Happy Halloween..

I am celebrating  – Mr T’s birthday and Halloween/Samhain.  It is going to be busy today as I need to make some notes for a ceremony tonight, find a pumpkin to carve and find some of those long thin candles for people to light to remember their dead as part of the ritual.

I also need to put the finishing touches to a friend’s birthday present, walk the dog, have lunch out with Mr T, and go and see another friend at her shop.  SO – I need to get on.

Here is a link to my most favourite Wiccan sites for those who are interested

To all those in the Southern Hemisphere – Happy Samhain and to all those in the Northern – Happy Beltane!

This fascinating life..

I am back from my Mum’s – went for a visit to check her out and see how she is getting on.  We have our routine, she picks me up from the train and we have a cuppa. Then Chinese takeaway for dinner and later she watches Coronation St.  Only this time I told her that if I can put up with her rubbish TV then she can put up with mine – Grey’s Anatomy.  Important to me cos I don’t have Sky plus any more and can’t watch it when I get home.

We spend a lot of time together in front of the TV just chatting.  I got lots of crocheting done.  I had finished her sea foam curly scarf so was able to give it to her for her Mother’s Day present.  Which was very good because I had forgotten it was Mother’s Day – mainly because I don’t read the junk mail or watch TV ads.

And then it was home again on the train, which for a change wasn’t crowded, and I got to listen to my Sceptics guide to the Universe pod cast – I really do enjoy that.  My lovely husband picked me up from the station and I was met at home by a ecstatic cheese hound – all good.

We have been having an interesting time looking for a flat in the UK.  I advertised on the Gumtree website last week and so far we have had two replies – both from scammers!  I had read previously in the Guardian about people who reply to house wanted ads, saying that they have a property to let and taking a deposit before vanishing.  Usually the houses they are offering sound wonderful, everything you could wish for, and sure enough the places offered to us were way to good to be true.    These people get scared off when you ask for a land line number, house address details and tell them you want your friends to have a look at it for you – just like we did!! LOL!

What a way to live your life – trying to rip people off.  But then, they are probably very kind to their mothers 🙂

The Thief

Random Bits of Me..

Today in Kiwi Land is ANZAC day, and I was going to do a post about it but have temporarily mislaid the photos I was going to use so will do it when they are found.

Instead, as I am still going through papers, photos, and other  assorted detritus of my life, I thought I would show you a bit more of me.  Not organised in any way whatsoever however..

First up is a page I printed out from a website on the day I discovered that Douglas Adams, one of my most favourite authors, had died.  This was the first comment I read on the board  at Douglasadams.com and it was just so appropriate – I cried.  So Rob Hamilton, if you are out there, thank you for encapsulating my mood at the time, saying exactly what I wanted to say and saying it in such a Douglas Adams way.

Subject: I’ll just lie down in front of this bulldozer for a while… ( 1 of 1 )
Posted by Rob Hamilton

One of the great embarrassing difficulties I have in my life is a complete and absolute inability to walk past a bookstore as if it wasn’t lurking there, ready to fiercely spring upon me and force books into my backpack while sucking out the marrow of my financial stability with great slurping sounds and an occasional burp. My eagerest joy has always been to poke around in the “A” authors, hoping to find either a new Douglas Adams title or one I was too blind to find when it first came out. I suppose I can relax about that now.

For the record: I’m practically 48, I’ve lived in Santa Barbara, I’ve had a heart attack, my spell-check runs away screaming when it sees me coming, and I shall continue to stay the hell away from gyms in the future as vigorously as in the past.

The postings are as heartbreaking as the situation that drags us together, bleary-eyed and uncomprehending, waving lighters in the rain. Thanks.

Well into Autumn in this part of the world - image by my favorite pagan artist Jane Brideson
I love old post cards and this one has a message on the back from Herb to his sister Phylis - card is dated 1904

This is a birthday card that my friend Julie gave me.  It is from a series called ‘Meet the Mustards’ by Sam Toft.  It has a charming little story on the back about Ernest Hemmingway Mustard and his dear lady wife Violet and Doris (Her Majesty) their rather grumpy, portly Jack Russell.  Sam Toft has a website where you can see or buy her art work – here and here is a little video of her actually drawing one of her characters, and Doris of course.  She is very clever and I would luuuve one of her prints!!

The Great Emptying Begins..

Well – there we are then.  The man has just been to pick up our giant telly and give us some money – goodbye telly, I will miss you..  Tomorrow someone will come by to take possession of the sofa.

The plan, which has been in the making since November last year is gradually happening.  I think I must have been in denial about it all – just the packing, moving,  saying goodbye to stuff and people and places, is all stressful and up till last week when our possessions started to find their way to new homes, I had been quite apathetic about it all.

Now however I am starting to get a bit of energy and I can feel the excitement beginning to build.  It helps that we now have a plan for the first couple of weeks when we get to the U.K.  We have a week in a apartment on the marina where we can get over our jet lag,  buy a car and set about finding somewhere to live and work.  Then, the following week we head to Hay on Wye for five nights in a cottage, where we can relax.  Maybe look for a house, although I have been in touch with a Hay estate agent and apparently because we are unknowns, from out of the country, they would require 6 months rent in advance!  That is just not going to happen.  So we would need to find a private landlord/lady.

My friend Alison from Agnes Coy has set me up with an introduction to a lovely lady called Louise, who owns a really yummy shop in Hay on Wye.  We have been in touch and I am visiting her for a cuppa when I get there.  Isn’t that cool!!

So that is about that.. I am not prepared to go further into the future than that – there be dragons.  Except to say wherever we go I hope I can find a friendly craft group/ stitch and bitch to join up with..

The Pants of a Clown..

I have been keeping it a little bit quiet, but I have been sewing myself a pair of wide leg trousers.

