Category Archives: Thanks

Bouquets and Thanks


This is is a very short post today.  The furniture arrived safely and two strong young men manhandled it into place.  We were guided by the drawings my friend had left for me. So a good job well done.


garden storage box

On Saturday I complained about a flat pack I had received that proved impossible to put together. I then went on to say that I would have to start the protracted dealing with the supplier to get my money refunded.

I sent off my email and today I was very pleasantly surprised to receive a response. There was an apology because the goods were damaged and a promise to refund my money in full onto the credit card I had used to make the purchase.

The email went on to say that in this instance the company did not require the box to be returned and asked me to dispose of it.

How’s that for service. I’ll certainly continue to use this supplier in the future and will recommend them to all my friends.

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

Down to the wire again – 23.50.

Note to self –  must try to get this blog done earlier in the day.

Celebrating a Milestone

This was yesterday’s blog but for whatever reason WordPress didn’t publish it so there will be two posts today.

Posted – January 11, 2012

Today I had no hesitation when I sat down at the computer to write my blog. No problem with water aka thoughts rushing to find a safe place. I knew exactly what I was going to write about.

When I started on my blogging journey way back on March 1, 2011 I didn’t know how much fun I would have in writing every day or how many friends I would make in this blogging world.

Milestone celebration

Well today, I have reached 100 followers and I would like to thank you all for reading and following and commenting from time to time. I really appreciate all of you. Many of the blogs I follow have a greater number of subscriptions but I am very excited at reaching this milestone.

Over the months I have read blogs from people whose lives are so different to mine. Most live in other countries and are of a different age group (well how many have reached my VAST age?). Many have young children and their days are taken up with all the busyness that accompanies families. Some are looking at retirement and how they will fill in their time once they do retire. Some are battling demons either within themselves or from actions of others, and others are living their daily lives with vigour and excitement greeting each day with enthusiasm. I do know that some have health problems and in one case in particular, these problems are the basis of his daily (and sometimes more than once daily) blog posts.

There are a number of writers that I follow and some of whom follow me. Some are writers of fiction and some of fact, and in a couple of cases have had books published this year. Congratulations to each of them.

So to all of you who follow my blogs and those of you whose blogs I follow thank you for the support offered unconditionally over the past months. Here I have to say that in receiving over 3,000 comments on the posts I have only ever received one that I didn’t want to publish – apart that is from all the spam.


And today I received another award – thank you Linda Cassidy Lewis for the nomination. Have you read Linda’s book “The Brevity of Roses”? It’s a great read and should be on your reading list.

Liebster blog award

In accepting an award I am called upon to nominate others to receive it and also to tell some things about myself. Well I have so many wonderful blogs that I follow that I will once again, just direct you to my blog roll. If any of these are new to you please do visit them. I always find something new in their blogs. And as for me, I have told you about myself in my posts and on my page Meet Judith Baxter, so I really think there is nothing more to add.

And because it’s a lovely day of celebration and sunshine. And because I have only 2 more weeks tomorrow to wear my big red Santa boot, I offer you once again, my special rainbow. Please accept it and make it yours. And if anybody wants to use it in a blog post, please feel free to do so.


My rainbow

Happy Christmas Mrs B

Yesterday while out walking with madam I slipped on some loose gravel and now have my leg in a” back slab cast”.  Apparently, I have fractured my ankle and so have to have this on for 12 days (10 days but as Christmas comes into the counting we can make it 12 days).  No comment as to what will happen after the 12 days, was forthcoming.

Foot in plaster

My Christmas present to myself

As I think in most places, the A & E Department of the local hospital does not have a good rep, but I have to say that I was treated with total respect, care and understanding.  What is more, I was in and out complete with cast, in under two hours.  I have made a point of telling the staff how impressed I am with this.

There was really very little waiting around not like when I had to go to the private A & E.  I was there for hours and then was given a hefty account.  Yesterday’s service was FREE.

This, of course, will certainly slow me down over the next few weeks.  I can’t drive so am dependent on others and this, as you may know, is not really in my nature. I have said in the past that I am working on being gracious and so I am graciously accepting all offers of help.

Today two grandsons appeared telling me that they were here to do whatever I needed them to do.  What fantastic young boys who will most certainly grow into fantastic young men.  We had a very enjoyable day.  They wrapped all the Christmas presents and the eldest, at 14, even tried his hand at tying bows.

