Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This is a mangosteen. Nothing to do with a mango, this little fellow was available at a vaguely affordable price (probably due to the age of the beast), so I decided to take one home to try. I sliced it open to see what was inside, and here is the result:

Such a neat little parcel of white, juicy flesh. Very delicious too. Sweet and tasty, but not like any other fruit I've had. Each little segment has a black seed inside. I will be eating more in the future, if I ever come across an affordable one again. Well worth a try.

Here is the corner of our little house where one of the world's worst showers lurked. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Mr B and Dad are busy working on installing a nice new one.

Here is evidence that making biscuits in a big hurry does not always pay off. These were from NZ House and Garden and are supposed to be neat little swirls of chocolate and honey flavoured biscuit. They are not only aesthetically a disgrace, they are an unpleasing texture - soft rather than crisp and snappy, and bland in flavour. I can blame the recipe for some of the misfortune, but must take the blame entirely for their appearance. Sadly, due to the flavour, there won't be another opportunity for me to take the required hour or two (rather than a messy and frantic 15 minutes) to recreate to delightful, perfectly formed chocolate and vanilla tinted swirls that graced the hallowed pages of NZ House and Garden.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So, so sorry! I've been uninspired about reporting on life lately, but today Dad said something that really reminded me of the power of a great sentence. He is here helping Mr B to replace our crappy old shower so that our bathroom may be appealing to potential buyers. He said "Bloody silicone sticks like shit to a blanket." And indeed it does. There are all sorts of destructive noises which set my teeth on edge coming from the bathroom. The men sound bright and happy, so that's good.

I've got darling Hunca tucked up under my scarf around the back of my neck. Monty is curled up on my knee. Both are a bit disturbed by the noise too. I am overwhelmed by the spending, and decisions of building a house. But when we visit it is all very exciting.
Look, most of the windows are in.
I'm going to love having a verandah area.
Unfortunately we have to excavate Stonehenge before we can make a garden. At least I made a start.
My room is on the left, and our bedroom on the right. Since this photo was taken Monty's cat door went into my room. Very expensive in a double glazed window.
I've got granite samples lying around. Each time I pass them I've got to stop and think hard. At the moment I'm drawn towards one called Butterfly Blue, which is very unusual looking. It has a dark green background with blue and reddy stones through it. Hard to describe. I should see if I can get a photo, but I imagine the samples won't photograph particularly well. Don't even mention flooring.
Bye for now. XXX

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Everest Attempt Begins

It really does feel like an attempt to climb Everest, getting our house ready to sell, and moving to a new house. It looks like we are dressed for Everest too, in our winter gear. That jacket makes me look like an enormous tomato. Warm though, and it kept me dry in the parts of the house that don't have a roof. We took the first load of excess stuff out to the lockup today. The best part about delivering stuff to the lockup is saying hello to the gorgeous donkey that lives there. So when we got home today I started working on filling a box of kitchen items that I won't be needing for a while. Plus I filled another box of books. The second of many, many book boxes. It feels a bit strange tucking my special things away in boxes, but I'm sure I'll enjoy getting them out again and finding places for them in my new home.
Miss Hunca Munca was very pleased to hear from her mummy and daddy. She supervised closely while I gave her house a clean. She was probably casting a suspicious eye over the disposal of a few hoarded food items. She was very pleased to have minestrone soup for tea. She did a bit more exploring today because Miss Dog was outside while I sorted a few things out. Miss Dog doesn't pay much attention to her now she has got used to the idea of a ratty travelling on shoulders. Monty completely ignores her. Hopeless hunter, thank goodness.
One more week of the term. I've got a pretty chilled out week planned. Then the big push to Everest begins. XXX

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gazing at the floor while the Heavens open.

