Saturday, May 31, 2008

That's the case

Mostly I am posting these pictures because I really like how well they have turned out. But there's also some interesting questions raised. This is my case...

I got it when I was at University. I can't for the life of me remember where- Dunedin or maybe Christchurch.

It was in better condition when I first got it, but it was a hard working little number for me. It went to Uni everyday for a few years and it also went on Holiday.

Believe it or not you can fit enough clothes in here for a week long summer holiday in Auckland. Not bad eh?

It's seen some other destinations but I am not sure where....

Don't you love vintage luggage labels?? That is from a destination to which Agnes took the case. Most likely in the school holidays when her text books were put away and she had finished at Rangiruru for the term.

Who were you Agnes Brydon? I know that you went to Rangi-ruru. I know you lived in Ashburton and I believe later moved to 36 Chester St, St Albans, Christchurch. Did you like the case or think it purely functional... perhaps you wanted something 'cooler'? When I got it I thought it very cool. I still do, but I no longer have any real use for this little case. Believe me I've tried to find a function for it but alas, I think it needs to go to a better home.

I must say Agnes I do like your hand writing! I wonder where did you take the case? And in the end what caused you to part with it? I am afraid it is now a little worse for wear I am afraid...

But it still does the job!

What hands held these handles? What feelings accompanied the hands? Was there the tight grip of a nervous school girl? The excited hand of a holiday maker in transit?

Did you swing the case as you walked? Or was it heavy with books?

And by the way Agnes....

....where did you put the keys?

Friday, May 30, 2008


So with the help of my assistants (pictured below) we laid all of my Next magazines out on the driveway. The first issue was from 1991. There were quite a few holes in the first 2 years. And I obviously 'acquired' at least one issue from my then 'step-mum', Gaynor. I know this because she had written 'Casseroles' on the cover. :-)

At a guess I'd say I started subscribing to Next around the end of 1992... probably got a sub for my birthday. (For a long time that's what I got every year from my Dad and Sylvia for my birthday). It's the only magazine that I have consistently read from cover to cover since it's beginnings, I even read the wine and motoring columns. (I also read Little Treasures from cover to cover but I did stop getting that just before M started school, of course I started again last year but I am not going to keep them.)

Anyway it was an interesting journey. First of all there was the progress of fashion. Mmmmmm there were some 'delicious' outfits and hairstyles!

And then there was the progress of time. I very definitely had emotional connections with various issues especially around the time the kids were born... I'm not sure how that works though as I am currently four months behind thanks to Mr Willie they are piling up beside the bed.

As well as taking photos of them all laid out I took photos of individual issues that caught my eye for the future scrapbook page that's in my head. I took the photos basically on the basis of what I found aesthetically pleasing and today (a couple of weeks later) it's interesting to see what I chose... taught me a bit of lesson about my personal tastes.
I like;
  • Fresh and airy (I had lots of visually simple covers with bright citrus/lime colours)
  • Flowers (Lots of covers with flowers)
  • Christmas (I took photos of a few December issues- there was a purple one which I was trying to figure out why I chose it and then I realised it was the Christmas thing).
  • Pretty and feminine (Some real girly covers with butterflies and sweet stuff)
  • Rich and Warm (A couple of yummy chocolatey winter goodness type pages)
  • I like girls. :-) Some of the covers I chose because I fancy the cover girls. (Simone Kessel, Petra Bagust, and the lead singer from Golden Horse)
I took them all to school and relinquished their hold on me. It felt pretty good although I did feel a little tinge of something after school on Monday when Merenia said, "We cut up all your magazines today!"

Thank-you Next for 17 years of goodness. For supporting and building kiwi women and sharing their stories to inspire us all. And for giving me something to read in planes, Dr's offices, in the car and of course; at the flying field.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I just spent 2 and half hours reading a book and a magazine and playing with my camera. I got snacks and a drink and just sat. The I went and got my lunch. I've just browsed stamps on ebay and now I'm writing this. The first 2 and a half hours I spent in the bedroom keeping half an eye on Will sleeping...

42 minutes into it he woke with a start holy cow when he wakes up it's whoa to go. 10 minutes to resettle him quiet shushing and patting his chest. NO eye contact.

Approx 42 minutes later- startle wake- shush, pat almost instantaneous sleep... not as settled though at first.

Then 50 odd minutes into that some stirring and a more patting. Then when he was quite settled I realised I could go as I don't mind if he wakes up now.

Tips....make sure that...
... the room is warm.
... you have a drink.
... the chair is comfy.
... you can put your feet up.
... you have enough snacks.
... the chair doesn't make a weird noise when you get up.
... you make no eye contact, it's fatal.
... you have a pillow to rest your patting arm on... it will get tired.

Now I am off to check the mail there's something interesting down there... oh and yeah one more tip don't wear your noisy shoes into the bedroom... you may need them later.

Celebrating Children's Book week Pt 3

Bathwater's Hot By Shirley Hughes is a great book for very young children books which deal with basic concepts like opposites can be boring for grown-ups but the lovely pictures in this one make is lovely to enjoy. Good books doesn't have this book but there are a whole bunch of other Shirley Hughes books on there which are all well worth the read.

What Makes a Rainbow by Betty Ann Schwartz once again this book deals with the basics in this case colour. The really delightful thing about it is that as you open each page a new coloured ribbon pulls through so that by the end you have the whole rainbow. Although the words don't talk about it it's a great opportunity to talk about primary and secondary colours and how they are made, after all their all their on the page. Read this from about 2 years on into the school years.


