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Chill Out Chicken

Rochelle Elliot. Writing with a side of chit chat.

The Reluctant Adventurer

This week I was very adventurous. I walked up a mountain!

Okay. It was more of a hill. But it was a really, really BIG hill. The kind with zigzag paths and steps to climb.

Here’s the thing though.

Rochelle Elliot does not climb hills.

Let me take you back to a time when Rochelle Elliot did climb hills.

In my teenage years, I was quite the seasoned climber. We lived at the top of Harbour View Road. The very top. From the bottom of the hill to the top was just over one kilometre, all upwards, except a wee bit in the middle that sort of evened out to give your legs enough of a break to make the last push upwards for home.

It wasn’t easy. But on the days I couldn’t mooch a ride off my cousin and his co-workers at the car yard on my way home, I had to hoist my back pack high and power walk upwards.

I was fit. I was strong. And I was quick…

Quick to retire from hill walking the moment my drivers licence was officially attained and I took ownership of my beautiful first car, an orange mini clubman with the same coloured roof and no stripes.

Since then, hills and my feet have remained aloof. I admire them from a distance, and bless my little petrol driven chariot for getting me up and down them.

However. Something happened last week. My sister Jacqui encouragingly suggested we fulfill the often talked about desire to walk to Butterfly Creek, as our Nana used to do. Now my desire had been shared in a sort of wistful, it will never happen but wouldn’t it be lovely, but it will never happen kind of way. However here was my lovely sister, keen and eager and feeling very positive about making this walking up the hill to Butterfly Creek thing an actual, real thing.

I did not hesitate to offer up a number of very worthwhile excuses;

  1. It sounded like hard work.
  2. We could surely find something with less of a gradient to achieve, perhaps something involving pots of tea and hot chips?
  3. There is a law about not partaking in strenuous activities between Christmas and New Year. (If there isn’t there should be.)
  4. I don’t want to.

I stand by my very valid reasons. But here’s where something happened, and we should consider the possibility it may have involved some kind of voodoo mind control by external forces. For I awoke on Friday morning and thought,

“Well, it’s sunny and warm and how hard could it be?”

We chose to begin our Butterfly Creek adventure from Muritai Road, beside the bus barn in Eastbourne. The other start point is Kowhai Street in Eastbourne.

butterfly-creek
http://www.gw.govt.nz/Butterfly-Creek/

It was hard. All the hideous hill memories came flooding back and I won’t lie, there were murderous moments on the upward incline. It’s okay.  My sister is still alive. Mostly because my burning thighs couldn’t catch up to her 5 metres ahead on the track. And to her full credit, and showing her strength and determination, she remained positive and happy in the face of by moaning and complaining and evil glares.

And you know what, the walk to Butterfly Creek is hard, but it’s also quite fabulous! The flat bits are lovely. Dappled sunshine softly warmed us through the canopy of native fauna. Plenty of opportunities to give the tired, over stimulated brain a bit of rest and relaxation, and how nice is it to switch off all the electronic devices and gently stumble through the bush that sits right on our door step, and we so often take for granted?

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Climbing with cricket bat – of course.

We were an eclectic bunch of bush walkers. The kids brought a cricket bat with them, taking turns to carry it and transform it in to walking stick or wasp zapper when needed. We all sort of fanned out along the track and tried our best not to hold up the real hikery walkery types, with their fearsome thighs and strong calf muscles, wrapped tightly in active sports wear leggings. running up the steps like they were on an escalator at David Jones and some one had just announced the Kate Spade beautiful things were half price!

There were no Kate Spades, but Butterfly Creek is lovely. There are no butterflies. It’s best you know that before you get going. The name doesn’t have a clear origin, but it is thought it came about from a shape seen when looking up at the hill, where a lighter coloured section of bush was shaped like a butterfly.

But even without butterflies, after the upward hike, you will find a peaceful picnic spot, a beautiful beech tree forest, and a sunny creekside spot to reflect on the history of the area.

In the 1940’s, Butterfly Creek was a camping ground, and there was even a kiosk up the hill there, selling cups of tea and scones! And the people who camped there would walk down to Eastbourne to the local movie theatre, and then hike back over the hill by torch light when their film was finished.

