Unforgettable Birthday

Today the sun shone brightly for Nigel’s birthday – Yay! Our horrible winter weather had decided to play nice! We drove to Tapanui to enjoy brunch at Top Nosh and it was lovely. Then we decided to go for a drive in the country and it was all blue sky, sunshine and a dusting of snow on the hills. Wonderful! We found a turn-off for “Cabbage Tree Road” (cabbage trees are much loved NZ native trees like a plant out of Dr Seuss stories). All excited about this find, we turned down Cabbage Tree Road and found the most beautiful, big old cabbage tree! Nigel got out and took some photos – this is one of them.


All this perfection too good to be true? You bet. A bit further down the road Nigel hopped out again – to take some photos. A mis-step down the bank saw him measure his length on the road (a sealed or paved road).

To cut a long story short I drove him to three different medical centres, with Nigel emerging from the first cleaned up and with a band-aid diagonally over the end of one eyebrow, and then eventually his hand was x-rayed at the third.

He wasn’t a happy boy after the fall but once we’d left the first medical centre the shock wore off and he became much brighter and actually enjoyed my driving him around the rest of the day! (Quite challenging for me as I’ve only driven this car once before and its automatic, a big learning curve as I’m only used to manual cars).

He’s posted the photos of Cabbage Tree Road that he took before our day turned upside-down – at Cabbage Tree Road

His post doesn’t divulge all the drama of the day, it was up to me to let the cat out of the bag!

Text by Liz and Photo by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2018)


51 thoughts on “Unforgettable Birthday

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    1. The link you gave me to the family page is very interesting – I’ve been reading there about the daughter Dorothy. I’ve visited the garden at Olveston quite a few times but haven’t yet done the tour of the house!


    1. Thanks, his hand is improving all the time so things are getting better! Dami I did a talk about colour on Sun and included your rainbow quote, and read the “Look for me” poem and the Dragon poem as part of the talk. Hope thats ok with you, I didn’t want to miss them out of “My Colour Journey”!!

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          1. It really was a positive experience, firstly the writing process is often like a therapy session, during it you scream and cry, resist, retract, react, return, release and then come out feeling refreshed, like you just had a new haircut or finally found that pair of jeans that fit you perfectly after losing that weight youโ€™d been holding onto for too long. Then, publishing it kind of feels like I am sending it off into space to find its own place in the journals of time and the tales we make while travelling through it but it is not any more pressing on my shoulders. It is there and always will be but it is no longer a weight, more just a moment once experienced and now just occasionally considered in order to see how far from it I have come. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค—

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            1. Thanks ever so. I do know what you mean. Recently I paid a rare visit to a church. The minister was born in the same tiny town as me and asked how I came to be born there. I told him I thought he might know my family background and gave him a couple of clues. Amazingly he did. It felt so free-ing to be known like that without having to tell the story (which I’ve only told a handful of people ever). I suddenly realised that I’d always felt like a nobody because I couldn’t tell my story. As a result I shared a little of my story in the recent talk. Some followers who know I did a talk have hoped I’d share about it on the blog. A very little detail about the personal bit probably wouldn’t hurt me. Your story helped me. If we were all more open, then I think we could all cope with the dark periods a lot better and be more understanding and supportive of one another. Saying it publicly was, um, perhaps I could call it a watershed moment. The unspeakable was spoken. I feel like a new person. I bet you’ll completely understand this. It took about an hour afterwards before the shakes finally subsided though. Difficult thing to do. Thanks heaps for engaging on my question Dami.

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              1. You are very welcome Liz and congratulations on sharing a part of your story. Words take time to find ways out, nothing ever needs to be rushed, and it certainly needs to be on your command and not at the request of others. I am glad to hear you had your watershed moment and hope that each release comes with a little more peace. Hugs from Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿค—

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  1. Oh, my goodness. I’ve fallen behind in my reading and hope that by now Nigel is well on the road to recovery from his birthday mis-adventure. I’m glad to know the damage wasn’t serious and that he got the picture first!

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  2. A very happy belated birthday to Nigel from Tom and I! What a gorgeous photo he took of the cabbage trees. I feel as though I am lying down in the dappled shade of their fronds, looking up to that beautiful New Zealand view. ๐Ÿ™‚


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  3. Poor Nigel. What a thing to have happen on his birthday. I hope he recovers soon. I do love Cabbage trees, such an NZ icon.

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    1. Hi Jane! I’ve just read your message to Nigel and thank you for your kind words. He’s got one very sore hand but otherwise he is doing fine thank goodness ๐Ÿ™‚ Cabbage trees are very special! We did enjoy finding Cabbage Tree Road!

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    1. Thank you Tanja, we appreciate your kind words and I’ve immediately passed on your message to Nigel who is sitting at the table with me right now ๐Ÿ™‚ Thankfully its his left hand that is sore because he’s right-handed and can carry on with things reasonably well!

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    1. Thanks Candice. His hand is still swollen and sore this morning. Hopefully it will sort itself out. At least an x-ray has been done and a radiologist was supposed to check it last night, so we should hear today if there’s any complication involved.

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    1. Thank you Lignum Draco. Whenever I see cabbage trees I do feel like I’m in Dr Seuss country! Q for you… Nigel and I were both born in 1964, does this make us wood dragons too?


    1. I couldn’t believe it – I was waiting in the car and one second he was up the bank with his camera and a millisecond later I saw his full length falling to the road. It was just heart-stoppingly awful! We were very fortunate he didn’t suffer anything worse, so at the end of the day we’re very thankful! Things can go wrong so quickly!

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  4. Well, if nothing else, this year’s birthday will be a memorable one for Nigel. I suspect that Nigel, like most guys, does not like to deal with the medical world–somehow it damages our male sense of invulnerability. The cabbage trees look really cool. They don’t look like any tree that I have ever seen. I chuckled when you compared them to something out of a Dr Seuss story. I have always loved the crazy world of words and images that he created.

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    1. Me too Mike! I still love those books if I see them. As you said, he doesn’t like dealing with the medical world but the nurses in the country medical centres are lovely and easily put him at ease. Incidentally, the last nurse we saw today was from Atlanta, Georgia (I asked her where she came from because I liked her accent). I got a really nice book on drawing today from the library, perhaps I’ll finally make a start on something! Hope you’ve started to make a hole in your new art supplies and they’re not just serving as interior decor! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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