Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Normal Routine.

It's a beautiful day in BOP today. Sunny bright and still. After a long  holiday  weekend and a full house today I am back to my normal routine. The morning spent doing housework, office work, garden tasks - picking veges etc.  shopping, meal preparation etc. I always try and have a long coffee break when I come to the computer to catch up on email and blogs. After lunch  I will spend 4+ hours in the kiwifruit ( thinning fruit at the moment ). That is my normal week day routine.
 Late yesterday afternoon when the house was once again quiet with just the 2 of us I finished reading The Luminaries and did a little hand sewing.
 This is how I carry my hand appliqué around. This is all I require. 

I find working on a raised up cushion suits me if I am sitting on the couch with my feet up and the cushion on my lap. My see through zipped container is the best most convenient carry all I have tried so far.( better than anything I have made myself!
 I said I would report back when I finished reading Eleanor Catton's Booker prize winning book - The Luminaries. Well I have completed it and was very disappointed with the ending. ( talking with my sister on the phone yesterday she said exactly the same - don't expect a big reveal at the end.) Yes, it was well crafted. Yes, it had perfect English and great vocab. No I did not find it exciting. No I did not understand the significance of the astrological diagrams at chapter beginnings. It would have benefited from a map of Hokatika as it was in 1866. I will recommend that R reads it to see what he thinks. I will then lend it to other friends. It is not going on my Top 10 list! ( sorry Eleanor )

 This morning I was really annoyed to see a rabbit had been back chewing my carrots.
( for a second time ) They are now without tops.
 I pulled 2 and they are only this big and unlikely to grow more without tops.
 Some other crops are doing very well. The sweetcorn - yum! The tomatoes ( over abundance .) My 1st black capsicum is nearly ready
The grapes ( which won't be ready for another month are looking so good.
Some really large bunches.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On a Dull Damp Day.

Two dull damp days have meant I have had a little time to myself. We both worked like idiots over the weekend of lovely weather knowing some rain was on it's way. Only 30 mls as it turned out but we are grateful for it all the same. Yesterday I went into the city to the movies. I parked on the very top of the parking building and this is the view across the roof tops and part of Tauranga harbour. Not the usual bright blue sky I usually have in my photos. 
  I was there early so had time to wander. Very few people about. Even less in the shops. Is Tauranga CBD dying? The same thought occurred to me the last time I was there. The movie theatre was busy. The cafés were busy. It is only my opinion but I think there are better shops at Bethlehem Town Centre and Gate Pa shopping centre and probably Bayfair though I don't go there often. Maybe I am too old now to be an enthusiastic shopper? Maybe there are too many empty shops? 
   I went to see the movie The Book Thief.The theatre was packed( wet day ). I thought the movie made a fair job of portraying a book I totally rated as a good read. The reviews I have read of the movie were much harsher.Two and a half or three out of five. I will give it four out of five. I think the characters  were well played especially Liesel . I could overlook that the reality and brutality  of life then in Germany were not harsh enough. Yes being in river water in the middle of a German Winter should have caused hypothermia; the bodies after the bomb blast should have been more mangled and Liesel should have aged more.  There was a deathly hush over the audience as the movie ended so that told me it had an impact.
 I would recommend going to see it. Also if you haven't seen Judy Dench in Philomena that is worth seeing too. There again I think she was portrayed as too old for the part she was playing. She was only mid sixties.
 Has anyone else got any movie or book recommendations?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Squirrel Nutkin.

I've been picking up macadamia nuts, and as I have had little time to dehusk them I wheeled the trolley with them drying on, into the lounge last evening and did it as I watched TV. It makes my thumbs very sore after a while, but I got more than half done. These still have to spend days in the sun drying out before shelling. ( it's the green outer casing I am taking off )( no part of getting macs to the eating stage is easy! )
 This is how the kiwifruit crop is looking for 2014. This is the overhead canopy.

 This is how the ground underneath is looking where I drop the rejects I am thinning each afternoon. I try to spend at least 4 hours doing this job each afternoon.( there is a lot to get through. )

 The garden was looking a little faded in parts( to my eye anyway ) and there were a few bare spaces as plants flowered and died off.  Yesterday I went to the garden centre for some new spots of colour and some more vege punnets.
 I found this little plant that I was didn't recognise -Angelonia . It came home with me as well as some aster plants and 2 new gerbras. This morning I began planting before breakfast and have much of it in the ground. I was horrified to see how dry some areas had become so the hose is rectifying that.
 Last post I showed photos of a new lily. Here is another flowering for the first time. An oriental called Pico.( perfumed! )

 Of course I have been cooking too. We all have to eat. One of my favourite things is fritta. R's tomato crop is abundant so tomatoes on everything. Aren't the colours yummy together.

 With the eggs and some grated cheese added. now under the grill.
 No sewing this week, but I have read the first 300 ( of over 800 )  pages of" The Luminaries."
 I said I would let you know how I found it. So far I like her use of words and her descriptions. The story line is not as exciting as I had hoped for - maybe I know too much NZ history, so the gold fields are not new material for me. I will continue but at this stage it is not in my top 10 best books ever read. I will reassess this when I have finished the whole book.
 At the weekend we went to another Birthday party. A 70th this time. Had a lovely time talking to many old friends, eating yummy food and generally relaxing.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Little Incubator Quilt.

At the weekend I took the time to sandwich this wee quilt I am making. My 2nd incubator quilt ( quite small )that will get donated to the maternity annex. It was an experiment to see how the wobbly stacks pattern might work. To me it looks like 2 stacks of books. I still have a label to make and 2 sides of the binding to finish hand sewing down, but I guess it is the first finish for this year ( although started last year. )
 The backing has cat fabric.
 The future owner may well prefer that side.
Take a look at this new lily that is flowering for the first time. It is so tall. An oriental called Gluhwein.( has a mild pleasant perfume ) ( J & V you gave it to me )

 This is the first of 2 heads of flower . It is not staked so if a wind gets up I may need to pick it, as it is now top heavy.
 I am back spending afternoons (  4 +  hours ) thinning reject kiwifruit off. There is a lot to do.
 At the moment  Iam waiting for an auditor to turn up. Our annual audit before we may pick our small ( this season ) crop of avocados. That wasted all morning yesterday for both of us getting all the relevant documents ready.