Thursday, December 30

An Angel's Golden Feather,

I am not sure if I really believe in Angels, but I think I do.

On Christmas Night, Gom was at death's door.

As I sat vigil, so fearful he would die, I looked out the window of his hospital room and say a golden curled feather, floating on the breeze? the updraft? the pull of the building?

I have no idea what kept the golden feather aloft, as it bobbed and floated before the window.

Up it came, and danced and floated, and slowly disappeared and reappeared.

It vanished for moments, and I thought of an Angel;s wing.

It was a feather from somewhere, that looked like no feather I had ever seen on any bird.

Suddenly, when I thought it had vanished, it reappeared, to dance it's little ritual dance all over again.

I felt curiously comforted.

I finally decided to leave the Hospital, and trust in the Staff, and, perhaps, a Golden Winged Angel,  to save Gom's life.

He was being tended by an Angel of a Nurse, who was the most gentle and caring person I have ever met. I hope I see her again.

He was saved, by whatever miracle, and forces,  and the hard work,  of wonderful Staff for the whole of that hideous night, as he hovered so close to death.

He made it through that awful night. He is still here, and I keep thinking of that Golden Feather.

We hope he will be home soon after New Year.

He is improving now, after another proceedure today, which seemed to go very well.

As you may guess, our Christmas is one we never wish to repeat.

Cat Stevens Tuesday's Dead.

Monday, December 13

Ratbags, and Libertytakers... And some weighty Skies!!

When I add pics to my blog lately, I seem to have trouble aligning the type. I wish to begin in the left, but the script refuses to obey, and orients to the center... regardless of my instruction.

Does anyone have an answer to this dilemma? Comments welcome!

Our long serving, and no doubt suffering Washing machine, has finally decided to quit. As it is now over 13 years old, it is deemed to be past it's actual "Use By".

Time was, you bought an expensive appliance such as this, and it would last almost a lifetime- or the length of your marriage, depending on which was shorter!!

Do you think the sky was sending some message? This was a slightly threatening look, before the breakdown of the washing device!!

 Is this a picture of a "Glowering Sky"? I have often wondered at that particular term, for skies!

And, later, as it darkened. Wonderful patterns.
I was not the only one to be out capturing this sky display. More than one neighbour was watching, and photos were taken.

As it darkened deeply, there was the flash and flare of bright gold, upon the horizon, echoing over the cloud canopy.
Not really menacing, but not quite comforting.

At the "Marketplace" today, determined to be Tough, and,  'wheel and deal'  ~well, I can kid myself I am tough, and astute!
We first enquired of a Seconds Establishment, thinking perhaps we could score the deal of the decade, with a ding or a scratch.

We looked at the offered products, discussed the merits and demerits of various washers.
I know Front loaders are said to be most economic. But I am now old and arthritic of body, so stooping to load and unload a Front Loader... I dont think so!!

An older Brand, trusted, and successful in the past, is now advised to be a costly, and faulty,  trap. Trading on past reputation for reliability.  No longer manufactured by the same people and no longer trustworthy, so we decided not to look in their direction.

The New Kid on the Block is a "Sumting", obviously not their real name! and we are advised it is excellent in both performance and reliability, to say nothing of durability.

For little discount, we are offered a dented and also paint scraped model, with a horrendous 'delivery fee'. I am taken aback.
I declare, I will look about, & see what is available, at rival retailers.

"By all means" beams the salesman, who has suddenly decided he could 'deliver the washer for a fee, of $15 less,  than their 'regular delivery man'. Which still meant $40.

So, off we sped, to another retailer, reknowned for their 'deals'.

"Oh Yeah!" thinks jaundiced me!

We find the exact same washer on offer for the same price as the 'Seconds'.?? what?, I thought dings and dents reduced the price?

Upon enquiry, I find I can have the washer delivered free, and installed, along with removal of the old washer, and it will arrive tomorrow, and it will be $115 cheaper than the damaged washer!

Who is fooling who? I just do not get it. It does pay to shop around. But why am I left with the feeling someone has been fooling me.    Or, more probably, is still fooling me!

Still, I am just happy to think I can begin washing tomorrow! We are running out of clean clothes!
My son suggested going naked, but I know that is defininetly not a Good Look! Not this year, anyway!!

Mark Knopfler, Telegraph Road.

Wednesday, December 1

Life at the "Pointy End".

Or, should that be, 'Nose Cone'?

Whatever term you choose to use, I dare to state~ it is NO FUN, when you are 'Mature'!!.

I have recently had to resort to consulting a Podiatrist, to try to enable walking.
It seems my skeleton has much Arthritis, and my feet are afflicted.

Unlike my friend Ali, I have not had much success, with my podiatric treatment! (Is there such a word, as 'podiatric'?? I am too lazy to look it up on Google). I must add here, I have no idea if Ali's problems are arthritic.

I consulted with an Orthopeadic Surgeon, who gave me several options for surgery, and an option to consult with a Podiatrist.
Being a coward, I chose the lesser treatment.

The Podiatrist I was given the referral for, had a very unfortunate Rottweiller (to me)  manning the telephone. After being initially barked at, and told the exact amount of money I would need to front up with,  I timidly made an appointment, which I was subsequently unable to attend, due to other pressing health matters of Gom.
I hasten to add here, that I made sure to cancel the appointment in plenty of time. A holiday occurred in the meantime, also, so I did not have actual  vocal contact with the Rottie.

