Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Does anyone else get days when their brain just decides it's had enough and is going on holiday and if you don't come with it well tough?

I have a to do list, in fact I probably have several kicking about somewhere as I keep losing them. I think my subconscious has also decided it's time for a holiday.

Unfortunately I've several more days and a workshop to run before I get to fall asleep in the back of the car, I mean navigate my parents around Northland....

There's a post I want to write about the (dis)connections between the seasons and festivals calendar from a conversation that was had late last night (which is partly why my brain isn't making sense today...) and how in a bout of synchronicity it tied in with a comment made on another blog that I read this morning, but that will have to wait - too tired.

Ok, deep breath and time for sleeps... but maybe some chocolate first? For medicinal purposes you understand...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

another quote (buses posting again...)

"When time is measured by the length of time between text messages from someone you want to hear from time goes funny"


Just popped round to the back flat, Romeo & Juliet is on - time for another girlie film night methinks....

...a Baz Luhrman film, a box of tissues and plenty of chocolate - I wonder when Bridie gets back from the Bay?


Think of Me as Happiness

If I cross your mind -
Please let me cross it slowly.
Think of me as shining stars.
I know there must be a million thoughts
Rushing into your mind
And if there's one of me left,
Think of me as happiness,
If I cross your mind
With love.

Rebecca Z Mkan-dawire
Johannesburg, S.A.

I remembered about this poem yesterday as I was walking home - the vague train of thought being that there was a Co-counselling Network meeting in the Quaker Centre the night before (well it was a longer train of thought than that but the rest is irrelevant) and I came across the poem in a magazine that Mary Alice brought to an Edinburgh Link Group weekend when she led a session for us on co-counselling.

Rachel, Amy and I all sat around the magazine on the floor and copied it down - Rachel is now being a teaching assistant in Germany, goodness knows where Amy is (somewhere exciting if she has anything to do with it I'm sure!) and I'm now in Wellington - not much chance of the three of us being together again in a hurry... Rachel is off to EMEYF Annual Meeting (this weekend? I've lost track...) and will meet a whole heap of WGYF folk and others I know. It's nice to think of her becoming part of that community having known her through various Childrens and Young Peoples programmes over the years and said hello as we passed near my flat on her way to school, and latterly knowing her as a fellow staff member at NYFSG rather than as an 'ickle' person.

The poem has been sitting in my 'drafts' folder of my email for a few years now - I wanted to be able to send it to someone whilst I was travelling back in 2004 and I ended up writing it out for someone I stayed with and leaving it on their doorstep with a Peace Lily as a thankyou. They have been much in my thoughts today, our lives being connected in many ways.

I've also been thinking much about the person I originally carried the poem with me for, wondering how they are - and as it happens the cd that just finished playing reminds me of them too. Someone else who shares my love for this country and who was probably also at that same Link Group weekend... no idea if I ever did send it to them in the end! It's a poem I'd like to pass on to someone else too if I only knew how. Hmmm, more links between those three people - different relationships between me and them but with strong similarities in how important their friendship is to me, and similar experiences of fear at the thought of doing without it.

There are so many connections, every day little things, random trains of thought spiralling off from something small and seemingly insignificant and irrelevant to my life. Memories triggered off, stories shared.

you know it's a small world...

...when one of your F/friends on the other side of the world rings you up and asks how are your parents getting on out there having heard they'd arrived safely from one of their colleagues. Of all the probably thousands of people who work for Bombardier Stefan is working at the moment with my cousin Lynn.

The two people who were here for breakfast this morning and had never met before found a mutual friend within the first 5 minutes of conversation (a non-Quaker mutual friend that is - Quaker ones are somewhat of a given around here!)

I realised as we were talking that not only will there be about 7 of us at Summer Gathering with past or present connections with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Meeting I've a feeling that Graham (coming over from the UK) was in Aberdeen at the same time as a family now in Christchurch who will be at their first Summer Gathering this time.

Six degrees of separation? Aye right, 2 at the most....

Friday, November 17, 2006


As some of you know (or have read!) there's renovation work going on here. Well there was... we've reached the end of 'phase 1' and I now await a final decision on the kitchen (don't you just love Quaker process...) and it's arrival and fitting.

This means I've been able to shake out the dust sheets and fold them up, hoover up the debris and rearrange the furniture. As the new kitchen has yet to go in I've got a rather large living space right now - twice the size it'll eventually be - plus what was the living room and is yet to become my bedroom due to still having the existing kitchen off it (just don't ask)... So how to make best use of the space? And where to put everything given I've still got to find somewhere for all the 2nd guests bedroom stuff!

I figured moving through to the the new room made sense - it lets me play around with the furniture whilst I've lots of room to manouver things (and believe me I've shuffled them around so much I reckon the dining table must be dizzy by now), it also means I get used to 'living' in the new space. It was a guests bedroom so a room I was barely in other than to clean and get ready for the next occupants. The room had an odd feel to it to me - although many people who've slept here have said what a lovely room it is - but it just didn't feel like 'me'. I found myself with the new living room all arranged and me sitting on a bed to check my emails in the old living room! Hmmm, something had to change - so I've essential oils in the burner, Bic Runga on the cd player and I finally brought the laptop through - there was no way I'd manage to migrate to the new space with that still plugged in in the old!

