The Answer to Stark

by | Jul 19, 2012 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

It’s cold but bright. In the afternoon I heard a song that has been absent for months. Yes, the tui has returned, and here it is, eating the golden melia berries. Usually the tuis like nectar best, but I guess in late winter, a bird can’t be too choosy.

 A kingfisher waits on a rock, patiently.

And little Miss Mira requests the pretty plate for her mandarin pieces. Here they are, making a splash of brightness on a stark winter’s day.
‘Why do the dish and the spoon have hands and feet?’ she asks, after studying her book of nursery rhymes intently.
Now, how do you answer a question like that?
I tried: ‘Because it’s in the person’s imagination, who did the drawings.’
Ah-ha, she knew just what I meant!
‘I have a friend in my imagination – called Pretty.’
There we have it: the secret to surviving those days when winter seems to be dragging its heels like an old tramp. A friend called Pretty is just the thing to cheer us up. Imagination. It will take us far.


  1. Lynley

    How lovely the Tui has been singing for you Juliet. That pretty song cheers a dull day in winter too.

    I haven’t noticed them eating Melia seeds. The Tuis here are feasting on the neighbour’s Protea at the moment and also the nearby red flowering gums. They are wonderfully adaptable birds.

    Grandma’s special plate sounds a delight that is well remembered by your wee one.

  2. juliet

    Lynley, like you I love to hear the tui sing. I was fascinated to see it eating the melia berries – the first time I’ve ever seen that. i picked up that plate recently at the op shop, thinking it would be special for something – and now I know what! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Ruth G

    How wonderful to have visiting tui, and a granddaughter who appreciates the special plate.

  4. lifeonthecutoff

    Oh, Juliet, between the tuis and Mira, I feel my heart singing.

  5. Max

    how cute, a little friend called pretty!!!! clauds little imaginary ‘friends’ are all fantasy icecreams and lollypops (she’s much more generous with these than i am with the real thing!) x

  6. juliet

    Ruth, I feel very fortunate. I hope the tuis come to sing in your garden soon.

    Penny, my heart was singing too!

    Max, I smiled at Claud’s fantasy friends who are good enough to eat!

    Thank you all, for visiting and leaving a comment. It’s nice to know you are there.

  7. Hotly Spiced

    I love the tui bird. It is so gorgeous in its black and white colours. They must find it so hard during the winter months to keep warm and well fed. Your granddaughter is gorgeous and seems to ask the most inquisitive and mind-enquiring questions! xx

  8. juliet

    Hi Charlie – yes the tui is a special bird, and so is my little one. Such a beautiful age she is at. Thank you.

  9. Marja

    How lovely a friend called pretty and the plate looks pretty as well.
    Tui was my scouting name which resulted in a special interest in that bird

  10. cecilia

    Oh the Tui, such a magnificent bird, The sound of home. And how lovely to have an invisible friend called Pretty. Mine was called Mrs Flowers. Have a lovely winter day in that cold hard sunshine. I love those days.. c

  11. juliet

    Hi Marja,/Tui and welcome back! You have a long=term connection with the tui. Thank you.

    Cecilia, Mrs Flowers sounds like a great friend to have too. I’m sure you would benefit from flying in for a big dose of cool and clear. Thank you, I love the tui too.

  12. cecilia

    The thought of that cold clear NZ winter day is very attractive today!! laughter.. but it will come and this heat is like a spa every day so my skin is very clean!! c


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