highest Test score, 99 against England. Patel batted well until his score got into the 90s, then he appeared to get bogged down. When he finally, nervously, got to 99, his runs dried up entirely. He was stuck without being able to score a run. Time dragged on, and he faced ball after ball, bowled at him by the bowler. Then he seemed to crack...., finally when a ball was bowled at him, he simply set off to try to get his run. It was suicide, and he was run out!

So Patel never reached 100 in Test Cricket, which was a shame. I always liked him as a player and as a personality.

At 99 blog posts, I too became stuck! The days that I would normally write the blog, became full with other things. Slowly, the magnitude of the 100th Post grew in my mind! I wanted it to be a special post, because the blog has been something special for me, and the people who follow the blog and comment on it have become special to me too.

The Saturday, after my exhibition of Crystal Glazed pots opened, Laura and I went for a ride on The Seasider, which is a train that runs twice weekly through the Summer months, from Dunedin to Palmerston and back.

This part of the railway, is one of the most beautiful in the country. Bill Campbell, who runs the East Otago Review, a Palmerston based newspaper, kindly arranged the trip for us, and we have taken a great many photos for him that he can use in the Review when writing about the railway. We will send him an article as well. Here are one or two of the photos I took from the train.

I hope it will encourage you to come over to New Zealand, and to have a ride on the Seasider train too!

A couple of Sundays later was ANZAC Day.

This is a special day in New Zealand, and a rather curious one too. It is a national day of remembrance in New Zealand, and in Australia, and honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey in World War 1. The Gallipoli campaign was one of those appalling military stalemates, where thousands and thousands of lives were lost on all sides of the conflict, and, in the end the troops, who had been sent to knock Turkey out of the war, had to be evacuated.

In New Zealand, the morning ANZAC parade and service is drawing larger crowds every year, and I actually went this year to take photos for The East Otago Review, as, even Bill Campbell couldn't be in three or four places at once!

We live in a very small town, but more than 150 people turned up to the parade. We still have some veterans from various wars here, so they lined up along with our fire brigade, and 4 representatives of the NZ army. An army Sargent barked out orders, and people stood to attention.

The army Sargent was a young woman, who I spoke to after the parade. She was an army Medic, who "dealt with anything from coughs and colds to medical trauma... Never a dull moment!" She had been overseas in East Timor a couple of years ago, and her husband, also a Sargent in the army, is there now.

A moving moment in the parade was when members of the public were invited to place poppies at the foot of the war memorial, and people slowly walked forward, two abreast. I counted just over 100 poppies that were left there.

I think of my grand parents on these occasions. War does not respect people, and inflicts suffering over everyone that its shadow passes over.

I have continued making some pots on the wheel and spent one week trying to make large ones, but mostly getting it wrong!

I did manage one of 19 inches high or so, which wasn't too bad.

but... believe it or not, I have almost taken some time off this week. I have been learning more about how to use my video editing software, and even did an experiment with stop motion animation, as can be seen in the video that accompanies this. The little modeling clay mouse on the video was attacked by the cat as I was trying to animate the clay mouse. The visit by the black cat was very funny, and totally unplanned! The cat was not too impressed that the mouse was not a real one, but did take several bites out of its tail, just in case!

Thank you to those of you who read, or follow this blog, and to those of you who leave comments. It has been a joy for me to hear from you and to be able to share with you some of our life and work here.

A respectful note to Her Majesty the Queen. Um..., I have another 48 years to go before I am 100, and mail delivery is not the most reliable or speedy these days, and it keeps on getting More expensive. With the threat of Global Warming, oil running out, and all the gloom and doom, I wondered if One would consider sending my 100th birthday telegram early, to beat rising prices, and to make sure I get it. I'll keep it safely until the great day! I remain Your most Humble and Devoted Servant, P. !


Linda Starr said...

what a great train ride that was, beautiful photography and scenery, wish I could come over there I would in a minute, perhaps one of these days before I am 100 in less years than you.

mudheartpottery said...

Peter, this is a great read for your 100th - I think you deserve a telegram! Keep your words of wit coming - especially the cricket analogies for those of us who understand this strange game.

Arkansas Patti said...

Happy 100th Peter and what a grand post it was. I adored your video!!!! Just priceless. However, I wonder when you will finally claim that little black cat as your own.
Wonderful pictures. You have a beautiful country.
Some day I hope to see a cricket match. Sounds interesting.

Linda Fahey said...

I was in New Zealand two years ago on Anzac day. When a soldier handed me the pin, he was shocked that I knew what it commemorated (I like history) I think about New Zealand a lot and can't wait to return're a lucky guy Peter to live in such an amazing place. And thank you for this post!

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a lovely 100th post! You did your blog-readers "proud." Ever since I read Ngaio Marsh's mysteries set in New Zealand, I've wanted to visit your beautiful country, and your photos have made the yearning almost irresistible! Only $$$ stand between me and world travel. Perhaps I should start playing the lottery!

I was touched by your photos of ANZAC Day. It's a "good and proper thing" that we make such observances to remember the sacrifice of those who serve in our respective militaries. It's a sad thing, I think, that future generations will need to continue the practice for those lost in present day.

I loved, loved, loved your cat and mouse video!

