Am I?

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FIRST before we get into my fun!

JB and I are closing in on our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY HERE AT A WORLD APART. We have had great fun, but want to change it up a bit, so instead of blogging alternate days, resulting in 3+ blogs a week, we are each taking on 2 specific days a week. To lighten our load a bit and keep it fresh and exciting. So from now on she will post on her Thursday and Sunday ( that’s Wednesday and Saturday on this half of the world, and I will post on Tuesdays and Fridays (her Wednesday and Saturday.) We will continue to read all of your posts daily though!! We love this partnership and thank all of you for being part of our WP family!

I was brought up on Sunday as a day of rest. Of course, way back then, last mid-century (literally), there was no shopping, no movies, no cleaning (except in our house my dad took us to church while my mom cleaned and did laundry so we arrived home to lovely everything – so maybe not so much a rest for mom), and we visited family, took drives, in the summer picnics switch our aunts and uncles and cousins, and grandparents. As we got older into teens that changed of course but those were lovely years.

I have made a few attempts at recapturing that feeling, though not with great success, as I keep forgetting.

But now Sundays are more relaxed for me. Starting the day with breakfast, coffee, and catching up on my blog reading and commenting.

It seems I am up and out more and more in the mornings and do not get the time to read and enjoy all of you! So that is what I am doing today.

With the mug above. And the question?

Should be easy to answer.

Am I jumping into the Christmas season early or do I really need to wash up my cups? Those of you who really know me, know the answer.

When I downsized I got rid of sets of China and every day dishes that I knew I no longer needed. I decided to keep four cups, a couple of mugs, four wine glasses, 4 champagne glasses (anticipating occasion for big celebration).

I forgot to think about how many glasses and cups I break. I have one cup from the set left, 1 wine glass, 1 bubbles glass, and 2 mugs not counting this Christmas mug.

Enough said, from here at North 43!

Chris G November 6th ‘22


Friday Five Words Let’s Go

No those aren’t my five words, I am just messing around trying think of Five.


First off, coffee with friends including one who had been away for a while. So joy at seeing her and how well she looked.

Second, had done a bit of shopping and found some unmentionables I had not found lately. So joy at that!

Third, FaceTime with a dear old friend (our usual Friday afternoon). So joy, she lifted me up!

Four, I found my new fave herbal tea, It is so yummy!

So joy at treating my taste buds with pomegranate and raspberry.

Fifth, I had told B I have been looking for a nice teapot for ages and had no luck. She suggested I use my French Press, because I like to make a pot at a time. Works like a charm and wrapping a towel around it keeps it warm. So great joy at that!

Sixth, I walked down the street to my building and two elderly gents were sitting out front and called me over. I was tired and a bit grumpy so I was just going to keep going, but walked over to them. One chap said, ‘I had to tell you when you came around the corner the sun shone down on you and you glowed.’ I smiled and replied, ‘That’s because I am an angel!’ And I walked on with a smile on my face as they chuckled!

Chris G Friday November 4th ‘22

Counting My Blessings on Friday

The first Friday in the month and time for Five Word Friday. You know what this is about. Describe your life today in five words only and then go on to tell us about it.

My Five words today are – Counting my blessings on Friday

  • At the top of my list of blessings is my family and in particular, my daughter.
  • When I was in rehab recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury, she came every day and sometimes twice a day to see me.
  • The staff said she was the kind of daughter every mother should have.
  • My apartment is part of her house but we don’t see each other as often as we did when we lived apart.
  • But I know she is always there for me, on the phone or at the top of the stairs.
  • When I call her, invariably her answer is ‘what can I do?’ or ‘are you alright?’.
  • Sometimes she laughs with her friends at her mother’s doings. She compares moh=thers with one of her colleagues. His mother won’t go down the road without him. Her mother gets on a plane and travels 7,000 kms.
  • But always laughing with me, not at me.
  • Of course, as with any mother-daughter relationship, there are hiccups along the way. But she is my special blessing and I thank god or the Universe for giving her to me.
  • And now, as another Friday flies into Saturday I continue to put her at the top of my list.

