Escape • Explore • Enjoy • Exist

While the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Month: July 2015

Ki”WE” Conversations – Jennifer & Emma

Our FB friends – Jennifer & Emma

KC3-3One is from Scotland and the other is from Ireland.  They have migrated and reside in our peaceful treaty country, New Zealand.  Both are into the outdoors making our back yard a great play yard for them both.

Earlier this year, Jennifer and Emma joined the Toastmasters Club we attend.  It’s always refreshing to see people try something new to better themselves.  It inspires us to follow their enthusiasm to learn, given we are two generations their senior!

Did you know Brave Heart actor Mel Gibson is Australian?

The visit to their abode was in unison with other fellow Toastmaster’s, a social gathering for nibbles and drinks.  Toastmasters love to talk.  Any conversation will always have a structural opening, body and close.  They will make eye contact, use hand gestures, and project their voice with pitch.  Get Toastmaster’s talking over one another, add in a Scottish and Irish accent and it was banter chaos on steroids.  No structure whatsoever!

But because ours is a relatively new friendship, we can only reflect on speeches they have given at our Toastmasters Club.  Emma was beaten by a group of Grannies at a rowing regatta and Jenn has smelly socks when she tramps!  More importantly, it’s how they speak trying to speak the good Queen’s English that always has us engaged … pigeon New Zealand dialect at its funniest.

KC3-1As the party goers departed, we stayed on with Jenn and Emma to share in a home-made chocolate cream liqueur (40% proof fire water) donated by another fellow Toastmaster’s partner. The ensuing ukulele/guitar sing-a-long cemented the treaty between both parties, for future parties to come.

Enjoy your stay and play in Aotearoa girls.


And we believe we would be able to give you a run for your pound playing in our own back yard … being a couple of generations your senior and all!

Ki”WE” Conversations – The Tinnings

Our FB friends – the Tinnings (Mark, Lisa, Nick & Catherine)

KC2-3We first met the Tinnings at a party through other parents of children we cared for.  Since then, we have pressed noses (hongi) with them more times than we can remember.  And they entrusted us to care for Catherine during our Outaskool (primary aged childcare) ownership.

Mark’s nickname is Tin which was very appropriate at a time of our business expansion; he worked for a roof manufacturing company.  When we had a neighbour opposite a property we purchased organise a community rally against us opening our second Outaskool site, we had to go through a council process that nearly bankrupted us!  But we won and could open, with conditions.

We had to construct a new fence facing the street and enter Tin who offered us roof off-cuts at the right length. It didn’t matter that they were multi-coloured on one side and neutral on the other … except we made a decision to keep the neutral facing in and all the multi-colours facing out.  Tin and some other close friends pitched in to construct it and it certainly got the neighbour excited, not!

Outaskoo2 RedwoodToday, Tin’s tin multi-coloured fence still stands as an iconic community land-Mark.

And then there is Lisa, the other half who gives more than she takes at many things she engages in.  We were once at a barbeque at the Tinning’s house – everything was going well until I got into a heated discussion with their neighbour who worked for a Government Department.  Wasn’t long before Lisa gave me my marching orders to leave … which had Tin looking sideways! And it didn’t take too long before BClaire was right behind me!  Had never been kicked out of a party before … and haven’t since!

KC2-4Iconic friendships are about the gives and the takes.  Or in our case, a friendship abridged by the hongi.

As long as we all have our noses.

Ki”WE” Conversations – The Butlers

Our first FB friends visit, to the Butlers (Pete, Janine, McKenzie & Brook)

KC1-2The Butlers were folk we meet Christmas 2013 when they rocked up on our front door step to camp.  Typical of husband and wife teams when erecting canvas holiday homes, there isn’t one who leads and one who does what they are asked to do.  Or was there with one giving abuse and the other arguing!

Enter the Ruru’s to offer help with their multi-poled gazebo.  Introductory salutations were exchanged and before we knew it, our experience in childcare was soon put to good use with entertaining the children. Tandem bike rides, zombi tag and a treasure hunt.  Huh, it allowed us to be big kids again ourselves.

