25 March 2013

lemons can be sweet

Heck, if I told you the amount of times I have clucked over this...

19 March 2013

family foosball

Found:  a vintage French 'Charton' foosball table for $20.  In less than a day it's already surpassed that in fun dollars. Seriously, it's the coolest little thing.  Audrey (AKA Wobble the Witch Cat) lines up her players in preparation for a match with me.  Later on all four of us played two a side.  It's a noisy little game, with all the shouting, the spinning rods and the cries of elation (or deflation) by the winners (or losers).

18 March 2013

Mr Clarkson, you're A-OK

A splendid mention of New Zealand by the brilliant Jeremy Clarkson, who was here last week filming a beach race for Top Gear.

If you were God and you were all-powerful, you wouldn’t select Bethlehem as a suitable birthplace for your only child, because it’s a horrible place. And you certainly wouldn’t let him grow up anywhere in the Holy Land. What you’d actually do is choose New Zealand.
New Zealand causes anyone to question the wisdom of God. Because if he really were all-knowing, children at Christmas time today would be singing “O little town of Wellington” and people would not cease from mental fight until Jerusalem had been built in Auckland’s green and pleasant land. Jesus would have been from Palmerston North.
I’m in New Zealand right now and it really is absolutely stunning — bite-the-back-of-your-hand-to-stop-yourself-crying-out lovely.... 
A friend of mine, years before it screened here, got his mother in England to post out VHS tapes of Top Gear episodes.  If you've not yet watched it before, then hop on to youtube and search for the one about the P45 and you'll understand why. 

17 March 2013

a place of one's own

I spent hours after school, and many a weekend in our playhouse growing up.   One week it was a hospital, the next a pet store or supermarket.  I enjoyed my own company, even to the point of making a makeshift bedroom in our hall-length roof-height cupboard.  Mum said she was concerned for my well being with all the stale air up there, but a place to myself trumped fresh air.  I convinced my husband to build this treehouse a few years ago, a project he wholeheartedly got stuck into.  He designed and built it himself, and it sits above the sandpit I 'encouraged' him to build earlier.  

Last week I finally made the much-promised curtains out of a wholesaler's fabric samples.  It's possibly Sanderson, something fancy at least, and it cost no more than five dollars.  

A large cardboard box or popup tent have done just as good a job, but a treehouse is the ultimate hideaway.  I think it now needs a periscope so they can spy on us like we do them. 

9 March 2013


Here is our latest family addition, a pound cat we adopted a week ago today from the SPCA.  The girls are giddy, and Minou has settled in far better than I ever expected. Before we adopted her she had seven kittens. Seven, and she's only one year old.  Minou is relishing her new life (nerves of steel), and so far is favouring a polystyrene box over her fancy cat scratching climbing pole we bought her.  And a tinsel pipe-cleaner. Much like snow, polystyrene flakes litter the living room on a daily basis.

7 March 2013

The Fixer Upper

I have noticed over-zealous caterpillars often dining on the leaves that other caterpillars have made their chrysalis-home on. If the caterpillar is smart it will stick itself to the strong stem of the leaf and the younger caterpillars will eat around it.  The not-so smart ones adhere anywhere on the flimsy leafy part, and last week I found one such chrysalis who chose the latter, and found themselves in the dirt below.  So I got out some thread...

I really don't know if it will work but at least it has some shot at life as a butterfly.  Time will tell in a week or so when it is due to hatch.

1 March 2013

David Hockney

The chain-smoking, plaid pant, suspender-wearing British artist I've recently come to love.  He's inspired me to hoist out my easel and dabble with paintbrush again.  I love that his landscapes have some magic to them.  While I can appreciate realism I much prefer this style of painting.  David Hockney clearly sees far more than I do when looking at a landscape, and it's opened my eyes.  I recently watched his video, fascinating to see him at work, out in the countryside.  He paints, he puffs (on cigarettes), and chats idly with passers-by.  Neat.  Can't wait to receive his book.