In the meantime, I needed to be shod to attend our Daughter's wedding. I chose soft, suede, flat, shoes. Almost slippers, I foolishly thought, on initially trying them on. Bliss! I foolishly thought.

What an idiot I was! they proved to be so crippling, I had to hobble to the car,  since I was the driver.  
These soft shoes, they look so innocuous! So comfy, so harmless! How could they cause such agony?! How could they cripple me, and almost reduce me to tears?

This is the offending foot. I would venture to say, it is a totally useless as a foot!! Never mind Footloose! How about Footless??

To cut to the chase, I chose another Podiatrist, after encountering the Rottie once more. This encounter led me to snarl, -in Rottie~like  manner, I might add- that I would "just Limp to Hell then!" I hung up.

I phoned another Podiatrist, - this being the 'Holding Paddock' one might say... you Kiwis will understand this... -there is no shortage of Podiatrists, here in our Local area.

The lovely receptionist was polite, pleasant, and most sympathetic. Soothing, in fact! A very quick appointment was arranged. A fee, half the Rottie's  Podiatrist, was quoted. ??
What is that about??

When I met the Podiatrist, he checked my Xrays, my gait, my pain levels. My ugly foot.
He fashioned this 'toe seperator'.
We have made many family jokes about the colour.. 'labia pink' being one. Another suggests folk might ask what my Bubblegum is doing, residing in between my toes?!! Haha, because I LOATHE bubblegum!! Or, indeed, any type of chewing gum there might be!

I am not sure the toe thingy is working. I have purchased some very expensive sandals, which are made for people with multiple problems, such as myself, . I will reserve judgement, but so far, the 'cures' have created other problems, with the fitted podiatrist insoles etc.
I do find all of this very discouraging~ as well as downright painful!

I would love to "Kick this Habit"!! haha.

However, there is always the Arrogant Morty to laugh at! Here he seems to be indignant at the fact I have dared to introduce a Sunhat into the house!!
And of course, here he is just letting us know, he Rules this house! And he will damn well lie where he chooses~ never mind if it is in the direct line of traffic to the toilet! Which, age would dictate, need not be hindered!!

And here is Honey, with her newly cropped Summer coat, courtesy of our Son~ & I. She is yet to be tidied, but I am sure she appreciates the cooler crop... raggedy though it might be!

And Leo, who tries so hard to be a 'good boy'. He has no idea, what being 'good' is! He is an indiscriminate piddler, and all our attempts to teach him about the niceties of polite society, seem to fall on deaf ears. 
It is sad, as he is a very intellingent dog, and a very loyal, affectionate,  and loving dog.

I guess, like our other family members, we have to accept him as he is. Warts- er, I mean pee- and all!

We had a 'street drama' a couple of nights ago.
I heard a dog screaming in  pain, & rushed out into the street to find a large vehicle had bowled a  neighbour's dog. A very small dog, who is non-road-savvy. I was upset, but the poor driver and his passenger were distraught. As it happened, I 'know' the little dog who was hit. She is 'road foolish'. She is a tiny black Poodle.
All is well, as she is alive, and almost recovered from the drama. I went to visit her this morning, and she is very well!
 Her owners are so glad she is alive and OK. They are normally so careful, but accidents happen.
It was nice to see, there were other neighbours, who were drawn by the cries, and all were concerned to see all was well.
We do have the most wonderful neighbours.

I will just limp off to bed now! haha. 

Chris Isaak, Somebody's Crying.

Monday, November 29

It is all in the Details.

I think, most of our lives are contained, right there, in the details.

You know the ones. They are never evident upon first inspection.

Then they seem to seep into consciousness, and finally become the significant items, or aspects, that they acutally ARE.

At first, we may notice them, in a secondary way. They are part of the Wallpaper, or the Background Buzz. The misty glimpse, off to the side... the Ghostly Peripheral.

As they pass, we are suddenly aware of how truly signicifant they were/are.

Our Daughter has recieved her "Official" wedding Album.

I would say, for the most part, it is lovely and all that they had hoped for.

However the "Ghosts" are somewhat disturbing, or unsettling.
We can clearly 'see' the apparitions.
Since our Son is an expert in the field of Retouching, we are acutely aware that these pics have been faked.

It begs the question, Why would somone do that to Wedding Photos?
Why would they play such cheap tricks?

Morty is Officially "Naughty Morty". He has become a Neighbourhood Busybody.

He can be seen lolling about the street, on the heat of the tarmac, pretending he is on the Riviera, (or some Kitty Equivalent!)
Newly added Son In Law, was to be seen flapping his arms and shouting, all to no/little avail, to get Haughty Morty off the very road he, SIL,  was about to motor upon!
Morty just rolled over, then dashed off to hide under a wheel of vehicle parked on the side of the street.

SIL drove off, hoping the silly little feline did not choose to leap under his wheels!

