Old Dog, Old Woman, Old Friends

Once again, I am visiting my favourite dog. My son and his wife have left for 10 days to visit their youngest son who now lives in Brisbane in Queensland, Aus.

So now Daisydog and I have 10 days to relax close to the beach and beside the river. Neither of us walks very far or very fast these days and I think she quite likes it when I’m here because there’s no rough and tumble which always starts when my son and his son are here, independently, or together.

And now I have 10 days to myself. I visited each of my not-well friends last week, so nobody is expecting me this week. I do have one friend who’s coming to stay for a couple of days but she’s very easy to be around and she’s happy to do nothing as well

My plans for these 10 days are to read, rest and occasionally take a short walk with Daisydog. And of course, I might find a new series to binge-watch on TV. 

Now sitting in the sunshine with my book, the sounds of the birds as the backdrop, and Daisydog snoring peacefully, I am putting my plans into effect.

JB, Sunday, November 13,2022
Raumati, Kapiti Coast, NZ


Lest We Forget

This is our Remembrance Day here today. A day to remember all who died in wars.

For many of us oldsters, whose parents were young soldiers in World War 11.

It’s an honour to remember the sacrifices.

For all the parades and formal services there is a darker side to the significance of the day.

I have come to realize the greatest sacrifices, not just in this war, the greatest victims are those who did not die, but were broken. Irreparably.

Nightmares. So many veterans I have spoken with talk about nightmares. Even all these years later. Almost all said they have never told their families about them.

One woman who married her betrothed on his return said the war broke him.

One chap in his nineties told me that as a young soldier he saw trucks coming into their camp and he wandered over to have a look. ‘The trucks were filled with dead bodies, all young soldiers just piled up.’ His own nightmare.

My mom was a WREN and part of a group – oh you know what? I have lots of horrible stories veterans have trusted me with, and I am not going to go on about this.

I guess the point is that when eleven o’clock arrived at the Cenotaph, and I bowed my head, it was not just for the dead. It was for every victim ever touched by war. Not being dead did not mean one survived.

So if you are of the type to pray, even if you do not believe please remember to include, if you can, every Victim.

Chris G Friday November 11th ‘22


Three am on Thursday

Chris has told you of the new regimen for posting in AWA, and Thursday is one of my chosen days to write.
I am one of those fortunate people who decide it’s time to turn out the light, do so and immediately fall asleep for many hours. So, on the very few occasions when I find myself awake in the middle of the night I am surprised. And then I have to think of something to send myself back to sleep. So here it is 3 o’clock on Thursday morning. I’m drinking camomile tea and writing my blog post.
So what to write about?
Here in New Zealand, we have large areas of geothermal activity. This is surely one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular tricks. It is scary, amazing, and totally mesmerising; these things don’t change no matter how often you see this activity.
I always make a point of taking overseas visitors to see it. 
I have said before that I enjoy writing to a theme or to a specified number of words. One thing I used to do was write to a theme in five sentences. Here’s a post from several years ago about the activity.


She had loved Dante’s Inferno since first being presented a copy to read for English Literature classes so many years ago.  And now she wondered was this the closest she would get to Dante’s Inferno in this life?
She stood there, totally surrounded by mist, mesmerised by the sight of great gusts of steam emanating from the ground accompanied by the roar of a fast-approaching steam locomotive.
As she walked slowly past a pool that resembled a boiling cauldron she remembered reading that the indigenous people, the Maori, still used the heat from this activity for cooking and heating their houses as they had done for centuries.
On her return home on the other side of the world, she needed to have these photos as evidence that this was in fact real and not a figment of her very active imagination.

The word that week word was STEAM.  I thought as few people might have seen the
Geothermal activity producing clouds of steam, I would use this as the setting for my Five Sentence story this week.

What a difference a day makes

This song was recorded by many people but the one I remember was but Ella Fitzgerald.
As I sat reading blogs this morning, those words kept drifting across my mind.

As I announced in my last post, JB and I were changing up our blogging routine. In our first year we blogged alternate days, and now needed a fresh approach.

Those days seem to come quicker and quicker and we were losing our sense of fun under obligation.

So now we each have chosen 2 days in the week on which we will post. Our first Friday of the month -FIVE WORD FRIDAY – will remain as it is now, since Judith always experiences that first Friday one day before me.

Oh, back, to the difference. The feeling of freedom is amazing. Now I have five days a week to do what I most enjoy, and that is reading your blogs.

I did not realize how stressful I found it all. But oh my this feels wonderful.

f course this is also voting day for the mid-terms in the US so the song also applies to that. Oh dear.

What a diff'rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain
My yesterday was blue, dear
Today I'm part of you, dear
My lonely nights are through, dear
Since you said you were mine
Lord what a diff'rence a day makes
There's a rainbow before me
Skies above can't be stormy
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling kiss
It's heaven when you, find romance on your menu
What a diff'rence a day made
And the difference is you

Wishing you well from North of 43!

Chris G Tuesday November 8th ‘22

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

You Can’t Beat Wellington on a Good Day

So say those of us who choose to live in our little Capital city.

And today has been one such day. Well to be honest, we have had a short run of good days but I think today has outshone them all.

On this Spring day, I have been sitting outside reading without any sign of the wind that compares us to Chicago. What am I reading? The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy. I have read all of his novels and now am learning about the man, his overbearing, demanding, threatening father, his mother who never really climbed out of the Appalachians where she grew up and his six brothers and sisters. The book doesn’t try to hide the terrible childhood but this no doubt, made him into the man he became.

So forgive me if I go back to reading more of this fascinating true story.

JB In the sunshine
Wellington New Zealand
November 6, 2022

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 Pexels.com

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