tangled tomatos – amongst other things…

P1030833One of the jobs that Mr T was tasked with last weekend was untangling and tying up our tomato plants, left to lie and fraternize amongst themselves, that had begun to topple over with their own weight, and had my Mum tut-tutting at our laissez-faire approach to gardening- where were the neat, upright rows that she was so enamored of?  I don’t know, the young people these days..

The hot weather has dried and cracked the ground and for miles around the grass is straw coloured and tinder dry.  The lucky amongst us find a cool, shady tree to lie under.  Preferably on a swing seat they got for Christmas 😉

P1030839It has to be said that the first part of this week has been wasted by the black slug of depression and I was fearful of it lasting longer but this morning I woke a little better and was even more improved by the sound of the courier dropping off a parcel.  The long awaited (not so long – I am just impatient)  Flow Book for Paper Lovers had arrived and it was out of bed to fetch coffee and toast and back with Toastie and Charlie to help me unwrap the book.  Oh it is so lovely – containing all manner of papery goodness, stickers and tags and labels and writing paper, satisfyingly weighty and stuffed full.

P1030824If you are looking it would make a great present for someone.  I will show you a few pages..

P1030831 P1030830 P1030827 P1030826My crochet cardigan is coming along slowly, very slowly the pile grows.

P1030822I have bought another ten skeins of wool which will be enough to finish it, so now all I need is a clear head to do the work.  I am hoping that is not too much to ask?

time slips away…

and leaves you with nothing mister

but boring stories of

glory days.

Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

Life is pretty glorious around here these past days.  The day after my snow day, equilibrium was restored and the rest of this week has just slipped away in a haze of roasting sun, dog walking, art making, friend visiting, appointment keeping, charity shop visiting and writing, all enjoyable.

I am immensely grateful for it..

I have taken to scribbling a couple of pages of stream of consciousness writing each morning as suggested in my new favourite book Walking in this World by Julia Cameron.  It seems that I have been lent this book to read just when I needed it..

“If we stop watching the movies in our head with the scary sound track and start listening to things like Whistle While You Work or Zippity Doo-Dah. We may begin to make a little head way.  We need to get into reality”

I’ve been singing Zippity Doo-Dah all day.  Not in public of course, I’m not that mad – yet.

Anyway, enough of my head stuff

Our part of the world is deep into summer now and next week is Lammas, the first of the harvest festivals.  Everything in our garden is fruiting, flowering and seeding furiously and because we have had so little rain and the temperatures have been scorching I have had to water every night.

P1030778We were lucky that there were already dahlias planted in the garden before we moved in.  One of my favorite flowers – my Mum had a huge bed of them in the house I grew up in.

P1030772Plums, plums, plums, plums, plums, plums, plums.  Whoever lived here before must have loved them, we have four trees – jam anyone?

P1030807P1030803The lovely little echinacea plant I bought last autumn in time for it to die off.  It stayed in a pot all over winter and had a bit of a hard life but it has sprung a new.

P1030804Our wild vegetable garden, calvero nero, beetroot, tomatoes, courgette, aubergine.

I will leave you now as my dinner awaits.  It is my main stay of the summer months, onions, garlic, aubergine, courgette, basil all in a stew with a big dollop of sweet chilli sauce mixed in to liven things up a bit – so easy.

If you don’t hear from me for a few days it’s because Mr T is home tomorrow night and we are off to the beach for the weekend and then to visit my Ma.

I will take photos and remember guys..

Be Here Now 😉

My Husband’s Bendy Carrot..

This is what happens when you don't thin your carrots.. The Love Carrots 🙂

Before we left our house we had to harvest what remained of our veges from the garden.  We had done quite well for a new garden, I was quite surprised.  Some of them we had grown for the first time, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and swedes.  None of them did particularly well, except for the potatoes, but we will be growing them all again..  I would really be pleased if we could grow some green bean – second year in a row that they have failed.

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think..

Not really a hope that I would be well enough to host a birthday lunch today.  Woke in the night with sore chest and coughing, had to sleep elevated on pillows to breathe properly, so our little get together has been postponed until further notice.

However – in v good mood, not for any particular reason.   Several thing have happened, or come together, which perked me up.

