Sunday, April 28, 2013


Parking at the Pub - big car park
At the hall some but will be reserved also
and at the wharf and up the street around PBO
Two motels and various bed and breakfast.
There are beds being offered by my friends some lovely options for people to stay if required..let me know.
I will keep updating this page
More offers of accommodation coming in from my friends from sleepouts to beautiful rooms and houses
at the end of the pub in the ice cream parlour and at cafe
Pub will open from 11.30 -12.45 for food drinks etc
at the grave side..please bring a garden flower if you like for the top of the grave
local shop has pies etc

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Transport request

Is there anyone who may be going back to ChCh on May 5th and has a spare seat in their car. I have a very dear friend who will be flying from the UK for thursday. She is here until Sunday and requires a lift to Chch for a connecting flight to Palmerston North. Their are no flights as its the School Holidays.

Thursday Plan

Funeral at the Hall , the Cemetery then the Portobello Pub for after and then 2 Seaton Rd. I am still working out details of what and how at the house, but want to keep it fairly organic and evolving. Potluck food and drink to add into what is here is probably good. Just whatever you would like to do.
Everyone welcome

Live streaming of Funeral

Garys Brother has sent this through in regards the live stream.

Hi Kat,

Just read your latest post on your blog. 

If you want to include the link similar to below, then friends can leave their contact info there now and I'll be able contact them quickly when the details are finalised ... something like:

If you would like to join in, please leave your contact info at




Garys funeral will be streamed live from the Hall so people who are away can access it and be there with us. Details will be posted when available. David his brother and Calvin and Tim are on to it ang will send details soon.

Friday, April 26, 2013

ODT Notice

This will go in the ODT tomorrow

TAIAROA, Gary Erskine 9/11/63- 26/4/13
- With great sorrow Kat, Arihana, Mackenzie, and Zachary would like to share that Gary passed early in the morning of April 26, 2013. He was at home with us. It was gentle, quiet and exactly as he wanted it. Gary was the much loved youngest son of Alison and Ray Taiaroa (Oamaru), brother and brother-in-law of David and Lynne (Canada), Graham and Cathy (Timaru), and Sue and Tim Mepham (Dunedin). Much loved Uncle Gaz of Tom, Hamish, Sam, Lisa, Katrina, and Tom. Loved son-in-law of Fay and Grant Ward,  loved brother-in-law of Philippa and David Clements (Wellington) and loved uncle Gaz of Ella. A service for Gary will be held in the Portobello Coronation Hall, Portobello at 1pm on Thursday May 2 followed by burial in Portobello Cemetery. I want to thank the whole team down at the Otago Community Hospice for their loving care and the way they held us over this time. Arohanui Kat, Gary ,Hana , Mac and Zach. Messages to 2 Seaton Road, Portobello 9014. Hope and Sons Ltd, FDANZ

My Darling

Gary died this morning as he lived his life. It was very gentle. Hana had just said goodnight and I said I would wake them if anything changed. I was cuddled up on the couch.As soon as Hana's feet made sounds on the upstairs floorboards his breathing altered and he died. It was quiet and gentle and exactly as he wanted it. He had said to me that he just wanted me there and thats how it was.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac day

There is never enough time and its never the right time. I always expect to have see all the ducks line up I look for patterns and meaning and try to make sense of this muddle we call life. The glorious messiness of it. It isn't feeling too Glorious today just sad.
Gary has found this week in his own words tough. He started sleeping more yesterday and has continued with that today. He is not eating or drinking. He woke up once today and was very peaceful and very much himself in amongst the drowsiness. Zach is here and I am hopeful the girls will be soon.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I just signed up for this. Not sure whether timing will work out, but I have been eying up this for a while and decided it looked fun and not too thinky. I have a couple of  projects in mind and will use this as a kick starter and encourager. I have really appreciate the power of group after participating in 6 Degrees of Creativity with Gretchen Miller and am keen to check this out. I was fortunate to sign up a few weeks ago when it was even cheaper.
If you're interested check it out - maybe you've always wanted to give paint a go but didn't know where to start.


