Thursday, June 23, 2016

How to stand out at lunch -

Hi There

Recently, I went to a group lunch with 10 other women.

I wore a DUX medallion on a chain around my neck; it had been my father's medal. I was also sporting some dangly glittery half-moon ear-rings.

Several people asked to see the medallion close up.  And with all eyes upon me. I reached to pull the chain up and over my face.

... and both sides of that chain caught on my ear-rings!

There was a bit of a titter from my audience as I  did the untangling: it took some time.  I attempted to lift the chain up from my neck again.  And again.  And yet again.  And each time that stupid chain got hooked up on my ear-rings. My audience was in hysterics.

Embarrassment much?  Yes.  It's so difficult for one to act with ladylike aplomb when sitting in a posh teashop with a chain dangling across one's face and a gold medallion seemingly permanently hooked over one's nose.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mid-Winter Swim, Hataitai Beach, 2016

Hi there

It's 21 June here in New Zealand, and our little polar bear group went for our official mid-winter swim today.  We've actually done over a  dozen swims so far this month.  It didn't help that the sky was dull and grey, and I really felt the cold when we got out from the water.  One of our summer swimmers, a guy, rolled up just as we three - myself, J, and The Young One - were leaving the beach.  So we stood on the deck and cheered his entry into the water.  He ducked under the cold sea and came up with a holler of a naughty word that must have been heard kms away.

Above: photo taken by I'd personal paparazzo

Courtesy of my swimming friend, J, we all got certifcates to commemorate the occasion!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rambling On

Hi there

Oh dear, I do tend to ramble on, don't I?  No, don't answer that!  I know I do.  According to Several Friends Who Know Everything about Writing Blogs I should only write a short paragraph or two to get maximum readership.

I have been told in future to be succinct yet pithy, which all sounds very Noel Coward-ish and if I only knew what "succinct" and "pithy" meant I would be on it, like a flash.  I will go hunt up a dictionary.

So, my four beloved readers, expect to see a more restrained me from now on ...

Yeah, right - that is so not going to work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rainbow Flag for Florida

I was stunned when I heard the news about the killings in Florida.  I cried when I saw on televsion all the candle-lit vigils in different countries.

The Eiffel Tower went rainbow-coloured.  So, too, did Auckland's Skytower, and our very own Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.

Driving around the coast today, I approached the Greta Point Cafe.  Outside the cafe, and flying proudly, was a rainbow flag. 

The people of Florida will see the Eiffel Tower lit up and maybe read about our Skytower and Michael fowler Centre, and all those other big buildings around the world going multi-coloured in recognition of the sadness fallen upon the LGBT community.   And now here is a small cafe on the Wellington coast,  a little cafe that isn't even the tiniest of blips on the world stage, a cafe that's  many thousands of kms away from the United States, flying the rainbow flag in solidarity with Florida.

Sometimes it's the smaller actions that tug at the heartstrings....



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Balaena Bay, Wellington

Hi there

Well ... because of the pollution warning notices nailed to all the fences at Hataitai Beach (the notices that I never saw when I went swimming there last week) , we swimmers have had to do a tactical retreat to Balaena Bay, a few coves further along the coastline, and nearer to the city.

Last week when myself, my swimming friend J, J's personal paparazzo, and Thong Man were standing outside the changing sheds, a woman walked by.  She appeared sophisticated, well-dressed (well, she wasn't wearing a hoodie, like we were), hair done impeccably, nice grown-up shoes (not trainers, like us).  She didn't slouch, she walked at a steady pace, head held high.  To all intents, a posh lady.

However, clasped low down in a hand, and trailing behind her was the thickest longest, widest, many-branched length of seaweed that I had ever seen out of the water.  This woman was like those old pics of Queen Elizabeth in her loooooong coronation robe as she trudged down the runway-oops sorry-aisle at Westminster Abbey. 

The seaweed train took about a full minute to grandly trail past us.  Kudos to this woman who was acting as if she didn't even belong to the seaweed  - "Huh, how did that get there?  I guess it followed me home ... "

Here's Balaena Bay -


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hataitai Beach Closure

Hi there

Hataitai Beach Closed

Hi there

What?   Haitatai Beach closed?  Not that I realised it at the time because today I was flying solo, and in too much of a hurry to notice much at all

I shot out of my car, ran into the changing shed, changed,  and shot out again, and into the water.  Mmmm, lovely and crispy cool.  

Back home again to find out from J that there were huge notices at Hataitai Beach saying no swimming because of unidentified pollution!  Neither she nor The Young One had ventured into the Hataitai Beach water.

Again... what?  I hadn't seen any huge notices.  There weren't any notices there yesterday.

It seems some kind of nearby sewage pipe in the road had broke and leaked into the sea.  The water will be test sampled for the next three days, and it could take up to two weeks for the beach to get clearance.

We winter swimmers - me, J, The Young One, and, to a lesser degree, Thong Man - are trying for, hopefully, a couple of swims a week this winter. We are fully aware that neither time nor weather will be on our side.

I really hope the Hataitai Beach water pollution hasn't affected me in some  terrible mutation sort of way.  I don't want a rash, or a deadly disease.  Or to turn into a zombie.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Hi there

I was getting a meal ready and realised I didn't have any eggs, butter, or milk.

I am so grateful that I live just a short walk away from the Miramar supermarket.  I was there and back within fifteen minutes.

It got me thinking about New Zealand's pioneer days, 150-plus years ago.  If I had lived then, I would have had to milk my cow, churn my butter, and wait for my hens to lay.  And not to forget washing my clothes in the copper, nursing the baby, keeping an eye on the other half-a-dozen kids, baking my daily bread, pumping out my water in the backyard, and finding time to lie back and think of England as I serviced my husband ...


It's so good to know that someone else has an issue with dentists.  Thanks, Joanna for your comment.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Those Classic Books

Hi there

If we attempted to read a Charles Dickens book nowadays, in the way that it was originally printed, we would surely have trouble wading through it. The pages would be full of stuff like, " ...and what do you think happened next, dear reader?"  There has since been a lot of selective editing.

Victorians may have liked to get into an author's thoughts but we, in our era, don't want to be dragged out of a storyline when in our minds we are intensely fighting with the baddie, or dangling by our fingernails from a cliff, or falling just a tad in love with Mr Grey (hehehe).

My fave book when I was about eleven was the classic "What Katy Did" by Susan Coolidge, and published in 1872.  How I laughed over the Carr family's adorable antics, and cried when Katy fell off the swing.  I loved the beautiful verses that she came up with for her siblings on Valentine's Day, and who wouldn't want to have the  lovely and selfless Cousin Helen as their very own relative? 

I read the book again a couple of weeks ago.  Boy-oh-boy, was the author hovering over my shoulder as I progressed through the story.  There were many sentences such as this one:  " ... and the Katy who laid in bed, was a very different-looking Katy from the forlorn girl of the last chapter."    No, it's got nothing to do with sex. Our Katy was an invalid, but - bang! - there I was, immediately thrown out of the book.  Sadly, I can't see modern children touching the book with a ten foot pole.

Still, my recent reading of "What Katy Did" was a great nostalgic outing for me.

PS:  The Hataitai Beach sea in June is starting to leave me with a bit of a shiver and shake after a swim.  Brrrr....