Tuesday, October 30, 2007


We were away almost 3 weeks.
The herb garden has undergone a re-birth, dormant plants are out of hiding and flowering, blueberries are fruiting, the sycamore is no longer skeletal but covered in green finery hiding the neighbours.
3 weeks of non-stop action, movement, busi-ness. Up at 7 for breakfast, into the coach by 9, a couple of hours free time in the afternoon,dinners in amazing places, bed hopefully by 1 am (except for the occasional self induced 4 am -er)
Singapore for 2 days together before the event, nothing to report, just together time enjoying the warmth, walking and talking.
Paris - everything I expected and more -
- on the taxi ride in from the airport we did a circle of the Arc de Triomphe, at rush hour - adrenalin!
- Sephora - right next door to our hotel on the Champs Elysees, girly heaven
- walking, upwards of 10k a day with Flash, just experiencing the city
- La Droguerie - I went, I figured out the system, I bought!
(Alison, you inspired me, I HAD to buy there just to say that I had done it...for both of us!)
- Bon Marche droguerie - I went, I figured out the system, I bought!
not much, 3 balls of silk garden lite in a hitherto unseen colourway, 4 balls of Bouton D'or "Songe", some regia in a kaffe Fassett colourway, loads of buttons and braids.
- Celebrity spotting in our hotel
- Macaroons at LaDuree
- lunch in a bistro in St Germain, next to a little old woman who from time to time squeezed my arm and smiled at me.
- making friends with the most unlikely people in our group.
- 28 thousand kiwis in Paris, and they LOVED us!
- the mexican wave that did 5 circuits of the stadium during the Pumas game - awesome.
The Loire Valley:
- staying in a 16th century chateau, situated on 100 acres
- wandering the oak forests by myself, going off the path to take photos - which I ceased doing after an adder was found in a third floor room...
- the bike ride to Luyns
- wine and cheese matching at Vouvray, buying special presents which I can't discuss yet.
- Petanque lessons with a team, lots of laughter, lots of wine, and I found out that I am a champion "smasher"
- Dinners at beautiful medeival places that i thought would end horribly - and discovering that our hosts thought that we were wonderful, spirited and gave the places "ambience"
London, didn't go as well as we had hoped due to the fact that we were ill, but we walked and caught buses and tubes, and saw everything you need to see - thanks for the list Alison, Paperchase was amazing, Marylebone rd took us an afternoon! and I bought a weekender bag from Cath Kidston as my birthday present from my parents.No yarn shops except Liberty.
Singapore, we needed the break - went on the Night Safari, a bit cheesy, but still entertaining, shopping for the kids (loved the DC comics store) I finally had my eyebrows done professionally (that is a definite improvement)

Home - where the girls had filled our bedroom with 300 balloons!

(when somebody tells me they have a surprise for me, the first picture in my head is a room full of balloons...always has been since I can remember...I told Blaise ages ago, and obviously she remembered)

Frasier is still having fun stalking and "killing" the balloons.
All in all...when you live in NZ or Australia the world feels like a big place, there is lots of space...but everywhere else was full of people, lots of people buying lots of stuff, lots of rubbish, lots of cars and pollution. I loved visiting, and look forward to doing it again, but there is no place like home. I still have to download the photos from Flash's laptop, but until there here is me at La Droguerie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

oops we did it again

I have to be quick, am late for breakfast, we're in London - alone at last, spent yesterday looking around - we both have a ghastly headcold (we were the last of the group to succumb) so we can't walk too much or concentrate, but we had to get out and see the sights. I had to show Flash Piccadilly circus and Trafalgar square, and of course I visited Liberty - wow! and Mary gets to go to knitting group there!!! I bought some Regia bamboo sock yarn - restrained aren't I?

I thouroughly enjoyed our time in the Loire Valley, and our last days in Paris were exciting, I don't have time to write more now, but we'll be home in a few more days

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Light the bar!

