Tag Archives: people

Saying goodbye.

Auntie Ed is in the blue. My Auntie Rita's [next to her] wedding day.
Auntie Ed is in the blue. My Auntie Rita’s[next to her] wedding day.
I don’t have many memories before I was eight that did not have my Auntie Ed [short for Edna] in them. Auntie Ed was tiny. Seriously tiny. She was also a force of nature. Not someone you fooled around with. Auntie Ed had a way of looking at you that made your bones rattle when you had done something you knew was wrong. She [as we Aussies like to say] called a spade a spade.

Auntie Ed was the youngest of my father’s siblings. She had one other sister and four brothers. Though I actually lived with my other aunt, every holiday was spent at the home of my grandparents, where Auntie Ed lived. As well as holding down a job, Auntie Ed cared for my grandparents. My grandmother was blind and my grandfather had taken to his bed when retired, so her plate was full.

She never had her own children, as she married late in life. I always found that such a shame. Auntie Ed would have made one hell of a mother.

She loved golf. She was a wizz at gardening. I think the tomato plants were so scared of her biting wit they wouldn’t dare not flourish. As for her peas. I can’t remember a Christmas where I didn’t turn green from eating them. Each day we’d pick a bowl and it would be my job to shell them. Luckily we always picked way more than needed so I ate my fill as I shelled away.

Earlier this year as I picked peas in my own garden I was transported back to that time.

At the back of my grandparents’ house was a neighbour’s mulberry tree. To this day the smell of them sends me in to a tizzy of ecstatic delight. Auntie Ed had little sympathy the day I raided the tree and ate myself sick on mulberries that were still too green. I think she was actually secretly giggling at my discomfit. I learned a lesson that day…or maybe two. Never steal from the neighbours, and when you do make sure the fruit is ripe.

It has taken me years of practise to try to achieve a reasonable level of competency with baking. But I will never reach Auntie Ed’s standard. I can remember standing in the tiny kitchen as she threw ingredients together for her always perfect scones. I don’t remember her ever measuring anything…not ever…yet time after time they came out of the oven…perfect.

Christmas was a special time at the house in Campsie. Auntie Ed made her Christmas cake and the one thing I craved more than her peas…her Christmas pudding. As she sliced it open and served it with a piping hot homemade custard…the only thing that could make it better was knowing that somewhere inside I would find a shining silver sixpence.

Auntie Ed collected spoons. As I do. I am the proud possessor of some of her collection.

In 2007 The Daughter and I went to Sydney to visit with her. I am so glad she got the chance to meet my daughter, and profoundly saddened she never met my son. We stayed with Auntie Ed and I’d like to tell you about something she did…or rather said…that might help you to know this tiny powerhouse of a woman.

The Daughter and I were sharing a room. Sadly [like my father] I snore. This is not a little snurk now and the, rather like a train, an endless train right next to your ear. So at some point during the first night The Daughter grabbed her bedding and moved to the lounge. In the morning when Auntie Ed got up she she smiled at the Daughter. Then commiserated with her about how she had heard me too…all the way in her room.

This morning…my cousin rang me to tell me that Auntie Ed, at the grand age of 99, had passed away. While I understand when people say what a life she had, and yes she sure did…I am sad. So sad. You see, there are actually some people this world is better off because they are in it. My Auntie Ed was one of them. Today the world became a lessor place. It lost one of its best and brightest stars. I lost the greatest aunt a girl could wish for.

My cousin shared with me a couple of things, these things…they make me smile…because I know that there were people who were with her that loved her right until the end. Auntie Ed had been in a home in Australia. When he got the call that she was failing he spent the day with her. One nurse came in to Auntie Ed’s room. She asked him if she could give ‘Auntie Ed’ a kiss. You see they all knew her as I did…she was Auntie Ed…and they loved her.

So…a life well lived. A person well loved. A woman who gave me so much more than just a love of spoons. For all this I am grateful. I just wish Auntie Ed could have lived forever.

