Monthly Archives: April 2011

One Award, One Wedding, Great Celebrations

Versatile blogger

Because of the other world-wide event (clue Will and Kate)  happening on the same day I got my award, I put off the thank you rather than find myself speaking in an empty auditorium.  Seriously though, I am touched that Chris nominated me as one of her 15.  Thank you Chris. Follow  this fascinating and thought-provoking woman at – http://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/versatile-blogger-award-thanks-kieran/.

Chris was one of the first people to post a comment when I started blogging.  Was that only two months ago?  I feel as if I really know her so well.

Now I am called upon to tell you 7 things about myself.

What would interest you about me?

  1. I am the widow of a very special human being who was my love, my supporter and my mentor for 41 years.  How I miss that man!
  2. I have two great children, who with their spouses and their children give me love and support when most needed.
  3. I am ‘Granma’ to four good-looking, talented grandsons who are growing into fine young men – and no, I am not biased in any way.
  4. I have two sisters, one in London and one in Los Angeles.  Could we have moved further apart?  But emails are great for keeping in touch.
  5. I am English but choose to live in Wellington tagged ‘Coolest little Capital in the World’ by Lonely Planet.
  6. I love to write.  Always have notebook with me.  I unashamedly watch and listen to other people when I am around and about each day.
  7. I have been a Realtor, small business adviser, property developer, commercial property manager and am a certified Life Coach.  All these things have brought me to where I am today.

And if you are not too bored with that list, please read on.

I am also called upon to pass the award on to  15 other bloggers.  And after much soul-searching and thought, the nominees are

Cat with pencil

Photo – Roman Dekan


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Another Wonder of Our World

I was recently sent a picture show of the  world’s largest single cave that was discovered in the heart of the jungle in Vietnam. Explorers have gone 4.5kms (2.8 miles) into the cave and are sure that they have not yet reached the end.

Vietnam caveCave in Vietnam

Click this link to see the picture show – HangSonDoongCavern.

Originally there were Seven Wonders of the World –

  • The Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandria
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

And The Seven Wonders of the Modern World –

  • Channel Tunnel
  • CN Tower
  • Empire State Building
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  •  Itaipu Dam
  • Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
  • Panama Canal

This surely must qualify as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Cave in Vietnam

I am speechless


I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.  The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.  It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day.  It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.  Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy.  ~Hamlin Garland, 1860 – 1940. American author

Photos – National Geographic.




They’re only words

Funny Bunny

You think that I don’t even mean a single word I say.
It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away….
from Words by the Bee Gees

I started blogging on March 1 and am now totally committed to writing a blog a day.  For committed read obsessed and/or addicted.

I hear a song on the radio and immediately I turn it into a blog.  Something comes on the TV and I think blog.  Words have always been very important to me and I have written all my life; from a diary at school, to articles for magazines, a book and now of course, the next natural home for me is the blog-a-sphere.

I look at a printed word and ask – what does it say, what does it mean and how is it being used?  The next question is in what context would I use that word.

notebook and penThe word ‘revenge’ has just been said in a TV program.  What would I write about revenge?  Nothing has happened in my life for which I need revenge.  So I would use that word in a story, or use it to illustrate an item.

Other words that I have heard today:

  • Adventure – well there’s plenty I could write on this subject.  The adventure of moving around the world (twice) to make homes on the other side of the world.  Adventure in meeting new friends and sometimes coming across old friends in unexpected places then
  • Friends – I wrote a blog on friends and friendship a couple of days ago.
  • Weddings – the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is all over the news at present.  I wrote a blog on weddings earlier this month.
  • London – of course has been in the news because of the Royal Wedding.  I was born and brought up in this most magical of cities.  I have written on growing up there in an earlier blog.
  • Family – I could write screeds (and already have) on family, my children, their children, my sisters and their children and families.  There will be more on this subject in future blogs.
  • Sisters – I have two sisters who feature in my blogs and for whom I am truly grateful.  They also are on my gratitude list.
  • Parents – mine unfortunately, are now both dead but they were great influences on me; each in a different but important way.
  • Kidnap – we have just had a news report about a young child who has been kidnapped.  The reasons why and the eventual outcome could perhaps be the subject of a later blog.
  • Love – I was lucky to meet my soul mate very early in my life and spent 41 years happily (for the most part) married to him.
  • Genealogy – Who Do You think You Are was on TV earlier.  In it ‘celebrities’ trace their heritage.  What would take days or months in real time they accomplish in an hour.  My young sister is deeply into our roots and can trace the family back many generations and many years.

