Monday Miscellany

  • As a family (and wider as a nation) we had wonderful news last night. Tears came to my eyes. I can only imagine how delighted my sister and brother-in-law were last night. I wonder how my niece felt. Probably unable to take it all in. It is a big deal for our family. I wrote about it here on Daily Delights.
  • In the last week, I’ve had a lesson in how deeply (or not) some people think about their lives, and the lives of others, even those close to them, and why they support particular policies, and whether they value facts if they don’t support their world view. I find it fascinating. Another post is brewing.
  • This year has flown by. Time has been truncated. Inertia took hold. And now we’re trying to squeeze a few things in before the year ends.
  • The big volcano in the middle of the North Island awoke from its usual slumber this year, just slightly rising temperatures in the crater lakes. Then a week or so ago there was an earthquake, not a huge one but at only 5 kms depth that’s not insignificant. There have been dozens/hundreds of aftershocks, at least one of which we have felt down here. We’re taking a drive past it. We’re thinking twice about our original plan to stay under the mountain (volcano) on our way back!
  • I’m starting to think about Christmas. Suddenly realising I might be too late for delivery of a birthday present overseas, let alone Christmas gifts, and for other things I need to send. That spinning head, and now a visitor, have completely disrupted my planning. But wait! As I was writing this, I was chatting online to the birthday girl, and was reminded that she will be overseas for her birthday, so I have a couple of weeks grace. And on that positive note, I will say that’s enough miscellany for this Monday.

A Coastal Sojourn

We drove over the hill, a route we know well, pleased that there was no gale on this sometimes treacherous road, before we dropped down into the Wairarapa, dropping again into the Martinborough valley plains, full of dairy farms and olive groves and grapevines, where we stopped at a vineyard with a food truck, the Gnocchi Bros, offering a delicious sage and gorgonzola gnocchi, that we discovered paired perfectly with the vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc, before we piled back into the car, this time in a convoy of friends, driving east towards the coast and the Pacific Ocean, along winding farm roads, then more slowly along a gravel road, some of it high above a river, erosion cutting into roadside, before we arrived at the coast, a small settlement, and a comfortable new bach (holiday home) with spectacular views of the ocean and the rocks and the hills to the north and the south, where we promptly unpacked and took off for a walk, taking advantage of the unusual lack of seaside wind to clamber around rocks, disturb sleeping seals, take selfies, chat, wander through a grassy paddock right on the seashore, listen to the waves and the rolling stones, look at the unique rocks and collect some of them for our gardens, and later, relax, chat, drink wine, and in a fit of enthusiasm, move the dining table out onto the expansive deck where we ate dinner, watched the sunset and the sliver of a moon that rose and set and, by now wrapped in blankets against the night’s chill, drinking warming tea in the dark, the stars appeared above us – oh, the stars; they twinkled and some fell, there were more than these city-dwellers could have imagined, and it was the perfect end to a wonderful day.


A week ago, I turned over in bed, and the world spun around me. What was happening? I waited, and gradually the world slowed. I moved, and it happened again. This wasn’t good. Head movements triggered the spin. I sat up, and almost fell back down again as the world was spinning again. I stood up. Wobbly, but the world didn’t move, as long as I didn’t move my head. Balance, however, was another issue. I went down the stairs carefully, not looking down, feeling my way. The problem of living in a house with multiple levels.

It continued for the rest of the morning. Walking made me feel that I was on a ship that was rolling, and threatened to lurch if I didn’t pay attention. I googled “”spinning head when turning over in bed” and discovered I wasn’t the first to do that. I learned that this is a common enough complaint, and gave myself a self-diagnosis of BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Best of all, I learned that there are treatments. Relief. No stroke. (I had already done the self-test to determine that). No apparent brain tumour. I tried out the treatment (a series of movements), and though I felt different after it, I was still highly imbalanced. I slept on the couch – sitting propped up, as lying down is what triggers it. And afterwards, when I moved my head, the world stayed put. I walked around tentatively all evening, but was pleased to feel more anchored. I know Dr Google can be dangerous, but the good doctor served its purpose that day.

Sadly, the vertigo came back. The movements or manoeuvres help. I can walk around okay, and there is steady improvement. But I’m not driving yet, just to be careful. And I’m tired of trying to sleep sitting up, or only on one side, to avoid a recurrence. So I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. There was a time for Dr Google. But it is now time to talk to a human about it.

(see Eggs on Mali’s Daily Delights for an update)