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This last week, New Zealand has been celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage, as we gained the vote back in 1893. I wrote a poem on my daily blog about it back in August – it was Poetry month – and thought I’d reproduce it below, not because it merits it, but because the subject matter does.

It is significant when we realise that the US will have to wait until 2045 to celebrate 125 years of suffrage, the UK until  2053, Australia will have to wait until 2087* and Saudi Arabia, until 2140.  When I joke that we are ahead of the rest of the world (due to our position next to the International Date Line), I’m not entirely joking.

125 years later, our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is this week at the UN. She said at a public session the other day,

“We’ve had three female Prime Ministers. It’s really no big deal, guys.”

Unfortunately, for so many countries, it still is a big deal.

 

A Suffragette’s Abecedarian

“As children, with no
Brothers, living in the
Country, we
Did
Everything a boy would, and more, because – mere
Females still – we were taller, stronger, faster.
Glimmers of hope for the future, were
Helped by remembrance of the past.
In our nearby town, there stood only one statue, which
Justified my hope that with
Knowledge and determination, my
Lot wasn’t predestined.
Margaret Cruickshank, my statuesque inspiration, was
NZ’s first woman GP, and alive in 1893, when
Our country led the world. Time has
Passed, 125 years now.
Quality is what matters, not
Restricted views on
She or he, no
Thoughts that might
Unfairly restrict our
Vote.
We celebrate our suffrage this year, though Pope St.
Xystus 1st would no doubt not approve of our leader, a
Youthful, unmarried, new mum. But fear not, men, this is no
Zugzwang. There’s no battle, and no loss.”

 

* Australian indigenous people, men or women, did not receive the vote until 1962.

 

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We’re in the last phase of winter, or is it the first phase of spring? Over the weekend, the only deciduous tree on our property sprang into life. On Sunday morning, I saw the first leaves emerge, and by the afternoon there were a few more. Its branches are bursting with buds ready to burst. Spring is, if not sprung, then about to spring.

The neighbours, after huge renovations last year, planted a tree that has blossomed most gorgeously right beside our driveway, so I was thrilled to pop out there and play around with my camera. It was nice to snap away, after the winter when I was tortured by photos of beautiful flowers from my photography course classmates from the northern hemisphere.

I’m reminded too by Fbk that previously I have checked out the tulips in the gardens around this time of year. Maybe next week you’ll get some tulip photos.

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I thought I’d take reverse inspiration from the prompt I mentioned last week, and instead of writing about holidays (vacations) I wouldn’t hate taking (as that’s so broad it is unworkable), I’d write about the few holidays I can think of that I would, in fact, hate taking.

  • A hiking/tramping trip that involved sheer drops from my path, that involved swing bridges with nothing to hold onto as I walk across, or pretty much anything with heights!
  • A theme park holiday, surrounded by screaming children and lots of high, scary roller-coasters!
  • Anything that involves unrelenting crowds, whether it is the destination itself, or accommodation crammed with too many people.
  • A theme trip focusing on something that doesn’t interest me, perhaps along the lines of following musicians I don’t enjoy, or focused only on the battlefields of WWI. Actually, anything that is focused only on one theme would probably drive me crazy, as one of the joys of travelling is focusing on history, politics, people and differences, scenery, and of course, food and drink.
  • Anywhere with a travel partner who would not compromise. When my husband and I travel, we make sure we both choose activities and destinations, and that we get to do things on our own too, to ensure we are both kept happy and occupied and never feel that the other is cramping our style.

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(a continuing series)

List 10 vacations you wouldn’t hate taking. This prompt really puzzles me, because there would be few vacations I would hate taking, and finding those would be much more interesting and challenging than listing ones I “wouldn’t hate,” and so I’ll store that idea away for the future.

List your top 10 favourite candies. Whilst I do have a sweet tooth, I hardly ever buy candy, or as we say here, lollies, not even chocolate, and I don’t seek them out, as if I’m going for something sweet, I’d rather have some baking or my favourite gingernut ice-cream.

Share 7 gifs that best express how you’re feeling today. This blog is all about words, and the occasional photo but which usually backs up my words, rather than replaces them, so you can forget the gifs that would show me slightly annoyed (but only because of this prompt, and an interview I just heard, and, okay, the weather), a little chilly (but that’s only because I need to turn the heater on in my office here), and actually, quite tired.

