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Today in our world

Yes, nature has two faces:
The pretty one and the ugly one, the disasters!
Love the first face and be prepared for the second one!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish Playwright, Novelist and Thinker
1985 – 

Today’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake is the deadliest to hit Mexico in more than 30 years and has brought down buildings in the capital, Mexico City.  At least 216 people are reported dead.

The earthquake also appeared to have triggered an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. In Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

This was the second major quake to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City and in which an estimated 5,000 plus died.

A 5.3 earthquake in Fukushima, Japan is reported today and on it goes.

Meantime, here in Wellington, New Zealand I was at the movies watching (I can’t say enjoying) Dunkirk when we were hit with a 5.1 quake.  But with all the noise, bombings, torpedoes etc and the accompanying shakes, I didn’t even feel it.  How scary is that?  No damage was reported here and certainly no injuries or deaths.  Are we becoming complacent her in New Zealand?  Have we all got our evacuation packs close by?  I wonder.

And so once again, Mother Nature is shaking her skirts.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms all around our world.  And we continue to attack our world and its climate.

News of huge icebergs breaking off the ice shelf – Last week, the Larsen C Ice Shelf gave birth to a trillion tonne baby, an iceberg now dubbed A68. The latest observations suggest this big berg has moved 3km from its starting point, and that it’s already starting to crack up. More evidence of Global Warming.  We know that climate change aka Global Warming is doing widespread harm to animals and plants which are struggling to adapt to new conditions.

Oh and not let’s forget the two egomaniacs currently close to coming to blows.  This could completely destroy our planet.

This has been another of my rants.  When one reaches my vast age, and may you all be lucky enough to do so, one is allowed high horses and rants.

Enough already, as my Mother would have said.  Time to settle down with my book and supper and relax until tomorrow when something else will no doubt set me off.

And yes, Dunkirk is an incredible movie.  The historical events recounted in the film document how a makeshift fleet of British fishing boats, pleasure yachts, and cargo ships helped save 185,000 British soldiers and 130,000 French soldiers from death or capture by German invaders during the Fall of France in May and June 1940.   You may know that I was alive then although only a baby.   Of course, we all heard about Dunkirk and the courage of the captains of that armada of small ships but until today I really had no concept of what those rescued troops endured.  They cannot be lauded loudly and often enough.Clapping hands

 

 

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The Man who Saved the World

Dangerous times require cool heads.

1951 Club

The Man who Saved the World

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I, Writer … #19

I have visions of postmen all around the world capsizing after dragging thos blocks up the mountainside to writers’s eeries. Give them each a bottle or two of the plonk.

Routine Matters

I, Writer … #19

WRITER’S BLOCK FOR SALE …

Writer’s Block. I rather liked the sound of that so I ordered one on eBay – £2.75 + Free postage.

OMG! Cheap or what. I mean, it was coming all the way from bloody China. How they can afford to send something that heavy and not have to charge postage is beyond me. Absolutely insane. The postman had to actually drag it down my garden path and damn near gave himself a hernia. It now takes pride of place on the mantlepiece between my Captain’s Log and my Housemaid’s Knee.

Also, when I visit sunnier climes I’m always sure to pack my handy tube of Writer’s Block. Smother it on. Lie back and enjoy the scenery. It smells like rancid cheese in a sewer rat’s armpit but it certainty does the trick.

I also keep several bottles of Writers Block i

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On This Day

I have just been going down memory lane.  I found a box full of letters to and from my Dashing Young Scotsman before and shortly after we were married.  At that time my DYS was a chauffeur for a car rental company and he was away from home for weeks at a time.  In case you don’t remember or are too young to know, in 1957 many Americans came to the UK and then from there, they toured Europe.  Self-drive cars were around but many preferred to be driven.

I was delighted to find these letters from 60 years ago – yes I am that old, particularly as I don’t keep letters, cards etc for any length of time.

So having read one dated 18 September 1957 I decided to look at my earlier blog posts to see what I was thinking and/or doing at that time.

This blogging journey started on March 1, 2011, so the first stop was 18 September 2011.

On that day I talked about My September Years and reminisced about the great life I had lived up until that day.