Now this was before they put the zigzags in the track. What does that tell you about how fit and active those people were? They probably skipped up to Butterfly Creek, their powerful and sturdy legs carrying them upwards, nattering and nibbling on their left over popcorn!

We had our lunch under the beech trees. Our  cookie time cookies were well deserved, and my marmite and cheese sandwiches gave me sustenance for the return leg, this time via the Kowhai Track.

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Husband, Daughter, Sister, little Ashton in thebackground, and check out the view!

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Gluteous Sore-eous and burnis thigh-eous. We stumbled from the track a bit sweaty and a bit tired, but yes, begrudgingly, I had to admit to my sister that it indeed felt good to have challenged myself.

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Jac and I, looking fabulously fit and adventurous!

It’s not the kind of thing I would ever choose to do. Rochelle Elliot still doesn’t like hills. But it was an excellent start to my very loose idea of being more active and mildly more fit in 2017. And the icecream at the end was delicious!

So maybe, after Butterfly Creek, we can say:

Rochelle Elliot does not climb (many) hills.

My next adventure might have less inclines and more reclines. A nice walk some where flat, maybe close to a cafe that sells hot chips? I think it’s very important to load up on carbs when you’re being adventurous.

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Isabelle and I, and the view!

Butterfly Creek Info: http://tracks.org.nz/track/show/96

Great balls of fire – throwing down some cricket advice for unsuspecting parents.

It was your classic pre-Christmas Wellington cricket morning. Not the nice kind, with the blue water sparkling in the harbour, stretching out on a picnic rug under a rich warm sun that promises you cider on the deck later and a mountain of dry washing.

No, I’m talking about the other classic Wellington cricket morning. The less favoured but equally as Wellington type of day. The clouds a heavy grey, hung their soggy mass over our heads in threatening indecision. Gusts of wind blew across the pitch while small arms bowled an extravagance of wides that neither team could afford.

All the while, a smattering of brave parents hovered in protective fashion over the score book and some of us questioned why our kids had to choose cricket. Surely there was something more indoors they would like to try? Like ping pong, or yoga!

One diligent mother rose from her camping chair (that would be me,) folding it down so it wouldn’t blow away. She rolled her shoulders a few times, and did a few lunges.

She zipped her puffa jacket up over her thermal singlet and wool jersey, and followed her daughter out on to the damp grass for the ritual throw downs.

Throw downs. Makes you think of wrestling moves yes? It sounds a bit daunting and it is, for the thrower downer. Not so much for the bat wielding junior.

For when our darling offspring step onto the lofty fields of hard ball cricket, the small child is padded from head to toe in protective clothing. They jolly along with padded up legs and solid protective helmets, their thighs guarded and their future reproductiveness encased in molded plastic.

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So when it’s time for throw downs, they move like small cowboys and cowgirls, wide legs mosey over the grass to mark out their spot. They check their stance then turn and wait.

And that’s when this brave mother steps forward.

The cherry red ball is an innocuous tool, required to be thrown to (at?) the small child to assist in ‘getting their eye in’ – a term popular with their team mates and coaches. From my years of cricket parenting knowledge, I have determined that said throw downs are an important thing for your child to have, so that when they go in to bat, they are ready to achieve the morning cricket batting goals. Cricket batting goals come in different forms but mostly consist of two main areas. Score runs. And don’t get out.
So how does one throw down (to) their child? The ball holder (me) throws the ball in an unskilled shoulder to ground type motion towards the child and the bat they are holding. The shoulder to ground motion thankfully alleviates the anxiety of having to run up and attempt some type of cricket overarm bowling motion when let’s face it, the only time my arm really gets stretched above my head is when I’m trying to reach the chips I stashed at the back of the top cupboard so the kids wouldn’t eat them before I did.

Now, this is where I begin to question my heroic offer to provide throw downs, because when a child is standing in front of you, in pretty much full body armor, and is holding a big wooden bat, the briefly held belief that perhaps I could have been an excellent cricketer in my youth, had I been picked for the third form cricket team, is quickly replaced by other more urgent feelings.

These feelings come under three main subsections.

  • Fear.

