Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016/17 Part I

I keep having to edit this post as I never seem to be able to finish it. But today, if you have not heard, it appears Randy Darwall has passed away. (He's my weaving hero, non-weavers, and famous.)  I say, "it appears" because I've only seen it only on FB, no MA newspaper, for e.g., and I don't recognize organizational names/acronyms, so I'm hoping against hopes it's a hoax. Details I can find are that it was after a short struggle with cancer and there will be a memorial in spring. Dianne kindly rang me this morning to alert me. It's probably true, you know. He had cancer some years ago.  (Even the year he was born is in dispute. Oh, please let this be a hoax.)

I had planned for months to do something for my tenth anniversary of meeting Randy and Brian this past October 1; write them an old-fashioned letter, a special post, or a group post here, (you know, you post also and then we all link to each other,) but being on head meds and not weaving wasn't condusive to looking back on my last ten years so I deferred. I don't know if anything is forthcoming in the near future, but we shall see. Joie de vivre is what I took home from his workshop, so I try to have some of that in my weaving and my life.

And then, hey, happy new year! If 2016 was an especially weird year for you, here is to a new start. When the world looks a little bleak to you, let's look at our cones, our equipment, and our creations to recall what lovely thing we do.

My memory is getting worse and I can't recall things I've done, names, words in general, (not that I'm less talkative,) but let me give this a go.

Just after midnight on the day I posted the second last post, I experienced the biggest and longest earthquake in my life. Yup, I'm from Japan and I've been in a few, but it was scary. Earthquakes are scarier when they happen when dark and/or when you're stationary. I was reading in bed, Ben was asleep, and I asked Ben if it was his legs, (he has that shaky leg thing,) and he was immediately alert and said, "No, this is a big one." (Although later he said it wasn't the biggest he's been in, but the longest.) It was a strange, clockwise rolling motion, rather than horizontal or vertical shaking I'm used to. To make things worse, our neighborhood lost power, so no phone, no internet, just Ben's cell.

Long story short, damage to Nelson was minimum, but the whale-watch capital of NZ, Kaikoura, and State Highway 1 to/from there was worst hit, as well as many towns south of Blenhiem and our capital Wellington. The road connecting Picton and the ferry to Kaikoura is still not passable, and there is an alternative route inland. From memory, there were in fact two shakes, somewhere around Kaikoura/Seddon and somewhere closer to Wellington, which explains the circular rolling motion. But, yikes.

I spent the week that followed reorganizing our emergency pack first packed in 2011 and occasionally updated but never thoroughly, and spent a fortune at three pharmacies. We were going to move on to reorganizing emergency food/water/TP bit, started pre-Millenium crash and then used up one by one, but I got sick of thinking of disasters we haven't done it. Maybe soon.

After the quake I quipped on FB perhaps I should get a smartphone so I can get on to the Internet without Wifi, and Warwick, a bestest guy and Ben's colleague, gave me one. Like that. He has two sons and the three menfolks love technology but not the Mrs so one sat in a drawer. I resisted, but I know how grateful for even the small amount of info Ben got off the Internet that night, and a quake could happen when he's not home, so I adopted it. I can ring someone, I can sure ring folks by mistake, and sometimes I can even answer calls without immediately hanging up. (Warwick said he's going to teach me to drive next, but that's never gonna happen, mate!)

Usually with anybody's phone, the camera is the first thing I figure out and it was the same with this one.
Then Ruby came to town and she made a lovely picture talking to Nelson personality Mike Ward, and I suddenly forgot how to take pictures and kept aiming and pushing the power button!! The screen went black and I waited forever to see the picture. What's the deal with that?? There's been a little too much of forgetting things I used to not pay any attention to of late. Early onset?? Of course the next day it was again a no brainer and I took shots of our carpet and my feet just to see it wasn't the phone's fault. Yikes.

Just before the phone, Ben's iPod broke so he got a new one, then fixed his old one, so I inherited his tiny job. We got three of Adele's CDs from those spend-money-accumulate-points programs, so I asked him to load those. He even gave me a very nice headphone for Christmas, (a dark red version of his,) but I've been busy with the phone and... my head is too wide for the headphone!! So I'm placing the headphone around our biggest cushion hoping it'll stretch a little. At this old age, we've come to like matching things, which we so despised when we were first married. (You know, Japanese honeymooners? We were so not them.)

Andrea left the Suter after, I think, 15 years, which means she should have loads of time for me, but I haven't bothered her yet. She's savoring her gardening and serious cooking time and she so deserves them. Stella left the bookshop which was a double-whammy at the time but she and husband now has their own shop, the loveliest new space in Nelson called Volume. If in Nelson, you must visit it. Stella and Thomas are not only nice, but they know as much about books and authors. And you're allowed to buy coffee at any of the three places within 30 seconds of Volume and bring it in. OK, so I brought in ice cream, but then I'm special, yes?

To be continued.

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