Friday, 30 October 2009

Mysterious Marlborough Sounds

The journey from Wellington to Picton on the S. Island is one of the most breathtaking sea journeys I have ever taken. This is the mouth of the Marlborough Sounds, which are actually fjords.

Sailing into the Sounds

Naked Bus

From the Naked Bus

We have a marvellous cheap bus service in NZ called "The Naked Bus". I travelled recently from Picton to Nelson with them, through the vineyards. This was taken from the window.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Rambles through the past

Today, for some odd reason, I was reminded of the curtains I had in my bedroom as a child. They were white fibreglass with the most delicate pink sweet peas scattered all over them. The overall effect was artistic, but totally useless for blocking out light. When they were pulled along the rails they crackled and glistened.
Sweet peas were always a feature in our house during the season, because grandpa had a huge vegetable garden, and growing sweet peas of every hue was his chief delight (next to being a grower of prize dahlias and rhubarb).
But I digress. It was the pink flutter of the fibreglass curtains that mesmerised me as a child. The design was so French and otherworldly, that it was as if an alien had landed in our small village and taken refuge in the back bedroom of our small bungalow.
The rest of the bedroom furniture was eclectic. The twin beds were narrow and the bed heads always rattled when I did somersaults up and down the mallow mattresses. The pink quilt bedspreads were given to my mother by a lady she had met when she and dad were on honeymoon (in romantic Litchfield).
When I was seven, my dad built me a small white wardrobe and a chest of three drawers. A four foot trestle top rested on a beading on the side of the wardrobe and on the top of the chest off drawers, making a dressing table top of sorts. Here my collection of foreign dolls were lined up in regimental rows.
As you see, the curtains were really out of place. They deserved Edwardian French windows opening onto a conservatory, or a red brick loft conversion scattered with painters easels and bohemian sofas.
So, they remain a mystery. How did such aristocracy adopt our ordinary little family? Had they been mis-delivered to our home by an elegant furnishing shop in nearby York? Maybe I was a changeling and maybe they were my dowry. I will never know.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Fridge Haiku

Kanadian Kat, she of the Kigo of the Kat blog, has got me hankering for the hidden Haiku in my life. Here is one dedicated to my soon to be cleaned out fridge.

Abandoned pickles
Sit in cheap rear circle seats
Audience frozen

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Guess the location

Cartoon drawn by John Harms, a friend I used to work with.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Inspired by my friend Kat who has a new Haiku blog (, here is my Haiku dedicated to my future bee colony

Invisible flight
Deafening hum lavender bound
The bee lands softly

A different kind of solitude

A moment of self indulgent reflection. I am alone in our home. Hubby has just landed in the M. East (a combination of business and visiting friends and relatives) and I have been horribly sick for the last four days. I’ve coughed my way through 5 nights and am worn out. Thankfully a helpful neighbour and a good friend dropped by yesterday to check I was still alive and brought groceries. Because I am grounded, I have had time to think. If I were never to leave this house again, actually, I don’t think it would bother me.
We live on a hill. We have neighbours on three sides, but because of our position, we aren’t overlooked. We don’t have a main road close by, so noise is minimal. The birds are trying hard to behave like it is spring, getting all lovesick in the trees, but recent storms have turned them into “one verse wonders”. They seek refuge from the deluge under native branches.
It is so quiet. I feel like the world is very far away. And yet my dear husband is texting me and every morning the world shows up on my computer. I have just been chatting with a friend in Canada. Earlier it was a girlfriend in Israel, another in the UK. We have swopped recipes, discussed blogs, passed the political time of day. We have chatted about family, dreamed our dreams and had virtual coffee together.
If our bills could be magically paid, and our larder restock itself – I would lock myself away in my home on the hill, never to be seen again.
Of course, tomorrow if I feel better, I may change my mind!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Memory Day

Strange how one random event or memory leads to a whole stuffed cupboard full of them. You open the door and a heap come tumbling into your lap, like badly stacked towels on the linen shelf.

Today I happened upon the photo of my wedding dress fitting. The designer was Lebanese. I then got to thinking of my Lebanese hairdresser Josef. I’ve never had such a good hairdresser, anywhere, any time. Later in the afternoon, I started to cook a simple supper, as I am eating alone for three weeks whilst “The Dearly Beloved” travels. I have been trying my hand at mujadarah. The first time I ate this lentil, rice and onion dish I was with my Canadian flat mate, who now lives in Lebanon.

After the Lebanese pile of towels fell out, I struggled with a precarious pile of childhood memories that tumbled from the top shelf. You remember when you pulled at that jigsaw which had all the other box games on top of it? You thought you had it, then at the last minute three other boxes flew out which you couldn’t see, because you were only 4’5” tall?

As I watched a bumble bee do acrobatics from the wisteria and honey bees wander on the lavender, I was reminded of visiting the manicured gardens of stately homes with my grandpa, and listening to a love hungry song thrush for twenty minutes, I could have been in my grandpa’s orchard, sitting under a tree with a windfall apple.

Who needs antibiotics and painkillers for a chest infection, when the memories of Lebanon, Lavender and Mujadarah, is so heavenly "It makes you forget everything"

Friday, 16 October 2009

Lazy days in the vineyards

Sunday afternoon in the vineyards

Magical Bicycle

Taken near an Auckland Vineyard

Finish this story

From this morning's local newspaper. Can you come up with a funny ending?


Earlier this morning, traffic on the Kapiti Coast was delayed after a truck spilled about 400 litres of cream onto Kapiti Rd.

Inspector Paul Jermy said the spill happened about 7.15am, close to the traffic lights. It was all cleaned up by 9am, but had made the road "very slippery", causing traffic delays.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Our favourite cinema

This is in an area called Brooklyn. The cinema used to have its own cat that would wander around and greet the patrons. It has a small bar and cafe, and you can take your glass of wine with you as you watch an art-house movie.

Some views from out and about

The city railway station

They just don't make them like this anymore

Polished to perfection

No need for a car mirror for applying the lipstick.......