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Showing posts from September, 2012

When the lemons rain around me, I garden.

When a globalised world with impotent local actors threatens to destabilise my sense of autonomy, gardening is my best response.  It allows me to grow food for my family, thus reducing costs and dependence on the supermarket and reducing the food miles aspect to supermarket-purchased vegetables.

I also happen to really really enjoy gardening.

Over the last few days, mostly in the weekend, I sowed sunflower seeds, transplanted my Mrs Kitson's marigolds, weeded, dug in bokashi, sowed phacelia, oriental mesclun, beetroot and a shady garden scatter blend of aquilegias.  I've also bought and planted seedlings of pak choi, two kinds of lettuce (including 'drunken woman' because that name has always appealed to me) and perpetual spinach.  Waiting on the table outside to be planted are dwarf cosmos, two asparagus plants and some coriander.

Inside I'm tending my tomato plants on the windowsill.  I don't sow much seed if I can easily buy seedlings due to time constraints…

Why I am angry with Tony Ryall and his cronies.

How dare this government?  The government which was happy for Don Elder to be paid a salary of $1.3 million and an increasingly top heavy, highly paid arsenal of non-mining bureacrats to suck up profits. 

The government which presided over a mine safety regime which was so grossly unsafe that TWENTY NINE men died and are still underground.  A safety and management regime at Pike River which was so inept that endless lies were peddled as they scrabbled to have any idea what to do when Pike exploded.

I've met Trevor Bolderson a few times and I have enormous respect for him.  I've heard him talk about his experiences in the 1984 miners' strike in England.  He is an astute, intelligent and hugely hard working man.  It was Trevor who presented the proposal from the workers for Spring Creek to Tony Ryall today. 

Tonight at 5pm on the National Radio news, I learnt that Tony Ryall openly admitted he didn't bother to look at the miners' proposal.  Not even the slightest pre…

Spring projects

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The sun shone brightly and the world was a lovely place.  I spent the morning in bed reading Lynda Hallinan's Back to the Land: A Year of Country Gardening, rising only once I'd devoured the entire book.  Great book.  Marking a truly spring day, I donned my floral curtain Colette Crepe dress for the first time.  I asked my daughter to take some pictures.  It's not quite summer, so I teamed my dress with black leggings, a black long sleeved t shirt, odd socks and gumboots.  In keeping with my usual Saturday style, I neither brushed my hair nor washed my face before heading out to the garden.
 I had fun in the garden.  The iceland poppies are flowering in front of the gone-to-seed rocket and beside the garlic.
 I planted out lots of pansies and polyanthus and I even had a go at upgrading the falling down, overgrown and neglected piece of sort-of garden out the very front.  Mostly what this photo shows is the falling downwind shelter, but perhaps you can see where I have tie…

An exercise in chaos

So Brighid is doing ballet.
I've chronicled my ineptness and lack of proper enthusiasm for extra curricular activities fairly thoroughly on this blog, so recidivist readers know that I'm a ballet mum without a licence.  Or a clue.

Cue dancing competitions.

With costumes.  International theme, as the children skip across the room in painfully rehearsed formation to the words "children of the world". 

Which the parents provide.  "Parent" being, for the most part and certainly in my household, a euphemism for the mother.

I screened out the costume aspect for most of the term, having decided we would go Irish and assuming that would be easy peasy to source on Trademe.

On Tuesday I found out that next week is dress rehearsal and it dawned upon me that the actual competitions were less than two weeks away.  I told the teacher that we weren't quite entirely sorted.

That night, and the next, Trademe let me down.

I got a bit flappy, and everything else got a bi…

Miette, Dyson & tomatoes

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So I left 19C Cornwall for a week, and participated in 21C Wetville a little more.  League has finished for the year and the freedom we had in the weekend because of that was beautiful. 



We went to Shantytown and hung out in the rain, and the next day we went to the swimming pool.  We bought a new toy which prompted some housework.

What toy does that, you ask?

The old vaccum cleaner had lost its suck.  I'd kept it going for an extra two years beyond when I first thought it needed replacing by lots of cleaning of the brushes and making do (and, it could easily be argued, by not using it very often).  I thought I'd shift from my Dyson, but when I researched my options, Dyson came out on top by a million miles.

So the house is quite a bit cleaner than usual which is lovely.  Long may the interest in using the new toy last.

