Thursday, February 23, 2017

the wind has followed me back to Canada

The wind whipped at our cheeks as Christina and I strode down the road this afternoon. We went north today as there are more windbreaks than the wide open expanses along the south route. Still, even with the shelter, my cheeks are red and burning and I have a bit of an earache. It was a bit like being back at Kirsten's but colder. Not much colder though - it topped off at 10C today. The gloom was heavy this morning but just as we started our walk a patch of sky cleared and the sun shone through.

I've been getting up at a more decent hour this week but my oh my it is a struggle. I've made very few inroads with regard to jet lag. I feel that I'm up against the 18 hour difference between our time zones, rather than the 6 hour plus one day change in time. I will keep at it. The lack of sleep is starting to affect my mood too - a whisper of anxiety and depression dogs my day. I'm working really hard on managing my thoughts and doing everything I can think of to help myself.

To help with my struggle we are going out and about during the day. Even just going for a drive in the country is a good diversion. Staying away from home in the afternoon when a nap seems so lovely has been very helpful. We've been having company at night too: Trudie & Leo for supper on Sunday, Jo Ellen and Don for supper on Monday, Pat for drinks on Tuesday. We've stopped the trend - I've run out of things to cook - but should keep it up.

As a diversion after my walk this afternoon I re-read my blog posts for my first trip to NZ (in 2013). It seems I had a good time that trip too ;-)  And also a long period of readjustment when I got home. Perhaps I have to cut myself a little slack.

"I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”
~Sylvia Plath

Monday, February 20, 2017

celebrating birthdays

I'm still having trouble switching to this time zone. Getting up in the morning is monstrously hard; at bedtime sometimes I can fall asleep at a proper time while others have me craving something to eat and a late night. Luckily there is no rush and maybe it is easier on my system to take my time adjusting.

Saturday night we had a lovely supper at my parents. It was a large gathering with Olaf, Tammy and Freya; Kari & Trevor; Ed, Lynn and Ben, some longtime motorcycle friends. Dad had two good parties this year. Friday I whipped together a burnt sugar cake to crown the festivities.

Sunday we drove into town to visit Carm's mom. She still remembers me and asks about Mom and Dad as well. While there we got a phone call from Trudie & Leo: they were home from their trip south but were locked out of their house. We dashed off to rescue them. Of course we invited them for supper so Trudie didn't have to cook after a long trip home.

Trudie brought back some treasures, on of which is a little leather backpack or pannier for Spike to carry his treats in. It is beyond cute, but I'm not sure that Spike thought it was a good birthday gift as he's not crazy about stuff around his middle.

Hi there. It's Spike again. I see Laura forgot to tell you that it's my birthday, and that I'm 9. Nine seems like a big number but since I'm still the baby in the house it must not be that. When Laura gave me a kiss and a hug I felt like she might cry because I'm getting so old. She kept kissing me all day and telling me what a good boy I am. Of course she right, but she's just being silly saying it over and over. I did like it a bit though as I missed her so much when she was away visiting my other side of the world cousins. My friend Trudie brought me a present but I don't really like it. Everyone says it is really cute so maybe I'll put up with wearing it. It is a leather bag that fits over my back. Trudie says it can carry my treats so I guess that's okay.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Gosh, I'm still dragging myself around, staying up late and getting up equally late. The transition back to this time zone is harder than when I went there. Perhaps I pushed myself to get switched around - lots of activities and excitement made it easier. Back home it is quiet with not much to do except for a trip to liquidation yesterday and some baking today. I suppose there is no rush.

It is a beautiful day: sunny, -2C, and hardly a breath of wind. I walked up and down the laneway, taking photos of the dogs against the brilliant white backdrop and wished that Carm had snowblowed me a path all around the field (which is a totally ridiculous wish as that would be at least 500 m. I thought of the lovely days in Wellington and remembered the nights the wind buffeted the caravan so much I could hardly sleep. I pulled on the wool/cashmere sweater that Kirsten gave me and was warm.

While I was gone my wonderful kitchen time died. It was a three timer unit from Williams Sonoma that I really loved. Carm ordered a replacement which seems like it should be the same thing but it keeps fubaring on me which is a really big drag as when you having a timer going, having it zero out is aggravating (to say the least). I NEED to rely on it! Prepare for some overcooked food :-(

The dogs have mostly settled back to me being home. They do follow me a bit more than usual and when I got home from yesterday's outing Kabira put her head in my lap and cried and cried. She's the most sensitive of the pack. Spike shows up beneath my feet at odd times, perhaps checking that I'm still here. Bella checks too, but not as much as the other two - she's more Carm's dog.

I like today’s quote but wonder if I, myself, have altered. Or have I wasted the opportunity for change and come back the same as I was when I left? I’ll have to think about this. Does a trip away change you? I think if I had gone somewhere like India or China or other place where the culture is so different from ours and where many people have so little I would not be the same when I returned. As it is, New Zealand is very much like Canada and I wasn’t challenged in any way.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

~Nelson Mandela