Sunday, 29 April 2012

A Celebratory Rendezvous

It was Pop's birthday this week.
We had a wee chat about pressies and stuff and decided that a very nice thing to do to celebrate such an auspicious event would be to have a night away together and even better, we could catch up with our boys from down South. Fynn was graciously released from his classroom for the afternoon and met us here in Palmerston North, oh yes.. along with his father.
He was just telling me that his charming waistcoat had come from the op shop.
 It was so exciting to see can seem a very long time in between catch ups when you are 8 years old. We loved the new mural that had been painted on the wall in Barista's.
Palmerston North is a student city after all.
 Fynn and I decided to leave "them" to it and walked back through the city together.
 Isn't this such a clever concept.
 They are all around town.
 Just tie up your bike & off you go.
 We decided to follow the hand and have a wander through the library.
 We'd never seen books made into a plane before
 and we loved the mobile and the sunshine.
 Who would have thought you could grow bananas in a library??!!
 The bells chimed on the clock in the centre of The Square just as we were passing.
 We noticed a delightful tui over in this corner.
 It was a useful time to exchange all kinds of things. The boys had a boot full of pinecones for us to help light our winter fires. They also bought their new drums with them. At their place there's a music room. Could even be a bit of busking coming on.
Pop is a drummer from way back, so a good Cuban rhythm was just the thing for after dinner entertainment.
Some of us got a wee bit tired.
 But the hands kept moving.
 Only an hour to get them home again so we'll keep that idea in mind for another time I think.
The next day as we were trying to find the Goodwill shop we accidentally discovered Terrace End Antiques & Collectables.
 The sweetest little vintage shop I have ever been into, I have to say. Yasmin has a wonderful selection of all kinds of retro, vintage & antique bits & pieces. She & her lovely shop can be found at 351 Broadway Ave should you feel inclined or be in the right nation to track her down.
 I love Vincent Ward pictures, particularly of his ducks & swans but these primroses & violets are just gorgeous.
 This is about the time that Pop found the "Sweep Fairy"
 in a perfect vintage green..
 he's hardly stopped sweeping since we arrived home!
 Part of the exchange deal was me picking up this dear little ladder. The seller lives just down the road from Matt & Fynn so that was handy! Trade me is such a wonderful arrangement here in New Zealand. So many things that you'd never find in a second hand shop turn up on Trade me...they really still are all out there.
 A perfect platform for shaking out the very dusty, albeit pretty, mosquito net from our bedroom!
Well I am off to watch "Call the Midwife" thanks so much to Betty for telling me about it.
Now before you go, do pop into see Betty the Wood Fairy she has just been hosting The Willows (all 3) & my goodness did they have some fine adventures while in her care.
So lovely to see you all.
Have a lovely week my friends.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Symphony of Singers and Some Fanciful Fungi

Whoever made up the silly notion that we condition our children
 to be girls and boys?
This little darling is so sweet, so girlie...just all by herself.
At 2 she is fondly acquainted with the notion of "pretty" and "beautiful".
She loves to nurture & cosset & fold & fuss & she has eyes to "see" loveliness...already.
I wonder if one day she'll pop around to Auntie Catherine's for a sewing lesson or two?
via Pinterest
When I was 17 & I left home, one of the first things I bought from a secondhand shop in Wellington was a treadle Singer sewing machine. It was quite like the one below & did the best stitching ever, so it was forgiven for only rattling on forwards & being outrageously heavy.
via Pinterest
I haven't bought any British Country Living mags for a while & we are generally pretty tardy in getting them here, but I was delighted to find an article in the March issue about these two lovely friends Rene Fullerton & Jenny Hamblin (oh look there's a Singer)...
"who share a love of distinctive retro designs & a passion for pattern & colour that also infuses their creative collaboration".
In the way of these things, there's always the new improved version just around the corner, so much so that the Singer company decided to produce a 
stream-lined retro style collectable edition that has just become a available to commemorate 160 years of Singer production. I saw an advert a few weeks ago in a mailer from a local wool shop. The day of it's arrival (the pamphlet) it was a drizzly dismal inside day & so there was a little more time to ponder than usual. After about an hour we both said "ooh let's go & have a look!" So off we went to town. We made the poor shop assistant set it all up & answer all kinds of silly questions & then we both had a turn....mmm tension not quite right, quite bulbous & bulky, not sure about all electronic buttons & way too loud! Well at least we went to see..then came home & hauled out the little old Singer that I bought last year. 
Oh it's so beautiful & metal & shiny & durable..
& does amazing stitching & you get to turn knobs & direct the fabric yourself & it's got a knee pedal!
So while I added a little extra to the sides of some delicious old cotton sheets...'cos for winter it's way better to have lots of tuck-in to keep out the breezles.
 Mr decided to create some slings for his first aid kit by using my scraps & a few flat-felled seems...copycat! Have you ever owned a Singer? And did you really love it? May be you still use one too.
With in a few days we finally had some fine weather & blue, blue skies!
We went walking, foraging down at the Showgrounds...
it's quite lovely & almost wondlandy at this time of year.
With warmth & so much moisture & being Autumn all manner of fungi suddenly began to appear..

