Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award nomination

A fellow blogger at Northernnarratives has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. (
Thank you very much Judy it is an honour to receive a nomination from you.
I’ve noted that I need to pass it on to 15 other bloggers and jot down 7 things about myself.

So here are 7 things about me:

1. I don’t like heights
2. I love the colour purple
3. I am fascinated by how brains work
4. Not long ago I discovered that I have Irish ancestors
5. I love hearing people’s stories from their life and experiences
6. I remember where I was when the first man stepped on to the moon
7. I have felt the majestic silence of Fijordland, New Zealand

Here are my 15 bloggers who I enjoy reading. Please pop in and check out their blogs. They’ll be pleased to see you!


A walk to the cherry blossom trees

Yesterday I walked down to the stand of cherry blossom trees that was planted on city council reserve some years back in honour of our sister city Nishio, Japan. The display this year is breath-taking. Beneath these trees are millions of spring bulbs, which have almost finished flowering now but they were a picture a few weeks ago too.
Whoever thought of this initiative deserves to be acknowledged and thanked for the special pleasure this area brings.

No ordinary day, no ordinary flower

Annual breast check day never feels ordinary. However it is all done for today and I have a big tick by my name.

I stopped at a domain along the way and spent 40 minutes among the rhododendrons,azaleas, kowhais, leafing green trees and beautiful native ferns and plants. Here is a flower to celebrate good health and caring health professionals.

Saturday Tip: Recipe for happiness

I found this in an old Church recipe book.

“Equal parts of health, honest work, rest and recreation, mixed carefully with diligence, cheerfulness and an even temper.

Sift them through the sieve of determination to get rid of any lumps of idleness or despondency.

Then bring the whole to a cream with the milk of human kindness and spirits of consideration and sympathy, stirring each in gently with an inspiring hand.

Add to this a sparkle of smiles and colour with laughter, a mere thought and a few illusions.

This mixture can be made at home by anyone.”

What does the wee phrase “a sparkle of smiles” bring to mind for you? I’d be interested to know.

Trash Palace and a Shining Cuckoo

Today is one of those breath-takingly beautiful days we get here in Wellington which remind us of just how lovely this often wind-blown, cloudy and cool location can be.

I loaded the car boot up with unwanted items and headed to our local recycling depot in Porirua called Trash Palace.

As I was getting back in my car I was startled to hear the song of a Shining Cuckoo. I had been thinking about this bird a lot over the past week as I had heard more Grey Warblers singing again around my home. If my memory serves me correctly it usually a little later in the season when I hear the Shining Cuckoos near here.

However I found the following article and note that September is often the time for the Cuckoos to return to NZ from their wintering over in Pacific Islands. This link also features an audio of the lovely song of the Shining Cuckoo as well as lots of new information about its habits, its preferred foods and the remarkable job it does keeping our lovely kowhai trees in excellent health.

Nature brings balance through symbiosis and I have a greater appreciation now of the Shining Cuckoo and its welcome, unique song.

Kowhai trees


I was reading a blog post the other day and the woman described herself as “time-sick”. What did she mean by this? Well the feeling she experienced in her being was the same aching we might feel when we are “home-sick”. That yearning ache to be back in our own familiar house, environment, culture, society, homeland.

Time-sick was more about leaving a period of time behind or reflecting on past times and missing the familiar things and people. I liked the term time-sick as it seemed to capture some of the feelings I had been experiencing in the past few days.

I have been reflecting on better times. Times when employment was less frustrating, more productive and more financially rewarding. I have been reflecting on busier times when my role was more defined and when my plans were being fulfilled. And I have felt the tug of yearning so similar to homesickness.

Change is the a certainty we live with and we are called to adapt to it at an increased pace right now. Or at least that is how it feels.

It is important to acknowledge the feelings that arise but also important to heed the wisdom of Heraclitus when he said

“No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

It is about finding new ways forward, building on the past. Seeking new solutions to new challenges.


Metta meditation for you

It is spring in New Zealand and I am doing some spring cleaning and decluttering. I came across this Metta Meditation in a note sent to me by a friend some years back and I thought I would share it with you all. It uses fairly ordinary language but its intention has power.

“May you be free from danger
May you have mental happiness
May you have physical happiness
May you have ease of well-being”

Free clipart photo

Spring showers and small elephants

There is nothing quite like rain to make plants grow. Watering with a hose or a can does not always result in anything like the growth that happens after a shower or two of rain falls.

Some weeks ago I planted some elephant garlic bulbils and some new elephant garlic bulbs. I’ve blogged about garlic and elephant garlic here and here. Then I have waited and watched and hoped……but until the middle of last week there was no sign of any “elephants.”

We have had some warmer temperatures but we have also had some biting cold weather and hail showers so plants have plenty of reasons to be confused and slow to pop their heads up.

However in the middle of last week after some gentle showers I spied the tiniest green shoot. Now I have three shoots showing strongly from the elephant garlic bulbs and the newest wee sprout has appeared from one of the bulbils.

Being a gardener requires so much patience and trust…..and the assistance of some rain falling.