Sunday, 12 January 2014

Astonishing Encounters and the Compost Pot

Sometimes I think it would be quite reassuring to be in charge of life, but as it turns out I'm not actually in charge of anything much at all... most likely a jolly good thing!! My job this year, is to do all that I can to...bloom. That's going to keep me busy enough!
So imagine my astonishment when lurking at the Farmer's Market last week (buying greens), I heard a quiet voice say to me "Excuse me, you don't know me but my name is Pip & I'm from Dunedin & I follow your blog. I lost my husband last March & reading it has really helped me"!!!
I was totally blown away! I am so humbled & amazed!
Pip & I managed to sidle past the bins of courgettes & the hoards of visitors & find a space to chat a minute. Wonderfully, she agreed to come to our house, just around the corner & bring her lovely daughters Grace
and Ruby.
We were so thrilled to meet you...lovely ladies. Thanks so much for coming!

That same afternoon, Margaret (from next door) & I were standing out at the gate when a car pulled up containing a frazzled & bamboozled older couple who were desperately lost & trying to find their way to a wedding reception.They were actually miles out of the way & would most likely have remained lost had they not stopped & asked for help. We eventually figured it out & sorted out some directions & sent them ever so gratefully on their way.
I've since had a charming retired Dutch gentleman from down the road visit & bring me delicious fresh figs! And sold some for him too.
And been scammed by a woman in great distress saying she'd left two children in the car just down the road & she'd run out of petrol could I help her? I did & then realised the details that she'd written down for me were bogus...but more about that in a minute.

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a pixie or two (well you never know with all that's been going on just who you might come across!) I like him a lot.
We've been busy painting walls, replacing old fireplaces & securing the bookcase to the wall in the living's only sat like that for 25 years & not fallen on anybody yet! We had to move stuff around a bit & ahem, clean..a lot! The ornamental birdcage got hung outside & suddenly I saw it differently in the light.
Sometimes we don't really need huge change, just a different perspective of the same things, don't you reckon?
Our old ancient plum tree has grown absolutely mentally the past few months. We left this plum to ripen but it kept hitting us on the head as we went passed, now it's nearly down to my elbow with the weight of it. I wonder who will get to eat it, us or the birds?
Maybe Burt will scoff it. He is so craggy & mangy looking & adores fruit & most especially cat biscuits. He's forever on the back porch pinching some more of them after Charlie's wandered off!
After mowing & painting & selling fruit on Tuesday we headed out to Tainui Reserve for a little late afternoon picnic. A perfect hot summer's day.
I found this spot overlooking the valley when I was hunting for banana passionfruit for Audrey for Christmas.
It was so still & so beautiful.
The valley was filled with the song of tui & the woosh of the wood pidgeons gliding by.
We lay on our backs & watched the clouds go by.
Later I looked down & realised I'd placed my glass beside a baby loquat tree.
Wonderful crab apples along the way & an azure summer sky.
My hyacinth beans have "beaned" this week.
I find them entirely fascinating.
Such an unusual colour.
 Today I am deeply mindful of the joy of having flowers in my garden.
Little hydrangeas like this "You & Me Together"..
 and sweet blooms to pick through every season. Truly, truly "earth laughs in flowers".
The purple koromiko is not only pretty & pickable but also medicinal as the leaves are used in traditional Maori medicine to treat upset tummies & other complaints.
When an agapanthus flower got knocked off in the driveway it suddenly dawned on me that the flower head didn't really need a stem to be enjoyed, so I "knocked off" a few more to keep it company.
Now back to the Goodness jar & to Compost. Compost (has she gone mad?!!) After seeing the lovely film "Gardening with Soul" recently & watching Sister Loyola giving very clear instructions in the art of compost making to the community garden workers, it occurred to me that I too needed to be making compost; of a different kind! Through the years I have chosen & leaned towards goodness, kindness & floral loveliness & life should have been good indeed (most excellent even), but it wasn' much crappity crap got in the way & was dished out to me continuously.
 To get really good blooms & grand vegetables, plants need to be watered & fed regularly & so do people. So I have decided that I need more than just a "Goodness" jar, I need to do something with all the rubbish & the trimmings too. I am layering my "Compost" pot with the dumb stuff, the sadness & the rudeness & the being "scammed" moments. My pot may get quite full but at least I will be acknowledging the challenges & doing something with them. At the end of this year I will feed the lot to my tiger worms & in turn feed my garden with nutrients for best blooming.
And "Vanessa" my woman in distress, well I rang the Police about her & then decided to be ever so grateful for all that I have & for an open heart to the needs of others. I am deeply grateful that my desperations are not like hers & I've let the encounter go...released it to the compost pot!
I've never made such Compost before so please do pipe up if you think of any other interesting ingredients for my pot or perhaps you might like to make one too. Let me know if you do!
Thank you so much for visiting me. A special warm hug to my friends in chilly parts.
Wishing you all a lovely week with way more Goodness in it than Compost!


