Category Archives: Awards

And the winner is…

The world knows about our almost unstoppable rugby team, the All Blacks.  In a test against the British and Irish Lions on June 24, they won and another Test is set for Saturday.

And we have had golf stars – Lydia Koh the youngest ever No 1,  Sir Bob Charles who has won numerous titles over a 50-year playing life and Michael Campbell who won the US Open.  Dame Susan Devoy dominated the squash world for many years and now..

Team NZ1

Since June 17th this elderly New Zealand woman, along with most of the rest of the inhabitants of our country, have been transfixed by the sailing going on off the coast of Bermuda.  And today, for the third time, New Zealand won the America’s Cup.  It was a really fantastic win.  Team New Zealand beat Oracle, the USA team by 7-1.  So no doubt who the winner was.

Well done Peter Burling and Team New Zealand.  We look forward to the welcome home, with the ‘auld mug’ safely here again.

End of bragging, for today at least.  No promises for not more to come.


Sunday Scribbling

Yesterday I received an email telling me that Linda Cassidy Lewis’ book Forever  had been selected for publication by Kindle Press.  I had read the opening pages and so nominated the book for publication.  As a thank those of us who nominated Linda’s book are to receive a free copy prior to publication.

Of course I immediately went over to her blog to congratulate her.   And I read her latest post.

And I saw that she too had a tea set, somewhat like mine but I suggest hers is from an earlier time.


Linda’s tea set

And what a beautiful tea set it is.

Linda comments in her blog post “Pictured above is the beautiful tea set for one that a sister-in-law sent me during my recovery from surgery last year. This year, I want to make it a habit to sit quietly once a day and sip delicious tea from that cup as I daydream amazing stories to write.”

While my comment to her was –  “I too have a three piece tea set like yours. A different pattern of course. It’s my go to when I need comfort, cheering up, and for when inspiration is lacking. And of course, just for a cup of Lady Grey. I do think it helps me to be productive.”

Here’s my tea set


I hope that Linda follows through with her plans for the year and in particular her plan to sit quietly once a day with a cup of tea from the beautiful tea set while her heart soars and the stories arrive in her head almost ready written.

In any event, I shall continue to follow this amazing author.  Have you read the three books already published?

  • The Brevity of Roses
  • Illusion of Trust
  • High Tea and Flip Flops

If you can get your hands, or your Kindle on one or all of them I urge you to do so.  They are all very well worth reading.

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
Erma Bombeck



Celebrations and Amazement


WOW how does a 15-year-old from far away New Zealand take on the talent of the women’s golfing world and win?  This young school girl Lydia Ko from the North Shore of Auckland not only beat the leading professional women players but beat them by three.  What a feat for this talented young woman.  She is the youngest to win the Canadian Women’s Open.  Click here for the full story of this achievement.  I just came to make the cut and play the best,” Ko said in a television interview. “I won and I’m going to get the trophy, and it’s amazing.”

And what a joy to watch her play.  She certainly appears to enjoy herself as she smiles and laughs with her caddy and those around her.  And the absolute commitment she has shown is totally amazing in one so young.  She has said that she will not turn professional yet as she has an education to complete.  Apparently she has her sights set on attending Stanford University.  I am sure with the determination she has shown up to this point, she will succeed in getting to her chosen seat of learning.

For no reason at all, when I saw the clip of the win on the local Network News I thought of William Blake‘s “To See a World in a Grain of Sand”.  Do you know this poem?

“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour”

I think at the time of being handed the cup – and it was a very large cup for this slight girl to hold – she must have felt that she was holding infinity in her hand.

I have no doubt that the future for Lydia Ko will be exciting and only limited by her will to succeed.  Well done Lydia!

And I can’t close this post today without a heartfelt plea that all my blogging friends in the path of Hurricane Isaac are taking care.  May you all keep safe and my hope is that this tropical storm will not wreak havoc in its path as so many have before it.

And my sister and friends both in real life and in the blogosphere – I hope you are all safe after the flurry of earthquakes reported today.

And wherever you are, whatever Mother Nature is throwing at you, I do hope that you remain safe.


At the outset of my blogging career I wrote a couple of posts one on famous sisters – And The Best Friends of All Are Sisters and one on My Favourite Women Heroes.

