Plum blossoms

We have some plum blossoms!

This is the Greengage Plum that struggled through last year after being relocated.

The thought of some greengage plums makes me want to swing like a monkey from a tree!

That reminds me of trip we made from Sydney to Mullaway Beach when we were little to visit our Nan.

I would have been about 5 years old. We’d been in Sydney since I was two when our parents separated. But now we had a new member of the family, our step father, and the decision had been made that we would move back to the mountain.

In preparation, a new purchase, a short wheel base ex Army, khaki, soft top Landrover.

A visit to Nan was planned (6hrs drive north from Sydney), an opportunity for mum and us kids to take the new truck for a joy ride!

Those of you who are familiar with soft top Landrovers will know that the canvas canopy fastens to the front cab and fits over two metal frames. At the back there is a canvas flap that you can roll up, like a tent door. That day it was a beautiful sunny warm (hot) day, we had it rolled up and we had the perfect view of the road left behind, massive majestic eucalyptus trees one minute huge in our peripheral and the next minute tiny in the distance and blink, gone.

We were on top of the world. And what do you want to do when you’re on top of the world?  Swing like a monkey!

Which is exactly what my little three year old sister did. She started to swing on the middle metal frame, we all thought it was very funny, totally oblivious to the danger.

Mum must have looked back to see what was making us laugh. Can you imagine the horror she must have felt? Her little baby swinging with nothing between her and the open road disappearing behind us at about 60 miles an hour! If her little fingers were to slip and let go?? The horror was felt by all of us when we realised the danger.

On the side of the road mum unrolled the canvas flap and fastened it tightly closed. Locked in (safe and sound) a hot canvas canopy. What was that smell? Army? Dirt & sweat? Or just the old musty smell of aged canvas? Gone was our view, gone was the swirling fresh air. We were pleased to arrive at Nan’s.

I’m not sure whose idea it was but Nan had some shark netting in the shed, Mum secured it to the back of the Landrover. We got our fresh air and (slightly hindered) view back!

That aqua green thick nylon shark netting remained on that Landrover for all the years she drove us around, keeping us safe. She eventually got replaced by another ex army Landrover, this one long wheel base and hard top. No metal bars to swing from, but even if there was, we’d learnt our lesson.

Here in Tiny Garden we don’t have any trees big enough for an adult (or child) to swing from, but we have some plum blossoms! Now we just need the bees to do their magic 🌱

Have a wonderful day!

 

Our cottage

We inherited these flowers.

They came with the little cottage.

Ours since 2004.

I remember when I first saw this little house.

I knew immediately I wanted it to buy it.

I called the agent that very afternoon and she popped over for a cup of tea to do the paperwork.

I had stepped off the plane just three weeks before.

When it became mine, I picked up the keys, drove over after work, it was dark, it was empty, it was cold, I was alone in NZ, I sat on the carpet in the living room and cried.

Big tears.

Just a couple of days ago a dear friend was telling me about her mothers idea about our book, the idea is that our past is written on the pages already turned, and what has been written can’t be changed, but every fresh page turned is blank, it’s yours to write on, yours to write anything.

Anything.

But that night, the first night in my new little cottage, in a brand new country, I was too busy re-reading pages that had long been written and couldn’t be changed.

I couldn’t see the blank page in front of me. A page that, even as I was sobbing my heart out, was being written. All those heartaches from the past were articulating themselves as hopes and dreams for the future. And those hopes and dreams filling this little cottage with every tear.

And over the years, one by one those hopes and dreams have come true.

Love. My greatest love, my beautiful daughter, joined me in 2008.

Strength. It took me three long months in 2005 to paint the exterior of this little house, one wall at a time, I scraped off ancient flaking paint (probably lead), filled holes, sanded, coated rusty nails, puttied windows, washed and painted. Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid, 1984), was right, the focus, the repetition, the meditation, the challenge, the achievement of painting a house made me strong, both physically and mentally.

He he, I remember one day I was up the scaffolding with the sander and a courier appeared, delivering a parcel to my neighbour. Being on my own, there was no one to take photos of me working, blushing to my toes I asked the courier if he would be kind enough to take a photo of me. He happily took my camera and I went back to work with the sander. He took some great photos.

As he headed off he said something about hoping more parcels needed delivering around here.

That put a smile on my face and I swear the sander took the layers of ancient paint off with less effort that afternoon.

Calm & peace. Our beloved garden, a perpetual work in progress.