Sunday night's rugby game was vastly different to saturday's, the atmosphere was amazing, and the game was faster (not quite so much kicking) and of course many of us backed the Pumas for the night - and became quasi Argentinians...
(my children can stop reading about now)
Around the corner from the Marriott is a bar, and working on that bar was a blonde german waitress who happened to be mad as a snake, combine that with kiwis on holiday, lighter fluid and tequila slammers and you have the makings of a memorable evening, somehow I found myself (yes...ME!!) salsa dancing with a yummy Latin American man, while another woman in our party was taking dancing lessons from a Mexican woman, and our husbands were all agog at the spectacle (which included a couple getting very intimate in the booth next to us) the mad waitress lit the bar on fire regularly, and when we asked for the whole bar to be lit - the bar staff quickly agreed - that woman was a pyromaniac! It was a great evening, or should I say night...as around 3.30 am I led the conga line out of the pub and into the night. It was wonderful to be able to let our hair down, these events can be quite stressful - and this was a great stress relief.

Now we are in the Loire valley, we travelled here yesterday via the Fast Train (I could get used to this first class travel and accommodation) we had a quiet day that the chateau recovering, and we spent this morning on a bicycle tour of the local area - the gardens, farms ruins and houses are so different from home, it is spectacular countryside, and lot's of little things I remember from the short few years of my childhood in England - tiny snails, open forestland...stunning. Holly you must come and work here for a vintage!

there are more photos on Flickr (search Just Jussi) my apologies I am working on Flash's laptop - no photo editing.

Also to my girls - my emails do not seem to be going through, talk soon, love you.

Monday, October 15, 2007


although I have the ability to blog - I do not seem to have the time to blog, we have been so busy trying to see as much as we can of this amazing town.

I did manage to negotiate la Droguerie and have come away with an array of beautiful buttons, braids and some lovely Bouton D'Or Songe yarn, enough for a ruffley scarf or similar. I also bought some Silk garden light in a colourway I had not seen before and am looking forward to knitting something...I know not what.
Soon we are off to the second semi...Sth Africa vs Argentina...go the Pumas! I'm not a rugby fan at the best of times, so the absence of NZ is keenly felt, the number of people in black at the stadium is outstanding - there are 28,000 kiwis in Paris apparently!
We are overwhelmed with culture and history, fashion, food and wine and are enjoying it immensely, Kenzo has received a lot of my attention, and some investment shopping may have to occur...anyway I leave you with a photo, and to my darling children - I will be home all too soon nagging you to finish your homework - Blaise, the caramels with sea salt have been purchased - fret not.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

gah! I can blog.

In Singapore, and discovered that I can blog using Flash's laptop
hope the pic works - next stop Paris!

Monday, October 08, 2007

It's bon nuit from me, and it's bon what? from him...

Mother duck and ducklets in my garden - for Lara...who knows that while I am often late, I never ever forget.Our big boy who went to the cattery for the first time today

and the Monet yarn...that will be a story to tell on my return...

So, we're off in the morning...I'll be back with tales of castles and Cath Kidston, palaces and Patricia Roberts, yarn, art, museums and history, until then sayonara, see you and good night!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday round up

Blaise is home, safe,well and happy, and aware at the tender age of 16...that you can never "go back" you can visit, you can move back to the old neighbourhood...but things will never be the same, so you keep going, you make new friendships with old friends, you keep in touch, you lose your way, nostalgia is nice, but in the moment is the only place to live. Hard lessons, but better learnt early.

My good shopper brought me all I asked for and more, having explained her Mother's pining for that ephemeral "scent of Pentimento" the Pentimento man went to the back of the shop and returned with a small glass vial...now my studio is redolent with the scent of sweet cinnamon, and I am happy, smell being that most primal of the senses.

The past few days have been crazy, we have had to purchase a new car, as our babysitter only has a restricted drivers licence, so the rental companies won't let her drive their cars - the girls are happy, they know that they will soon have a car to call their own! (there goes half the spending money...) extra hours at work to prepare for 3 weeks away, timeout with Blaise last night as we saw a performance of "The money conversation" ...food for thought...(I gave it back -there wasn't any alternative)

I have been experimenting with a new dyeing method, the results are not what I wanted, but are interesting nonetheless...more will be revealed when I return.