This post is in memory my friend Dona Bogart, a friend from texas, usa, whom I never met, except online.
Approximately fifteen years ago I ‘met’ Dona through blogging. The same time as I met a few other writers, who have also remained online friends. A lot of the friends stopped blogging, but switiched to Facebook, some to Twitter – especially Dona who continually posted on twitter an eclectic mix of music which I’d listen to and appreciate. We had discovered early on that we had many things in common. we liked to play with the idea of being soul sisters. or kindred spirits. like in ‘anne of green gables’. We regretted that we didn’t live closer.
One day I suddenly thought: ‘Where’s Dona? She hasn’t posted for ages.” Checking her FB page i found a notice her daughter had posted to say that Dona had died.
Her last tweet was to post a video of the Moody Blues song, ‘Dear Diary’.
R.I.P. sweet Dona. i miss you being in the world. And i miss you being in my world. keep on rocking, rock star.
Sunday and Monday this week we made a quick trip to Queenstown – or Covid Central as some are calling it.
We avoided people and took our own food supplies so that apart from getting takeaway coffees twice, we avoided all cafes etc. We stayed the night in Kingston where even checking in was done remotely, the key and instructions left in an envelope sellotaped to the door. Queenstown was virtually deserted. People truly are laying low as Omicron roars about the perimeters, on the hunt for hosts. We for one (or two) are making sure we aren’t standing in line to volunteer.
As darkness descended over Kingston, we took a short walk and skipped a few stones on the still lake.
Still Thistles To Top
The day before, we’d taken Robert’s mother on a Sunday drive out to Kaiwera, just east (nor’east?) of Gore. I was intrigued to see this area as it was one place that my Mum and Dad in the mid-60’s, with their family of seven kids, had considered a job offer as Married Couple on Charlie Tripp’s farm. We ended up in Otama Valley on Harry White’s farm, but Kaiwera had certainly landed a place in my memory all the same. I felt like it could have been some kind of parallel universe – a ‘what if’ place. The road not chosen.
But no matter which farm he chose to work on, there would have been thistles for my Dad to top.
Coffee To Go
On our visit to Queenstown, this is where we had our picnic lunch. No-one within a hundred yards. Five hundred even.
After a visit to check Robert’s father’s headstone and give it a bit of a dust, we headed back home to Ōtepoti Dunedin via Arrowtown.
I have been researching army life for a lowly foot soldier in the late 1800’s. My great grandfather was one with the 79th Cameron Highlanders serving in India.
One thing research has highlighted for me is the prevelance of disease at that time. Scientists and medical experts were only just discovering causes and how to combat spread. They were only just working out how cholera was spread and what caused diseases such as typhus. I’ve been looking up outdated terms such as, zymotic diseases, organic diseases, ague and apoplexy.
More soldiers died of disease than from battle action. My great grandfather being one of them, dying of illness in India and leaving behind a young wife and four children who were living with him in the barracks there.
Back home in Scotland their parents and family members weren’t any better off. They were also dying from having to live in disease-ridden, over-crowded tenements in Aberdeen, where poverty had forced them to move in order to find employment.
Seen While Walking:
Nine knots = 9.26 k’s per hour. Which is about the speed of my W.i.P. what with all the research needed before I even put pen to paper.
Walking helps. If I’m lucky, by the time I get back home the kalaidescope of ideas and impressions rattling about in my head, have settled into a holding pattern.
Looking up …
Surprising what you never see until you really look.