Monday, February 7, 2011

The Bum's Rush

Duncan Fallowell came to NZ a few years back then wrote a perspicacious book about NZ called 'As  Far As You Can Go.' 

He had the effrontery (read perception) to say all sorts of things about New Zealand which needed saying.

For example, when you look at Victorian photos of Auckland and look at it now, you feel like weeping at the loss
of identity. (I was up in Auckland today and walked like a silent ghost past the hideous new DeLoitte's building in Queen Street - a kind of vast glass urinal.)

The site was where a lot of artists like Goldie had studios, a vast brick tiara-ed building. I can just recall it from
my childhood. It had gravitas, style and weight. 

Anyway silly New Zealanders, of which there is a majority, got their knickers completely in a twist
because they weren't being flattered with garbage like 'Wellington is the coolest little
capital in the world.'  (the coldest little capital in the tundra?) We are such a needy bunch. So DF pretty much got the bum's rush.

But what I remember of his book was: he thought wooden villas were one of the loveliest creations and when he
stayed in one, he sort of fell in love with their woody capaciousness.

He has an unusual angle of sight, which I welcome in this commodified world.

Anyway, long story short, on my birthday, on a day so hot even the lampshade is sweating, he sent me this
lovely kind of postcard.

It is a languid disquisition on the power of books, of reading, of the company of words - set in London winter. 

If you have a spare ten minutes to drop out of life then I thoroughly recommend it.

A taste of London for you


  1. To my embarrassment I gave the wrong title to Duncan Fallowell's book which should be GOING AS FAR AS I CAN.....a subtle but very important difference....

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