Wordless Wednesday

IMG_6229 copy

My Best Friend

My best friend took a long time to get to know. She…yes she is a she…is a rebel [in her own way]. According to Jung she fits the rebel archetype that he ascribed to. You see she  sees injustice everywhere and wants to shake up the entire system! According to Jungian psychologists, this type believes rules are made to be broken and is driven by the desire to shock and provoke people. She is deeply principled but still possesses a free spirit with few boundaries. I believe she has the potential to really change things, if she learns to reign in her rather extreme tendencies.

IMG_1666 copyYou might be surprised to learn that the colour of her aura is…

IMG_0320White – the colour of Perfect Balance – surprising I know, but the longer her I know her the more I realise that her strongest qualities are more spiritual than physical.

If I had to think of a quote that fits her it would be this…

“It is during our

darkest moments that

we must focus to see

the light.”

Any idea who said that ??

Day 37 - 8.3.2013She hasn’t had the perfect life experiences. At times she has been broken…but never it seems beyond repair. She’s had more than her share of heartbreaks, conflicts and disappointments. It was hard, but she always tried to see the bright side of things. When she looks back, I remind her that those experiences helped her become the person she is today. She is living proof that no matter what, the human spirit can always evolve and find happiness!


I have heard people describe her as unique, different. She reminds me of  Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. Always marching to the beat of her own drum.

IMG_1953 copyPeople tell her that she is incredibly clever [she has her doubts], but she sees things in a completely different perspective to most other people and I think sometimes that does give her some valuable insights. Although most would describe her as an extrovert, they are not right. In reality she is still a shy little girl and is actually a bit of an introvert. She is incredibly comfortable in her own company. Over the years one thing she has learned is that being yourself is much more interesting than being someone else.

IMG_1662-2 copyHer favourite Luna Lovegood quote: “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”

Astrologically she is a lion.

Photo163 copyBut deep down she feels much more in tune with Pegasus.

Pegasus by 'thedrawinghands'
Pegasus by ‘thedrawinghands’

She has been there with me since before I knew what memory was. She laughs at my jokes, she cries at my losses…she even tells me when I am wrong sometimes. Not that we always agree on that.


I have loved many friends [and still do] in my lifetime. But learning to really know her, to understand her, and to love her as my best friend has been the longest journey of my life. Because she makes it hard sometimes…to know the woman behind the mask.

P1100021Luckily she stuck with me while I make my way on this journey of self discovery. I sure hope she’s around for a while longer because every day with her is a surprise.

Day 160




and everything else falls in line.

You really have to love yourself

to get anything done in this world

– Lucille Ball

Oh…and late at night when she can’t sleep, when the characters on the page won’t do what she wants, when the photo images all seem blurry and not very good – she does way to many stupid quizzes. Even she admits that !!!

She also goes looking for hilarious videos. Just to make you smile !!!

Part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.




Share Your World – 2014 Week 22

Cee’s Share Your World – 2014 Week 22 had a few interesting questions…so…here goes.

Regarding animals would you prefer not having them around or having domestics pets, farm animals, or seeing them in nature or the zoo?

I would shrivel if I didn’t have my fur companions. That said I feel there should be more restrictions placed on people having pets, and most certainly breeding them. They are not and should never be treated as commodities.

Living here in New Zealand where factory farming has become the next big thing I abhor animals being kept in these atrocious conditions. It astounds me that with so much land available we lock chickens up in tiny cages where they can barely turn around let alone take any pleasure in their lives. They live in great smelly buildings instead of breathing fresh air and being able to scratch and roll in the dirt. Our pigs are just as badly off. Most are locked in pens and sow cages that stop them from nurturing their babies who are then taken from them for slaughter. And now our government is allowing cattle to be treated in a similar fashion.

As for zoos, I am in two minds when it comes to them. I have seen too many animals kept in conditions that make their lives miserable. Thankfully many zoos are now changing, and realising the need to provide a natural habitat for these creatures. While I understand the work some zoos do in educating people and allowing them to see these animals and hopefully develop empathy for them there are still way too many factors that bother me. Case in point the zoo that recently bred a giraffe then while he was still a youngster shot a bolt in to its head as he was surplus to their genetic needs. I deplore this attitude many humans have of believing we have the right of dominion over other species. Until we put that behind us and make sure these creatures are able to roam free in the natural habitat then we are nothing but slavers.

