Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wonderfully wrong

AUSTRALIA: To my mind this land I have just arrived back from is perfectly described - as "wonderfully wrong" - by the author of the book I happened to have taken with me to read in that wonderfully wrong country for the occasion of my uncle's funeral.

Wonderfully wrong: In two words, this English author (Penelope Lively) has managed to encapsulate the essence of Australia, something I fear has eluded me in my two-hundred-plus-page memoir, despite Australia being my country of origin, not hers.

To be fair - to myself - this Booker Prize-winning author was not describing the country as a whole but its bird life, so my usage is slightly different. She, however, must take the credit for the best encapsulated description of a country there ever was.

As for my brief visit to that wonderfully wrong land, principally for the occasion of my uncle's funeral, which may, I hope, also be described as wonderfully right without disrespecting my uncle, who was done proud by his sons, grandson and wider family in one of the most respectful and life-affirming funerals I have ever been to, the rest of my trip was kind of wonderfully wrong. There were lots of family and friends catch-ups squeezed into the five days with all the wonder and wrongness that these sorts of things, done in a hurry, seem inclined to entail (in Australia).

My mother, whom we stayed with, was in fine, wonderfully wrong form, refusing to concede in any measure, at the age of 91 going on 92, that her collision with the side of the house whilst reversing signalled a diminished capacity to judge distances and the possible beginning of reduced driving activities for her. I can't think where she gets her obstinacy from.

As a result of the wonderful wrongness of our Australia visit this photo of an 'ocean of cloud', as my better-half companion on this trip described the view from our China Airways return flight taken as we descended into Auckland against the stewardess's command that the camera be turned off because an 'electronic device', was the best I could do to capture this idea of wonderful wrongness. Considering I might have crashed the plane in taking it, though my camera is not a phone or electronically connected at all, I think it is a fitting visual accompaniment for this post on Australia's wonderful wrongness, especially as it is, technically speaking, New Zealand cloud.  



  1. Another wonderfully right post to reflect on, and yes, it’s amazing what one can see from a window - Aotearoa - the land of the long white cloud.

  2. Yes, indeed. Long, white and thick :)