The Past, and the weird feeling of being so close to it, yet so far away

I remember a trip to a river when I was muuuuch younger. We used to camp a lot growing up, and this one place we frequented for a couple of NY’s was set well off the beaten track. It was the mid nineties. A time where parents were a bit more free and trusting with kids wandering off and disappearing for half a day at a time, and my parents were no exception, bless ’em. I was certainly a wanderer. I remember climbing up this pretty densely forested hillside up to a ridge line and following the ridge along for a few hours.* Finally I emerged from the ridge onto this vast grassy plateau. It was the most BIZARRE feeling. A feeling of connectedness,and history rolled into one. I felt like I had been there before, but, I mean, how silly, it was literally hours and hours from anything or anywhere I had ever been.

Anyway, it turns out that it was an old Maori Pa site. NZ is a fairly new country in comparison to others, but there are still times when you feel like you have stepped in a time warp, and you are about to emerge into some crazy battle or some such.** This, was one of those times. I remember clearly the feeling, walking along feeling like I probably shouldn’t be there, but at the same time, finding these ancient food pits and terraced land so enchanting and mysterious.

I guess I hope my children feel the same connection to their history. Although its fairly tenuous now, we have connections to a tribe called Ngati Kahungunu in a tiny wee place called Wairarapa, and I feel a very real pride when I think about the history of our iwi and it’s people.

Woah, where am I going… Oh yeah. So, there is an old Pa site less than 2km away from our home in the Hawkes Bay. Otatara Pa. We have lived here for nearly three years, and I have wanted to visit the site many a time, but never really acted on the impulse.

Finally, one blustery Wednesday evening, I felt the need to drag the kids up there the other day to experience something a little older than they can even fathom. Well. We basically got blown off the hilltop, but it was still a spectacular experience.

See?

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Egad, its so obvious to me that I haven’t bothered with picking up a camera or documenting anything for a while, sorry, but you get the general idea yeah? The site was situated so that the tribe could clearly see where any potential threats may be approaching from – Thus the view over the entire Hawkes Bay.

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My little Gandalf, trotting happily up the track. Unlike his wee sister, grumbling along at my heels.

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*I was young, it was probably only twenty minutes.

** A wrinkle in time was mos-def my favourite book growing up, so I guess otherworld-ness (not a word, I know) was never really far from my mind.

Iiiiiiiiit’s Groundhog Day!

Or, maybe it’s not. It’s not really something us middle earth folk notice, due to the lack of Groundhogs.
Regardless, it feels like the movie version at the moment. I guess I should talk about it being Winter, and the inevitable slowing down and taking stock. Nourishing broths (of which there have been a few in our household recently) etc..etc. But I’m about ready for some longer days, perhaps introducing that extra hour of daylight back in to the evenings to make it feel like life ‘s not just consisting of bed, work, home, dinner, shower, bed, work, home, dinner, bed, work, home, dinner, bed, work, flu, beeeeeeeeeeed, dinner – y’know.

Here are some photos to prove we still exist…But that aren’t really very interesting to the general populace.

Pizza’s, picnics and selfies.

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The joys of winter time and it’s sometimes mundane same-samey-samesame routine.

Happiness is a beautiful nail

Bit of deception in that title, as I tried to google the correct nail, about a thousand images of decorated fingernails bombarded my google page. Gross. Anyway, I am talking about this.

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It is rare these days to see such a beautiful detail in a house, let alone in a garage, whose only view is out to this…ImageAlright, I will acquiesce that such a view is more than worth of a few well chosen details. And can you spy my little pobble roaming across the stones?

New Zealand seems to have an obsession with cheap building materials, which only serves as a stark contrast when one stumbles upon finishes such as this.ImageOr this.Image

P’raps I am being a bit silly about it. But Copper trim? Stainless steel details that have been welded with the utmost care? It really is lovely to see such stunning work. Kudos to the craftsperson that created this simple, yet beautifully detailed work. I loved walking past this and seeing actual real timber being used with so little embellishment.

Probably I was a little bit crazed with the fact that we were finally going on a tiny mini vacation with some very dear friends, but I was hyper sensitive to how lovely everything was. Weather, surroundings, family, friends, finally some quiet, and a very decent game of charades to top it all off.

And, Ta daaaaaa, she can even levitate the stones?ImageTired stones after a busy day of being levitated.Image

 

ImageI wish I lived here and could just wander out into the water each morning for a swim.

Bring on the next tiny, mini, itty bitty vacay.

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Why don’t I take my kids out more often?

