Thursday, January 29

The Wheel Keeps Turning.

This was going to be a pissed off rant! I seem to have so many things I am feeling angry about.

GOM, aka, The Garden Vandal, has dug up bulbs, that have been peacefully sleeping, & producing magnificent blooms for the past 5 years.

I have wept, begged, threatened, & sworn, with what my mother would have termed a navvy's* toungue, to preserve these precious bulbs.

I am not sure if it is the onset of dementia, or something worse, that makes Gom forget these things.

I come to regard his acts as 'spiteful'. Which tends to breed bitterness, & resentment. It tends to generate a thirst for 'revenge'. Which is utterly lost on those that are 'losing it.'

As I discovered when my MIL developed Alzheimers. You can never 'pay them back'.

I have also learnt, over the years, that forgiveness is not mine to give~ it is theirs. So I ceased to lose energy or sleep over the percieved 'wounds'.

Why not rejoice in what we can, & enjoy the present wonders.

Regard, this joyous, loved, & beautiful child~

He is so innocent, so free, so beautiful, & so expectant about life!

Here he is, on his Grandfather's knee. Surrounded by Uncles, & his father on the extreme left.

Here is his Great Grandmother, with his father as a baby. A picture of love personified. She just adored that little man!!

Here he is, on a holiday to the South, to stay with his Aunt (me) & Uncle, & cousins, with his beloved Grandmother. I have always loved this photo of him. My heart swells with pride, to think he is now such a proud father of his own son.

This is a recent photo. He appears so serious. He has a very 'heavy' job. He carries repsonsibilities, & cares about his status, his staff, & his standing in the company he works for. He is very skilled at his chosen career.
His Grandmother would rejoice at the realisation of his wonderful potential. We all love you, DJ!

Here are some pics of our little visitor. He/she looks so cute. Alarmed, maybe, at being discovered in our kitchen!!

Nervous, & anxious to leave, as soon as possible!

A longer shot, below, to give persepctive. It is really not that large a lizard. It is so cute...but... I have observed the 'waste elimination' - outside I hasten to add! I am glad we are not finding evidence of indoor waste processes!

In the background of this shot, the oven & some cupboards.
Perhaps the lizard is 'housetrained?' I think I will name it Slinky the Skink. It seems to sneak in when the dogs are dozing, so full marks to it, for slinking!!

The rants have receded.

But why...??
Does Gom need to stir his coffee 40 times to dissolve one teaspoon of sugar??

Do they have to dress the TV presenters in fecking suits that would cause a grown wonan, or man, to weep??

Why does one male reporter on TV look like a Pox Doctor's Clerk?? His suits, in broad stripes, are deplorable!!??

Why do some of the gorgeous girls get dressed in severe 'dyke' suits?? If they are of Lesbian persuasion does it matter, & do we need signals to state the fact??
I think many of them are not of the "L" persuasion, but that may be the impresson left? Is this intentional??

To really go out on a limb here, why does every TV station have to have duplicate 'gay' males, providing the Hollywood CRAP report on daily shows??WTF???

Or, to put it another way, a "Pet Poof"???
As for TEN's miserable unattractive speciman... well how embarrassed does one celebrity have to be, (Brendan Frazer) before they get the message...

Lard & Gay poof does NOT cut it!!! It has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the person, but that display was squirmingly odious. Flick the 'person'.

I suppose I will be seen as intolerant, but I am not. We have many family members, who are loved, & accepted, who are of the 'third gender'. It is life, & nature. We love them., & accept them , as they are.

Monday, January 26

In the Still of the Night...

First & foremost, it is Australia Day here, today, 26th January.
I have mixed feelings & judgements & reservations about the timing, naming, & celebrating, of this day.

After living here for over 26 years, & having an Australian-born Grandfather, I feel quite 'Australian', I suppose you could say. I also have many rellies, who are born & bred here, so it is just rich & full, family history.

Being born in New Zealand, I also have an alliance with that country, & suspect my heart will always remain there, though my earthly thin ashes remains, will probably be scattered somewhere upon these shores. Or even flushed to sea!

I was struck with recognition when reading Ian at "Or So I Thought" with a post about where our allegiance should lie.

I find no real recognition with the "Royal Family" or the 'Queen of England, & Her Realm'.

I find I am repulsed by the divisiveness of "Patriotic" or "Regional" days or observations. It appears to me, to be a subtle way of increasing 'seperateness'. Why not try to unite? Why not devise a day of Unity for all countries? & peoples? for all Mankind?

