Yarn Bombing

I have finally got some photos of our yarn bombing mission at Greytown School.  I visited on Tuesday on our way down to Wellington and found it all still in good condition – no scragging, just a bit of droopiness from all the rain we have been having.  We had been donated a unfinished piece of knitted blanket which we used to cover most of the bell,  however the other side looks a bit Frankenbell.  We are leaving it up for when the kids go back to school in a few days time.

I have to say I enjoyed my first ever yarn bombing, it is actually quite a mad thing to do which adds so much to the experience.

Greytown School bell and the Hug Me Tree in the background
Hug Me tree

See you soon…

Have just had a wonderful time at craft group, learning how to make folded rose brooches out of old blanket strips.   Sounds weird but looks great,  Lisa who makes them for sale sold heaps at the craft stall in the weekend..

I am off now down to my Mums for three days.  Going to do stuff like wash her house down and paint her deck. Should be fun.  Then we will be off into Wellington to rummage the shops and drink coffee – and see exhibitions of course, I am looking forward to seeing the Yayoi Kusama one in particular at City Gallery.  I may get to catch up with my friend Kate as well.

Thought I would leave you this little video to cheer you up while I am gone, I know you will be so sad, sob, sob, LOL!

Apparently the guy who fell was not hurt, but fancy the camera man just standing there!

The guerilla knitting on Friday went well, in fact it the rain turned to a light drizzle to allow us to cover the Greytown school bell and surrounding trees knitted scrap, flowers, bunting and squares.  The effect was rather jolly/mad and rather wonderful.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera and you’ll just have to imagine it until I can get there Tuesday morning and take some snaps – that is if it hasn’t been scrabbed about with.

The weather wasn’t so kind yesterday however and  it hosed down the entire time. Even though our craft stall was under cover, our stuff was well damp by the end of the day.  Still,  today was a stunner and our stall and the gardens we were in were crowded with happy, summery people from near and far.

It was great to see everyone get together to celebrate the centenary of the Hosking baths/garden in Masterton.  My Gran, who is in her nineties, and my  Aunt Liz from Palmerston North came down and the organizers of the get together had a cake made for Gran to cut as she is the eldest living relative of William Hosking (see my previous post for more info if you want to know what I am talking about).

All in all it’s been a busy weekend and looks like being a busy week as I am listing necklaces on my Etsy site as well as a NZ craft site called Felt.  Then on Tuesday we are off down to Wellington to visit my Mum and do a few garden jobs for her.  Am also looking forward to visiting the newly refurbished City Gallery as they have a show on I am just dying to see.

Granny, with the Master of Ceremonies, about to cut the cake; Aunty Lizz on the left, Phillipa - my birth Mother on the right
Some of William Hosking's direct descendants
New button necklace

A Bit Scattered..

This will be a bitsy post – feeling sort of prickly and not quite together today.


Job Satisfaction

And I thought working in a call centre was bad..

Imagine what it must be like to be one of the people who direct the remote control planes (drones) that drop bombs on people in Afganistan and Pakistan.  Robert Sapolsky, in his TED talk yesterday, said that the rate of mental illness among these workers is unprecedented.  Funny that.


The crocheted necklace is coming on slowly, the clear fishing line is difficult to see, which means I need good light and not to be tired.  It is looking good though and I can’t wait to finish it.

The next few days are going to be busy, what with the dressing of the Greytown school bell on Friday afternoon, the  craft market Saturday and on Sunday some of my birth family and myself are gathering together to attend a ceremony celebrating the centenary of the Hosking Baths/Sunken Gardens in Masterton.   Dr William Hosking ( link leads to more in-depth information) came from Cornwall and is my Great Great Grandfather.  Here is a bit about him from the Masterton District Council website.  I particularly like the bit about the hedgehogs and toads.

The Hosking Garden

William Henry Hosking or “Old Doctor Hosking” was a familiar figure in the rutted and dusty streets of the small Masterton township of the 1890’s. He was small, dapper, bearded and wore a top hat. He was reportedly always in a hurry.

Superintendent of Masterton Hospital for 20 years, Dr Hosking was ahead of his time using hypnosis on his patients and he had an x-ray machine in his home. He bought radium to use on his patients, made his own serum for injections and did his own research. He is reported to have been one of the first doctors in New Zealand to introduce x-ray apparatus and perhaps not surprisingly he died of radium poisoning at the age of 76.

The most famous anecdote about Dr Hosking was that in the centre of his top hat he carried his stethoscope or plant cuttings or specimens from patients insides to be analysed at home.

He was keenly interested in horticulture and was responsible for the introduction of hedgehogs and toads to the Masterton District.

Today’s sunken garden was originally the Christina and Alice Hosking Baths (commonly known as the C and A baths) which in 1910 were given to the women of Masterton by Doctor Hosking. The baths were named after his wife and daughter.

