Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Looking for a piece of my past

Well, I have never done this before.

My memory is still pretty well in tact. Yes, I forget where I leave my keys every now and then. Occasionally I might have a wee gap when it comes to a conversation, details about a trip or what was on the shopping list I wrote but left on the table. Apart from that, I think the memory is pretty efficient.

What might help, is that I have a huge collection of photos. Which, this day and age, is even easier than before. With a simple tap on the screen of my phone, I manage to perpetuate the moment. Helps when wanting to re-live that moment of remember who I was with at the time or why 😛.

f/s Flavia, Carol with niece Leanne
Carol, Carol on park bench by lake,
Carol and I in Pakuranga,
Carol and Toni and Reece in Pakuranga
Now the reason for my blog today. I would so LOVE to re-kindle a friendship from yesteryear. My last contact with this person was in the 1980's. The last photo I have of her - is from 1985.

On the 30th December 1966 my parents, two brothers, one sister and I boarded the F/S Flavia, an Italian owned liner, in Auckland, New Zealand. We were due to sail for Europe with first being part of a cruise which was in progress at time of boarding.

Here, onboard, I met Carol. She and her parents and 2 brothers, one older one younger, were part of the cruise passengers on board. Carol and I were pretty similar age and the click was immediate. We got on. From day 1 I had a friend. Not for long though, as in Melbourne, Carol and her family left the boat being the end of their cruise. It was a short but firm friendship- and we stated corresponding immediately.

I kept a diary at the time- but unfortunately, that has since been lost. For quite some years we wrote. My life took another big twist and I ended up back in New Zealand. We kept corresponding.

In the late '70s Carol paid a visit to me and my young family. We lived in Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand at the time. I had two children, Toni and Reece. Carol had secured a job on a luxury liner of which I cannot recall the name ( hahah) and we picked het up from the wharf so she could spend some time with us relaxing and renewing our friendship in a special way.

A few more letters and photos followed- then SILENCE! For many reasons not only my life but hers too was constantly changing.

While tidying my shelves, ring binders and a photo box with a collection of all sorts, I came across the photos of my long lost friend Carol. I have no idea if Carol wants to be reminded of this period. I do not even know if Carol is alive and well somewhere enjoying a happy and loving life. It is my hope- but more than that I cannot be sure of.

Details: Carol Robins, 7 Greta Road Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia ( I can dream that address)
Born somewhere around '52-54. Worked as a administrator I thought first, then on board the liner for a number of cruises. Carol had an accident in the '80s which left het with diabetes due to the shock. Somewhere in the back of my mind I believe she shifted out of Wangaratta but that is really vague.

Her older brother's name was Kevin.

So now, my request. Well it is pretty obvious. Would you please share this message around?  If you think you may have some information regarding Carol, her family, her whereabouts.... ! Just add a message to this blog or email me at 3deschoffie@gmail.com

Happy searching, hunting, spreading, reading!

PS: Here a link to the followup of my quest to find Carol

Thursday, 23 February 2017

It is just one of those days

Yes, it is still winter here. We have had such mild weather. Not the harsh winters of my childhood. A slight dusting of snow.  Quite a few crisp and crunchy frosts followed by sun filled days with clear blue skies. No real rainfall to even mention it. In fact the rivers were at an all time low every now and then, causing concern for the shipping industry.

But today, all that changed. A storm is raging outside. The wind is howling past my window. In fact, it is trying to come inside. I can feel a slight draught from where I sit at my desk. Furiously the branches of the trees are bending and waving every which way that if they were people they'd be dizzy and not be able to stand upright. I fear that some may loose a branch or two and even others will simply not stand up to the furore and strength of this wind almost gale force. A 'code orange' has been issued.

We live along a river, gladly on the third floor. The water is rising rapidly and the clouds hold promise of more wet stuff to come. Winter is not over by a long shot.

As it is in Heaven-trailer
Today is a 'down day', me keeping a low profile and not being very active. I have had some really hectic weeks of late- time to chill down ( sorry about the pun here) and give myself a break. Lovely to be able to watch the developing storm from a warm and secure distance - but feel for those having to brave the elements.

A month or so ago when we had a similar - but not nearly as violent a day, I baked. Lovely. A warm, comfortable and nostalgic feeling. Baking odours, yummy cookies and a freshly baked loaf.  Cozier than that is hard to get.

Today a different emotion has taken hold. More sensitive and less active. I discovered a memory- something that fitted my mood for today. A film I watched a few years ago now. In fact I have replayed it a few times- and feel the urge to repeat the experience. The Swedish movie called: As it is in Heaven. Do you know it? Have you heard of it? Oh what a movie. What a story and superb acting. Goosebumps jus thinking about it. And that feels so right for today. Goosebumps but then of the pleasant emotional variety.

