Sunday, 24 March 2019


I do want to thank my on-line friends who found and read my recent posts. I did try to email replies but I got error messages and don't know for sure what got through.

I appreciate that you all took time to read, especially Heyduke, Retta and Gypsy not to forget Lynda from NZ.

I'm still sewing... patchwork quilting. I took a break from my large items to make these aproximately  7 cm crazy patchwork pincushions. They're a lot of fun to make and I have dozens of patterns.

Family are calling me so I had better find out what's on for today.

Blessings all.




I want to hold you tight

To feel your heartbeat against mine;

I want to look into your eyes

and let your pain be mine.

I want you to know that you belong

Safe, here in your home.

We are both beloved,

Made in the image of God.

It's been an emotional week. I am shocked that the massacre against the Muslim Community happened in Christchurch, let alone New Zealand. And yet there have always been signs that this was possible. Our gun laws were not as tight as most people believed. White Supremacy has been a fact of life, especially in Christchurch, for decades. Racism and religious bigotry are never far from the surface, often hidden under a polite exterior. Most New Zealanders are complacent and soft, yet strong and hard working, comfortable as a Norman Rockwell painting. We have it easy compared to many parts of the world. It's nearly 150 years since there was armed conflict on our soil. (Land Wars 1840 - 1870s). We have looked out from our semi-isolated nation and believed that the evil of the world cannot touch us. 

We are proud of our ability to stand out, to stand up to the world and be ourselves. We were the first nation to allow women  to vote, (1893). We are avid environmentalists, not perfect, but improving daily. We stood up to the most powerful nation of the world when we declared New Zealand a Nuclear Free Zone in 1987. We excel at sports around the world way above what could be expected. There is so much about our country we are proud of. 

In the midst of this we did not read the warning signs. We pointed toward the violent acts that occurred in other countries, overlooking our own backyard. Domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse are a way of life for some. We are people full of the potential for good yet capable of extreme evil. We tried to ignore the fact that the world is growing smaller and that the internet has changed us. We are shocked that someone dared and succeeded in attacking our little piece of heaven, our home land.

AND YET ..... we have shown our true heart this week. 
We weep with those who weep.

The one thing I am particularly proud of is to hear people from all walks of life, and different ethnic backgrounds say that something good has come from what was meant for evil. Never can I recall a time when our nation has been so united. We have been made aware of our prejudices and decided we will not tolerate military style weapons and any form of bigotry. The acts of love toward the Muslim community are legendary. We want to do more to show how much we care. Loving kindness abounds in spite of how we might feel about the religion. 

I am reminded that I love certain family members with an immutable strength that cannot be broken. Neither different religious and spiritual  beliefs, nor unacceptable moral behaviour can change my love. I do not endorse everything but my love is greater. I think of what God has done for me. 

The bible story about Joseph is a prime example of God changing a truly bad experience into something for great good. Read about it here.

On another note.... Greg came down from Rotorua on Thursday. It's his first trip to Christchurch in 15 years. He bought on spec a motorbike through an on-line auction. It was not a wise purchase but it brought him here and I'm pleased to say he is enjoying his brief visit of 4 days, and appears to find my wheelchair friendly home quite acceptable and even comfortable. I am delighted to have him here and do hope that it's the first of many visits. I love seeing our three boys together although their conversation gets a bit tedious particularly when they talk cars. Still they are happy. That is a blessing for any mother. I'd like to help finance future trips because it costs so much. He prefers to drive as that gives him greater independence. It's a long trip, maybe 20 hours all up, and although he usually avoids stopping over in a motel it still costs around $1000 including the Interisland Ferry fees.

Family time is precious so I'm not going to church today. There was a time when I would never have put family before church except for rare exceptions. How my attitude to life has changed.

Sunday, 17 March 2019


The last day and a half have been traumatic.

On  a quiet Friday afternoon while people went about their normal business a terrorist attacked Muslims at worship in two mosques in Christchurch.

I noticed a news item when switching programs on TV. Something  awful had happened overseas and I'd catch up with it later. A little later I received a text to say there was a shooting and Ava, my granddaughter, would be late home because her preschool was in lock down. I then turned to the news and was shocked and in tears. The main Mosque is about 6 km from home, the second 2.5km. While I personally never felt threatened it was a nervous time as who could know what would happen next. I felt huge relief when we were all together at home several hours later.

New Zealand is in shock. The grief for our Muslim brothers is overwhelming at times. We know that 50 people of all ages have died.

Our first responders did a magnificent job in an unbelievable situation.

I posted the following on FaceBook. I don't have anything more to say for now.

