Saturday a world away

JB certainly made the most of her Saturday, even though it was spent binge watching. It was fun to follow her episodes as they unraveled quite a tale that passes for drama these days. Her last comment was hilarious.

Here, in Canada, Ontario that is it was quite a different sort of day.

First, it was a sunny day at 0C when I headed out to meet my SIL at the mall to get some walking and shopping done. Within two hours it was warm and soon 16C.

What usually takes half an hour to get there took over an hour as the trains weren’t running (our inner city light rail system). I didn’t know it at the time but a truck tried going head on with the train. Silly truck.

After reaching the first 5000 steps we broke for a lovely lunch. A bit more walking, and discussion of fashion we headed home. Early enough to get some great chores done. But, alas, I fell into a very deep sleep (it may have something to do with the lying down part to consider the chores)

Now, comes the confession. I wasted a good couple of hours watching animal videos on Instagram. No lie. Cannot believe it.

So not much else achieved except a grand plan to accomplish lots of wonderful things tomorrow.

From North of 43 I bid you adieu and hope you find some relaxation in this day!

Chris G October 29th ‘22

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JB made this Limerick Day

This isn’t really National Limerick Day. Apparently that is May 12th. But Limericks are the fun topic of the day.

JB posted fun limericks by one of the authors’ of Murder is Everywhere, who allowed one of hers to be posted and also wrote a personal one for JB.

Now, how can I let that pass? So here is my effort!

It’s so much fun having JB back,

Her absence certainly caused a lack

Her interest now is not a trick

It’s all about The Limerick

And now I joined the poetic track!

Sort of. Not my best effort but so much fun!

So from North of 43, I wish you all a poetic night!

Chris G October 27th ‘22

Once upon a time.

My youngest grandson, from the time he was about six, displayed all the signs of a word class writer, or film maker.

Even back then he had an advanced knowledge of words, asked pointed deep questions and actually did some writing.

As the years have gone by he continues to dissect characters and motivation and discuss scenes. He is a deep thinker.

Now, at the age of fourteen, there have been times he has called his grandma (that’s me) to talk about story ideas and ask for my input. I have asked for his ideas and input.

When it comes to writing, we are more like equals. I respect his thoughts, his mind.

But this is actually about ONCE UPON A TIME.

He told me that a teacher once told him that you can never start a story with the words ONCE UPON A TIME.

After giving it some thought, I told him that, as a writer, he can start a story any way he wishes. But I do understand where that teacher was coming from. I guess unless you are writing a fairy tale your story will start differently.

Like his grandma, writing is not a daily occurrence. But I have found a long time can pass while the grey cells think. And produce. I have experienced that particular joy, when it seems I have not been productive, but when I sat to write it all came out like a perfectly baked soufflé.

Some writers set a goal of so many words a day, but I like the way G2 and I do it. Think, wait, think, and let all the ingredients blend in a rhythm. I have tried pushing myself to so many words a day, but the result is a cheap knock-off.

I don’t need to say I am very proud of him. Do I?

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

So from North of 43, I bid you adieu and hasten off the think creatively!

Chris G October 25th ‘22

There’s a rumble, something brewing

There’s a rumble, something brewing across the world.


There is a G20 meeting in Bali (yes where Judith stayed). The member countries are listed below.

All these world leaders coming together. For what I ask? The conference lasts two days November 15th and 16th of this year. A high cost ( to the tax payers) for a fancy meet and greet.

And what will come of it? No idea.

The world is on the brink of change. You descendants will have a different life and our’s (the current elderly) will become the stuff of tales of the old west.

That’s my view from North of 43!

Chris G October 23rd ‘22

When it comes to women of a certain age I hesitate to use the word

OLD. Old posts. Old stories. Old posts. JB remains in that most exotic location, Bali, so here is a treasure from September 2017 she titled ON THIS DAY

I have just been going down memory lane.  I found a box full of letters to and from my Dashing Young Scotsman before and shortly after we were married.  At that time my DYS was a chauffeur for a car rental company and he was away from home for weeks at a time.  In case you don’t remember or are too young to know, in 1957 many Americans came to the UK and then from there, they toured Europe.  Self-drive cars were around but many preferred to be driven.

I was delighted to find these letters from 60 years ago – yes I am that old, particularly as I don’t keep letters, cards etc for any length of time.

So having read one dated 18 September 1957 I decided to look at my earlier blog posts to see what I was thinking and/or doing at that time.