Wet, wet and more wet around here today! Look at my lovely roof. It is going up bit by bit. The colour is called New Denim Blue and it is made of Coloursteel, which looks just like traditional corrugated iron. Today when we popped (glopped) in there was so much water inside as only half of the roofing is up. Plus the area you can see above in front of the house is thick with goopy mud. But I did get very excited standing in my lounge and looking at all of the lovely space. The verandah has a ceiling now, which Miss Dog is going to love on cold days. Me too!
We went flooring shopping today. I've discovered that I like the carpets that are a shade of chocolate. We've got some samples home from Mckenzie and Willis. Mr B couldn't face the curtain department today, so I'm going to have to go in on my own. We are having a flooring product which is a vinyl but comes in planks that look like real wood. It really does. It is commercial grade so it will last well and should cope with the clitter clatter of animal claws. We had some samples home and it is amazingly easy to clean. That will go in the entrance way, kitchen and bathrooms.
I have to admit I'm a bit panicked that my ability to decorate this fabulous creation is going to be sadly lacking. My taste is very much Country Living, but I find it hard to work with neutrals. I've never really had reason to choose fabulous curtains. I do have a mad passion for fabrics but there are so many horrid ones available, and so many divine EXPENSIVE ones. In the main living area, which will have a mass of curtains along one wall, and five Roman blinds, I don't want anything heavily patterned, but then I think something one flat colour would be completely boring. I think that sometimes a heavy pattern with lots of colours can take over the whole room when the curtains are across. I don't want anything that looks like a budget buy, but I am conscious of the cost. Any ideas?
On the current home front, Miss Hunca Munca Ratty has settled in beautifully. She has very quickly realised that Mr B is a cosy nest of warmth, and loves snuggling up in his polarfleece jumpers. She also knows I am the main source of food, and gets very excited when I bring her a plate (jar lid) of dinner. She eats what we eat, although I'm not usually inclined to grab a huge chunk of food off my plate in my teeth and then scurry off to my bedroom to enjoy it at my leisure like she is. She is the cutest little ratty in the whole world. She sleeps quite a lot, and when she wakes up she has squinty eyes for a bit, and she often has a big stretch and a yawn. Just a dear wee darling. We are so lucky to have custody of her. I'd put some pictures in but it has been really cold and Hunca burrows as much as possible in this weather. The moment I pick her up she is heading for my shoulder to gain access to some part of my clothing.
Tomorrow we start moving things out to the lockup where we will store excess stuff until the big move. We'll meet up with Mr and Mrs CT, who not only own the lockup, but also love a hot coffee or chocolate on a wet day. A great excuse for a gathering. I'm looking forward to it.
Well, I think I've got my blogging mojo back. I'm pleased about that. XXX

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sort of back in action

Reports are done and handed in to the big boss. Mr B is back from his educational jaunt to the North Island. He's watching Ninja Warrior. Tonight is the push for the summit on the programme about Everest. Seeing the people climbing Everest has had an impact on me because I've been dreaming about it. I'm in a bit of a decline, which is a nuisance, but typical. I've just got to wait for it to pass, with Mr B's support. My head hurts, and has since Friday. So time for a few positives:

  • Miss Hunca Munca has come to live with us. She is a darling little ratty poo. She's currently snuggled in Mr B's polar fleece top. She has had a range of tasty treats including omelette, kiwifruit, mandarin, cheese and crackers, cauliflower, peas, corn, celery. She pretty much eats what I'm eating, as well as her traditional seedy, pellet mix. Photos to come.
  • Our house really looks like a house! It has framewrap on, which Mr B has promised to photograph for your viewing pleasure tomorrow when he visits. It is amazing to walk around inside.
  • Our friend Di makes delicious brownie and apple crumble, and we had it at Mrs CT's house . I got a huge chunk of dried up leaf in my eye while I was there, and I'm very grateful that I managed to get it out because it was almost a doctor job. It got tucked under the inner corner of my eye and I couldn't believe the size of it when I finally got it out. I am very grateful to my lovely friends who don't seem to mind if I just hunker down by the fire when I'm in a decline. Also to Andi cat who tolerated my attentions and company.
  • Yay for family coming to visit! The holidays are in two weeks. Mummy and Nanny might come to stay and Dadsy is coming in the second week of the holidays to help around here. Plus M and R might come for Show Weekend like they did last year, and we will be in our new house by then. Meg and I will take a big tasty picnic to the A and P show and watch the horse competitions. Then we will pat as many animals as we can. The boys can play golf.
  • It is my birthday is less than two months.
  • By the way, we have a new Ninja Warrior champion. Nokato Nagana (possibly spelled like that) is showing rare emotion for a Japanese fisherman, and is clearly pleased to have won. Actually, I'd say winning Ninja Warrior would be harder than climbing Mount Everest, although considerably safer.