Because it always leads to this…ImageAhhh, you can barely see her. But there she is, on the ground like her world is ending. All because I asked her to share the juice.Image

Testing the old pixel action on my camera to see if I can get some facial. What a grump! And the passers by all looking on and wondering why a mother would let such a bedraggled mess cry alone in the middle of the market.

ImageMe, in my hayfever/flu/constantly impending asthma attack like state, foolishly thinking that a trip to the market might benefit us all, instead of the inevitable. Ending in my kids acting like the world is ending because the size of the croissant is half what it normally is.

Woe. At least there are always the carp. Peculiar slimy creatures that the kids are always loving to visit.Image

 

Obligatory photo of the kids behind bars, and me wishing I could lock the in there, just long enough for me to down a coffee next door. Promise.ImageSTAY!

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Look, see. Nope, you don’t do you.

Now, I have a terrible habit of spending money, all the while justifying it to myself completely. I need these boots as they are at least 2 cm longer than my other black boots, and I can match them to that new black skirt. My life will only be complete if I purchase that coat that is a slightly better version of the coat sitting at the back of my wardrobe… Ooh it costs a lot, ah well, it matters not, I will justify it to myself somehow. Don’t believe me? Hang about…

ImageThis depressing sea of black is my ‘lower half’ drawer. Skirts/shorts/jeans etc (about thirty seven pairs of lycra tights, because lycra was the best invention of the 21st century and, why not.) So, I have valiantly decided on a ‘No Spend’ month, like a smattering of folk around the interwebs. This includes op-shops, and far be it from me to lie to the internet, so now I HAVE to do it. I have already failed once for something as mundane as moisturiser, so am now beginning my month from the 7th of April. GO. And also, note to self, STOP BUYING BLACK, I no longer live in Wellington where it is the uniform du jour, so why my obsession for another black skirt (I already have 17.)

In less tragic news, we had a decent long power cut this evening, and it got me thinking as I was out wandering the moors in the drizzling rain trying to escape the madness that is two kids and a husband (insert winkie face here) for half an hour, can I eat this?ImageLook at this glorious fellow, either totally delicious, or totally, innocuous looking, but going to kill me.Image

Can I eat it? Probably not, I bet it has a name like Poisonous Betty. Waaaaaaay too chicken to try it, but I would definitely like to get a bit more down with the old gatherer side of human instinct, if just because I am far too stingy, and would like to eat/grow more free food.

And that’s all. Because it has been raining for about a billion years (read three days) and I am bored of rain, and all of the madness it brings (washing, inside kids, muggy damp house, etc.)

goodnight.m.

Ten reasons why walking with your children is bad for your health

1. It will inevitably give you heart palpitations as they scoot/run/ sprint/ bike off into the sunset and leave you shouting ‘LOOK DOWN DRIVEWAYS,’ ‘LOOK DOWN DRIVEWAYS,’ ‘LOOK DOWN DRIVEWAYS!!’

2. They will complain every. step. of. the. way.

3. You will end up holding the scooter/ bike/ dirty clothing/ and the child in some bizarre uncomfortable configuration.

4. They will need to go to the toilet.

5. They will shout at you about how cruel you are for taking them walking.

6. You will have a near heart attack with the weight of all the gear you are carrying and the guilt of being a bad person for taking the children walking when you should have just let them watch another movie.

7. You will get tired beyond belief at the half way point and struggle to comprehend how you might return home.

8. You forgot to bring your cell phone because you were trying to be all free and lovely and you will KICK yourself.

9. Your children will glare at you with unfettered hatred in their eyes.

10. What has been walked, cannot be unwalked.

11. Blisters.  See? Walking is such an unwise activity, there is no end to this list…

12. You will get a stick in your eye.ImageImage

 

13. You will discover that the new jandals you just brought will again be two sizes too small and you will make them wear the jandals anyway.ImageImageImage

14. There will be gate fights, and they will be of EPIC proportion.Image

 

You have been warned.

Goodnight.

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This and that. AKA, random nothings.

There are truly very few pleasures in life as great as sitting around with friends and consuming food. It even makes things like doing the dishes afterwards a bearable occurrence. We visited some friends on the weekend, and had a freaking delicious meal. The meal was immeasurably improved by the fact my kiddies were entertained and pottering around elsewhere the majority of the time.Image Aside from the meal, and the company, the surroundings were as close to perfection as I could imagine for my future. Aah for a little more land to rattle around on and an Apricot orchard. Le sigh…

Autumn in Hawkes Bay is the time of year where food is in an abundance, every market has more varieties of apples than you can shake a stick at, every garden has at LEAST one Feijoa tree, every bike ride has to be to a destination hosting free range Walnut tree’s. We even have a chicken or two now that are managing to supply us with a few eggs.

