Tuesday, September 6, 2016


The sun shines. I have some time completely to myself.

Ava-Jane and Amanda have gone to Playcentre. They'll be back soon. John is on his laptop and feeling unwell - probably a tummy bug. Living with other people we seem to be more prone to getting things like tummy bugs and colds.

Oops! I waited too long to start this. They're back so I'll pause until Ava goes to bed.

We've experienced a week and a half. So much happening.

I had all my top teeth out on Tuesday, that was all 5 remaining teeth. I've chosen to wait 3 months before getting a top dentures fitted. It just makes more sense to give plenty of time for healing after the facial surgery a couple of months ago.

Thursday morning we came inside to talk to Amanda and Ava. Wayne had woken up with an abdominal pain and vomiting but still went to work. He lasted 2 hours. Came home went to his doctor and was sent to hospital. His appendix was removed that evening.

The neighbour who minds Ava-Jane while Amanda works had an operation for varicose veins and was not well following, so we became chief baby-sitters for the week. No hardship but tiring.

Saturday John went to a trucking show at Ashburton. He detoured to pick up David, eldest son, and they had a nice day. So did I but I was pretty well done by afternoon. It was a relief when Ava went down for her afternoon sleep. Amanda was working a full day, opening and closing the Baby On The Move shop because her friend/owner /employer needed to be home with her family. Earlier in the week, one of her sons had fallen during sports activity at school and broken both wrists. Wayne couldn't help me except to read stories to Ava. She loved having her Daddy home. He's not to lift anything over 5 kg for 4 weeks. But he went back to work yesterday. Just 3 days after surgery!!!!!! Can you believe it? His job is quite physical but they seem to have found safe things for him to do.

I phoned our middle son at the weekend. He's the one in a wheel chair. He had a motorbike accident 25 years ago which resulted in broken vertebrae and spinal injury. I was disappointed to learn he has type 2 diabetes. The good thing is he has little choice except to work on his diet and change his lifestyle. We'll be seeing him soon so I hope I can help him with it.


We have our flights booked for our next trip up north. Jane, our daughter, is coming to Christchurch to see her precious niece. I so wish we all lived closer to each other. We are going north to watch over the cats and have a nice break staying in the Beach House we are still trying to sell.


We fly into Auckland on Sept 17th and pick-up Jane's car from the airport car park. We'll come home on October 4th. Hopefully Greg is coming up to stay with us for a few days and that will save us a trip to Rotorua. We will be going Hamilton way for a couple of nights to catch up with my brother and sister. My mother's brother, now aged 98, is in failing health so we'll visit him and one of my cousins too. I just hope we are not going to end up going to a funeral as well.

Meantime I'm working on my own diet and lifestyle. Nothing much to say about it yet. I'm endeavouring to be low carbohydrate, medium protein and never afraid of fat, especially butter and coconut oil. Mostly I'm successful but there have been a few days off plan. Yesterday was one of them. I seem to be struggling every which way. My physical fitness is barely a notch above zero. I've decided to join a gym when we get back from up north. I have a treadmill but I know I need much more and I'm not self motivated right now.

John is watching TV which I'm not interested in so I'm hoping to have a nap too while Ava is asleep. Grandma's can do that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I am terribly apprehensive this morning. I have a miserable 5 top teeth left. My partial plate broke about 8 months ago and since then I've lost a tooth to an abscess. The remaining teeth are cracked, have broken fillings or in at least one case an old root canal job is past it's use by date. So today they all come out and I'm going gummy for 3 months. Yuck!!! I hope I'm making the best decision as it will be months before I know the ultimate result. Since I have suffered neuralgia for as long as I can remember I'll still have to deal with the niggling pain from time to time. My facial surgery has more or less completely healed but there seems to be quite a lot of numbness and nerve damage which is slowly improving. I have tried to care for my teeth but the real damage was done when I entered my teens and now I blame my intolerance to wheat and the resulting gut inflammation although it wasn't so evident back then.

