O bright day, marked with a still whiter stone!*

My daughter, who rivals Wikipedia in the breadth of her encyclopedic knowledge of random facts, tells me that ye olde Romans would mark fortunate days on a calendar with a white stone.Β  I like that.

Today, 4th September, is the anniversary of a fortunate day in my life. I have no white stones. I am not Roman ( in case you are wondering πŸ˜‰ ). But I do have some lovely white markers to place on this day.

This is what is going on my calendar:

a marker to represent my land;

Up the Gorge

Up the Gorge

a marker for my neighbourhood;

In my street

In my street: a clematis paniculata; possibly a hybrid.

 

a marker to celebrate my garden;

Michelia in my garden

Michelia in my garden

and a marker to honour my home.

My home; the centre of my life.

My home; the centre of my life.

Can you guess why this date is a white-stone one for me? If not, tune in to my next post. πŸ™‚

Whilst I am remembering a fortunate day, I must also pause and remember anotherΒ  4th September, four years ago. It dawned an impossibly beautiful, blue-sky, spring day, but but it was black, black, black, and the Romans would, quite rightly, have suggested a black stone for the calendar.

Pebbles:

A big thank you to my brother for the first photo taken in the Rakaia Gorge.

An equally big thank you to my daughter for her translation ofΒ Catullus*

 

Β© silkannthreades

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80 thoughts on “O bright day, marked with a still whiter stone!*

  1. Steve Schwartzman

    I found conflicting information about Clematis paniculata. The sites at

    http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/new-plant-page/native-clematis.html

    and

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_paniculata

    indicate that it’s native to New Zealand. Many other websites, however, show Clematis paniculata as a synonym of Clematis terniflora, which is apparently native to far east Asia.

    Eventually I came to

    http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a300,

    which cleared up the confusion. It says that Clematis terniflora is “synonymous with and sometimes sold as C. maximowicziana, C. paniculata and C. dioscoreifolia, although technically C. paniculata is a separate species native to New Zealand.”

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank goodness we are clear of clematis confusion, although my clematis seems temporarily confused about whether it wants to thrive or let itself become ant fodder. Time will tell. 😦

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Memories from Before Her Time | Lucy Lowry

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh no, no. That is a view upcountry from where I live. Probably take about 2 and half hours to drive there from where I live. It’s fantastic, isn’t it?

      Reply
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      1. LucyJartz

        You are welcome. Your story touched me too, and this is the result of it. Uninspired paintings are so hard to do, but deeper feelings bring forth more meaningful expressions. I hope it continues to bless you for many years to come for you healing and future life.

        Reply
  5. Pingback: Memories from Before Her Time | Lucy Lowry

  6. Mrs. P

    Your daughter and my husband would make great trivia partners…or perhaps opponents would be more interesting. It could be our own special showing of Jeopardy, the trivia sort. Rick just wishes he could figure out a way to make money out of all of the random knowledge. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Partners, that would be best. Then, with the idea that two heads are better than one, they might come up with a money-making plan as well. My daughter isn’t any good at sports trivia, though. Is Rick? My daughter won a bottle of expensive champagne at a trivia quiz night. The prize made her laugh because she doesn’t drink. She found a good home for it, however.

      Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        The only thing Rick knows about sport is that the answer is always Wayne Gretzky…lol

        He and the son of a good buddy used to go to some bar on trivia night and between the two of them, they’d shred the other players. A formidable team, indeed.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I’ll remember that next time I get a sports question. πŸ˜€ I sometimes do the online daily quizz from our newspaper. My score is often too shameful to tell, so I won’t!