I'm making quite good progress with my Miette cardigan.  I'm knitting the pattern as per the size 42" instructions.  I wasn't confident to mak…

head in the clouds

It's evening, so my head has been in 19th century Cornwall for the most part.

No fabric, patterns or clothing purchases.  I spent the potential fabric purchase money on ordering death certificates.

Things which have finished: drum lessons, league practices and games and a reduction in kung fu attendance.  The difference in smoothness of a week is noticeable already, and it is only Tuesday.  There is a five week gap between league finishing and swimming lessons starting.  I'm enjoying it.  This does remind me that I need to sort out a costume for the ballet competitions this holidays though.

Ouch ouch ouch on the job cuts in provincial New Zealand already this week.

Recent developments in my garden: first iceland poppy (orange) out.  Lovage has re-emerged.  Feverfew and white sage taking off.  One bay tree appears to be flowering.  It's never done that before.  There is a flowerhead emerging from the Chatham Island Forget Me Not and one from an aquilegia - firsts!

good bad great

Good: the new Cornish project is still fascinating me.  Today I learnt about hedging practices and forced enclosures over the past 300 years and I found information about my great x 4 grandparents who married in 1769 and my great x 3 grandparents who married in 1804 and my great x 2 grandparents who married in 1837.  I want to learn about how my great grandmother learnt to read and write in the period before compulsory schooling and some more about Methodism in their part of Cornwall. 

Bad: The housework fairy didn't visit over night.

Great: the rugby league season has finished for the year!

the new hobby

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In our town, it has never been easier to find a park (except perhaps on certain days in November 2010) and at the supermarket in what is normally the crazy peak just after work hour on pay day night, there were two lanes free.  By day, I do my normal things, like alternately harass and adore my kids (actually the adore bit is usually at night when they are asleep), organise food, go to work, visit Mary K, do loads of laundry, conspicuously not manage any other housekeeping and thus witness the slide into Septemberitis which happens after eight months of busyness each year, chat to my friends, discuss the state of the world with FH, and sneak out into the garden even just to admire the current sea of white and yellow on green formed by the daisies on the unmown lawn, the daffodils and the white and yellow irises and the rocket run to seed.

By night I have a new hobby. 

I've had this bug before, when I was 19.  My flatmate would warn people at parties: "Watch out!  She'll t…

Frock planning

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See these two dresses (brand = catalyst)?  I think they are quite gorgeous.  The fabric in the second one is utterly gorgeous in my eyes.  How much do you think they cost?  In the flashest women's dress shop in Wetville, they are $279 each.  Plus, they are only in a size 12 plus a larger size probably wouldn't fit me either, even if I had $279 to spend on a frock.  In this context, making a dress for $70 doesn't seem completely outrageous.  I'm planning and plotting (and poring over the sample Global Fabrics sent me earlier this week and eyeing up this on trademe.

Save Our Town

There's a rally in our town tomorrow.  A rally to save Spring Creek, a rally to save our town.  A rally where already I see our young people discovering something worth fighting for.  The older people in this town already know it is worth fighting for.

Maybe, if you've known me a long time, or read my blog in earlier years, you wonder where my greenie principles have gone.

Like many women, I honed my greenie interests and passion as a new mother, thinking at home instead of being out at work, looking for a better future for my children and grandchildren by treasuring the natural resources in our world.  I used cloth nappies, grew vegetables, made food from scratch as much as possible, experimented with home made lotions and potions and campaigned for better recycling facilities.

Tomorrow's rally is also about creating a better world for our children, for the young and old, those single and those in families, in Greymouth.  I do realise that coal is vilified with reason in …

Indolent genealogy

My world is much improved.  I got sleep, I went to work on Saturday and wrapped up an outstanding (as in late) project, I visited the lovely 85 year old Mary K, and the scene was potentially set for me to spend Sunday cleaning the house.

Ha ha.  I spent the day in the indolent pursuits of knitting myself a cardigan (30 rows, replete with fancy shaping!!!) and playing genealogist.  Yesterday Mary K showed me a photo of her grandmother (my great grandmother) looking very elegant, and another of her with her sister.  I had never heard of this sister, but it turned out that Honor Ann T. left Cornwall some time after Emma Jane T., my great grandmother.   She went to Australia first, where she had family, and then to New Zealand.  I've found some details relating to her first widowhood, her second marriage and her death.  I also found that both of these Cornish women lost sons in World War One.  Emma Jane T. was also married twice.  She too left Cornwall as a single woman and spent some…