Friday, 27 January 2012

We have moved.

We have moved.  It was far more difficult than I'd remembered.  Especially as we had only been in our little country haven for not quite a year.  I had also forgotten that feeling of disorientation and slight 'out-of-kilter-ness' (is there such a word?  I think not!) which I have now overcome...Almost! 

Our youngster recounted a story of our move South last year...After a long day of unpacking we had settled down for a bed-time story in our new place...Mr Fifi having found us both in a deep sleep, book unread, had helpfully turned off the bedside lamp...When The Youngster and I had awoken simultaneously we had lain, confusedly trying to remember the location of the bedroom door...We couln't get our bearings.  And with no street-lamps to gently light the room we lay wondering in the dense, inky, darkness.

We had the most amazing surprise after our move...The family who own our 'old' place have instructed the Property Managers to refund us one week's rent to thank us for being 'wonderful tenants'...Words really cannot express how we feel about this...Most unexpected...In fact it was quite a shock!  A thoughtful, kind and generous gesture.  And one that is very much appreciated.  Thank You!  We have often thought about the family and hoped that they are enjoying their adventures as much as we have delighted (mostly!) in ours. 


Monday, 16 January 2012

Critters and crafting.

Summer has finally arrived at the Top of the South!  In New Zealand Summer isn't just something you feel - you can hear it in the incessant chirping of the cicadas.  I love to hear them trilling in the background of our daily comings and goings, out and about and around our garden, up and down, long and winding visits to the chooks upon their hill.  The youngster and I have a game where we try to pinpoint one calling-critter and track down the little beetle wherever he (or she?) might be.  And we struck gold today...Here's what we found clinging to the side of the deck railing...
Back in Rotorua the cicadas were always green so we are a little puzzled as to this one's colouring...But maybe the South Island critters are golden like this one?

And then, in-between the lovely property manager showing people around our soon-to-be old home, I did some crafting...I cannot believe that I have sold at least one item, sometimes two and sometimes even three, each and every day over the past week.  After so much sadness and coming to terms with leaving here there is hope on the horizon.  In fact it has jumped crash-bang right onto me...So much so, that I spring out of bed each morning (early morning I hasten to add!) with an absolute sense of joy at what might become of the day ahead.  I am incredibly grateful.  Long may it last. 

And tomorrow we move! 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Times they are a-changin'

Our year in the country is nearly at an end...We shift to the big city in just over a week! 

I have had such mixed emotions about the move.  A side of me adores the solitude of living with just the birds and New Zealand wildlife as neighbours, only sheep and the greenest of hills on the horizon...pumping river water up to the house, climbing the (steep!) hill to visit the chooks, foraging for fir cones and branches of gum for the fire, watching vehicles meander through the valley and wondering if the campers' occupants might be from Britain...And feeling so lucky that I live here - right here - in this little spot of 'not-quite' paradise.  But almost!

Then there is another side that knows (and now accepts) that I need to be a little nearer to the chatter and laughter of others.  It is so easy, too easy, for me to stay here and rarely venture out into the wider world.  Our youngster needs to be able to jump on a bike and visit friends, walk along paved roads, visit the library or the museums and galleries without those trips being planned expeditions, to be able to explore the possibilities that our city might offer. 

And so we are moving. 


Friday, 6 January 2012

Do you love Fridays too?

In the Vintage Fifi household we just LOVE Fridays - something about the anticipation of the weekend ahead that makes Friday a special day.  Today the early morning birdsong was at fever-pitch and we were all up before 6.30am.  Perhaps the bellbirds, tuis and fantails also sense that today is our special day!  The three of us stood at the window and watched the fantails perform.  They darted back and forth, fidgeting here and there and playing 'catch' with each other.  Tomorrow I will have the camera ready!
Later on in the morning The Youngster found a fragment of a bird's egg on the driveway.  We have been trying to identify it but without much luck as yet.

We spent the afternoon harvesting our gooseberries, redcurrants, raspberries and lemons.  Two and a half jars of lemon honey (or curd as we would say in Britain) are all ready for breakfast tomorrow...Maybe quite a few breakfasts!  Baking with ingredients harvested from one's own garden is such a pleasurable pursuit - the feeling is quite magical even after almost five years of doing so in New Zealand.  Apart from when one seriously injures oneself on the bl**dy spikes on the Gooseberry bushes...Seriously lethal!  I have the scars to prove it. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Well, I have taken the plunge and started a little shop on Trademe...I think being on Felt over the past year has given me the confidence to do this.  I have had such lovely, positive comments from customers of both Vintage Fifi and ilovefifi...One poor bride is still waiting for wedding supplies from the USA and contacted me to see if I could help.  I have done so - of course!  Always happy to make someone else happy too. 

I am just a little nervous at being on show to a much wider NZ audience now.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  And of course, I have to have somewhere to pass on the results of my compulsion to create!  I spent hours last night stamping tiny letters onto strips of calico...Then again, it beats housework.  Oh happy days! 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year everyone!  Have had a lovely, lazy day and finished off with a yummy dinner of roast pork.  Have just baked banana and choc-chip muffins for our fishing trip tomorrow, and then whipped up a swift pavlova.  Just about to switch off the oven to allow the pav to dry out overnight!  And here is one I made earlier!...

Let's hope our next fishing trip will be a little more successful than the last one.  Boxing Day was the first time we have attempted sea-fishing in New Zealand...Let's just say we had a very sharp learning curve...And became far too familiar with an enormous sand-bar...

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Felt Christmas Swap Part II

Tracy was kind enough to organise the 2011 Felt Christmas Swap.  Quite a few Felt sellers signed up for this and Tracy has just posted the photographs over on her blog at:

Once the rain and wind stops I will get out on to the deck and take some better photos of the beautiful gifts I received.  I saved my three parcels until the big day - you know how it is when you are all grown-up and you don't get too many surprises...Well, I really felt like a child again as I excitedly opened my presents from Jacqui, Lisa and Tracy on Christmas morning.  You really did make my Christmas extra special.  Thank you so much x

Tracy's lovely comments about my crafty gifts made me blush - Thanks Tracy, you did an awesome job matching us up and getting us organised.  I know that we all appreciated your hard work.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to participate next year!