On a brighter note I am succeeding to get my diet on a better footing. It was so much easier when we lived in our own house with appliances, pantry, work bench and running water all at hand. I guess I am adjusting to what we now have or I wouldn't be able to improve my habits. So far I'm still drinking coffee but it's all black and unsweetened, which I brew fresh each morning. I must admit I do not drink enough plain water or my favourite ginger and lemon infusion. My coffee is fairly weak. I am experiencing an old problem. Acid Reflux. I've had one lot of surgery for this about 20 years ago but when my diet gets too crazy with Nestle cappuccinos, sugar and wheat/baked products it comes back to avenge me.

That's a bit of a wake up call as it's not fun waking in the middle of the night nor is it fun when swallowing becomes difficult.

Arthritis has become a bit of an issue too with aches and pains and little yelps when I bang my thumb or other affected parts. This pain vanished after I became 100% wheat free so I have lots of incentive to make this work.

I've also been too lethargic to make the change until my discomfort became stronger than my laziness. It becomes a vicious circle. One that is very hard to break especially when you live in a not so food friendly zone. My son and his wife are pretty good but there are always things around to tempt. I just have to turn a blind eye to them.

It hasn't been a simple change to make. I don't have the energy to put into it that I once had .... the good news is that each day I grow a little bit stronger. Yesterday was almost 100% clean. I did have a half slice of a bread roll at lunch yesterday. Totally unnecessary but for a while I felt as though I needed something starchy with my egg. Next time I will be better prepared. Did you know you can toast a slice of kumera, (sweet potato) as a replacement for bread toast? Sounds yummy. 

I've got a long way to go to be a fat burner as I once was but that is my ultimate goal. I suppose I'm trying to put together all the stuff I have learned about diet and exercise and how my body responds, with the reality of our environment.

I have hopefully organised myself so that there will be lots of healthy smoothies in the immediate future. A few months ago I purchased What the Fat? a book by 3 New Zealanders. A professor of human health, a dietitian and a  chef. I am using it as a foundation to my menus.

I have been through my records and I think my lowest most recent weight was 3 years ago in September 2013. My weight stalled for a long time then some of the foods which should have stayed off my menu began to creep in. With Life/Family Issues and feeling unsettled about moving and now 'in waiting' to be able to choose our next home, I began to stress eat and not be careful with my choices. Today I have about 12 kg or 27 pounds to reach that lowest number again, which is somewhere around 80 kg or 175 pounds.

I'm not measuring anything be it my own weight, carbs, portions or ketones. It will be interesting to see how this goes. My only measure is general health and well being and the fit of my clothes. I have one pair of jeans which will not fit until I have lost that poundage. I'm thinking I may not try to reach my ultimate goal weight, which is around 60 kg or 132 pounds. It all seems quite ridiculous now that I'm heading toward my 80th birthday. Okay! I'm only 77 but we all know how long it takes to lose a pound or two let alone 30 of the darn things.

The real measure for me will be the benefit of moving more freely and feeling generally healthier. I'll also feel more comfortable in my clothes and have better choices. Surely this equates to growing older gracefully. 

Yesterday's food included:- for breakfast - nutty granola with plain yoghurt and sweetened whipped cream; lunch - omelette with ham cheese, and broccoli; dinner - pork steak spoonful of potato and broccoli with a dash of butter. and a small snack of cheese and 3 or 4 pretzels. My servings were all small to modest and I think this morning I'm starting to feel slightly better than yesterday.

This morning I will have chia seed with coconut cream and a little whipped cream with a nutty granola sprinkle. The rest of the day depends on how I feel. I have some smoothie ingredients lined up.

Time for breakfast and then a shower before I run out of time.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Yesterday I wrote a blue post and decided not to publish it before I'd had a second look at it. I felt really down. Probably because it was the nearest to a clean food day I've had in ages. Maybe I had low blood sugar. Beside that our situation is not always easy. I wonder if I will ever have my own home. The months slide by and we are no closer to making plans than when we came south nearly a year ago. When you are 77 and your husband is close to 81 every month's delay is hard to bear.

But ..... I have been catching up with blogs I normally read. I was at least 6 months behind on most of them. Sometimes I wonder why I must read them all. I have such an eclectic mix. Weight Loss began this addiction and I have moved on into LCHF (Low Carb High Fat), Paleo, Wheat Belly, Fat Head and so much more, not to mention RV travel blogs and quilting which has overflowed into craft and art.

