Work and Play

Dark Horse just reiterated the terrible and frightening lives some children endure. It was heartening to read about Children’s Commissioner, Russell Wills,in the latest Listener. What an amazing man. He only agreed to take the job on if he could continue as a paediatrition at Hawks Bay Hospital. What an amazing job he is doing in an extremely depressing environment. What can I do to make a contribution is a question I am grappling with.  I feel so impotent sitting here knitting and reading and indulging myself in very comfortable surroundings. So on I go making tiles and knitting. 01b4aedec24df9d10e2e5bf35e49b5a3351ea062c4 01fafdeb18030f3e3222cde6c0e58f5ad7339509de   I was thinking maybe I could knit for babies in hospital. 01dccc5d537ae3dee6e8d4981dfd783ac2da17bdeb 01de7ea3c0123a9d01b0075e023c3c6bb2033fcdbf     I feel so disturb by the violence even in films but I can’t just complain about it if I am not going to do anything about it. Let’s make sure everyone votes!! FG]]>

Kale-divine? Really!

I have made two divine things so far. Firstly chicken chermoula. This was great for us as an evening meal and then delicious leftovers for lunch and I would definitely make this again. But to my absolute surprise the kale pesto is divine. We both worked today so I just threw in a roast chicken as the OH is out until a bit later. Then I saw that I had some kale in the fridge so I made the Kale Pesto as well. It would be gorgeous as a dip on veges, chicken, pasta etc and is yummo. Much more so than it sounds as kale always sounds a bit earnest and healthy… 🙂 kind of hippy sandals, incense and BO kind of food. But it is totally moreish. Better not give you the recipe from the new book but suffice to say if you have a processor and kale, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, spring onions, salt and pepper and cashews you are pretty much there. [caption id="attachment_756" align="alignnone" width="225"]017aa8e3cb96efc6986e169ca39718548f0c093836 Kale Pesto-so much better than it sounds!![/caption] [caption id="attachment_755" align="alignnone" width="225"]016279d79a755fd5627f33bc5a6cb0c4d5be66b917 Chicken Chermoula[/caption]   As I had a little left over from my voucher I can self righteously say that I have started my Christmas shopping -smugishness smugly smug.

119 days until Christmas

My friend Deb and I intend to bake up a storm prior to Christmas but more festive frivolity when it is a bit closer to the big day. Last night, rather reluctantly I went to see Dark Horse. The rave reviews are richly deserved but it can be grim watching at time. It is all based on a  true story which makes it even more gritty and at times unbearable. Go and see it is my recommendation but go for a debrief afterwards. I am doing quite a lot of the “W” word at the moment but I’m finding that the money I’m earning is really easy to save as it is “extra” to the small allowance I have these days. How quickly the rushing around thing takes over though. Today was one of the very few times that I haven’t done my morning yoga as I was tired and couldn’t make myself get up earlier. Yoga TV on the Living Channel is only about 22 minutes but it is a great way to start the day if you have that channel. show What I’m currently reading: The Hare With Amber Eyes- a biography. Work again tomorrow so have a great weekend. FG]]>

The Daily List

Snail deterrents (see previous post) Make brain balls for the week [caption id="attachment_369" align="alignnone" width="300"]012befaca2c4828efc14e521f9b701e6e2d18ffd50 See previous posts for recipe or google Dr Libby brain balls[/caption] Finish back of baby jersey and cast on for front – have already done this. 011375fe83a89a72cf849840a84255de92f30b35ab Return nearly due library books and combine with shopping for dinner. Clean glass door and bathroom- done [caption id="attachment_749" align="alignnone" width="225"]01095072c60c771ed191589b0fff2234435ddd3394 It’s so clean you can’t see it![/caption] Buy Dr Libby’s new recipe book with gift voucher I received. Cook something new from it for dinner. Put paper away in filing cabinet (note to self, clear out the filing cabinet) Meditate  in the sun for 15 minutes. I also sneak in a little indulgence by  one of those Location Location or living in the country programmes. Too often people put off their dreams to live the way they really want to with what are essentially excuses. Today the programme had a young couple with a little boy. They had always dreamed of moving to the country sometime… but she got breast cancer and it made them think about priorities and so they are doing it now. So sensible I think. I would never have moved to France with Sam at the perfect age if I hadn’t borrowed the money. The money is paid back and forgotten but the memories are forever. Sam's new mode of transport Sam and carcassonne cafe Sam carcassonne What a brilliant day ahead. I’m pretty good at beating myself up about things I’ve done or said so here is a quote I’m going to try to begin each day with. You too, have a good day wherever you are. Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt, crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, 
tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely,
with too high a spirit to be cumbered 
with your old nonsense.  Ralph Waldo Emerson        ]]>

