Monday, 27 August 2018

82 Not Out Blog Aug 2018
A Remarkable Event
Yes, that’s the theme I set for the TW writing comp the month of August.  Maybe it was because I haven't written a blog for years so this is a remarkable event in itself.I won't bore you with the many reasons for absence...except to say its been one of those diabolical years that happen between 84 /85. You have to experience one to know one!!
Anyway I reflected on the remarkable events that have unfolded recently.

It only took a winning raffle ticket for North and South Koreans to be reunited for a few days a lifetime after being torn apart by war. The world watched on screen as old parents hugged middle-aged adults not seen since childhood. Yes, a remarkable event as a meticulously planned programme brought viewers to tears.  A Remarkable Event that was an indictment on humanity, outlining the emotional brutality and horrific repercussions of war, in what we term a civilized societyA Remarkable Event that was an indictment on humanity, outlining the emotional brutality and horrific repercussions Closer to home here in our ‘lucky country’ calamitous remarkable events brought Canberra to the top of the pops in entertainment. The reality soap opera was given tags like ‘a circus’ ‘a jelly bean grab’ even a ‘period of guerrilla warfare’.  I noted that the political  ‘frolic’ unfolding on screen soon gave way to language which included: ‘ enmity’ ‘high tension’‘ high levels of distant animosity’. The “Who wants to be prime minister series” developed into vitriolic blood letting.

Here in Queensland “No worries mate.” as our own series of R.E. unfolded.  In brief: The Ipswich Council was finally given the boot, In Townsville what a  send off for our great J.T. who is hanging his up –a lap of recognition and honour  for a real human being. Oh and on RE don’t let’s forget that Cairns F.C. are chucking their boots in. All this to one side the Cairns Festival  fireworks will light the sky , no doubt another remarkable event. Who knows what this next week will bring?

I'm just beginning to warm up to writing a blog or two who knows???

Sunday, 5 February 2017

82 Not Out!! –Feb 6 2017 ...Promise you -No Trump stuff here-especially today.

Why? When the whole chaotic world is involved inTrumping in all directions –good-bad and ugly.

It’s simple.Several reasons.TODAY is FEB 6.

First 65 years ago this morning a young lonely woman cared for in a London Salvation Army home for unmarried mothers –was giving birth in Clapton Hospital. She’d been married only a months before but was still alone in the big city where she was expected to have her baby adopted.

It so happened that the big city was a sad sad place to be that morning.Kind new immigrant  West Indian nurses left the  expectant Mum with her legs strapped up as was the  custom for a break. She had been in labour for two days but chose that time for  the exquisite beautiful baby girl to arrive. An  exquisite  treasure of a baby girl who  was never to be adopted.The joy of this wonderful new human arrival was overshadowed by the loud, sonorous tolling bells in that sad big city.  Yes, the King had died. King George died and that day Princess Elizabeth with her new husband in Africa became the Queen of England.
Years have passed and my wonderful daughter the eldest of my four children is 65 today.Happy Birthday Glenda. Read on –this very special Hz special poem
True the figures don’t add up for an 82 Not Outer because I am actually 84 this July –but the Blog name stands.

POEM   FOR GLENDA MARIA                 BORN FEB.6TH 1952.
first  written and read once by Hazel Menehira for CHRISTMAS 2001

From the moment you chose your parents
you embedded yourself close in my soul -
you planted yourself securely.
Now I can not imagine it any other way.

Thus firmly settled you
rejected all attempts to move you on.
I think you chuckled at my sobbed entreaties
laughed at physical attempts of hot gin nutmeg
fainting fits from countless hot baths.
 Then defiantly rejected  medications
of mad old women stuck in their
Victorian views and long black skirts.

Tenaciously you held on to me.
Through months of lonely alien
nights,long  days of scrubbing,
endless tiles for Salvationist shiny
shoes to march and sing the praises
of a Saviour who could
 welcome the unfortunate.

And you a Spark of Divinity,
A little Love Child   grizzled
your way into a city of sorrow.
A beautiful creature of such joy,
Born between tolling bells as a great
 king's life ebbed away.
February the sixth 1952.

I didn't care about the king.
Five days of lonely labour with
no hand to clasp until  I
counted your fingers and your toes.
fingers and toes. fingers,toes.
Adorable fingers and toes.

They all loved you then.
Those who said it had all been for the best.
"Whose best?"  I asked myself.
They had not counted upon you
and I defeating their intentions.

