Wednesday, February 28
It is the first time I have ever seen one of these cards, & it is lovely. I was so intrigued to see one in 'real life'. I have been reading about them on lots of blog sites, but this is my first!
It has been very damp here the last few days, & in fact was raining early yesterday, but the card seems in perfect condition to me, so your experiment with the podge worked. I think it has travelled amazingly well.
A BIG Thank You, Donna, for such a lovely gift, & lovely thought.
I treated myself to a bit of fabric yesterday, but have still not got the one I want, so I might have to go back to the fabric shop today.. sigh, sob...oh boo hoo what a pity, haha.
I am planning on making a quilt that Joyce has been featuring on her site, & need to get a good black fabric. I cant believe that I came home yesterday without one! I got a bit carried away with the specials that I found.
It was SB's birthday yesterday, & it brought back the memory of when he was born, as I am sure every mother remembers on her child's birthday, no matter how old the 'child' is!
He was born on Tuesday, and on the Monday evening I could feel the contractions slowly & painlessly beginning, & they were so regular, I had no doubt that he would be born next day.
I had a visit from the MIL during the evening, but didnt say anything to her, not wishing her to 'get in on the act' as it were. I did tell GOM, who was HYH, (Happy Young Husband) & he didnt seem overly impressed. I am sure he thought I was imagining it.
So off I went to bed, labouring away all night, with the contractions increasing in intensity, as the night wore on. About 5am I woke HYH & told him I was definitely in labour. "Oh yes?" he muttered & rolled over & went back to sleep. So caring!!
So I walked about a bit, sat a little, walked some more, then finally went out & got down on my hands & knees & scrubbed the kitchen floor! To this day, I dont really know why I did that, but I think it somehow eased the increasing pain in my back.
Finally about 6.30 am, I woke the sleeping HYH, not feeling very kindly disposed to him by then! I really felt like slapping him awake, to share some of my pain, but I restrained myself. I might have sounded a little shrill, by then.
So off we went to the Hospital, where they pronounced that yes, indeed I was in labour & proceeded to perform all the indignities upon my person, that were routinely done in those days.
HYH had scarpered the minute he heard discussions & plans for the indignities. Perish the thought that he might have to witness any of said indignities, or, have more than a vague knowledge of any details. Off he went to work, to await the call telling him he had a son- although in those days, we didnt have a clue as to the sex of the child, & just had to 'wait-&-see'.
I had wonderful staff attending me, & they were very kind, sitting with me, rubbing my back, & generally trying to make me feel comfortable. Finally at 3.04pm, our son was born, & he was perfect. He had really long eyelashes, & all the nurses oohed & ahed over his lovely eyelashes bemoaning the fact that the girl babies rarely seemed to be blessed with those eyelashes.
I had once read that when little Pisces babies are born, the little bumps where their wings were attached, are still visible. It could have been true of our son, he was extremely fair of face, & everyone remarked on what a beautiful baby he was.
While I had been giving birth to him, I could hear another poor soul giving birth, & she was very vocal, & there seemed to be a lot of drama involved, with nurses rushing about, & Doctors flying along the corridor. I later saw the baby who was born to that poor woman. It was a Girl, & she weighed 14 pounds!! No one could quite believe that the woman had given birth naturally, & the baby looked about 3 months old, compared to our, smaller, 'normal' sized babies. SB was 7lb 3oz, which seemed quite big enough to me!
Of course, then began the wrestling with the breast feeding, the colic he developed, the interference & confidance-robbing 'advice' from the MIL.
The ghastly, ancient, Plunket Nurse, who came to visit & told me horror stories of babies dying in overseas countries, of the mother who drowned her baby. What she was trying to achieve, who knew! I used to take SB for long walks in the park which was close to where we lived, just to try to avoid the MIL. But she would just wait until I had to return. I had to endure her every Saturday afternoon. How I missed having my own mother close in those days.
I am glad my daughter has more 'guts' than I did, & she wont stand to be dictated to, or critcised by inlaws. She stands up for herself, & I feel very proud of her.
And our children were & are worth all the heartaches, for all the joy they give us!
Monday, February 26
*Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read.
*Italicize the ones you want to read.
*leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
*If you are reading this, tag your it.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)- seen the movie, a powerful story.
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)- I watched the movie more than once!
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible -most of it.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)- I dont think I finished it..
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)-movie
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) ? does the movie count?
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)- one of my alltime favourite books
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind) -
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)- again -the movie
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)- I feel I might have read this, but not sure.
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
I cheated a little here, as I have seen movies, & not always read the books. I usually find I prefer the book, as opposed to the movie, where I have read & watched. Exceptions to this were The Great Gatsby, which I enjoyed both the book & the movie. And The World According to Garp, as I did enjoy the movie almost as much as the book, though they were different.
Sunday, February 25
Our son came up to stay the weekend as it is his birthday on Tuesday, & we usually have a family get together for both his & my birthday. He is still having a lie in, so I hope he slept well. He has nerve trouble with his neck & shoulder, due to disc problems in his neck. Perhaps our vet could be of help!
We had family together last evening for tea. Unfortunately our Granddaughter was working, so couldnt be here for the get-together.
Oscar the 'granddog', came up, & he ran Leo ragged. I fear Leo has damaged his neck again, as he is limping, so we will have to take him back to the Chiropractor Vet, who does magic with his hands. He must have been born to be a vet, as he is so good with the pets, & he is so gentle, & seems to sooth the most troubled of animals.
