The woods

Lots of talk about the woods on the weekend.

Into the Woods, the musical.

Out of the Woods, Taylor Swift.

What does ‘out of the woods’ mean?

I tired to answer, relationships, bumps, troughs…

…but the important thing is to come out of the woods together…

…and to learn from the woods…

Did you make it out of the woods with…?

No, we didn’t make it out together.

What about us?

Yes! We go in and out of the woods together all the time! That’s what makes us such a good team.

Quiet now.

Content. Me too.

Grateful for everything the woods have taught me.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Singin’ (and dancin’) in the Rain

A rainy Wellington day.

Drenched garden.

Reminds me of our new favourite movie, Singin’ in the Rain.

Just a sprinkle of rain…singin’…

…and dancin’ in the rain, images of my daughter dancing, pretending to tap, and singing.

Gene Kelly has inspired my little girl, I think she’ll take up tap next year ūüĆĪ

To look at, Gene reminds me of my father, the rolled up long sleeved shirts, slacks, his dark hair and boyish handsome looks, the cheeky sparkle in his eye…

Isn’t it curious that sometimes all it takes is flicker of recognition to pierce through into locked away memories, causing them to leak and sting. Ouch, why were things the way they were? Quick, lock them up again.

The past is past. Today is today, and today it’s raining!

Singin’ and dancin’ in the rain.

What a glorious feelin’…

I’m laughing at clouds.

The sun’s in my heart.

Come on with the rain…

I’ve a smile on my face.

Just singin’…

Singin’ in the rain…

Dancin’ in the rain…

I’m happy again.

I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!

With joy in my heart.

I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain.

The last remnants of autumn.

Our Golden Delicious apple tree.

Autumn and rain. Favourites.

Have a wonderful day!

(This post is dedicated our friend Mark, we hope you’re having a wonderful time in the Big Apple!)

Protected centres

I started to write this about a month ago, our brassica’s have grown since then…

Our young brassicas.

I love their centres.

Young fresh leaves, protected by the older leaves.

Baby leaves protected by toddler leaves, protected by teenage leaves, sheltered safe in the arms of their parents.

Surviving a New Zealand winter.

My nine year old daughter wrote a shopping list, a menu and cooked a three course meal tonight. She set the table, waited, tidied everything away and washed the dishes!

Yum ūüĆĪ

Our first lemons!

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

After the storm

We had a wild storm last night, rain and 100km/hr icy winds from the southern alps.

Disjointed sleep.

Scary dreams, on the front line, in a forest on a steep slope, tall dense grasses, violent sounds, guns, explosions, thuds, crackling, whispering stealth through the grass, silent breath, afraid.

Unarmed, hiding, until my spot came under fire, ducked, ran and made terrifying leaps down the slope, pause, check, I’m okay, scramble for cover. Over and over.

Every return from broken sleep, I’d find myself right back there, trying to survive.

Finally the familiar tune of my alarm called me safe into my chilly bedroom.

Morning bought icy cold sun.

We were surprised to see our young celery survived ūüĆĪ

After the storm, driving to work, first glimpse of the water, framed by the pohutukawa trees at the end of the road, was shimmering gold from the morning sun.

Out from beneath the pohutukawa trees to the shoreline, huge God rays filled the sky, a freight ship vivid blue in the light. The size of the clouds and the expansive God rays made the boat appear huge and close.

A silver ribbon of light glistened along the coastline on the other side of the bay.

High tide, no pebbly beach, just water lapping the road. Evidence of the waves lapping over the road during the night, pools of water, debris and sand. Scary for the houses on the beach front to have the waves so close to their front door, grateful that our cottage is nestled safe within the village.

Always sad to turn away from the water, final glimpse back at the rays, the glistening silver ribbon, the golden pathway to the sun. Focus turned to work, up over the hill.

Winter is here?

Our most recent harvest ūüĆĪ

Have a wonderful day!

Peas flowering

I’m not sure if we are going to get any peas before it gets too cold.

