Counting Down

Blogging is a wonderful thing isn’t it folks?   We all start our blogs off with  a certain outcome in mind, a certain reason for putting up those first posts and I wonder how many find those initial thoughts and intentions are changed or widened and deepened quite soon after that innocent and hopeful  beginning.  I bet none of us thought when we started out that what would really happen is we would build a community around our blogs, make new friends and sometimes even get to have real adventures with them.

In just two weeks two bloggers from the USA and one blogger from Canada will make their travel worn and weary ways to my little home in New Zealand for a celebratory reunion.

We all met through our blogs here on WordPress.

Alys from Gardening Nirvana

Born To Organize

Kelly from Boomdeadda

Laurie from Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things

Image result for lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings

Three years ago we all gathered in Washington DC and met up for the first time in the flesh.  There was a core group, which included Julia from Defeat Despair, but we also got to meet and spend some time with other bloggers albeit briefly and of course there was Lisa from Arlingwords who toured us enthusiastically and knowledgeably around Washington DC – it was a fabulous time filled with amazing women!

You know, I got to see many amazing things on that trip – my first to the States – but the memories that stay most strongly with me are of the people.  My friends of course, and on one memorable afternoon, the many friends of one of those friends, but also left deeply etched into my impressions are of all the folk I encountered incidentally and accidentally and in passing.  Everyone was so NICE –  friendly, interested, well spoken, polite.  They all happily posed for photographs, took photos of us, for us and seemed genuinely pleased to meet someone with a strange accent from a little known place near (or in one case IN)  Australia.   Everyone said ‘Thank you!’ so convincingly I arrived back home saying ‘THANKyew!’ too.

Now it’s my turn to return the hospitality.  It’s a smaller group sadly, but still it is set to be great fun.  We will spend just two full days in Dunedin before travelling ‘up Central’ to the mountain plateau town of Wanaka which will be our base for nine days and from which we will explore the beautiful places all around the area.  While there’s an unending choice of things to do and see I believe there will also be some crafting time and jigsaw puzzling time and crocheting time.  We are having a very hot summer this year and currently the temperatures are the highest that have ever been recorded in that area  (I’m hoping that by the end of February they may have dropped a little)  so sitting quietly creating things might be all some of us can aspire to.

There will be more than just the four of us going on this little adventure.  My ED, Joanna and her partner Steven are driving down from Wellington to be part of the convoy that heads west into the high plateau.  My YD, Danella, recovering well with her mangled leg will also be coming, but not driving.  Siddy won’t be driving either, though his head will be out the front passenger window and his backside on someone’s knee at all times…….

An added extra will be the arrival of Alys’ husband Mike flying in from California for a couple of days as we wind down our time together.

It is going to be FABULOUS!

Before we go up country there will be a couple of days to explore Dunedin City.

There’s this fun trike/ motorbike that takes four people at a time up and around the hills of Dunedin to admire the views with ‘Experience Dunedin Tours’ This photo from their website experiencedunedin.com

Tours Dunedin.jpg

There’s a chance to check out the model for this proposal at the museum – this is my favourite plan ever for a city in this country  (Yes, there is no sound)  It has already progressed from being a thirty year plan to being possible in just six!  I may yet live to see it soaring majestically at the head of our beautiful harbour

On March 1st  we head up and west to the Lakes District and the heart of Tourism Capital  We are hoping to fit in a few fun adventures between exploring gold mining towns and tourist towns and wine and cheese tasting;  There will be barbecues preceded by margaritas and lake paddling accompanied by Siddy.  There might be gondola rides up the sides of a mountain, kayaking, bungy jumping or a more sedate visit to a lavender farm.  There might even be some adventure cycling for some fit folk………..  There WILL be wineries and cheeseries and lots of food.  There may even be some shopping.  Mostly there will simply be the chance to enjoy each other’s company – how fabulous is that?

We’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

On Light Catchers and Other Things

I found the ensuing post in my drafts folder.  It was written in October 2017, just before I fell over my own feet and the legs of my easel and started the ball rolling on three months of ‘failure to stay upright’ events for myself and my family which you mostly know about and suffered through with us.

