Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Thursday, 26 February 2015

What will the letter ask?

Wellington Regional Hospital
A quick update, but first, and most important of all, so many heartfelt thanks for all your words, thoughts, prayers , good wishes, and suggestions. Our visit today, I didn’t have to ask/ cry/ wield a big stick,or plead. The surgeon, himself,  suggested that after all these months ( 18 long ones, if a month can be any longer than its appointed number of days) we should be referred to a  specialist in  the  spinal unit   clinic at Wellington Hospital.Maybe my many phone calls requesting this,  to his  P.A. or the other person who is really caught in the middle, have finally reached his ears. The letter will be written immediately, and we should get an appointment without too much delay.
No more news today, we are both tired, had 2 appts. at Wanganui Hospital, the second one was equally as good,
Off to bed, thankful beyond measure.I have read all your posts, probably not left a single comment,but love your news, photos and more.
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“There are seven days in the week
and someday isn’t one of them.”
Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Autumn, will you arrive on time?


THREE days to go, and we are officially into Autumn .The last week or so, we have had gorgeously hot days,cooler nights, morning dews, and some rain that helped the dry lawns and kept vegetable gardens happy. Late yesterday afternoon, I took off the bird netting protecting the red fruits, and picked a large bowl full. Strawberries, luscious, delicious, so yummy,  and to think this might be the last taste this season. This is about half of the picking.

Strawberries in February

Hugh and I had an outing today, nothing remarkable for most people, but for us, quite special, He drove,  I shopped, we came home. SEVEN words that say so much, off to 2 appointments tomorrow, I am hoping for some kind, helpful and much asked for words from the ortho surgeon. Who knows, if I go with a bright smile, fancy clothes, hair and make-up all done, and wear shoes with a taller heel ( to make myself look more presentable), he might even be all of the above. ( that is, kind,helpful and with words we want to hear) .

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“Summer’s story is finished, but Autumn will have

many words that can be woven into  chapters”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Some words from “ The Ancient Mariner”


I found these words  last week, from many years ago, my dear friend who lived in a suburb of Auckland felt very strongly that the volunteers of all sizes and ages did not receive the thanks they were due.This was sent to “ The New Zealand Herald” with a request to be published. That did not happen.My dear friend passed from this world in April, 2010. I flew from Palmerston North to Auckland to be at his funeral. Words had been carefully prepared. Then I was told the service would not be lengthy, the minister had a family member ill,  eulogies had been selected from family, and friends were not able to tell of the most wonderful impact this dear man had made in their lives. Grief  overwhelmed me. The final farewell was bitter-sweet, as     “ Taps” was played on a bugle.

The wall hanging I made and  mailed to him for his 91st birthday while he had one last  visit to Auckland Hospital has been sent by his daughter to the  Felixstowe Museum,to be displayed with other Coastal Forces Memorabilia. This would be the highest honour I could imagine, and I am humbled and honoured to know it hangs there, a reminder of one man’s life and many years serving  in HMS.

Mariner's Compass wall hanging

I have taken  a liberty that I cannot request, to post  these words,but I am sure “The Ancient Mariner” as he called himself, would be so happy to see them published.

Photos below courtesy of the Internet.


“ Who Will Say Thank You?”

In the good old summertime, Auckland City sparkles and bustles with activity and endeavour.All Auckland systems are go!

From 5 a.m. millions of cars head for the CBD on a myriad of motorways, ant-like in determination, but snail paced in speed, road rage reverberates, gridlock grasps.

A hundred thousand siblings dawdle unwillingly to school. Shoppers throng the malls and centres  throughout  the wider city.Doctors doctor, Nurses nurse, Teachers teach, Journalists scribble and talk, Lawyers  litigate, Police pursue. On suitable recreation days, tanned skins seek sun,sand,sea and surf.On their way to the gulf, tall sails slide gracefully, swan-like between fuming, fussing ferries.Leather on willow;clubface on golf rubber; gut strings on tennis balls, these all resound around the green pastures of the city..At night theatres, cinemas,restaurants, casinos and clubs have the hub-bub of a score of tongues and languages.

Among all this frantic activity,  there is a relatively small group of Aucklanders whose hearts and minds wish to put something back into the community--- CARING

They are the  Red Cross volunteers, who deliver mid-day meals to the ill, the  frail, the aged and the disabled.Their responsibilities also include monitoring the current  health status, and reporting anything unusual or abnormal.The age spectrum of the Volunteers runs from 85 plus at the top end to 17 or so at the younger end.They each bring some aspect of their different personalities to the recipients, for many of whom it is their only connection with the outside world each day. The Volunteers seek no recognition of their service, but perhaps a future Minister of Health could acknowledge the huge savings to the Department’s budget by supplying a plain , tastefully designed lapel pin, a Red Cross on a pearl background with a caring hand in one of the quadrants.

Do not hold your breath.