Tomorrow, I shall spend time with my Grandsons so am writing tomorrow’s blog tonight, Wednesday here and set it to publish tomorrow.

And now I have all these words running around my head as I am preparing to wind down for the day and get ready for bed.  Of course, now I am off on a tangent thinking of future blogs.


“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.” ~Vita Sackville-West, 1892 – 1962, author, poet and gardener

Butterfly

Photo – Ed Dear



You Do Need Friends

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You’ve got a friend -Carol King click link for the video of Carol singing her song.

Today’s post was prompted because yesterday I helped a friend clear out the cupboards of a man who died recently.  The reason she was involved in this for her late client was that he didn’t have friends.  He had lots of acquaintances, business associates and such but no friends.  No family available to do this chore so it fell to us.  I thought then of the man I had met and how sad that he had so few friends.

The church was full for his funeral but the eulogies were given by business associates and only one family member was present.

So here we were clearing out the detritus of a long life that had been well lived but mostly alone.  He had godchildren but no children of his own.  He shared his associates’ family lives.

And then I read this blog entitled Behind the Scenes and I began to think of friends IRL (in real life) and friends met through the blog-sphere.  There is a well-known quote “People come into your life for a reason. a season or a lifetime” and following this I found this fantastic video.

Doesn’t that say all we need to know on the subject of friends.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need.  They have come into your life to  assist you through a difficulty period and to provide support and aid physically and emotionally. They are there for the reason and the time you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this relationship will come to an end  Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes because of something they have said or done and you need to take a stand, then they walk away.  Here we recognize that their work is done and we move on,

Then people come into your life for a SEASON to help you grow and learn.  It is well-known that ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’.  They bring their experiences to you and may teach you things you have never experienced.  Usually they bring you joy and often peace.  This is real; enjoy it but only for that Season.

LIFETIME friendships/relationships teach you lifetime lessons: things you  build upon.  Accept the lesson, love the person for what and who they are and what they have taught you, and use what you have learned in all areas of your life.

“Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.”-Jewish saying

I have very few Lifetime Friends but I treasure them all.  I have many friends for a reason and again treasure them all.  I have had friends for only a season also.  But some ‘friends’ are fair weather friends and are not there when we need them.  They very quickly show their true selves and then walk away.  I quickly get over the hurt they cause and rejoice in my true friends.

My true friends are Lifetime Friends.  They teach me lifetime lessons and I choose which to take on board and use what I have learned in living my life.  Goodness that sounds as if I have my Life Coach hat on.

And I love – Love maybe blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Enjoy your friends, laugh with them, cry with them, dance with them and treasure them.

“When it’s too hard to look behind at the past and it’s too difficult to look forward to the future – Look to the side and you will see a friend” Judith Baxter, friend, grandmother, mother and blogger

Miss Lotte and her best friend


“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.”
– Albert Camus,1913 – 1960, French Algerian author, journalist, and key philosopher.


A Foggy Day

“A foggy day in London Town
Had me low and had me down
I viewed the morning with alarm
The British Museum had lost its charm”

from  A Foggy Day by George and Ira Gershwin; sung by     Frank Sinatra

London bus in smog

I am old enough to remember when London was shrouded in smog on many days during the winter.  The smog was a combination of soot and smoke from all the open fires burning in people’s houses and the fog that rolled in most days.  This combination and fog plus sulfur dioxide gas combined to form deadly smog.

In the winter of 1952, the smog was really bad. From December 5 to December 9 this thick layer of smog covered London.  It was caused by a period of very cold weather, an anticyclone and virtually windless days.  Living in London we were used to ‘pea-soupers’ and Londoners went about their business in the usual way.  Some of the smog penetrated into houses and offices it was so bad.

Open fire

As usual, when cold weather struck, Londoners reacted by pouring more coal and occasionally some wood, onto their open fires and this of course, only exacerbated the problem.

At the time, the major problem appeared to be the disruption of traffic due to lack of visibility.  Again, Londoners were used to this.

For my part – we had moved house and it was decided that my young sister would continue at her original primary school for the rest of the year.  Being 3 years older (about 11 I think) I was designated to pick her up from the bus and bring her home.

It was a usual foggy day and as the day wore on and night approached the smog got thicker and the street lights that came on did nothing to penetrate the gloom.  Visibility was practically zero.

