Saturday, October 24, 2009

Early Strawberries

Ripe luscious strawberries. Some were a little too ripe so I sorted through them today under the blue sky, with a caramel coffee to sip. Just the sort of undemanding task that freshens a weary soul. Now I have to decide what to make with them!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Once a Year

Plum purple roses, on the bush that suddenly appeared one day, creeping out from under the fence. Planted many many years ago by the townspeople I imagine, as there are bushes like it in other gardens around here. It's scent is almost wine like in it's intensity and once a year it fleetingly flowers, a few weeks of purple jewels that I treasure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pouring Out

It was almost everywhere I turned today. In a person's eyes, the way they talked to their child, the answers to my "how are you?" People, precious people, carrying loads of heaviness and limping along. Blinded to your love. Lost in a world in which not many people seem to care and if they do it's not enough anyway. Where do you want me God? Where? Because the pain, the need, it's seemingly everywhere...EVERYWHERE. And I want to be where I am supposed to be. Realising afresh that when I serve, that is when I am happiest. When I give I start to lose sight of myself and my grasping wants. The inward stagnation that occurs after focusing to much on myself evaporates. When I pour out the water flows and it brings me alive. And I want that. Glibly said and easy to just want it I know. But with You as my foundation I will press on.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wives and Daughters Weekend

Wives and Daughters has to be one of my favorite movies. Based on the book written by Elizabeth Gaskell, it beautifully portrays unselfishness and love through it's heroine and is also filled with exquisite dresses and English houses. I adore it! A gaggle of us girls assembled at a friends house this weekend to watch it, among other things. Things like walking down the country road to the very old church that can be seen across the fields from the windows of her house. And preaching one minute sermons on any subject without saying 'um' from the little pulpit. Or the copious drinking of iced tea, not to mention the tea party that we dressed up for. Yes dressed up for in 1950's bridesmaid dresses, nightgowns and even a wedding dress. Quite the event I must say.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Daughter of the Land

I discovered this book by one of my favorite authors at a book sale in our town this past winter. It just happens to have the most detailed and extensive frontispiece I have ever seen.

Page after page of black and white drawings. I haven't shown them all here.

And in the middle of those there is a stunning color painting.

You almost begin to think the story will never start...

but of course it does. A story of incredible inspiration. I stayed up till 1.30 reading it, marvelling at the hardship endured and hoping for a happy ending. There was.

Next on the list is 'Lady Ludlow and Other Tales' by Mrs Gaskell.

This one doesn't have a frontispiece like the other one though. But I am not going to hold that against it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


When anxiety was great within me, your consolation bought joy to my soul. Psalm 94.19

I went outside this afternoon to read and spend some much needed time with the only One that understands my needy humanness. Lying among the daisies I felt him speak, and let his words penetrate through the anxious confusing thoughts that of late swirl through my mind. He will come if we acknowledge. He will heal if we return to him. He longs, oh how he longs, to redeem his people.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Variations on Purple

As seen in the garden late this afternoon, just before the sun dipped away.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cherry Blossom

I got up early this morning. I love getting up before anyone else is stirring. I cleaned the kitchen and then picked these delicate blossoms and arranged them with some pussy willow for the middle of the table. It started my day off well with it's refreshing beauty.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Spring Tea Party

This week there were so many reasons to throw a tea party I threw busyness to the wind and plunged into planning one. Friends leaving, a friend coming back, a friend who had just had a birthday and the simple fact that Spring was here! So I pulled out glasses and teacups, cake stands and flowery throws and cooked late into Wednesday night.

Arriving at the park everything got set up under a big and rather cantankerous tree, which with the help of a fresh spring wind sent its leaves and twigs flying towards us the entire time. Perhaps it was annoyed we didn't share the Rosewater glazed madeleines with it.

We talked of many things, buying a one way ticket to Europe among them. If only.

A Spring cake was cut and consumed.

Though many things have changed over the years we have all known each other, some things never do. Like our laughter about the craziest things. And our love for chocolate. And the feeling that when we are together problems seem to be less worrying than before.
Pink macarons with chocolate filling. There's the chocolate I mentioned.

It was a lovely morning, leaves and all.
So looking forward to the next one!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The First Day of Spring

If you had passed by our house today you would have seen this little urchin sitting in a tree, enjoying the sunshine.
This morning on my run I slowed to a walk when just over the fence I saw a tiny newborn calf, standing on it's jittery legs in a dew sparkling paddock, looking around in confused bewilderment at the wide world it had been born into. How nice to have the first day of spring as your birthday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Late on Sunday Evening

The last minutes of repose before another week. The rain is pounding the roof, but it's warm inside.

I am so thankful for life.

For people who show me You in yet another facet.

For the grace that lets me live another day, try one more time.