We've a YF dinner here on Monday (Thomas O will be in town - yay!) so hopefully that will be like a 'housewarming' and give the space a more lived in feel - so look out for a different backdrop to future YF dinner photos!

I'm getting there, still one or two pictures decide where to put and a photo I'm getting enlarged to frame and hang. I guess eventually I'll stop feeling like I'm rattling round like a pea in a drum and get used to being in a bigger space.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Getting involved in the planning of the Wellington Flickr photo exhibition (see earlier post - I still need help chosing my 4 pictures, well 3 - the Waitangi Park walkway/'fern' shadow is in) has got me thinking again about a post I meant to write months ago, well probably over a year ago about what 'Wellington' has meant to me through my life.

Now it's a close run thing as to whether Wellington Womble or Wellington Boots were first in my life, well the boots probably have the edge but the Womble probably meant more, and was certainly more loved! I never did like my Mothercare red wellies that whipped the back of my bare legs walking to school (girls weren't allowed to wear trousers and boys had to wear shorts - we're talking Yorkshire here, 1500 ft above sea level and damn cold in winter...). Black Dunlops followed and some blue ones with a white band and a drawstring round the top - however by that point in life when sent off to school in them I'd get to the bench half way down the road, put my shoes back on and carry my wellies, I didn't care how wet my feet got I had enough problem maintaining any street cred and I was blowed if I was going to attract more derision by turning up to High School in wellies - thankfully Rachel's mum could usually be relied on for a lift on wet days! I still remember the welcome sound of their car's engine (a well tinkered with Austin Allegro) coming up Station Road behind me. (Hmmm, hopefully by the time Mum & Dad get round to reading my blog again this post will have disappeared off the bottom of the page... they are currently travelling around South Island! You won't tell will you?)

Around this time Wellington had come along with his trusty dog Boot (get it? Ok so it took me far longer than I should be admitting to in public...) in The Perishers . I liked Boot, 'By the Lord Harry....' He reminded me of Rusty who I used to pass on the way to playgroup and infants school (in my red Mothercare wellies...)

At some point I must have reached the dizzy heights of getting £5 notes for birthdays or christmas rather than just my weekly 10p comic money from Grandad - the Duke of Wellington appeared on the back of the English fivers for 20 years (1971-1991, I just checked! Was it really that long ago they were withdrawn?! Blimey)

Once I started visiting Edinburgh 'meet you by Wellington' meant by the statue at the end of Princes Street opposite North Bridge. (There's also a statue of the Duke in Glasgow which usually has a traffic cone on his head but it's never figured greatly in my own life.). Once they changed all the bus stops around it ceased to be quite such a convenient place to meet, and in anycase Gill moved (as did I - to Edinburgh!) but it's still a handy landmark.

It probably wasn't until Marion & Quentin moved here that Wellington as a city in New Zealand really entered my life, I must have known of it since my Womble watching/reading days though given that it's probably here that Wellington is named after rather than a small village in England - finding that with a pin in an atlas really would be impressive!

I have on my homepage a feed to Flickr photos tagged with 'Wellington' and mostly the photos that come up are of here, but sometimes it's the Duke with or without a traffic cone adorning his head or one of the many other Wellingtons canine, feline, red brick built or whatever - but thankfully the world these days seems to be spared those 1970's Mothercare red wellies.

Friday, November 10, 2006

what goes around comes around...

A few Christmases ago my parents (well my Mum) gave my brother's dog a squeaky toy for a present. Cozmo loved it and played with it for hours... by which time my brother had gone right off it! Despairingly he asked Mum 'Why?'. Her reply was 'The glockenspiel, the penny whilstle...' and several other noisy toys we'd had as children that I've now conveniently forgotten about. As neither of us have had the decency to provide them with grandchildren to (un)suitably indulge Cozmo got to 'benefit'.

But as I said, what goes around comes around...

Mum, as happened to me, arrived off her first flight to New Zealand with a husky voice and cough. So I suitably dosed her up with hot honey and lemon drinks, a hot toddy and cough mixtures left over from the nasty cold/flu that was doing the rounds in August. The cough surpresant to get a decent nights sleep was fine, it tastes of pink Refreshers (British sweets), but the stuff to actually get rid of the cough is pretty grim. Mum pulled a face at the first dose and really wasn't planning on taking any more but she got short shrift from me and a pointed reminder about all the 'throat remover' cough medicine she'd forced on Jon and I as kids. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

decisions decisions...

The Flickr Wellington group are having an exhibition at the Paramount Cinema in March and somehow I've managed to find myself helping with the organising (just for a change...). This means that I, along with the rest of us who were at our planning meeting last night and foolishly agreed to this, have to come up with my 4 photos from Wellington to submit pdq to try to encourage other Wellington Flickrites to join in.

Now how on earth do I chose which 4 photos?


If you have time (or even don't but would rather do this than whatever you are avoiding doing at present...) it would help me heaps if you had a look at my photos on Flickr and check out the Wellington, Wellington Artwork and Wellington words of wisdom sets and leave suggestions as to which I should pick here - I'm supposed to have chosen by Monday if possible!

UPDATE: to give you some ideas the photos already submitted are here

UPDATE 10/11/06: suggestions made so far are here - thanks Deb, Julian & Mum!