Here and Now Continued

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Did you read the 100 word challenge – Here and Now?

Well,  thought I would explore this further and so here goes…

Stranger from the past (1)

But what day was it? How long had she been here? And where was here?

Sarah had a usual busy Friday in the office and on the way home she popped into a local bar for a quiet drink. She often did this as a break between the hectic life at the office and her dogs clamouring for attention in her apartment.

There was a quiet bar close by into which she went most Fridays. She was known to nobody there and apart from the cheery greetings from the bartender, was left alone to unwind. This Friday she had taken a file home with her to work on over the weekend. She had been reading the file when the man approached her table to ask if he could sit there.

They passed some pleasantries and she went back to reading her file.

After a time, he said, “That looks like heavy reading for a Friday night. Aren’t you supposed to relax over the weekend?”

“Oh weekends are often given up to catching up with work things, and tying up loose ends.”

“Well, why not take some time off now. Put down that file and talk to me,” he said.

Sarah hadn’t taken much notice of him when he sat at the table. But now she did. She saw a well-dressed, middle aged man sitting opposite her. He wore his dark hair slightly longer than was the fashion, curling around his ears somewhat. His eyes were a deep, dark brown and for a fleeting moment Sarah thought ‘just the sort of eyes to drown in”. He was wearing a dark suit with a blue buttoned down shirt and a darker blue striped tie.

He didn’t appear to offer a threat and although it was not something Sarah usually did, she put aside the file and turned towards him with a smile.

“That’s better” he said and “I’m Alec Wishart. I’m 50 years old, unattached, recently divorced” this with a rue smile “and I have twin boys of 15. Now it’s your turn”.

“Oh I’m Sarah Holliday” she offered “Single, unattached. No children but a couple of very demanding dogs waiting for me at home.”

“Well they can wait a little longer I’m sure. Let’s have another drink and spend a little time getting to know one another.”

This was so unlike Sarah and she surprised herself with her ready agreement to both anther drink and some time spent in the company of this man.   What harm could come, she thought to herself. And those dogs could manage for an extra hour without her.

They sat in companionable quiet while the waiter took their order and returned with their drinks.

“So what do you do Sarah Holliday, that you have to take work home at the weekends?” he asked.

“I’m a very junior paralegal in a very large legal firm. I’ve only been there a short time and find it difficult to get through the mound of work that appears on my desk each day. I think it reproduces itself overnight.” She laughed.

“And what about you Alec Wishart. What do you do when you’re not meeting strange women in bars?”

“I’m a property developer” he responded “But in a very small way. I’m working on a project in the dock area, quite near here. And I was on my way home from a meeting when I saw this bar and decided a quiet drink would be in order. Then I saw a space at your table and came over to sit with you.

So you might say it was fate that we both happened to be at a loose end and happened to chance on the same bar.”

At that they both laughed.

The hour Sarah had given herself stretched into another as they  decided that food was in order. So once they had ordered their food,  they got back to discussing themselves and their lives, and to Sarah it seemed perfectly normal to be sitting here with this stranger sharing details that usually she kept to herself.

To be continued…

 

Related posts – Here and Now.

 

 

Here and Now.

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Where was she and how did she get here? It was so dark and she could feel a heavy load crushing her chest. She couldn’t stand. Couldn’t even lift her arms. Were they restrained?

The last thing she remembered was accepting a lift home from the attractive man with whom she had spent a pleasant evening.

She had been sitting sipping her drink when this well presented man came and asked if he could sit at her table. She smiled and agreed and went back to the papers she had been reading.

How she wished she could change that decision.

100-word-challenge

This week’s word in the 100 Word Challenge is change.  If you want to play along go to Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook for all the details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re How Old?

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Sixty years.  Can it really be that long ago?

sixty

March 9 1956 – I know that many of you weren’t even born then, but think back to when you were about to turn 18.  It was the norm then for girls to marry before they were 20.  I hear the gasps and know you are all wondering at the craziness of that.  I had met and gone out with Mr S for about a year, yes even when I was in school  He proposed, we bought a beautiful ring and on March 9 we celebrated our engagement with friends and family.

His family owned a factory that made dresses for various designers and so of course, I had the pick of the season’s dresses.  I thought I looked beautiful.  Unfortunately, no photographs of this event have survived. Well of course we were both only 17 and far too young to know our own minds.  The song that played during the celebration was Nat King Cole singing Too Young.  I’m sure you know that one.

Well we were sure that “this love will last though years may go” but of course, it didn’t.  We continued to see each other, talked about waiting several years before we married, where we would live etc, etc.  It was all very exciting for a young woman/girl.

