One little Heggie went to the Mairangi Bay market…..well is going.

Gulp, I have committed to going to the Mairangi Bay market  on Saturday. It is only a tiny market but it has the best fresh greens of anywhere. Please, please, yes I am begging, pop in and stand around as a crowd saying things like, “Wow, aren’t those tiles beautiful, they are perfect for Granny May, Uncle Rupert, the favourite school teacher etc etc. Gosh aren’t they inexpensive.”

This would be very good for my morale in case I don’t sell any.  Fortunately I have my dear friend Deb in cahoots with me and she has been a wee treasure all day helping stick and cut and paste and varnish.

Also it is the Mairangi Bay Santa parade, yay at 12:30 so you could come early and visit moi and then the kids could go mad on a sugar rush.

Santa Parade



What may you ask, do you do with a tile or two? Well put a candle on top so it doesn’t drip onto a nice table cloth

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or put a nice glass of wine on it (or a nice cup of tea by your bedside).


or put your straighteners on it


or make a cute wall hanging


How about an inspirational quote to keep you motivated?


or just on the table looking pretty under the olive bowl or chutney or salad. (They are decorative so they can’t take really hot stuff.) Sorry this tile is already sold today but I have a wee few like it.


I also have this slightly rude motivational tile which I won’t be able to put out on market day…but if you want one let me know.

This one is a bit off centre so I think I will keep it .
I was a bit worried about copyright but i figure f they are on the net or dead or the Dalai Lama, I’m okay. Any advice?
Do you think Roald Dahl will come chasing me for royalties?
Surely Hemingway wouldn’t care?

And hot off the press today are my “business” cards. Bit of a laugh as I think I have spent about 900 dollars so far and made about 130 but nothing beats an afternoon of cutting out with a friend. Priceless.


My big aim is to get some money towards a hire a car to get back from our holiday in Christchurch at Christmas. Dear friends have said we can use their house and car while we are there and we are repaying the hospitality when they come to us in January for a wedding. Reciprocity, lovely. So far we have just the one way ticket. It’s all good though, it sure beats the grind of work. I am so happy to be at home.

Don’t let the Christmas spirit get into your wallet. 🙂 FG


Bayswater Walk

It is finally starting to feel like summer so Bruce and I took a stroll along the Bayswater boardwalk. It is really good for biking as well. It has great views of the city in the distance and close ups of the herons and the eels in the stream and mudflats.

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The one downside was the amount of rubbish including a bike in the stream.

We wandered in the old cemetery and I love to look at the lovely old fashioned names that are now back in vogue. It also makes me grateful when I see so many died either in a war or at a young age.

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Some of my favourites are Clara, Herbert, Harriet and Florence. Not quite so keen on Bertha, Phyllis and Gertrude…

The NZ Christmas tree is starting to flower and a friend’s yoghurt best by date was December 25!

We are hosting Christmas lunch at home for around a dozen friends and family and then flying to Christchurch on Christmas night to watch the cricket that starts on boxing day. However, as I am now on a much-reduced income i have made a list for the nieces and friends to help  me. Rather than buy crackers I thought I could dig out some crepe paper and we can make them on the day and have asked Sam to find a few good jokes so i can put them on the table. As it is brunch I think we will go for lots of light salads and salmon although it looks as though Bruce is insisting on a turkey. I am experimenting with place names and maybe will have a go at this fruit tree. I will get my tree out this year. Last year I was in France! Hard to believe it was so long ago.

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Although I may not be able to resist making these Christmas mince pie Bombe Alaska. It is super easy; buy the pies, put a scoop of plain ice cream on top and slather with meringue mix and pop in the oven for a few minutes. Yum!

I was really lucky to discover a wee poetry group starting up and we met for coffee last week. I am hosting the first formal meeting next week so I’ll let you know if it inspires me to get on and write. I have been busy with getting my ten dish cloths done, I have one more to go. I am also working on Christmas tiles and may pluck up courage and go to a market on the weekend and try to at  least recoup some costs. I am making some more romantic tiles to go with my Scandinavian ones.







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Have a great day. FG

Peter in the pot.

