Seeing snow on top of the Rimutakas is a rarity this winter. For all the wet, wind and chills this winter we’ve been lacking in snow – this is hardly a light dusting and it was gone not long after as we bathed in Winter sunshine. I’m not complaining, just saying.
Archives for July 2010
High days and holidays are best topped off with glorious weather. We’ve struck lucky with the weather for our week off work so where better to escape from the mulching than the beach to enjoy the best of winter sun. It’s always a special treat to wander along the almost deserted beach with the bassets high tailing off on a sniffing odysey whilst we soak up the rays. Today was a particularly good day for seeing the hills of the South Island on the horizon.
By the powers vested in technology we can relive this day 15 years ago. I recently got our wedding photograph negatives scanned onto disk to add to our digital memory stash. For all the happy memories this picture conjures there is something very sobering about it too. Let’s just say that we look a little different now.
This picture was taken of me today just before we left last night for an evening in town – the opening of the NZ Art show and then dinner at our favourite restaurant – Taste which was immediately opposite where we used to live.
Tomorrow is his Lordship’s birthday so there’ll be lots of treats in store. If the weather holds a trip to the beach might be in order!
I do I worry about my home bird tendencies. Being at home away from the crowds is just how I like things to be but I do worry if I will become detached from the real world, whatever the real world is these days. For the virtual world of the internet that world can be as real as the offline world with the added benefit that you can stay in bed in your pyjamas all day if that’s your thing.
Living out in the sticks on the edge of the world we rely on the internet. And I mean rely. For communication, for amusement and for keeping sane. For all it’s natural beauty and new world charm there are some draw backs to living so far away but with a pipeline to the wider world you can’t quite have it all but it comes pretty darn close.
This last weekend I dipped in and out of an free online photography workshop with one of the world’s top photographers and yes, I admit I was still in bed in my pyjamas but I don’t think that David duChemin would have minded one bit. I didn’t hear all the workshop but the bits I did were right up my street – finding your vision as a photographer. The key thing I learned is that you have to have a view on the world that you want to communicate and then you do it to please yourself first and foremost. All the gagetry won’t give you that, though it might help to communicate more effectively what you want to say.
The other lesson I learned was that if you can’t find your vision in photography – you’re just being lazy. You’re just not trying hard enough. Ouch – that hurt!
In years gone by we’d take the last week in July off work to rest, relax and celebrate somewhere warm. For this is the week that we celebrate our wedding anniversary and his Lordship’s birthday (timed specifically that he would never forget!). Now we take the same week off but enjoy whatever winter throws at us and take enjoyment in annual garden chores. The big, heavy, hard graft sort of chores that are best done as a team with lots of time to rest.
This is year is no exception although I admit to dreaming of warmer islands in the Pacific I am looking forward to getting things outdoors ship shape in readiness for Spring which is only weeks away. With a new rose garden to care for, not to mention the kitchen garden there is plenty to be working on. To give us a kick start we got some help with the annual gorse harvest and this has spurred me on to crack on with things more than usual.
With more garden to contend with we had an even bigger pile of bark mulch delivered. 7 cubic metres worth of pile delivered from a local farm called the Bark Farm (don’t you just love the name). MT was first to celebrate the arrival of what will become our new best friend for much of this coming week.
With all the commotion of the delivery and the unusual sight of wellington boots there was some explaining to be done to the bassets.
Fortnum was not convinced that the spade was a serious proposition for digging – he finds paws much more useful. He was also unconvinced but the intention until he saw the spade in action. Stage one complete – rose garden mulched. Thickly. Enough to last another year.
Even with my flexible laid back lifestyle I still get a thrill knowing that the alarm won’t be going off to get us out of bed. Those dulcet tones of Radio New Zealand bring forth the day with news in the world are something that are going to have to wait another week. Funny though when you don’t have to get up you wake up earlier and earlier.
Seeing the mist in the valley and the morning glow behind the hills yesterday made up for not being able to sleep in like most normal people do when they are on holiday. I fear I am becoming my father’s daughter. Waking up earlier and earlier to the point that you go to sleep earlier and earlier losing at one end of the day to gain the other. Neither is that sociable but I take comfort that when you’re on holiday anything goes.
I recently breached technology etiquette here at Domestic Executive HQ. After years of relying on his Lordship to load up my iPod I’ve set up my own iTunes library, it was like stepping out through a new window on the world. That’s not to say the outlook I already had wasn’t interesting, in truth I’ve listened to interviews, documentaries and programmes that I wouldn’t have picked for myself but nevertheless have enjoyed.
But choosing new podcasts for myself has led me into a a feminist debate I wasn’t even aware was raging. It seems I’m a Femivore, a women who seeks independence, self sufficiency and personal fulfillment by staying at home growing their own food and embrace domesticity as their own brand of feminism. It was a short snippet on The Splendid Table which is an American equivalent of The BBC Food Programme that led me to research more about this new brand of feminism.
So let’s make cake and talk more about femivorism.
I was up before dawn broke this morning to be a photography student. It was nothing like when I last studied. No dragging myself out to a tutorial 40 miles away with someone who as a part time tutor knew about as much about the topic as I did. I just opened up my laptop and there was one of the world’s top photographers in my house beamed across the internet from Seattle. It was a surreal experience but worth the eye bleary effort.
I’m a bit of a fan of David duChemin and been reading his blog for a while and read some of his books. I finally found a photographer that talked about the art and craft of photography rather than the technicalities and proclamations of a camera geek. The opportunity of a free online photography workshop with him was too good to miss, even if it did start at 0600 NZ time.
He talked about finding your vision as a photographer – what moves you, what are you trying to say. Even if the weather and light was co-operative, my tired mind and body wasn’t up for an inspiring photography walk today but I did start to look around me on my basset walk today for things that caught my eye.
Mostly I was taken by the way the gorse is taking over the lanes around us. Gorse is top of mind right now as we’ve started another round of gorse harvest. Although I don’t think kindly of this pesky weed it’s amazing how much more you can see when you look for what else is there.
You know it’s winter when every conversation goes a bit like this……
“So how are you?
Not bad, feeling a bit under the weather.
Oh really, have you got one of the bugs?
Which bug might that be?
Well there’s the sore throat bug; the gastric bug but the worst of all is the headcold bug”………..
Just for the record I have the sinus headache bug – I’m sure it’s going to develop into something bigger and better than the sore throat man bug that MT has.
After the weather has done it’s best to get us down the bugs are now kicking people into touch. Deep joy – just in time for my week off work.
For all the scientific explanations and cultural interpretations I like to think of a rainbow is a smile from the sky. An optimistic sign of better things to come. We are past the shortest day this year and there is a noticeable difference in the days lengthening. I can measure this precisely as in winter it goes dark bang on basset feeding time, it’s the time when Fortnum starts to get agitated and demanding, pointing hopefully at his food bowl pleading for sustenance.
I was lamenting the gloom of a cloudy day to the bassets as we hiked up Kaitoke hill yesterday only to stand corrected as this rainbow popped up from behind the hills. Suddenly the incoming shower didn’t seem such a bad thing after all.