Tag Archives: friends

Making Memories, Finding Friends.

“Lazy Sunday afternoon
I’ve got no mind to worry
I close my eyes and drift away-a”
Small Faces  1960s –  an English rock band from East London 

Sunday afternoon and it’s here before anywhere else in the world. Well, this Sunday was great.

The day started with a late rising, followed by a chat with my daughter and then another chat this time on Facetime with my good friend Chris at Bridges Burning. We regularly chat and although we’ve never met in person, we are firm friends. Maybe if one of us wins the lottery we might get to meet. Waterloo, Ontario is far from Wellington, New Zealand. Aren’t we lucky we live in a time when the internet makes connecting with friends so easy?

Then after lunch, a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Now it was time to sit in the sunshine and relax. So teapot and cup close at hand I logged into my site. I wondered what I had been posting about last year and the year before. I knew there wouldn’t be much in 2016; that’s when I had my misadventure.

Then I thought about the time when The Architect was first hospitalised and diagnosed with the brain tumour. What did I share with my blogging pals then?

I had been nominated by Cat at Catterel to take part in the Five Day Challenge – post a picture each day with some prose to accompany it. Well, I did that and as directed nominated another blogger each day to take part. Unfortunately, very soon after writing those posts, I was taken up with hospital and medical things so I really didn’t give those bloggers the attention they deserved. I have rectified it this afternoon.

Catterel a poet who was born in the UK, spent some years in Germany where she became a German citizen and now, after spending more than half her life in Switzerland, she has decided to apply for citizenship. Join her at Catterel.wordpress.com to see what else she has been up to.

So to Sallyann at Photographic Memories, Darlene at darlenefoster.wordpress.com; Patricia at Patricia’s Place and Granny at Granny 1947.wordpress.com, thanks for joining in and apologies again for not reading and commenting on your posts at the time. I have tried to remedy this but some posts were not available.

And Finding Friends? Well in reading the posts by the above-mentioned bloggers I discovered other bloggers and went over to see what they had to say. And now I have subscribed to some of the blogs.

I have a new friend. Marian Beaman was brought up as a Mennonite girl in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I’ve enjoyed reading about this. Her memories are so interesting: her childhood so very different from mine. Visit her at www.marianbeaman.com.

Barbara at March of Time Books lives in the UK.  Barbara  blogs about all things that interest her, “vintage books, postcards and ephemera” but as she says ‘you will also find me musing on many other topics.” Shoot over to her site to see what she is musing about now.

Barb at www.barbtaub.com Her blog is full of humour and easy reading for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He is a writer, having had three books published. You can read synopses and some excerpts from his books on www.chuckjacksonknowme.com

So another Sunday afternoon came to an end. There’s laundry to fold and dinner to make. But I shall go back to read more from/about these new friends soon.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” 
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 – 1962
 American political figure, diplomat and activist.

 

 

 

 

 

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What a Difference

 

Pohutakawa tree

Our own New Zealand Christmas tree. Image via Wikipedia

What a difference a Day Year makes.

In December 2015 I was bemoaning the fact that my Late Love, the Architect had died and so 2015 was not a great year.  But I was especially grateful for all the outpouring of love and friendship that followed this.  I was looking forward to seeing the end of 2015 and a better 2016.

On this day last year, I was bemoaning the fact that I had a fractured shoulder having injured it on the same date as five years earlier I had fractured my ankle.

Earlier in the year, I had my misadventure, falling over my feet and fracturing my skull.  A visit to hospital and rehab and after several months I was back home and learning to do things for myself once again.

So in all, 2016 was not a great year but I was also very grateful for the fact that my health is good and my body is strong and my mental attitude is in the right place, so that I survived the hiccups during the year. And once again I was moved by  and grateful for  the love and support from my friends both in real life and in the blogosphere  

So on this day, I was looking forward to seeing the end of 2016 and a  better 2017.

And 2017  has been a very good year.  Totally recovered and back to normal, well normal for me.  The family members are thriving, all boys growing into fine young men.  So, as Sinatra sings :

“But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year .”

And here’s to 2018.  May you all have a great year, free of mishaps, sickness, and worries.  That will be my Resolution for 2018 when January 1 comes around.

And do you need a rainbow in your life?  Here’s mine to share.

Rainbow

My rainbow

 

Friends in Far Flung Places

“Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself …
CS Lewis 1898-1963 – Four Loves

We are so lucky to have all the things available to us that weren’t available in our parents’ time.  In particular, I mean Skype.

I have just finished a call of 1 hour and 20 minutes to two of my sisters by choice, Chris at Bridges Burning and Joss at Joss Burnel Author.  And yes, the link to Joss’ blog is all about me.  How’s that!

Anyway, we have this weekly chat and get together.  Three women, who are true friends but who met through the wonderful world of blogging.  Very far apart in miles but so close together in friendship and love.  How I wish Skype had been available when my parents were alive.  How much better it would have been for all of us, especially the children, to have been able to have long family chats whenever we wanted to.

