Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Princess I know...

During the school holidays my sweet little neighbour
spends an official whole day with me.
Today was our Official Day Together.

First we walked into town and bought a Szu Szu Hamster for Victoria-Sofia.
(Don't tell everyone but I already have one. When people tell me I should have a cat..or a dog
I smile and say I have a hamster. Victoria-Sofia looks after my hamster when I go away
and sometimes he has sleepovers at her house!)
We happened upon a Funky Monkey show
and had a Macca's morning tea.
Victoria-Sofia had a ride on the coin operated milk-white horse outside ToyWorld,
and she was wearing pink tights, just like the Natalie Merchant song that we love...
'the girl in pink on a milk white horse...'
We have great games of pretend on the way,
like when the pedestrian crossing buzzers turn us into invisible fairies.
Oh the fun we have.

When we got home we went to the workroom and made a bag
for victoria-Sofia to carry Winkie the Szu Szu Hamster.
Victoria-Sofia made the picture on the front of the bag.
I did notice the princess in the picture does not have feet or hands.
Silly me.. her hands are behind her back and her dress is very long.

In the afternoon we had a Princess workshop
reading her favourite book just now, the Princess Handbook, and other stories.
We had a nibbly Princess lunch.
We practised sitting up straight and using our manners.
Victoria-Sofia assures me you can be an 'old princess' so that's lucky for me!

What a lovely day we had!
Thank you Victoria-Sofia.
I look forward to our next Official Day Together.

I must go off to bed now. After arriving back home yeaterday evening from my trip to Wellington, this 'old princess' is a little bit weary.
I'll catch up on blogs I've been missing.. tomorrow.
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Natural Aging..

I left this camellia in the bowl of water
when I went off to Wellington..
The colour of the flower changed as it aged.

I was about to throw it out this morning
but when I really looked I saw how beautiful it was.
It looked like a hand crafted flower brooch, with beads for stamens.

I have posted it here thinking of blogging friends
who are in the mellow season of autumn..
the season of letting go.
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Pounamu.. Greenstone

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Te Papa..NZ National Museum, Wellington.

We went to a wonderful exhibition of pounamu
or greenstone ( jade )
Beautiful stone.
Rub your hand on the stone the maori say.
Feel the energy...

This is an old Hei tiki..
I love the ancient form.

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Well friends... the WOW show...
The Wearable Arts in Wellington was wonderful.
I am sorry I could not take photos to share with you.
The shows go on...
and photography is not allowed..
not that there is any time to be taking photos.
There was so much going on my eyes were on stalks trying to take it all in.
It was a little bit Cirque du Soleil as Teresa Evangeline and Kitty Howard
commented but also like fashion catwalk extaordinary..

The choreography was brilliant.
I think the children's section was my favourite, with a theme of fairy tales.
It opened with a giant pop-up story book coming down, opening up into a wonderful castle.

Many of the entries were from overseas and the supreme winner was from China

It is a show that can't be described but has to be seen.
Art come alive and moving.
I hope there will be You Tube movies to be seen one day.
These pictures I scanned from the programme.
They seem a bit tame compared to the show.
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Travelling to and from Wellington...

When I close my eyes and recall the trip to Wellington
I see rolling green hills
and lots of sheep and young lambs.
Thankfully these North Island lambs looked healthy and very much alive.

The grass of the fields was that wonderful new spring green
fresh from spring rain.
The Kaihikatea trees on the hill are remnants of virgin native forest cleared for farming
during the past century. This is such a young country.

I loved driving through the country towns.
This is a small marae and Whare Nui, a maori meeting house.

Even the smallest towns have good cafes with great coffee...

but the lambs were my chief delight.
It is strange how being part of blogging I kept seeing my country
through the eyes of blogging friends and wishing I could capture all the beauty of
this little land to share with you!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The World Of Wearable-arts... WOW

I'll be missing for a while friends.... I am off to Wellington for the Wearable Arts Show.
I am very excited to be going. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
So... I'll see you when I return.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sepia Saturday 42: Thinking of Lambs...

This photo was in The Waikato Times this morning.

Spring is a time for thinking of lambs.
It is often said there are more sheep in New Zealand than people,
and it is a joyful sight to see frolicking lambs in the springtime.
There are always a few orphan lambs on a sheep farm
and the farmers work hard at having as few as possible.

Every year while teaching I would borrow an orphan lamb from Hugh,
a friend and neighbour with a sheep farm,
and take it to school for the town children to experience.
It was always a great hit.

My Aunt tells of a city boy in her class years ago,
who while patting a lamb exclaimed
"It feels just like wool!"

This spring though, we feel sad when we think of lambs.
The big storms down south and the big dumps of unseasonal snow
has caused the death of thousands of newborn lambs.
Our springtime joy is dampened with sadness.

