Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Living Juicy

Golly, I didn't mean to disappear!
I have been keeping up with Sunshine Vintage & doing some very necessary & deep emotional work. Meantime...the world swirled on around me & then quite suddenly it came time to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Surely that can't be us...35 years!

We took some time off & went north for a couple of nights to stay in Gisborne. Although I spent a good deal of time as a child visiting with my grandparents in the little town of Wairoa I had never been to Gisborne before.
We passed through Wairoa on our journey & stopped at a great little cafe called East End in the main street (well there aren't really many others, actually-streets or cafes).
We loved this creative design in the entrance.

Look who we saw peeking out from her little feather bed in the rafters of the veranda...Mrs Swallow.

We went & found my Nan & Pa's old house in Campbell street.
I always loved that old Pohutukawa tree.

Then we found where my other grandparents had lived awhile.
Wairoa is where my parents first new each other.

The road to Gisborne is windy & hilly but soon enough you can see down the other side.

We were advised to use the back entrance when we got there because.......
there was a night food market & fundraiser for the old steam train being set up right in front of the motel.

Goodness, we didn't expect front row seats!
We were even given vouchers by the motel people & found ourselves a lovely cheese platter.
All the food offerings were capped at $5 to make it affordable for families & to encourage people to try new things.

The train has been restored by volunteers over the course of the last 30 years & what a marvellous old thing it is.
Rob remembers a train much like this from when he was a child in Nairobi, Kenya.

Lots of palms all around Gisborne...they love the sunny seaside climate.

We found a marvellous & large bookshop.
Fun Christmas tree idea.

Just around the corner we walked by the beach as the sun went down.

We found a wonderful ancient Pohutukawa tree along the way that looked so inviting some of us climbed up in to it's welcoming arms. Cool hut.

 I love it when the tuis fluff themselves up like ninnies.

We searched out all the op shops & found the thriving Farmer's Market on Saturday morning just near the museum.
Walking along the river bank we came across this very cleverly painted building.
The skies were so blue & the wetlands around some parts of the river most intriguing.
It's a real shame that the rail link has been closed so everything has to travel by road or container ship.
But we soon realised that the main route in to town for people, is the well used railway bridge.

And the primary pastime for many on a hot & sunny Saturday afternoon is sitting on that very bridge egging each other on & hoping that your courage might pass on by & help you face your fears & jump!

Posturing helps!

Next morning there were more goings on in the road out front.
Around breakfast time there assembled an entire vintage car club.
They set up a little christmas tree & piled up a mountain of parcels that will be given to needy kids.

The whole thing began to take on a hilarious life of it's own.
After a bit the Sallies turned up to play some Christmas carols, but alas, there was no choir.
Soon enough some willing volunteers stepped in to sing-a-long. Not sure they knew any of the words but their enthusiasm was welcome.
On our way home we stopped at Morere springs. New Zealand's only hot salt water pools.

I spotted a new wild flower on a bank as we passed by. I've taken some cuttings...not sure what it is so do let me know if you're familiar with it. 

Many times we have felt so alone through the years...the indifference of our families a harsh & palpable thing. So we were over-joyed to receive such nurture & warm hospitality on our journey, the enveloping of arms of "you're just fine" enabled us to relax & know that yes, indeed we are.

On our return home my lovely friend Gina sent me this:
We didn't just take a nice little holiday, we journeyed in celebration of connection. We talked about the transformation through the years, the waking up to so many things & the vital necessity of juice. 
Living juicy means being truly alive & vibrant & growing & having resonance.
It means not boring the heck out of each other with the sameness & stuckness.
Living juicy brings sweetness to life.
In each other we find home.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Sunshine Vintage

Hello dear friends & readers!
It's been a truly enchanted October in our neck of the woods. 
A lot of sunshine & some jolly good rain which is a marvellous combination for spring.
I grow much of my lily of the valley in pots so that I can keep a close eye on it through the year & then when it's in bloom I can move it to the front porch to be admired & inhaled daily.
I think I may have discovered the secret of growing this heavenly plant, at last. If it grows like weed for you then you'd never bother putting it in pots, but here it isn't at all weedy, so deep pots it is & then best to "do not disturb". It's a plant that seems to like being a part of a close family. A handful of sheep pellets in winter, as the flowers are building reserves to appear, is useful & perhaps a sprinkling of epsom salts & then plenty of water & you should be just fine. 
I was so pleased to find Ann (a lovely crafty acquaintance) on my doorstep the other day to pick up some Trade Me items & even more delighted when she said that she reads this blog & thought that I might like some lilac from her garden.
I was completely overcome by the sweet beauty of her gift. More than the delicious flowers I also learned how to prepare lilac for keeping in a vase. Ann had scraped the bottom of the stems with a knife (or you could use open scissors) & what do you know the blooms lasted for over a week in this gorgeous vase I found in The Hospice shop- very cheaply as it had a small chip & a crack.
With all our wonderful spring sunshine I decided to make our back garden a living room too. I hauled out the old trestle table door & with some careful tricky manoeuvres I got it up all by myself. I then decided that my shabby painted candlesticks wouldn't really mind being outside for a while & so I set the table as an invitation to outdoor living. As if I needed an enticement!
It doesn't take much to make a simple space feel like a special place to be. The table/door was snaffled for $20...unwanted & unloved beside a house down the road & the trestle legs came from St Mary's School Gala several years ago. The candle sticks had lost there silver surface & were being discarded by a friend...pretty test pot paints re-defined them nicely.
I couldn't help but open the kitchen window wide early one morning to take in all the floral beauty.
So lovely having a happy rhododendron outside the window.
In fact there are two. Friends.
Just like the serendipity of the rose Souvenir 'dun Ami & the flowering cherry Sakura gloriously entwined & flowering simultaneously.
It happens every year. Each in step with the other.
I was so enchanted with Ann's lilacs I went & bought a classic version for our garden. I am just digging up some knotty roots & then I shall plant it at the front gate so the scent will follow us all up the driveway every spring. Did you know that lilac flowers are edible? And they taste a lot better than I imagined they might.
Out our bedroom window Lucy is swathed in blossom. This one called Pink Perfection.
Mutablis is sweetly fluttering under the window too. No wonder she's also known as The Butterfly Rose, although it was originally named Tipo Ideale (unusual, not surprising it didn't stick). I am always amazed when I realise that so many of the roses I love so well are so old. The Butterfly Rose was introduced prior to 1894!
This quote by Elise de Wolfe fits me quite, quite perfectly so I think I shall use it as my mantle.
It is so nice to have so many different flowers to pick again.
These silly little things know that it's spring too.
Which is all just perfect for nice visitors to come to tea in Lucy.
Phew...they bought their own cakes. I just made it all pretty & made the tea!
It has been the loveliest thing having visitors to Lucy & people are so grateful.

I have decided to make Lucy open to anyone to come for tea from now on. So I bought a domain name & made a simple little website:
That way everything gets all tied a pretty bow!

This dear lady is a woman of the Au (the meadow) & after my own heart.
Such a lovely little video about her passion to make the world around her more beautiful by planting flowers.

gardening withlove from withlove project on Vimeo.
Click the link below to see the video in a larger format & there are some more photos of Edith here.

If you have time do please pop in to sunshine vintage & let me know what you think. I will add some more information about the plants & seeds as I go along. And remember, you're most welcome to come to tea in Lucy...anytime.
Thank you so much for visiting!
Have a happy Sunshine Vintage week.
Much love Catherine x0x0x

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