Six Word Saturday

Wow, it’s Saturday again.  Time for Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday button

You know what to do if you want to get involved.
Click on the above or on the link.  Now you’re all set to join in.

The Day Mother Nature Took Control

Well, today Mother Nature said “Enough is Enough.  I am in control here”.

Wellington at Daybreak Today Photo Courtesy Simon Woolf Photographer

Here in Wellington, we have been enjoying summer weather most days, with no or very occasional rain, while the rest of the country has been battling rain, floods and high winds.  But today MN said “Time to stand up and be counted.  It’s time you got some rain and wind.”

Storm coming into Wellington. Photo courtesy Simon Woolf, Photographer

So late yesterday she acted on her promise(?).  We have been sorely needing rain for the past few weeks and have been confined to using only handheld hoses for our gardens and then only on alternate days.  So we were quite happy to see the rain.

The Interislander battling the seas in the Cook Strait Simon Woolf again

We just got very wet and the wind was very strong at our place.  But now it has moved on.    Other areas of the city were not so fortunate.  Our low lying coastal areas were hammered by rain and huge waves and surface flooding as a strong southerly wind coupled with a high tide.

And then, amongst all of this, there was an Earthquake at 8.12 am.  Quite small, only 4.5 on the Richter Scale.  See how blase we are about earthquakes here.

So another day comes to a close. I have just finished reading The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.  Watch for my review on my other site in the next day or so.

Advertisements

Oh Yes, More on Writing

“Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self.” ― 
Cyril Connolly, British Author 1903-1984

Way back early in my blogging journey, I discovered this quote from Cyril Connolly.  It really rang a bell for me and I have it printed out and it resides on the inside of my journal as a constant reminder.

In January 2012 I wrote about writing.  At that time I was writing mostly for myself having few followers.  But I felt it was something I had to do and I was learning both from writing and from reading the posts of other writers whose blogs I followed.

Writing has become easier in the months and years since then.  But like all writers, whether well known or like me just writing for the pleasure of writing, we know what it is like to step up to the page aka computer screen to be faced with a blank sheet.  No thoughts on anything.  Blank screen and a blank mind.  But then something comes and the void is filled.

As writers we are vulnerable.  We write about what matters to us and expose ourselves and unveil our deepest feelings.  Our words reveal much about us and our truths.  And sometimes, because of this, writing feels dangerous.  But this is what keeps us (well me at any rate) coming back to the screen/notebook/page.  The need to share my feelings on the page with others (hopefully) or just with myself when necessary.  It is scary and often I am looking for excuses – the dishes must be done, the washing hung out etc, but I keep coming back to the page.

At times we feel the need to judge, to edit our writing.  We strive for perfectionism but we know, unless we are one of the great writers, that perfectionism is out of reach.  Lord Marks of Marks & Spencer fame said “The price of perfection is too great.  Close enough is good enough.” We acknowledge that if we are writing for publication, we need an editor and a few Beta readers who will, hopefully, pick up grammatical errors, typos and make suggestions to improve the story.   But for those of us writing our blogs and sharing our thoughts and feelings with our friends, writing the post is more important than it being judged perfect.

So it’s back to the keyboard for me.

And as C S Lewis says “You can make anything by writing.”

 

 

 

Moving Into 2018

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.”
Mary Oliver

About this time of the year, I look back on what has gone before and set some goals for the next 12 months.   Not Resolutions as I know that for me they don’t last through the first two months and are usually dead before the end of January.

I use as my guide what I learned from the story of Noah and the Ark.  I first wrote about this in January 2012 and then used it again in December 2014.  The following year, 2015 was not great, my Late Love the Architect died and 2016 was hardly any better.  I had my misadventure in April and then my contretemps with a chair and a rug in December, so I was glad to see the back of that year.

And now it’s 2018 and I am looking back on 2017.  So what dd I learn?

