Thursday, September 17, 2009

Further Sods and Odds (2)

a) I am still very stiff and sore from the fall but a little more mobile.

b) I am pleased I had my annual whitebait meal on Tuesday night when I was still capable of appreciating it. I love whitebait and I make a point of always having a good amount on or near my birthday. I always cooked the fritters, wall to wall whitebait but this year Anne made them. Magnificently. My brother Rick has a stand on the Hokitika River near his house. He used to give lots to Mum to deep freeze and whenever I went south she’d make a batch. Gone are those good days.

c) I finished Beside the Dark Pool last night. What a full and rich life Fiona has had, family and friends, travel and adventure, plus lots of writing, support for and encouragement of writers. A most enjoyable read. When I finished the first memoir I reread her first four novels. I must reread some of her later ones now I know more about the circumstances in which they were written. I think The Captive Wife is superb.

d) I had two visitors yesterday. One was Rae who was mentioned by Fiona as driving Ian and her around Cambodia. Rae has always been a good works person and she had a stint in Cambodia.

e) The other was Graeme, ex chief executive of Wellington College of Education. We reminisced about the 1994 study tour I organised through the British Council. We spent a lovely week in a rural Somerset training centre, a mock castle built by the Wills (tobaco) family with English experts explaining their education system. After a free weekend (Anne joined me in Bath) we were taken to teacher education centres in London, Milton Keynes, Manchester and Stirling. Not only did we learn a lot the camaraderie for the eight of us in the party lingers still in my memory banks.

f) I realise one problem I have with writing a blog is I tend to lack the inflow of stimulating incidents. Cousin Sally in her birthday email message describes a typical event in a farmer’s life. ‘There is a cow down which also adds to the work load at present - she went down before calving and after 3 visits from the vet they managed to get twins out which are lovely but she still isn't on her feet. Craig lifts her up with the tractor three times a day for about an hour at a time so that is taking a huge amount of the hours which would have been spent on other jobs. She is eating okay, just not on her feet which is a worry after a week.’

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