3rd Chemotherapy for Calvin

As Calvin is taking the infusions well they were able to speed up the process this visit to Day Stay at the Auckland Hospital . 4 hours rather than 9hours seemed a vast improvement.

Once again a humbling experience with other patients, in Calvin’s room a tv and radio celebrity young at 50 having his infusion then off back to the radio station. A young girl with her mother and a middle aged man . So busy in there you don’t feel alone in your battle. All being so positive and getting on with what needs to be done.

No photos this time except this one of Calvin last evening , over his hiccups which went on for a few hours then showing he hasn’t lost his appetite and feeling great .

Home made meat pie and roasted veges

Today’s Art ,Getting better 😂!!!

Not so sure about the cow ! But Amanda likes ‘ Biddy’ and I am not to finish it but frame it as is……………

I didn’t realize cows had such strange conformation in their faces, eyes and ears in line near the top of their heads , you learn something each day haha .

Easter 2021

The ‘bubble’ between Australia and NZ will be open in the near future ( we hope) how great that will be !

Meanwhile in Melbourne on Easter Sunday a lovely dinner for Amanda, Noel, Ellen Frances and Rosie. Not forgetting Biddy whose portrait I will be endeavoring to capture on Wednesday,

The table Melbourne
The people and Biddy , Ellen’s taking the photo🙄
Darby and Joan

Another wonderful doodle by Ellen, so insightful and powerful

When you are 78yrs and decide to go to Art School !!

A 14 week course of drawing , pastels, and acrylics it is perfect for me. I have the time, it’s something I have wanted to do for years.

Over the decades of living in the country firstly as the headmasters wife , mother, and later as a farmer , I created a life for myself in the Art World firstly as a Spinner , knitter and weaver, then the weaving became my life and through that Art Exhibitions, active in the local Art Society , my own exhibitions with two friends a potter and an artist,

Later in Christchurch it was developing our historic home into a Bed And Breakfast,welcoming guests from all over the world for about 16 yrs

All the while I wanted to dabble in drawing and painting but the time Was never right ! Now it is …………..

I sit beside Brenda my lovely buddy with a good sense of humor !
More of our lovely group
Enlarging strange horse shape, plus 🥴🙄

Next morning !

Unexpectedly an uneventful night, the lad slept , no expected sweats or flu like symptoms, just wakened with the hiccups. Now we are off for a gentle walk , to be continued………

In 21 days we have another visit to the hospital DayStay and they tell us it will be for less time, about 3 hrs. Then this routine will continue for about 5 months. We are ready !!!!!!!

9 hours in a chemotherapy ward , a very humbling experience

It was a happy place to be in, plenty of smiles and positivity oozing in the atmosphere. From Young fit and handsome young Polynesian man, university lecturer type, young mother, Muslim lady, middle aged man and Calvin the oldest, he didn’t look the oldest 🙄

The staff were fabulous and explained all the different toxic chemicals being introduced, we read books, I went through two, plus exercises and a bit of walking to help my numb bum from sitting in the delightful upright chair. Even Calvin was past the lying down by the time it was all over for the day.

I bombarded the family with updates and photos until my iPad lost power, note to self to take a charger next time 🥴 all in all it was a bit like a long haul flight even the thought of destination home seemed rather appealing.

Son Callum responded to requests for picking up meds , taking delivery of my leopard skin chair delivered a day early and he also left lovely pasta in the fridge. Lovely daughter Amanda in Melbourne Australia answered my innumerable texts and lent great support and love.

Wearing my 1980. Chanel blouse in our hotel in St Germaine des Pres !

35 yrs ago back on the farm our Woolshed painted by dear friend Alison Ryde . Later in her Exhibition

Alison ,David and family often came to stay on the farm, a breathe of fresh air from Christchurch City 3 hrs drive away . Alison would paint and sketch, David would help Calvin on the farm, the children similar ages to ours would disappear for hours exploring the native bush and river , riding ponies and generally being free.

Alison recently found this amongst her memorabilia that has travelled with he and family to Montefalco in Umbria Italy and been hiding for about 25 yrs. a great memory especially for Calvin. I think this was his favourite painting.

Sailing home, part of the spectator fleet sailing past us after the first two races in the Americas Cup

Did I Mention Dinner last evening!!!

Amy made the most delicious raspberry cheesecake , it was to be strawberry but the gods were smiling on Granny and the supermarket only had raspberries!!!! granny’s favourite fruit!!!

Daddy /son Callum awaiting his slice feeling proud

As you may have guessed I love my ‘ Camilla’ top

What we wore, what we ate in Russell , such a relaxing time !

Oyster farming Whangaroa  Harbour , Northland

Oh the Oldies had such fun yesterday!

We had booked a session at Spark Arena at the Wynyard Quarter home of the Americas and Prada Cup as we were excited about entertaining the grandchildren for the day.

