Happy Beltane!


I dance delight

on Beltane’s night.

All senses freeing,

I dance for being.

The flower and the flame

of love’s own rite

shall blossom.  Sun

embrace Earth, bright

Rae Beth


Image by Helena Nelson Reed

Have a good one guys  – and for all of you in the Northern Hemisphere

Happy Halloween!

Hail on a Tin Roof

Some things I have learnt today –

CRAFT Syndrome – Can’t Remember a Fecking Thing. Usually related to menopause, aging or to much wacky backy.

Iamrightitis – The belief that one is always right.


Last night was fun. Went out for dinner with a group of women to farewell Mary the co-ordinator of the Wairarapa Women’s Centre, where I have just started back on the organising committee and where I used to volunteer. It was good to get together, eat good food and talk.

Bracing weather again today. As I sat at my desk at the Information Centre this morning the sound of the rain and hail on the tin verandah roof made it difficult to talk on the phone. It is meant to be perking up tomorrow, which is good because we are having a Beltane get together around at a friends and as we are having a bonfire it would be a bit more pleasant if it doesn’t piss down. Especially when I will be making a speech about it being the first of the SUMMER sabbats.

Also we will have a special small fire built for making a wish and jumping over, so we really do need to be outside. I will be taking along the pot of nasturtiums and calendular, the seeds of which we all planted at the spring equinox ritual. They are little plants now and I figure it will be nice to take them to each celebration and watch them grow over the coming months. With luck the hopes that were planted with them will all come to fruition.

My friend Evonne showed me this YouTube video, and I love it. So here is my Beltane present for you..

Fat is Not a Moral Issue

I’ m fat, have been pretty much all of my life, with brief interludes of slimness. The interesting thing in this for me is that apart from one instance when I got so skinny my bones stuck into anything I sat on, I always thought I was fat. And I know now that I wasn’t, certainly not all those years, but I was miserable about it.

Nowadays I feel that I have pretty much got past it.  I feel like I am an expert on diets and nutrition, body size and self esteem – and peoples prejudice about fat. The knowledge of prejudice began at a fairly early age – school kids can be pretty shitty. So really I shouldn’t be surprised by anything fat/hate related.

And then I read an account of a person who attended a community ritual celebrating Mabon – one of those beautiful evenings, fire blazing, chanting, decorated altar. This woman is standing in the circle, marvelling at the beauty of it all. Then as the Priestess enters the circle she hears the woman next to her say “Oh my God! She’s fat! Oh My God!

I just don’t know where to go with that.

Anyway, found this little video on the subject from youtube and I liked it – for everyone out there with fat issues – Hurrah For Us!!

Nil carborundum illegitamae

Monkey Puzzle and Gum Drops

As was expected, the weather turned to cactus. A lot worse than I expected actually, it’s cold and windy and rainy. Boo Hoo.  Still it was nice to have an excuse to not be in the garden and to get some inside work done.

Even got a couple of chapters read of a book about Shamanism written by an anthropologist.  He has had some spectacular experiences whilst researching – and taken some interesting drugs. Not that it is compulsory to take drugs to go on shamanic journeys apparently, in fact most cultures don’t use them at all, utilizing music – drums etc.

The other book I am reading is caller Buried Treasure – Travels through the Jewel Box by Victoria Finlay, an absolutely fascinating story about all the different precious and semi precious stones, so far I’ve read chapters on Amber, Jet, Pearls and Opals. Did you know that Jet is the fossilised remains of millions of years old, Monkey Puzzle trees? Cool huh?

The story of the Amber Room was interesting to. It is a complete room decorated with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Built in the early 18th century it was looted by the Nazi’s and hasn’t been seen since. A recreation was started in 1973 and was inaugurated  in the St Catherine Palace in St Petersburg in 2003.



I Love Treats..

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats: Iris Murdoch

Yet another spectacular holiday day, even got a little bit sunburnt. This is in preparation for tomorrow when the temperature will sink to the wee numbers and our nippy southerly wind caresses the nether regions once again. Still – it’s losing its power now and the sun is gaining, I have the pinkness to prove it. Plus we have had two barbecues in a row.

Highlights of today have been a perfect couple of hours spent making blowsy silk flower brooches with Vicky and then a lovely, sunny Carterton walk with her around to our friend Alison’s house. These Wairarapa towns really come into their own in the quiet sunshine, with lots of fine old houses and mature gardens, wide, wide streets and almost no traffic away from the main road.

Another highlight today was weeding around one of my rose bushes. Although it is still to early for the buds to be open, the fragrance was astonishing. It was certainly pay back for my efforts. For some reason I had thought the flowers had to be in bloom to release their scent – definitely wrong. I will be patient for a couple of days and then bring a few inside.

And then there is the small treat of watching a rerun of Parkinson – the incomparable Peter Kay, who I love so much and who makes me laugh in wonder at his cleverness. If you haven’t heard of him, take a look on Youtube. The second guest was Ian McKellan who is also a favourite.  I didn’t realise that the U.K. Stonewall – the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity was his baby.

All of our vege plants are in the ground now, so now I get the chance to recover. I have over stretched and my back, leg and arm muscles are telling me so. I am looking forward to bed.

Our own Stonehenge Aotearoa - in the hills above Carterton
Our own Stonehenge Aotearoa - in the hills above Carterton

Vegetable Dreaming…

It’s been a lovely couple of days.

Two days of warm sun, blue sky’s and lots done in the garden. Together Tude and I have dug and weeded and planted and my body feels it.

