Sunday, July 28, 2013

Old haunts

I've been relaxing in Whakatane for a week now! The cat remembers me (phew), I can still play the piano (kinda), and I'm making slow but steady progress on my honeycomb cardigan. :)

This weekend my brother and his entourage came to visit, and we went exploring at the beach...

(click the photos to enlarge)

A feed of excellent fish & chips at the Ohiwa Oyster Farm

A stroll at West End, Ohope's traditional surf spot

West End has the best climbing-rocks!

Rocks covered in baby mussels

Wet sand with air holes for hidden shellfish

It sounds like Willie's having a fantastic, busy time in New York, and he's promised lots of photos when he gets a chance to sit down and sort them out.
I will just have to be patient. ;)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A little flying music

This time tomorrow I'll be on the plane!

I'm not scared of flying, luckily, but I don't like airports one bit. I just keep thinking of all the different things that could go wrong to make me miss my connecting flight, lose my luggage, etc etc. Hopefully as I get more practice with international travel I'll be less stressed about it.

I'm packing a range of amusements in my carry-on bag to keep me occupied, as it'll be a whole day of travel. So far I've rounded up a book (Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird), my kindle, some knitting, and my mp3 player.

A few days ago I loaded some new music onto my mp3 player that will make nice comforting/familiar/distracting travel music. I went for Beethoven piano sonatas, which I used to really enjoy playing back when I was still in practice. I'm looking forward to dusting off my old tomes of sonatas in Whakatane.

This is my 'official favourite' bit of Beethoven: the finale of Sonata No. 32. It's a long series of variations on the initial simple theme, and there are some lovely surprises along the way - starlike trills and other beautiful moments, but also a section around the 7min mark that sounds suspiciously like jazz, a hundred years early! Enjoy...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This week in absurdity

I knit a bunch of strawberries, green caps and all, and attached them to a teacosy in the shape of a pavlova. Why? Because this year the Royal Melbourne Show is holding a 'Great Tea Cosy Swap', and some Yarn Corner crafters are getting involved. I figured the sillier the better!

My strawberries (which took a surprisingly long time)

The finished cosy!

For the body of the teacosy, I used a pattern for a beehive teacosy, which I've used before. My beehive one has a little bee on top, naturally. 

I am sorely tempted to keep this one for myself, so I may end up making another for the swap... ;)

In other news, we're moving again! Just across town this time, to a suburb called Brunswick. It'll be a change from the CBD, and we're looking forward to having cheap fruit and veg shops and bakeries nearby. I'm also excited about being able to grow a few herbs and flowers again - our current apartment doesn't have so much as a sunny windowsill, but our new place has a deck and a balcony that should be great for potplants. We'll also have air-conditioning this summer, which will be a huge deal for me (heat is not my friend).

The big move is in mid-August, but we're running around madly organising it now because... we're both going overseas for a few weeks first! Willie will be off on a dream trip to New York City, and I'll be heading back to New Zealand to visit my family in Whakatane.

We bought some very necessary suitcases yesterday, a medium-sized one for Willie and a little carry-on case for me. I yarn-bombed them forthwith.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I've been sick with a disgusting chesty cold for the past week and a half. Ewww. I don't recall ever having a chest infection before (usually my colds are all sore throat and runny nose), and I lost my voice almost completely, which was also a new one for me. At least I got some novelty with my misery. :p

I finally started feeling more normal this morning, and even got to leave the house (woohoo) for a gentle stroll over the river and back. 

I did get lots of knitting done, in between cups of tea and coughing fits. I took a break from the cardigan, and had a go at knitting my first pair of toe-up socks. I used Morag's Basic Adult Toe-Up Sock Pattern, and her Vintage Purls Max DK-weight sock yarn (to speed up the process, and because I wanted extra-thick wintery socks). Four sick-days later, I have a pair of socks! They fit pretty well, but are a little roomy in the heel. I've made notes for which tweaks I want to make in the next pair. I have two more skeins of Max to play with.

The colour is called 'Teal Death Do Us Part' :)

Apart from knitting, I've been watching a lot of documentaries in an attempt to stay somewhat sane. David Attenborough's Africa series is full of stunning visuals, and a bit easier on a foggy brain than Wonders of Life (which I'm going to save for later). We also discovered an amazing series called Great Artists in their Own Words.