Wednesday, 25 March 2020

I'm a VIP!!

And right now, this is what my life feels like!!

Translation of the title, I'm a Vision Impaired Person !!

Thank goodness I learned to touch type, I just hope that I'm hitting the keys that I think I am because once they're typed the picture I see on the screen is  a bit out of sync!

The latest injection is being slow to correct the weirdness that developed over the past two months - it's a bit like looking at a very badly sewn piece of patchwork where none of the seams meet!

It's now the second day of Lockdown and I'm happily in my own little bungalow with Dvorak playing.  

Here's the view from my bathroom window, a favourite place to contemplate as I can lean on the windowsill which is above the heated towel rail, and I am such a chilly person!

I've moved the old wooden piece of "furniture" , it's a sort of trolley, to sit in the dip in the garden where there used to be a very big avocado tree.  Sadly the tree died and had to be removed.  I've also concocted my own gadget for the birds to have access to water and they're loving it.  Very high tech, I used an empty plastic container for one of my favourite frozen meals, shepherd's pie, put in some washed stones and filled with water.  I noticed some birds bathing in it so put another one out yesterday.  At the same time I pass on any left over food and a spoonful of bird seed.

Also my garden is now flooded with sunlight which the plants are loving; my neighbour on the north side suddenly decided to trim some plants, when asked I gave her the name of the company that removed my tree and the next thing I knew, the noise of saws was flooding the neighbourhood and lo and behold, not a tree or bush was left standing.

Including the old pohutakawa that over the years had been a joy and a bane; it attracted the tuis, shed blossoms and shaded the whole area. There's now a five foot treetrunk left beside the fence - which has one small shoot - time will tell if it manages to regenerate!

I'll leave you now with a photograph from Phil who has just heard he has a booking on the ferry returning tomorrow from a holiday touring the South Island - no doubt I'll be sharing more of his work with you.

Here's Phil's capture of Cape Farewell and my quotation for today is " Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get." Proverb

I'm tempted to ask if there's anyone out there! but no matter what, I'm enjoying talking to you again.  Take care,  and be safe.


Friday, 25 October 2019

A joy shared is a joy doubled!

I just love that curved line of foam left by the waves - somewhere along the Wairarapa coast - taken of course by Philip, who is loving his happy place after nearly one and a half years.

I looked at the web site of Capital Quilters this morning, and found they are still giving a link to this blog - oh dear - so I am inspired to post something to say thank you.

A friend on Facebook has put up a post, you know the sort of thing "so and so has challenged me to put up a book I recommend" - there's no way I can resist joining in - books have always been such a big part of my life, I can't remember when I couldn't read - how about you?  I used to read in bed to my sister, a couple of years older, and my brother, four years younger; sometimes with a torch under the covers in the mistaken belief that Mum wouldn't know!

Birthday presents were always books, and when I got a bit older my big brother - 11 years older, would take me on the bus into Chichester to
W.H.Smiths so I could exchange my book tokens - a task that took me hours!!

My first contribution on Facebook was "The five people you meet in heaven" by Mitch Albom - sad in a way but full of hope.  I scored it ten out of ten in my book diary.  I've kept one since 1970, least ways that's the earliest I can find now.

Remember the kumera in the mug? here's what it looks like now -

 Looks great, doesn't it?

I've had a big tidy up in the sewing room and now of course, can't find anything! well, just the little case with a see through top I thought I'd fill with fat quarters and take along to the next meeting, see if anyone will pay a modest price, and I can give the proceeds to the Foundation for Blind and Low Vision - what do you think?

I join a couple of friends most weeks for a chat and coffee, lately we've been going to Mitre10 in Petone which is on the flat and has lots of parking - they also have very tempting things to buy!

I thought I was buying a coleus plant, my late husband grew them in the glasshouse so there were always several round the house. 

I don't think this is one, but it just keeps growing!  I've taken cuttings for my friends which have produced roots so quickly. 

You know me, can't resist a spelling error - well, this was in the local supermarket and I'm sure the reference to the mis-print is about the price !

Or is it a new flower?

So it's time to go now for a late lunch, but leave you with another of Phil's amazing photographs, to mirror the lovely lines of the first one, and the question, "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for reading my blog.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

I Think I've been here before...

What amazing colours!  Photograph courtesy of my son Phil, now a  resident in the Wairarapa for over a year - and while I'm mentioning time and dates, I was astonished to realise that it's been eight months since I last posted.  Time for the re-birth, perhaps?

It's been mainly various health issues that have been my reason for not posting more often, but hey, I'm fortunate, still above ground and managing to keep warm - I find layers work well.

Last week I attended my first Craft morning under the auspices of the Blind Foundation; my specialist eye doctor registered me with the association and they are just fantastic - not that I'm blind, maybe won't be, but definitely of lower vision than I was.  