Think about 'Divide & Conquer'. What is the other side? Unite & Survive? I am sure I have got that wrong somehow, but you may know what I mean.

Here, some examples of the ridiculous flags of our Countries.

First up, Australia~
Then New Zealand~

Here for your regard, Australia, Canada, & New Zealand.
I am not sure of the origin of the Canadian Flag. But I sure do adire it!!
It is unique, & NOT merely a clone of the Union Jack!! FFS, what is wrong with Australia & New Zealand, for not standing up for their own bloody flag of glory to wag??
OK Soap Box over!
This appeared in the 'still of the night'.
How gorgeous is this little frog?
I took this photo of the little guy/girl on our fence last night. In the dead of night, the still of the night. ( & my mother would wish to flog me, for the use of "guy". She abhored that term, & always it insisted on it's meaning to originate from the 'Guy' of Guy Fawkes fame, a figure of ridicule!!)
We had guests, last evening, & as we sat in the humid air, in our backyard, I looked up at the fence, & was startled to see what appeared to be the outline of a tiny frog.
I went to get the camera, & got these shots with flash. The little frog was totally unphased by the flash. My Granddaughter took many shots with her mother's camera, too. With no visible effect on our little amphibian friend.
This is the pose he/she adopted after a few minutes. Still glued to the fence, & seemingly uncaring about intruders observations.

We have no idea what the brown patch on the frog's head is. It may be a leaf, or some type of scrape. I love the way it has tucked in, it's little limbs!

Here is a shot, with the leaves of the Camellia in the foreground, which gives some perspective as to how small this little Green & Gold Tree Frog is!

All I see there this morning, is a slight blobby mark, where the little frog sat.
It is raining a gentle, but very wetting rain, & I can't help but think of our little frog guest, & how much it will enjoy this gentle rain.

Here is a symbol of Australia Day.
The humble Thong. Or as Kiwis might say, the Jandal! (which is a trademark brand from long ago, when the rubber thongs were first introduced to NZ)
This simple footwear item has featured in many an Australia Day party. The Throwing of the Thong has been a very popular game. The one who manges to chuck a thong the furthest up the street, becomes the winner- until next year.
We have been to many happy Street parties. We have been to many happy Barbies- which are Aussi "Bar B Ques", & jolly nice they usually are! We tend to shie away from BBQ's. Our last one rotted & rusted away, from misuse.
Gom hates cooking the meat. Give him a deep fryer, & he is in heaven... but a BBQ, ... not so much.
Last, but by no means least, our Daughter made this fantastic Lemon Meringue Pie for her father.
This is Day 2 of it's existance, so it has 'worn well'!
The taste is to die for!! I do believe it is a low fat recipe too.
Note the grubby crumbs where the Gom has been nibbling!!
How happy it has made him!

Thursday, January 22

Talking to the Carrot.

I am going to cheat with the photos on today's post. They all have absolutely nothing to do with the subject.

When 'talking to the carrot' it will not always be a carrot or piece of carrot. It can be any number of things, but it happens often, & is almost impossible to ignore, or avoid.

You will all recognise the phenomenon. It happens when the person you are talking to, has a small piece of carrot, or poppy seed, or spinach, caught in between the teeth.

As they talk, & you answer, your eyes are irresistably drawn to the 'carrot'. Often the 'carrot' is not food in the teeth, but a facial blemish, or distinguishing mark. Perhaps a large cold sore. A huge mole, or a winky eye. Or even a scar. I find I am fascinated with scars, & always want to ask what caused it?

As you talk, your eyes return to the object again & again. You begin to suspect you must be looking 'shifty eyed' as your eyes flick to the 'carrot'.

The GP we used to attend when we lived another life, in a different place, had a wife, who often did receptionist duties. She was a pleasant woman, who tended to be very down to earth in her views of life. She wore no makeup, & her face had several large prominent moles on the cheeks.

(Totally unrelated photo of one of my Camellias, after some rain.)

As it happened I had a mole I was 'over' & I wished to get it removed. I became paranoid about asking Dr M to get it removed. I felt he might feel it was not necessary, since his wife J's moles were much larger, & twice as prominent.

Finally I plucked up the courage to ask Dr M for a referral to have my mole removed. The thing about these things is, when you have one, everyone notices, & though they don't remark about it well, most good mannered people don't you can see their eyes talking to it.

Once it was gone, no one could even remember where it had been. When I next visited Dr M, J began a discussion with me about her moles. She said she kept thinking she would have them removed, but then chickened out, as she is a coward. I assured her the Plastic Surgeon had not caused pain at all.

