Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sex Stats for Seniors

Just couldn’t resist reblogging this one. Thanks Nancy for the great start to my day. I wonder what the statistics say about men born in Scotland and those born here in New Zealand.

Spirit Lights The Way

Grumpy gusThe frequency of sexual activity in senior males depends on where they were born.

Statistics released from Canada and the United Nations revealed that North American men between 60 and 80 years of age have sex, on average, two to three times per week.

Their Japanese counterparts, in contrast, have sex only once or twice per year . . . if they are lucky.

This news upset me and most of my buddies.  None of us had any idea we were Japanese.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.) 

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MIA (Missing In Auckland)

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It was a beautiful night for an open-air show.  We arrived early and sat in the sunshine with a glass of wine and a platter of finger food.  And then into the theatre.  This took me back to a visit to The Globe in London several years ago.  It felt just the same. Where we were seated was covered but those standing in the area immediately in front of the stage in the pit, (The Groundlings) were not.

This was the first night of the Pop Up Globe Season 2016 and the first performance was Romeo and Juliet as we have never seen it performed before.  Such enthusiasm that I am sure even William S himself would have been impressed. Each of the actors was well cast.  Of course, in true tradition, there were no microphones but we had no trouble hearing the well-enunciated words from the cast.

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It was a truly magical pairing of actors as young lovers.  Juliet was played by Christel Chapman and Jonathan Tynan-Moss was Romeo. Each was so well suited to their role and they really had us believing that what we were seeing and hearing on that fantastic stage, was happening in real life.  And the magic wasn’t restricted to them.

We are told the play is “Performed by a cast of professional actors brought together into a new, specially-formed ensemble repertory company and working with world experts to bring you the authentic shock of the old: the effect of Shakespeare’s plays performed in the space for which they were written.” and

“Pop-up Globe Auckland is a full-scale working temporary replica of the second Globe Theatre originally built by Shakespeare and his company in 1614, the result of groundbreaking international academic research. With a steel frame ‘skinned’ in plywood, the Pop-up Globe fuses cutting-edge scaffold technology with 400-year-old designs and superb contemporary performances to create an immersive 360-degree experience unlike any other.”

At the end of the performance, the actors all sang and danced around the stage, obviously enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

In all, a great experience and I thank my very generous friend for the gift of a night of Shakespeare.

The next day I returned to Wellington and my friend and our hostess, enjoyed Twelfth Night that evening.  Another great performance from all accounts.

Then on Sunday, I went to the airport to meet the friend in whose house I lived after leaving the house I shared with The Architect and while I was having this small apartment spruced up.  He is the brother in law of The Architect and has been a true friend to me.

From the airport, I took him to his father’s house.  Father is 100 years old and always greets me as if I were one of his family.  He is an amazing old man who still lives alone in his own house.  He has a series of carers who come in to make food, clean the house etc but he is absolutely capable of looking after his personal needs himself. He is an avid gardener and takes every opportunity to go out and pull weeds or whatever small job needs attention.

And wonder of wonders, on Monday morning the furniture arrived.

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So yesterday was spent moving furniture around in this small living room.  And now that I have the furniture, I am pleased with it. Just have to decide where to place it and what else will have to go.

And my generous friend who took me to Auckland for the show, and whom I help on occasions with her Real Estate business, has taken a quick trip “across the ditch” to Sydney for a couple of days.  So today I acted as her gopher, delivering contracts and brochures for her.

So apologies to my Daily Blogging Buddies.  I have been missing for the past few days.

And for no reason other than it is one of my favourite quotes, I give you

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine,
freedom, and a little flower.”

Hans Christian Andersen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pop Up Globe

Today a friend a I are going to Auckland to see Shakespeare.  A replica of the second Globe Theatre, which was built on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614. Pop-Up Globe replicates exactly the dimensions of Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre.

The Globe

“This round three-storey building is designed to create a remarkable theatre experience. Wherever in the theatre you sit or stand, you’ll be within 15m of the action on stage and surrounded on all sides by people sharing the same space and experience.