The baths were a grand affair with changing rooms while the baths themselves were 75 feet long and 40 feet wide. There was also installed a seat in one corner of the building where a woman was employed to sit to “supervise the behaviour of the swimmers.” It was the doctor’s daughter Christina who completed the opening festivities of the day by being the first to dive into the pool.

The baths however, were badly damaged in the 1942 earthquake but it was not until 1967 that the council of the time listened to their Superintendent of Parks, Colin Pugh and agreed to have a sunken garden built, using the original foundation from the pool.

The gardens were opened by Miss Christina Hosking.

In between all this we still need to catch up with my friend Alice and her family who are leaving to live in Whangarei on Saturday.


We are selling a lot of our unwanted stuff on Trade Me at the moment.  And I thought I would show you one item that I bought in my early twenties that makes me wonder just who the hell I was back then.   This duck has been following me around on my many moves – for years, and I can’t quite figure out why.   It’s completely cutesy blah and has spent the last twenty or so years in a cupboard.   What was I thinking back in the early 80’s paying forty (forty!!) dollars for it?  And really, can you imagine what sort of room it would actually suit?

And Then it Gets Exciting Again…

Finally, finally, FINALLY – I have my ticket!!!!  The money came together yesterday and I held my breath till we got confirmation that the price hadn’t risen… So, that’s it then, we are off on the 31st of May, and I am still having trouble getting my head around it.  I had thought when we returned to NZ this time that we would not be back in the UK for a very long time – and had resigned myself quite happily to it – but here we are, off on a big adventure again, so very COOL!!

Have spent the afternoon making felt and knitted necklaces and listening to TED talks.  Absolutely wonderful, I am so lucky being able to listen to these amazing speakers. The first video was of Dan Buettner speaking about how to live to be 100+, the second – Rober Sapolsky on the uniqueness of humans and then Hans Rosling’s new insights on poverty.  I particularly enjoyed the latter two.

I am getting stuck in to the craft making because I am joining with others from my craft group in having a sale table at the Greytown Festival over the weekend.  Also on Friday this week we are heading down to Greytown take part in the Guerilla knitting project.  We have been assigned the school bell to decorate, should be fun.

I am signing off now to continue with my crocheted button necklace, and enjoy the thunderstorm which has broken the intensely muggy heat of this afternoon.   The dog is not happy – she does not like loud weather and is frightened of heavy rain, wind and hail sends her shaking and crunched up into a corner.  Some soothing is required.

To Gu, or not to Gu , is this REALLY a question?

My friend Yvonne posted this video on Facebook.  It is a 1992 video of Severn Suzuki speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio.  I had not seen it before and was so impressed by how well she spoke and of course, the content of the speech.

Noted also is that this summit was seventeen years ago and not a lot has changed in the big, bad world out there.  Which should please Deborah L Carr,  whose comment on the video helps me to understand why not a a lot has changed.

If she wants us to be a socialist state than forget it. We are not ONE WORLD. We in the united states are a free country and we don’t want the dictatorships controling us like she wants. I agree with Bill Alfred in fact she scares me to death. She also needs to understand that the US doesn’t want to fight but the middle East gives us no choice. We are the infidels and they hate us and want to kill us. Read the Koran. Al Gore is making billions of dollars if he pushes this global waming fiasco through. Thats his advantage. and he could care less about the poor people that she’s talking about!!!!!.

You can find out more about Severn Suzuki at this Wiki link.

Winter has finally decided it has practised enough and the sunshine is lapping down again.  I am feeling full of the joys and full of energy.  The pair of us have tidied and cleaned the house and T has been out picking the apricots off our tree before the birds eat them all.  Neither of us has eaten fresh apricots before and I had to try really hard to convince him that they actually were apricots because he reckoned they tasted to good and nothing like the supermarket ones.  I have to agree.  We have plums, apples, and nectarines to come yet –  I’m thinking of becoming a fruitarian  😉

Picture of the Day

A gratuitous shot of one of my most favourite (but rarely eaten, unfortunately) foods.  GU Puddings are THE BEST!!

GU Brownies

A Cup of Chai Tea…

The weather is still practising for winter.  We have been out in it and got wet, as has the dog.  She is now curled up next to me on the felt blanket, chasing a rabbit in her sleep, back legs going.

I have a cup of chai tea while I write this and contemplate doing some craft work.   I read again to T this morning, from The Long Winter.  The descriptive passages seem to go on forever when you are reading out loud.  I keep waiting for T to get bored with it but he is riveted.   Laura Ingalls Wilder had spent years describing the world to her blind sister Mary, that must have come in handy, writing her books.  Also, although she never kept a diary, she did write a lot, and kept every single scrap.

Certainly puts into perspective this dreary old weather.  Can’t begin to imagine how cold it must have been during the blizzards described in the book.  Not being able to see across the street for flying snow and the fear of being caught out in it, losing your way and wandering out into the vast prairie landscape that held no shelter whatsoever.