SG had us all fooled, he decided he was going to stay the night, & got all ready for bed, then zipped out, just as his parents were leaving! His father said he didnt think he would stay!
We went to a few garage sales yesterday, & I got a nice assortment of books for 10 cents each!! In really good condition, & excellent, interesting looking titles. I have read half of one already, & that makes 5 books I am currently reading all at once! A bad habit of mine, but I find I keep track of them all the same, & enjoy them just as much. Occasionally I find a book will be so gripping I have to just finish it all at once. I am reading a book by Nicholas Evans called 'The Loop', & I am enjoying it but I find it very harrowing to read of slaughter of animals, & I have to take a break from it now & then.
It seems the older I get, the more distressed I get when I read or hear of mistreatment or cruelty to any animals, wild or domestic.
It has been so 'heavy' with humidity here the last few days, it is very enervating, & it makes everyday tasks seem onerous. All I want to do is sit about with the airconditioner on full blast. And last night we had a thunder storm, which was accompanied by a downpour. It all seemed to last a long time. Leo does not like storms & gets very nervous about them.
I hope you have all had nice weekends. Hope Bec enjoyed her Terrigal getaway- including the thunder storms!
Friday, February 23
When BFJ & I first 'met' the city, we had hitchhiked down for Easter Weekend.
We were then Apple Picking up in the Nelson region, (which I have previously blogged about) & it was quite a long way down the South Island to Christchurch.
BFJ & I set off confidantly, quite sure we would travel safely to & from our destinations. As it happened we didnt have too much trouble getting down to the city.
A lot of our friends we had met Apple Picking had done the same, & the weekend was a beautiful one, with perfect weather which doesnt always happen at Easter time in Christchurch. We had a wonderful weekend, & though the journey back was somewhat fraught, that is another story, for another blog.
We had decided we liked this Southern City, so after we came to the end of the Apple Picking season, we moved on down to the City. And duly found jobs, some of which have been previously blogged about.
Time passed, a lot of water flowed under the bridges of the city, a lot of 'life' happened to us, & we were both married with children, & still living in that Southern city.
The City had great 'Characters'. There is a huge Cathedral in the Centre of the city, & a huge Square, where many of the Eccentric Characters would congregate. All buses led to the Square, so when BFJ & I would arrange to meet up for a day shopping, we would always get the bus to the Square. And all the buses in those days were red. I believe they have changed now.
It was fun to stand & listen to the Wizard rant & rave, dressed in his full Wizard gear, with long black robes, & tall black Wizard hat. Tourists would stand in awe, & he would pose for photographs. He claimed to be a REAL Wizard, & was very witty, & always fun to listen to. People loved to heckle him, & soon he had a strange little 'companion Character'. And he LOATHED her!
She was called Reenee(sp?) & she brought along a ladder, as she was a very short small woman, with curious orange, wispy, short hair, & she claimed to represent the 'Christians'. I think she felt the Wizard was a 'dark' side.
Unfortunately, Reenee felt she could sing. She had a very non musical voice, & an old violin, which she could not play! So she would get up onto her ladder, & screech & wheeze out noises, which she claimed were Christian songs, to drown out the evils of the Wizard! What a cacophony!
And the Wizard would rant even louder, & call her dreadfully disrespectful names, & watchers on the sidelines would howl with laughter.
Once though, the Wizard leapt upon Reenee, & snatched her terrible old tuneless violin & smashed it! He yelled out that he could no longer stand the noise of the DEVIL, coming from that 'Wicked Woman'!! He told her she was 'an abomination' and to leave his domain NOW.
I cant remember but I think that was considered one step too far, & he got reprimanded over that incident, & had to replace her violin. Much to his disgust & horror.
So, the Square was always good for free entertainment & laughs aplenty.
And quite close to the main Square, there was another park, with a huge statue of Queen Victoria in the centre, & the birds used to use if for perching rights, & consequently old 'Vicky' would be constantly covered in bird droppings.
And once the students from the University cemented a toilet on her pedestal "to give her ease". They also cemented another on the steps of the Cathedral, but I think that was before the Wizard came to dwell in the Southern City.
And there was another old eccentric who used to sit in that park, on a wooden bench with his head covered in a knotted hankerchief, and wearing an old raincoat.
He would feed the birds, a lot of which were seagulls, & pigeons. They sat all over him, & he would sit there streaming with bird poo, & laughing insanely at the birds. And tourists would photograph him. I always wondered who washed his clothes, & I wondered why he didnt fall ill from some terrible disease.
I dont know what happened to him, but perhaps the men in white coats came.
Or perhaps he did fall ill.
I am not sure what became of Reenee, but she was there for many years, & she used to speak on radio in the evenings, & our young son, SB used to listen to her, & become enraged at what she said.
We were not very fond of Reenee, because she used to accost us & preach at us, & was generally a pest, if you couldnt 'shake her off.'
As to the Wizard, I dont know what became of him, either. He flouted all the laws, & said he could, because he was a Wizard. He never voted, & used to refuse to fill in the census form. He would get in a boat & go outside the legal waters, so claimed he didnt have to fill the forms.
From memory, he had skirmishes in court from time to time, over things he did & said, but of course it all made him so much more colourful, & mostly he was enjoyed as part of the city, and part of it's personality & character.
