Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ronaldo Lambshanks

Our neighbour's ewes have presented them with 23 lambs so far, many of these are sets of twins and one set of triplets. Ronaldo Lambshanks was one of the triplets and mum rejected him, so our neighbours are having to bottle feed him. I visited yesterday and found their two boys teaching the lamb to play football! Their final ewe who is about to give birth was wandering around looking like a baahing sofa. My neighbour thinks she has four or five ready to produce. Ouch.

On the walk home from their farm, I put my foot down a rabbit hole and now have a beautifully twisted ankle. Thankfully I was wearing hiking boots at the time, so the ankle had a bit of support when it fell down. Unfortunately, I am no fairy to land gracefully.


Friday, 22 August 2014

Radio silence

I have been sick for 6 days. Then hubby got sick. Today is his birthday and we had to cancel a celebratory meal last night and today neither of us feel up to anything. So apologies for radio silence.

The cats have gone about life as normal. I just caught this picture of Madamoiselle lurking by the broken bird bath.....ever hopeful.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

It's the little things

Yesterday I met some lovely people at the market in Ohau. One lady was selling eggs from her chooks. When I asked her what breed they were, she replied that they were a rag tag and bobtail lot, but look at these gorgeous eggs. Just shows you don't need to have a long pedigree to have gorgeous "offspring"

Oh and for anyone who is interested, I sold twelve (!) vintage brooches, 5 to one lady. She bought one each for the carers who worked for her at a local residential care home. I was totally blown away by this, and one of the stall holders said she would bring me some jewellery next month for me to sell. I love small town New Zealand!

This morning, I tackled yet another bit of garden with aspirations to wilderness. I noticed a pittosporum had decided to strangle several branches of the cherry tree from next door's driveway. It gave me great pleasure in pruning the murderous beast (don't get me started on pittosporum. I loath this tree as much as I loathe barstools!)

Here is a brave blossom that somehow had managed to bloom amongst the wrestling and arborial punch-ups in the borders.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Snow on the Tararuas

The view which awaited me outside the Ohau market this morning. Today was a 12 brooch sale day (plus lots of other pieces of jewellery) 12 BROOCHES! Wooo Hooo!

Serendipitous encounter of the bling kind

One of the regular "activities" in the office / sofa / back bedroom / kitchen table at Coneysthorpe is much tinkering with and sorting of vintage jewellery (not belonging to me, I must hasten to add). There is a long back story to this which involves five friends fund raising for causes close to their heart. And the chief ingredient for the fund raising is pre-loved jewellery.

Skipping over 9 years of stalls, and jumping to the present, I recently had a very serendipitous "meeting" with a lady of like mind via a local internet trade site. I had been hovering and deliberating whether to buy a bracelet from this trader (for my own use). When I finally took the plunge, I was so delighted with my purchase, I dropped the seller a note, with a "by the way, I also sell jewellery, but for charity". I discovered that she was a collector and trader of jewellery and so we chatted. She then mentioned that she had launched a website for her passion and asked if I would like to write a few paragraphs about what my group did with jewellery. What a nice thing to offer.

Can I recommend that any of you who have an interest in vintage jewellery, check out the following site some time. It is quite new, so there will be new additions on a regular basis.

Now, I must get back to the baubles, bangles and beads, I have a stall to organise for tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Weta workshops

Today we rearranged some of the curtains at Coneysthorpe. Over a few sleepless nights (don't ask) I have been wondering how to best use our curtain stock (I had a spare pair), and finally figured out what we should do. My better half helped as I can't lift for any length of time, especially at the top of ladders. I did tackle one set of curtains myself, a pair that we had previously had over the main french windows in our previous home and which didn't require a ladder to unhook them. Only a couple of minutes into the task I let out a short squeal. At the top of the fabric, just below the rufflette was a very large, bewildered and alive weta.

We thought when we moved from our previous property that our ginger cat's weta hunting days were over. At our new home she focussed on mice and large leaves from the Empress tree, the latter of which were always neatly lined up on the living room carpet for us to admire each morning. She is a neat freak, so they always had their stems pointing in the same direction (I think she likes the long stems; they resemble a mouse tail). I realised what she had been doing, and she has repeated the exercise this evening. She shoots through the cat flap, with weta, announces her arrival and deposits the weta near the flap. Disorientated insect finds the curtain and laboriously climbs to the top away from cats claws and jaws.

This evening's offering has been jettisoned from the kitchen window after being caught in a preserve jar. She has just come in again, this time sans prey and is happily eating her supper in our office. Drawing back the curtains will be a bit more tentative in future.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Run rabbit run

I have set myself a challenge for the spring; get a good bunny photo and pheasant photo. They are quite prolific in our area, and I have just chased Mr Cottontail unsuccessfully across our paddock. I had no chance running in house slippers and leaping over felled tree branches!

The pheasant is equally as illusive. I may have to employ my great aunt Bett's tactics - scattering corn. But then we may have a rat issue to deal with, and our tabby cat seems to be temporarily on a "go slow" in that department. I'm not sure whether to be concerned or relieved.

So, when you see a bunny or pheasant photo gracing this blog, you can be sure I am doing a jiggety jig somewhere and pouring myself a glass of wine in celebration.

Now, back to more mundane things, the beef and mushroom pie in the oven. The photos were taken a few minutes ago through the window above my oven. I do get a bit distracted, especially when it is a full moon.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Culinary leisure

I've always been a fan of Indian food, and the hotter the better. I lived in India for a while in the north west, and enjoyed the milder fragrant spices used in the northern cuisine, but I also love the nuclear power type spices used in cooking of the south especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

One of the benefits of currently being unemployed is the time to cook. Here are today's experiments in the kitchen:

Gluten free seed and nut loaf

Fried paneer

Spinach cooked in cashew, curry and coconut sauce

And lest you think I am reverting to my vegetarian days, there is a beef roast in the slow cooker with a pound of mushrooms and a entire bottle of stout!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

taking stock

We have been at Coneysthorpe now for almost 8 months. The days and weeks have been marked by the waves of visitors - one of the reasons we so wanted to live here, to share the peace and the beauty with others.

Last weekend we had three friends from the Russian Far East visiting. They live close to our old home, but hadn't seen the new place. They turned up with my favourite S. African flower, not realising what memories this wonderful plant has for me of my days living in S. Africa.

There are hints of spring's imminent arrival everywhere. Our new neighbour has baby Highland calves darting around his field and another neighbour has lambs - thank goodness we don't have snow at this part of the mountain range. I'm not sure how they dealt with the below zero frosts though.

New lichen is growing on the trees and in the shady banks of the road. I commented to my husband that we would need to keep reindeer very soon to keep it at bay. I earned a "look" for that suggestion.

And finally, we have frequently commented on the similarity of our local landscape and weather patterns with the Scottish Highlands; having hairy coos in the paddock completes the illusion. On the way back from a short walk this afternoon I found these beauties.

All we need now are a few rabid haggis and tuneful bagpipes, and the vision will be complete.