  1. What beautiful visitors you had & lucky them to get to see Lucy for real!

    Your flowers are so beautiful, I know I say that almost every time you show some but I can't help it.

    I love your compost idea. I read another blog written by a story teller from West Virginia, USA. Every year on New Year's Eve they burn their troubles in a bonfire at midnight. She tells her blog readers to send in anything in the comments they want to get rid of, she writes them all out & tosses them on the bonfire. I thought that was a fun way to start the new year. If we can learn to let go of hurtful things we can be so much happier & free.

    1. Hello Jenny, yes weren't they all lovely. How amazing that Pip recognized me too!
      Thank you for appreciating my flowers.
      I really like your Story Teller's idea about bonfires at New Year. I think perhaps it's one of the most important acts to practice in life really...the art of releasing hurts & letting go. I would love people to send in their troubles but I think many may be a little shy on that one. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  2. Catherine you write the most beautiful posts for your blog with beautiful photos, such a joy to read. I REALLY like your compost idea, taking something not so nice and turning it into something good. Your picnic sounds wonderful and looks very peaceful. Have a wonderful week,
    Anne xx

    1. You are so kind Anne, thank you for your lovely reflections & words...what a blessing & a tonic. I hope your week is going well with lots of happy time in the new room. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  3. You're so friendly! How wonderful that you came upon a blog follower!

  4. What a great idea! love your blog posts x

  5. I like old bert, he's got tremendous character! Shame about Vanessa, but I think you were wise in your decision, sometimes I think these events are sent to remind us of our own good fortune but also to hang on to it! Compost is something I dislike doing - when I had my allotment it was all everybody talked about up there but I do know it makes a huge difference to the size of your blooms! so good luck with that. Betty

    1. Hello Betty, yes I thought that you'd "get" Burt. He's so funny. He's there every day "asking" for fruit. It's kind of obvious that it's him : 0 He loves plums & pears the most.
      I have to admit that I'm not terribly good at making compost for real. But I do have a worm farm in an old bath. Easy to just to chuck all the vege scraps & trimmings in to it & they just gobble them up! They're quite fascinating. Much love Catherine

  6. Dear Catherine,

    I many not always take the time to visit you in your enchanting space here but may I just say how much I delight in your vision of the world. I love this blog dearly and each and every time I pop in I am totally inspired!

    Thank you simply for being you!

    Warmest wishes from a surprisingly sunny and warm winterbound France.


  7. Hi Catherine - love your photographs they are gorgeous! Like the birdcage too!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  8. Hello Catherine, I agree with Betty, old Burt looks a most interesting old chap :-) How wonderful to meet a fellow blogger all the way from Dunedin, lucky they got to "meet" with Lucy also. I think your picnic spot looks just about perfect, its great to stop & take some time out from busy summer chores that always seem to be there to do all year round. Your birdcage looks wonderful hanging outside. I am thinking of having a bit of a rearrange also but mostly just need to .... clean :-) I think the Goodness Jar & the Compost Pot sound a wonderful idea ... will be great to have a little read at years end perhaps & laugh at all the "compost" dished out through the year & hope that the Goodness Jar far outweighs the pot!!! Have a lovely week my friend, Julie x0x

  9. Your kindness to "Vanessa" is you being the good person that you are.Don't worry about her problems you could never change them.Just you don't change yourself.Hope you understand what I mean.Loved your ornate birdcage, what a delight.How wonderful to meet a follower of your blog out of the blue , I'm sure it would have made her day as it did yours. You've made a friend.You mentioned the sound of the Wood Pigeon, it's truly a lovely sound as they fly by, have always liked it as I do the talking of the Tui's. We have lots around our property, especially when the flowering cherry tree is in full bloom. The large tree moves with the huge number of Tuis that nestle in it. Took a video of it one day, it was such a treat and delight.Lovely idea re compost and your goodness jar. Take care. Shirley

  10. Those hyacinth beans are amazing! xx

  11. Visiting you from the Op Shop Show off. What a gorgeous blog post. I love that you are blessing people you are not even aware of.

  12. Oooh, i hate the thought of you getting scammed, you've such a gentle spirit I'd hate to see you heart harden. that aside it sounds and looks like your having a lovely summer-and your pixie is adorable! have a lovely week Catherine xxx

  13. Dear Catherine, I love visiting you here and reading about your good (and not so good) days. I’m glad you decided to compost the memory of the scammer, as my mum used to say, “You will get your reward in heaven” and I truly believe you will. Much love to you and yours Catherine, thank you for always making me smile Barbara xx


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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