Friday, 6 November 2009

It Seems Like A Long Time

The Funeral for Colleen's husband will take place today at St Thomas More Catholic Church.  The celebration of the life of Ralph in Palmerston North will take place on Sunday at the Awapuni Racecourse.  I didn't really know either men well but I do know some of  those who will be touched by the deaths: wives, children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues and many more whose lives they touched.  It has been a sad week.  But I cannot dwell on the sadness because it reminds me too much of the loss of Andy and the negativity of such feelings.  When I eventually depart this mortal coil I want people to be happy that they've known me (well, I hope so anyway) not sad that I've gone.  Although I fully accept that there will be some whose feelings are quite the reverse!

Anyway back to this week.  I've missed Blogland  where people I know have become such a part of my life that I really miss not keeping up. I've read one, perhaps, two blogs this week and I may be struggling to read many more for a few days.  My days seem to be more full than ever.  When I think of people like Heather with a family and a job and Blogland and all the other things she does and the conflicting needs of her self and her family; when I think of Cynthia who has to fit in studying with several jobs and a life;  and when I think of those whose lives are constrained by constant pain and fatigue and illnessI realise just how lucky I am that I am able to make the choices.   I chose family who are here with me, I chose croquet which has become a part of my life and I accept the reality of life here which is busy and full.  But none of that stops me missing my friends in Blogland.

So what's happened since I arrived back from New Plymouth (about which I will blog in due course)?  Well I've had children and dogs and family 'things' more than ever before.  It's been wonderful.  I've never really seen myself as a grandfather and now to have that role - albeit a surrogate one - is terrific.  Yesterday was a good example of a day: a wonderful day.

Woke.  Checked emails.  Breakfast.  Shower.  Phone call or two.  Children arrived  (as a family we are down from 3 to 2 cars temporarily until the 'new' one arrives from Japan next week so Wendy has to go to the Practice with Martin instead of separately as they usually do) with Misty

Off to the school bus

Mrs Smith (the driver not the horse!) with her pony and trap.  Unfortunately the pony does not like dogs.  Especially not yappy fluffy rugby balls on legs.  Misty slipped her lead.  Fortunately the outcome was ok: the pony was impressive in its tollerance.  Drama averted.

The school bus which had been waiting for the drama to end arrives and everyone goes off to school. 

And I'm left with Misty - what's that saying about butter not melting?

One phone call later and my mat has been well and truly attacked!

At 9am I set off for a morning's croquet.  Because it was my first day back on a Club Day I was presented with the silverware for club events that I managed to do reasonably well in last season:

It was ironic therefore that (althogh we won the first game that goes in the local newspaper!) I played as badly as it is possible for a person at my level to play and covered myself in whatever the opposite of  glory is.

And that was just the morning.   I arrived home at lunchtime, collected Misty from The House, and set out for an afternoon's catching up.   Wendy arrived home early and asked if I would look after Catriona.  Of course.  When Wendy arrived home at about 6.30 she popped down and I put a gin and tonic in her hand.  We caught up on the day's events.  Wendy got up to go home and make dinner for her and Catriona.  Where were all the others?  Gone to Sea Scouts.  So I made poached eggs and we sat and chatted and then watched Coronation Street or Corrie as it is generally known (for those of you from the US that is the longest running UK TV soap opera and it's also followed here in NZ).

Later that evening I had a long chat on the phone to a friend and eventually went to bed around midnight.

Days don't come much better than that.

But I still missed Blogland.


  1. Oh, sweet friend...I want so badly to comment on this right NOW but everyone is demanding my attention away. My father just called and I am going to go but I will be back, most likely in the a.m. - which will probably be your p.m. :)

    I will be back.

    I miss you here, just so you know.

    Love with a bear hug attached, Heather

  2. How cute is that trap and pony! Maybe you should explain that is not the usual mode of transport in Napier - or at least it wasn't when I was last there!

  3. Loved the top two photos.

    The problem with celebrating the fact that one has known someone - especially someone that one loves - is that the grief bit is inevitable. We regret that we will never see the person again or be able to communicate with them in the normal way. Since you don't believe in an after-life how the hell am I to get my daily e-mail if you go first???

  4. Wow!!! GB!!! Now that's how to make a FULL day!!!
    Thank you for the is everything that I've made it...and it is not is just DIFFERENT than I ever expected. I prayed for peace for years...and now...sometimes I look around and think, "Wow! It sure is quiet around here!!!" :^) ;^) ;^)
    Scriptor...since he's not going to be floating around on a cloud playing a harp...he's going to be one of those friendly ghosts, like Casper. Watch'll round a corner and there he'll be.
    ;^) ;^) ;^) ;^) ;^) ;^) ;^)

  5. GB I'm very glad to see you back here in Blogland as well.

    As for grief over the loss of someone and the celebration of their life - I think it is fully possible (and even necessary) to let both feelings co-exist. We have a saying in Sweden: Sorrow and Joy walk together. (I think it is the first line of a hymn originally.) I believe that at a time of loss, we need to acknowledge sorrow and grief, sometimes even anger. We ALSO need to remember that in spite of sorrow and grief and pain,there is still Joy. We need to express ALL of that and remind each other of ALL of that. And that's "what friends are for"...

    Some things in life you can choose, some not. You might be able to make people remember you with joy; you will never be able to stop the same people from also missing you when you're not there.

  6. Sounds like a wonderfully full day! I wondered about Ms. Smith wearing a helmet, then I read about Misty-nater. Could have been quite ugly!
    Looks like you're in a beautiful place!

  7. Croquet:

    When I was a young kid growing up in Borneo, my dad went to England. When he came back, he said, he played Croquet.

    We had ideas of Victorian ladies wearing long skirts playing croquet. We asked him, why he played such a feminine gme.

    He said, we were iqnorant, croquet demands accuracy.

    Whenever I go to Rotorua, and see people playing croquet, I think of my dad. Yor reminded me of his croquet playing.