Category Archives: Celebration

Celebrating

“It is a serious thing just to be alive
on this fresh morning, in this broken world.”
Mary Oliver

We know that New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote – 19 September, 1893, and we are vocal in celebrating this.

Now we have more reasons to celebrate. Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has been named in FortuneMagazine‘s list of the world’s greatest leaders.

She came second only to Bill and Melinda Gates, well known and acknowledged for the great charity work they do and in particular their involvement in vaccines for the poor and work against poverty.

Ms Ardern is the only elected official in the top ten. ‘”Jacinda Ardern had already broken new ground as a pregnant woman – and then a new mother – leading a nation. And this year, the 38-year-old Prime Minister showed the world her fullness as a leader as she deftly, empathetically, and humbly navigated New Zealand through the worst terror attack in its history, after 50 were killed at two mosques in Christchurch in March,” the Fortune profile read.

She has also been featured  in Time Magazine‘s list of the most influential people of 2019.

Her blurb is written by London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, who writes how Londoners were “heartbroken to wake up to news of the horrific terror attack in Christchurch, shocked by the callous targeting of innocent civilians for no reason other than their faith”.

Kahn states that Ardern’s leadership since then “has been an inspiration to us all”.

And we find she is also featured in Forbes Magazine’s list of TheMost Powerful Women  in the World. Angela Merkel has remained at the top spot since 2006 and we celebrate this for her. She is, Forbes said  the ”de facto leader of Europe, leading the region’s largest economy after steering Germany through financial crisis and back to growth.”

Our Prime Minister is at 29 and of her Forbes said she had used her platform to “create a path for other women” to follow in her footsteps and, at age 38, was the youngest female leader in the world and New Zealand’s youngest PM in 150 years.

So while she wasn’t my choice for leader of our small nation, she is doing very well and has become a world leader in a very short time. I hope this continues for her.

Applause

End of bragging and politics for today.

Here it is Easter Saturday. When I grew up and when I first came to New Zealand, Easter was celebrated with church services. That was more important than the easter bunny, eggs and buns. But that has changed. Our country is no longer considered a Christian country. New Zealand is home to a diverse range of religious groups, including Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs and Jews, as well as Christians. Twenty five languages are spoken amongst our very mixed community now and the reason for Easter has fallen into the background.

So commercialism once again thrives. Shopping trolleys are full of Hot Cross buns (although last year there was a movement to change the name), Easter eggs and bunnies.

And now I could like to wish all my friends Happy Easter however you celebrate it.

Adventure

 

 

 

 

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Spring Bulbs

If you have read any of my posts recently you will know that we are having a particularly wet and windy Spring here in New Zealand.  We have one beautiful Spring day followed by three of the other kind.

spring-ads-beauty

But the Spring bulbs are in bloom and in my garden, there are a couple that are really special.

Last year, in the week before my accident, I went to the funeral of a  close friend.  If a funeral can be described as happy this one was.

People recounted memories and tales of fun shared with the deceased.  Then, just before the coffin was taken out of the chapel to the sound of “Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye” we were told to take a couple of bulbs from the box at the rear so that next year when the Spring came, we would all remember Jilly.   And that is what has happened this year.

 

Isn’t that a lovely thought.  I have suggested to my daughter that they do something like that so that my friends may remember me.  Oh no, I don’t plan to die for many years yet, but just saying…

“Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye 
Cheerio, here I go, on my way
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye
Not a tear, but a cheer, make it gay
Give me a smile I can keep all the while
In my heart, while I’m away
‘Till we meet once again, you and I
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye”.

And of course, having thought back to that time I am again thinking of the two men in my life, both of whom are now gone but both of whom are remembered always.

 

Celebrating

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

We all love celebrating our friends and acquaintances achievements.

Some of you may know that I designed/wrote and ran a course on saving your memories.   It was not like writing your life story .  Rather  this was a course over 6 weeks that encouraged the participants to write one memory each week, to be read out to the others the following week if one wanted to.

These were always very personal memories being shared amongst us, but right at the start the number one rule was

“We will cultivate a safe environment in which to share our stories. We will be nonjudgmental and attentive to the needs of others in the group.

Sometimes memories will cause tears to be shed.  If the environment is safe and nonjudgmental the tears will be accepted without embarrassment.

Accept also that there will be lots of laughter.”

And there was much laughter, a few tears and some memories that were being expressed to others for the first time.

From time to time I have received communication from some of the participants but not for several years.  Imagine my delight on opening my emails today to find one that read:

“Hi Judith.  It all started with you, your lounge in 2009.
I’ve finished my book started with a story prepared under your guidance
Will you be coming to the launch party?”

What excitement! I immediately replied when and where is the launch to be held?  I’ll be there.

As I understand it this is a book based on Brian’s experiences having been born in London in 1938 (exactly like me).  His was a very different story to mine and he introduces the book thus:

“As long as I ever knew my mother, she was either amused or angry
with the voices which plagued her, an experience which provided the
spur for an extraordinary lifetime adventure.”