They don’t look as happy as our summer peas.

But we have some flowers.

Maybe.

It’s dark when we get home now. The winter months¬†are hot (cold) on our tail.

There is a chill in the air.

Snowing somewhere?

I first took my daughter skiing when she was four.

Flying into Queenstown we were greeted by The Remarkables, snow covered, towering behind the airport and crisp snowy air.

We jumped into our hire car, put on Justin Berber, made a beeline to the supermarket, filled the car with food and headed off to find the cabin. A wee bit terrified.

Before we headed out toward Cardrona we drove into town to say hello to Queenstown. Beautiful lake, bustling street mall, bare trees, warm shop lights, cold, exciting.

With brave hearts and Justin Beeber, our backing track, we headed off to find our cabin. Up the Crown Range, down into Cardrona.

Up on a little ridge, snuggled into a private corner of rugged high country beneath the beautiful Cardrona snow covered mountain we found the cottage. Complete with a little creek and forest!

Our little hearts relaxed. Safe.

The house. Perfect. Cosy.

We filled the fridge.

Lit the fire.

Unpacked our clothes. Set everything ready for an early morning skiing adventure.

Cooked a yummy dinner. Could it be that the food tasted better down there?

Snuggled watched a DVD. Dare I tell you that I pulled out my knitting? Okay, now in heaven!

He he, I’ve knitted since I was a little girl, I recall at primary school someone calling me Grandma! In fact I quite like crocheting too ūüėÉ.

Precious memories, when I was pregnant, the evenings after work, comfy on the couch with my feet up, knitting my daughters baby blankets, but I diverge, today I’m wanting to take you skiing with us.

The next day, beautiful blue sky, perfect!

Not sure how it would work, but with the knowledge they had a childcare centre on the mountain, off we went.

It took us a little while to figure it all out but finally I got my little girl, with all the ski gear she needed, checked in and safe and sound in the hands of her instructor, Lorna. My brave daughter, so cute decked out and ready to hit the slope.

Me, I was now free to ski my heart out! Quick, to the snow!

The icy cold on the chair lift, alive. The cold air whipping my face and filling my lungs on the way down, happiness.

Tired, I love to find a quiet spot in the sun on a pristine patch of snow, nibble on almonds and sultanas (or vegemite crackers or chocolate), surrounded by sparkling snow, mountain fresh air and a sea of snow covered mountains. Easier to remember to breath up there?

I headed back to the resort to have lunch with my little girl.

We filled our tummies with warm food and then out we went to find the sleds.

He he, now that is fun, sledding with your four year old! Sore stomach!

Then it was time to return her to the daycare, more learning how to ski on the little slopes.

Back to the mountain for me.

Since then we’ve found a snow covered mountain every year, jumped¬†into our snow gear and kicked on our ski’s.

My little girl came up with me on the mountain on our second trip, on the chairlift at the end of the day, I have a video of her zooming down in front of me, no poles, like an expert!

The last three years she’s spent whole days with me, no lessons. Just us and the mountain (and chairlifts of new friends).

We have named the little monster that sometimes appears, the abominable snowman. She usually appears if the slope looks too steep or hunger or fatigue sets in. But before long the little abominable snowman is laughing again after she’s been fed or fired snowballs in my direction.

We’ve built snowmen and given them sultana and almond features.

We’ve enjoyed hot chips and meat pies in the warmth of the mountain cafes.

The days finished snuggled warm in the cottage in front of the fire.

Always sad to say goodbye to the mountain and the cottage.

’til next time.

Have a wonderful day!

Ripening Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are ripening.

On our window ledge.

Waiting for the red that means sweet and delicious.

When I was growing up on the mountain, we went to a tiny country school in the next valley.

We would clomp down the mountain in our gumboots and, careful not to slosh water into our boots, wade across the creeks. All the while watching for any little passengers, leeches, “quick can you get it off!”.