I was trying to find a picture to post of the Cathedral in the Square. It has seen many changes over the years, & many odd happenings. If only buildings could tell their stories!
You could climb the stairs inside, & go right up into the top, & stand & view the city. Once, our employer's son, C, who sang in the chior for the Christs College, who used to sing in the Cathedral, was standing in a group, singing, on the lawn under the spire.
A poor woman threw herself to her death, over the railing, up on the Spire & almost landed on C. It traumatised him for years, he was only about 10 at the time.
A higher fence was erected but still suicides happened & in the end they stopped people from climbing so high. I never felt tempted to climb- being frightened of heights & all.
The most beautiful gardens, & the lovely river, made the city very beautiful in Spring & Autumn. It has all changed now, but the Botanic Gardens are still very beautiful, and the river is still an attraction.
Thursday, February 22
I once worked for a company who made those porcelain insulators, for the power poles, so I guess they keep people employed.
It is a very humid day here today, the sky has become weighted looking with clouds, but I am sure they wont yield any rain, just more humidity.
I went shopping with DJ this morning, & we had a very pleasant time. SIL had SG, so we could take our time, & have a good few laughs. Quite a bit of time was spent at the pet shop windows, feeling very sorry for the little puppies being kept captive behind the glass. And we cant help wondering what happens to the little things if no one buys them, & they get past the 'sweet puppy' stage. Most of them were the little 'designer dogs' & though I suppose ours are also in that range, we didnt get ours from Pet stores.
I also got some ink for my printer, & have now printed out, & posted, a letter of complaint. I wont go into the details of the complaint, but it was over some really rude behaviour, in customer service, which really upset me, so I decided to do something positive instead of just seething quietly, or bemoaning the fact to others.
When we first both became retirees, we had endless hassles with the CES, which over here is the Commonwealth Employment Service. The CES handles people's pensions, sickness benefits, child allowances, age pensions or what ever the current PC term is for payments. We had endless rounds of phonecalls, letters telling us one thing, only to be contradicted next time around! Then we got letters demanding we 'repay' monies we owed them!
That really was the final straw, after months of trying to get things straightened out, & many many hours spent on the telephone, to no avail. And each time they would give you a call receipt number, which more or less meant nothing! In the end we managed to get an appointment to see 'someone'. Who was a small girl, with a little twitchy rear, that flicked around like a bullwhip, every time she walked. And "O Grandpa what big eyes you have!" when she greeted the men.
After we had patiently explained all our woes, & the fact we felt we were in fact owed more than we had been paid, & re-producing all items in triplicate, such as birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, not to mention other demanded mails & documents, we were told she would have to re photocopy all these documents.
So we waited patiently, only to be told on her return that we would not, in fact, be getting paid the monies we were still owed.
Upon enquiring why, we got told we hadnt 'complained about it in time'. So we asked how could we complain when we didnt know we had been underpaid. We got no statements telling us what our entitlements were, & we had no knowledge of how our payments were in fact calculated.
So, off twitched the little whip again, only to twitch back & declare we would not be getting paid. On further request for a reason we were told- & this took our breath away- "Because".
So I demanded a complaint sheet, which took a long time to be unearthed, & handed over to us. We were told we couldnt be allocated any further time today, for further consultation, so off we went. Seething. Inwardly.
And I filled it all in, & accompanied it with a very detailed letter, containing all our queries, & complaints. And I listed all the call number receipts & other data I had been fed over the phone.
This all took about six months. One day I burst into tears on the phone, I was just so fed up. It was like some horror movie, from which there was no return.
Eventually we did get our money, & we did get an apology.
Some months later I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in taking part in a forum to discuss the shortcomings of the way we were dealt with. I laughed hysterically, & told them I was the last person to consult! No, no, they assured me, they wanted people who had been disgruntled, they welcomed criticism to determine how they could improve. They would pay me for my time, & I would be given lunch, & transport monies. And no it would not be docked from my allowance.
I went to the forum, I took part, I voiced my concerns & told my story. But I felt quite ashamed, as my story paled into nothing with some of the other stories. A man whose wife was diagnosed with cancer, who could not even be given a carers pension, as she lay dying, so he could take care of her, & look after their children. A woman who was paid $5,000 & told it was hers to go & spend it, & enjoy it. She repeatedly asked if it was really hers. Finally after 4 months, of assurances it was absolutely hers, she spent a little of it. Then she got the bill for it. It had been wrongfully paid out to her.
There were so many stories that just took my breath away. I was in tears with one man as he told his tearful story. How could a cold 'department' do this to ordinary decent people? Why is there no allowance for 'circumstances'. And, seemingly no allowance made for 'humanity'. Bureaucracy gone mad.
I dont suppose much has changed. We havent had cause to have any further direct dealings with CES. Our payments go into our account, & we just take note of the payments. And keep our fingers crossed.
Wednesday, February 21
I have just spent approximately an hour on the phone, listening to idiots tell me the virtues & wonders of the very product which has broken down, & been sent off to be repaired or replaced!!
First you get lectured about having all the necessary information to hand, so you make sure it is all lined up, within your sight, on paper.
This is very necessary, because after sitting listening to a long series of 'Your call is very important to us, please hold'. And, 'There are two callers on hold before you'. And, 'You are in a queue, & your call will be attended to'. And endless exhortations to buy said product because of it's most marvellous properties, & features and new technology!
