Monthly Archives: February 2015

My Name is Jane

I read this post today from Marylin at Things I want to tell my mother and I thought of the years when my mother suffered fro Alzheimer’s. This is a non selective disease. It seems that anyone can get it and frankly it frightens me as I think it might be hereditary.

I have written a couple of posts on this subject, most recently Tea Drinkers Unite in response to a 100 Word Challenge set by Velvet Verbosity.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

As one gets older one is concerned about health issues but for me it is mental issues that worry me most.  My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease during the latter years of her life and I wonder if it is inherited and passed down to the children.

Definition of Alzheimer’s – Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.

I recently read this blog from Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way and began to think what it must be like to be in a situation where you really don’t remember or know who or where you are.  This is my attempt to put it into words:

My Name is Jane, I think.

They’re calling me Jane
Is that who I am
I am perfectly sane
but I don’t know their…

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Tea Drinkers Unite

It had been a tiring day. Visit to the hospital, discussions with the doctor, the therapist and of course, her mother. It was very distressing that her mother barely recognised her; she often thought her a nurse.

The one bright moment in the harrowing afternoon was when an orderly brought the tea tray. At that moment her mother reverted to how she used to be, graciously pouring tea into the bone china cups and offering cake and biscuits.

This ritual of offering and accepting the cup of tea brought her mother back to her, if only for a short time.

The 100 Word Challenge is to tell a story in only 100 words.
This week’s theme is “Cup”

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ZERO Magazine/Cuenca: A Community of Neighbors, a Fellowship of Friends

This is one of the most heartwarming posts I have read in a long time. I thought to reblog it so that anyone who doesn’t know Kathy and her partner/wife Sara may get to know her.

Kathryn M. McCullough

I was against it from the beginning—

–the notion that we should start an English-language magazine for Cuenca.  Print–of all things!

I was against it from that very evening back in October, when Sara returned from work, lugging bags and boxes of office supplies, personal photos, a framed collage that I’d created, one that featured an antique Vietnamese coin and the phrase, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”—words whispered toward tomorrow, then echoed back to us, like a sigh.

“They don’t need me anymore,” Sara said.  “Can’t afford me.”

“Those bastards!”  I spat at the popular online site she had worked for (though Sara still insists they were not that)..

Moments later, we were sitting on the ugly, gray sofa in my studio, the most uncomfortable, this side of zero latitude.  Sara’s office was disassembled on the floor in front of us, our white dogs sandwiched between us.

”Maybe this…

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WATCHING

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits,
but not when it misses.”
― Francis Bacon

There will be three Fridays the 13th this year – February, March and November.  And we just have to decide whether we are superstitious or not.

Wikipedia gives us a name for Friday the 13th – “paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning “thirteen”)”

I’m not superstitious and for me, it is just another Friday but I am being extra careful today.

Now to other things.  Today I am WATCHING

Judith & Alice

  • The way a newly born baby attracts people and noticing the joy of being allowed to hold her
  • The huge waves rolling onto the beach; they are quite magnificent in their power
  • Surfers battling these waves and some succeeding in standing up
  • Children paddling in the surf
  • Two older couples just enjoying the sunshine, sand and the water’s edge
  • Puffs of smoke emanating from White Island – New Zealand’s most active cone volcano.  It’s very close only 48kms/30 miles from shore.  It’s puffing away merrily today.
  • And strangers interacting as they meet on the beach
  • A couple walking their dogs
  • A small child clambering onto a tyre strung up to make a swing
  • My partner stretched out on a lounger contentedly reading
  • Teachers from the local school rounding up the pupils
  • A group of teenagers enjoying their lunch on the beach
  • The same group chasing each other and generally having fun
  • The brilliant sun shining down onto our part of the world that we call Paradise.

Ohope beach

A New Day Dawns

Our peace and quiet in the bay was disturbed early this morning by a cyclone of helicopters swooping low over the beach, landing and scooping up sand.  We have no answer to the question of why they were taking sand nor where.  Perhaps the local paper will enlighten us later in the week.  By the way does one describe a group of helicopters as a cyclone?  That is certainly what it sounded like; but it is probably something humdrum like a flight.  Anyway I’m sticking with cyclone.

The weather has changed somewhat and the temperature has dropped to 25 degrees; this in contrast to parts of the South Island where the temperature plummeted and they had snow at 600 metres.  Summer in New Zealand!

As I have said often before as you travel the length of this country you can go from cold, cold weather to subtropical in the upper north.  Makes for interesting viewing on the nightly weather reports.

The beach is practically deserted now that all schools have gone back to start the new school year.  But today, the local intermediate school has brought two mini buses filled with children to learn to surf.  The shrieks of delight (?) and laughter could be heard by those of us sitting and reading.

Breakfast this morning was at our favourite restaurant in Whakatane – L’Epicerie.  It’s owned by our French friends and today we both had French toast (yes this is how it was written on the blackboard) which consisted of two slices of sourdough bread, streaky bacon, maple syrup, bananas, whipped cream and raspberry coulis.  Needless to say, I couldn’t finish mine but my favourite man ate all on the plate.  Again, needless to say, there will be no more food consumed here until dinner this evening.

At the weekend I purchased a new Apple iPad Air 2.  Having been given a new 27-inch iMac with “Retina 5K display” for Christmas, I decided to leave my trustee Samsung tablet and purchase an iPad.  We are now having great fun setting it up and finding our way around it,  Watch this space.

And for no good reason, here is one of my favourite quotes.  I love Piglet…

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Sharing

“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness;
it has no taste.”
Charlotte Bronte

Sharing with seagulls

Sharing with seagulls

Awake and  sharing

  • The early sunshine peeping around the curtains
  • That comfortable feeling of knowing you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right person
  • An early morning walk along the beach to get the weekend newspapers
  •  The almost deserted beach with four seagulls
  • The ocean with four surfers
  • The holiday feel in the air – Waitangi Day weekend*
  • The buzz as I pass the surf club, its members getting ready for competition
  • The smell of bacon and eggs cooking on the barbecue when I return from my walk
  • Conversation and jokes with friends visiting for the weekend
  • Memories of my sister who visited from London 12 months ago and

SHARING our corner of Paradise with my friends in the blogging world.  Wish you could all be here with us to share.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

* Waitangi Day held each day on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, on that date in 1840.