So, for my Sepia Saturday I have chosen a photo of me and my little sister, Linda.
This is a favourite photo of mine, taken by Mum on the trusty Brownie Box camera.
I would be almost four.
I was born at the end of World War 2.

I have, tucked under my arm, a toy lamb made of real sheepskin.
It was a gift from my Godfather, my Uncle Ivan.

My mother's youngest brother Ivan was overseas in Italy, fighting for King and Country
when my mother was pregnant. She decided she would name her coming baby Ivan.
However the baby was not a boy so Mum invented my second name... Ivette, with a long vowel i.

I hated the name for some reason. Probably because everyone remarked how unusual it was. Children hate to be different.
When I was twelve my teacher in class one day pronounced it as Yvette. (With a short vowel sound). Yvette Williams had just won gold for NZ at the Olympics, high jump.
My friends were impressed.. so from then on I secretly pronounced it with a short vowel i .

Thankfully my Uncle Ivan returned home from the war alive and well, and married his sweetheart Jessie.
He was a lovely gentle man and I am proud to have his name whatever form.

Just as a postcript.. I have to tell you I cut the tail off my toy lamb. My mother was not pleased, but we had lambs on our farm and Dad always cut off their tails.

I think the lawn needs mowing Dad.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet Spring Flower

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower
A single sweet bluebell..

Ann Bronte
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The Place Where Bluebells Grow...

There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell.
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Ann Bronte

I did find bluebells .... see below ...
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Earlier in the year, when it wasn't spring,
I was intrigued to find this seat by the lake, on a higher path,
with a plaque that said
"I know a place where bluebells grow"

I returned today
and sure enough there are bluebells..
and whitebells.
I love it's rather wild aspect.

A lovely place to sit
and contemplate...

and dream dreams...
"Down among the bluebells, bluebells, bluebells.
Down among the bluebells,bluebells, blue."

Thank you to those who thought to plant bluebells down by the lake.
I'm thinking of you on this wildish spring day.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spring Equinox Blessings ...


a circle of friends


new life



Seven friends, we gathered to discuss our book of the month..
I set up this little altar to celebrate the Equinox and our friendship..
A circle of friendship... a circle of life.
We shared wisdom, laughter, singing, and food.
A little gift of baby plants to take home in memory...
Seasonally..this is the time of Easter..

Book: City of the Mind.... by Penelope Lively.
A beautifully crafted book of many layers.
A non-linear idea of history.. stream of consciousness the mind of a London achitect.
Made me think some times of the movie INCEPTION.. dreams, creating a city, a history, in one's mind.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spring Equinox with an Antarctic chill..

There is such stormy weather in NZ today.
Lots of snow on the mountains not too far south of where I live.
Down the South Island it is the worst lambing season ever.

Where I live it has not been really stormy yet but it is chilly.
I am tucked in over the brow of a hill and sheltered from the south-westerly wind
which is wonderful because I lived for thirty years by a mountain
and the westerly wind blew and blew and blew!

This photo of the moon I took this evening.

chill wind through bare trees
bare faced moon in a cold sky
warm spring where are you

light of moon, quiet the rhythms of my heart
touch of rain, bless my growth
violent storm, awaken my sense of wonder
cold wind, cleanse my cluttered mind

While the storm is thrilling to me in its wildness,
it is death to small new born lambs down south.
Good and Evil
Yin and Yang
Beyond my understanding.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Doodle dreaming..

new spring awakens
while summer still lies sleeping
warm light stirs the earth

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Springtime in Cambridge, NZ.

I had lunch with a friend today in Cambridge.
The blossoms down the main street were beautiful.

The Waikato River in Cambridge.
I detoured out to Karapiro Dam.. see below..
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This is peaceful Karapiro Lake
with Maungatautari in the background.
(Maunga in maori means mountain)
Because I was in Cambridge today, I took a detour out to Lake Karapiro.
(Maungatautari is the mountain bird sanctuary with the rat proof fence.)

The World Rowing Competitions will be held on this Lake next month.
These are the waters of the mighty Waikato River
dammed to form the lake.

We have had so much rain lately, all spillways are open
and the rush of water is deafening.

I wanted to feel the exhilarating power of the water,
the wind, the water spray, the noise...
to feel the spirit of the river that sustains us.
It is not the biggest hydro power dam, but the man-made waterfall is a thrilling sight just now.
This dam was built in the 1940's. Beneath the deep lake is the original Horahora dam.
How we have managed to change the river in less than 200 years!

In pre-European times it took 6 days for the Waikato waters to travel from its source to the it takes around 40 days.... a fact taken from..

THE WATERS OF THE WAIKATO: Ecology of New Zealand's Longest River.
Published by Environment Waikato and The Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology, Uni. of Waikato.