So I googled, went to Youtube and listened to one of the songs which touched me deeply. The text so powerful, the music so full of feeling. Here the link to the version with English subtitles. Cabriellas Song.

The song, the memories and the story line were a perfect accompaniment for today's conditions. I have enjoyed the moment. The day is slowly drawing to a close, getting dark early due to the low and threatening cloud formations crowding the skies. As the water rises in the river below, I am grateful for my warm and comfortable home! Snug as a bug in a rug- I am safe, warm and content.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Hope you had a good and satisfying week.

Due to the feeling I have that time is slipping through my fingers, I have tried to be more aware of my activities each day- so I can maybe change my routines or somehow get more out of my 24 hours.

Monday: Time for some serious housework. Spent lots of time away from home the past week due to m-i-law (ma)  breaking her wrist. She is doing extremely well and I can only say I am pleased and glad I had the time to spend being there for her while she needs me. Cooked meals - also for ma and 'oom' Arie - a courtesy uncle who is alone and not comfortable cooking 'ordinary' meals. He loves it when we drop in.

Tuesday:- A few wee chores at home and hung out the washing before I took ma to the hospital to have the temporary plaster removed, wrist checked and a new cast fitted. Ma (87)  is feeling lots better than last week- but today has tired her a bit. Stopped for some shopping on the way home- sorted a few wee jobs. Called into 'ex' neighbours for our first port of call this year. We enjoyed a good relationship as neighbours and want to keep in touch as friends. Home and time to cook dinner. Hubby had a meeting to attend. I had a couch to surf on. Still hurts my ear when I swallow.

Wednesday:- Called in to visit friends for coffee at their cafe. His health not the best- wanted to see how things were progressing - or not! On the way home some grocery shopping. Had guests coming for dinner. Their home being renovated and the lounge, dining room and kitchen floor was being refurbished. Decided to not cook a run of the mill meal- finally challenged myself into cooking Beef Wellington. Also managed to produce a meal for 'oom' Arie. After dinner and guests had left ( brother in law also ate with us) we had some stuff to discuss in relation to b-i-law's own house issues. He wants to renovate and reorganise. Must be spring in the air!! Bit weary - not quite over my own flu episode yet- so another couch moment was in the offing.

Thursday:- Cook some meals for ma so she can reheat at leisure. Also cooked for 'oom' Arie. Ran some chores for ma and picked up some boxes for a friend who is shifting- I said spring was in the air didn't I? Went to funeral in the afternoon- on the way home called into some close friends- hadn't seen them in a while and were now close by. Was good to catch up and leave the 'always a bit somber funeral feeling' behind. Hubby delivered the boxes, picked up some shopping, dropped of meal to 'oom' Arie while I baked Appeltaart with blueberries to have with coffee. We were expecting company that evening. While baking also cooked a huge pot of vege soup. YUM. No time to couch surf.

Friday:- Bit chilly outside. Frost has returned. Friend is shifting. Needs a bit of help getting organised with the planning. Is single and we have recently shifted so bit 'in the know'. Good to be able to help. Had soup for lunch. Warmed us up. Hubby also sorting out our storage. Every now and then it needs a bit of a tidy up. I feel the need for some 'down time' so have written up one of my other blogs - on recipes and stuff.

It is Friday afternoon and almost 'PORT O'CLOCK". The week has once again flown. Needless to say there were more things - like our own stuff that helped fill the past week. All things considered we managed to complete what was necessary and then some.

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Smiles instead of frowns

I posted a message on my FB wall the other day.. it went like this:

I have had it with staring blindly and with dismay at all those Trump messages and items. It would have one think that there is nothing else happening in the world. Well there are wonderful things to be happy about. And I would LOVE to see HAPPY ITEMS fill the screen. Who is with me in this? How about starting and closing the day with a HAPPY POST.

The thing is Mr President is enjoying all the attention he is getting and I believe this works as an incentive to be even more destructive.

Today I have decided to no longer react to any TRUMP posts. No more sharing - no more emoticons, no more likes or dislikes.

It is Sunday. The sun is out, haven't seen it for a while. People are walking their dogs in the park, children on their bikes. The world is smiling at you and me. Let's share HAPPY messages.

It is all about which way we look at ourselves and the world around us. Let's reflect love and friendship. Well, that's my goal anyway.