Those bloody red cricket balls are like missiles. The crack of bat as it connects with the ball is a warning signal to get the hell out of the way. Let’s face it. The child holding the bat is still developing their cricket skills, and often has no real idea where they intend the ball to go.

Any sensible parent, I believe, should respond with their emergency management training – drop, cover, and hold on to a tuft of grass. Then pray your body is now a small enough turtle shape to avoid being struck by the great ball of fire.

But there’s a problem. Because inevitably some other parent, having watched your supportive and involved parenting offer to throw down, will rise from their camping chair, and swagger along side you and your off spring, acting all brave and fearless. They will attempt to actually catch the red ball of fire as it hurtles past their left eyebrow, therefore shaming you out of your turtle posture and forcing you to pretend you are enjoying yourself.

It is wise at this point to yell encouraging things at your child,

‘Nice one!’

‘Good shot!’

This moves attention away from your (lack of) cricketing skills, so when the ball comes your way, people are looking at your child and their incredible batting stance, not at you instigating the fire service approved, ‘stop drop and roll’ manoeuvre.

 

  • Sweat.

The problem with throw downs is that while the child is busy ‘getting their eye in,’ they are constantly striking at the ball, and often whacking it across the grass.

And you can guess whose job it is to run and collect the ball, run back, throw it down again, only to have it whacked back across the grass leading to more running.

Your thermal wool layers will be stripped off as you jog back and forth in your skinny jeans, dreaming of a caramel shot in an extra tall latte cup and the magazine you somewhat ambitiously brought with you, in the hopes of a nice relaxing time reading all about the latest one direction star and who he’s having a baby with.

It is at this point, you will realise that in the haste to get everyone out the door at 7.40 on a Saturday morning, you regretfully used the time you should taken to apply deodorant, to smothering your children in SPF80, despite the forecast for gale force southerlies and showers. The true sacrifice of missing your Rexona moment will become apparent through your very sweaty arm pits.

Now, even though you will be breathless, with a layer of sweat growing under your bra (if you remembered to put one on,) be weary of taking advice from your child, who will inevitably try to share their cricket knowledge and skills with you  –

‘Mum, if you catch the ball you won’t have to run as far.’

‘Get your body behind it.’

They suggest these things like they won’t result in a concussion or a broken finger.
Which links us to our original subsection ‘fear’ and onward to our next one,-

  • Injury.

While I admire the effort and skill of cricketers, and am in awe of my daughter’s bravery,  and her willingness to spend her Saturday mornings having a small hard object hurtled down the pitch at her, I have little desire to experience this first hand. I am a happy spectator.
So when, in a moment of parenting pluckiness, you decide to give throw downs, I want you to know the risks. It turns out if you don’t catch the flaming red angry missile ball in the correct way, it bloody well hurts – your fingers will bend in ways they aren’t supposed to and your hands will smart and sting.

If you attempt to stop the ball with your foot, you will discover the real pain that can come from that little toe that you never really think about, and if you get distracted by someone arriving with a tray of coffees or become perturbed by a nearby conversation regarding the new episodes of Gilmore Girls, you’ll end up with a bruise the size of a saucer on your left thigh. Because only the children get the padding.

And that doesn’t even cover the self inflicted accidents .

Take for example last Saturday morning. 

My fully padded and helmeted child whacks the cricket ball of fire across the grass, an excellent shot that traveled on to the concrete driveway running the length of the cricket grounds.

I am following all the rules of parental throw downs. First I offer praise,‘great shot’ I yell, as I instigate a sort of twist, drop, cover and roll move when the ball comes hurtling my way. Pleased to have avoided bodily contact, I then break into a run, chasing the ball off the grass, over the edge of the gutter and on to the driveway.

But here is where things get bad. Because the ball speeds up on the concrete, and so in a moment without serious thought of the consequences, I speed up too.

I transverse the changing landscape and miscalculate the change in altitudes between the grass and the concrete driveway. At which point the driveway seems to rise up before me, and in slow motion my body moves out of it’s usual vertical stance, follows a downward trending arc, until my feet can no longer grip the ground and I am thrust – THRUST! across the tarmac and I slide to a stop, only a few metres from where the red demon rolls to a halt in the gutter – a smug look of satisfaction on its cricket ball face.

