Friday, February 26, 2016

Z petrol station, Miramar

Hi there

Well, I think that my bad knee is gradually improving.  I'm walking 95% better, and  it only hurts when I turn quickly.  However, what is completely annoying me is that I can't squat down on my haunches to look under things such as  cabinets, and beds, and sofas.  I'm hopeless trying to vacuum, and if I lie on the deck at Hataitai Beach after a swim  I can't get up again without the aid of my walking stick(no!-no!-no!-hiking stick, hiking stick!).

 But yesterday it was time to pump up my car tyres, a chore that definitely requires getting lowdown and dirty-

"I can't do it," I groaned to my swimming friend J,  just prior to maybe visiting the petrol station. "My knee will explode.  They'll rush me to hospital,  I'll end up an invalid  like Katy in that book "What Katy Did".  Katy grew ever so noble and generous having to stay in bed all those years but I won't be noble and generous, I'll turn into a grumpy old person and-"

"Ask the guy at the petrol station to help you," said my friend breaking in on my hysterical ramblings.

Never.   I was an independent woman.

Well, I got to the petrol station and parked alongside the air pump.  I tottered  out of my car and turned back again to reach inside for my hiking stick.  Every time I got down on my hands and knees to pump up a tyre, I would have to use the stick to get up again-

"Is there anything I can do?"


The forecourt attendant had come over to see me. 

What?  He had ESP?

And this lovely guy pumped up my four tyres.  Heaven!!!

Thank you petrol station "Z" in Miramar.  Love you....... 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hataitai Beach Steps

Hi there

There's new d├ęcor at Hataitai Beach.  Such excitement.  There is now plastic grill on the steps that lead down from the deck to the water.  And about time, too.  My swimming friend, J, and myself have been moaning  about the slippery-ness of the steps for such a long time. 

A few times, J has got hold of a shell and scraped off the seaweed and slime.

(Oh, for the love of little bunnies! ...  I took the photo and didn't realise it was on 'movie'.  I'm obviously just as bad with a camera as I am on a computer.  So just put up with the arrow in the middle of the photo, will you?  Ta....)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

dogs and water

Hi there

A friend had a dog who didn't like water.  Huh?  Most dogs, tongues hanging out, paw-pads frantically thumping, race towards water like me thundering up to the cupcake cupboard at New World in Miramar.

This particular dog would whimper and stand stock still if there was so much as a trickle of water in front of him.  So not a typical dog.

I was at the beginning of the Red Rocks track a few months ago.  There's a bit of a pond there.  A dog was absolutely luxuriating in chasing a stick into the water.  He had a bit of trouble with such a loooong stick -

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sixties pop singers

Hi there

When I was  teenager I used to chase after pop singers who visited New Zealand.  Nowadays, of course, fans probably want a lot more than autographs from a star, but we were quite naive in the nineteen-sixties.

Airports, concerts, hotels - my friends and I always managed to find ways to get to the singers.  To meet  Britain's king of rock'n'roll - Cliff Richard, surprised you there, huh? -  we climbed seven stories up the outside fire escape of Wellington's Hotel St George.  We bought a charm for Helen Shapiro's bracelet and that got us in to see her.  By ringing up the local paper and pretending to be who we weren't, we found out plane arrival times.

I won Tom Jones and Herman's Hermits in a contest.  After meeting The Beach Boys, I sent their father information about how the boys were doing on the NZ music charts and he sent me records and autographed photos as a way of thanks.  Gerry Marsden from Gerry and the Pacemakers saw me for about the third time in one day and rudely muttered, "Oh, no, not you again..."

Sadly, the time came when I made the decision that I was too old to hunt down singers.

I vowed to be "finished with all that", that the very next music act that came to New Zealand would not have me chasing after it for autographs.  I was tired of so many flash-in-the-pan groups that within a short time usually  disappeared without trace.

I told my friends, "I'm not going to run after this new group, The Rolling Stones -"

And I didn't.  And I've regretted it ever since...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hairy McLary from Donaldson's Dairy

Hi there

When I was on holiday recently in Mt Maunganui, I went over the bridge to Tauranga and saw this fantastic sculpture of the 'characters' in the children's books of writer/illustrator Lynley Dodd who comes from Tauranga.  Her first and most adored book is 'Hairy McLary from Donaldson's Dairy'.  Hairy is a hairy little dog.  Over the course of other books, Hairy amasses loads of friends and not-quite friends:  Slinky Malinky,  Schnitzel Von Krumm, Scarface McClaw, Bottomley Potts, Muffin McClay.  They are all represented in this sculpture.  The books are loved world-wide.

Hairy is the little dog at the bottom of the pole trying to get at the cat.

Great ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Delaying things

Hi.  I'd like to write about putting off things.  Or is that off-putting?  Anyway, I've finally learnt that it's not too good to delay doing something.

It's when I'm snuffling with a winter virus ('virus' sounds so much more dramatic than the common 'cold') that I realise I've left paying my credit card bill until the very last day and there's no way I can get to the bank because I'm dying.

And last December, I said to a friend, "I'll put off seeing "Star Wars" until after the school holidays".

Well, now, it's after the school holidays and I still can't get to see "Star Wars" because there's no way, with my bad knee, that I could sit in a picture theatre for three hours.  I seem to have also lost out on seeing the movie in 3D where a theatre needs a full house to justify the use of superior equipment.

What a disappointment.

Oh, well ...

I've always been more of a "Star Trek" fan, anyway!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mount Maunganui

Hi there

I have just returned from a week's holiday in Mt Maunganui.  Oh, I am such a holiday-goer in the summer season! 

My knee was much better.  Until the last day I still had to use my hiking stick as an aid, but I did manage to swim every day, whoopty-do!!  I had to use the stick to get down to the water and the doctor had told me I could only swim on my back and kick but, hey, that was okay by me.

My friend went on all the adventures I wanted to go on:  kayaking, island adventuring, adventure park-ing.  I was so jealous.

Drivng home was hard on my knee. I had to get out of the car every hour and have a little walk.  I left the Mount at 7 am and reached home at 5.30 pm.  Driving to Mt Maunganui, I stopped off for a night in the Taihape Motel.  It's one of my fave places to stay.  It's so 1960's, and the owner always gives out packets of chippies and a bottle of beer or soft drink on arrival.  And there's cornflakes and jam and toast free for breakfast, and the price is just $70 pn.  Taihape is the so-called gumboot capital of the world.  It's a real country town with a notice outside the local Chinese takeaway to please remove your dirty boots before entering.

Here's Mt Maunganui

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

mickey mouse gas mask!

A friend who had been a child in World War 2 in England was bemoaning that she never got a Mickey Mouse gas mask.  She was five and when they brought in such masks a child had to be under five to be given one.  I think they were like normal gas masks but with ears.  My friend still feels bereft over not getting that mask.

I found the below picture on the web.  It was probably a prototype.  Surely nobody took their babies out in such a contraption?

Ps:  today is the first day i have gone a few hours without my hiking stick.  Slowly my bad knee is getting better.