The dusty gravel road to school took us across several old wooden bridges. They were made up of hefty sleeper like planks butted up against each other, bolted into place. As I write this I can hear the sound of the bus hitting the bridges at speed and feel the vibrations.

Our teacher loved music and sport. When he first started, we’d play sport every afternoon after lunch. Every day! Outside. Heaven. Playing rob the nest, Aussie Rules (football), soccer, softball, cricket…

And music? He played the guitar and taught us songs, “Horse with No Name”, “Sandman”, “California Girls” (though we changed it to “Collins Creek Girls”), “Muscrat Love”, “Christopher Robin”, “Di Di Di Di”…I loved the singing. I’ve always loved to sing.

Our¬†school, little and country, maybe 25¬†children?, kindergarten to year 6, large grounds, surrounded by huge luscious camphor laurel trees, with an ‘out of bounds’ forest down the back (that we’d play in¬†anyway). The front gate, in those early years, I remember an arbor with a ratty climbing rose that hadn’t climbed very far and the cement footpath that lead to the front entrance of the little weatherboard school, first opened in 1918.

There was a little fish pond on the left as you walked toward the school (covered with chicken wire) and a large tree, its canopy had a weep, a beautiful pink/purple flower and big fat rounded love heart shaped leaves that started their life folded perfectly against each other down the spine and would open with age. I remember a goanna up that tree one day and our teacher going off to get his gun.

At that time the school had a verandah and inside, a wood burner, “don’t stand too close or you’ll get chilblains”. A pile of shoes & gumboots at the entrance.

There was a school house, where the teacher lived, up the ridge a little, across one of the playing fields.

One lunch, I think I was about 9 years old, I walked out of the class room to the front steps, and there at the bottom of the steps, on the cold hard cement, was one of the boys with blood pouring out of his mouth.

Red.

Not a sweet and delicious red. A scary red.

I didn’t take a breath, I just ran (to get the teacher from the school house). Or was it flew? I didn’t know I could move so fast.

Watching that little girl running in my memory, my heart tenses, I choke up and tears sting my eyes.

Words tumbled out on top of each other when the teacher came to the back door. And we quickly headed back to the school.

There was no one at the bottom of the steps.

We went around the back of the school to where the water fountains were, he was leaning over a bubbler, some other children were hanging around but they quickly made themselves scarce. The boy looked up from the trough. He smiled.

I felt confused.

He’s okay now?

I know words were spoken but they all jumbled up in my brain.

It was a trick?

Fake blood. What was that? There was such a thing?! Where did it come from?

I know all was being answered with the words coming out of his mouth, one minute loud, the next quiet, and then no sound at all but his lips still moving, the world didn’t feel steady.

But it did slowly sink in.

Fear turned to mortified embarrassment.

Enough adrenalin pumping through my little body to last a lifetime. Maybe that’s why I have never felt the need to jump out of an aeroplane?

The saddest part of this story is that we lost this friend, at just sixteen, a terrible motorcycle accident on their property. I wasn’t there, but if I was, I would have done the same thing, run with all my heart and soul to get help, my legs would have found that same mysterious power to move at a speed not usually possible.

He was a trickster and cheeky. He made people laugh. And scared the jebezzies out of them!

He told me once he didn’t need to learn to sew, “when I grow up I’ll fix my clothes with a stapler”.

It was a sad day when we lost him.

Favourite moment at our house this morning.¬†My daughter put on “Eye of the Tiger”. We turned it up loud (and even louder). I followed her moves. Her smile and laughter filled me up (he he, to bursting!).

Wishing you a wonderful day!

 

Cucumbers

Our cucumbers are taking their time.

A meandering pace, one where you get to take in the little things, enjoy the journey.

My pace is anything but meandering. My automatic internal drive is to get to the destination (the job done) as quickly, on time, as well as possible.

My daughter, she takes her time, ponders, gets lost in thought, gets distracted, notices the detail, remembers the little things and wants to talk about them…in our quiet moments when I’m there with her? That is joy!