01b606b21f8d82aa93e46f167d774e63a63bc507d6 Firstly I put the garlic, onions, thyme and bay leaves in the slow cooker.
Then I braise the poor old Peter rabbit and add him to the pot. I reduce the wine and add more thyme and seasoning and put the lid on ready for slowing cooking on high for four hours.

However I have my pescatorian son and my vegetarian friend Sabina, coming for dinner and I don’t think they will be too keen on even smelling Peter, let alone eating him. So I have some fresh tuna, an orange and asparagus salad and an Indian chick pea salad to prepare and I might do my mint potato salad as well. I really like this book for different kinds of salads.

I also need to ring the post office as sadly, my knitted mittens for my arthritic friend have not made it to their destination. Really disappointing.

Yoga, knitting, rugby and walking planned for the weekend. Hope yours is a good one. FG



Domestic bliss


Walked to Mairangi Bay Yoga Sanctuary for an hour and fifteen minutes of yoga. Thanks AUT for the going away voucher 🙂 Friend Deb bought the introductory offer. We both looked very similar to the woman in the picture below…except for the pink pants.

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Made a brunch as I didn’t eat before yoga using up the last of the broad beans.


Knitted by 4th of 10 dish cloths for an Christmas order while catching up on a few Escape to the Country episodes.

Pulled out the broad beans to ready the garden for another round of vegetables.

Made an orange, cranberry fennel salad. So easy! Chop fennel bulb finely, chop up orange, add a handful of dried cranberries and toss in oil and red vinegar.


Done the dark wash and brought in the sheets. Time 2:30 🙂

List for the  rest of the day:

change bedding

Vege shopping



Continue with sorting filing cabinet. I find filing cabinets a bit hopeless or is it me? Stuff gets filed in there and then stays there for the next ten years without ever being sorted. Therefore. I am tossing stuff out like VISA bills from 2007. I am also feeling a bit nostalgic as Sam’s reports are all there. It is so funny to read a report from when he was 7 that emphasises Sam’s fascination with environmental issues and there he is a conservationist/ecologist.



I had to renew my library books today which means I have only read one of them but I have been away and also had visitors.

I am feeling a bit nervous about dipping into savings as there won’t be any contract work until next year and i am totally averse to really looking hard…but I am so happy! hope you are too. FG

Oamaru, worth a stop over. Otago Peninsula, my home ground.

On our road trip to Dunedin, we stopped off at the old part of Oamaru where there are some lovely buildings and interesting wee shops. Next time you are going through do make time to see the old quarter down by the harbourside. Below are some photos from my favourite curiousity shop.

Donna Demente’s Grainstore Gallery

027 366 6201

The Grainstore Gallery is quite unlike any other you will find anywhere, a simply astonishing array of original artworks amidst an extraordinarily magnificent ambience, best experienced live and consumed fresh!

5 Harbour St, Oamaru

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I was brought up in Dunedin but my father was given an old house for free and he cut it in half and moved it onto leased land down at Harrington Point. it had no bathroom of course and the long drop at night was a scary procedure. The Heggies ruled the beach, all six of us marauding and coming home when we were hungry and going to bed when we were tired.

We collected mushrooms and blackberries, fished for cod, waded with spears for flounder and lit bonfires to cook our spuds in foil. We rowed about in the Doris H, named after my mother and threw hard painful sea weed balls at any one we didn’t fancy. It was a good life!

Bev and I made a nostalgia trip down there and how small everything seemed. I still nurture a mad dream of living there again one day and writing the Booker prize winner…

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Sadly, when Cilla McQueen, the poet was living there our house burned to the ground. She, fortunately survived.

She was the Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin in 1985 and 1986.

Her first collection of new work after 1990 was Markings (2000), a collection of poetry and drawings. The poems trace the lives and voyages of her ancestors, and the living history of her husband’s people. She travels through the fire that destroys her house at Otakou to a new home in Bluff, tying together the separate threads of her journey and moving from one harbour to another.”

I sometimes feel sad that Sam was very much a cappuccino kid and didn’t have the freedom and a special place to belong to.