As you may recall from earlier posts, due to a childhood trauma (caused by my complete crapness at the art), sewing and I do not see eye to eye.  Since those days I have studiously avoided it whilst keeping an envious eye on those who knew how.

Anyhoo  – in the last few months the feeling has crept upon me that it might just be possible that my earlier crapness may have just been callow youthfulness and maybe, just maybe, I might not be quite so ham fisted as I thought.

Queue visit to material shop with Phillipa my birth mother (the adopted mother being far too impatient to teach me).  Cloth purchased, extremely simple pattern chosen, I made a shaky start and have, over the last couple of days, managed to put together a recognizable pair of pant.  The trouble is they are huge – really huge.  I could fit another person in with me without wrestling.   Queue gales of laughter as I tried them on..  (and no, you are not seeing a photo).

Still, better too large than too small huh?  And Phillipa is visiting me tomorrow so a little remedial tutorial may be the order of the day  😉

I will show you a photo when they are presentable.

Maybe Brave and Mad?..

I went to visit my Granny last week.  My birth Granny that is, my adoptive ones were both dead by the time I was born.  One of the neat things about being in touch with my birth family has been contact with two grandmothers.   Granny Hosking who I’ve just been to see is 98 and has found out she has cancer.  She is well at the moment and perky and quite impressed that she has a very rare form of the illness – a cut above the rest!

Anyway while I was visiting, she and my Auntie Liz presented me with my Great great Grandmother’s button box and another cigar box filled with sewing stuff – needles, old cards of hooks and eyes, fine crochet hooks, tape measures,  tiny sewing scissors and other bits and pieces.   I was over the moon!  The buttons are really cool and I spent some time the next day sorting through them.  And of course it is all coming with me on the great journey – which is now only SIX WEEKS AWAY!!

Family heirlooms  :-)

We are starting to pack up our house and get rid of everything we don’t want to take – and that is a load of stuff.  The aim is to whittle it all down to two suitcases to take on the plane and 3-4 boxes to ship over.  This will be interesting and somewhat of a challenge but has to be done.  So far reactions to our plans have included being told that we are very brave and also that we are very mad.  I think these comments say more about the people who made them 😉

Because I am looking at all the stuff we own and thinking what to take, I thought I would show you a few of my favourite things.  I love cards and buy them wherever I go, here is a couple from the collection..

First card is from here

Yes, indeed..
Ah yes, I know that feeling..

Card from www.olivesandwiches.com

And lastly, a souvenir from the British Museum.  I know it’s a bit strange but I love it, just wish I could have afforded the mouth as well.  I wonder what Michelangelo would have thought?

David's Eye
David's Eye

For Fans of Father Ted..

There were things my Mother did to me when I was a child which were just plain wrong.  She made me wear home made jeans, eat brawn (jellied pigs head for the uninitiated) and gave me a Beatles haircut before the school social when I was twelve saying I looked ‘very nice’ when in fact I looked like a complete gomer.   BUT and it is a very big but, she never, ever,  even suggested that me and my brother sing in a band with her – can you imagine?  Something even worse than this???

In Which I Show my Ignorance of the Pronunciation of Quinoa, Shock!

Thanks to Nigel Slater, last nights main course went down a treat.  I had committed the sin of attempting to cook for a dinner party a recipe that I had not tried before (and then nearly trebling it to account for five people instead of two).  But fortunately, it was so simple that even I couldn’t cock it up.  A Stew of Mushrooms with Onions and Fennels Seeds will be made again in this household. (scroll down his article to find the recipe)

Another revelation was the accompaniment of quinoa (which I have been pronouncing qui-noa and that is apparently pronounced keen- wha) that my friend Yvonne bought along.  She cooked it in veg stock and it was yum.  I think I prefer it to rice.

Our craft group was a bit quieter today owing to the school holidays but we had some good nattering as usual.  I am in the process of making two spiral scarves, one for my Mum and the other for my friend Miriam who I am doing a swap with.  You would think that they would be enough to be getting on with but no,  I raced home this afternoon to make a brooch similar to one I had seen one of my craft group friends wearing.  It is using up an old piece of lace that I had which I loved but never thought I would find a use for.

Mum's scarf
Miriam's scarf - swapping for one she is making, fun.
New lace brooch

A Lovely Week With Lots Packed In It..

I am getting ready to welcome people for dinner so am having a list type day.  This just means that I have lots to do and a list is necessary to drive me along.

I need to catch you all up with some photos taken over the last week, starting with one from my friend Kate’s wedding last Easter Saturday.  She got married at Zealandia – what used to be called the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary and a short walk of about ten minutes was needed to reach the spot where the deed was to be done.  Along the way was an area where Tuatara had been released and we were fortunate enough to spot one in his/her home (a hole in the bank).

So cool to see one in the wild!

Easter Monday saw us attending a lunch to celebrate my nephew’s engagement, that was good fun and great to have lots of us together. Especially as we are moving country soon.

And then Friday we landed on my Uncle Mike for his 64th birthday.  I had undone the first blokes scarf that I had made and re-crocheted it with three strands instead of four and with softer wool.  Much nicer – and he liked it, he is wearing it in the next photo, with you-know-who sitting next to him.   I’m pretty sure he would have worn it even if he’d hated it as it was fricking freezing that night!  By the way – he doesn’t normally look like a tramp, it is just that he has having a style makeover and is growing his hair long and a beard.

Cheers everyone! - hope your having a good day

Mike and Sue had been to WOMAD up in Hamilton and my darling Sue presented us with this lovely flag that she had bought for us there – specially to take overseas with us.   So if you are passing through our neck of the woods and spot it –  you’ll know you’ve found us!

We'll put it up so we don't get lost