  • I did listen to the voice within when deciding to remain in my little apartment in my daughter’s house.
  • I followed my intuition that I would be safe here
  • I hadn’t made my preparations in advance as originally, this was to be a  stop gap while I found somewhere else to live.
  • My life was built on strong foundations and those foundations are my two very supportive children and daughter-in-law, and the four large grandsons who are growing into fine young men.
  • My possessions were brought from storage and some fitted well into my new little abode.  The rest found new homes via the Salvation Army.  A win-win situation.
  • Once again, I chose my companions well and cut the few toxic people out of my life
  • I still love my companions and fellow travellers.
  • And some of these travellers aka my children I set free once again to return as and when they wish or if they are needed.
  • Yes, I did listen to other people’s opinions but always made my own decisions.
  • I learned that living in a house with two teenage Grandsons is never boring.
  • I make time for quiet meditation which nurtures my soul.
  • I embraced many new experiences since writing the original posts.
  • I was brought up in England and have always loved the feel of the gentle rain on my face.
  • And I also love the sunshine and notice how differently people behave when the sun is shining.
  • I volunteered at another Hospice; the one where my Late Love died and continue to believe I got more from the experience than anyone at the Hospice does.
  • I have learned to accept the assistance offered by others – I hope this acceptance has been gracious.
  • I know that there will be hard times interspersed with the sunshine and light.
  • I have known for a long time that we share this planet with a myriad of other creatures both large and small, and we don’t must share the bounties with them
  • I continue to nurture an attitude of gratitude.  I am very aware of how very lucky I have been all my life.
  • I know that one woman with a strong belief in herself can overcome just about anything life can throw at her.

So with a cheerful heart and a desire to see what this New Year will bring this aged adventurer, I am ready for 2018.

“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself,
and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.” 

― Shirley Maclaine

 

 

Talking into the Future

My heart is warm with the friends I make
And better friends I’ll not be knowing.”
Edna St Vincent Millay, American Poet and Playright.
1892-1950

I found this post in the draft section and have no recollection of why I didn’t publish it.  No, it wasn’t because I had a something else to talk about, it just got put into the wrong box.  It was written on October 14, 2017, and find it just as appropriate today.

October 14, 2017

We had our usual weekly Skype meeting.  Three friends, far removed from each other by physical distance but so very close in friendship.  Chris at Bridges Burning lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Joss at Depth of a Woman, lives in Cuenca and I live in Wellington, New Zealand.Could three friends live any further apart?

We met in the blogosphere.  We all started blogging around the same time, 2011, and soon found we had much in common.  We all write, we all read and we all love finding new friends.

On This week’s  chat, we discussed among other things, the webinar from Hay House that I had just listened to.  And then Joss, as the published author answered some of our questions on publishing.  Thanks, Joss.  As I said I learned more from you than from the webinar.

My book, Suddenly Single was self-published some years ago and was given to clients and friends who found themselves alone. So that didn’t count as it was a first attempt and copies were given away.  We talked about my plan to broaden the book to cover bereavement and grieving in all its forms.

We talked about our plans for the coming weekend – my weekend was very close as our talks are on my Friday their Thursday.  Chris has all her family coming for dinner so has some organizing to do.   We talked about last weekend.  Chris went to visit her son and his family.  She went with one of the boys to a Meet the Teacher event and was surprised and pleased to learn the teacher knew about her.  I took my eldest grandson for his gliding experience.  I bought this for his 21st birthday last year but because of my misadventure 4 weeks later, we’ve never got around to using the voucher.  However,  when we arrived at the field some 2 hours away we were told there could be no gliding that day. A disappointment but we had a great day together nonetheless.  And we now have another date to look forward to.

And talking into the future was Joss’ comment.  She loves the fact that she can talk to me 18 hours in her future.  One question she raised today was what happens to the lost day when you cross the equator and don’t return?  Well, what does happen to that day?  Is it lost forever?  My response, perhaps that’s in the parallel universe we often hear about.

And now it’s Saturday here and another weekend is about to start,  I hope your weekend, when it arrives will be a good one.  We are promised a wet, windy Wellington day, so I shall be working on my book and reading one of the many on my To Read pile on the bedside table, accompanied of course, by copious cups of tea.