So I now have to learn to slow down, ask for and accept the help that is on offer and give thanks that the damage was not more serious.



















My rainbow

Another Award – Thanks

Patricia at Today I Think recently posted a lovely comment on one of my posts and awarded me the Versatile Bloggers Award.  Thank you Patricia.

I am constantly amazed at my blogging friends and their generosity.  This is the fourth time I have received this award and each time it reminds me why I am so happy to be part of this community.

In accepting the Award from Patricia (and her beautiful cat friend) I am called upon to tell you 7 things about me.  If you have read my earlier posts you probably know about me and how boring I am, but here goes:

  1. I am in my 70s and live alone with my small companion Lotte a
    Tibetan Spaniel.
  2. I was married for 41 years until my husband’s untimely death 13 years ago.
  3. I choose to live in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
  4. I am passionate about this city and share as much as can with readers of my blog.
  5. I have been part of the blogging community since March 1, 2011 and have to thank all those who follow me, and the 15000+ visitors to my site.
  6. I love spending time with my four, gorgeous grandsons.  They are growing into fine young men – no bias here.
  7. If I could choose, I would choose my daughter and son as my children over any others.  And I like love the two people with whom they have chosen to spend their lives,

Boring eh?  Did I warn you or not?

The second part of accepting this award is to pass it on to 15 others.  My blog roll lists 23 blogs that I follow and couldn’t begin to differentiate between them.  So may I cheat a little and ask you to go to the blogroll and check in on each and every one of these fantastic bloggers and their posts.

To all those bloggers thank you for brightening my days, for giving me food for thought and thank you for reading and commenting on my blog.

And here is the winner’s bouquet for each of you.

Bouquet of roses

For my sisters


Anonymous quote

I have written about my sisters before, but in case you don’t know, the three of us live in different parts of the world.  If we tried we couldn’t be further away from each other.  Christine, my elder sister is in Los Angeles, USA; Marianne my younger sister is in London, UK and I am in Wellington, NZ.

We were born and brought up in the East End of London.  Some of you may have seen the TV program “The East Enders” but real life was not like that.  We lived in a comfortable, loving environment surrounded by parents and relatives.  In this we were particularly fortunate as since growing up and moving on I have heard horrendous stories of how people were treated during their formative years.  When I read this post on Fatherhood from Misty it made me realize once again just how lucky we were.

As I have said before there was little money around and certainly no luxuries.  But we were well fed, clothed and warm and in this loving environment, what more could we ask for?

My childhood memories are good.  I had my two best friends always close by and if any one of us was ever in trouble, we ganged together and put up a united front. As Pam Brown says “When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? “

And so it has always been with the three of us.  We live far apart but yet are always there in thoughts for each other.  I wrote a poem to my younger sister to tell her (and you) how much I appreciated her.  I wrote a blog about both sisters early in my blog writing career.  I love and honour them both and wish that we could spend more time together.  But it is not to be unfortunately.

I wish that we could share our daily lives with each other.  I wish that they could accompany Lotte and me on our walks around this city.  I wish that I could introduce them to my friends.  I wish, I wish …

But we rely on emails and phone calls to keep our relationship with each other strong.  Commiserations to those of you who don’t know the special bond that exists between sisters.

Mother and girls

Mother with her three daughters

“We each hear different drummers,
but still find music to dance together.”
Judith Baxter
, Sister, friend and confidante
1938 –

Sleet, Sunshine, Snow and Soup

Thank you

Firstly, I should like to thank all those who read my blog and those in particular who either took the time to comment or else clicked the like button.  Yesterday’s blog has received the most comments since I started in March.  Thank you, thank you.

