Monday, December 23, 2013

The Christmas Season

 The Time for parties and festivities and fairy lights and food is upon us. And in two days will be all over for a year. I'm making the most of it this year, with two friend's parties in a row - one at the Middletons (above) and one at our place (for the first friends party EVER around here).
 A splendid time was had by all, and the party pom-poms were great. Nice to have slightly smaller groups in each one, so that I got to actually spend a bit of time chatting and enjoying the company.

 The local Baptist church put on a Christmas Extravaganza, which incorporated many trees decorated in different colours. And all this BEFORE Christmas Day itself. Hopefully, that will be worthy of its own post.

Monday, November 25, 2013

In hopes of a leaner frame and a larger outlook

I had not realised my weight had been gradually going up until a visit to the doctor's recently confirmed what my clothes had been trying to tell me for a while. I must admit, I shed a few tears in frustration whilst talking with my medic, because of the hopelessness of it all. Then I was encouraged (once more) by friend Jan to try to 5:2 diet she and Mark have been on for a year which I have scorned. The word 'fasting' sets off something deep inside me. When my sister also suggested it at lunch the same day, I finally folded.
I must say, it is not anywhere near as bad as I had feared. After three weeks I have lost 3 kgs, which is much too fast, but I expect it will go up slightly at the next weigh in. I have chosen Monday and Thursday as the day to have less than 500 calories, and in two meals. Surprisingly NOT like the fasts of old. I have a boiled egg usually, for breakfast, along with a cup of blueberries or strawberries. Then a couple of black coffees keep the pangs at bay along with some herb teas such as the one above. I think the ritual of the coffee/tea break can be enhanced by the clever use of keeping a nice receptacle for sipping, and enjoying it all slowly.
Since I work from home, it helps that when the hunger pangs set in around mid afternoon, I can either take a walk, or take a nap, and then it's not long before dinnertime, and a very light meal of salad and salmon or something. Watch this (increasing) space.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christchurch visit to see some saints

 Four of us went down to Christchurch last weekend to see the three saints who had come up to our conference, and with whom we've been sharing the Lord. David and Nicole, are on the left of this pic, along with Yusty, whom we just met in person, and whose house we are in for lunch. (I stayed with her)
 Saturday night was spent at this home for dinner and a meeting to follow - this is Sharon and Eddie's house.
 In the morning on Sunday we went to Mark and Karen's place and met up with a different group, and I shared my story with them.
 Lunch and lots of chatting, before being whisked off to the airport by 1pm.
 Below: lovely faces of those we went to see.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nostalgic Visit to Family Bach - for one of the last times?

 This past weekend I went down to Waihi Beach to check on the state of the family bach, which I haven't visited in over a year. It looked like the pic above. Surrounding it on all sides, carefully mowed plots with people living on them, and then this neglected bach. What a lot of memories it stirred up. Mostly ones to do with Dad, for whom the bach was his hobby. I thought of him many times, aware that he had gone only a year ago. We children spent many summers playing sneaks in the long lupins on the left of the section, before it was developed, and wandering down to the inlet behind to get muddy and scratched in the marsh grass.
 Nothing much has changed in all those years on the inside either. Each one of the cupboards and appliances was brought down separately on the trailer, to our great delight, and installed. Uncle Murray lay the coloured lino blocks.
 Going for my regular long wistful walk along the beach toward Bowentown, I came across (or rather, they came across me) these horses enjoying the surf.
 And a trip to the beach would not be complete without some fish and chips eaten within metres of the sea, with the obligatory seagulls waiting for their handout.

Monday, September 30, 2013

WOW - World of WearableArt in Wellington

 Helen and I headed south to Wellington last weekend to see the WOW show. It was 25yr anniversary of the show, and it was such a fantastic night. No cameras allowed, but the memories are still with me. All my childish fantasies explored in costume, dance and audio visual extravaganza.
THEN we explored Wellington, enjoying on Sunday, a High Tea at the James Cook Hotel.
 I think this photo of the two of us flying down, perfectly expresses our excitement and joy.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Settlers of Catan

 Okay, so this is how silly we have gotten. . . We decided to start playing board games on the first Friday of every month, and I brought home the game The Settlers of Catan, just because it had been such fun in Bournemouth. Well, one game behind us and we all had such a good time, we had another go last night. Prior to that we'd all decided on some rather silly names for ourselves. See below. The Slater of Catan won last night's game.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Let's have a savoury scone with that. . .

 Cold wet Friday, and I'm tapping away on transcriptions here in the tiny office at home. Come 10am what is better to do that to roll out the basin, turn on the oven, and make some of those savoury scones Cathy and I enjoy on our morning teas up at Riverhead.
This recipe I made up with the base from the Edmonds book. Three cups of flour (one of mine was wholemeal), 3 heaped tsps baking powder, half cup cream, salt, sprinkle of dill/rosemary, pepper, cup of grated cheese, some parmesan, chopped up gerkins/dried tomatoes/leek. Came out really well.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Getting the background and characters right

 Spent a wee bit of time this arvo perfecting the art of making a bonnet - in readiness for the Writer's Weekend starting tomorrow, and Sat night when I have to BE one of the characters from my own novel. In this case, I'm writing about 1860 New Zealand during the gold rush. Sheesh, talk about making it hard for myself.

Friday, July 05, 2013

I am wheelie happy

  It's silly how thrilled I am with this little beauty. After years of hand-me-down cars, kindly given by Dad, or cars that I could afford, but didn't really love, I have now got a car that ticks all the boxes. If you could see how many times my eyes glide to the right, out the studio window, and look fondly on the glistening navy panels and shape just outside. . .
Anyway, I must swivvel my head back to work, and remember the all too pleasant country drive I took earlier, followed by a drive down city streets and parking, which was all a DREAM.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Mum in dire straits.

 Mum has had a series of minor strokes, which have affected her speech and vocabulary, and spatial comprehension.
 Although physically she looks pretty good, she's got some work to do to return to living independently. Watch this space.
Bless her!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scotland, the Highlands and back

 Very happy memories of a great trip in snow and ice around the Highlands in the first week of December 2012.
 Enjoying a cider at The World's End tavern in Edinburgh.
Wonderfully citrus smelling garlands on sale in Edinburgh at the European Fair.