So there you have it.  Talking to friends one has never met physically  but who are true friends nonetheless.  And these two women are among my Sisters of Choice.  Different mothers, but sisters.

And now, here’s my waterfall.  I shall see it again next month when I go back to Tauranga for a few weeks.

Waterfall

“And as the water continues in its downhill rush over rocks
and the thoughts continue to tumble around in my brain
with no defined pattern or path,
they eventually find and settle into a safe place
and the void is suddenly filled
and my mind is active once again.”
Judith Baxter, Mother, grandmother, sister,
friend and blogger 1938 –

 

 

When everything goes wrong…

This really started the second day of 2018 in the right way for me. I had to share.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“Just let me know when you’ve arrived…” Those words are spoken, in the most casual manner possible, by every parent when one of their offspring goes off on an adventure. The apparent nonchalance masks all sorts of worry, panic, imagined scenarios and disasters, even though you know they are no more than chimera.

He’d booked everything at budget prices, so there was no direct flight. At stopover of five hours in Muscat would not allow him to see anything of the place and just added to the fatigue of the journey.  But, when you know they have landed in foreign climes, (because you are watching the live flight updates, and they are now running nearly a further six hours late) and the phone remains silent for an eternity, the real panic sets in. Especially when said offspring is travelling with a wheelchair.

By the time you actually hear from…

View original post 820 more words

Reflections

 

Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect.  
It means that you look beyond the imperfections 
and smile.” 
Judith Baxter 1938-

 

 

As you know,  here in New Zealand we greet the New Year before anyone else in the world.  I remember the excitement when 1999 became 2000 and we had an influx of visitors from around the world rushing to the East Coast to be the first to welcome in the New Century,  Now though, we are safely ensconced in the century and we greet 2018 as any other New Year.

I am not going to tell you of my Resolutions – they never last the month of January and my Goals?  Well, they are written down and will be looked at no doubt, from time to time as we move through the year.  Instead, I should like to look back on 2017 as a year that was good for me and my family.  No major illnesses, few visits to the doctor and four very strong young men making their way in this world, to a grandmother’s joy. Unfortunately, a couple of friends didn’t make it to December 31st and others are battling life-challenging illnesses.

So I consider my family to be among the lucky people of this world.  But many others have not been so lucky.  Today we heard of several motor accidents, boating accidents and a light plane that fell out of the sky, in this our time for celebrations and fun.

Terrorists were active from Manchester and London, to Paris, Barcelona and several cities in the USA.  These attacks appear to have been carried out by disenfranchised young men who have bought into the story told by ISIS and their supporters.

Hurricanes, heatwaves, earthquakes, below freezing weather, tsunamis, droughts and forest fires have all plagued our world this year.

Homeless people inhabit our capital and other cities and so many children go to school poorly dressed and hungry.

And wars are waged constantly.  Why has nobody woken up to the fact that if you continue to do things in the same way, you will get the same results?  Why can’t we Give Peace a Chance?

Here in New Zealand,  we have a new Government led by a vocal and energetic young woman.   She has already stood up to Donald Trump.  This Government is determined to ease the lot of our poorer people and already in the first 100 days appears to be making a change.

We read and watch in amazement the antics of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un,  Theresa May among others and thank our lucky stars that we live here in our corner of Paradise on the other side of the world.

So what am I looking forward to in 2018?  My family always say that I am like Pollyanna.  But I look forward to

  • Peace being declared among the fighting factions.
  • Safe housing for the homeless
  • Sufficient food for everyone and a
  • Happy and joyous year to you all.

And now to change the tone of this post I share this with you from Bridget Jones’ Diary:

“Resolution number one: Obviously will lose twenty pounds.
Number two: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket.
Equally important will find a sensible boyfriend to go out with
and not continue to form romantic attachments
to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic’s,
peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts.

And especially will not fantasise about a particular person
who embodies all these things”

 

 

 

 

Intent

100-word-challengeI have enjoyed following Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook for several years.
She is a writer of fiction, an artist, photographer and so much more.
She is an inspiration.  And I particularly like her 100 Word Challenge.

 

This week’s challenge is Intent. ” Using “intent” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied.”  Click on the link to play along.

