Archive for the ‘Just life’ Category

I need to keep it short and sweet on today’s Microblog Monday, after my last post, which was not a microblog post, despite it being about Microblog Mondays.

I’ve broken away from my usual modern literature reading in the last month, to read some enjoyable and interesting non-fiction, including Hillary Clinton’s What Happened, Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B, and most recently, Sue Perkins’ Spectacles.

Some thoughts about aging, the first being the need to plan well in advance, and to make decisions before you think it is necessary, because by the time you need to have made some of these decisions, you’ll be much less capable of doing so.

Secondly, people often talk about maintaining dignity in old age, confusing it with pride, and implying that this is only possible when you are independent. However, I become more and more convinced that true dignity is being able to admit when you need help, and to accept that with grace.

The weather is warming nicely, and we’re all starting to be a bit hopeful that this year we might actually get a summer, after the disappointments of last year.

With spring well and truly here, with bright light earlier in the morning and later at night, the need for spring cleaning is becoming more and more obvious, and will need to be tackled soon.

I may not have cleaned, but I’m feeling quite smug that I only need to buy three more Christmas/birthday (thanks to my sister and a sister-in-law who both have birthdays on 20th December) presents before the end of the year.



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In thinking about the #me too posts on social media from all the women who have experienced harassment, abuse and assault, I found one instance going over and over in my head, in which a senior executive of our company humiliated me for absolutely no reason, pushing the backs of my knees at a party so my legs collapsed and I ended up on the floor, inevitably leading people to assume that I had had too much to drink. I never took him to task, just as I never complained to my boss about the off-colour joke he told in our staff meeting that felt directed at me, just as I never told anyone about the two boys who attached me in a ditch when I was about 15, but I managed to fight off. Women are taught to feel embarrassed and ashamed when we have done nothing wrong, and so-called “decent” (and even not-so-decent) men are given a free pass when they use their power against us. #Me too; I’m really angry that this is the case, so angry that women are still treated as second-class citizens, and furious that we are expected to be quiet about it.

It was announced in the last week or so that the US have increased entry requirements for flights, and airlines have said that there will be increased passenger screening, including that we may have to attend interviews before boarding flights, and so I have to say, “sorry, my US friends and family, but your government is making it very hard to want to come and visit!”

I keep hearing people (on media and social media, though less so in real life) referring to people as having Resting Bitch Face. I’ve never liked bullying, and ridiculing someone for their looks is simply another example of that, when they can’t help having a down-turned mouth any more than someone can help having blue or brown eyes, or ginger hair (also an area of discrimination I find childish and despicable), and I find the use of the “B” word, which I try never to use as there isn’t a male equivalent, is just adding salt to my wounds. And for the record, although I have a mouth that turns down naturally, I also have a happy smile, and if you dare to say that I have RBF then you’ll never damned well see it.



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September and October in New Zealand (and I believe Australia) is birthday season. One day last week I had four Fb friends with birthdays, we passed what would have been my mother’s 84th birthday, and today it is my baby sister’s birthday, and I have to admit that it is scary the big numbers she has tallied up – because that means I have even bigger numbers.

Today also is day 13 of illness for my husband, and day 11 for me, and although we’re both feeling a little better, a venture out to the supermarket has left me feeling exhausted.

Last week was disappointing worldwide, and personally I felt it, as an overseas friend (one I haven’t met for 30+ years, but we are still Facebook friends) made what seemed to me to be a kneejerk response to the reaction to her chosen President’s actions, and so criticised Puerto Rico, its people and the San Juan mayor in a way that I simply felt was beneath her, and that made me sad. But my long-standing policy on Fb is not to get involved in political debates, so although I said nothing at the time, I still feel it’s needed here.

You know how people say that if you haven’t used something or worn an article of clothing in the last year then you should throw them out? I have to say that I disagree entirely, both for clothing (eg last summer I didn’t need my most summery summer clothes at all) and for possessions. This winter we’ve been enjoying soup for lunch quite regularly, and I was happy to rediscover some pottery soup bowls I’ve had for perhaps 20 years or more though I’ve not used them for several years, and they have been perfect for our lunches. Unfortunately, my husband broke one, but he was doing the dishes so I’m not really complaining!

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No matter what age we are, this statement is always true, and – as recently I’ve been strongly reminded of this fact – it is a good reminder that the things we say we hope/should/must do one day, especially those that involve others in our lives … well … we need to do them and do them now (or soon).

