Tag Archives: Relationships



I enjoy following Tara at Thin Spiral Notebook and have done so for several years. She is a writer of fiction, an artist, photographer and so much more.
She is an inspiration!
And I particularly like her 100 Word Challenge.
As Tara says, use  100 words no more and no less. for the challenge.
This week’s challenge is DISTANCE


I am very lucky.  Both of my children live close and so am in constant contact with them and visit regularly. My daughter lives above me and my son and daughter-in-law are only 50 km away. But things have changed. Here in New Zealand, we are living in “bubbles” comprising only those people who live in the same house: the distance between me and my son and daughter in law is too far.

But what of my friends whose children live in other countries and in a different hemisphere. Distance takes on a whole new meaning in a pandemic.




New Books

I have recently finished two great books, both by authors new to me.

The Third Rule is a gripping story of murder, deceit and absolute power.  Shades of 1984 here.

The Woman in the Window is a captivating tale of a woman living as a recluse following a major accident. This is pure Hitchcock.

Why not go over to my other site, Booksandmorebooks. Maybe you would like one or both of them.

Deadly Lies


Well, I just finished reading Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell.  This is her first book and what a good book it was.  I couldn’t put it down – well couldn’t put down the iPad and read well into the night.

The book has it all.  Office politics, adultery (both literally by the wife and thinking by the husband), kidnapping, date rape, sexual abuse and murders, 4 in all and only one was not premeditated.

Alex is a Seattle PD Detective and his wife Jill is climbing the corporate ladder. From the outside, all looks well with their marriage.  Things really begin to go wrong when Alex is called by an ex-girlfriend to find her missing sister.  Meantime Jill is breaking all the rules.  She is committing adultery and with the man to whom she responds.  When he reacts in the expected (by us but not by Jill) manner she is devastated and vows revenge.  His accidental death occurs, or is it her first murder?    She then goes on to meet a newspaper reporter and after his interviewing her she experiences date rape and all her hidden past comes rushing to the fore.  She cannot allow this man, or his awful cohorts to get away with this unharmed and goes on to commit more murders.

Meantime, Alex is searching for the kidnapped girl and finds her murdered.  His life takes an unexpected turn when he is called upon to assist a fellow detective in San Francisco who has two unsolved murders to solve.

This review doesn’t really describe how good this book really is.  You just have to read it for yourself.

Oh and I did receive a free copy of this book but am under no obligation to review it.  I just thought it was so good I wanted to share.

For reviews of more books, visit my new blog Books&morebooks.

Eleven Hints for Life

Having just returned from my son’s house after my Wednesday visit, I was sitting here wondering what I could post about today.  I turned to the notebooks that I have been keeping for so many years and a page almost jumped out at me.

I don’t know when I wrote this down, or where it came from, but it seems to make a lot of sense.  So here are somebody’s Eleven Hints:

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.  But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.

3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.

4. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.

5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone – but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

6. Don’t go for looks, they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

8. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts that person too.

9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may heal and bless.

10. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything they just make the best of everything that comes along their way.

11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.


“In the end, it’s not going to matter how
many breaths you took, but how many
moments took your breath away.”
shing xiong.



Scorpions A-Buzzing Today

I have become very behind in my blog reading and today I decided to pick one that I follow and get really up to date.  My hovering fingers landed on Patricia’s Today I Think Blog.

I really enjoy Patricia thoughts on many things and love Teddy the stay at home cat.  He manages to get into adventures even within the apartment and on the balcony.


Photo copyright Patricia Tracy

However, one post that Patricia wrote really set my blood boiling.  Have you read “Monday, not really a book review”?  Living on the other side of the world I wasn’t aware the interview talked about in the comments and have never heard of this woman.  While we all thought or perhaps knew in some cases, that JFK was a philanderer I wasn’t aware just how blatant and abusive the man was.  Please understand that I haven’t read the book  so I am relying on my good friend Patricia and other reviews of the book.

All that said, I now get onto my rant for the day.

Firstly, the President and all his sycophantic helpers must bear the most blame for these happenings.  How did these people think it was OK to treat a young woman this way?  How was it kept from Jackie or did she know and turn a blind eye to the abuse of this 19-year-old?  And what a seemingly innocent 19-year-old she was.

But the girl must bear some of the blame.  At the time she describes I was a 22-year-old so not that much older than she.  I  knew that it wasn’t acceptable to sleep with some other woman’s husband.  She must have known this.

I knew if I was invited to view somebody’s bedroom without the wife being there, there was likely to be some ulterior motive.  She must have known this.

