Sunday, March 27, 2011

A quite weekend, if you don't count the road of ruin and the checkpoint.

Sunday morning sunrise
Red/pink sky in the morning, bloody great storm in the evening
The Contessa sent these books to Tom for his Greek studies, looks like light reading.
This mag can be hard to find, so you have to BUY it when you see it. don't you.
thinking of making myself one of these.
I had a wonderful weekend doing nothing, which I find is needed sometimes, there is real pleasure in doing nothing. Took Aj to work Saturday and when I picked him up he said he really could do with drink. Did I cross the bridge to New Brighton, it is the one I showed you a few posts ago? Yes I did, did I hear that voice saying maybe this isn't a good idea......yes I did and did I ignore it? Of course, we stopped for a drink and then went down Beach Rd, it's not to bad I said.............oh Lord it was terrible from the carpark down to my beach carpark, the road was a mess and we saw houses that had just split in two and collapsed inwards..........went around the corner and I knew I'd made a big mistake, I got off that road and got on to a slightly better road and then we navigated our way home. Lesson learnt some areas are worse than they say they are and don't take your little baby Alto on roads with potholes bigger than your car or lumps on the road  bigger than said car.
I hadn't  learnt a thing from Saturday so I decided on Sunday to see if I could get to work along my usual route, ha! have you ever ended up at  a road stop with the army and police manning it, or knowing that they think you a complete idiot for coming down the street in the first place, or you had to do a U turn and then go down a one way street the wrong way to get out of the pickle your in.............No? well come to Christchurch and this experience could be yours.
I haven't had handles on my rolling pin since before Tom was born
Sometimes the only thing a girl can do is stop at the Cats Unloved CS and buy 3 balls of lovely pink yarn and a rolling pin, yikes a rolling pin, I'll show you why in the photos.
I love pink, reaction from having 2 boys I think.
Oh I forgot, Crusaders won this morning yes I got up for it, in London against the Sharks, now that's something to cheer about, I haven't mentioned losing the Rugby World Cup games because it was silly to think we could have the games here, nothing will be ready by September and we need to sort ourselves out, housing, roads, power, sewage and rebuilding before we can have thousands of visitors here, what are we going to show them in-between games, the river of pooh, the holes in the ground, the rocks falling down the hills, and the general destruction...........I don't think so.
 After going to the CS went to my Aunty's for a cuppa and met up with two of my cousins and their families, which was great, so all though I say I did nothing, I did have a wonderful weekend and I have been stopped at a checkpoint which is the first time in over 30 years, since that time in Belfast NI...That's a bit of a teaser isn't it, I have lived quite an interesting life in some ways, yeah right I hear you say but I have...........really I have . Love Aunt B.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Feeling poorly, methinks earthquake flu

might be out of my ability range at the moment but I'll start on something easy
dressmaking is on the horizon I think
never to early
good old Alison, 80 cook books written to date
Love the books, really loved the old TV series
love, love John Buchan
Julien Fellowes to write a Agatha Christie film...bliss
I didn't like this, I know she is popular but I didn't enjoy it at all
I have has two days off work, as I have been poorly lying on the couch with books to read and drool over. My auntie is up with my sister at the moment and now she (the Contessa) wants me to go up there for a week. But I not going I would not be able to go away from Christchurch in case something happened, I would never forgive myself if I wasn't here and another "you know what" occurred. Nothing else is new, Aj's at Uni, well not Uni, a primary school next door to Uni, which he attends in the evening (night school ha ha), 5 nights a week. And yes he has to sit at a kids desk............which caused much laughter, as my boy is very large. Tom's paper's are all on the Net, so he is not that unhappy, he has a tutorial next week somewhere, destination unknown at the moment. Aj has just come home, 2 hours of Biology, he said there is a Russian girl in the class, but out of his class so to speak as she is too good looking, that's my boy, mind on the lesson then.
Time to visit Mr Treadmill in the garage, my  walks are to be done in the garage as it is too dark to walk the you never thought I would admit to walking the streets............Love Aunt Bee.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Well you know me by now, a bit of everything