List of plants so far

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Pak Choi
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Red Onions
  • Celery
  • Chilli
  • Tomato
  • Aubergine
  • Cucumber
  • Courgette
  • Scallopini
  • Purple beans
  • Strawberrys

We had already planted potatoes, parsley, carrots, silverbeet, swede and garlic about a month ago. And they are doing fine. Unlike almost all the vegetables I planted when we first moved into this house in April, I have just had to haul them all out as they had come to nothing – I won’t be trying to start a garden so late in Autumn again , that’s for sure. What a waste.

Surprisingly  one of the only veg that did do well was the lettuce which I planted next to the house, they are growing furiously. Yay! We are having a big salad tonight using some of it. Can’t wait till the middle of summer when the rest are ready. Especially the tomatoes; I have planted two of the black russian heirloom variety, one of which;  ‘Black Krim’ I grew last year. What a revelation it was, especially plucked straight from the garden, warm and rich. The best tomatoe I have ever tasted.

This year we are also trying some Cherokee Indian tomatoes  – should be interesting. Mind you – gardening is always interesting, just to see what does well and what doesn’t. And what new variety’s taste like. We have learnt our lesson from last year and planted the scallopini/yellow squash in its own bed, away from all the other veg. The last one grew so huge it took over the garden bed and bullied everything else. It also fruited prolifically and I am sure our friends were living in fear of being offered more.

It is a holiday weekend here in N.Z. so we have another day off to come, Tude is very happy. He’s just not happy that there is a bit more weeding to do 😦

Hope you are all having a good one – see you tomorrow.

This is a little frightening
This is a little frightening
Imagine the onion rings!
Imagine the onion rings!

Some Things I Know

  1. Crab apple jelly is the easiest preserve to make. I know this because it is the only preserve that I can make.
  2. Occasionally it is worth persevering. When it is worth persevering is any ones guess.
  3. The most interesting things happen when you least expect them. So don’t bother getting dolled up to meet a bloke, he will pretty much always find you when you’ve got food down your front, a spot on your nose, bad hair and swine flu.
  4. Thumbs are very important.
  5. Everything happens for a reason. It’s just that finding out the reason can be incredibly difficult.
  6. Winter is the best season to have Christmas.
  7. The meaning of life is to live it. Or 42.
  8. The purpose of your life is to learn.
  9. You can’t always get what you want, thank the gods.
  10. Chocolate does not give you pimples – also thank the gods.
  11. Sleep is the best invention in the world, and I am about to go and get some
  12. I really, really want there to be parallel universes please.
  13. I am busy tomorrow with volunteering and visitors – blog writing will have to wait till the next day, or the day after. It is a holiday weekend after all, so have fun people. And get some sleep 😉


Passion, Fearlessness and Butter

I have been on an outing.

A friend rang and invited me out at the last minute. She had a spare ticket to Julie/Julia the movie, so I went. And it was good.

One of the reasons I started blogging was because of the book of the same name and so I have been waiting to see it. But being broke and fairly crap about making the effort to actually go out to the movies, I thought I would have to wait till it came out on DVD.

So I’m very glad I went. I like the way that movies drag you in even though you are sitting with a big bunch of complete strangers eating snacks in an enormous  room.

I remember Julia Child from T.V. when I was a kid, and I thought she was pretty odd then. As a grown up, I used to think that she was a bit pissed when she made the programmes.  But apparently she wasn’t. She was just being herself – enthusiastic, capable, down-to-earth, honest, just a little bit batty. Hugely likable.

For any who don’t know the book/movie:  Julia Child’s start in cooking is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s first book over the course of a year. I have to say that Meryl Streep did a damn fine job of being Child- voice and all. And I came out desperately craving a butter cooked omelet and/ or boeuf bourguignon and or pan fried chicken breast in a cream sauce. Oh dear, so dribble dribble!

The sections that dealt with Julia Child’s story were set in the late 40/50’s and were so styley. I loved the clothes, the little hats, the Dior New Look dresses with huge swirly skirts and the colours that were fashionable at the time

I guess why I liked the story so much is because, in the end, two women who had been at loose ends, found their life’s purpose – one with cooking, the other with writing. And I guess I wish I could find the same thing – but then I figure I am in good company 😉

My friend Evonne found this wonderful video – thought you might enjoy.

The U.K.s Turn

A couple of posts ago I added some beautiful photos of New Zealand scenery that Mike had shot. Now its Britain’s turn to show it’s stuff.

I have to say that before I visited the U.K. I had the impression that it would be full of people and very built up. I was shocked by how much of the countryside is still intact and so lovely, way to go Britain! For all your millions and millions of people you have done well really – I hope it stays that way.

Found these photos on the Guardian website.

Glen Coe - John Parminter
The Dark Hedges - County Antrim
The Dark Hedges - County Antrim - Peter Cox
Snowdonia - Wales
Snowdonia - Wales - Matthew Halstead
Skye - Emmanuel Coupe
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - Nigel Hillier
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - Nigel Hillier

Oh – and I meant to say

Second post for the day – woohoo!

Just that I really enjoyed Katieboo1’s explanatory text of Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar.

And also her post on Gillian McKeith’s poo exploration. Did you know that if you eat lots of mung beans and other healthy stuff, your poo won’t stink? Who’da thunk it!

See what you miss if you don’t watch reality t.v.? A big pile of crap… Sorry, I had to say that, otherwise I would be fined by the blog police.  Feel free to make any other poo related comments 😉

Katie is in my blog roll if you fancy a giggle.

And of course I can’t resist the opportunity to include my favourite  (read only) excremental character –

Mr Hankey – the Christmas Poo!! (would love to see him and Gillian go head to head)