Are you a collector of anything? 

Oh yes I am.

I inherited this addiction from my darling Auntie Ed, my father’s youngest sister.

Auntie Ed is in the blue. My Auntie Rita's [next to her] wedding day.
Auntie Ed is in the blue. My Auntie Rita’s [next to her] wedding day.
If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to? 

1 minute 29 in…oh that is so me !!!! Then there is 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Oh yea baby !!!!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that my fire is fixed as it turned cold all of a sudden, and that my three fur babies are all well and content. The upcoming week looks a bit wet…so I am grateful for that. It makes me feel less guilty for being indoors and working on the book.


Wordless Wednesday

Belly dancer.

25 years ago today…

12-11-2011_013 2 copyOf all the cliches in the world ‘time flies when your having fun’, actually appears to be true !!

P1090706I have forgotten the extent of the pain I went through [actually – NO – I haven’t] that afternoon. What I know is that it was worth every minute of it.

th_wow_rotatesDid I really just say that ????


The Daughter is in America today. It was a quarter of a century ago that I met her for the first time, and tonight I will raise a glass to her across the sea.


I will whisper to her that…

you are a new delight each time I have the sight of you,

and in the darkness you comfort me in the knowing

of your existence,

there is not enough laughter

that your voice can’t bring more,

there are not enough tears

that your absence doesn’t

wash over me in a flood,

there is not enough music

to carry the soft lilt of your tones

to my ears,

travel well through life

knowing your first steps

left little footprints

on my heart


No mother has ever burst with pride the way I have with you. You are my laughter, my tears, my joy, my fears…you are a precious gift that lightens my soul.

If life ever takes it toll…remember beautiful girl…let the world hear you ROAR !!!!

Wordless Wednesday


Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Waihi is a small town about 20 minutes drive north of where I live. In March every year the main street comes alive with the people of Waihi and surrounding areas, as well as a few from afar. It is the eclectic mix that always fascinates me.

Even the Police enjoy a sausage or two.
The man in gumboots had such fun dancing by himself…I almost joined him.

Related Posts

Just because…


Wordless Wednesday


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Color Purple

A song from my wayward youth…by Deep Purple…goodness how this brings back memories. Ones I am in no way sharing with you lot !!!!

I admit it…I have added a couple of older images here…but they are soooooo PURPLE !!!!

And who among you remember this song? I used to pray that one day I would meet such a fearsome creature in my travels. I mean the purple people eater used to rock from the horn in his head and sing ‘bam boom’, that is pretty cool !  I figured I was safe as I wasn’t purple.


International Happiness Day

Wearing this beret and wig made me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.
Wearing this beret and wig made me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.

To celebrate International Happiness Day I tried something. No matter what…I smiled. All day long, at everyone. I focused on finding something to be HAPPY about in every situation.

I smiled at the man who told me that: “No. You are not covered under warranty for the key that popped off you laptop.” I focused on being happy they could repair it then and there, and I smiled.

When a young man tooted angrily at me because I didn’t move my car quick enough for him. I smiled and waved and focused on feeling happy that at 55 I am no longer that impatient.

When the woman cut me off in traffic I smiled and waved and felt happy that she had not actually hit my car. My baby means a lot to me after 20 years together. We are both a little dented, but worth keeping I like to think, so that made me happy.

I smiled at the young man who looked lost on the beach and he smiled back, then laughed when I pointed my camera at him.


When I got home and Jackie left me bleeding from at least three places I focused on being happy that eventually I got her to take her worm tablet. I smiled when I thought about the fact that later she would forgive me and cuddle up on my feet.

I have a friend who talks often about embracing happiness. I try to emulate her behaviour. She is possibly [no…she is definitely] the happiest person I know. She seems to draw happiness to her. This happens because she sends it out, every hour of every day, with not one thought of what it will do for her.

I hope you will read her post: Begin Your Happy

I have been trying to make the effort to smile at strangers [just friends I haven’t met yet], the angry, the sad, the people who don’t love themselves for the magical gift they are, for a while now.

