Monday, July 9, 2012

Funny Little Things

We have been walking to and from work and enjoying the cool crisp weather.  On the way we have lots of regular small pleasures each day to make a happy routine.  One day we noticed this plaque on a park bench on the sidewalk and decided to investigate.  On closer inspection it commemorates … nothing at all, very strange! 

A little further up the street is the tall tree with a pair of trousers trapped near the top, which always gives us pause for thought.  How did they get there, how long will it be before they either fly away or rot away?

Then at the university science faculty building there is the mysterious chandelier which we suspect has been put there by some pranksters – it doesn’t look like a standard fitting usually seen outside the university buildings. 

And on to the place where all the beautiful wild ferns have started growing on the scoria wall and making the most of the place where storm water flows out through the wall.

 Sometimes we see odd things like the sign promising “litters” of water for sale at special prices too. 

The weather has been horribly cold at Shoestring Cottage, we have had a string of hard frosts and the garden has been decimated.  The begonias and impatiens which were still blossoming until recently have been turned to pulpy frost-bitten mush and the only things blooming are camellias and cyclamen.  Punctuating the frosts there has been torrential rain and gale force winds.  I was fretting about all my lily bulbs and picturing them rotting as water rose ever higher around them, but I was pleased to see that two of them have managed to poke their noses through the earth already, so all is not lost.  The bulbs are doing well so I still have high hopes of lots to look at in the spring but all in all things are rather gloomy and sad in the garden now. 

One thing which has been giving us a lot of enjoyment and pleasure has been the arrival of our two new kittens, who came to us via the SPCA. 

Florence on the left and Basil on the right

They are named Florence and Basil and are bursting with energy.  They spend their weeks in the apartment in Auckland and their weekends at Shoestring Cottage and are learning to travel in the car without too much howling.   (Though Florence does treat us to musical interludes while we are driving.  I am not sure if she dislikes our choice of music and feels she can provide better.)  Our patience was sorely tested this weekend when one of them peed on my quilt – the one which I have been toiling away on for the last few years and which I had high hopes of completing one day.  This necessitated much washing in the bath, in an effort to rid it of that certain cat odour which is so unpleasant and pungent.  Now my quilt is wrapped around the hot water cylinder and I am praying that it will dry out this week and that the safety pins holding the three layers together will not rust in the meantime.  Fingers crossed.  

After formulating an ambitious plan to create a lined picnic basket full of pretty china for next spring (surely spring must come some time) I found a likely candidate this weekend.  It has been stripped out and now it is ready for refurbishment.

These pretty glass dishes should go well inside, they are sturdy and hopefully won’t smash on the journey to the picnic spot.

I also found this lovely pink damask tablecloth with is wreathed with roses

 and it should look very pretty with the damask napkins I have put aside for the picnic set.  I think I will use this old piece of fabric for the actual lining in the picnic basket.

Just a question of finding time for the refurbishment now – and hopefully there will be no more kitten-induced disasters to take up all my time next weekend.