An audience of up to 900 will completely surround the stage. In fact, some of the best seats in the house are located in the Lords’ and Gentlemen’s rooms on the two levels directly behind the stage.

The stage is very large – over 100sqm – and takes up almost half the base of the yard. This expansive space allows the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company an unusually large performance area on which to bring Shakespeare’s work to life, just as Shakespeare’s own cast enjoyed 400 years ago.

Pop-Up Globe is capped with an onion dome, a unique signature design element which will be a remarkable feature of the Auckland cityscape, just as it would have been for the Globe on its site by the Thames.

With a steel frame ‘skinned’ in plywood, Pop-Up Globe fuses cutting-edge scaffold technology with 400-year-old design.” So says Auckland Mayor, Len Brown.

We are going to see Romeo and Juliet tomorrow night (Friday) and though I have to return to Wellington on Saturday, my friend will see Twelfth Night on Saturday.

This is a once in a lifetime experience.  Pop-Up Globe artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says Shakespeare’s Globe is one of the most important theatres in history.

“The experience was so remarkable that ever since the late 19th century, actors and academics – and sometimes a mixture of the two – have sought to recreate as much as is possible the ‘original’ staging conditions of Shakespeare’s own theatres,” says Dr Gregory, formerly a Regional Producer for Shakespeare’s Globe London

“Yet Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre, the theatre he built and in which his work was being performed at the time he died, has never been accurately reconstructed.

“Our aim is to recreate as faithfully as possible this original performance space so Pop-up Globe’s audience can enjoy the remarkable experience of Shakespeare’s own audience 400 years ago.”

After tomorrow night I’ll be able to confirm that they have succeeded in their aim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ain’t Technology Great!

 

 

I’m so excited.  One of my earliest contacts in the blogosphere was Chris from bridgesburning.  Over the years we have formed a friendship and have sent each other messages via Messenger and also emails.  But today was a Red Letter Day.  Using our iPads I got to speak to my friend for the very first time.  We live 14,038 kms apart (according to our friend Google) and it was as if we were speaking/sitting in the same room.

She sounded exactly as I had thought she would.  Friendly and seemingly as pleased to speak to me as I was to speak to her.

What did we speak about?  Oh, inconsequential things that two women friends discuss.  We didn’t try to put the world right; to stem the flow of heroin or cocaine; to settle the conflicts in various parts of the world.  No.  We talked about families, and how we have each moved back from other places and how we were settling back into our old lives again.

So thank you Mr Technology whoever you are for giving us this opportunity.  This was the first but I’m sure it won’t be the last.  And next time we are going to see how we can make the video work.  Won’t that be fun?

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Thanks to siliconangle.com for the photo.

 And a couple of years ago while on a visit to London my sister and I met up with Sallyann from PhotographicMemories.  That was a fun filled day in Oxford and great to meet a fellow blogger in person.   I think my sister and Sallyann have met up for lunch since that day.

 “There is no distance too far between friends,
for friendship gives wings to the heart.”
Anonymous

Follow Up on Rant.

Oh dear me.  I set that last post to be posted today – February 16.  Wordpress decided in its wisdom to post it yesterday.  Ho hum.

And following on the rant – no word from any source about the furniture.  I did call the carriers again today (they were supposed to call ME yesterday) to be told that the furniture was on its way to Wellington.  Hurrah!  But when will t be delivered.  Apparently the driver will call me tonight and tell me when.  Oh really.  Not hanging by my thumbs waiting.

End of follow up rant.

But the sun is still shining and all’s well with the world.  Unless that is, you have been waiting for furniture delivery for weeks.

I have so very little to complain about when I look around me.  Several friends drifting into dementia, some battling life threatening illnesses, one battling and helping her son through depression – and I am fit and well.

End of another post. 

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Today’s Rant

it’s now time for a rant about Customer Service.

A few weeks ago I wrote about fantastic service I had received.  Today we go to the other end of the scale.  Right to the bottom…

I was so angry that for the first time ever I wrote a review on their webpage.

