Thursday, 30 June 2011

Winter tree

Parliament gardens

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sad June

June is again a mourning month. Last year it was my beloved Cookie, my shadow, my joy. This year it is an elderly relative. Today is her funeral and I can't be there. I feel I am in the wrong place at important times - the milestones are in a different hemisphere, in a zone I can't reach. It's as if I am peeking at a play from behind a heavy curtain. The play is actually my life and I'm banned from taking part. I know that sounds extreme, but that is the emotion deep in my gut and it just won't go away.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Coming home to flowers

Helps with the heavy heart. Thank you sweetheart for your thoughtfulness.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Chinese takeaways

Cumin has a playmate. He arrived one evening, peeking through the French windows, spooking our big Tom cat who was dozing myopically with his nose against the glass.
The "boyfriend" is Tonkinese, very playful and gentle, and our little ginger biscuit loves him to bits. They are both very "slight" cats, but to hear them chasing each other around the deck, you'd think they were llamas wearing clogs.
A few times she has run into the house and he has almost followed her, but twitched nervously against the threshold, then darted away again. Here he is - we call him Charlie Chan. He deserves something more exotic, but I'm afraid the name has stuck.
I think she is telling tales about us. She is retrieving stale bits of bread I have thrown in the garden for the birds, which she leaves next to her food bowl. I can see the speech bubble over head as she whispers to him "They don't feed me you know - I'm reduced to eating birdfood"
But what worries me most is not her running off with the birdfood, but running of with a charming oriental!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Five minutes to chocolate heaven

I wish I knew who to credit with this recipe - a colleague at work sent it to me today, and I made it for my beloved this evening. For all you chocaholics, I give you (drum roll Maestro) - a five minute chocolate cake.


4 tablespoons self raising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract

1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. 
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug a la Vesuvius, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
 This can serve 2 if you feel like sharing. Serve with yoghurt or creme fraiche, ice cream or passionfruit syrup.

Now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night.

As the blogger Treppenwitz would say ( "Don't thank me, I'm a giver"

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Two whiskers twitching

Rainy weekend - perfect time to catch up on some sofa time

Friday, 17 June 2011

I invite you for breakfast

For freshly made bread and happy hen eggs, purring cats at your feet, a snug room with French windows, balconies and green vistas. Mid winter steaming coffee, confiture and comfort. Bienvenue.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Shady bows of parliament

Gates to Parliament, Wellington

Parliament gardens Wellington

Spooky tree, Parliament gardens

Waikanae, Kapiti

Monday, 13 June 2011

Earthquakes in Christchurch, again

One of the sayings heard in Christchurch or directed at Cantabrians over the last 9 months, has been the Maori saying "Kia Kaha" which translates roughly as "stay strong". Well the poor dears, I'm not sure they can do it much longer - who could? Most major earthquakes are followed by aftershocks, but then they die down and life slowly "normalises", whatever normal is.
Today Christchurch had two large aftershocks, a 5.5 and a 6. More destruction, more homes damaged, more injuries. Nine months and over 5000 aftershocks. The uncertainty is terrible. Whilst there is much being done to try and help, the basic questions remain, do we stay, do we leave, how will we cope with the winter with damaged homes, some with water flowing underneath them? It is a national disaster, and those of us who sit on the N.Island feel referred pain. Today, the category 6 earthquake was felt as far north as Wellington and as far south as Dunedin.
I am hoping the rebuild doesn't happen in the main area of the city. I hope for a new city, but elsewhere, somewhere a bit more geologically trustworthy, somewhere that sleep can be enjoyed without tension and fear, and where the daytime can be one of peace.
I wish you bedrock, Christchurch.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Giraffe wearing earrings..

and hippos playing chess

Our favourite place to buy gifts for friends, Jua Kali, is to close. I've enjoyed the beaded animals and the cheeky chess pieces. I suppose all good things must come to an end!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The leaf umbrella

I don't know what excites me more, your autumn leaves or yellow door?
I view through tickled twigs and branchy space
The passing of each wind scratched face.

Wellington 2011

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Autumn roses

As a child my dad cultivated roses. We had a small garden, but the edges of our corner property glowed with colour and fragrance.
Yesterday was misty and grey in the capital, but still warm enough to walk in the botanical gardens. Here are two heads who popped out of the grey to say hello.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Cake with no name

Justine, our friend and kitty sitter is coming for morning tea. I have no idea what to call these, as I sort of invented them. It is puff pastry filled with dates and almonds. Maybe they should be called Justines?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Photos of Jerusalem - A few days late

It was Jerusalem Day this week. Here are some shots from my 2008 visit.

Shabbat flowers Ben Yehuda Street

Barber before Shabbat

Rooftops - old city.

Thank to Leora for the idea.

Friday, 3 June 2011


Meet Tallulah, the "out and about lunching with the girls" cat from the apartment block near by. She is the new office temp. Here she is assisting with my filing and imitating a stamp that I have attached to the computer tower.

Wellington Dusk

We have such a beautiful harbour.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011