Morty is now exploring the delights of the Newly Moved Neighbour's Three Story Boat!! This mighty edifice is parked on the newly owned front lawn, in place of much lovely, but now deceased,  vegetation. Sad to see lovely plants cut down in the prime. But Newly Moved Owners can do as they see fit!
The Three Story Boat, has an ostentatious name. It sits there, almost dwarfing the modest house, in which it's new owners dwell. It rather takes one's breath away, this Three Story Boat.

However, Morty will not be intimidated. I am assuming he chooses his moments, when he knows the owner-dogs will not be present. On the other hand he seems to be cat, who does not give a sh!t!! He is bold beyond belief! He visits our Catless neighbour, and boldly Meows from his terrace, as if he owns the place! Luckily our Catless neighbour does not mind at all.

The Owners of the Three Story Boat would seem to be lovely people. His dogs are certainly impeccably behaved! They are obedient, and wonderfully well mannered... (as opposed to our little demons, who are apt to bark inappropriately.)The man mows  Mr & Mrs NN's lawn, since learning of Mr N N's illness. We really do have the nicest Neighbours anyone could desire.

Our Lovely Son fears he may have broken a bone in his foot, or worse, done tendon damage, after a leap into water, too shallow. The Xrays have proved inconclusive, but his pain is very real. The swelling is an evident detail. He awaits a 'higher' opinion. An expert reader of the 'details'. Two days before he learns the outcome of the Expert Reading. After we spent 4 hours waiting for some results...
I suppose 4 hours was short, compared to the 7 year wait for a knee replacement in the UK, a Podiatrist told me about!! And I have been told to expect 10 months! I feel very lucky!! (Or Not)

They do say , "The Devil is in the Detail".

Bread, Diary

Wednesday, November 17

No, Really!, I live in a Parallel Universe..and it is all GOOD!

You know the one... it has no arthritis, no ugly bits, and all is much the same, but without the pain. There are no dental dramas. No news of possible 'freaky diseases' with no known cause, and no known cure.
Or the fuzzy bits where the brain forgets the correct spelling for words.
HALP!! I ased to be such a good speller!!

These are some pics of my most loved beings on the Planet. I am sure they exist in my Parallel Universe, just the way they appear, here in this Universe!.

This Girl loves her Dad, who came through for her Wedding Day.
This is some random crap I came up with, while we sat in our Parallel Universe, waiting for the Thunderstorms to arrive. They did arrive, but my photographic record was NIL!
Of course, in the Parallel Universe they were all recorded in complete clarity, and somewhere out there, in Cyber Space, they glow!

Here is a loved Sister in Law, in a garden. SIL is a wonderful gardener, and her fingers and thumbs are so green, they are dazzling!! And luckily, she carries this talent into the Parallel Universe!! (Or from here-on, it shall be known as PU!)

Here, below,  are all people I love. Most of them are rellies, and some are Honorary Rellies. One is my Step Granddaughter, on the right. A Gorgeous, Sweet, Loving, Girl..
The Gorgeous Girl on the left in the pics is an Honorary Granddaughter. A part of our loved family. Hi Jas!!XX
And next to her, is my Gorgeous Granddauther, who has been so kind, and so caring for me ove the past few weeks. Love You Gorgeous Girl!!
These people are loved dearly and they are the NN"s,  and Family.
OMG! I forgot how to spell Tuesday?? This is a real worry. This does NOT happen in the Parallel Universe I really live in. In that Unieverse, I can still spell.

In that Universe, I have not gone quietly crazy, trying to deal with all the dross and crap that life hands us all, in due time.

My teeth are still perfect, and I have no issues with strange oral diseases. or denture fittings. I am still able to walk freely, with no broken rib, and no fecked knee, or foot.
The folks- read Specialists!-  I have to see, to sort out these 'wrinkles' are not nasty, nor do they have 'guard dogss' on their phones, who are even nastier!!.
In this Universe, the problems all have solutions.
In this Universe, I am singing and dancing.   With no 'flat notes' and no 'faltered steps'. Mrs NN and I are dancing up & down the street "Naked"!! in this PU.! We love it!!

Trust me, we have discused this scenario, & all it's gaudy minfestations. I think we have decided to wait another five years before we actully do it!!
One might be thinner, but heaven forbid the other is thinner!! We trust she might 'fatten up'!!
All good for laughs in the Parallel Universe!

Wasn't It Good. Tina Arena

Thursday, November 11


I really do believe in Angels.
On this day My Angel was born, so Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter J.

On Saturday 6th of November 2010, our Angel got married to her Sweetheart, of 10 years.
They celebrated in a Park in a simple ceremony tailored to their wishes and their circumstances.

Though Gom is ill, he was able to walk his daughter down the path to be married.

There was a photographer for the ceremony, but we had forgotten about 'Leaving Home'.

Our Angel Neighbours, Mr & Mrs NN came to the rescue, with a video, and also photos.

Here is the Bride leaving in her brother's rather special car.

Such a proud Groom. He had the biggest smile I have ever seen and it lasted all day.

 Here they are with their proud Son our SG. He looked so nice in his suit and he was so proud to read a poem with the Celebrant.
 Nerves were apparent, for our Daughter J.

It was a very unseasonably cool day. It had poured with rain for the preceding hours, but fined up in time to dry most of the worst wetness off the grass.

The "Mums" bore Witness, in front of their offspring.

