Friday, 3 November 2017

Looking at life from a different angle

Tino and Angela on Facebook
In August I wrote about a young couple ( Dutch Nomad Couple)who decided to follow their bliss and discover the world beyond their own horizon. Their commitment, enthusiasm and almost enviable conviction that this was their way to go and would succeed in realising their ambitions was cause of great admiration from my point of view. How many of us are that steadfast and committed to making dreams come true?

There were hurdles to overcome, farewelling a lifestyle that brought comfort and pleasurable moments. Financial security was let go and swapped for the freedom and self supporting lifestyle they had embraced. I am sure they felt moments of doubt quickly to be erased by the prospect of all that awaited them- known and unknown. Leaving their families behind wasn't easy - but each and everyone of them realised that there was no stopping them, nor did they want to. Everyone has a right to their own dream. As parent myself I could so identify with the emotions that they ( the parents) must felt when the day dawned when the adventure truly began.

Last night they graced our dinner table. The stories, their experiences their hopes and plans. It all passed the review. But they weren't just full of their own story. Interested in people and their lives, Tino and Angela have a way of stimulating the conversation in all directions, wanting everyone to be able to share their thoughts. A lovely, enthusiastic, openminded and thoughtful couple who make this world a more beautiful planet to be part of.

After our guests left, my husband and I re-lived some of the conversation. We are in no way jealous of this lifestyle - but in awe and have respect for the decision for this couple to have gotten rid of 90% of their possessions, freed themselves of the shackles that wearied them and tied them down. We, hubby and I are approaching retirement. We have about 3 years to go before the pension replaces the wages. It will also provide us with freedom of movement without having to schedule holidays between jobs. Our destination wishes aren't at great distance. The wishes we have are modest - it is health that is our number one priority in as far as we ourselves are responsible. Exceptions are or could be the rule. I do however aspire to visit Down Under at the regular intervals I have been these past 17 years. My children and grandchildren are still a source of great joy for me and while I am able, those trips stay on my 'to-do' list.

Shortly Tino and Angela leave these familiar shores again exchanging the known for the unknown. We wish them well, and will certainly be stopping by on their YouTube channel to follow them on their travels. It is one way of getting to see places in the world we will never physically frequent.

Bon Voyage you two, travel safe!

Do you want to travel with Angela and Tino, then click on this YouTube link and enjoy the sights.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Double dipping

I'm bi-lingual. Born in Nederland and at the age of 8 went with my parents and siblings to start a new life in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. I had already been privy to being a student at primary school in Nederland, and can honestly say, that I had a reasonably extended vocabulary for my age group. My only English words I learnt prior to leaving were, 'Yes, no and please'. Things like 'My name is..' were easily learnt as they sound almost the same in dutch ( mijn naam is..)! One could almost 'cheat' as the difference in pronunciation is slight.

I was 8 years old and very uncertain of myself. To actually communicate with classmates was unthinkable. I was scared of saying the wrong things, expressing myself with words unfamiliar was a definite no-no! I coped, I grew, I learnt. Many will have helped me along the way, both teachers and fellow students alike,  to come to grips with my new language. My parents were advised to not speak dutch at home- so we children and obviously they too, would blend in and become the model new citizens we needed to become.

I picked up the kiwi accent without any bother at all. The 'th' sound gave rise to some teasing. That, I have to say, was probably the hardest part of learning to get it right. And, following the advise my parents were given- dutch was almost never used at home. I say almost, as we still communicated by letter with family and friends- so we received letters in dutch. We had a few dutch friends - and it made for comfortable coffee and tea sessions for my parents. As children we tended to communicate in English only but we could easily understand the Dutch language.