The Little Red Hen A Golden Book Classic Golden books have been around forever and they are often sold at the supermarket relatively cheaply. This makes them the perfect treat for a tired and unhappy junior shopper. The thing is you need to be confident and sensible and stop in the middle of the supermarket and take the time to read the book before you buy as some are great (Scruffy the Tugboat, The Poky Little Puppy) and some are rubbish (Toy Story and generally anything else that's based on a movie). There is no shame in reading stories to your little people in the middle of the supermarket... save the ending for the long wait at the check out or a 'once the groceries are away' treat. The Little Red Hen is one of the truly good ones and well worth owning. Out of the Egg is a new take on the story which recently won a New Zealand Post Book Award I haven't seen it in the flesh YET but I have seen it reviewed and it looks great! Read both to your preschooler- book passionate 2 year olds or 3 years and up for those who have yet to experience the real joy of reading. Then go make some bread; it's messy and fun, can span a whole afternoon in short spans and great science!

My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes By Eve Sutton An oldie but a seriously goodie. Lot's of fun with rhymes and silly stuff. Plus that super good repetitive text your three your old will be say "But my cat likes to hide in boxes" along with you a few pages into the book. And if you have a cat I bet it's pretty partial to boxes too which is a cool tie in to exploit.

A Fish Out of Water By Helen Palmer. This is one of the books in the 'Dr Suess Beginner books' and it's one of my favourites- so well loved it's cover was lost long ago. These books can be a bit like the Golden Books, though not as much, many of them are about learning to read more than they are about a good hearty story. The ones that are more for learning to read can be fun but I think in small doses... books should be about stories. And if you share and read lots of good stories then reading will come- without trying. For readers 3 years+.

The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was none of his business aka 'The story of the Little Mole who went in search of Whodunit' By Werner Holzwarth. This is a book about Pooh what better subject for a children book. The Mole receives a 'gift' on his head and goes around asking other animals if it belongs to them. I won't spoil the ending for you! Read it to your 3+ year old especially those grubby boy children they love it! I'm kind of bummed that we already own it as I just learned that there is a 'plop'-up version- way cool!

Katie's Picture Show By James Mayhew. The 'Katie books' are a lovely way to explore art and artists with children. Katie has a wonderful grandma who takes her into Gallery's where Katie has a whole bunch of fun 'getting into' the pictures and meeting the people in them and such. The book details the names of the paintings and the artists. If you enjoy this then you'll also like; 'For the Love of Vincent' and other books by Brenda Northeast. Read them to your 3 year old and up; but just enjoy them for the first year or so and then start to explore the concepts in them and make your own trips to gallery's and choose favourite artists and paintings. And maybe even buy some prints... it's so easy now to get a cheap Van Gogh print at the Warehouse and such. Or print off some pictures from the internet and make a gallery in a book... and write your own stories together about what would happen and how it would feel to go into the pictures.

R-e-a-c-h, talk, and touch

It's all about reaching in this house at the moment...

What can I get now?

What can I touch?

and lots of verbalising...

"Aaargghhh.... if .... I ....could ..... just.... get.... that...."

"this is great" happy success screaming

and "damn I lost it, wish Kieran and Merenia were here because Mum makes me work for it" grumbling!

Can I get it in my mouth?

And how does it feel?

Oooooohhh! It feels gross!

The reaching also produces the odd spot of flying...

Even in the shower the other day reaching for the water drops. These aren't pictures of that but they are a great series anyway. :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I am used to getting puked on and snotted on, I've been weed on and I've come into contact with my fair share of Pooh. I've heard the urban legend of the woman who ate up the raisins the baby had dropped on his high chair only to find they weren't raisins. But without a doubt I have never seen so much puke from one so small and I've never had delivered directly into my eye. And that is the photo I am sure Kieran would have loved to take today!

Indy Dinner and other yummy stuff

Kieran has Indiana Jones fever so when they screened the 3rd movie on TV a week or so ago we had an 'Indy dinner'. We drank beer (of the ginger variety) and opened our meal with a eyeballs brains, and fingers dip entree

And the main was suitably decorated 'Indy Burgers'

For dessert we had sundaes with boulders (rocky road mallow puffs) lava ice cream (jelly tip) and gold bars (giant pineapple lumps) complemented by spiders, snakes and crocodiles.

We were going to have a treasure hunt with mini crunchie bars as the prize but it didn't happen.

Also on the food front we have instituted a new system so the kids get some treats and variety. Muffin Monday, Try-something-new Tuesday, Go nuts Wednesday, Little Ripper Thursday and Fruity Friday. In the past we got some of these foods and the kids either ate a fortnights worth in a couple of days or didn't eat them at all because they generally finished making their lunches before I got up so couldn't ask permission. Ideally in the not too distant future I will make the Muffins and the Fruity Friday Fruit in jelly in the meantime we just buy them. Little Rippers are small salami sticks and for nuts K has cashews and M Pistachios unfortunately the can't take them to school as there are a couple of kids with severe nut allergies.

Try something new Tuesday is the best because it means they are willing to try new stuff (and old stuff with new names) like 'Japanese squash' which Kieran likes as opposed to Kumara which he maintains that he doesn't like even though they are 100% the same in every way.