  • Japanese Crochet book arrived and is lovely as promised.  It is, of course, in Japanese but has diagrams in it and after a quick shifty and a google browse I reckon I can work out what to do.
  • Whilst searching for diagrams, I came across a brilliant knitting/crochet site that has tons of free pattern and also sells the yarn Garn Studio .  Has a fun pattern for crocheting slippers by sewing granny squares together and felting them.
  • Finished my scarf and I love it.  I am actually wearing it as I write.  It has some of my very first crocheted squares in it which are a bit wonky and will forever remind me of the learning curve  😉  And it has pom poms..
  • I have just been on the phone arranging with my Mum for a visit down to see her this Easter weekend, and incorporated into that visit we will be attending my good friend Kate’s wedding on Saturday at Karori Wild Life Sanctuary, YAY!!
  • Then on Easter Monday we are having a ‘family lunch’ with my birth family.  My Granny is coming down from Palmerston North for it.
  • I have an episode of QI to watch
  • Having the flu now means that it will all be over with by Easter.
  • We will be having 10 o’clock Cookie Company hot cross buns and Queen Ann chocolate for Easter.  Greed always overcomes any reservations this pagan feels about celebrating other religions festivals, lol!  Enjoy the best bits – chuck the rest, is my motto.  But yes –  how weird is it celebrating spring, in the middle of our antipodean autumn?
  • We have tons of harvest veg and are giving some away.
  • My dog has lovely, spotty legs.

Enough – I think you get the picture, full of the joys of autumn.  Now for some photos..

My new scarf
Cucumber anyone?

Blokes scarf finished

As the Light Fades..

So – right then..  Back again with photos this time. . Several things..

  • The tuis are back on the gum tree, yay!  When we first moved into this house back in April last year, the gum was flowering and loaded with tuis  supping the nectar.   They were noisy and fun to have around and I missed them when they flew off in summer to find new food.  This morning, while cleaning my teeth, I heard the familiar warble, and sure enough they are back.
Tui in a Gum
  • My granny squares are ready to be sewn together, I just need to make a couple more pompoms for the ends, I love pompoms.
Ready to sew

I have worn my charity shop green cardi once already – it has pockets, I love pockets.  I think my new scarf will go well with it.

Pockets, mmm

Japanese Anemones are going mad in my garden – everything is, tomatoes and cucumbers growing furiously, some of the roses having another burst.  The autumn is quite obviously here now, with acorns crunching under foot when Poll and I walk in the park and a proper, old-fashioned nip in the air.  Won’t be long now till we get our first frost.


It was, of course, the Autumn Equinox in this part of the world on the 20th of March.  That means you people over there in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating spring. And much welcome it is by the sound of it.

I would be hard pressed to say which is my favourite season – Autumn or Spring.  Both have a lot going for them.  Mr T says winter is his – he likes extreme weather, storms, torrential rain, snow – so do I, but there is something about the in between seasons, the smells and the colours that appeal more to me.

I roasted garlic and a butternut pumpkin this morning so I will be getting all seasonal and making soup for dinner tonight.  But for now it is back to the crocheting.

Happy Mabon/Ostara to you all.

art by Jane Brideson

Fry, Squares, Bread and a Laugh..

As some of you may know, I make my own bread.  Well, I have been taking a few weeks off the bread making lately and eating the shop type and what a load of blah it is.  Sorry – but it’s true, I have paid for my laziness.

I got back into it yesterday and made a couple of loaves consisting of whole meal, oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.   OMGoddess – how good it was.  I had it today for lunch –  toasted bread, a fat, warm tomato straight from the plant, with a garlic and avocado dressing, sheeit!  A little bit of heaven.. (if I say so myself :-))

It feels like time is starting to speed up now, probably because Mr T is so busy doing lots of chimneys and I am doing the usual, except now I am office person as well, the weeks are starting to flick by. The start of packing looms..

I have seven squares done for my scarf and am frustrated that I haven’t done more.  There is so much I want to make, and so many free patterns on the net to choose from.  I am getting ahead of myself a bit..

Another wonderful discovery this week – the British programme Q.I. has started on Prime.  It is probably my most favourite programme in the world and has one of my most favourite humans on it – Stephan Fry.  Knowledge stuff, comedy stuff and rude stuff all in one go – what’s not to like?

Talking about comedy, thought you might enjoy this little video.  Like the man says, it is very much a British thing the old Out Out.  And I am looking forward to doing it.