Snail revenge

0145299bb169fdaa4facbfc5f9bdfce1a74ba9aeef 012431f8707ed09b16dcd6e65f5a0bd750ff673115 01422eca5b7dfd31b331617145da0cd98a7d610573 012d8d33fbf6c308575872d34ae57f648d519e67be Cure number 1 Garlic infusion- soak the garlic in hot water for a few hours and then spray the garden. 01a8ec51204c269bca2acb3385b47a888359e6f8a4 Cure number 2 Break up egg shells and scatter around as snails have soft underbellies and don’t like crawling over them. Shells also work in this way. 01f39e323acdda77f37ad01fbbfcf87f57dcc7be86 Cure number 3 Scatter coffee grounds around the plants or spray with coffee- or both. Cure number 4 You can use beer or 1 tablespoon of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of yeast mixed with water. Apparently the snails fall in and drown… 01262aeb9d4deb74628c5a858f1b0bc5bd9a2d94e7   So, let the battle commence. I’ll let you know if it works! Below is a great website for tips. All this snail revenge put me in mind of a lovely Fleur Adcock poem:

For a Five-year-old – Fleur Adcock

For a Five-year-old – Fleur Adcock A snail is climbing up the window-sill Into your room, after a night of rain. You call me in to see, and I explain That it would be unkind to leave it there: It might crawl to the floor; we must take care That no one squashes it. You understand, And carry it outside, with a careful hand, To eat a daffodil. I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails: Your gentleness is moulded still by words From me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds, From me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed Your closest relatives, who purveyed The harshest kind of truth to many another. But that is how things are: I am your mother, And we are kind to snails.

Sunday Lovely Sunday

01d26acce15311b5213e621aa2f92504020e6d38af_00001 0188b54edf412bdd5d471f7ff0f1b5f488d682d6f2 01036116c3fa5c25c9fd322378af09dcc4b6fbf12e_00001012bd8b78b51fbfe00ebd8ae7d4a73babed76c0d27 The only other important ingredient was good friends to share it with. 016a942e534f5db1436de16643bdf2f53e1c11eae9 We wined and dined outside in the warmth of the Spring sun. Having eaten so much I had a bit of a laze in the sun with a book. Just finished  it today, called In The Shadow of Trees by Elenor Gill. It’s a NZ story and was quite a good read.   Having lazed about I thought a walk would do me good so I meandered down to Mairangi Bay and took Spring photos as I went along. [caption id="attachment_728" align="alignnone" width="225"]0102d81cd5aa8f470a8d8edf4f1b8ac2aef181b603_00001 The grape leaves are just beginning to unfurl.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_719" align="alignnone" width="300"]01d59b682793d52f2a536d370a6c8ca5d6aec7b599 Beautiful purple magnolias peeking over the fence.[/caption] 0132fa79e8b667f778765014cc19d6483adad9131d 017f1e95974d89a2e96f1e01ae6c808b9af70b28db 015bcc20198c2cf05eb565bf9f2260d2133003e312 01ed24e8c10124ed2ea752ccf2805f60281fe8064e 01f43144dc6638f31d55707864cad79a50660b958f 01fa7afc2aea2e33e61adc8544e850a69f4b7e8df3 01fb886a76c870dbb698b7227eabe19ce307b9cfa4 01fba32e17947c7143732b7be8d53f56a996d1760a 01bf7e523ad9f6ce3e69fd164a8fe7d007512a1c91 01afd70316537c4a361889371fdc9f3213045486a701cd916c5ff306f38dfedcb9d4bfa8d809e57f311801d1cac07db64d70cda286a573ae91ebedb07c5be20193e4c36c6246dd7b308a72b5076bf92dd770718201367314a04efea6f0fa30567500d227e6e01473df [caption id="attachment_725" align="alignnone" width="300"]01fe2e00c9575e28e4257c48876edd17c3ca20bb9c On the homeward stretch the sun was setting beautifully.[/caption] 014041e910047c2b9c45c2fa1239311ff2faaf68cf I am working for the next two weeks sadly, so my blog posts will be short. Have a great week, FG.]]>

Out Damn Spring!

