Just the way it is

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summer

 

Well, that certainly sums up Summer in Wellington this year.  It has been cold, wet and windy for many days and the number of summer days can be counted on my fingers.  The forecast is no better and gale force winds are predicted for Wednesday and Thursday in Wellington.

How very different to last year. Then we had day after day of warm, sunny weather and I wrote about lunches in 3 different places with three different pools.  Well the pools are still there of course, and lunch is still on but unfortunately this year they have all been inside.

So I have had time to read more books and drink more tea.

Then today I thought again of the resolution I make around this time of the year.  For the last 4 years, my only resolution has been to get back to writing blog posts daily.  I’ve set the goal, have the best of intentions and then something/anything gets in the way.  So this year I haven’t made that resolution and it’s just as well because we are now at the 15th day of this New Year and I have managed to write two posts and now this one makes three.

Well anyway.  having started to write this post this morning, I then left it to continue my sorting out and clearing extraneous belongings; then it was lunch time and I thought after all that effort and energy I deserved a treat.  So I opened my book “The Lollipop Shoes” by Joanne Harris.  Well, it’s not really my book,  I belong to a book club where we share books with each other and this one belongs to another member. It’s a great way to read books you have been meaning to, and you don’t have to buy them or reserve them at the library.  You keep them for as long as you need. In fact, I’ve had these books since November.  After my latest Adventure with the chair and the rug, I wasn’t able to go to the December meeting so I’ll return the books in February.

After a couple of hours, I went back to decluttering.  I’m really feeling very pleased with myself at how well I’m doing (with a  little help from Grandson No 4 who has helped move things up onto the high shelves).   I have to have the occasional stop for tea and to rest my right arm and shoulder, and that’s an excuse I won’t be able to use for much longer.  The six weeks is up in 10 days time.  And then I shall be able to drive again.  Hoorah!

So my resolve, which I’m keeping secret this year, is to get back to writing and to posting a blog daily.  And as we say Watch this Space.

And from Bridget Jones’ Diary –

“Resolution number one: Obviously will lose twenty pounds. Number two:
Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket.
Equally important will find sensible boyfriend to go out with and not continue
to form romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic’s, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts. And especially will not fantasise about a particular person who embodies all these things”

Moving Forward

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503887f1bc1635607556e4fd57c13d24

Today, I changed the header to my blog. Not because my heart became ready for the Architect to leave but because this is a New Year and time for new adventures (hopefully happier ones than last year).  I shall never forget the Architect.  Along with my Dashing Young Scotsman, he’ll always be part of the rest of my life. but as Mary Oliver says “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

So being a firm believer in the fact that no experience is ever wasted, I ask myself what did I learn from the major accident in 2016.  I learned that

  • One quickly finds out who are your true friends
  • And the real meaning of friendship
  • It’s alright to ask for help
  • How to ask for help and accept it graciously and gratefully
  • People/friends and family are only too willing to do anything they can to help
  • I don’t always have to be in charge
  • Others often have a better way of achieving something
  • It’s a real bonus to have so much time to read

And then a short 7 weeks after  I was proclaimed all healed by the fact that my driving licence was no longer suspended I managed to fracture my shoulder.  I used those things i learned over the next 6 weeks while the shoulder healed.

So now going into this New Year, knowing just how fragile life really is, and armed with a desire to do and achieve more I’m going to be more aware

  • of what I do,
  • of how I can help others
  • of time spent with family and friends

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
Mary Oliver September 1935 –

Happy Christmas once again, Mrs B

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g-t-and-dog

December 13, 2011

I had just finished the last of the Christmas preparations, presents bought, wrapping paper, ribbons and labels ready to use.  So on the way home from the shops I decided to stop off at the dog park so that the Lovely Miss Lotte could have a walk.

Lotte

I let her out the car and followed her only to slip on some loose gravel.  

The result? A fractured ankle and a lovely red Santa boot to wear for the next 8 weeks

Read the post here

Santa boot

I have so many much more attractive shoes!

December 13, 2016

I was finishing lunch.  I pushed the chair back from the table when, unfortunately, the chair leg tangled with the rug making the chair topple with me still sitting in it.

The result?  A call for help.  My large Grandson came down to lift me up while the other one put me in the car and took me to the hospital.

The outcome?  5 hours wait at A & E to be told there was no point in attempting surgery for a fractured shoulder. Bed rest for a few days and take it easy for the next couple of weeks.  See you in 10 days.

Outcome No 2  Rugs rolled up and put away and days just lying in bed feeling stupid/embarrassed and knowing we didn’t need this at this time.