  7. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    these is so much to like about this post.. and the one that follows. i love how you tip your hat (or gardening gloves!) to your daughter – how can we not love her, one with vast amts of trivia/knowledge. i would enjoy having her nearby!

    the phptos are lovely and they all loaded this morning!
    as i viewed them, i remembered a guest in my bed and breakfast – back in the 199’s.. they told me how much they loved their country of new zealand and hoped that i would be able to visit and see its beauty one day.

    through you an your posts, i am able to do that!

    i have been typing into a ‘white’ field’ and have no idea if what i hoped to type is what is there. perdon all errors as i try to send this!

    z

    Reply
  8. Pingback: It’s a fortunate day when you come to a good home | silkannthreades

  9. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Oh, you continue to surpass yourself time and time again. Each photo is more beautiful than the last. The idea of the ‘white stone’ is brilliant. I love small pebbles and keep a small glass bowl that Tom made, as their home. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the white clematis. We’re in the process of planning an additional garden for next year and want it to be in all whites.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I keep small pebbles and stones, too. There is something very satisfying about them. I am sure you could source a clematis paniculata in the US. They are truly beautiful. This particular one is next door to me and near a street lamp. I can look out my window at night and see it shining white in the street light. Such a pleasure.

      Reply
  10. Letizia

    I really liked your daughter’s poem where she mentioned that the Romans would mark a fortunate day in white stone (that fact has stayed in my mind). What a lovely idea to mark your fortunate day with the white around you. It made me think of what was white around me and as we’re in the middle of a rainstorm and there are no white clouds and there isn’t much to be seen at all, all I can see outside are my white Japanese anemones which are quite beautiful indeed. And inside, my white books. Also, beautiful!

    Wishing you a fortunate week πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Letizia. I hope you are having a fortunate week,too. The white Japanese anemones would be a beautiful sight, and it is lovely to read that you also thought of white books as a substitute for a white stone. The same idea occurred to me as you can see in my next post!!!

      Reply
  11. Just Add Attitude

    Em, I am not sure what event or occasion you are marking. A guess, well two guesses: your wedding day or the birth of your daughter? I think it is lovely idea to mark a fortunate day in a non- material ways and I love the images. Happy Fortunate Day. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Those fortunate days were in August. πŸ™‚ But a good guess. I hope the start of your photography course will be a white stone fortunate day for you.

      Reply
  12. MΓ©lanie

    one single word, Lady-G: magnifique… ❀ and congrats to your beloved daughter whose middle name could be… Encyclopedia Britannica! πŸ™‚
    * * *
    @"Michelia in my garden" – we call them "wild magnolias"… πŸ™‚
    * * *
    tomorrow I'm gonna be somewhere else, in our "old Europe" that's waitin' for you, too… πŸ˜‰
    have a flowery and pozitive weekend, ma'am! ❀

    Reply
  13. shoreacres

    Black and white, darkness and light, sunlight and shadow — always mixed up. Perhaps we should add a white stone to our pockets, as a talisman or touchstone for our days. Your white flowers are gorgeous — my favorite flower does tend to be whichever one I’m looking at, but I have a great preference for white, and enjoyed seeing these.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think that is a lovely idea to have a touchstone in our pockets. (Query? Would I remember to take it out of my pocket when I did the laundry?) Of touchstones, one of my favourites is at the Canterbury Museum. If you scroll down on this link you will see a photo of the stone. http://blog.authenticgreenstone.com/a-museum-view/ It is a mauri stone. Touching a mauri stone is one of life’s most profoundly satisfying experiences. In the Museum there is another touching stone of sorts. http://www.canterburymuseum.com/collections-and-research/experiences/real-people.aspx The reason why Amundsen’s nose is so differently coloured is because everyone who is going to Antarctica comes to touch his nose (for luck) before they go. Don’t know why. But it’s tradition. I would rather touch the mauri stone but then I am not going to Antarctica. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Sue Marsh

    Maybe because your survived the earthquake? Or maybe that was a black stone day for you, The photos, as always, are beautiful and your comments have given me an idea for marking my fortunate days in my diary – perhaps with a wee sketch! Thank you for your posts btw, all of them. They always give meaning to my life.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Sue for your generous comment on my posts. I love your idea of marking fortunate days in your diary with a small sketch. If I could sketch, I would. The September earthquake was a black stone day but, in a strange way, it was a white stone day too: a) because we survived and b) because it changed the way I looked at my world; for the better I hope. I love my home, and my things, dearly, but an earthquake teaches you, without a shadow of a doubt that ~ He aha te mea nui o te ao?
      He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
      What is the most important thing in the world?
      It is people! It is people! It is people!

