Thursday, February 4, 2016

this stonking hot summer

New Zealand's weather is a funny thing. Around yule time I was in a woolly jumper after swimming in the sea in a wetsuit. Yet January has just been the hottest summer I can remember here. Many days the only thing to do was to head for the water. We are on rain water here and I have gotten into the habit of keeping a bath full of water on the go for days at a time, just so we can go cool down every now and then as we go about our days. 
I haven't had my camera with me much. Sand and good camera's aren't very compatible I suppose, but it's more than that. I have been in a phase of wanting to be IN life, rather than recording it, if that makes any sense. I am okay with that.

If I had been more prolific on the photo taking, this blog feed would be resplendent in blue skies and clear blue water. We start the day taking Phoenix the dog to the beach and stream for a walk/play and swim before it gets too hot. Our beaches have black sand and you can't walk on the sand in bare feet once the sun heats it up. Highs during the day have been in the high 20's, very humid and not cooling much at night which is unusual. 

Our days often involve a goodly amount of swimming and boogie boarding. And the day often ends with us back down at the beach. It's been good. The garden has been woefully neglected but it's still producing the best cucumbers ever and there is time enough for weeding once this hot spell passes.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Natural wasp sting treatment

Jed and I took our new neighbours along our bush track the other day and while in pursuit of some bamboo, I blundered into a wasps nest. There must have been hundreds of the dudes in there, they all came streaming out. We managed to get everybody clear and I tagged the neighbour whose property it was close to. Wasps attack his bees and he was happy to deal with them. I didn't ask details...the nest was metres from where next door's little guy hangs out. 
Anyway. That sting. Sheesh. I have never had a reaction like that. It was intense. Wasps stinging because you bother them flying around somewhere are one thing, but wasps angry because you be messin' with their digs is no joke. 
Jed and I headed for the medicine cabinet and got some green clay in the mortar and pestle. That calmed it and drew out any venom close to the surface as the clay dried. Then I made a poultice of plantain and had that on for the rest of the day. MUCH better!

PS: the bamboo was destined for a structure at Kiwiburn, NZ's version of Burning Man. You can read about it HERE. I think I might need to go next year. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

a bumper crop

Jed has a pet sitting business. He may be eight, but I can already tell you I am not concerned about his financial future. One day while across the road feeding Ms Puss, we discovered their abandoned garden housed a bumper crop of snails. Now, we don't have ANY snails in our garden. Slugs, yes, but no snails. So, when Jed turned up with a handful of his new friends later that afternoon I had to quell the impulse to demand they get put back across the road immediately. 
Snails are pretty fascinating creatures after all. Jed made a good habitat from the aquarium we have for such occasions and hung out with his new friends for a few days before releasing them back where he found them. It was hours of fun in the meantime. I found myself saying things like, 'Do you think it's a good idea to have your snail ON your lunch plate?' and other strange sentences that only mothers can come out with. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

summer holidays

We're deep in summer. It's 7.42 on Saturday evening and it's still stinking hot. We've had some wild weather and last week I was wearing a woollen jumper on the beach after my swims. NZ summers can be a fickle things. There are six eight year olds sitting on the couch downstairs. Jed organised a burger and movie night. Good old fashioned summer days these ones. Trying to juggle work and finding more work with unstructured days of roaming the beach and streams with Phoenix the dog, the baking and making of good food, swimming in whatever water we happen to be near, long lego free-builds with my boy and lots of board games in the mix. What I remember the most about summer holidays as a child, was lying on my back in the grass under a tree watching the clouds go by and revelling in the expansiveness of time, not having to be anywhere. Great things emerge out of the stillness. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

new fave green smoothie

Oh my goodness, I need to get back into town for more supplies, this smoothie was so good! 

Fresh pineapple, soaked goji berries, spinach and peppermint out of the garden, lemon straight off the tree, lime, spirulina powder, raw manuka honey and freshly made almond milk. Bliss. The perfect summer smoothie. Try it!