The blue hustings have come down from the hayshed down the road, and now the dominant colour all through the countryside is green. The willows have finally unfurled, there are scrawls of willows along the Ida Burn, in paddocks, beside ponds. The lucerne down the valley, where the rainfall is higher, is almost knee deep. […]
Hail for a change, this spring morning. A friend rings and I leave the fire when the sky quietens and go outside to weed the lavender and bulbs while I talk to her. We discuss the coming protest about the big irrigation schemes in Canterbury. She’s unable to go; I will go for both of […]
Sleet moves in a swathe across my paddock towards the Dunstans. Bartali and I sit by my fire discussing the possibility of a bike ride in an hour, when we’ve both done some work. I’m reading Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space (five years after building my strawbale house) for research for an essay. So much […]
It’s not blossom, but the small withered crab apples adorning the trees through the village look like red flowers (without my glasses on), as if the trees have bloomed all winter. It’s a fine, still day and we head up the valley. Neither Bartali nor I have newspapers up our shirts. That’s how we know […]
This morning frost, and yet, beyond the silver sheen of grass and tussocks, a line of eight cyclists. The first group of riders on the rail trail for this coming season. Later in the day, the cyclists safely at their destination, the wind comes up strongly from the north west. The long grasses on the […]
There’s something in the air that has us looking around, thinking maybe the cold is almost over. “It must be spring,” I call across the road to Ken. He’s with his ute and dog outside the general store. “Yes, I was watching the birds flutter around the digger in my front paddock this morning. They […]
For the first time in weeks the land has dried out enough to ride my bike from the house to the road. The sky is grey though, and rain clouds coming up from the south. Time to get riding before the weather changes again. Contador and I settle into good pace up the valley. We […]
This morning the frost was so severe the pond froze. Small birds skittered on the surface and the resident paradise ducks were out pecking in the frozen grass. It‘s warm in the sun on the verandah, and lulled by that, I head off for a bike ride minus the second jacket, second pair of gloves […]
Snow is forecast down to 600 metres this afternoon. We’re at 540 metres so the hills around the valley will most likely get a good dusting. In preparation I put on two pairs of gloves and push a folded newspaper down the front of my jacket for wind chill. There’s a slight breeze. Nothing like […]
It’s a fine line – to exercise or not. Outside, the sun lowering, the bank of clouds dulling the light, the day almost over. Yet at the computer, such lethargy inside it seems a bike ride is the only cure. I don’t ring Bartali. If we go together it’s a much tougher ride and I’m […]
Jillian Sullivan writes fiction and non-fiction for children, teenagers and adults. Her work has been published for over twenty years and includes four novels, three collections of short stories and over sixty short stories for children and adults, published in New Zealand and America.
- Teaching memories America 2019 July 29, 2019
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 22: Late winter, Ida Valley July 29, 2019
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 21: Spring and Floods December 17, 2018
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 20: Hoar Frost June 5, 2018
- Cycling Central Otago – Day 19: Sun May 22, 2018
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