Right now

Thanks to Amy Sorensen for this meme:

trying to keep regular routines for activity, food and sleep

thinking about the coming summer

processing some new ideas

loving having two lambs to feed, lead and enjoy

Annabelle-and-Michael-6x4hoping for more sunny weather and the end to this infernal wind

reaquainting myself with this blog

adjusting my own expectations of how much I can achieve in a day

pondering how quickly time disappears when I am involved in something creative

leaving the dishes until tomorrow.

How is life in your world right now?

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 4

This is it – the last one! I have managed to find all but one of the 21 items on the list, but #19 (Fisherman) eluded me, so I took one of the substitutions allowed.

Without further ado, here are my final six photos:

#2 - Theater for performing arts

#2 – Theatre for performing arts

Greytown has a very small population (under 2,000 people), but it boasts its own theatre! It is located behind one of the hairdressing salons, with the entry under the awning you can see down the driveway. We went to a stunning marionette play The Kitchen at the End of the World there last year, and you can read about that here.

#17 - Candle

#17 – Candle

This rather out-of-focus shot was taken at a very special dinner  DH and I had to celebrate our 29th Anniversary.

PSG#17bCandleWe can still hold hands and share a plate of wedges!

#18 Local pub, coffee shop or tea house

#18 – Local pub, coffee shop or tea house

I’m giving you a little bit more here, with a slice of Greytown’s Main Street. There’s the recently-renovated Union Church on the left, Jack & Jill Cafe in the middle, and the Greytown Butchery on the right. I believe Greytown has more eateries per head of permanent population than any other town in New Zealand – there’s lots of choice for diners who can select anything from a quick bar meal right up to Michelin-star quality dining. Jack & Jill Cafe is a great daytime venue, and it has great coffee and lovely food. I also appreciate giving business to someone who supports ours (they use Fantail Grove olive oil).

#19 - A fisherman

#19 – A fisherman

Well obviously this is NOT a fisherman! Rinda gave two allowable substitutions for the items we couldn’t find. I’m claiming one here – a sundial. I hope you can see how accurate this one is: I placed my watch into the shot to showing the time as 1313, and the sundial is reading about 1310!

#20 - A dinosaur (take 1)

#20 – A dinosaur (take 1)

This is one of the many pieces of public art to be found all over the city of Melbourne. Along with the many green spaces and fantastic architecture, the art is one of the hallmarks of this city. Although it’s certainly big enough to be one, I’m not sure it is supposed to be a dinosaur though, so I also submit this next photo:

#20 - A Dinosaur (take 2)

#20 – A Dinosaur (take 2)

The tree across from the library’s big picture window was pollarded in the autumn, and now it looks very much like… a dinosaur. That’s what most of the children who visit our library think, and I agree with them!

#21 - A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply

#21 – A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply

There were no substitutions allowed for this one. I chose to show one of my sewing machines because it was the tool used most for my early creativity (sewing clothing for myself, friends and family), later for my adventures in patchwork and quilting, and now for sewing on paper and cardstock on my scrapbooking layouts and cards.  This photo also represents an understanding reached between me and my new camera: I have mastered the self-timer function!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Rinda for organising this Photo Scavenger Hunt – I’ve had lots of fun finding the items (and almost as much fun thinking of reasons why my maybe-not-quite-what-she-had-in-mind items should be allowed)!




We will soon have two lambs at our place. At the moment they are being bottle fed four times a day at their first foster home; they’ll come to us in a couple of weeks when they’re down to only one or two bottle feeds a day and have started to eat grass.  I have cut the grass in our cattle race so that it will be short and sweet for them when they arrive, and they will have a comparatively small space to occupy while they get used to us and a new home.

Michael-van-der-LamzenThis is Michael Van de Lambzen – named after the Food Truck chef, Michael Van de Elzen.

Annabelle-LambeinAnd this is our very first ewe lamb – named Annabel Lambein after the lovely host of the Free Range Cook TV show.

Aren’t they the cutest? If I hadn’t made the decision to become a vegetarian 18 months ago, seeing these two would have tipped me over the edge. Although I have no problem with other people eating meat, I just know I can’t eat it any more.