For the hopes that are yet to come to pass but that propel me forward; giving me peace amidst the aching hands and vegetable orders, misunderstandings and shrouded hearts.

For the spring rain.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Swiss Saturday: Green Shutters

This green shuttered house was where I stayed the first week of my trip. Originally a very old farmhouse it had been transformed into rather modern apartments. I'm glad they left the aged exterior alone; green shutters are not to be trifled with.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Report

I passed my exam with merit! Though I didn't do as well in some things as I had hoped, I am so happy and relieved that it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. God is good.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Swiss Saturday: Tobogganing

One day we hopped on the train and meandered far far up the valley we were staying in. When we were almost to the end of the valley the train stopped and off we got. Hopping on another little train we sped up the mountain. At the top was snow, lots of it, and a big cosy restaurant where you could drink warm hot chocolate or fizzy cold rivella. Once we had refreshed ourselves from the journey it was outside into the cold and stillness of a Swiss mountain on a grey winters day. We hopped on toboggans and we were off, speeding down through the firs and trying not to hit them! With each ride we got a bit braver until a rather momentous tumble in which I decided that was enough of that. Hot chocolate anyone?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Quizzical Look

This little wax-eye was in the plum tree this morning, flitting about in the flowers. I think he wondered why I didn't join him.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tumbled Toffee Almond Cupcakes

Meant to be almond cakes with a tumble of miniature profiteroles and toffee piled on top, these wayward little things didn't quite behave as I wanted them too. Tsk tsk! Or maybe it was the tired person who didn't have the patience or dexterity to pipe out 300 tiny profiteroles. I wonder.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swiss Saturday: Blumenkasten

These boxes of flowers were sitting on stone cobbles in the midst of a bustling market. I remember thinking I had never seen anything like them before in New Zealand. I might have to try making one one of these days.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday in a Nutshell

As quoted by our dinner guest tonight:
"I am always relieved to be relieved."
Left me chuckling absurdly.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


A few weeks ago I pounced upon this mirror at a little antique shop in a country town I happened to be in. It's just what I had been looking for and almost given up finding. Now to find a colour to paint the walls...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Breathing Again

Blurred. That's what the last few weeks feel like. Months of exam practice ended on Monday. The relief at finishing is immense.

Spending time with a cousin I haven't seen for seven years. Strange. It doesn't feel like we should be grown up but we are.
The birthday of my other brother. Twenty. A brother who has chipped many edges off me. I love him very much.

Cake. Of course.

The day after my exam. I didn't realise how much I missed the sound of the sea until I heard it again.

Think we might still have some growing up to do though.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Swiss Saturday

Two and a half years ago I went to Switzerland (along with quick visits to France, Austria and Italy). I have lots of memories of the time I spent there and many photos so I have decided to post one every Saturday. I'll start with this icy tree that was sitting on top of a sunshiny hill we visited. As the Swiss would say 'so schon'.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Diminished B Minor Amid Moments of Panic

I have been rather ensconced in exam preparation the last little while. Diminished arpeggios, plagual cadences and modulations; such joyous things they are. I am trying to be calm but every now and then panic creeps into my mind and decides to stay for a cup of tea until I kick it out. I cannot wait for it to be over, less than a week and a half to go!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stir Crazy

I was feeling quite crazy tonight. After a day of getting things done that I needed to do I was ready to do something different. Suddenly inspiration dawned and then morphed into some caramel and chocolate mud cakes which are right now cooling in the kitchen; their sweet murky scent wafting up to me. Goodnight little cakes. I'll ice you in the morning.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Solly Has a Birthday

Solly turned 17 today! I remember riding our old yellow trike with him sitting on the back dragging his feet on the ground. I can still hear him calling me 'ears' in a sweet little voice when he was too little to get his tongue around the S. So long ago now.

We had a family dinner for him tonight and for some reason we all got him cards with cats on them, not to mention the activity book! (A crazy gift from a friend.) And I don't even think he has a great liking for cats. But he does have a liking for chocolate and coffee; both of which were liberally used in the cake!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pancakes at Nectar

Twas a windy morning after a stormy night. I dropped in to see my sleepy brother and a little while later some of us were off to have brunch at Nectar Cafe. Laughter, blueberry pancakes and conviviality. What would I do without my brothers!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Camera Shy at the Supermarket

While visiting my brother on Sunday, I tagged along on a little grocery trip.
I was a little timid at first to take photos because:

A. There were people.

B. They might have wondered what on earth I was doing.

C. I didn't want to be apprehended for being a public disturbance.

By the time we got to the checkout I had more courage though and once we were outside I was called upon to do a photoshoot of the matching jeans my brother and his friend had purchased the day before.
Someone happened to walk past during my snapping and this is the result.
Unexpected passers by make my day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009