Blanket Fashion..

This post is about two of my most favourite things in life – beds and charity shops.

I was inspired to take some photos of our bed after seeing a similar post on my lovely friend Katyboo1’s blog, and then combine it with a couple of my most amazing charity shop finds.

Five years ago, in a little shop in the town of Pontardawe, Sth Wales, I was having a fossick and came across two crocheted blankets.  They were all parcelled up in clear plastic and when I pulled them out I found they were huge, at least large enough for a queen sized bed, and edged around on three sides by a fringe – £5 each!!!

Now I don’t know about you but I have two completely different style queens living within me.  One loves clean clear lines, minimal, muted colour and no clutter.  The other loves masses of bright, vibrant colour, lots of neat stuff covering every surface.   As you can see from these photos, at the moment the colour fiend is winning.

Soon however, I will be clearing lots of stuff out and paring all possesions down to the minimum in preparation for our departure to the U.K..  A 20kg suitcase limit and a minute shipping budget means that lots of loved stuff will be looking for good homes – but I need to get at least one of these blankets over there with me.. I am toying with wrapping it around me and wearing it on the plane – what do you reckon?

Another bed related thing that won’t be making the trip back is the feather topper that fits over our mattress.  If ever there is one thing that can make you feel like you are living in luxury it is sinking into it’s softness of an evening..mmmm – I don’t spose I can wear that on the plane too?

This is the one I am thinking of wearing
The one being left behind

And in other news – here is a link to another of my favourite bloggers Mrs Jones, crafter and jewellery maker, she inspired me to learn how to crochet.


Fear, Peaches and Feeder Dogs…

Didn’t quite get done what I wanted today, but that’s o.k. I’m easy about it..

Ended up in Greytown just after lunch, buying a quilting foot for my sewing machine.  The countryside around is getting pretty crunchy brown looking as the dry weather continues, hot enough to boil a frog for sure.

Greytown fruit and veg stalls are loaded with summer fruit and I scored a 18 kg box of peaches for ten bucks.  Going to make some peach and rose petal jam tomorrow.  Caroline at Bambino Cafe gave me a taste of hers last week and I’m hooked.

The quilting foot didn’t work for what I wanted, I think it needs one of those kick ass, monster sewing machines, while I just have a light weight tiddler that can’t even retract its feeder dogs.   Still I will be able to use the quilt foot for some free style sewing and in the mean time I have just learned how to lift the straight stitch foot a tad to move around.

I have been feeling slightly nervous of late regarding our move to the U.K.  Partly I think because we do not have a house to sell this time so funds will be a lot less.  And partly because the last couple of attempt have ended with the old tail between the legs  scenario because of my illness.

I do know that worrying is not helpful and actually  a complete waste of time – but.. you know how it is.   Then I bumped into a friend in a charity shop yesterday.  She is a woman who I met through the Green Party and the Wellington Community Choir.  We don’t get to see each other that much but I love it when we do – she is from Germany and I love our differences and similarities.   She is a bit of a hero of mine – a designer, computer geek, major athlete in her youth and the only person I know who has fallen while climbing a V big mountain (her companion did not tie her on properly)  breaking every bone on one side of her body,  recovered after long convalescence and kept on climbing those mountains.

She enquired after my plans and I told her about our forthcoming trip and I  expressed some of my reservations.  She looked me in the eye and quoted one of those well used clichés – feel the fear and do it anyway.  If anyone else had said that I would have brushed it off – but she meant it and has had so much experience of doing it.  I thought, yes, sod it – she’s right..

Scrap brooches

The BeeGees, Shakespeare and Cream..

First off – Happy Lammas!  The festival of first fruits – all those ffffffffffs..

The 2nd of February marks Lammas/Lughnasadh which is the first of the harvest celebrations  but like another important day on the wheel of the year (Sowein/Halloween) it also happens to be the birthday of someone close to me.  Sometimes I get swept up in one and need to mark the other another day.

Feel me now as bountiful Mother. I am fertility and creativity, I am the abundance of life. I create and nurture all being. My golden cloak is the ripening grain. Pause a moment whenever you eat. Feel my Presence…

Image by Wendy Andrew


Instead of seeing the rug being pulled out from under us, we can learn to dance on a shifting carpet. Thomas Crum


Bloody Hell it’s good being home again.  I don’t realise how much I love my own space until I go away – even for one night.

The journey down to Wellington on the train was trouble-free – mainly thanks to my trusty Sony mp3 player, it saves me oodles of grief.  Usually the trip is pretty quiet but this time I was trapped in the same carriage with a woman who, if I’m going to be kind about it, liked the sound of her own voice and several shriekey teenage girls in school uniform.  Not feeling obliged to listen to others noise I simply plugged myself in and grooved away to the dulcet tones of the BeeGees in full disco flow.  I then sat comfortably by myself the entire journey – occasionally wondering how the Brothers Gibb could have thought that singing falsetto would ever be considered manly – even if you do have lots of body hair, medallions and tight, tight trousers.  With my mp3 player on random I got to listen to 60’s band Cream and am now a fan.

My Mum enjoyed her trip out for dinner at the Parrot and Jigger for her birthday.  My brother, sister-in-law and one of my nephews came along as well and it was good to be able to have a family celebration without the usual mass of dishes to clean up after.  My brother had to finish packing to leave at 5.30am to guard the Prime Minister at Waitangi so we had an early  night.

It looks like the weather has finally decided it will be summer for awhile.  We are going to see Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor at Gladstone Vineyard on Friday evening so will be taking a sun hat.


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.

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.

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