Share a photograph that is not on your wall, but should be…if you weren’t so lazy about actually putting it there. The one thing I haven’t been lazy about over the years is displaying my photos, whether it is on a screensaver here on my computer screen, or in those digital photo frames, or on my black-and-white travel wall, or the family photos I have displayed, although I do have a photography challenge from my course to take a photo worthy of being on my wall, and I’m not sure I’ve done that this year, other than these two (which you’ve seen before) that might be nice in a frame or on a canvas.

 

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  1. Right now, I am listening to National Radio, the source of much interesting information, and the prompt for many posts.
  2. But if I turn that off, I can hear my husband coughing downstairs.
  3. The wind is blowing, gently enough for Wellington, but enough to hear it rustling the leaves and branches of the trees outside my windows.
  4. A bus just stopped at the bus-stop across the street from our driveway, and now I can hear it accelerating away, though we’re very lucky that we get virtually no road noise in this house.
  5. The dog from down the valley is barking again, which seems to be a relatively new development, and he sounds quite distressed, or is that how barking dogs sound anyway?
  6. The washing machine is finishing its spin cycle, ensuring I’ll have some gear to wear on my walk or, perhaps more accurately, for yoga tomorrow (as I think rain is forecast).
  7. A plane just flew overhead, on its way in (or out) of our airport, on the other side of our city, perched on land that rose as a result of an earthquake in the 19th century – oh, and here comes another one (aeroplane, not earthquake).
  8. I can hear the clicks of the keyboard, as I speedily write this post.

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After an invitation had been impulsively given and accepted on Friday, Saturday saw us venture over the hill for the first time in months. We spent the morning at home, while I baked a cake for dinner; though if I’m honest it wasn’t the baking that took several hours, it was having to make multiple trips to the supermarket twice to get ingredients I kept forgetting!

We usually drive over “the hill” (the Remutaka Range) in the morning or early afternoon, and it was a treat to drive over in the late afternoon, enjoying the different light on the distant Wairarapa plains as we wound our way down from the summit. We tracked cloud formations being caught by the setting sun in a halo effect but, of course, just as we drove through the little town (which uncannily reminded me of my hometown on a wintry Saturday night in the 1970s) and out the other side, and turned into their driveway lined with promising daffodils, that gorgeous light disappeared.

Daffodils

An early sign of spring

The man of the house was busy cooking up a curry storm in the kitchen, so pre-dinner champagne and olive oil from the trees outside (accompanied by a stunning sunset) flowed into a delicious dinner (curries, and very successful orange almond cake), lively conversation, and even the rugby result was easier to take when we commiserated together.

P1090193

The next morning, after a late but yummy breakfast at the little wine town’s stylish hotel, we said goodbye and, with an hour or two to fill before a busy afternoon scheduled back in Wellington, drove down to the coast, through vibrant green farmland under sunny skies, reminiscent of the land where I grew up, though newborn lambs were the only thing missing from the winter scene, still a few weeks too early for them to arrive. We drove to the end of the road, and – along with others basking in the sunny morning – mucked around on the beach, enjoying just being out in nature, and I, of course, played around with my camera and tripod.

It was tempting to stay, but duty called, so we packed up, drove back along the country roads through the flat green fields, slowing to pass dairy cows and calves wandering along the road (such a New Zealand scene) and their Filipino farm workers, before we headed back over the hill that seems to separate everyday life from freedom, friendship, and leisure.

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  • Our house is really beautiful on a sunny day, flooded with light and shadows and gorgeous views from most windows, and especially in winter when we can embrace the warmth the sun provides.
  • Book month on my x365 blog, because I don’t just get to remember books that I love, but I get to read about books that my fellow bloggers love too, and I’m adding a lot of them to my already ridiculously long To-Read list.
  • Finding some of my favourite books as a child online when I had forgotten their titles, has reminded me of the joy and magic of these books that has stayed with me for almost 50 years.
  • My daily blog project has meant that almost every day this year I get to read Helen again, whose posts and comments always make me smile, and who I missed in the years when she wasn’t writing.
  • Planning dinner this evening, with an old favourite Thai dish that I haven’t eaten in years, thanks to discovering it in my very first Thai food cookbook.
  • Watching amazing tennis at Wimbledon, and having the flexibility to be able to stay up all night and sleep most of the day to do so.
  • Continuing to learn and improve my photography, although to be fair last night I had to get my husband to remind me of one of the controls on my … cough … easy-to-use tripod!
  • Writing my blog posts with rain on the skylight above me.

 

bty

View from my desk

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