Sunday, 10 February 2013


The time has come to say cheerio..
What a lovely sojourn the Willows have had here this summer.
They stayed just long enough to catch a final celebration in the garden..

for my birthday.
The nostalgic note of an English-style cider called Slack ma Girdle had them in a bit of a dither momentarily,
but they were soon most happy to share this delicious send-off & celebration baked cheesecake with us!
They've enjoyed the companionship of other furry friends (not that Toad is furry you understand, but a friend none-the-less).
And are now, at this very moment, winging their way back home to Pom Pom in Colorado. I am certain that they have missed her terribly & are anxious to be reunited with Mr Badger. In our time of Wind in the Willows immersion I've become rather fond of these illustrations by Inga Moore.
Aren't they full to the brim of finest detail.
I am sure that The Three will be quite relieved to return to Pom Pom's & burgeoning spring, it has been a long (well feels long) very hot, especially dry summer here. My brother took this photo of the hills not really very far from home..bone dry & powdery brown.
A long hot summer has led to cooling creations like this magical Strawberry Cloud Cake that I came across the other day. It is an Annabel Langbein recipe, although I have made my own adaptions as usual! This is just egg white, strawberries, honey & rose water...we were lucky that any even made it into the jars! Go here to find the full recipe.
We have also made a black doris plum version, either way these little pots are a perfect size to freeze individual servings in & the recipe would probably make around 8 of these.
I am hoping to have a chance to use these wonderful gem irons very soon for a tea party. I was so delighted to find them...I have never, ever seen gem irons enameled like this before, so I will take great care of them as they are still in entirely useable condition & I want them to stay that way.
With such settled fine days we have been visiting the market on the Marine Parade in Napier on Sundays. It's lovely to see so many different stall holders & have access to such wonderful fresh produce & cheap, interesting second hand "stuff". On our way home the other day I spotted a public garden full of these unusual pineapple plant flowers, I squatted down to take a photo of them & found  a lovely friend in residence.
Aren't they the most fabulous colour!
This is so weird...taking photos of myself..but I wanted to show you the sweet sundress I found in the Dog Shop the other day. I was so thrilled, as despite people telling me that florals & dresses are all in I hardly ever come across any. It's such a lovely fabric & fully lined. I've had to make a couple of little adjustments best I can but I'm sure my rose brooch will cover up my little tucks at the front well enough.
Here's another of my little Betsy Clark pictures & the Betsy proverb that goes with it. I just remembered that I always loved the darling little shoes in her pictures...they look so comfy too.
A cheerful heart
and smiling face
Pour sunshine in the darkest place.

Thanks so much for visiting.
Have a lovely week my sweet friends & lovely visitors.


  1. What a pretty picture of you! your dress is delightful. So looking forward to the Willows making it home to Pompom - this has been an epic journey - a whole year! a fabulous way to weave blogland together and a great way to bring out imagination and creative writing in all the participants. A belated happy birthday by the way. Betty x

    1. Hello Betty, thank you so much for your lovely comments & birthday wishes. Yes, wasn't it an epic journey indeed..everyone was just so lovely. Even Rob got in on the job & wrote in the book & filled out the Passport & loved it all! I do have to say that the Boys were looking fairly well-worn by the time of their last departure...goodness, some the things they got up to! Catherine x0x0x

  2. Hooray! The boys are on their way! I must make Badger as soon as possible so he can be on hand to greet them!
    Your sun dress is adorable and YOU are beeeeyoooootiful, my friend!

    We have snow on the ground. I am staying close to home today, bundled up in my butterfly wing shawl. I have a cold. Sad face.

    Your pictures are so beautiful. You have such an artist's eye!

    1. Hello Pom, goodness yes, I should think that the Boys are almost there! Thank you for your lovely, generous comments! Your butterfly wing shawl sounds snuggly. I don't know if you have noticed recently how when it is very cold...people are so warm to snuggle up to..warmer than any shawl..babies & puppies the works! Much love GK x0x0x

  3. I love the dress, it's so pretty & feminine. Very pretty!

    1. Thank you nice of you to say!!
      Hope you’re having a good week.
      Much love Catherine x0x

  4. The photo of the hills look more like sand dunes.

    We have a "slightly" cooler and a little rainy day today. It is quite nice to wake up to.

    That dress is very pretty on you.

    I hope the little friends make their way home just fine.