the crack runs through the base of the big carpark light and down the concrete, next photo
AJ's (son) works carpark , oh! and my feet
two books from the market bought in drizzlely rain, only me and  four others there
Two egg cups, I love boiled eggs
crochet blankie in crocheted bag
Dave watching the birds, atop of some unfinished  quilts
table runner
heavy weight cotton sheet, crochet edge
only pinned at the moment, I made it out of scraps, no pattern, now there's a surprise
2 sheets, lovely pattern, good quality 
It has been an emotional week with the memorial service in Hagley Park on Friday and the Fab Four( that's what our colleagues called us) packing up
Thursday to re-start at AJ's Tuam St on Monday.    Prince William came to Christchurch, along with the usual suspects and he was very charming and at ease and he delighted everyone he spoke too. The service was well done, although many people felt it was to soon, I did have a tear in my eye when Hayley Westerna sang, what a beautiful voice she has. The Moon Man predicted a huge earthquake here today and I didn't get much sleep last night, oddly enough I'm so tired I don't even care if there is one today.
old sheet, backing for quilt or a quilt itself ?
Enough of the boring stuff I'm going to bore you with my thrifting and other such stuff. I need to confess something, I gave up chocolate for Lent, but by Thursday I had eaten chocolate it was as easy as Tom saying "do you want some chocolate Mum?" and me reaching my hand out to take it. Sorry I'm weak, so I have given up wine, this will be easier to do as I rarely drink, I know that not quite the idea, but it's not about being sanctimonious or that's what the nuns taught me. I notice some people are throwing out a bag of "stuff", 40 bags for Lent, now unless you have a real wish to de-clutter, then go for it, but  I do a clean out  a) when I don't have any space for things, b) when the school, scouts or other local are having a garage sale or I give things back to the local Op shop in a true spirit of recycling. One thing I have learn't from the "you know what" is home is where the heart is and I am staying close to home, there has been an up surge in baking, sewing, and general crafting as people stay close  to family and friends. I know I'm rambling, but my blog is a captive audience , I know you can zap me away with the touch of a finger, so feel free, you won't hurt my feelings.

Monday, March 14, 2011

now you see me, now you don't

pasta dish and bowls, two scarves, one pure wool from Scotland and  The Railway Children, and a tray cloth
I'm as quick as lightening, in, posted, out. Inspired by Sue at the  The Quince Tree blog,  potato gratin and meatloaf for dinner, half way through the prep. Not that, meatloaf was on the menu at Sue's, I only felt inspired  enough for the gratin. Don't think Elizabeth David did meatloaf.            Love Barbara/Bee

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just another Saturday........on the road, and some things to make me smile

a nice candle lantern, very pretty
old aroc? (spelling) bowl it's nice for beating eggs in
five stalls only at the market today but bought  the 4 books
it's a gloomy morning and this is a silt pile from the streets being moved to the forrest
although you can't see it, this bridge is held together with concrete, and light vehicles only
I couldn't keep counting how many trucks were moving on the horrendous roads
A few bits and bobs, I also bought forks, odd I know, but I blame the "you know what", for my sudden loss of forks, nearly all of them. Someone said it must be the boys, Lord they are 18 and 20 not 5 and 6, I don't think it was them, can't blame them for everything, well not everything, but some things, my lingering "baby" weight, my sanity, my wrinkles, you get the idea. To give you some idea about the roads, yesterday we were back at Aj's (work place) not my Aj, and the boss had told people had to be picked up by 2.30pm. This was to let staff get on the road by 3pm, of course we still had clients when I left at 3.20, it took me 1hr and 10 minutes to get home that is driving at 20 to 30 kms, over the worst roads you can imagine.
Right because so many banks and PO's are closed I went back to Bishopdale Mall to do some banking and while there I found the most..............thinking for a good describing word here, unusual.............different..........odd.............amazing............slightly creepy shop. Amend that to a slightly creepy shop owner, it's a crafty, junky sort of place, with patterns, cross stitch, knitting, and clothes all old like 70's and 80's, but not second-hand, some wool, some threads and cotton, buttons for Africa, and stuff.............mmmmmmmm.........can't really describe it well didn't have eftpos,   if your going to buy something you take to a hole in the wall and hand it over, unbelievably he had more buttons out the back. He was different, not your usual type of this kind of shop, owner. I will go back just for the buttons and trims, it was very cheap. Also bought a cookbook from a CS, it's a Land 'O' Lakes, Treasury of Country Recipes, I love American recipe books and this is a great book, bring on the cold weather, I need to make a casserole, something with dumplings. Not wishing for cold weather everyday yet, as so many people still have no electricity or water or more importantly loos. Must say something about the Japanese Earthquake and tidal wave, it is so terrible and we hope and pray for them, we still have a Japanese S&R team here and we are sending one of ours to help them. Aj asked is the end of the world , I said don't be silly, it's nature flexing her muscles, but its daunting to think of the destruction almost everywhere around the Pacific Rim, and the turmoil in the Middle East, I guess you have to keep the faith what ever your faith is...........I truly believe in the indomitiable spirit of my fellow human beings..........Love, hugs and prays to everyone, where ever you are...............Barbara

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thank you Lucy from Attic 24, who makes all crochet patterns easy.