Well staying on the subject of famous sisters, today I read  about Katherine and Marjorie Stinson.  Have you heard of these aviator pioneers?

Katherine Stinson

Katherine Stinson, the nineteen year old girl aviator preparing for her flight from Buffalo to Washington, D.C., in connection with the American Red Cross week

Katherine, the eldest was born in 1891, and had plans to study music in Europe and when she heard about stunt flying she determined that this was the way she could fund this ambition.  Barnstorming was a very dangerous occupation early in the 20th Century, but the best barnstormers could earn a thousand dollars in a good day provided they didn’t kill themselves.

By 1912 she’d located flying pioneer, Max Lillie and asked him to teach her to fly.  His response was – no way.  But she persuaded him to take her for a ride and finally convinced him to teach her.

Katherine at 21 became the only the fourth American woman to hold a pilot’s licence.  Next she took up exhibition flying billing herself as The Flying Schoolgirl.  Even though she was in reality 21 she looked to be about 16. Katherine was the first woman to become an airmail pilot and the first to fly a loop.  She flew in exhibitions not only in the US but was the first woman to fly inn China and Japan.  She was the first woman to fly the mail.

By this time she had given up dreams of being a concert pianist and instead considered herself a pilot.  In this is closely linked to Jean Batten the NZ woman aviator who too gave up her desire to be a concert pianist to become a flyer.

Marjorie Stinson

Marjorie Stinson, "only woman to whom a pilot's license has been granted by Army & Navy Committee of Aeronautics", in WWI"

Katherine‘s younger sister Marjorie, born in 1895 followed her example and also learned to fly.  She was the ninth American woman to hold a pilot’s licence.

Katherine and her mother formed the Stinson Aviation Company and after both her sister Marjorie and her brother gained their licenses the family moved to San Antonio and set up a flying school.   The school had to be closed when the US joined WWI the military banned civilian flying and the school had to be closed.

In 1915,   Marjorie  became the only woman in the U.S. Aviation Reserve Corps.  Then in 1916 she began training cadets from the Royal Canadian Flying Corps for service in WWI.  Her teaching methods earned her the nickname, “The Flying Schoolmarm.”

Katherine  tried to enlist as a pilot in the air force but without success and she eventually went to France as an ambulance driver.

After the war, Katherine went back to flying airmail for a short time,  but she contracted tuberculosis and had to give it up. She married a former WWI pilot  and they both did a little more flying but, in 1930, they both decided to quit.

She became a draftsman for the Army and studied architecture. She won prizes for her designs and she lived to the age of 86.

And Marjorie took to barnstorming around the country performing at county fairs and airports. She retired from flying in 1928 she became a draftsman for the  U.S. Navy’s Aeronautical Division. She retired from her job in 1945 and devoted the rest of her life to researching the history of aviation. She died in 1975 at the age of 80.

So two sisters who were very active in flying in the early days and of whom we have heard very little.  The Stinson Award was created in 1997 by the National Aviation Club (now part of NAA) to honor the accomplishments of these two pioneering women.

Read more about these and other notable women aviators at Women in Aviation

Note – photos via Wikipedia.

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder,
who stands a chance against us?
Pam Brown

And the winner is…

Movie poster

Well I was going to write about this film.  We saw it last week but now everyone knows about it because of its Oscar Best Actor award for Jean Dujardin

By now you all know the story of George Valentin a silentmovie great who refuses to acknowledge the advent of the talkies and is sure that it will never take off.

When he is at his height he befriends a new comer and yes you have guessed it, she becomes a hit of the talkies and an even greater star.  He falls from grace and is reduced to selling his artifacts and belongings and yes, again you have guessed it, she has somebody at the auction to buy everything.

The plot could have been written by any one of us .  The acting, minus a sound track, is no doubt what won the best actor award for Jean Dujardin but for me the actress who played Peppy – Bérénice Bejo – stole the show.

And again for me, the highlight of the movie was the tap dancing which the pair perform together at the end of the movie – click here to watch if you haven’t already seen the film.  Or even if you have, it’s worth a second or third, or fourth watch.  This is worthy of comparison with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell – click here to see their dance routine.

No doubt the move away from the norm was much of the appeal of the movie to the powers that be, but frankly if left me thinking that I had seen so many much better movies during the year.