A Sand Ceremony was performed, for the blending of the two families.

Their happiness warmed the cool Park.

And Meggie and Gom managed to stay quite late.

We left the party just after this photo was taken. The rain had returned and Gom was very chilled.

Angels had ensured that the rain stayed away for the Park Ceremony, and the serving of the Buffet Meal. It later rained, but there was a Marquee, and a Jukebox and much fun was had by all.

I would like to thank my wonderful Angel Neighbours, Mr & Mrs NN and my Beloved Brother for these photos. The official ones wont be ready for some time, but I think these have captured the happiness very nicely.

Woo Hoo. We are having SG for a few days while the Newlyweds go off to Honeymoon in seclusion at a Resort. Our wedding gift to the Happy Couple.

This song was played before the wedding.
Nick Cave Breathless

Sunday, October 31

How many grains of sand...

Shamelessly borrowed from websites, advertising for tourism. I hope I am not breaking any laws, or upsetting any businesses. The Bay of Plenty is a wonderful place to visit, and, a wonderful place to grow to maturity!

This is a pic of the spit of the Mount.

This view, here below, taken from the top of the Mount, looking South, or more realistically East South East,  depicts the Blowhole, with Motiti Island in the more distant background. I hope these give some perspective, to my story and the pics I have posted here.

 Of course here is the Mount, beloved by young teenagers, of my day,  as a 'Conquest'! We would walk our way around and up this Mount, and view the surroudings, and feel triumphant, at having achieved such a feat.
There might have been a hug or two on the way up... even a kiss perhaps.

When we were young school children, we would be bussed from our home town school, for a Picnic Day at the foot of the Mount. There was so much sand! Which I now consider in a different light!!
There were Donkey Rides. Poor docile Donkeys, they were so patient and long suffering.
I happened to notice, a strange item of news, while I was perusing a  Newspaper site, of the New Zealand Herald . It concerned this  beach of my childhood.
A beach, which featured in a large part of my growing/maturing  years.

The 'beach', (which perhaps should be known as Beaches),  is Mount Maunganui, and it has a small Mount, at the end of a spit of land, as in my nicked pic. One side opens onto the Ocean, and the other, is the Harbour side, which is calm, sheltered, and waveless.
It was an ideal beach destination when we were all ages, since the Harbour side was mostly shallow, and ideal for small children to learn to swim or just paddle.

The Ocean side, was where we went to surf the waves and swim in the sometimes,  mighty breakers of foam, as they hurled themselves endlessly to the sandy shore.

I have previously posted this picture of myself, on the left,  and a little friend, Norma, - we still keep in touch today. In the background can be seen, what I think, is either Motiti Island, or the Mount.

This was taken at approximately the same location, as the first photo, but this time I have 'grown up'. I was a trainee nurse, and much of our spare time was spent at the beach!

Looking at the pic, to the left is the Blowhole, and Motiti Is.  is once again in the background.

This next was taken in a rock hollow at the Blowhole, which we frequently visited to watch the water blast up through the hole in the rock.. I can remember the name of my companion, but I am wondering who took the photo?? I have no idea, as I felt just the two of us made the trip, on one of my days off. Obviously not the same day as the bright photos.

This is rather chilling, as it would seem to be in almost the exact location of the "Bones on the Beach" photograph featured in the Postcard. It was taken on the same day as the standing photo, on that grey sand.

Somehow this is horrible to see. I was intrigued/saddened/horrified,  by the postcard, and the accompanying article in the NZ Herald.
I somehow found this unutterably sad.
I do not have any religion, but I do feel much respect, for those of us who have gone before. I have many Maori friends, who were 'local',  and I am so shocked to think we were never made aware of this event. None of my family have any memory of this happening. I am surprised to think it was not local folklore. Why did no one tell us? I feel crass, somehow, not to have been aware.

I find I think of the grains of sand, and how they are filled with the grains of our beloved, who have gone before.
After all, we are all one!

Tina Arena, Now I Can Dance. I LOVE this song!!

Wednesday, October 27

Comforts...or are they?

Much is written these days about so called "Comfort Foods".

I know I am somewhat of a freak, when it comes to my choice of "Comfort Food".

Chocolate has never been my choice. Offer me a Chocolate, or a Grilled Cheese dish, ~and Grilled Cheese will win every time!

Or better still, offer me Cheese and a Flaky Pastry, plus, perhaps an onion/combination,  and I am gone! My "Ultimate Swoon" Food!

Offer me a steak, I will shudder. But offer me fish, of almost any type, and I will be transported with delight.

I am not mad about Mussels, nor Pauas. Pipis, or Cockles,  I can take or leave- these days preferably leave! Though in our young days we would -cruelly, I am ashamed to admit- bit the 'toungues' off the raw Pipis as we dug them out of the sand.
I am appalled now, to think of this hideous act, and I wish I could apologise to every Pipi I maimed, or wounded!

I do love a rich Vegetable Soup, and I love Barley as an ingredient for any Soup. Comfort Food indeed, to my palate.

Potatoes score high in comfort food lists, and any method of cooking them, meets with my approval.

Something I do find, of late, is a love of salt.