Moral – When told by the physiotherapist to remove rugs, remove them and don’t bring them out again.  Live without them.

So now I’m thinking of not having a Chrismas tree this year.  Hard to dress a tree with only the left hand operational and unless somebody does it for me, gifts may not be wrapped.  

But I want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, Hanukah or however you celebrate this time of the year.  Take Care if you’re driving particularly if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.

Pohutakawa tree

Our own New Zealand Christmas tree. Image via Wikipedia

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale

Dust if you must

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Dear-mother-nature-quote

If this is your copyright, I apologise for using it.  Please let me know.

I have no doubt you have heard of our earthquake.  7.7 on The Richter Scale – yes, it was a big one.  While we celebrate the fact that only one death was directly attributable to the earthquake, that of a man who was killed when a historic homestead collapsed and a woman who died of a heart attack; we mourn for the two lives lost. The man’s 100-year-old mother survived.

And those of us affected by minor damage in our houses try to get back some sense of normalcy into our lives.  Added to the damage caused to roads and buildings, has been the torrential rain that we have experienced since the quake.  Many buildings in Wellington’s Central Business District have been damaged, shops, offices and schools are closed while the result of damage to the properties is evaluated.

But down south at and near the epicentre things are so much worse.  Some places are cut off entirely as roads are impassable.

It is at times such as this when we thank the powers that be for our being unhurt by a disaster of this magnitude that we take stock of our lives once again.

Shirley Conran told us that Life is too Short to Stuff a Mushroom” but this poem by Rose Milligan says it for me:

“Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
to paint a picture ,or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead?

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
with the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
this day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself will make more dust.”

Wikipedia tells me it was originally published in 1998 in “The Lady” Britain’s longest-running weekly women’s magazine. It has been in continuous publication since 1885 and is based in London.

So dust if you must, or stuff a mushroom but for me, this has been yet another wake-up call.  So I’m off to see what other adventures await me.

Godwits en route

 

You are my sunshine

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My sister in the US posted this to me today on Facebook with the question “Don’t you wish someone would make this for you?  My response “Yes please, if you have the time, I would really love one.”  

She reminded me that as very little girls we had visited the burns unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury where RAF patients were being treated.  I don’t know what we were doing there and why two little girls would be taken there but I do remember sitting on some of the pilots’ laps singing “You are my sunshine” and most of them joining in.  Some in tears and so two little girls were also in tears but really not understanding why these men were crying.  The staff also joined in the singing and some of the crying.

As Christine commented, “We were so young, we didn’t know to be frightened/horrified by those poor young men”.

Ever after that song was known in our family as The Misery Song.

I do hope I'm not impinging on anyone's copyright.

I do hope I’m not impinging on anyone’s copyright.

Isn’t it amazing how we remember some things and others are just dropped from our memories until a song or somebody else brings them to mind?

How could I forget such a visceral meeting?  These brave young men who gave so much to so many of us.  We need to remember that these boys, for many of them were only boys, lived the rest of their lives with scars from the burns.  But Stoke Mandeville was actively treating the burns and developing the skills needed for reformative surgery so that these men could go on to live as normally as possible.

Another reason I’m sorry that I never asked why we were there when there was still somebody alive who could have answered the question.

“Memories warm you up from the inside.
But they also tear you apart.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Independent motion – can you help?

This young  man has really been living in a nightmare. He’s doing all he can to live a normal life. He has to be congratulated on what he has achieved through determination and the will to live.

******

What would you give to make a dream come true if you woke to find yourself living a nightmare? What would you feel if you could never again walk on a beach? Or go out alone in the snow…feel t…

Source: Independent motion – can you help?

Walking, Wishing, Wondering on Wednesday

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You can have the other words
chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity.
I’ll take grace.
I don’t know what it is exactly,

but I’ll take it. ”
― Mary Oliver

While walking through Ngaio today on a blustery Wellington Wednesday, I thought about Paris.

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It’s now more than 2 years since we were in Paris and promising that we would return and next time for at least three months.  Oh, the best-laid plans etc.

But notwithstanding all that has happened in the intervening 29 months, the memories are still live.  We had such a fantastic time; we did all the touristy things, Le Tour Eiffel, trips on the Seine, Place des Vosges and Victor Hugo’s house, the Pompidou Centre, La Defence, The Louvre, etc etc.

la-defence

I am sure that La Defense was the Architect’s favourite place to visit.  What a fantastic building The Grande Arche is.