Film poster

poster via Wikipedia

Last week we also saw The Descendants.  Of course any movie starring George Clooney has my vote.  In this he really shows his acting skill, demonstrating that he is so very much more than just a pretty face.

Once again, you no doubt know the story.

Matt King is a Honolulu-based lawyer and the sole trustee of a family trust that controls 25,000 acres of pristine land on the island of Kaua’i. The  rule against perpetuities means the trust will expire in seven years so the family decides to sell the land for development.   Just before the family formally endorses the deal Matt’s wife Elizabeth is involved in a boating accident and rendered comatose.

There are two daughters, 10-year-old Scottie and 17-year-old Alex.  Matt is not very close to his daughters but with his wife in a coma he is forced to confront Scottie’s inappropriate behavior with other children and Alex’s destructive behaviors.

Of course, as in all good stories the family pulls together when it is clear that the decision has to be made to pull the plug on Elizabeth.  Meantime, Matt discovers through his elder daughter that Elizabeth has been having an affair with the developer ti whom the trust proposes to sell the land on Kaua’i.

In a scene which for me, shows Clooney’s talents well, he confronts the developer and invites him to his wife’s bedside so that he can say his goodbye.  Of course, the developer does not attend, but instead his wife does.

It is a convoluted story but to my mind, much more interesting than the ‘hackneyed’ story told in The Artist.

Another Thursday

MPH LogoToday being Thursday, I went to the hospice to help with lunches.  This was the first time I had been back since my accident way, way before Christmas.  In fact it is now 8 weeks since I was last there.  They say time flies when you are having fun…?

Anyway, back to lunch time today.  Of course, all the people were different to those I had met on my last visit.  Many had gone home, some had moved to more permanent residential homes and unfortunately, some had lost their battle and had passed on.

I have said so many times that I am amazed at the way most people come to terms with their life ending.  Most of them are if not cheerful, at least pleasant to us and grateful for the help they receive at the hospice.  The occasional one is still berating all and sundry because his/her life is ending, but these people are in the minority.

I am also amazed at the care and attention all patients receive from the staff, however, difficult and cranky that patient may be.  The doctors and nursing staff cheerfully undertake their duties in a kindly and caring manner.  Each patient is made to feel important and that they are the only person requiring the attention of the staff member at that time.   The patience displayed by the staff from the doctors, nurses, orderlies and helpers is truly special.

Then this afternoon I went to another medical facility.  Annual check up time – mammogram followed by a visit to my ‘breast man’.  The delightful, charming, wonderful man who performed the surgery to remove my cancerous lump.  I enjoy meeting with him on an annual basis.  We discuss our families and what they have been up to in the year since we last met.  It’s very social and not at all like a doctor’s visit.  After some 15 minutes of chit chat, during which time we have caught up on the fact that his daughter (another Kate) has finished three years of her legal studies and when I first went to him almost 12 years ago, this kid was still at school, he gets around to examining me.

So this is quite a bright spot in the day,  But the mammogram that precedes this appointment is anything but.  The radiographers do try to make this as easy as possible but each year I realise that such a machine could only have been invented by a member of the male gender and I pass the time by imagining which part of his anatomy I would put into the machine.

However, the discomfort aside, I encourage my daughter and daughter-in-law, sisters and friends to have regular mammograms.  My cancer was not palpable, it was so small, but was picked up in this way.

And now I have an apology to make.  I was recently awarded a HUG award by the Island Traveler and did not acknowledge this in my post on Awards. Apologies my friend for this oversight.

If you haven’t heard of the HUG award before do visit Connie Wayne at, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.  Here you will find guidelines for the award and also for accepting the award and they include:

  • You may only receive this award once.
  • Upon receipt of the award, nominate at least one other person.  The award is not time limited, so you can nominate new people or sites you encounter in the future.
  • Contact your nominees and tell them they have been nominated for the award.

As part of the acceptance I must nominate at least one person for this award and I nominate Suzicate at the Water Witches Daughter.

stylised man with cupBut also, as I have said so often in the past, I am uncomfortable about picking a few out of the many blogs I read and am inspired by, so once again I direct you to my blogroll.  Take a look at each of these blogs.  They are certainly worth your time and see how each of them qualifies for a HUG award.