This blogging journey started on March 1, 2011, so the first stop was 18 September 2011.

On that day I talked about My September Years and reminisced about the great life I had lived up until that day.

18 September 2012 I continued the story with Yet More on the Bonnets.  If you were following my blog then you might remember that Sallyann at Photographic Memories found some bonnets sitting in the back of a disused taxi and suggested that I might write a story on this.  Well, I did.  I hope you enjoy it.

18 September 2013 found me in Oxford with my sister visiting with my blogging pal, Sallyann of Photographic Memories fame.  We had a great day and as Sallyann lived in Oxford then, we saw many things not usually seen by tourists.  A great day was had by all and it was particularly memorable because I met a blogging pal In Real Life.

18 September 2014 I was working through Writing 101 and on this day the challenge was to write about loss.  I chose to talk about Miss Lotte my small Tibetan Spaniel and my faithful companion.  Unfortunately, Miss Lotte’s life was short but sweet and I still miss her.

18 September 2015.  This was a particularly hard time for me as my late love, The Architect had died a month before.  So there was only one post in September that year – Missing You.  Oh, how raw were the feelings at that time and how unfair I thought it was that our lovely partnership was cut short.

18 September 2016.  There were few posts in September that year.  I was recovering from my latest adventure aka accident and the closest post to this date is Words and More Words.  The theme is obvious from the title, and I talked about Elizabeth George a favourite author, an appointment card to visit an Otolaryngologist and other meanderings in this ancient mind.

So now to today, 18 September 2017.  What thoughts are going around in my mind?  I have had a pleasant but short interaction with my No 3 grandson.  Oh, how I love to talk with these young men.  He is very solicitous of his Granma and always happy to help in any way. Today he moved plant pots around for me.  Yes, I could have done this myself, but he brought them down the outside stairs and placed them along the front of the hedge.  Now all I have to do is buy plants for them. So a visit later today to my favourite store aka the garden centre.

IMG_1991

Today the sun is shining brightly and all the doors and windows are open.  This follows torrential rain and wind yesterday and we learn that rain, thunderstorms, high winds, and snow are on the cards for many over the next 24 hours in the South Island.  I hope Grandson No 4 is safe and warm in Christchurch.

Rain and snow

We also hear that air travel is disrupted in Auckland as the Airport will be affected after a fuel pipeline from a refinery in Northland was temporarily shut-down.  Auckland is our busiest airport and Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said some 27 domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend.  So I suggest there are many disgruntled/unhappy travellers.

We read that former Napier City Councillor Peter Beckett has been found guilty of the first-degree murder of his Canadian wife following a jury trial in Canada.  Guilty of drowning his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett, on Upper Arrow Lake in August 2010 and was handed an automatic life sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 25 years.

And the good news?  A Catholic priest held hostage for almost four months in the besieged southern city of Marawi has been rescued hours after a deadly battle between Philippine soldiers and Islamic State-allied militants.   Father Teresito “Chito” Soganub was found abandoned with another hostage near a mosque early Sunday, one of three militant strongholds that have fallen to government forces over the past several days.Father Soganub had been held captive since militants attacked his Saint Mary’s Parish during the siege of Marawi on May 23.

So enough meandering on this Monday.  I hope you all have had a pleasant weekend and are looking forward to this new week.

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When do you peak?

My friends say I am a morning person, except for the friend that is truly a morning person.

I wondered if that was true and then realized that I do indeed peak in early morning when it comes to bright ideas, creative thoughts, and easy optimism.

I hasten to add that the words ‘early morning’ mean after seven in the morning.

Sometimes my brilliance in those hours simply astound me. she said modestly.

But, as that small hand nears twelve my thoughts turn more to food, which sort of dissipates creativity.

Say, I just had a thought: people talk about living in the moment -can you live in the moment if you are in a creative cloud?

I never thought of that before. I suppose if you are truly focused on what is before you, cloud or not you are truly living in the moment.

Hmmmmmm does that make sense?

What do you think?

When do you peak?

From North of 43, that seems to be the extent of this mornings brilliant thoughts!

Chris G October 21st ‘22

Winsome Weekend Two Years Ago

Two years ago today JB was as busy as she is today. Except today she is soaking up sun and sand in Bali and so in her absence I am posting memories from her other blog for your entertainment! Chris G

This has been a busy, exciting weekend.

