Thursday, 5 April 2012

All Things Bright and Beautiful

The clocks have been "fallen" back, the rains have come... and stayed, the children have finished their first school term, chestnuts are falling and Easter slides in upon us.
Margaret Tarrant Chestnut Candles 1928
While we were out walking during the week (between showers) we happened to take a random turn & quite unexpectedly found ourselves passing an entire front "garden" of fallen chestnuts...real ones!
The house had a slightly unkempt air & the garden had been planted with full hope, many years ago. Knocking on the door several days in a row yielded no result, so I wrote a large note (large because I didn't want to risk it being thrown away since the writing on the letterbox stated "No junk mail"). I asked if they would mind if we had a few chestnuts if we raked up all the prickly bits too?! 
Sure enough, that very evening I received a frank & friendly phone call from a Greek sounding man. He was most happy with my suggestion as lots of other people had simply been taking them (the Chinese he was sure). We soon learnt that you need to handle chestnuts with more than kid gloves! Just as we got started in our foraging quest a breeze got up & began to shake the trees all around, chestnuts started to fall from the sky...ouch!! "Feels like being hit by angry baby hedgehogs" cried Rob and he was right!
We gathered up a whole wool phage of prickles & nuts which took a bit of processing. Quite sure that the Chinese wouldn't have left us enough nuts & delighted that we had tidied things up, our Greek man duly arrived the next evening with yet more chestnuts for us. As it turned out, he is the minister of the Greek Orthodox Church in town..
I wasn't home at the time but Rob assures me that he looked much like this...only without the hat! (maybe not the dog either)
(However, this fellow is in fact, David Wasley artist, shepherd and maker of coloured windows & Fellow of The British Society of Master Glass Painters) 
I didn't know that chestnuts have tails.
 They really are very hedghoggy don't you think?
We have forgaged all kinds of nuts in the past few weeks (even hazelnuts right by the footpath)..still perfecting the art of roasting the chestnuts.
I had never noticed how Christmassy our Easter actually is before. Just around the corner outside Eversley...a lovely Eldercare Home, I noticed a handsome holly tree in full regal berry.
Clyde (Potter) grows the finest organic produce.
 I'm so glad he brings some to our Farmer's Market
Lesley form The Squirrel's Pantry grew these delicious little kiwi berries.
 They are tiny kiwifruit without fur!
I found these wonderful sundae dishes at the People for Pets Op shop this week. All six in perfect condition... might have to make something delicious to put in them for Easter.
My sweetest find in ages came from Trade Me.
There are pictures in here that I have never seen before.
"Queen of the Brownies" 1926
I was a Brownie once but not in 1926!
At The Mart I found zinnias.
It's quite hard taking pictures of pictures!
I love the colours.
Our lovely South Island city Christchurch, still has a long way to go in rebuilding & reinventing itself after more than a  year of vicious earthquakes. The much loved Cathedral has had to be be demolished except for the very outline of the foundation. Coming up to Easter I remembered the precious pictures that my friend Leigh had sent me of the inside of the Cathedral & the commissioned angels that hung in it in the weeks before the first earthquake. 

 Amazingly, no one at all was hurt in the Cathedral itself at the time of the first quake.
 There had also recently been a Festival of Flowers.
So beautiful!!
They make you feel like this..
"Welcome Spring" by Percy Tarrant c 1925 (Margaret's dad)
I always loved the sentiments in the hymn "All things bright & beautiful" as a child (still do).
On Tuesday there was a knock on the door (& it wasn't someone wanting to buy fruit) it was Barbara our lovely neighbour across the road. She came bearing this...
and instructions for making Pope Pious's bread.
You nurture & feed the dough for a week or so, divide it in to 4, keep one part & give the others away. With the 1/4 that remains you get to make a delicious cake...for Easter.
I love the concept...the rising & the nurture & the kindness & the sharing.
I am hoping those things might crown your Easter dear ones...a time for sharing & remembering & giving thanks.
Thank you so much for coming by!


  1. Hello Sweetness!
    I love that Queen of the Brownie image. My mom calls fairies brownies.
    You really should be the angel of the house as well as the angel in the garden because you are such an accomplished house-maker!
    The chestnuts are so interesting! They do remind me of hedgehogs!
    Love to you, angel friend!

  2. I hope you two have a delightful easter.

    Lovely pictures as always.


  3. Your glass dishes were a lucky find. I love chestnuts but the squirrels always get them first here!

  4. A gorgeous blog Catherine. I too love chestnuts, they are such a pretty tree too.

  5. Oh, I had no idea chestnuts came wrapped in hedghogs! LOL

  6. Beautiful Zinnia picture - my mum's favourite. You and Rob are expert foragers and much admired by me for it. You should lead foraging tours around Hastings!

  7. Hello Catherine, a delightful post - hope you had a lovely Easter also. Especially love your Op shop finds - & also the idea of the bread/cake sharing recipe. A old neighbour of mine used to do something similar & it was called "friendship cake" - it had some fruit in it like sultanas I think.?? Have a wonderful week - kind wishes, Julie :-)

  8. Stunning green glass and at an op shop!! We never find green glass in oppies around here!


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