I haven't blogged for a few weeks so I'm having a bit of a retrospective. This is a December post in January!! I walk a lot with Bunny, my dog, and can get a bit bored with the local scenery so we ventured into Ponsonby. It was so nice in the crazy build up to Christmas, to take some time out to enjoy new sights and sounds and to wander on a beautiful day. As Bunny and I walked together, I had such a feeling of peace and genuine happiness.... a feeling of well being, that all is good with the world! Here are some of the things that caught my eye as we meandered down Richmond Rd.
Love the slightly derelict Tongan church.
Still majestic in a crumbling, faded kind of way.
Love this orange Fiat.... such an awesome colour and model!!
Love Flotsam and Jetsam..... full of eclectic, vintage finds.
Love Bunny.... who was completely exhausted but happy with our walk!
Last Sunday Beth and I went to Ponsonby Rd to check out the Telecom Christmas tree. It has been advertised with much hype, so I was a little sceptical about how amazing it would be. As we walked up to it I was struck by the variety of people there. Couples sitting on bean bags, eating dinner , drinking wine and enjoying the tree from the outside.... families with young kids running round excitedly.... people queueing up at the old school red telephone boxes to place gift requests with Santa.... adults, young people, children, babies, dogs.... lying on bean bags under the tree.
Beth and I took our places, lying on the beanbags, looking up into the tree. That's when it really came alive! The lights change colours, twinkling, moving.... then the star unfolds, it's points of light creating a starry halo at the top of the tree. It really is magical. We spent a lot of time lying back, taking photos and enjoying the experience. At one point the lights all came on in full and there was an audible "wow" from the crowd.
Before we left I joined the queue and rang Santa. I put in a quick request for world peace, a new man and a fine Christmas Day. I'll keep you posted on how that all pans out!
Then Mikey and Bunny joined us and we headed off down Franklin Rd. So many people - looking, talking, laughing.... There was such a great feeling of goodwill. It seems Christmas lights bring out the best in everybody! Bunny loved the crowds. She really is a "people" dog.
The lights were amazing. People have gone all out to create a spectacular light show in their own front yards. So colourful, so over the top! My favourites were the quiet, understated creamy clusters of light flowers and the colourful paper lanterns hanging in the verandas of a beautiful two storey villa. I like the less is more/make a simple but beautiful statement approach to Christmas lighting.
What a lovely night. It left us with a warm glow, feeling that all is good with the world. Thanks Telecom and Franklin Rd!
This is me in my Max suit. As you can see I'm having a lot of fun! I've always loved the book Where the Wild Things Are. I love Max! What kid hasn't been a wild thing at one time or another? Pushing the boundaries, having an adult say enough and go to your room. After a while in there, just wanting to be loved even if you are a wild thing. Then finding that your Mum is there, still loving you despite your wild thing tendencies!!
Where the Wild Things Are won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year in 1964. Yes, over forty years ago! Talk to a group of adults about children's books they loved growing up and so many will say Where the Wild Things Are. And it is still beloved by children today! I've read it quite a few times to kids in my Max suit. They love it! After the reading we have a wild rumpus and they all roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes and show their terrible claws..... What fun!
Last Friday I went to see the movie. In our house we have followed the making of it quite closely and have eagerly anticipated it's arrival in NZ. It's been on in the States for ages. I really wanted to love it! As an objective movie watcher, I did like it bit felt it dragged a little in the middle. As a Where the Wild Things Are fan there were lots of things about it that I loved. I loved how the wild things were portrayed. They were so believable. Excellent puppet mastery from the Jim Henson crew. They were so childlike with their idocyncracies and whineyness, just saying everything and anything that comes into their heads. They were so happy to smash others in the head with giant mud clods but cried out when they were hit that it wasn't fair, that hurt, they weren't ready and that they 're not going to play anymore. Big kids! They had regular kid names like Carol, KW, Judith......
I loved Carol. So appropriately voiced by James Gandolfini. So conflicted, "cutting off his nose to spite his face" as my Mum would say. Loving Max so much but hitting out in that irrational, self destructive, childlike way. I cried when Max left the wild things, holding my breath and hoping that Carol made it in time to say goodbye and show Max how much he loved him. I loved it how KW whispered the line,"Oh please don't go - I'll eat you up - I love you so!" to Max with such tenderness. I love the inspired Karen O soundtrack. "All is love" gives me tingles!
So I did love it because it engaged me. I became childlike in my expectations and enjoyment of the movie. Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator of the book, liked the movie. He said that it captured the heart of the book. It did! Max summed it up when he said "I wish you guys had a Mum". The unconditional love of your Mum, regardless of your behaviour, is an overriding theme in the book. Where the Wild Things Are..... Go see it. Let down your adult facade, embrace your inner wild thing and enjoy!!
