Monthly Archives: April 2017

Friends in Far Flung Places

“Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself …
CS Lewis 1898-1963 – Four Loves

We are so lucky to have all the things available to us that weren’t available in our parents’ time.  In particular, I mean Skype.

I have just finished a call of 1 hour and 20 minutes to two of my sisters by choice, Chris at Bridges Burning and Joss at Joss Burnel Author.  And yes, the link to Joss’ blog is all about me.  How’s that!

Anyway, we have this weekly chat and get together.  Three women, who are true friends but who met through the wonderful world of blogging.  Very far apart in miles but so close together in friendship and love.  How I wish Skype had been available when my parents were alive.  How much better it would have been for all of us, especially the children, to have been able to have long family chats whenever we wanted to.

Now back to today.  Unfortunately, Chris is recovering from a bad cold and departed early in the call to lie down and recuperate.  That left just two of us.  I’m particularly interested in Ecuador and what it is like as an expat living there.   Joss and her ‘sweetie’ Gerard have been in Ecuador for about 3 years (I think) and they are thriving.  Joss has a group of friends with whom she shares time and experiences and writing.  And Gerard? Well Gerard does what Gerard does.

Having just finished a successful Writers’ Conference, Joss and her cohorts/friends are just organising another conference for next March and I thought I should like to go.  Oh I know it’s so far away, but we can all dream can’t we?  And I even looked up flights.  Well yes, one can get from Auckland, New Zealand to Quito, Ecuador for about $12,000 return economy fare.  I didn’t even look at Business Class. But I think I shall have to wait until somebody has some specials on flights to Ecuador, or maybe I’ll win Lotto tomorrow. Note to self – buy Lotto ticket.  And Joss, it isn’t a 7 hours flight as you had earlier thought, it’s it’s one day and 4 hours.  Oh yes, we have already laughed when you shared your thoughts on the time of the flight.

So now, having been brightened on this autumn day by speaking with my friends, I shall spend the rest of the day, reading and drinking tea and looking forward to next week’s chat.

book-tea

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone copyright. 

Stormy Weather

“When all is said and done, the weather and love
are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”

― Alice Hoffman,  American Novelist 1952 – 

 

Here in New Zealand, we are all bracing for what has been described as the storm of the century.  Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook is due to hit us just about now – 6.00 pm  Thursday 13 April 2017.  Rain is already causing problems and this is purported to be the worst storm since the Wahine Disaster in 1968.

According to New Zealand History  “The Union Steam Ship Company’s 8948-ton roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) passenger ferry Wahine, the largest ship of its kind in the world when completed two years earlier, left Lyttelton at 8.40 p.m. on the evening of 9 April. There were 734 passengers and crew on board.  Storm warnings had been issued, but rough seas were nothing new in Cook Strait. As it turned out, the Wahine was about to sail into one of the worst storms ever recorded in New Zealand. The ship reached Cook Strait as tropical cyclone Giselle swept south and collided with a southerly front. The combination of warm tropical air and cold air dragged up from Antarctica produced exceptionally violent turbulence. On 10 April, in a bad storm, the Lyttelton-Wellington ferry hit a reef.”  See the timeline to disaster here

Early the next day the Captain called for the ship to be abandoned and would be rescuers lined the shore in the atrocious weather as the Wahine succumbed to one of the worst storms recorded in New Zealand history and others raced to a further beach where many of those in the water were being washed to.

It seemed impossible that so many lives could be lost so close to shore. Fifty-one people lost their lives that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck.  A number of people who reached shore alive did not receive medical attention quickly enough to prevent death from exposure. Others were drowned or killed when thrown against rocks.

The Cook Strait that connects the North and South Islands of New Zealand is 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.

The Wahine Disaster is known about and discussed by many to this day.

So now, some 49 years later, we are faced with a similar storm.  At this time the sailings across Cook Strait are not canceled although I suggest that many people will change their travel plans.  The airport in Wellington has been closed on and off for most of the day as have several other airports.  Severe weather warnings are in place for many parts of the North Island and the top of the South Island.

 

Ohope2

Ohope Beach in front of the Architects A-frame.

 

Ohope 1

Several areas have already been evacuated including the Westend of Ohope where the Architect had a holiday home.  It was almost on the beach so I suggest there will be little of it left when the storm passes.

auckland harbour bridge.jpg

Schools have been closed today in anticipation of the storm.  There has been some discussion about closing Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.  Many businesses have closed early allowing their employees to get home before the worst of the weather hits.   But this means that roads are even more clogged than usual.

So is this going to be a Happy Easter for us?  I suggest it won’t be for many people.  So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking

So while I wish you all a very Happy Easter I’m taking time to think of all those people who will have to return to devastation and flooding, some of whom haven’t yet recovered from last week’s storm, courtesy of ex-cyclone Debbie.

Today’s the Day

Granny on computer

Procrastination – well, it’s alive and well here in Wellington New Zealand.

Every day since I wrote the blog on Continuing the story on 23 March I have planned to live up to the promise.  Good intentions but so much gets in the way.  So two weeks later I am continuing the story.

You will recall that we left our ladies in confusion following the visit of Thomas Anthony William Fotheringham known as Billy AKA the Swarthy Gent in the Panama Hat.  The fellow had arrived at Maisie’s door unannounced a couple of days ago and then had returned at an agreed time, to present Maisie with the claim that he was related to her husband.