So I’m sharing y excitement with all and sundry.  I know that many who are battling with their own book will want to join me in celebrating Brian’s achievement .  And me?  I’m looking forward to December 8 when I can reconnect with this strong man and get to know him through his bookClapping hands

And my next reason for cheers is that my list of followers has now passed 900.  Way back in 2011 when I started this adventure in the blogosphere I wondered if anyone would read my posts.  Well, now I know that they do.

Thank you to all of you who have faithfully followed me for a while and thanks to the new followers. If I haven’t already sent you a comment of thanks, I shall do so very shortly.

Applause

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Opening my emails from blogging friends has taken on some of the qualities of Christmas morning.  They all purport to come from Lenore Diane so the excitement builds as each surprise package is opened.

Today I opened one that came from my blogging friend Val at Arty Old Bird.  She talked about accepting that one might be different to others and coming to terms with it..  Do go over to read her blog post.  I am sure you will find it interesting/illuminating.

About two-thirds of the way into the post she directed us to Israel who sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow with such feeling that it brings tears to the eyes.  Most of us have heard this version of the song and loved it.  And yes he does look different to most of us.

And then there was this – Jonathon and Charlotte .  This odd looking couple competing in Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year.  Just look at Jonathon; at the time of the audition  he was 17 years old and Charlotte was 16.   As you can imagine Simon Cowell et al dismissed him but that was before he started singing.

Look at the faces of the judges and the audience and then look them as Jonathon starts to sing.  Who would have thought this young man had such a voice.  And how many would have dismissed him because of his size and the way he looks?

We are all guilty of judging a book by its cover and in doing so how much do we miss.  We know that first impressions are important but …  We may miss out on a great friendship because of judging somebody by the way he/she looks.

This couple totally wowed the audience and the judges.  Simon Cowell has now signed them to a GBP 1million contract and admits he was wrong in his first impressions of this duo.

As a footnote do you believe that this couple with those voices, were beaten in the final by a performing dog?  What were the British people thinking.

Related post –    Seeing is Believing or Is It?

Happy Easter

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

This is an old English language nursery rhyme and street cry referring to the lovely spicy buns we enjoy at Easter.  Well if you are English you will enjoy them and maybe other cultures eat them too.

Hot Cross Buns

Here’s the link to the recipe.  Do try them – they are delicious.

Colorful Easter Eggs

And will you be eating Easter eggs?

Celebrating Easter with eggs has long been a tradition in Western Christianity.  According to Wikipedia:

The Easter egg tradition may also have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity.

When we were growing up after the Second World War there was no chocolate to be had and eggs were in very short supply.  So no Easter eggs for us.

When my children were little we used to paint hard boiled eggs for Easter.  They were pretty awful attempts when the children were small and certainly improved as they got older and became more adept with paint and brushes.

And now I suppose my grandchildren will have chocolate Easter eggs.  When they were small (all four are now teenagers) I used to buy them each a book instead of an Easter egg.  And one year when they were all just toddlers, they each got an Easter bunny from Granma (oh not a real one; a stuffed animal).  I know that at least one of them (the eldest) still has his.

Easter Bunny Postcard

Postcard c1907 via Wikipedia

So how will you celebrate Easter?  Do you recognise this as a religious festival with all its meaning or is it a time of rest and recreation for you?  Although I suppose it could be both because the religious symbolism of new life and rejuvenation could also come into being if treating this as a holiday.

And now I am reminded of my Mother’s love of the movies and in particular anything that starred Judy Garland.  One of her favourites was Easter Parade.  We saw this several times as we were growing up.

In any event, and however you celebrate this weekend, have a good Easter and may it be a happy one filled with laughter, friendship and family.

‘Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
from the Spanish Student

It’s That Day…Again?

Birthdays are good for you

It doesn’t seem a year since I blogged on my birthday, but friends, it is.  Another year older but any the wiser?

Another year of enjoying where I am in life; enjoying my family and friends and if I have lost a couple of friends through death over the year, I have made a couple of new ones.  The friends who die still remain friends although they are not physically here any more.

So what to write about on this momentous day.  War is still waged in the same countries as this time last year, children are still suffering, the homeless are still homeless and those living in poverty are still poor.  So what you might ask is there to celebrate?

We, the lucky ones who live in our war-free lands, with food and water readily available to us,  can celebrate so many things in our lives.  I celebrate and am grateful for:

  • My family, son and daughter and their families
  • My sisters both on the other side of the world
  • My good and supportive friends
  • My ongoing good health
  • My active mind
  • My special friend – Lotte
  • My comfortable and warm home
  • The fact that the sun rises and then sets each day
  • The friends I have made in the blogosphere
  • The money in my purse and in the bank
  • The food in the larder and the refrigerator.

And for all the other things on My Gratitude List.  I really do know just how lucky I am and have been in my life.

So I will celebrate this birthday; hoping that perhaps I have learned something in the preceding 12 months and look forward with joy and anticipation to the next 12.


“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.”  Anon

A Special Day

“Birthdays are good for you.  Statistics show that the
people who have the most live the longest. ”
Larry Lorenzoni”

February 29th is a day like any other for most of us but imagine if this is your birthday.  As a small child you would have wondered why everyone else celebrates a special day each year; so would your mother and father decide that you would celebrate on the day before or the day after the 29th?

