Sunday, January 31, 2010

let's go retro

I was thinking about what my new thing would be this week when my friend, Melissa, asked me if I wanted to go way, way, way out west to one of her favourite vintage shops. So that's how I found myself out at Swanson on the road to Bethells beach. Let's Go Retro deals in vintage kiwiana, collectables, books, toys, clothing, fabric, furniture and homewares. It's a visual feast with collections grouped and displayed together very attractively. There was so much there.

Melissa and I looked around, then looked in a more focussed way, then looked some more. It was a very satisfying way to spend a couple of hours. Such an intense perusal of all that the shop had to offer meant that we couldn't go home empty handed! I was very happy to take home a vintage hat box, "one cent" coin gold plated earrings, a vintage needle case, a silver "London" teaspoon and a large 70's style pennant from Rotorua.

Let's Go Retro, 717 Swanson Rd. Open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm

Saturday, January 30, 2010

sculpture in the gardens

I had read a bit about the Sculpture in the Gardens exhibition at the Auckland Botanical Gardens and was keen to check it out. After a perusal of their very comprehensive website I found out that it was free and that dogs are welcome on a lead. So on a gorgeous sunny summer's day, Bunny, Beth, Mikey and I embarked on a Saturday outing to the gardens in Manurewa. They are very easy to find. First left on Hill Rd after the motorway exit.

The sculptures are situated right in amongst the gardens and are fully accessible to the people viewing them. Sculpture that you can touch, view from multiple angles and interact with (as the artists fully intended). The thoughtful placement of the sculptures and plantings at the gardens are both creative and beautiful. I found wandering through them all to be quite inspirational. I'll let the images speak for themselves....

The exhibition is on until the 14th February. Check it out on


Beth, Mikey, Holly, Bunny and I headed up to Mangawhai Heads for a week. We settled into our little bach, then headed out to explore. Over the week we swam, walked, hiked, played, golfed, kayaked, ate, drank, slept, talked and laughed our way through a raft of activities and places that Mangawhai has to offer. The weather was amazing - blue sky, hot sunny days. The best a NZ summer has to offer. Check out some shots from the holiday album.....

Highlights of the holiday were.......
sharing chores and cooking - made it really relaxing
gelato and chocolates from Bennetts - yum!
taking Bunny to the beach for the first time - ouch! hot, hot sand
taking Bunny for a swim for the first time - she can dog paddle but doesn't want to voluntarily
freshly baked peach and custard muffins - divine (had them twice!)
Mangawhai Heads ocean beach - blue sea and sky, pristine sparkling sand, spectacular!
first swims of the summer
best calamari ever at Sails Restaurant
Smashed Pipi coffee and food
shopping for vintage treasures at "Coolectables"
sipping on the delicious wine at Millar's vineyard
playing a hilarious round of mini golf at the slightly decaying Mangawhai mini golf course
playing Beanie for days on end
Mikey's holiday hair - that got bigger and more extreme as the week progressed
reading and generally lazing around
coming home with a great store of memories and good times
Found out that......
I'm too old to sleep on a bunk (suffered extreme claustrophobia in a room the size of my bed back home) and that Holly has the best work stories and that if Bunny breaks into the bone treats that are supposed to freshen her breath and consumes the whole packet the result is smelly and messy in all ways. Not fresh at all!!
Such a great holiday. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my beautiful family. Thanks guys. Fun times!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Eve ponderings.....

I spent the last few days of 2009 at the beach with my lovely friends, Becs, Larry and their twins - Zachary & Nathan. What fun!! Good friends, good times! Check out the view from the deck of their bach.....

For the first time in my life, I spent New Year's Eve alone. Well, not entirely alone, Bunny was with me. I had some plans to spend it with friends but in the end decided to chill out at home. I was by myself and I didn't feel sad or lonely! Amazing! It's nice to finally feel okay in my own skin, with my own company. Having some time and space to myself has led me to pondering over my life. Here are some of my ponderings......

I love my job at St Paul's working with the children and families. It's lots of fun as well as being incredibly rewarding. Sometimes I'm having so much fun, I can't believe it's actually a job!

I have really wonderful friends who love me and appreciate me no matter what! I have a loving supportive family. I count my girls, Holly & Beth, and Mikey, my son in law, as my closest friends. My extended family are really close knit. They are funny, crazy, loud and the best people ever. I feel really overwhelmed when I consider how much I am loved.

Over the last five years I have felt huge loss but have been able to see the hand of God on me and my life. He's constantly whispered into my ear "I can get you through this", all the time supporting, loving and healing me. I'm still on that healing journey but have reached a point where I am not overwhelmed by the grief. Yay! It's been a long time coming! My life is rich and full. So I'm looking forward to 2010 and what it will bring. Happy New Year!!

Friday, January 1, 2010


On the Sunday before Christmas St Paul's hosted carols by glowstick at the Vector Arena. It was a pretty ambitious undertaking that involved a lot of hard work for everyone involved. I invited family and friends to come with me and as we arrived at the Vector Arena I had feelings of excitement mixed with apprehension. Last year I didn't last the whole carol service at the cathedral as I was overwhelmed with grief during the singing. I used to love all the aspects of Christmas celebrations and services, fully engaging in the celebration of Jesus' birth..... but now all of those things are overshadowed by the events and feelings of grief as each anniversary of John - my husband's death on Christmas Eve rolls round. So carols by glowstick was something new that I hadn't experienced before and I was hoping that as it was a new experience it would not be tainted by grief....

As everyone poured into Vector, got their glowsticks and took their seats, there was a buzz in the air. The excitement was palpable as Vector was plunged into darkness and we broke our glowsticks together at the countdown. I have to confess that we broke our glowsticks well before this as we couldn't wait to start waving them around.

From start to finish it was fun. Everyone from little kids to adults enjoyed the sense of joy and celebration. As we sung, waved our glowsticks, listened, watched, there was a real sense of God being in the midst of us, enjoying it with us. So for the first time in five years, I fully engaged in a Christmas service, without any sense of grief or loss.... just a real sense of love, celebration and the freedom to fully enjoy, worship and praise God for who he is and what he's done, especially for me over the last five years. Thanks St Paul's for giving me my Christmas back and thanks to God for his amazing love. I wouldn't be where I am today without it!

Thanks to Kevin Robinson for the great photographic images.
Check out to see Steve Thompson and Kurt Bradley's timelapse film of glow. Love the mexican wave!
This is the link for the film "when god was born" that was shown at glow. Love it!


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