This morning I opened up a blog by Jane LaFazio, an artist and what a treat! Jane is in London visiting the Tate Gallery for an exhibition of Georgia O'Keeffe's work. She had a link to a BBC documentary. All I can say is Wow! I want more. What an amazing and interesting woman.

We first heard of Georgia O'Keeffe when we visited Santa Fe in 2006. This was our first, and at the time we thought it would be our one and only, trip overseas from New Zealand. We spent 7 weeks zigzagging from Miami Fl. to Mobile Al. to Indianapolis then west and on to California where we flew home from Los Angeles. One of the highlights was our day in Santa Fe. Unfortunately I didn't feel well which made it difficult to enjoy our walk around the city. Later I realised I showed signs of altitude sickness. I was so impressed by the architecture. I love the adobe style buildings. We visited a few shops including a tiny art gallery off the square where I saw Georgia O'Keeffe's work for the first time. We don't have money for famous art works and we didn't have space for anything much. I bought a couple of post cards and touristy stuff. From then on her work has fascinated me. I may not always like it but it grips my heart. After watching this video I now understand why. She painted with her heart and soul.
If you want a treat watch this 65 minute video.

It's good to feel like writing up a blog post. Hopefully more to come soon. We are moving toward spring weather. I love the hopefulness and joy that comes with spring. Here in the south we will experience more of a change in the season than we would on the Coromandel Peninsula.

I'll be back soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


My face is symmetrical .... well I hope so as there's some swelling. After 4 years and 5 months it will be nice to look in  mirror and not cringe. Honestly, I'm not vain. But my face looked so ugly with the twist and hollow left side as the muscle wasted away. For me the saddest part was losing my smile. What had once been a nice bright smile became a lopsided, twisted grimace. I felt as though I had lost any semblance of pleasantness and always looked cross or angry even when happy. I had to learn to smile a Mona Lisa type smile and always engage my eyes. Not a bad thing to do since eyes are a window to the soul.

Our wee grand-daughter was very concerned to see so many ouchies on Grandma's face. It took her all of 24 hours to be willing to come close enough to cuddle.

I was very relieved when the anaesthetist said I was well enough for a full anaesthetic. He listened to me carefully when I said I'd had some serious vomiting after other anaesthetics and he chose to not use gas but only intravenous. I woke up a couple of hours or so later, bright eyed and bushy tailed. That was a dramatic change from past experience when I could remember nothing for many hours after going into recovery. In fact, in the past. I have no memory of anything prior to waking in the normal ward bed with John telling me it went well. Then I would be sick for days, so much so I needed a drip for dehydration as well as the anti-nausea drug.

Long ago I came to the conclusion that doctors and surgery for me were not going to happen unless I had a broken leg or similar. I guess a broken face fitted that bill. I was so nervous. I wanted to run away except that I knew I would be very unhappy with self if I did so.

All's well and now I can heal up. I look forward to seeing the result sans bandage, stitches and swelling.

Three major things left for me are sorting out my teeth, Mum's house selling and getting our own home. Other than completing the List I can get on with living a normal life.

It's mid-winter here and very little snow on the mountains. I think it's cool this morning, 3'C/37.5F  and we should have a daytime temperature around 11'C/51'F with some rain. It is unusually warm with some parts of NZ going up into the 20'-23'C/68'-73'F I'm not complaining as it makes it easier for us if it doesn't get too cold. Snow in Christchurch is fairly common although it doesn't lie about for more than a few hours. The winter still has the coldest months to come so there's still time for snow in the city. I hope not.

I need to rest again. Catch up in a day or two.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I didn't mean to abandon blogging. A couple of people have given me a nudge during my absence. Lately Lyn, whose blog is Escape from Obesity has emailed me, Thank-you Lyn, it's nice to be missed, and I did promise I would post something. The days have slipped by and still no post till now.

So what's my excuse?

