Tag Archives: technology

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.


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
























“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.


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.

And no bells ring..

I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind!  ~Author Unknown


9 months old and defunct

How quickly we have all become dependent on the trappings of modern day living.  Particularly our mobile phones that we take with us everywhere.

I can still remember the original mobile phone I had.  It was as large as a brick and had its own carry case that I slung over my shoulder.  I wish I had a photo of that one.  We also both had car-phones – tres chic and frightfully avant-garde.

On Friday I dropped my latest phone into a deep puddle of water as I was getting out of the car.  It didn’t seem to do it much harm.  I dried it and it appeared to work just fine.  However, on Saturday afternoon when driving it gave a strange popping noise and died.  I don’t really know how well it was working up until then because several people told me they called me during the time  I thought it was still working.

Anyway, the upshot is that even though this phone is only 9 months old, if it gets wet it isn’t covered under warranty.  So off to buy a replacement.

I have shied away from these smart phones saying I only needed mine to make and receive calls and texts to and from grandsons, to use as a phone book and very occasionally to take photos.


Several hours later the deed is done and I am back home.  In a couple of days I shall be the proud possessor of a new iphone with all the bells and whistles, most of which I will probably never use.  Oh how we are all seduced by modern technology.

And from a particular favourite of my children when they were growing up:

“Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle
These were all his worldly goods
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.”
From Edward Lear‘s
‘The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bongy-Bo.

The Yongy Bongy Bo

From my book published in 1966 - the original published in 1894

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Writing Then and Now

When I read Linda Cassidy-Lewis post Do You Write Like a Tortoise or a Hare I started to think of how I write and more particularly what I use to write.

As I have said before I always have a notebook and pencil with me wherever I go and this habit began when I was still at school.  I would write about any and everything and the trusty notebook was always with me.

During the last year of school, several of us in the VIIth form petitioned the Headmistress to allow us to have shorthand and typing lessons.  This request was originally met with horror by the Headmistress and most of the (all female) staff members.  The school prided itself on being “for the daughters of gentlemen” even though we lived in the East End of London.

However, we persevered and eventually were allowed 6 months of tuition in these subjects.  I understand that the classes were continued after we left as part of the usual curriculum of the school.

All these years later, I still jot down notes in shorthand or as my daughter describes it “chicken scratch”.

Manual typewriter

Can you believe that typewriters looked like this Olivetti?  Copies were made by slipping sheets of carbon paper between the sheets of paper and if a mistake were made the letters were erased with a special eraser and those offending letters on each sheet also had to be erased.  No photocopying then.

When I rejoined the workforce in 1972, having been a stay at home wife and mother for some 12 years, I was horrified to be faced with an electric typewriter.

IBM Selectric Typewriter

In accepting the position I hadn’t realized that technology would have moved on so far.  I had many battles with this machine before I finally convinced it who was in charge here.

Soon I had my own secretary and we purchased a memory typewriter.  We were both amazed at this fantastic futuristic machine that took pride of place in her office.  From there it was a self-correcting typewriter.  How this changed the lives of millions of typists the world over.  And then to computers.

How easy typing is today and so many people now do their own.  Most executives have a computer on their desk.  Not much call for Shorthand-typists these days!

But for those of us who write,  I think that the days of the typewriter were the most satisfying.  When I used one I could convince myself I was starting when I turned on the machine, inserted the paper and lined up my notes before the blank page looked back at me.

No such preparation today.  When I sit in front of my computer with a blank screen and don’t know how to proceed I can’t convince myself that I have done anything towards starting.

But in answer to Linda’s question – I think in writing my blog I am a hare.  I decide what I want to write about and it just comes.  But in my other writing, I am definitely a tortoise.

“In real life, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market.
Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game.”
Anita Brookner, 1928 English language novelist and art historian