But then …about a year after this event, I met my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) and family lore has it that I went home and announced to the family that I had met the man I was going to marry.  I broke off the engagement to Mr S.  We agreed that  our engagement was a mistake.  Well at the time I thought we agreed.  Bu that’s another story for another day…..

So that young love was really a case of Puppy Love.

As I have always loved dramatics, I gave him back his ring with the words “can we still be friends?” and strangely enough while we weren’t particularly close after that, he and my DYS became firm friends.  Mr S came to the wedding and I have a photo of the day standing between he and my new husband.

So today I’m asking myself “And was I ever that sweet, innocent  17 going on 18 year old who thought the world was made of all things good, just for her?”  And wasn’t I lucky to meet my DYS and not go through with the marriage which no doubt would have been a catastrophe ending in divorce as so many of my friends’ early marriages did.

I have written at length about the marriage I had with my DYS, for the most part good but with the ups and downs that all relationships experience.

At the beginning of my blogging journey, way back in March 2011 I wrote Yesterday When I Was Young.  Perhaps you might like to read it.

 

 

Sex Stats for Seniors

Just couldn’t resist reblogging this one. Thanks Nancy for the great start to my day. I wonder what the statistics say about men born in Scotland and those born here in New Zealand.

Spirit Lights The Way

Grumpy gusThe frequency of sexual activity in senior males depends on where they were born.

Statistics released from Canada and the United Nations revealed that North American men between 60 and 80 years of age have sex, on average, two to three times per week.

Their Japanese counterparts, in contrast, have sex only once or twice per year . . . if they are lucky.

This news upset me and most of my buddies.  None of us had any idea we were Japanese.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.) 

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MIA (Missing In Auckland)

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It was a beautiful night for an open air show.  We arrived early and sat in the sunshine with a glass of wine and a platter of finger food.  And then into the theatre.  This took me back to a visit to The Globe in London several years ago.  It felt just the same. Where we were seated was covered but those standing in the area immediately  in front of the stage in the pit, (The Groundlings) were not.

This was the first night of the Pop Up Globe Season 2016 and the first performance was Romeo and Juliet as we have never seen it performed before.  Such enthusiasm that I am sure even William S himself would have been impressed. Each of the actors was well cast.  Of corse, in true tradition, there were no microphones but we had no trouble hearing the well enunciated words from the cast.

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It was a truly magical pairing of actors as the young lovers.  Juliet was played by Christel Chapman and Jonathan Tynan-Moss was Romeo. Each was so well suited to their role and they really had us believing that what we were seeing and hearing on that fantastic stage, was happening in real life.  And the magic wasn’t restricted to them.

We are told the play is “Performed by a cast of professional actors brought together into a new, specially-formed ensemble repertory company and working with world experts to bring you the authentic shock of the old: the effect of Shakespeare’s plays performed in the space for which they were written.” and

“Pop-up Globe Auckland is a full-scale working temporary replica of the second Globe Theatre originally built by Shakespeare and his company in 1614, the result of groundbreaking international academic research. With a steel frame ‘skinned’ in plywood the Pop-up Globe fuses cutting-edge scaffold technology with 400-year-old designs and superb contemporary performances to create an immersive 360 degree experience unlike any other.”

At the end of the performance, the actors all sang and danced around the stage, obviously enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

In all, a great experience and I thank my very generous friend for the gift of a night of Shakespeare.

The next day I returned to Wellington and my friend and our hostess, enjoyed Twelfth Night that evening.  Another great performance from all accounts.

Then on Sunday I went to the airport to meet the friend in whose house I lived after leaving the house I shared with The Architect and while I was having this small apartment spruced up.  He is the brother in law of The Architect and has been a true friend to me.

From the airport I took him to his father’s house.  Father is 100 years old and always greets me as if I were one of his family.  He is an amazing old man who still lives alone in his own house .  He has a series of carers who come in to make food, clean the house etc but he is absolutely capable of looking after his personal needs himself. He is an avid gardener and takes every opportunity to go out and pull weeds or whatever small job needs attention.

And wonder of wonders, on Monday morning the furniture arrived.

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Waiting to find a real home

So yesterday was spent moving furniture around in this small living room.  And now that I have the furniture, I am pleased with it. Just have to decide where to place it and what else will have to go.

And my generous friend who took me to Auckland for the show, and whom I help on occasions with her Real Estate business, has taken a quick trip “across the ditch” to Sydney for a couple of days.  So today I acted as her gopher, delivering contracts and brochures for her.

So apologies to my Daily Blogging Buddies.  I have been missing for the past few days.

And for no reason other than it is one of my favourite quotes, I give you

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine,
freedom, and a little flower.”

Hans Christian Andersen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pop Up Globe

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Today a friend a I are going to Auckland to see Shakespeare.  A replica of the second Globe Theatre, which was built on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614. Pop-Up Globe replicates exactly the dimensions of Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre.