Aeons ago, when I was at school, we had a girl who had been born on February 29th.  Her parents had told her how very special this made her and in the days leading up to the 29th she was insufferable.  I am not sure how we treated her in the three years that she didn’t have a birthday but I am sure that we repaid her for her superiority in the fourth.  Teenage girls…

I have a special blogging friend, Lenore Diane whose birthday is March 1st.  Luckily she missed the 29th February day if in fact she was born in a leap year.  So happy birthday for tomorrow Lenore Diane.

In yesterday’s post Lenore posed the question ‘do I know you?’  As she says, we have many virtual friends now in the bogging world.  After beginning my blog on March 1 last year and somehow attracting people to it, I now consider those with whom I interact in this way, either regularly or infrequently as the case may be, as my friends.

Oh I wouldn’t know you if I passed you in the street – unlikely because I live so far away from most of you – but I feel connected to you because you share your thoughts and feelings so openly with me/us.

Thanks

So on this special day I should like to say Thank You to everybody whose blogs I follow and to those who follow mine.  I feel that I have come to know many of you during the year.  I have learned a little about your lives that in many instances are so different to mine, and some whose lives run on almost parallel lines.  I shall continue to read and comment on your blogs (that is if WordPress and Akismet ever get their acts together to allow me to comment again).

I look forward to another enjoyable year reading and learning more about you.

As I am going to be away for the next few days there will be no posts on this blog.  But I shall be back after the wedding with much to share with  you.


Related articles

Gremlins in the air?


“An apology is a good way to have the last word.” Anon

After a few weeks of being so far behind in reading the blogs I follow, I eventually spent all day yesterday glued to the computer reading, reading, occasionally commenting and often clicking ‘like’.  So now I am caught up and today have only 32 items in the inbox.  Hoorah!

Applause

But now I think I must have offended WordPress in some way.  I have tried to respond to various bloggers today and after pressing ‘post comment’ the comment has disappeared into the ether.  So for the many bloggers I follow and particularly those who have mentioned my blogs in their posts – Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation and Caterel at caterel.wordpress.com and therefore deserve a response from me, I offer my heartfelt apologies.  Hopefully, whatever the gremlin is it will disappear later today.

____________

I recently came across this quote from Stephen Levine, poet, author and teacher.  It’s in his book A Year To Live

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?  And why are you waiting? ”

Who would I callMy two sisters on a three-way call.  Why my sisters and not my family?  Because my sisters would not be able to be with me while my children and grandchildren are here in New Zealand and able to come to me.

What would I say? I would tell them how very special they both are to me.  What important parts they have played in my life.  How I have missed being and sharing with them over the years.   And if it was at all possible, I would wish to be all together again. It is now 12 years since we were all together (and that was for Mother’s funeral).

Why am I waiting?  I am not.

So think about it.  Who would you phone, what would you say and why are you waiting?

A stiff apology is a second insult…. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.  G.K. Chesterton, English author, poet and playwright.  1874 – 14 June

Recent posts on sisters

Dumb and Dumber

One of my cardinal rules is I never allow anybody to put me down, but just occasionally I do something very odd strange daft that even I begin to wonder about me.

I have complained since before I had my accident and my leg in a plaster, that I had no sound on my computer and that the second screen didn’t work.  My son, the computer nerd (does my son the doctor sound better?) who’s so very busy has taken until now to get around to looking at the computer and sorting it out for his mother.

A Round Tuit

Never again will he have an excuse because he now has a round tuit

I arrived home from the hospice on Thursday to find my son and his youngest son in the house, with my son listening to a cricket match on my computer.  When I asked what he had done to make  the sound and the second larger screen work, he replied “I plugged it in”.  Apparently when I  moved the computer around some time ago, somehow the larger screen had become unplugged and apparently this is what also houses the sound for the computer.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Via Wikipedia

Unfortunately, I don’t look anything like Marilyn but I do like her quote

Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?
As “Lorelei Lee” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

As an aside (and a random thought) my sister once told a man at an hotel swimming pool “She’s the pretty one but she’s not very bright”.  Can you believe that my older sister would say that about me?

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and if you didn’t receive a Valentine’s card please accept this one

Valentine card

Antique Valentine’s card via Wikipedia

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world, but without the bonus of having a day off work.  How do you celebrate this day?  Do you give and receive gifts or is it just another day?

I have a friend whose birthday is today and as with my niece whose birthday is in 2 days time, she probably thought that all the flowers, hearts etc were to celebrate her birthday when she was little.

And another funny from my sister in LA (sent to her by her Australian friend).  Not really a blonde joke but close.

A young woman was pulled over for speeding.
As a policeman walked to her car window flipping open his ticket book, she said “I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the Policeman’s Ball”
To which he replied “New Zealand Policemen don’t have balls”
There was a moment of silence while she just smiled and he realised what he had said.
He then closed his book, got back into his patrol car and left.
She was laughing too hard to start her car.

Butterfly

Photo – Ed Dear