Today we have had rain, sleet, sunshine and snow.  As I said yesterday, we are so unused to this weather and we do not have the infrastructure  services to cope.  Yesterday we had thunder and lightning and so some areas lost power and some are still without power.  And of course, some of those affected by the earthquakes in Canterbury are still without warm and waterproof houses.  Our thoughts must go to them

So here in Wellington, today is not a normal day:

  • One of the things I notice is the lack of birds.  While I live in the central city I usually hear birds calling first thing in the morning and there are none at the bird feeder today.  Have they all flown off to warmer places?
  • And there are no sounds of happy children going to and from school.  there are several children who live in this street and Lotte usually watches for them in the morning and again in the afternoon.  But many schools have been closed today so maybe they are all at home.
  • No postman has gone up this street for a couple of days, ergo no bills being delivered.
  • No rubbish truck either so the rubbish sits forlornly in its bags at every driveway.  Hope that changes tomorrow.
  • No dogs barking.  We have several in this street who set each other off.  I guess without the postman and the rubbish collectors there is no need for barking,  Fortunately for me Lotte neither yaps nor barks but is disturbed when the others set up.
  • No neighbours stopping for a chat going up or down the street.  Many neighbours take the bus to work and I see them strolling home and taking the opportunity to speak to anybody they meet on the way up the hill.  Not today.  Everybody is in their warm house and those out on the street are hurrying home.
Wellington City Mission

One of several organisations helping the homeless.

And now I have to give a thought to the homeless and those who are forced to live on the streets.

We have many very active, non governmental organisations/agencies here to help.  They provide some food through the day but mainly deal with finding these people a meal and a bed for the night.  But of course, there are never enough beds in the shelter and I don’t know how the people who run/manage these shelters deal with the overflow.  I am sure that they don’t just turn them away. But what do they do?

Minestrone Soup

Picture from Two Peas & Their Pod

As I sit in my warm house, with the fire alight, a bowl of minestrone soup and fresh bread on the table I think of them.  I will also think of them when I go to my warm and comfy bed later this evening.  And I shall think of them later this week when I go to the supermarket and will buy some extra cans of food for their collection bin.

And this is yet another reason to be grateful. My attitude of gratitude has slipped a little recently and this cold spell and the plight of many of our fellow citizens have given me a jolt and a reminder to count my blessings.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
G.K. Chesterton













Late Night Shopping

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.  ~Robert Graves, 1895 – 1985 English poet.

I never shop in the supermarket at night.  It just doesn’t seem right to me.  Night time is a time for relaxing and taking it easy not shopping which is not my favourite pastime anyway.

On Wednesday I visit my son and his family, pick up my oldest grandson from school and make dinner for everybody.  Today my daughter-in-law told me of this great buy for porterhouse steak at the supermarket.  So on my way home, I called in to buy some.  She had purchased some at the weekend and the family pronounced it Great!

Great sign

I thought if her husband and two growing sons applauded this choice of hers I shouldn’t argue.

Well, a supermarket at 10pm is a very different place to a supermarket at 10 am.  You could have counted the number of people shopping on your hands and they were way out-numbered by the staff.  Shelves were being filled by young students, mothers and older men and women who obviously had this time available to earn some money.   And often people who are skilled in various areas cannot obtain work in their chosen line of work and must take whatever is offered.

I think back to the time when my children were young and how lucky I was that I didn’t have to go out to make extra money to support the family.

Here as most places in the world, jobs are scarce for older people, students and mothers needing to supplement the family income.  These people are paid at the minimum rate.  According to the Department of Labour, the rates are:

  • the adult minimum wage applies to all employees aged 16 and over who are not new entrants or trainees
  • $13.00 per hour, which is, $104.00 for an 8-hour day or $520.00 for a 40-hour week.
  • Employees have to be paid at least the minimum hourly wage rate for any extra time worked over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.

Again, as in most countries, we are seeing a widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots.  One wonders how a single mother with a couple of children at school reliant on the minimum wage manages to keep the family fed, housed and clothed.  There are, of course, benefits available to supplement the minimum wage but what are the criteria for accessing these benefits?

As I age I am becoming more aware of the inequalities in our country and while I know that there are programs available to assist those in need, it seems a hard pill to swallow if one is prepared to work.

End of another serious blog today.  Tomorrow will be better.  I am off to the Hospice to serve lunch for the patients.

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this:  most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.  Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.  ~
Douglas Adams
, 1952 – 2001 English writer and dramatist.
He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy …














Queen’s Birthday, Kinky Boots and Cross Dressing

“Now, I give you fair warning,” shouted the Queen, stamping on the ground as she spoke; “either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!”

The QueenPicture from my book published in 1944

Here in New Zealand, the Queen’s birthday is celebrated on the first Monday in June and this is the last Public Holiday now until Labor Day in October.