Nothing really. Maybe I've been a little depressed at times. Certainly internet problems and sharing a computer with John have contributed to my absence. Sometimes our internet is quite flaky and I can't be bothered with it. I prefer to write first thing in the day and that means getting up before John.

Also I do like to blog with photos but somehow in the muddle with computers and changes to my favourite programmes things are not working out the way I want. Next week I'm planning to take my laptop into an 'expert.' I hope they can get it running right again and then teach me how to use windows 10 and get my photos sorted.

So to catch up..... We stayed in Bev's Unit at the retirement village until she was able to return home at the end of January. It was a pleasant experience but convinced me that I never want to live in that kind of situation even if we could afford a place in one of the more expensive resort style villages. It felt claustrophobic and as though we were living in a gold-fish bowl at the same time. The lifestyle was generally not to my taste.

In March we were back in the Granny Cave at our son and daughter in law's home. This is more or less a glorified sleep-out in what was once the show-room for Amanda's business. We are comfortable, and have adequate space, although there's no running water so we go into the house for the bathroom and main meals. It doesn't seem to be a problem and we see our wee grand-daughter everyday. After nearly 6 months here I'm missing my stuff and this is not our home. Amanda is lovely and likes us being here but while the 'Cave' is attractive it's not quite my style so I continue to live in a situation I have little control over. I know that gets to me sometimes and I can feel very down if I let myself dwell on not having my own home. If you live in Christchurch no-one raises an eyebrow if you tell them you live in the garage. Five years after the earthquakes the city is beginning to rebuild but many people are still in limbo for one reason or another.

In March our eldest son, who had been in prison for over 4 years, was released on Parole. Until then every Saturday was completely taken up with visiting him 2 hours in the morning, a 2 hour lunch break and another 2 hours in the afternoon. They were long and exhausting days for us. We left home about 8.30 am and didn't returned between 4 - 5 pm. It has amazed me how much more I have been able to relax since David was released. I am pleased to say he has been able to comply with all the conditions and has a good job so is able to get on with rebuilding his life. He has to deal with a nasty separation from his ex-partner who continues to live on his property. The property settlement is likely to be expensive, drawn out and messy as it's being done through their respective lawyers. David's ex-partner will not speak to any family member and is not very good at communicating through her lawyer either. I guess there will be a few tears before it's over. I could have done more to keep the line of communication open between us in earlier days but she is a difficult person with a history of shutting people out to her own detriment. David wants to be generous and courteous toward her but at present he cannot even collect his clothes and other personal items without going to a lot of trouble to get her permission. We all understand how she has come to react this way but it is an over reaction and way out of line. For us it's just a niggling problem but for our son it's very hard. He tries to be philosophical about it because he knows how much he hurt her.

Suddenly in April we had 2 buyers for our Matarangi house. The first one was waiting for their own place to sell while the second made a cash offer of $5000 above the first, to secure their purchase. I was glad we had a clause that allowed us to accept the better offer. It was a relief to have that sorted and a settlement date in May.

We spent all of May at Mum's House at Simpsons Beach as it still had no offers in spite of the redecorating. There is interest but people with 1.5M dollars are looking for something more modern. We've spent enough on it and look forward to the day when someone comes along who loves the situation as much as we do. Once the Matarangi house was finally packed up and everything moved into storage we were able to unwind and recover. Our daughter has bought a section and will build on it when she can get an affordable mortgage. In the meantime her life continues and she has the use of our old bus as a spare room. During May we caught up with family and some friends. I hope to get up there again before the end of the year.

We returned to Christchurch at the end of May so I could have the cataract in my right eye removed on June 2nd. That's gone well except that the eye drops prescribed make me a little nauseous. I have to continue them for another 2 weeks. That's a small price to pay to give the eye the best care possible during the healing time. It's made a huge difference to my sight although the other eye, affected by Bells Palsy continues to be bothersome but again I have a gel ointment that does wonders for comfort but makes my sight blurry.

One evening, two days after the eye surgery, a got a call from the plastic surgeon to ask if I would be available on June 23rd for the facial reconstruction to correct as much as possible the damage done by Bells Palsy. YES!!!!! Then I got a cold. It's a nasty one so I am now taking an antibiotic in the hope it will kill the bugs in time. Certainly today I feel a lot better and I've still got 48 hours to go. I just hope the cough completely disappears as I would think it's important not to be coughing with stitches in my face.

