Maybe Brave and Mad?..

I went to visit my Granny last week.  My birth Granny that is, my adoptive ones were both dead by the time I was born.  One of the neat things about being in touch with my birth family has been contact with two grandmothers.   Granny Hosking who I’ve just been to see is 98 and has found out she has cancer.  She is well at the moment and perky and quite impressed that she has a very rare form of the illness – a cut above the rest!

Anyway while I was visiting, she and my Auntie Liz presented me with my Great great Grandmother’s button box and another cigar box filled with sewing stuff – needles, old cards of hooks and eyes, fine crochet hooks, tape measures,  tiny sewing scissors and other bits and pieces.   I was over the moon!  The buttons are really cool and I spent some time the next day sorting through them.  And of course it is all coming with me on the great journey – which is now only SIX WEEKS AWAY!!

Family heirlooms  :-)

We are starting to pack up our house and get rid of everything we don’t want to take – and that is a load of stuff.  The aim is to whittle it all down to two suitcases to take on the plane and 3-4 boxes to ship over.  This will be interesting and somewhat of a challenge but has to be done.  So far reactions to our plans have included being told that we are very brave and also that we are very mad.  I think these comments say more about the people who made them 😉

Because I am looking at all the stuff we own and thinking what to take, I thought I would show you a few of my favourite things.  I love cards and buy them wherever I go, here is a couple from the collection..

First card is from here

Yes, indeed..
Ah yes, I know that feeling..

Card from www.olivesandwiches.com

And lastly, a souvenir from the British Museum.  I know it’s a bit strange but I love it, just wish I could have afforded the mouth as well.  I wonder what Michelangelo would have thought?

David's Eye
David's Eye
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A Bit Scattered..

This will be a bitsy post – feeling sort of prickly and not quite together today.

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Job Satisfaction

And I thought working in a call centre was bad..

Imagine what it must be like to be one of the people who direct the remote control planes (drones) that drop bombs on people in Afganistan and Pakistan.  Robert Sapolsky, in his TED talk yesterday, said that the rate of mental illness among these workers is unprecedented.  Funny that.

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The crocheted necklace is coming on slowly, the clear fishing line is difficult to see, which means I need good light and not to be tired.  It is looking good though and I can’t wait to finish it.

The next few days are going to be busy, what with the dressing of the Greytown school bell on Friday afternoon, the  craft market Saturday and on Sunday some of my birth family and myself are gathering together to attend a ceremony celebrating the centenary of the Hosking Baths/Sunken Gardens in Masterton.   Dr William Hosking ( link leads to more in-depth information) came from Cornwall and is my Great Great Grandfather.  Here is a bit about him from the Masterton District Council website.  I particularly like the bit about the hedgehogs and toads.

The Hosking Garden

William Henry Hosking or “Old Doctor Hosking” was a familiar figure in the rutted and dusty streets of the small Masterton township of the 1890’s. He was small, dapper, bearded and wore a top hat. He was reportedly always in a hurry.

Superintendent of Masterton Hospital for 20 years, Dr Hosking was ahead of his time using hypnosis on his patients and he had an x-ray machine in his home. He bought radium to use on his patients, made his own serum for injections and did his own research. He is reported to have been one of the first doctors in New Zealand to introduce x-ray apparatus and perhaps not surprisingly he died of radium poisoning at the age of 76.

The most famous anecdote about Dr Hosking was that in the centre of his top hat he carried his stethoscope or plant cuttings or specimens from patients insides to be analysed at home.

He was keenly interested in horticulture and was responsible for the introduction of hedgehogs and toads to the Masterton District.

Today’s sunken garden was originally the Christina and Alice Hosking Baths (commonly known as the C and A baths) which in 1910 were given to the women of Masterton by Doctor Hosking. The baths were named after his wife and daughter.

The baths were a grand affair with changing rooms while the baths themselves were 75 feet long and 40 feet wide. There was also installed a seat in one corner of the building where a woman was employed to sit to “supervise the behaviour of the swimmers.” It was the doctor’s daughter Christina who completed the opening festivities of the day by being the first to dive into the pool.

The baths however, were badly damaged in the 1942 earthquake but it was not until 1967 that the council of the time listened to their Superintendent of Parks, Colin Pugh and agreed to have a sunken garden built, using the original foundation from the pool.

The gardens were opened by Miss Christina Hosking.



In between all this we still need to catch up with my friend Alice and her family who are leaving to live in Whangarei on Saturday.

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We are selling a lot of our unwanted stuff on Trade Me at the moment.  And I thought I would show you one item that I bought in my early twenties that makes me wonder just who the hell I was back then.   This duck has been following me around on my many moves – for years, and I can’t quite figure out why.   It’s completely cutesy blah and has spent the last twenty or so years in a cupboard.   What was I thinking back in the early 80’s paying forty (forty!!) dollars for it?  And really, can you imagine what sort of room it would actually suit?

Get A Little Action In..

Its going to be Saturday night and we are going out. Not to some mad, roiling night club, I hasten to add, but round to Sue and Mike’s for a brazier evening. This event has been organised because one of their daughters and son in law are home from Sydney for a visit.   (It could turn a bit mad and roiling as we are trying out our home made cider!)

Sue and Mike are some of my best friends and share a fondness for social justice, caring for the planet and all creatures great and small. In addition to this they are convivial drinking buddies and are high up there on that particular list, which is getting smaller the older we all get unfortunately.

I have to say that one of the highlights of my time on this planet was meeting them. And it happened in a rather odd way.

I had just moved to the Wairarapa after a rather sad divorce, and was a art student at the local Polytechnic. Of an evening I was in my studio and looking out the window, spotted a couple  coming up the drive way. Aha! I thought, must be the local religious nuts, Jehovahs/Mormons coming round to see if they can interest me in their particular brand of bollocks spirituality.  Remembering my recently gained assertiveness skills, I decided to open the door and practise upon them 😉  So you can imagine my surprise when the nice lady announced, ” Hello there, you don’t know us but this is your Uncle Mike, your birth fathers brother and I am your Aunty Sue.”   Right…

I have always known that I was adopted and I was contacted by my birth mother when I was in my twenties.  She had let the extended family know where I was living and that is how I ended up with these complete strangers/relations on my doorstep – they just lived around the corner.

I found out later that they had been round to visit friends and, fortified by a few drinks, and happening to be walking past, had decided to drop in on the off chance. So, what do you do? Ask them in for a cup of tea of course.

That was a long time ago now and although my story has taken me to many and varied places, Mike and Sue have remained as the hub of my personal  wheel.

Me and Sue (may have had a drink)
Me and Sue