Saturday, 28 September 2013

Letter from New Zealand (September 2013)

Since returning to NZ at the beginning of August, the routine of school, work and domestic chores has seemed to predominate, in fact I look forward to my UK visits as I seem to get more time to concentrate on textiles. I am looking forward to seeing the Makers Mark exhibition at the gallery, to buying Helen Parrott’s new book which is all about making marks for textiles, what an amazing coincidence that was. And for the Xmas exhibition, the Beetroot Tree staff and partners have selected their own choices of artists. I have invited two of my favourite textile artists, Viv Pridaeux and Matthew Harris – both well known, very collectable and I can’t wait to see the exhibition.
I will also be travelling to several embroidery groups and have to prepare for the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate in November. If you will be at one of the lectures or the show, please drop by and say hello.

I often get asked how are we the family doing?, so a quick run down for you:
Apart from it being exam time, the girls have been enjoying some special times.
Amber has been in a cupcake frenzy this term as she is attending cake decorating classes, so each week more cakes have to be prepared for icing. She has been having tremendous fun making flowers, figures and animals. To counter this I am trying to go running and swimming more often as I would hate to refuse to sample the creations!


Last week we also went to a talk by Kathy Reichs, who is her favourite author and role model. 

Amber meets Kathy

Bryony has been concentrating on exams but has just had her end of school ball, after which she spent the next day asleep, so I guess it was good!

Bryony, in the middle with the charcoal dress

Alex has now joined us, having completed his degree in the UK. As he has not started work yet, both Brian and I are making good use of him. Brian’s motorbike needed a good overhaul, which takes two bodies, and is coming along very nicely now. For me, Alex has been chopping trees, turning over the garden and planting vegetable seedlings. So we have various pumpkins, courgettes, sweetcorn, beetroot (of course), broccoli, spinach, peppers, chillies, peas, broad beans, butter beans, tomatoes and cucumber so far. We have left room for the kumara which are due into the shops in a couple of weeks. This year will be an experiment to see how things grow. The soil is very clay like and we know that it gets dry in the summer, so we will need to keep adding as much compost and water as we can. Eventually the aim is to grow much more, but small steps and learning on a limited scale will be very useful I think.

The dogs love chasing balls on the beach and swim in the sea most days, but dogs being dogs, they would enjoy being anywhere so long as they get food and love! 
For details of what I have been up to, have a glance at my blog
In NZ the days are drawing out now and spring is definitely around. Though the flowering plants don’t seem to care what season it is! We have camellias and rhododendrons, freesias and crocosmia, cherry blossom and jasmine all happily flowering, some have even continued through the winter. I suppose the imported plants just go with the climate conditions they are used to and don’t care what the season is! Neither do I, the scent of jasmine and freesia in the air is welcome at any time and to see both familiar and unusual flowers is fabulous.

I suppose one day I will get inured to the green and red flash of the parrots and the petrol blue and green kingfishers sitting on the power cables and the strange song of the Tui, but not too soon I hope.

Thinking of you all,

No comments:

Post a Comment