You sit & ponder the ludicrousness of these bleatings about the 'Super Features' of this product, because your personal one has crapped out in the worst way, & would not perform any of the wondrous & fabulous features, about which it claims to be so 'Top of the Range' & expert.
You start muttering in colours, & then screeching in very bright colours, about the 'idiots' who taped such maddening crap, to be played repeatedly in your weary earhole. And you imagine yourself getting hold of said idiots, & strapping phones to both ears, & replaying their tapes to them for a couple of hours, to see how THEY like it!
And as they assure you that you will shortly be attended to by a 'technician', you remember that little Damian, or whoever you last managed to raise from the dead, to speak to, told you it is only a call centre, & they dont actually have the units there. This remembrance calls for more colourful noises from you, & more shouted things, like LIES!! WHY ARE YOU LYING TO ME??!!! YOU #$%%^&!!!! %$##!!!
So... by the time a real live one comes to your ear, you are reduced to some gibbering wreck who cannot for the life of them remember any thing about the product or it's model number, or your 'Service receipt number'. Or really, why the hell you are holding onto the phone in the first place! Luckily you had the foresight to write all this down, & you suddenly remember this fact, rather truiumphantly, & you reel off the relevant information.
Then you enquire of Damian if the wheels have fallen off the call centre for the day? He takes this quite literally, & becomes confused. Haha, you say, I was only joking. He sounds relieved & then repeats & repeats all the information you have just given him, as if this will awaken his brain to the task at hand.
Finally, he comes to an understanding of your query, & your assurnaces that the courier took the said item away some 14 days ago. So then he tells you he has to go away to the 'back' to check on this information.
And you are again left dangling on the end of a dead phone.... wondering if he has gone for a smoke, or perhaps even a 3 course lunch somewhere on the banks of the river which runs through the city he is working in. And you mutter more colourful threats this time.
And just when you decide he has probably done this to 'get rid of you'- because, let's face it, surely noone is going to sit around THIS long on the end of a dead phone!- he arrives back- in time to catch muttered thoughts about his whereabouts & heritage, & he apologises for taking so long. He assures you he had to go Way Way out Back, to discover the status of the unit. Which it turns out has been repaired- F! I was hoping it would be replaced, as I work on the theory of once a lemon always a lemon!
So after a heated hour, with the fan on full blast to try to 'keep my cool' I am finally told I should have the unit back by Friday ....or Monday.
No wonder GOM leaves me to do most of the telephone dealings.
We had a prearranged visitor, a stranger, to the house this morning. Leo did his best to bite the poor man on his leg!
I was appalled, so I will have to see about getting some training for the mut. We cant have him doing that.
Tuesday, February 20
It made me laugh because GOM & I had watched a programme on TV about women wanting to get rid of the "batwings" they had developed under their upper arms.
One very plump looking woman had her arm 'flaps' filmed in slow motion, to demonstrate just what they looked like! It surely made us laugh, & we wondered how many times she walks about flinging her arms in the air like so!
The 'treatments' on offer seemed totally ludicrous to us, & highly over priced- especially in view of the fact that they wouldnt last very long! The surgery option was totally hideous, - much more ugly than the slight puffed look.
It made me think of some of the dreadful plastic proceedures women -& increasingly, men- have done to their faces. And the awful tight faces which can barely move, let alone smile or -perish the thought- laugh uproariously!
And those awful injections, that 'bloat' the lips or forehead... how can anyone admire them? It seems sad that people of 'advancing years' shall we say, feel so insecure in themselves.
I could not be bothered, even could I afford such a waste of money. I am too much of a coward, plus I have 'earned my stripes' on my face. My grandchildren rather like my warm soft arms, my Granddaughter christened them 'Nanna's Puffies" when she was quite young.
I can still remember the lovely soft sensation of being enfolded in my grandmother's soft puffy arms, & bossom. How comforting!
What ever happened to encouraging people to be comfortable with who & how they are? I despise the media attention to appearance as being the measure of a man/woman. I know the 'beautiful people' will always be attractive to the majority, but what about character, & warmth & kindness?
The inner being is so much more important than the outer shell we were given. I am not critisizing people who have glaring defects, or oddities if they 'blight' their life, but I object to the 'idle rich' just having vanity proceedures to make themselves look 'younger' or more 'beautiful' ... which can be very debatable, in a lot of cases. The character & personality lines are what helps to soften a face, imho. But I suppose it takes all kinds, & beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I find I am drawn to the 'characters' of this world, I love eccentric people who boldly 'be themselves' no matter what. I am not quite so brave, & suppose I am fairly conventional in the way I dress & look, but it is not nearly as important as it used to be when I was young, & it is so liberating to just let age happen.
We had a lovely day with our Grandson. We took him, & the dogs to the beach, in the morning, & spent a wonderful couple of hours walking, looking at the little shells, seaweed, paddling, & the dogs had several swims. It was lovely & shady in the area we went to, & so quiet & peaceful. SG had a great time, & he found a large painter's brush, so he used to it scrub shells, & was just so happy pottering about in the water. He stood on clumps of shells & rocks, & told me he was on his private Island, & I couldn't come onto it, because he had locked it. He used the paintbrush as a cutlass when he was a 'pirate'. He is full of ideas about role playing, which I suppose is part of his age.
