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Yes, as I wrote on my daily blog the other day, summer has arrived. Not as hot, so far, as last year, its arrival had been more gentle. Tomatoes and basil, strawberries, cold drinks outside on the deck, early mornings and (relatively*) late nights are all reminding me of the time of year. So too is the sun. I set off on a walk yesterday, determined to charge up and down the hills of my suburb, until – ten minutes in – I realised I’d forgotten to put on sunscreen, and had to turn back. Exercise is important, but sunburns are dangerous, and so a reminder to my fellow Kiwis and Australians – don’t forget to cover up!

This all meant I needed to change A Separate Life’s livery. The pohutukawa flowers are already making an appearance and will be in full seasonal bloom here in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping I won’t miss them.

* after visiting Iceland and Norway last year in June, it’s hard to be surprised by daylight at 9 pm.

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(a continuing series)

Show us your pumpkin before and after whatever you chose to do to it. Does pumpkin soup or pumpkin pasta or pumpkin gnocchi count?

Write blog post inspired by the following word: baby. I have a separate blog based on the fact there is no baby, so no, this does not inspire me.

It’s hot, the kids are home and crazy, our pets are panting, the days are long…share your Summer Survival Tips. Summer is often very peaceful for me, so my only survival tip is not to get sunburnt, and I’ve written before about that.

10 Reasons why you love your job. I love that I don’t have one?

 

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Maori have a wonderful, ritual way of introducing themselves, called pepeha. Aside from always noting their iwi (or tribe), they will say where they were born, and what was their mountain, and their river and/or coastline. If they know it, they will also mention their waka (waka means canoe, and it is said that nine major waka made the journey to New Zealand from Polynesia).

I was born in Waimate, South Canterbury, of Irish, Scottish and Welsh (to pick a few) descent. My mountain is Aoraki Mt Cook, the tallest mountain in NZ and visible from the other side of the island where I lived. My river is the tiny Hook River that ran past our farm, or perhaps the cold, fast, and much larger Waitaki, where my father and his brothers (and I think my mother’s brother too) went fishing all their lives. I don’t know my waka, but somewhere there are records detailing the ships that brought my ancestors.

How would you introduce yourself in this manner?

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(The 18th in a continuing series)

  • A heart full of love and enthusiasm is vulnerable, but the love is worth it
  • Life isn’t fair*
  • Never complain about being normal. Some people aspire to it.
  • Having bacon every day is not so bad either.
  • We have to be brave (and prepared) when technology lets us down
  • The best Aunts and Uncles spoil you
  • There is fun to be had when devices are absent (voluntarily or involuntarily).

* I knew that one, but it’s worth remembering

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My last four weeks or so have been very much focused on end-of-life issues and death, and even my x365 blog project has Horror and Suspense as its October theme, so today, I want to focus on some things that make me happy:

  • Pasta and Chardonnay nights have started again for the summer
  • I’ve lost a bit of weight, though I have a long way to go, at least the scale is going in the right direction
  • I’ve been saving for a new lens on my camera, and have got enough for one of two lenses I like the look of, but I can’t decide.
  • My husband seems to have decided on where he wants to go for his big birthday-with-a-zero next year, and so finally I get to look forward to it and have fun planning.
  • I found a new recipe for an orange cake, and have made it twice in recent times, and it is delicious.
  • Every year about this time we have two visiting geese that pass through our valley, and I heard them the other morning again.
  • I’ve had a really slow reading year this year, but currently I’m reading two books which I am enjoying, and it is a pleasure!

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After my post last week, I heard today that this week it is Niue Language Week. If anyone knows where Niue is (who isn’t a Kiwi, and without googling) I will be seriously impressed.

I was pleased to demonstrate today that original thinking and clever use of technology beat men who think they can read and draw maps. The fact that the men are often-pedantic engineers, and my in-laws as well, made the victory so much sweeter. My husband admitted I’ll never let him forget it, just like I haven’t forgotten that back in 1991, he wanted to drive to Vienna, but was turning towards Italy until I pointed it out!

My Gmail on my android phone will not sync, and it is driving me crazy. I’ve tried all the fixes I can find online, and my calendar and contacts are syncing, and my mail is fine and syncing on my iPad, but it’s been like this for four or five days now. Help!

 

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I am ashamed to say that of our country’s three official languages, I only speak English (or New Zild, as we jokingly call our version of it); I don’t speak sign language, and I don’t speak Maori. However, it’s pretty impossible to live in New Zealand and not understand certain Maori words, and every year, I had a few more, particularly around Maori Language Week, which finished recently.

Many Maori words have been used in New Zealand English for decades, but increasingly we use more and more Maori words for concepts, place names and flora and fauna.

Older New Zealanders, or those Kiwis who have spent years out of the country, find themselves sounding as if they still live in the 1970s, with incorrect (almost disrespectful) pronunciation, and are unable to understand concepts and terms that are firmly established in our vernacular. As a really simple example, they can’t understand our now correct pronunciation of many place names, or our national anthem which is now routinely sung in both languages.  (To keep up with the times, I learnt the Maori words some years ago during another Maori Language Week).

My favourite word out of this year’s Maori Language week was hōhā (to annoy or frustrate), after I heard someone on the radio casually mention that he had been “hoha-ing” his boss.

As I was writing this, I heard a radio announcer speak in Fijian, noting that it was Fijian Language Week – help, I can’t keep up!

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