I knew that if anything unacceptable to me, or something with which I was not comfortable occurred that I should tell somebody else.  She must have known this,  But I now come to the realisation that this wasn’t unacceptable to her.  This has obviously been a secret that she kept and fed upon for the past 50 plus years.

And according to  Janet Maslin‘s report in the New York Times it appears that this woman sees nothing wrong in what she did.

Several questions jumped immediately into my mind:

  • How would she react if it happened to her daughter or granddaughter now?
  • Was this only allowed to happen because of the age of Camelot and the public’s adoration of the first couple?
  • Did the President think he was above normal standards of human behaviour?
  • How did the aides and the others in the know satisfy their own consciences?
  • Did none of them have daughters of their own?

And of course the big one.  How are her family reacting to this unveiling, telling of a secret now?  Did she consider their feelings before writing this book or did she simply write it for the money it would generate?

I have since watched part of the interview on NBC’s Rock Centre and it seems to me that this woman is totally self-absorbed and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t even consider the ramifications on her family and indeed the rest of her life, before going public.  My thoughts re with her family at this time.

And of course the big one for me – Am I being unnecessarily hard on this poor woman?  Maybe if I read the book I might have some more sympathy for her, both as she was then and as she is now.  But for now, I am leaving it as it is.

What are your thoughts?

End of today’s rant.

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.”
Carl Jung

Gullible or Guilty?

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.  It is the chief occupation of mankind.  Henry Louis Mencken, 1880 – 1956,  American journalist, essayist, magazine editor and satirist. 

 Sharon Armstrong

Sharon Armstrong is a middle aged Maori woman who is currently residing in an Argentinian jail.  She is charged with exporting drugs out of the country.

Her’s is a strange but ever more common story.   She says she’s been without a partner for “many years, and that’s a choice” – deciding to put her energies into her whanau (Maori word for family).   She even moved to Australia to be closer to them.

Unbeknownst to her, one of her family members apparently registered her with  an online dating service.  Through this service she met the man who was to prove to be her downfall.

Sharon Armstrong’s original reaction was that the website was “creepy”, but when an attractive man contacted her, she decided to give online dating a go.  As she says “[He] looked really nice, really friendly, warm, all of those things. He had a nice profile.”  As the man lived near her they met at her house the following weekend.

The story then played out as follows:

  • The man claimed he had a job interview in London and would keep in touch via email
  • In an email he said he had been admitted to a private hospital in London – Ms Armstrong sent him money – Why?
  • The man asked Ms Armstrong to go to Argentina to complete some business on his behalf and then meet him in London, she agreed – Again why?
  • The night before Ms Armstrong was due to leave for London, she was rung by another person who advised her the documents would already be packaged in a suitcase, and she was expected to take the lot as it was – Would you do so?
  • When she got back to her hotel she opened the case and couldn’t see ‘the documents’.
  • Ms Armstrong then emailed the woman, who had handed her the case, asking her why the documents were hidden. The woman told her that there were “bad people here in Argentina, this is a very important contract”, and that it was hidden for her own safety.  Would you have accepted that explanation?
  • The woman also advised Ms Armstrong that should she be stopped by customs she should tell them about the documents and that they were welcome to take a look. Why didn’t warning bells ring?  Why would the woman expect that Armstrong might be stopped by customs?
  • And the rest of the story is that she was stopped by customs; the bag was searched; the drugs were found and she now awaits trial.

This woman was not a young first time traveler who must surely be aware of the dangers of taking anything through customs for anybody else.  Why would she put herself in such danger?  What did she reply when asked if she had packed the suitcase herself?

Ms Armstrong has recently given an interview to TV3 here in New Zealand.  Here is the link.  She what you think. – click here

Her case has been taken up by a prominent Argentina Law firm.  “What I find interesting about her case is she seems to be innocent,” says Mr Osler (presumably a partner in the firm).  “Every single person I talk to believes her.  Beyond belief however, it will be very hard to prove.”

The questions raised are many:

  • The former Wellington civil servant said she was tricked into believing she was taking a top secret business contract to a man in London that she had been dating online for six months. Are we to believe Armstrong – who is a former parole officer – really thought she was carrying a ‘secret contract’ in her suitcase?
  • Why would she send money to a comparative stranger?
  • Why would she agree to change her travel plans to take in Argentina on her way to London?  This is not the usual route Wellington to London.
  • Her family members are firmly behind her – will this help her case in a foreign land?

We will have to wait for the outcome of the trial for these and other questions to be satisfactorily answered.