We do have the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in which many people are honoured for services to arts, business and the community but there are no official celebrations on this day – the hoi polloi just get a day off work.  Unless that is, you work in retail.  Retailers love a reason to blare out the word SALE and this is a perfect reason they think.  People on holiday, some money to spend, perhaps fractious children and/or rebellious teenagers, and it usually rains on this day in June.


It’s a wet June Monday in Wellington so how to celebrate?

  1. I could join the throngs at the mall and buy unwanted items just because they are on special.
  2. I could have some friends over for supper.
  3. Of course, I could take Lotte for a walk but at 11.20am she hasn’t left her bed and I suggest it might be some time before she does.
  4. I could tidy my very untidy study.
  5. I could vacuum and rubber glove – oh really we say.
  6. I could call in on a sick friend
  7. I could have coffee with another friend
  8. I could take in a movie – what’s showing locally?  There is a good selection of movies I haven’t seen and I could have coffee there.

The choices are endless.  So I think I shall do items 3, 6 and 7 and then settle down with a book at the fire.  Coffee cup in hand I shall think about the other options and be pleased that I have discarded them.  Perhaps item 8 can be moved to the top of my list on another day, but not today.

Kinky Boots

And Cross-Dressing and Kinky Boots in the title of the blog?  Well, I tuned in on Saturday and found a rerun of the movie Kinky Boots.  This is a feel-good movie based on a true-life story.  As the film, Kinky Boots depicts, when the son (Charlie in the film) inherits the factory, sales of traditional, hand-stitched leather brogues are already in trouble as cheap fashionable imports flood the market.  So to keep the factory operating, he looked for a niche market in which to expand.  And he found it.

Looking to London for inspiration, Charlie discovers sassy drag queen, Lola, whose Soho world of outrageous fashion and stylish, erotic boots for men, gives him the idea to diversify production with erotic women’s boots for a male market.  See the trailer here and the funniest clip from the movie here. If you haven’t seen it I suggest you go out and rent, hire or borrow a copy.  If none of those options is available I would even suggest you steal a copy. It would be well worth the fine you would have to pay.

This is the story of an unlikely friendship between two men from totally different backgrounds and experiences, who join together to create a success.  Fabulous!

I rate this movie alongside “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”.


If you haven’t seen this it’s about two drag queens and a transsexual who are hired for a gig in the middle of a desert in the Australian Northern Territories.  They drive from Sydney to Alice Springs a distance of about 2770 km or 1721 miles.

Humour and some pathos when they are confronted by a few rednecks in the town are cleverly covered in this movie.  The trip across country in a bus is fun and the songs are classics.  Their meeting and interactions with a group of Aborigines have to be seen to be appreciated.   If you want to see the trailer click here.  The movie is old – 1994 – but ever interesting and involving.  It shows how difficult life as a crossdresser, transvestite or transsexual really can be.

And here is a quote from an anonymous transvestite:
“The transvestite is a man who has discovered a way of being at peace with herself.  Transvestism is a gift, not a curse; we should be grateful for it.”






















If I could choose – who would I like to be?

“I started in London, as a kid. My mother knew I had sort of an inbred talent. She was an actress, so I inherited it from her. But I think I got a lot of it from my grandfather, who was a great politician.”
Angela Lansbury

Jessica Fletcher aka Angela Lansbury
Today’s post came about after I read my blogging friend Chris’ post today ‘Becoming Jessica Fletcher” – read it here.  I really felt honored that Chris should think of me as Jessica Fletcher, that very wise, older woman detective and it set me thinking about who I should like to be.
There is a whole host of feisty women detectives currently on TV and so I thought about them.
Helen MirrenI have to start with Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison in the British police drama produced by Granada.  The series is based on Lynda La Plante’s novel Prime Suspect and it ran for several years in the UK.
In it Helen Mirren plays a world-weary, alcoholic Scotland Yard detective.  I should like to be this resilient and self-reliant. Also I should like to look like her.
Hermione Norris as Carol JordanHermione Norris plays DCI Carol Jordan in an adaptation of Val McDermid’s “Wire in the Blood”.   Jordan heads up the Major Incident Team and relies on the help of a university clinical psychologist, Dr Anthony “Tony” Valentine Hill.

In another series “Spooks” for the BBC she plays MI5 counter terrorism section chief Ros Myers.  Another ‘take no prisoners’ type of female lead that I love.