Now safely on the other side and having been uplifted by the wonderful community that gathers about this blog throughout, I want to share this news, aged as it is, with you and introduce you to some great folk, whom I do hope you will wander off to say hello to – tell them I sent you and you’ll be in like Flynn  😀

********************************

Some months back, deep in the heart of my winter, Susanne and I got into a bit of a discussion on her blog about patios and light catchers and weathering and as a result of that conversation I sent a light catcher off to Canada.   Susanne was going to hang it in her little summer garden and we were going to undertake an experiment, observing how the components behaved in an outdoor situation.   It never arrived.   Please do go here to read her beautifully written and wickedly funny piece on time and tides and missing light catchers and what eventually happened…………

While waiting to hear from Susanne – and expecting the worst – I made more light catchers.  This is the only one that made it into the gift shop.  It’s called ‘Summer Garden’ and I love the colour mix…….

hdr

The others were given away.  And eventually I even received a commission from Luanne to make a coral one – you read about that in the previous post.

Also included in the long forgotten draft was a little story about the inspiration for she who is variously known as YD or the Official Photographer or even by her own lovely name of Danella – the inspiration for her living-room do-up.  An event that some of you may recall from last year.   It’s important to still post this as I promised Derrick I would and life got terribly in the way of me keeping my promises for the past four months…….   

Any hoo – the inspiration came from a photograph my friend Derrick sent me of his beautiful garden.  (I say ‘his’, but the garden designer and curator is really his wife, the lovely Jackie, and Derrick’s role is, I am led to believe, chiefly that of flower dead-header and chief photographer and eater of lovingly prepared evening meals.)  I requested a copy of one particular shot that had captivated me and Derrick kindly and generously sent me three different prints.  At first sight of a particular one, YD’s eyes lit up and per-ping it was off to live at her place.  Here it is seen on the wall in this previously unrevealed view of her living room, taken from the sofa

Ds room 2

And a closer up shot, in case your eyes are as poor as mine……

Ds room detail

Which, on reflection, I see doesn’t help at all – the light being on as it was a dull morning when I requested the photo be taken STAT!  Any how,  that lovely pink and green photographic print was the inspiration for all this

Inky Wall 4

Which I’m sure you recall…….    Various comments about the state of depletion of the wine rack not withstanding, this lovely room has been almost entirely her only venue of residence since breaking her leg and fracturing her ankle on that unfortunate night at the end of last November.  And said wine rack has been variously refilled and emptied and refilled again  – so it’s just as well we had made it pretty for her.  All thanks to Jackie and Derrick’s fabulous garden inspiration at the Old Post House in the UK.  Please, allow  me to urge you to pop in and say hello to these two charmers, Jackie’s already begun planting up her spring garden and the first daffodil has shyly bloomed and Derrick has his camera ready to capture whatever comes next.

*****************************

Now we are back to the present day.  We’ve had a largish fire, whipped up by a violent wind that preceded the arrival of a weather conflagration that was somewhat alarming as a tropical storm moving south through the country met an elongated east-west weather system originating from Antarctica right over the South Island and dumped an extreme amount of water in a relatively small area over a 24 hour period…..  It put the fire out (yay!) and flooded the usual places (boo!) and cooled the air down (yay!).  It went from 35C to 16C in 36 hours.  So, this is the new look Summer here in the Riviera of Antarctica folks.

Now that it is summer here and winter there, my friends in Alberta, Canada and Virginia, USA and San Jose, USA are busy rifling through their wardrobes to find some appropriate clothing to pack into their suitcases …………..  Come prepared for anything I say!  Three weeks to go and we’ll have kicked off our little bloggers reunion gathering!

And that my friends is a very big “YAY!!”

Here’s Siddy, before the storm,  wondering what that delicious aroma is floating through the air, from somewhere not here ………..  Mmmmmm B-B-Q!

Siddy smells barbecue

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Rainbows Everywhere

I thought I’d just quickly share this delightful post from my friend Luanne who is a gifted poet and writer. and she has a house full of cats too …….. I made her a light catcher and this is her response …..

Luanne Castle's Writer Site

The gardener and I have been married for ever so many years (vagueness is mandatory here), and this month we had our anniversary. We ate at a wonderful Lithuanian restaurant (I thought it was Ukrainian, but I was wrong). We also decided to choose our own anniversary gift. This is what I chose for myself.

A gorgeous light catcher custom-designed and crafted by Pauline at The Contented Crafter. I wanted something for my office, which is coral and black on ivory. When it arrived last week, I was ecstatic. Such a classy presentation, too. Pauline had the light catcher in a gauzy bag with the top of the piece tied to the bag so that it can just slip out and not be tangled.

I laid it out in a tray because the gardener wanted to hang it himself. (He doesn’t trust me with picture hangers, but the truth…

View original post 908 more words