Giggles and laughter. Tripled since my daughters arrival, January 6, 2008. Best day ever!

He he, I like to think of every giggle as a little shiny wriggling transparent string of energy (like a happy wriggly worm, but see through and glittering and in constant motion) filling nooks and crannies of our little cottage. Finding their way into and filling the wall cavities, the best insulation a house could ever have!

Our little cottage is old, built 1910. Only 60 years after the first settlers arrived in Wellington. I think it was built for the nearby military camp (which has now disappeared and been replaced by a school), for a soldier and his family. It was a simple square four roomed house, no fancy features, just standard sash windows and two fireplaces. Built strong with beautiful native hard wood timber. Still standing firm through all the years of gale force winds and earthquakes.

The years have bought additions and modifications.

It’s still petite, perfect for us.

Friends. The love we have been graced with from friends found here in Wellington defies words. It fills our hearts and is the sparkle that lives in our eyes.

Our little cottage.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Fresh leaves

The wind is back. It’s swirling violently out there but today our little cottage feels protected. A force field? Safe in a solid bubble, firm feet on the ground.

The temperature has dropped as well.

We have the fire going.

There is a little rain, I can hear it spitting at the windows.

It’s still dark outside, the light will bring us news of how our garden has fared.

Let me show you what we found in our garden on the weekend.

Doesn’t she look like a swan?

Miniature fresh leaves.

Isn’t there something adorable about little things?

Fresh, bright, perfect, beautiful…

Weathering comes with age.

A childhood lived, where we, as parents, aim to provide security and plant the seed of love and acceptance. Nurture and guide. With the goal of sending happy, healthy, strong, confident, brave people into the world.

A childhood enjoyed, to be a kid, no cares or worries, safe, empowered within safe boundaries, surrounded by people who love and want the best for them, their champions. Where self worth founds and grows.

It’s a privilege to be a parent.

I’m grateful to have been entrusted with the responsibility.

The wind has gone quiet.

Just a momentary lull, I can hear the wave of a new swinging gust approaching. There is a comfort in the way the wind is swirling around us today.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday’s harvest 🌱

Favourite quote from my daughter this morning, “I’m going to put some earrings on to give me a little bit of sparkle!”.

Sparkle, we love sparkle, reminds me of a time when my daughter was really little and we were driving toward the Wellington harbour on an crystal blue day with the sun brilliant on the water. I said “look at the sparkling water”, my daughter replied “someone dropped their glitter”.

Isn’t it wonderful that laughter that lives in our memories can put a sparkle in your eye today.

Gladioli

Several of our gladioli blooms were weighted down by the rain yesterday and the flowers too heavy and the stems too bent to be able to reach back up toward the sky.

We rescued them.

They now grace our kitchen window ledge.

A treasured friend who adopted my beloved cat, Indiana (Indy), when I left Sydney in 2004, introduced me to this phrase:

This too shall pass.

She had it tattooed on her arm, I asked her about it, she told me it was from a fairy tale about a king who had four prospective wives and asked each one to come to him with something that would help him rule both in good and bad times. He then would choose his bride. I can’t recall what the other prospective wives bought him, probably gold and/or other material riches, but I do remember what the one who became his wife gave him, she gave him those four words, ‘this too shall pass’.

I’ve often been grateful to my friend for sharing this phrase with me, and I think a fine phrase to tattoo on yourself as a reminder to treasure the good times and weather the bad.

Today’s harvest 🌱

I hope kindness abounds today!

 

Agapanthus

We have removed most of the agapanthus from our garden, just a few remain. I have a love/dislike relationship with them. I love their colour and resilience but they are a bit rampant for my liking. Interesting snippet, in New Zealand Agapanthus are now registered as an ‘environmental weed’.

The flowers are reaching their end and I was going to cut them back this afternoon, but I noticed a couple of busy bees…

So fat, intent and busy, they made me smile. These bees are big, I would say easily twice the size of the honey bees we had when I was growing up in Australia.

Today’s harvest 🌱

Favourite moment from the past couple of days…we were out and about, I was on foot, my daughter on roller blades, she was way ahead and had stopped to wait for me at the crossing…I stretched out my arms for a hug and she raced back, smack, into my arms (like a professional speed skater). You’ll be glad to know I braced myself so she didn’t knock me over 🍃

Hope you were able to ‘kill ’em with kindness’ today (finding inspiration from my daughter’s pop music 🌼).