End of post

I missed out saying that there are sad things too, and there are sad events that hurt because life itself brings about a dose of smiles and a dose of tribulations. The whole point of the message was - STOP WITH DOOM SPREADING. No more objections, judgements or unbridled insults. Thing is - many of those comments I actually took time to read weren't even of Americans or people immediately affected by the decisions made by the new president of the USA.

Sure his methods, actions and way he sees the world are as far removed from me as can be - BUT, I am NOT the president of the USA. No matter how bad I think some of his decisions are- it isn't up to me to spread all those uncensured comments that others place on Social Media. I do not believe that spreading hateful and damaging comments do anything at all to help bring about change.

My task in the life isn't about people bashing. It is about being the best possible person I can be. By respecting life, buy being there for those who seek me out to help them. My business is to be honest, caring, compassionate and cheery.
I want my smile to affect someone whose smile has faded. I would like to think my arm around someone's shoulder gives encouragement and support. My aim is to say uplifting encouraging things to someone needing to hear them.

No longer am I prepared to help others do something I have no business doing. Slandering and cursing.

No way am I behaving like an ostrich with my head in the sand. On the contrary. In no way at all do I condone attacks on people of any ethnic group what so ever. My vision is one of peace and caring for this planet so my grandchildren and their children may enjoy life to it's fullest like generations before them have. I believe in dialogue and compromises. In sharing and caring.

As a child I had plenty of people around me I looked up to and wanted to 'grow up to be like'. They are still my example and heroes.

In each day there will be things to be grateful for - and my hope is that people will start focussing on those so as to lift their spirits and let hope gain strength so down play and minimise the damage all that screaming and yelling that is happening world wide.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

All in all it has been a lovely day!

A late start. Not the best night's sleep. Blocked nose and all the discomfort that goes with it. I even spent a few hours on the couch not wanting to disturb my partner. He was due for an early start and quite a energetic day- so he needed to be refreshed when he woke.

I did hear the alarm- and him getting up. After that peace reigned again. I also had noticed in that wee gap of being awake that my nose was less problematic than earlier in the night. Yippeeeee! I dozed back off.

As I opened one eye and the other eyelid slowly followed suit, I saw the digits on the clock 10:37am. OMgoodness. That late!! I got up and walked into the living area. A note lay on the table. It read, " hope you slept ok? See you tonight."

I made a cuppa, added a slice of lemon. Re-rubbed my soles of my feet with Vicks and pulled my socks back on. After a quick brush of the teeth and a splash of water on my now truly awake face I dropped onto the chair and slowly focussed on what was to be, my short morning.

The weather was a perfect mirror of how I felt. The sky wanted to clear and become blue, but didn't quite make it. The sun did try to shine- but shone elsewhere. The misty rain that slowly developed caused my view to deterioratie. It fitted me like a glove.

By about 13:30 I had stopped breathing through my mouth. Nose started to clear some more. Things were looking up. I still sneeze, about 23 seconds after that sharp prickle jabs the interior of my nasal passage. Just enough time to grab the nearest tissue at hand. I will have to wash my woolly top tomorrow- especially the crook in the elbow part of the sleeve- it catches my sneeze if I am caught without a tissue. Better that then spray the room.

Then I heard a ringing noise. First thought it was my head cold causing music in my ears. But no way! I was to be distracted by a HAPPY EVENT. The doorbell went down in the lobby - we live in an apartment building. " A parcel for you ma'am." HUGE, it was HUGE. My new Kenwood KN287 All in One Kitchen machine. YESSSS. I couldn't care anymore about the nose, the sneezes, the slowly becoming darker sky.


At first I didn't want to open this HUGE box. Wait till hubby arrived back - I resisted and resisted. But alas, the apple looked so tempting, I grabbed a small knife and proceeded to slice the tape. One at a time I lifted the flaps to reveal - ANOTHER BIG BOX!

I made a coffee and sat there looking at this box with it's text - KENWOOD KITCHEN MACHINE!

Coffee done- back to the task of giving in to my urge to unwrap. All the components were finally on the table. Glad we have a big table.

It felt like Santa had granted me my biggest wish ever! In a manner of speaking that is 😀. Not everyone goes into a happy rain dance at the sight of a kitchen appliance.

I am back after a wee break. Got to finish my blog.

 Evening has fallen. My hubby has been given a demonstration to see how all the attachments fit and to what use they are. I have removed the loose components I had as tools ( hand mixer, juice press, liquidizer and foodprocessor from my pantry. After years of faithful service they now will be transferred to other homes, other kitchens, other users. Their usefulness, except for the foodprocessor, is still present. Too good to dump so passing them on.

From the miserable, feeling yukky and blurry to feeling on top of my world - it has been a LOVELY DAY!