I suspect this is not a good thing. Salt, tends to make one's aging body retain fluid, which is not desirable for many reasons. Fluid retention, and Heart disease, being two of the major "No No's"

Given the choice between a few chocolates, or a bag or two of Potato Chips, or Crisps, and you can have the Chocolates, I will take the the Chips or Crisp- call them what you choose.
Those awful yellow "Cheese" snacks? Let me have them~ salt and all!

I do love Asian style dishes, with the sweet/salty/sour tastes, and I tell myself the vegetables are extremely healthy! And the delicate Seafoods,  which go so well with the wonderful salty, soupy, dishes, of Asian influenced Cuisine.

I love noodles, and find them to be Comfort Food Central

, to me. I adore Rice Noodles especially. But then, I also love just plain Rice!

I also have a love of Macaroni Cheese, a hangover from my childhood, when I loved my Grandmother's Mac Cheese more than any other food. And next day, sliced cold, it was devine!!

I still love Pasta, and regard it as a Comfort Food.

Do you have a Favourite Comfort Food?

Neil Diamond, Porcupine Pie. I know, I have posted this before, but I still love this version.

Thursday, October 21


The evening comes tinged with pink edges, a seeming promise of a fine, and perhaps,  beautiful day tomorrow.

A treat from over the sea. This lovely little hanging, bringing sweet sentiments and the love of friendship. So very sweet. Thankyou Jane, of Marigold Jam.  Do  check out this blog, she writes the most delightful posts.

Another free treat for me, was an email message from another Blog friend. It is amazing how much better support can make one feel, even if it comes from cyber space, and caring friends unmet, in the flesh.
Thankyou Mary, you are a treasure.


This, for me, was a treat to make. I have been trying to summon the Mojo to help me create this promised item, for my Dear Daughter J.
Yesterday the Mojo came home, and I made the complete item! I was so happy, and so is my daughter. It looks a little cream in the pic, but is actually Ivory. The lace is an old treasure I had kept and we found the perfect ribbon, along with some lovely velvet ribbon, also among my treasures.

I really did enjoy feeling like sewing again!

We have a very nice neighbour, who recently lost his 'Bride' of many years. He is now 80 years old, and is a remarkable man. He still rises every morning at 4am to go to train his horses. He says he doesn't know what he would do with himself, if he didnt still train the horses. He told he he takes flowers to the Bride's grave to celebrate her birthdays.
I had asked if he could remove a Privet, which had grown wild among his Bride's lovely Azaleas. Apart from being ugly, the Privet gives me severe hayfever.
As good as his word, he got his Grandson to remove the Privet yesterday, after having borrowed a saw from Gom. The Bride once told me that her Groom would not know one end of a hammer from the other!

That may be true, but he sure can train some winninging horses!

Blogger is infuriating me beyond endurance this morning.
I began this post last evening, and found it impossible to upload photos, due to 'maintenance'.

This morning, I had a little better luck, but simply can not upload 2 more photos I had hoped to add.

Gom is out in the kitchen, doing unthinkable things to the bench and other assorted items. I am trying so hard to remain in here, away from it all. I figure what I don't see, won't hurt me!

I am off out this afternoon, hopefully for some retail therapy, with my Dear Daughter. She is shopping for a bra. Never an easy task, and the last shop she tried, (which boasted it can fit any figure,) ridiculously told her they don't stock her size, but she could buy an extension to make one fit! WTH?? She is a perfectly normal, average size?
I need some pretty, comfortable,  sandals, since I can no longer wear heels and so wish us both luck!

Gomez, How We Operate.

Monday, October 18

Not Keeping the Balls in the Air.

So many missed opportunities for pictures! So many milestones to mark!
It seems I have missed most of them.

Where have I been? Where has my wandering mind been?

This is SG, Small Grandson, 'Almost Eight', which is a pretty special Birthday, after all. He came to share it with us, and he was so excited by his gifts and the magnificent Chocolate Cake his father made!!

Shockingly, I dont have the 'Now I Am Eight!' pics.
Nor do I have the wonderful Choccy Cake, made by Dad! pics.

Where was the camera? What was I thinking?

I was off on Planet Numb, I suspect, wandering about, bewildered, and lost.
I have no idea where most of this month has gone.

If anyone finds my Sewing Mojo, please send it back to me, as I really need it now, to complete something I promised to have made, before November.

I received a lovely little hanging, of which I don't have photos to show. Hangs head in shame. I promise I will have them for the next post.

My juggling all seems in vain, & the balls all fall at my feet.

However, I am not resisting the temptation to say, "What the hell?",  look at the balls lying there, & just walking away.

After all, if they need to be in the air, I am sure someone will throw them up. Or not.

Morty has been a true CAT. He refuses to remain an indoor cat, and I swear he gives us 'the Finger' now & then!
He is a rude, arrogant cat. He comes running indoors to yowl and talk, only to run off again, when I try to answer his queries, and set his mind at rest.

He adopted a shabby cardboard box his choice of 'slumber slot' in the evening, beside my chair.

Well, he has lost it now. He caught a poor little bird, and sneaked it into the house.
The first we knew of it, was some thumping, and leaping noises. When I went to investigate, I found the poor little critter, cowering in a corner of a bedroom. I rescued the little creature, and took it to the local Vet. I hope it will recover. It did not seem mortally wounded, though it was missing a few feathers.