Then we moved back to Nederland. To re-learn one's native tongue is quite a challenge. It fits like a glove- yet is feels as if one is swimming in the wrong pool.  You know you can - but you doubt your ability to stay afloat. The languages mingled and became entangled. The 'new' words, the extended vocabulary, hadn't grown in the years we had been away. I had matured but my language skills hadn't. Catch up time. Does one think translate - or think in the language one speaks? I have come to realise my method is to think English and speak English when visiting Down Under. And I reverse this process when back in Nederland. I am told I have no accent in either language- which is quite a compliment. Not sure why that is- maybe the secret is, that I don't translate in my head. I use one language at a time.

From my experiences, the to-ing and fro-ing between New Zealand and Nederland ( I returned again staying almost 30 years this time), I now understand the inner conflict many refugees have when settling in a safer environment with the possibility of being repatriated at a later date. How deeply ought they to immerse themselves in the new language, customs and history of this new but maybe temporary homeland? For the children it is a given, they will adapt. Give them the opportunity to speak or at least understand their own mother tongue - they will pick up the verbal aspect again when placed back in their old surroundings. I would make a plea however for the parents- learn the language of your new homeland - and become enriched by it's customs. When and if you return to your country of your birth you will be the richer for it.

I know my parents felt more part of the community as a whole by embracing the language - yet never forsaking their language by birthright. Your language: It is who you are. There is no escaping it. And why should you want to? By becoming bi-lingual it broadens one's horizon, extends one's vision and helps you understand the world around you. I work hard at keeping both languages alive. It has enriched my life in so many ways. Not to mention that my children and grandchildren all communicate in English - and not in Dutch. Next year I will have the opportunity to teach one of my grandchildren more about his heritage when he comes to visit his oma. And yes, there will be the odd Dutch language sessions to help him feel comfortable in company - so he can in some small way feel more part of the group and less and outsider.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Life is like that.....

A change in seasons. We here in the Northern Hemisphere see the leaves turning every shade of autumn one can imagine. I have banned my summery dresses to the back of the wardrobe and even though we are still privi to some sunny and balmy days, the real summer is well and truly behind us. Change happens.

I look back with much appreciation to the last rays of summer warmth. As far as I am concerned my days were wonderful, cheerful, eventful en worth repeating. All in all a good summer. My hubby agrees. No matter where we were, the good weather followed or went before us. Yes, we had rain too, thankfully. The plants also need the nourishment as do the trees, insects and birds. Humans too can't do without the wet.

Unfortunately some don't agree with me. They moan about a washed out summer. True some of the school holiday weeks weren't as dry as they might have liked- but I thought summer was longer than just those 6 weeks! Anyway, enough about the moaners. Life is too short....!

Autumn. How absolutely charming, enchanting and refreshing. I love the colour scheme, the vivid orange colours and the leaves that gently float down to the earth where they will decay and nourish the ground.

Autumn, a time to allow the body to cool down after the warm months. A time to take stock, reminisce on the summer escapades. Create dreams for the coming months to fill the longer evenings. Candle light, warm rug on the couch. Soup and toast, hearty meals to ward off the winter chills that await around the corner.

I love salads and light meals- to a point. Now the weather is changing and other vegetables are abundant a change of dishes appear on the table. I tend to use more eastern spices and herbs to fill the air with warm scents wafting out the kitchen. Other cakes on the menu now - the 'fluffy' stuff can wait till next year - I'm now into Lemon meringue pies, Walnut and caramel cake, apple crumble. All things that make a smile appear on hubby's face just hearing about them!

It's good to get some of my warmer clothing out again. Forgot what I had. I'm quite warm blooded and prefer still to wear things with short sleeves. Can always add a cardi or jacket if I get cold. That's a problem in summer. I get so warm I need to put my feet in a bucket of cold water or hold my head under the cold tap. Now I can dress to keep my body temp comfortable. I am sure y skin sighs with relief.

As our days shorten, and the clock will be turned back an hour next weekend I look ahead and feel content. Changes happen. So too will this season make way for more changes... and so the cycle continues. I live for the moment. And that moment in NOW.






