off again..

We are moving again..

Only this time it’s not a little move, it’s a great big journey across the briny and back to beloved Wales.

We arrive on the 21st September and are being picked up by our good, kind friends Kath and Jules, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary that day, the wedding that six years ago in Swansea, I acted as best woman..  What a fantastic day that was.  And I had forgotten, I have enough problems remembering our own anniversary without remembering anybody else’s – yes I know that’s bad.  In my minds eye I think of their wedding as being in high summer, it was such a hot, sunny, beautiful day.

I have been having a hard time of it lately and I know that because now the hard time has stopped I can look back and see what it was through clear eyes and shudder.  Mostly I think it’s been to do with my thyroid medication.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile will know that I have Hashimotos disease.  It’s an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and causes fatigue, depression, weight gain etc.  To treat it most people take a synthetic thyroid hormone called Thyroxine, usually it works and people return to normal, for some the symptoms can last for a long time.  I’ve been taking it for years, but in the last six months, since I have been living in Carterton, the pharmacist has be giving me a different, generic form of the drug.  And when I asked about it they told me that it was the same thing – no problems and they wouldn’t consider giving me anything else.  So I took it and for months I have been feeling bad, crashing fatigue, depression (more than normal) , anxiety – constant tight ‘butterflies’ in the stomach and occasionally suicidal – oh yes..  I put it all down to ‘The Change’  good old menopause adding to my misery.

So about ten days ago I found a sheet of my old Thyoxine in the bathroom cupboard and thought – what the hell, let’s experiment. Five days in and I was feeling better and the last five days have felt like a major gift.  No depression, no anxiety, normal energy all day, and happy.

I cannot begin to tell you how good that is.. Moving is always a stressful time, especially when you are going such a long way – packing, selling, sorting the dogs for their health checks, rabies vaccinations and flight.  Trying to deal with everything with constant anxiety was awful – and now it has stopped.

I rang the medical centre yesterday for a new prescription which I will have filled in a pharmacy where they will give me the real deal.  I spoke to the nurse and told her of my concerns about the generic drug – and she was tripping over herself to tell me how right my concerns were, how many patients say they have had the exact same experience as me – honestly WTF?!!

I never thought we would be going back to Britain,  I just thought that this was it, we were here for good and tried very hard to just enjoy being here, and for the most part that worked.  I think that if Mr T wasn’t so home sick I would be happy to stay right here, but he is not happy and we are going and now I am feeling better I am getting so excited I could pop!  To think that in five weeks time we will be driving that beautiful drive from Swansea to Brecon and to our new home near Hay-on-Wye is just mind blowing, let alone seeing and hugging all our lovely friends who I thought we would never see again – it still feels really unreal.

I thought I would leave you with a photo of a visitor we found on our doorstep the other day – Australia may have way more fearsome critters than us but only we have The Weta!




fire time..

I am eating one of the apples off our tree.  It is the kind of apple that when you bite the red bleeds into the white, which is kinda cool. I am also drinking a mug of tea – a new type of PG Tips that I got free in a mag, it is surprisingly nice, or maybe I am just really thirsty..

Two days till Mabon, or if you like – the Autumn Equinox and you would need to be blind not to be able to tell that the year is into wain.  I presume that even if you were blind you would be able to tell the special smells that go with this season. One of the few smells I really don’t care for is that of coal burning and I have had a whiff or two of that in the last couple of weeks.  We have already had one load of wood delivered and another arriving next week, it will feel nice knowing that if all outside power sources go we will still be able to keep warm, cook food and have hot water and light.

Fire, my favourite element?  Mmmm..  Certainly will be for these next couple of seasons..

I have a little shrine on my lounge windowsill and  on it I have  one of the cards from the Goddess Sabbat Cards set designed by Wendy Andrew that grace every seasonal celebration.  At the moment it is still showing the harvest card for Lammas on the 1st of August.


I have been unwell again, as you might have noticed by the dearth of blog posts, none for September so far.  Feeling ok today however and more inclined to reach out to you lovely people again.

We were supposed to be going to London for a week at the beginning of October to celebrate my birthday but have called that off as I cannot be sure that I will have the energy to do all the things that one does in London.  Instead we have taken a caravan at a place called Pennard Cliffs on the South Wales coast and will relax and walk the dog ragged (some hope with a terrier).  I am looking forward to it, instead of being anxious about it when London was still the plan.. I have been assured that London will still be there when I am more able.

I am working on far too many crochet projects,  I broke my own rule and now have seven items which need finishing, including my Japanese Flower Shawl which I should have finished months ago.  I have this idea that if I sewed all the motifs together and blocked it I could wear it on my birthday!  Just a week and a half to go, we will see..

wot i is woking on


Flowers from Mr T to brighten my day..


a laptop and a lapdog



How Not to Have a Sex Life and Other Stories..

I have had a long day but thought to blog about some of the things I missed out yesterday.  No photos this time though.. (well, maybe one).