Here's the completed blanket,it  has already been road tested by Tom
A quick post, we are in our borrowed  building, its small, but we have only 9 to 11 people a day, its so light with 2 walls being  windows. It's a building in a business park near the airport, it's very corporate and when we went for a walk to the cafe, for Shariz's lunch I felt distinctly under dressed we will have to tidy up if we are going to be there any longer. That alone is reason enough to go back to our building in the town. We know our colleagues are working hard to open on Friday, we are looking forward to see them, its awful being in two groups at this time, we had a wee shake this afternoon and people got a bit teary but we are so far from the epicentre I wasn't concerned.............believe it or not.
See it was quick and I'm off to do the never ending housework. love Aunt Bee.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why am I going grey ?

That was the weekend that was,  truly earthquake or not, it's the domestic dramas that cause the stress. Aj dunderhead supreme, only checked his student loan, becos I nagged him (I'm quite good at nagging) and discovered it had been declined.............and we were quite rightly furious with him, becos he is one teenager who is not wedded to the computer or phone, and the email had been there for 6 weeks.........yikes no wonder I'm going grey. Seriously I am going grey at a rapid rate of knots, it is strange, or not that strange that my friends have noticed as well, not me going grey they themselves going grey.....another thing to blame on you know what. Basil made him deal with it this morning and he said( Aj) it's sorted.........I know there is no Uni but there will in a few weeks and if it isn't sorted they'll lock the doors on him, yeah right!  they want the money too much to do that.
On a brighter note I found a library open in the next suburb, so I went Saturday morning what a lovely library in the Mall at Bishopdale it is,  they call it a Mall but having lived in Britain I know it's real a Precint, and it 's shops are open and it's small and everyone was friendly so I might do more shopping there, as our favourite butcher has a shop there and I didn't know that, so that puts paid to any rumour that I know everything.
Lovely books, how I love books and libraries
carrot cake and lemon icing
ok decoration 1.........taste 10
So what happened then, well was in the mood for baking and went wild in the kitchen, made a carrot cake, and some small fairy cakes, I'm with Duff Goldman, I hate cupcakes they are so over rated, there is nothing wrong with calling by the name your mother or granny baked them as. There I stood up for good old baking names and if we don't our baking heritage( which is British, and there's nothing wrong with that) will be lost. Political lecture ended.
Right well yesterday evening the Contessa rang to say Mum was in hospital, she is 94 and an amazing lady, she had been feeling poorly all week, and didn't go to church on Sunday, this is a red flag becos she always  goes, she got progressively sicker yesterday and Dad got the Contessa and the Yorkshire Terrier over and they called an ambulance. It didn't look very good last night, had some kind of infection, but she feeling better and we will have to wait and see, poor Dad is very tired and upset but he did a great job, he is so worried, he said after 62 years married he doesn't know what he  would do without her.The Contessa has been running around doing all the coordinating for us down here in Christchurch, my two brothers and me, she has been brilliant, we found it wonderful during the earthquake for her to do all the ringing around keeping everyone informed, it was easier for her to do from the North Island than us we have made her unofficial family coordinator for all family and national dramas, disasters and other important things, too bad we haven't told her yet.
Work has started in a new place for four of the staff including me, we went to one of the residential providers offices and we have set up a small room for some off their clients who access our service, it was just a day of setting up and buying in all the supplies we will need, cleaning products and tea, coffee biscuits etc. We start in earnest tomorrow with some clients arriving for a very short day, we are opening for  4 hours 10 - 2, so it gives the houses a respite, and for us, some work will get to our businesses we deal doesn't take long for people to get back to normal, not the normal that was, but a new normal and if we are going to stay and  rebuild and the vast majority want this, then this is how we have do it a little at a time, a Make do and Mend type philosophy. With a bit of Keep Calm and Carry On thrown in for good measure. The main building in town is semi repaired, I was a bit optimistic when I said they were going to fix the floor, it's safe but the whole concrete pad needs to be re-laid sometime in the future...................Love Barbara, on good days I am still Aunt Bee.. Split personality, that explains a lot doesn't, could Eileen who leaves me lovely comments give her blog address please, I can't find it ............probably me, remember how technophobic I am.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Tom.

Have recipe from Sue from The Quince Tree and permission to take some quinces at the end of the month
sorry about the reflection, had to get a photo before fiends devoured it.
The first was Tom's 20th birthday, its tradition for the birthday person to pick their favourite dinner. Tom went for Chicken grillers, salad, green beans and turkish bread with oil and garlic. Chocolate cake for dessert. We had a nice evening, with little in the way of presents, but plenty of  money but no where to spend it. The Northlands mall has re-opened and he bought boxing gloves with his money today. Tomorrow we all go into my work to clean out the big room and later that day they (don't know who exactly) are coming in to fix the floor which requires tonnes of concrete............I'll feel better when that's done. Everyone in the mall is having a sale and I bought a new jug or should I say a whistling kettle and a chocolate dipper an essential in this house of truffles. The crochet stripey quilt is looking great, it is strangely soothing to do and I'm already planning another. Love Barbara