A quick resurrection to an upright position, I ignore the searing pain of my scraped hands, the feeling of my bloody knees under my jeans. The throb of my right shoulder.

A quick check confirms that yes, the other grown ups did see my display of athletic prowess, but I am ever grateful that no one does that awful thing where they point out your lack of bodily control by standing up and yelling,-

OH MY GOD ARE YOU OKAY????????

Instead, I limp in a casual nonchalant fashion, back to my padded daughter, who leans casually on her cricket bat, shakes her helmeted head, and cheerfully consoles me…

“Awe mum, you weren’t even running that fast!”

And that’s why I’ll leave the great balls of fire to the real cricketers!

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Power Bills, Telly Visioning, Scribing and Cute Puppies

Good Afternoon my lovely chickens!

No need to chill out, if you’re in Kiwiland. The last couple of weeks have been a shock to the system after a summer that seemed to meander into Autumn and other than the increasingly rainy days that were coming through Welly, I had been lulled into a false sense of warmth. Then BOOM! The temperatures have dropped, the heaters on and the power bill is growing every day.

~ Friends ~ Not many can say they have real friends. So when you find one that's rare keep them close. ❤:
source: pinterest

I’ve got one of those nifty apps on my phone that tell us how much power we use each day. It’s really just a means of torture. Because I only ever realise the kids have been in the shower for half an hour, AFTER they’ve been in the shower for half an hour. And unless there is sunshine, that heater is staying on. So I just growl at the power dollars as they keep going up, and remind myself it will be summer again soon. With all the flies and the sweaty nights and the constant onslaught of wet togs left to fester in forgotten swimming bags.

I really am very hard to please in the weather arena!

Now, I’m aware it’s been a rather lengthy amount of time between blog posts. But that’s because I’ve been working very hard in the writing department. And I’ve also been very hard at work watching Suits.

If you have not seen Suits, oh you are missing out. Drama, romance, intrigue, good looking men in suits, smart and clever women, also in stunning suits and dresses, with equally impressive handbags, which every woman with brains and street smarts and clever pithy comebacks has a right to demand.

Now Suits has been out since 2011, so I was very late to the party. But I managed to get through seasons 1-4 in a remarkably short time. Helped by a couple of days full of a random virus, that left me bed bound with only Harvey, Mike, Donna, Rachel, Jessica and oh it wouldn’t be suits without the fabulous Louis Litt…

Source: Wikia.com

If you’re looking for something a bit more moody to get you through the winter months, Bloodline is an excellent drama come thriller that will fill you with despair, drag you up with a flash of hope, only to pull you back under with the weight of the secrets and lies that twist and tangle their way through the Rayburn family.

I found the bad brother, Danny, to be almost such an appalling human being, that even his difficult past wasn’t enough to balance my feelings towards him. Credit to Ben Mendelsohn who plays the part so well.

 

On the other hand, Kyle Chandler, who we all fell in love with on Friday Night Lights, is the guy caught in a crappy situation. He’s law enforcement, but he’s trapped by family loyalty, guilt and fear. He says FUCK a lot. Be prepared. Coach never said Fuck in Friday Night Lights, probably one of those differences about shows made for tv channels and those made for netflix where the language censorship is a bit looser? It took me a while to get over the shock. But Chandler is excellent in the role of John Rayburn and it only took a couple of episodes before I stopped visualising him in a cap and kahki shorts!

 

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source: latimes

Netflix have just recently released season 2 of Bloodline, but I’m giving myself a wee break from the intensity so I won’t be able to talk about it with you for a while!

In the writing department, you will no doubt be pleased to know that my year of getting stuff finished is steadily chugging along. I have three completed short stories, and I am closing in on the last few chapters of ‘the book.’

37,000 words have been scribed so far, with the intended total being around 50,000. Now temper your excitement. This is a first draft. So there’s a fair way to go before I can offer it for your reading pleasure. But would you like a little peak behind the scenes?