6 weeks of Daring Adventures in Paint, Play & Inspiration:

Starting April 29th - June 2nd

Dazzling 1/2 off Deal is $149!

ends April 18th

(Regular price will be $299) 

Add to Cart

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing — Helen Keller

This 6 week ecourse is not just about painting, it's about being daring in art & life! What you do on the canvas mirrors the bold steps you take in your life! This course is for anyone who wants to strengthen their creative muscles, be inspired on a daily basis, and step into their own brilliance and find their magic. handmade and vintage goods
photo credit leslie sophia lindell
Simply click on the "Add to Cart" link and you will be directed to Paypal to complete your purchase. Then within a few minutes you should receive an email with the login information to be used on the first day of class — April 29th!

Dazzling 1/2 off Deal is $149!

Add to Cart


Daring Adventures In Paint & Life will be conducted in a safe, private, password protected online environment. Each of the 6 weeks, we’ll focus on a different chapter and themes of Daring Adventures In Paint:
Week One: Finding Inspiration — Creating a Lush Painted Background
Week Two: Trusting Your Path — Creating a Patchwork Collage
Week Three: Showing The World Your Magic — Silver-Leaving Exercise + Doily Stencils
Week Four: Following Your Compass — Transferring Your Sketches to Paint
Week Five: Telling Your Story — Dropping Into Your Own Narrative
Week Six: Finding Your Voice & Flow — Tying it All Together
The course will have lots of fun tips & tricks each week, including:
VIDEO Demos & Material Exploration, Treasure Hunts, Creative Missions, Exclusive Weekly Interviews with Amazing Artists and will be full of Color and daily inspiration. 


Each weekday of the 6 weeks you will receive a new post! Participants will have the opportunity to make comments and ask questions each week on the topic area. We will also have an optional Facebook group for more discussion and sharing. Participants are also encouraged to post images of their painting progress in our safe, private Flickr group and are encouraged to leave questions and feedback for their classmates. 

More wisdom from Anne Lammot

Some more from Anne, so good when your own words are just clumsy and feel like felt in your mouth.
I particularly like the lines ' I'm just a regular screwed up sad worried faithful human being. 
and  'Everyone is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together; stories and compassion."

Frederick Buechner wrote, "Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."

But it is hard not to be afraid, isn't it? Some wisdom traditions say that you can't have love and fear at the same time, but I beg to differ. You can be a passionate believer in God, in Goodness, in Divine Mind, and the immortality of the soul, and still be afraid. I'm Exhibit A. 

The temptation is to say, as cute little Christians sometimes do, Oh, it will all make sense someday. Great blessings will arise from the tragedy, seeds of new life sown. And I absolutely believe those things, but if it minimizes the terror, it's bullshit.

My understanding is that we have to admit the nightmare, and not pretend that it wasn't heinous and agonizing; not pretend it as something more esoteric. Certain spiritual traditions could say about Hiroshima, Oh, it's the whole world passing away.

Well, I don't know.

I wish I could do what spiritual teachers teach, and get my thoughts into alignment with purer thoughts, so I could see peace and perfection in Hiroshima, in Newton, in Boston. Next time around, I hope to be a cloistered Buddhist. This time, though, I'm just a regular screwed up sad worried faithful human being. 

There is amazing love and grace in people's response to the killings. It's like white blood cells pouring in to surround and heal the infection. It just breaks your heart every time, in the good way, where Hope tiptoes in to peer around. For the time being, I am not going to pretend to be spiritually more evolved than I am. I'm keeping things very simple: right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe; telling my stories, and reading yours. I keep thinking about Barry Lopez's wonderful line, "Everyone is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together; stories and compassion."

That rings one of the few bells I am hearing right now, and it is a beautiful crystalline sound. I'm so in.