Out Damn Spring (Bah Humbug) I hate spring because Everything’s new like lust And lounge suites. The light is smart The growth obscene In its smug luxuriance. People smile in cahoots With strangers, lambs frolic, Calves cavort, dammit. I hate the green of Spring My nose itches, I get red spots In Spring. Everyone is hopeful, There’s spring in their steps. O come back dour winter so we know Where we stand, and teach this spring A thing or two. There’s a bucket of yellow daffodils Trumpeting at my door, Their frilly faces like babies in bonnets Silly kids in the school play. Blast, I’m smiling like a goon.   [caption id="attachment_709" align="alignnone" width="300"]01e567850524b8777802e25a9a58650ff010b32a41 Thank you Patsy, for the lovely spring flowers :)[/caption]  ]]>

Birthday party

IMG_0871 Sophie and Alexandra dressed Sam, complete with scar, for an Action Man competition in the local mall. He went as a climber extreme. (So glad he turned to music growing up and not climbing). He won of course…..[/caption] I decided on a make -your -own- kind of dinner with homemade rolls, fish burgers, vege burgers, and then sliced tomato, peppers, avocado etc. I also made Libby Weaver’s cashew sauce. (I love it and it can go on pretty much anything, fish, burgers, vegetables). Then each person could make up their dinner to suit. I followed up with a carrot cake. It wasn’t all that exciting so might make something different next time. 01d41f1f559a23c59c4cba801621dcddba8c39c9e5 01d7b937189d7069496ecd87b006e132694c2ace95 Libby Weaver’s Cashew Sauce: 3/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts 1/2 clove garlic 1/2 cup water juice half a lemon pinch cumin 2 tablespoons fresh coriander salt to taste Whiz cashews and garlic until well-ground, add water, lemon juice and process until smooth and creamy. Fold in coriander and a pinch of salt. yummy [caption id="attachment_700" align="alignnone" width="225"]013415ccb8a1ddab4f98f8781582fd17d6b1febfda Sophie has just become engaged to Auldan so I had fun prettying up a little package of tiles.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_693" align="alignnone" width="225"]01e1b6281fa80362b50e45dee038ff4ede6c334e1c I iced half of my carrot cake as some people prefer it plain and just put the icing on the table for any extra requirements.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_692" align="alignnone" width="225"]01d98421f8a3cabd6f4a42500ecd94a2b62acef632 I love setting the table and faffing about with candles.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_704" align="alignnone" width="225"]013bf6a3ea0a4965eabf037c38fe34c29200c4e097 I modified the 2 year old card I bought in Paihia to a 22…[/caption] 01766c7d3e801ae062c8540bbd823a083095816a6b [caption id="attachment_685" align="alignnone" width="300"]0150f848acac560043c26bf96781553bcfe4ccaeea The before shot.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_684" align="alignnone" width="225"]01cdd79e0fb48e6eeb816ba42bd83afed0d6909395 From 2 to 22[/caption] [caption id="attachment_695" align="alignnone" width="300"]011f35f3e2685f1dc6f3c0151190b8f9adbaf0836f And…today[/caption] [caption id="attachment_699" align="alignnone" width="225"] Not easy getting the girls and Sam in the same frame… :)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_690" align="alignnone" width="225"]01ab1a43a0f281f9ff9f118b4b8911507dfb47db5d And reluctantly photographed with Mummy…[/caption] In the past we would probably have gone out for dinner and spent a couple of hundred dollars. I had a lot of fun preparing for the party  and it was so nice just to be at home. The meal probably cost around 40 dollars plus a bottle of bubbly. We used the avocados and tomatoes from the Kerikeri market and the smell of freshly made bread is lovely too.  We will be having the leftovers for dinner! Have a great day, FG  ]]>