On the way home he told me he thought there was a monster under our car, and was I going to 'Fuckem up the monster?" I said "Pardon?" So he said it again, & I finally realised he was asking me if I was going to "VACCUUM up the monster" Whew, luckily I didnt lecture him!
When we came home, he made the whole lounge a cubby house with all the quilts, & he used all the pegs to hold the quilts down- "For when the wind blows, Nan".
When his tired Mum came to collect him, late this afternoon, he was reluctant to go, he had had such a fun day. There are days when he can be 'difficult' but today was just a lovely day.
The dogs enjoyed their day too, & were all tired out from all their beach side adventures too. Oh the thrill of sniffing a thousand other doggy smells, & the thrill of widdling as many times as possible to leave their little messages behind, for others to 'read'.
My biggest regret of the day is, that I forgot to take my camera! Next time!
Monday, February 19
My Best Friend J sent me some lovely birhtday greetings, along with this photo.
And this photo followed the first. Taken a month apart, she likened the progress of our lives, to the progress of the Sunflower.
When we were young together, we were like the full, fresh young flower, seeingly filled with endless energy for the sun & life.
And now, as we age, we are losing our 'petals'.
But I like to think of the rich bank of seeds in the centre of the bloom, carrying so much hope for the future.
It could represent the bonus of our knowledge & wisdom we have gained throughout our lives, & hope to pass on to our children, & their children.
I am being very spoilt today, by GOM. Get to do just as I please, & he bought me a delicious Black Forest Cake for my birthday! Sinful, but bliss!
And I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all who left me wonderful birthday wishes on my blog. How lovely of you all.
And Molly, fancy your OC having the same birthday!
And I dont know what the hell Blogger is up to now, but it has taken away all the nice colours it gave me to use for print, & so I have to stick to black!grrrr.
Sunday, February 18
And this was the same sky 15 minutes later.
And here are BFJ's (Best Friend J) two gorgeous Granddaughters, with a Giant Teddy, outside a Thames shop. Arent they lovely girls, & what a nice big Teddy.
And here are the girls again, in the Redwood Forest, in Rotorua. It makes me homesick to see those lovely fern trees, & the gorgeous green of it all.
Friends coming over today for a bit of a get together for my 64th Birthday! Eeek!
Always think of Paul McCartney's song, 'When I'm 64'. "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64. Will you still be sending me a Valentine, Birthday greetings, bottle of wine"
There was no Valentine, but we never did observe that day. And my official birthday is not until tomorrow, so no gifties today! That is, if there will be any, haha.
It is SB's birthday next on 27th, & we usually have a get together for both of us, but he wont be up till next weekend. I always look forward to seeing him, as mothers do.
It is a nice day herer, so hope it doesnt get toooo hot!
Saturday, February 17
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
This seemed like a bit of a novelty.
I didnt manage to get any pics yesterday, on my travels out.
It is another hot day, feels very humid, so I dont suppose I will get much sewing- or re-sewing done today.
I hope you all have a nice weekend!
Friday, February 16
I spent a good deal of yesterday afternoon 'frogging'. Yes, I had stitched up patches the wrong way, so had to sit & unpick them. GRRRR.
But, in the morning, I had a Doctor's appointment. Nothing dramatic, just 'routine maintenance' as I call it. I told my Dr I am one of 'D's SOB's'.
My Doctor's name is D & she told me she had never heard of that, what is it. I said it stands for "D's Sad Old Biddies" or 'Bags'. D burst out laughing, said she never thought of it like that, & she kindly told me I am not one of them!
I think I have mentioned before, the Doctor's we consult, are a husband & wife team, & they have 5 children, so are well aware of what family is all about!
GOM usually consults P & I see D, & accompany GOM when he sees P, so we 'know' them both.
Yesterday was quite a nice day, not too hot, & the airconditioner in the waiting room keeps it all nice & even. There seemed to be quite a long wait, but people tend to be friendly & chat to each other, while waiting.
So we are all sitting like birds on a wire- it must have been 'Biddies' day, as there were no men. Anyway, in comes a harried looking mother, with her son. Son has bright red hair, in a huge woolly curly mass in his head. Son is not well, but he whinged & whined & performed & carried on & on. At first there were smiles firmly plastered on the faces of all of us. Quite prepared to be indulgent, amidst assurances from the mother to her son, that they would only be a 'minute' & P would see him directly.
Well the minute dragged on, & on, & slowly the smiles faded & were replaced by blank stares, then those were replaced by sneaky frowns at the child, when the mother wasnt looking. Eventually open scowls were being directed at Sonny. The mother is quite well known in the village, & she tried a conversation with another patient she knew.
But Sonny was having none of that. He wanted full whingeing rights with his mother. He did look pale, but seemed to have plenty of energy to throw his body about squirming, & whining. And ignoring her pleas for him to sit still, & be quiet.
There used to be a box of toys for the children to entertain themselves, but because of cross infection worries they are now not allowed. Nor are waiting room books for children, although I see the magazines are still there.
I had taken a book to read, & was really enjoying it, but I couldnt concentrate with Sonny performing like a spoilt brat.
Eventually P came out & off they went into the inner sanctum. There ensued bloodcurdling screams of gigantic proportions. And they went on ...& on ...& on. Raised voices could be heard coming from the surgery. P's voice thundered, the mother shouted, but Sonny relentlessly screamed! I swear I saw a girl smile "Karma". But I could be mistaken of course.