"Whose best?" I still question.
So young to face the miracle of birth
alone without a loving hand to hold.
West Indian nurses in that London ward
did not have time for sentiment.
‘Give birth you will my girl.
The city is in mourning and
look how lucky you are.
It's life you're facing here so push!
It's life's longing for itself you meet.’

The bells tolled and you suddenly brought
sunshine into a grey and grieving land.

Later you toddled chubby, a strange
child belted  backwards in a stately pram
we walked long miles for you to face
the wind ahead of me and lead the way.
Strange child with fads, fancies  and few
laughs unless a Grandad flapped his arms
like some old crow to make you chuckle.
or in the snow relax and smile at pink piglets.
noses white with flakes and wrinkled.

Within no time at all.
 after you'd pinched your brother's
 toes  and stolen family hearts,
 you planned and schemed
unlikely tales. The monster one
telling me brother fell overboard
when sailing to this long white cloud.
The great ship stopped, all engines still
until you both revealed his hiding place.
Bed rest and tranquilizers  for three
weeks for that pumped  into me,
                     not you.
Later, the schoolgirl,
ballet dancer, actress,
student of renown you
made school a hard act
for siblings to follow,
whilst young men followed you
despite the frowns of grandparents.

Then like your mother you loved
generously, not wisely, but too well
In late teen years.

 Now you have them all.
four children who adore you,
may say they don’t, but do
their partners too. Mokopunas,
fine strong beautiful. Friends to
 surround you. Mum with no regrets
 you are my only daughter.
A  jewel, a  taonga ,a shining
gem still firmly set inside my soul.

Now only the memories in my head and heart recall Feb 6 1952-the pain of those  days has passed.
‘This too will pass’ is the great saying –so lets be positive that   all the current Trumping, politicising,speculation, discrimination and violence will too.
Yes Feb 6 is special.
In Aotearoa the country where I lived 50 years ( before settling here in an accepting Far North Queensland culture ) this weekend is a celebration for New Zealand Day – a reflection  of the Waitangi Day when the treaty with Maori tribes was signed.
Blessings to all Whanau, friends and my Aussie mates –so many of them now.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

82 Not Out!    13/1/2017 WOW IT’S OVER I know it is because people are talking very fast again-like business  as usual has returned instead of holiday sunshine,surf and barbecues.

Now once again  you can’t see real faces for devices. Once again every minute  counts. Any leisurely pursuit has been swept away and competitive screen  social media and streaming is on again.

I  know holiday season is over because I’ve already had  what  are termed Courtesy Calls about New Year subscriptions. What a shame the callers talk so fast that  I can’t be courteous in return.
But the BEST GOOD NEWS is that I am still Not Outing thanks to the wonderful professional staff at the North Cairns Community Health Facility. Can’t speak highly enough of the care and assistance given me there in three different departments as a hospital referral. No rushing but consistent advice and support that  works.Two months down the track life is looking good again.
It’s great to have wonderful memorable experiences to share...and I had one of the greatest ever in my life on Christmas Eve. In retrospect I think it was a tiny part of  ‘pay it forward’philosophy or simply  my good fortune being in ‘the right place at the right time.’ when a kindly individual in a Santa hat (maybe representing a charity) beat me at the supermarket checkout to pay for my trolley of ordered cooked chickens, pasta and fresh rolls destined for family Christmas Day dinner. Yes it was gobsmacking unbelievable and I cried right then and there at the kindly action and his seasons wishes.  Of course when you have  raised a large whanau  you do cry at unbelievable gobsmacking experiences from kind strangers.
I thought of it again yesterday when I watched Syrian refugees collecting food to give to homeless Greek families on news  screen. It reminded me also that friend Hemi Baxter (NZ’icon poet humanist) said we only truly give when we give of pay it forward  can be a way of life.
The other GOOD NEWS is being back on email again after being blocked on December 12-so YES I did have a peaceful Christmas and New Year thanks to Telstra’s stuffup. Mind you a couple of relatives  slipped off the planet and no news from any dimension reached me,to remove the NOT...before  OUTER pn their in box addresses..
About slipping off theplanet...or rather slipping past the planet.
We humans think we are so so so smart but I read just this morning that Asteroid 2017 AG13 a ten storey tall one slipped past earth ,twice as close as the moon on Jan 9   -AND GET THIS we didn’t see it coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There you go IF  that asteroid can slip past  what  else are we missing?????????????????????? Imagine those working outside the space station  seeing that pass them by!!!!
Anyway back to the fast lipped smart slick executives  dealing with both ever advancing technology and the  dim slow Not Outers of today still content with Windows 7.
Take Telstra...No don’t say No ... simply identify and confirm my recent experience when I visited a Telstra service outlet in a shopping plaza. Thank G. (by whatever name) I was using my new wheelie.\Why?  Well after outlining my problem to the front door person  I was told in curt dismissive tone–“Go sit over there and someone will come to you”
I went over there...was there a seat?  No there were only high white plastic stools-anyNOt Outer or even  Not Yet a Pensioner could have been severely hurt tryng to clamber or  perch on. Disgusting and Health and Safety Australia should be onTelstra’s case about this.
So I duly sat on my wheelie instead and waited ....and waited....and waited watching the growing queue to  one of  the counters..most elderly struggling to stand and sharing glances of discomfort and displeasure. Another curt young woman finally ushered me to a high plastic stool which I refused, to tell me what I  should do about my problems. TELL ME in my face what I should do to fix any Telstra and or NBN stuffups. Unbelievable.!  I eventually submitted a long long complaints file on a Telstra web page which is still yet to be answered. BUT meantime after two full days at the p.c. and as he said ‘a  lot of luck’ a nerd friend unlocked my servers problem caused by Telstra.After 9 years the server didn't recognise me?