Over the past couple of weeks I have been presented with some awards by my fellow bloggers.  As I have said before I am honoured that you think me worthy of these awards.

  • My friend the Island Traveler graciously awarded me the Liebster award.  Do go over to his site to follow his journey and read about his delightful son.
  • Jean at Moonlightened Way has awarded me the One Lovely Blog award.  This is a new blog to which I have subscribed and I encourage you to take a look at her blog.  She writes with joy and feeling on several subjects.  It’s worth a look!
  • Jean also tagged me for Mrs Sparkly’s Ten Commandments.  This looks like fun.
  • Dor at Technicolor Day Dreams gave me two awards – the Versatile Blogger and the Candlelighter.  Dor is a source of enjoyment to me.  I read her blogs and know that if we lived in the same continent we could be friends in real life.  Take a look at her blog.

Each award comes with a list of things you have to do and as I am totally overwhelmed with all the things on my To Do List I gratefully and I hope graciously accept all the awards with a big thank you.  But I make my own rules for the acceptance.

  1. I thank the blogger who nominated me –
  2. I direct people to their blog –
  3.  I choose not to tell 7, 10 or however many things about me as I am sure those who follow my blog don’t want to know any more about me.  For those who do please see my post  – In Accepting This Award 
  4. I nominate everyone on my blog roll for these awards and all of the other bloggers I follow who haven’t yet been added to my list. 

So there you have it.  Thank you once again for these awards and thank you to all on my blog roll for making my day brighter with your blogs and giving me much to think about and ponder upon.


Stupidity Reigns!

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”   Benjamin Franklin

Hot on the heels of  my posts on Political Correctness and Common Sense came this via email from a friend.

We have obviously allowed stupidity to take over the world considering some of the frivolous actions taken and their results in the courts in the United States.

It’s time again for the annual ‘Stella Awards‘! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That’s right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for year  —  2011:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Start scratching!

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn’t notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor’s hubcaps.

Scratch some more…

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count ’em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner’s insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish Keep scratching. There are more…

Double hand scratching after this one..

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella’s when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Pick a new spot to scratch, you’re getting a bald spot..

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Only two more so ease up on the scratching…

Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000….oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

Ok. Here we go!!

Clapping hands

This year’s runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?  $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.


Sorry folks.  I won’t be around for a few days.  Just off to pick up my ticket to the US to buy a Winnebago.

Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.   Friedrich Schiller

Many and Varied Thoughts


In a phone conversation with my sister in Los Angeles yesterday she mentioned that she had begun to follow Dor at Technicolor Daydreams after reading some of her comments on my blog.


Oh so very long ago.

My sister brought my attention to a post that Dor had written in November and that somehow I had missed.  The post describes heating in those days when we didn’t all have central heating and used other means of heating the house.  See the post here.

For both of us, this brought back so many memories.  When we were growing up we had not only an open fire in the living room but also a heater in the kitchen that heated water and the one and only radiator in the house.  The open fire used coal and the kitchen heater used coke. For those of you not familiar to this material (and how many are as old as me?) coke comes from coal is grey, hard, and porous and is produced in much the same way as charcoal.

Coal and coke were delivered each week and we had two large bins outside the kitchen door for the coalman to dump them into.  The coalman has now disappeared and open fires are no longer allowed in London.  I wrote about the fog, soot and smoke (smog) caused by open fires in an earlier blog.

Oil heater

From memory this looks like our heater

In memory, the house was always warm but this was achieved with not only the two fires and one water reticulated radiator, but with a variety of other sources.  We had various electric heaters around the house and we also had a kerosene heater in the bedroom I shared with my older sister.  It had a distinctive smell and it too left pretty pictures on the ceiling.  I do remember that if one or other of us had the dreaded bronchitis so prevalent in London at the time, mother would put a kettle of water with Friar’s Balsam in it on top of the heater.  The resulting steam which we inhaled, helped to clear the bronchial tubes in those far off days before inhalers were readily available.

I don’t remember that there were any problems with the one at home.  Only father was ever allowed to fill the thing but we three girls had to take ourselves off to the hardware shop to buy the kerosene and carry it home in a can.  The can was quite heavy and it seems that there was always discussion as to whose turn it was to carry it.