My front garden looked just beautiful, check out all these plants -

I've enjoyed going to Capital Quilters Meetings, held on a Saturday afternoon in a local school hall means easy access and good parking - not to mention the coffee shop nearby where I can buy fruit cake, actual dried fruit in the cake - delicious!  

Recently a couple of quilts caught my eye, 

so much there to catch the eye of a child, and

I wish I had made notes because this fascinates me - I'll see if I can find out more and let you know.  Have you ever seen a design like this?

So much that is just awful seems to be happening all round the world, was it my generation that let things get to this state?  I'm not a millennial, was born just before the second world war; maybe we just left everything to the government without realising they were people like us and not the fount of all wisdom.  I find it quite odd that I'm once more doing fashionable things like mending, and re-using and taking my own shopping bags to the supermarket - heavens when my sons were small, there were no supermarkets locally.  I know, it's a different world...

Time for afternoon tea, the last piece of nutty bread baked by my granddaughters and a cup of herb tea.  I'll leave you with another of Phil's photographs, [not quite fifty shades of grey],

and the thought, "The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture." Seneca.

Here's to the next time,



Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Patience carries a lot of wait...

Glorious colours from the south Wairarapa coast; I love this area with the row of trees, such interesting shapes in silhouette, aren't they?

How do you like my pun in the title?  I'm living it right now; last Monday week, I moved awkwardly and pinged a muscle in my lower back.  Rest and time are the only cures, so I believe, and I'm finding it difficult.  The good side is that I'm sleeping very soundly, maybe helped by the painkillers, so it's a matter of gentle movements and patience
which has never been my strong suit,

It's a good opportunity to catch up on sedentary occupations, so knitting and watching TVNZ on demand is filling the bill.

I couldn't resist picking a few of these, some sort of wallflower, I think, with a variegated leaf, but so good to have all that colour on the one plant and with the oh so variable weather, we can do with cheering up.

Wellington Quilt Guild has just had an exhibition, right in the city on the wharf at the Academy of Fine Arts - which I think is a beautiful venue, but then as a Wellingtonian and Life Member, I would!

Also as a Life Member I have the honour of awarding a prize, and it's completely up to me, I don't have to mark it or justify my choice.  To me, scrap quilts are the ultimate joy and hand quilting - though I do realise less and less quilters are doing so. 

This quilt just ticked all the boxes for me :-

Scrap definitely, it had such appeal and warmth that I wanted to wrap myself in it!  And such a surprise as the quilts were all anonymous, it was made by my fellow Life Member, Jane Dagger.

Another quilt I want to share is one that contains quite a bit of my fabric!  Made by a friend with whom I enjoy coffee and chat once a week, most weeks, in the colour wash style -


Bother, I can't remember what she called it, made by Jann Pearce that I do know! 

This is "Waste and Renewal III" by Fyvie Murray, our talented President - I just love those colours; somehow it reminds me of Art Deco...

After we'd picked our winners, a friend and I went for a short walk along the wharf to One Red Dog for coffee and a snack;  we chose potato skins, very tasty - though next time I'll ask them to put the dressings on the side; one was too spicy for me.

Time to watch "The Chase" and enjoy being able to answer a few questions, it also reminds me that its been a long while since I watched British TV, the celebrities are unknown to me!

So I'll say cheerio, and leave you with another of Phil's photographs,

great sillhouette - and I believe she was caught by a wave soon after!
And the thought that "The world is round so that friendship may encircle it." Chardin.

Thanks for reading my blog,

Monday, 1 October 2018

Just Do it!! Advice to myself...

How's this for a view from your window?  No wonder Phil loves being in South Wairarapa.

Had a few hiccups recently with my internet access and computer, do hope it's been sorted; it was a long frustrating story and I've ended up with not just one, but two desktop computers.  The old one "died" and then came back to life with the techie was installing the new one and I've now decided to change my supplier which should save me quite a lot of money. Fingers crossed...

There's lots going on in the local quilting world, great meeting of Capital Quilters on Saturday when we held a competition; several teams had been given a bag of fabric from which they had to make a quilt top.  They could pre-cut but no sewing until the meeting started and at least one piece of each fabric had to be used.  is the website, I'm sure they'll be posting photos of the amazing tops that were made - I was too busy rushing around gossiping with friends I hadn't seen for months.

This caught my eye from the crazy mom blog, bright cheerful colours and strings - I love that the strings are actually itsy pieces - and who doesn't have a lot of those.

I'm enjoying TVNZ on demand - re-discovering old programmes and seeing if I do still like them or have my tastes changed.  ER is standing the test of time; it was made in the mid-nineties when HIV was very much to the fore of hospital issues. Did you use to watch it?

Wellington Guild's exhibition opens later this week, as a Life Member I get to chose a quilt for my award which is always a thrill, and funnily enough not difficult; usually one jumps out at me when I walk around. 


