Wednesday, 26 June 2013



This portrait project is making me very aware of how fast the year is whizzing by!

This week it's all about the storm and the clean-up, this tree fell over between my raised beds.

Ella: not a happy bunny at the moment, not sure what's going on in that head of hers but it feels like we're entering the teenage years ahead of time, is this just a preview of what we're in for I wonder? I'm hoping not.
Lucia: Thankfully she is her usual chirpy self
Marcus: As usual this boy is right in the thick of it, if he was strong enough to hold a chainsaw I've no doubt he'd be out there, right beside his Dad. For now though he's making do with a  hand saw and keeping a safe distance.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The storm of 2013


It started on Thursday, the rain set in, the wind came up and the trees across the road were roaring. When we woke up on Friday morning the wind was still strong, the rain heavy and we had no power. We listened to the radio and learned of the damage that was wrecked upon Wellington during that night, the worst storm since the Wahine storm in 1968 with wind gusts over 200km per hour, train lines lifted and undermined by the sea, the south coast sea walls broken and people finding fish and seaweed in their gardens, it seemed so unbelievable. Schools were closed including ours. As daylight came we looked around us, a big tree had fallen over in the middle of my veggie garden, it couldn't have landed more perfectly, smack bang in the middle between two beds, only slightly damaging one side of the compost bins. Our stream was raging and high, close to the top of the bridge. Looking across the road a big Gum tree had fallen across their driveway. No traffic was moving on our road, it was blocked further up by three large gum trees.  During a break in the rain we went for a walk across the rest of the farm surveying the damage. We had a young gum tree down on the electric fence, a big wattle down on another fence line, a large gum tree from behind the chook house had broken the fence and fallen into the gully (thankfully not on the chickens in their house) and three pine trees had fallen over in the forest, nothing on the power lines phew, nothing blocking the road, double phew, and nothing damaged that's not easily fixed, phew again. The rain continued for two days, the power stayed off for two days, more trees gave way elsewhere and the stream got dangerously high.

We were very lucky compared to others. We were warm and cosy inside, the fire was blazing and pots were heating water for endless cups of tea and milo. We still had hot water after 30 hours. It was a bit like camping really. I made scones in the cast iron pot and chicken noodle soup. There was nothing much else to do except knit, read and play card games with the kids. And there is much to be grateful for, grateful that we were as prepared as we were, grateful that we didn't sustain much damage and grateful for the felling of next year's firewood, now it just needs ringing, splitting and stacking, a small price to pay for the comfort it gives us.

Each year it seems some extreme weather event happens, two years ago it was a freak snowfall, now this storm. Our kids are going to start thinking this kind of weather is normal, already they expect snow every winter! These events have made us look at what else we can do to prepare ourselves for power outages and moved a few items up to the top of the To Do list - getting the wetback installed and buying a generator are right up there now.  It's also added a few things to the To Do list too though, now there are trees to clean up and fences to fix.

Sunday, 16 June 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

We've had a few visitors lately, my brother who lives in Australia has been and gone and my brother who lives in England is here now. It's great to see them but they've not come home for the best of reasons. Also visiting at the moment is my lovely Gran who lives a long bus ride away in the Bay of Plenty. Her great-grandchildren are always so excited to see her, yesterday she had them writing her a list of all the things they'd done to help me that morning and rewarded them with a $5 note - gorgeous!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A cardigan for Ella

I struggled with this cardigan from the beginning, not because of the pattern (Playful Stripes by Alana Dakos) I haste to add but because of my choice of yarn. I spent ages analysing the measurements on the pattern, swatching my yarn, crunching numbers only to be unhappy with the size of it. After much procrastination and more measuring I turned the pattern on its head and cast on my favourite top-down pattern, I figured using a pattern with the right gauge for my yarn would give me a bodice that fits and the rest will follow. So I cast on for Georgie Hallam's Olearia, ignoring all the ruched sections and striping my yarns in garter stitch, and it worked. Funnily enough though, by the time I cast-off I had the same number of stitches that I first cast-on as per Alana's pattern....

Anywho, while enjoying a lovely weekend with my Aunt and Uncle, free from the demands of small people, I managed to finish it. What a treat to sit and knit and chat for a whole weekend! Ella loves it and has been wearing it a lot, I wonder though if it could have been just a few inches longer....