I am over Telstra ( and most technology) and am wary of any bright new locked -in plan  offered that I can’t escape from if service  remains at this current low level. Beginning to understand why my 40 dependents use free FB messaging ...unfortunately I can’t carry my large screen p.c. around like they do their smart phones and I am no fan of social media anyway. Some whanau think any comments  Imake at 83 years are a bit too smart!
Well dear readers I have moaned enough for first 2017 blog so won’t enter into the political arena of ministers entitlements (stupid  word -Yes of course it should be work only expenses)
Instead will say how much  satisfaction I’ve had again watching all the seasons of Game of Thrones...Vikings...Black Sails and Outlander.  Now I feel up with the play again for any future season releases.With no  ads!!!! Amazing how much more one can admire the writing, acting and direction on a second viewing. Lets face it  just getting a full handle on the Seven Kingdoms  Game of Thrones characters doesn’t come with one screening...
I think the experience of life itself is similar. Life can be acomplicated scenario –that’s why we need a lot of  incarnations to get it right don’t you think?   No!  OK well I do.
YEAH Ragnor is Wednesday nights agin now!

Oh I forgot the EXTRA good news is that my two Spin into books  published whilst hospitalised have had a wonderful national review and response  from teachers in New Zealand . Yeah I’ll have to get a bit more energy to launch  them here in with Cairns Young Adult Adventurous Writers in North is in the maybe pipeline.
Till then blessings to you all andI promise someshort shorts and new poems will be coming along....

Monday, 21 November 2016

82 Not Out! Hits the keyboard again’s about time and you will cheer because this update doesn’t go anywhere near the U.S. elections. How good is that?

            Why the long absence? Simple really...spent eight days in both the North and South Surgical wards at Cairns Base Hospital...and didn’t have an op. How good is that? Well it’s pretty good when you receive the kind of care I did. All praise to the staff. Over loaded in every department and area including the latest technology-they remain caring and professional coping with patients even as difficult as this outspoken Not Outer. Enuff of all that...I could tell you the whole story but enough to say it was a MIGHTY BIG WAKE UP CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   scared and concerned during tremors but all safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note- not a word about the U.S. elections or the unbelievable chaos trauma, displacement tragedies, riots and violence rocking our planet. My hero of the month the one man found in U.S. who did not know the election result...(tv little clip)

Now the joyfull stuff after a few weeks recovery and moving into a whole new lifecycle, diet, and hospital referral appointment diary –oh just love the nurses at North Cairns Community Health Facility..They are .the best ever helping me stay Not Out and getting me back into short fiction, poetry and blogging.

