Thursday, 26 February 2015


There’s a sadness mingling with these last sunny days, and it is simply knowing they are going to end soon. It’s been such a beautiful warm summer and I am grateful for it. Winter has its’ comforts, fires and hot chunky soups, roast dinners and fluffy jerseys and cool leather boots, but these days right now are the ones we need to enjoy. I bought myself a “fitbit” for my 200th day anniversary. It counts the steps I do each day and so far I have not let it down, and have done over 10,000 steps each day for the last 17 days, which is about 7 and half K’s a day. I get up early and leave about 6.30 or 7.00am and walk up to one of the parks and then run around the park and walk/run/walk home again, usually adding in an extra block here and there to get my numbers up. I am enjoying the time for contemplation it gives me before starting the busy day. I have another smaller walk after dinner to get it up and over the 10,000. Unfortunately I haven’t lost even a smidgeon of weight which is a bit disappointing, but at least I know myself that I must be getting a lot fitter than I’ve been for many years. I don’t know how I will cope as it gets colder and into the depths of winter, perhaps I’ll have to make another plan. But for now I am quite enjoying feeling good about myself. The more well I become in body, mind and spirit, the more I see what a lot of work there still is to do. I am realising that just giving up alcohol is not the solution to fulfilment and contentment. It is only now when the alcohol has left the equation that I begin see the reality of the way I’ve been living my life. I have been just “getting through it”. Doing all the things I need to do to maintain a home, a business, a social life, children when they were here, helping others where I can. I have made myself perpetually busy my entire adult life. Is this normal? I did it in my marriage, with a busy business and children and social life. I have always had one busy business or another and I see now that I might use it to kind of give myself substance or self-worth. It is a way that I have been able to have respect for myself, and possibly gain the respect of others. It is a way of avoiding the real essence of myself, which in itself is perhaps a “void”. I do not know what has caused me to unconsciously do this, but between constantly working, then drinking in the evenings, and also by being in long relationships and nurturing the needs of others, I have left myself by the wayside. That is not to say that I have ignored my desires for holidays, movies, books or other luxuries that satisfy those external comforts. It is to say that I have always hungered from a young age for the illusive fulfilment of the spirit, or heart. Perhaps everyone does to a degree. I have searched and I have read and I’ve attended courses and explored all sorts of beliefs and had thousands of conversations with like-minded people. I am realising today that perhaps all I have needed is to slow down. To just sit with myself and feel grateful for the life that I have and the wonderful people in it. For the sunny days, and the flowers and the smiles and the oceans. To give myself the great gift of “time”. Time for me, to grow into the “me” I want to become. Time to appreciate all the goodness and love in my life. As my business slows down after the silly season I will have more time to invest in others as well as in myself, and for the first time ever in my adult life I will have the clarity of a completely alcohol free brain with which to enjoy it.

Saturday, 21 February 2015


I wrote this about a week after the massive earthquake that tried to destroy our city. I think today is a good day to share it, unedited, exactly how it was written.


A week or so on seems about the time to start getting some of the feelings and the experience of all this down.  Or else the whole memory will be fully influenced by the media who are reporting of it.  The media reports are part of the feeling.  Grateful for the news.  Aware of how it all works…getting the story…getting a new angle on the same story for the next bulletin….finding someone else remotely interesting to interview…while standing in the CBD zone where none of us can go…and such a media circus…with so many to accommodate that all the motels and hotels are FULL OF MEDIA so the desperate and needy (and less fiscally flush) cannot be accommodated. That is one small feeling anyway, and a way to get started because the real deep feelings are still pretty raw.

 This is 10 days on, and I am not sure from which perspective I should or will express myself.  It will be what I feel, but perhaps not from a particularly personal perspective, but more of a collective one.  More likely a bit of a mish mash of both.  Not sure.  Dunno!  Will proceed anyway.

 12.47am right now, 11th day I guess, choppers flying overhead….heck…they’ve slowed down in quantity I guess….or have I slowed down enough to hear more of them?  A lot of activity up in the air right now, 12.50am Friday 5th March. 

 What an absolutely bizarre and totally unexpected, hideous, devastating tragedy this gatecrasher of an earthquake is for our city and our people. 

I would certainly not call it Soul Destroying.  It won’t get any of that kind of Kudos from me.  Our people’s souls are not destroyed by loss of property, homes, of being displaced for a while, losing jobs, income, security, the inability to provide the usual comforts for those we love, or for ourselves.  We are bigger than that, each and every one of us I am sure, feel a far deeper loss than any that we may be enduring on a hardship or comfort level. 

The loss of life in our city is what is hurting the people of Christchurch.  Each awful death reaches and touches so many.  There are so many deaths. 