Thursday, 19 October 2017

Smile and experience the happy moments

Tuesday- 10th October

- 1st Happy moment today was sharing breakfast time 🍴with my hubby
- 2nd Happy moment was seeing the 🌞 break through after 4 days ☔. I was going to accompany/escort a class of young children in our National Park. Theme 'Autumn'.
- After a splendid morning I managed to complete 3 blogs - I had run out of time in the weekend.
- Tried a new recipe 🍲 today. It was worth the effort. πŸ‘

# Best happy moment was seeing a video clip of my 4 year old grandson on his skateboard - like a pro! 😍😍😍😍😍


Not bad all those happy moments. Then things got a bit more blurry. I'd not been feeling that bright and perky for a couple of days. Now the 'not so perky' dropped to feeling lousy. It was almost like I'd tempted fate by saying there were so many happy things to be grateful for that I was going to have to work harder to experience them. So even in the extreme down times there were things to be happy about. I was in a warm environment. I didn't have to do school runs or kindy pick ups. The cupboards were stocked, the washing was done. I could actually feel lousy and have a clean house and filled pantry. The most important thing was- I had no appointments to cancel or rearrange - which can cause hassles and delays at the best of times.

My lower back played up too - and I had the fortune of having the bathroom to myself for long hot showers which eased the tense muscles. Hubby, his brother and a friend had taken themselves off for a few days R & R. Kitchen duties were dispensed with till further notice or should the urge to cook arise. I was inundated with happy moments. Because I was alone there was no-one to moan to! So no, I didn't become a grump. Yippee!

The sun shone, the outside temperatures were lovely despite us already being well into Autumn. Laying on the couch on the balcony, cup of tea at my elbow, pillow in my back, iPad om my lap and music gentle filling the air through our outdoor speakers. How awesome - being quite unwell and being comfortable at the same time. I also slept many a daylight hour and it didn't interfere with anyone's plans or wishes.


Keeping track of happy moments is in fact quite revealing. What constitutes a happy moment? I guess it's having that peace of mind and insight that any given situation has benefits - and if you allow them to be larger than life, the negatives go unnoticed or at best disappear.

My week of 'happy spotting' has also made me aware at how little I took notice of them before. Not that I ignored them. But I didn't celebrate them like I ought. Being aware of this and also knowing that one's view of the world at large becomes clearer and prettier when the attention goes to the happy moments, I'm working on it to stay alert and more appreciative of the little things in life. Being happy is a state of mind!






Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Name one thing that made you smile/happy today.

When I opened my Facebook the other morning, the name of one of my nieces appeared on screen. She had placed a reaction on a message. Now, I don't follow everything- and certainly not all messages or page posts. Every now and then I look on personal pages just to see if there are some startling, funny or eventful happenings on someone's page. I am selective what I spend my time on dependent on how much I have to spare.

"Write down one thing that made you smile/ happy today!" and her response was " What only one?"
A girl after my own heart. Certainly also the same reaction I would have given had I receive that request. My belie fis, that a person tends to gloss over the good bits in relation to maybe one or possibly two downers that may happen in a day.

It set me thinking. Sometimes on Facebook there are challenges with Photography for instance - place for 7 days a Nature photo, or share happy moments for the next 7 days. Or the request to state daily a place one would like to visit. That sort of thing. The question raised - 'happy moments in a day' inspired me to challenge myself to write down happy moments. Not just one...but all moments in a day that made me smile, or gave me a 'happy feel' or a success moment. And not just once or for one day - but I'm going to see how long I can keep this up. My first timeline is for 2 weeks.

At the end of each week I'll make a 'report' of my happy moments... and maybe illustrate it's effect or explain why that minuut moment was so special. Or why I had a smile on my dial all day!

I'm smiling now at the thought. A challenge, for which I am responsible in both design and execution. I'll be my conscience and cheer leader. Now if that isn't a challenge, I don't know what is.




