Tag Archives: enjoyment

Chasing Chickens and Cows

Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

I was reminded yesterday of a very funny incident in my life.

Fast backwards to 1998 when I was staying with my son and his family following the untimely death of my ‘not so young’ dashing Scotsman.

Their children were 3 and about 18 months at the time.  Two delightful little boys who thought their Granma was close to perfect.  How times change.  I wonder if they think that still!

My son lives about 45 kms from town and has a house that sits on 6 acres of land.  It is quite rural and it was decided that all that was needed to make this idyllic place complete was a couple of calves and some chickens.  James at 3 adopted one of the calves and named her.  Robbie was too small to even begin to understand animals vs people.

Anyway, there was a big rugby game on in town and my son and daughter-in-law took themselves off to that leaving me in charge.

It was a beautiful spring day.   The calves were in a paddock close to the house and the chickens roamed freely around the property.   While the little boys slept  a friend arrived to see me.  A peaceful afternoon in the country.

But no – when said friend  went out to her car she saw that the calves were wandering around the driveway.  This caused some panic as State Highway One runs at the bottom of this driveway.

Farmyard animals

Picture this – two 60 year old women attempting to get the cows back into the paddock while the cows were determined to get onto the road.  Much shooing and pushing followed accompanied all the time by six chickens flying around and squawking madly.  The dog (a young, quite large mixed breed) was running around barking and causing more mayhem.  And my friend who thought the whole scene hilarious, was falling about laughing.  Then of course, amidst the noise and laughter both boys woke up and the baby started to cry.

Eventually the baby was quieted, the bigger boy was given afternoon tea, the cows were back where they belonged although the darned chickens still roamed freely and two exhausted women sat and had another cup of tea.

“Right said Fred, both of us together, one each end and steady as we go
Tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it, we was getting nowhere
And so, we, had a cup of tea

Right said Fred, give a shout to Charlie, up comes Charlie from the floor below
After straining, heaving and complaining, we was getting nowhere
And so, we, had a cup of tea”

Read the rest of this ditty here


I am definitely a  ‘townie’ and this experience confirmed it and brought home to me how different life in town is to life in the country.











Bowling Along and Making Memories

“Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories.
So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.

Judith Baxter, mother, grandmother,
blogger and friend.

Long before I ever thought of writing a blog I devised and ran a course on writing and saving your memories for your grandchildren or those who come after you.

Many people would like to write their life story for their family but it is truly a mammoth task and beyond most of us.  But writing your memories – ah that is an altogether different thing.

The courses each ran for 6 weeks at the end of which time participants had 6 stories ready for their memory books. They were encouraged to keep up the writing, one memory a week so that at the end of a year they would have 52 stories ready to publish.  I have heard from some of those people who are keeping up the writing.

I have a tidy number of memories written and bound for my grandchildren but alas since I took up blogging, no more memories have been added.  But in fact, these post have taken the place of writing memories and will be a lasting keepsake for my grandsons.

And now did you see this post from Photographic Memories entitled Bowling Green?  This made me think of a memory that I wrote about and here it is.  Please note it was written for my grandsons.


Grampa’s best friend was the President of the local bowling club and he was very keen for Grampa to play bowls but Grampa thought it was an old man’s game.  However, he went along to the club with Fraser, his friend,  one Saturday afternoon and from then on he was hooked.

He started bowling when he was about 51 and he and his friend brought the average age of the membership down to about 60.  The rest of the members were old men. 

Once Grampa joined and while Fraser was the President of the club his wife Elizabeth (Libby) and I went along and provided afternoon tea for the players.  Just like a boys’ boarding school tea.  Lots of noise and scoffing of sandwiches, biscuits and buns and copious cups of tea.  Then back to the bowling greens and Libby and I were left to clean up after them.

Every Saturday and some Sundays, Grampa would don his whites and with his lunch packed and his bowling bag he would leave for the bowling club.  Competition was very fierce and Grampa was in his element.  He loved the game.  With three other men he formed a foursome and they travelled around competing against other teams.

When he was 55 Grampa decided to retire and this opened a whole new life of bowling for him. He could find somewhere to play almost every day of the week.  At this time I had started my own business and was busy every weekday.  So Grampa bowled while I worked.

He and his team mates were very successful.  They played in inter-club tournaments; they played in national tournaments and they won a lot of trophies.  Some of the trophies were only minor rewards, tea spoons mainly.  But occasionally they won major trophies, shields etc.

Grampa Goes Bowling

Grampa second from left

We made lots of friends through bowls.  I used to go with him when he was playing at other places.  And when he played in the national competition we went to other towns.  One time we went to Christchurch where they played for four days.

I went along with my puppy Ben (the spaniel) and we both made lots of new friends. Ben loved the car and looked forward to going anywhere.  However, he was not so keen on the ferry between the north and south islands.  Here he was left in the car on the vehicle deck for the three hours that the ferry takes to cross the Cook Strait.  And usually he couldn’t see anything.  He was always delighted to see us when we came back to the car to disembark.

