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Showing posts from June, 2013

The fundraising festival

They call it the school gala.  As a title, it seems to encompass a one day event.  In practise, the runup is akin to Lent.  Give something up every week and send it to school.  Read the list of what everyone has volunteered for and notice the gaps remaining.  Every week.  So far, I've not remembered to send corn chips, or butter, or sugar, or condensed milk.  I have volunteered to bake, and to help on the candy floss stall and serving the lunches.  I said that if they were short on the lunches, I would do the candy floss in the lead up the night before and on the morning, and then do lunches during the event.  My eyes were open as well as briefly noble.  They never have enough people for the lunches until the verrrrrrrry last minute.

Today, when one child was dressed in uniform and I was realising that my laundry strike this week meant the other had no clean school top, some bright relative remembered it was mufti.  Bottle-O Mufti.  They went off to choose outfits, while I pondere…

How does she do it?

You know when people say "I don't know how you do it?"  Whether it's having a child at all, or having more children, or studying while working, or working and parenting, or living on a very tight budget or [insert your permutation]....?

I haven't always chosen to share the first thought that used to come into my mind, which was "I simply don't do housework."  Sometimes my children wanted to play with the children of the speaker, and I didn't want to scare everyone off.

Anyways, I made the decision to pay for two hours cleaning each week this year and it has been brilliant.  I almost never mention it in conversations though - some sense that it isn't quite the thing to mention.  But now that we have that support from the wonderful H each week, I realise that of all the women I've wondered "how does she do it?" at work, they probably all have a cleaner, and nearly all keep silent, just like me.  Over the years, I have gotten bett…

hummingbird top experiment #1

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Exhibit A: tired woman, late at night, in ill fitting sewing experiment.

Outcome 1: I am going to try again, with more flexible fabric and a forward shoulder adjustment (new addition to my alterations knowledge base) and possibly a full bust adjustment.

Outcome 2: I did go to bed very soon afterwards and rested my weary bones.

Outcome 3: I don't like ponte di roma fabric, despite the most exotic sounding name.  I won't use it for a top again, but I may use the rest up on a simple knit skirt.  I might even line it as I go.  Straight skirts hiking up leggings or tights in winter is a bad and uncomfortable look.

slam poetry and London fiction

Earlier this week I fell in love with Carrie Rudzinski.  As it does, life had to go on in its 'normal' and relatively petty fashion, emails and teaching, parenting and washing clothes, meals followed quickly by more family hunger...  But out there are more people who also love Carrie Rudzinski, and one of them filmed her at a poetry slam and posted it on youtube.  For me and for you.  The fifth one who walked away.

I was going to post about Kate Atkinson's Life after Life.  It's a great novel, and her structural technique of the life which is lived again and again with small details making a very big difference, is brilliant.  I bet loads of authors want to copy it, but as it's so unique, it's a bit obvious to do so.  It's set in London, the Home Counties English countryside and Germany in both world wars.  I loved this kind of book from as soon as I was reading adult fiction, and then I loved the 'real' London when I lived there, and now this '…

Carrie Rudzinski in Hokitika

Carrie Rudzinski.  Performing here.  I got to hear her perform her poetry tonight in Hokitika and she was utterly wonderful.  I think I'm a bit in love with her actually.

So you're saved.  I was on the verge of blogging about buying bedlinen and my odd feelings about respectability.  I was even on the verge of confessing my interest, dating back to my childhood, in British Royalty, and what a weird and frankly sinful socialist that makes me.  Some people watch reality tv, or Shortland Street.  I can tell you that Kate the pregnant royal who spawned a thousand brown updos and probably caused sales of peroxide to plummet, wore a pink Harvey McQueen to a prestigious horse/birthday show the other day.  The linen is a worse story - best you are spared it.

But it's okay.  I went out and got myself some seriously wonderful culture, learnt what poetry slam is, discovered codes for such a thing, discovered that I can drive, sort out offspring squabbling (well sort of), plan dinner …

slipping prospects

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New project.  Refashioning, re-laceing and making slips.  The photo doesn't show my blue slip to the left.  I bought it for 50 cents from the Sallies and now the lace hem looks grey and is unravelling.  I bought black lace to change the hem.  The back middle is an enormous slip I bought on trademe which I can probably turn into two half slips or more.  I've bought matching lace for the hems.  The lilac fabric on the right is nylon elastane and four way stretch and I'n going to make  stretchy slip drafted from a bought one I own, except a bit wider and longer.  The bought version doesn't come in a big enough size for it not to wriggle upwards to my knickers during the day.  I bought lace to match that as well but probably won't use it as it will restrict hem movement.

The green envelope in the foreground middle is my Cake Patterns Hummingbird which arrived today!  I'm in Susan's house for the sewalong.  I've just now realised the sewalong starts on Mond…

The phenomenal growth rate of laundry

One head of garlic planted.  Not all of this year's garlic bed is ready for planting - some of my buried bokashi hasn't broken down completely.  Though the many and large worms are testament to the goodness of the bokashi. Hopefully the rest will be ready later this month.

One only slightly forlorn gooseberry bush found in the sad and cheap section at the far end of Mitre 10 and planted.  I've had no success with my first gooseberry bush, but gooseberries taste so good and are rarely available outside of home gardens, so it's worth persisting.

Six celery plants and six soldier poppy plants planted.  I helped the celery along with some sheep dag and wool mix I found in the shed.  The soldier/ANZAC poppies should be flowering for Lou's birthday in October.  Lou was a Prisoner of War in WW2 and a very wonderful man and we like to particularly honour him on ANZAC day and his birthday.

Two full bins of bokashi buried, and much weeding done beforehand.  I think I dug out…

Fat and the shawl

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Here it is, the latest crafty project, draped over the chair back.  You can't tell the triangle shape as it is all bunched up circular needles behind the chair.  If it looks home made and home dyed and homespun, that's because it is, though the only homemade part that I have contributed is the knitting.

It's quite thick wool, which makes it grow fast and warm, and I quite like the colour.  But it's not going to adorn a ball frock anytime soon or a work outfit.  I see a great future for this shawl as I sit up in bed and read.

I spent much of the day practising for using the shawl by sitting up in bed and alternately reading my own book (Kate Atkinson Life after Life) and reading White Boots by Noel Streatfield to Brighid.  Thyroid care, you understand.  Preserving and nourishing my health so my children don't have to step forward into this world with an unwell mother.

Last night I attended a rather notorious organisation - the middle class ladies' literary leag…

Unfettered by exercise

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I loved The Rosie Project.  I probably need (*need*) more Rosie Projects in my life.


Look at the cover, even.  I don't read deliberate comedy very often.  But I giggled, properly giggled, my way through this.  It's a better tonic than vitamin C. 

I also went to Christchurch and had a minor spending spree - two lovely bras and a beautiful scarf later, I closed my wallet for all but food and petrol expenses.  I went driving out at Greenpark (near Lincoln and Tai Tapu) and looked down behind Greenpark School.  It is going to close at the end of this year, but it was here that my Grandma began her formal schooling, and it was in a paddock at the back of the school that she tethered the pony which her father bought for her to ride to school (taking her younger brother with her).

Then I went to Tai Tapu and played lady lunching.  Nice gf roulade (yes I mentioned food, AND gf - it may get worse as the blogpost continues) and I got great value out of the meal as I read my way through…