(Another totally unrelated flower. This time a white Camellia)

I have no idea if J got her moles removed, since we moved away. Last time I saw her, she still had them.
I know some actresses who make a feature of their moles or beauty spots or whatever you care to call them. I guess they are not in the same category as the 'carrot in the teeth'.
(Totally unrelated pink Azalea, with exquisite spider web, in the morning dew)

We spent a part of the day yesterday at a Court. It has been my experience, limited as it is, & thank goodness for that, as they invariably disappoint, & even if you win, you lose somehow that a Court is a dismal, depressing place to spend much time.
We went to support our friend, who was assaulted very badly, & the police are charging the offender with grievous bodily harm (he shattered our friend's arm with a skateboard, you may remember). Our friend had given his evidence, when the court broke for 'morning tea', around 20 to 12 noon. Then everyone went back into court, then everyone filed out again. I had been 'sitting' with the children, who are yet to give their evidence.
The case has been adjourned to another court, at a future date. It is all very complicated, as different courts deal with different cases. Yesterday's court is a children's Court mainly. However the perpetrator of the assault has since become an adult, so it is felt he is better dealt with in the adult Court, or possibly even the highest Court in our district.
All is in suspense until our friend is either notified of the case moving to the higher court, or settling for the Court where the matter is currently listed, 2 weeks hence. It all takes a toll on everyone, & is quite harrowing having to relive the hideous assault over & over again.

( Another pic of the Azalea)

On the eye front, Gom has been to consult with the Opthalmolagist, & has been given bad news. It seems he has macular degeneration. What remains to be determined is how bad, & we are not sure there is anything that can be done.
The Dr does recommend vitamins so Gom is prepared to give those a try. He does have some cataracts, but the Dr seemed to feel they do not warrant treatment -yet.
Gom's mother went blind. She had a blind sister, & a blind brother. Somehow though, it never occurred to us that Gom might go blind. He has always had good vision, & is still apparently quite good at playing pool.

(Here is a pic of the lovely Kookaburra that came to sit in our Lilly Pilly some time ago.)

Ben Harper, Waiting on an Angel.

Tuesday, January 20

A ramble in my head

On Sunday morning, we realised we were out of some of life's luxuries, such as bread & toilet paper. So off we went to the local Supermarket.

It was not long after opening, so it was lovely & quiet, & the heat of the day had not yet intensified.

We were amiably browsing along, at a slow pace, discussing quietly, what items we 'needed', as opposed to what items we would 'like', ~as you do.

In came a tall Hyena, with long wet hair. She was accompanied by younger Hyena Mark II. They shattered the cool quiet air, with loud shrieks & barkings....shrilly yaps, in fact!

The loud yaps & shrieks discussed the food. Discussed "What your father likes" "He has to have his chippies!!" grrr.

Then tall Hyena's mobile phone rang.

We were then treated to a verbal tour of her - seemingly messy- house. The caller was looking for some item. Tall Hyena was giving instructions on where to look & how to look. "Look under the pile of washing blah blah..." "Oh I know, Open the blah blahdee blah" " move the mountain" "Pull out the chains". On & on.

Gom & I slunk around the corner beyond the soap powders, & the drinks, & quietly wished she would just. shut. up! Why do people seem to feel it is ok to shout out their boring lives to all & sundry.

As we travelled around the shop we came upon a small child, with an open bag of sweets, gobbling them as fast as she could. Her mother pretended to be utterly unaware. I wondered if they would be gone before they reached the checkout, & if the empty packet would be proffered for scanning.

We hurriedly paid for our groceries & came home for peace & quiet.


Sunday evening friends called up to see us. We spent a very pleasant time, laughing & Gom did his 'thing' & fired up his deep fryer & cooked the boys potato chips- fries if you prefer.

I slipped out onto the balcony to take these pics of the pretty sunset.
It has been awhile since I have taken any.

I like this view, with our badly burnt palm leaves in the foreground. I like the palm trees in the centre of the pic, they are very tall, & when the wind is fierce, I am amazed at how far they can bend.
Yesterday morning the Kookaburras were kicking up a real racket laughing their heads off. They sound quite maniacal at times. They were aross the road on this telephone pole, & this was the best shot I could get of them.

On going into the kitchen this morning, I came across the little lizard visitor. He scampered out the door, before I could snap his pic. He is getting quite bold, & sat on the concrete just out of the back door.
I left this photo wide, to give an indication of his/her size. Just a little one, really.