Our grand-daughter is now 18 months and very girly. She's extremely active and beginning to assert herself. She doesn't have many words yet but is pretty smart at communicating. She is an utter delight and greets us with a brilliant smile each time we see her. Nothing like a little girl's smile to brighten up the day. We still babysit on a casual basis plus every Friday. That's about to change as Amanda increases her hours at work. The next door neighbour wants to be the regular babysitter while Amanda works. I must say that we are often pretty exhausted after 5 or so hours with a very fast moving toddler. We usually put her to bed around 1 pm and Peace reigns. Remember that feeling when the baby is safe in bed. We'll continue to be the casual baby-sitter and also back-up the neighbour.

We've been going to Open Homes and viewing houses within our price range and above it too. I've come to the conclusion we'll have to build to get the most important features. We've not seen any houses that are truly wheelchair friendly with wide doors, room to manoeuvre and suitable bathrooms. At this stage it's all research and sometimes feels quite futile when we cannot even purchase a section until Mum's House sells. At least we no longer have a mortgage and only have a small credit card debt. There are a couple of things that have cropped up in the last month that slowed down the process of being completely debt free. I'm a bit edgy about it as I want to save for a trip away too.

Quilting has not been happening lately. I blamed my eyesight. Once I get over the next lot of surgery I'm looking forward to getting stuck in again. In fact I am on promise to make Ava-Jane a quilt for her 2nd birthday. I'll have to work hard to get it made on time. Especially as it's difficult to sew if Ava is around

Healthy living is so-so. I gained weight and lost my fitness. Hopefully after surgery and once this cold is behind me I will be back into being more mindful about eating well and walking again.

As for Growing Older Gracefully ..... it's been more like a survival course. Most days one foot in front of the other trying to make the best of what is. I think the waiting to do something about getting our own home is horrible. I can't wait for the waiting to be over.

And that's about it for now. I will try to come back regularly again but it might take me a few days to feel bright and bushy tailed after tomorrow as I'll no doubt be sore and will be having a full anaesthetic.

Life is getting better all the time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016



We are 'camping' in luxury at the Linrose Retirement Village. It's wrong to call it camping but we are living out of our suitcases in someone else's home. We're in separate bedrooms in our D-I-L's parent's unit. Bev, Amanda's mother, needed space to use her wheelchair and that meant only room for a single bed in her bedroom. The second bedroom is tiny. We have a large wheelchair friendly bathroom with a wet floor, The kitchen and living area are open plan and fully acceptable unless you want to host more than 2 - 3 people. The unit is comparatively private with tinted windows and a trellis covered in a pretty green vine in the pocket handkerchief front garden. I loved the weeping cherry which sort of finished off the garden a gave the final bit of privacy from the street. Sadly people who think gardens should be manicured to death trimmed it a few days ago and the lovely weeping branches are no more. There's just a tuft of branches at the top of the stem about 4 feet above ground. Yesterday we had two people, friends of Bev's, pop in. I should be thankful but right now I'm still in hiding mode. I just do not want to socialise outside of family. I've some summer cold symptoms, not getting good sleep most nights and just plain struggling with our situation. It doesn't help that my speech which was affected by the Bells Palsy is made worse without my partial plate, broken and thrown away.

The disappointment from our house sale falling over and the state of our old bus is still with me. Although I knew our bus needed a lot of work before it would be fit to go on the road that was always my hope. It had been parked up for too long. The battery had been flat for too long and John had not been able to move it for more than a year. The Old Purple Bus was built on a 1968 Austin chassis, The coach was used around a small town, Oamaru, before conversion. Now it has some rust in the frame although the chassis still seems sound. I had hoped we could bring it up to legal road standard and paint it up until it looked like the cute vintage it is. It is now a Project with a capital "P" and goodness knows how much money would be involved, let alone time. We will try to sell it as is since it will cost about $4,000 to get it to Christchurch on a transporter. Our plan was to bring it here and slowly work on it, with help from our sons, until it was up to scratch. We are waiting on some information before listing it for sale, "As is Where Is." There's a good chance it will end up in a wrecker's yard.

