Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Merry Christmas


I hope to blog more in the new year.

Relax, seek solace, go out, enjoy company.  Forget the consumerist nightmare.


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It’s been nearly a month since I posted! I’ve finally finished editing photos from Sydney (from the camera anyway). I’ll upload the phone pics as well and once I’ve done them, I’ll actually get around to posting. When I say edit, I mainly mean straightening the horizon – I am terrible at taking crooked pics lately! It’s especially important when there are so many pics of the water. Anything crooked really shows up. Anyway, I babble.

I cannot believe how quickly this month has gone. Pretty soon it’ll be the mad dash to Xmas and then another year begins. I wish Xmas didn’t come at the same time as summer holidays. The northern hemisphere is much more sensible. Xmas comes in winter when you need a break from the dreary gloom (and perfect with all the lights, etc) and in summer you can actually concentrate on having a holiday. In the southern hemisphere it all comes at once which is a pain in the arse and not relaxing at all.

I’ve gone off on a tangent again. Back soon.

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I will

I will write about my trip eventually.  At the moment I just can’t be bothered.  I can only put it down to depression – I just don’t want to do anything.  I have no energy, nothing seems to interest me, nothing seems to make me laugh, I just get annoyed at things (especially on Facebook).

I’ve only just recovered from bronchitis which I picked up thanks to sleeping in a mouldy hotel room in Yangon.  (Do not stay at the “East” hotel.)  So the constant coughing and wheezing hasn’t helped.  I was on antibiotics for a week (had to visit a doctor in Singapore) and antihistamines.  They seem to have worked.

Now I have a colonoscopy to prepare for this week.  I only found out last week that it was all on – very quick, but I can’t think of anything else.  I dread the preparation – drinking lots of revolting “preps” to empty the bowels and then the procedure itself.  It’s just hanging over me, so it feels like the whole of this week is a write-off.

So much for getting into any “Christmas spirit”.  It’s just a day of enforced “happiness”, eating, drinking, and maybe a gift or two.  It was easy to spend Xmas at my brother’s – he didn’t celebrate other than to have good food and alcohol – that’s all you need.  It helped being in the middle of nowhere too so you weren’t bothered by noisy neighbours or kids with toys.  I shall spend Xmas at C’s and it will be nice in their spacious house, but it’s still just an artificial day of meaninglessness.  The period between Xmas and New Year is also one of loneliness and heartache.  My parents died during this period so I just think of them and feel sad every year, especially if I’m on my own.

Meh, sounds like a dose of self-pity.  I need something to look forward to…

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As you can tell from the previous post, I’ve been feeling rather tired and stressed lately.  Also, being alone all day every day is very isolating – with no-one to bounce ideas, problems, worries, thoughts off.

Waiting for items to sell, or not, waiting for items to be picked up, waiting for relevant businesses to get back to me… while everyone continues their usual lives in the lead-up to Christmas.  Weird to think of that.  If I was at work as usual, I’d be counting the days until work finished, organising Christmas at bro’s, going to Christmas lunches and drinks, thinking about putting a tree up or decorating.  Instead the house is in chaos.  Stuff that’s not in boxes, strewn here and there, waiting….

Hard to believe that in 10 days I won’t be here and everything around me will be gone.  And for others it probably feels like I already have.  Out of sight, out of mind.  When I do retire, I’ll have to make sure I get involved in clubs/groups so I don’t feel so isolated.  A friend whose sisters are in Melbourne said they reckon the men there are more easy-going and friendly.   Hey, I might even meet someone.  I certainly haven’t done in 25 years.  Any men I’ve met were married/partnered or gay, and the rest were just not appealing.  But I won’t count on it.  I resigned myself to living alone for the rest of my life about 10 years ago, when I gave up looking.

This is not supposed to be (another?) self-pitying post.  Just stating feelings.  I need somewhere to offload, and this is it, as always intended.

Hopefully, a person will arrive shortly to pick up an item, after which I can go to the vet’s to do the paperwork.  What to do with other items that no-one wants – I have no idea.  They’re too big to put in the rubbish or recycling.  Dump them at a charity?  It’s not as if they’re broken or useless, just that people these days seem to want everything new.  Sigh.  Onward.

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Well, I suppose I ought to update my blog.  It’s the final day of 2014 and I’m back at work in too few days.  The last week-and-a-half have gone so quickly.

It took me a bit of thought to remember what I did every day since we got back from our trip north.  I struggled to remember on about three of those days when I was home just doing the usual: weeding, mowing the lawn, washing, etc.  One day is much like the rest.

We’ve been lucky with the weather since the rain of mid-December.  The original forecast of a wet Christmas was, thankfully, wrong.  We’ve had hot, sunny days.

H, L, and I returned from Tauranga on the Thursday of whatever date it was.  H spent a couple of nights at L’s place.  C and W had continued north, exploring the Coromandel and Waitomo.  They returned on the following Monday.

