It was remarkably difficult to get this photo of sunset over Wellington, New Zealand. The camera I had wasn’t great for low-light shots, and was way too heavy for the tripod I was using, which meant it wobbled everywhere if I so much as breathed near it, let alone hit the shutter.
Sunset over Wellington from Petone beach.
Still, I managed to get a photo that was reasonably illuminated and not too blurry – which I did by trying to work within the limits. And that, to me, is inspiring, because it’s something writers have to do all the time, if you think about it. And yet that doesn’t stop us. Does it? A thought to inspire.
The first British settlers to reach the Wellington district in numbers landed on Petone Beach in February 1840, a place seen here in a photo I took before the place was socked in with the permanent rain we’ve had since Easter.
Petone beach, Wellington district.
In 1840 the beach wasn’t where it is today; the land has been uplifted since by repeated earthquakes, and this specific scene would have been under water. The original beachline is off to the left, out of frame. But we can imagine the moment when the settlers spilled ashore from the colony ships, left to wade the last distance with their gear and equipment, their boxes and suitcases (and a piano) left stacked on the beach below the low-tide mark.
The swampy, rugged landscape they found was a far cry from what they had been promised when they agreed to one-way passage, half a world away. But they made the best of it anyway, and to me, that’s an inspiring thought.
One of the neat things about Wellington, New Zealand, is that every so often you find a statue of somebody important, and can pose next to it as if their importance might somehow reflect on to you.
I found this one in Miramar, near Peter Jackson’s studios. It is possible that there may have been better or more influential fantasy writers during the mid-twentieth century than J R R Tolkien. But in my opinion, probably not. After all, it’s instantly obvious to any passer-by who’s being commemorated here. And there was, of course, but one thing to do…
Long-time readers of this blog will probably know what a great fan I am of art deco and all things deco-styled. Including this Airstream-based coffee cart in Napier, New Zealand. It’s a fabulous shape, capturing the quintessential sci-fi look of the mid-twentieth century that often makes me think of Robert A. Heinlein’s stories.
Airstream coffee bar, Napier, New Zealand.
And if there was ever a great author – and I don’t qualify that with ‘science fiction’, though he was that too, it was Heinlein. A thought to inspire.
A while ago I had the chance to see Alexander Kartveli’s classic P-47 Thunderbolt take to the skies above me. In model form, at least.
Truly a model aircraft…
The work that the builders of these RT aircraft put into their hobbies is astonishing. Their models are real aircraft in miniature. And for me one of the highights remains this P-47D Razorback, the ‘Jug’ (Juggernaut) that helped wrest air superiority off the Luftwaffe and put it firmly in the hands of the Allies, over Europe in 1943-45. An inspiration for me to see it – even in model form – and, I hope, for you.
Rugged beaches are amazingly inspiring places. The sea brings chaos to the stones, artfully displaying them in ways that almost look crafted, then layers them with the detritus of distant places. It leaves us wondering about where that debris came from, and how it ended up just there before your feet.
Beach stones, Makara, New Zealand.
I think that’s pretty inspiring for any writer. And does anybody know what I am getting at with the title of this post?