This isn’t a bucket list (which I can do alone, or with my husband, and includes broader activities), but is a quick list that typically comprises mainly travel adventures with people I love, that we’ve talked about for a while but have not yet managed – perhaps because we have not yet had that ever-elusive lottery win – to organise:

  • A wine trail in the Barossa valley in Australia (though organising one just over the hill has proved to be hard enough) with family – I talk about it with both my sister and my sister-in-law, and we’ll either do it with the first family who comes up with a designated driver (I’ve been waiting a long time for a niece or nephew to get their licence), or if we have to wait too long, we might have to do it alone, because the wine is too good to ignore forever.
  • Meeting overseas friends overseas – meeting unmet friends in the US or Canada or that long-dreamed about x365ers reunion in Italy, or an AFS reunion of fellow exchange students last seen (except for just a few) in Bangkok in early 1981, more likely to be in the US, but ideally in Thailand, though it would be a good idea if I started with the kiwis who live much closer.
  • Gatherings somewhere exotic (a northern beach in NZ or maybe a safari in Africa or a chateau in France) or just a big fun family Christmas somewhere beautiful (and there is no shortage of beauty in NZ).
  • A girls’ trip to Sydney or New York or Bangkok, or anywhere with some great art galleries and massages/facials
  • Write a damn book – which I’ve almost done, but the idea is actually to make it a book, rather than leave it as files in my computer, and as this is also important to other people, who have helped me along the way, I need to get it done.

What’s on your list?

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An Odd Monday

Eight things that contributed to an odd day:

  1. Not having a job
  2. I didn’t go to bed until the wee small hours the night before
  3. Then at 8 am there was the US Open Tennis Open Final to watch
  4. After that, we decided to check on Hurricane Irma, thinking particularly of several Florida friends, three of whom had evacuated from their homes and were in the main path of the storm
  5. Without a gym membership, exercise timing becomes flexible, rather than getting it out of the way first thing in the morning, and that leads sometimes to not going for a walk at all, or delaying it for the sunny afternoon
  6. Then my husband went off to play some golf
  7. All this led to me forgetting that it was Monday, lured into the sense of a relaxed Sunday afternoon, and
  8. I fell asleep on the couch. 

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Even though it is Tuesday here in New Zealand, I’m determined to get my Monday post up, and I’m grateful for the fact that the US is so far behind me, I effectively have a whole day spare to get it done.

Yesterday, I had two of the most friendly and helpful supermarket tellers I have ever encountered, and they made the whole process more enjoyable.

At the gourmet food store’s bakery section (where they bring in cakes and tarts and pies from bakeries all around the city), they helpfully had an allergy list, to help me choose a dessert for our guests, one of whom had an allergy.

As I couldn’t make the dessert myself, (as I would usually), I had the afternoon free to do other things, and finally got some house maintenance things done as a result.

The reason I couldn’t make the dessert myself was because my oven was full of my variation on a famous Stephanie Alexander 7-hour roast lamb recipe (my variation is 4-hour roast lamb), which is something I never make, as there is little call for roast lamb for two of us, so I’m grateful both for the recipe, and the fact it turned out great.

After over 20 years of looking for a display cabinet and never finding one that was just what we wanted, that would work with our décor, and that didn’t look like something our grandmothers might have had, I finally found a Doctor’s Cabinet last week that would work perfectly, and once the Husband had agreed, it was delivered yesterday.

I’m grateful that our relatives have been able to spend a month back in the city, that we’ve enjoyed lunches and dinners and cocktails with them, and lots and lots of catching up.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Wellington on a Plate this year – an annual winter celebration where most city restaurants provide special festival dishes and set menus and many join in on the popular Burger competition – as we managed to partake of several menus (with friends and family), and although we didn’t indulge as much as I might have wanted, there’s always next year.

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  • You come up with the perfect blog topic, think to yourself, “that’s so perfect and so obvious, I don’t even need to make a note of it,” and by the next day you’ve forgotten what it was, but you haven’t forgotten how perfect it would have been, and it still haunts you two Microblog Mondays later! (If I’m honest, I remember coming up with a brilliant post topic some years ago when I was driving home from the gym, and it has never come back … so maybe it wasn’t so brilliant?)
  • You have to admit you were wrong to your significant other, which is fine, but then they gloat.
  • You know you put something somewhere safe but then you can’t find it.
  • A young woman was appointed as the Leader of one of our major political parties, and the first questions she gets are focused on whether she will have children or not, and if that should disqualify her.
  • You get out of bed ready to go for a brisk morning walk, and it rains.
  • You can’t find the perfect hairdresser.
  • Self-doubt stops you getting where you want to go.

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