Big and Little

hundertwasser collage   01dfa2807ab154dfd0068011f4ecf0a3d0380c37a1 01f42b66582d52c70518d881e990d4b9ad2540659a I am an avid tea towel collector ever since a friend gave me a book on tea towels. They are a great way to preserve memories  while doing the dishes…Bruce bought me this one. 01453b0227fbd46eb5267290d1ddb05695ed38c8c3 Spring was starting to peek around every corner and the weather was generally not too bad and lovely on Sunday. Lambs really do leap with all four feet off the ground, I saw them. 01fe936f4a8ad66a73f7675641d5de76a9d5835153 On the way we also visited a couple of vineyards. Bruce at Omata is a great person to chat to about the local area and the lowdown on wine, golf, diving and fishing. Omata Estate Vineyard Equally Paras at Paroa Vineyard was very helpful and friendly. The settings were both gorgeous with views out over the vines, geese honking, a lake, sculptures all to enjoy. vineyards After taking the car ferry from Pahia we arrived at The Duke  to a warm welcome and an appetite for dinner. Below is a collage of the big picture but I also noticed lots of smaller things. RussellSmall things like: 01c1cb91af26c94fe15ecdb2772a7fb769ca67e542 01ad87188a689735f751c1b4790497489fdd9bba31 - Copy 01fd1d982c8bddf68c8212683ad2b7ca0717c75d91 011ff04a50e4bdc1ba0cd15d2bfa164f1f9bf603d2 012f7cb5f51cc284a067eeca583db024af994c60d8 015a6f20e7ac7b2d4f46cfccae89d21b22ee91be32 016d3d866c465d45d53a0de912268d7b84a8348335 018bc6c9c639ab5459fbfe4e34efc80d6dc9fbf0c1 0174bdec93a84dca9ec039c0c4fcd4c583724b5206 01479a9e49dfd9ae71c8050aa41112e9e93050e547 01769abf7a1f6bc921b7a578c62ba43e726ca5194f 01822cb16796816dd5248c286496b824deb696b165 - Copy 010371b14021057b5bfaf5a66a3ec519ababcc433c 013623b83221fbef5f2d725016a7a5a387a386eb45 0194025a2c0dcd86851218b58d182bc6c15be96395 01418032a6eaf5414fd5b66ad4a790d92e74e71f75 It can be expensive on holiday but we got the great grab one deal for the hotel and then brought cheeses, breads, tea and crackers for lunches and snacks from home and also at the Kerikeri market. We paid for the grab one a while ago and so it was just the extras and the petrol costs. [caption id="attachment_661" align="alignnone" width="225"]01dd91170a6bb6effc99c6fbbeebfb42a496b575f0 Delicious fruit bread from the market.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_679" align="alignnone" width="300"]01c896ddf4393c7b86e298c9df210141d2f91e7934 - Copy Choc covered cherries were pretty fab too from Makana Chocs.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_676" align="alignnone" width="300"]01bc803c917d7915c223f080344b00c6f54f343031 Kerikeri is renowned for its citrus.[/caption] On Saturday we went on the passenger ferry to Paihia and I found this little treasure trove run by Anne. I spent at least an hour in there while Bruce sat in the late afternoon sunshine with a beer in hand on the waterfront. It is called Anchor Antiques. [caption id="attachment_677" align="alignnone" width="300"]01a4ffc432f8107f98294df3608dc8aa6e928359f3 - Copy My purchases for the princely sum of $17.00 lovely old cards for my tiles, some antiques buttons for my sister’s colonial dolls and an old collapsible toy for my friend. Anne was very patient and listened to my chatter and gave me some great bargains. Go here if you are in Paihia. It’s a great way to indulge without overdoing it.[/caption] 01c85dfc1bf328aa6674fb28d66db3e348a95d9038 - Copy - Copy 01dbb2a3bc5df3086fd9044e91b1902c825d87ae32 - Copy 01e7b6f4fc13fa0f117a622aeb8a4a1bd0383fba6c - Copy 01f5b41397cf9553df07adba4b87373a1109a5cf09 - Copy   Well have to go and put the bread on and make a birthday cake for my lovely boy. His cuzzies are coming over to celebrate with us. Really looking forward to seeing them all. He is 22 today so this time 22 years ago I was in the middle of a 28 hour labour…but boy was it worth it!!!!! [caption id="attachment_684" align="alignnone" width="225"]01cdd79e0fb48e6eeb816ba42bd83afed0d6909395 Happy Birthday my lovely Sam[/caption] [caption id="attachment_685" align="alignnone" width="300"]0150f848acac560043c26bf96781553bcfe4ccaeea The cuzzies are a bit more grown up now so I hope they will let me take some pics tonight.[/caption] Have a great day. FG        ]]>

Lucky Me.