On behalf of the recipients, several thousand of them, one can only say ,” Many thanks, You are the salt of the earth”

Since the above was written, a married couple , 80 and 82 years of age, told me that they had been volunteers for twenty years, and were resigning this year for health reasons. Dedication, that says it all.


Auckland Harbour


May 2013, Auckland Harbour

Quotation of the day from Helen Steiner Rice

“Time is not measured by the years that we live,

but by the deeds that we do and the joys that we give”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Congratulations, then and now


In 1954, I was a foundation pupil at Papakura High School,  and from then to now, Jeanette and I are still the greatest of friends, We have shared our children’s births, sadness  as friends from those days have died, Jocelyn, we  remember you always, sadness as one by one our parents have gone, family illness,  happiness at times, joy as we meet,  very  occasionally, and more.

In 1957, I was awarded a Prefect’s Badge, along with 19 others. Arch Campbell was our headmaster, a fair and honest man who ran the school with a firm hand, and was so respected.

How hard is it to take a photo of that badge today? The silver reflected my face, the camera, background objects, but with some Silvo and polish, only a few marks of wear and tear show. ( Yes, I am the great keeper of all things memorable!!)


Translated “ Aim for the Highest”

Prefect's Badge,Papakura  High School, 1957Papakura High School prefects with Arch Campbell, Headmaster, 1957 #2

Can you find me???

This week at Rotorua Lakes High School,  prefects’ badges were presented to the students   who had  been  elected by the staff and pupils of Year 12, at the end of 2014.   NCEA awards were also given out  for those who passed with Merit or Excellence. Annette was there , and then   another photo of Josh with his mates. We are so proud, and  now I wonder how my parents felt  back in 1957!! The buttonholes were of fresh flowers , and they all were able to keep them. Thanks, Josh, for permission to post these photos, they  are also on Facebook. Congratulations to all the students who received an award or a badge, or both.

Prefect award day #2Prefect Award Day #3


Prefect Award Day #4

Then, this  graduation medal and photo must surely be here as well.My Mum, Grace Gold Phairn, graduated as a “Mental Health Nurse” in 1931, There were 73 nurses who sat their finals in December, a total of 5 achieved First Grade, my Mum was the only one in Nelson, and her marks of 84% the highest in the written paper. She didn’t talk much about those days, and only recently I found this on the Government website. So I can be again so proud of our family, those gone, and those here today.

Grace  Gold Phairn, Graduation 1931


G G Phairn medal 1931G G Phairn medal 1931 reverse side # 867

Quotation of the day, from Eleanor Roosevelt

The future belongs to those who believe

in the beauty of their dreams”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Little Bit of This and That


The days merge into each-other. Medication schedules, doctor’s visits, hospital appointments, phone calls to see if, when, will the referral ever be sent!!! Family visit,from the far south. I sit outside with younger daughter, I’m  huddled up in fleece jacket, collar pulled up high, warm slippers, fingers curled round the hot coffee mug.

“ Bit cool this morning”

“ Oh, this is just lovely, not cool at all”, and after Otago  weather which can be freezing in winter, cool in spring, so hot in mid-summer, and just right in autumn,  our days were welcome before they returned home.

A while ago we had a day out, one of the very few, and had lunch on the stones bordering the Manawatu River.

Manawatu River

By the bedroom patio, the Tibouchina  grandiflora tree is showing promise of so many blossoms, it is loaded with buds.This had a rough  start in life, it was planted in the open, was frosted, over and over,  till it almost died, We moved it, and for several years, it had a frost-proof veil every night, and sometimes all day. That has evidently saved this beautiful tree , and the extra effort was so valuable. The common name is Lasiandra.

It grows from this……

Tibouchina buds, Feb. 2015

To this…….

Tibouchina bud, almost open

To this……

Tibouchina  in full bloom

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Distance is no match

for the love of friends and family”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 1 February 2015

“Rain, Rain, Glorious Rain”


“Nothing quite like it for cooling the brain”

With apologies to Flanders and Swann.

Below, courtesy of the internet


Although Flanders & Swann wrote numerous songs together and toured the world with their revues At The Drop Of A Hat and At The Drop Of Another Hat, if there is one song for which they will be remembered it is "The Hippopotamus Song.


We have had  19.5mm  rainfall since last night, the air is cooled, the grass has a slight,ever so slight greener tinge, the flowers are drooping under the raindrops, and all farmers and gardeners are hoping for more.

Raindrops on Alstromeria flowers, droplets on the water lily leaves and the pond, Kangaroo Paw or Anigozanthos standing tall, and Ginger Boy playing in the Catnip plant.He leapt up to the plant, pawed the leaves,  breathed in that heady aroma, until he  almost fell off the edge.This was taken on one of our very hot days.

raindrops on Alstromeria flowers

raindrops on  water lilly leaves

Kangaroo Paw flowers

Playing in the catnip

I'm  not looking at you right now

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ A true friend is one who lends you her umbrella, when you walk together in the pouring rain”

Greetings from Jean