Monday, October 10, 2005


The other day Al, Katie and I went down to the South Coast to collect seaweed to put on Al's asparagus patch. Thanks to a tip from Sarah in Island Bay we knew there were mountains of seaweed on the beach between Lyall Bay and Houghton Bay (just past the point called Arthur's Nose, on the 1930's map I am currently making into a book). 'Beach' is a word that conjurs up images of white sand, blue seas and palm trees doesn't it? Not on the South Coast I'm afraid. Think crunchy grey stones, turgid Antartic currents and salt-blasted grass instead.

Even though the morning in Wellington had been clear and warm, by mid-afternoon it was blasting an icy wind on Cook Strait. I changed into my long underwear and about six more layers of clothing including a colourful hat (knitted by 100 year old Edna), so it wasn't too bad. There was no incentive to dawdle so the three of us swiftly filled the trailer with a mound of seaweed that from a distance looked like cold brown slime. Up close however, (and oh boy, did I get up close) it is beautiful: an incredible diversity of colours, textures and shapes.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Just catching up on your blog and thought I would say hi! Collecting seaweed is always a task I remember I want/intend to do when I am already at the beach looking at the mounds of seaweed with no receptacle to put it in! Must put sack or other type of seaweed holding material in car now.

PS I now want to read ALL of the books on that list. Currently reading Margaret Atwood essays on writing.