finding that my head is likely buried in yarn..

First post for March, yay!

I have been very unwell again but I think I may be ironing myself out, thanks to a visit with my head doctor and upped medication, which is good because we are leaving tomorrow for a very long weekend in New Plymouth at the WOMAD festival.  Tickets ever so kindly gifted to us by our very good friends Sue and Mike – how cool is that.

I have been worrying that I would be unwell and that would spoil it all, but to be frank – you can be depressed anywhere really and I have a lovely camp bed to curl up in if things turn to cactus head wise.  I love camping, I love sleeping in tents, it is such a treat.  There is going to be masses of different kinds of music and I am just about completely ignorant of most of it so it will be a musical adventure as well.

Crochet wise I have been very busy, having as usual, several projects on the go.  I found one that had been resting since last year when I finally got it together to sort out my yarn stash – no mean feat believe me, .

I found this pattern on Ravelry and used the link with the English translation.  The original is called Schultertuch/Dreieckstuch if you are interested.  It is probably my favourite shawl pattern at the moment, it seems to look good in any yarn and that really is amazing.  Here is mine – nearly finished, oh and the wool is Drops Delight 4 ply and I am on my second ball.

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So after such a structured pattern I had to go and do this little wild beauty, crocheted with scraps including  silk sari yarn, remnants of Noro and fabric strips.  It looks surprisingly good on..

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I have also sold one of my flower square bags and have nearly finished another. This is the one I sold..

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and this little beauty is waiting for it’s lining and to have it’s ends woven in, then it can go out to it’s forever home..P1030877

In addition to this I have started on another granny square bag, pretty much like my one that you can see in this photo.  It is two years old now and in need of a de-bobbling but is still my main stay particularly in summer.  I love it because although it holds a heap when you dump it on the table it can just open out and it is easy to find everything.

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I have other projects on the horizon as well, so the hooks will be burning with all the friction I’ll be treating them to.  I have ordered some Lang Mille Colori Sock and Lace Luxe yarn to make a shawl out of.  Sometimes it is difficult to source certain yarn in New Zealand and this yarn in particular was hard to find, and when I did find it very expensive.  But good old internet to the rescue, I found a British site that not only sold Lang at a cheaper price but gave me 10% off for the first order and also free postage!  So Loveknitting.com I take my hat off to you.  I have the joy of a parcel of yarny goodness winging its way across the world to me soon.

Enough already, I am off to get ready for the festival.  I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to.  See you soon..

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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.

Touch down..

So we got here then..

We had arrived at Heathrow at 1pm with all our luggage as we had to vacate our hotel at twelve and where else can you go with all those heavy bags?   Unfortunately our plane did not leave until ten that night and we could not check in for another four hours BUT would we like to leave in an hours time on a plane doing the same route?  And if we did want to we could have three empty seats for ourselves? Oh yes..

You would think that having an hour to get from check in desk to boarding would be plenty of time wouldn’t you?  You obviously have not gone through Heathrow airport security for quite a while then..

I thought I was going to have a heart attack by the time I had finished running to the gateway, and the boarding staff must have as well by the look on their faces.  I had nearly fallen arse over tit over my own flight bag on the way as well as swearing quite horribly at a poor innocent fellow traveller (utter bastard who wouldn’t get out of the way), and here they were looking all calm and unsweaty and willing me to be calm so they wouldn’t have to call the ambulance to haul my twitching carcass away and upset the other passengers.

We had plenty of space on that leg of the journey, which is such a huge bonus on a long flight (12 hours) and then another twelve hour wait in Singapore airport which is actually quite a cool place to wait as waiting places go – I particularly enjoyed the butterfly house, and all the people watching.

Then on to Brisbane, once again heaps of room as there were several rows of seats empty.  On landing we were in smelling distance of home, the Brisbane security staff were lovely and although the coffee cost us ten british pounds for two, it was lovely!

