Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Patience is a virtue?

They say it is and I've lectured my children on its virtues but sometimes I think it can work against me.  

I've put up with a health concern for nearly a year .  I've mentioned it to my doctor a number of times and his responses have been vague, always suggesting yet another modification to my diet.  A flare up last week had me back in the doctor's office and, at last, some plan (if a bit vague) about getting to the bottom of the problem.

Then on Saturday I wanted to watch the local team's game of rugby.  Usually I walk to the games but felt that was a bit risky if I needed to go home quickly so I drove there and parked my car where I could see most of the field.  I took this photo on my phone as I couldn't see the scoreboard from where I was, then I magnified it.  I left during the second half of the match but felt better again a little later and returned to catch the last minutes of the game.

I love the atmosphere of rural rugby.  During a break in play to attend to an injured player, the opposition players called for someone to bring them a drink of water.  Several lads ran out on to the field carrying water bottles, looking oh so proud of their place in the team.

It was during that afternoon that I decided enough was enough, when my life was being impacted to the extent of not feeling confident about walking to see a footy game, not being able to watch a full game without interruption, something had to be done and I'd have to put my Big Girl Pants on and be demanding.

Luck was on my side, my doctor wasn't available on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday) and the lady doctor I saw swung into action when I had my little hissy fit.   She promised some answers by the end of the week when several test results will come back.  

Yay!  That's all I say.

I think I've found a new doctor!  I simply do not find it acceptable that I have to throw a wobbly to get attention.  I've had dark thoughts when visiting that doc before, thinking I'll smack him one if he gives me that 'oh you poor thing' look just once more.  I want answers, not sympathy.

On a more cheerful note I reminded myself of my mother when I was feeling really cross.  Mum had seen the same family doctor all her life, he'd seen her through 7 pregnancies and he'd seen all of her offspring many, many times over the years.  Any visit to Dr P always started with a catch up about your social life and the siblings.  Anyway, once when I was home on holidays Mum asked me if I'd drop her off at the doctors and to my consternation directed me to a different practice.  I thought perhaps Dr P had retired but no, Mum explained that every time she visited him, by the time he'd asked how all the children were there was never any time left for her and she was sick of it, she wanted all his attention, not 5 minutes at the end of the visit.  I guess I'm more like Mum than I thought.

Monday, 19 April 2021

A 50th and a 1st

I'm glad a hectic social life is a thing of the past.  After an unusually busy social weekend I feel done in.   When I loaded and looked at this photo below I thought the water was moving.  

I know my eyesight is fading, add tired eyes and interesting things happen!

This was the view outside the little hut my daughter, Leone and I shared on Saturday night.  It's a little estuary in Taiharuru, a lovely peaceful spot.  We were the first guests to stay in the hut and appreciated it being offered to us when the other place we wanted to stay was booked out.  My daughter declared that was the first time ever she had put on makeup without a mirror or done her hair using the reflection from the ranch slider.    The owners had also failed to connect the hotwater to the gas bottle and when they installed the gas stove forgot that it needed electricity to turn on the burners.  (The hut is off the grid and relies on solar power.)  But it was in the perfect location for us, so close to where my daughter-in-law was celebrating her 50th birthday party in family friends' cliff top holiday home on the other side of the very narrow peninsula.

The wind carried with it the first hint of winter.  

Georgia over-seeing my grandson, Aiden and great-granddaughter, Lexis.  I love seeing the grandies playing together like this, despite their age differences.

I pray for the day one year old Emilia will be in the photo with them.

Sunday morning we gathered at the B&B where Justine was staying to have a video call with my younger son and little Emilia in Brasil.  It was her first birthday.  

364 days old

I don't have a birthday photo of her yet, just videos, and I can't figure out how to take them from Instagram and save them.

On top of all that activity I was out till all hours on Friday night being the sober driver for Leone's work team after a team building activity.  They seemed to be getting along just fine on the way home.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Filming in the Rain

We've had quite a bit of very welcome rain.