I couldnt get closer, it was very jittery.

Have you ever had an ancestor who has fascinated you?
Someone you never met, but who you wish you could meet, & get to know.
This is a photo of my paternal Grandmother's Parents, so they would have been my great- grandfather & mother.
It has often been told in the family, of how grumpy the old Grandmother was. I could believe every word of the tales, when I see that grim face! She was known to think she was pious, adhereing to the Presbyterian Scottish religion of her ancestors. She had a lage Bible apparently, which she loved to bash!

Apparently she was very disapproving of the grandchildren, & she even referred to my favourite Aunt as "The Limb of Satan". I was so shocked when my aunt told me that. I suspect my father was another Limb, in her eyes. It was said the only ones in the family she liked were the eldest 2, a boy, & a girl, who died at 8 years of age, so I suppose she never had a chance to turn into a "LIMB". The remaining 4 children should not have been there, according to "Grandma Grump."

This couple had a house in a city, & Grandpa had a business. I think they were shocked when my Grandmother married my Grandfather, & he took her off to live on a 'godforsaken' bush farm, in the middle of nowhere!

I digress a little. It is the Grandpa I would have loved to meet, & get to know. My mother knew him a little, & she said he was a fine gentleman. He was a very skilled cabinet maker, & my mother said he had made the most beautiful furniture for his daughter. He designed things himself, & she said he always put storage & secret cupboards & drawers into everyday items, to utilise space.

It was rumoured in the family, that the first born son, was not really his son, but the son of his elder brother. Grandma had apperently been engaged to the brother, & had travelled to Australia, to be with him, & supposedly to marry.
No one knows just what took place, but soon after her arrival in Australia, she returned in haste to New Zealand & was quickly married off to Grandpa! Apparently Grandpa might have been the scapegoat. It is all worth a giggle these days, but I would love to know the truth about it all.
Another rumour has it that Grandma was addicted to her 'medicinal gin' which she swigged with a freedom!
What fun it is to laugh about such things now. We have been so lucky to have close family to keep repeating these stories, which possibly grow a little in the retelling!

I wish I could have met Great Grandpa.

Saturday, January 17

Qulting Excitement!

I suspect this may be seen as blatant advertising, which I am dead agianst!

But, these following friends are featured in the current addition (Feb) of "Quilters Companion" magazine. It is worth the effort to obtain it, for the wonderful projects. But most of all for these talents. "Peppermint Patcher", Tracey Peterson.
Kellie Wulfsohn., of Don't Look Now.
Wonderful Aussie talent! Delightful designs of absolute original thought!

But I feel like jumping up & down, & saying "These are my friends!!" "
"They are Bloggy Friends I have had for ages!"

Please visit them & appreciate their brilliance!
It is so exciting to read, & watch the progress of someone of talent, & brilliance, develop & gain recognition.
Please visit this Blog, & follow the links. You will find other links to blog sites & wonderful, exciting, modern, Giveaways.
Innovative ideas. Bright Original designs!

This lady is featured in the magazine Quilters Comanion too. Kellie's designs are so bright & colourful, she is instantly appealing to children.

Since she had 4 children of her own, we can see she has plenty of material to work with, & has a unique understanding of what children like Love!
Kellie's designs are fresh & unique.

Feeling a bit guilty here, as we have had a lovely cool day, & I have achieved no sewing miracles!! Naughty!! I did read many chapters of my current reading project, so time not wasted!

Pheobe Snow, Poetry Man. I really love her voice, & hate what was done to her career.

Sneaking 2 favourites. Odetta, Pheobe Snow, & Janis Ian.

Friday, January 16

Prickly Heat, Scratchy Moods.

First up, I must belatedly say thankyou to Ms Burrows of "What Its About", for this cute little award.

These are the rules, & as I have said to Ms Burrows, it is not that I don't appreciate these awards, I am flattered. However I break the rules about passing them along, since many people ask not to recieve them.
If you read here, & would like to take this award, please feel free to take it, with my good wishes!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
3. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award .

We have had 2 really hot & sticky humid days, which are very hard for me. I seem to suffer so much from the humid heat, & find it saps the life out of me. Yesterday was a real killer, over 40 degrees celsius, & the late thunderstorms did little to alleviate things, since it remained very humid for the night.

I wake with bags under my eyes after the restless tossing & wakeful patches of the night's sleeplessness. Needless to say, I become a little short in the grain, & become grumpy & tetchy.