On Friday I had been asked to attend the opening of the Art exhibition at the Karori Arts and Crafts Centre to write an article for the local suburban newspaper. I have had some things published in newspapers in the various places I have lived, but have never been asked to provide an article. So that was a first.

The evening started when I arrived at the Centre to be surrounded by 116 artworks, hanging on all the walls.   What an amazing sight. The works were to be judged in three categories, Traditional, Contemporary and Drawing.  In addition to the major awards, one further piece was given a merit award in each category.  I am pleased I didn’t have to judge.  The judge was a well known and much admired Wellington artist who had a long involvement with Karori Arts and Crafts. 

A fun couple of hours spent mingling with the winners and also many other artists.

Saturday dawned and as my No 3 grandson was home for the weekend, we had brunch at one of my favourite restaurants. Drew, his mother Cate, his girlfriend Alyse and me.  I love spending time with my grandsons and listening to their take on life.

Saturday was also General Election Day and what a landslide victory to the incumbent Prime Minister and her Labour Party.  If you have any interest in politics in this far-flung part of the world, you might remember that at the last election in 2017 they didn’t win, but with the assistance of a couple of the minor parties, they were able to form a Government.  And Jacinda Ardern has proved her worth through three major crises during her three-year term – the Christchurch earthquake, the Christchurch terrorist attacks and of course, Covid. So she and her crew deserve another term.  But already people are saying that the Labour-led government didn’t keep all the promises made in 2017, so what will they not do during this three-year term.

In addition to the General Election, we had two referenda on which to vote – he legalisation of cannabis and the End of life choice. We are told that the results will not be available for two or three weeks.   

So to Sunday.  After the excitement of the last two days, I was happy to stay home, reading and writing and returning a couple of things I purchased yesterday, one of which was a kitchen trolley. This was a flat pack and I know I cannot put things together, no matter how easy I am told they are.

Flat pack car
Flat pack cat

But all is not lost. The kindly gent in the store offered to replace my one in the box for one he had just made up for display. So another good thing to report for this weekend.

And now it’s time to write a memory for our Memory Writing group tomorrow.

For those of you just starting your day, I hope it’s a good one. Take care and remember to be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can. And as always, remember too –

When media influence is a good thing

How much are you directly influenced by what you read?

One of the blogs I follow In My Fathers World, had great influence on me today.

I am better at minding what I eat more than anything else. Not perfect, you understand, but pretty good. Better than staying in budget, for instance. Better than adhering to schedules and routines.

All day yesterday I found myself thinking about a particular burger I really enjoy. I don’t have it often for obvious reasons, and I have to really ask myself if I truly want it. Besides it was a cold day, not unlike today, and I talked myself out of it.

But this morning I read the above blog about such a burger and have decided that is exactly what I will have today.

Maybe.

Are you influenced by visual ads/blogs/articles?

I would say that generally I am not. But today would indicate otherwise.

The burger in question from Crabby Joes

Will I? From North of 43 I wonder.

Chris G October 18th ‘22

What? Bali? Again?

This is the JB day to post. We alternate you know! But guess what? I came up with a brilliant idea, that for each day she is gone, I would post something from her original blog Growing younger each day (pre AWA) from the past.

This one is from five years ago this month, and can you guess where she is? Again? Our lucky blogster is catching some serious relaxation time in exotic climes. Much needed for sure. And it is only for a short time!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain 

August in New Zealand is deep mid-winter.  Each year, my husband and I would take ourselves off for a few weeks or occasionally months, to get away from the dreary days of winter.  And way back in 1989 we chose to go to Bali in Indonesia.

We had been several times before and had thoroughly enjoyed the place and the charming people of that island.

Paneeda View Hotel, Sanur

We decided on a simple Balinese hotel for one week.  The Paneeda View hotel was recommended to us by our travel agent.  It was set right on the beach and was a lovely, gentle way to start our holiday.

Sengiggi Beach Resort, Lombok

 This was to ne followed  by a week at a 4 star resort on Lombok Island (the only resort on the island at that time).

Putri Bali Hotel, Nusa Dhua

and a final week at a fantastic hotel at Nusa Dhua.

The Peneeda View Beach Resort in Sanur was idyllic.  Very laid back and charming.  Unfortunately, several years later this area of Bali became infamous for the Bali Bombings that killed 202 people many of them overseas visitors.

However, when we were there it was a lovely, peaceful part of Indonesia in which to holiday.

We had explored the island on previous trips including Ubud the arts centre of the island.  We had seen the rice paddies set in terraces on the high slopes and watched the ducks being herded to market along the streets.