Michael-finishes-a-bottleI had never bottle-fed a lamb, and loved the experience of feeding wee Michael. He and Annabel were just a week old when I took these pictures and had the joy of feeding them. I am looking forward to their coming to live here, with a bit of apprehension thrown in, never having had to manage such young stock before. I’ll post again when they are here, and you can see how we get on.



Photo of parcel contentsI had a lovely surprise in the mail last week: a parcel of scrapbooking goodies from Jennifer Grace, who recently taught me during an on-line course (Projects that Wow). When she e-mailed me to tell me I had won a spot-prize, I had no idea it would be such a generous one. Thank you Jennifer! I have spent time happily imagining what I might make with these supplies. One sheet of paper has already made its way onto a layout:

Olives r Us LayoutCan you spot it?

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 3

Here are my finds for items 12 – 16:

#12 A cloud in the shape of something

#12 A cloud in the shape of something

This was one of the most difficult items to find. For months, every cloud I looked at looked like … a cloud! Finally I looked up as I was closing the gate after coming home from work, and noticed this cloud pattern. To me it looks like the outline of a pine tree, as you might quickly paint or sketch one. I’ll understand if it just looks like clouds to you though.

#13 A fence

#13 A fence

Somewhat embarrassing this – it’s ours. Fortunately it doesn’t actually do anything any more, being a relic of past owners when our property was a livestock farm instead of a horticultural block. Once this fence would have kept stock out of the ‘house garden’, but we’re thinking of taking it down.

#14 A stained glass object or mosaic

#14 A stained glass object or mosaic

This is the floor mosaic in one of Melbourne’s lovely arcades. The woman gazing wistfully into the shoe shop window is my sister; the shop was closed or she would have been inside, trying on a pair or two!

#15 A fire truck or police car

#15 A fire truck or police car

Melbourne has mounted police as well as the ‘normal’ kind. All of them were out in force on this particular evening, ready to police the crowds dispersing from a rally on the refugee issue (very controversial in Australia). As we walked up the street and past the Town Hall where the rally was being held, it seemed there were far more police than demonstrators though.

#16 A windmill

#16 A windmill

This windmill is a water pump, and is located on the Woodville property we visited for a hazelnut pruning demonstration last month. I had no clue as to how or where I was going to bag #16 for the hunt, so I was very pleased to see this!

Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 2

To follow on from #1 and #3-6 yesterday, here are #7-11 (I’m on a roll here folks)!

# 7  A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny

# 7 A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny

We saw this in the jewellery manufacturers’ showroom that was part of our Bargains & Bubbles shopping tour in Melbourne. So true!

#8 A tower - take 1

#8 A tower – take 1

#8 A tower - take 2

#8 A tower – take 2

Take 1 is a nice ‘arty’ shot of the Melbourne Arts Centre Tower from underneath. Take 2 shows the same tower viewed from Federation Square in the dusk. One thing that really impressed us about Melbourne was the variety and quality of the architecture – this tower being but one example.

#9 A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong

#9 A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn’t belong

This is our library circulation desk. Baby Hugo is clearly not a book waiting to be checked in or checked out, hence he is a perfect choice for #9!

#10  A bench that is outside

#10 A bench that is outside

This rather lovely, traditionally styled bench is outside the Community Supermarket in our town’s main street.

#11 An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

#11 An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

This is possibly a bit of a cheat, as I think Rinda intended that the photo should come from a special visit to an Aquarium (with a capital A). While Melbourne does have a wonderful Aquarium, I’d visited that on my last visit and didn’t want to go again (it would have taken too many hours away from the principal purpose of our visit – shopping!). This photo was taken in a pet shop – but as I was delighted with the pose of this fish, I’m including it as my entry anyway!

What do you think of my photo choices so far? If you were setting the rules, would you allow my entries for #4 and #11? Have you ever participated in a scavenger hunt (of any kind, not just a photography one)?


Photo Scavenger Hunt Post 1

I’ve been on a scavenger hunt – for photos on topics nominated by Rinda of Gallo Organico blog. The hunt began on 22 June, and participants have until 21 September to complete the list. It’s a Summer list for those in the northern hemisphere, but here in the south I’ve still had fun trying to complete it.

I have five of the first six on the list, and here they are:

#1 An Open Air Market

#1 An Open Air Market

This is just part of the Makers Market which is on every Sunday at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. Sunday was our ‘no shops’ day – but of course that meant that we could happily shop at the market instead!

