Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Katie & The Talking Factory

 After 8 long weeks The Mother stands silent (she needs new bearings & a valve replacement),
dozens of squeaks & squeals have been remedied
but not my noise!
 I now know more about the guts & inner workings of "the most productive factory in the world" than I ever cared to know.
We think that we may have finally tracked the source of our noise but the next challenge is to find someone on site who can actually "hear" it too. Factory deafness is endemic, so it seems.
I feel like the little boy Sparky who heard the train talking to him. One of those stories for children on the wireless back in the day. Only, I'm a Katie & the factory has been talking to me.
This time of acute challenge & sound sensitisation has been quite fascinating, in it's own perverse way. I have discovered that sound is sneaky & deceptive & that it likes company. That it travels in waves, bounces off walls & masquerades in layers. I have also come to realise just how cacophonous our modern world has become & how many people go about their lives quite oblivious to the bombardment of loud & irritating sounds. 
Yet to hear...the voices of our loved ones, the chatter of children, birdsong, the susurration of the wind  through trees, music, the purr of a cat...these things are gifts. Truly to be treasured.
I find that I had rather got out of the habit of listening to music but with my constant & annoying companion persistently wittering in the background I have sought refuge in the sweeter friendlier more lyrical sounds of music. A few months ago when Matthew & Sarah popped in for a visit they brought with them a particularly natty little device called a base disc. So cheap & entirely portable...almost pop it in your pocket compact. A little blue tooth portable speaker, it enables anyone, anywhere to listen to music even from a simple iPhone. Our stereo is creaky, hopeless & "had it" so I bought a bass disc for myself so that I can get a better sound from music played on my computer.  
 I even discovered an upgrade that cost precisely nothing-when the speaker is, quite simply, plonked in a bowl you get greater amplification!
Finally, now in October we are having some magnificent days of spring.
What a joy these double tulips have been. I will certainly be growing them in a large pot again.
 I am always refreshingly astonished by the incredible burst of spring power that overtakes every bush & blade of grass come spring.
 So much green-life green.
 And then begin the flowers...

 I discovered that an elderly neighbour has an un-favoured lily-of-the-valley patch tucked in to a corner of her front garden. I popped in to ask if I could pick a little & offered to bring her some flowers from my garden. in return."They'd just be a damned nuisance that I couldn't be bothered with," came the reply, so I picked some divinely, fragrant, bells anyway.

 I do believe that these dear flowers should be called "fairy bonnets".
 This is perhaps the sweetest fairy bonnet I have ever grown. I adore it!
 Last week on one of Rob's days off we grabbed a pretty vintage blanket & a bottle of bubbly & found ourselves a hill on top of the world.
There wasn't a breath of wind,
 just birdsong & spring magnificence all around.

 On our way home the sunset was so beautiful...we screeched to a halt & raced back across the Havelock North bridge...just catching the colours as they faded in to night.
A few days along...
 The flowers are now filling the garden & my vases with spring joy.

 We have had a delightful supermarket promotion here for the past month or so of Little Shop items. Tiny groceries for children to collect & play "shop" with. I did giggle when a friend passed on some little packets & what should we find but a tin of Watties peaches. (Watties is the factory over the fence making all the racket)
 I hope that you are all well & living with gracious & well behaved sounds around you!
I hope it won't be quite so long before I get back here again.
Much love to you.
Thank you for visiting me.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. Your spring flowers are absolutely stunning.
    Anne xx

  2. I loved your post today. Your flowers and garden are just wonderful. Lilly of the valley is so dainty I have never either picked it or grown it yet it was my father's favourite flower. How fun to go for you hilltop tipple I think that must go on my to do list! I do hope the noise is resolved soon. Betty

    1. Hello Betty, thank you for visiting me & your lovely comments. Funny that you remember that lily of the valley was your fathers favourite flower...do you know the scent yourself? Apparently my great-grandmother grew it all along the south side of her house. Back then gardens weren't always fabulously kept mind you. Hope you find a nice high hill before winter sets in. Perhaps you could make some of my elderberry elixir with the brandy & honey to take as the tipple part! Actually I added some ground rose hips to the last batch. As I recall you have rose hips in abundance just now. Yes...I hope the noise is resolved very soon too. Much love to you my woodland friend x0x0x0x

  3. I think people really can't hear as well as we used to, even young people. There is always some kind of sound. I've found that when I'm able to get in a quiet place it takes awhile for my ears to stop ringing & just hear the quiet. So sad.

    I love lily of the valley! I've been working on growing my own patch. Our hot dry summers are very hard on them so it's been slow growing. I haven't had enough yet to really pick but I can't wait to fill some little vases with them - maybe next spring.

    What is the flower you called fairy bonnet? Right after the lily 'fairy bonnets'? :)

    I love your photographs, the beautiful close ups & the far off views.

