Life at No.22, Musings

What’s been happening? – August 2020

For one thing, our feet were firmly planted on terra firma, Aotearoa style, for the first time in six years. It’s been a month when various forms of transport haven’t been our focus. Unlike travel, the month has seemingly gone by in a slow blur with my usual routines, such as my perfected 2-metre stance and funny dance in the supermarket aisles. Then there was the not so typical, with the welcome arrival of out of town visitors. With changing levels this month came uncertainty with flights even travel within New Zealand has become infuriating for many folk.

Amongst the usual and not so typical, I did collect a few more happy memories via focussing on what I can enjoy and not on situations I have no control over. It has been a month of seeing changes in people and knowing what’s going to eventually happen in the future. Not a great idea looking too far ahead. Some days I glimpsed back at happier times, which lead me to think about how I took my ability to travel the world for granted. Travelling has over the years allowed me to collect a considerable amount happy memories with the Squire and many years previously as a lone traveller. Both types opened my eyes to how life is so different in various parts of the world. You, like myself, are no doubt missing the delights of travel, the aromas, the overeating, the sights and the distinct cultural differences. Instead of dwelling on what is missing in my non-travelling life my thoughts turned to how I could achieve some of those lovely “travel moments”. Right here. In this small corner of the world.

I’m fortunate in some aspects.

I live in a temperate climate in a reasonable scenic part of New Zealand. To be more precise, the Bay of Plenty, where miles of beach beacon a walker to view the comings and goings of people and the sun. From home I can walk through the streets, past mainly nondescript buildings, to where there are small pockets of a lush bush alongside the harbour with the frequent flush of birdlife and native blossoms.

Within a short drive and a longish walk is a mountain that provides soul-stirring views (though not during Level 2). Then it has occurred to me on more than one occasion, it really doesn’t matter where I am when possessing a healthy imaginative traveller’s curiosity.

What did my curiosity find this month?

Away from the harbour, there is a valley, Kopurererua Valley (K Valley), and a place I head to lose myself cycling, to drag myself out of my occasional self pity state to reward myself with “me time” and cycle to my heart’s content, in the wide-open spaces. Hopefully in September I won’t be cancelling joining in with Frocks on Bikes as I have had to do during July and August, due to one thing or another.

Looking towards South West from the Pa site.

Since 2015, on a small hill with a big view, work has been undertaken by the council. They have removed eucalyptus trees and have now finished constructing a floating [to protect the site archaeology from erosion] walkway. At first, I thought it was another attempt to get more Kiwis’ moving their backsides, up and down steps. After a small amount of quizzical google searching I found that I was indeed incorrect. It’s far more significant than an exercise area.

That hill has historical importance to local iwi and where Puketoromiro Pa once stood proudly. Eventually, the area won’t look so barren as native plantings will subsequently be planted where the trees once stood. The restoration of the Pa site has made me more aware that with each step I walk on Papatuanuku [the land] it has the potential for one heck of a story waiting to be retold. 

Other Moments

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

49 thoughts on “What’s been happening? – August 2020”

  1. I like very much your attitude towards life and current circumstances. Enjoyed very much reading about your August, and feel very upbeat and ready to tackle the day.

    Spent some minutes early this morning catching up with a neighbour-friend (safely distanced, of course). He, like you, has not suffered too much from the “isolation” (although, like you, he misses the travel). It comes down to what you are said not looking too far ahead and just to enjoy what we can in the hear and now.

    Our views are nothing as stunning as yours, but we do have the Singapore Botanic Gardens just across the street, so we also feel abundantly fortunate.

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    1. Oh, you do have stunning gardens, and we enjoyed our times in Singapore, it truly is a beautiful city, and we felt very welcome. A taste of many cultures in one reasonably small city compared to many others. Hope your day was a good one.

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  2. Illness and the threat of illness does have a way of zapping energy. I find the hardest thing is putting the shoes on. Once I’m out, it is totally worth it. I am so full of your admiration for your adventurous spirit and bike riding prowess. Seeing the progress of plantings on Pa hill will be something to forward to. What a beautiful area you live in, Suzanne. It must have been worth getting wet to see those beautiful stormy skies over the pier. Take care and bring on September. πŸ™‚

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  3. We are lucky living in Aotearoa having so many beautiful places to visit, but like you I miss getting out and about and I would love to have a weekend in Melbourne or visit family in Europe too. Love this theme of what has happened in the month too.

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    1. Thanks very much. We are fortunate to live here it certainly isn’t as bad as other countries, though we aren’t completely out of the woods yet. Like everyone we have to take it one day at a time and hope for the best. It must be extra harder when you have family so far away. I love Melbourne!

