End of blogging break

I’ve been taking a break from blogging since the beginning of the year. I won’t discuss the reasons here, and I make no promises as to how prolific I will be in the months ahead, but for now, I’m back.

One thing, though: I’ve been blogging lists of interesting links for more than seven years, but now I feel it’s time to give that a rest, as it does eat up a lot of time. I’ll continue sharing my favourite links on Twitter, but that’s a more spontaneous, less curated thing.

During my blogging break I rewatched several seasons of Stargate, which I have on DVD but hadn’t seen for some time. Here’s a list of episodes from the first three seasons of SG1 which, this time around, were my favourites: Hathor, Singularity, Tin Man, Bane, Holiday, 1969, Legacy, Learning Curve. Watching these DVDs was a therapy that helped me deal emotionally with a recent loss.

I thought I’d begin the year in blogging by looking back at what happened over the Christmas period. Here’s a photo I took in Ardrossan, taking a walk while others were listening to carols.

Ardrossan December 2015

Here is a tortoise that I gave to my nephew as a gift. On the right, Elliot trying hard to crawl, a feat he finally achieved a few days after I returned to Adelaide in January.

Here’s my sister giving my niece a ride on a boogie board. This was, again, at Ardrossan.

In classic childlike fashion, Elke decided she wanted to switch roles, so here she is giving her mother a ride.

Finally, two pictures of Elke and Josh, and finally Elke and her mother together on the board.

As I mentioned last time, my mother and I both received free copies of Mark Rosenfelder’s China Construction Kit, because I helped with the front cover design using a photograph taken by Mum. The copies arrived in a mysterious cardboard box several days before Christmas, which we left under the tree and opened with all the other parcels.

I still haven’t read the whole book, but one thing that caught my eye early on was the discussion of the classic 8th Century poem Lu Chai (~ Deer Park) by Wang Wei on pages 232-3. Several English translations are provided, and I felt moved to write a version of my own, distilling what I intuitively felt was the essence of the versions given into a form that best pleased my own muse. Here’s what I came up with (note that I wrote this before researching the poem online, and I refer to it as a version but not a translation).

An empty mountain. No human presence seen.
Yet voices are carried on the air.
The light of dusk again through forest branches
Strikes green moss that breaks its shaded depths.

I wrote about this on Google Plus, including links for further reading.

I won’t go into details about what we all gave each other for Christmas, but I do think it worth mentioning that my parents have promised me a trip to the North Island of New Zealand later this year. If you have any recommendations of places to visit you are welcome to share them.

My parents hosted a cocktail night on New Years Eve. I had a berryoska (with mulberry instead of blackberry), an FBI (which I’d compare to a more complex Baileys), and a Bonnie Prince Charlie (surprisingly bitter, but my favourite of the three).

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