Life at No.22, Monthly Updates, Musings

The Changing Seasons – July 2020

Joining in with Su from Zimmerbitch and the rest of the crew for a review of July.

Fair to say it’s been one of those months.

It started with a bang and a hiss and enthusiasm.

Then a winter cold, weather and other commitments put to rest any desire to compete in a half marathon during September.A minor irritation at having to make that decision. On a positive note, I am still exercising when I can and enjoying the socialisation that goes with joining other trampers [hikers], climbing the mount and catching up with a friend for a cycle, ending all excursions with a cafe visit. Overall there’s been a few highlights such as a 100th birthday, Plus, the usual stressful moments and encounters with small creatures.

A Rat, Rainy Days and Politicians

It’s winter and election year with more critters’ venturing out to “play”.

Let’s start with the encounter on my usual walking track—the rodent. We loathe meeting up together, me and that small creature with the more minor of us scattering to the safety of bush while the gigantic creature stands on the path, screaming like a banshee. Commencing my walk with resumed dignity and listening to music playing, calming my nerves, within moments a runner removes any equilibrium I had restored and ignites once again that ear-piercing scream. After much giggling from both of us, we carry on. The little critters must have loved being out in the open during our lockdown. No humans with nasty baits to entice them to an untimely death. Here’s to us both, the rat and myself, keeping our encounters to zilch.

Then there were the days when I wasn’t dodging a resident rat there was the dodging of rain. Glorious for the farmers, gardeners and growers, not so enjoyable for those of us who like to indulge in regular exercise. I can hear you now, what a wimp, get a raincoat on and just out there and do it. Well, we did on occasions. Luckily, for us, we own coats, so when we collided with raindrops, we felt quite smug. Which brings me to express my utter amazement at how many adults and children don’t own raincoats or umbrellas. The bonus of wintry walks are the warm arms of our apartment that always wrapped themselves around us when we arrived home, and it isn’t long before the aroma of freshly made coffee, has us parked in a chair relaxed in the knowledge we got out for fresh air.

The third ‘encounter’, is the necessary evil if wanting to stay informed is to digest dribble from politicians. Similar to the rat encounter, not necessarily a pleasant experience though one that is unavoidable at some stage in our lives. I am finding myself switching off whenever I hear the opposition who has an uncanny personality likeness to a previous Prime Minister, Bob Muldoon, in drag. She continues to downplay the ruling party as most never have an original thought and seem only to know how to “put down”, their competition. It’s fair to say I have seen a more effective play and negotiations in a sandpit full of children than what goes on in Parliament.

A Special Occasion

Over in Devon this month a lovely gentleman we know and admire turned 100. For a few years now, we had planned to be there, that was not to be. Luckily for us, some thoughtful people captured a few moments of his special day to share with us. I think it’s worth slotting his birthday into my month’s highlights. As it certainly made our day to see his smiling face and reminded us of our visits with him and his family. Good memories to be treasured.

Then there are photographs of moments.

To join in the group fun, head on over to:

“The Changing Seasons” – Su from Zimmerbitch

43 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – July 2020”

  1. Sorry but I laughed at you standing there screaming like a banshee!! I also liked the way you tied the rat, the rain and the election all into one story! Your photos are lovely and happy 100th to your friend, what a shame you couldn’t get there for it this year. I can imagine making the decision to not go ahead with the marathon would have been hard but you’ve obviously listened to your body and made the right call. Take care and enjoy the month ahead. It’s wet and windy here today so no outside exercise for me, I’m home alone for a while and enjoying the rare feeling. #mlstl

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    1. Don’t be sorry, I’m sure the situation would’ve looked amusing for prospective bystanders 😄 Too much unpredictability at the moment to concentrate on a half marathon. Like you my new bike is my outlet. Enjoy your time alone and I’m sure by now you’re missing Grant.

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  2. Hi Suzanne, I can see reading the comments that rats aren’t a favoured species. This is the second post I’ve read this morning that mentions rats. The first was by Erica who wrote about her daughter’s new pet which she thought was a mouse but in fact was a rat. I don’t mind running in the rain if it is gentle. I’m not a fan of gusting winds and heavy rain though so don’t blame you if you give that day a miss. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and stay safe and happy. x

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  3. I love a walk in the rain – but it’s got to be the right sort of rain – not sleeting and not with a gusting wind behind it. I’m an umbrella user and fighting wind and rain at the same time does my head in. And I’m also with you on being a bit over all the politics – we have plenty going on here in Western Australia too. And congrats to your friend on reaching 100 – and still looking so young and fresh!
    #MLSTL

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    1. Agreed Leanne, gentle rain with no wind is the ultimate combination when walking in the rain. One of the best purchases while travelling was a good sturdy umbrella purchased in the UK! Jimmy is looking so young for his age, an inspiration for many.

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  4. Your friend looks amazing at 100.
    I am rodent-phobic and would not have managed to deal with such an encounter in your calm way.
    I hadn’t seen the Muldoon connection — but you’re absolutely right.

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  5. Some lovely moments here. It was lovely to see the birthday man’s face. I’m not scared of rats, but I am of snakes. I once embarrassed myself by shrieking at a squirrel that rushed out from the floor after I had been warned to watch out for copperheads, loud enough to attract a guard.