Now back to today.  Unfortunately, Chris is recovering from a bad cold and departed early in the call to lie down and recuperate.  That left just two of us.  I’m particularly interested in Ecuador and what it is like as an expat living there.   Joss and her ‘sweetie’ Gerard have been in Ecuador for about 3 years (I think) and they are thriving.  Joss has a group of friends with whom she shares time and experiences and writing.  And Gerard? Well Gerard does what Gerard does.

Having just finished a successful Writers’ Conference, Joss and her cohorts/friends are just organising another conference for next March and I thought I should like to go.  Oh I know it’s so far away, but we can all dream can’t we?  And I even looked up flights.  Well yes, one can get from Auckland, New Zealand to Quito, Ecuador for about $12,000 return economy fare.  I didn’t even look at Business Class. But I think I shall have to wait until somebody has some specials on flights to Ecuador, or maybe I’ll win Lotto tomorrow. Note to self – buy Lotto ticket.  And Joss, it isn’t a 7 hours flight as you had earlier thought, it’s it’s one day and 4 hours.  Oh yes, we have already laughed when you shared your thoughts on the time of the flight.

So now, having been brightened on this autumn day by speaking with my friends, I shall spend the rest of the day, reading and drinking tea and looking forward to next week’s chat.

book-tea

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friendship

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

This was posted by Darlene Foster on her Facebook page yesterday.  I have known and used this quote for many years.  And recently I have been thinking long and hard on the power of friendship.

I have waxed lyrical (well, I hope t was lyrical) about all the help my friends gave me last year when I was incapacitated.  Friends who offered physical help, driving, shopping, cooking but also the friends and family around the world including the many I now have through our blogging community who offered support.

We are so lucky in this age of technology where we can communicate instantly by email, messages or my favourite, Skype.  In fact, I have a regular Skype call with Chris at Bridges Burning and now we have arranged that on our next call Joss at The Wise Woman in Me will join us.  How great is that!

And then I looked on Goodreads to see what other words of wisdom Lewis had shared and I came upon two more

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art….
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

And I think my favourite is

“What draws people to be friends
is that they see the same truth.
They share it.”

So there you have my thoughts for today.  Thinking of the many friends I have both physically in Real Life and in the Blogosphere.  Thank you all for caring and sharing.

And now, as we haven’t seen this for a while, I offer you my waterfall.  The photo was taken at McLaren Falls, Tauranga several years ago but I still love it.

Waterfall

And in case you are interested in my weather comments.  Today there is no rain, the sun peeked through for a very short time and there is no wind.  Maybe the summer isn’t lost; it’s only been resting.

Ain’t Technology Great!

 

 

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?

phonebooth-1080x675

Thanks to siliconangle.com for the photo.

 And a 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

It’s Wellington on a good day

It’s Saturday again and time to join the gang at Six Word Saturday. Click on the badge to play along.

This has been the most perfect January day. Temperatures in and around 30 degrees. This is hot in this temperate climate and the pool at my son’s house was in high demand..

Lunch at a friend’s house but we decided it was too hot to eat outside so three elderly ladies ate lunch inside. Much laughter, exchange of stories and general well being. Some three and half hours later we decided that lunch was over.

How incongruous on this hot day the man delivering winter firewood arrived.

Back to lunch and how different was today’s lunch to yesterday’s.  Another beautifulWellington day but this time lunch with a friend who has dementia. Added to that is the problem that she is unable to walk without her Zimmer frame and you can see lunch was not a bundle of laughs.

I picked up my friend and we went to the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens. 25 hectares of landscaped gardens, protected natural bush, specialised plant collections and of course the famous Lady Norwood Rose Garden.  Nestled into the Rose Garden is the Begonia House set in a Victorian conservatory. And at the side of the Begonia House under the same roof is a delightful cafe. As you can imagine on such a lovely day it was full of people chatting, laughing and enjoying lunch.

Our lunch was a quieter more somber affair.  My friend who used to be the centre of any gathering was very quiet.  She has trouble remembering. Oh, she remembers names and who you are.  She has difficulty remembering events and words to describe her thoughts and feelings.

How scared she must be and how scared will her family be. She is aware that she isn’t making sense and gets annoyed with herself and there’s no way for me to help.

After a short run around the waterfront (in the car of course) I delivered her back home to her lovely husband.  I made us all a cup of tea and then left once again saying thanks to whichever god is looking out for me.

I really feel for this once vibrant, educated and intelligent woman whose life is now confined to their apartment and who now has to wait for a friend or family member to take her out. When I think of all the ills that could befall one, this would be the hardest to bear.

 

 

Mea Culpa

crying face

Some of us have committed to write a post every day  Well…….

I must apologise. Yesterday was one of those days. It started with a smoothie followed by tea. Then a call from a friend to meet for lunch. So I took off leaving the moving friends to their own devices.