Monday, 9 October 2017

Yippee it's Monday

Yes, you read right. Yippee for Monday. Well actually, yippee for every day I'm given. That I awake to face the events of the day- be they challenging or a breeze. It actually doesn't matter to me what name the day has, as long as I make full use of the time I'm given to 'use it'.

I've started claiming Monday as my 'at home day'. The weekend is reasonably hectic and full, the weekdays just disappear faster than the Ice cap. I somehow didn't get enough 'at home time' in to do those things a home needs to keep functioning properly. So although I'm flexible, I want to have some form of routine in my week.

 Here my activities of Monday just gone! In general terms- this is how my Mondays take shape.

- up at 7:30 am - I checked my messages ( I sleep while Down Under is awake) from my children, grandchildren and friends

- Made breakfast (mine) consisting of yoghurt, walnuts, apple, cinnamon, ground ginger and sultanas and on the side a cup of tea.

- Hubby has been downstairs to get the newspaper from the letterbox in the lobby while I turned the washing machine on. White wash for my first load.

- Breakfast and paper, a joint exercise.

- Dishwasher on and stripped bed.

- First load out, dark load in - hung out on balcony

- Bathroom and toilet from top to bottom. Tiled walls and floor. Mirror too.

- Dusted in every room

- Vacuum cleaner over floors

- Hung out dark load

- Bedding in machine and emptied dishwasher

- Washed floors

- Time for coffee at neighbour's place ( letting floors dry πŸ˜‰  )

- Swept gallery, watered plants ( live on the third floor of apartment building). Three bedroomed house.

- Made shopping list

- Hung out bedding

- Shopping ( 1:15 minutes)

- Emptied fridge/freezer ( a long awaited goal- desperately needed to be done)

- Prepared dinner

- Wrote Kitchen blog- yet to be completed

- Baked 30 'Eierkoeken' ( light as air saucer sized 'biscuit) for Nature Guide group evening

3 eggs, lemon zest one lemon and 150 gr sugar
Beat till fluffy ( 5 minutes on high)
Fold in 150 gr flour with 3/4 tsp B powder and 1/2 tsp B Soda

Place on baking tray* in large spoonful lots giving plenty of space ( they are rather large 9 per tray)
Bake for 10-11 minutes on ( 190 fan). Remove from baking tray with slice onto wire rack
Makes 15- super fast, super yum!
* Baking tray- place baking paper and lightly butter and flour the surface or the 'biscuits' will stick when baked.

- Computer time, made teaching resource for school groups who visit our National Park where I function as guide.

- Feet up! Day done. Yippeeeee, that was Monday.

How was your day?










Thursday, 5 October 2017

When it isn't easy to be kind

The neighbours down the road have been going through a rough patch. You know this via the local 'grapevine' and want to ease their pain. You bake a cake, leave flowers at the door, offer to be chauffeur. Anyone of these 'do good deeds ' and probably much needed assistance comes naturally. Although not on daily speaking terms or even never having spent time together, you somehow know, " these people are ok people". Their children attend the same school as your children, you see each other at the local playground and exchange pleasantries. The children, when outside, enjoy each others' company. So, it feels good to help or be supportive to some degree in their time of need.

As you walk the dog every day, you pass the house on the corner. An elderly couple live there. Generally the place looks a bit 'tired'. The garden not kept tidy, the curtains don't appear to really 'fit' the windows and the interior looks neglected - from where you stand. Often you hear the elderly lady yelling at her husband. The windows are open, you have already noted on many occasions that they could do with a wash, and sound travels. You can't really hear what is being said, but you assume things aren't all glossy in their world. Some of the neighbours have dubbed this couple, Mr and Mrs Grump. By all accounts, this couple don't seem to be inundated with visitors. At best once a month someone from the local church pops in - just to keep an eye on them. You think twice about knocking on their door......

