Update August 2016

I've just found my way back here two years after the last scout about. I shall lurk a little and see who's about and what's what.

Who is Frenchbean?

I'm an ex-pat Pom living in Otago, New Zealand. I left Britain in 1997 and apart from four years back there to find my feet after my husband died, I lived in various bits of Queensland, Australia until 2008 when I crossed The Ditch. New Zealand was never really on my radar (although I holidayed here in '97). I came here for a job, so it was an incredible surprise to find that the South Island knocks the socks off most places I've lived in the last couple of decades. It's been described as Scotland on steroids. And the rest.

I have retired for the third time. Gave up work last June and have been learning to kick back, chill out and do the things that I love. Top on that list is NOT getting up with an alarm clock.

I have moved recently to North Otago and am renting a small blue cottage 200m from the beach. Heaven. The plan is to look around for a place to buy. But in the meantime I'm loving living close to the ocean: the sound of surf lulls me to sleep every night and I no longer worry about earthquakes: the Alpine Fault is far away.

Frenchbean's Life Rules remain as always:

Make the most of every day and don't die saying What If or If Only

Finally: I keep coming back to this poem; which I first discovered in 1980

you think
it can't last
it should be over by midnight
or tomorrow lunchtime at the outside
but it goes on
and nobody stops
to handle the brake
it goes on
and very soon you understand
perhaps it will last after all
pretty soon you get to saying to yourself
I must do something
about this
so you settle down with a good book
under the arc lamps of reality
you dissect the words
and keep them in vinegar
you take a little love
and bruise it in your palm
you take a little hope
and boil it in your fear
you laugh a little
cry a little
start to blow your nose
and you think
perhaps a storm would turn off the sun
perhaps we'll all learn to work out the facts
so you put out the flags
as you turn out the lights
and much later
about a lifetime
one dark night
in the cold of your bed
you sit up with a start
with a voice in your head
and you say to yourself
I must do something
about this.
Miles Gibson


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