It hadn't started when I agreed to video my son's rugby team playing on Saturday.  He finds it a helpful coaching tool to look back over a game.

Only the most dedicated supporters were on the sideline.

It will be a challenge for him to see much from the end product, mainly because heavy rain  caused very low visibility.  But also because I was stationed further from the field than I would normally be, staying dry on the clubrooms deck.  I had the very justifiable excuse that I couldn't juggle the umbrella and the video camera at the same time.

I had difficulty seeing the ball half the time so just tried to concentrate on the general area of play.  

And I kept getting distracted by that palm tree that looks to be growing out of the goal post.

To complete the weekend I spent three hours with my grand-daughter, Georgia at the lodge tidying a storeroom.  She is so easy to work with, happily follows vague instructions and thinks for herself.  I think she knows me so well, she knows what I mean.  For example, "Just put all that on the third self so I can find things easily." results in just that,  labels facing front, everything sorted by category.  She's a treasure.  It was quite a warm, humid day and boring but tiring work, a lot of carrying and lifting but the smile never left her face.  She's what I think of as a useful person - which is quite high praise in my book.  

Then I think of Rowan Atkinson's, "About as useful as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking competition."  There's plenty of them around but that's definitely not Georgia.

Friday, 9 April 2021

First time visitors

Usually, it's cats that come visiting my place.  I swear every household in the village must have at least two cats.   I had no idea there could be so many cats in one small village. Not that I can complain as two cats live with me.  There's a third that wants to move in but more about that in a minute.  It was a long time since I'd owned a cat when I succumbed to a grand-daughter telling me (quite often) it would be good company for me and I got it into my head that I should give a good life to a rescue kitten.  After all those years of waging war on feral cats! I took that g-daughter and my grandson with me when I went to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to choose one and we'd had barely walked into the room when I spotted a kitten that was the image of a street cat I'd photographed in Istanbul a few years ago.  The children had other choices but I'd made up my mind, I wanted that Alley Cat.  The staff warned me that she might be difficult, that I wasn't obligated to keep her but she seemed friendly to the children and I thought she'd get used to me eventually.

She's still friendly to children.  Little Lexis, my g-g-daughter picks her up and lugs her around, strokes her and brushes her and she purrs like heavy machinery.  She purrs when she sits at my feet and when she sits on my face when I'm asleep but can I touch her or stroke her?  She stands beside my bed and touches me gently on the face when she wants me to wake, usually to attend to her demands.  But lift my hand to stroke her and she's gone in a flash.

Two years I've had her and no way does she yet trust me completely.  She's a talker and I mean a loud talker.  Especially if I'm talking to someone on the phone.  I don't know if she thinks I'm talking to her or objecting to me talking to someone else.  

She still bolts if I make a sudden movement or if there is a loud noise.  She will come to see who is visiting if she hears a woman's voice but disappear if a man appears.  I guess bad early life experiences have left her like that.  

The other resident cat is a grand-daughter's cat who needed an alternative home when she moved to Wellington to go to university.  He couldn't be more different.  He's friendly and loves to be brushed and stroked.  Korbi's a cool, laid back cat.  He never makes a sound and when he does it's a pathetic little squeak,  Alley does the talking for them both.  Moving from the city to the farm was a bit traumatic for him but he adjusted quickly after his first run-in with a possum.  And then moving into the village was like going back home.  He knew about traffic and other cats.  He's friends with everyone.   

It was the opposite for Alley.  Thankfully, nothing would entice her to go near the road with all its scary noises.  But it was the other cats that affected her the most.  She was used to guarding her territory against feral cats and didn't take too kindly to her neighbours coming near her new home.  I still occasionally see some of them at a distance but they know better than to come close.  All except for one very pretty little black cat.  It and Korbi are friends and Alley is OK with that as long as they stay on the lawn.  But that little black cat knows no fear, over and over it will come up onto the deck, approach her, and over and over again Alley will fight it off.  But it keeps coming back.  She a big cat and the poor little thing has copped more than a few hidings.