This year we decided that we'd try a new family celebration - Thanksgiving. Christmas has not been the same for us since John (my husband) died on Christmas Eve in 2004. Our old Christmas traditions are tinged with the sadness of our loss so we thought it was time to develop some new family traditions that celebrate life, love, family and the things we hold dear in a new context - a New Zealand-style Christmas/Thanksgiving all rolled into one!
I really enjoyed decorating the house, setting the table, arranging the flowers and preparing the food. I was not overwhelmed by the sadness that I've felt over the last few years when getting the decorations out. It felt different and new.
We had a lovely evening - talking, laughing, eating great food, sharing great times and exchanging our Christmas gifts. A highlight was sharing what we were thankful for. It really felt like God was adding something special back into our lives.
Thanksgiving - definitely a tradition that we will continue to celebrate as a family.
Went along to check out Crafternoon Tea in Kingsland today with my daughter and fellow craftnerder - Beth. Loved the setting - the Trinity Methodist Church Hall. It's kind of a reference to the traditional places of craft selling - church and community fairs. I love going to crafty things. Just to walk around, to see what creative endeavours the store holders have been up to and to meet some really nice people. There's something about crafting that brings out the best in people. They like to sit, think and create.... so they're generally thoughtful, patient types who don't mind spending a lot of time in seeing their ideas come to life. I am making generalisations here but the crafty people I've met are personable, interesting, friendly and more than happy to share their inspiration with you.....
One stall I loved was Ferrit. She has created some really beautiful soft sculptured jewellery, accessories, dolls and quirky pottery letters. I loved it all! Made several present purchases and one for myself! A gold fabric chain bracelet that's a bit of bling for the party season coming up! The detail on the jewellery is gorgeous. She draws her images, screenprints them on to fabric, then machine stitches over the design. The finishing touch is the delightful presentation.... love the twine and brown paper! I fell in love with the yellow rose bouquet. She drew the roses from her garden and then transformed them into a beautiful, everlasting, soft sculptured bunch of flowers. Check her out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Broke my rule of only having one image per week/posting. Oh well.....blog rules were made to be broken!!
This week I decided to add photographic images to my blog. Each week I'll choose an image that means something to me and add it to the post. It may be related to what I've done or just something that I've been drawn to that week. I had wanted to use a polaroid camera and put the photos up round the walls of my office at home. Sadly they haven't reintroduced them as yet so the images will be digital.
This is my tattoo. The other image was taken at the altar in the Mexican Specialties Cafe and Shop in Marua Rd, Ellerslie. I've walked past it several times with my dog, Bunny, but it never seems to be open. It was celebrated in Viva this week as the premium Mexican takeaway place so I found out that it is open for a few hours from Thursday to Saturday. It really is a hidden treasure.Today it was packed out with people sitting down eating their lunch and buying takeaways. I ordered a takeaway tostada and then explored the shop. It's tiny but cram packed full of Mexican food, ingredients and treasures that you can buy. I was particularly drawn to the variety of madonnas and crosses on display. My girls would say "enough Mum!" as I have a small collection at home. I resisted the temptation of the Marys and crosses but did buy some of their chilli chocolate skulls with some trepidation. I'm not a fan of hot food and have always preferred to eat a meal that doesn't make my nose run! But they are my new taste sensation! They're a macabre kind of chocolate, looking a bit like they've been dug out of a little tomb - dark and dusty with the chilli powder. I was a bit nervous when I bit into the skull. Yes, they are hot but the combination of the chocolate, the runny green centre and the chilli powder is quite amazing. I can still feel the glowing warmth of it in my stomach nearly an hour later. They are not chocolates for the faint hearted but they are a treat if you're willing to take a risk!
I turned 49 yesterday. Wow! How did I get to be alive for so long? Still don't feel old but it's such a lot of years. I decided to embrace the celebration of it. So since I am in my 50th year of being alive, I've decided to do 50 things to celebrate. That averages out to one a week. So over the next year I'm going to try different things - food, places, activities..... Small or momentus...... one a week. Not extreme like bungy jumping ot throwing myself out of a plane but different and new.
So I am documenting my journey in this blog - another first! I kicked it off by getting a tattoo last Saturday. "Beloved" on my right arm. A permanent kind of memorial to my beloved husband John (who died 5 years ago on Christmas Eve), the way I feel about God and a constant reminder that I am beloved. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of all of that and it makes me feel really good!
Also had an accidental first last week. Ate beef jerky for the first time.... and LOVED it!! Funny! I've always looked down on it as some cheap, trashy kind of nasty snack food for extreme meat lovers. I was SO wrong! I won it as a prize at our staff meeting - guessing the hangman word first. An unusual prize! I was like "beef jerky, interesting (not)"! But decided to open it up and offer it around. Everyone is "no thanks too early in the morning for me". So I tried the first piece and loved it!! I then hoovered up the whole bag (and it was not a snack bag!). Thinking maybe I'm a bit meat deprived as Holly (my daughter) has gone vegetarian and I haven't been eating much meat!
So three firsts in my first two weeks - blog, tattoo, beef jerky! What a start! What next....