I found a great way to avoid the sales.
The sand was full of weeny iron bits (iron filings? - a science lesson gone astray?). They stuck to the magnets on my son's train when he buried it. When I dug it up I thought it was a bizarrely similar yet much older abandoned train with anemones clinging to it (...always the most ludicrous explanation is the most obvious seeming one....).
We found the most beautiful dainty shells in bone white and indigo fading to lilac....
...before our attention was caught by a flash of electric blue (photo credit Mike, currently photographer in residence at Muriwai Surf School - my surf pics were tripe).
The beach seems the most appropriate place to end one year and bring in the next; something about
the tide draws me there at the close of the year. And what a year.
I've had a productive one which saw twenty odd publications, starting with Otoliths through Horizon Review, ending in December with The Bactrian Room. I wrote a screenplay, penned a couple hundred poems, got longlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Award and started Escape Behaviours (the poetry for which I wrote this time last year).
Thank you all who've supported me in myriad ways - I feel grateful, and optimistic for the New Year. Here's to a creative and fulfilling New Year for all of you!