Finally Sonny comes bounding out the door of the surgery, & his mother leaps to grab him. The wailing carries on, louder if possible. Then P comes out of his surgery & says to the mother, "Get him out of here!!"
The mother grins, & makes another appointment, then tells Sonny he must apologise to all of us, he has given us headaches. "Tell them all 'Sorry'!" she says. Momentarily, Sonny is shocked into silence. He gapes at us, then proceeds to bellow some more.
Finally they are gone. A collective sigh of relief goes up! P comes bounding out of his surgery & into D's. She told me later he was getting a headache pill!
When D checked my blood pressure, I her told it could well be up after listening to the little Sonny roar, bellow, & shriek! It was ok though.
I hasten to add here that P is a very popular Dr, & that is just his manner. He once told GOM that he was an 'arsehole' for not taking his medication. GOM really enjoys a plainspeaking Dr! It worked too, because GOM seems to be taking his medication properly now.
And P came out to tell the Receptionist that if Sonny was not ok, to get him back in, & he would see about further treatment.
I once saw P come out into the waiting room, glance at a very thin pale man, & say "Hello So& So, still alive I see" So & So laughed, & I was stunned. It was before I really knew P, & knew about his humour & his 'gruffness', which is just a mask. He is a great Dr, & all his patients like him- perhaps with the exception of Sonny.
Thursday, February 15
Wednesday, February 14
Tuesday, February 13
It seems the post yesterday about the old Button tins/jars/etc, stirred lots of memories in everyone..
My Grandmother had an amazing memory for things & she could tell a story about almost any button I chose to ask about. I loved the old leather buttons, off men's coats. And I still have a beautiful carved old mother-of-pearl button, that I treasure. And now I have my mother's button tin also, so have a lot of memories in there, too.
Something I think about often these days, is being a teenager.
Oh those angst ridden years! I wouldn't want to relive those years for any thing in the world.
The terrible anxiety when you were about 11- or in some girls cases, only 9 or 10. Will I grow breasts? What if mine dont grow? How will I know when they are growing? How will I be able to tell if they wont grow?
Then the awful embarrassment when they did start to 'sprout.' Oh how can I hide them. Dont they look silly, poking out through my cotton dress. "I need to wear a cardigan, NO I am not hot! "
Then there were the hours spent in front of the mirror, looking at your hair. Why isnt my hair straight/curly/wavy/blonde/dark/red, like my best friend. All the boys love her -why cant I look like she does.
Trying out different hairstyles, deciding in my case, to grow my hair long, so I could tie it up, or do it in the 'French Roll' that was the fashion in the day.
And then there was all the anxiety about boys. How to know when they were not just pulling your leg? How to talk to them without blushing -a terrible deep red that just wouldnt go away.
Oh no, I wouldnt wish to relive those years, I definitely would not!
I dont know whether I feel the young ones these days have it easier, or harder. I sometimes think they are grown too soon these days. But there are some things I think they are luckier about. There are not so many 'secrets', they can talk about just about anything, if their parents are approachable. I think young mothers have it harder in some respects.
For teenage girls, the passage is not easy. I suffered from terrible menstrual cramps, & would bleed so heavily, my uniform would be soaked on arrival home. I was a pretty 'mean' character at times when I was about 16, & I suppose I suffered from PMT. But of course in those days it was never talked about, nor dealt with, the way it can be today.
I am sure it was just as painful for teenage boys too. Suffering from all sorts of insecurities, & sometimes terrible acne. Which must have been really painful & was often disfiguring, & yet I found myself quite often attracted to boys who had scars, or 'interestingly ugly' faces.
The absolutely most handsome boys, were the big Maori lads, whose beautiful satiny brown skin & good looks were irresistable to most of the girls in our classes. And they seemed not become victims of acne the same way the Pakeha lads did. Or perhaps we didnt notice.
I was rather lucky with my teenagers growing up. I had a few 'steaming love dances' as we used to call them, now & then. But on the whole they were not badly behaved kids, & we feel we got through very well. They used to bring their friends home to our place, to spend time, & stay often, & they would all gather on a Saturday evening or afternoon at our place. We had a large house, & a lovely pool then, so we were fortunate to be able to welcome those kids.
My brother & I couldnt really have friends home like that. Our Grandmother's house was very small, & she was past wanting noisy loud kids, rip roaring about. But I think it made both my brother & I determined to let our kids have all the friends they wanted, home to visit. And my brother's boys have friends who regard their parents as almost second parents.
And in GOM's case his mother made all comers welcome, so he always had friends to play & stay also.
I have had a very nice day. I got taken, unexpectedly, out to lunch! It was lovely & now I need to have a little siesta, perhaps. Too many nice things to eat!
Monday, February 12
She asks us to blog about things past- things that have now, perhaps, gone out of use, & perhaps even out of most people's memories.
I have been trying to think of things from when I was very young. One of the things that stands out in my mind, is Buggy Lamps.
Though I dont remember them actually being used, our Grandmother had some, which she had kept from her days of driving a buggy. They used to live in the shed next to the old Chook House. We have no idea what ever became of them.