Firstly , and astoundingly,  I am mentally well for the first time in ages – this is wonderful and I am trying to enjoy every moment.  I had been having a go with a new antidepressant called Sertraline (a SSRI also called Zoloft), which seemed to work well for me.  After a while however I ran into a wee problem that is apparently common for many of us poor bastards on SSRIs, and is also responsible for large amounts of people not completing their course of treatment. Which is what has happened to me, except I have stayed well – long may it last!!

I had been meaning to  write about this problem for some time but could never get my head around exactly what I was going to say without giving too much information.  Then when I was paying a visit to one of my favourite bloggers  I came across her post on the same subject – and here it is. .  Why reinvent the wheel huh? And she says it so much better than I could.  It is really interesting reading some of the post comments as well.

I first came across Dooce’s (Heather Armstrong’s) blog when I became aware after four years, that the mystery illness I was suffering from was actually depression.  She had been through the hell of post-partum depression and was so badly affected that she had ended up in a psych unit.

I love her blog for many reasons, not the least being that she shows it is possible to be on  depression meds and still have a lovely life.   Also because she and her husband John strongly remind me that not all Americans are bonkers – Oh and because she takes photos of her dog Chuck with objects balanced on his head.. well maybe she is bonkers, but in a nice way..


One of the most helpful things that I came across in my research about depression was information about mindfulness, which is why I go on about it so much.  The book I probably found the most helpful is called The Mindful Way Through Depression,  another is called The Noonday Demon – An Anatomy of Depression by Andrew Solomon.    This weekends Guardian bought an article by Tim Parks who has just had a book published called Teach Us To Sit Still, A Sceptic’s Guide to Health and Healing, which I found really interesting for his discovery of how mindfulness/meditation helped him with his illness.  It is on my Amazon Wish List.

Sunday’s Observer bought a wonderful interview with Christophoer Hitchens which can be read here, for anyone who is a fan of the man..

And last but nowhere near least, is the podcast which features Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Wilson in conversation on the subject of folklore.  So if you are after a little insight into the writing of the Discworld Novels  and/or just plain fascinated as I am, in how humans seem to really need to invent and tell ourselves stories, go and have a listen.


Well, we moved out of our house last week, so it has been a bit of a mad time.. hence no posts for a while.  In fact the last three weeks have been somewhat traumatic, for me in particular.  Things started to go pear shaped when we got a phone call from Phillipa,( my birth Mother), who nominated herself last year, when we first decided to return to the U.K,. to take over as carer for our dog Polly.   Phillipa’s bull terrier, who normally gets on well with our girl, had attacked Polly, and Phillipa no longer felt that she would be able to offer Polly a safe home.  Right..

So we had two weeks to find a suitable home for our much loved hound, as finding the four and a half thousand dollars needed to take her with us would be most unlikely.

I then decided to fall apart.. and spent hours each morning crying and days trying to cope with the return of the huge fatigue which come with my particular brand of depression… Queue necessity of taking anti depressants, which normally don’t work well for me but which in this case lifted most of the tiredness and extreme sadness and enabled me to cope with packing, selling, cleaning and the style of socialising which goes along with moving country.

We have been staying with two lots of lovely friends since we left our house, who have been very kind and hospitable.  Our ‘going away’ party is tomorrow night – it is going to be sad, not my most favourite kind of party for sure.  Then next Tuesday we will drive down to my Mum’s house to spend the last week with her..


I don’t sound very happy or excited.  I am hoping that will come when we finally leave the country and all this ‘saying goodbye’ stuff is over.  Really, actually, all is well, or as well as can be expected under the circumstances.  Some of my amazing friends have stepped up to give a home to Polly, and I am sure she will be well looked after.  We have enough savings to last quite awhile when we get where we are going.. and there are lovely friends to see again after two years away – and lots of new friends to meet.  To be honest, I have a A4 piece of paper covered both sides with stuff I love about being in the U.K. – so mainly it is the depression talking,  and I also know that it will be defeated eventually – as it has been before  😉

Our Samhain altar

Managed to make it to the craft group this morning but was feeling so crappy with this flu that I only lasted an hour and then buzzed off home again.  Pleased I went though, cos I was able to show off new scarf and Japanese craft book as well as welcoming my birth mother Phillipa and nephews partner Leela to the group.  They had been saying they would come along for ages so I was glad I made the effort and I could introduce them to everybody, not individually however, as our group has got pretty big now, must have been eighteen or so woman today, all making different stuff – I love it.

So, home now and back in lovely, cozy nightie and robe, on the sofa and soon to crochet and watch some t.v.  I would love this flu to be over – I have plans and it is getting in the way.

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


Millennium hand and shrimp!

I am not in the happiest frame of mind.  Once again I am spending a weekend stuffed up with hay fever.  It’s not much fun and doesn’t make me feel like doing much.  In saying that we have been out this morning to have coffee at Bambino Cafe and enjoy their selection of mags.  T has taken Polly dog for a walk to give me the space to write.. not that I felt like doing this either but I haven’t blogged for three days now and must not get out of the habit.