I have been reflecting on the week past. I am not looking forward, apart from cleaning gutters and lawn mowing, because of possible rain.
But I am thinking about loss and change and the nature of these things. I feel I should be more practiced at dealing with these now as Gary has had us at the gate a few times in the last four years. But it isn't any easier and I know I will never be ready. It is as Anne says one foot in front of the other. One gutter, one lawn, another cup of tea.
Mango returned home tonight after a another lovely holiday at Camp Dent. He looks gorgeous and is sprawled out on the carpet fast asleep.
Gary has had a quiet day, a little less energy than yesterday, napping lots but managing to sit with Hana and Zach tonight watching a movie.
Some lovely rain fell tonight and as I sat in my studio sewing a baby quilt I could hear it trickling down the drainpipe. Before my cleaned gutters it would have spilled over the top because of all the Macrocarpa needles.
The baby quilt is for a young friend of Zach's who together with his girlfriend are keeping their baby and are due in three weeks. Zach is off to his first baby shower tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seaton Rd

Home this afternoon. Gary said on the way down in the car 'this is the best I've felt all day'.
We got home got him on the couch, the cat arrived and Gary within about half an hour passed out asleep. Deep and relaxed. Now the significance of this is, is that he hasn't been too flash. Still isn't, but at this very moment he is here and home.
 It is likely that he has a chest infection and he started on Antibiotics today. It is a wait and see as to effect they will have.
The last two days Gary, after looking initially better from having had bloods started to slip again. Very restless and not sleeping well. Significant breathing issues and high anxiety. A myriad of other physical symptoms. None of which we wanted to see or Gary wanted to experience.
His right sided chest pain has continued to impact him and it has taken awhile to get the Med mixture right.
Home now with a pain pump which seems to be doing the trick with the right mixture in it.
Gary is sitting in his favourite spot on the couch and managing to watch some of his favourite tele programme's.
What to say really, I feel like I can breath again now we are here. While Gary slept I unpacked and cleaned the house quickly and got the fire on..feels good all sorted. Lovely to have Zach here plonked beside Gaz watching a movie.
And the Hospice..I find it hard to put into words my experience there. A very dynamic and nurturing team full of different personalities and skills all committed tot he job and so so caring. I am not the worlds easiest customer when stressed and tired. This time I was on a mission to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. I was fairly direct all of the time as I didn't have any extra social skills available. I was treated with respect( not sure if I really deserved it) all of the time by all of the staff. Welcomed and cared for as equally as Gary. It is very humbling.
We are able to be back home because of this. x

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Sunday

First lot of blood through for Gaz. He said he is feeling much better. We will probably go home on Tuesday. Gaz back onto a sub cut pain pump. Seems to be a lot better at managing the symptoms than oral meds. Will see how we go. Beautiful weather today, mild warm. I got out for a walk to Chingford, felt great to be able to leave Gary safely and go walking again. Gaz had a quiet day, watched some Golf with Dev and slept in the afternoon. I read a book. Hmmm all finished thats the problem with me I am such a fast reader they don't last for long. I shall head to the library tomorrow and see if I can get some more. It was an easy read and funny in parts.Any book recommendations are welcome.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Eggs in pockets

