We took Chef Du Plunge out to Te Papa after the vege markets today, and what a day for it. With Matariki on there was a concert party on and a great many kuia and koro out there, for want of a better description, raising hell. Naturally it was in the genteel manner appropriate to the older among us.

The move to the suburbs has been an interesting one, mostly due to the broadened age range we now find ourselves exposed to. The other week I was in line at the supermarket and an old chap in front of me was trying to pay for his bread and milk with his house-keys. Bewildered, and suffering a form of dementia I couldn’t label, he was gruffly and generously helped by the staff. Poor old bloke… just seeing him reminded me of my old kin, their aging, and the losses they suffer as the years advance.

It’s a strange thing the onion skins of age. Because it was through them I could see the childhood of those old women up on stage, the light of their youth shining outward, the fullness of age shattered and fallen as they played out songs they have sung all their lives, their mischievous smiles and movements reflected in an audience who shared the burden of days, the trail of footsteps fallen, innumerable, each laying another measure of mortality, the fecundity of death, to blossom as the joys of a day long since buried, and remembered in this shaking hand, that nod of the head, a familiar tone, a harmony long sustained.