I have been doing all sorts of crafty stuff this week, in the main I have been playing around with tee shirts.  I do not suit high neck tee shirts and so, inspired by several clever women on the web, I took scissors in hand and whacked into the necklines.  This took a surprising amount of bravery but once I had assured myself several times that said tee shirts were from charity shops and could easily be replaced if ruined, I set to.

Not liking the raw edges I have added new edges/collars with ribbon, ripped up silk scarves and scavenged linen from a  pair of worn out trousers.  It’s fun experimenting and so far successful.  I still have a few to do yet though..  As you will be able to tell from the photos, I am from the rip, shit or bust school of sewing.   Although they don’t look so good in the pics they do look good on. Or I think they do anyway…

and what a process

This is the process that I have gone through today to write this post.

  • Go to study to write post.
  • Realise laptop is in lounge so fetch it.
  • Check email and read Katyboo1’s blog post describing her driving test, squawk with laughter.  Reflect on the grumpy,  silent test examiners that accompanied me on my four attempts.  Suppose everything must happen for a reason?
  • Have to make coffee before I start to write
  • Make coffee then decide to fetch mail on the off chance that someone wants to send me lots of money.  They don’t…
  • Notice lots of deadheads on geraniums in front garden. Start to pull them off.
  • Notice lots of long grass at edge of border of geraniums. Start to pull them out – gently now as I am still crippled from Thursdays gardening frenzy.
  • Stop both jobs at half way because I am meant to be writing blog post and coffee is getting cold.
  • Go inside.
  • Fetch coffee to study
  • Realise I need to take some photos for blog – go to fetch camera
  • Realise camera battery is flat, locate camera cord and battery charging thingummy. Set to charge.
  • Eat a nectarine.
  • Back in study, hit icon for new post.
  • Realise that there are to many flys in the room and that they will drive me crazy if I don’t murder them.
  • Fetch fly spray.  Cover coffee, spray air with poison and then sit amongst great clouds of it to write post.
  • Start post
  • Realise it’s crap and delete entirety.
  • Realise whatever I am going to write will be crap because my head is stuffed with cold virus and I feel like crap and it made me miss the Merry Wives of Windsor last night.
  • Start  post again.
  • Make about a million spelling/grammar mistakes as usual.
  • Wonder what it’s all about. The point of anything…then perk up because I notice it’s lunch time..

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.

A New Year, A New Move..

Happy New Year to all of you out there! Hope you had a good start to it, I know that the eve itself can sometimes be a huge let down, that’s the problem with building things up and trying to enforce celebration, sometimes it can all turn to custard.  Not this time for me however. I had one of the best New Years Eve I have ever had.  I also had the photos to show you but I accidentally deleted them, hmm – there was much grumbling and groaning in the household this morning when I discovered that fact I can tell you.

Happy, good-hearted people, liberal quantity’s of alcohol, a damned good sound system, a huge outdoor fire and  balmy weather made the night a massive success.  It was also wonderful for me as I had the most extraordinary conversations with people, strange, delightful and hilarious, and mostly with people I had only met that night.  To top it all off we had a full blue moon which only comes around once every couple of years. According to Wikipedia the next blue moon will be in eighteen years time, when there will also be a total lunar eclipse   Hope I am around to see it – although I will be sixty-five and that will be more that enough to celebrate.

Many of my friends are initiating big changes in their lives this year. At last count there were ten of them who, either singularly or as couples, are moving overseas or to other parts of N.Z.  And adding to that total will be ourselves, heading back to the U.K. at the end of May to live and work and travel.  Where we will settle this time is still up in the air as it really depends on where Mr T can find a job (despite the recession there are still jobs for bus drivers), but at the beginning it will be back to good old Swansea and our bestest UK friends Julian and Kath -the added bonus of being there this year will be attending their wedding in September.

I owe this new opportunity to venture out into the world to my return to good health.  I now feel certain that with a bit of luck,  I will be able to work and help to fund lots of travelling.  And let’s face it – I am very lucky!

I am also HUGELY EXCITED about the move – BUT, am trying  hard to stay in the present and enjoy where I am now, in this beautiful country, with these beautiful people, and make the most of it.  My oldest friend and her family are leaving in just over a weeks time to live in Whangarei, which is right at the top of the North Island, about 12 hours drive away, and we are having them to our place for a b.b.q this Saturday night.  Although I will miss her a lot, I’m not really upset that she is going. The more I’ve travelled the more I have realised that the world is actually a small place and we will meet again – apparently they will be in the UK this December;-)

And I tell you what – I hope the British weather goblins  have saved some snow for next Yule – or there will be trouble!

Summer Solstice/Christmas presents

My best Solstice present was a ring made of a computer key – how about commenting and telling me what yours was?

Computer key ring