Lunch of course moved into the next stage – two women shopping. Then back to this friends house for a cup of tea. Tea didn’t materialise but gin did. Then the house moving friends turned up so the beginning of a party developed.  Then neighbours were called and it turned out two of the men had been at school together. So one drink turned into several.

By the time we left to go home nobody has given any thought to dinner.  Then, one of those aha! moments.  We were passing the Golden Arches and that’s where we ate

Two large gins and tonic followed by a 99% Angus burger and chips do not make for a settled night.

So my friends that’s why there was no email yesterday. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

 

 

 

Musing and Meandering

“In a world where thrushes sing and willow trees are golden in the spring, boredom should have been included among the seven deadly sins.”
Elizabeth Goudge, English author of romance novels and short stories1900-1984

The rush and bustle of the holiday season has for me at least, calmed down. But of course, for most of New Zealand, this is holiday time, the time for the family’s annual vacation.

When I first came to New Zealand oh so many years ago, the whole place shut down for at least two weeks over this time. Every business closed on Christmas Eve and apart from some corner stores, all businesses stayed closed until well into the New Year. Very frustrating for a newcomer. Now, of course, business is as usual except for the statutory holidays – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the following one. Retailers operate on every day except Christmas Day.

So if I’m not on holiday (although when one is retired each day is a holiday) what am I doing? Well, at last, I have seen the end of the interminable/innumerable packing boxes from my move. This has been the most difficult of all 20 plus moves I have made in my life. The moving was exacerbated by the fact that I was moving into a much smaller space. But now that is done and the Salvation Army has been the recipient of many things that I am sure will be of use to others.

The living room is looking more like home and I know that I can be happy here. Of course, added to this is the benefit of having my daughter and her two teenage boys in the house too.

So I looked around for something to do. I tried my hand at staining an old bookcase and am pleased to say that it turned out quite well. I then started on an old table that had suffered severe water damage from a plant having been placed upon it. That too turned out well. Now my daughter and her boys are running from me in case I try to stain them or any of their belongings. It’s a good thing I tackled that job on New Year’s Day because since then it has rained almost non stop.

On Christmas Eve the SKY TV man eventually came and installed the television. Lucky for me as today has been mostly catching up on programmes interspersed with catching up on my reading.

Perhaps when I’m thinking of things for which to be grateful today’s rainfall will feature. It certainly will for the farmers in the South Island who are facing drought conditions this early in the summer season.

So nothing much changes in my writing. I write on anything and everything that comes into this aged mind. Until tomorrow dear friends, and thank you for reading my meanderings.

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A-New-Book-With-Blank-Pages

This particularly  for Chris and Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Weekend Away

Imagine a group of friends, all well into their senior years enjoying themselves in a rare weekend away together.

Not for them the quiet talk around the fireside but instead a joyous celebration of life culminating in their opening the doors onto the deck on a cold winter’s night and all joining in dancing and singing to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave”.

Every one of us felt invigorated to be in the company of our peers, each of whom has decided that ‘age’ is a frame of mind and there is still time to sing and dance.

Those memories will remain.

This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single prompt. This week’s word is MISBEHAVE

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Italy Calling

Como 1We are still with our friends in Como and having a really good vacation.

May 1 is a Public Holiday in Italy – Labour Day.  The day dawned bright and clear and it was decided that we would go to the Cernobbio on the lake for coffee and a little look around.

station at ChernobbiThis is a beautiful small place and as we know George Clooney spends much of his time here.  No, we didn’t see him.  We are told that the locals do not make any special fuss for him.  Fortunately, we were with our hosts who knew just what would happen at the lake on such a lovely day – crowds of people flocking there on a mid-week holiday.  So we went early in the day, found a car park and a lovely outdoor cafe for coffee.  Our hosts refer to 10.30 am as cappuccino time.

Market at Chernobbi

Open air market for May Day

We then walked around this lovely small town in the sunshine, people watching and more particularly for my architect partner, building watching.  He is an avid photographer and took many photos.

Shop keeper just opening for the day

Shop keeper just opening for the day

We left before the town became really busy and had a leisurely drive back home for lunch and a leisurely afternoon complete with a siesta.

A very wet day and a very bad head cold kept us housebound for the next day except for the necessary visit to the supermercado.

On Saturday we were invited to dinner with friends.  As they live a short distance away around the lake it was decided to leave early and visit Bellagio on the way to Erba.

Narrow road

But as we know ‘The best laid plans…”  We rounded a bend to be confronted by

cars at crash scene

A walk around the next very narrow bend showed us the reason for this long line of cars

car crash 03:05

This is such a narrow road that all traffic in both directions was at a standstill.  We waited (im)patiently for the police and ambulance to arrive

L1000406i

and after having conversations with various other travelers, we decided to reverse (with difficulty) and take the alternate road high above the lake.  This is not a drive for the faint hearted.  The road drops many metres down to the lake on one side and is two way all the way.

We eventually arrived at our friends house and were all very grateful for the drink that was handed to us as we arrived.

Friendship isn’t a big thing
— it’s a million little things.
Anon