I arrived at the bus stop and to get out of the cold a little, I stood in a shop doorway.  What I didn’t know was that the bus had already arrived before me and my sister was standing in the next shop doorway.  No shopping malls then.  Just shops side by side along the high street.

It took a while for me to realize that my little sister was waiting for me.  But all ended happily when we reached home and were given a warm drink in front of the open fire.  In a cup of course.  No coffee mugs then.

warm drink

Photo – Pamela Hodson

 But in the weeks following the December smog of 1952, doctors were reporting the major effects on the human respiratory tract.  It has been estimated that as many as 4,000 people died prematurely and thousands were made ill because of the smog.

Coal lorry

Courtesy lvvs.org.uk/

Most houses were heated by open fires.  Few had central heating.  We had a coke-fired “boiler” in the kitchen that heated the water for the house and also reticulated hot water to the one radiator located in the hall.  This meant that our house, that also had two open fires, was considerably warmer than many others.  But coal and coke are heavy and the local coal men delivered it in hundredweight sacks each week.  My first memories are of a horse-drawn cart used by the coalmen but later they progressed to lorries (trucks).

Following the terrible experience in 1952, the burning of coal in open fires was banned and the use of electricity to heat houses became common.

So while Frank Sinatra sang  “A Foggy Day In London Town” Londoners were choking on the fog for real.

And now that oft-repeated quote from  Samuel Johnson (also called Dr Johnson) 1709 – 1784, English author and diarist.

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

London Collage

via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more memories of this period see Pat Cryer.

ANZAC Day and Easter Monday

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.
~William Collins, 1721 – 1759 English poet
.

Dedication ceremony 1931

Dedication of the Cenotaph, Wellington, NZ 1931

This year Easter Monday coincides with ANZAC Day a public holiday both here in New Zealand and in Australia.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year.  The day is in honor of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

Gallipoli Campaign 1915

Via Wikipedia

The Gallipoli Campaign, or the Battle of Gallipoli,took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War.   In an attempt to secure a sea route to Russia through the Black Sea,  a joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople/Istanbul.  Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of this Allied Expedition.  The Allied force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April and met fierce resistance from the Turkish Army.  The Expedition failed.

Dardenelles fleet

Fleet heading to Gallipoli

What had been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate.  The campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The casualties included 21,255 from the UK, an estimated 10,000 from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India.

News of the landing at Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war. While the Gallipoli campaign undoubtedly failed in its military objectives of capturing Istanbul and knocking Turkey out of the war, the Australian and New Zealand troops’ actions during the campaign bequeathed a powerful legacy – the ANZAC legend.  This  was the first time that the Australian and NZ armies fought an enemy  representing their own countries.  This gave each country a new found sense of national identity.

In 1934 Ataturk, who had fought in the war and subsequently became the first President of Turkey, sent the following message via his Home Affairs Minister to the first visitors to Gallipoli from New Zealand, Australia and England:

“Those heroes that shed their blood, and lost their lives …
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side,
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries …
Wipe away your tears.
Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land, they have
Become our sons as well.”

A memorial containing those words was unveiled by the Australian Veteran Affairs Minister on 25 April 1985.  The cove has been named ANZAC Cove by the Turks.e from Australia, New Zealand and England in 1934.via his Home Affairs Minister to the first visitors who had come from Australia, New Zealand and England in 1934.via his Home Affairs Minister to And now to 2011.  ANZAC Day is commemorated/celebrated by New Zealanders and Australians.  It has changed to be a day of remembrance for all those who lost their lives in a war.  The day begins with a Dawn Ceremony of Remembrance at 5.45 am.  Here in Wellington it is at The Cenotaph.  Each year scores of people march to the Cenotaph and hundreds of people gather to mark this day.  It is surprising to note the number of young people who attend.  Some of these march wearing their grandparents’ medals, others (like my grandsons) just stand in silence and remember.

Later in the day there are services of remembrance at many churches in and around the city.  And there is a Dawn to Dusk Vigil mounted at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in the National War Museum.

Shops must remain closed until 1pm.  So you see, ANZAC day has more meaning for us than Remembrance Day or Veterans Day. This is our day to honor our dead.  Poppies are sold by the Returned Services Associations and are worn by most people as a sign of respect.

So while we are celebrating Easter here, we are also commemorating the men and women who have given their lives for their countries.

Anzac Poppy

Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’  – the fourth verse of which is so familar to us today was quoted by Sir Winston Churchill, 1874 – 1965, British statesman and politician, Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

And just because Rupert Brooke is a favorite of mine, and I can’t resist this poem.