I had several gripes I wanted to rant about. One of them is the time spent filling out these bloody Word Verification things, only to find, after you have jumped through all the hoops, it will not be visible until after blog owner approval! Why bother! As Lee so eloquently put it all on his rant about the problem, it is really unnecessary to have both, or even any. Comments are easily deleted if they are unpleasant. I have deleted several permanantly, & the pests have not been back. I suppose it can be a 'guard dog' if your blog is controversial or insane, as one I found seemed to be. I thought it must be a hoax, but alas, it was real.

Over the past few posts, I have had much higher than usual comments. I have tried to answer them all, personally. I am still undecided whether it might be better to answer them via the comment box, as others very sucessfully do, or stick to the personal reply. I suspect people often do not return to see their comments, once they have posted them, unless the blog owner has set a precedent of answering all comments on the blog.

Perhaps you could let me know what you think. Or which you prefer?

In lighter vein, I have been thinking back on the wonderful colourful language of our parents & grandparents, which seems to have largely died out.

I remember going home to my mother, almost pop-eyed after some old chap had told us stories of his supposed life.
My mother laughed & said "You don't want to take any notice of him! He is just a blatherskite!"
Now, the Irish will know about that word, I would think.
Or she would say, when we retold some far fetched sounding story of derring do, "I think he's telling you tall stories!"

Our Grandmother was from Yorkshire, & she had some odd little sayings, & I can remember her saying, "There's nowt as queer as folk" Though she didn't normally speak that way at all! It always puzzled me that would speak that way.

There are many other snippets, which some to mind at odd times. I am sure my Beloved Brother can remember many more than I can.

Out in the garden, which took a battering from yesterday's scorching heat, there is not much in flower at present. I tried to take a clear photo of this beautiful Gardenia, but I just couldn't seem to get a perfect pic. It is under the shade of a Grevillea, so perhaps was more sheltered.

The Diplodenia are climbing the arch, & have decided after about 6 years to flower with a decent output!

We have a little visitor who makes regular raids into our kitchen. There are several of these little Skinks that live in our garden, & luckily they are too fast for the dogs!
I have watched this little chap/girl come into the dining room, & listen carefully, then quickly run out the door if it hears noises.
I discovered, they like to eat the dog's dry food, so will sneak into the dish, if there is any leftover, & take a pellet, & run off into the garden, then run back for another.
Quite often when I am eating my breakfast out in the garden there will be a little lizard regarding me from a safe distance.
Gom found a small one in his wardrobe this afternoon. It was only about 2 inches long, so I scooped it up, in my hands, & let it go out in the garden.

Ray Charles. You Don't Know Me.

Tuesday, January 13


If you dislike dogs, feel free to skip past my little brag pics of the dogs.

Here is my dear little Honey, who is such a dear little girl. She is usually to be found sitting near me, or at least in the same room as I am. She really needs a little haircut, & a face trim, but you should see the glares I get when I try to tidy her!

She turns her little face to me, & looks incredibly hurt, as much as to say "How Could You!"

When I got her, she was so small, she fit in a teacup. Her little wobbly legs could hardly hold her up. It turned out she has faulty knees, which can be a problem with little Maltese, & Toy Poodles, & she is a cross between a wee black Poodle Mum, & a little white Maltese Dad.

Of course she stole my heart instantly, & there was no question of her going back. Our vet says she is doing really well, & appears not to be in any pain, & she still plays when she gets in a frisky mood. She will be 9 years old this year.

Here is Leo. He looks very worried for some reason. In reality he always looks a bit soulful, & it is hard to get a pic of him looking really happy. He doesn't like the camera, & tends to look away, even if I dont use the flash.

I have been trying to trim him up a little, but he is going to have to go to the professional as he does not let me near his feet, or his tail. I just hope she doesnt completely bald him, as she did last time. Even his tail was down to the skin!!


Now, here is the Interview.

The lovely Shirley from Rhubarb Whine offered to interview anyone who asked.
I agreed to be an interviewee.

Stomper Girl set the tone for the perfect interview. However I dont have her talent for sitting on the stage, so bear with me.

I am now in my favourite postition, feet tucked up, as far as the arthritic knees permit, with a nice cup of Peppermint tea.

