Celebrating the dark side..

It’s been a busy couple of days.

We had made the decision to celebrate an early Samhain as this year the 30th April (and Mr T’s birthday) falls on a Wednesday.  Mid-week is a difficult time to get people to come out and so we choose yesterday, Friday the 25th to do our thing.  Appropriately enough it was also ANZAC day here, the day of remembrance for all New Zealanders and Australians who have died serving in wars (and peace keeping forces) and a public holiday.

This meant that Mr T was home to help with the preparations thank heavens because I was feeling particularly tired and as he was suffering with a cold, the two of us made up about one person work wise.

It did turn out to be quite an effort in fact not the least because we had a few extra jobs thrown in like carving pumpkins and collecting firewood from various kind friends so that we could use the brazier.

Our last gathering at Mabon had been kind of small, with only about 6-8 people and although it was really lovely I thought I would try a bit harder this time and invite lots of people on the basis that most of them wouldn’t come.  But then of course most of them did come with the consequence that we almost didn’t have enough seats – but it was so lovely to see everyone.

The weather which we had watched anxiously over the previous days had promised rain and cold and indeed it did rain on and off yesterday to the extent that we decided if it hadn’t got better by 5pm we were going to give in and hold the party inside.

Then a small miracle, it stopped raining.. completely.  Not only that but we were treated to a absolutely stonking sunset with such lurid light it turned my t-shirt day-glow.  It became so warm that our brazier almost felt too hot.  The clouds cleared and the stars did their thing.

Many thanks to Sue for the photos

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Me doing my Samhain reading
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Pat – an unexpected but very welcome visitor all the way from Perth, W.A. Mr T – who by this stage had imbibed just enough to cheer him up, and Richard – who made our wonderful brazier out of an old gas cylinder.
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My lovely friend Yvonne.

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The boat being passed around to place a candle of remembrance in.
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The final part of our ritual, a toast – To the dying of the light, to the kindling of the light.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making it such a wonderful night.

Also, at some stage I am going to add another blog page so that you can read what is said at our rituals.  Coming soon..

 

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All good things..

Today is grey and cold, a suitable day to mourn what proved  to be a lovely, long weekend.  I am not feeling so great today so here is a selection of photos to take the place of brain draining writing.

Sunday – Henley Lake

A quick game of Dangle the Dog
A quick game of Dangle the Dog
Then another game of Watery Stick
Then another game of Watery Stick

More Watery Stick please!

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The Jumping game
Trees deserve close ups too

Then home to prepare and slow cook a Beef Bourguignon, hearty Autumnal fare for sure.

 

 

Monday

The coast road out to Cape Palliser, about an hour and a half from where we live.  Seals and shags and sun.   Picnic on the beach with inquisitive Bumble Bees.  Hot, metallic, autumn sun.  Wrecked crayfish carapaces, flat, warm, grey stone and tiny baby paua.

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P1030377 P1030407So clear you can see the South Island – The Kaikoura Coast with snow on the mountains.P1030387P1030396
P1030400Time to start the long road home as the shadows lengthened and the air began to cool.  Second night of Beef Bourguignon – always tastes better for sitting, with carrot and swede mash.  Tired Toasty and tired humans, these holidays sure take it out of you.

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Easter Saturday..

It’s been a lovely couple of days.

Mr T came home early on Thursday and has the whole Easter weekend off with a late start on Tuesday morning so he is pretty happy.  Even though his presence Thursday evening meant he had to join with my Stitch and Bitch group.  He seemed to enjoy himself anyway, just him and five women.

I love our Stitch and Bitch.  We are not good at having a bitch at all, mostly we laugh and talk about anything and every thing.  We always have supper, bikkies and cake and I so enjoy getting my old china cups and saucers and cake plates out to get used.  Mr T however was allowed to use a mug because my tea cups were too small for his giant man hands.

I felt very low energy on Friday so after walking Toastie we had a mammoth t.v. session – the latest series of Endeavour, Moone Boy (if you haven’t heard of this Google it – it’s brill), The Hairy Bikers in Asia and Blandings.

Today started with a trip to the New Rags Craft Market at the Town Hall. There were lots of local Wairarapa crafts people and I spent a lot of time talking with friends both stall holders and customers like myself.   I couldn’t leave without purchasing a few wonderful things, a old framed jigsaw and a china sugar bowl.  The camel pin cushion came from the previous Christmas New Rags Market.

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After the market we had a big walk around Henley Lake so Toastie could have a free run and a swim in the river.  She had been in disgrace because she had found the pastrami for our lunch, which we had foolishly left in the back of the car while we were shopping, and had hogged the lot.  I told her that she would be sick but all that happened was she drunk a hell of a lot of water – the Ratbag..

This evening is going to be another quiet one, with more T.V. time I think, and crochet on the side of course. So cozy now it’s getting dark much earlier..

It is raining and cold.  After two summers in a row it is still quite a novelty.  I am not complaining, I like it.  I have discovered I am not a fan of hot weather, high temperatures become a bit of an ordeal after a while.

Enough of the weather..

Tonight I am hosting Stitch and Bitch and shortly I will have to fettle my tiny house which should not take long, unless I get sidetracked, which is entirely possible.  In fact I think that is why I am writing this blog for the first time in six months or so.  Amazing what the threat of housework can do.

I have added to my housewifely tasks by scattering winter accessories around our living space.  This is because when I opened the wardrobe out in the shed (the house is too small to house all my crap) there was a distinct smell of mould from the shelved clothing within.  I extracted the most likely culprit, a plastic bag full of crocheted mitts, scarves etc and liberally strewed them around the living area to air.

Now I have to find a place inside to put them..

We have lived in this house before about eight years ago, but I don’t remember having this much trouble finding space for my stuff – obviously I have a lot more stuff.  Lucky we are moving then.  To somewhere bigger and a lot less ramshackle as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love this place, built about a hundred and thirty years ago which is old for a New Zealand house,  it’s cute, it has character, it’s very ramshackledness makes it weirdly comfortable.  It has that atmosphere of calm that old houses often have.

But I am over the smallness of it plus it badly needs maintenance (like repiling)  to keep it from sliding into dereliction, which we can’t afford.  Our landlady wants to sell it – always a good reason to move. So hopefully it will find a more financial owner to love it.

Go well lovely sheltering cottage..

The ramshackle house
The tumbledown cottage, painted years ago by ourselves and I still love it.