THEN-Unbelievable joy- Captain and Mrs Clara (or was it Candice?) Curlew appeared at my backdoor to parade their two new chicks. Amazing little chaps with such long long spindly legs. Just seeing them parading with such confidence lifted the heart strings.
THEN I listened to Alan Alda’s Press Club address. What a fabulous performance and well worth following up. This great actor has been working for years with scientists helping them to engage and communicate with listeners. He expressed concern about the way writers particularly educationalists share text with listeners. I have been saying for years that few writers share their original work effectively. Summing that up Alda’s advice: “excitement is contagious-so enthuse listeners.”  is the way to honour your own creative writing. Hopefully a few Not Outer addresses with tips on that  in 2017.
THEN- more joy watching the on screen Wiggles visit to Yarrabah-yes, excitement is contagious-what a delight to watch the young faces there!
THEN an unexpected lunch outing to the Baron River Falls Hotel –wonderful to step into such a historical treasure. Once a home from home for timber workers, the Tully Hotel developed as a stop on the Tableland rail line. Such historic places are always a joy for a writer encouraging one to dip into the past.
A big joy to finish off today – The physio at NCCHF took one look at me pushing the wheelie I had been given (don’t ask how...don’t even go there... never ask a poor writer how he or she comes by things)) and stated that it was a definite No No for me because half the time I was pushing with the brake on. Within ten minutes I had signed for  a NEW WHEELIE to be delivered before Christmas!!!!
The phone just rang as I was writing someone up there  (you know where away from planetary chaos )is already reading this blog!!!
It is  being delivered tomorrow!Wonderful Queensland Labour Government!!!!!!

WOW! This Not Outer is beginning to live again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some short stories and poems coming your way soon!
New books Spin Into Drama and Spin Into Speech & Drama Early Years   
have hit New Zealand -to be launched in Cairns soon.

Friday, 16 September 2016

82 Not Out!  17th September 2016

The Good the Bad and the You’ve got to be kidding!

Heaps of good going  on up here in Qld.  Boy they grow them tough up here!First YEAH!  YEAH!   YEAH!  the COWBOYS and a yeah! yeah! to the Broncos. What a great game and Yes, this academic recorded Elizabeth for gentler viewing later!

More good news that 17 year-old offenders will no longer be sent to adult prisons in this state-and not before time!

International good news – Loud cheers for great actor Gerge Clooney instrumental in the organisation The Sentry. It has been following money trails for several years and has released news of leaders in corrupt countries (Sudan is one noted) who are keeping wars alive simply to profit by them.Guess money trails around wars always lead to profit for someone somewhere.

On money  stuff  great to listen to Everard Compton ( amazing fellow Not Outer!) addressing the Press Club stressing that pensioners arn’t all alike, that they can’t be stereotyped into one basket.  He stressed that continuous Aus. governments have missed the forest for the trees and that social and ethical contracts have diminished when it comes to fair and adequate pensions. Shocking genuine stats and thought provoking anecdotes of deprivation given.

Gee I’m glad I have two of my own  teeth left to grip very old dentures after hearing how many Australians have to blend their food because of dentistry costs.! Yes JCU training centre I will be heading your way sometime soon.

OH THE REALLY BAD news...Need I embark on it. The world is truly in one hell of  a mess  and close to home so is the No I am not going either topic today  Won’t use energy to enter or listen to what I would have  kicked my kids out of home for saying!

Now the You’ve got to be kidding section.One news item upset me somewhat and I’ve only seen it on screen once.That whilst United Nations  accepts the legal responsibility it is refusing the moral obligation to pay compensation to Haiiti for the cholera it introduced there.

On a different note speaking to another writer the  other day (yes, don’t forget I am and always have been a writer –prolific across the genre and moderately successful-usually undervalued and always underpaid)...well this other writer said,

“I’ve just read a book- but it was crap. Now I’m coming to understand two things.-either the back blurb on the cover is false advertising –or the book was written for an audience I just don’t understand.”

Reminded me that I had the biggest laugh ever about life insurance ads. wasn’t yet another, yet another, and still another funeral plan –it was a pregnant  mum- delighting the dad to be that they are going to be parents soon...and this is where the you’ve got to be kidding (or thick?) comes in...he promptly says  what they immediately need is an insurance plan!  My laughter was the memory reflection when I told men in my life they were going to be Dad’s and what their response was. Believe me friends insurance would have been the last piece of advice I received.
So  writers on and off the screen shouldn’t dialogue be REAL, RELEVANT and REVEAling???????????????????????????????????
Oh promise another short story or poem next blog...mean time more news My  Spin IntoSpeech and Drama Early Years is with publisher to be printed soon. Blessings,thanks for reading feel free to pass on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hzl

Sunday, 11 September 2016

82 Not Out! heard a really great life story the other day.

It was an unexpected gift that landed in my lap during a visit to a full afternoon at a St John’s Community Service social gathering.That’s the kind of environment where a writer can hear life stories from amazing folk all ages diverse and interesting. 