Bye for now XXX

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sorry- mini bloggy break

Oops, sorry to have a break in the middle of a challenge week but I'm in the middle of report writing and am all written out. My shoulders are burning after being crouched over my school computer for hours. So I will rejoin the challenge when I summon the energy! XXX

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Challenge!

New week, new challenge...New challenge has been put forward by M over at Chocolate Britches...
Monday: 3 favourite pieces of jewellery

Tuesday: 3 favourite books

Wednesday: 3 favourite travel destinations

Thursday: 3 favourite hot men (just for some shallow fun!)

Friday: 3 favourite household items (could be anything around the house)

Saturday: chosen by Ruby Two Shoes

Sunday: chosen by Poppy Black

I have so many pieces of jewellery that I just gathered up three necklaces that are important to me. I love necklaces!

This one is very precious as Mr B bought it for me as a surprise when we were up in Wellington shopping with his Mum. The terrible thing is that I can't wear it. It got broken, and I didn't wear it for ages. Once I repaired it I couldn't wear it without getting a nasty rash. I can't work it out because the metal doesn't actually touch the bits that get all red and nasty.

This one was made by the students in one of the senior classes at school. It gets a lot of outings.

I got this one from Trade Aid. It gets loads of comments. People often try to make wise comments about what it is made of. I think it said quartz on the label. Sorry, not such a good photo- the flash kept glaring off the stones.

I'm tired, so won't write any more. Have a good week! See you tomorrow. XXX

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I decided to share a few yellow things from school. I've actually got quite a bit of yellow around the house because we painting a lot of our rooms yellow. Not bright yellow like these things. A buttery colour.
This is a closeup of one of the crowns we made for the Queen for Queen's Birthday. The glue was a bit useless so I had to get the glue gun out and reattach the buttons. I always manage to burn my fingers using a glue gun, but I'm awfully fond of them.

We have been talking about colour. When I was working with individuals on another arty activity anyone spare was working on this rainbow. I have dangled the colour names off the bottom. I wanted the darker blue to be indigo, but someone didn't listen.

For your future reference, the Maori colours. Kowhai is a New Zealand native tree with beautiful yellow flowers. Kowhai is both a colour and a plant. So are tawa and karaka.
Here is the sun I drew. Most of the class helped to colour and dye it. I stapled it together with another big circle of paper, with cellophane sandwiched between. Three of my students helped to screw up newspaper to stuff it with.
Here is Ducky. It is a miracle that he still looks so good because most things get sucked or chewed eventually. The kids' cushions are on display behind. Fabric paints are awesome!
Here is the Rainbow Lorikeet that visited on Friday. His/her name is Kaz. We were all totally enchanted by it. It even poos on command so you can hold it over a bucket so that it can go to the toilet. Then you don't get crap down your back. It is only a baby and will grow bigger. A perfect end to colour week, I think!
Today I had a mad rampage in the garden, plus I rescued my Christmas lily bulbs so that I can take them to my new garden. They are expensive, so I decided they need to come with me. Plus they were all given to me by a friend. One of them always has a huge head of flowers every year. I found out why. The bulb is utterly enormous. I put them in a bucket with some soil and covered them with a damp newspaper. They don't like to dry out.
We have decided to spend Sunday mornings working on the garden at the new place, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons sorting out our world here. I really got a lot done this weekend at our current house. I hacked and slashed the boysenberries and grapes back. I pruned roses with the ruthless attitude of an expert. I weeded and snipped. I had great intentions to rake up lots of stones at our new place, but we had seven (yes, seven!!!) visitors while we were there, and didn't get much done apart from guided tours. I told Mr B we will need a big new coffee machine with all of the visitors we are getting. His current one just does two little cups at a time. So we've had a fun, very busy weekend. I'm looking forward to the next one already. XXX