The kids like nothing more than gathering every Feijoa within property boundaries, and gorging themselves. ALWAYS this occurs immediately before dinner time, and I am left with two smalls feeling nauseous from over eating, and an untouched meal. Found them out there again today, along with my cutlery drawer.

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PS, my chickens still detest each other. WHY! 

Why can’t my Chickens be friends, and other tales of woe.

My mum brought us a couple of beautiful little Bantam hens the other day and one promptly flew away and got eaten(there is more to this story, but it is a sorry tale). I felt terrible for her sister, and was kindly gifted another hen by a friend. Well, lo and behold, they despise each other. Watch this space for happy developments, but I am not holding my breath. The little lady Bantam was happiest with her mirror as her companion I suspect.

While I’m on the topic, why is it so hard for my kids to maintain a more even tempered and calm relationship. Why does it always have to be so tumultuous.

One second my children are trying to tear each others faces off, and the next they are in laughing hysterically. I don’t get it, I can only be the even tempered (read:shouty) adjudicator and try and keep them side tracked as much as possible.

Why wont my little girls fringe grow. She looks like a certain South African singer who I Google imaged and her photos are the stuff of my nightmares…ImageThis is honestly the least scary image I could find… I can’t look.

 

My babes hair…

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A better angle perhaps.

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Anyway, as my mum and the Mainland Cheese ad say, Good Things Take Time.

Why do I keep thinking it is a good idea to pick Walnuts. My kiddies spend each outing scrapping and whinging and complaining and asking to get back into the car and go home. No matter what I try, it seems fated for disaster. Here is the most pleasant of the pictures from the latest outing.

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They were complaining loudly about the cow by-product on the track. Like WHAT BUSINESS does animal waste have being in the outdoors. Look at her little face there in the background. It is horrified! Waaaaay too precious my two. My mum would say they take after me.

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Entertaining my kids during the witching hour(s)

Often in the afternoon I pick the kiddies up from their respective daycare/school and wonder how I am going to fill the time until dinner time. This NEVER ends up being a problem. It seems like, by the time I have answered questions about every single aspect of every single event in known history, my brain has begun to shut itself down, and suddenly it is dinner time.

Aaaahhh dinner time. Usually the kids have tried to gnaw their own arms off by the time 5 o’clock rolls up. I have fended off five million arguments, and diplomatically avoided impending fisticuffs.

The other day though, we were wandering aimlessly around the block (to build the appetite back up after I accidentally gave in to their constant demands for pre dinner snacks) and we found this totally sweet pile of cardboard boxes at the base of the hill.

Simple, simplest of pleasures. A dry slope and a cardboard box.

What a way to keep the kids calm until dinner time, and ensure they were exhausted by bedtime.ImageSuburbia. My old friend.

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And then if that wasn’t enough, I forced them to climb the rest of the way up the hill. Being an adult is awesome!ImageSee those specks? They mah babies. Climbing without too much complaint. Oh, no, wait. Heeeaps of complaint.

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I wish I was a Gentle Person

Photo of my son. It looks like he will become one of the Gentle People.Image

This is a real thought in my head. When I was growing up, I knew a Gentle Person. Actually, my own father is pretty close to being one himself. You may know one of these Gentle People. The type that will take ten minutes to make a proper, perfect cup of tea, rather than the insipid cup of milky water you are likely to get given in my house (apologies family and friends).

The type that (don’t read this if you are squeamish) fold, nay, IRON their clothes so that they are flat and sit level in their drawers. I am ashamed to say that my folding ability is lacklustre, to say the least. I have more of a rolling action with the washing. Bundling things into piles, then looking on furiously as the piles topple over at the merest provocation. The drawers in our house are a barely contained maelstrom, I actually sometimes have to kick the drawers shut, and once with my fingers enclosed trying to force in some stray bit of shirt or pant leg.

These gentle people are truly a joy to watch, even if sometimes you want to hurry them up. You want to scribble over the borders they have lovingly given their assignments, the ruled, squared off, triple checked documents they will inevitably hand in for marking. Gentle People excelled at bubble writing in primary school, they also always have neat tidy haircuts, and never the double crown/cowlick I grew up trying to reign in.

Ah, I wish I was a Gentle Person, instead of the weird juxtaposition that I actually am. Slightly perfectionist with a healthy dash of complete feral.

Aaaaand, here is a completely irrelevant photo of the hill behind our house.

It’s lovely.ImageAs is my wee daughter (most of the time.) Excuse the photo, it was dusk.IMG_2905Although, I suspect, like me, she will not be a gentle person, this makes her no less lovely.

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