Bloganuary – 3rd week selection

Day 13: If you had a billion US dollars, how would you spend it?

Firstly, I would check the exchange rate.  Currently, that would give me half as much again in NZ currency. That is $157,000,000NZD. Hmm-probably this would be  enough to splash out on a few trips around the world, donate to a few worthy causes, clear the extended family’s mortgages, etcetera, etcetera……..

Seriously though, I don’t give too much thought to having  this huge amount of money . It’s either a pipe dream, or a nightmare in the making. 

Money isn’t likely to buy happiness   And that is my WOTY focus this year. 

Day 14: What is your preferred mode of travel?

Shanks pony “One’s feet or legs, regarded as a means of transport” – yeah nah,  not really  just give me a car or ute these days.  It carries my rubbish and my groceries though not at the same time.  The Ute also tows the caravan which offers a slower mode of travel to explore the beautiful country views. And that makes me happy. 

I used to enjoy horse riding but found it to be a bit too hazardous to my health after my horse bolted with me on too many occasions.  

I did some cycling  over my early years.  I got a brand-new bike when I was 11 years old and I was so proud of it. I cycled everywhere  – to school, and to the horse paddock each weekend. It was my only mode of travel until I got my driver’s licence in my early twenties. Then I drove everywhere instead.

I did a pro-drive course when I started a job that required extensive travel over rural roads.  I remember driving home from the course practicing all that I had learnt. Then  a few weeks later, I collided with a runaway cow on a dark night. My newly acquired skills kicked in and I almost avoided a head-on collision.  I hit the cow but I survived -alas the cow did not.

I fell off an e-bike and tore a  few rotator cuff tendons. Surgery followed by 6 weeks in a sling over summer cured me of that mode of travel.

Armchair travel is now my preferred mode of travel.

Day 15: What fear have you conquered?

My fear of falling from a great height. For much of my life, I had a fear of falling downstairs.  At one stage, it got so bad I would just freeze at the top of the stairs. Taking that first step was just too hard. I envisaged myself falling and landing in a crumpled heap at the bottom for days, waiting for someone to find me.

Until I did actually fall.  In the middle of winter, one morning when I was running to catch the bus, I slipped off that icy top step of our outside stairs. My life flashed before my eyes. That didn’t take long as I was only 18.  I landed in a crumpled heap, but I picked myself up, brushed off my embarrassment, and made it to the bus on time.

Since then I have even mastered escalators!

Day 17: Describe the happiest day of your life.

This should be easier than I am finding it so far. 

Happiness is my WOTY so why am I finding it hard to describe the happiest day of my life? 

I have had a long and fortunate life (so far) and I have had so many happy days to be grateful for. I guess there are  too many to count to specify any particular day. 

The day we got married nearly 52 years ago, the birth of each of my three sons, the challenges of study and a new career, my many memorable travel experiences over the last 20 years, the birth of each of our seven grandchildren, and now having more time in retirement to pursue new creative activities. These  have all brought me joy and happiness. 

I’m forever grateful that the happy days have far outnumbered the sad, stressful days. I am thankful for them too as without sadness how can happiness be known or appreciated?

Day 18. What’s your favorite meal to cook and/or eat?

Smoked salmon, asparagus and creamy mushrooms. It’s delicious, its easy to prepare, it’s healthy (mostly). And asparagus is a springtime seasonal treat and that is my favorite time of the year. 

Day 19: What color describes your personality and why?

Purple. I love purple although I can never quite explain why so I went searching for meanings. 

Some definitions:

The color purple has a variety of effects on the mind and body, including uplifting spirits, calming the mind and nerves, increasing nurturing tendencies and sensitivity, and encouraging imagination and creativity.“

And; 

Purple as a favorite color is said to represent an artistic and unique individual, who is often very intuitive and deeply interested in spirituality. Lovers of purple are said to be a good judge of character, and a visionary with a great need to participate in humanitarian issues.”

Well I’m not sure about the “deep interest in spirituality’ but I do try  to be creative and artistic in many different ways.  And perhaps, just maybe, I’m a good judge of character??  I’m definitely a unique individual. And I’m okay with that. 

Day 20: What irritates you about the home you live in?

Nothing much irritates me about my current home except perhaps our recent road closures,  and the ongoing  isolation.

We have had 30+ years living our lives here at the beach. We have a warm and comfortable home. The birds flit through the native bush and along the seashore. The spectacular sunsets are often followed by dark skies which display a multitudes of stars to sparkle and intrigue me.   Plenty of photo opportunities abound here. 

That’s why it has been such a hard decision to sell up and move into town. 

To be continued……….

#bloganuary #goals

Bloganuary Catch-up – first week!

#2 Road trips – Wherever the road leads is where we will go.

Any road trip that does not depend on negotiating our own rural road (currently closed to the public)  is totally welcome these days.

The very best road trip I would love to take is around my own country which is probably well overdue.  I have been on a lot of road trips in other countries and some of these I would love to repeat. However there are many roads in my own country I have yet to explore. 

The North Island of New Zealand has so many choices! Should we travel the most direct route to Auckland, through the central North Island on State Highway One, enjoying the mountain views of Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe, past Lake Taupo  and into the geyser land of Rotorua, or should we meander slowly along the West coast past Mt Taranaki, then head on the Forgotten Highway into the inland countryside.

The Coromandel on the East Coast is another long and winding road I have yet to travel so plenty of options.  Once past Auckland city there is Northland to explore.

From Cape Reinga in the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island, not only would I love to take this road trip, it is very definitely on the plan.  

For now, we will complete a full circuit of the South Island this summer. From the top of the south we will go on our road trip to the East and West coasts, traversing the inland routes to the mountains and lakes, from the coastline to the Canterbury Plains, and hopefully reach the bottom of the South Island before returning as the summer days cool into Autumn evenings. We will go wherever the weather is kind and the road leads us. 

#3 Write about the last (first) time you left your comfort zone.

When the heart starts beating rapidly it is time. Don’t think about what others might think, just speak. Believe that the words will come. Sage advice given to this nervous first time public speaker many years ago. 

Standing up and speaking my mind was a scary thing to do. It’s not that I didn’t have words to say. It’s just that I felt too strongly about what my words meant to me. Where else would or could the words come from if not from my heart. And yet they resisted.

Where are the pages of my notes? What if my voice croaks? What if they laugh at me?My fears threatened to overcome me. Who else has felt that fear? 

Hidden deep within the hidden  tunnels and crevices of my beating heart, I felt them start to stir. With each surge they got stronger. The words were on their way. 
It’s true that we speak when our heart is in our mouth. I hummed to myself…,

“Drums keep pounding rhythm to my brain.  And the beat goes on! “

Then I thought; What  is the worst that can happen?  I set aside those notes. Just breathe. Just do it. And I did.   My heartfelt words found their way. And it was good. 

4 What is something you wish you knew how to do?

If only I could keep on task and actually respond to these daily prompts and write every day!  

#5 What was your favorite toy as a child?

Is it sad that I can’t remember what my favourite toy was?

 Reading books is how I spent much of my childhood time. I did have the obligatory doll or two however  I have fonder memories of the great outdoors building huts and swimming at the beach than playing with an actual toy.

My first camera at the tender age of 10 became my favourite ‘toy’ instead.  Not much has changed for me, except my age, the camera (and book)technology of course.  These days it is a digital camera or iPhone instead of that Brownie Starlet – and the Kindle for the reading might just be my favourite toy!

The starlet that started it all