Update February 2014

Well! Hello again hootoo. I've just found my way back here after a long absence. I don't know how long I'll be around, but I certainly want to lurk about in the conversations, Guide Entries, Post etc and see if the old magic is there. Been busy....

Who is Frenchbean?

I'm an ex-pat Pom living in Canterbury, 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 and started work at one of the local Councils here. New Zealand was never really on my radar (although I holidayed here in '97). I came here for the job, so it is 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'm an ecologist and planner by profession and advise the Council on natural heritage issues. I write policies and run big projects - and sort out funding for conservation groups. And from time to time I get to spend a day doing field work, which makes the desk job worthwhile.

I live in a very cool place with almost an acre of land, a huge tunnel house, raised beds, chooks and a wonderful dog, surrounded by paddocks, a stone's throw from the foothills of the Southern Alps.

The only drawback to being down here in the South Pacific (in addition to the earthquakes) is that all my immediate family are in Britain. I miss them. Thank goodness for emails and telephones.

Frenchbean's Life Rules:

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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