Church was different this morning as we turned our eyes toward God while still shocked by the events of the last day and a half. We offered our praise with hearts heavy with sorrow. It was emotional. We sang God Defend New Zealand with renewed vigour and fresh eyes. Did you know that the second stanza of our National Anthem begins with these words?

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.

Half our congregation were not born in New Zealand. We are a multi cultural nation and in spite of all appearances our national culture is strongly based in Christianity. We have welcomed people from all nations of the world and embraced them into our communities regardless of religion. Our population is small, less than 5 million, and we punch above our weight.
An interesting thought was introduced by the pastors.... Christchurch has made global news twice in recent times, First the earthquakes, natural disasters; Second, the massacre on Friday which exposed the evil we can fall into when we ignore God's love.
Will the third time be something wonderful based on Love, Peace and Faith? It seems quite possible to me. Good is coming our way ... I believe a fresh wave of God's love will sweep our nation ... a Sudden overwhelming Revival will touch us in a remarkable way.
We need something bigger than ourselves to bring light out of the darkness. The more I know God's love the more I know we need more of it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
from Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 New International Bible.
God Bless you and your family.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


There's nothing exciting going on in my life.

Listening to Legacy Five, my favourite Gospel group on youtube

Weather   Fairly cold, currently 5'C, (41'F). very little wind, sunny with clouds. I washed towels yesterday and dried them on a rack in front of the fire. Wish I'd hung them outside on the line so they'd be fluffy and smell much nicer. I'm tempted to run them through a rinse and dry them again outside today.

I did go to church on Sunday. Amanda dropped me off before going to visit her mother who is in a rest home. Empower Church on Springfield Road is definitely a better fit for me than the one I tried out at New Brighton. They have a seniors meeting on Wednesday mornings but it's a bit tricky for me to get there I'll eventually work it out but I think it involves some walking, probably a good thing, and at least 2 buses. I'd need to start out by 9 am and I really don't like going out before 10.30 in the middle of winter. I'll try it out one afternoon when the day beckons me to go exploring. In any case I want to start off quietly and get to know a little bit more about the church before I get too involved.

While Jane was here we discussed me getting some help with housework. It seems ridiculous to want help when I have only myself and 4 rooms to look after. The thing is, I function better when things around me are in good order but on my own I get into the most awful muddle. I haven't lived alone since 1959 and then it was for less than a year. Having someone come in regularly will encourage me to tidy up at least once a week. John used to do a lot of housework which left me more time to do fun things like sewing. I have found a lovely woman who lives within walking distance. I'm not sure how wise my choice is because she seems to be a bit OCD and is almost too fussy. Anyway I like her and I'm sure we'll get it worked out.

The big thing is that I still have unpacked boxes and pictures wrapped up because I can't make up my mind what to do with everything. I might take another year to pare my stuff down to what I need to keep and where to place it. In the meantime I keep as much as possible out in view so it doesn't become out of sight out of mind. Clutter drives me nuts. I think I would be happy with a modern minimalist environment but then how could I spread out all my projects and have my lovely comfy and cosy furniture with all the colour I crave. Just another dilemma. I'm not sure my head is in a good place for all this decision making.

I've had two packets of fabric arrive this week. It's time I stopped buying but I keep thinking how useful it would be to have this or that. I must have too much because storing it is an issue. It's not that I have a large stash by patchwork quilters standards, but for me what I have is more than enough. I keep reminding myself that my sewing days are numbered and one day someone will come in and all these pieces of material that I have collected as well as all the UFOS, (unfinished projects), will be given away. Perhaps I should put in my will or maybe a note inside the door of the main cupboard would do, that anything family do not want should go to the Whitianga Quilting Group.

I did unpack some bags of linen and crochet and other stuff. It was a mixture of heritage table cloths and more. Beautiful things my mother had bought and many other pieces that had been lovingly made by myself, my mother or grandmother, three generations of handwork. I have an embroidered nightgown labelled 'over 90 years old.' It's not exciting to look at but I think it might have been part of my grandmother's trousseau which would date it back to 1914 or earlier. I will never use most of these things but maybe some will find their way into 'Crazy Patchwork' which is my latest thing. I'm not into keeping things I don't use but I don't have the heart to dump so many beautiful things. My grandmother was very talented, a hard worker and prolific sewer. I wish we'd kept more things she made but they seemed so everyday we never treated them as treasures.

It's not good to live in this state of quandary. What to keep and what must go. If it's to go should it be re-homed or dumped in an opportunity shop? Decisions, decisions. My head hurts.

The morning has almost gone and I've not had breakfast. I'll post this and get into the 'meat' of my day. Brunch, a soak in spa, wash my hair and sort out at least one other thing.

