Friday 31 December 2021

New Year's Eve


The last day of the year 2021!  I wonder what 2022 will bring us?  Hopefully much cheer and happiness!

This morning I visited a cousin of mine.  She and her husband only live a short distance out of the city, but it has been almost twelve months since I last saw them.

It was great to catch up over a cup of tea and some shortbread and Christmas cake.

We got to talking about the “good old days” when we were children and our different memories of our shared grandmother.  She always wore a hat and gloves when going into town, and was quite a stickler for doing things “the proper way.” 

We remembered her home and the large section it sat upon.  She had two full-size plum trees in the back garden, a large vegetable garden, and a dug-out beneath the house that was used as a garden shed.  I can still remember the smell of that place, all dusty and cobwebby and full of shells she had collected over the years.

And then my cousin produced a diary her mother had passed on to her.  It was dated December 1899 and was a record of a holiday my grandmother’s mother took when she sailed from Wellington, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia, and stayed with some of her many relations there.

She had taken her two children with her – my grandmother (then aged 4 years) and my great-uncle (then aged 2 years).

I have spent a happy afternoon reading the account (the words I can decipher, anyway!), and it is intriguing to read about shopping for silk and lace to make a bonnet, catching the train to get around the city, and being met at the station by a cab and two horses.

Her diary entry for today (31 December) reads:  “Charlie opened the bottle of champagne for dinner.  A sleepy afternoon.  I read on the verandah while the children blew bubbles.  Still very hot, day and night.”

She could almost have been writing about life as we know it today 😊



Monday 27 December 2021

A Riverside Stroll


A bit of cloud cover this morning meant that the temperature was more tolerable, so I took the opportunity of go for an early walk along the banks of the Waikato River.

I was not alone, as there were several others with the same idea – many of them exercising their pooches at the same time.

The path I took was accessed from the Ferry Wharf below Hamilton Gardens, and descended steeply to a small beach before meandering along the river beneath a shady canopy of mature trees.

Eventually this pathway is planned to go for some distance, but there is currently a new bridge being built across the River so my lovely walk came to a sudden and definite halt.

I considered retracing my steps, but, instead, took the uphill climb towards the old Hamilton East cemetery which operated from the 1860s until 1957.

At one end of the cemetery there is an outdoor consecrated area that has been set aside for religious use, and a little further along there is a lookout point dedicated to John Mashlin, one of the founders of what is now Hamilton Gardens.

The view is back over the carpark, with the Gardens entrance on the right, and the River flowing behind the trees on the left side of the photo.  For some strange reason, I forgot to actually photograph the River!

My walk took me 60 minutes in total, and I was glad I had arrived early.  By the time I was leaving there was a steady flow of traffic into the parking area and hoards of people heading off in all directions into various parts of the Gardens.

It was good to get out in Nature again for a change 😊



Sunday 26 December 2021

Celebrating Christmas


It is now Boxing Day here and the day has dawned warm and sunny again. 

We had a lovely Christmas Day yesterday – quiet and peaceful and very relaxed.  The afternoon was spent sitting around talking and drinking lots of water as the temperatures climbed into the low 30s (Celsius).

Lunch was our main celebration.  As was befitting for a mid-summer meal, we had cold meat and lots of salads and finished off with a pavlova.

On the table we had ham and (moving clockwise) coleslaw, pickled onions, brie cheese, tomatoes, rice salad, lettuce and cucumber salad, green grapes, salad dressing, savoury eggs, beetroot, potato salad, and asparagus.  The centrepiece was the pavlova – a purchased one this year and not my usual homemade one.

For our beverage we chose Bunderberg Lemon Lime & Bitters, a slightly bitter very refreshing fizzy drink that suited the weather we were experiencing.

With a fair amount of food remaining, and temperatures forecast to reach the late 20s, today looks like it will be a good day to do as little as possible!

Have a happy day 😊


Friday 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas


Here it is, Christmas Eve 2021.  It has been quite a year, one way and another.

I am glad I took a bit of a break from blogging.  I pulled back from other computer things at the same time, and have quite enjoyed my three weeks off-screen (well, mostly off-screen!).

Celebrating Christmas in 1956

It has been quite a busy time, sorting through old boxes and meeting up with old friends.  This last week Son and I put up our Christmas decorations, along with a tiny tree.

Decorated bookshelf, 2021

The Christmas Cake was made and iced.  I don’t normally ice fruit cake (it gets too sweet) but we had some bought packet icing (both royal icing and white icing) sitting in the cupboard from two years ago.  It was way past its expiry date (September 2020!) but there is nothing wrong with it at all so it got used.

No fancy decorations on the cake though.  I have been known to sometimes go to some effort to decorate the cake, but this year it will be eaten and enjoyed without anything fancy being added.

One very ordinary Christmas cake

My wish is that you all have happy times together with your families over this holiday season. 

Stay safe and be happy 😊

Margaret xx

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Taking A Short Break


Stop the World!  I want to get off it for a little while.

I know I am often sensitive to the feelings of those around me, and it pains me to see so much despair and frustration in the eyes of the people I meet.  Nobody smiles anymore – what is the point when you can’t see it behind the mask!

Christmas Silly Season has taken off in full force, with crazy drivers on the road and frantic shoppers in the malls.

The TV News is brimming over with anger and hatred and overly-sincere people trying to put their own opinions forward.  And let’s not mention all the lies and political intrigues that also fill our screens.

Things can grind you down, but what has really tipped me over is my brother’s serious illness (thankfully he is slowly improving).  It makes one realize just how short life is.

Hiding from life for a short time

I am finding myself becoming more and more crabby and impatient, as well as developing some alarming health issues I would rather be without.

Time to do something!  But what?

It is hard to know exactly what to do for the best, but I do feel in need of taking some time for myself; to pull back from the world for a little while and concentrate more on doing things that I enjoy.

No more watching TV News, try and avoid crowds as much as possible, stand back and let those around me make their own decisions, and consciously turn away from things that currently upset me.

Blogging will also join this list of on-holds for a short time - I have been struggling to visit Blogland the last couple of weeks and the thought of writing something fills me with despair (a situation I don't like, as I generally enjoy blogging).

Life can be a bit of a rocky road sometimes

I need to take some time to better care for my health, to catch up on chores around the house, and sort through the last few boxes that were stored in the garage.

I want to go to the beach and paddle in the ocean, take time to hug a tree or two, and find some people to visit so we can enjoy some smiles and laughter together.

I need time to relax, and reconnect again with my inner core of peace and harmony – and when I have done that, I shall return 😊

Sending lots of luvnhugz to you all,

Margaret xx


P.S.  The new header is a photo I took of Lake Hawea, near Queenstown in the South Island.