Saturday, February 28, 2015

meeting brutus

We met Brutus. Resident stingray at a marina on the Whangaparoa Peninsula north of Auckland. He's lived at the marina for years, cruising for free handouts and is quite the local celebrity. Jed spotted him first. He comes right up to the marina jetty to be fed. SO cool.
We had bread to feed the fish and this brought a flurry of large snapper, kingfish and others to the surface. It was quite the display. A guy who had worked there for years was a wonderful resource, giving Jed his polarised sunglasses to wear so he could see more clearly and naming the fish for us. It was one of the those wonderful spontaneous learning through real life days.
We were in the neighbourhood visiting a new member of the family. But more about that soon. There is A LOT going on around here at the moment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the butterfly house of life

A spontaneous stop at the Butterfly House and Gardens elicited some deep observations about life, transformation and death from the little guy. It is truly miraculous watching the emergence of a butterfly and to picture it's journey from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. 

We talked of beginnings, the tiniest inklings of ideas and dreaming what it will grow into.
We talked of the different ways of learning, gathering skills and nourishing ourselves and our dreams.
We talked of the importance of rest, centering ourselves and gestating our next big projects or moves.
We talked of the joys of soaring, knowing when we are totally rocking something and riding it for all it's worth.

And the beauty of each phase, how necessary each is for us to live well and be in balance.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

an unexpected guest

We sat down for a picnic at Stony Batter on Waiheke Island and look who popped in! 
Weka used to be common all throughout the North Island of New Zealand but due to loss of habitat and predators are now only in isolated areas. I had never seen one in the wild. This one was so friendly. It felt quite special to be hanging out for awhile. I hope those legs can move fast, these critters are flightless. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Taking stock:February

Joining in with the wonderful Pip Lincolne and taking stock. She provides the list, I free associate late at night. And will either cringe or be cool with it in the morning!

Making : lists of things to do. I am big on lists.
Cooking : as little as's too hot!
Drinking : Beetroot, apple, orange and ginger juice. 
Reading: Caitlin Moran's Moranthology.
Wanting: to get on a plane.
Looking: at this beautiful dress I bought at the op shop today.
Playing: Chess with my seven year old.
Deciding: to be more candid in my writing. Watch out.
Wishing: we had a big tree to climb on the property.
Enjoying: my mismatched vintage china and glasses.
Waiting: for an appointment at the hospital. (And waiting, and waiting.)
Liking: my new glass water bottle. 
Wondering: whether to focus on Growmama or take on more freelance or contract work.
Loving: sitting in the garden just hanging with my boy and a cat and a bunny.
Pondering: what sort of world my son will live in when he is grown.
Considering: going away for the weekend. Alone!
Buying: rescue remedy pastilles.
Watching: Land Girls DVD's in bed. 
Hoping: my cousin's beautiful baby boy pulls through his surgery and flourishes. 
Marvelling: at the power of social media, both a power for good and for ickiness. Just like the pen but faster.
Cringing: at advertising I saw in a magazine today. No-one actually looks like that, not even the model.
Needing: a hug. 
Questioning: oh, it's all up for review today. Sigh. One of those days.
Smelling: rose and geranium oil.
Wearing: My fennec fox singlet and harem pants. Super comfy and sounds weird but I had loads of comments today. 
Following: a conversation about whether a kids previous school should have a say in whether the Ministry of Ed approves their application to homeschool. (I say no.)
Noticing: large moths crashing into the window in front of me. Hard not to.
Knowing: I need to get up and away from this screen!
Thinking: about work this year, so many options but nothing sings YES. Yet.
Admiring: the hundreds of monarch caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies we saw today.
Sorting: Argh. Homeschooling files and my images. I am terrible at filing. Truly.
Buying: a Yumi dress.
Getting: a puppy! Much excitement. 12 sleeps to go.
Bookmarking: THIS fantastic article about kids readiness to read and write.
Coveting: i can't say.
Disliking: the vitriolic divisive arguments about vaccination that are rampant on the internet at the moment. Actually, vitriolic one-sided arguments about anything.
Opening: The Dragon Riders - James Russell's new book arrived today!
Giggling: at my son's love of slapstick humour.
Feeling: sad, determined and just a teeny bit fiesty.
Snacking: on apple, dates and almonds.
Comforting: to think cooler weather is coming...swimming is nice but cooler means CARDIGANS! I love cardigans (and clogs).
Wishing: loved ones from afar lived closer.
Helping: a friend make a facebook group for his music school.
Hearing: crickets.

Here's Pip's list for you to copy and paste, in case you want to take stock too: 
Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stony Batter

There was a certain birthday we were over at Waiheke to celebrate. Not mine but fun nonetheless. We went on a birthday adventure. Birthday person gets to choose. Those of us who don't like going for long walks very much had to suck it up. Not me! We went to Stony Batter on the far side of Waiheke. It's a fascinating area geographically, with huge rocks and stone formations you don't see anywhere else nearby. I am squeamish about being on film (you'd think I would be used to it by now) and desperate for profile and media shots I asked Russ to take some. He did good! Keepsakes of a good day too.

It's all farmland and vineyards and rock and ocean and sky. 

Interspersed with the most beautiful deep tracts of old old bush. ('Bush' is what New Zealanders call our native forest)

Destination was the old gun emplacements from World War II. Quite impressive. Amazing to think little old NZ was affected by the wars all the way down in our little corner of the world, apart from sending our men to fight of course. Japanese submarines were spotted in several harbours and our visit to Stony Batter even flushed out a memory of granny being shot at while on a ferry during the war! 

The emplacements and accompanying underground chambers and tunnels were a huge undertaking, only to be decommissioned before they were even completed, after the war. They left these concrete copies of the missiles. 

Quite sobering to think of war in such a beautiful place.