Category Archives: friends

The End

we3 Not the best photo, but the last of the three of us

2014 is drawing to a close. I sit alone and cast my thoughts, those that allow themselves to be cast – distraction has become my theme song – back over the year. In July, I cried. The job I loved and, with it, the security I had crumbled into a little heap of angst. “Not fair!” I cried. It wasn’t too hard to pick up out of that with the help of a new job and some truly great colleagues and friends. For a while there, I thought life could turn out to be ok.

It wasn’t to last though. A visit to the doctor, tests and a diagnosis later – life wasn’t done with me. Of course, I knew something was wrong, but being flung into a vortex of surgeons, scans, new foods, pills, tears, sleepy days and sleepless nights left my head spinning. I took comfort in my friends and family and had the rock-solid support of my husband.

The rock crumbled. Jurgis was the one who would coax me daily to take my pills and drink my juices. When I felt I couldn’t, he would do it for me, pushing me all along. It was never me. It was ‘we’. I remember sitting at the table with him. “We’ll nail this thing together. You’re not alone. I’m fighting with you.” He never let me give up! Not fair! Not fair! He was too young to die. He was meant to live to 112. We were meant to grow old together. We talked about it… joked about it. We had dreams, some realistic, some destined to remain in dream world. I first started dating him back in ‘81. We got married in April ‘86. That’s a fair time to get to know someone, though, after living in each other’s pockets for so long, I was still learning new things about him. He was very predictable in so many ways, but still managed to surprise me regularly. Ah yes, life is going to be different now.

Having said all that, I was thinking as I wrote this that, while the year has been a tough one on many levels, it’s also been an incredibly wonderful year. This is the year that I realised my dream of moving to live near Tatiana in England. We’ve climbed mountains and weathered many storms on that journey! I also had a job I truly loved. Not many experience that in a lifetime. I made new friends and renewed old friendships, both of which I treasure beyond measure.

I want to close this year trying, though finding the right words without ending up sounding gushy isn’t easy, to express the gratitude I feel.

I’m grateful for the 30 years I had with a wonderful man that I miss so much. I’m grateful that he was able to bring me this far. I’m grateful for the times he bullied me into taking care of myself, often to his own detriment. I’m grateful for the strength he gave me to carry on when the world appeared to be crumbling around me.

I’m grateful to my amazing daughter and her man. Tat has stepped in and taken over from her father in being my rock and my strength (and my bully). She and Ste have taken me in and made sure I had a home, so I wouldn’t be alone. What was meant to be a visit while we looked for a place of our own has become a longer-term haven where I can lick my wounds and heal.

I’m grateful for my friends. Oh how grateful! You, my friends, are what has carried us through all the drama and trauma of the past few months. I walk covered by a mantle of love and carried along by the collective caring I experience daily. My friends may be all over the world, but your presence here with me is very real. Then there are the friends who made sure that Christmas wouldn’t be a lonely tear-fest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the whole Williams family!! I had reason to thank them even before that for making Jurgis’ farewell a spectacular one where we cried and laughed and toasted and burnt up the night sky. I believe he enjoyed that evening too. The only frustrating part for him was not being able to drink his own toast and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I’m also grateful to all those who helped us celebrate his life, people who didn’t even know me, but came to show support and those who travelled far to be with us. Thank you!

I also want to remember the people who form the network of healing for me… my old GP who would call to see how I was and my old breast cancer nurse who still checks up on me. All the staff at the Southport hospital for caring for Jurgis and ourselves with gentle dignity (and for not being too shocked at our outbursts of either laughter or tears) and later for the way they’ve cared for me through my own treatments. When I arrive at the hospital only to find it’s the wrong hospital, they’d take it in their stride, contacting the other hospital to explain and seeing if they could fit me in at the one I’d walked into. The patience of my surgeons is just one more gratitude to add. I’m grateful, not so much for their faith in me, but for allowing me to be me and to believe in myself.

I’m off to join Tat at the club now. It’ll be odd. I’ve never done this alone before – see what you get for going straight into a long-term relationship right out of school. I can do this. Bring it on, 2015!



Posted by on December 31, 2014 in family, friends, gratitude, jorge, new-year


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Goodbyes are never easy

I think I have too many blog posts around with that sentiment. Some day, we’ll actually be in one place long enough to avoid having to say that. On the other hand, we are making good friends all over, people who find little niches in our hearts and get comfy there. We’re also not too far from Killruddery, so if we have a mind to, we can go back to visit. To put it mildly, Killruddery was a special place with very special people. We will miss it terribly.


In spite of the heartsore, we left with good ‘vibes’. The Thursday before we left, we went to dinner with Anthony and Fionnuala. It was a relaxed, informal affair where we chatted about our plans, The Cottage, plans for Killruddery and general waffle as conversations go. Friday was the start of the second weekend of the Christmas Fair, so we didn’t really get to speak at length with anyone. Fair time tends to be a crazy headless-chicken run-around for all staff. Saturday was spent in a futile attempt at packing, knowing all the while that there would be no time to pack on the Sunday. I did, however, manage to fit in a little milk tart making!