18 September 2012 I continued the story with Yet More on the Bonnets.  If you were following my blog then you might remember that Sallyann at Photographic Memories found some bonnets sitting in the back of a disused taxi and suggested that I might write a story on this.  Well, I did.  I hope you enjoy it.

18 September 2013 found me in Oxford with my sister visiting with my blogging pal, Sallyann of Photographic Memories fame.  We had a great day and as Sallyann lived in Oxford then, we saw many things not usually seen by tourists.  A great day was had by all and it was particularly memorable because I met a blogging pal In Real Life.

18 September 2014 I was working through Writing 101 and on this day the challenge was to write about loss.  I chose to talk about Miss Lotte my small Tibetan Spaniel and my faithful companion.  Unfortunately, Miss Lotte’s life was short but sweet and I still miss her.

18 September 2015.  This was a particularly hard time for me as my late love, The Architect had died a month before.  So there was only one post in September that year – Missing You.  Oh, how raw were the feelings at that time and how unfair I thought it was that our lovely partnership was cut short.

18 September 2016.  There were few posts in September that year.  I was recovering from my latest adventure aka accident and the closest post to this date is Words and More Words.  The theme is obvious from the title, and I talked about Elizabeth George a favourite author, an appointment card to visit an Otolaryngologist and other meanderings in this ancient mind.

So now to today, 18 September 2017.  What thoughts are going around in my mind?  I have had a pleasant but short interaction with my No 3 grandson.  Oh, how I love to talk with these young men.  He is very solicitous of his Granma and always happy to help in any way. Today he moved plant pots around for me.  Yes, I could have done this myself, but he brought them down the outside stairs and placed them along the front of the hedge.  Now all I have to do is buy plants for them. So a visit later today to my favourite store aka the garden centre.

IMG_1991

Today the sun is shining brightly and all the doors and windows are open.  This follows torrential rain and wind yesterday and we learn that rain, thunderstorms, high winds, and snow are on the cards for many over the next 24 hours in the South Island.  I hope Grandson No 4 is safe and warm in Christchurch.

Rain and snow

We also hear that air travel is disrupted in Auckland as the Airport will be affected after a fuel pipeline from a refinery in Northland was temporarily shut-down.  Auckland is our busiest airport and Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said some 27 domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend.  So I suggest there are many disgruntled/unhappy travellers.

We read that former Napier City Councillor Peter Beckett has been found guilty of the first-degree murder of his Canadian wife following a jury trial in Canada.  Guilty of drowning his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, on Upper Arrow Lake in August 2010 and was handed an automatic life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 25 years.

And the good news?  A Catholic priest held hostage for almost four months in the besieged southern city of Marawi has been rescued hours after a deadly battle between Philippine soldiers and Islamic State-allied militants.   Father Teresito “Chito” Soganub was found abandoned with another hostage near a mosque early Sunday, one of three militant strongholds that have fallen to government forces over the past several days.Father Soganub had been held captive since militants attacked his Saint Mary’s Parish during the siege of Marawi on May 23.

So enough meandering on this Monday.  I hope you all have had a pleasant weekend and are looking forward to this new week.

3de9c8ca14b591eabc7a3ee0309006ec--looking-forward-keep-moving-forward

Found on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Oh no, I’ve Done it Again

Just when you think you have lived enough years and used a computer for many of those years, you do something that is indescribably “stupid”.

Now I am not saying I am stupid, but what I did today was certainly stupid.

I was looking for an email I received last week, unsuccessfully I might add, when I saw just how many emails were in the boxes and so decided to clear them.  Yes, you guessed it.  This ancient mind cleared all and every one of those emails.  So now I can’t find anything.  So if you have sent me an email you now know why I haven’t responded.

Back in August last year, I wrote a post Can You Believe It? in which I bemoaned the fact that I had lost all the work that I did during my Life Coaching days because I hadn’t saved everything from one computer to the next.  So who would have thought I could do anything like today’s activity.

Well, this crazy elderly lady .is alive and well in Wellington. Note Grammarly suggests using the word old in place of elderly.  You know we don’t use old in this house.

So with no emails to read what shall I do today?

Bowl of soup

I started by making soup.  Mushrooms and broccoli in the fridge so that was the basis and having had some for lunch, I can report that the result was good.

