Sunday, August 23, 2009


Just some pictures from our trip in July with Stephen's mom to Akaroa.


It has finally arrived. After 11 months of winter, we have finally reached spring. Everywhere you look the daffodiles are springing up, the cherry blossoms are emerging from their tight cocoons of buds, and the sun is shining just a little bit longer and a little bit harder.

Something I have been looking forward to for a few years now is being in one place long enough to have a garden. Not a couple of containers with flowers, but a real garden with veggies and fruit and herbs. Now we don't live ina large place, nor do we have an enormous amount of space outside for cultivating, but with a little imagination and lots of inginuity we've made some space and I am busily sowing the seeds for my garden to come.

After much pleading, Stephen obligingly built me a wonderfully large wooden container to put right in front of our windows. I also spent some time scrounging around the big shed we have on the property and found some old potting containers that someone was throwing out. Behind said shed there is also a rather larger pile of composting fruit and vege and grass clippings, which after some digging produced some quite rich black soil to fill my containers with. Yippeeee!!!

I did splurge by buying some seeds from the store down the road from us, as well as some baby plants from the farmers market on Saturday. I planted the seeds in an old egg tray I had and covered them with plastic wrap to save them from the cats' sometimes curious mouth. Within a week I had some lovely little green heads poking through the dirt, and now 3 weeks later, I have many transplanted sprouts of tomatoes, basil, nasturtiums, and courgettes (still covered in saran - and cayanne). With a little luck and some nice weather, I may be able to plant my corn, lettuce, and spring onions outside in a few weeks. By the end of summer we should be able to open our window, pull out some food, and toss it in the pot 2 metres away. Now that is fresh food!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I suppose I perhaps haven't made it as clear as it could be that Smaug, the lovely kitty we took in sometime in March (?), has come to stay. She has weddled her way into our hearts, curling up with us at night, welcoming us home with her pigeon-like coos and destroying our possessions with random spontaneity. But I suppose we are learning to live with this; putting cayanne pepper around my little sprouts for the garden, hiding the slippers with fur on them, stashing small squirt guns throughout the house, and my favorite, fillng the bathtub up with water to try and stop her peeing there. This last one is in fact teaching the cat to swim, and rather than dissuade her, she seems to really enjoy seeing how deep the water is today. . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have found a new love. Stephen was not at all pleased when I annouced this to him. In the end however he came around, even walking with me for his first introduction to this new love. Vegemite. This was not a case of love at first sight. In fact I was terrified to begin with. It was only the tendre coaxing of those already enamoured that got me to take my first bite and lo, the flavour filled me with desire. It truly is a beautiful thing. And oh how perfect on a buttery piece of toast for breakfast (lunch or dinner or even snack). Delicious!

PS the key to this successful relationship is moderation, as with all things.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Te Taumutu

Te Taumutu runanga is a marae located on the shores of Te Waihora or Lake Ellesmere just south of Christchurch. On Wednesday, I went there for an overnight visit with a class I'm in on sense of place and maori and pakeha variations on the theme. Below are some photographs I took while there. It's a beautiful spot just 500m from the ocean and 1km from the shores of the lake which is the home of Tuterakihaunoa, who serves as the guardian of the lake and all the creatures that live there. You could hear him breathing when you were out on the beach with the coming and going of each wave tumbling the flat cobbles against eachother as they were pushed in shore and then pulled back out. The church is built on the location of an old pa (marae site) and is the resting place of some of the Taumutu marae's most prominent ancestors.