JB Friday November 4, 2022

I’ll take this and this and not that or..

For a lot of us the days of actual newspapers are gone. Now I have a News Feed on my iPad that I pick up each morning that has a list of about a dozen news sources from around the world that I quickly browse and take the time to retain some points of interest.

That’s because I have a group of friends that I meet with about three mornings a week at my Cafe O, and the topics of the day are discussed. One friend is a smart business woman who knows what is going on in the world of finance and in world governments. I learn a lot from her and often wish she was my mother. (Of course she is only nine years older than I so…)

Another friend understands politics and at least one point discussed is the world political situation. She is the one who helped me understand right, left and everything else in between.

Another friend is an artist who sees through a prism of shape and colour, and is the first to introduce topics of fun and joy. I am not sure exactly what I contribute – oh yes I do, humour. And there is lots of laughter most days.

We discuss moral, and ethical issues, women, age, and anything else locally that catches our attention. Coffee time ranges from one to one and half hours. A little less, maybe an hour and fifteen.

I miss reading and holding the paper. Doing the crossword and sudoku. It doesn’t feel the same on a screen. And of course I would have to read 10 papers to glean even a little of what I do now.

Photo by Pixabay on

But now I easily decide what I won’t read:

Interest rates – a yes

Canadian provincial and federal news – a yes

You can retire abroad for less than $2000 a month – a hard no

The 7 most underrated cities in Canada/USA/the world – I don’t care

Hailey/ Justin Bieber seem nice enough but no thanks

US politics – you bet

Elon Musk -please I just quit Twitter –

King Charles lll et al – nah

So even though I miss the paper in print I do like having options.

And with friends like mine I have to make a reasonable show of some intelligence and knowledge. I should have said before, that while none of us agrees with the other very often it is always a positive-minded respectful conversation.

So from North of 43, this very lucky girl bids you adieu.

Chris G Nov 2nd ‘22


I haven’t talked much about the fantastic resort in Bali to which we recently went. It is classed as 5-stars, but over the years I have been in many 5-star hotels and resorts and I have never seen anything come close to this one. But more of that later.

Today I want to tell you about one of the restaurants in the resort. It is called Koral and it is a joy to behold. The food is amazing, the presentation is in a class of its own but the piece de résistance is the fish swimming around and coming up to the glass, so close almost on your plates and eating with you.

This was a constant show and at one stage a diver went down into the water among the fish. They detected no threat and so ignored him. He came over and tapped on the window beside us. Unfortunately, that was in a video and I can’t upload videos here.

There was a short arch through which we walked to get to our table. Here there are six tables and the fish swim around and over the heads of the diners. Unfortunately, we were told those tables are booked at least four months in advance.

JB standing in amazement watching the fish doing their thing and ignoring us. For once I was speechless.

So a wonderful meal that came in a close second to the fish entertainment.

I couldn’t resist buying a book that describes the fish swimming around us. I know that my No3 grandson will love it.

And now JB is back in Wellington
waiting for the Spring, but with very happy memories. November 2, 2022

Ghosts and goblins and…..

A friend and I went for a Sunday morning walk around the neighbourhood yesterday to see lawn decorations. For HALLOWEEN of course!

A young mother was also here with two of her three children. The oldest one who was five wouldn’t come because she was truly frightened. The other two who looked about three and two years old loved it!

I love that some folk go all out. I never did- too energetic for me but I sure enjoy the ones that do.

This place brought all smiles. So cheerful!

This witch is rather solitary but really amazing!


Someone painted a bare trunk and branch – which has nothing to do with Halloween but I just had to include it!

Now how ingenious is that?

And we still have some vibrant colours about.

All in all quite a lovely time of year here at North of 43

Chris G October 31st ‘22

Saturday Again

For years I played Six Word Saturday so although the blog no longer exists, I am playing it today.

Describe your day in six words and then tell about it.

