Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We're home, over a week now and working my way through the boxes. We've a large space to fill but I'm actually enjoying having some empty spaces. It's quite freeing not having my usual but much loved clutter around although I'm not what you would call a minimalist by nature. Maximalism is more my thing, collect and ferret away because one day it might come in handy, but I'm coming to the conclusion it's time to shed some excess and simplify. That in itself is going to be difficult and I've enough to keep me occupied at the moment. The house unfortunately wasn't what you would call clean when we arrived here which was very disappointing, and has added more to the workload of unpacking. At least the person that moves into where we were won't have that stress.

Our plastic tree has come out of its box for yet another year. No smell of pine just the nostalgic mustiness and dust of Christmases past, favourite decorations and handmade ones by the children added. And my favourite lights, little artificial roses, add their magic. The fire surround, one of those things collected and carried around from move to move, has been dragged out and cleaned and at the moment is leaning against the wall behind the tree. I have the wall brackets just need my beloved to get out his drill and attach it securely(we've had two minor earthquakes since being here, short sharp tremors that stop you in your tracks, so it has to be big screws). My mantel clock will have somewhere permanent to sit.  

With all the big windows there isn't tonnes of empty wall space so our old dresser, Big Blue, has had to be separated and now I've nowhere to put my honeypots, teacups and dinnerset. BB has always done an excellent job of safely storing them so they might be on the list of things to rehome.

The girls are happy as the top part is perfect for a plethora of toys. Some of them might have to be rehomed too. Change is good, or so I've heard.

It's a wonderful building we've found ourselves in. Built in 1906 it's been a school for the majority of its life, where children came to learn to cook and sew and work with wood. Only in the last few years was it turned into a home, and there's still room for improvement. It has a good feeling and will be a great place to live and create. The neighbours are nice to look out on too.

What a splendiferous year 2011 has been and I'm so grateful.  

Wishing you a Christmas full of happiness


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sometimes when you have children they catch things, contagious childhood illnesses which make life uncomfortable for a little while.  

Times it by two with a week in between and that was October gone, and half of the school holidays spent at home in self imposed isolation. Now the itches have departed and the scars are fading. Life hasn't quite resumed on its normal course, there's a bit of meandering afoot. Here's a clue…

A large stack of cardboard boxes in the living room. I can't wait to get to our new home but lots of packing to do before we get there, and then that's it, we stay put. Heaven for a cancerian like me, no longer a hermit crab. Yippee! 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crikey, the last month has zoomed by. Christmas really will be here before I know it and then the panic will set in. No, calmness will prevail.

Last Friday I ventured forth on a mission to find some fabric. I love finding fabric but sadly there aren't multitudes of fabric shops here. For the first time ever I failed dismally, not one metre came home. Instead I bought some wool and a crochet hook, in an attempt to see if my fingers would remember what my Nana taught me all those years ago. I discovered it's a bit like riding a bike, you don't forget.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In my loathing of all things beige and blah have I made an impetuous, terribly expensive, error?

The camera slightly freaked out and didn't know where to focus, and neither did I when I walked in this afternoon to find it sitting in the living room. My beloved neglected to tell me it was back from the upholsterers and decided I'd find out soon enough.

My marvellous magenta monstrosity is giving me the happy feeling, it's just so loud, like my secret self I hide inside.

My next mission is to keep the kids from jumping and sliding on my old dear with her new dress, and keep Miss Canine off too. I've a hard road ahead of me on that front I feel. Oh and there's the new cushions to make. Perhaps a crochet granny square? The possibilities…


Friday, September 2, 2011

Sunrise over Hartbeespoortdam
Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that this year would, or could, be filled with so much travel. We were invited to South Africa, Johannesburg to be exact, and the opportunity was not to be passed up.

My beloved took the camera and ran with it, taking loads of photos, so many it's a bit daunting going through them all. After looking at them though I've regretted not taking my own images. I didn't see things the same way as he did, so it's like looking through someone elses eyes. I have so many images and memories running round inside my head I need to get them down on paper. When you're driving in the rural areas the colours are overwhelmingly earthy, volcanic soil, rusting iron, shades of brown, and then a person will pop into view wearing intensely bright colours, red/orange/blue/green, or a tin shanty will be brightly painted and the effect is both surreal and spectacular.

Platinum mine

We stayed in a very wealthy suburb called Sandton, filled with shops like Gucci, Bally, and Louis Vuitton, and security guards everywhere, but step outside its boundary and the contrast is amazing. People everywhere. Traffic with little regard for any road rules. Open deck vehicles travelling at high speed on the motorway with a dozen people on the back holding on for dear life. Suburbs surrounded with wire mesh fences, topped off with barbed or razor wire, "keep out" to the extreme. People hustling to survive. Hyper awareness of what and who is around you all the time, and the main motivation for it is fear, the fear that somebody might steal from you, kidnap you or take your life. Not a way to live. Poverty and wealth coexist but not in a happy relationship. I've had my innocent eyes opened and I'm so glad, and fortunate, to live where I do.