Tandem RidesWe also got to meet their wider circle of friends, the Williams and the Pawsons.  When all three families departed they left a void as our caravan permanence returned to open fields and no sound of children at play.  However, it was only another 358 sleeps before they rolled on back for their 2014 summer holiday.

This time, their canvas erections were well rehearsed and hugs all round re-kindled the friendship from the Christmas before.  The Barron’s were a new family whom joined the Butlers.

201214 CB4 - Clavicle break xrayDuring this time, I was recovering from my bike crash, so sharing an ale was restricted and therefore making new years eve 2014 a lights out for me before the chime of auld lang syne.

But in the traditional Ru fashion, I slung a borat suit at the party goers before bidding goodnight with jeers of ‘ooh yuck’ and ‘you won’t get me wearing that’ statements.  It was some un-godly hour of the new 2015 year that laughter and cheering echoed, waking me up.  As I rolled over to drift off back to sleep with a grin, someone had plucked up the courage to put the borat suit on and go running throughout the camp.

The reality was – two had, one sharing the suit after the other!

The grins turned to grimaces once the sobering up arrived with the hunting down of any photographic evidence of silliness.  Hate to have mother in-laws see butt cheeks on face book if all you got was the behind view, let alone a front one!

However, when we visited the Butlers to kick off our visiting face book friends journey, the post-conversations since with banter and laughter has given the friendship a more genuine bond.  Complimented with a pleasant surprise to also catch up with the Pawson’s, the William’s and the Barron’s.

KC1-3Sometimes people enter our lives because they just do.  It’s hard to imagine what life would have been like without the initial abuse and arguing going on across the road from two parents trying to erect a gazebo.  The initial conversation, priceless!


Thank you Butlers for kicking off the visits.

Mr Butler and Mr Pawson, the borat suit has been washed and folded ready for next time.

Ki”We” Conversation Number 1 – To Breit and Cler

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the one step.”  This is a world re-known quote by Lao Tzu.  It features time and time again to inspire people to begin anything they dream of doing, having or being by just taking that first step.

A couple of weeks ago, we too had this quote at the forefront of our minds when we started the visiting face book friends journey.

Except ours was a hug … followed by the giving of a card … from Brook.  Little did she understand what it was that we were even attempting to contemplate.  But it didn’t matter … her hug, her card, her grin welled up a tear in the eye to be a moment that will be remembered for the journey ahead.

In her own handwriting it read:

“To Breit and Cler I hope you have a safe trip. Love Brook”

It’s not often that I am lost for words.  And the reason for the face book messaging absence since that weekend, when it all began!

Card from BrookWell Brook, I intend on carrying your card with me to be with us for every visit we do.  A reminder that sometimes one doesn’t need to say one word when having a conversation.

To become a worldly possession.

Thank you.

Taylors Mistake: So That’s Where All The Jandals Ended Up.

When I was in my early teens, frequenting the Kaiapoi Swimming Pool was a regular weekend activity.  It would be fair to add that back in those days, mischief was also a regular activity inclusion.

I used to pinch peoples jandals – only one from each pair, and when walking home across the swing bridge over the Kaiapoi Cam River, toss them over the side.  They would float off into the distance and then, the activity would be repeated the next weekend.

TM4A couple of weeks ago, we ventured onto the Peninsula to walk to Godley Head and the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour.  


TM6Starting at Taylors Mistake, it wasn’t long before we strolled passed some batches fronting the sea shore … and then bam!!!!!

TM5Right there hanging from a wall at one of these batches were jandals!  My past had caught up with me – so that’s where all the jandals tossed ended up!



The grin at the mischief one used to get up too was humped all the way up to the spot where gun emplacement ruins lay at peace.  It goes without saying that the view was spectacular, the dots on the ocean below weren’t more jandals but paddle boarders.


Furthermore, my mischief was replaced with military service when I joined the NZ Territorial Force Army in my mid-teens!

TM35It is a walk worth doing.  And if you see your jandal from yesteryear … help yourself!