Monday, January 12, 2009


I really want to get back to making my own clothes, as I did from my early teens to my early 30's. I stopped because I had children - boy children who seemed to sap all my energy, who didn't care much for pretty clothes, would rather have comfortable, practical clothes, and whose births changed my body shape to one that I didn't like enough to spend time and energy on.

My friend Jenny sews beautifully and when I said I would like to start sewing again, she took me shopping for material and patterns, and then spent a considerable amount of time re-drafting the patterns so that the shirts would actually fit my strange body. There was a time when I could buy a size 12 pattern and make it up with no alterations - but that time is past. Alas, despite all this help, I still have not made the shirts. Somewhere in the last 20 years I have lost confidence.

So I decided to start on a simple beginner's project: the first thing we made in sewing class at school, an apron. I have to admit, I have been lusting after Kate's gorgeous aprons and wanting to make one for quite a while. Well, mine isn't up to Kate's standard, but for a first effort after 20 something years, made out of someone else's left over bits of material - it's not bad.

Okay, so I'm on a roll. Next up something else that requires minimal fitting - just one measurement - a sun hat.

Not sure if I'm ready for the shirts yet, but I'm having fun!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today M is back at work, and J is off to Auckland with a friend to stay with Steve and Heidi for a few days. It's not so long ago that it would have been Jeff and me going, but he's finally fledged and the old mother bird is left at home in the empty nest. I'm scared but am trying to remind myself of something I read in Dawna Markova's book 'I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: reclaiming purpose and passion':

"The big old spruce that stands behind the cabin reminds me that both of us grow by thrusting our roots into the darkness as well as our branches into the light."

In Fairbanks yesterday it was -57F or -49.4444445C. That's just plain ridiculous! So while my friend S was freezing her butt off in Alaska, I spent several hours chainsawing huge gorse, and trimming wayward, self sown pines, loading it all (with M) onto the trailer and then unloading it onto the bonfire heap. J helped in the second half of the day. It seemed very satisfying seeing the huge pile - until I looked at how much was left to do! We had only done a tiny bit, proportionately.

We rewarded ourselves by going for a swim, my first this season, and though there was a cool wind blowing by the time we got there just before 4, the water was perfect. I do so love the sea, and I especially love being just 15 minutes from the most beautiful beach in the world.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Taking time out

It seems like Mac rarely takes time out from working on our land except to sleep, but yesterday afternoon we decided to take his new work car for a drive and went to Kawhia for takeaways. Given the wait for takeaways in Raglan at this time of the year is around a hour, it wasn't that much more to get to Kawhia instead! Thirty five minutes driving, 10 minutes to wait for the food! Except we decided to go the long way home and visit his sister at Te Pahu.

While we were waiting for our food we watched the local rowing club take their boat out of the water just along from a pirate boat - sadly there were no pirates around, guess they were out waiting for their fish and chips too.

Then we ate our chips further around by the marae.

Mac's sister and her husband have added a beautiful room onto their house which sits up on the bush line of Pirongia, overlooking the Waikato Basin.

Then we drove home, into the sunset.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Day One

We had a New Year's Eve Party. It was due to start at 7.00pm but one guest arrived at 10am, others around 3.oopm. Most people stayed the night, and some carried on this morning, finishing off the wine.

Others started playing Warcraft again.

Eventually the last visitors left about 7.00pm tonight, and Mac and I went for a drive to Manu Bay to watch the last light of the first day of 2009. I hope the rest of the year is as good.