Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just to prove I did go to see Leonard Cohen!
I think by the look of my illicit photo
I was a little over excited!

I remember the day
Fr Ron Sharp introduced me to LC at Manurewa St Anne's
40 years ago.
I fell in love with
a voice
a poet
and have loved him ever since.

This was a dream come true.
Absolutely fabulous
at least three hours of continual bliss!
" I'm your man! "
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Friday, October 29, 2010

My second attempt at a zinc plate etching..
I used a left hand / nondominant hand drawing of a woman.My left hand drawings are always a bit wonky but have more soul I think although there is something lost in copying lines to the plate. I think this woman is peeved because she is not going to see Leonard Cohen tonight!

a simple line print - once through the acid bath

the final print with tones added through three further dips in the acid bath.
It is so exciting learning this method of making a print. I still have lots to learn.

I am very excited because tonight I am going to the Leonard Cohen concert in Auckland .I have loved his poetry and songs for nearly all my life.  He was in NZ last year but I was away travelling.  I was told by so many how wonderful the concerts were so I am very happy to be going this time.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Goose for Grethe...

one grey goose swimming
on softest shot silk water
distant thoughts of Grethe..

one white goose flapping
archangel wings of whiteness
in morning rituals

stillness in my mind
for even just a moment
perfection attained

These are the geese at the lake that I met on my early morning walk this morning ..
and I thought of Grethe on the other side of the planet ... she wrote about geese on her blog..
so i sent her blessings from Aotearoa/ New Zealand
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Arum Lilies and Lawn Daisies..

green white and yellow
from my kitchen window
while I cook my dinner
you make me feel glad

green white and yellow
simplicity in essence
while I wash my dishes
you make my heart sing

green white and yellow
peacefulness and purity
holy saints and virgins

in silence you appeared
passers-by don't notice

but Russell the artist
from over the street
stops to stare

he's noticed
green white and yellow

I think he feels glad
I think his heart sings...

a lightness in his stride
and head held high
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The moon was still in the sky
when I rose this morning..

a pale moon rising

imagine if we saw the moon only once in a lifetime..
imagine this was the only day that it appeared..

everyone outside
looking up in awe and wonder
people would travel from far and wide to see the moon.

Wow! Look at the moon.. how amazing!

I've been thinking about this today
since I looked at Hobbiton on Ruthie's blog.
( a-faeritale-of-inspiration)
Green Hobbiton, home of the Hobbits.
Lush green fields and trees and hills

in my very own country New Zealand

and Ruthie's visitors to her blog commenting that
it is on their wish list to visit
this amazing place in Aotearoa\New Zealand

and do you know what?
I live less than an hour from Hobbiton
and I have never visited.

Hobbiton is a beautiful Waikato farm
like a thousand other beautiful Waikato farms.


We forget to be astonished
every day at what is at our backdoor.

My dream was to visit the other side of the earth.
I've been there several times and it was amazing.
I think I will go visit Hobbiton
very soon.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

A perfect Labour Day ..

The sun has shone all weekend,
with fluffy white clouds sailing by today.

The blackbirds have been singing their sweetest spring song
and as cheeky as ever
the sparrows have been stealing the coconut fibre
from my newly planted hanging baskets
right under my nose
while I've been reading.
You see, I've spent the whole afternoon in the Appalachian mountains
with Elizabeth and Birdie and Little Sylvie
and everyone
and getting scares with rattle snakes,
murders and mystery.

I started on my deck
and finished
on the sofa..

totally absorbed
in Elizabeth's adventures..thrilling to the end.

I have really enjoyed this book
set in the mountains of Appalachia...
Thank you Vicki Lane for sharing something of your world with us.

I'm glad I took the time to finish the second half of the book
in one long session.   It added to the suspense.
The descriptions were wonderful.  I almost feel I 've seen the movie!
I love the food references too, and the music, quilting and the ideas
about life and religion. Elizabeth is very wise.
So too Vicki Lane.

It was the perfect way to spend a quiet Labour Day...
and I have the second book here too.
I can't wait.
 I have my bookclub book to read Thursday evening
Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen.

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Labour Day In NZ..

a perfect spring morning
sun shining
birds singing

and the hush..hush sound that told me
over my house
and I bound out of bed
to watch

so wonderful
in a cobweb sky
in the stillness
of early morning

 ( I had a photo of two wee dead baby birds
that were dropped from their nest in my roof
but I decided it was a bit wierd having a photo of them here..
so I removed it.
They were baby sparrows I think and maybe the starlings had tossed them out
because they are building a nest in the same place.
How cruel life can be. )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday : Labour Day Weekend..