Sunday morning, I cleaned up while Jurgis chased deer and fed pigs. We had a lunch date with Lord and Lady Meath. Lunch with the Meaths was unusual, especially as we weren’t ‘regular’ staff. They were wonderful! We had a lovely roast beef dinner with wine. I think I have a new alcoholic passion…. ginger wine! Ooh, it was delicious! It reminded me very much of my old favourite cocktail, the ginger square. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me to imbibe ginger in any form. We chatted about anything and everything, from deer fencing and pigs to trips along the Garden Route to saving tiger turd in Nepal. Warm, and definitely fond on our part, farewells were said and good wishes abounded before we rushed upstairs in the hopes of getting the roast done before our visitors were due.

We had Mirek and Larissa, our Polish and Russian friends, over for dinner, another wonderful couple to whom I owe a debt of friendship…. even if Mirek ate my mushrooms! I did a pork roast and served milk tart for dessert. We drank to everyone’s health with a fine bottle of pro seco bubbly that was given to Jurgis on his birthday. We’d kept the bottle to celebrate the arrival of his papers, but figured celebrating friendship was a grand occasion to open it. As usual with Mirek and Larissa, we laughed a lot in a variety of languages. It was a good evening. Though I paced the floors for hours afterwards, drifting between intense sadness, happiness and frustration over the still-unpacked goods, I knew all was well and would turn out fine.

Monday, all thoughts of ‘turn out fine’ were forgotten in my wailing and gnashing of teeth over cases that wouldn’t close. I went downstairs to say goodbye to Aislin and Cathrine. Gosh, I’ll miss those girls. Of course, we promised to keep in touch. Finally, the last suitcase umphed itself closed and was dragged downstairs. We came up by the kitchen stairs and left from the main entrance… I think that was a fine way to leave! I said goodbye to my portraits and thanked them for listening to my nightly waffles, joys and frustrations. Anthony and Fionnuala were to take us up to The Cottage in two cars, as they were going on a family trip into the mountains at the same time. Fionnuala very kindly packed us a ‘doggy bag’ of goodies, which, aside from being kind, turned out to be a wonderful thing. That night, we dined on reheated sausage rolls with Killruddery Christmas cake for dessert. Not bad for a first meal. Kindnesses and fond memories were recalled as we settled into our new home.

I drink a toast to friendships forged!



Posted by on November 30, 2012 in friends, Ireland


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Amalie is painting this day blue

Amalie's stunning photography

Amalie’ site: I am painting this day blue.

My friend, Amalie from Norway, posted this beautiful song with its very inspiring lyrics. The song is in Danish and Amalie has very kindly translated the song into English. If you love nature and the seasons as I do, you’ll love this song!


Posted by on October 14, 2012 in friends, inspiration, music


Isn’t it amazing?



I was sitting tonight, watching Specs sniff my fingers, then rub against my hand. I thought again who absolutely amazing the trust of an animal is. It is something that produces a feeling of awe in me… something so profound. Take Maluco. He was my baby. I was there at his birth. I miss him so much. He was the ultimate farm cat. He had no need for humans in his life, being totally self-sufficient, but every day, when I called, he’d come running home and sleep holding my mouse captive (yes, my mouse is under him in this photo) and at night, he’d sleep at the foot of my bed. When he was injured, he dragged himself home… how, I don’t know. No one could touch him. He was in incredible pain, but he submitted to my nursing. He was extremely leery of other people after that, other than the three of us, of course. Trust.

One of my favourite quotes:
"Many of you have forgotten this truth
but you must never forget it:
you remain responsible, forever,
for what you have tamed."
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I so often wonder how people can do harm to animals, especially those we have tamed… whose trust we have gained.

Then I got thinking… it is the same with my friends. I so often feel in awe of the friendship that is offered to me. It is a little like taming, isn’t it? Only a little. It boils down to gaining the trust of another, especially when there is no need or tie that keeps them there.


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Posted by on September 2, 2008 in friends, pets, thought


Goodbye my friend

For Fel


Goodbye My Friend – Casey Stratton


Felicity, I said goodbye to you a while back, when you got to the point where talking was too painful. All the pain and confusion is over. You are at peace now and in a good place, but, oh my friend… you are so missed.


Into the dim lit, bare walls of my world,
You entered, bringing light and life to me,
The vivid colors, painted with a swirl
Of wit and charm, of personality,
With tender care, you added comfort, warmth,
And images that line the now bright walls.
I look upon them fondly, bringing forth
A thankfulness that you walk in these halls
With me; our friendship has become a part
Of my world now; it has its special place,
Within my being, life, and in my heart,
Your name hangs right beside your smiling face.
Rememb’ring just how drab these walls had been,
I have to thank you for the light, my friend.

Tat wrote this poem, "All I can do", for me, not long after we were told of Fel’s prognosis:

All I Can Do
All I can do
Is try and make you smile,
Watch you suffer,
Cry out in pain –
Why didn’t I foresee this?
Why can’t I make it go away?
Holding your hand,
I breathe deep again,
Wipe away another tear
Wish I had known,
Found some miracle cure
How could this happen?
Why did it happen?
You of all people
My heart shatters,
My world falls apart.
Please don’t leave,
I need you.