We were told the Arche  is placed so that it forms a secondary axis with the two highest buildings in Paris, the Tour Eiffel and the Tour Montparnasse.

La Défense is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district with 560 hectares (1,400 acres) area, 72 glass and steel buildings of which 16 are completed skyscrapers . Another very wet day but an interesting area to visit.

 

pompidou-centre

 

Of course, he was totally impressed with the Pompidou Centre and the work of the British Architect Richard Rogers and the Italian Architect Renzo Piano.  We had dinner there and I had a hard time getting him out of the museum when it closed for the night.  “Next time” we promised “we’ll come earlier and stay all day”

It rained a lot while we were there, but we managed to see quite a lot of Paris in our 7 days.

 

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We became adept at travelling on the Metro.

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Because he was an Architect we spent time under the Tour D’Eiffel while he looked in total wonderment  at the complicated engineering arrangement that made this wonder.

And in case you’re wondering, no we didn’t go to either Galerie Lafayettes or Printemps.  We were there to enjoy Paris.  Shopping could wait until next time.

So now I have all these lovely memories, backed up by the thousands of photographs the Architect took during our 13  weeks in Europe, many of which are in Paris.

And as Humphrey Bogart said to Ingrid Bergman in the film Casablanca

“We’ll always have Paris”

And Walking, Wishing, and Wondering ?:-

  • Walking is self-evident
  • Wishing we were together again in Paris
  • Wondering if I shall ever go back.

 

 

Movie going

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“Fiction writers, magicians, politicians and priests
are the only people rewarded for entertaining us with their lies”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom

I was at a total loss what to write about today.  Then I opened Judy Reeves Prompts and Practices and what jumped out at me? “You’re in a movie theatre”

Well quite coincidentally, I was in a movie theatre on Friday with a friend.  I haven’t been to a movie for months, in fact, since before my latest adventure.  I have read the Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, the UK edition.  My friend hadn’t read the book and so we decided to go to the movies.

We are so lucky here in Wellington.  We have 4 Bijoux movie cinemas, three of which belong to a chain and one that is independent of the others.  We chose to go to our favourite, one of the chain.

We arrived in time to sit and have a cup of tea and a bit of a chat; then we were called into the theatre, the movie was about to start.  These are small theatres seating 100 people at the most. If you have a glass of wine (or in our case tea)or food before the movie starts, you are permitted to take these in with you.  Certainly not something that the big National chains would ever allow.

So we went into the theatre.  The lights were still up as we made our way to our seats.  There were probably only half a dozen others in the theatre and so everybody had room to stretch out.

I enjoyed the movie after I got over the fact that the story was now set in the US and not in and around London as in the book I had read.  It took some time for me to get over the difference in the houses displayed to the houses imagined by me.

Emily Blunt as Rachel was all and more of what I imagined her to be.  She’s an unemployed, alcoholic, divorcee.  Well,that’s enough to make one turn to drink anyway.  She doesn’t tell her flatmate that she has lost her job because of the alcoholism.  Her ex-husband also blames her for his losing his job even though he now seems to have got over it or at least, has found another job.

From the train window,  Rachel watches the inhabitants of the houses in the street where she used to live. One day she sees something that sets her on a trip to places that she doesn’t want to go, or perhaps she does.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t read the book, I encourage you to do so and also encourage you to see the movie.

And in my least pleasant personna – I’m totally envious of
Paula Hawkins and her abilities.
How I wish I could write such a book.

And now as the south wind is blowing very strongly, I think the rest of the day will be spent inside.

I have been honoured by being sent the manuscript of a new Fitzjohn mystery from Jill Paterson.  Poisoned Palette is the title and if her other books are anything to go by, this will be another good read.  By the way, Jill is a friend and it is as a friend that I am reading and commenting on the manuscript.

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I'm not impinging on anyone copyright.

I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone copyright.

Almost Perfect

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100-word-challenge

This week’s 100-word Challenge from Tara at Thin Spiral notebook
calls upon us to use the word WINE in a story of 100 words.
And as she says “No more, no less”.

It was very important to impress this man who was coming to dinner.  Her husband’s future and therefore, hers, was dependent on him.

She’d spent all day cleaning and tidying the house and preparing the special recipe Cindy had given her.

The dining table was set with flowers, their wedding crockery and silverware and the perfectly ironed napkins the colour of the flowers; it looked lovely.

Now, all that remained was for her to shower, dress and present herself as the perfect corporate wife.

But then a frantic call was made to her best friend, Cindy.  She’d forgotten the wine.

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