A glorious sunset at the 'ponds' near Ngawi and the thought, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi

 Thanks for reading my blog.


Sunday, 29 July 2018

Trees and clouds in the south Wairarapa, photographed recently by Phil, not far from where he now lives.

I'm sure many clever words have been written about putting off doing things, I just love this one - courtesy Bonnie Hunter, quilter extraordinaire -

After I posted the last blog, I was so enthusiastic to get back into communicating with everyone that I started sorting out photographs - then I thought, no, don't rush into it, leave it a few days, people don't want to get too many - that was four weeks ago...     We'll see...

It's been a busy time; I've been invaded -  by ants!  I'll spare you the photographs, sufficient to say I've never seen any ants in this house and I moved in late 2000.  I saw a few - haha - on the kitchen bench, my granddaughter googled ants and raided the kitchen cupboard for cloves which we put along the window ledge...

Next morning there were thousands marching in lines from the front window, up to the top of the wall and along to the kitchen, crossing over the end wall, under the window etc. etc.  I grabbed a lemon from the dish, cut off one end and drew lines - the ants simply walked around the juice.

An sos brought the rest of the family, complete with a tube of ant repellant, we used my masking tape - usually for holding down the quilt sandwich - and dotted the sticky stuff around the rooms.  Next day there were no ants to be seen, but I'm keeping a watchful eye...

As I mentioned last time, the kumera is doing very well -

with a little help from the wooden horse.

 I missed the quilt meeting last weekend, but do have some photograph to share from the previous meeting - and my sincere blanket apology, if you'll excuse the pun, no names were recorded -

 I wish I'd spoken to whoever made this, fascinating - see that almost nine patch at the top?

 Very modern, big pieces - I'm a fan of straight line quilting.

 What do you think? for a much loved family member?

 Great how the touch of red and subtle green add so much to a black and white quilt, imho!

This I do remember as it was made by one of the Shut-in Stitchers, DTU.  Good to see, I really miss going in to teach at the prison; they could use more volunteers - hint, hint!

Did you see the list published by the Washington Post of the  latest alternative meanings, my favourites are: balderdash (n), a rapidly receding hairline and lymph (n),  to walk with a lisp.

I'll leave you now with the quotation, "Don't mistake activity for achievement," John Wooden  and a photograph of the Wairarapa, east of Masterton.

Thanks for reading my blog

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Some Daily Bread

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes"  Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, with these reflections in the rainwater ponds near Ngawi, we get a double helping.  I've been fascinated by clouds for a long time; I remember lying on the front lawn of the house I was born in, back in the UK, probably enjoying the scents of the grape hyacinths, watching the clouds, 'seeing' all sorts of pictures and making up stories about them.

Phil took this photograph recently.

The weather is milder today, very chilly yesterday with a heavy frost on the lawns though not enough to rescue the man-made ice rink in town.  It was supposed to be the venue for an ice hockey match but the final straw was the wind blowing over the fences.

 A Canadian friend, Gill, has posted photographs of the wild life in her garden, recently a chipmunk - not something we see in NZ unless it's the kind I saw on Facebook recently -

It's so cute- beautifully done [sorry I don't know the name of the quilter]

I had a birthday last month and this is the cake my family brought round -

Isn't it a beauty?

I will have to empty out the vegetable basket more often; I found a sprouting kumera the other day, not sure if it is advisable to eat it when it's sprouting, so I popped it into a container -


a mug I gave to my late husband -  I think it's a perfect container.  Since I took this photograph it's grown considerably!

I went to a meeting of Capital Quilters recently and was again impressed by the number of quilts shown, these took my eye -


Half square triangles are a big favourite; I've made several quilts setting them in different ways though it's difficult to beat Barn Raising.  

The simple looking squares are actually pieces of needlepoint tapestry, or maybe commercial tapestries, either way, it's very effective.

Something about the cute little foxes is hard to resist - though my sister who lives in the UK and keeps chickens wouldn't agree.

The last quilt I know as Inner City - really beautiful.
I came across this little book when looking for something else in the bookcase recently, as one often does, and wonder who else remembers them?

 Funny though, I was sure the School Journals were around when we came to NZ back in 1958, if so how could this be No. 1? Maybe I'm confusing it with another publication.

There's a delightful story called "Yuck" by Marilyn Duckworth and the traditional poem about The House that Jack built...this is the cat, that killed the rat, that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built...etc.  I think my ggd will love that one!

I'll leave you with the thought, "Let us go singing as far as we go; the road will be less tedious." Virgil and one of my favourite - heck, they all are - photographs Phil took on our recent road trip around the south 'Rapa.

From a distance, I thought they were buttercups, not sure what they are, just beautiful!

Thanks for reading my blog,