Wet outside, so day spent inside

What to do on a rainy Wellington Spring day? Well, sit inside of course and read or binge watch TV.

I have to say that I don’t watch TV very often but this afternoon I binge-watched Chesapeake Shores on Netflix. if you haven’t watched it, briefly it is about a family pretty well-heeled (is that an expression you use?) living an almost idyllic life in a small community on the shore of the lake. This is series 6 although I am not sure that I watched all the other series.

Anyway, this is an interesting family. A divorced daughter with two daughters of her own, a daughter who is a famous author and a third daughter who runs an Inn with her husband. . Two brothers, one a fireman married to a woman firefighter and the other a lawyer. Oh, the mother is now on the scene again, having left the husband and five children some 20 years ago. There is also a very glamorous grandmother.

During the course of this afternoon, we had a daughter-in-law who miscarries, the father crashes his plane and is out of contact for a while and one son who has a heart attack but of course recovers. The father becomes addicted to opioids but by the time I had finished watching, he was going to NA meetings.

Meantime the eldest daughter, she with her two girls, meets and falls in love with a handsome millionaire; the writer falls in love with a guy just out of prison; daughter-in-law becomes pregnant again; the second son falls in love with his paralegal; daughter No 3 is married and her husband’s father is wanted by the FBI for embezzlement among other things, and Mum and Dad decide they are in love and get back together again.

Just your average American family.

JB, October 29,2022
Wellington, NZ

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

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

Chris G October 25th ‘22

A Day or Two in the Life of an Octogenarian

All good things end and on Sunday, our stay in Bali ended. However, we put plenty into the available time. We were picked up and taken for lunch by friends. after a 2-hour drive through traffic, very busy but well-behaved, and with the driver and our host arguing about where we should turn, we ended up at the wrong beach and the people in the other car were not there. iI was 30 degrees in the shade, of which there was little. We eventually all met up and then began the trek to where these friends thought we had been the last time – the restaurant closed and six weary folks looking for another.

Lunch was good though not at all Balinese, and then it was time to leave. Meantime, one of the others, a Muslim, had taken off to find a temple and once again we were waiting for the second car. Yes, it was a shambles and I must say this Octogenarian was very pleased when we arrived at the hotel but only one hour before our pick up.

View while waiting for driver.

We were met by a pleasant driver who talked about Bali and of course, the upcoming G20 visit which has had, and will continue to have, an effect on everyone living in Bali. Much of the infrastructure has been improved, roads resealed and new roads built. The resort in which we stayed is to be the venue of the meeting and before our eyes (literally) two new conference centres were being built. The walk along the sand was paved in a day and we were told the sand will be cleaned and replaced where necessary every day. Busy, busy groups of small Balinese men appearing to be happy in their work.

So to the airport. I remember the first time I arrived in Bali in 1988. The airport terminal building was little more than a hut but now it is a large international terminal. Very impressive.

Two hours after arriving we were bound for Sydney. Nothing to report on the six-hour flight. A good selection of movies, my book and notebook, some food and sleep, and we were there. Then …. ELEVEN HOURS waiting in the Qantas Club lounge. How would we have filled in all that time without the lounge? Plenty of food and drink, alcohol if one wished, coffee and tea, a shower and eventually we were taken to the plane for our 3-hour trip to Wellington.

After arriving in Wellington and going through all the necessary formalities we came out into the terminal area at 1 am to find that the ordered taxi was not there. After calling the service I was told all cabs were busy and to take a cab from the rank. Problem No 2 – no cabs on the rank and about 15 people already waiting in line. so a very tired, elderly lady called the company once again and soon several cabs appeared including one which we took. So after depositing my companion at her house tired elderly lady eventually arrived home at 2 am. As my daughter said, I have to reconsider long journeys and stopovers from now on.

So many photos were taken of this incredible resort and I would like to share this one.

Dinner with the fishes swimming around and over our heads.
JB Happy to be home
in Wellington, NZ
October 25, 2022

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