0159ffc601eaaa0585b0e64b569f420148c6736185 Home made foccacia with salmon, avocado, cheese and poached egg followed by a brain ball.[/caption] 01a5262db447adcdbdc6045710c91d289c049b1a69 After my friend left I indulged myself with a couple of episodes of Escape to the Country and finished my other friend’s snood. I’m going to go to Wild and Woolly next week to learn how to “graft”. It is a method of joining using three needles. I also prepped a few new tiles. [caption id="attachment_625" align="alignnone" width="300"]01ecc2d9ca0d62c9e826ae8a030da3c599c26c59bb Snood nearly ready to give to my friend, Deb.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_627" align="alignnone" width="300"]010e2edf0d2f85c6cb0bd6a9de20adf1b5da2aa781 The other thing I rarely did when working was any small repairs. Today I sewed a little hole appearing in a top I had. Ridiculous I know, but simple pleasures…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_629" align="alignnone" width="225"]011c1eedc7c7ab7db916bff96a8cddc7ba6a9bf9d2 A few new tiles.[/caption] It is so cosy here inside with the rain lashing the windows and crashing on the roof. I feel very lucky! My son’s birthday is on Monday so his cousins are coming over for dinner. That will be fun as they grew up together next door to each other. 0160bc4c628a5128ae09ab6151465d5cfb2cc1aec6 I hope you all have a great weekend, mine is starting early. It is easy to be happy with what we have when we think of Palestine, Syria, Russia… I have finished Stasiland also by Anna Funder which I really enjoyed and have started on another by Linda Olsson called Sonata for Miriam.    I think it will be a weekend of Sudoku, reading, knitting and eating unless the rain eases up and there is a space for some walking in the Bay of Islands. As you can sit in the window of the hotel behind glass, I really don’t mind too much about the weather as long as the ferry is going. I hope you all have a great weekend, mine is starting early. It is easy to be happy with what we have when we think of Palestine, Syria, Russia… FG]]>

Three month review- giving up the day job

I know now that I will never go back to regular, permanent work. I have a few potential speaking jobs coming up and some contract work but I remain in a state of bliss about just being at home. I love the time to cook, read, knit, do tiles and catch up with things. I have to admit I even like housework!  I am disappointed that I haven’t lost weight but am working on it. I haven’t missed having a huge amount of disposable income and am happy to bypass the shops generally. I think I save about $100 on food per fortnight. Last night’s dinner was from the WW Cookbook and was delicious. It looks a bit wrinkly now… but I had leftovers for lunch and it was still yummy and apparently freezes well. It used beef in the recipe but I just minced a coupe of chicken breasts. 01c1797a7c98a911c73bf04d73793a15ff893ce7d1 Yesterday  I went with my friend Deb to the wool shops to choose some wool for a snood for her. We had a great time messing about and looking at colours and styles. Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get started. 012eaf35b7a4478277b2cdce6a4445eb703a3cd333 018d109530ab5a8b1194e34ceea4f6816bc433b138 0101c88c92a84101743c3c47cfb8d5be95fcd3e9c8 I can really recommend both Crafty Nitwits and Wild and Woolly Yarns for their friendly service and expertise.

Wild and Woolly Yarns
Address 10 Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand Telephone +64 (0)9 445 3255 E-mail
I hope to finish the snood over the weekend as we are taking a three day weekend up at the Duke of Marlborough in the northern town of Russell. We went last year on the same Grabone deal and absolutely loved it. The food is fantastic and for just $150 you get dinner, bed and breakfast. 
Hope all is going well with you. If you are thinking of living more simply or giving up work please comment below. FG]]>