Then after lunch, time to read the blogs that I follow.  I must say the writers of these posts are a fairly eclectic bunch.  I read about a house being built with all that goes with it; another queried and mused reality or not, and another showed us the path of Irma heading to Florida, and yet another thought about the  two monsters with monstrous egos about to shatter our world; and how about a fictional time when children and all they know and are, are decided upon by their parents with the help of a machine/computer. And of course, I continue to follow the progress of Wai the potbelly pig being loved and cared for in a small farm.

A good range of things to think on and comment on.

 

installing-sprng

Image stolen from Jeff at jccsst-random.blogspot.co

But my thoughts for today are closer to home.  We are supposedly in Spring but alas, one good day does not a Spring make or words to that effect.  Monday was Spring.  Since then we have had torrential rain and winds that Chicago readers would be proud of.  The Met Service warns “A strong and unsettled spring-time northwesterly flow lies over New Zealand this week, delivering periods of heavy rain to western areas through to at least the weekend”.  And we are told “unprecedented” rain has burst river banks and forced the rescue of tourists amid a chaotic morning of weather around NZ.”

But my thoughts for today are closer to home.  We are supposedly in Spring but alas, one good day does not a Spring make or words to that effect.  Monday was Spring.  Since then we have had torrential rain and winds that Chicago readers would be proud of.  The Met Service warns “A strong and unsettled spring-time northwesterly flow lies over New Zealand this week, delivering periods of heavy rain to western areas through to at least the weekend”.  And we are told “unprecedented” rain has burst river banks and forced the rescue of tourists amid a chaotic morning of weather around NZ.”

Two American tourists were trapped in their car overnight. When they awoke their feet were in water and they had to be rescued by the Fire Service.  They are unharmed but wet and miserable.

Tornadoes, lightning strikes, thunder and more rain are forecast for the rest of this week.  We live in a long narrow country, surrounded by water so we expect this.  But not in Spring.

And now the rain has stopped so I shall take advantage of that and go for a walk, before returning to be a beta reader for Joss Burnell.  She is my blogging friend, sister of choice and a published author who lives in Cuenca.  This will be her third book and I am keen to get back to reading about her heroine/protagonist.

 

 

I Took a Trip on a Train

August 16, 2017, was the second anniversary of the Architect’s death. It was also the day a friend and I were taking the TranzAlpine train trip  So as Sinatra sang:

“I took a trip on a train
And I thought about you
I passed a shadowy lane
And I thought about you

And every stop that we made
Oh, I thought about you”

The Architect and I had planned this as one of the many trips we were going to take together.  Instead of which, I was with a friend aka Two Tarts on Tour, making the trip. The TranzAlpine is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 kilometres (139 miles) one-way, taking just under 5 hours.

We departed from Christchurch at 8 am and sat back to enjoy the ride.  Pretty soon, however, we were up on our feet in the observation car taking in the fantastic scenery, the snow topped mountains, the high lakes, and blue water gushing waterfalls.

 

We came across a film crew working for Kiwi Rail.  They were taking photos for a new ad and so we were asked to be part of that ad, along, I might say, with other travellers.

Soon the journey came to an end and we arrived in Greymouth.  We had a tour of the Pancake Rocks booked for that afternoon.

Even though it was a sunny and calm afternoon, the Tasman Sea was showing us how fierce it can be.

Pancake Rocks?  We are told “The Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point near Punakaiki are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes. The foundations of the Pancake Rocks were formed 30 million years ago when minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface.   Read more…..

And Click here to see the walk we took with 2 other people and our very friendly, helpful guide.

The day before I found this little plaque.

So I did as it directed and had a good day.

The next afternoon it was back on the train for the journey to Christchurch.  We were lucky that the trip over was bright and clear because, on the way back, the rain pounded down and so much of the view was hidden.

So my trip on a train was a success and

journey

I found this on Pinterest. I don’t know who Marianne Wilson is but I thank her for this quote and picture.

 

The Ooopside of Senior Communication

Couldn’t resist reblogging this. Chris has certainly nailed it.

bridgesburning

There is much merriment in the world of geriatric graceful aging.  First and foremost, before you even get close post sixty you would do well to establish a grainy gritty sense of humor.

seniors communication funny-cartoons-comic

This is not the humor of your youth, or even middle age.  Like a fine wine that takes time to develop this is The Cadillac of humor, or I guess in this age, given the times, The Tesla of Humor.  Did I get that right?  That very question is becoming The Question of each and every day in some small way.  Did I get that right?  Does that sound right?  Good grief.