“I am totally amazed at the lack of customer service offered by this company. I originally ordered two pieces of furniture by phone and first thing next morning I asked to cancel the order and to have the charge reversed on my credit card.

That started a series of phone calls and emails (emails only accepted by Head Office obviously they don’t want to interact with the public).

  • I was told they didn’t accept “returns” on furniture – the furniture hadn’t left their store.
  • I was told they could have sold the two pieces to someone else – the receipt is dated 4.22 pm and they close at 5pm. My first call to them was at 9.10 the next morning. Don’t think that argument stacks up.

They sent me a “Gift Voucher” while we were still having discussions about the furniture. Totally useless as I live in Wellington and they are in Tauranga some 520 kms away. Eventually in despair I agreed to take the furniture to be told that they had sold the couch. Surely they broke the contract with me then.

I was then told that the furniture would be picked up on February 4 and on February 11 after calling the carriers I found it still hadn’t left the shop. I’m never going back to that retailer. It is without doubt the very worst experience I have ever had with a retailer. Customer service – it’s non existent at The Importer”.

And I still haven’t heard from the shop whether or not the furniture has been picked up by the carriers.

Ho hum!  Never going back to that shop.  Surely the owners, directors would prefer to have one happy customer rather than a totally unhappy one who is busy spreading the word.

“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel” – Unknown

The quote works equally well for both sides of the coin.

 

If it seems too good…

Everyone knows the old adage and many have been stung by its inevitable truth.  If it seems to good to be true then it probably is.

I consider myself quite worldly wise – well one couldn’t have lived through this many years and not learned plenty.  We have all read and probably received scam letters by email, but some time ago I received one that was slightly different to the norm.

Brochure

It  was my birthday and when I opened the envelope containing what I thought was a birthday card, I found instead a catalogue from a travel company.  The company was marking nine years in  business and was offering a variety of prizes to  celebrate.  Inside were two scratch pads and so of course, I scratched them and lo and behold I was the winner of the second prize – $US160,000.  Too good to be true?

Bear in mind that this catalogue came in an envelope addressed to me- not the usual scam email.  I was required to call a number in Malaysia which I did and was told that I had indeed won second prize and would I scan and send the scratch card to their office.  I did this and received a phone call almost immediately telling me that while I held the second prize card they couldn’t find my customer number.  Not surprising as I had never heard of the company.  Apparently a mistake had been made on their part and instead of a minor prize being offered to encourage people to use their company, a major prize that should have only been offered to clients, was included in the mail to me.

However, undaunted the folk in Malaysia said that this shouldn’t preclude my being given the prize and several telephone calls from them ensued.  After a couple of days (and more calls) I was told that the sponsors had reluctantly agreed to pay out the prize but before doing so I was asked to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.  Apparently this was necessary in case any of the sponsors’ clients found out that it was being paid to a “non-client”.  I did so and then was asked to call them in Hong Kong.  I had already checked out both these companies and to all intents and purposes they are legitimate.  The website of the sponsors in HK showed registration number etc and this checked out.

The conversation with the Operation (sic) Manager of the company went well and it appeared that I was to receive the prize, but wait, there was one small hitch before the money could be sent to my account a Letter of Authorisation was required from the HK Government; this to provide me with proof that the money sent to my account was winnings and not the proceeds from drugs or anything illegal.  To obtain the Letter it was necessary for $7,200 to be lodged with the Government Department and my share of that was $3,600.

I told the man at the other end of the line that while this was all very good I should have to break a deposit to produce $3,600 (US or HK it was not clear) and so I suggested that he send me a letter saying that I was to receive this money and then my bank here in NZ would advance the funds.  He explained that because I had signed the Non Disclosure as had he, he couldn’t do this.  When asked what he would usually do in this situation I was told that the winnings would go into the client’s account.  When I suggested that he open an account for me he demurred saying he couldn’t as all his clients “were holders of substantial funds”.  So my dream of winning an unexpected bonus came to an end.