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Today I have just one colour picture. This is all the black a girl would ever need. Darling Miss Dog. Loyal helper in the garden (cat turd disposal expert). Carpet cleaner tester. Ever willing plate cleaner. This is not the best photo of her, but this is the result of a few hours helping in the garden. Today the major ransacking began. The building is going to take around 3 1/2 months to finish and we are getting stuck in so that we can put this house on the market at the end of August or early September. Help!!!!

This is the reason for the sudden flurry of activity. It looks like a house!!!!

Here I am "on" my verandah. What a great space for hanging out.

Another favourite part of the house. The sliding door to outside from my craft and music room.

Today we went out the see our lovely builder and discuss a few details. We took our friend Barbara out for a look and she thinks it looks much bigger than it did in foundation form. I'm dying to get started on the garden, but have more than enough to do around here first. It has got really out of hand, so I was hacking and slashing until my arms couldn't take it any more. I've always been overly ambitious about gardening here, and made masses of gardens that I couldn't handle due to the weeds and invasive plants that were already hiding here when we came. Ivy, incredibly thorny berries, twitch, and perennial sweetpeas (which I'd never plant in my new garden, horrid things). Even the grape vines are out of control. I think I'll have to be very careful not to take anything with me with dirt from this garden. I'll have to rinse the roots clean, and buy new plants to replace ones I really love that I can't do that to. I don't want twitch to come with me because it is really dreadful. The hostas I'm taking will have to go in pots so that I can quarantine them.

I'm a bit sad because Mr B is going away for a few days on a bus trip with other boss teachers to look at other schools. I'm in charge of the building while he is away. I bet our builder doesn't ring to ask me any questions. Well, I really hope he doesn't! There's more work to do on the frames, an inspection on Thursday and, all going well, frame wrap will go on on Friday. Then roofing begins. No wonder the flurry of activity has begun around here.

Happy birthday to Miss M. Wish I was there enjoying DVDs, tasty food and family company. XXX

Friday, June 13, 2008


Purple. The colour of royalty, bruises and butch lesbians in big saggy t-shirts and no bras. I'm sure that's a stereotype, but it certainly matches the hairy, crewcutted manladies stomping around Motueka in clouds of B.O. when I used to work in a bookshop in the holidays. Mind you, that was a long, long time ago. It certainly isn't a colour I have much of around here. Not that I don't like purple. But I do prefer rich plums, lilac - warmer tones of purple. So it was a bit of a strain to come up with these examples:
Leftover fabric from making cushions with my students' fabric paintings.
A grotty lavender towel. I'm going to need some new towels for my new bathrooms.
My plum coloured skirt and purple (pretend pashmina) scarf.
My very special amethyst and sterling silver necklace given to me by our neighbours after their trip to the USA.
I'm glad it's the weekend. Tonight we are going to the school play of Cinderella. It should be a real laugh. I am sad because our amazing Deputy Principal is leaving. She has always been there when I've needed advice, help or a pick-me-up chocolate fish. She is the director of the play. I hope tonight will be a great tribute to her. I'll get to say goodbye next week as she will be back for a celebration on Friday afternoon.
Tomorrow we are going to be able to walk through our house with the framing and roof trusses up. I'm really excited about that.
Not sure if I will get on the scales this week. I'm a disaster when I'm trying to lose weight. Horribly depressing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I could go on forever with blue. I've got a lot of blue around here. I love all sorts of colours, but cornflower blue is just divine. I don't really suit blue all that much to wear as I'm kind of a warm colour girl, so I don't have a lot of blue clothes. Of course everyone suits denim, and I prefer darker rather than classic mid-blue denim. So here goes with a sample of my blue treasures:

Grandma's old plate. I remember it from my childhood. It was the only one she had and I found out about the willow pattern from it.