Then across the Atlantic:

Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson  in “Law and Order SVU” (NBC)
In police sex crime divisions, officers last an average of two-three years before burnout.  I really wouldn’t like to encounter some of the things she does but perhaps working with Christopher Meloni will make up for some of those.

Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko – “Saving Grace” (TNT)
This chain-smoking,, booze-guzzling, hard-bodied hussy sleeps with her married partner (and anything else in jockey shorts), drives recklessly and keeps company with a disheveled, tobacco-chewing angel named Earl.  Might be fun for a short time.

Stana Katic is Detective Kate Beckett in Castle.   Castle, who becomes interested in Beckett as a potential character for a new book series, uses his connections at the mayor’s office and receives permission to continue accompanying Beckett while investigating cases.  Unlikely but amusing.

Then there is –

Poppy Montgomery as FBI agent Samantha Spade in ‘Without a Trace” that also includes Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Roselyn Sanchez.

Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush  in “Cold Case,”  In this series Rush was originally the only female homicide detective in Philadelphia.

And “Law and Order’s” S. Epatha Merkerson and the women of the CSI franchise, powerful, well-written female protagonists have set the lady detective prototype on its ear.

Cagney and Lacey

via Wikipedia

But I couldn’t do a post on female detectives without mentioning Cagney and Lacey. Walking the beat long before these other Jane-come-latelys, acclaimed 1982 procedural “Cagney & Lacey” is considered America’s first serious drama starring two female leads.

Way back then I wanted to be Christine Cagney played by Sharon Gless.  This series portrayed women in a totally different light and was so far away from the norm.  I just loved it.

And so to answer my own question “Who Would I Like To Be?”.  As Chris has already ‘bagged’ Jessica Fletcher I guess I should still quite like to be Cagney.  But In real life I am happy with who I am.

“I find her becoming,
this woman I’ve wanted,
who knows she’ll encompass,
who knows she’s sufficient,
who knows where she’s going
and travels with passion.
Who remembers she’s precious,
but knows she’s not scarce –
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share. “
from I am Becoming the Woman I”ve Wanted by Jayne Relaford Brown. 

Unaccustomed as I am and thanks anyway

Versatile blogger

Thanks to Susan at Coming East I received my second Versatile Blogger Award.  What do they say?  You can fool all the people some of the time….

Seriously though, I would like to thank Susan and those other bloggers who follow my ramblings each day.  You are the reason I keep to this self-imposed discipline.  Yesterday I eventually posted at 11.45 pm – had to get it in before midnight.  That was quite a feat having been to the movies and the dinner, before coming back here for coffee.


I have posted seven things about me in my thank you blog on April 30 – see here – so I won’t bore you with those things again.

But I need to nominate 15 more bloggers – see the earlier post for the original 15.  So in no particular order:

  1. L’Idiot Speaketh – – He doesn’t need my vote because he has had over 1million hits but I do so enjoy the humor.
  2. Sunshineinlondon – She keeps us amused about daily life in my home town
  3. bluebeachsong – Martie writes beautiful music and her haunting voice can be heard on her blog.
  4. Monicastangledweb – this is another of our very clever bloggers.  Thanks for the daily posts.
  5. Herdingcatsinhammondriver – though much younger than me, Wendy keeps me entertained with her wit
  6. Fribnitsworld – I really enjoy this guy and hope you will too
  7. Linda Atkins at  Always an upbeat post that I really enjoy reading
  8. Paul on the Goodgreatsby – This one makes me think
  9. the Docent Dog at  A clever blog using the dog as the spokesperson
  10. Duke at  Another clever blogger who also makes me think about all manner of things
  11. Life in the bogs – Robin writes and posts her photographs that fill me with joy and a little envy.  I wish I was a photographer and/or could write as well as she does
  12. Linda  at writes about writing.
  13. Debbie at has kept us amused with tales of downsizing and moving.  Enjoy Costa Rica Debbie.
  14. and 15 are all those whom I have yet to discover but already know that I will love.

So if I have left you out please accept my apologies.

Have to go and make soup for the family now –

Bowl of soup

Mulligatawny Soup – via Wikipedia

As I have said before, according to my son his “Mummy’s” soup is the best (that is according to him).

“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.”
Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’ (1988)