Well the weather was perfect, the crowds were having a breather , the sun shone . We arrived down there early so we’re able to wander around admiring the super yachts, and various other grand boats , choosing favourites .

First off trying the simulator and taking the helm of the Emirates Team NZ Americas Cup Yacht. Well that was 10 mins of exhilaration that’s for sure. Calvin at the helm he raced around the course, the children hanging on for dear life.

Then a quick dash next door to the Spark Arena and a hands on experience of designing the yacht which the kids adored. Into the wind tunnel and how the wind was currently blowing around the Hauraki Gulf, then the full on experience in the yacht experiencing the thrill of racing and though standing on terrafirma my toes were curling up as I tried to keep my balance as we powered along in a race. My sense of balance lost with this 360’ imagery.

Oh what a time we had and all for free, welldone organizers of the Americas Cup Village.

Time for a restorative and food which we found at a cafe restaurant nearby. Granny and Grandad sank gratefully into comfortable seats as we enjoyed the quiet of our surroundings and discussed our great long morning.

56 th wedding anniversary tomorrow

We slipped down to Soul at the viaduct for a quiet lunch , enjoyed while flounders cooked in butter and glasses of French champagne. Perfect day .

Then home to watch the first of the Challenger race offs for the Americas Cup

The good thing about the long summer holidays ,

We have fun with the grandchildren who live around the corner.

Today Granny Jo and grandad Calvin thought a little trip out to the Historic Puhoi Pub for lunch and other pursuits with Olivia and Angus would be appropriate . Of course we had to have the roof down on the car all the way home hah !!!!!

Olivia ‘ lady about town’

Cruising into 2021

What will the new year bring?! Our 56th wedding anniversary on 16 January, Calvin’s 80th birthday in July, my 79 th in October omg where have the years gone.

Meantime we have the Americas Cup Sailing to watch over the next 3 months, a lovely summer to enjoy . Calvin’s Chemo for 6 months from Feb. then in October after Covid Vaccines and hopeful of borders opening again ,we will visit France and all our friends.

Christmas Day 2020 at Phoebe and Callums

Angus with ginger beer in case you were wondering
A beautiful Christmas dinner enjoyed by all
Andrew, Callum and Phoebe
Well now is that Phoebe with a bottle of Blood Orange Gin ?!
A very satisfied looking Granny ?!

Masks worn all over the world . Brendan and Kola

Amy sleeping over!

Breakfast. French toast ,banana , bacon and maple syrup .plus cinnamon sugar, and dusted with icing sugar for visual impact 🤣

Our lovely family , gorgeous Ellen , Frances and daughter Amanda from Melbourne, Callum, Angus, Amelia and Olivia ; Auckland . Several years ago, like 2015 !

What I wore to the glorious picnic at the Community gardens. Toasts with Prosecco , Rose and good Chardonnay the drinks of preference on this wondrous day.

A beautiful picnic hosted by Holly and Peter at the Ngataringa Community gardens nr. Devonport.NZ.

Holly and about 40 others have their garden plots, they share chickens, vegetables, a fine clubhouse, potting shed , and shady trees over glades of grass . So sheltered from breezes and yet so sunny . A magical lunch with old and new friends .

78 and not out! Best birthday

Up early ready for a 8am pickup by Callum and family for a drive to the car ferry to Waiheke Island for a day out and lunch at Cable Bay Vineyard.

It was a lovely day in the sun, fun, shopping , eating , dining taking in fantastic views , beaches and swimming . Culminating with very tired but satisfied late arrival home , shoes off, cool clothing on and my dear man mixed me a lovely martini, made me a tomatoe sandwich in time for a long phone call from Amanda and family in Melbourne. So lovely to see all those lovely faces , two beautiful girls and their equally beautiful mother and handsome father .

A wonderful birthday indeed!

Afternoon tea time , springtime, almost birthday time !!!!!woohoo

A repost of darling daughter protecting her mother from thoughts of plunging out into the traffic, of dogs, pigs,cows, tuktuks and motorbikes. Delhi last year

More about Spring 2020

Mixed temperatures but into summer clothes sometimes layering . Strange times with Covid uppermost in our minds and the restrictions to living created by this pandemic. Summer though is a joyous time , colourful clothes, blossoms, perfume in the air lifts one spirits .

At ‘ Giraffe’ Viaduct ! ver good 👏

A nice photo of our car and some old bird about to get in !

Our road trip down the Whanganui River.

From Tongariro National Park we took the small winding route down the Whanganui River to Whanganui. This takes you through Pipiriki and Jerusalem

At this time of the year early spring, many of the trees were still bare of the bright green leaves , a few early flowering shrubs were out in flower , it was still very beautiful.

Staying at the Nice Boutique Hotel in New Plymouth for three nights

A lovely place to stay, so full of character, and so different in decor.