The last leg was on a smaller plane and more cramped but it was also the shortest at four hours.  As the plane came in to land at Wellington Airport the young woman next to me turned as said “Welcome home”, and I had to turn away as the huge lump in my throat threatened to choke me.

It’s good to be home..

Landing in New Zealand..34 hours after leaving UK
Landing in New Zealand.  34 hours after leaving UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I am thankful for it..

Outstanding weekend, so outstanding it would have been impossible to write my blog yesterday even with the threat of a cattle prod.  I had been up late for two nights and something had to give..

I love going out to my friends place in the country but when a brace of her  siblings decide to descend, one of  whose birthdays it is, you know the celebration will go on for some time.  Next thing you know the sounds are up, you’re on your forth wee dram of some mighty fine scotch and getting a sudden urge to shake your booty with no embarrassment what so ever.

I did do something healthy on Saturday though – went for a icy cold river swim, just what was needed to clear the head in time for Saturday nights fun. We had beautiful weather throughout with temperatures around 28c both days, and cloudless night skies.

I am remarkably chipper today and have got a bit done in the studio so am feeling pleased with myself.  I am also happy because today I have heard really good news from two of my best buddies.  One has just purchased the most beautiful house, after losing out on a previous one that she really fancied.  The other has just found out that the hugely bad financial problem she has had hanging over her head for the last 18 months has resolved itself.  So – it’s all good..  and I am thankful for it..

Mangatarere Valley - the river I swum in, brrrr!

Stuffed Full of Hormones..

I had a blood test last week to see if the new dose of medication was working on my thyroid and I got the results back today.  All good news – all back to normal again;  in fact right back down to the lower end of the scale where the Endocrinologist likes it to be.  I was so pleased, and surprised that it’s sorted itself out so quickly.  I feel like I’ve been given an early Christmas present 🙂

The day has been busy with a big walk at the beautiful Fensham Reserve and gardening.  Also a couple of visits from friends.  The wind has died down a lot but is still around, the concert that Tude was bus driving for the other night was cancelled because of it.

I have a busy week this week making presents for people and getting more gardening done.  Also going to be doing a lot more walking to try to build up  some fitness.

Off to bed now, will try to do a longer post tomorrow.

Bunting, Bees and Hobnobs

Bunting

For anyone who doesn’t know what the bunting is, referred to in my last post – here it is.  Just a long length of little flags really, nothing to get too excited about except it usually means a celebration.

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For anyone that doesn’t know what a Hobnob is.  It’s a British born biscuit, sort of like an oatey Chocolate Wheaten, made by McVities.  I can assure you that the ones I make are far superior – as they should be with all that butter in them  😉 These ones turned out to be almost twice the size of the originals as well.  If you are in the area, you are welcome to pop in for one.

Underground, Overground, Bumbling Free..

Had to include this shot that Tude took. We have two Bumble Bee nests at our house. One is in the wall outside the loo and at night you can hear this strange sort of buzz every now and again which I imagine as the bees getting irritated with each other cos one is taking up to much of the bed.

The other bee house is in the cracked concrete of the drive, just at the entrance to the garage.  Tude gets worried that driving the car in and out will upset them but they seem ok.  The only time they did get upset is when he went near them with the lawn mower – nasty vibrations I guess.

The Summer Solstice is nearly upon us again. It is on the 22nd this year and we are having a big do at my friends Sue and Mike’s place. This time we will also be celebrating three birthdays as well. I will have to get started on my speech and try to think up something new for a ritual.

The weather has finally warmed up so will hopefully be good for the night, sitting around the brazier. One of the reasons I love celebrating the solstice is because it means I get to spend time with friends before having to go off and have Christmas with relatives.  We usually go to my Mums for the Xmas holidays and on the day itself we troop across the road to my brother and his family for dinner.  This year however my brother will not be with us as the Prime Minister is going to Hawaii and my brother has to go to guard him.  Apparently Hawaii is a hot spot for insurgents/terrorists/assassins during the festive season – who would have thought it?