There were boxes of old magazines my mother had kept, & all sorts of wonderful old & intersting things. I used to love to go through the old magazines, & read the stories, & look at the fashions, & patterns for clothes. There were some old Soup Tureens, complete with lids, & huge ladles. All wrapped in newpapers, which could be interesting to read too. I loved the old smell of it all, & it didnt seem musty, so I guess the shed was well dry. I think my uncle & Grandfather built it soon after my grandparents moved into their house.
And my Grandmother's lovely old Button Tin, which was covered in string, made by one of my uncles as a school project. I suppose it was macrame. There were old shoe buttons & a button hook, which always fascinated me. It used to be a rainy day treat, to be allowed to empty the Button tin, & look at all the old & interesting buttons.
And something you never seem to see now, were hot water cupboards. These would house the hot water cylinder, & were wonderful for airing the clothes, & making sure they were not damp. My Grandmother used to store all her linen in the Hot Water Cupboard, which was sometimes known as the Cylinder Cupboard. And if she was making bread or something with yeast in it, into the cupboard it went, to rise in the warm air.
When we moved over here to Australia to live, we were surprised to find most houses didnt have Cylinder Cupboards- the hot water cylinders stood outside or under the house. Our old Cylinder had sacking lagging on all the pipes, so the heat would not escape while the water was being run.
And we had a big Water tank, & I suppose our water was rainwater, because the big tank stood on a huge Tank Stand, & we were forbidden to climb onto the tank stand. I remember once my brother climbed up to retrieve a ball or kite, & his hair all stood on end, as he was just about touching the electricity wires, which ran from the house to our Uncle's bach.
Another thing I always disliked, but they were commonplace in those days, was the copper. I remember my mother lighting the fire under it, to boil the clothes, & make the whites white! And there were two concrete tubs, to rinse the clothes in, after they had been boiled. A lot of things got hand washed, because with the coming of the 'modern' synthetic fabrics, coppers & boiling water did them no favours! They could easily end up cooked, shrivelled little things..ruined forever.
When BFJ & I went apple picking it fell to her to light the copper fire. I could never manage to get it going. But it ruined a few of our clothes, & some items never recovered! We soon learnt that black jeans are not good with pillowslips.
But then my mother got a washing machine, & what a difference it made to her life. And the old hand wringer was consigned to the shed, along with the washing board, which had been made of corrugated glass.
Then the old copper was used to store bottles of beer, kept for when my Uncles came to stay. And my brother & I occasionally sneaked one, & drank it behind the chook shed. And pretended it was delicious, .... but really? not nice at all!
We are having rain here today, & had showers last night. I hope it is going where it is really needed! Which is a bit silly, - it is needed everywhere.
And Congratulations B & A for your new Grandson!!
Sunday, February 11
Even after we moved into another Hotel to live, he still came to visit us now & then. I often think of him, & wonder how his life went, & where he is today. I would love to think he had his own family now, & is settled. His case worker explained to us, that children like Brett, get to be nomads, of sorts, & they find it increasingly difficult to settle down, or make lasting relationships.
Saturday, February 10
Friday, February 9
This morning I 'lost' my passport. We needed ID for something, & both had to produce our passports. Panic ensued, as I ripped apart all sorts of things, searching for it. I always keep it in a certain place, so that I dont have to go through the panic mode.
I am usually very good about things like that, & dont often mislay items of any importance. I menatally retrace my 'steps', to the last time I saw/used the item.
This time it was for my trip to NZ, all the way back in December last year.
We have some drawers in the lounge, & I tore through those, thinking I might have put the passport there, absent mindedly. No joy.
GOM came along behind me, re- searching things. He came across a bill which was overdue, & had inadvertantly been shoved in one of the drawers. I paid that over the phone, then continued on the rip-roaring search.
I decided I must have left the passport in my granddaughter's backpack, which she had lent me for the trip. So I rang her, & asked her to check it out. She phoned back, no joy there either. She also told me it must be here, because I am not the sort of person to lose such things!
So that left me almost desperate with worry. And it is a very humid day here today. The more I worried, the wetter I got. And the wetter I got, the more insane I felt. Mutterings of many colours could be heard coming from various locations about the house. Even the dogs made themselves scarce.
Finally, I decided it must be in this room, which is computer/sewing room combined. So the Hug of teddy bears came down off their perch, & a basket of scrap fabrics got moved & some magazines stacked up. And Lo & Behold! there was the passport! Thank goodness!
I rang my granddaughter to let her know I had found it. I know she is like me, & would have been worried for me.
So I suppose there were some good sides to the frenzied attack of searching. We located a bill which needed paying. And some things got tidied in this room!
We had a surprise visit from SG this morning. He had been a little sleepyhead, & woke too late for his mother to get him off to school, so he had happily told her, "Dont worry Mum. Take me up to see Nanna, she will take me to school!"
So I did. I think he might have pulled a swifty over brekky. I think he had already had one at home, but anyway he had another, & seemed very happy at the thought of school. He has moved up a class this year, so he is in another room, & they have a little more structured time than the smaller children.
He got a little clingy when we got to school, but his favourite teacher from last year took him, & off he went.
I am sitting here sweltering, the actual temerature is not high, but the humidity is very high. What a shame I am not young & thin any more, or I could become a 'home nudist'. Ha haha.
Thursday, February 8
The threats & promises for a storm were made good.
The bright spots you see are rain drops.
There was thunder & lightning, & some good heavy rain.
I suspect the rain would not have been nearly enough, & probably none of it went into our dams.
As you can see by the clouds, the rain was not very far West.