All details on my Ravelry page here

Not technically a Yarn Along post but joining in with Ginny since it's been a while

Tuesday, 11 June 2013



Another week gone, this year is whizzing by. These are a few shots from our weekend, a nice quiet one with a few long overdue jobs ticked off the list and a fun few hours on the wild coast at Makara Beach.

1. Lucia and Marcus's entrepreneurial endeavour....feijoas scavenged from under our road hedge, bagged and put out at the gate.
2. Yum, grilled eggy cheese with rhubarb chutney on homemade focaccia bread
3. A kowhai flowering up on our hill, I only ever notice it's there this time of year, hopefully the bees have noticed it too
4, 5, 6 & 7: Makara Beach. It's a fairly wild, desolate and unhospitable place in a howling northerly but lucky for us the wind had changed and the front that brought rain overnight and during the morning had just passed by. The kids had a great time exploring the rocks and stony beach and as usual many treasures were brought home, Lucia's pockets in particular were bulging! The Islands you can see in #5 are Mana Island with Kapiti Island just peaking over the top. I love the sweep of the cliffs up to the land, you can sense a battle between the eroding land and the windswept cliff.

Sunday, 9 June 2013


Ella: Horsing around with her sister, it's so lovely to capture these moments of friendship, where they are enjoying each other's company
Lucia: Sister love, if only for a short while....
Marcus: A lot of paper planes have been made here this week and a lot took flight outside after school on Friday, this one got stuck...
"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.

Friday, 7 June 2013

A Butterfly Hat

Thank goodness for knitting. It's magic really, as stitch by stitch, row by row, something useful and beautiful appears from a ball of yarn and two sticks. Knitting has been a crutch for me in the last few weeks, there's been a lot of worrying, sitting and waiting. Having something to occupy my hands and my mind, something productive to focus on has made it just that little bit easier.  Now more than ever I am so very grateful for this skill my patient grandmother taught me and the passion that drives me on from project to project.

I have made a hat for Lucia, she was the only one in the family that didn't get a hat last year so it was long overdue. It's the Butterfly hat and was a quick and easy knit. She loves it and I love that she loves it :) My beautiful girl has developed a dislike of seeing herself in photos with her glasses on, I think someone at school has said something mean to her about her glasses...grrr - eight year old girls can be so nasty! If her eyesight wasn't so bad I wouldn't worry so much but she does really need to wear them.

I've still been busy working on my Shaelyn shawl, I'm on the last few rows but I keep mucking up the lace pattern. This last bit has required a bit too much concentration from me and it's the third time I've had rip it back.....I'm determined to get it right though and will sneak in a bit of early morning knitting to get it sorted.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013



 Not strictly from last week but close enough :)
These shots were taken on a 4wd trip along the South Coast between Wainuiomata Coast Road and Ocean Beach. The scenery was breathtaking, it's a notoriously wild and rugged coast. The trip was a bumpy one as we traversed  rivers of stone flowing out of the Orongaronga Ranges and into the Cook Strait. The kids had a great time as usual, they loved the rocky ride but also the Mingimingi bushes, they are springy little bushes, native to New Zealand and are usually found in coastal areas. Anth remembers bouncing down cliffs on them as a kid but I was much happier for the kids just to use them as chairs.

That's Wellington Harbour and the city in the background

That's the South Island in the distance, I think they are the Kaikoura's with snow on them.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" via Che and Fidel.


I haven't been here in this little space of mine for a while, it's not that I haven't got anything to say, I do, I have finished things I want to show you! It's more that I have something difficult to say, something that has had such an impact on my life these past two weeks that it doesn't feel right to carry on here and leave it unsaid. Two weeks ago today my lovely Dad was admitted to hospital, it turns out he has a brain tumour. After a successful operation last week he is recovering well and is home again. Now we wait for an appointment with the Oncologist to see what the next steps are. He is an incredibly brave man and I am so proud of him, and I am so grateful for his stubborn streak, he's a fighter if ever there was one. It really makes you stop and think about what's important in life, family is right up there on my list right now, it's so easy to take things and people for granted. I am lucky to have and so thankful for the support of my wonderful and understanding husband, my family, and a core group of special friends. We will get through this, taking each day at a time.