I'm highlighting these two cases because recently something similar happened locally.  Well it isn't new but appears to happen more and more in the current society we seem to be developing. How much easier it is to give a second hand out of style winter coat away. How much easier it is to help a neighbour who appears to be approachable. Not that cranky uncaring elderly man or woman down the road or even next door. I bet that approachable family have many who come to their aid when the need must - but how many rally round that cranky person?

Don't get me wrong. I also make that same analyses. I too have moments where I choose. Or at least, to what extent I assist of give. When there is a dilemma, it gnaws at my conscious and a feeling of discomfort takes hold. That doesn't normally subside till I find all sorts of excuses and reasons why I did what I did, to justify to myself that my actions are "acceptable."

For some reason which I cannot fathom there is a 'brake' or a barrier which allows some good samaritan stuff to be 'ok' and sometimes not. My dad and I had a common biblical phrase we try to live by. We would discuss this often. He isn't here to support me anymore in this but I do know what he would expect of me;

Micah 6:8-10 New International Version (NIV)

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love tenderly/with mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.


I don't live alone, there are more to whom and with whom I have a responsibility and am answerable to. This sometimes influences my decisions. Maybe I just don't want to justify the things I do or choose to do. For whatever reason, there must be an answer for me to remove the 'difference'. Help where help is needed. I think about this a lot. I'm going to work at it - overcoming my instinct to 'select'. Hopefully I can 'be more' in many ways than I am at this point in time.

This topic has been mulling for a while- needed to get it out into the open....! Do you recognise any of this in yourself? Or am I alone in my soul searching?

Monday, 2 October 2017

Letting go

September was quite an emotional month with the death of my very special tante ( aunt) Alie. Now I realise that death is the only guarantee we have in life and it comes to us all. It isn't new to me, losing someone very near and dear. Yet the ache, the 'missing you' and the unfathomable sadness that comes with the letting go is something I struggle with each re-occurring time.

While I was in New Zealand on holiday visiting my children I was kept updated on my tante's failing health situation by my cousin, tante's youngest daughter. For some reason she and I are close and enjoy a special friendship. We have had regular contact over the years and a special bond has developed. My tante had a stroke. Her left side was mostly effected. She lost the ability to be independent. It crushed her. She felt so useless and devoid of any form of quality of life that it made her extremely sad. Yet her character wouldn't allow her to give up. She fought the illness with determination and dignity. The desired improvements however, just didn't materialise. Her dependency only increased. Tante Alie and the family held many a conference with the medical team around her. Strong willed as she was, tante's energy was zapped, her level of care was high, her improvements minimalistic.

After my return home I made my way to visit her in the hospital. How sad to see her so changed. So feeble and listless. Prior to my trip I visited my tante and oom ( uncle). She made me my coffee and brought the cake to the table. Although she needed her walker for outside the apartment- inside she managed well just with going from furniture to door etc. She coped well. To see this change in her was hard to take. I wished I had a magic wand to make her well again.

The decision to halt all treatment came from her. It took so much out of her that it didn't weigh up against the improvements. My tante was transfereed to the 'in care' ward of the care centre where she and oom lived in an apartment. My oom was capable of still living independently. With tante under the same roof- they were able to spend time together during the day. When I spent time with them one Saturday, first Mass in the chapel then coffee in the communal lounge, I could see that tante Alie's health had taken so many beatings, she barely had the energy to cope with each new day.

Two weeks after my last visit, tante Alie found her final rest. In the presence of her husband to whom she had been married for 63 and1/2 years, her two daughters and their spouses, tante Alie breathed her last. Peacefully and thankfully.

Her passing hit me hard. We had such a close and loving relationship. She knew all my secrets, my hurts and dreams. Tante was a matter of fact person. She listened. Never once did she say " do this or you  must do that". She listened- said what she thought was helpful to me and didn't force her own opinion ever.