Little Miss Ava-Jane was walking everywhere when we got back to Christchurch on Dec. 21st. 


We had a good trip down. Our car was well loaded and hummed along despite it's age. I think it will last us a year or two yet, We had an evening in Rotorua, Dec. 18th, where our son there cooked us a roast chicken dinner. The next day was a long one. We stopped at the military Museum in Waiouru for lunch but had no time to go into the museum on this trip. I had hoped to visit my cousin in Palmerston North but couldn't raise her on the phone because she was in her garden. We are kicking ourselves now as we could have done with stretching our legs before driving on to Carterton. We had a very nice motel style cabin in the Carterton Campground and enjoyed the food we had bought in Masterton before we got there. 

Sunday, 20th we spent with John's brother and his partner. It was fairly warm but we had a nice Cafe lunch and left them late afternoon for the drive to Wellington and the Bluebridge Ferry for our Cook Strait crossing. On board we went straight to our cabin, an extra cost of $40 but so worth while as we felt quite rested when we went to our car for the final leg of this trip to our night's accommodation at Blenhein Top Ten Campground where the cabin was tiny but adequate. Monday we got on the road about 9 am. Later than we intended because of a mix up over payment which was sorted in seconds once the office opened. This was the hottest day ever and our car does not have air-conditioning. Marlborough is so very dry it's not surprising they have already had fires. I was so glad that when we left the hills and came close to the coast there was cool cloud cover along the Kaikoura Coast. We had a lovely lunch at Kaikoura and before long crossed the North Canterbury hills and  into the full blast of the sun. A beautiful clear day and I gasped for some shade which we found in Amberly, just north of Christchurch.

It was a relief to arrive safely at Amanda and Wayne's house before coming around to this Unit.

Thursday, December 17, 2015



I am facing a totally unexpected reaction to moving from our home on the Coromandel Peninsula to Christchurch.

I suppose it's a perfectly normal emotional reaction but it's not very welcome right now. In my head I believe this is the right thing to do but our 63 year connection with the East Coast of the Peninsula is almost over. Oh.... That's not quite true. We will be leaving our daughter behind. Our lives have  been closely aligned with her for most of her 49 years. Although we don't live in each others pockets it's going to be strange to live so far apart.

Our house hasn't sold yet but there is no doubt it will. All it takes is the right buyer. Interest rates have dropped to a new low too so there could be another little flurry of buyers.

We are back from Christchurch, living in our Matarangi house, possibly for the last time. We have filled the third bedroom to the gunwales and are about to lock the door. We have given a property manager the keys and made arrangements for them to run the house as a short term or holiday rental until we have a confirmed sale. We will need to come back to finally close the house and remove our belongings and then it will be finally over.

I did not expect to grieve over leaving this place. a few years ago I made a conscious decision to think of it as my home and acted accordingly. Up to that time I always felt as though we were camping here. Apparently I have done a good a job of adjusting to being at home here. I have become emotionally attached. It was always intended to be a temporary thing but we've been here about 10 years.

I remember when I was young saying that I never wanted to live in the same house for all of my life. OOPS!!!

We have lived in about 11 places/houses/situations if you count the year in a caravan and the time in our Bus motor-home. All that in just over 50 years of marriage. Add the previous years, through childhood to marriage, and add up to another 6 or 7 places. That makes me sound like a gypsy but each situation had a reason and some, like the first house we bought lasted a long time... 17 years there.

I was 8 years old when I experienced the first move. My parents left the Family farm to become independent, That must have had a traumatic affect because I never again made strong emotional attachments to where we lived. I have had to will myself to feel settled in most places from that time on. Except for one time.... In 1998 I committed to helping our daughter with her Backpacker Hostel and incidentally made some very special friendships. I would go back to that town in a heartbeat but for the fact it is on the Coromandel Peninsula so geographically speaking we would be only marginally better placed than now.