#3 Town or City Hall

#3 City Hall, Capitol or similar Civic building

This is Melbourne’s Town Hall, and very grandly Victorian it is too.

#4 Airplane

#4 Airplane (or Aeroplane – it’s all the same thing)

I’m quite pleased with my take on this one, catching the sunrise from the aircraft window, with enough of the plane in shot to qualify, I hope!

#5 Sunset

#5 Sunset

This one is from much closer to home – it’s the view from the front gate one clear and about-to-be-frosty evening.

#6 Someone or something taking a nap

#6 Someone or something taking a nap

I might get into trouble with a certain young lady for posting this one….

I’m back

A couple of weeks ago I had a four-day trip away – to Melbourne. This was my second visit to this city, and I confirmed my impression from last time – this is a great place to visit!

Melb1 - Yarra River by day


Melb3We enjoyed eating out, attending a show and lots and lots of shopping! On the day of our shopping tour (more about this later) there was also a big football game on. We were lucky enough to see the Carlton Brewery Clydesdale team go past the pub where we had lunch, on their way to the Staduim:

Melb4The credit card did take a bit of a hammering, so it will be a while before I can afford to go away again!

What a day!

Over the past few months our library service has been gearing up for a change in library software. I work in the Greytown Library, one of four libraries that make up the Wairarapa Library Service. The WLS may be unique in New Zealand in that it is a collaboration between two local authorities (the Carterton District Council, and the South Wairarapa District Council). We run the same software and residents of the Wairarapa can join up and use the resource that is distributed over four separate towns. I tell customers that we are one library, it’s just that our rooms are very far apart! They can borrow from, or return a book to, any one of the four libraries – it’s a great service.

The new system we have adopted is Kotui, the National Library-backed New Zealand consortium (using Symphony by Sirsi-Dynex, if you’re a librarian and this means something to you!). I found it very affirming when my SWDC colleagues nominated me to go to Christchurch to be trained as a trainer in the new system (along with a Carterton colleague). We had a busy few days back in February and had to keep our knowledge alive for nearly three months before it was time to train all the staff.

With my Greytown Library colleagues

With my Greytown Library colleagues

Staff training has taken up much of May and then, on Saturday 2 June, we used our old software for the last time. The libraries were shut to the public for two days after the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend and we worked hard with the Kotui Implementation Team over that time, getting up to speed with all the new things we had to know and do. Kotui was ‘live’ by Wednesday afternoon, and they let me do the first ‘discharge’ (the new vocabulary term we have had to learn – it means ‘return a book’!).

Discharging the first book using our new Kotui system

Discharging the first book using our new Kotui system

Phew, it worked!

Today we were open to the public for the first time, and had to put everything we learned into practice with customers! Since our community had been without library service for an unprecedented four days, we were very busy!

kotui_launch_library_w_patrWe learned a few more things and found a few glitches in the data, but survived that all-important first day. It’s good to know the Kotui Implementation Team will be around for tomorrow and that (one way or another) they’ll sort out the glitches!

The Kotui team know what a big deal this is for all the library staff and for the communities they serve, so they insisted we hold a launch party (hooray!).

Greytown's lovely Town Centre Forum (to which the library is attached) - complete with Kotui Launch Party guests

Greytown’s lovely Town Centre Forum (to which the library is attached) – complete with Kotui Launch Party guests

The Kotui team also provided lovely cakes….

kotui_launch_cake…which needed cutting! The Mayor of the South Wairarapa District Council, the Director of the National Library and the Kotui Board representative all jointly ‘cut the cake’ to celebrate the launch of Kotui at the Wairarapa Library Service.

kotui_launch_cutting_cakeAnd then we all enjoyed the party!


Olive harvest time

Ripe olivesI am very aware of seasonal changes since we became involved in a horticultural enterprise. Our lives are governed by the growth, ripening and harvest of our various tree crops, and now it’s the turn of the olives. It may seem strange that anything ripens through autumn – but for olives we usually pick in early June. Last year the olives were not ripe until July and I felt unsettled by the departure from the usual pattern. This year we are back to the usual pattern and I feel much better!

Are there any things in your own life – apart from the weather – that tell you the season has changed?