1. Meggie, you are so good about blogging regularly. Do you think blogging is an egotistical hobby?

I would have to say, I do rather think blogging has a certain egotistical energy. Why else would we get so much pleasure from airing our opinions, & recieving comments from the like minded~ or even discord from those think otherwise?
My regularity has suffered some of late, & tended to be somewhat erratic, as other pressing matters have taken precedence. doesn't that sound self important & pompous!! haha

2. Which blogger would you like to trade lives with for just one day and why?

I have given this question much thought. My first reaction is to say No one. I feel I am comforable with my devil I know, which is me.
On thinking it over, & in fairness to the whole idea of this interview, there is one blogger, whose life is so different to mine I would love to trade for a day~ whether he would feel the same is another story!
It is Kal, Traumaqueen, whose blog is so interesting, & who I have not visited nearly enough, just recently!

3. You have had an interesting life and told stories of some amazing people. Tell me about one person with whom you’ve lost touch. If you hope for a reunion, how would you like that reunion to take place? (If not, why do you hope to never see them again? )

Another query with a lot of thought needed. I have decided to choose the mother of my first ever serious boyfriend. She was/is? a lovely woman, who had 4 lovely sons. She was very very fond of me, & always told me I was the daughter she would have chosen, if she could have. She unfailingly asked an Aunt after me, over all the years until my Aunt retired. I am sure each of her son's married, & she had nice 'daughters' after all, but I don't know. I rather find it curious that it is the mother, & not the son, that I would like to meet. There was no ill feeling at out parting, & if I had not travelled away, I am sure we would have remained friends.

4. If you could go back in time and meet yourself 10 years ago, would you tell your former self anything about the future?

I suspect I would try to tell me to relax about a home. I was so anxious about having my own home. Now that I do, I love it & though it has faults I bless it every day, in my own way. As I sat outside this morning, eating my breakfast, I felt soaked in happiness vibes, just looking at the sky, & feeling the lovely breeze. Later today, I am sure I wont want to be outside at all!!

5. OK, dig deep and confess. Do you have a secret ambition? Something which you know you're never actually going to achieve, but you're still holding on to in a corner of your brain?

I do confess, that over the years, on & off, I have wished I could write a book. It would have to be biographical, since I dont do very much in the way of fiction, although I did invent stories sometimes for my children. I shocked them once by writing a ficional story about a murderer. I think they could not believe I could invent such a story!

Interview Concluded.

If you’d like to join the fun, it’s simple.
1.Send me an email or a comment saying ‘interview me’.
2.I will then email you five questions that I choose.
3.You can then answer them on your blog.
4.You should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you or comments that they want to be interviewed.


Two slightly blurry pics of one of the dolls I made. Her name is Amber. She always reminds me of my brown eyed granddaughter, & my brown eyed step-daughter, who is deceased.

The pics appear blurry, early morning jitters??
I never even had any alcohol last night either!
I am now off to shop with Gom. Someone has to be able to see!!

Janis Ian, At Seventeen

Sunday, January 11

Little Deceptions.

I guess we are all guilty of little deceptions.

Sometimes it is little lies we tell ourselves, to make us feel better about a situation or something we have - or have not- done.

We can represent ourselves in one light, when telling a story, so as not to appear the 'baddie' in the story. Or we can exagerate- which is a form of deception- to make the story funnier or sadder.

Then there are the little white lies we tell, to be kind to someone.
"Does this shirt make my bum look big?"
Thinks, 'why yes, it looks like a tea trolley!'
But what you actually say is "No, really, it looks fine."

I really intended to post about a little white lie of sorts, that I told my mother, after an adventure out with my brother.

Over the years there have been many white lies to Mum, but most of them I did come clean about in later years. This is not one of them.

This is a photo of my Beloved Brother, & I, on my wedding day in 1966.

I could post this, & say this is us. It would be true, but it would also be a deception, because this was us.

This pic would be more accurate. This was us in November 2008.

Much closer to the reality of today.

This is a self taken pic, in the mirror, & it was taken yesterday, so I suppose it is about as real as I can get.

The story I wanted to retell, is about a trip my BB & I took back to our little old hometown. It is some years ago now.
Since our mother has been gone for 11 years, it is well before her death.

I used to try to get over to New Zealand once a year to visit my mother. Though we lived far apart, we were very close & she was always one of my best friends.

My BB had to borrow our mother's car for this trip. I think she felt unwell, & wanted us to have the trip anyway. She made me promise not to let BB do anything 'stupid' with her car.

I should add, that he would have been in his late 40s when this trip took place.

Off we went, calling on relatives scattered over the North Island, & generally having a lovely time.