© Tatiana Lasevicius

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Posted by on August 24, 2008 in fel, friends


Making a difference


My friend, Michelle, on blogger gave me this award. Thank you, Michelle! You brightened my day. I found her through a poem she wrote, and the friendship grew. I am honoured to be on her friends list, never mind her thinking my blog is worth reading. If anyone deserves this award, she does. Her blogs are not only very readable, but speak to the heart. She’s ‘good people’ : ) I would give her the award, but she already has it. I do know that I need to find people to give this award to. Shouldn’t be hard… there are some amazing bloggers on my list.
First off, what do I look for in a blog? I like blogs where I can see a little of the soul of the writer. I like personal blogs, not blogs copied from the latest e-mail or news report, though I do happily read those too. I like blogs that tell me about your life and where you are. I like blogs that let me connect to a person on the other end. Herewith, a few, who, in my opinion, for various reasons, deserve the "Excellent blog award".

  1. Kippy – Kippy always has something thought-provoking to offer, and often fun too, not to mention the visual appeal of her photography
  2. Heather – Her photos and words have a deep emotional appeal. On most things, we speak the same language. Her blog is for contacts only though
  3. Eileen – Her world is just so different and she presents it in an entertaining and very readable way. Her art is a joy to experience
  4. Lisa – Fun and funky. Her world is multicoloured, much like her little car. Her blogs are never less than fascinating
  5. Port Elizabeth Daily Photo – because the place means so much to me and the photos are sooo well worth it!
  6. Libby – Open, honest. If anyone can look on the bright side, it is her and she cooks the most fascinating food. Reading about her travels would be enough to have me going back
  7. Catherine – a relatively new friend. I love her blogging style. She takes the punches life gives in her stride and laughs at them. I love her outlook on life. Just her avatar makes me smile

Ah… I’m leaving it at 7. There are more here who are wonderful bloggers who are just a little quiet right now. Then there are those who are great bloggers by their interaction with other bloggers… their friendship. I was just saying to a friend yesterday that I have a wonderful contacts list. Most of those on my list are really good people and friends worth having : )

I found this video on a page I visited. Do watch it. I think it would be incredible if we could all turn to at least one person, acknowledge them and tell them how much we appreciate them… and why!


And to close… some reading for my photographer friends: Click here

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Posted by on May 23, 2008 in family, friends, inspiration, photography


Looking back… looking forward


I’ve been gone so long. It’s just been crazy around here! Nah… I lie. I wish it had been crazy. Let me rephrase. I’ve been gone so long because I’ve been going crazy… or is it because I am crazy? No… don’t answer that.

As you may remember, I was looking for my brothers. So far, I’ve come up with loads of dead ends. Then I figured that I’d try looking for people who may know how to find them or at least be ‘on location’ to find them, which sent me on a rollercoaster of memories. I started with Facebook. I have tried looking for some of these people before and come up blank. This time, I entered a name and there they were. I was suddenly finding heaps of people, from my best friend through primary school through to the best man at our wedding and many more. It was as though someone had switched on a light. This was both wonderful and terrifying. There are many memories and experiences I’d love to have gone without recalling. Contact with these people has brought all those to the fore again. Of course, not all have come back to me. A couple, I am sad about, but others I don’t mind that much.

For so long, while living here in Brazil, it has bothered me that there are so few people in my life who have seen me face to face, who know me, and still consider a connection to me worthwhile. I regularly hear accounts of my friends getting together with each other and, while I am thrilled for those friends, I long to have the same thing, though I know it is out of the question for now. I became a little obsessed with the looking up of old friends. Here were people who have known me face to face, who have been with me through some… interesting times and who still accepted me. A few have even been glad to have made contact again. I was sitting here tonight though and thinking…. I can’t go back. Going back is an illusion. I know that sounds weird to you, perhaps, but to me, it was something I had to face. I have to make friends with these people all over again, some easier than others, but so much has changed. We’ve all moved on. Any friendships I pick up now again would have to be built on as though new. I can’t build on history. So I got my wish… in a way. I can’t meet with a friend for coffee now, but I have had times where I’ve sat and talked over coffee or a glass of wine with a good friend. Those memories will have to carry me for a little while longer.

On the subject of ‘a little while longer’… and going forward…
Many folk ask me whether I’ve had news on immigration yet. The answer is… if I had news, I’d have shouted it from the rooftops, so…. no. We have, I think, until at least the end of May to have heard about the last application. Not much time left, is there? I suppose I should say… well, there’s always next year. We’ve said that every year so far. What’s one more? I hate even thinking about that. Everything in life has a reason. There is a reason for this too. It will all work out.

In all, I was in something of a muddled funk… on a rollercoaster ride all of my own, so I haven’t been terribly talkative. Balance has never been my strong point… balancing my moods, my activities, my various obsessions. I’m trying to find the balance now between new friends and old. I’m still here though…

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Posted by on May 19, 2008 in family, friends, search, south-africa

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