Wednesday, April 25, 2012


There was a Dawn Service in Whangarei Town Centre but I elected to go to the 10.30 a.m. service here in Kamo - an easy stroll from home.

It was held in the Kamo War Memorial Hall and a lot of thought had, obviously, gone into its planning.  One gentleman had been to Belgium last year to visit the War Graves and it was very moving hearing about his experiences with slides of the Graves playing in the background.

We heard the story of the penning of "In Flanders Fields" which was read out.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae - May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

                                        On the walk to the service - the street next to ours
                                       Kamo main street
                                        The old oaks next to the hall
                                       This lovely house is next to the hall

 On my walk back home taken from the same spot as the one on my way to the hall.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lovely day for a walk

I went on the Parkinson's Walk today.  It was a beautiful day and we started at the Town Basin, crossing the covered bridge, around past the swimming pool complex, onto a board walk then alongside the Hatea River to Mair Park and back again.  It took us just under two hours.

It was all new territory to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

                                                     The Town Basin
                                            We met some joggers
                                           The board walk through the Mangroves
                                                   The Hatea River
                                             Walking through the bush
                                               The Hatea River again
                                             and more bush

On the way back there were several "pedal boats?"on the water by the yachts. From a distance  they looked like large surfboards with bikes on top of them and a small seat on the back.  It was just like cyclists floating on the water.  Unfortunately, my camera battery had gone flat so I hope to see them again and get a photo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Feeling Happier

Although the promised sun didn't shine I still had a good day.

Stepson came north and we took his Dad down to the Town Basin for fish and chips.  He knew us when we arrived and, in spite of the fact that he had mislaid his walking stick, he was walking well.

I wasn't very happy before as, on Tuesday, he told me he was starving himself to death, but today he ate well.  The portions are so large that we got two serves for the three of us but M. definitely ate his share.

We then went for a reasonable walk to see the yachts then  back to the Rest Home on a different route.  He made no complaint at being returned there.

Stepson was wonderful with him and I don't think I could have managed getting M. in and out of the car on my own.  He is going to come back up in two or three weeks to do it again.

In the morning before he arrived I did some clearing in the garden and filling the wheelie bin ready for Monday so it has been a productive day.

I hope yours has been as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another lovely day

This is what I call perfect autumn weather .  This morning I went to visit my hubby again but, unfortunately, he is not a happy chappy.  He can't understand why he is in there and it is all doom and gloom.  I will keep visiting though and hope that things improve.

I went to see "Marigold Hotel" this afternoon and it is just wonderful.  Good enough to see a second time.  As one would expect all the actors are excellent.  I thoroughly recommend it.

This morning Kim was sitting in the sun enjoying life as only cats can.  Unfortunately, the sun was a bit glary when I took the photo.                

When i got home the lawnmowing man was here - it is four weeks since he has been because of the bad weather we were having but everything looks good now.  It is just up to me to get back in the garden.  Looking forward to it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Perfect Easter Weather.

I am getting lots of rest and exercise.  Finally I felt up to doing some "housework" and vacuumed our front porch (well I suppose it is also our back porch as the front and back doors are next to each other).

The streptocarpus are still flowering well - I am not sure how long they will continue to flower for.

Last Monday I joined the Parkinson's group for a walk around the Kensington Stadium in a heavy drizzle  - there were seven of us.  Today, it was a perfect autumn day and, in spite of it being a Statutory Holiday, about twice that number turned out and we walked around the stadium twice.  Unfortunately, the cafe was closed but I visited a friend for a coffee instead.

Concentrating on getting plenty of rest,  exercise and company.  Tomorrow, I am going with a friend from the gym class to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which I gather is good for a laugh.

Friday, April 6, 2012

At last some sunshine

A better day, today.  I finally managed to get some washing done and dried, had a walk and got out in the garden and took a few pics.

This dahlia is doing very well

                                           I like these crucifix orchids, they come in several colours
                                           This was a fairly barren area that I have planted with
                                            Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Leeks and a Frangipani.

This stump is from a tree I cut down when we first arrived.  it was a Taiwanese Cherry which, although
very pretty is a real problem as it seeds everywhere. I am constantly pulling up seedlings from the neighbours'
tree.  I liked the fungi on it.

Yesterday, I visited M.  Although he asked me who I was when I first arrived and thought that he had been in over a year and that I had remarried,  he seemed reasonably content and didn't mind my leaving which was a great relief.  I will most likely go back on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

There are so many good people out there.