The day I went to meet the group I soon realised that some were over coming immense challenges in their ‘one day at a time’ everyday lives. The genuine hospitality of the carers there, the social contact, the bobs, and the bingo and of course the fellowship and camaraderie was an eye-opener for this Not Outer.

Now the remarkable life story leapt into life when it was announced the day was a special celebration day for one of the carers. The amiable man who lifted and gently moved those needing assistance told the gathering he had gained his Australian citizenship. Great cheers and smiles followed. Some around the afternoon tea table had assisted him in some way to achieve this desired status. 
Gradually I learned this small kind man who had been working at St John’s for the past three years was a refugee who arrived in Australia after spending 18 years in a refugee camp in Bhutan.

This is the kind of story that doesn’t make world headlines but it really set me thinking.
realized I was suddenly seeing another side of the refugee coin.One we don't see often enough in the media.

We are constantly bombarded with the news of boat people arrivals. We watch horrific events and episodes of the refugee crisis which is unfolding globally.  Our hearts go out to those experiencing such appalling conditions. We want to help them all –but we and governments worldwide have complex issues to solve to do so.

Unfortunately glibly phrased political rhetoric about dealing with our legitimised authorised refugee quota before accepting thousands of boat people doesn’t make the same impact as horrific current screen scenarios.

So as I watched this benevolent new Australian citizen I asked how anyone could judge or choose between his experience awaiting in a camp 18 years to begin a new and better life as more or less important than parents risking boats to send  children away from the horrors of war.

A massive percentage of all refugees are children.

As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother I have only  commonsense suggestions about all this.  First and foremost how about a quick hurry up to whittle down the legitimate refugee intake. ..and let’s hear more about the success stories...sort out the off shore detention crisis soon as possible...then get a move on to take more of the boat kids in...(into our country not someone else’s) because they didn’t choose the world to be this way...any more than  I did as a kid under the kitchen table in the London Blitz.

I was given safety some love and a community to grow up in and I reckoned I turned out alright

What d’you reckon??

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

82 NOT OUT Aug 18.

Been wondering –is it just my age that brings certain issues to my notice?

First QuestionIs it just Not Outers noticing that there is  a current tsunami glut of funeral insurance ads on our tele screens at present.?Another thought-are insurers cashing in on the escalating FEAR and DREAD trembling round the country when the China Sea is mentioned?

Guess main reason for such  ads is that many eyes have been glued to the Olympic screen wonder show where many a trip, fall or triumph  calculated in nanno seconds holds the attention of millions.

Whilst Australia like other countries rejoices on the daily national medal tally I’ve had some reflective thoughts.Of course for  myself some special memorable highlights. The first being -

Bulla,Bulla Yeah!Yeah! Yeah! Fiji-a First Gold medal for thisPacific nation. The Sevens team deserve a national holiday on return home! Thumbs up my Pacific brothers and the sisters cheering them on. Grass or should I say coral root success story.
Then tears in my eyes for the appearance  of  Refugee Olympic Team –allpower to those who made this possible.
Now the profound stuff
What sort of message does this Olympics send the world when everyday Brazilians can’t afford the spectator seats a great percentage of which have not been sold? Isn’t something out of kilter in the fact that only now are these being made available to host country folk?
Interesting too that PEN reports that since 2004  24 bloggers and print journalists have been murdered in Brazil.The majority of these crimes remain fully or partially unsolved.

At least in Australia I don’t need to explore funeral insurance because I have freedom when I blog.  If I say I was not  impressed to see P.M. Turnbull hastily acknowledging and addressing a kerb person obviously in need of cash –I am free to say so. I’ll add that it appeared to be a convenient media shot too. It actually upset me tremendously because it came across as a condescending gesture  to a poor man made by an affluent VIP in a hurry.
Point is though that I can write  that and not be arrested or detained or maybe  lost forever before reaching another Not Outer birthday.

Now talking of writing which is what I think I  do best in life – I recently  read a web article by Beth Bacon ‘11 Ways to Overcome Marketing Dread’. Many others who think that writing is the best thing they do in life could consider and  take to heart two of her pieces of advice: Consider Your Book Your Business  and  this one is best of all ‘Make It Fun’ The latter sure has worked for me!
I always remember Brecht said to say the serious through comedy.