Do you remember when the children were small and they had to look after an egg for the a day in order to experience what it was like to be responsible for something?
Arihana got her egg and said  'this seems like a lot of hard work' looked at me and asked if I would take it to Art School for the day and babysit it on my desk.
Macker hid hers at the top of the pantry on the highest shelf so Zach couldn't get it. But on retrieving it ended up with a broken egg and took a substitute egg to school instead.
This week as I juggled things at home I thought of those moments. It felt like that all week. An egg in my pocket.
Once I collected the eggs and put a left over one in my pocket and pottered about for a bit in the garden. I was amazed and relieved an hour later to find the forgotten egg and see that it hadn't broken. Home grown ones are relatively sturdy.
We are back in the hospice for the weekend at this stage. Checked in on Friday. Gary had been struggling with some significant pain issues for most of the week. Everything was being done right but a few chickens starting perching amongst the trees.
One; the pain meds were not being effective, resulting in more being required...leading to too much in the system. Not side effect among the others is constricted breathing (Gaz needs that like a hole in the head). His haemoglobin looked liked it was dropping again (yes-confirmed and blood on the way). Adding to a decrease in available oxygen.
Coupled with pain and understandable anxiety, poor sleep, reduced appetite and fluid intake over two days, here we are.
So fluids up, Meds getting sorted and blood tomorrow. I am hopeful we will go home again on Tuesday. All going well.
Home has been great. I have things in order there now and it feels a good place to be. Although the last few days there it was more than a bit freaky.
Gary is relieved to be here and is resting and catching up. He has started new book about the Khan Dynasty..the Conquerer series by Conn Iggulden. He is onto the second book which he loves.
I got myself a book to read finally as well. One by Kate Atkinson. Recommended as a good and easy book to get into. Starting at the beginning with Case Histories.
Today I popped to the market,caught up with Dev who came down today from ChCh to see Gaz. Great to see him, I monopolized him a bit as Gaz was tired. Deb and Al popped in. :-)
And I bumped into a beautiful person called Dave Macleod. Who will probably be embarrassed (but maybe secretly pleased) as I mention him. I try not to mention names on my blog or singe things out as I may not mention every thing or one and hurt feelings unintentionally.
Today I was on my way back to the Hospice and the anxiety snuck up ( no sleep for three nights will do that). I was feeling more than a little sad - decided to buy a bottle of wine and then I literally bumped into Dave and his wife Anne. I was admiring his gorgeous pin on his jersey when he unpinned it and put it on my jersey. He is very generous and had done this before. He is a maker of very fine and beautiful Jewelry. Anne and him own Quadrant Gallery in Moray Place. It is well worth a look.
I bought Hana a cool silver match with a gold head on it for Christmas
I now the proud owner of a Silver Kereru pin. I will take a picture and post when I can.
The pin is very elegant. Dave has a big heart and it shows in his work.

I have this as a pair of earrings, I wear them all the time along with a matchstick heart pair also from Dave.
DM193: Pointer pendant

Thinking about Wood Pigeons.. they are rather large breasted, blunder about into glass windows and choose a mate they stick with. They are also known to pig out on occasion. Hmmm

Monday, April 8, 2013


Just put a pot of coffee on. Bathroom cleaned, kitchen tidied-vacumm lined up. Feeling settled and quiet in the house. Gaz on the couch happily watching the footy and eating fresh egg and tomato on toast. He has his happy face on.
It has been a good week in many ways. Early last week Gary awoke with significant pain in his right side (chest). He told me 8-9 on the pain scale (out of 10) he usually sits at about 1 and needs extra relief at 3-4.So 8-9 is a an alert. It was in the same spot where we knew a tumour was sitting and it was the one that had him in Hospital last year -May on Ketamine (horse tranquilizer) so it was one to take seriously. Good news from my perspective is that I felt I had the tools to manage it and knew what to do. I felt confident with the drugs and understood them. Also had the telephone support of the hospice and local GP .
The best thing was that Gary trusted me and we stayed home and it was managed successfully. It took a couple of days as we had to see where it was all going but on Thursday morning Gaz woke and said the pain was everywhere again. Now this probably sounds nuts but its a good sign as it means the chest pain had abated back to join the rest. The GP came and checked in and increased his meds which at this stage again has sorted it.
Gary was going through these adjustments every week at the hospice until the last four which have been relatively stable.
Girls have been down to visit every few days since we have been home, lots of meals and warm bodies. Zach cruising about. We chopped and stacked wood yesterday with Gary supervising some chainsawing. Both boys did teaching patiently and one listening :-). I hid in the Garage and popped out every one and then.

Since being home
Made; Tomato relish
Tomato Sauce
Strawberry Jam
 a mango chutney substituting pears
more jam
and some more sauce on the Go.
Hurrah for Autumn
Today for lunch we are looking forward to Mushrooms delivered last night from a savvy gatherer. YUM my favourite