Where have all the nouns gone?

When I turned 50 and my nouns started to disappear.  Somehow they get trapped somewhere in the brain and cannot find their way out to the tip of my tongue and out of my mouth.  It is frustrating and hilarious at times.  My sons said that when they left home they would have to text me nouns so I could finish my sentences. They have left home but no random noun texts have been received.  I am struggling…

It makes it so much harder to communicate when your nouns start disappearing, so you have to adopt strategies.  Some I recommend are:

  1. Trail off and gaze into the distance as if you intended to be mysterious
  2. Create a pause for dramatic effect
  3. Substitute other words and create your own language and idioms – reiterate them and they will soon become part of your family folklore
  4. Invent an appropriate sign language – this is easy for our family as we already have an epicurean sign language that my husband started nearly 30 years ago. It has been added to over the years and has even expanded beyond its original culinary boundaries.
  5. Provide opportunities for other people to join in the conversation – look intently at someone else and use a head nod to actively encourage them to fill in the missing word for you.  It will appear as if you are being inclusive.

It is a bit of a concern that the nouns are disappearing – what follows the nouns? Do verbs or adjectives disappear next? It is going to be really interesting to find out.  Imagine the conversation…

“Where is the thingy that makes the whatsit thingamabob doohickey?”

My dream for retirement was to become a writer, but perhaps that may not be an option if I can no longer form a …. you know what are they called…  Oh yes, that is it… “a sentence.”

It’s a shame as I think I would be a good writer, because I would avoid clichés, like the plague.

Perhaps I will take up painting when I retire instead.


When is an offer too good to be true?

I had to catch the red eye flight from Christchurch to Wellington the other week. It was a really early start and I was sitting on the plane along with everyone else ready and waiting for it to take off. Then a crew member came and told me that my husband was sitting up the front end of the plane.

This came as a bit of a surprise to me as I thought my husband was in Auckland. So I must have had a bit of a surprised look on my face and the dialogue with the crew went something like this:

“I don’t think so – my husband is supposed to be in Auckland. So if my husband is up the front of the plane, he was in Christchurch last night. And if he was in Christchurch last night, he did not spend it with me in my bed.”

At this time the crew member was getting a bit stressed and was making the cut sign with her hand across her neck to the crew member at the front of the plane. She apologised and rushed away.

She was gone a few minutes and then came back down the aisle and said, “I am so sorry – it was a name very similar to yours.” And she continued and then returned with a young woman in tow who was duly escorted up to the front of the plane – presumably to sit next to her husband.

We landed in Wellington and on the way out the crew member introduced me to her colleague as, “This is the woman who I offered a new husband.” I thanked her for her kind offer but politely declined.

Sadly I did not get the same offer on the return flight that night. When I told my husband he said that I should have taken up the original offer and moved to the front of the plane and said down next to the complete stranger and say, “Surprise!”


My new year’s resolution in 2015 was to write.

I have delayed and given myself excuses for not doing this before today.  All of the excuses are valid.

However today I have decided to dive in and test the blog waters.  I may sink, or I may swim.  Right now, I would be happy if I can just stay afloat.

They say everyone has a book in them.  I am not sure what my book is.

I have read heaps of books of all genres.  I work in a second-hand bookstore and bring home far too many books.  I read more at the shop.  I give books as presents.  I love books.  They hold and impart knowledge, they transport you to a different world, they give you an escape, they give recipes with photos and sometimes when you try the recipe the product looks vaguely like the photo in the book.

I love reading, I love cooking and I love writing.  I even like to paint a bit.  I am one of those creative types that always has a project on the go.

Lately I have been making poppy cushions.  So chances are you may be getting a poppy cushion as well as a second-hand book for your birthday this year.  The cushions look great and are to commemorate 100 years since the start of WW1.  I am a peacenik, so I want to remember the sacrifice that these people made and the poppy seems appropriate.  The loss of so many lives is tragic.  Life is so precious – we need to value it, to celebrate it and to remember and grieve when it is lost.

As Paheka we are not taught how to grieve, so when death comes calling, we have no skills to enable us to get through the days of anguish and pain.  I visited friends today whose baby died in his parents arms, after only living for two weeks.  The parents are living in a world without their precious child.  They left hospital without him.

Nothing I can say or do can ever make it better or easier for them.  All I can do is listen to the short story that is their son’s life.  I cry with them and my heart breaks and shatters with theirs.  I am as helpless as they are in trying to make some sense of the situation.

How can life go on when the future you have seen before you has been snatched away?

There are all those trite phrases like, “Live one day at a time.”  Sometimes it is only realistic to live one moment or one hour at a time.  Sometimes the pain of loss and grief is just so overwhelming that it becomes a physical pain which cripples your spirit for a time.

There is no answer to the question, “Why?”

Life is so fragile.  Sometimes it is gone in the blink of an eye and other times it slowly ebbs away.

Treasure the moment – cry, scream out, do whatever seems right for you. Trust yourself – go with your gut and follow what it is telling you to do.  Those core messages from our inner most being are seldom wrong.

Celebrate your loved one’s life and grieve for your loss.  It is ok to do that.

It is an honour and privilege to be able to share your grief and to cry with you.