Congratulations Katy…

So, yesterday was gardening.   It needed it and I have put it off for far to long now, hoping it would go away, which it hasn’t, of course.  So nothing for it but to get stuck in – and I’m bloody glad I did cos it looks sooo good.  I am saying I, but really I had the help of the trusty Mr T, who normally runs a very long mile before volunteering to weed anything.  Consequently way more work got done than would normally have and quicker.  It was also very pleasant to have company.

The only down side is that I have woken today with just a tad of stiffness,  having over doing it of course.  And I am going to go out and do it again today, which probably won’t help.


I am celebrating today for my friend Katy over at Katyboo1’s Weblog.  She has finally passed her driving test.  She has been entertaining all of us faithful readers for some time now with tales of her attempts to learn to drive – just about all disastrous and ending in tears, so I was really pleased to read her blog this morning and find out she had passed – Yay!!

I have had flashbacks of the FOUR TIMES I sat my practical driving test in the UK and FAILED.  I was not used to failure and it seemed to me that after every test sitting I got worse.  I finally passed when I came back to NZ and sat the test in the good old Wairarapa – nice broad streets, very relaxed examiner, about a million less drivers on the Masterton streets which is a town small enough to have no traffic lights.  How could I not have passed, especially after driving in the madness of the UK roads?  And also having driven illegally without a single accident or incident for the preceding twenty years?

Good Stuff..

  1. The new issue of ‘World Sweet World’ is out. My favourite little, crafty magazine.
  2. Starting a Sour Dough starter. Should take four days before its ready to make bread. MMMMM!
  3. Tude has scored the latest Terry Pratchett book, ‘Unseen Academicals’ for me, from the library. Will start it next weekend, leaving it just a little bit longer for the anticipation to build 🙂
  4. Getting ready to make our take on Bailey’s Irish Cream. Nice to sup a little drop, loaded with ice, of an evening. One of those Christmas things.
  5. Made rice salad for the first time tonight. Used baby celery and leaves, as well as purslane, parsley and oregano from our garden and it was fab. Got the recipe from Alison Holst’s  ‘Meals Without Meat’ , can see I’ll probably make it now till I’m sick of it.
  6. Summer has finally arrived, ohhh so warm.
  7. Started the day with the ‘Word of Mouth Blog’ in the Guardian. The subject? Modern manners: office Christmas lunch – What is the most disastrous  work Christmas lunch you’ve ever attended?  My favourite reply was the following..

i got given the task the week before Christmas to find somewhere that could do lunch for 15 of us. The only place available was a local Chinese that did a set menu. There was much complaining from several of my colleagues about not wanting to eat ‘foreign food’ and we all sat down to a rather tense meal. My favourite moment was when our aged Chief Executive tried to order a bitter lemon to drink, (through a colleague), as he wouldn’t talk directly to the waitress because she was a woman, and he didn’t speak to them, and finally after much discussion between the waiting staff, he was brought a saucer with a small bit of lemon on it…

And finally, my favourite video of the last couple of the days, enjoy  –

Waa, Waa, Waa, Waa wa wa

I have picked a huge bunch of lavender, roses and jasmine for the vase on the table and am sitting in front of them typing this. The scent is out of this world – almost to much.

The flowers are our reward for weeding the garden today.  I decided to spite my latest test results and damn the torpedoes. I always feel so much better when I can see the results of my labour. And the garden really needed the work – before it got too out of hand.

My Mum helped as well and Tude when he got home, so all is looking tidier.  The urge to get into the garden was helped by the beautiful weather today. No sooner had I put washing out, it was dry. I just love that.

I am less annoyed today regarding the thyroid problem. I was lying in bed this morning feeling sorry for myself when I remembered – it’s not how bad the problem is, it’s how you handle it. So, o.k., I’m going to handle this well.

My husband and my Mother are enjoying a shared pleasure in the lounge – watching Coronation St.  Tude never admits to liking it but as soon as his mother-in-law is about, and Coro is on, he is in there.  I suppose it could be worse – they could both like East Enders :-0

I used to watch Coro when I was a kid, I remember it before there was colour t.v. even. And Ena Sharples was in it. Drinking Milk Stout – whatever the hell that was. As a child I thought it sounded quite nice, sort of like a milk shake or something.  I also liked Elsie Tanners lovely red hair, which is possible now, come to think of it, why I have spent most of my adult life with red hair?

mmm Milk Stout!
They don't make 'em like that anymore 😉