Today we travelled to Te Awamutu to attend to
family headstones at the cemetery.
It was a perfect spring day and we took a picnic lunch.

The half hour trip from Hamilton to Te Awamutu
was beautiful.

Green fields and contented animals
and the bluest sky with ever-changing clouds.

In the distance is Pirongia
the mountain we carry in our hearts.
This is our mountain.
This is the Waikato.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sepia Saturday..Transport Joys on the Peninsula.. 1940's?

Last week I showed you Gus Hatner's school bus
and this week I thought I would show you his truck.

The roads on the peninsula
were not so great back then!
When I was a child all roads were metal
and winding and narrow.
My sister's father-in-law built the early roads with his brother
and Pop used to say they were paid for every corner.

Going to our nearest town, Waiuku, seemed such a long journey.
There were tar-sealed roads near the town
and we children would cheer when we hit them.

Here is a car in trouble.
Broken axles were common too.
Lucky there were still faithful old farm horses to come to the rescue.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

A Day in Te Pahu..

I've had a few busy days but the long weekend has arrived in NZ..Labour Day on Monday.
Here are a few quick words from a litle bit tired me
 about my day out yesterday.
Yesterday I went to Te Pahu
my home for 33
 hugely significant years of my life
my years of marriage and motherhood
The Westerly Wind blew and blew a big fat welcome
Ha ha.. I know you Westerly Wind
I said

the mountain
misty and blue
stood serenely looking on as always
the guardian of the place

and the Westerly Wind picked salty air from the sea
and whipped it over the mountain
and dumped it on Te Pahu and me

as it always did

the wind always knew
I'd come from an ocean place
and just in case
I'd be lonely for the sea
it delivered salty air
from the ocean to me

the trees were still that early gold
before the leaves turn green

and all the while the cows
standing knee deep in fresh spring grass
munched and chewed
ignoring the wind
and me

 Beautiful Te Pahu and  Pirongia..
my homecoming 

and best of all are the friends
who still live there
you are dearest of all

but should one day
all  friends be gone 
  there will always be
the land
and the mountain

 and you, wild friend 
Westerly Wind

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Little Book..

This is another little book I have made from
a children's board book.
This little book had lift out flaps.

I made this book to celebrate the life I shared growing up
with my little sister Linda.

It was the life of our imaginations

imaginary games and and places and people
and dreams shared

looking back now

what was imaginary seems as real
as everything else
that  happened in our lives

how rich is a child's life
when she has time and freedom
to play
to imagine
and dream
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I've nearly finished this little book
that I showed you last night,
made from a children's board book

This is my little book of hours.
It is still slightly wet so I haven't written words in it yet.
Just as I love living the seasons of the year
so too do I love the idea of the hours.
I have loved Macrina Wiederkehr's book
Seven Sacred Pauses

This little book holds just the key to each of the hours
The bookmark I made has a small bell
because in the monastery bells announce the hours.

I put a favourite bird on the front
because birds sing all day and live in the present moment

To me the hours are a way of being mindful and living in the now.
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Altered Board Books..

I've been asked to show how to make altered board books
to a Country Women's Institute in Te Pahu
tomorrow. This is where I lived on the farm.
It will be nice to catch up with friends.

I've made little books like this before
but given them away as gifts.'s busy busy yesterday and today making some examples.
The pages in this little book were so thick I have been able to cut
shapes into them.

I've been planning to make
a Book of Hours for sometime.
So that's my plan for today..
by this evening this little book and the others will be finished!!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Season of Greening..

It is the season of green
around me..
when I wake the street glows green in the early morning sunshine
and all day the green makes me feel glad.

Down at the lake
the cabbage trees are in flower
white amongst the green

a sure sign that summer is coming

and the world seems fresh and new

and yes Juliet..I agree,  even the onion flowers
look beautiful.. white amongst the green.

The Earth is a wonderful dance of the seasons.
As the green bursts around us here in Aotearoa/New Zealand
the leaves fall in the northern lands
and red and yellow and orange hues are seen in the photos of
 northern friends.
  So it is we all participate in the same seasonal dance..
perfectly balanced
spring here..autumn there..
as our planet travels around the sun
slowly tilting this way then that way in the most wonderfully
choreographed dance of all.
How amazing is that.
It amazes me how this is all taken so much for granted.
The older I get the more wondrous it is!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

The simple things..

out walking
in between cheeky spring showers

it is the simple things that take my eye today

the simplicity of a dandelion

the sheen on the buttercup

and the simplicity of the upturned faces of violas

growing impossibly in the cracks of the sidewalk.

The art of art
the glory of expression
and the sunshine of the light of letters
is simplicity

   Walt Whitman
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