We had an enjoyable drive up from Whangarei even though it was raining most of the day. The countryside so green and lush with rolling hills and , lovely trees just coming into leaf and the blossom bravely putting in an appearance.

The dining room at the Nice

Another small adventure in our own country.

Recently we headed south from Auckland ,down past Hamilton then Lake Taupo, and further still to our destination Chateau Tongariro.

We weren’t disappointed though the weather was lousy for the three days we were in residence. The warmth of the hospitality and such very comfortable lounging areas, great dining options and generous sized suite left us very comfortable indeed .

After a great nights sleep we were ready to face the day and decided to drive to Ohakune where Calvins grandparents had lived and his mother brought up with her sisters . We had great fun exploring in a very changed town and Calvin managed to locate some of the buildings he remembered.

Next day after a light fall of snow ver night we headed up the mountain to the Wkakapapa ski field . Freezing 3c snow getting slushy but still beautiful in the spring. Later Taumarunui beckoned , a beautiful area and prosperous town so very different to what I envisaged .

Amanda and Callum still at the Schoolhouse prior to us buying Mt Michael ( Madame Cholet in Amanda’s arms )

Callum at Hambledon off to a Ball ( probably with dear Phoebe)

Trialing for the Americas Cup,to be sailed early in 2021

Photos of our first trip to UK and Europe 1970

Amanda was 2 yrs old when We spent a year in London on Calvins Exchange. I purchased a large old floor loom within a week of arriving and managed to continue my interest in textiles, weaving woolen fabrics, designing and making ponchos which were sold to University Students in Cambridge. Floor rugs, double corduroy , flat weave, tweeds and Curtains.

We purchased a campervan very quickly and travelled throughout UK and Europe during the school holidays.

We were also fortunate to be invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and as well to a small reception at Lancaster House to meet and chat with Princess Margaret


A fantastic year

Amanda’s third birthday in Austria
On board the Ellinis

Our trusty campervan
Kings Court where we lived overlooking Kelsey Park in Beckenham London
Former photo Christmas Day 1970
This photo in Rome , my skirt to short for the Vatican

Helping NZ economy

See your own country, buy local. So here we are staying at Russell in the Bay of Islands , enjoying the comfort of a lovely suite at the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel

The Old Store and buildings at Ker Keri Inlet
Wonderful Lichen fence at Waimate North
Waimate North Mission House beside the Church
Whangārei Basin on the way North. Our usual stop for lunch

Of course it had already gone home to all school children to their parents . It wouldn’t worry me but I have to put up with scandalous comments on past and present National Party people .

There is good in all parties for goodness sake


We can never forget, gone in the earthquakes , this is a very early photo before 1956. To the right the Stables, grooms quarters and the cottage .

Photo taken from the croquet lawn

Wet Monday morning after lockdown

A bit of bling to cheer us up . French market linen trousers and a cheap French Camayeu cotton top . Thinking of France as I would normally at this time of the year . Getting excited , now gettingng/ excited about visiting Raglan🤣

Mother’s Day 2020

Social distancing observed

Mother 1911
Guess who came for a long lunch, down in our other apartment ?! Who was a lucky mummy ?

Our first drinks session during Covid 19 lockdown with our lovely neighbours across the foyer Raewyn and Tony . We commiserated with one another on our usual travel plans for winter being suspended this year. Raewyn and Tony usually on their yacht in the Mediterranean , and we enjoying Europe , mainly our special village Mirabel aux Baronies in Provence France . Social distancing was observed .

Morning walks during Covid 19 Lockdown

We are so lucky living in Springcombe Rd St Heliers. Our apartment overlooks the Auckland Harbour and takes in a full view from the Harbour Bridge to the entry to the Harbour

Our morning walk takes us along the sea front down to St Heliers village giving us spectacular views to he downtown and Sky Tower

Entranceway garden
Down in the garden and our developing orchard
The new pathway being built by Calvin and Tony leading to our vege gardens and orchard

Strange times

Calvin has his gardening and likes pottering about in the garden,vacuuming , and I must add he has become very proficient at that and selecting our wine for our evening drink. I have my exercises, knitting , cooking ,bloody dusting, washing etc . We both enjoy reading and spend a few hours a day reading , researching interestng facts and watch a bit if TV. Of course we have our daily walk along the waterfront where everyone is very friendly and give us a wide berth, I like to think it’s my white hair, Calvin says it’s because I don’t walk in a straight line !!! Social distancing is very strange .

Been gardening
Callum’s new socks for with his motorcycle boots

Social Distancing

Our great friend Alan came around to drop off some books for Calvin.