Leo does not like thunderstorms, & is a big wooss when it comes to the thunder rolling about. He seeks out one of us to cuddle him. Honey seems totally unperturbed, & just ignores it all.
And to cap it all off, I went & lost all my links to all the blogs I love to visit, & have not a clue how to get them back, on this template. I might have to change to an easier one.
I somehow missed the bit that said to save the original template, so it would seem I have lost everything. My counter is gone, & my copyright badge.
That is what happens when you get carried away in a thunderstorm!
Any advice to help will be very welcome!
Wednesday, February 7
So I decided to take the plunge to update my template.
I have lost all my links, & other bits & peices so I will have to try to reset all those tomorrow some time. I will get you all back somehow!
I am really lost, so will have to call upon some help here.
Perhaps I will disappear forever!
The forecast for today was showers. It would seem these clouds were empty threats, as there has been no sign of rain.
Tuesday, February 6
Monday was in fact, cloudy to begin with, & still very humid- to the point we had some light rain in the early morning.
The evening sky made me think of promises held out, & never fulfilled.
Promises of false hope. Promises of 'potential', never achieved.
Promises given to children, promises never kept.
Promises we make to ourselves.
And become disappointed when we dont 'make the grade.'
Promises that are Seeds. Buds. Babies. Sunrises. Sunsets.
Each new day is a promise.
Monday, February 5
And this photo is the result of face paints we bought the kids from a trip to Aussie. SB loved to do the Dracula look, & would sneak downstairs in the evening, & tap of the Lounge Bar windows. Upon peering out the curtains, the patrons would be met with his ghoulish face, & then he usually got roundly coloured language directed at him. Of course, this was done while Mum was busy being a Restaurant proprietress, & so she didnt always know he had done it. I think his hat was from his Zorro outfit. He always loved to dress up!
Sunday, February 4
It had been leased prior to our employer buying the business, so it still had time on the lease.
Our employer was of Scottish ancestry, & he was very proud of his heritage, & his Scottish name.
As soon as the lease was up on the past Restaurant, our employer took over, with grand plans for redecorating & completely changing the nature of the premises.
The Restaurant had been completely seperate from the Tavern side of the business, but our Employer, AFG McG, as I shall call him, wanted it to open up from the lounge bar, with an open door archway.
Soon the wreckers were in the premises, knocking down a large solid wall, which ran just under our upstairs bedroom. The noise & dust during the day were considerable, but it all stopped at night, so we could still get decent sleep.
However, then came the fitting of the new archway, & this involved concrete being poured into the site, as reinforcement for the new arch. After several truck loads of cement had been poured, with no eividence of where the concrete had disappeared, it was discovered there was an underground stream right under the placement for the arch, & the wall they had demolished had actually been quite an important support for the two upper stories.
While we laughed heartily at this discovery, on second thought, we were somewhat disconcerted to realise we were likely to suddenly wake up on the ground floor, unless they could sort the problem out!
It was duly solved, & renovations proceeded. Since AFG McG was the Boss, he could choose whatever he wanted. And his love of Tartan came to the fore, & he decided to have the walls of the new Restaurant covered in his clan Tartan. Pure Woollen Tartan. So up went the Tartan & there were large crystal chandaliers left over from the previous fittings, & they looked beautiful in the new red decor. Red upholstered booth seats, & a beautiful red & gold carpet, completed the new look.
Booths were fitted on the side walls, with tables & chairs in the centre. There was an old fireplace, which had long been sealed off, but AFG McG had it opened to house a rather convincing 'fake fire', which gave it all a cosy glow.
When we first opened the new Restaurant, we had a huge 'cauldron' of hot complimentary Soup of the Day, with a huge basket of fresh bread rolls beside it. It looked very inviting, especially on the cold winter nights that Southern City could produce. But sadly, the customers abused the priveledge, as they are wont to do, & we had to stop presenting the soup freely.
On opening the Restaurant was a big success, as it was relatively new to have Bistro style food available in the city, & it was guaranteed to be very crowded for lunch & the evening meals.
I had been given the management of the Restaurant, so I was very busy, & could fall asleep on sitting anywhere!
As our flat was directly above the Restaurant, imagine my consternation one evening when I noticed water dripping down a Tartan wall! I rushed upstairs to find our son had decided to run himself a bath & in his dreamy manner, had gone off & forgotten all about it!
So after dealing with the upstairs mess, I rushed downstairs to deal with that. I watched in horror, as the woollen Tartan shrank before our very eyes! And the red dye dripped onto the lavish red & gold carpet. And I had to inform AFG McG what had happened.
Not a man given to swear, in front of ladies, he was heard to cuss quite loudly! And who could blame him. However, he was a very nice man who never held grudges, & he forgave us & our son. And as luck would have it, we were covered by Insurance! (to the Insurance company's horror)
So all was restored, & the Tartan got replaced, & SB was never allowed to have another bath without an adult being present.
I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant weekend.
*An Edit* I looked for the old photos of the Restaurant, but they are so faded & dark now you cant really see any colours.
Also my red 'phobia' - I was mostly at the Cash Register, taking orders, &/or out in the kitchen, which was cream & stainless steel. We had a series of chefs, & cooks... they were almost all insane, therein lies another tale!
GOM who was Happy Young Publican Husband, in those days, took over & made a very creditable steak grill cook, in times of need.