Life at No.22, Monthly Updates, The Changing Seasons

What’s been happening? – Summer 2023

New Zealand, as a country, I believe, has a daunting to-do list after a brutal start to a new year and on top of a turbulent, draining few years. In previous hard times, I never once doubted that we would dust ourselves off and become more resilient. We can no longer keep repeating, “she’ll be right”. This year, how many more disasters can a country afford or endure? It must be overwhelming for those in power to decide where to start when faced with many questions about where communities will be based, our infrastructure and what we are doing to counteract climate change. This year is an election year, and these issues will dominate now and for years.

On a smaller scale, our daily life here in the Bay of Plenty hasn’t been affected to the extent of other regions and extended family members who have had a traumatic time dealing with a flooded home, though luckily for us all, they’re still alive. Where others have lost their homes, livelihoods and worse, their lives. Devastating, to say the least.

Screaming for Ice Cream

Even though rain dominated the media, our local footpaths and summer, there were some favourable days when we had pure sunshine for cycling, walking, and swimming and where licking could be heard while passing hoards of holidaymakers enjoying a summer’s day. Visually rewarding to experience them enjoying a simple treat plonked by our picturesque harbour and seaside.

Now that we are nearing the end of summer, there is another small pleasure: having more space to park my bike, put my butt on a towel, and sit with no one around me to enjoy my slice of paradise while licking an ice cream before it descends to my chest.

A game of chess and war – Golf Croquet

To say that I am proud of the Squire is an understatement. He continues to push through barriers even though those steps drain him of all energy on most days. I believe he does more than perhaps an average person with no cancer or has endured horrendous medical treatment so far without thinking about what is to come. The best fun part is that joining G. Croquet means he gets to have a social life with others, which is even more fun than having his handicap go from 12 to 7 within months of starting. A blardy legend. With other experienced players nodding their heads in admiration. He is being watched.

I watched and took a few photographs during a recent club tournament, and the game was far more involved than I once imagined.

Yes, he did win a few games and lost one.

On my way to the Croquet Club, I always pass the Tauranga Bowling Club and often think of a particular gentleman. During school holiday visits to Gisborne, we often stayed with my paternal grandfather, as he had more room to house a family of five kids and two adults. On a few occasions during those visits, he would head off to the Kahutia Bowling Club; all dressed up in white with a hat to finish the look. Very smartly dressed, I thought, and secretly I thought how cool was grandad. I wished I had told him what I thought. He was a man of very few words. I should have encouraged more chatter from him, not an easy feat, though I did share enough dialogue for the both of us, as I remember.

Grandad Butler [2nd from left] and his team have their winner medal pinned on his vest – Dec 1970

25 thoughts on “What’s been happening? – Summer 2023”

  1. I love those photos of the Squire, he looks so happy and involved in the game. Your rides to the beach and enjoying an ice cream sound delightful to me Suz. Thanks for joining us for WBOYC and hope you’re both doing as well as can be expected. Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deb, got to have the dripping ice cream during the warmer season. Definitely enjoyed one on the way home from a very long cycle ride the other day. Yes, Les is really enjoying the challenge of golf croquet and much happier. Take care too xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think having a competitive streak never leaves regardless of our age. Grandad was competitive playing cards in his later years so I am sure he was when playing bowls. Your gran would’ve given grandad a run for his money.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad things are tootling along ok with you and the Squire. NZ has certainly had a bashing. One thing we share is the unexpected loss of our political leader. Fair play to them for knowing when they have given their all and it’s time to go, but they’ll both be missed (not by all of course!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always room for improvement though we’re pleased to have this smooth run before his medical team start decreasing his meds. One day at a time. I too admire Jacinda for knowing when it’s time to say enough. So many “strong” women keep going on empty and pay the price with declining health and quality of life. Our new PM, like Jacinda started out in politics at a young age and that seems to toughen them up to deal with the ruthless politics and people in general. It is the increase in manipulative people that I find hard to digest.


  3. NZ has certainly had more than their fair share in the last few years… As for the Squire – I love that photo of him striding out with his croquet bat (do you call it a bat?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was interesting to watch and I may even join at a later stage. Very competitive and skilful I can see why he enjoys it. How is your game going? What handicap are you on?


        1. People who have a competitive streak never lose it. Les sees it as fun though still likes to win 🙂 Great that you enjoy the game. Team sports are more challenging and fun.


    1. Thanks very much, Janis and it is wonderful to see Les out there enjoying himself. You will have spring to enjoy soon, though you don’t have much variation in your temperatures? Such a surprise to see on our news that you had snow. Strange weather and unpredictable.


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