Friday, 25 November 2011

Thankful Thursday - Oops

I have, as I mentioned, been to the Veteran's Croquet Tournament.  As always we had a great time although the weather was the worst it's been in Dannevirke since I've been going to that tournament.  Sometimes the wind was so strong and hot that it was shorts and poloshirt and others it was cold and full rain gear.  The only fairly consistent constant was the very strong winds.  Few of us like playing in the wind.  Few of us like playing in the rain.  However I played the Glad Game - warm rain and warm wind are preferable to cold wind and cold rain!

Weather over the Ruahine Ranges
The tournament was mixed for me given that I have hardly played any croquet for 6 months whilst in the UK.  However after two days of Association Croquet where I played some really good stuff and even more superb crappy stuff I played Golf Croquet today with Margaret who has partnered me in The Vets for four years and we won the doubles tournament.  The best we'd managed previously was 2nd.  So all in all a Pretty Good Day on the lawns.

John Wall a senior player and in this case Tournament Manager, Margaret and me.
So it was only when I woke this morning in the motel and put on NZ TV One's Breakfast Show and they said it was Friday that I remembered that I hadn't done any posts whilst I was away and hadn't done my Thankful Thursday post either.

So today as I drove home in the hot sun along the same traffic-free state highways that I'd driven down on and thought how wonderful this land is:

The Ruahine Ranges  of New Zealand's North Island covered with The Long While Cloud which gives the country its alternative name

I felt that all was as well in my little word as it possibly could be.

This evening Wendy came down for a chat just after 7pm and Martin came down after 9pm and we had a good old chinwag and catch-up and the odd glass of something with some cheese.

What could be better in my world?  So today, even thought it's Friday (or it was when I started this post!) I am very thankful for croquet and the enjoyment it gives and for the privilege of living - albeit only part of my life - in this wonderful land called Aotearoa - The Land of The Long While Cloud.


  1. It does look truly wonderful Graham. Glad you had such good games.
    Crap weather here today - 24 hrs of gales and driving rain...
    The slates have come down and the roof is leaking...I am finding it difficult to be thankful today! But I will try!

  2. That weather sounds very moody. I love your long range field of clovers....beautiful!!

  3. Missed the blades on the windmill then........That's a result.
    Nice pictures.

  4. Congratulations.
    Used to love that view over the Ruahines when I lived and travelled round in Palmie - great pictures :)

  5. Thanks all. Days like yesterday don't come often enough for most people - I wish they did. I try never to forget how fortunate I am.

    Sorry to hear about the roof, Yvonne. I hear that the wind in the Hebrides is horrendous. I hope my house there is surviving.

  6. Congratulations on your win. It's been a bit windy here but nothing compared to down your way. Love your photos of the long white cloud, especially the last with the foothills in sight.

  7. beautiful scenes! it's windy here today, but no rain, thanks be! lots of sunshine...

  8. I am fascinated by the Croquet...the stylish ease of it. I had no idea.

  9. Congratulatons on your win! Glad you got an encouraging start to the croquet tournament season in spite of the weather. That first sky picture is really dramatic. And I'm not sure I've seen such a good visual explanation of the NZ 'long white cloud' before. My favourite is the first of those three photos, that field of white flowers seems to just go on and on forever into the dreamy-looking background.

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  11. Thanks for the comments Pauline, Norma and Monica and ef. I'm interested though, ef, in your 'stylish ease' comment. I think that the best players of many sports demonstrate a stylish ease and croquet, like golf, requires an ease of swing because forcing any stroke causes mishitting. I'd love to think that I had stylish ease. However when you see the power of some players of Golf Croquet it can be awesome. Some of the best players in the world are the Egyptians and in The World Championships a few years ago one of the Egyptians hit a ball so hard that it hit a slight rise at the edge of the lawn, went over the low safety barrier and straight through the wall of the bowling club next door. That was, coincidentally, at the Dannevirke Club where I've just been playing.

  12. Love, love, love the long white cloud shots! I think you explained it once before, but, why the long white cloud?

  13. I was just thinking about how good everybody looked and how relaxed they seemed.

    The former should be a requirement of all human activities.

    The latter, at least in my mind as a golfer, is a sure sign of internal intensity...the game must depend on a certain amount of self control.

    Now I'm more curious about it...especially the Golf Croquet.

  14. Would love to see New Zealand.
    Your photos are really good.