Sunday, December 22, 2013

Annual Christmas Epistle to all who want to catch up what we've been doing . .

Sunday, December 22, 2013
oldbearnews editor

Nnaaha (So Pam says this should read as in – hello folks)
I have been given the task of writing up the bullet points – more to the point – fleshing out the bullet points (apparently because I am good with the fleshy bits). I dunno about this.  Regular readers and recipients will know (if indeed they have read the blog –> what we have got up to during the past twelve months.  Pam aka
Mamabear describes this past year as the year of dreams! Nightmares and hopeful dreams as well as the wishful and an occasional day-dream all featured.

    First up – Jonathan who completed his thesis on Kiwisaver.  He needed guinea pigs to answer a set of questions and from there then formulate a theory – which he did with over       10 000 words or so. Reading the Thesis I got lost after the second paragraph -something about statisticssomethingratherprobablity!!  Clever boy!!  He completed this by 31 March 2013 with a B+ grade – finishing a year-long dream (that is – of finally finishing his study and writing the thesis!) Well deserved!! Right now – he is dreaming of translating the study into a paying job – and he is marking time – hoping to get accepted into the Army as a General-in-training!! He continues to sell dreams at the local supermarket, ok – actually it is selling fish of any sort – but it's the customers dreaming of  a gourmet meal with his fish!

    Along comes Michael – who always dreams – and he actually got himself a full-time job at the local Meat factory. Thus in one stroke, no two – hmm make that three, some dreams were realized all at once!
His job is not glamorous or even brain-challenging, at the same time he cannot afford to daydream either. It is however teaching him the skills he needs (teamwork / discipline / accuracy and punctuality etc)  and the benefits of being a reliable worker. He progressed from being a mere drone to being in charge of the 'lid'-ing room (where the chain puts a lid on the box containing whatever programmed meat came down the chain AND he has to make sure it is with the correct label).  He's usually gone by the time us old foggies get out of bed and get ready for work – so that impacts on his social life.  His next dream is picking up next years “NIGHT” shift – 5pm-9.30pm!!
6 April – a cousin of mine – which I met previously once only for about urm – 20 minutes – decided to fulfill her dream and did a tikitour around the world – that included a stop over here in New Zealand. It was great getting to know her (affectionately called 'the meremaid' – for reasons we will not discuss here) and urm – yeah she had a great time here with us and also had a relaxing trip through our South Island.  Martina brought with her Ileana who had her first Birthday while in Thailand and was almost walking!! She also brought with her 50 – yes fifty Mozart-kugeln from Vienna – which I had arranged to give Mamabear a dream present in August!! Amazingly she never got wind of this and the Chocolate delicacy survived the 4 months in captivity here without being sampled by this bear or by any other tribal members living in our house!!  Yes the reason I asked the Mermaid to bring 50 was that the old Gal finally turned 50 herself.  She took it hard for a while! Previous significant '0' parties were relative easy going. This year however it caused a little anxiety (tempered with the chocolate). Actually she was lucky – I was a tad disorganised – otherwise Pam would have received 50 individually wrapped gifts from me . . .  ^^
In any case with the boys now grown up (and still living here -yes we dream of having a 'boy-less' house again) but being very capable independent people, we are now looking into the future and the impending retirement, with whatever that may hold.  Our big dream is (and we may need to win lotto or rob a bank or set up some scheme to get rich quickly) that we sell all we have and buy a decent sized Motorhome / Caravan and use that for 1 year or so and do a extended tour through New Zealand.  We could easily spend a week or 5 in Tekapo and just enjoy the scenery there, and there are heaps of places we have yet to discover in the North island!!  After we get sick of being cooped up in a mobile love-nest, we would like to build a special house in Whitianga and settle down and there grow old together and enjoy sunsets, grandchildren, and the occasional trip down memory lane.
    We are one step closer to this dream having just paid off the bank loan on our House wohooo– so   now the family own every speck of dust and brick and mortar. We also won a tiny amount on Lotto – just enough to go out for a meal – maybe not even that much although it would pay for a Burger at KFC!!!!

    Dreaming ahead – we have my Cousin Doris and her hubby Bernhard, who said they would be coming out here along with Wilfried Mayr.  Wilfried is a longstanding & connected to NZ lad, who lives in his hometown of Vienna.  Wilfried stayed with us for 6 months and had 6 months at Mrs. Peach' house in 1988– and he has since returned here for a short holiday trip.  He wants to go down memory lane – hopefully he won't get lost in his dreams!  Doris and Bernhard are also exploring this lovely Country of ours. So naturally this bed and breakfast owner is busy dreaming along and preparing some – urm – things – such as where to sleep – what to see / do / taste / smell etc.  I know the Mermaid has met with them and gave them tips. Wonder if this included the deal with Colonel Sanders to avoid the sandflies????

     Since you heard from us last, our 'time-out' included short trips.  These included going down to Oamaru and see the little penguins, the stone quarry and back home via McKenzie Country. In fact the image at the front of this missive is from the last trip and it marks a bit of a recently started tradition.  We raised a glass  - or two - there (or at lake Pukaki to be more precise) when we celebrated Pam's Birthday there – and lucky us – we yet again got to see Mt Cook without clouds.  Not many see it in this state!!   Then we stopped over on the Westcoast for 5 days – actually it was a batch from a guy we know in Barrytown – lovely spot!!  Touched down briefly on the Heaphy track near Karamea – saw the Pancake rocks do their things – went for a walk or two and also down to Ross and the Gold digging and walked on the newly created Tree-top walk way near Hokitika, along with the Hokitika Gorge! Phewww – it was meant to be a holiday – and rest assured – it was. Every night we drove down to the beach (1 km away) along with a bottle of white and 2 glasses and spotted the sunsets – well – most nights – there often was just too many clouds for a real decent sunset.  I did manage to get some good pictures though!! (check the Blog!!)   Recently we also drove down to Dunedin and celebrated Jeff’s (Pam' sister's Partner) 50th Birthday. His party was 'James Bond' themed and we were expecting lots and lots of glamorous 25 year old Bond Girls. 
Didn't help when Pam decided to be a Martini Glass instead (being from Christchurch she was 'shaken – not stirred')!! Luckily for her, no-one wanted to have a drink from this particular glass. I don't think she realised the possible complications urm - connotations. .  ^^ Having missed out in seeing a decent bird there we went and saw another bird – urm -a big bird – urm – Albatross! Yes we made it out and, like a Paparazzi or peeping Tom, saw them close up in their natural habitat!!  Mamabear impressed with their 'Courting' skills!! The other highlight of that trip was the Chinese garden in Dunedin – it gave us ideas to dream about when we build THAT house!!

    Pam's Father continues to potter along. He realised his dream of being in Raratonga (yet again) for his 80th Birthday and had a party over there.  Invited guests were most of the folks he got to know during the last 20 years of trips over there.

    Otherwise – it is business as usual here – we dream of a nice garden (and seeing we work on it only in short spurts – it remains a dream mostly) work continues to give us the cash so we can go and enjoy the country, and the house – well – it still stands despite the earthquakes from the last three years or so. Reinhold continues to be involved with scouting, and Pam dreams of a time when that comes to an end!! :)
I am on strict instructions to include lots of pictures (which can be found on the Blog!!) but I am sure you do not wish to read a 6 page letter – sooooo without much further adoooo –
Have a Merry Christmas and happy new year and big hugs to all those who want one. 

Doris / Bernhard / Wilfried – SEE YOU SOON!!

Hmmm I think I have sent you into a dream-like -state already . . . . .

Pam and Reinhold
Aka   Mamabear & Papabear

 bear print

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