full speed for home..

We have been having weather.  I really mean WEATHER..

It came in last night and we watched the rain radar on the Met Service website with fascination as two huge, multicoloured splodges of rain joined together and dumped on us.  In addition they bought along their friend the wind and we had gales that kept waking me up during the night, bashing against the bedroom windows.

Today I was meant to be getting together with two friends for a potluck lunch and lots of lovely chat but that was cancelled due to travel concerns, the wind was honestly so bad that I wouldn’t have liked driving in it either.  Toastie and Charlie talked me into going for a walk but we got quarter of the way around the park and both decided they had had enough and turned for home and I was happy to oblige, walking into the wind was difficult to say the least and my overactive imagination kept conjuring flying sheets of corrugated iron and crashing tree branches.  In addition I could see threatening rain cloud being blown across the mountains and we had only minutes before it reached us.  Don’t ask me why I wasn’t wearing a coat..really,

It was good to get back in the warm, dry and quiet.

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So the rest of the day was lovely.  I had gone mad yesterday and cleaned all the house, so apart from going outside and picking up the sodden washing of the ground, I did not feel the need to tidy anything, yay!  Instead I made date scones with the never fail Lemonade Scone recipe except I used ginger beer instead and had them for lunch.  I kept the fire going and read my book, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead (on my top ten best books of all time list) for the second time, and I dozed and worked on designing a new stitching project and just generally had a cozy day.

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So that’s me for now – where ever you are I hope you are happy and safe and out of the weather..

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..

 

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.

Same View -Different Day..

I’m not complaining mind..

Same as yesterday only a bit whiter!
Same as yesterday only a bit whiter!

Especially since this fresh fall of snow has meant the roads are blocked and Mr T will only have to do half of his shift and will be home early, Yay!

We had run out of our stash of fire wood but Mr T has sourced some cheap sacks of hard wood which should see us through the next couple of weeks – he is a good man.  He will have a curry later when he gets home to reward him.

All well here, snuggling down, sewing and telly watching and music listening and a little light crochet – bliss..

Hope all is light in your world.

Keeping toastie..

It’s a bit like this today..

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Toastie is in her second favourite spot (the first one being in front of the fire) – the back of the sofa, behind which is the largest radiator and the front window – you’ve got to keep warm whilst watching out for intruders and of course, her arch enemies – the evil neighbourhood cats.

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To keep out the gloom I have made an enormous one of these –

Sprinkled with cinnamon
Sprinkled with cinnamon
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Latte Coffee in my favourite mug.

Then I plan the rest of my day, which unfortunately requires me to walk out in the Weather with my terriersaurus who will need airing.

I will be doing some more work on this..

A la Alabama Chanin long sleeved bolero.
A la Alabama Chanin long-sleeved bolero.

Finishing the Cretin Stitch edging, which I have finally got the hang of and am now really enjoying.  I had been going through that part of the learning curve where I did know how to do the stitch but it really didn’t make a lot of sense, now it’s clicked and plain sailing, whew.

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I am also finishing the second part of Stephen Fry’s autobiography which I have just loved to bits – his utter honesty about his inner demons is so touching and so brave, while his reminiscences of his career set in the media cultural landscape that I grew up in are fascinating, rude and hilarious.  Everyone from my hero Douglas Adams to Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie of course, Ben Elton, Paul McCartney and the Queen Mother – just a few in a cast of hundreds of famous people to write your life around.

Later tonight we shall be going to our friend Leslie’s birthday party – supposedly dressed as Pirates but unfortunately we will be very crap Pirates as nether of us has a costume.  Hopefully Leslie will forgive us and just be happy that we are venturing out to her place in the snowy night.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit..

Ostara – the Spring Equinox, didn’t so much as roar in on Hay this morning, as float in on fat winglets of snow.  Britain is having a very cold March with not much good news in the near future and all around me I can feel people grinning and bearing, grinning and bearing – I swear if we suddenly had one hot, sunny day the whole place would burst into song, mardi gras, fiesta!

But in the mean time we practise stiffening our frigid upper lips and wait..

And in the mean time I have no problem with eating my own body weight in chocolate to help usher the Spring in – isn’t that why we do it?  Nom, nom..

Please lady, don’t make us wait much longer ..

Oh and for you Southern Hemispherians, particularly those of you in my home country of New Zealand – I wish you a happy Autumn Equinox and a long, drought busting soak 🙂

[Artwork: "Spring Equinox" by Amanda Clark of Earth Angels Art, 2011]
[Artwork: “Spring Equinox” by Amanda Clark of Earth Angels Art, 2011]

ahem..

So my friend Yvonne said to me on the phone a couple of months ago “Please update your blog” – I agreed and then proceeded to procrastinate with a vengeance…

It is far to scary to attempt to recount all that  I’ve been up to in the many months since I last posted so I am just going to start with the here and now..

Out my window as I am writing..

The view out my window is lovely and green – that is because we have had eleventy million litres of rain bucketing out of the sky all summer.  Believe me this is only a slight exaggeration.  Now normally I like rain – specially heavy rain, but I like it to be appropriately cool – rain and cold, they go together don’t they?  Instead we have had rain and hot – so sweaty hot that the obligatory walk with the dogs ends up with me as wet as they because it is far to warm to wear a coat.  I hate that.

The other small thing of note in the photo is the surprisingly lovely and incredibly long lived pom pom flowers which grew from our neglected leek plants.  Well worth growing just for the flowers.

The last thing I note from this photo is the card celebrating the 1st of August – Lammas, the first harvest festival. We have had so little sun it seems a bit of a swizz that we are already on our way back into the dark half of the year.  Ah well, at least I will get the cold as well as the rain that I am moaning about.

This morning I spoke to my Mum in New Zealand for about an hour.  She told me about her week – playing bowls, outings with friends, her renewed interest in Coronation St  (oh yuck) and I told her about the amazingly wonderful effects of HRT that I have finally twisted my GPs arm into prescribing.  I feel like a ‘normal’ person again, truly incredible and I wish so much that I could have started taking them years ago.

I did do some research before swallowing the first pill – and amongst it all I found this article from the New York Times really interesting if you are trying to make your mind up about it yourself.

The rest of my day has been filled with house work, walking the dogs (one Toastie and one visiting aged and quite lovably stupid Springer Spaniel named Alfred, whose elderly owners are both in hospital.

Alfie the Great

My other job of the day has been to revive my Etsy shop and start to list some of my new creations.  Not that I think that anyone will actually buy them but more that I have to justify continually making new ones and purchasing the yarn to make them.

Also – a couple of months ago I committed to go to Rome for four days the last week in September with some friends and the trip has worked out to be a lot more expensive than I expected. As Mr T did not want to come and I am spending vast amounts I need to show willing and at least try so sell some of my wares.

Here are the ones I listed today..  They are great fun to make – partly because I am not using any pattern so there are no rules and I get to use whatever yarn I want, including strips of tee shirt.

Also they look good on me so they will look good on anyone!

New ragged scarf

That is my day so far – I am off now to feed my furry friends and settle down for my currant fave True Blood and a little hooking.. Have a good one all..