Monday, 30 June 2014


I appear to have difficulty in a 'come back' after the contents of some of my blogs- like the last one- about Mitchell.

Because, not only does one have sad and heart wrenching events in one's life - also happy heart warming ones. And stepping from one to the other creates a sort of distance and barrier in me.

I have finally overcome this hurdle and today - I am going to write about something more lighthearted.

A post on Facebook by a friend prompted me to react. It read " Wonderful visit to the university of technology at Eindhoven- very interesting e- textiles r& d" ( a one- dayer in my country of birth) and in a reflex I reacted to this post!

This message was posted by a former primary school classmate of mine from the 1960s. The last time we saw each other was in fact at the end of the school year of 1966 in Auckland - New Zealand. My family and I were to return to Nederland after the birth of my youngest brother. He had health issues and my parents wanted to ' go home'. They needed family support, a language they were more comfortable with and the future of my brother's health was uncertain. 
They chose to leave New Zealand and go 
back to familiar territory.

So here I am, having had my first few years primary in Arnhem - Nederland, then continued my education in Auckland - New Zealand, only to pick up where I left off and start a new (teenage) period in Leeuwarden, my father's home town.

My time at St Theresa's Catholic Primary School in Mt Roskill took a wee while to become settled. After arriving in Auckland - NZ in June 1961 I had attended Holy Cross in Henderson- our adjustment period, Christ the King school in Owairaka ( rental home) to then land in Hillsborough after my parents bought a home to settle in.

As you can imagine - this was a pretty difficult period for us all. I can only mention how it affected me. And I was shell shocked. It took some time to find my feet - and the people involved in that period made all the difference. Some names stuck - not always because of the positives but oh well .....!

After finding my feet at St Theresa's I finally started feeling at home. The classmates were very pleasant over all and soon friendships formed. Having had so many changes I was apprehensive. How long would I be at this school?

Then mum became pregnant and that gave a sense of security. Only it didn't pan out like that. Baby brother was born in September 1966 and it appeared he had some serious health problems.

So back we went ( bar my oldest brother). Back to family and friends, a language that was familiar and a future that was uncertain.

Once again I left friends behind - and there was NO Facebook, Internet or texting. Letter writing didn't happen.

After the launch of the website for classmates to find each other, contact was made with one of two school friends.

- I now have the opportunity to meet up with this 'old' classmate after 48 years! and I am SOOOOO looking forward to this chance of a lifetime.

She will be back in October for whole week. Must be a window of opportunity there for sure, how great is THAT!? What a prospect!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

All revealed.....

Yesterday was a bit of a down sort of day - Discouraging as I recall. And for some reason I couldn't put my finger on the reason.... it came out of the blue.

After every shower- the clouds disperse and the sun gets it's chance to shine. And, as the law of nature will have it - this morning the sun came out and yes, it took a while but I started to appreciate it again.

The thing is, just like a young child who is a bit cranky and whiney for a couple of days - for no apparent reason you can fathom - Then you discover the red splotches and you realise oh he / she is coming down with the measles/chickenpox to name a couple of childhood illnesses.
So it was with me. For some reason - my day yesterday turned to lumpy custard without any rhyme, warning or reason which I could fathom. Until........

I knew what the date was - been gunning for it since the month of June started. The dreaded 11th. But somehow - the spots didn't show so the knowledge eluded me. Till, I made contact with my son, daughter in law and their two sons in Australia.

Today, 4 years ago Mitchell was killed in a horrific road accident. Just 17 years old!!! 
A son, brother, grandson, nephew, friend never again to be held, cared for, nurtured.

Gone from our midst - oh ever so abruptly.
Gone, but not forgotten.

I want to share this piece my son wrote:

I close my eyes,
Think maybe if I pray hard enough...
Everything will be okay.
I'll open my eyes,
And you'll be smiling down on me.
Maybe if I wish hard enough...
The last four years will just disappear,
And you'll be here.
Laughing with me just like before.
Everything like its always been,
Not all this pain,
Here as if it could replace you,
As if I could ever be the same.
Miss you each and every day Mitch xxx

Always in our hearts - Rest peacefully darling, rest in peace.

 feb 2010 - photo made during my visit

Mitchell 11-06-2010 ( R.I.P.)

Dip days are OK - we all will at some stage have one ( or more) the thing is
- The sun does come out again -
For you and me!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

It happens to the best of us.....


I am not too ashamed to admit it! I get discouraged. And on a regular basis. When things turn to lumpy custard on me - my resolve enthusiasm and positive outlook take a dive!

The past few years I have been working on minimising this phenomena. This human trait I wish I didn't posses. But it is here, I struggle with it and it annoys me that I fall into its trap time and again.

Today I started with renewed enthusiasm and resolve on my list of tasks which are waiting for me, begging for completion. To get the 'DONE TICK'. With gusto I tackled one (small) job after another. The day was starting to look even beter than good - and then the rain came! There are projects that are very important to me- they need my time and energy. To get to the big jobs - I need to get the little ones out of the way. That's the way I operate.

I know, I know so what! Rain is important too. Can't argue with that. And yes, I have indoor tasks as well. This might all sound very petty - DISCOURAGEMENT strikes on the (my) BIG jobs too. 

The projects, the activities that are bigger than the sorting out of the stuff in the attic or weeding the garden, or mending the clothes. 

DISCOURAGEMENT strikes in the workplace, in marriages, in family relationships - in LIFE!

