The Ruru's

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts

Month: August 2015

Ki”WE” Conversations – Janine Petrie

Our FB friend – Janine Petrie

J9Janine’s friendship was ignited from the Outaskool days when we cared for Taliya and Jakob, her children.

Janine is a hair dresser that has taken the shears to our scalps many a time. Her reflection in the mirror always effervesces a smile that amplifies her personality to settle nerves as she manoeuvres her tools with precision to within millimetres of both ears.  And I would imagine that her ears would have been party to a number of conversations that would include secrets, gossip and other fictional tittle tattle tales from all those who have parked up for the clippers.

Janine also waxes body hair growth from other parts of the human frame.  Or in my experience, my anatomy!

It was a present that will always go down as being one remembered for being below the belt.  A gift voucher from Janine for my 40th birthday … a back, sack and crack wax!  Holding a firm stance on accepting the challenge in front of other party goers gave me little confidence from the banter, laughter and shaking of heads with grinning white teeth that ensued.

For once, I was a tad apprehensive.

Remember, Janine was our hairdresser.  And also a parent to children we cared for.  So losing the clothes to bare all was easy.  It was the heating of the wax that was to be applied that caused me great embarrassment.  Another parent of children we cared for Tibbo and BClaire were present to witness the under re-moving and kept referencing how not much wax would be needed for the sacks bit.  Some moral support they were teasing a person when his pants were around his ankles about to be plucked like a chicken with feathers.  Them being at the ready with camera and tissue to wipe back the tears of their laughter didn’t help one iota neither!

The back wax introduced me to waxing – swab on the hot sticky stuff using an ice block paddle; then position the patch over the scalding; and then rip …  and quickly repeat the rip again before one had the time to scream  “holy @#%*!”  Numbness trekked down my back towards the bum crack and like a pro, Janine showed true professionalism laughing with me versus at me … except what she didn’t understand was that I wasn’t laughing through any of it.  My clenched teeth was a grimace.

Perhaps the most excruciating experience of all was how Janine applied the wax to the inner thigh.  No instruction was given not to close the leg after the hot wax was smeared on.  Opening the leg ripped out hair without a patch being applied.  I do not exaggerate when I swear I could have felt a molar in my mouth get pulled when this happened! I lasted only two patch pulls on the ride side, agreeing to balance up the look on the left and then I called it quits.  I wasn’t strong enough to finish leaving me with groin racing stripes.

I’m sure it’s become a conversation Janine shares with other patrons who continue to get bare skinned through the waxing method.  We need to be able to look back on life and smile that we tried something new during it.  Every time a candle is lit on a cake as the birthdays pass me by, Janine still haunts me.

Her effervesce smile ignited in my head whenever reflecting!

Ki”WE” Conversations – Tony Fransen

30x30A new Face Book friend – Tony Fransen

An impromptu encounter on a return flight from Invercargill last week was made extraordinary through having sat next to a passenger named Tony.

Once we had exchanged salutation pleasantries, our conversation transitioned into sharing life experiences. Tony introduced me to his story about his thirty by thirty list – the concept of listing thirty things one would like to complete before one turns thirty.

I was instantly attracted to listen and learn more about him – I was being inspired by someone I had only just met.

Someone who has volunteered for Project K Youth Development the year prior to us. Someone who has paddled the Wanganui River. Someone who has run a marathon. Someone who faired the open ocean to overcome his fears and swim in an ocean swim event. Someone who has milked a cow in the Arctic Circle!

In my upcoming book “Re-Kindle You”, I refer to a T.I.M.E. habit whereby we need to use our time to associate with people who inspire. How lucky was I to be fortunate enough to sit beside this extraordinary ‘someone’ person – Tony.

And be inspired.

It wasn’t like Tony was going anywhere neither in the hour or so being strapped into a seat beside me on a plane!

Why I loved the words I heard from Tony was because of the passion in his stories – they had purpose, they had substance, they had meaning. This was backed up with him sharing his list for which is the photo of this Ki”we” conversation.

Many of our face book friends have resulted no dissimilar to what happened above. The action from this interaction, I’m now compiling my one hundred by one hundred list.

Extraordinary people inspire ordinary people … cheers Tony.

Ki”WE” Conversations – Geoffrey Robinson

Our FB friend – Geoffrey Robinson

DSC02990Geoffrey would have to be the longest friend I have had, ever since I can remember.

That’s approximately 46 years worth of friendship.

And ever since I can remember, he has always been the fittest person I have ever known … even today his abdominals are muscle, ribbed and firm!  He is so not allowed to remove his shirt when he is around BClaire or in the presence of other female company!  Furthermore, I am not writing anything about his George Clooney or Richard Gere salt and pepper distinguished compliments neither!

Primary school; secondary school (when he turned up); school holiday fun; Rugby League team mate; best man at his wedding; burning his couch when his marriage ended; equals sincere friendship!

However, to summarise Geoff as our Face Book friend is easy.  He is the only person I know to have taken some advice during a period of despair; gone and walked something we have suggested so as to take some important time out; and then done what I would call undoubtedly remarkable – cycle 11,500 kilometres over two and a half months around Europe.

Actually, that annoys me more than how he looks because not once did he ask us to join him, he knowing how what he did is right up there with our passion to be out on the globe doing it like he did. But knowingly, that is the beauty of having someone who has been out there or is out there doing it … we need someone to be just ahead to inspire us.  It means we grow to become the person we want to become.