At the farewell I was privileged to share some words- also bringing into the 'space' we were in, those relations ( including her brother) who live Down Under. They too were hurting. Loss at such a distance without being able to physically say goodbye, is extremely painful. I know this from personal experience.

My memories are stored, and I reach out to them regularly and cherish them. Her name will be on my lips, and her love and care for me are my precious legacies, worth their presence in gold.

Rest peacefully dearest tante Alie, rest peacefully.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Just a wee escape

On a Tuesday a couple of weeks ago my husband and I took the train to Rotterdam. We played hooky. It was a spur of the moment decision. Hubby works from home - so that makes this an easier pasttime to undertake. The sun shone it's autumn strength rays and the clouds, although greyish, appeared harmless. Well for the time being anyway.

Right outside our front door, we only need to cross the road, is the bus stop. A shortish wait of about 5 minutes and away we went. "Good morning bus driver," said hubby sounding very chirpy. I was pleasantly surprised. That's because he had been semi grumpy since waking. The thought of wagging work cheered him up no end.

The shortish train ride and arrival at our destination, Blaak in Rotterdam couldn't have been simpler. We stepped out of the station and walked straight into one of the largest weekday markets held in Rotterdam ( or anywhere in Nederland for that matter). Unplanned expeditions like this somehow create a more exciting feeling.
Markthal Rotterdam

A leisurely stroll past many many food stalls ( there was market on the square), inquisitive peeks at the Bric @ brac, sniffing past the food stalls. We were so enthralled by it all. People bustling around, groups standing in the middle of the pathways reacquainting themselves and updating events extremely publicly ( loudly πŸ˜‰ )! Mothers with babies, grandparents with babies, dads with babies. Some, like us, just browsing, others hustling and bustling in their haste gathering wares, food and other necessary items found at this huge market.

My noisy grumbling tummy was a sign that lunchtime was well and truly past - but the lunch itself hadn't been eaten as yet. We chose to eave the noisy crowd and went into the hugely tourist style Markt Hall. What a contrast. The nostalgic markets with shouting stall holders trying to sell their wares - to this monumentally large glass building all glitz and glamour.

A feast for 2
Our choice fell on a Greek Restaurant. Their 'example' platters displayed outside their store appealed enormously to our taste buds. Having used public transport I could also have a wine with lunch, not a frequent happening by any stretch of the imagination.

Time to go home. Back to the reality of work and chores. What a different mindset. Not that the enthusiasm poured out of our pores, but none the less, resuming our responsibilities flowed naturally and without the negative emotions that hung in the air upon waking. Happy days!

Must do this more often......!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

It is always TODAY!

Many, many, many years ago I read a short article in the Reader's Digest about someone who focussed on 'the last time'. Not out of a sad and pessimistic point of view, but a reality many of us, certainly me, didn't (or don't) pay much attention to.

I even think that I have mentioned this before. Still, it obviously weighed a lot and I have stored that item in my mind - to occasionally haul back to the foreground of my memory. As it happened again this morning.

In my direct circle of family and friends there a a few people struggling with ill health. So much struggle that there is reason to believe that these people may, in the short term, leave this world and therefor leave gaps in my list of 'loved ones'. Now, this could happen to any of us. We are all flowers that bloom just one more day. No-one is guaranteed any amount of years. We get what we get.

I'm not mentioning this because I feel deflated, depressed, sad or negative. I just want to revive a thought, an idea that was brought to my intention years ago and it keeps fading into the background.

The idea that I may be sitting here at my desk for the last time. That I may have had coffee with my dear friend for the last time. That I may have slept next to my hubby for the last time. That I may have waved to my neighbour the last time. That I may have baked my last cake, cooked my last meal, read my last newspaper. Or it could be my husband, any one of my children grandchildren( heaven forbid) It has happened before. Who says it can't happen again?  In fact all those I know and love. Who knows what the next minute, hour or day will bring?