I did some grocery shopping for food and drinks for Christmas, and also joined W on his shopping trip to town to buy something for C.  He drives a hard bargain, asking in two shops if they could give him a cheaper price or include something for free.  He got something for free with his final purchase.  Incredible.  I have to say that there didn’t appear to be enough staff on at both shops.  We had to wait a while to attract the attention of someone.  You expect much more staff at this time of year, just before Christmas, for those last-minute shoppers.

Anyway, that over, we could relax.  We wandered up to Mt Lees Reserve for a bush walk on a hot afternoon.  Always pleasant to be under the trees.

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H used my car to spend a night with L and Xmas morning with his family.  C, W and I headed over to the Wairarapa in their car on Christmas eve.  Bro was still working but arrived soon after we did.  We had a lovely meal of salmon on a bed of spinach with some delicious sauce.  The obligatory game of Settlers of Catan was played in the evening.

On Xmas morning we went for a walk through the neighbouring fields.



We entered one paddock that had three dead sheep in it.  Three or four others were in the same paddock and didn’t appear to have access to water.  The majority of sheep were in the neighbouring paddock.  We did a rescue mission and herded the waterless sheep through the gate to join their mates, who had water.  They must have got through a fence to get the longer grass, or something.  It’s such a shame that farmers don’t give their animals shelter.  Just one tree would offer shade for several.  The sheep were crowded round the water tank under a sweltering sun.

H and L arrived in my car in the afternoon.  We sat outside with drinks and nibbles, played boules and threw a frisbee around.  It was very pleasant in the late afternoon sun.

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We’d had ham at lunchtime, and had turkey for the evening meal.  A couple more games of Settlers of Catan.  I was on a losing streak, while everyone else won at least one game.

Boxing Day was similar to Xmas day – eating, drinking, and a walk.  We went over to the neighbouring farm to feed ducklings in a cage.  We felt the cage was inadequate – just a frame with chicken wire over them.  No shelter or much room for the mother and her 10 or so ducklings.  There were two dead ones in the cage, one in the water and another as if strangled trying to get out (halfway under the frame).  It was very sad.  I do wish people would give their animals better conditions.

In the evening the “kids” played Settlers of Catan while us oldies watched “The Killing III”.  More drinking, games and in the evening we brought out an old packet of sparklers and danced around the garden acting like lunatics in the dark, “wheeeee”s and “la la la la la”s, skipping madly with sparklers in hand.  Yes, I think we were all a bit tipsy.

On the following morning, us olds checked on the ducklings and were shocked to see four dead and the rest missing.  Obviously a stoat or something had got into the inadequate cage.  It was shocking.  There were holes in the wire and ducklings under the frame with heads bitten off.  It was a gruesome start to the day and we were stunned into silence.  W commented on the look on our faces as we returned “as if someone had died”, he said.

In the afternoon, after a wonderful barbecue of steak and salad, C and W drove off to Wellington and H, L and I headed back home.


Once back at home, H borrowed my car again and took L back to his place and stayed the night.  I was on my own again.

The following day I did loads and loads of washing and mowed the lawn.  I finally finished the gigantic tome that was Diana Gabaldon’s  “Breath of snow and ashes”.  All the action was in the final little section of the whole book.  I’d waded through a whole lot of nothing happening just to get to it.  I won’t bother with any further books in the series.

H returned unexpectedly that night.  She had planned on arriving the following morning but realised she still  had a lot of stuff to sort through in her room.  She brought back takeaways, then we went for a walk at the domain.

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Swan family in the wetlands


I was lucky enough to capture a bellbird with my point-and-shoot.

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And so to the last day of H being home.   She finished sorting through her stuff, leaving some to give away and some to recycle.  We headed off to Wellington, where she’d join C and W for the final day before flying out.

It was another lovely day.  We all walked through the Botanic gardens and had a beer at the Sprig & Fern pub in Thorndon on the way back.  We visited the nearby supermarket briefly, returned to the apartment and said our goodbyes.

Back to an empty house.  I’ll have to get used to the emptiness all over again.

Yesterday they were visiting cousins in Wellington.  I went into town for grocery shopping and dropping off bags to charity bins.  I got the DVD set of “The Killing III” from the library so I could continue to watch it.  I was just watching an episode when bro turned up unexpectedly.  He said he wanted to get out of the house and came over for a trip.  He’d visited a friend and some old haunts in town, including our first family home (now a community centre) and primary school.  It was good to see him.  We shared a beer and chat before he headed off back.

Girls flew out this morning and are about to land in Melbourne.  I don’t know when I’ll see them again.

Tonight will be a non-event.  I was invited to a New Year’s Eve party in Tauranga but I wasn’t about to drive up their again – six hours to reach their house.  Nope.  An early night, and contemplation on the year ahead.


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Wow.  I can’t believe my two weeks off is nearly over.

I spent the first couple of days off washing and gardening.  I headed over to my brother’s place on Xmas eve.  Bro was working and got back about 4.30 pm.