Okay. The title is The Hidden Agenda. oooo – sounds good doesn’t it! The male protagonist has a name, Denton Bear. He’s a business executive who has just recently become the CEO of Passion Media. Where the female protagonist works as an investigative journalist. I can’t tell you her name because I’m not sure it’s going to make the cut. It’s become apparent that the name I originally chose isn’t hers at all. But when her real name becomes apparent, you will be the first to know!

It’s a romance set in the midst of a dirty political scandal. Two things I’m quite fond of. I’ve been watching a few episodes of House of Cards lately to keep me in the zone.

*disclaimer – I do not only watch television, which this blog post may suggest. I go outside sometimes and squint in the sunlight.

So that’s what’s happening in the World of Wellychelle. The kids have both taken on Saturday morning sport – netball and football (the round ball one) so it’s thermal layers and woolen hats at the ready.

And I can’t have an update without mentioning Monty the nephew dog, who lets me hang out with him during the week sometimes. He likes an afternoon nap, and likes to watch telly with me. Even if it’s just his own reflection.

 

I’ve run out of time, but I want you to know I’ve been reading books too! I will put some reviews up in the coming days! In particular, I’ve enjoyed Marian Keyes, Making it up as I go along, listened to The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton, a challenging style of writing, and Station Eleven, which provided our book club with an excellent discussion over tea and cake and waffles. I’ve gone back to a fav author now, Sarah Kate Lynch, and have just started Heavenly Hirani’s School of Laughing Yoga.

Okay, I better dash or I’ll be late for assembly. Thanks for tuning in and for your continued support.

WellyChelle xxx

 

Happy Easter Chickens!

Sending love and best wishes to you all this lovely Easter Sunday!  

Thornton Beach, Whakatane 

Amazing how New Zealand’s beaches are all so different and unique.

Some wonderfully wild and moody energy at Thornton Beach this morning.

 

Road Trip Treasures

This Easter break, we decided to break with tradition and road trip to places unseen!

We are spending the weekend in Whakatane, hot pools, beach walks and Cobb and Co are on the list.

But we started our adventure with a bit of tradition. 

The Elliot Clan, when travelling up the North Island, always stop in Waiouru. The army museum cafe does the best hot chips, is large and kid friendly, and has a gift shop! Oh, and clean and tidy loos. 

It’s been our pit stop place since before the kids were filling up the back seat with their demands for biscuits and chippies and their sighs and groans when I tell them how we road tripped when I was young. No back seat DVD players or Macdonalds every two towns! 

Added benefit comes from the tanks and grassy places for cramped up kids to let off some steam! 

  
Do you have a favourite spot when you road trip? 

Notebook Notions

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If you happen to follow me on the Facebooks, http://www.facebook.com/wellychelle for those of you who wish to catch up… you will know that I was in a serious state of unease last week.
My writing goal at the moment is to finish what I start. But I was confounded by the misplacement of the notebook that held the endings of two of the pieces of work I was wanting to complete.
I’m not good when I lose bits of work. I tend towards a stroppy internal dialogue that goes something like this:
– I have to accept it’s missing and maybe try writing it again. 
– But I don’t want to write it again. 
– But you have to because you need an end. You don’t want all that hard work to go to waste.
– But the ending I wrote in the first place was really good, and I can’t even remember the names I was using of that man at the beach and that other man who was knocking on the door.
– But you could make up new names. You like researching names.
– But the old names were good names. And it won’t be the same. 
– It might still be good though?
– But I will never know if it is good, or great, compared to the one I’ve lost. And anyway. If i just look through the notebooks again, it might turn up.
– But you’ve looked through them 12 times already. 
– I know but I don’t want to do the ending again.
– Why?
– Because. 
– Because why?
– Because I need to eat a timtam. Or a marshmallow. Oh look, Sweet Home Alabama is on Netflix! 
Etc Etc Etc… you see how I don’t get anywhere fast.
Well, I have exciting news Chicken’s!
Hold on to your hats, because… something magical and wonderful happened this afternoon,

I FOUND THE ENDINGS!

Yes, I found the notebook with the endings I needed.
 
I know you will be wondering where they were, so I will tell you.
Well you see, being the owner of 23 notebooks, it appears one or two of them got distracted and fell down behind the plastic container of paper and bits of stuff that the last time I cleaned out I thought best to keep, just in case I needed them.
 