I used Morty's Slumber Box, to transport the hapless dove. Morty is getting another, large, bell for his collar!

My little dog Honey is quite jealous and disliking of Morty. However, most mornings, I find Honey on one side of my legs, on the bed, and Morty, on the other side.
It seems a truce is reached in the night.

Would I could reach such harmony in my days.

Janis Ian, In the Winter.

Thursday, September 30

Not Waving...Drowning.

This was a visit to the Sydney Aquarium, with my son, on the 28th of Sept, which was the Anniversary of Gom & I taking possession of our current house.
It was a hot day, the year we moved in, and it was a hot day, this year also.

We had forgotten it was School Holidays, and when we first arrived to attempt to visit the Aquarium, it was packed with excited children, in snaking long queues!
We decided to beat a hasty retreat, and have some lunch instead.

It had been about 6 years since I had visited the Casino, so we decided to walk in my case, hobble over the Bridge at Darling Harbour, to the 'other side' to see about lunching in the Casino.

Huge mistake! The shabby seedy 'joint' is being renovated. Finding entry was almost impossible. We encountered some Asian Tourists, who were also having difficulty finding how to get into the place.

Eventually we gained entry to a floor, which, it appeared had a Private Gaming Only area- so we ignored that!- as well as a Gaming Room.
We met a huge Mountain of a Man, brown of skin, huge of smile, and politeness itself. Mr Obliging and Extremely Pleasant  Brown Mountain Man, informed us that Son ~ if we wished to proceed into the Gaming Room ~ would need to check his backpack into the downstairs front desk, what desk?, what downstairs?, the only downstairs we had seen was pavement at the foot of arduous stairs!  
Stairs for me, are very difficult to negotiate.

However Mr O & E P Brown Mountain Man, gave us complicated directions on how to reach this area, and thence. how to proceed to the Restaurant area.

We proceeded ~limped, in my case~ to some lifts, where we once again encountered the bewildered Asian Tourists, who agreed with us, they did not really know where they were going either. Eventually, after trekking through what seemed miles through the cold and ugly car park, we found the lifts that would supposedly take us to the Desk Area, then we could apparently be allowed access to the Restaurant Area.

After standing politely in a stuffy small area waiting for one of the 3 lifts to arrive, we were dismayed to find a crowded lift, full of hostile faces, daring us to enter. We stepped back, only to be almost flattened by extremely rude ...shall we say, tourists, shoving us out of the way, and barging into the already full lifts.

It seems some countries are so used to this type of behaviour it was accepted! We stood, astonished, as 3 more slow lifts came and went, with behaviour quite the same as before. There seemed a never ending stream of rude, pushing, sweating ignorance, just waiting to outrush us into the already groaning lifts.

We decided lunch was not worth that, so we headed off back, to take the hideous trip back to Mr O E & P B M M, who decided to 'illegally' let us through the Gaming Room, with Son's Backpack still attached.
After threading our way through the sad, tired & disgusting looking Gaming Room, we reached Mr Blond Mountain Man, who was equally O E & P. He told us he should not let us into the Restaurant area, but seeing we were there already, he would.

After reading the Price list, and deciding we did not really want to purchase the Restaurant, or even Buy Shares in the Silverware, we beat a hasty Retreat. Mr Blond MM was quite understanding, and allowed us to retreat the way we had come- in spite of the illegality of it all.

We once again encountered Mr O E & P B M M, who cheerily bade us a goodbye, and fond wish for us to Enjoy Our Day.

The Casino seemed a very sad, shabby grubby and seedy place. I felt it an ugly blot on the lovely face of Darling Harbour. Just my impression.

After limping ever more slowly and painfully back across the Harbour, we found a place to dine, which did not include prices for Permanant Residence or Lease, or Puchase of Shares in the Business, or indeed the Silverware. It did however have seagull access, and the screams of a small girl, whose meat was stolen by a cheeky seagull, who ripped the food almost from her mouth, bore testament to the fact that it was a somewhat  'risky' place to dine.

I was rather shocked to see ashtrays on the tables, and could scarcely believe they could allow smoking in a place for dining, even though it is, 'outdoors'.

The food was very nice, which, after our fruitless trek to the Casino, was most welcome. We had worked up quite hearty appetites, with all the frustrations and tramping, and hobbling in search of sustenance.

We were glad we had waited to try to gain entry to the Aquarium. The queues were almost nil, and we did get in quite quickly. However the visit was rather disappointing for many reasons, not least being the crowdedness- rudeness again with pushing tourists, obviously used to such rude behaviour.
Many of the viewing windows of the more interesting sealife were far too small for crowds, and it was, overall, not a very pleasant experience.

The shabbiness was disappointing too. One would expect better, for our wonderful Darling Harbour, and the fact is is quite the Tourist 'attraction'.

We both agreed later, that our Local Aquarium Shop is much more pleasant, and a lot of the displays are much superior~ plus it is free, and one can spend as long as one likes studying the wonderful displays.

Overall it was a nice day away from my 'Real Life' which is increasingly sad and I am struggling to maintain some balance.