      Reply
  15. jennyredhen

    I think the 4th of September must be your birthday. Also its the anniversary of our first earthquake … to be followed by 14,000 more…4th September 2010 was a kind of a death and the start of a painful rebirth for us all here in Chch. So envious of that Michaelia. I want a new garden and to start again. I saw a program on Choice TV yesterday ( sick in bed) about unusual shrubs for the home garden.. I want them all as well as a Michaelia

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hope you are feeling better today Jennyredhen, although it has been the sort of cold, gloomy day that is best spent at home, in a warm bed. If you can possibly have a Michelia, I would highly recommend it. It is probably my favourite tree in the garden. The 4th of September is not my birthday but I do agree that 4th September was a rebirth for all of us.

      Reply
  16. thecontentedcrafter

    Intrigue! I am late to this post and another from you is already lined up in the email I see – so I shan’t have to wait long! The alps, the clematis and the primula [which is what I tend to call it] are all beautiful. You show such beauty on your blog dear Gallivanta, I am so pleased to be following you!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am so pleased to have you as a reader and blogging companion. I will try not to keep you waiting too long for the next post and the answer to my question.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The flowers in the ring are primula. They grow in a type of cluster on the plant but I separated them out to place in the posy ring. I am sure you would recognise them if you saw them in their natural state in my garden. πŸ™‚ In the Sept earthquake one person died from a heart attack, possibly caused by the shock of the earthquake. Two people were seriously injured by falling buildings. Buildings and infrastructure were severely damaged but the real impact of Sept 4th was that it marked the beginning of a devastating series of earthquakes that none of us could have imagined. There have been 14,000 earthquakes since 2010, although, happily, most of them have been too small for us to feel.

      Reply
  17. Cynthia Reyes

    This entire post feels special – thank you for sharing it with us, Gallivanta. And I will wait for the next post to find out why it’s a fortunate day day, yes. Your daughter is a chip off the old block — you have a pretty amazing breadth of knowledge about all kinds of things, too.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You probably have a similar fortunate day but I hope you will be happily surprised by the reasons for mine. I do have some knowledge, Cynthia, but, these days, I lose track of it far too easily. One other nice thing that happened today is that I received an email to say that more of my blog has been added to the University of Canterbury CEISMIC archive. https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/4268/ So some of knowledge will be retained even if I lose track of it. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Sheryl

        Congratulations! It’s awesome that more of your blog is being added to the University of Canterbury CEISMIC archive. So much of what is on the internet has such a short life, and it’s wonderful that this blog will be archived and retained.

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope it doesn’t take me until next September to get round to telling you. There are at least two other blog post series that I haven’t finished. One of them has been waiting at least a year or more for a second installment. Oh dear. Thanks for your comforting thoughts for us.

      Reply
  18. angesco

    Is the happy anniversary when you returned to New Zealand? Or perhaps when you moved into your current home? Your brother thinks option 1 is more likely. AN

    Reply
  19. April

    Can’t wait for the next post, but I love the photos representing the white stones of your country. I have encyclopedia kids, but each one is different. One only has sports statistics. The other two know everything about everything. One has a bit more technology knowledge. Our daughter…she knows everything even if she doesn’t. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope you won’t have to wait too long. Encyclopedia kids are wonderful but, sometimes, it’s faster to extract information from Google. With kids, it just depends on which page they feel like opening, and it may not be the same page as you’re on. πŸ˜€ And, as we both know, the kids may well be asleep when you need that vital piece of information.

      Reply
  20. YellowCable

    The mountain picture is breath taking. I really like the flower arrangement (the marker) that you honor your home. I am curious what kind of flowers in that pictures are. They are lovely.

    Reply

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