Have a good week, FG

It’s nearly Christmas and my Christmas cake, which is theoretically for Bruce is already half eaten.




Bev and I took Brett’s ashes home by driving from Christchurch to Moeraki. The weather was bad and with howling wind and rain we passed the Moeraki turn off. However as we approached Shag Point, the weather turned and it was calm and still, perfect for saying goodbye at a beautiful deserted beach.

010479272c7e592a9bf3eec55a769b2724b54df77a 01822994d603e4bfa01234331500c9b858ab05733f 0111749e271ae64812cf079da00f4ff8acbf428e4d 01334a38e915068e24001e333bdc1792b2a7a0f737 - Copy 01203e3d00ea044fdcafcd7919c4a623ea752433bd 0197b3a42b13a783f6e40a773f510d316719d46747 - Copy 019ee553fb01caf070fd4803a3c3d90430d8352a60 - Copy 016c78060aad2e9a3fa1d4a093639849e2e99f161d - Copy 01e4050a8d52fb1c02e67d4911f426357d5bafc333 - Copy 01c82854eff1799208d42b5c349ec9008e0388aead - Copy 01e02fa09caac970eec6c90715ddb25cf0a3592b1e - CopyThis is a poem we read at our marriage:

I am yours, you are mine,

you are lodged in my heart.

The small key is lost,

You must stay there forever. 

(Anon, Bavarian)



Lyttleton Lights and Pizza night and of course knitting…

My BFF lives in the little town of Lyttleton. You drive through the tunnel and turn your back on the city and arrive to the hustle and bustle of the port. She lives on the cliff edge so had quite a bit of damage in the earthquake but is now all ship shape. She also happens to be a genius in the kitchen, I and some friends were invited over for a make your own pizza night. Rose has a proper wood fired pizza oven out side by the barbecue. She prepared all the dough balls and we had to “roll our own”.  It was a terrific night as we all experimented with the toppings Rose provided- blue cheese, pear, rocket, chorizo, mushrooms, peppers, capers, etc etc.

BFF with very large spatula. Thanks Rose!

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In addition to the gorgeous food and company we sat on the deck and watched all the activity in the port. The pilot boats coming and going, the beautifully restored tug boat going on an excursion and the big container ships unloading. This was followed by a spectacular sunset show. A fantastic end to a great night.

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No road trip is complete without a spot of knitting. I was busy with my dear friend Bev’s alpaca hat and I followed this up with a pair of alpaca finger-less gloves for a young friend studying in Dunedin. I figured that in the cold she could text and hold a pen in any weather.

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Bev’s husband is an expert photographer but has arthritic hands which get very cold while camera holding. He tried on Josie’s gloves and ordered a pair 🙂 I made them in a manly green Alapaca and have them ready to send off today. (Sorry I forgot to photograph. )

I have friends coming to stay at the end of the week so will need to get into cleaning mode anon. Have a great week, FG


Christchurch revisited by day and by night.

I have been away for the last 8 days so would like to document my trip over the next few blogs. I lived in Christchurch for close to 30 years but thankfully had left when the earthquakes struck. I have been back a few times and this time I really felt a little more optimistic. The Deans park market was booming.

I was lucky enough to see some of the giraffes in the Christchurch “Stand Tall” sculpture project as it started just as I arrived and will be on until early next year when the giraffes will be auctioned for charities. Great idea.

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I had never visited The Tannery before. What a wonderful transformation of an old building.

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It added to the feeling that things were on the move.

A night visit to the central city created mixed feelings. At times it still felt like a war zone but then some cool little intitiative would pop up to make us smile.

Lovely furniture made from recycled earthquake timbers.
The Sound Garden where you can play a whole range of instruments from pipes and jandals to different sized fire extinguishers.
The Victoria Street clock restored to its former glory- beautiful.
My favourite -the dance floor. You can open the lid of the washing machine on the edge of the floor and out in 2 dollars and plug your ipad in and dance away. So clever and beautiful use of an empty, ugly space.
Sadly this sort of thing is still quite a common sight.

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Still, on balance lovely things are emerging from the ashes and creativity is coming to the fore. FG