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Monday, June 26, 2023

Caravan of Selves 12: 70-77 Years 2015-2022

A lot can happen in seven years! In this chapter of life - birth, death, aging (of course!), a global pandemic, moving house - and still managing lots of lovely holidays.

Because I started my Blog in 2011 this episode of Caravan of Selves covers years I have already Blogged about. So to summarise even more I will include here just bullet points from each year with a photo or two.


#Ageing: turning 70 was certainly a landmark. I decided to walk with Anthea around the Orewa Estuary and talk about memories I have of each decade of my life. 

12 September 2015

#Holiday: A long awaited holiday in Perth - lovely city!  Then on a couple of days at New Norcia Monastery, a visit to the Pinnacles and a a retreat at Shoalwater retreat centre. 

Kings Park Perth

New Norcia Monastery

The Pinnacles


A quote: "Anxiety is such a waste of the imagination!" 


#13 June: 20 years since my aneurysm. Certainly a date worth celebrating! 

With Rosie - the new snake pet in Sarah's house!

 #August: Holiday in Brisbane

With Dawn

Tanya and Johan showing me round!

Sarah with Bodhi, Harlan and Leo and the Brisbane Eye


#I decided I needed something different to do as I gradually reduce my private practice. In March I trained with English Language Partners and was matched with a learner from Korea. I thoroughly enjoyed my 18 months of helping her improve her spoken English
Christina and me at her home.

#Peter and Gwenyth both began to need more care and moved into an independent apartment at North Haven. Fortunately this Bupa facility is near here so I could visit often.
Peter and Gwenyth - North Haven
Rotorua in January:
We had previously done most of the boiling mud and Geysers! So some other Rotorua choices this time.

Amphibious Duck Boat on the Blue Lake

Anthea at the top of the Tree CanopyWalk in the Redwood forest. 

A scene in the Rotorua Bible Museum - sadly, now closed.

Sydney in November:  Our reason for going was the "Vivid" light display. But Sydney is beautiful in the daytime too!
One of the many light variations on the Opera House.

Popping across the harbour on a ferry is very easy!

#South Island holiday in March: Christchurch, Tekapo, Hanmer Springs

Memorial Wall for those who died in Christchurch earthquakes 2011

Gorgeous lake Tekapo!

Well known view from Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo.

Church of the Good Shepherd

Tasman Glacier boat trip on a grey day!

A dip in the lovely pools at the Hanmer Springs Spa

We recommend this motel!

#My atrial fibrillation issues meant a night in hospital and new medication. (No photos of this!!)

#Merrie and Marty's 80th birthday celebration. A photo of us four siblings on that occasion was the last photo we have all together.
Peter, Merrie, Sheila, Andrew

#Burleigh Heads holiday on the Gold Coast of Australia
Outside our Motel at Burleigh Heads. Gold Coast in background.

#Andrews death 3rd November after five short weeks of illness with a brain tumour.
Andrew and Lynn just after his diagnosis.

#Lydia (Andrew and Lynn's daughter)  married  Phil just two weeks after he died.
Andrew didn't make it to the wedding - so a preview blessing ceremony at home.

#Cafe culture! More and more I'm enjoying the catch ups with friends over coffee!

# Playing Scrabble with an 87year old neighbour. Unfortunately I didn't ever think to take a photo!

# Some time ago I joined Tree Sisters - a wonderful organisation begun in the UK. So far (2019) I've "planted" 50 trees!

#Scattering Andrew's ashes at Kopua on the anniversary of his death. Star of the Sea monastery in Kopua was a special place for Andrew. He went on retreat there every year at the tiny Hermitage on the grounds.
Lynn and Phil planting a Kowhai Tree outside the Hermitage

Lydia, Sheila, Rachel, Lynn, Anthea (Photo taken by Phil)

The Hermitage

# On the way home from Kopua Anthea and I went on our own retreat at Tyburn Sisters community  out of Rotorua.
Single (ensuite) rooms overlooking a lake.

The Cross on the hill beside Tyburn Monastery, Ngakuru

# This was the year we began researching Retirement Villages as we sensed it might be getting closer to needing to move!


#We began the year with a wonderful cruise around NZ for seven days. The weather was perfect and the

cruise took us to some of the most beautiful places in our amazing country. Milford Sound, Akaroa and

the excellent Waitangi visitor centre were among our favourite places. Little did we know that all too

soon cruises would be off the agenda for some time. We look back with great gratitude.

Waitangi Visitor Centre - welcome to the Marae

Approaching Mitre Peak (Milford Sound) at Dawn

Beautiful Akaroa!

#Selling our house! This was a major event - by the grace of God we sold it privately and bought an apartment at Evelyn Page Retirement Village - all within one week! 
However, we had to pack the house during the first total lockdown because of Covid.
Wonderfully we were able to move to our new apartment on the date originally set.

#The Election has been another major feature of this year. We are so blessed to live in New Zealand! Our

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has become a world renowned figure in the way she has managed the Covid pandemic here. The landslide victory of the Labour Party in the election is, in part at least, due to this.

#New life - and aging have both been part of this year.

Lydia and Phil's first baby - Oscar!

Peter and Gwenyth still managing a walk!


Covid continues but in the first few months of 2021 there was not too much disruption so we were able to go on a Ship and Shore trip to  Aotea - also called Great Barrier Island in April. Wonderful to have all bookings, transport and accommodation arranged!
Breakfast at one of the accommodation lodges.

A high point on the Island

In August we made a short retreat at the Tyburn Abbey just over the Bombay Hills.

A big event in 2021 was that Merrie and Marty moved to Queensland to be closer to their daughters Tanya, Sarah and Carla. This was a major move especially in the midst of various Covid restrictions.
Merrie, Tanya, Sarah, Carla, Marty

This was also the year that both Peter and Gwenyth were transferred to full time care at North Haven Hospital.
Celebrating Peter's 85th Birthday at North Haven

In August of 2021 the next wave of Covid caused more lockdowns - so we all learned to do "Zoom Church" and see clients on Zoom or Skype, or FaceTime or Messenger - or perhaps plain old telephone!
Like so many people around the world we adapted our lifestyles around the realities of the pandemic. So far Anthea and have I been blessed to stay healthy!


Another year of deaths and births. After a couple of really hard years both Peter and Gwenyth died this year - Gwenyth first (March 25th), then Peter just 11 weeks later (June 7th). 

And then... new life!
Sebastian (Sebby) a brother for Oscar

And Remy - first child for Kristen and Nicolai

More holidays! A weekend in Whangarei:

Outside the quirky and amazing Hundertwasser Museum

Whangarei Falls

A wet weekend but still plenty to enjoy!

In September significant visit to Burnett Heads north of Brisbane to visit Merrie and Marty in their new home.
Merrie and Marty outside their convenient two bedroom home.

Merrie and me on one of our many coffee outings!

Then a Christmas trip to visit Lynn in her brand new home and celebrate her first Christmas there.
Anthea, Lynn and Sheila at the front door!

Oscar, Lydia, Phil and Lynn
Sheila, Rachel, Sebby 
Photo taken by Anthea

I wonder what the next seven years will bring? And will I be able to manage the computer skills to add another Blog post when I'm 84!!