On a bush walk with a friend a while ago, I was doing my usual, targeting the destination with fire in my feet. I believe I was seeing everything and noticing the little things, but if I’m honest, I’m sure everything was being captured with motion blur.

My friend said gently, “slow down, what’s the hurry?”

My logical sense agrees, and wishes my instinctual self could auto re-program for those times.

Learnt behaviour or innate?

Perhaps it’s because of the mountain, the quicker I walked, the quicker the trek home would be over, or maybe it’s the pace of the film industry that has put blasters on my heels, or maybe being the sole person responsible for my daughter, trying to fit everything into the day.

I was at the supermarket with a friend recently and I was in my usual zone, heightened awareness/energy, focused on the destination. But why? It was the weekend, we were heading to a friends house for dinner!

I notice it’s only when there is a job to be done or a destination to reach.

I’m grateful my friends have bought it to my attention.

Something for me to work on! (I’ll have to start a list):

  • To consciously adjust my pace depending on my destination or job at hand.

Yesterday’s harvest, two apples! ūüĆĪ

Have a wonderful day!

Survivors

Do you remember the nasty storm that flattened our tomatoes?

We have some survivors.

Thriving survivors.

The best revenge for being flattened? To come back. To succeed.

I worked on a film in 1995 called The Island of Dr Moreau.

It was a difficult job.

The stories that could be told.

Our director, John Frankenheimer, was old school Hollywood, and we had the challenge of Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer being our stars.

There was a line of dialogue in the script “you don’t have to obey the bastards, they’re not Gods”.

Our camera team had t shirts made, on the front left breast was what looked like the¬†Panavision¬†logo but if you looked closely you could see it actually said Painavision and on the back the quote from the script “you don’t have to obey the bastards, they’re not Gods”. Never before, nor since, have I gotten more pleasure out of wearing a t shirt ūüėÉ.

We survived the film shoot and, stronger, we headed off to the next one.

Yesterday’s harvest ūüĆĪ

Have a wonderful day!

Toddler peas

Our baby peas are growing up.

Finding their feet.

Reaching out, looking for something to hold.

I still have so much to learn about investing, but that’s one of the things I’ve learnt, (buy undervalued and) hold.

Look for good companies, with a strong track record of growth and good management, that have a market price that isn’t reflective of its intrinsic value.

But the key is time. Hold.

Favourite moments yesterday, snuggled in the morning sun on the couch with my daughter listening to Disney tunes.

Nowhere to be, nothing that needed to be done.

Our Saturday mornings, traditionally nonstop from an early start, are now blissfully extracurricular free.

And Saturday evening full of laughs with friends.

Have a wonderful day!

Silverbeet

Something in our garden has been happily munching holes in our silverbeet.

I don’t mind sharing, I guess.

Why is sharing so hard sometimes? For me, in this instance, I know it’s because (I’m a bit horrified to admit) that I like things to be perfect.

I know nothing is perfect and it’s an impossible ideal to strive for.

And a terrible expectation to put on yourself and/or others.

But still, it’s something I know about me. I’m sure it’s learnt behaviour from a multitude of life experiences.

Maybe being one of four children and vying for parental attention? Getting that much desired sticker in primary school for colouring inside the lines? Or popular culture telling us we’re only loveable if we look like one of those beautiful people who grace the front of magazines?

Gosh when I write that it makes me think everyone must have the same issue, surely? We all wanted the sticker, so we all tried to colour inside the lines, right?

But I know it’s not true, there are people who know they are loveable as their imperfect selves.

And deserve success even if they have made mistakes.

And would never impose a need to be perfect on another person.

Do we strive for perfection because we are looking for approval/validation?

But hold on, I can give that to myself!

And I can teach my daughter she can give it to herself too!

It might be a challenge to overcome a life time of conditioning, but I like challenges, I like the end game, success, but that can be another thought for another post, another day.

You are enough and you are loved. Have a wonderful day!

ūüĆĪ