Before he retired Grampa had been the General Manager of the Hotels Division of Lion Breweries.  Whenever we went away we stayed at one of those hotels.  Dogs, of course, are banned from hotels and motels in New Zealand but this obviously didn’t apply to the GM.  So Ben came with us.  One of his best friends in every hotel in which we stayed was the chef.  He was fed steak every time the chef or any of the kitchen hands saw him.  I had to take him for lots of walks to get his weight back to normal.  Each morning once Grampa had left for the day, and before we joined him at whichever club he was playing, Ben and I would explore the neighbourhood.  I admired the gardens in this very English city and Ben admired the smells.  Then we would go to Hagley Park where he could have a long run after which we would join the bowlers.

Bowlers are a happy bunch of people and always made me feel welcome at every club we visited.  Grampa’s club was right in the middle of the Capital City, Wellington and was well-known around the country.  Unfortunately the club property was sold and then converted into apartments just after Grampa died.

Often Grampa and his team would be playing at a little club with few members.  These were great places to visit.  We got to know some of the players quite well and saw them again and again over the years.

Grampa was playing in a tournament on the West coast of the South Island when he first became ill.  But as soon as he was better, and once we had moved to Waikanae, he joined the Raumati Bowling club and made many new friends here.

He continued to bowl and go to the club until he was really too ill, but occasionally after that he would go to the club to watch his team mates play.  He really enjoyed his bowls and the friends he made through bowling.       end

So the memories keep coming and I shall keep recording them for my grandsons.  Apologies if some of the references are not known to you but I have tried to include links wherever possible.

Wednesday at Lake Woebegon

“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct. ”
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
, American writer and journalist. 1939 –

Wednesday is the day I spend time with my eldest grandson.  This time is very special to me, as I have said before.

Children at piano

James 18 months old playing piano

James is now 16 and no longer plays the piano.  But he has ‘dabbled’  and had lessons in clarinet, guitar and saxophone.  The dabbling came to nothing.  He now plays his iPod.

After spending time with James and having dinner we settle down as a family to watch a series of TV programs, most of which I would never have watched on my own.  We start with Two and a Half Men.  This is becoming dreary now that we know that  Charlie Sheen has been shown up for the ass he really is and know how he will be written out of the series.  Wonder what the future of the series is.

Then The Big Bang Theory.   My question each week is where did they find these goofy people to act in this sitcom.  The fashion police aka James always has comments to make on their clothes.

William Shatner stars in another sitcom – $#*! My Dad Says.  I understand this originated as a blog, so perhaps there is room for a sitcom from your blog!

Then Cougar Town and Drop Dead Diva.  I usually leave before the final one starts as I have an hour’s drive home (and it is currently winter).

But there is another reason I leave.  At 9pm on a Wednesday Night on Radio New Zealand (our public radio), we have Garrison Keillor and a Prairie Home Companion.  This show certainly keeps me entertained on the drive home.

We are told “the show originates from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, although it is frequently taken on the road. A Prairie Home Companion is known for its musical guests, especially folk and traditional musicians, tongue-in-cheek radio drama, and Keillor’s storytelling segment, “News from Lake Wobegon”.

I wonder how the people of Minnesota (Minnesotians?) react to his very dry humour and constant picking on them and their habits.

One of my favourite parts is Guy Noir, Private Eye.  A down-on-his-luck detective, who ends up taking odd jobs to get by, such as finding missing poodles.  And often comments on current events weaving them into his story.

With this fabulous cast of characters, the drive home passes with laughter, lively music and enjoyment.

And quite recently when I took James to have some stitches removed following an operation, the surgeon and I spent a happy 15 or so minutes discussing Keillor and Lake Woebegon.  I don’t remember how we got onto the subject but interesting to see that we both shared the same sense of humour.  His parting words to James were “Look after your Granma. She’s rare”.  Was it my sense of humour, the love he could see I share with James or something quite different?

I am often amazed at the things that bring people together.  I know they are far more powerful than those things that pull them apart.  Laughter is, of course, one of the most powerful things that bring us together.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~
Albert Schweitzer













Judith Baxter, EzineArticles.com Platinum Author
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My Mother always said

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm”. Colette, Novelist and performer, 1873-1954

My Mother always said – “God looks after fools and drunks” I wonder what she would have said about this drunk man caught on tape.  Click here to see video uploaded by the Sun Newspaper in  the UK.

One has to wonder whether he is really drunk.  Look at the way he falls down those stairs and gets up and continues.

If he was really drunk, I wonder how he felt once he found that this tape had been broadcast to the world.

And fools abound.

Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street, Dunedin

Baldwin Street in Dunedin (in the South Island of New Zealand) is considered to be the steepest street in the world.  In March 2001 a 19-year-old University of Otago student was killed when she and another student attempted to travel down the street inside a wheelie bin. The bin collided with a parked trailer, killing one of the occupants instantly, and causing serious head injuries to the second.

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel via Wikipedia

And we all know of the antics of this fellow.  “The 433 broken bones he suffered during his career earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of “most bones broken in a lifetime.” according to our friend Wikipedia.

But were either of these fools looked after by a higher being?  I leave it to you to decide for yourself.

And I know that I have done several foolish things in my life – what’s that you say, only several?  But they have never bordered on the dangerous as the people above have, including the drunk man.

Have you been involved in something foolish that could also have been dangerous?  Please share with us if you dare.

“A fellow who is always declaring that he’s no fool, usually has his suspicions.Wilson Mizner, 1876 – 1933,  American playwright, raconteur, and entrepreneur. .