Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday morning

This is what is before my eyes now - outside the window of my studio (for want of a better word) - leaves that are definitely on 'the turn'. (Hmmm, I think I am on 'the turn' too - let's not go there).
However the days are crisp and blue, and gentle breezes only, so that's all I need for the possibilities to stack up. Unfortunately I must put in a show of working as well. This afternoon I head into the city on the bus to don my hat as Communications and Marketing Co-ordinator, but before then I can be 'general layabout get nothing done' person for my own business. I HAVE snuck out to the garage - oops, read that as 'workshop' - and pushed a bit of paint around on some canvasses. So far nothing is emerging from the initial strokes but hope reigns eternal. I'm hoping to get in a bike ride before I head to the bus, but if I keep up this activity on the keyboard much longer it will be a non event.
Here's more orangey leaves to prove it's happening out there.

Simple pleasures. I love the sun shining through the frosted glass of our front doors in the morning. It always draws me and fills me with a feeling of possibilities - open up and see! Pretty light patterns on the carpet too.
I've got a room to tidy behind me (it's just as well I face forward!) and various other household chores that other better friends would have dealt to a few days ago. Ne'er mind, aye?

Here is further proof of the season - and a delicious sight for the senses even when the apples are close to rotting in that front row. Our kitchen table, laden with late summer harvest, picked lovingly by hand from the local supermarket.
Something I actually DID do by hand, are these peanut brownies, waiting to go with my coffee for my morning break.

It's such a skill to build up a pleasure in very simple things. My mother taught me well. And when there's less and less to buy with, and fewer car journeys, it's amazing how the world can open up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I went and visited this famous tent at lunchtime today. I haven't yet organised myself to pay for a concert there, while it is in Auckland for the Auckland festival - which finishes this weekend. So I think this is my only glimpse of the tent. But that was showy enough, and I'm very impressed with this turn-of-last-century showpiece. Check it out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

From bikes to birthdays and back

Some days start out aware that you've already spent too long staring at the screen - wads of work still to get through, and you're already feeling like doing something - anything - creative with your hands apart from push computer keys.
And then your new bike gets delivered in the morning, and you get a short change to drool over it before needing to bus in to the city to work.
but afterwards, there's the walk back to Robin's place in Parnell for a rare evening and 'girls night' - here she is putting the chicken roast in the oven.
And I sighted the basket she bought for her own bike, and have already made plans to purchase similar for my own beloved wheels.
I discovered at about this point, that it was her birthday the next day. Sigh. Wasn't prepared, but she was very forgiving. We enjoyed a lovely roast chicky dinner and wine. . . then headed off on the Link bus to the movies at Rialto. ('Slumdog Millionaire')
And the next day, the birthday, headed off early to breakfast in a local cafe.
Then in to work at the Uni. At lunchtime I headed down to Unity Books to check out their book sale, and found a niece working behind the counter.
Same niece took same bus home with me. Don't we look tired?!
but I perked up in time to read my new bike a story from Enid Blyton to get it used to the adventures it's bound to face.
And showed it around the kitchen and how to do the dishes.
- time for bed, I think. Hey, it's not possible to read too many vampire books is it?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Barbara's 70th birthday celebration

This is my friend Barbara who turns 70 today, and who celebrated at the French Bay Yacht Club on Saturday night, under the theme 'Vintage'. I met Barbara through my Small Business course which she took, in 2006.
Liz - centre - is presenting Barbara with a gorgeous journal she made for her, full of photos and filled in by guests all evening.
Barbara ran a weekend workshop a couple of times last year, and these are two of the ladies in the group.
As you can see we were quite a mixture of vintage.
I hope I look as bright and colourful at 70!
Telling a story.
This was the group of us that met for those weekends in the BE group, that Barbara ran.

Monday, March 02, 2009

First days of Autumn

I have some confessions to make, so I'll use this blog as my 'confessional' and hope for some form of absolution since I'm coming clean! The last few months have been more or less utterly devoted to cycling - the joy of getting out on the bike and heading off somewhere with a thermos and cushion. Summer here has been conducive to that state of mind as well, with many clear summery days and long weekends. It occurred to five of us a weekend ago, that we were all heavily influenced by Enid Blyton, and the Famous Five adventures, and that maybe this was a latent but now surfacing response to that childhood bedazzlement.Glancing at the pictures and gaffawing at the story afresh, it seemed obvious that that was what we were doing.

Ah, look at this bicycle! Spinning off on another important mission, to save the locals from the Nuclear scientists or the Germans!!
Confession 2. I've been reading a lot of books like the ones in the picture. In fact, these ARE the books beside my bed. I can't believe how many of these are at the local libraries! There must be droves of fantasy/horror/romance writers all frantically tapping the keys even as I write this. So, ask me any questions you like about vampires or lupus, and I'll do my best - there's a commonality about their abilities and physiques that starts to show after a few reads. I'm hoping to completely drown my system with such stories, so that I reach an end to the interest and move on to higher and better things. That's the nature of the Jeffries gene anyway - obsess, watch endlessly (or read endlessly), get suddenly tired of, never watch/read again.
The previous two confessions ought to explain why there is so little evidence of creativity in this blog - unless you count the shortbread I made a few days ago - below. Mmmm. Full of ground almonds.
. . . but you'll notice as Autumn starts stretching her fingers toward us, that my once fruitful pots are all looking a bit limp and struggling. . .
. . . this used to be termed 'potted colour'.
And typical of Autumn, we have lashings of apples, and the tail end of some wonderful nectarines, which are on the way out. How I LOVE nectarines!
However, THIS delicious joy is not seasonal! On the days I work from home, here's my perk up in the morning. Espresso coffee!

BBQ at the Middletons

After putting off the Christmas bbq with friends this year, we've finally had the promised get together, and this time it was at the home of Caroline and Garth. A special treat because G and C have such a beautiful house, made and designed by Garth. (When Jan left at the end of the evening she was heard to mutter to my sister, "Back to our hovels!" ha ha). This is Beverley and Sean and their girls, with Helen and Jan, in the main lounge.
Linsey and Merrill were there for the first bit, such lovely girls too! It was Merrill's birthday, and I was reminded of the fact that she's the only child I've ever SEEN into the world.

Funnily enough, the men ALWAYS end up outside at the barbecue. It's a relief really, because it means that having a bbq is equally shared effort by males and females.
All these women had made their salads or desserts and now could just catch up. This is Caro (whose house we were in), Cathy, and Linda with her daughter Rosie.
Finally we were able to load up our plates.
After we'd had a few highly successful games, this is the tail end of the party, going. Gord, Cathy and Peter.
Hamiltons on the way out, and Cathy and I. I'm still in my high shoes, which is why I look like I'm towering over everyone.
Naomi, and Jan and Helen, with the luxurious kitchen rolling away behind.