This afternoon rolled around, and feeling pretty swanky and pleased with myself after a very successful shopping outing (more of that later) I decided I was well enough behind on my filing and sorting that it was time to go through all the bits of paper, the school newsletters, the pizza flyers, the used batteries, hair bobbles and pens that don’t work.  and biff stuff out.
Of course, I only biff out the stuff I didn’t think I should biff out last time I was having a biff out. The rest of the stuff I file away, so I can biff it out next time.

This is how it works for most people, yes?

Anyway, I got through the lounge pile of paper, the bedroom pile and the stuff that was balancing on the bookcase. Then I needed a place to store the stuff I’d decided to keep, and am going to biff out next time. And that was when I remembered the plastic container where last time I had stored some stuff to throw out later.
I had to pull it out of the bedroom cupboard, and when I did a pile of stuff fell down. Table clothes, pillow cases. An empty sunblock tube and a pair of earphones. And so I scooped them all up, and there, beneath the rubble, and beside the plant encyclopedia and the pictures I haven’t hung up yet because I’ve only lived in my house for 18 months and the walls are concrete and I keep forgetting… well there, my friends, was a pile of notebooks!
Not just one notebook, but 3! So I should probably tell you I have been lying to you. I don’t own 23 notebooks, I own 26.
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No, 27! Because my fabulous friend Davina gave me the best notebook ever for my birthday. It’s the Best Notebook Ever because it has cats on it and in it. Hold on I will show you… 
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AND… that’s not all… it came with matching pens!
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See how they all match and belong together!

So you see, I share with notebooks a never ending love affair. I’m not addicted to notebooks, I simply form deep loving relationships with the potential of each bound volume of blank pages.
I’ve analysed the situation, and have come to the conclusion that I definitely do NOT have too many notebooks. I simply need a better system for keeping track of them.
Jamie Gandee
Perhaps, if I get a new notebook, I could use it to make a list of the notebooks I have, and the places they are placed around the house…

Yes. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to buy a notebook for my notebooks!

Credits:
Always keep a notebook handy, Quoted from: Jamie Gandee  lh4.googleusercontent.com/-usGsnmEbTE8/TYi9bNvLEjI/AAAAAAAAADU/x-CBCMwj-j4/s640/Inspiration.jpg

Enthusiastic Shrub Shopping

Listen my Chickens. I’m the first to admit I’m not remarkably green of thumb. If you saw the state of the garden at the front of my house, you’d be hard pressed not to notice the giant weed like mint plant that popped up of its own accord, grew to the size of the other giant plants in the garden and then just as quickly decided to shrivel up and die. 

I believe it was mocking me, for swaggering around pretending I had grown it there on purpose

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Dead looking mint and other assorted weeds.

The thing is, even though I approach gardening in a sort of, suck it up and get out there when the weeds mean I can no longer see the bark, kind of way, there are aspects of gardening I do very much enjoy. 

First up, looking at gardens. I do love admiring a nice weed free patch. I am fond of admiring the different shapes of plants, and the different shades of green, and the flowers that pop out of no where!

For example, the other week I looked up at the hanging basket by the front porch and thought hmm, time to let that baby go. It looked like the grassy plants from last year were on their last legs, wilted and unhealthy, and the basket a bit dilapidated. Now being a practicing participant in the form of gardening that requires much procrastination before action is actually taken, I thought steadily and carefully about the process of actually reaching up and taking the basket down, and if I could recycle the basket with a bit of paint or if I would need a while new one. And should I buy another one for the other side of the porch so as to make it even? And while I was busy thinking carefully about these things, a miraculous thing happened… the half dead plant suddenly sprung to life, and I drove up the driveway one afternoon to a basket full of beautiful white flowers on long green stems! I was flabbergasted, for when I had purchased the plants in the basket, I had not realised there would be flowers in the future, I had simply liked the grassy greenness. So I did my swanky garden queen nod and patted myself on the back for my surprising skill. 

But, darling chickens, I have discovered a new aspect of gardening, that makes it even more fabulous… 

SHOPPING!

That is right. Shopping for plants is wonderful. On so many levels. 

