Elusive paper

Our daily “Press” is often delivered right outside our front door.  Sometimes we have to look further, but it can usually be quickly found, in the garden, or outside on the footpath.  In recent months it’s been packed flat inside a plastic bag, and often secured with a rubber band to make it easier for throwing.  This morning there was no sign of it at all.  I waited until 8.30am, then went to the dairy to buy a copy.  On my way home I noticed a mysterious white thing sitting on the roof, wedged into the spouting.

“Press” hidden above spouting

Sure enough, it proved to be our elusive paper.  With the help of a backscratcher I managed to pull it down, so today we have a copy each, and I can have a go at the quick crossword as well as the cryptic.

“The Press was not so far away
we have an extra one today.”



Strange Skater

The young man had difficulty getting on the bus and appeared to have a disability.  At first I thought he was wearing a supportive moon boot, then I realised he had inline skates on his feet.  He lurched into the front seat (luckily it was empty) and sat there, listening to headphones.

Getting off the bus wasn’t easy either.  Eventually he threw the plastic water bottle he was carrying onto the grass, used both hands to hold the rails, and managed to reach the footpath.  I wondered why on earth he needed to wear his skates for a bus trip?

“Was it because he had no shoes
or did he fear the skates to lose?”


Email Transition Part Two

My email contact list was carefully purged ready for The Move.  I managed to import the remaining 252 from MS Outlook to Gmail.   Some of their addresses have come through with the country as U.S.A., even though I have New Zealand as my home country.  However some of them have New Zealand, so it’s not consistent.  I have six e-mail groups which all need to be set up separately.  I set the first one up through Google Groups and found I had to keep clicking a window to say I’m not a robot.  A friend later told me an easier way to do an email group (why didn’t this show when I googled how to set up an email group?).

Gmail allows for only one signature, which is a pain as I regularly use two.  One is for personal and celebrant emails, and the other for my voluntary work.  I found that I could set up the alternative signature through Canned Responses in Google Labs.  I’ve worked out how to make my reply appear above the original message, but my signature stays at the bottom of the “thread” which is not what I want.

When I used MS Outlook for my email I got those wavy red lines that tell you when you’ve made a typo.  This doesn’t happen with Gmail, presumably because it’s not part of Office, but I gather there is a spell checker.  You can’t have recurring tasks in a Google task list which is a pain, but I like that the tasks show on the same screen as your inbox.

I told Vodafone to switch my e-mail over at 3.36pm on Wednesday, and it happened on Friday evening.  I’m still learning lots, which I guess is good for my mental well-being.

The election is over bar the counting.  I shall soon settle down to watch the results.  If the Greens reach at least 5% I shall celebrate with a liqueur.

“My email has been forced to move
and my tech knowledge to improve.”


Spring Surprise

Our bay or laurel tree was planted in October 2011.  It has special significance because Stephen’s original heart valve was buried beneath it.  It provides plenty of bay leaves for cooking, and this year, for the very first time, it has flowers.  Apparently these will later turn into black berries which can be dried and used as ‘robust’ spices.  They contain up to 30% fatty oils and about 1% essential oils.

Bay/Laurel flowers

In the classical legend Daphne was saved from rape by Apollo by being transformed into a laurel tree in the nick of time.   Laurel, which is a narcotic and stimulant, was the plant of prophecy chewed by the oracle at Delphi.  It’s a symbol of wisdom, both acquired and intuitive.  Laurel crowns were given to the best poets who were then called ‘laureate’.  Baccalaureate is from the Latin for laurel berries, which were given to Greek students of the classical period.  Placing bay leaves beneath pillows has been thought to bring prophetic dreams.

“This is the first time that our laurel
has shown to us a part that’s floral.”




Today is the 124th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand.  I’ve already voted in this year’s General Election.  Make sure you do too!

Katie Pickles has written an article drawing comparisons between Kate Sheppard and Jacinda Ardern.

For the first time in many years I won’t be at the lunchtime commemoration at the Kate Sheppard Memorial, because I’m going to a writing course in Avonhead.  Maybe there’ll be an opportunity there to mark Suffrage Day?

Flowerless Camellia

The white camellia I planted last year has not flowered yet despite being fed camellia food.  What does this signify?

“Today is an important day
I’ll mark it in a private way.”

E-mail Transition Part One

As Vodafone will not provide a Clear email service after 30 November I’ve made the decision to go with Gmail, mainly because I suspect outlook.com may require payment sometime in the not-too-distant future.  My next decision was to use my aged Gmail account which has an easily remembered address rather than a new one which incorporated my name and a three digit number.  An article in this morning’s “Press” suggests an address should signify it belongs to you.  My aged Gmail address doesn’t include any part of my name, but it’s short and I hope that people seeing it won’t think I’m a cyber criminal intent on emptying their bank accounts.

The next step on my email transition list is to take a Gmail tutorial.  Although I’ve had a Gmail account for nine years I’ve rarely used it and I want to know more.  Accordingly I searched and found “Get started with Gmail” in Google’s Learning Centre.  The first thing I read was “With Gmail, your email are stored safely in the cloud ….”  Since when has email been plural?  Why “are stored”?  This does not endear me to Gmail!

“I fear Gmail may rot my grammar
and rob my writing of its glamour.”

Sustaining the Swamps

These Tree Houses for Swamp Dwellers were installed in 2013.  I hadn’t realised until today that they had real grass, and of course it needs to be weeded occasionally.  That’s what these people appear to be doing.

“You would be pleased to see these fellas
if you were overgrown swamp dwellers.”