When we got to our former hometown, we visited rellies still living there, then went off on a tour of the town, to revisit our grandmother's old house, where we grew up. Gone were the beautiful fruit trees of our childhood, & where the hen house & pen had been there is now a 2 storied house.

Our grandmother's house is still standing, though it has been renovated. It looks far smaller than our memories had painted it!

The road where the house is, had been a rural road, in our day, leading up to many farms, & most of it had been gravel, back in the day. There was also rumoured to be a designated road to Rotorua, at the very top of that road.

BB had always been determined he was going to travel that road to Rotorua, one of these days.

He became obsessed with the idea that we could do it, in Mum's car, on this trip. I laughed & lightly scoffed.

However, he became like Toad of Toad Hall, & he set off to prove he could do it. Of course I knew our mother would consider this doing something 'stupid' with her little car.

On & on he drove, the sealed road ran out eventually after the housing estates ended, & on he went, bouncing us around on the rough potholed road.

I began to suggest he was taking this too far, we had better turn around, & go back. The more I white knuckledly clung to the seat as we jounced & bounced around the more determined he became.

Finally, at the blackberry, tussocks, rocks, & huge open gully stage, he listened to reason. To this day he still maintains that had we kept going, we could have been in Rotorua!

Of course, on returning home safely to our mother, the first thing she asked me was had he done anything stupid in her car. Of course, not wanting to get him into hot water, I lied & said "No". I suspect Mum knew, deep in her heart that he had attempted to make that drive, but we all kept the pretence.

I have had other trips with BB, just the 2 of us. We have had a lot of fun together & get along very well. Mostly.

When he gets his Toad instinct I have to get quite sharp to bring him to his senses! He became obsessed with reaching a beach, which we had been told by locals, was 'just over the hill'.

This was in very hostile bush covered hilly country in coastal Australia, near the birthplace of our Grandfather, & BB became sure our grandfather had walked this beach, & he wanted to do so for himself.

After the small rental car had almost been swallowed up in huge ruts, among the gum trees, & almost flipped over, in parts, as it struck huge boulders, & huge roots of trees, I finally convinced BB that the locals had been pulling his leg, & we were not covered for travel on rutted rain rivened goat tracks'unpaved roads', so we had better get onto sealed roads again smartly.

No doubt he will claim I have exagerated things a little!

In spite of the misadventures here & there, we have had a lot of fun travelling together, over the years.

Neil Diamond, Porcupine Pie. I have no idea what the makers of this vid were doing but it is the best version of the song, which is fun.

Thursday, January 8


I have lately been lamenting the fact that no one writes letters any more.
It is a dying art, it would seem.

In this electronic age, when we can flick off an email in an instant, the handwritten letter is beginning to assume dinosaur-like status.

I miss the wonder of recieving a loving letter, written, perhaps over the course of several days, & posted with care to arrive in my letterbox, a treat for the day, and indeed, days to come.

I could pore over the written words, picturing the writer. Return to re read at my leisure.

I have quite a large collection of letters, I have saved over the years. Some are letters written by me, & sent to my mother. She carefully saved them over the years. I know she had saved them for re reading, when she felt lonely & so far from us. They made interesting reading for me, as they often contained news of events I had completely forgotten.

I know she had a massive stock take, not too long before she got ill, & she must have thrown away a lot of the letters, or perhaps burnt them. After her death, I found quite a few still remained, carefully stored in an old chocolate box. Somehow it broke my heart, to think of my mother, alone, carefully storing, & rereading those letters.

I also have letters from my mother, & I am reluctant to dispose of them. She is gone from this life now, & I still, childishly cling to the remnants of her being, in those letters. Her wisdom, her love, shining through her words, & her neat handwriting.

When I first married Gom & we moved back to the Southern Island to live, I so longed for my mother's letters. We were temporarily living with my in-laws. How I hated it, when I found my new MIL was going through my things, reading all my letters, & nosing into my suitcases.

It broke my heart, but I made a point of burning the letters, in front of my MIL, once I had read them. I was so glad when we found our own place to live. It was years, however, before I found out the MIL had still gone through my drawers & read my mail, without my knowledge, every chance she got.

She used to wonder why we never asked her to babysit.

I have kept letters written by Aunts now dead & gone. I have a letter written to my mother, by my grandmother.

My grandmother loved writing letters, & she wrote wonderul letters, full of news & interesting little bits & pieces. She had a pen friend in her male cousin in England & they exchanged wonderful letters for many years.