“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
that is forever England. There shall be
in that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
a dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
a body of England’s breathing English air,
washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.”


A Life Being Well lived

“I learned what every dreaming child needs to know – that no horizon is so far you cannot get above it or beyond it.”
Beryl Markham, (26 October 1902 – 3 August 1986)  British-born Kenyan aviatrix, adventurer, and racehorse trainer.

I discovered Kuki Gallman when browsing in the airport bookstore for something to read on the long flight to London.  This was way back in 1996.

Kuki Gallman is an Italian writer and poet. Born in Treviso, Veneto, she moved to Kenya in 1972 with her second husband and son (from her first marriage) and is now a Kenyan citizen.

The book I discovered was “I Dreamed of Africa and this book was made into a film in 2000 starring Kim Basinger. In this her first book, Kuki Gallman tells of her ongoing fascination with Africa.  She tells of being given an essay to write when she was 12 years old.  The theme was what she wanted to do and be in 20 years time.   The teacher dismissed her essay with the words “Why did you have to write about Africa?”  Her response (copied verbatim from the book) “But I do want to live in Africa.  I do not want to stay here all my life.  One day I shall go to Africa.  I shall send you a postcard from there, signora in twenty years time.

Twenty years later, I did”.

Her book tells her story of traveling to Africa with her second husband,her son, Emanuele  and the two daughters he had with his late wife.  The two girls were sent home but Kuki, Paulo and Emanuele loved Africa and stayed.

The book tells of finding the perfect place to live and the dangers and thrills of setting up life in a totally different country, where they neither spoke the language or knew the local customs.

“Between 1972 and 1980 they acquired Ol Ari Nyiro, a 100,000 acre (400 km²) cattle ranch, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, in Northern Kenya where they created the first ever anti poaching squad to protect the largest population of Black Rhino in Africa and large populations of elephants, buffalo and leopards. Kuki became deeply involved with conservation.”( Wikipedia).

Kiki  had a daughter in 1980.  Paolo, her husband had been killed  in an automobile accident shortly before the child was born.  He had decided to have a crib made for the new child and while bringing it home for their unborn baby was killed when a lorry crossed into his lane.  This was the first death.

Black Mamba

Her son Emanuele was fascinated by and loved snakes.  Three years later (at only 17) he died of a snake bite while trying to extract viper venom for antiserum.

Kuki founded the Gallmann Memorial Foundation in honor of Paolo and Emanuele and has dedicated her life to saving the environment and wildlife of Kenya.  She still lives in Kenya with her daughter, Sveva Makena Gallman , who is also involved in conservation and helping African children preserve their heritage.

The second book, “A Night of Lions” I discovered a few months later.  This an illustrated collection of stories about the African land and people.  In reading this book you get the feel of her total love of the land and its people.

I strongly recommend both these books to you.  In particular, I loved “I Dreamed of Africa”.  It captured me from the outset and I hope it will capture you too.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”
Flavia Weedn, American author and artist.

Flamingo

Photo – Steffan Foerster


There must be a reason

Juvenile Red billed gull, Petone, Wellington, ...

Image via Wikipedia

There must be a reason for rivers to flow.
For beautiful trees and flowers to grow.
And why have the birds wings to fly?
There must be a reason why.

The changes from season to season,
The dawning that brings the new day.
These wonders must all have a reason,
It was intended that way.

So sang Frankie Lane eons ago.  If you are not old enough to remember the singer or this song click here.  Oh sure it’s a love song, but I wanted to write today about not only the changes from season to season but the changes from day to day.

If you read yesterday’s blog (what there was of it) you will know I was close to retreating into my cave.  Now today I am my usual self and ready to take on the challenges of being over 70 in today’s fast-moving world.

Petone beach

Yesterday the sun shone and it was a good day to take my small dog for a walk along the beach.  I was in Petone having lunch with a friend and a walk along that deserted beach was a great idea.  Where else in the world would you find a beach this deserted on a public holiday?

Lotte (the Tibetan Spaniel) enjoyed the change of scene and it certainly lifted my spirits.

Petone Settlers MuseumPetone is a thriving suburb of Lower Hutt City, Wellington’s nearest neighbor.  On the shore is a memorial built to commemorate the arrival of the first New Zealand Company Settlers on Pito-one’s shores on 22nd January 1840. Serving also as a bathing pavilion, the Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial became the heart of Petone’s thriving beach scene.

Petone beach wasn’t thriving yesterday though.  But it was just great for a solitary walk accompanied only by my best friend.