Monday, 25 June 2018



Had John and I been able to carry out our travel plans for a cruise through the Panama Canal from Honolulu to Miami we would have been in the Panama Canal when his health rapidly deteriorated and he was admitted to hospital for diagnosis. At Waikato Hospital we discovered he had end stage liver cancer. John lived another 10 days, We were glad to be able to take him home to our daughter's house where he received expert nursing care and we were surrounded by family and friends. I can't imagine how awful it would have been if we'd been determined to continue with our plans. When we cancelled our reservations we were hoping to go next year.

Amazing too is the continuing volcanic activity on Hawaii Island, better known as Big Island. We had booked to stay at the Airbnb of friends Pamela and Craig in Leilani Estates after the cruise. We'd planned an Amtrak tour for what we expected to be our final trip on the USA mainland. We'd planned to spend a couple of weeks in Hawaii before coming home. We'd have landed right in the middle of the current eruption which began on April 30th. One month later on May 29th lava splatter from fissure 8 was landing on their section. Pamela and Craig, wearing breathing masks, moved the last of their possessions out of their home and gave it away to friends. We stayed with them five years ago for our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. Pamela and Craig along with New Zealanders Margaret and  Richard took us out for a celebration  dinner.


Today Mick Kalber of Paradise Helicopters put this video on line of Fissure 8. The lave flows at around 24 metres per hour along a channel, which is about 13 kilometres or 8 miles long and one km or half a milewide, to the ocean where it has formed a delta and continues to increase the land area. So far 637 homes have been destroyed and an estimated 6,144 acres of land covered by this lava flow. I took this information from a Big Island news site.


Thursday, 21 June 2018


Wednesday, June 20th

Writing here today is part of establishing my new routine.

I didn't sleep well last night and I've no idea why. I spent yesterday sorting out a few things and emptying John's desk It takes up far too much space and was bought off TradeMe because John needed somewhere to keep stuff. He had his laptop and the printer set up and kept all kinds of things in the drawers. I do things differently so this bulky piece of furniture has to go. I used to give receipts and instruction manuals to John because he seemed to like being in charge and I thought he was more likely than I to keep track of things. I've found all kinds of electrical and electronic stuff that is of no interest to me. I gave it to my son to sort through and I'll keep only what I know I'll use. Being a man, he's going to keep some and the left overs will get disposed of.

I found 2 cancelled passports and our new ones. They don't look easy to destroy. Of course I'll keep my new one. I suppose I should find some sturdy scissors to chop up the others enough so they'll burn easily. I'm sure they'll add to air pollution but I'm more concerned about personal safety.

 We stored a lot of our things at Whitianga when we moved three years ago. It only followed us last December when our daughter moved into her new house and we took everything out of storage. Jane's move more or less coincided with completing the modifications to our flat. When the truck arrived I discovered I had acquired Mum's writing desk. It is quite nice so I'll keep it and that will give me somewhere to put what I need to keep.

The sun came out yesterday afternoon. Christchurch is way behind on average sunshine for this month, so weak and wintery as it was, it was also very welcome. I hopped into the spa for about an hour. Our spa is still out in the weather with no shelter from the wind, an icy south easterly, so it was a case of staying under water as much as possible to stay warm and a quick scramble to wrap up after climbing out. I did enjoy having a long soak.

I have a doctor's appointment later this morning. Just a routine check up for blood pressure and medication. While we're out I'll get a new folder to file the collection of manuals etc. and any other shopping I think of. I'm making use of Jane before she goes home tomorrow. I was hoping it would be sunny enough to take Ava with us and have a play on the beach. I love being beside the sea in winter. But..... the forecast is for some rain and a top temperature of 9'C (48'F). In the meantime I need to tidy up the mess I made yesterday. While I know I've made progress it looks just the opposite.

Thursday June 21st

Jane is waiting at the airport for her flight to Hamilton. The airport is fogged in and it looks as though there will be no domestic flights for a few hours. I'm going to miss her. We've been together since  April 10th, nearly 12 weeks. I think she'll miss me although I know she's looking forward to having her home to herself again, just as I am enjoying having my flat to myself.

Airport Update Jane re-booked for a mid-day flight tomorrow so hopefully it will not be affected by fog. We will enjoy another day. It's not too hard to say goodbye when I will be going to Whitianga again in less than 6 weeks.

All went well at the doctors yesterday, although I got a bit teary when I talked about our trip and John's death, which was followed a month later by my friend Julie, both unexpected. I continue on my current BP meds and that's about it. We went to the Eastgate Shopping Centre where I updated library information and got out my usual collection of 5 books including non-fiction, mystery, western, romance and a novel from the general section, all large print and light reading, I hope. I like to read in bed and it's important to have something that doesn't keep me awake. We did a little shopping and had a light lunch of coffee and savoury muffins from Muffin Break. while Ava made good use of the playground. I bought some colouring in pens and book for Ava to keep in my house.