America, Don't Cross the River

Friday, September 17

Finding the Sparkle

As we are now into Spring, it is that time of year when the cold still bites and the Summer seems to be teasingly evasive, and elusive.
We have flashes of warm balmy days, when Summer seems to be almost upon us, caressing us with sun, and light zephyrs of harmless,  mild air.
We are lulled into false feelings of warmth, and the bite of further cold air comes as a shock, to remind us that the Seasons are fickle, with Spring perhaps the most fickle of all.

The almost irredescant greens,  of the new bursting leaves on the deciduous trees, remind us that Summer will soon arrive.

The Jacarandas are curious, as their leaves turn yellow, and begin to fall, at this time of year, in seeming contradiction to the seasons. They are making way for the glorious display of blossom in the beginning of Summer, which here, in Oz, is in reality, November.

We do seem to be blessed with many purple/blue flowers at the start of Summer.

A rain sprinkled Agapanthus, from another Spring.

No raindrops this time.

Since our Jacaranda almost never rarely flowers, I don't have any pictures of the blossom.

I do, however have pics of our wonderful Orange Clivea.

The best ones grow clustered about the trunk of our Maple tree. They slumber peacefully during the Summer months, resting, and preparing for their magnificent bursts of colour during the early Spring.

We have several clumps of Clivea, but the best ones grow close to the trunk of our Maple, and the fallen leaves of the Maple, which cover them with the shed leaves of the Autumn fall. They keep them snug and warm under the blanket of red and brown leaves.

When we first redesigned our garden bank, I divided some of the Clivea clumps, and transplanted them a little further away from the trunk of the Maple.

They were slow to flower, and seemed to sulk a little, though they did still receive the blanket of comforting leaves, that the Maple provided.

They produce lovely red berries, which are quite beautiful in their own right. They glow, a scarlet red, and I have no idea if they are fertile or not.

At present we have some very happy succulents, which are in a neglected pot. They are flowering prolifically, and are quite lovely upon close inspection.
My favourite is the fern which has regenerated from the log banks of the garden. I know they don't flower, but I have a very soft spot for ferns.

The log wall which encloses the embankment is beginning to looks quite aged. It seems so recent since we redid this garden, but I guess time passes very quickly. It is, in fact, over 7 years since it was done, so it is little wonder that age has appeared.

Our back yard had become heavy with perfume, from the neighbour Jasmine, which is heavlily flowering. We also have  a Port Wine Magnolia, which is flowering and perfuming the air, along with another shrub with a small white flower, which I have forgotten the name of, but the perfume is very sweet.

They do "Sparkle".
However, I fear I have developed an allergy to something, since I seem to be sneezing rather a lot!
Even the dogs, and the cat, are snorting and sniffing!

Leo Sayer, Orchard Road.

Saturday, September 11

Unexpected Endings

We have watched, with some sadness the demolition of a Hotel we once owned.
The demolition is due to the Christchurch Earthquake.

It can be viewed here, if you should wish to see it's demise;

We watched as our former bedrooms, and living space was demolished.
I never really enjoyed living in this old Hotel, but I felt a sadness to see it's destruction, after all this time.
There were a lot of amusing stories connected to this Hotel, and some of them were ours.
There were a lot of sad storied connected to this Hotel, and a few of them were our, though most, were not.

A lot of our former friends and acquaintances from our time there, are now dead.
It seems strange to realise some of them were younger than we are now, when they passed away.

The Hotel had a different name, when we owned it. I am sure the change of name did not change the fundamental personality of the Hotel. It was a Country Hotel, in a village which was close to an Agricultural College.

A lot of wealthy farmers sent their offspring to attend this College for a year or so, hoping they would gain some maturity, before they might assume some responsibility on the Family Farm.
There were also overseas students, often of mature age, who were sent to the College to learn skills to take home to their native countriies.

Many acts of seeming idiocy were enacted by the students of this College. Reason would question the thinking behind much of this destructive and vandalistic behaviour. One would almost question the sanity of these students, whose level of intelligence should have been above such acts of sheer lunacy.

I have always hoped that the students who stole, from our kitchen fridge,  a Roast Leg of Lamb, complete with Oven Pan, and also stole a whole Roll of Dog Meat, ate the Dog Meat, under cover of darkness and lived to suffer the pain, and indigestion such "offal" food would cause!

As to the students who stole a whole toilet,~ ie, cistern plus pan, ~I hope they suffered from lack of 'facilities' in later life, and paid the price of being 'caught short'! I hope it scarred one of the theives as they manoevered it out of the small toilet window. Sadly, we never found any traces of blood on the window, or the garden walls. We always wonderd if some local Cow Cocky found the pan in one of his paddocks, but we never did find out where it ended.

This was one of the most played songs on the Jukebox in that Hotel.
The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, Marianne Faithfull.

Tuesday, September 7

The Lighter Side

There are times of hilarity and much laughter.

Look into my eyes.........
I stole this owl off a site of Interesting Animal pictures. Since I am an Owl freak, it really appealed to me.

One of the stories that has amused me, is a true story, shared by one of the persons involved.
I will retell the story, but I will change the names to 'protect the innocent' as they say.

Once upon a time there was a young Doctor I shall call  Dr Jodhpurs, who met and married young Doctor Spatula.
They eventually had 5 children, who of course, took, their father's name of Jodhpurs. They grew to adulthood in the same district as their parents had a general medical practice. Over the course of the growing years the family acquired two dogs. These dogs were much loved members of the family. Many interesting stories were told about these dogs, and the children of the family, of course.

