Thursday, 20 December 2007

Boo's Kitchen

We got a dog. She turned up at work as she had been found roaming and nobody came to collect her from the pound. She was pretty cute and I took a liking to her and now she lives with us. Her name is Colonel Boo Boo, or Boo for short.

She seems to be settling in well. She keeps up with Matt while he's training (and is much less exhausted than him when they get home), and she has taken a real liking to the DS:

She is a New Zealand Huntaway - Heading dog cross, which means she needs loads of exercise. I think she's quite good looking, so I have made her the face of my Beetroot Relish (which I made with my own beetroot from my own garden):

We are off to France next week so she is going to stay with friends, hopefully she remembers us when she gets back.

Someone though she got her name from this song:

But she didn't, even though it's a cracker of a ditty.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


I first met Possum while living in Auckland in 1997. She turned up at my flat, but she permanently squatted at a flat up the road. The following year I coincidentally moved into this flat, and when this household dissolved I took her with me. She was riddled with scabs from a flea allergy, and would curl up into a tight tight ball on my bed and wouldn't budge when poked. I took her to the vet to get cleared up and she was a different cat. She spent the next four years moving around Auckland, sleeping on the end of my bed (I trained her to only sleep on a blanket on the end - I forgot to mention I was severely allergic to her). In 2002 she moved south to Christchurch where she retired with my parents. Here she really thrived. But, she got gradually stiffer and slower, and skinnier. Mum and Dad decided last week that the time was right for her to go to the "cattery in the sky", so took her in to their local vet. They offered me the privilege, but I just don't think I could have done it.

Now she's in the vege patch, where she used to sit and watch the day pass.

Rest in peace Possum. The queen of the silent meow.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Crap, a leopard!

At work we're having our annual charity art auction. It goes like this: everyone in the company, from the managing director all the way down to me, creates an 'art' piece. The stuff is then auctioned for a local charity and everyone's happy.
Problem is, we're not artists. We work in an office. With computers and Bluetooth devices. Anyway, mine's called Books I never wrote. This guy would really tear me to pieces, "Ding Ding! Here comes the shit-mobile".

Cushion #2

Following on from our very first post (June 2007) we have another cushion. This one was hand sewn a couple of months ago.

Again, the Bernina came out, but a fair amount of time was also spent hunched over squinting and sewing (in the bleak winter evenings) beside the fire.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

When we were very young...

The internet is too weird. With my broken hand I have spent an inordinate amount of time online and have googled everything and everyone. Then I googled me:

Circa 1984 - ah the memories - Mrs Parsons, the school gymnasium, nomads, the fact that I was one of the minorities whose mother made me were the optional school uniform (which maybe explains my ongoing penchant for skivvies, or polo necks as I like to refer to them now). Ah, the days were just packed....

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Greetings earthlings

I smiled when I saw this thing out behind Christchurch Airport. Not an alien spacecraft but a Finnish Futuro house made in the 1960s. It was sitting derelict and faded amongst a paddock full of relocated farm houses. The internet tells me there's less than 100 in the world. What is it doing here?

Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Show

Saturday was a big day for Lil and Matt - it was the annul Northern A & P show. We had 3 entries in. I entered some homemade marmalade and a hand knitted toy, and I'm proud to say my marmalade won!

My knitting on the other hand, came fourth out of four. Ah well. Mine is the little Suffolk lamb:

Matt entered a special men only section - Vegetable Animal. He made a lion out of a butternut pumpkin:

.. and came first! The competition was fierce though, check out the other entries:

I particularly liked the cauliflower sheep entered by a local farmer:

If you're wondering what calibre of prize is offered for such feats of craft and homemaking, well I was awarded $4, and Matt is still waiting for his prize.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Les concerts a emporter

I don't know much about anything, but I do know that this is the best thing since the croissant: Indie bands performing in the streets of Paris. Take a look at Grizzly Bear's The Knife and the kids dancing to Menomena. Brilliant.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

20,000 clicks in a goddess

In 1955 it looked like it had fallen from the sky, but for us the Citroen DS has been suprisingly practical transport in the six months we've owned one. It has been reliable, always enjoyable and not too weird. Well, it's a little weird: the brake pedal looks like a mushroom and the car rises before it will take off and squats when parked. Inside is a huge red velour lounge suite and a gangly single-spoke steering wheel. But otherwise it's pretty normal for a car from the future. We really love it. Thank you France.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


It has been stormy and cold all day, but then the rain stopped and there was a brief period of sunshine. The cows in the front paddock soaked it up - check out the one in the middle - totally flat out.

