Monday, November 18, 2013

I Got My Mojo Working ...

I have to admit that I hadn't given much thought recently to the fact that my blogging mojo just wasn't working - until Monsieur La Poste said to me last weekend that he was convinced I had taken up line dancing on Monday and Tuesday nights!  I was somewhat perplexed by this confident assertion as I could by no means be described as a boot'n scootin sort of gal.  Then I realised that Monday or Tuesday were formerly blogging nights, but had not been so recently.  (Though it must be said that I was a trifle concerned as to the state of Monsieur La Poste's mental acuity as he had just spotted a Madonna and Christ child in the froth of the coffee Mr Shoestring had served him - but that turned out to be a reality, which we all could see!)  Anyway, it transpired that Monsieur La Poste had decided that the lack of blog posts from me indicated a passion for all things Western, which in fact was not the case.  It was true that Mr Shoestring and I had recently taken a few swing dance lessons and I had gotten out of the habit of blogging, but rather than have Monsieur La Poste strike me from his favourites list I am determined to get back in the saddle - as a real boot scootin' line dancing gal would!

Apart from the swing dancing Mr Shoestring and I have been on a wonderful trip to Wellington to see the World of Wearable Arts show, catch up with The Dancing Queen and her King and also Ma'am.

Colour co-ordinated birds live in Wellington where everything is more stylish

We have caught up with The Squire and his good lady wife (who have moved to luxurious new seaside home) and we have heard from Lord and Lady Raglan that they are also moving to a more salubrious seaside environment.  Mr Shoestring has struck up a new friendship with a devoted home coffee roaster so has a new obsession, that of roasting coffee beans and experimenting to obtain the best roast for our morning coffee.  (This has to be done outdoors because the odour is overpowering.  Mr Shoestring has destroyed several of the appliances used for coffee roasting but it gives him great pleasure to roast his own beans, so who am I to object?)  Also, Mr and Mrs Peaceable did us the honour of attending the ceremonial opening of the quince vodka, after its six month gestation period.  My word, what a delicious libation though I say so myself who should not.  It is very fragrant and aromatic and I think in the summer time after a hard day's toil in the garden it might be a near perfect aperitif.  The colour is a beautiful golden gold, because of the quinces.

Miss Figaro has ventured forth to her first beauty pageant, (the annual Te Aroha Cruise In) where she was slightly out of her depth amongst the V8s and powerful motorbikes.  However she retained her composure and looked most fetching in a retiring, demure kind of way.

The spring weather has been soft and accommodating and the garden is thriving and blossoming each week.

Of course I am favouring the acid yellow plants and neglecting the poor wildlings like this seedling rose (though of course I secretly hope the rose will turn out to be one of those featured in gardening books which was an unexpected "sport" having popped up in a garden and becoming a prodigy of the gardening world).

The bees are drunk on pollen and can hardly lift themselves off the blossoms because their pollen sacs are full to bursting

To be honest though, there have been a few disappointments.  The birds (who used to be such firm friends of mine) have taken against me and are doing their best to undo all my efforts in the garden.  I had just planted some small plants when I discovered that the avian assassins had dogged my footsteps and carried out what I realised was a ritual assassination by the footpath.

The poor innocent plants were tidily laid out on the concrete, having been mercilessly plucked from the earth.  Is there no end to the cruelty of these birds?  And I think they are the very same ones for whom I provided nesting boxes!  

 Finally a success with lily of the valley - it is usually far too warm
 A bumper crop of passionfruit is expected - note to self, is there a home made sorbet recipe for passionfruit?  Or perhaps some kind of liqueur?
 The roses are thriving
The irises are relishing the change of position (even though they were a bit confused at first, having been constantly relocated)
Ever dependable Graham Thomas, so disease resistant and such a little trooper!
The first of the lilies blossoming

On the stitching front I am very pleased to proclaim that the tumbling blocks quilt is finally complete, though there is a sad ending to that tale.  Feeling very proud of my achievements there I climbed up to the very heights of the storage cupboards in the sewing room to retrieve the next quilt awaiting completion ... only to realise that there are at least 10 quilts in the queue.  So no more projects to be started until they are done.  

Instead of calling this quilt tumbling flowers, I was about to call it "The Infinity Quilt" because it seemed I was never going to come to the end of it, but now that it is done I feel very fond of it - you know that feeling you have when you make a quilt, every one you complete is your new favourite.

In between the social outings there has been a fair bit of flea marketing - look at these works of art!
 This one reminded me so much of the way the light falls on the trees in the wetlands where we walk
 This one is another one of those where the artist was determined to use every colour in their paintbox, but more in an impressionistic style
and it suits but also contrasts so well with the other one using similar colours

Happy days at Shoestring Cottage, even if I have not mastered the intricacies of line dancing I am well pleased with life in the here and now.