    1. Hi Alisa..yes they do look awful like sand dunes...not much left for sheep to eat that's for sure.
      Thank you for your sweet comment about my dress!
      It would certainly be a shame if our friends went AWOL at this point, so holding our breath until they reach Pom.
      Much love Catherine x

  5. Hi Catherine, wishing you a wonderful birthday! It was such a lovely post. The sundress is just gorgeous and you look wonderful. The gem irons are amazing, I too have not seen enamel versions, and they are the perfect colour aren't they? It always seems so green in photos of NZ, you guys must of had a hot summer too! I am so over it and looking forward to the cooler change. Take care, Tam x

    1. Hello Tam, phew it's been quite a summer hasn't it! I am sure looking forward to our feijoas..that'll tell me it's going to be cooler soon. Hope you get a few more off your tree this year. So weird...after neither of seeing an enamel gem iron all this time, I just spotted another one for sale on Trade Me this week. I wonder what else "they" made that I've never seen before?! Thanks for your sweet comments about my dress. I guess I better get on with wearing it while it's still sundress weather! Hope your kids are well settled into school again. Love Catherine x0x0

  6. Pretty dress and Happy Birthday!

  7. Hello Catherine, a beautiful picture post.
    I think I would love to try the Slack ma Girdle cider (have never tried cider but with a name like that!!!) I envy the 3 "visitors" to your lovely home & garden. What a wonderful treat they have had.
    Beautiful gem irons, I remember Mum making gems & we ate them warm from the oven. She didnt have enamel ones though.
    Beautiful new frock my friend - love it & it suits you with your rose brooch & your hair tied back :-)
    I have had a few monarchs visiting my garden lately even though I see my swan plant has been stripped for awhile, think I may plant some in a row.
    Happy week dear friend, rain is predicted so please let them get it right !!! Love Julie Xox

    1. Hello again Julie, oh do try some cider one can be found in smallish bottles too & is such a refreshing summer drink. Every brand is different of course, but Slack ma Girdle made us giggle & it was very nice! (found that one in New World)
      Funny, I wonder where ginger gems came from? Most kitchens, back in the day, seemed to have old cast iron gem irons & every one could make scones & sponges.
      Glad to hear that you have had monarch visitors..Shirley was saying that she & her friends haven't seen a one for 3 or 4 years now, even though she's planted swan plants..strange. I hate it when they strip the plants before they've all grown up..eek!
      Thank you for your sweet comments about my dress.
      Get your rain dance ready...must come eventually, although I don't suppose they want rain on their polo!
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  8. Lovely photos! Definatly looking up the strawberry cloud cake recipe and that cheesecake looks delicious! Pretty plate too. Your dress is just lovely. Very much my cup of tea! I found you on show n tell.

    1. Thanks for popping in...lovely to see you. I'm sure you'd enjoy the process of the Strawberry Cloud cake's so frivolous & fun to make & creamy delicious too. Thanks for your sweet comments about my dress. Love Catherine x

  9. a post full of prettiness!...that dress is fab! butterflies and cake...possibly all my faves!...glad I found you through Max.
    Allison x

    1. Hi Allison, thanks so much for popping in & your lovely comments.
      Pretty is always my fav!
      Have a great week.
      Love Catherine x

  10. First time visitor and I am so glad I spent the time here with you and your beautiful friends. Happy birthday and such a pretty dress !
    Such a peaceful place to sit and enjoy your stories..

    1. Hello Chris, thank you so much for visiting & becoming a very welcome follower. I so appreciate your lovely comments & birthday wishes. Have a lovely week. Love Catherine x

  11. lovely dress Catherine, what a great find! and as always, these op-shop show off's are educational-i always wondered what those metal trays were for (i knew they weren't for ice cubes!) and though i don't know yet what a gem is I'm sure i've seen a recipe for them in the edmonds cook book.
    love that shade of green, depression green?, my kitchen walls are painted a very similar shade.
    i shall have to make a version of strawberry cloud cake with some fruit out of my garden for claud, it looks like perfect food for a pink-fixated wee pixie.
    lovely to have you linking-up again, hope you have a great week x

  12. Happy birthday! Lovely dress :)
    By the way - You are born under the sign of Aquarius like me. :)

  13. Gorgeous colours, gorgeous yum, gorgeous dress, gorgeous you! Happy gorgeous belated birthday and gorgeous thank you thank you thank you thank you for being such a warm, bright, joyous finale to the Tour! Words fail. Even gorgeous doesn't do you full justice xxxxx Come to Ireland so I can hug you!

  14. Hello, I can't remember how I came across your blog a few weeks ago, but I bookmarked it to return to when I had more time to look properly. It is a beautiful blog with lovely content and I have subscribed to your posts. What really made my day was discovering that you are practically a neighbour (I am in Napier), so Hidey-Ho, Neighbour :-)


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! So sorry if you've tried to leave one & it hasn't worked. You are welcome to email me at instead, if you'd like to, much love Catherine♥

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