Winter wandering

June 24, 2014

Recently I was poking about in the garage and thought, ‘we’ve done really well to have so much wood left’.

Winter hasn’t seemed that bad at all this year. At the time it was May – winter hadn’t even begun.

I think it’s important to have something to look forward to during winter. I recently planned a trip at the end of August so that’s one activity sorted.

And then it pays to make regular outings with friends. For Ellen and me that often means wandering Featherston on the weekend.


On Sunday we walked around Barr Bush Reserve – a small wooded area near our house. It’s full of fallen leaves and tree bark on the trail and interesting trees.

It’s pretty easy even in the town to feel like you’re in the country.

Taking photos as I went made it seem more of an event.

Cups of tea under the walnut tree was the perfect ending to our simple winter outing.




Weekend list: 7 and 8 June

June 6, 2014
  • Take the early train home today to buy cheese and bread to go with the very good French wine Tom bought me
  • Read
  • Sew – I’d like to make myself a new petticoat with some vintage lace I recently bought
  • Nap
  • Do some baking on Sunday afternoon for a new staff member on Monday – possibly this, which someone in the library made it this week and it was SO good. Basically like your best dream of apple cake.

Smitten Kitchen Apple Cake

Gone Fishin’

May 19, 2014

I’ve got dead arms today from a Sunday afternoon spent casting out a line with Ellen. We headed towards Ngawi, then cut in towards the sea to a vast pebbled shore and kilometres of sea teeming with fish…

Just not fish that wanted to attach themselves to our rod. They were keen to be caught by the guys next to us but we returned with little more than pebbles stuck to our feet.

Still, with a picnic and books and a Thermos of miso soup this was a great way to spend Sunday.  We took turns fishing and watching the other person fish, reading and relaxing and staring into the middle distance.


Our beautiful scenery.


Ellen fishing off the beach.


Ellen’s first fishing task was to untangle the lure from her glove. Yep, fishing masters here folks.


We spotted this beautiful country church on the way home. I couldn’t see it properly to take the photo so was pleased to find I could see right through both sets of windows.


On the way home Ellen showed me a secret spot to pick these great flower/berry things. They look great in our kitchen.

A bit poked

April 14, 2014

Today my workplace finished moving to our new offices across town. They’re warm and light but also further away from public transport options so I’ve decided to bike to and from the train each today.

Now I’m a bit poked but that also means that over time I’ll get fitter and faster.

It makes a change from my quiet weekend at home.

This is a wool bag I’m working on – the detail is a cloth dyed by my friend Lynn.

I made this polar pixie bag which is now open for pre-order.

And I made muesli too – I’ve written up the recipe for tomorrow’s post.


Weekend list: 22 + 23 March

March 22, 2014

This was the kind of week where I was super busy every day and my to-do list never quite got finished each day.

After work last night my friend Selina and I jumped off the Day’s Bay wharf (bloody freezing) to mark the end of summer. It was invigorating and I was chilled to the bone for hours after.

Here’s the list:
* Drive to Palmerston North (done)
* Visit Tom’s Mum and give her her Japan presents
* Visit my friend Helen
* See our friends Duane and Shumin and super-cute Liwan
* Maybe head to the Festival of Cultures for lunch
* Toddle home again


All our bags are packed, we’re ready to go

March 9, 2014

We have 90kg of luggage to which I say hooray for premium economy baggage allowances!

We had a mammoth effort packing last night and hope we’ll pass once we arrive at the Air New Zealand counter.

This morning it’s off to the art supplies shop to pick up printmaking spatulas for Lynn, then to JS Burgers cafe for one more round before we meet the shuttle to the airport at 2.30pm.

Our flight isn’t until about 6pm so we’ll see you back in New Zealand.


Tokyo, two ways

March 7, 2014

I started my day taking a train to Ikebukuro to wait in line for a special Kit-Kat. Each day only 300 of them are handmade and Tom was keen to get one for our collection but had to be elsewhere.

Although the store opens at 10am there were 15 in line when I arrived at 9.40am and about 35 by the time it opened. I got three new flavours for our collection, which I’ll blog at a later date.

Then it was off to Nappori – fabric town. Having congratulated myself on my amazing way-finding I then got thoroughly lost but found a nice diversion of interesting things to look at down an alleyway. Sometimes the best things are found on the way to where you really meant to go.


Fabric town was a success with a few different things bought – I’ve tried to stick to interesting patterns and/or made in Japan so it’s material I won’t probably see at home.

My plan was to head off elsewhere but with the weight of the fabric and tired legs I headed home just in time to watch it snow over Tokyo. It seems crazy that the photo above with the clear blue sky was taken on the same day.

Tom’s day started at the Tsukuji fish market (again) where he was on a mission to find more knives.

Our hotel is closest to Shinjuku station now, which services 2.3 million customers a day – it’s huge and easy to get lost or buy the wrong ticket – a problem Tom had today.

Still, soon he was on his way. He visits a lot of bookshops – often places he researches and then tries to find so he can search for that elusive Manga title. It’s the kind of approach that makes me mental – if I can’t find something I often give up and just roam around finding other good things. I suspect he thinks the same of my approach.

Next up was the grounds of the Imperial Palace, which Tom said was remarkably empty. He spent a good while watching some huge carp in a pond before heading off.

While I was watching snow Tom was eating the best pork ramen of his life. Then it was time for more book hunting before home to blob out and rest.

We’ve both just returned from a fantastic Teppanyaki dinner from one of the in-house restaurants. Personal service, Kobe beef and a cooking show while looking over Tokyo – a pretty ideal way to end the day.