What is it about the old colour pictures that makes even mushrooms seem romantic?!
I was a wee bit busy last week on pick-up-milk day so I asked Rob if he would mind going for me, when he arrived home I discovered he had taken the prettiest bag to collect it...because it's what I would have used he sweet.
I don't think I'll take him to The Mart with me again though..he found himself some welding goggles as he says he's like to do some metal work someday.
 We had actually been out that way to pick up this sweet little fireside chair that I had bought on Trade me.
 Doesn't sunshine just do your soul so much good.
I'm rather liking Mary Oliver's words.
She is an writer & poet.
I hope there is sunshine for your soul this week lovely ones. 
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Hidden Treasure and the Key to a Great Adventure

"Have you ever been given a key to an adventure?
 It may, in fact, not look much like a key at the time that you receive it and could be delivered to you by anyone at all. In my case, the key to a grand adventure came through the gregariously open hand of Gernot, a delightful conversationalist with a myriad friends & a healthy appetite for delicious food and adventure himself.
He can be found at our Farmer's market on any given Sunday...and as it so happens, he just adores hot springs too, or so I discovered during a serendipitous conversation at a birthday party in early March.
And it was during this chat that Gernot told me of the hot springs at Tarawera...Tara-where-a? Well nowhere in particular really, just quite simply a spot halfway between here and Taupo (a two hour drive away). And since that very next week we were to be traveling that very road, I carefully tucked the specified directions into my head and decided to do a little research to see what else I could find out about the Tarawera Springs. I came across some helpful information here  and learned that the pools had been officially closed by DOC in around 1985, but as I scrolled down further I came across a story that sent tingles up & down my spine & that I just couldn't get out of my head....
"What a shame that it's been closed!!! I have been trying to find it's location ever since I heard about this amazing event. About 5 years ago I met an Maori man in Waipukurau when we were doing a computer course together. We were talking about our belief in Angels. He told me that about 15 years before he had stopped at the local pub there one day. His, then, 3 year old son wanted to go to the toilet, so dad had stopped and decided to have a bite to eat while they were there. He told me that while he was up at the bar, he meet a old Maori man he asked him why his son couldn't walk. He told him that his son had a crippling condition, and that he had never been able to walk and that Doctor's said he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The old man suggested that he take the young boy down to the hot pool. When the boy got out of the pool he had gained movement in his legs, which increased over the next month and eventually resulting in the boy walking normally. As he still did as an 18 year old young man. The father had driven back to the pub to tell the man and to thank him, but something really strange happened because when he spoke to the Tavern owner and his wife. They said that they had never seen anyone who fitted the description of this old Maori man but that other people had also told them similar stories. So wish is that another miracle happens and the pools get reopened."

Dianne - New Zealand  
Rating: 10/10   27th December 2006

So now, of course, I really was determined to stop in at the Tarawera Cafe & see if we could locate these legendary waters. Right on the rise, the midway point, we paused in our journey home...oh no closed! Oh well, Gernot said to go around the side of the cafe & along the road for a distance & then there was a 15 minute walk until we reached the off we went, past the house to the left..until we came to a gate & the familiar vistas that I had seen online. Right, walking from here...
Lovely hills, wonderful countryside..
and lots of sheep...perhaps it's over this rise??
but alas, an hour later there was still no sign of hot springs...
 just more lush green grass & the odd thistle or two..
"Oh bother we give up!" (we said together in an Eyeore sort of voice)
On our way back down the driveway we made one last attempt to find our way & asked at the old house out by the road. Finally making myself heard above the boisterous dog chorus, we were informed that the springs were in fact located 10 mins back towards Taupo.
Rob, still forgivingly patient at this point, kindly agreed that we should retrace our steps for one last try.
And no, I was not mistaken, the other place had a large sign saying Tarawera Cafe too!
After making enquiries & a particularly reviving cup of tea we followed new directions at "our own risk" down past this old macrocapa tree.
We gingerly took the car down the track a little way & then gathered our things & set off on foot.
We could hardly believe they were!!!

Utter, magnificent bliss!!

However, I can see that there can be no other status than "officially closed" & I wouldn't personally take children to the pools.
The water is marvelous..
turned Rob's silver wedding ring a deep purple.
There were rosehips
& other bush/hedge row treasures..
 all along the trail back to our car.
The journey home seemed to take no time at all & I slept more restfully than I had in many months.
Our grand adventure was only part way through, however & we were to return a few weeks later to soak again & make some marvelous new discoveries.
You can read about what we found just here....especially if you have a fondness for Katherine Mansfield.
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