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  4. You always seem to find beauty in your surroundings, Suzanne! Surely, living in an attractive area helps. I’m sorry about the down moments. Yet, I’m glad you manage to get out in nature for me-time, reflection, and a breather from life in general. πŸ™‚ Happy September! I love the spring blossoms that are appearing.

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    1. I think I always try to look on the bright side and there is a positive side lurking about in every situation. Some days they are harder to find πŸ™‚ So they say, it’s all part of lifes large tapestry. Happy September to you Liesbet πŸ™‚

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  5. Nice reflective post, Suzanne. With all the demands on you it’s good for the soul and the psyche to be able to escape now and then. You’re often in my thoughts. Every time I drive past the old house, it brings you both to mind. I hope you’re doing well. Take care. xx

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    1. Thanks Wendy you’re such a lovely woman. Yes, there is many memories attached to that place and area, eh! Thinking of you too and hopefully not too far in the future we will all feel relaxed to move around to enjoy life more.
      We are both doing ok and just taking one day at a time with my parents and Les’s health. Best of all my sense of humour hasn’t disappeared πŸ™‚ Keep safe and thanks again for letting me know you’re thinking of us xx

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  6. You do live in a varied micro environment. Awesome for the soul. I managed a quick 3 day visit to Italy.. Just to hear another language. I might head further South in 2 weeks.. A little bit easier in Europe.. πŸ˜‰

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  7. Really enjoyed reading this Suzanne, nice to catch up. You must have such great memories of your travels and now you’re feet are more firmly set in a gorgeous part of the world with much to explore. Keep peddling and best wishes to you & The Squire xx

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  8. “focussing on what I can enjoy and not on situations I have no control over” -Suzanne, this is excellent advice for everyone right now though hard to do at times. You live in a lovely part of NZ – and its great you are getting out and about enjoying it.

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        1. The indigenous people around the world have learnt which shrubs, bugs etc to nibble on and where the water supplies are located. I am really fascinated by how we can actually survive in the bush or the outback with local knowledge.

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            1. Exactly, I was going to go for a hike this morning [never got lost so far!] and changed my mind and went with a cycling group – some of those 70 year young ones has me cycling fast πŸ™‚

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    1. The weather has been all over the place recently, with high temperatures then down low. Not sure the lines between our seasons are so strong. Enjoy all the Autumn colours and us it will be blossoms.

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  9. I’m glad you’ve been able to get out and about Suzanne. This time around lock-down has been much less like an adventure, and more of a drag. Combined with the wet and surprisingly cold weather, I’ve been very much a home bod.
    Here’s to Spring just around the corner.

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    1. Thanks Su, getting out on my bike has been brilliant and a way to get over to help out my parents without the hassle of traffic jams! Yes, we have had a few wet and cold days, August always seems the hardest month to cope with in winter. Exercising keeps me sane [most of the time πŸ™‚ ] and relaxed.

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    1. Thanks Donna, Spring is always a cheerful month to greet when the previous season is winter! I did some weeding in my parents garden today and enjoyed all the flowers that are popping up. One day at a time.

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  10. Great to hear your update Suz. I am with you in tying not to look too far ahead at times but also enjoying looking back at happier times. Like you we are fortunate to live in our quiet corner of the world and get on with things without too many problems. My ebike is a great resource and I can whizz off into the sunset without too much concern for being able to make it back – I am so happy to have the assist available for when I need it. Lovely stories and photos! Take care x

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    1. Hi Deb, thanks and yes that’s exactly why I love the E-Bike as I can extend my trip without the concern of not being able to get home when the afternoon winds pick up. As they do!! I think people have a perception that those of us who own an E-Bike don’t get enough exercise. Much of the time I don’t use the assistance or when I do it’s on Eco., the hills it goes up a notch πŸ™‚ Saves the dodgy knees from screaming. Take care and stay safe x

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  11. Well it looks like your bike has been your saviour this month, is it relatively flat around where you live? And good cycle tracks? I wouldn’t want to cycle on our roads around here. You have taken some wonderful photos, I especially like the rainbows!

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    1. Hi Jude, Yes, my bike has been my saviour for keeping my stress at bay and making me feel more relaxed.
      The trails around here are reasonably flat if not undulating though there are hills to climb if going by roads/streets. My cycling is done via trails with a small amount of time spent on the streets to reconnect with another off trail area. The Councils/Govt around New Zealand have spent a huge amount of money to encourage us all to get outside for exercise, to reuse old railway track areas and to be bring tourism to smaller country areas. Excellent trails and not just for cycling as many walkers and families with pushchairs use them on a regular basis. Many areas have mountain tracks which I do not use.
      Love capturing rainbows, brings the kid out in me.

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    1. Absolutely Anabel. There are some innovative folk trying to make the most of their limited resources. Then there is Spring heading our way which will bring more opportunities to explore. The neighbourhood gardens are coming alive with colour which is lovely to see.

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