Cows love sun. I love cows. But not the one that backed it's back end up against a steel pole while my arm was stuck in the middle. No way. This was the result:

Which is why I'm at home posting blogs in the middle of the week.


Last weekend was Snap-Shot-City, a worldwide photographic treasure hunt that we participated in. Basically you wander the streets taking photos under certain themes. Then you load them online and sit back and party while checking out what everyone else around the world has come up with. Fun was had by all, we partied at Cartel. I would post some of our photos, but you can check them all out at

Sunday, 2 September 2007


We went for a drive last weekend over Bank's Peninsula. After having lunch at a winery we took in some of the scenery ... rounding a corner this is what we saw:

They surrounded us for several kilometres, then they were gone.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

From Russia

For some time I've hankered after a vintage Leica camera. But before I spend big on the real thing I wanted to try one out first. I'd heard the Russians had been making Leica copies since the 30's and were a good way to experience Leica style photgraphy before committing Leica money.

So I hit TradeMe and found me a 1965 FED2 for $85. The camera arrived in its original box with all the manuals and warranty cards (in Russian) and a nice leather carry case. The camera and lens were in beautiful condition and if nothing else, the FED looked the part.

I've only put one roll of film through and it's a fun camera to use. It's completely manual and even the photos it produces look vintage.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Jerusalem artichokes

We have Jerusalem artichokes in our garden. Not to be confused with the other type of artichokes, they aren't really artichokes at all, but tubers - they are like little potatoes, but knobbly and gnarly and sweeter and smokier.. they look like this:

They are yummy when roasted or fried, but the other day I made a soup, which Matt enjoyed very much.. basically I cooked them with butter and onions and stock and pepper, then pureed it all and got this.......

Also, they make you fart. Lots.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Veges are good

Well winter is definitely upon us now - there is snow on the Southern Alps and we can see our breath while we lie in bed at night. But never fear, because we have a spectacular vege patch to help us through the cold winter months...

Here is what the patch looked like when we moved in in February - I'd just planted some seedlings:

And now things have gone wild and veges (and weeds) are growing everywhere:

We have: silverbeet, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radiches (yuck), and even some jerusalem artichokes (planted before we arrived). Not to mention a large selection of herbs. I am off out there now to gather some bounty to make a hearty vege soup. Mmmmmm veges.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Matt makes a new friend

Well, the whole point of these posts are to provide an insight into our lives now that we live in the country. NOT as a forum for architectural wank, despite the impression Matt's last post may have given. To rectify the situation, I thought I'd share a pic from Saturday night - at the local pub. All was going well until the local rugby team popped in to have a round of beers - this young gentleman took a particular shining to Matthew....

In all a pretty ordinary night at the Angler's Arms.


Boyd Motel

Last year I made a stillborn attempt to buy the Robin Boyd designed Dower House. A few well-dressed guys mocked my borrowing power and I never even raised my hand to bid. I left the auction dejected and sulking, but mortgage-free.

And now it's up for rent. At $1500 per week I still can't afford it, but it looks as lovely as ever.

Boyd was one of Australia's most prominent post-war architects and a vocal advocate for the development of an Australian style that suited the climate and surrounds. The Dower house is a compact representation of his ideas

The Dower house is right by Boyd's Baker House, arguably his finest work, and sits nearby to a studio designed by Sir Roy Grounds. That's some pretty impressive architecture sitting in the bush outside of Melbourne

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Cushion #1

Today we made a cushion for our sofa. Lil bought some linen and a cushion from a fabric shop and sewed a 50 x 50cm cover. She has an old Bernina sewing machine which she says is the best: simple and built in Switzerland to last, like the watches. I then drew some cyclists with a black Sharpie pen and after a quick iron it was done. And now the wooden sofa arms don't dig in so much.