Here’s one of my recent poems re- one of the most important issues in current discussion today:
Pass on, network but acknowledge writer please.

Regrettable   229words  Hazel Menehira.

Regrettable event... tut tut...”  screen  politician states.
“Tut tut ...Indeed regrettable.” echo his fellow peers .

“We demand some action,” marching street crowds call
“It’s time for action... action... no more rhetoric please. 
Just end prolonged detention for all these refugees.”
“How come Australia hasn’t fixed this stuff ? ”
bright school girl asks in class.
“A detainee sets self alight before some VIP’s, 
explain how just ‘regrettable’ is this?
will someone tell me please?”

“We stopped the boats.” class nerd boy yells
“What next were we to do?” 

Girl glares,“ Not  lock them up  for years off shore ,
So folk conveniently forget just what they came here for?”

Wise teacher intervenes, “We have a lesson here.
Problems you leave or hide away don’t simply disappear
they can compound, become complex, difficult to solve.”

Class philosopher then speaks up,
“If we recognise we blew it, it could be time to say, 
let’s set this record straight- find  new strategies today.”

“Fine.” teacher steps in. “Assignment  for  tonight.  
Each draft a letter, express your views , outline one plan or more
for changes re - detention of refugees offshore.”

Groans followed,“ Uurgh, Tuesday’s training night...
urgh, we’re  not into issues Sir--”
Head high girl glares at class then gives a swift reply
“Now listen all you stupid guys maybe it’s time you were.”

 Now the winning Tropical Writers Short Short Festival story I promised last blog.The theme was a tricky one- A zookeeper,an elephant and a love story.

Barriers.   500words.
Samuel was a zoo man extraordinaire. Ungainly and exceptionally strong, the pockets of his Brendon Heights Zoo dungarees bulged with bits of metal. Bolts, screws, nuts, nails, and a motley assortment of small tools lived on him.
As both a youngster and teen Samuel had walked the zoo beside his handy man father. He gained knowledge, practical skills and know- how by osmosis. When his aged father was rest-homed Samuel inherited the zoo position. Advice drummed into him for years was  repeated on rest home visits.
            “Samuel. You let them eddicated vets and keepers deal with them animals. It don’t mean ya don' care about chimps, lions and elephants. Cos ya do...and ya show it because ya keep em safe inside. ”
            “There’s new trainee keepers,” said Samuel.
            “Huh. Trainees come and go boy...their job is the animals ... yours is keeping the whole zoo secure... running like a new Ford. Check everything.”
 He checked and double checked enclosures, cages, locks, chains, barriers, doors, machinery, but never sacrificed time to engage with animals or staff. Calm and capable he conversed little in the staff cafeteria unless approached to fix or mend a problem.
            The day he found himself bent over the cafeteria grill his life changed direction. Across the appliance his blue eyes locked into the questioning stare of two soft brown ones, He found it hard to concentrate. Something new rippled deep inside him. He thought he would explode as he fumbled in his pockets under her gaze, but all the bits of metal in the world could not protect him. After 43 years Samuel was falling in love.
             Cafeteria empty, the small quiet woman with grey curls made him coffee.
            “Nari. I’m Nari. Thanks for fixing,” she said.
            “Oh,   Going good now.” he responded. Then after a pause.  
 “ Samuel,”  he offered departing. Resuming work he wondered all day if he should have offered his hand.
He was drawn to prolong his coffee breaks to watch her absorbed in kitchen tasks. They passed few words until he discovered Nari spent all her free time by the elephant enclosure and he began to join her there on a regular basis.
            “Samuel. I love elephants. Make me happy. ..Remind me of young days in Vietnam village before life in new country. Elephants here same as me...not free but cared for.”
Gradually Nari confided in Samuel that she was a widow living with her cousins.
            “They good people –they protect, care for me but I not free... only here at work Samuel”
He wanted to cuddle and carry her home with him. But how to express himself?
Always practical he found a perfect birthday gift for Nari and set it on her veranda.
Within hours his phone rang.
“Samuel...Samuel ...the big coloured elephant. Family very upset. He is Hindu Ganesha. God of new beginnings. My family not Hindu. They say come collect him please- put on your lawn. Oh I love you Samuel so you collect me too please.”

Thanks and blessings to you all for reading my stuff. Next time I’ll tell you some secrets about my SPIN INTO DRAMA BOOK soon to be launched.