Borobudur temple

So this time we decided to venture further afield to Java.  I had heard of Borobudur the 9th Century Buddhist Temple in Jogjakarta and the biggest in the world.   I knew that it had been constructed as a ten-terraces building and rose to 42 metres.  The first seven terraces are in a square form, two upper terraces are in a circular form and the top terrace is where the huge Buddha statue sits facing west.

One has to walk clockwise from the entrance to the temple to understand the sequence of the stories that early sculptors set into the concrete.

We got up really early to cram as much into our day as possible.  We were told that one simply turns up at the airport – no pre-booking –and boards a plane.  We bought the tickets and were given 2 snack boxes.  Then the plane arrived and the locals rushed to the gate to grab a seat.  We were pushed and shoved and eventually we found two adjacent seats.  The seat back on mine was broken and I had a most uncomfortable journey.

via Wikipedia

Merpati is the domestic airline of Bali and I must say I really hoped (and still hope) the maintenance of the engine is better than the maintenance of the interiors.

The hostess passed around small packs of lukewarm ‘juice’ and then we opened the snack packs.  We were each faced with a curled up white bread sandwich and a soft biscuit.  Needless to say neither of us ate that ‘lunch’.

When we left the plane (having left behind the snack packs of course) we were accosted on all sides with noise, people and smells.  Traffic in Java is manic.  Six or seven lanes moving each way, ignoring traffic signals, other traffic and pedestrians.

Jogyakarta traffic

But all was forgotten and forgiven when we got our first sight of Borobudur.

What a magical sight and surely this building must rank up there with the pyramids for the sheer scale of what was achieved all those years ago.

Image via Wikipedia

Our guide told us it was is a shrine to Buddha and was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries.  Constructed out of an estimated 1,600,000 blocks of volcanic stone, dredged from the river and assembled solely by human labour, and is famed for its 1,500 intricately carved reliefs, covering a total length of five kilometres end-to-end.

The first archaeological study of the site was initiated in 1814 by Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. First restored in 1907, the monument suffered from neglect and war and was almost rebuilt in the 1970s under the guidance of UNESCO, who designated Borobudur as a World Heritage Site. The massive restoration process involved the removal and refurbishing of over one million blocks, rebuilding the foundation and adding drainage systems.

When we visited one could get inside the temple and also climb the hundreds of steps to the top layer.  Unfortunately, my late husband was unable to climb and so stayed down enjoying the sunshine and the views.

I still think about this magical day.  The return to our hotel was equally as frenetic, but it was all worth it to see this magnificent building.

And now some 22 years later, I still get ‘goose bumps’ when I think about Borobudur.  It ranks with my first sight of the Grand Canyon for sheer, breathtaking beauty.

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”
Bill Bryson, American travel author

The Routine of Routine

Do you have a daily or weekly routine?

Yesterday, thoughts about routines wandered in and out of my brain as I went about my day, noticing an excess of dust, and flooring asking to be vacuumed, because of course, the same dust on the mantel is also on that carpet.

You see, in the morning, I looked around and thought, I should get a routine.

JB and I frequently mess around with the idea, she of ‘31’ and me of more detailed plans. And I finally came to the conclusion, that what we excel at is making plans.

In the old days (when I was working), I had a lovely routine. Saturdays were fun days. Up early, fill the car with gas, and get it washed. Scoot across the street to the plaza and get groceries, or go to the Farmers Market, and then home. Clean, do laundry for the week, and any other chores, make a sumptuous meal, and enjoy! Rather high energy days, but relaxing all the same. A sense of accomplishment.

But retirement changed that. I tried sticking to the Saturday routine, but often there are other things to do (like reading).

I thought of hiring a cleaning lady, but I found she often arrived and refused to do anything (*hint- it was me role playing). Then I thought I would pay her -uh, me, but she, un-me, just took the money and went to lunch.

A woman many years ago, when a group of us were having this kind of conversation, said something interesting; even if you think you do not have a routine – you do.

What do you think of that? I understood what she was saying. If you are one of those people who leave everything until you can’t stand it anymore, then that is a routine.

The problem with routine is that, at this stage of my life, I simply cannot embrace a strict routine (and believe me I have tried), because more and more I think, I don’t have to so I won’t and you -uh, me- can’t make me.

Well, those are all deep thoughts there are from North of 43, so what ever your routine, have a lovely day.

Chris G October 16th ‘22