Anyway – on a more cheerful note, T has just lit the fire and made me more chai tea.  He reports the courgettes are getting away on us ( I can just see them bounding off across the garden) and need to be eaten,  so that is part of dinner sorted.  I think I will watch the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special again and do some knitting – killing two birds with one stone.

Mid summer - lighting the fire

Practising for Winter..

The weather is practising for winter, grey, mucky, spitty weather.  It’s ok though, it made it cooler for me in my effort to make my heart explode by climbing up steep hills in the Fensham Reserve.  I then spent the afternoon on the sofa, sorting by colour, the fifty million thousand buttons I have been given.   It has taken ages but was such a necessary job if I am ever going to be able to use them easily.  And thank you Yvonne for giving them to me.

All in all, it’s been a peaceful day.  Watched a d.v.d of Dad’s Army while I did the buttons – what a classic.  My favourite quote today is from Captain Mainwaring – “In the name of the King, I demand to examine your chicken”

I am reading Mr T one of my most favourite books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s  The Long Winter. I’ve wanted him to read it for a long time because he is an extreme weather fan and this is really a book about extreme weather that’s for sure.  It’s also a fascinating memoir of pioneer America – and quite different reading it as a grown up.  Anyway, T is enjoying it and I am enjoying reading it to him, it is way more of a deep read when you do it out loud.  When we started living together I read him The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it took two years.

These are my two Harmony Kingdom figurines which have been given to me.  I love them and look forward to adding to the collection.

Harmony Kingdom meerkats
Harmony Kingdom cats from Treasure Jest series

Not So Exciting, but Interesting..

It’s interesting watching the way events play out.  After yesterdays excitement,  the people who were going to buy our bed to enable the plane ticket purchase have backed out, at least for the mean time, so we shall just have to exercise our patience a bit longer.  I am very much not bothered by this and actually – I love our bed and was not looking forward to seeing it go so soon.  So it’s all good.  And it will all happen when the time is right..


My good friend Kate, who lives in Wellington, is getting married in April this year and is looking for a extra special poem to read at the ceremony.  This is her request of me:

I loved the Wild Geese poem you put up, and it got me thinking. I’ve been trying to find something for one of Colin’s siblings to read at our wedding, but I can’t seem to find anything that isn’t too mushy or archaic or god-ish or been used at a million other weddings. I wonder if you might know of something. I’m not sure exactly what I want, but something about love or relationships I guess, something different, maybe funny, could be modern could be old… Dunno – any ideas gratefully received!

I had a thought that someone out there in interweb land might be able to help – so leave a comment if you can, most appreciated.

And talking of poetry, here is one for older love.

from Twenty-one Love Poems

Since we’re not young, weeks have to do time

for years of missing each other. Yet only this odd warp

in time tells me we’re not young.

Did I ever walk the morning streets at twenty,

my limbs streaming with a purer joy?

Did I lean from any window over the city

listening for the future

as I listen here with nerves tuned for your ring?

And you, you move toward me with the same tempo.

Your eyes are everlasting, the green spark

of the blue-eyed grass of early summer,

the green-blue wild cress washed by the spring.

At twenty, yes:  we thought we’d live forever.

At forty-five, I want to know even our limits.

I touch you knowing we weren’t born tomorrow,

and somehow, each of us will help the other live,

and somewhere, each of us must help the other die.

Adrienne Rich

Exciting Times…

We have nearly enough money to buy my ticket to the UK!!  (Mr T already has one).   We have sold our bed (don’t worry, we have an alternative to sleep on, and it’s not the floor), which means we are just a smidgen off both of us flying on the 31st of May!  Not that I minded so much travelling by myself, but it will be so much better to go together.   Also I would like to be on the flight as our good friends are meeting it.  The ticket needs to be bought as soon as possible to, before they put the price up again, which is what happened when we went to buy it a month back.

Our healthy eating plan is working well and I am feeling a lot better for it.  Am managing to get a walk in most days and today did a big one around Fensham Reserve which took about three-quarters of an hour.  Steep  climb on the first part of the track gets the heart rate up that’s for sure.  In parts the bush is so green it feels like a hallucination.  Even the trunks of the trees are a vivid moss-green.  The dog of course, is in heaven with all the walks, but she isn’t so happy when we go to Fensham as she is not allowed off the leash until we get on to the path home.  There are too many possum traps and poison baits about.

My friend Vicky returned last week from her ten days away at a silent meditation retreat at the Vipassana Centre up near Auckland.  She reports that the experience was one of the best she has ever had as well as one of the hardest.  All I know is that she seems much calmer and serene than she was before she left, and her face looks ironed out.  I was slightly concerned yesterday when I saw her at our craft group,  wondering if aliens had abducted her and put a new, smooth Vicky, in her place. Whatever – I want some of what she’s had, and I am going to try to do the retreat myself before we leave the country.

I enjoyed this little YouTube video – thought you might to.