Supper time

When I was a lad (How’s that for a start? Settle in.), the midday meal was ‘dinner’ and the afternoon meal was ‘tea time’. When I say that dinner was at midday I mean exactly midday: 12 noon. Tea time was at 5 o’clock. Which left a hell of a long time before tomorrow’s breakfast. What did we do? We had supper, of course.

I don’t know if it’s just because I’m all modern now, or a bit middle class, or living in Australia, but I don’t get to do the supper time thing much any more. I used to look forward to a bit of toast or something with a milky drink at 9 o’clock – though never cheese or bananas, which (it was widely acknowledged) cause bad dreams.

But on dusk last Sunday I found someone out for a bit of supper. It was late in the day, the sun dipping towards the Indian Ocean. Its last rays lit up this black-shouldered kite above the gasworks.


He hovered and moved, hovered and dropped…


… came up empty handed (or empty taloned?, hovered some more …


… found something promising, adjusted his trim, controlled the yoke …


… then … then …



And off he took with his bit of supper to his favourite power pole, the one next to the drain by the railway bridge. And there he sat, filling his belly till tomorrow’s breakfast, as the super moon in all its brilliance crept up from the Pacific Ocean to shine down on us all.




8 Responses to Supper time

  1. Linda Cameron says:

    I really enjoy your blog and was so pleased to have found it via your conversation with Richard Fidler. It has a certain quality of beauty that is hard to explain. Keep up the good work as I much appreciate it as I’m sure do many others.

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Hi Linda

      What lovely kind words! Thanks for the feedback. Blogging can be a bit like dropping a pebble into a well: sometimes there’s an immediate splash and lots of ripples; other times the pebble just keeps falling, falling, falling into silence …


  2. Martin Unwin says:

    But I don’t think I’ll have what he’s having. PS. Love your work, the book, the blog, and I love Hamilton North since my girls live in Baird St!

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Ah, Baird Street: the forgotten corner of Hamilton North.

      It really is it’s own little place down there, isn’t it? I always imagine that it’s the kind of place that closes the end of the road off and has street parties at Christmas. Is it really like that, or am I just being sentimental?

      Thanks for the thumbs up on the writing!

  3. meganix says:

    Wonderful photo of super moon, poles and wires, and the black-shouldered kite. Thanks Mark.

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Thanks, Meganix.

      It’s impossible to take a bad shot of a BSK. They’re so beautiful, so reserved, so full of all the qualities that humans lack.


  4. jennie says:

    Fantastic post. Thank you.

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