Friday, 25 October 2013

Sometimes just a little Junk & Disorderly

In the midst of the wonder & volatility of spring we journeyed to Palmerston North last week, driving through relentless torrential rain. Rob had a training day to attend & I had a day to potter around town.
Wednesday dawned dull & bleak & I rummaged in my bag for the warmest cloths that I cold find. Wandering up the road & around the corner into biting winds, I was feeling a tad despondent..not quite the charming little break that I had imagined...when, I passed an old-fashioned style sweet shop with "laugh" hanging on the door..
& a florist with a vase of lily-of-the-valley posies sitting out by the footpath. So, in I went & had the loveliest chat with Jennifer. We made a little deal...I would take a bunch of lily-of-the-valley with me & when I got home I would post her some double violet plants. Sounded perfect to me!
Next day, we made our way to Matt's in Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast.
Since it wasn't a terribly long journey we were able to take the time to stop at all the op shops & secondhand places we could find along the way, so we made a detour via Foxton..a small, New Zealand town..
with a jolly good Goldie's Junk & Disorderly antique shop. 

There's a bit of an interesting theme going on in the shop...turns out that there was a bloke called Carl Sim, an infamous forger & talented painter who took great delight, all his life, in painting & replicating other peoples art work. He apparently began his art career in Foxton where he opened an art & antiques store.
He was quite clearly a bit of a likeable rogue & when he eventually & inevitably appeared in court, in the 1980's, at age 65, he was facing 20 counts of forgery (having even changed his name at this point by deed poll to C F Goldie after a genuinely very famous New Zealand artist) even the judge was amused by his antics & instead of sentencing him to 10 years jail he was given a $1000 fine & 200 hours community service.
 Carl himself described the trial as "the loveliest court trial-we laughed the whole time".
He was also ordered to paint the Foxton Council Chambers and four toilet blocks in the town. He emblazoned C F Goldie in several places across his completed work.
As it happens, I was enchanted by this mural while we were parked outside the antique shop & took a photo of his work without even knowing a thing about the story. Amazingly, as I have been writing this & doing a little research, I have also discovered that Carl Goldie died 4 days ago on the 21st of October at the age of 89.
Eventually, we made it to Matt's house.

And most fortunately, he makes great coffee.
The fiddler decided to make a "thing" for charging my phone in the car, he succeeded in blowing a fuse...wondered why my radio didn't work anymore!
It was so good to see Fynn...he's 8 & had gone to school when I found his bed just like this.
We met Sarah...she's a lovely, lovely girl.
It was dull & cold & blustery even here. But the sight of this wee family cheered me up immensely.
And then a pukeko strutted through the scene..uh!
The landscape was moody
& heavy & not at all like the spring that we had left behind.
When we arrived home & I saw all my flowers & discovered this jam jar of lily-of-the-valley sitting on my front porch (from my friend Ruth) I burst in to tears..
there was even sunshine still at our house!

We have recently over-sowed new grass seed in this spot.
 It looks like a lovely meadow just now.
Of course, you would generally expect to find your mother up a ladder with a camera in her hands when you call in after work, wouldn't you?!
Dear boy has landed himself a full time orcharding job & cadetship.
Huge amount of personal perseverance involved, overcoming stuff & proving himself this last year.
And it all began with him "knocking" on the door & just asking.
Very proud of him.
So, the thing is...sometimes, if you climb up high enough you get a more objective view of ...well life really.
picking flowers from my garden...often, is such a joy.
It's quite hard to be flexible & adaptable, isn't it?
Hard, but one of the most important character traits to adopt.
One thing is certain, we will forever be facing change as we journey through this life.
Thank you so much for coming back to see me.
I hope that you are able to flow with the change of seasons easily & celebrate the the little things that matter, as they come along.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

How To Be An Explorer Of The World

Up the Garden Path, through the Woods, across the Summer Meadow or along the River Trail, which ever it is that takes your fancy, there's always an adventure to be had along that narrow winding track.
The winter waters have receded from our local rivers, leaving their annual silt deposits & new fertile riverside spaces that are quickly re-greening & bursting with new life. We walked around a corner & just a little bit further, on a recent walk & discovered this verdant, willow hung, shady trail that...
eventually burst out at a perfect swimming spot..if you're spring keen!
Lucy & the flowering cherry are happy friends.
I painted the top of these wee stools a cheery red. You never know when small friends might come down the driveway & need a perch.
The very red that I went to find to paint this old tin grater, that had seen previously sharper days, but was too friendly just to pass along as yet. And so I made a perfect little Lucy Christmas tree instead. 
A month or two ago a lovely fruity customer arrived to buy mandarins & also thrust a book into my hands saying "Here take a look at this, I'm sure that you'll like it too" and like it, I most certainly did!
 I have learnt to ask lots & lots of questions, through the years & to ponder things, every single day. I just want to KNOW about stuff! Mainly the things right in front of me, the issues & the gaps of knowledge that arrive right at my feet. For instance, I have been learning about fluoride recently, the stuff they put in our water supply here. All that I have discovered is not good & led us to start collecting our own water from a large tap right outside the treatment station..minus the hydrofluorosilicic acid. It was while I was learning about the nasty stuff that I found out about EZ water, but I'll tell you about that another time. It's good to ask questions & it's grand to be an explorer.
Sometimes, I think that we could all do with a fabulous pair of Enhanced Perception Googles so that we can easily spot "never before seen details of everyday life".
In the book I came across a project to find & befriend a tree. I knew right away the exact tree that I would write about, so off to the park I went & along the way I found white Dogwood flowers..
& heavenly lilacs.
This grand old sequoia has been a special friend to me since the winter I found it draped in over -wintering monarch butterflies. 

There is a seat at it's base that was made from the rubble from our 1931 earthquake that devastated the region.

People pause & rest right here, lovers rendezvous, some stop to read a while in the shade of these grand trees.
The bark of my tree is thick & protective.
I am a little sad that the park people have trimmed up the branches quite so high, in recent months.
There is a lovely vista from the stone seat.
The sequoia leaves are feathery evergreen & fragrant with a cedar-like scent.

Right next door, there is a kindly plane tree friend.
Do you have a favourite tree in your garden or a local woods or park?
I love this pretty combination of roses & cherry blossom in my back garden.
The flamingos are playing hide & seek amidst the rocket flowers.
I have also discovered that if you plant a buxus in a square pot you get square roots!
A serated fishing knife is brilliant for trimming the fibrous root ball (square).
I have repotted most of my buxus now. They last for years & years in pots if they're trimmed watered & fed along the way.

I have been keeping a very close eye on my lovely lily-of-the-valley.
The scent & delicacy of the flower is just like heaven to me.
If How To Be An Explorer Of The World appeals to you at all, you can find it on Amazon, Fishpond & at the Book Depository at a very reasonable price. I think it'll make a grand Christmas gift.
Thank you my friends for coming to see me.
I'll leave you with Joanna Wang...such a wonderful old song.
And what a voice!

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