The next day turned out sunny and warm, with not a cloud in the sky.  We had a pleasant walk in the countryside.


In the afternoon bro and I had a nap, something I never normally do, but I hadn’t slept well the night before.  I got up after a while and wandered around the garden.  We played Settlers of Catan.  Evening fell and the clouds gathered.


We had Xmas dinner of salmon on a bed of pasta, followed by my sherry trifle.  The wine was a nice Riesling from Rangitikei.


On Boxing day we went for another walk and fed the neighbours’ dogs and ducks.  More Settlers of Catan (I won as many as bro, which is unusual).  I headed home about 4.30 pm.

Back home C’s budgie looked sick and when H returned we discussed talking him to the vet the following day.  He didn’t make it, sadly.  He was at least 6 years old, older than many budgies we had had previously.  I dug yet another hole by the pet cemetery and we buried him there.

I’ve done more gardening and washing and started cleaning up the garage.  I didn’t get far – it takes forever.  I found 2 more boxes of old books which my bro had had.  He didn’t want any more junk, so I biffed some and put the rest aside to give to charity shops.

The weather has been changeable – never staying sunny the whole day.  I finally managed to paint the new bits of the carport and an hour after a second coat the rain poured.  It looks okay though.

There’s plenty to do inside when it’s raining.  I started, once again, to go through the junk in my room.  I did another sweep through my filing cabinet and got rid of more papers.  I looked through stuff on my desk and sighed as I found more stuff which needs to be organised to join other (already organised) stuff.  I was looking for something and looked at a large ringbinder, wondering what it was – lecture notes from my masters!  I got rid of that huge pile of paper pronto.  I sorted through 2 bags of family archives and looked at a photo album which was in one of them.  I had obviously forgotten about it.  It was an account of my parents’ cycling tour through North Wales.  My father had taken old photos from an old black-sheeted album, and stuck them in the sticky-paged album along with typewritten notes.  Whoever invented those albums has a lot to answer for.  I immediately decided to rescue the photos as some were getting spotted with pink from the adhesive.  I nearly tore my hair out trying to ease the old photos from the evil sticky bastard pages.  I managed with just a small tear to two small photos – no mean feat.  I now have to figure out what to do with them.  I chucked the crappy album in the recycling bin.

Yet to do in the short time remaining off work:  finally finish stripping the wallpaper in the spare room; finish painting the ceiling in the laundry; continue clearing the garage; continue trying to organise stuff in my room.

And so to yesterday – New Year’s Eve.  I was not in the mood for partying and didn’t want to go anywhere or stay over anywhere.  H was home – allowed two whole days off work.  She wasn’t sure what to do for the day and I half expected her to go to a friend’s for the evening.  However, she ended up inviting two friends and her boyfriend over to help us eat chicken and drink our wine and beer.  So, the party came to me!  We played three games after a wonderful dinner of roast chicken, salad, bread, more sherry trifle, etc.  We first played a drinking game, which I had printed off years ago and had never tried.  We soon got bored with it and moved on to my home-made version of Cluedo called “Who killed Santa?”  I made this years ago when I was at home with the kids.

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Oops... drunken hilarity after dice mishap.

Oops… drunken hilarity after dice mishap.

We then moved on to Settlers of Catan.  H skyped C and we celebrated the passing of two midnights – ours and hers.  It was 3.30 am by the time I noticed the clock and headed to bed.

Today was a slow starter, but Jasmine woke me by scratching on my door.  She looked up at me as if to say “What are you doing?  Why aren’t you up?  Feed me!”  I washed last night’s dishes and we all walked down to the local cafe for “brunch” even though it was, by now, 2.15 pm.  I was surprised it was open.  We enjoyed our Eggs Benedict, omelette, and other cooked ‘breakfasts’.

Now it’s clouding over, threatening rain again.

As to the parcels that we’d sent to C, she only just received one of them yesterday.  The other is yet to be delivered, even though I gave the correct address 10 days ago.  So much for the Christmas hamper!  It didn’t even come in time to celebrate the new year.  😐

Anyway, happy new year, all, and thanks for reading!

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A muck-up

H and I are spending Xmas apart.  She’s working and so can’t join me at my bro’s place.  So, we thought we’d have an early Xmas, but it was dependent on her receiving a parcel which included a gift for me.  To make matters worse, H had agreed to house-sit for a friend from 21st-26th December so she won’t be home before Xmas eve when I leave.  The parcel didn’t arrive in time.  It’s here now but too late.  So it looks like we’ll be having our Xmas after Boxing Day.

I had sent a hamper to C, but she hadn’t received it.  I enquired and the courier note was that  it was the wrong address.  It was the address given to me by H.  I rang C to ask and she said the number was wrong.  That pissed me off.  I shouldn’t have relied on getting the (new) address off H.  At this late stage I hope they can redeliver to the correct address before Xmas.  The other problem is that H sent a separate parcel to that same (wrong) address so I don’t know what will become of it.

Xmas has become a bit of a dog’s breakfast.

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