Showing posts from March, 2012

Tomatoes & other projects

Last night we went to a beautiful hangi at our children's school. The food, the weather and the lovely combination of lots and lots of families who are part of our school community was very special.

Today I dealt with the lovely bag of tomatoes my visiting aunty left for me earlier this week. I roasted them all like the first picture below.

The I froze some of the roast tomato and red onion mixture and turned the rest into home made pizza, which the kids have been asking for for weeks.Brighid ate nothing because she has broken her excellent record of not being sick all term by coming down with multiple tummy complaints today. Still, it has meant I had a sleep this afternoon laying with her and I've been reading The Weissmans of Westport while keeping her company. I got a little weeding done when she put herself to sleep on the floor of her bedroom.

And I'm planning a road trip with my sister. Very exciting - we've never done such a thing before. We're taking m…


I could buy this top:

or go to the dentist (which will likely be the equivalent of many tops) or wait until I see what the bill is after the car has been for a service tomorrow.

Either way, we splashed out tonight and had dinner at the Speights Ale House where I didn't have to prepare a thing and none of us had to do dishes. You can come up with all the lectures on thriftiness in the world, but after a sleepless night and a busy day, I had not a single ounce of energy for food preparation and needed more nutrition that fish and chips could provide. We stopped at the beach and then the playground on the way home. Actually I didn't set foot on the playground, but lay in the car with my eyes shut.

Yesterday I thought I was really getting the hang of the new multiple extra curricular activities - no moaning and feeling overwhelmed for at least two days and possibly more. Only now Fionn announces that he has made a decision on winter sport (rugby league again, flinging away his th…

Middle bumps and lows of hobbies in a small wet town.

My sewing conviction has been sorely tested this weekend. On Friday night I sewed up enough of my Simplicity 1945 crossover top to discover that there are some crucial errors. If you think I am taking a photograph of myself wearing a nearly finished top with lopsided shoulders, one baggy armpit and one not baggy armpit, too long at the front and pulling in undeneath my tummy and sharing it on the internet, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Nobody likes a sadist. Not publicly.

So I retreated into knitting. Then I unwound that and wondered why I didn't just buy one at the shop. Or wear the one I already have. Or get some new hobbies.

In other news of one life in a small wet town, I helped Mary K sort some more things out in her old home. Now she is settled at a local rest home, Mary is increasingly anxious to sort out all of her remaining possessions and sell the house. I have some pictures and china to link her old home and our shared ancestors to mine. I've even …


Today I went to the fire station with Brighid's class. Big red fire trucks. It was great fun - I hadn't been on a fire station visit since I was five.

Just beforehand, I nipped down to our extensive central business district here in Wetville, to use my one day only discount coupon at the only modestly priced womens clothing shop in town which does not require visiting the Warehouse. New red cardy.

I'm still knitting. I do want to finish my sewing as the navy top isn't far off completion, but it requires more concentration than I have to offer of an evening this week. The knitting will turn into a red scarf.

In the garden, red geraniums, nestled amongst kale and rocket (sown or planted there on purpose) and self seeded alyssum, calendula and purple sprouting broccoli. I'm pretty chuffed to have gotten to the point in some parts of the garden where I get free plants which are actually welcome.

Communal love, and the red scarf with no need of an apostrophe.

Earlier in the week I was feeling quite compromised by my working hours. My good friend's daughter was in hospital and I was at work when her four year old son needed care. But it's not that terrible after all and I can find ways to still support my friends (who have helped me so very much when I've needed it) in the evenings. Last night I hung out at the local children's ward with Miss sick 8 year old and her Mum and tonight I spent with the elderly and still wonderful Mary K. Mary K went into a rest home about six weeks ago after coping at home got frighteningly difficult for her. Today she was moved into a larger room which will be wonderful for her in the long run. Change is really hard when you are 85 and have some early dementia and Mary rang me this evening quite confused and stressed.

No problem. I went down there and found a trolley (grabbed a wheelchair until they found me a trolley) and shifted the rest of her possessions. Now everything is together a…

Attachment parenting, feminism, speaking out

Oh there have been some good things to read on the internet today. First up Olivia McRae on the ways in which the views of parents are ignored by the government, even as they claim to be interested in improving life for vulnerable children. I cannot decide which bits not to quote, so can only suggest you go over and read it. It is on the Otago Daily Times website. For the moment, here is part of her piece:
I know that research tells us that socioeconomic factors play a large role in child abuse and the overall health and wellbeing of children. Yet poverty is carefully omitted from most discussion documents, in case the Government should be forced to admit that real poverty does in fact exist. The Salvation Army recently released its annual report, The Growing Divide, which clearly shows that a deepening gap between the haves and have-nots is having negative effects for our children and society. People often refer to the problem o…

Is she always grumpy?