This was Nanny's plate. I think she has some perfect pieces, but I claimed this cracked one when she moved because I'm sentimental.

My very precious tenth anniversary ring. Ceylonese sapphire and diamonds. Usually worn with a wedding band.

Pretty, sparkly bag. Handle broken. Now hanging on a door handle to look decorative.


My wee cupboard for the new house, and my spotty jug. Both gifts from the lovely Meg. I didn't realise there were dog hairs clinging to the jug. Miss Dog can't wait for black day.

I love this clock!

Swirly detail from one of Meg's paintings.

Sea, sky and blue chair cover.

I'm very, very tired tonight. But I can tell you the two words I know for blue in the Maori language. Kahurangi and kikorangi. We are doing Maori themed activities at school, and having a lot of fun. It is neat because the Teacher Assistants don't know much Maori, so I am actually teaching someone chunks of knowledge! Plus I'm reviewing and upskilling my knowledge as well. Some people question the value of teaching Maori language and culture, but I really enjoy it. And we are doing lots of talk and experiences relating to very basic concepts like greetings, colours, numbers and practical experiences involving fine and gross motor skills. All good, I think. I drew a big sun with a Maori art styled face today and everyone helped to colour and dye it. Then I got some helpers to screw up newspaper to stuff it. Plus I added bright yellow cellophane around the edge. That was for the story of Maui and the sun. That's actually a bit of a gruesome legend. Maui is the central figure of many Maori legends. He is clever, naughty and seems to get things done. In Maui and the sun Maui gets annoyed because the sun goes too fast and he wants more time to eat food and do things during the day. So he gets his brothers to help him to catch the sun with flax ropes. He then beats the sun until the poor thing is nearly dead and can only move slowly. Everyone is happy (well, almost everyone) because they can now enjoy the days and greedy Maui gets to have more time to eat his food. I think Mum will remember how fascinated I was by Maori legends when I was little.

Happy Friday everyone! It is usually a good day in my world. We've got a Rainbow Lorikeet visiting us at school tomorrow. How appropriate for colour week :) .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

By popular demand- frames.

Welcome to my new house. Can you see the front door? The garage is to the left, and the kitchen to the right.

Here's the view from the back yard. At the left is the gap where the big stacking doors will open out the the wee verandah.

Our bedroom is at the far right. A bit drafty at the moment.

Here's the view down the hall.

I can't believe that it is starting to look like a house already. The roof trusses were put up today. By the end of next week we should have a roof.

Other news from today:

  • Not much.

Next week's news. Mr B is going away for almost 5 days. I'm really going to miss him.


Red. In no particular order.

Spicy seasoning. I love spice!
I love red clothes too. This little combo had an outing today.
Manolin, aka Hand Slicer. The red signifies the threat this thing poses to the careless user.
Laura Ashley strawberries. Love, love, love them.

Wallace Cotton laundry bag.
Brocade fabric on one of my obi belt creations.
A corner of a Miss Ruby Two Shoes painting.
Ruby, my muse.
Delicious lace on my velvet coat.
The sweet wee cosmetic bag that carries my warpaint on the front line. Even better cause I got it from my brother's pharmacy on his wedding weekend.
One of Mr B's photos.

Braeburn apple.
Red is gorgeous, glamorous and rich. I love to wear red, but prefer it with other colours than black. Black and red are such a predictable combination. I am, however, being predicable today. Sometimes I dare to leave my house in shades of red and green, just to give a touch of Christmas spirit to any day of the year. No, I don't look like some rampant Christmas elf.