The Globe

“This round three-storey building is designed to create a remarkable theatre experience. Wherever in the theatre you sit or stand, you’ll be within 15m of the action on stage and surrounded on all sides by people sharing the same space and experience.

An audience of up to 900 will completely surround the stage. In fact, some of the best seats in the house are located in the Lords’ and Gentlemen’s rooms on the two levels directly behind the stage.

The stage is very large – over 100sqm – and takes up almost half the base of the yard. This expansive space allows the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company an unusually large performance area on which to bring Shakespeare’s work to life, just as Shakespeare’s own cast enjoyed 400 years ago.

Pop-Up Globe is capped with an onion dome, a unique signature design element which will be remarkable feature of the Auckland cityscape, just as it would have been for the Globe on its site by the Thames.

With a steel frame ‘skinned’ in plywood, Pop-Up Globe fuses cutting-edge scaffold technology with 400-year-old design.” So says Auckland Mayor, Len Brown.

We are going to see Romeo and Juliet tomorrow night (Friday) and though I have to return to Wellington on Saturday, my friend will see Twelfth Night on Saturday.

This is a once in a lifetime experience.  Pop-Up Globe artistic director Dr Miles Gregory says Shakespeare’s Globe is one of the most important theatres in history.

“The experience was so remarkable that ever since the late 19th century, actors and academics – and sometimes a mixture of the two – have sought to recreate as much as is possible the ‘original’ staging conditions of Shakespeare’s own theatres,” says Dr Gregory, formerly a Regional Producer for Shakespeare’s Globe London

“Yet Shakespeare’s second Globe Theatre, the theatre he built and in which his work was being performed at the time he died, has never been accurately reconstructed.

“Our aim is to recreate as faithfully as possible this original performance space so Pop-up Globe’s audience can enjoy the remarkable experience of Shakespeare’s own audience 400 years ago.”

After tomorrow night I’ll be able to confirm that they have succeeded in their aim.

For more information about the Globe and the productions click here. 

 

Ain’t Technology Great!

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Kitchener to wellington

I’m so excited.  One of my earliest contacts in the blogosphere was Chris from bridgesburning.  Over the years we have formed a friendship and have sent each other messages via Messenger and also emails.  But today was a Red Letter Day.  Using our iPads I got to speak to my friend for the very first time.  We live 14,038 kms apart (according to our friend Google) and it was as if we were speaking/sitting in the same room.

She sounded exactly as I had thought she would.  Friendly and seemingly as pleased to speak to me as I was to speak to her.

What did we speak about?  Oh, inconsequential things that two women friends discuss.  We didn’t try to put the world right; to stem the flow of heroin or cocaine; to settle the conflicts in various parts of the world.  No.  We talked about families, and how we have each moved back from other places and how we were settling back into our old lives again.

So thank you Mr Technology whoever you are for giving us this opportunity.  This was the first but I’m sure it won’t be the last.  And next time we are going to see how we can make the video work.  Won’t that be fun.

siliconangle.com

Thanks to siliconangle.com for the photo.

 And  couple of years ago while on a visit to London my sister and I met up with Sallyann from PhotographicMemories.  That was a fun filled day in Oxford and great to meet a fellow blogger in person.   I think my sister and Sallyann have met up for lunch since that day.

 “There is no distance too far between friends,
for friendship gives wings to the heart.”
Anonymous

Follow Up on Rant.

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Oh dear me.  I set that last post to be posted today – February 16.  Wordpress decided in its wisdom to post it yesterday.  Ho hum.

And following on the rant – no word from any source about the furniture.  I did call the carriers again today (they were supposed to call ME yesterday) to be told that the furniture was on its way to Wellington.  Hurrah!  But when will t be delivered.  Apparently the driver will call me tonight and tell me when.  Oh really.  Not hanging by my thumbs waiting.

End of follow up rant.

But the sun is still shining and all’s well with the world.  Unless that is, you have been waiting for furniture delivery for weeks.

I have so very little to complain about when I look around me.  Several friends drifting into dementia, some battling life threatening illnesses, one battling and helping her son through depression – and I am fit and well.

End of another post. 

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Today’s Rant

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it’s now time for a rant about Customer Service.

A few weeks ago I wrote about fantastic service I had received.  Today we go to the other end of the scale.  Right to the bottom…

I was so angry that for the first time ever I wrote a review on their webpage.

“I am totally amazed at the lack of customer service offered by this company. I originally ordered two pieces of furniture by phone and first thing next morning I asked to cancel the order and to have the charge reversed on my credit card.

That started a series of phone calls and emails (emails only accepted by Head Office obviously they don’t want to interact with the public).

