Last week, India. Today, New Zealand. What a wonderful global tour my guests are providing. Join me in welcoming author Jane Beckenham to Terry's Place today.
It’s raining, and to use a cliché--which smack my hand, because as a writer that’s a very bad thing--but that darn rain is coming down cats and dogs. You see, while you live through the hazy, lazy days of summer sunshine, bbqs and beach parties, I’m stuck in the middle of winter down under.
Yep, that upside down world of ours is to blame. You see, I’m way down yonder in New Zealand. But isn’t technology wonderful! That we can ‘talk’ to each other in virtual reality and time, and yet be thousands of miles away. That Mr. Bell (of the telephone fame!) sure has a lot to answer for. I mean the man really started us all off on this world of communication.
So what is it like living below the equator!
Firstly, the basics of life
The water goes down the sink the opposite way. And if you want to dial a phone number, the numbers are back to front, and phoning emergency services – well that’s 111, not 911.
Then there's the best difference. Christmas time is summer time. No snow to make Christmas shopping a pain in the – well you know where – no delays on holiday flights because of the weather.
New Zealand is a country of just over four million people and about sixty million sheep.On a recent trip I had driving around the USA I kept remarking to my family – where are the animals? For days we couldn’t figure out what was ‘wrong’ with the landscape – then it hit us – we couldn’t find the cows and the sheep!
Down under, a kiwi isn’t a fruit, but a wingless bird that lives on the forest floor. Here’s the mythical legend of how the kiwi lost its wings. Down under, a tamarillo is a tree tomato, and if you’re asked to ‘bring a plate’ when invited to a gathering, that doesn’t mean your hostess hasn’t got enough plates, it means bring some food! Kiwis (that’s kiwi-speak for a New Zealander, not the bird) love sayings. We can fix anything with a bit of ‘number 8 fencing wire’, everything is always ‘she’ll be right, mate’ and a banger is a sausage, and if someone says to you it’s a dag, it means it’s funny, and he’s not talking about a sheep’s derriere. A car trunk is a boot, and a biscuit is a cookie… confused… never mind, we’re a friendly bunch really.
Now if I talk about a fanny we mean female genetalia, not a derriere, and if I’m fagged out, I’m actually knackered, a.k.a exhausted. Fizzy is soda pop and a flat is an apartment and if I’ve seen a great flick, it’ll be that I’ve been to the movies.
Years ago (actually nearly a lifetime ago!) I had a penpal in the USA. When she enquired if I lived in a grass hut, I was a most indignant 10 year old. But life is a lot slower than that in the northern hemisphere, life is green and mostly clean. The country is made up of two main islands and no, we’re not near Greenland or the North Pole, just head south a bit – actually we’re opposite Australia, but not part of them – never call a Kiwi an Aussie!!! Never! LOL.
We talk with a twang (so others tell us) and our government is situated in Wellington, with a new prime minister who was elected to power the same week as Barak Obama. We expect to have another big earthquake sometime soon – they tell us and Auckland, where I live is built on 50 dormant volcanoes, but the trouble is one isn’t – and that is meant to go sometime soon!
Now, back to winter. The best time of year for a writer like me. It means I can bury myself away inside and write…and not feel guilty that the garden is being neglected, or that I don’t go out for a walk. But then, there’s always the housework waiting.
Oh, well. I suppose I can’t have it all my own way.
Happy reading everyone.
In books author Jane Beckenham discovered dreams that inspired in her a love of romance and happy ever after. Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and married him eleven months later. Life has been a series of ‘dreams’ for Jane. Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing. Writing has become Jane’s addiction - and it sure beats housework.
Visit Jane’s web site,
www.janebeckenham.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org