I did email my man in Malaysia who had been so very helpful and explained what had happened.  I told him that while I was very comfortable dealing with his company I didn’t feel comfortable with this other company.  He assured me that the company in Hong Kong was legitimate and then suggested that I get on a plane to meet the “Operation” Manager in person.  Not going to happen.

A day or so later I received a call from him apologising profusely for the fact that the money could not be sent to me but telling me to look out for a “compensation package” that would be sent from his company and would I let him know when it arrived.  Guess what, nothing has arrived.

So while this now is shown to be a scam it appeared to be legitimate:

  • I had received a brochure by mail
  • I had a ticket showing I was a winner
  • I made one call to the number in Malaysia and all other contact with that company was made by them and by phone – so at their cost
  • The requirement for a Non Disclosure Agreement added a degree of legitimacy to the whole thing
  • The only other call I had to make was collect to Hong Kong.  When I did this they called me back so that the call was at their cost.

And because it was a scam I have no problem in breaking the Non Disclosure Agreement I signed.

‘Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavour.”
C S Forester, English Novelist 1899-1966

 

 

 

 

 

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Shaking Sunday

We had another idyllic day in Wellington.  Sunshine, warmth and peace.  The morning spent with the geek setting up a friend’s computer and the afternoon at her daughter’s house catching up with her 26 month old son.  Lovely.

But it was a very different  matter in Christchurch.  Once again Christchurch was hit with a huge earthquake – 5.7 on the Richter scale.  Then there was a major earthquake was on 22 February 2011 at 12:51pm when Christchurch was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. The quake was centred 10km south-east of the city at a depth of 5km. 185 people died, 164 people were seriously injured and there was major, widespread damage.

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The people of Christchurch are still recovering from the damage caused in that quake.  Major rebuilding has been going on in the city and surrounding areas.  Much progress has been made but much more is still to be done and now this latest earthquake.

Christchurch residents will now have to once again begin putting their homes and property back together after this latest earthquake.  So far there has been no major injuries or serious structural damaged reported.

But there is still plenty of cleaning up to do, with reports of some buildings in South New Brighton being badly damaged, including broken glass and products having fallen off shop shelves and also there has  been some liquefaction in areas of Christchurch. 

Our thoughts are with our southern neighbours as once again they try to recover from nature’s fury.

“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth
than plagues or earthquakes.”
Voltaire

 

 

Who Said You’re Too Old?

Following on yesterday’s post when I wished for several things for you, I should like to add this to that list.

Take time to enjoy the moment.

On February 12 2013 I wrote about Matilda Kline who at 94 danced the foxtrot with a young man.

Now today, watch the video as 90 year old Hollywood Swing Dance legend Jean Veloz at FatCat Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ on October 4th, 2014 for the Arizona Swing Jam – a weekend of Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Swing Dancing, and Big Band Music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FffaCtMwIBI

and also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjCf2O7JsPU

So what will you do on this glorious Saturday? Sing, dance and be happy.  Take note of these oldies and see how they are enjoying themselves.

  • Can’t dance?  Then sing.
  • Can’t sing. Then paint
  • Can’t paint – then read, walk, run whatever makes your heart sing.

“You’re never too old to set a new goal or
dream a new dream”
C S Lewis

And Wikipedia tells us “
Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer,
and Christian apologist.

Happy Friday

Happy-Friday

As another working week for those of you who still have to work comes to an end, and we have the weekend to look forward to, what are your plans for the next two days?

I wish you:

  • Time to meet up with friends and family.
  • Leisure to do some of the things you enjoy
  • Motivation to read a new author, take up a new hobby or restart one
  • Opportunity to take a small (or large) risk – to do something different
  • Space to do those things that really make your heart sing
  • Ability to make choices 
  • Chances to make new memories and
  • Peace to give thanks for all you have in your life.

These are the things I wish for all of us.  May your weekend be filled with fun and laughter or peace and solitude, whichever is your choice.

And as you know Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poems, so I give you this for your weekend

“it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”
Mary Oliver,
Red Bird a collection of poems
published by Beacon Press