Amy said...

hope the telegram arrives soon. if new zealand was closer, I'd definitely come and visit! beautiful pictures... and what a big pot!

ang said...

hey peter stunning pics there...hehehh cute video..'100 not out' i do get the reference..pity i have no clue what it means...hehhe

Peter said...

Good to hear from you, Linda, Lyn, Pattie, Linda, Pat, Amy and Ang!

It was nice to be able to show you some of the beautiful scenery from this area, and I am glad you enjoyed looking at the pictures. It would be fun if you were able to come over and enjoy the train ride too! I will continue to post tempting photos!

That black kitten/cat does seem set to move in here, and now that she is a film star, she is even harder to resist! It was so funny when she came in the room where I was trying to do an animation of my little clay mouse. It really made what was just a first attempt at stop motion animation, into something worth keeping!

Amy, I'm still waiting for my Telegram, but... I keep on checking the mail!

Welcome to Linda Fahey, good to hear from you. I must put a link to your site from this blog, I really enjoyed having a look at the imaginative, and interesting images that you have there.

As to my references to the mysterious game of Cricket...., I'll keep those coming too. In the words of Lewis Carroll..., "He only does it to annoy, because he knows it teases." (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland).

Angie said...

What a wonderful 100th post ...I felt that it embodied YOU ...except there was nothing sketched/painted.

I loved your photos and cricket memories but your video was priceless. ... made even more so because of the I laughed when I read it wasn't what was meant to happen.

Happy 100th Birthday buy the way I wont be around by then lol xx

Peter said...

Lovely to hear from you Angie, and thanks for the Happy 100th Birthday wishes, I think you are the first to congratulate me, bless you! I'm actually wondering if we could all have our 100th birthdays early, it seems a shame to be too deaf, tender of tummy, or incapacitated to enjoy the event! Why not have a special birthday like that when one is full of enough bounce to really get into the celebratory mood! I think that HM The Queen, has got it right, as she has official birthdays around the world (several a year!!), on days that aren't her actual birthday. Having more than one birthday a year would soon help the tally mount up. I gather, from the internet (so it must be true!!), that the Queen was born on April 21st 1926. We celebrate the Event here on the first Monday in June, and I gather that it is celebrated on the second Monday in June in many parts of Australia, but it might also be held in September or October in other parts of Australia!!
With all those birthdays, who knows..., a 100th birthday in Our 30s is not out of the question!!!

Armelle said...

Happy birthday to your 100 th post Peter. As always, it's a great post, with great subtlety in the different levels of meaning. Would like to take the Seasider, so much.
Perhaps, one day ???
Nice video, you make me want to try.
As I am not a subject of Her Majesty the Queen, I will not have any telegram in 48 years, I am so sorry.

Hiiiiiiiiii......... to L G K

Peter said...

Hi Armelle,

If HM the Queen does send me a telegram soon, I will ask her nicely if she would mind sending one to you as well! I think it would be a fair reward for being a Kreativ blogger!

Making the video is great fun. I must say that it has been good for me playing with video. Sometimes I get too overloaded with work, and forget to laugh and admire the roses!

Best Wishes,

P,L,G, and....K!

Dad said...

Great MICE!!! Whatever next!
I can imagine Reepicheep's reaction if a mere cat bit HIS tail!

Nevertheless a photo of Kitty cat would be in order - after all, she stole the show... an Oscar perhaps?

Anonymous said...

hi peter, congrats on the centenary post and to a fellow 52 year old, i hope we make it to be centenarians ourselves. of course we'll be making wee little clay blobs by then, barely being able to lift a pound. lovely photographs.

Peter said...

Hello Dad,
Yes, do I take it you are nominating the cat for an Oscar?? We shall have to see about a photo to celebrate. Mmmm Reepicheep (from Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis) would have responded with a swift swipe with his sword! Clay is much more forgiving!

Hi Jim,
I suppose that between the two of us we must add up to 104. That's an amusing image about the two of us at one hundred (each) making "little clay blobs!". I suppose we will save a fortune in clay costs if we end up working that small, so age may have some benefits after all! Nice to hear from you.

Christine H S said...

One hundred, congratulations and thank you. Enjoyed it all, and was lost for a moment in that scenic train ride. Have fun with the video editing, a black and white somebody certainly is.

cindy shake said...

HAPPY ONE HUNDRED! Those photos are picture-postcard perfect. All of that beauty must be rubbing off on you ;o)

Peter said...

Thank you Christine and Cindy for your comments, I am sorry that they took a day or three to appear on the site, mysteriously my blog comments are ending up in my gmail spam at the moment rather than in my Inbox, so I missed them coming in when checking my mail. Technology.... EEEEEEK!

Anyway, thanks again both of you, always nice to hear from you, and I am glad that you enjoyed the train ride photos too!

Bethany said...

the pictures are beautiful peter, i wish i was as blessed as you to have that in my backyard. i wish i could visit one day!

Linda Starr said...

Hope you're doing ok, thinking of you.

Peter said...

Hi Bethany,
Lovely to hear from you! You would be most welcome to visit, it is fun for us to be able to show people around.

Hi Linda,
Thanks for getting in touch and for your concern. Things have been a little up and down here over the month, but I've finally got around to another post! Best Wishes to you, P.