Lotte

And then the camera batteries died and as it was Good Friday, none of the shops were open.  We have strange laws about Easter here.  Coffee shops and restaurants can be open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as can gas stations but not Supermarkets, electrical/hardware shops or Garden Centers.  Go figure!

Bathing women

Photo: Charles Adshead. Collection of Petone Settlers Museum

So now to today. And here is the rainbow I’ve been looking for

Rainbow

The rain has gone

Easter Saturday.  All shops are open now that I don’t need them.  Batteries are recharged so the camera can operate once again.

The day dawned as overcast and threatening to rain.  So once again no gardening.  How sad!  If I was a real gardener I would go out for a couple of hours.  But the weeds will still be there tomorrow or the next day.

Anyway,  a friend and her son and his family came to visit.  Her son lives way down in the south island and so we don’t get to see them often.  But he and his sister grew up with my family and his sister is one of my surrogate daughters.

Now they have left. So what next?   Once again I am spoiled with choice of what to do (having decided what not to do).

Bowl of soup

via Wikipedia

The chicken is in the pot making stock for soup.  And now I ask myself what soup to make.  But I know I shall make Mulligatawny soup.

The books are in a pile just waiting for me to get at them.Pile of books

Lotte escaped this morning and is now looking for me to take her for her walk. But I think she will have to take her ‘escapologist adventure ‘ as her walk for today.

Fire alight

The fire is alight and looking so inviting – perhaps I shall just read a book while I wait for the stock to be ready.  In fact, I know that is what I have decided to do.

And here is a particular favorite quote.  Enjoy.

“Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.” — Max Lucado, 1955 – best-selling author and writer and preacher

Sunrise


NO POST TODAY

“He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.”
W H Auden, 1907-1973, Anglo-American poet

Certain days are harder than others.  Today is the 13th anniversary of my husband’s death.  So I will spend time with my children and later meet a friend in an attempt to stay out of that dark cave that always awaits me on this day.

“Fly free; Soar high; Breathe easy.”

Bob

R.I.P Robert Paisley Baxter 1.11.29 – 22.04.98

Back tomorrow. See you then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what is it that you fear?

Storm

Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.  Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.  Dr David M Burns.

I am part of a group of women who get together to support and learn from each other.  This is a new group that has had only one meeting so far.  At that meeting it was decided that future meetings would have a ‘theme’ and the ‘theme’ for tonight’s (the second) meeting would be FEAR.

We were asked to put something together about our fears and how we planned to get over them aka move/live through them and come out the other side.

When I sat down to put together my piece for the meeting I thought about the many acronyms for FEAR and several came immediately to mind.

The obvious one is False Expectations Appearing Real but what about

For Everything a Reason

Forget Everything and Run

Forget Everything and Remember

Failure Expected and Received

Face Everything and Rejoice

False Emotions Appearing Real

Forget Everything and Relax

Future Events Appearing Real

Of these my favorite is ‘Face Everything and Rejoice”.

But of course when we usually talk about FEAR it is in the negative sense.  For me, having lived this long and interesting life, there really is nothing I fear except perhaps ending my life as a vegetable.  This could be Alzheimer’s or some other debilitating illness.

MPH LogoEach week at the hospice I see people in the last stages of their life.  By the time they arrive at the hospice they all appear to have accepted that their life is coming to an end.  I don’t fear this as an ending to my life but I would hate to be totally dependent on somebody else for all my needs.

Not since I was a small child have I been dependent on somebody else.  I was inter-dependent with my late husband  for more than 40 years but this is something quite different.  We were mutually supportive of each other.

There are two things that I really dread – losing control of my mind and losing control of my body.

So I am doing everything I can to stop either of these things happening.  I walk up and down the hills of this very hilly suburb in Wellington, on a daily basis.  I walk to the local store and take opportunities to walk when I can.

Golf club and ball

Photo -Karl Nelleson

I play the occasional game of golf with a friend.  Neither of us is particularly good but we love the game and the open air.  I promise to play more golf in the coming months.

I read vociferously.  I love words and word Pile of bookspuzzles and these form part of my everyday life.  I play bridge, not as often as I used to but I promise I will take it up again.  I will find three others to play with on a regular basis.

Playing cards

I will keep on working on these things so that my daughter will never hear me say “Who are you?” when she comes to visit.  And I will also  exercise the body.


I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness. Other things being equal, I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side.  ~Katharine Butler Hathaway 1890-1942, American author.