Then when my dashing-young-Scotsman and I moved into our first “garden” apartment (here read semi-basement apartment), we had a really stylish oil heater.  In the cold winter months following our wedding, we would leave this thing on in the hall so that the apartment was warm on our return from work.  One day, when my (very new) husband was away on business I arrived home to find great stalactites of oily grease hanging from the ceiling.  The heater had blown something during the day – how lucky that we didn’t cause a fire. But what was a very young bride to do?  A quick call to the family home, some ten minutes walk away, resulted in both mother and father arriving and taking charge.  They cleaned, scrubbed and dusted while I looked on providing copious cups of tea and encouraging words!

Of course, the ceiling had to be repainted and my very adaptable clever father did this over the next few days.

What memories are revived when reading other people’s blogs.  Thank you Dor and thank you, Christine, for bringing the post to my attention and thus reviving these memories.

In Accepting This Award…

Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn via Wikipedia

Katharine Hepburn won Best Actress a record four times. She never once showed up at the Oscars to accept the award. But her multiple wins prove that, back then, if they thought you deserved it you won.

A couple of days ago I wrote a post that meandered through my thoughts.  Among the things I wrote about were Awards, and accepting or declining them.

One of the comments I received on the post made me think that perhaps my ramblings could have been misconstrued and might have been considered rude.  Of course, this was not my intention and if anybody took the ramblings in this way, I sincerely apologise.

As I said in that post my concern was for the question of having to nominate several other bloggers for this award.  I find this difficult to do as I follow so many great bloggers and read some others to whom I haven’t yet subscribed. How do you pick and choose from the list?  In the past I have got around over my concern about this by nominating all those on my blogroll.  Cheating I guess!

Sometimes a few days pass before I read all the posts waiting in my in box.  A few days after I published the post I read that I had been awarded the Leibster Award by fellow blogger the island traveler.

Liebster blog award

So as I am a woman, and it is well known that we change our minds (I’m also blonde so make of that what you will) I will accept both these awards with grace but in doing so will cheat again and instead of nominating five (or is it fifteen?) bloggers to receive the award, I nominate all those on my blog roll.  You have all entertained me, made me think, taught me many new things and kept me on my toes in the nine months since I started on this blogging journey.  We have connected in a way that I wouldn’t have thought possible before this time.  So thank you all and please accept this award as an early Christmas present.

Versatile blogger award

Also please accept the versatile blogger award.  This was graciously awarded to me a couple of weeks ago by Janet at thoughts to mull.   I hope that Janet was not offended by  the remarks in my earlier blog.

Again I nominate all of you on my blog roll to receive this award.

This award calls for me to tell you seven things about myself  If you have been following me in the past months you will have seen these things (or some of them) before.  If so, please take it as written/read/said.

  1. I consider myself blessed in that I  had a great upbringing in a loving and secure family environment.   I know from reading some of the blogs and talking with friends that this was not afforded to everybody.
  2. I was blessed in my relationship with my husband aka the dashing (not so) young Scotsman, that lasted 41 years until his untimely death in 1998.  I say that I grew up with him and have him to thank for the woman I am today.
  3. I am blessed in my two grown children who now each have two children of their own.  I like and respect the people they chose to be their spouses and of course, I love my four sturdy, bright grandsons.
  4. I am blessed in that I have two sisters, one in London in the UK and one in Los Angeles , California with whom I am very close.  I say that the best friends of all are sisters.  We don’t see each other very often now but we are in regular contact via the phone and more particularly emails.
  5. I am an English woman who chooses to make her life in Godzone otherwise known as New Zealand/Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud).
  6. I am a trained life coach and in recent years have spent time helping people come to terms with grief and loss.
  7. I am “retired” and now spend my time helping a Real Estate agent friend in her business, running courses mostly on Self Confidence building, writing, blogging and I volunteer at the local hospice each week.

So there you have it.  Thank you once again for reading my posts and thanks to those who consider them worthy of awards.  I hope that my making my own rules for acceptance doesn’t step on anybody’s toes.  And as Peter Ustinov said :

“To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal”.

Note – just re-read the post and see that the word ‘more’ was left out of the quote by Peter Ustinov.