Only another 4,500 kilometres to go before we match his biking distance.

I find that far more achievable than trying to replicate Geoff’s abs!

(Geoffrey features in my upcoming book ‘Re-Kindle You’ due for release during September 2015).

Ki”WE” Conversations – Frazer Austin

Our FB friend – Frazer Austin

KC5 - 1There was never any voice that sat on my shoulder to offer smarter advice when I was growing up as a young teenager.  Instead, there was the social norm of just being mischievous and then when one went too far – a physical kick up the bum or clip across the ear; or the corporal punishment of a whack across the hand with a strap or butt cheeks with a cane.  We either learnt from the lesson, or kept taking the lesson!  Reflecting back, I am grateful for the different teaches I had for dishing out the lessons because eventually I got it, a smarter inner voice.

If only I had of known what I know now back then as a young teenager. Perhaps I would have graduated on the smarter lessons of life a lot earlier.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  And that is how we ended up meeting Frazer Austin, the next Face Book friend visited.

Project K LogoIt was Mentor/Mentee pair up day.  I had signed up to be a volunteer mentor for a year with Project K (Foundation for Youth Development).


It wasn’t to replace the parenting role; but more a voice on the shoulder to share what I knew about self resilience, self efficacy and self confidence.

At the time, Frazer was fourteen.  First impressions, a mirror image of a younger me with an attitude of knowing everything and being bullet proof – typical stereotype of a mischievous person.  For Frazer, perhaps another old person telling him what to do.  And so began the relationship of rapport building, goal setting, recreational activity, and rubber band stretching without the kick up the bum or clip across the ear.

Project K is about seeing the potential in a person as a whole.  It was tough to be a snippet in a life being moulded for the better and by the end of the year, it became a formality to tick off a box to get Frazer just graduated – whatever it took.  Sometimes we don’t see the lessons taught in the physical form until long after the classroom time has finished.

Frazer and I have kept in touch since graduation.  Today, Frazer is twenty three.  As we shared a beer for over a couple of hours, that youth of yesteryear has turned into a young adult that holds a conversation way beyond his age.

More significant, he’s found HIS inner voice too.

A mentor’s role can be for life if the mentee still wants that voice on the shoulder.  What Frazer wasn’t aware of, was how he played the mentor’s role in my personal growth; the new skills I gained; and the perspectives he taught me in the process.  It’s was him that set my foundation to be a better voice on the shoulder to many others to find their inner voice.

It just goes to show … mentor’s can appear at anytime as we age.  And who said they couldn’t be younger.

Ki”WE” Conversations – The Littles

Our FB friends – the Littles (Tane, Rachel, Ava, Ruby & Tilly)


Latitude 42°51’S Longitude 171°1’E is moo cow country.  At its heart Kowhitirangi and the next Face Book friends visited, the Littles – Rachel, Tane, Ava, Ruby and Tilly.


The connection, BClaire and Rachel were once Ansett New Zealand work colleagues and have always denied contributing to the collapse of that airline company!  More amusing was the fact our bed used for the two nights stay was one I had when flatting before BClaire and I moved in together … it fortunately hadn’t collapsed after all these years and both connections made for entertaining reminiscing conversations.

3Rapport with children comes naturally for us. Tilly who is three soon introduced us to her imaginary friends Lauren and Jacob; Everest the dog; and Sparky her horse.  By the end of the weekend, I was riding Sparky!  They so know how to forget the worries of life through play.  What became a worry though was how Tilly had her bags packed ready and waiting at the door all weekend to return back home with us.  Creative thinking was certainly required so as not to disappoint this young mind’s imagination.


4Driving the 32 odd kilometres back into Hokitika to watch Ava and Ruby bounce around a netball court exposed us to the mountainous backdrop of the Alps.  Their splendour houses Lake Kaniere (the largest lake in Westland) and the Hokitika Gorge where Tilly and I dropped rocks from a swing bridge to count the time it takes for the splash below – 3 seconds.  More time playing as kids mostly.

9 Lake Kaniere110 Lake Kaniere511 Lake Kaniere412 Lake Kaniere714 Hokitika Gorge515 Hokitika Gorge916 Hokitika Gorge1017 Hokitika Gorge1319 Hokitika Gorge1720 Hokitika Gorge2021 Hokitika Gorge22

Hokitika was a creation of the West Coast gold rush.  But sadly, the district is home to a memorial that commemorates lives lost in the Koiterangi Incident, further up the valley.  In the afternoon of Wednesday 8 October 1941 the quiet surroundings at this location was interrupted by the unstable rampage of local farmer Stanley Graham.  He un-leased a fury to permanently etch him in the annals of crime as the first mass murderer in New Zealand’s history and subsequently, the country’s largest and manhunt.

22 Hokitika223 Hokitika925 Hokitika1927 Hokitika2528 Stanley Graham229 Stanley Graham430 Stanley Graham5

Illustration1Tane frequently disappearing onto rain sodden pasture to attend his herd that was on the cusp of calving as BClaire and Rachel gossiped a load more, allowed for some time illustrating with Ava and Ruby in-between taking Sparky for a gallop up and down the hallway with Tilly.


The little time spent in the Littles company reminded us of how better we should be at connecting in the person.



It should be MORE often … or before you know it, Sparky may become a figment of no-one’s imagination!



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