Right now, as we make our final preparations to move to Christchurch I must admit to second thoughts. I think losing that first 'whirlwind' sale has given me time to truly recognise my feelings.

Christchurch feels right ... But .... it will be some time before we can buy and settle into our new home. First we must sell this property, and my mother's house too, to release the cash we need. In the meantime we are either living in the sleep-out at our son's house or in our daughter-in-law's mother's Unit in a retirement village. I am a little cross that again we are 'camping,' or living in temporary accommodation. Although I must admit living in the Unit has been good for us. We always said retirement villages are not for us. This is a small one with few amenities and is very pleasant but here is the big downside for me.

The unit is tiny and there is almost NO incidental activity. I must discipline myself to go out for walks daily. The rooms are too small. Although there are two bedrooms the main one is hardly big enough for a double bed let alone sharing it with my husband. There is little space for friends to visit, entertaining, hobbies, crafts etc. The social life in such a place makes me cringe. I am not a social being in the sense of 'Happy Hours' and Bingo or organised day trips. There are also financial considerations. In this particular village there is no chance of capital gain.... in fact the unit loses something like 5% pa on the buy back deal and you still pay $100 per week which is possibly more than we would pay for rates, insurance and gardening on an ordinary home. It is not quite the dream home I crave. Perfectly liveable but this time I want what I want.

I need to stop before I get into a rant. It's also time to get ready for what will probably be my last time with the Whitianga Quitling Group.


Details are a little mixed up now but I do remember these things. Monday, Nov. 30th. Doctor's appointment for me. I went back onto Blood Pressure medication. Not Happy as I think there are some negative side affects but will give it a 2 -3 month trial because even I had to admit my BP was considerably higher than was healthy. John and I registered with the Medical Centre so we get subsidised fees. I also have referrals to both the Eye Clinic and Plastic Surgery at Canterbury Hospital.

Tuesday we went on a city adventure. Seniors are able to ride the buses for free except at peak times. I badly needed to get my hair cut and styled and booked into a place almost half the city away. We walked 5 minutes down the road to catch the first bus. After a pleasant drive through suburbs we changed buses for another scenic drive down streets we would never normally visit. After some lunch at a nice Cafe and my hair cut we walked about a km. to the next bus stop on our chosen route. It was fairly warm, being the middle of the day, but I coped. We arrived at the Palms Shopping Mall mid afternoon. I paid for the reading/sewing glasses I had been fitted for. It was very warm and we were getting tired and had no desire to rush to catch the bus home before our free travel period finished.so we sent a text to our D-I-L We had time for coffee while we waited.

That evening we celebrated John's 80th birthday with a nice family meal. Amanda had iced a cake to look like our old purple bus. John was delighted.

The next day I had a dental appointment. I intended just getting my teeth cleaned but my partial plate had broken a few days previous so waited for a consultation with the dentist. Again we caught a bus as the dentist was near the Eastgate Shopping Mall and over a km walk from where we were living. It was a hot, hot day and my appointment was 11.45 am. A warning not to make middle of the day appointments because Christchurch can get very hot from November through to Autumn. The upshot of my dental visit was a recommendation to have all my top teeth out. Not a happy customer. We had coffee in the Mall and John got a free muffin since it was his birthday month. Oh man it was a hot day. John was the time keeper and rushed me through my little bit of shopping so we wouldn't miss our bus home. We sat at the bus stop for nearly 30 minutes with heat rising off the black road, I was so exhausted from the heat it was horrible. I think the official temperature was around 32'C or 90'F which means it was probably way more than 40'C or 100'F on the street.

Medical and dental stuff sorted and I have found a hairdresser I like at the Fendalton Village.A cute little shopping centre.

Thursday was a 'free' day. Friday we went to Ashburton to celebrate Ava-Jane's first birthday with Amanda's mother, the other grandmother, who is called Nana. We had a lovely time and were able to take Bev outside to sit under the beautiful spreading shade trees, where we had a picnic lunch.

This post is getting too long. And no photos..... We are having trouble getting the computer to download the photos from our camera. GRRRR!!!

More later. I will try to catch up the rest of our exciting life before we start on our trek back to Christchurch which begins tomorrow.