I know it's winter ... but really, couldn't the sun shine? I do enjoy not needing any other excuse to stay cosy inside but I am worried about my lack of fitness, I can hardly walk 100 metres without getting breathless. The worst part is that the physical discomfort puts me off doing anything, when the truth is it will only get worse if I don't change. It's all about head space.

I was very tired after our outing so just fiddled away the rest of the day.

The big national news today is that our Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, has entered hospital to have her first baby. She's a courageous woman. I hope all goes well. As I get ready to post the news is that New Zealand's first family have a baby girl. The new mother will take a six month break from her post while the deputy stands in for her.

I have a multitude of small tasks. The kind that I tend to put off for another day. Here goes to seeing how many I can tick off today.

Day's over and although it's not even 8 pm I'm going to bed. I feel so weary. I haven't got a lot to show for the day. I changed my bed, (haven't even remade it with the clean sheets yet), sorted and filed some papers and took photos which have gone into a secret file somewhere in my computer so I can't even show you any. so weird. I can view them but not add them to posts or emails. I'll have to find an expert to work out the secret place. Tonight's photo is from my other file. the one that is accessible.



Saturday, 16 June 2018


I'm home in Christchurch at last. Jane, our daughter, and I flew from Hamilton on Tuesday.

Yesterday was my 79th birthday. Jane and I and Ava, who has a nasty cold with a horrible cough, went shopping at new to me Garden Centre. I bought a bird bath and a frilled, white cyclamen with a decorative pot to put on my dining table. John and I had looked around but never seen anything we liked enough to buy. I'm sorry he wasn't with me, both to see and help me place it. He enjoyed watching the antics of birds around our bird bath at Matarangi. We followed this up with lunch in the Cafe before going to the supermarket. I got a few groceries before Jane took Ava to the doctor. Jane cooked a simple tea of pork steak served with a version Greek Salad based on what was in the pantry. Today  have chosen a seaside restaurant for lunch. It's smart, yet casual and a comfortable place to be with an active three and a half year old. John and I had considered The Beach Bar many times but not gone into until this year. It always seemed to be closed for remedial work following the earthquakes. I'm looking forward to going there today.

Coming home has not been as difficult as I thought it might be. There were hidden tears as we left Whitianga. I didn't want to upset Jane who was driving. It seemed that as long as I was in Whitianga I felt close to John and the life we had together on the Coromandel Peninsula. Leaving to come home was like saying final goodbyes. It felt sad to leave so many memories behind. I'll be back but it will be forever different. John and I spent time together there, either living or holidaying, almost every year from 1960 onward. Sitting in our car, being driven by Jane set off another wave of emotion. I was surprised by the strength of my feelings as Jane drove us away from the township. John and I spent many hours studying cars. We waited until we had a guaranteed sale for Mum's house before choosing a badly needed replacement car. We bought a brand new red Honda Jazz which John was very proud of. He loved driving it. John took the car for it's twelve month check the week before we left Christchurch.

The third day John was in hospital the doctor on the palliative team went over John's situation with us. John said he would miss two things. The first was his little Ava coming from her back door to our flat with a smile and a hug for Granddad, while the other was driving his car.

After John died I talked it over with family and we all agreed to give the car to our daughter. I haven't driven for over 6 years. I lost my confidence when I got Bells Palsy because  somehow it affected my eyesight. I don't really want to drive around the city and we are close to all the main bus routes plus there are taxis if  I want to be independent of Wayne and Amanda, who made it plain they don't want the worry of me driving

This flat I live in at our son's home doesn't feel like home and yet it is. It's nice to have things in convenient places for me but I've still got lots of re-arranging to do. We haven't been in the finished version for long. Less than nine months and I'm still surrounded by stuff that needs sorting out. Now I'm on my own everything will be different.  There's no need to consider John's ideas or his comfort. Living alone is a different ball-game. I would like to go to church tomorrow, but after two days out, I need time at home. If I want Jane's help I should start tomorrow.

It's been cold, with daytime temperatures around 13'C, (55'F), cloudy and wet. Today should be fine but don't expect to see much sun and tomorrow it rains again.

Later. We had a lovely lunch. It was all that I hoped it would be except for the fog. Even so it was beautiful and I loved watching families and dogs playing on the misty beach. We were able to go for a walk on the sand so Ava could run around too. I had Eggs Florentine with hollandaise sauce followed by Creme Brulee and Baileys Irish Coffee, just to prove I'm not 100% teetotal. Ava spent the rest of the afternoon watching Netflix with me while I dozed and Jane, Amanda and Wayne gardened and stacked firewood.