NO, I am not negative or a doom thinker. I think actually this thought, this awareness may just help me appreciate my loves and my daily 'doing's in a much more positive light.


Imagine your 1 year old taking her first steps! What a celebration. However, that cute crawl style she had that everyone ooohed and aahed over- is gone forever! Can you even remember how it looked, how she moved across the floor with such grace? Did you realise this might be gone forever? The last cuddle in bed, the last tooth that the fairy pulled, the last.........!

I guess what I am trying to say is, ENJOY EVERY MOMENT. Love those you love, give them your time, affection, understanding, space. Even if they are unaware or don't understand your efforts. Don't look too far ahead to what tomorrow may bring. Tomorrow never actually comes. It is ALWAYS TODAY!

CARPE DIEM - Seize the day. With both hands. Grab it, use it, fill it with love and kindness. That memory will stay forever. Even when it fades into nothingness, something will bring it back.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Transition time- autumn here we come!

What a wonderful few months weather I've had. I say I, because there are a few 'moaners' who disagree. Seems a few rainy days just aren't permitted in summer. I certainly enjoyed the cooling down moments. Can't stay too hot, dry and arid for too long. Those poor birds, fish and plants need some relief too.
Anyway, I have enjoyed these past months enormously. 😎

Today, September the 1st. A new season almost upon us. Here in Europe we are preparing for autumn. The evenings are shorter. Last night we drove home at 9pm and it was almost dark. Those long balmy evenings are now a thing of the past- well for now anyway. Time passes so quickly- they'll be back before I know it. One thing for sure- I will still make use of our 'partially protected from the elements' balcony with heater if needed. Love being outside. A remnant from my New Zealand years. Walks on the beach, mowing large lawns and spending 3/4 of the year outside have spoilt me. 😊

Each morning when I awake I throw open the balcony door, much to my European weathered husband. There is nothing as wonderful as morning's fresh air. Well, that's what I call it. Most of my friends call it draught, or cold, or call me weird! I say 'they know not what they miss'! πŸ˜‰

This weekend I will be emptying my planter boxes and refilling them with autumn colours. The strawberry plants have done extremely well, my herbs too. There wasn't much time for anything else as I was away during spring when I needed to plant my seedlings for lettuce, mini tomatoes and capsicum. The balcony is large and gets plenty of sunshine. The planter boxes are a Garden of Eden in miniature.

September, how amazingly close the end of 2017 now sounds. I can so easily still recall New Year's festivities and the wonderful company of our Scottish family members. Yes, the whiskey flowed freely as it just might again this year.

I'm looking forward to the season that's in the offing. More memories to create, more experiences to have, more fun to enjoy.

To close I've added a link to a lovely Eric Clapton song : Autumn Leaves

He sings about a his 'darling' having left and the days being long. Well, here an ode to the long summer days which now have gone. Thank you Summer. It was wonderful having you here.

To those of you heading towards Spring- Enjoy!


Friday, 1 September 2017

In a land that made me!

Take a break, make a cuppa, a brew or pour yourself a wine.

Read this carefully and let your memory unfold.

I have no idea who created this masterpiece - and I felt it deserved to be spread around.

This piece was written by someone who was born and raised in New Zealand.

I can claim some of that heritage as I spend half my life there.
So the shaping of me is also due to these memorable events.

Read and enjoy!




It is a long read , but soooo good for those of us born at the right time!



In the land that made me.

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Menzies was in the Parliament in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, me. 

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, me. 

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, me. 

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Tarzan was a loner whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, me. 

We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Aeroplanes weren't named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkeys lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, me.

We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-Ed in the Land That Made Me, me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, me. 

T-Birds came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, me. 

We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantihose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That Made Me, me

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancients were our parents in the Land That Made Me, me. 

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, me.
Those who didn't grow up in the fifties, have missed a great time in history...
Hope you enjoyed this read as much as I did... If So - PLEASE FORWARD it to someone who you think will appreciate it!