I try not to let 'it' get to me. I pick up- dust off and re-boot. DISCOURAGEMENT can drain all the energy out of me if I was to let it.


I am going to recharge my batteries, I am going to take the necessary steps to ignite my enthusiasm and get on with the tasks that need my attention.

And funnily enough, today when I felt myself gently slipping, losing grip so to speak - I received a mail. A weekly newsletter. You'll NEVER GUESS what the topic on my screen was....!

Bet that made you smile!

There are pearls of wisdom to be found everywhere - I am going to pluk the necessary gems and make them mine.

Oh guess what? The rain stopped!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Chapter 1: My Neighbour's House

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbour’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” Deut.5:21

Just a re-cap, let me think. There were 8 no 9 of us smitten by curiosity last night as we gathered to discuss the first chapter of Marja Meijer's book. Three of the  original group were unable to attend. There were however 2 new members which is great. New vision- interpretations and thoughts to mix with our own. Adds to the flavour of the conversation.

As per usual, Marja uses the first chapter of her books to illustrate her intentions with the theme of her book. That she has as goal, to uncover the secrets of and her thoughts on, the Ten Commandments. It isn't her intention to break them down and set them aside- on the contrary. She wants to share her insights in how we can implement these 10 golden rules which existed before Jesus' life among us, His subsequent death and resurrection. Marja opens the discussion on how we can live our lives the way God intended us to live it- and how we can follow in Jesus' footsteps - by learning from His example.

As a child in a Catholic home, going to a Catholic school I learnt the Ten Commandments off by heart. They were taught, just like the times tables, by repetition and more repetition. Chanting, repeating and chanting. They were tested, at random - Nr1, Nr 5, Nr 9 etc. And woe betide if you got it wrong. Then you would have to write the wrong commandment 10 times over- so it would 'stick'. These Ten Commandments aren't just etched in stone- they are engraved in my heart and mind. Not that there was anything wrong with that. The thinking was- these are the rules- obey them and all will be well.

Looking back I realise that this teaching came out of a good heart and was well intended. We christians, the general public, didn't read or study the bible. We believed what we were told and did our best to come up to expectations - God's (and the parish priest/teachers). If we had the knowledge we have now- we would have looked further than the Old Testament

The New Testament is where we can read about the life Jesus led. About how He nurtured, taught, shared, cared for and and instructed. How Jesus stood for all people and showed compassion for the sick, elderly and those less fortunate. How He didn't force himself on those not wanting to believe or hear His stories. He gave people the freedom to choose. He pleased His Father in all He did. He filled the brief- Go, show my people how they can find their way to Me - through you, through LIGHT, through LOVE.

The Ten Commandments are the LAW- 
The rule to live by, is LOVE. 
It doesn't override the law but supports it.

(NKJV) Romans 13:9-10:  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,“You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”10. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore LOVE is the fulfillment of the LAW.

The next question that arrises is: Do I LOVE myself? For if I cannot LOVE myself- I cannot LOVE another.

My mission in life is to ensure that only that which I want to have happen to me, happens to those around me. Funny how some people tend to think that if someone becomes or already lives a Christian life that all is well with their world- well let me tell you, it takes energy, prayer, faith and perseverance. But most of all- it takes LOVE.

To be continued...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Almost over......

I hear the cry of the early birds, literally. Gulls and other water birds, looking for their breakfast.Across the water a swan disturbs the quiet by flapping furiously with it's wings on the water's surface- wanting to take off. After a few moments deciding to call off lift off and staying a while longer! The smooth mirror that was now disturbed, ripples appearing across the surface.

The ever so slightest breeze caresses my cheeks. It is so gentle the water doesn't register it's presence. The sun, visually present climbing gently higher and higher against the pale blue and crystal clear sky. It is so quite- almost earth shatteringly so. I am spell bound- inspired and mesmerised by what I am experiencing. I feel the desire to take a photo so I can recall with precision the emotion of this moment. I am almost to afraid to move- scared of disturbing this sacred of moments.

As I turn to pick up my camera from the table I see a young rabbit hop on by. Another gem in this already heavily gifted morning scene. There are a number of these hug-able bunnies around. They are not a disturbing factor at all, adding to the magic of the moment.

An aeroplane which I cannot see but only hear, cruises across the sky- taking with it it's noise as it continues to it's destination far away from here.

As the sun climbs higher and higher I notice it's warmth getting stronger and stronger, licking my toes and creeping up my feet and legs. When I first stepped out the caravan I needed my sunglasses to protect my eyes- even though it was only 6:30am. It appears to have the makings of a sunny and warm day.

It is Monday morning, the day after Ascension weekend. The camping ground is almost deserted except for a few die hards- early holiday makers. They are still asleep, unaware of the beauty I am experiencing. Their loss- my gain. The quiet adds to the beauty of the morning. The dewy grass, the light blue sky, the ever warming sun, the dewdrops slowly running down the awing and windows of the caravan. Slowly the day dawns- bringing with it the promise of a beautiful day. And I got to catch the first glimpse.

Another few hours and my husband and I will be leaving the camping ground too- closing our wee mini holiday and returning home. I notice that mother duck has lead her baby ducklings further afield. We are situated along a huge lake- and some other early birds sail their rather large yacht past our spot. The water ripples and the waves lap against the water's edge. I am aware that the magic of the moment is ebbing away- life and Monday morning is happening.

Time to pack up, to break up camp and return home- closing this chapter with renewed energy and anticipation. All is well with our world.