Friday, August 29, 2014

Old Friends and Farewell to Family

It has been an interesting time this past week. I have done things that I never thought I would do, helped my sister Lorna with the funeral for her husband Gary after his very unexpected and sudden death on Tuesday August 19.

Again I found myself creating funeral programmes and videos for yet another family member. I suppose that it will get all of us eventually and I must say that having Gary at home for the couple of days was a very interesting exercise for a family that has never done that before. It was a great way to begin the farewell process and having the grandchildren write and draw messages to Grandad on the inside of the lid of his casket was just a great experience. It looked great when they had finished. It was a real eye opener to see the grandchildren interacting with Gary as he lay on the bed. We need to stop putting adult thought processes into how we think kids might behave under these sort of circumstances.

So after spending a few days helping Lorna get the paperwork and other necessities under way I flew back to Palmerston North where the Fredrock Cafe had been sitting at Pat and Peter’s. Pat and Peter are very old friends who are related to my first wife. I had dropped in to say hello before finding somewhere to park up for the week, and Pat told me that I could park up their driveway as she wasn’t able to drive due to her cataract operation not being as successful as she had hoped for and that she was going into hospital again on the 4th to get it redone, so I was welcome to park there. I made sure that I changed over to a full bottle of gas for the fridge and all was good. I used about 4.5kg out of a 9kg bottle for the 8 days I was away. Not bad I thought.

So on my return I stayed the night and caught up with them all and then headed over to Himatangi Beach for the night, staying at a POP. I did get the kayak down as the weather was gorgeous and the swell was almost non-existent. I must say that it was pretty obvious that it was whitebait season, but very little in the way of fish. Had one strike on the way out but it wasn’t that interested in being eaten. After talking to a local later, it appears that the shellfish beds have been plundered and the fish populations have disappeared. The locals have made inroads towards righting this but it will take time to replenish the stocks.

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After saying thanks to my hosts this morning I headed off down towards Otaki, stopping at the farmers market in Foxton and getting some beetroot and kiwifruit. I also bought a pair of new oven cloths.

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They are lovely and thick and beautifully quilted. They are nicely patterned and wont show as many marks.

So after a quick look at Foxton beach

complete with 30km sign down on the beach…I headed back to have a closer look at the windmill, but unfortunately it wasn’t open.

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It is huge and I’d love to see it working.

So from there I headed through to Otaki to a POP there which is nestled in the middle of an amazing park, full of birds, animals and amazing Indonesian statuary.

Tomorrow I will be heading in to Upper Hutt to catch up with Pat and Peter’s daughter. From there I will park up at Paremata and travel by train into Wellington to catch up with friends and attend my meeting then it is back to Palmerston North for the 12th to deliver my workshop on Effective Community Education.