Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Last of the Potatoes

About an hour ago we dug up the last of the potatoes. There weren't enough to send the major root crop producers into a price war but we felt good that at least another month will go by without handing out cash for staples.

I'm pretty sure we can't grow rice on our section without major earthworks. I know if you see paddy fields in the moving picture shows - the seven samurai pops into my head as I write this - there is a deal of water involved, your rice plant being a tad more water dependent than other plants I could name like the umm ... like the ... water lily! I knew I'd think of one.

The deadline for the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards 2008 is looming - 30th June - and I stand ready to enter. Last year I had nothing to submit. Oh but this year, this year, I have a lump of writing. Last year something odd happened in the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards. Since I arrived here and came to know of the award all the major prize winners have been women and girls (there being a Young Writer's Award category). Last year three males won each category - premier, novice, young. That's good isn't it? Once there was a scarcity of women writers, disadvantaged by their sex apparently. Take the creative writing class I belonged to last year. Hands up who can tell me what the majority composition of the class was? 'sright, you at the front, women. You said it.

This year there were no men in the class. I know, I asked teacher.
It can't just be because the digital world has revolutionised us in the way it said it would - can it? I remember the basic promise made almost eleven maybe twelve years ago now. The digital revolution with the abilty to manipulate data will make us all artists, writers, composers, educators. If not educators at least teacher promised to be just another voice in the mix. I reckon the promise - exciting as it seemed to be back then when hardly anyone knew a bit from a byte - was based on wooly thinking. The democratising effect of society where every nitwit's opinion was to be given weight could be realised in the digital world - the world where nobody would even be expected to have work criticised or backed up with argument.

Oh dear my own argument has drifted a bit. Think, Hugh, think. Was it something to do with George Eliot, Acton, Currer and Ellis bell? Fine blokes all. That was it.

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