The object of your humor is nothing more than yourself.  Yup, better learn to laugh at yourself.  Start young.  It makes it easier in the dim lit of the top ten ( 70, 80, 90, 100).

A sound chuckle after an Oops achieves a…

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Synchronicity, Serendipity or Coincidence.

 

 

Synchron

 

Definition – the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear
significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

I recently read a post from my dear friend/sister of choice Chris at Bridges Burning.  She wrote about serendipity and how three people, she in Ontario, my sister in the UK and me in New Zealand,  can connect over a comment on Skype.  The comment and the thoughts that preceded and followed it bounced around the world.  It went from Kitchener, Ontario to Wellington, New Zealand and then on to Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The definition of Serendipity is – the occurrence and development of events by
chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Serendipity and synchronicity are quite different words, often confused and should be used differently.  For instance, it would not have been correct for Chris to use synchronicity in her telling but it is correct when we both write about the same thing in a blog post.  Or when I send an email saying we should Skype only to find that she has sent the exact email to me.

How often we find this synchronicity.   I remember years ago when training to be a Life Coach.  I had read one day about Sedona in Arizona, the red rocks and the general feeling of spiritual well-being, the artists and healers who flock there, and so determined that I should go there in the not too distant future.  The course was conducted on a phone link of 2 hours each Monday evening.  Soon after I logged in I heard one of the other participants talking about a visit he had made to Sedona the previous year and how he was planning on returning the next year for the Sedona Film Festival.

My mind/imagination was captured by this place and then the next morning, in an email from my sister in Los Angeles, she said she thought the next time I visited we should go to Sedona as she had heard such great things about it.

Well didn’t that exactly meet the definition –  significantly related but have no discernible causal connection?

Recently, because it was the anniversary of the death of The Architect, I was thinking about him and about the firm he had established many years ago.  Later that day I was at the Hospice and learned that it is his old firm that will be doing the architectural work for the new hospice building. Serendipity at work again.

I say that there is no such thing as coincidence, but do I really believe that?  There is definitely synchronicity, serendipity and probably there is room for coincidence too.

The definition of Coincidence is – a striking occurrence of two or more events
at one time 
apparently by mere chance:

Several years ago I was in London for the weekend.  The elderly woman for whom I was playing companion went off to a wedding which left me free.  It just so happened that friends were visiting London from NZ and we decided to meet up.  The first evening we went around the corner from the apartment looking for some place to have a drink and decide where to eat.  Imagine my surprise when, on turning the corner I saw three friends, a couple from Auckland, NZ and one from Sydney, Australia.  I hadn’t seen any of these people for several years, so their being in London at just that particular weekend was certainly a coincidence.

And for you – stop for a moment and ask yourself, what coincidences have been happening in my life recently that I am not paying attention to? Where do I need to be seeing the truth? What is the Universe trying to tell me?

And consider this –

If there were no such thing as coincidence,
there would be no such word
Heron Carvic (born Geoffrey Rupert William Harris)
English actor writer. 
  1913 –  1980 

 

By the way – if you are an Agatha Christie fan, hop over to my other site to read a review on A Talent for Murder.

 

 

 

Who’s in Charge Here…..

I read this today and thought it’s really something all we Mums should read.  We are only trying to help our kids, but..

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

I love my Mom.  I know she has made mistakes about things, but I also know she has always had the best of intentions.  That took me about 50 years to figure out.  But….my Mom can also drive me crazy.  Because even though she has known me my entire life, she still does not understand me.  Or chooses not to understand me- I’m really not sure which……

She pet sat for us last month when we were on vacation.  She loves to go to the theater, we live in the city.  We needed someone to take care of the girls.  This was a win/win situation. And I really do appreciate the help.  Truly.

But…….

My Mom’s hobby is shopping.  Seriously.  Shopping.  She DVR’s shows on the shopping channels.  Mom only uses the internet is to look for things to buy.  The only reason she wishes she didn’t sell her big…

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