    My sweetheart had to remove a young possum from his kitchen not long ago. He discovered it in the night clinging to the neck of a bottle of home made blackberry gin. He says their tails feel like a limp carrot.

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    1. Possums are not well liked in NZ – a dead one is the most loved. Why? They decimate our beautiful native trees. Luckily we don’t have snakes here!

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  6. Rats, UGH! I remember Kaitlin as a little kid holding a rat by the tail as it was trying to get away and her asking, ‘I caught a hamster mum, can I keep it?’ I suspect it had been at the poison or she wouldn’t have caught it so easily. :-0
    Shame about your half marathon. Life does mess up our plans sometimes doesn’t it. Stay well both of you xxx

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    1. Haha @Kaitlin and the hamster 🙂 Funny! During my teaching years, I lost count of older siblings arriving with their family and having a damned pet rat on their shoulder. Smirking away, the kid not the rat. Skin crawling as I tried to keep my composure not a good look to lose it in front of everyone!

      I’m not really worried whether I did the half marathon or not, wasn’t reaching increasing my pace. Now, I will focus on keeping fit and enjoy the scenery. Really interested in doing some long walks around NZ. Stay healthy too, Wendy and Ross xxx

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  7. One of our cats was a great ratter, I was confronted with quite a few, not always dead (yet). There was a bakery near our house so I expect they came from there. Rat is too good a description for some uk politicians.

    Mr 100 looks fabulous. My mum is 93 and 3/4 – I see no reason why she shouldn’t get there too!

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    1. Cats I think have a wicked sense of humour to bring half-eaten mice/rats into the house for us humans. There is a big issue at the moment with an unhealthy culture within our parliamentary walls. Nothing new in that, because it’s an election year it makes for chewable fodder.

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  8. What an interesting month, rats and politicians, hmmm just what Janis said says it all! Amazing photos, love the last one and the storm brewing over your bike. Oh what a wonderful gentleman – 100yrs old! Wonderful to think what he’s seen and experienced during his life 🙂

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    1. Now that you put the rats and politicians together my month sounds dangerous 🙂 All written with a smile on my face. No matter how I brace myself I always scream when I see a rodent!!
      Jimmy is certainly a very interesting person to chat with and made the most lovely morning/afternoon teas.

      Always good to hear form you, Sam. Take care 🙂

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  9. We see rats here sometimes in the garden, but then we live next to a farm with livestock that get fed grain etc so I imagine there’s a lot living next door! I can cope with that, but not when they come into my space. And the OH hates them, hates me leaving a door open too! Your month seems much more interesting than mine. I am getting bored now.

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    1. Yes, we saw a few field mice in the UK. Living back in NZ we are metres from the harbour edge, and in parts, there is bush for the little critters to live and procreate. Not sure why rats and spiders instil such fear into some of us humans!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy and pleased you enjoyed it, as my month was written with humour in mind. Maybe they wear shorts for more movement and to show off their racy leg protectors? I, for one, wear stretchy Kathmandu trousers, which are so comfortable in winter.

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  10. What a month. Suzanne! You aren’t a wimp at all, going out and exercising in the rain. I’d be the wimp in that situation! Coming back to your apartment and its warmth sounds lovely. We might have crappy raincoats, but we don’t have a home like that. 🙂

    I had to snicker at your comparison between rats and politicians. Good one. I think I’d be more scared of the human kind than the rodent kind. The critters have never had me scream or be annoyed!

    Sorry about the half marathon not happening for you. After all that training, this must be a disappointment. On the other hand, virtually celebrating the 100th year of a friend is a blessing. 2020 is the year my oma would have turned 100 as well. We would have returned to Belgium for that. Although, now with Covid, that might not have been possible either.

    Enjoy your August! Hopefully less rain!

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    1. Liesbet, it never ceases to amaze me how many of us have irrational fears when it comes to small creatures! We have a few homeless in tents around the harbour so I am guessing that their frequent visitors would be a rat or two. When we lived in our motorhome, I sometimes wondered whether an unwanted visitor would sneak in. Thankfully it never occurred.

      We were so happy to see Jimmy turn 100, he is such a lovely man, with a great sense of humour!
      Here’s to us all having a happy August and less rain!

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  11. We’ve had rats in the back garden a couple of times in the last few months. I only saw one briefly as it ran to its hiding place under the shed, but I knew they were there because there were holes where they were trying to tunnel into the chicken coop. I sometimes saw them during my run in the park, but I’m not running there at the moment.

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    1. Chickens are a magnet for those rodents, all part of it. I remember years ago on the farm digging their own into our raised vegetable gardens and eating the roots of the plants. Intelligent beings which can stay away from me while on my walks 🙂

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    1. Yes, I think every country has it’s challenging politicians. They seem to be worse during Election year, it doesn’t bring out the best in people! Jimmy is an amazing gentleman who doesn’t look 100 at all!. With a great sense of humour and we loved visiting him and the rest of his family when in the UK.

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  12. Great images – my fave is the last one. We walk in the rain too – if you have a decent jacket, where’s the problem? You know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes.

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