As mad as a hatter


There is a sizeable lump of mercury filling in a container in front of me (I have an irrational desire to show it to the dentist) which used to be in my mouth. Nestled into a tooth no less.

On a ranking of nasty things children bring home and share, which do you think is worst: nits or worms?

That's all. I am off to read Caleb's Crossing by the ever-wonderful Geraldine Brooks now.

Coal and the Coast by Paul Maunder

Coal and the Coast: A Reflection on the Pike River Disaster by Paul Maunder was launched this weekend in Greymouth. Canterbury University Press published it, Tony Kokshoorn spoke at it and when Paul spoke, he also performed a waiata to go with the speech which I would love to see the words of. The food was great.

This morning I read Coal and the Coast from cover to cover and I think it is a special book.

Maunder begins with a preface on Alain Badiou's theory, explaining that Badiou, a French philosopher and postmarxist, bases his thought on set theory. I loved set theory as a primary school child, pondering subsets and supersets and intersections as I ate my breakfast. I am disappointed to report from a learned source that, at least at high school level, set theory has been abandoned.

So Badiou is interested in the are(s) where different groups overlap, as they are areas of multiplicity. So is Maunder. As I write this review, it strikes me that I could fruitfully come back to t…
No it's not 3.30am anymore. It's 4.15am. Yes I do have to go to work in the morning. No, that knowledge didn't help me get back to sleep.

But I have made progress sewing my navy top, made out of Donna Karan Italian jersey no less (or that is what the photos on the Global Fabrics website have led me to believe), from a Khaliah Ali Simplicity 1945 pattern. No one at Pattern Review has posted a review of the crossover top I have chosen to make, so I forge somewhat valiantly forward making it all by myself, with no one to indicate the pitfalls and perks ahead. There was a spot (big spot) of unpicking earlier in the week, as it seems that no matter how carefully I checked which part to sew to which, goblins flipped things over and made me sew the left front on backwards. Or upside down. Or something which was wrong. Next up are the sleeves. I've roughly pinned them and anticipate it will be triable-on by the end of the week. Oooooh.

So, sewing at night or in the mi…

Internet brain food

I've been sewing. Sewing with fabric which feels silky and soft and most likely luxurious to wear and yet slips and slides in my machine in a most tricky fashion. The top is going to turn out okay, but I might go for a cotton knit rather than another luscious jersey next time.

I watched/listened to The Lightbulb Conspiracy while I sewed tonight. I think it is very good and absolutely worth watching. I thought I knew a bit about planned obsolescene, but I learnt a lot of new and fascinating information through this documentary. If you haven't discovered Harvestbird on my blogroll, then I recommend you read her posts. They aren't frequent, but they are very eloquent and sometimes haunting evocations of one person's journey through post-bigquake Christchurch life.

Home grown greens

Supermarket greens are rubbish. They are expensive and often wilted. They've been picked for a long time before they get to the shelves of New World Wetville. Once there, they get tossed round some more to intensify the unnecessary bruising.

On the broccoli front, we have to take our chances. Broccoli turns over quite fast in supermarkets and I cannot grow it successfully all year round.

But in winter, when greens feel so particularly essential to conbat winter colds and lurgies, and the prices in the shop climb steadily and the issues of unfreshness continue, home grown veges are totally worth the relatively small effort.

Due to spending most of summer sewing instead of gardening, I've got very few greens ready in my garden right now, just lettuce and some herbs (basil and parsley are the most useful green herbs which I'm using). But I have got kale plants in ready for winter. The only work I need to do for them is to scrape off caterpillar eggs and to squash caterpill…

Pattern surgery

I seriously hope this Simplicity 1945 crossover top turns out to be fantastic and I make six of them (even sixteen). The idea behind this sewing for myself lark is that clothes fit me. It's not that shop clothes never ever fit me; but it is hardly ever and actually then it is a matter of them mostly fitting me rather than a really good fit. Somewhere along the last year or two, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't 'my fault for being fat' in terms of finding clothes to fit but that sewing for myself could deal with some of this. After a bit longer and more experimentation, I realised that fat wasn't necessarily the most salient issue either.

Which is how it came to be that while I currently measure 45-38-45 (inches are more appealing), which technically (as in according to the pattern sizing instructions) puts me at a size 22W, I am actually cutting a 16 at the neck and shoulders and an 18 everywhere else except grading to a 20 from the waist to th…