It is a matter of serendipity that the pohutukawa tree throws out a blossom apparently perfectly timed and styled for for a religious and cultural festival that developed on the far side of the globe. In Auckland this Christmas the blossoms have been particularly abundant.
Whole trees have exploded in flowers: some a muted red, some a little orange like rata -- and more than I can ever recall a brilliant, exuberant red that glows in the morning sunshine.
Yes, a few -- like the workmate who sulks at the office party -- have declined to open up, but in general the old trees are turning it on for us. It's a nice way to approach the end of a rough year, and thus pass through the gateway to the New Zealand summer.
On behalf of everyone at Public Address, I'd just like to thank you all for reading and discussing our blogs. Discussions are almost always a delight (and when they're not, there'll be another one tomorrow). I still get a little thrill when I see "1 post" against an unfamiliar name in a discussion, and when -- as often happens -- another reader thinks to warmly welcome that new commenter aboard.
As usual, we'll go quiet for a few weeks, although the Capture crew has a home for your holiday snaps and I've opened a thread for your holiday reports -- where you're heading, what it's like when you get there. What you're doing, what you're reading, how you're playing.
I've never been one for saying, as people seem to now, "happy holidays". Although I am not a believer in the backstory, it's still Christmas for me.
So Merry Christmas.