Showing posts from July, 2013

Mokihinui River bliss

The most wonderful holiday, at the Rough and Tumble Lodge, on the banks of the Mokihinui River.

goldfields poetry

Poll the Grogseller by Charles Thatcher c.1860 Big Poll the Grogseller gets up every day
And her small rowdy tent sweeps out;
She's turning in plenty of tin people say
For she knows what she's about.
Polly's good-looking, and Polly is young,
And Polly's possessed of a smooth oily tongue;
She's an innocent face and a good head of hair,
And a lot of young fellows will often go there;
And they keep dropping in handsome Polly to court,
And she smiles and supplies them with brandy and port
And the neighbours all say that the whole blessed day,
She is grog-selling late and early. She is grog-selling late and early.

Two sly-grog detectives have come up from town,
And they both roam about in disguise;
And several retailers of grog are done brown,
And have reason to open their eyes. And have reason to open their eyes.
Of her small rowdy crib they are soon on the scent;
But Polly's prepared when they enter her tent;
They call for some brandy - "We don't sell it…

The archives box

Tonight I pulled out my archives box.It doesn’t look like anything so formal as the descriptor “archives box” implies.It’s a plastic box with no surviving lid that is full to overflowing with filing cards.It’s the size and type which people sometimes used to use to organise their recipes.The chaos is contained, just, by an ageing, plastic, tattered, pale green Pak’n’Save bag.
This box has been with me since 1995.Back then, it was my workhorse of an organising tool for the details of the lives of women involved in the liquor industry in Central Otago between 1861 and 1901.After I submitted my thesis in 1997, I moved on and became a secondary school English teacher, first in Auckland and then in London.It came with me.I became a parent and the box didn’t suffer for the vomit and mess which babies seem to bring with them, because the box was tucked away in a bookcase, or under a desk, out of my mind and the baby’s grasp.
I moved back to goldfields country and to another round of motherh…

Hummingbird peplum top # 2

Well, that's much better, isn't it?

Cake Patterns Hummingbird top.  Size 40 with the following modifications: a forward shoulder adjustment of 18mm.  An extra 3-10mm on the sides (more on the front than the back).  A 1cm wedge out of the back.  The neckline is a bit wider than the green version, and the depth of the front neckline is in between the blue and green versions.  I dropped the arm curve about 2cm.

In another version (which I may well do), I would slice a tiny curve off the top of the shoulder.  I wouldn't mind trying the dicky version.  This gorgeous version from Leila of Three Dresses has convinced me that it's worth a try.  I bought some pale blue fabric, for reasons that I wasn't even sure of at the time, except that I was on a speed buying mission, and it didn't feel right to leave without some blue fabric.  For the dickey insert, I'm thinking of repurposing a striped blue shirt which Favourite Handyman has declared uncomfortable and unweara…

The night time secretariat

There was a fashionable mantra a few decades ago, aimed primarily at working mothers, where it was all about working smarter not harder.  Haven't heard so much about it lately, possibly (I like to think) because someone clipped some smart-arse over the head for quipping this when said everyday superwoman was actually working smart and hard.

When I started a new working life in Auckland in 1999, it was pre internet banking and really difficult to find time to go to the bank.  Now, I can do almost anything online in financial terms and I can do it at 3am if I so desire.

Once upon a time, post internet banking and deep into the (earth)motherhood phase, I made hummous without electricity (e.g. here and here).  Just re-reading those posts is a reminder of another life.  All that home made bread - I'm so impressed with my four-years-ago self.  Now, as a mystery ghost cracked the top of my perfect-sized hummous making whizzy bowl which came with my super-whizzy stick, I'm oblivio…

Hummingbird alterations

Forward shoulder adjustment, dropped armhole curve, a wedge out of the back, raised back and front necklines and a smidge extra on the sides of the front and back.  I found some tape (the label on the inside says "future protect") which is much easier to work with than sellotape.

I think I'm ready to cut out the Cake green hummingbird (with blue sleeves) peplum top for a second time.  The first version was ugly.  I've got a choice of fabrics which I purchased in a speed buying trip to Fabric Vision in Christchurch earlier this week.  I got to Papanui (the suburb where Fabric Vision resides) at 1.15pm, and had to be in town, parked and at the hospital by 2pm, preferably having had some lunch.  Not quite the perfect conditions for careful evaluation of the options, but I had thought ahead about what I wanted to use the fabric for.  The pink in the photo is what I think is known as 'slinky knit' and was very cheap.  The other pattern is a soft knit which I hope …