 

Here’s my offering:

Her intentions were good, always.  But somehow, what she planned didn’t always work out as she had intended.
Why was it when she bought that large box of special chocolates for her mother, she had forgotten she was diabetic?
How had she forgotten that her best friend had a broken ankle when she suggested a walk along the beach?
And taking that rescue puppy to her sister’s when she had forgotten the kids were scared of animals?
And now it was almost New Year,  This year, her Resolution would be to look at the outcome of her actions before acting.

 

Christmas Boxes

“Do not be angry with the rain;
it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-American Novelist

1899-1977

Today, Boxing Day, it rained and while I know that farmers and gardeners have been hoping for rain, those on their annual holidays will have been disappointed.

Here in New Zealand, we have Boxing Day as a National Holiday.  Boxing Day is the day following Christmas Day when traditionally, servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers.  This was known as a “Christmas box”.

Wikipedia tells us   “The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.

Growing up in Britain in the 1940s and 50s I remember tradesmen such as the milkman, postman, and coalman knocking on the door to collect Christmas boxes, usually money, in the week before Christmas. or the following week.  These were people we rarely saw but who obviously performed a service for us.

And again courtesy of Wikipedia we learn – “This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.”

Jump in puddles

 

But those of you who know me know that I am a Pluviophile – definition A lover of rain: someone who finds joy and peace f mind on rainy days.

Again, growing up in Britain, I was used to the rain and today’s rain was not heavy, just a gentle fall which would have been very good for the garden which has received no water since Friday.

And now some people return to work for the next three days before being off again for January 1 and 2.  Most offices are closed until January 8 but obviously, those in service industries, hospitals, hotels etc don’t close.  Somebody has to work through the holidays.

So another post full of absolutely useless information.  Except if you happen to play Trivial Pursuit over the holiday period, you might just find a use for some of this.

The End of the World

Do you remember December 21, 2012, the day, according to the Mayans when the world was going oi end, Just had to reblog this one.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

end of the world

So today according to the Mayans the world is going to end.  I’ve given this some thought and decided to

  • Spend all the money in the bank account
  • Buy everything I ever wanted and max out the credit cards
  • Complete everything on my Bucket List that one can do in a day
  • Mortgage the house so that I can do all of the above and more

But then I had the thought – what if the world doesn’t end today?  Oh then I shall be in a whole lot of trouble.  Dug in so deep I may never see daylight.

So back to my normal if humdrum life.  What do I want to talk about today.

Well – there is only 3 days 11 hours and 24 minutes (who cares about the seconds when we are so close) until Christmas.  How about you – click here to see.

And I…

View original post 393 more words

What a Difference

 

Pohutakawa tree

Our own New Zealand Christmas tree. Image via Wikipedia

What a difference a Day Year makes.

In December 2015 I was bemoaning the fact that my Late Love, the Architect had died and so 2015 was not a great year.  But I was especially grateful for all the outpouring of love and friendship that followed this.  I was looking forward to seeing the end of 2015 and a better 2016.

On this day last year, I was bemoaning the fact that I had a fractured shoulder having injured it on the same date as five years earlier I had fractured my ankle.

Earlier in the year, I had my misadventure, falling over my feet and fracturing my skull.  A visit to hospital and rehab and after several months I was back home and learning to do things for myself once again.

So in all, 2016 was not a great year but I was also very grateful for the fact that my health is good and my body is strong and my mental attitude is in the right place, so that I survived the hiccups during the year. And once again I was moved by  and grateful for  the love and support from my friends both in real life and in the blogosphere  

So on this day, I was looking forward to seeing the end of 2016 and a  better 2017.

And 2017  has been a very good year.  Totally recovered and back to normal, well normal for me.  The family members are thriving, all boys growing into fine young men.  So, as Sinatra sings :

“But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year .”

And here’s to 2018.  May you all have a great year, free of mishaps, sickness, and worries.  That will be my Resolution for 2018 when January 1 comes around.

And do you need a rainbow in your life?  Here’s mine to share.

Rainbow

My rainbow