I feel sorry for the teenagers of today. They flick those txt messages, on their phones, to each other, using a shorthand only they can decipher. I know they can store them on their cell phones, -or as we call them, mobiles. Somehow it is not the same though. They cannot tie them with ribbon. Store them in a box, to be re read at liesure. To be laughed at, cried at, in private.

Emails can be printed out, & kept, if it is hard copies one wants, but somehow they are not the same, as a hand written letter, which has been written in slow condideration. I cannot really imagine folding a bunch of printed out emails, & tying them with ribbon or tucking them into a box...

I must admit though, the typewritten word is much more legible than my atrocious hand writing is now! I have not retained my neat writing from years ago, & often, can not even read my own writing! Partly it is due to my arthritic fingers, & partly it is laziness, I suppose.

I know it is the electronic age, & technology is here to be utilised, but I still mourn the 'Love Letters' from the past.

PS. I had no idea I had been nominated as a Blog of Note, so you can imagine my surprise on finding out! Thankyou to all the new visitors, it is fun meeting all of you.

Diana Krall, Love Letters. I also really enjoy Nat King Cole's version of this song.

Monday, January 5

Taking stock..

Another year underway. Five days old already.
This beautiful little boy has come to add to our family.
He is the precious first grandson of a loved cousin, & his wife.
He was born on 2nd January, 2009.
We wish him a long healthy & happy life!

We have been having hot weather, which is extremely enervating. The humidity saps the life out of me, & I just want to cringe in the cool air of the Airconditioner.

There has been much contact by phone with friends & rellies in New Zealand, & a small lump of homesickness, for family, & those friends we hold dear.

I have promised myself a 'stock take' of sorts.
Some of it is a mental taking of stock.
Some of it will need to be a material taking of stock, which I must say, I am not looking forward to.

While we didn't get a lot in the way of 'stuff', for Christmas, the evergrowing piles collections might need a little culling, or pruning.

I hasten to add, this will not include fabric! In fact I am intending getting a little more, ~just as an incentive to keep sewing, you understand! Haha.

These 2 little bears seem to have begun a New Year courtship.

Russell came into possession of a very nice bike, all shiny & wonderful, so he leapt onto it, & cycled over to see Annabelle bear.

Annabelle was sitting on the bench, just hoping that Russell might come to visit, seeing he now had some transport.
Here is Russell's wonderful cycle. It is a Western Flyer, authentically reproduced from the the original model, first made around 1950.

I wish I had the space to display all the knick knacks in similar vein to this cycle.
I used to imagine I would one day have a room just for the dolls with their tea parties, & the bears & their antics.
I have been dreaming about these things & wonder what it means.
I don't do resolutions. New Year's day is just another day in my calendar. I did feel some sort of hope at the thought that this might be a happier year for the world, but on a scale of things, there is much that will not be improved, though we might all wish it could be.
I recently rewatched a programme on TV , called "The Girl in The Cafe". It gave such hope, yet somehow I felt a measure of despair. Real life is never so satisfying in matters of wrong being somehow 'righted'.
I think there is a lot of hope out & about, that somehow Obama will achieve miracles. The reality, as I see it, is that he is about to receive a poisoned chalice, & he will have a major struggle ahead.
As my grandmother would say, you cant get blood from a stone.
We are being told we will need to tighten our belts. Economic cuts will be necessary, we must all take a share of 'having less'.
From a material point of view, that could be a really great thing. I watched with horror the TV reports of all the 'stuff' being dumped at the doors of charity organisations. A lot of it pure rubbish, & the dumpers should be ashamed of themselves. At the end of the day though, don't we all have 'too much'.
It makes us wasteful, & the young are so heedless of recycling or making do. If it has a small tear, or a split seam, they toss it away. They have no concept of mending, or repairing.
I watch the oldies around us when out & about. They have beautifully laundered, & maintained clothing, that is obviously years old, not in shabbiness, but in styles which are now gone, but is in lovely condition, & they dress with pride. They buy themselves the cheaper cuts of meat, the seasonal vegies. They know how to cook, & make do, yet still seem to know more about nutrition than the average teenager.
It is a worrying thought for the future. How healthy will today's teens be, in their old age?
Groan!! I must really be sounding old! I am perhaps feeling a little 'old' tonight.
I was going to 'make hay with a big stick' today. Didn't happen. Probably wont happen tomorrow either, since it is tipped to be high 30s again.
Gom offered to run me a bath of cold water, tomorrow, to soak in!
Here is a pic of Gom, in his 'Kingdom' of green glory, relaxed & happy on New Year's Eve.

The Verve, Catching the Butterfly.