Each beloved person who has had their life ripped away, without any warning, has left so many grieving souls,….their own beautiful families, their friends, all of those who loved them, and those who admired them and respected them.  It is not fair.  This is true.  But so also is the Truth that our people will NOT be destroyed by this.  Not even while facing the most Huge loss of all.  A Mother.  A Father.  A Son or a Daughter, (God bless the Mum from the Phillipines who endured her daughter’s texts from CTV with such helplessness, such anguish). A Brother or a Sister.  A Granny or Grandpa.  A dear Friend. None of us will be un-touched by the enormity of this tragedy.  None of us will Ever forget these days we are living right now.  This event will be the biggest thing in all of our lives, our memories, our hearts…..young and old…..for all of our days.  This is the Measuring Stick. Pike River is also part of these times, so recent, so tragic.  Felt so deeply by us all.

Our people’s souls are strangely strengthened by these unwelcome, extremely challenging, ongoing, difficult, sad, inconvenient and horrific events.  We may ask the question….WHY??  WHY us?...Why here?  Why now? …after so much already endured?  Do we even expect an answer?

We each have our own inner selves to look to, to find our answers.  Do I have an answer?  The answer?  NO!!  I do not.  I have no religion or any new age stuff to preach to anyone.  I just have myself, and my feelings right now, and my Trust.  Who am I?  Even the scientists and the Moony guy can’t explain this one.  Leave all that to the talk back radio and the media.

What I know….is that the people of Canterbury, the people of Aotearoa, the Spirit of our country, of it’s leaders…..(John K and Bob P)….the amazing tireless work of the rescue teams from all over the world and the Love and the help and the pro action of thousands of big hearted angels who’ve given so much of themselves, their resources, their hearts and their time, their donations of money, food, water and stuff, and the whole spirit of our beautiful Country,…..phew what a long sentence this is….. the solidarity for Canterbury and for what we are experiencing, the energy of all the innovated money raising happenings, the growing donations given anonymously by so many…… well to be perfectly honest, it is humbling for me to be a Cantabrian.  It is a great honour to be here in this mess and to feel such staunchness from the rest of New Zealand.  What you are all doing with your fundraising for our City, and the unselfish and accepting attitude I have encountered so far with regard to ideas of how to help re-build Christchurch, well….I’ll tell you what…how I feel tonight has  a lot to do with Your solidarity, as a Country.  That is where we gain our Strength.  That is why our Souls are Not, and Will Not be Destroyed by this nasty destructive natural disaster.  Thank you to all of New Zealand for your Compassion, Generosity, Help, Energy, and Understanding of  our massive loss.



Sunday, 8 February 2015


A beautiful day today and one to be very grateful for.  Soon enough these mornings will be cold again and will give a different perspective to our days. I have so loved this warm weather all summer. Today my friend and I went to visit an old and dear friend whom I've known for 40 years. He was given four weeks to live several months ago, and has battled on, but obviously will be not much longer for this world.  He was sitting up outside in the sun, lovely tan, and looking surprisingly good. He was very pleased to see us and we chatted away for an hour or so catching up. He has big liver troubles, Hep C, schirroscis and now cancer. They can't do anything more for him than keep him comfortable and he will soon go to a hospice. He was a beer drinker more than anything else, I don't know how he got the Hep C  he was never a drug user, but what he is now is a lovely and most honourable and loyal man facing death with a brave outlook, and grateful for the good life he has had. He has a beautiful wife who is doing a brave and amazing job of looking after him.  I am so glad to have seen him and talked of old times and old friends and of how things are now.  It is such a regret when you attend a funeral when you haven't seen the person in a long time, but knew they were ill, and could have.  He is well loved by many and I hope his last days and weeks are filled with love and friendship.
Life continues to throw many challenges my way so I am busy navigating a few of those at the moment. My days are full and busy and I've not had much time to wonder if I am lonely in this big house by myself.  I don't think so. I think I am quite liking it really. The old "witch bitch" is keeping fairly quiet lately, I easily managed a lunch yesterday where my friends all had wine or beer and I had a lovely tart lime and grapefruit Mocktail.  My friend had another wine later before we went out for dinner and a couple over dinner and another one or two when we got home. No problem, she wasn't at all messy and we both went to bed quite early at about 10.30. 
All in all things are good in my world. I am looking forward to having a productive year in my business and I am ready to make some brave changes to enable me to live with a view of the sea again before the end of the year.  I long for this, and have missed it hugely over the last ten years living in the city. To look at the changing sea every day centres me and gives me a serenity I do not feel when I am away from it. I feel more whole and connected to the power and energy of it when it is in my sight and I will never take it for granted, and will always be grateful to have that beauty in my life.
The best things in life are free. The ocean, rivers, forests and mountains, love, friendship, laughter, kindness, loyalty, beauty, and our health. Amidst the chaos that is sometimes my life I am going to try to be mindful always of all that is beautiful and honest and free. Like the way a smile can light up our day.  I will try to be a giver of smiles as often as I can, while I follow my strong intuition, and continue to work towards making my life into one that overflows with the joy of simple things.
Don't want much do I?!  I am learning to appreciate all that I have, and it is making me feel happy, and feeling happy makes me able to give more to others, even if it is just a smile or some kind words.
Today I am full of hope for all those I love, and for me too.