The eldest dog, Thor was a male, and though he was not 'entire', he was still a male male. A younger female, Ritzy was brought into the family, and though she did not remain 'entire' either, Thor always Lorded it over her, and took it upon himself to be her guardian.

The years passed and the eldest daughter, Ms Jodhpurs was to be married. By this time, all the younger Jodhpurs had left the family nest and flown off to have careers of their own. They regularly came home for visits and always greeted the family dogs with love and affection, and of course, were in turn greeted with love and much excitement by the dogs.

On the eve of the Eldest Ms Jodhpurs' wedding, all the younger Jodhpurs siblings gathered at their parents house. The about-to-be-married Miss J also wished to spend her last single night at her childhood home.

As lots of visitors would be calling it was decided to have the family dogs groomed so they would look their best. Ritzy was bathed and dried first, and as he always did, Thor got very anxious, and overexcited until Ritzy was safely back indoors. Then it was his turn to be bathed.
Upon returning Thor indoors, the Dog Man declared he thought Thor might  not be well. He seemed tired and just wanted to lie down.

Dog Man departed, and Thor continued to lie panting. Youngest Ms Jodhpurs cradled Thor. Dr Jodhpurs Junior listened to his heart with his stethoscope. Dr Jodhpurs Senior listened to his heart with his stethoscope.
It was decided to call the Vet.
However, as they were dialling the number Youngest Ms J announced that it was too late, as Thor had passed away in her arms.

It seemed terribly sad, on the eve of the happy day for the Eldest Ms J. The younger J's decided that perhaps he had times his passing with the gathering of the entire family, as they were rarely all together in the family home.

A little time passed, and one day Dr Jodhpurs Senior was visiting a patient at her house. He met Dog Man, who had arrived to groom the elderly patient's little dog.

Dog Man had not been told of Thor's passing, so he was unaware that Thor had died. When Dr J told his wife Dr Spatula of the meeting, she enquired if he had told Dog Man of Thor's passing.

Dr Jodhpurs replied "No, I didn't tell him, but I wrote 'Dog Killer' on his van as I left!"

He didn't write any such thing, of course, but the thought that he told the story made us laugh uproariously.

As a Footnote, Thor has a nice grave, with Spring bulbs on top. Miss Ritzy was expected to  mourn his passing, but as a lot of 'widows' seem to discover, she has decided it is lovely having the bed all to herself, and all of the house as well!!

Here is another stolen picture, of Stella, the little Lioness. Look at those eyelashes!! Who knew Lions had such long ones?

This lovely rainbow over our "Mountain" ~which is a small hill to most New Zealnders, but a mountain to the Oz~was taken by Mrs NN.
Our hearts are with her and Mr NN today.

Has anyone got a solution to ridding Polar Fleece of pet hair?
It is such a problem with us, our son tells us we are in danger of becoming known in the Village as the Yak Family, because I cannot seem to get the pet hairs out of our warm fleecy jackets and tops.

It is something I am squirmingly concsious of, and often wonder if people secretly call us the Hair Couple ~or Yaks, not that our son mentioned Yaks! We appear to bristle constantly, and, I suspect, are questionable for wearing hair shirts!
Our dogs are not supposed to shed, but of course all dogs shed a certain amount, and clipping leaves plenty of loose hair about.
Getting a cat was not a great idea for the hair problem, either!
I would welcome any tips!!

This is a pic that Mrs NN took and shared with me, of gorgeous blossom on a tree we both admire. My heart sings at the wonder of spring every year.

The heart wrenching news from Christchurch, which is where we once lived, and which is Gom's native City, has saddened us.  I grew to love Christchurch when I lived there. It has a unique beauty, so different from where I was born and grew up. An earthquake is frightening at any time, and though we felt a few in our time living there, none were as large as this one.
We managed to contact friends and rellies and are happy to know all is well with them, in spite of some damages to homes.

We are a very irreverant family, and have no religion. Most of my friends know this, and it is not an issue.

Son B is a tonic to my sad heart, and he has brought new phrases to my life, for when times get tough.
Some examples~ "The Hand of Gom"- for items that have mysteriously changed or vanished.
"Gone to Gom" -for plants that are no longer.
"Gom works in mysterious ways." -for the general everyday oddities.
"The Wrath of Gom" -for the occasional irrational outbursts of rage.

We returned home from an outing yesterday, to find the lawn had been mowed- Gom strikes back!
It was nice to know he felt well enough, I guess, and we carefully kept a no comment.

Of course, no post from me would be complete really, without a GOW rant!

I abhor the current usage of the word "Carnage" in relation to earthquakes, floods, car accidents, fires,  and on and on, where no person or carnal being actually lost their life, or suffered any injury.
Do they not teach young people - namely 'Reporters' -these days the meaning of the word 'carnal' and therefore, 'carnage'???
I feel a 'Gorilla moment' coming on, the instant I see that word misused! GGRRRRR!!!.

End of Rant.
Along with all the other music I love, I do love Ragtime! This featured in the movie The Sting.

Scott Joplin, The Entertainer.