So to continue…

As the three friends were quietly contemplating what he had said., the door to the room burst open and there stood Maisie’s daughter Julia.  Knowing her and how she acted, Juliet and Imogen decided to leave and decided they would catch up by telephone later in the day.

“Whatever have you been up to now, Mother?” demanded Julia in that voice so like Reggie’s.  “Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to hear that one’s mother had been away from home for two nights and nobody knew where?”  Oh, how truly tedious her daughter was, thought Maisie.

“What have you heard that has upset you so much?” enquired Maisie, making no attempt to answer her daughter’s questions.

“Oh Mother,” said Julia.  “I do wish you would act responsibly and see rather less of that Juliet Drummond who is such a bad influence on you.”

Julia had never really liked her mother’s close friend Lady Juliet Drummond, after whom she had been named.  Julia being quite a different person and having a totally different personality to her mother, found nothing attractive about her mother’s closest friend.

She discoursed at length about how unseemly it was for these two women to have been missing over two nights.  Gossip as to what they had been up to was rife and Julia felt strongly that any hint of scandal, should it fall upon her mother, should not be allowed to fall upon her.  To Julia, being in the right ethically and morally was paramount.  Any hint of impropriety was abhorrent to her.

Oh, she liked her mother well enough but she considered her weak and easily led.  It was to her father that she was most drawn.  She shared his puritanical outlook on life.  She looked up to him as a paragon of virtue and hoped that her betrothed, The Hon Toby Grimshaw, would turn out to be as upright as he.

She strongly disapproved of the new trend of women smoking and drinking cocktails in public.  She thought that once a lady was married she should be content to remain at home, running her household so that her husband and children would be totally comfortable in their environment.

Julia was aware that her mother smoked both in public and at home and also drank cocktails every day and was quite convinced that her mother would do neither without the unsavoury influence of Lady Juliet.  She also knew of course, that Juliet had been her mother’s friend and confidant for many years, ever since they had met at school and that nothing would break this friendship.

“You haven’t answered my question” she railed at her mother.  Whatever could you have been doing that you can’t even tell me?  And have you told Father yet?”

Her daughter was unaware that Reggie had moved out to the house in town, so of course, Maisie hadn’t had the opportunity to tell him of her adventures,  She knew that he would be strongly disapproving of her having been to the cinema without a proper escort.  And the only proper escort in his considered opinion would have been himself or one of his brothers.  And she knew how he would react to the rest of those adventures, with supreme disapproval.

So “No I haven’t had the chance to discuss it with your father yet.” She told her irate daughter.  “He has been in town for a few days, but I shall, of course, do so at the first opportunity.”

When Julia looked as if she would then burst into questions about opportunities, Maisie thought it time to change the subject.  She and Reggie hadn’t discussed the issue of telling their offspring about the separation.

In Maisie’s estimation, Julia had always been a difficult child and as she grew up her proselytizing became more marked and to Maisie, very infuriating.  Just how she would react to the news was something Maisie dreaded to even think about.

“Now let’s talk about your engagement and the plans for the wedding, shall we?” asked Maisie.  There followed a pleasant 30 minutes when mother and daughter discussed these plans.  And no thank you, Julia declined the offer of a cocktail when her mother asked Jackson to bring her a Gin and tonic.

And Maisie had more important things to worry about than wedding plans.  She knew her overbearing daughter would arrange everything with little or no input from or discussion with her mother.  But how and when would she tell Reggie about Billy Fotheringham and his claims of relationship?

Trouble with WordPress

Today has been one of those days.

First, I lost a blog post that had been published, it attracted at least one comment.  So I redid that post.

Then my site theme was lost and I have spent the last several hours trying to reinvent what I had.  But I don’t know where that has all gone either.

What did I do to WordPress I wonder?  But I do know that several others had strange happenings on WordPress today.

So let’s hope tomorrow is a better day for WordPress.

confused

 

Meantime

cropped-gin_tonic-1.jpg

Missing Letter

Well, WordPress is having fun today at leat with my sites. I published this post earlier today and now it’s gone.  Disappeared into the either.  I know it was there as I had at least one comment.  So here it goes again.

100-word-challenge

A very interesting challenge from Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook this week.
We are challenged to write 100 words without using the letter A.
Could you meet the challenge?  Why not try.

When she woke up she found she’d forgotten to put the clocks to winter time before going to sleep.  Summertime gone; wintertime now in force.

But how to spend the surplus but completely unexpected hour? She decided to spend it in bed.  Should she continue the exciting novel on the desk that she’d been so involved in the night before or should she read posts from those she followed?  Of course, the novel won.

So climbing into bed, she settled down, holding the book, coffee close by she opened the book then continued where she left off, quickly becoming involved.

coffee 

 

 

Missing Letter 2.

 

A very interesting challenge from Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook this week.
We are challenged to write 100 words without using the letter A.
Could you meet the challenge?  Why not try.
Go over to Tara’s site and get the rules and then let’s see what you come up with.

But I misread the Challenge.  I thought you had to write 100 words without using the letter A.
In fact, it was without using the letter N.  Hence, the second post.

She woke up to see that she forgot to put the clocks back the hour at the close of summer time before sleep yesterday.

What to do with the extra hour before her?  So she thought she would use this hour either to read posts from those writers she followed or should she read the book she started the day before.  The book by a fresh author, the story that had completely riveted her from the start?

The book of course.  So back to her bed, book and T-cup close by, she settled to read, for just the allotted time.

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone’s copyright.