Alley and Korbi are housemates, I wouldn't say they are friends.  They get along OK, have a little play now and then.  I tell them not to, that it will end in tears but they don't listen.  They play fight until one or the other gets annoyed and they then have a bit of a scrap but it's not serious.

The little black cat is now coming into the house and eats their food.  It comes through their cat flap and has the cheek to butt against it if its locked, which I have taken to doing.  It's always locked at night and the would-be intruder has woken me up trying to get in.  Between it thumping at the cat flap and Alley yeowing in alarm, I can get very cranky.  It might be easier to keep it away during the day now winter is approaching and doors are more likely to be closed.

I don't know where its home is, it doesn't belong to any of my close neighbours but it is too sleek and shiny to be a stray.  I thought perhaps it is locked outside while its humans go to work during the day.  The last two nights around 8 pm before I've locked my two charges inside for the night, it has come inside and on both occasions I've looked up from reading to see it sitting in the doorway to the lounge room,  once it was watching me and once it was watching Alley who was sound asleep at my feet.  It's getting really cheeky and I have to make a move in its direction before it runs off.

I feel like we are in a battle of wills.

Anyway, back to this morning's visitors.  Alley was making her alarmed noises and I looked out thinking the little black cat was there.  But, no, it was three goats.   They were just on the other side of the fence, beautiful creatures, big and healthy.  I thought at first two were wearing coats but they were white with brown heads and necks, the other was all brown and a little more wary than the other two.  By the time I got my camera they had lost interest in the cat and moved to the other side of the paddock next door.   There they had a short rest before moving on.  I believe they were eventually rounded up and returned home. There would have been quite a to-do had they made their way onto the croquet lawns or the golf club greens.

As you can see the day was murky and overcast, quite windy too.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

It's been ages since I last saw a rainbow.  Now, as we approach winter I suppose I'll see one around every corner.  Hope so.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

Luckily, I was a passenger in my daughter's car when this double beauty presented itself on Thursday evening.  Easter traffic was horrendous in Whangarei, it seemed like everybody who lives south of us was heading north for the long weekend.  At the time it was raining lightly and between trying to avoid the sweep of the windscreen wipers and the passing power poles, I didn't have much of a chance to get a decent shot, but it was the best I could do.

We had a bit of a storm later that night, then the weather cleared for Easter and we've enjoyed glorious weather since.

My son's football club were celebrating their 75th anniversary over Easter so the good weather was appreciated by many.  Two games of rugby for me over the weekend, haven't done that since my boys played.  The first game was a regular fixture for the senior team against the team my boys used to play for.  My son coaches this team so he was happy as they had a big win.

You know you're in a rural area when the rope to keep spectators off the field is held up with electric fence standards.

That's my son in the middle of the half time huddle in the cap.  And his farm working boots!  Guess he was in a hurry, running late to get away from the farm.  I hope he was telling them they needed to tighten up on discipline (as this armchair critic thought)!

The next day's game was for the 'masters' which seems to be the acceptable term for what we used to call the golden oldies.  The best former club players Vs former representative players.  The players in the local team appeared to be a fair bit younger that the former reps but what the older guys lacked in dark hair they made up for in skill.  I guess when you have the skills to represent your region, those skills never leave you.  A couple of them still had a good turn of speed, too.  

My father used to enter the "Find the Ball' competition in the paper every week.  There'd be an action football photo and you had to place an X where you thought the ball would be in the photo.  He's tell us you had to follow the players eyes, see where they were looking.  Can you mark the spot?

It went that way.

No, wait, maybe it was this way.

Any clue?

On Saturday night my daughter-in-law catered for a formal dinner for 170 guests, with her daughters as her assistants.  I'm of no use in the kitchen, stayed home and enjoyed listening to the music and happy voices drifting across from the hall.  It's been a wonderful weekend.