Level One – Fear free Fair trade Shopping.

It’s the kind of shopping that does not make you feel bad that the plants were made by slave labour by an 8 year old girl denied an education.

Level Two – Environmental Shopping.

Buying plants is good for the environment. When you buy plants you are helping the world. That’s right – THE WORLD. You can choose plants that are native and will be good for the birds and the bees, and we all know how important bees are.

Level Three – Selflessly helping others Shopping.

You can choose plants that make cats feel good (cat nip) and plants that feed people (herbs and vegetables) and before you know it, you’ve got that feel good feeling all the way from the tips of your toes to your little gardening nose!

Level Four – Push free Shopping.

That’s right. I’m not sure what it is about garden centres, but they seem to be one of the last bastions of letting the customer wander around without making them feel like they need to interact with a desperate sales assistant, who no doubt is being watched by three managers as they follow their scripted sales pitch. You know the one, 

“Oh, that coral colour cardie is ‘so in’ this season, and it so suits you. It really brings out the blueness of your pale white skin.” 

 Rather, at a garden centre, you can push your trolley around the aisles, free to weigh up if you want the luscious lemon coloured geranium or if you might go for the ravishing red. If you go in to buy some strawberry plants, it is your own fault if you come out with a giant pot with 16 holes for the strawberries to dangle out of, and 2 giant bags of strawberry potting mix, more expensive than the normal mix because of the special strawberry growing properties.

It is not likely you will be accosted on your way toward the strawberries, by a sales assistant insisting that strawberries are so last season, that feijoas are the way to go, and before you know it, you’ve got 6 trees sticking out the back car window, even though you can’t stand feijoas!

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These are Feijos. Sorry if you’re a lover of them. But YUCK YUCK!

This week, on Monday the 7th of March, it was my birthday. A non-remarkable one, I simply turned 38, and celebrated by watching telly all day and eating chips. But in the middle of my day of relaxing, I popped out for lunch with my family, and my Mum and Dad gave me a voucher for some new plants for my corner garden, the one that is weed free and ready for plants before the weeds grow again. 

I took my voucher out yesterday, and we had a glorious time. I admit it was a wee bit windy. In Wellington talk, that means it was Southerly gusting 100km and when I opened the boot, the kids’ swim ring flew out and in seconds had skipped across the vast car park and over the fence. I’m assuming it’s in Taupo by now. 

Even with wild hair and the need for a puffa jacket, I had a lovely time choosing my plants. There are a number of things that I look for in a plant. But most importantly, the name has to sit well with me.

I found a couple of lovely little rata called “wee willy winky” which was just so cute not to get. The hebe I chose because it has pretty flowers, but mostly because it’s called Icing Sugar. Like crossing over lovely things! 

For years I could never remember the name Clematis. A Clematis is a lovely climber with very pretty flowers. I’ve always called it a clitoris, which is close enough. This caused much merriment and mirth when I informed my sister and husband I was very happy to have my very own pretty pink one!

See I told you – plant shopping really is a wonderful part of gardening. Now I just need the wind to ease off so I can dig some holes and get them in the ground! 

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My Beautiful Boot full of Green Things!

 

 

Thanks and Credits:
Fejoa image credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acca_sellowiana

Destination Dirt

A couple of trees and a pair of bees,

Down the back of the yard.

Flax and Grass,

A tree at last!

Down the back of the yard…

That’s right chickens, I’ve been back in the great outdoors! Not my natural environment. I’m more often found on comfortable beds, with telly and books and sometimes biscuits. Okay, usually biscuits.

However! We have been in our house for over a year now, and I’m finally getting the hang of the one triangle of garden we created from a corner of weeds.

So in a burst of DIY friskiness, I decided to make my own pavers to edge off the garden. I was helped along the way by a broken plate, which I used for the white pavers.

The garden needs a few more plants, mostly to cut back on the number of weeds I have to pull out. Oh how I hate weeds. I am going to get some kind of weed matting / bark chips. Which is HILARIOUS because before I had to pull weeds out of a giant garden I was quite agin to bark. But if it makes the weed growth and removal easier, I am going to love me some bark!

But in the mean time, here’s the garden ‘in progress.’

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