And what I have found is that one day it was not an effort to be happy. I didn’t have to work at it. My happy is a gift that in giving to others I get back tenfold. And so my happy just keeps growing. It flows over and I get to swim in it every day.

Oh and…graffiti like this…it makes me so happy I have to share !!!!


And a completely unrelated kind of thing…but it will make your body very happy…Hungry For Change. You may have to give your e-mail address to click through to watch this video, but it really is worth it !!!

Wordless Wednesday


Completely unrelated subject:

Protect Amazon.com Users and Indie Publishing Authors from Bullying and Harassment by Removing Anonymity and Requiring Identity Verification for Reviewing and Forum Participation – Sign This Petition !!!

I invented a pie…oh yes I did. And you can vote on it so I can well…win kudos of course, plus money !!! Mine is the “Under the Sea” pie in the Pie Warmer.

Hoping I am not too old to learn a new skill.

I have a Japanese student staying with me. He is sweet and polite, but speaks very little English, which leads to some funny conversations. Yusuke is here until Tuesday 11th of March. Not a long time, but hopefully an enjoyable one.

I hope to learn from Yusuke a thing or two. One skill he has tried very patiently to impart is origami. And here is my first attempt.

A crane…


origami crane

One trip EVERY Month: Exploring My New Zealand

I just love Marianne’s new challenge idea.


Making the effort to explore somewhere new every month. Big, little, the size of the trip doesn’t matter. Just opening yourself to a new place is the challenge. Well this month I went to a festival that happens every year in Katikati. I have often thought about going but never made it.

2014 was the year I finally made it.

So here are some images from the 2014 Katikati Avocado Food & Wine Festival.

My beautiful friend Celia treated me to a wonderful outing. While she tried the venison…

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

I had a delicious maple syrup crepe.

We both enjoyed a glass of wine…my choice…the Pinot Gris. Very easily downed.

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

There was music…

Paul and Penny entertained the crowd with Celtic music.

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

The Reevers had some of the crowd up dancing.

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

It was a great chance to catch up with my old doctor who sadly has moved on to a new practise.

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

Luckily the new doctor is pretty cool as well, and for the first time in decades she’s a she !!

Katikati 2014 Avocado Food& Wine Festival

Some of our younger generation also provided what was amazing entertainment. Lorde would have loved their rendition of Royals.

Katikati turned on a beautiful day and the crowds came out for loads of fun, the odd catchup with old friends, and the chance to make some new ones.

Not bad for a small rural town with a population of around 4,000 I’d say.


Black & White Photo Challenge: Family

Sonel’s challenge this week is family. This family really grabbed my attention.



Wordless Wednesday

Day 97 - 7.5.2013

Wordless Wednesday

Out on Tauranga Harbour...perfect autumn day !
Out on Tauranga Harbour…perfect autumn day !

When a bench is not just a bench…

This weeks Travel Theme is benches. Here are a few from around New Zealand.

Survivors – The Relay For Life.

I have been thinking about IMG_1240 lately. Yes I do think occasionally. About how we take it for granted we will have time to do the things we want…later. Too often we let it slide past us without making each second count.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with two gorgeous ladies at an event in Tauranga to celebrate not only life but TIME as well.

Joanne...you've got to love THAT name !!!
Joanne…you’ve got to love THAT name !!!

Watching the afternoon unfold made me remember an important truth. No length of time seems long enough to accomplish all we want to. But if we make the most of it, live in every second as it happens…it is an eloquent sufficiency we leave behind in the memory of others !!

The Relay for Life happened in cities all over New Zealand.

  • It raises money for Cancer.
  • It is a day of rejoicing for those who have fought and won the battle for more time.
  • It is a day to remember those whose time has come to an end.

Both of my friends are cancer survivors. They are beautiful, bright, feisty women who have made my TIME on this Earth better for their presence in my life. As they walked the SURVIVORS HONOUR LAP I had to run to keep ahead of them.

Relay For Life

That doesn’t happen often with these ladies…me keeping ahead that is. But as I sure have fun trying, for now I will just keep hanging around them !!

Tauranga Relay For Life

Related Posts: Travel Theme: Time