We met him downstairs with a bottle of wine and glasses and managed a social distancing drink and exchange of reading material. We love these interludes of different friends t converse with . Watch this space for the apartment foyer drinks tomorrow from one doorway to the next, own drinks and nibbles and 2 metres apart


Strange Easter, no chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs this year. Somehow I forgot to purchase before the lockdown . Used to buy dozens of packs for everyone including those in Australia but “oldies” haven’t been allowed to go to the supermarket for about three weeks, just wait til next year 👍💃🕺

I did make Easter Buns today as you will see , taste amazing , not good for our weight haha

I spoke too soon, we had a lovely visitation from Phoebe, Callum and family with a gift of ‘Easter Eggs’ fantastic. Much enjoyed by Moi . Always so lovely to see the family even if they must stand one side of the fence and us on the other


Calvins early morning walks and his photography, stunning photos in the mist of around St Heliers and our abode in particular.

Family meeting

A phone call from Callum, the family were in a walk past our home, we gathered up some treats and waited on our side of the fence with anticipation , Namaste Namaste Namaste so lovely seeing them all in these strange days

Day one

Today we had social distancing and dialogue between our neighbours across the passage who are usually on their yacht in the Mediterranean at this stage. Our bench In The front garden was the accidental meeting point all keeping 2 metres between us so voices were a little raised as dare I say we all suffer from some degree with an aging deafness. Shortly we were joined by a lovely Italian lady who from the other side of the fence entertained us with arias from Verdi and wonderful reminiscing of Bologna where her children still reside. I managed to capture her singing on my iPhone Pia is her name .

Social distancing whilst Pia sings to us

Thoughts During Covid 19 Lockdown.

This evening we go into self isolation lockdown. For us this happened a few days ago when Amy’s school had a positive case of Covid19 .

Fortunately we had started FaceTiming rather than Granny’s for Sunday night dinner even though family live just around the corner.

Our son Callum has forbidden us to go to the supermarket, he says he will do any shopping required, he is very conscious of our ages ( we tend to forget) and last evening told us he didn’t want us to die. Can’t say we want that either as we still have a lot of things to do and countries to visit.

I am worried about Amanda in Melbourne Manager of a very large Salvos Store in St Kilda. she is in contact with so many people each day, some in such unfortunate circumstances ,these are the ones who continue to come in the doors and linger. She is so caring and giving and created such a welcoming atmosphere, you can’t blame them. However with COVID19 in the air the contact is of of great concern to us.

Around the corner Phoebe is working from home as well as home schooling three lovely grandchildren . She is so well organised with the family .

Callum is working in the spare bedroom as his office( this is commonly called the stayingroom) and is a delightfully large space above the garage complete with sitting area, desk and ensuite so his business is well sorted from a home base.

We continue to walk each day around a few blocks, hills and flat areas, mostly beside the sea, around above Ladies Bay down towards our village of St Heliers and back up through residential areas. It’s so lovely especially in this slightly cooler autumn weather.

The garden takes up a small amount of time, that is my vege garden which is very small but high producing . Aubergene are flourishing, sprouting broccoli coming on stream, bok choy, silverbeet, rhubarb .

The fruit trees we fought to put in ( likewise our vege gardens) are also looking well, we will have a harvest of apples this year, masses of lemons,limes feijoas, next year hopefully plums and figs. Calvin organised the fruit trees and also the gardeners who keep the rest of the grounds ship-shape. Calvin also manages the flower gardens doing most of the work in them, buying and planting. The grounds have improved so much over the past 4 years .

Power is off for most of today to add to the mix haha, however we are lucky. Another thing is we are used to working and living together having been in quite isolated country areas for so many years firstly Calvin teaching then bringing up the children on our Sheeprun, later developing lovely Hambledon back into a stately home and then sharing it with travelers as a special BnB . Where we were the hosts and often the housemaids and always the cook etc. oh what fun we had , the few staff we had at times so colourful in their characters, it was one glorious ride for 16 years.

Then the earthquakes that changed our lives , I probably wrote on them earlier, I digress

Corona Virus , quiet time to reflect on life!

Our days are not much different to usual, though I keep thinking of activities I would like to do but am restricted with carrying out, that’s life haha.

We enjoyed showers of rain yesterday so our walking was limited hence the pasta making and for me making ricotta something I had been meaning to try for sometime . In between times I downloaded far too many books from the library . Listened and looked at the news far too often .

Calvin’s Pasta the extra frozen for another meal, another day

Covid-19. Making Ricotta , Calvin made the pasta for the Lasagne,

Sunday night Pizza

Family outing after a great night out the day before at Di and Wayne’s

Di and Wayne’s with Lorraine from France and Moi
Pizza night at our local

Ladies Bay, 5 minutes walk from home. So tranquil first thing in the morning

Opera in Glover Park

A beautiful evening,!sitting on Phoebe and Callum’s verandah overlooking Glover Park entertainment. On comfortable seats, elevated and in the shade with a glass of champagne in hand and great company , including Snuffles the cat