Tuesday, May 23, 2017

thermette


My boy and his dad were laughing on Mother's Day. They reckoned I was the only mama in the history of the world who'd asked for a Thermette as a gift. Rather than a massage or chocolates or whatever I suppose. Well, at least one of my mama-friends asked for a power drill and another for vouchers to the boxing gym. But yes, I might well have been the only mama to ask for a Thermette. 
I had a Kelly kettle in France and had often thought about it while on our various adventures. The Thermette was apparently invented in NZ's Manawatu in 1929. (The Kelly kettle was invented in the 1800's so may have inspired it perhaps?) 

So what is it you ask? Well. It's basically a cylinder shaped kettle. You light a wee fire under the kettle so the smoke goes up through the hollow in the centre, maximizing the heat the water is exposed to and boiling it in record time. You can also cook on the top of it. It's freaking genius. And lots of fun. Because the fire is sheltered at the bottom there, with only a hole to feed the fire - as long as you face that away from the wind, you can boil water in a storm. See? Genius. 
We plan on taking this Thermette to the beach for hot chocolates, on picnics, camping, and to use during the 123 power cuts we get every year. (I may have exaggerated slightly there).

PS: Right at this very moment, there's a possum making awful noises up the feijoa tree you can see in the photo. I had forgotten how weird they sound. If it's eating my strawberry guavas, there is going to be trouble. I love those things. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ambushed - by a moment of happy


I have done and seen some amazing things. I have lived in a war zone and communes, seen the Northern Lights, swum with dolphins in Indonesia, and danced to dawn at festivals. These days, my adventures are of a simpler nature. I think some of the happiest times in my life have been laughing with my boy.


Right now, it’s night-time. We’ve had a slow day, with both of us not feeling too flash. We didn’t even make it to our local beach. The fire is lit. The dog is curled up next to me on the couch, the little guy has crashed out on my other side. We are all nested up in favourite blankets and I have been writing. I love writing. I have a few juicy projects on the go. I took a break to stretch and realised. I am happy. Content. It’s good for me to take a moment to digest that, revel in it. Life has thrown one curveball after another lately. So many things are in flux, I am craving stability for us. Contented moments like these are gold. Simple joys. Of feeling connected. Warm. Yup, happy. I’m just going to savour that feeling for awhile. #feelinggrateful

Friday, May 12, 2017

Something I found on my dining room table


I have been thinking about starting a feature called 'Things mama's find in strange places'. Seems to me there's a book or an art exhibition in the odd things we find in strange places. 

Yup, this is what I found on our dining room table yesterday. A baby giant centipede. Found in the sand dunes earlier that day and destined for my son's natural history museum. I suppose I should count myself lucky. They can get to 25 cm long. Plus, it was dead. 

Why is it that the dining room table is like dump central? It's the processing area in our house. If I'm not onto it, the cat might have crept on there, staying out of reach of the dog. Or there could be any numbers of dirty dishes, science experiments in various states of decay and other random items. (Well, random to my thinking, when asked, the kid's involved invariably have reasonable explanations.)
Is it the same in yours? I have this ongoing challenge to keep it clear. It's a work in progress. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Office on the beach


I have gotten out of the habit of taking my flash camera around with me. This is both good and bad. Good because it means I hide behind it less and am more in the moment rather than thinking about capturing it in an image. Bad because my smartphone camera quality is not nearly as good and there are large gaps of cool stuff happening that remain in our heads. So yeah - sorry about the crappy quality photos, but you get the idea. x

Yesterday was the last day of the school holidays. Every holidays people ask me if we take time off too. Answer? Hell yes! 
We had the best week of weather. It's been a wild and wet summer, and in between work commitments we were out there drinking it in this week. 
Yesterday we picked up one of Jed's friends and went straight to our beach. We took marbles and headed for the sand dunes. The boys spent hours digging elaborate tunnels and marble runs in the sand cliffs. The dog spent hours digging a larger version with his beloved tennis ball and I got to field emails, make some calls and read the latest issue of Organic NZ Magazine. Although I am editorial assistant for the magazine I don't get to see the whole thing until it lands in the mailbox. It's always an occasion when it arrives. As far as offices go, it was pretty good. A flask of coffee would have tipped it to this side of perfect. We capped off the expedition with a visit to the big rope swing behind our house. I am really not sure what we would do if we lived in the city. Spend more money that's for sure.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

when cute turns brute


Remember these cute little critters? Yeah, well they're not cute anymore. The rest of the ducklings we fostered for Bird Rescue grew up, found homes or swam down the stream into the wilds but not these two. Nope. Tiny and Mastodon are still here. (And yes, the irony of their names has not escaped me - especially since they were named when they were little).
Brought up with the greatest of love and care it turns out they're an unusual muscovy duck/goose hybrid, are HUGE and to be blunt, they're brutes. 
We live in fear. It's summer and there have been no picnics under the trees or swimming in our stream. Mastodon sneaks up and attacks. He draws blood and bruises. I kid you not. I can post a picture of my legs as proof. 
Our two old aunty muscovies barely leave their roost as they get attacked too. 
The garden is languishing and we can't leave the back door without the canoe paddle - which is the only thing they're afraid of. Laugh if you like, but let me tell you...I can't wait for Bird Rescue to re-home them. They've been fabulous throughout the fostering process and do such great work - please don't think badly of them...they weren't to know the cuties had the brute gene. I can't even get a decent photo of them as they run hissing at me whenever they see me. So, here you go...a blurry photo of the brutes, Tiny and Mastodon. Living proof that love does not conquer all.