    1. Hello my dear friend,
      Thank you for your faithful presence!
      I hope that I might manage steadiness too one day before I am too much older.
      I wonder if hearing is something that we rather take for granted unless we’re disturbed by intrusive sound.
      Funny...this last week or so Rob has been waking particularly early to the song of a raucous early morning bird song.
      I heard it myself this morning...loud!! In fact there are so many birds around us I sometimes find them almost too much.
      We heard a dove this evening though....how lovely.
      There are some that live in a large old palm tree down the road...one must have strayed from home for a little visit.
      Good luck with your lily of the valley growing. I keep persevering too. We also have very hot dry summers.
      I noticed that the old ladies plants across the road are actually in very poor heavy soil but flowering profusely, however
      they are also well watered by the neighbours irrigation system that sneaks under the fence. I also notice that when I grow them in a pot
      that they do best once they are well crowded. I gave my pot full a good handful of sheep manure & have had a really nice number of flowers this year.
      Such a divine scent...it’s worth it.
      The flower that you asked about is just an aquilegia or granny bonnet....I should have said.
      What I meant was that instead of grannybonnet they should be called fairybonnets.
      Thank you for your lovely comments & your visits my friend.
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  4. Your flowers and your garden, exquisite! And your countryside, I really want to come to the North Island of NZ one day, preferably in springtime I think now! I am reading Katherine Mansfield's journal at the moment, how she yearned for New Zealand when she was sick and dying of consumption. Very sad.

    1. I love your visits....thank you so much for popping in. I hope that you do indeed get to visit our lovely land one day soon. Spring or autumn...both are particularly lovely. Yes Katherine Mansfield's story is quite harrowing & very sad. You might like to read about a strange little encounter that we had a while back here: http://anangelinthegarden.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/finding-katherine-mansfield-in-middle.html
      Much love to you. have a happy week. Catherine x0x0x

  5. Such 'springness' in your garden, so beautiful!

  6. Hia, it's Helen....popped over to see if you'd posted and was delighted to find you had (didn't want to bother you by email!)....thank goodness you've (hopefully) found the source of the sound....let's hope you can put a stop to it....Beautiful photos, as always....your picnic out with bubbly and silence sounded just the ticket! Am also going to ask you what the flower is, the one that you say is your sweetest fairy bonnet, after the lily of the valley photos....it's so beautiful, I'd love to know what it is...[Sending you all my best wishes, as always, my dear blog friend xxx]

    1. Hello dear Helen, thanks so much for coming to check on me. I am still being driven up the wall this minute, surely there must be an need to the noise soon!!
      The flower that you ask about is just a double granny bonnet (aquilegia or columbine) I was just reflecting that my preferred name for them would, in fact, be: fairy bonnets not granny ones! Hope that you're doing well Much love Catherine x0x0x

  7. Your flowers, garden and countryside just exquisite. I would love to visit the North Island of New Zealand.

  8. Hello Catherine, Again a beautiful colourful springtime post. So glad you seem to be getting the noise problem sorted. Hopefully it will be sorted soon & you can look back & think "oh yes spring 2014, that was when we had that noise issue". Your garden is looking so beautiful, we have had a little rain here which has been great for the growth. I am glad you had a picnic out with a blanket & bubbles, just what you needed by the sounds. Whenever I see your vases of flowers it always makes me feel like picking some for myself. Your lily of the valley is so delicate & beautiful. Sending love to you my friend, x0x0

    1. Hello dear furiously gardening one! Hope it's all coming together for you. I really like that....thank you, I'll hold on to it. To be able to look back....at last on the stress of this time will be truly wonderful. Bring that time on!
      I often have to remind myself to pick flowers. Although it's sometimes a bit of a dilemma I find...do I pick it or do I leave it be & enjoy them where they are? It would sometimes be great to have a picking garden too, maybe.
      Much love &to you across the Island & good luck with the weather. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  9. I'm so glad you're back! Your flowers are so beautiful as always and I just love the pics from your outing. The mountains look like pastel drawings of mountains. Your posts always have me wanting to move to NZ! It is getting so hot in my part of Australia now and soon my garden will start to fry. I do have some beautiful jasmine growing though - I love its sweet scent and it reminds me of my childhood. Katie

    1. Hello dear Katie, oh you are so sweet!! Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes I know it's always so hard when precious garden starts to bake & you just can't save it. It all just kicks in to survival mode. It must be quite a challenge. I love jasmine too. Pretty hardy stuff..& some! The vine on my fence seems to have flowered for months & months this year. Did you ever suck the honey out of the ends of the flowers when you loved it as a child? Scents are so evocative aren't they. Have a lovely week. Funny...I've never tried hemp seeds. Must look out for some. Much love Catherine x0x0x


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