Sunday, 8 November 2009

I Don't Know Where To Start

This last two weeks has been a real rollercoaster.  I've arrived back in my New Zealand home to a special family and a special welcome.  I've been away to a croquet tournament for which I was totally unprepared.  Two people who have touched my life have died.  I have not spent a single evening  alone in The Cottage.   I have not spent anywhere near as much time as I would have wanted in Blogland.  I have not seen as much of some friends as I would have liked.  I have made adventurous plans for a weekend away exploring new places.  I haven't sorted the Study yet and I haven't finished the week's ironing.  The fact that I've done no housework pales into insignificance.

The two services for those who had died were completely different: one a full requiem mass and the other a celebration of a life.  Bother men were very popular.  Both men were loved by many and deserving of that love in a way that few are.  Both services were attended by more than an ordinary large church could hold.

I cannot pay a personal tribute to Nick.  I did not know him well enough.   I can say that I admired him very much because I knew him by reputation and all that he did for people and for his wife, Colleen whom I know.  The eulogies at his mass were very moving. 

Ralph touched my life directly for a few days:  days in which I learned a lot and admired much.  For that I was privileged.  He was a remarkable man.  A man of letters, a teacher, a coach, a breeder of successful racehorses, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend to name but a few of his achievements.  The celebration of his life took place at the Awapuni Racecourse Silks Lounge in Palmerston North.  There was a picture show, films of races, stories and memories by his children and grandchildren and friends, a song by a friend and grandson, and an opera singer to mark his departure from the lounge carried by his family.  There can have been few dry eyes.  There were many laughs.

So I returned this evening after a round trip of 400k with Jayne (a friend from croquet and a mutual friend of Judy, Ralph's wife) for company.  I arrived home in time for One News at 6pm.  What did I find?  Wendy had been round with the ride-on.  The flowers that had been placed here when I arrived home (two weeks ago!) had been replaced by new ones.  And the carpets had been vacuumed!! 

Once again I count my blessings.


  1. Well that's put me right. Thought it was a quiet place, with the only excitement being a miscount of the flock. Just shows how wrong it is to stereotype.
    All my life I've wanted to go to New Zealand never made it and never will, as unless there is a dire emergency I will not go near another airport.
    Sorry to hear of the deaths, it happens and is never either easy or pleasant.

  2. One day at a time, sweet Graham. I was very touched to hear that your girl gently swept in to refresh your welcome with a bit of her love :)

    {thanks to Wendy}

  3. Good on Wendy! Nothing like some fresh flowers to lift the spirits a little.

  4. Yes, you are indeed blessed, GB. Feast your eyes on the flowers, take a deep breath and plunge into the next two weeks!

  5. How very thoughtful of Wendy! And actually also a gift of Time! (not having to do the vaccuuming) Spend it well! :)

  6. A lovely gesture of the flowers!

  7. Wendy is still as thoughtful as ever. Say hello to her

  8. I feel a bit embarrassed by all those nice comments - just seemed like a small thing after all the stuff Graham does for us. Has he mentioned that he spent the whole of Sunday helping us to tile the shower room?

  9. Today is the first time I have looked at GB's blog since he has been back here and I'm a bit embarrassed by all the nice comments about a wee bunch of flowers (but thank you). Anyway, I just wanted to say that while I may have vacuumed and put out flowers, GB spent the whole of last Sunday in our shower room teaching Martin how to tile and helping with said project!!! And he fixed our computer when we really shouldn't be allowed one as we are INCOMPETENT! And, he has looked after the kids for me lots of times while I have been without my car. and he usually brings wine when he toddles up for a visit!!!!