Tuesday, December 20, 2016

two oh one six

2016 has been a busy year for me - calm but busy. Quite nice, really.
As well as making a few things here and there, I walked the Milford track in the rain, got rescued by helicopter, went to a belly dancing concert, began a houseplant collection, started practicing yoga at home, made a lot of sandcastles, built many things from Lego, overloaded my library card with picture books, started voluntary work, swam in hot pools in Iceland, ate skyr, met pandas, got on my bike.

o   o   o   o   o   O   o   o   o   o  o

2016 favourites: 

+ People places things
+ Infinitely polar bear
+ Life animated
+ Mistress America
+ Captain Fantastic

+ In order to live : a North Koreans girl's journey to freedom by Yeonmi Park
+ Mansfield and me by Sarah Laing
+ M train by Patti Smith
+ The party line by Sue Orr
+ A long way from Verona by Jane Gardam 
+ A manual for cleaning women by Lucia Berlin

+ Matthew E. White
+ Waxahatchee
+ Kurt Vile 
+ Ray Lamontagne

Thank you for your support this year and may the year ahead be a good one for you.
I'll be taking a little blog break. See you again in January 2017.

Monday, December 12, 2016


Some photos from last weeks holiday at Waihi Beach. It's rejuvenating to get out of the city occasionally. We had such a nice time - hubby and me - that we're thinking of making the pre-Christmas holiday a regular thing.

If you're visiting Waihi over the summer, I'd recommend
  • the walk over the hill to Orokawa Bay
  • Flat White Cafe - good food, good coffee and right on the beach
  • a visit to Bowentown for views of Matakana Island and a picnic at Cave Bay
  • a soak in the hot pools at Athenree especially if it's raining
  • a cycle on (all or part of) the Hauraki rail trail
  • lunch at The Bistro at Falls Retreat, Karangahake

Reading: Mansfield and me by Sarah Laing - a graphic memoir described as "a very New Zealand coming-of-age story". The author parallels events in her life with those of Katherine Mansfield.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

odd bits garland

My three-year-old granddaughter is into "threading" at the moment and last week we made this garland. It was a fun thing to do together and it didn't take a lot of preparation - or cleaning up.

To make a garland you will need:

Essentials : scissors, string or fishing line (or other strong thread that doesn't require a needle to thread), drinking straws

Extras :
hole punch
paper (old magazines, newspaper, crepe paper, wrapping paper), card or cardboard
aluminium foil
buttons, beads (with holes big enough for your string to pass through)
fabric or felt scraps
lace, ribbon
anything else you can think of

1. Cut paper, foil, cellophane, fabric into shapes - strips, rectangles, triangles, circles, anything you like.
2. Cut or punch holes smaller than the diameter of the straws in your shapes. If you make bigger holes your shapes will slide over the straws. Holes don't have to be in the centre. You can even punch two holes in larger pieces and thread string through both holes so they hang vertically.
3. Cut some drinking straws into different lengths - some long, some short.
4. Cut a long piece of string - the finished length of your garland plus more to make a loop for hanging.
5. Tie something  - a button, bead, piece of cardboard - at the end of your string to stop everything sliding off.
6. Start threading using plenty of drinking straws. The straws help to space out the other pieces.
7. When you're done tie a loop at the top. Hang your garland - in a window is nice.

Listening: Until the hunter by Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. I especially love Let me get there with Kurt Vile.

Reading: I'm just a person : my year of death, cancer, and epiphany by Tig Notaro (American comedian). Funny (in parts) and insightful. I don't know how I ended up with this after reading All at sea - two "misery" biographies one after the other. It's just how it worked out with the library. You request books and they come whenever.