I am starting to feel a bit more refreshed.  Still sleeping a large amount of the time but I think that will go on for a while.  I am, however, trying to get plenty of exercise preferably with other people.

Yesterday, I joined six other people and went for a walk in the rain with the Parkinson's club and we finished with a coffee and chat in a cafe.

This morning there were occasional showers and, after doing some clearing in the garden and filling the wheelie bin I walked up to Kamo Village to buy a birthday card and had a long chat with a friend I happened to meet.

I got home just in time before the rain and wind started in earnest .  We are getting the tail end of the cyclone that hit Fiji and the forecast is not good for tomorrow either.

I have had such wonderful support - yesterday I had calls from the Nurse at the Hospital who did M.'s assessment and the lady who runs our Alzheimer's support group both to see how I was coping.

I had also been in touch with the Starship Foundation about a function they have here in Whangarei next week.  I had not replied to their invitation  as I wasn't sure whether I would be able to attend.  Thinking that it would be good for me to mix with others I sent an email explaining the situation and asking whether it was too late to go on the list of attendees.  Marilyn took the time to phone me and tell me that I was most welcome also giving me support as she had been in a similar situation. (Starship is the Children's Hospital in Auckland that caters for the whole country).

Last night, Jean from All Points of the Compass phoned to offer her support.  On top of this I have had lots of phone calls from friends and family.

I know it is going to be hard when I visit M. as he is just not able to understand the fact that it was getting too much for me and will, most likely, accuse me of all sorts of things but I will phone the Rest Home tomorrow and ask their advice as to when I should visit.

I had intended to take some photos of the garden when I returned from my walk but the rain put paid to that. Never mind there is always another day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A whole new way of life

It is hard to believe that it is five days since I took M. to the Rest Home.  I went in again on the following day as his room looked so bare with empty picture hooks on the walls so I made up a cork board with photos on it and also took in some watercolours that were still packed up following our move.

At reception I was told that he is telling everyone that I am overseas having taken all his money and am  having an affair    Sounds far too exhausting to me.  He was in the corridor when I went in and he told me that I have to get him out of there.  Not a good start and I was beginning to wish I hadn't gone in although I was pleased that I made his room look better.  (This constant fight between being rational and knowing I couldn't cope any more and the guilt feeling).

On Friday the Alzheimer's club picked him up for the day (they will do this for four days - 1 or 2 a week) to help with the transition.  Unfortunately, when he went to move from a chair to the window seat which was higher he slipped and hit his ear.  A lot of blood and bruising but when the nurse from the Home phoned she said it was nothing to worry about and, at least, it is them dealing with it and not me.  I will leave it for another week before I go back to see him.  This is what is suggested to help him settle and should be better for both of us (I hope).

For myself, I have been getting wonderful nights' sleep and sleeping in late (which is unusual for me) as well as having afternoon naps - or rather falling asleep when I put my feet up for a read.

On Wednesday I was too tired to go to the gym and just went for a short walk.  Thursday, a friend took me for my diabetic eye check as I had to have a driver.  We then went to visit a friend in hospital and to a cafe for lunch.

I also received the papers I need to sign for the financial side of things.  I was having trouble with it on Thursday night as they seemed to need papers that had vanished in our move so I got everything I could together and went in to the office of "Work and Income" on Friday.  The lady I saw was wonderful and I think it is all sorted - I hope to hear some time next week.

On Saturday, I just went for a walk up to Kamo shops and to the library and chatted to friends on the way back.  I bought a bacon hock for some soup, some of the butcher's wonderful bacon offcuts which are end piece of ham mainly.  I also bought some gluten free products, falafel mix, millet cereal which is a nice change to the oat porridge that I usually start the day with and buckwheat pancake mix.  I made the pancake mix up for afternoon tea and they were so delicious with butter and jam that I ate far too many, having already had some falafel for lunch.  At least I should be putting some weight back on.  (I can see me overdoing it and then having trouble losing it).

Today, I have been to the gym class that I used to attend when I was still able to either leave M. or take him with me.  It was great to catch up with everyone.  We put our clocks back last night so it gets light an hour earlier now.

Tomorrow, I will go on a walk with the Parkinson's group.  I am trying to get out with people as much as possible so that it doesn't give me time to worry about how M. is doing.

The cats, Kath and Kim are great company and I wake up to find one, or both, of them alongside me and, of course, if I go out in the garden they are always there.

The weather hasn't been too bad but it is starting to get colder hence the bacon hock.

I am feeling a lot more relaxed but a lot will depend on how M. settles in especially when he realises it is not just for a fortnight's respite.