Gandhi square
Old Johannesburg, central city
Nelson Mandela's abode in Houghton, an affluent suburb of Jo'burg

I'm thankful for the experience but happy to be home


Friday, August 5, 2011

7  days…

…and what a week of contrast it's been. Home again, layers of clothing returned. If you happen to be in Brisbane you should grab some sushi at the very new and wonderful Iro (Japanese for colour) created and owned by my wonderful, talented and gorgeous sister in law Nic. The sushi is just as divine as the restaurant looks. 


Saturday, July 23, 2011

My baby turned 5 a couple of weeks ago, two days before the end of the school term. She is now a big school girl and her bag looks huge on her little shoulders. The middle of winter and we've a battle to get her to wear socks so sometimes it's easier to pick your battles, let them get cold toes, and discover for themselves why Mama knows best.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What do you do when you are asked by your child "can we please go to the toyshop?" for the hundredth time because they "really need a toy cat". You don't take them. Oh no. Instead you ask them to draw what the cat looks like and attempt to recreate it. This had the potential to end in tears(for me) and tantrums(for her), but it didn't. Miss R's cats always have particularly long ears, legs and tails and I wish I could find the drawing she did for me but I think the dog may have eaten it, or it has been hidden somewhere by little fingers. 

It likes lazing around,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

To anyone not from New Zealand this is a wood pigeon or Kereru, nothing like the average sit on a statue pigeon. They like trees not buildings and are big, gorgeous gluttons that will quite happily sit on a plum tree and stuff themselves with ripe fruit until they are so full they look drunk.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another birthday has been and gone, and so lovely to receive this precious treasure in the post from a much loved friend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This is our first winter here in this house. What was a welcome sanctuary from the sun and heat of summer has turned into a dark and shady place in the cold of winter. You can't have it all, but it would be nice.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

… what else has been happening apart from jaunts outside at night with the camera? A bit of book buying and reading for one.

Thanks to Catherine for your recommendation. A good, light read and all finished so if you would like it let me know and I'll pass it on. When I was buying it I saw the other and thought, "What's better than one book about a vintage clothing store? Two." Completely different stories though, and the second went off suddenly at the end on a tangent that left me with a what the? Now I've gone back to my old faithfuls and have dug out A Year in Provence from the bookshelf. I love rereading books after a big gap of years. It's like rediscovering a long lost friend. 

A new friend discovered is this. I don't like ironing as can be witnessed sometimes by my slightly crumpled, wash and wear attire. I do iron some items but spending an afternoon removing all traces of a crease is not me, but I love ironed pillowcases. I love ironed pillowcases that smell of roses even more. Waking up with the aroma of roses is bliss. 

Now I'm going to go off on a tangent. Little Miss R decided to use my camera when I wasn't looking yesterday and I've just discovered this photo she took amongst dozens of others. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I do believe my darling dog is smiling- I may be biased but isn't she gorgeous.

And now I must dash as I have party invitations waiting by the front door to deliver so can't be late to school.  

Have a great week, and leave a comment if you can as I love receiving them


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fog rolled in last night and I would have missed it if it wasn't for the pooch and her visit outside before bed. So glad there wasn't someone lurking in the trees; my best scream was ready just in case... 

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Grandfather and I , taken a lifetime ago in the 70's when I hadn't yet reached double digits. The sweetest Papa, one of 14 children, and father of 5. He shared household chores when it wasn't the norm, hung out washing, vacuumed, and always washed the dishes after every meal. He was a builder, and when he retired taught others. I know how to hit a nail home and use a table saw, while keeping my fingers attached to my hand, because of him. There were boxing trophies from his youth which never quite made sense to me as he was a gentle man, a Gentleman.

Tom, Thomas, Papa call him what you will. Scar on his back from being run down by a horse when he was a boy. Bald head with wispy white hair on top he insisted would grow back if his head was massaged. Why am I thinking about you now?

Today my mother-in-laws neighbour gave me some wood offcuts for the fire. He said "corker". Corker is a term Papa used and I hadn't heard it in over 20 years. Benzine is another but I doubt I'll ever hear that used again. Isn't it funny how a single word can bring back a flood of memories?

According to Merriam-Webster the definition of corker is one who is excellent or remarkable. Papa you were a corker! This is a word that deserves to be used more often.

Wishing you an excellent and remarkable week