  • I was told they didn’t accept “returns” on furniture – the furniture hadn’t left their store.
  • I was told they could have sold the two pieces to someone else – the receipt is dated 4.22 pm and they close at 5pm. My first call to them was at 9.10 the next morning. Don’t think that argument stacks up.

They sent me a “Gift Voucher” while we were still having discussions about the furniture. Totally useless as I live in Wellington and they are in Tauranga some 520 kms away. Eventually in despair I agreed to take the furniture to be told that they had sold the couch. Surely they broke the contract with me then.

I was then told that the furniture would be picked up on February 4 and on February 11 after calling the carriers I found it still hadn’t left the shop. I’m never going back to that retailer. It is without doubt the very worst experience I have ever had with a retailer. Customer service – it’s non existent at The Importer”.

And I still haven’t heard from the shop whether or not the furniture has been picked up by the carriers.

Ho hum!  Never going back to that shop.  Surely the owners, directors would prefer to have one happy customer rather than a totally unhappy one who is busy spreading the word.

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

The quote works equally well for both sides of the coin.

 

If it seems too good…

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Everyone knows the old adage and many have been stung by its inevitable truth.  If it seems to good to be true then it probably is.

I consider myself quite worldly wise – well one couldn’t have lived through this many years and not learned plenty.  We have all read and probably received scam letters by email, but some time ago I received one that was slightly different to the norm.

Brochure

It  was my birthday and when I opened the envelope containing what I thought was a birthday card, I found instead a catalogue from a travel company.  The company was marking nine years in  business and was offering a variety of prizes to  celebrate.  Inside were two scratch pads and so of course, I scratched them and lo and behold I was the winner of the second prize – $US160,000.  Too good to be true?

Bear in mind that this catalogue came in an envelope addressed to me- not the usual scam email.  I was required to call a number in Malaysia which I did and was told that I had indeed won second prize and would I scan and send the scratch card to their office.  I did this and received a phone call almost immediately telling me that while I held the second prize card they couldn’t find my customer number.  Not surprising as I had never heard of the company.  Apparently a mistake had been made on their part and instead of a minor prize being offered to encourage people to use their company, a major prize that should have only been offered to clients, was included in the mail to me.

However, undaunted the folk in Malaysia said that this shouldn’t preclude my being given the prize and several telephone calls from them ensued.  After a couple of days (and more calls) I was told that the sponsors had reluctantly agreed to pay out the prize but before doing so I was asked to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.  Apparently this was necessary in case any of the sponsors’ clients found out that it was being paid to a “non-client”.  I did so and then was asked to call them in Hong Kong.  I had already checked out both these companies and to all intents and purposes they are legitimate.  The website of the sponsors in HK showed registration number etc and this checked out.

The conversation with the Operation (sic) Manager of the company went well and it appeared that I was to receive the prize, but wait, there was one small hitch before the money could be sent to my account a Letter of Authorisation was required from the HK Government; this to provide me with proof that the money sent to my account was winnings and not the proceeds from drugs or anything illegal.  To obtain the Letter it was necessary for $7,200 to be lodged with the Government Department and my share of that was $3,600.

I told the man at the other end of the line that while this was all very good I should have to break a deposit to produce $3,600 (US or HK it was not clear) and so I suggested that he send me a letter saying that I was to receive this money and then my bank here in NZ would advance the funds.  He explained that because I had signed the Non Disclosure as had he, he couldn’t do this.  When asked what he would usually do in this situation I was told that the winnings would go into the client’s account.  When I suggested that he open an account for me he demurred saying he couldn’t as all his clients “were holders of substantial funds”.  So my dream of winning an unexpected bonus came to an end.

I did email my man in Malaysia who had been so very helpful and explained what had happened.  I told him that while I was very comfortable dealing with his company I didn’t feel comfortable with this other company.  He assured me that the company in Hong Kong was legitimate and then suggested that I get on a plane to meet the “Operation” Manager in person.  Not going to happen.

A day or so later I received a call from him apologising profusely for the fact that the money could not be sent to me but telling me to look out for a “compensation package” that would be sent from his company and would I let him know when it arrived.  Guess what, nothing has arrived.

So while this now is shown to be a scam it appeared to be legitimate:

  • I had received a brochure by mail
  • I had a ticket showing I was a winner
  • I made one call to the number in Malaysia and all other contact with that company was made by them and by phone – so at their cost
  • The requirement for a Non Disclosure Agreement added a degree of legitimacy to the whole thing
  • The only other call I had to make was collect to Hong Kong.  When I did this they called me back so that the call was at their cost.

And because it was a scam I have no problem in breaking the Non Disclosure Agreement I signed.

‘Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavour.”
C S Forester, English Novelist 1899-1966

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