First Signs

Yesterday I was a stallholder at the New Rags Market in Greytown. Business was slow, so Jannelle of Heartfelt and I moved our tables outside under the trees to make it more obvious that there was a market going on inside the Town Centre.

From my position I had a great view of the traffic on Main Street, and no sooner had I put the camera away after taking this shot, I saw one of the first signs of Christmas. A car with a tree in a trailer.

For me, putting up theĀ  tree on 1 December seems a bit early – but I’m not sure when the ‘right time’ is. I do know that I left it a bit late last year (it was Christmas week!), so this year I’m aiming for a happy medium. We have a live tree in a pot, and it will come inside next weekend, on 9 December.

Do you put up a tree? What’s the right time for you?

Vocabulary extension

I love words. I love lots of words. I love words that roll around in your mouth when you say them (squirrel, squish, lisianthus, isthmus, apocalypse). I love words that trigger specific memories (punch-cards, jazz, Christmas, Grandad). I have always had a good vocabulary and I think being an only child for so many of my formative years (I was six when my sister arrived) was a key contributor to that, as most of my interactions were with adults. Of course learning to read, and loving reading, means I am continually extending my vocabulary, and I try to look up the meaning of words I don’t know. [As an aside, this is one of the benefits of an e-reader; it makes it so easy to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word with a click providing the definition. I never thought I’d ever be saying that there was anything better than a real book, but for learning new words… I have to admit that e-readers have this slight advantage.]

Apart from discoveries through reading, in my daily life I don’t often come across chances to learn a new word, so it was with delight that I realised the sign above Martin Bosley‘s table at the City Market yesterday contained a word I didn’t know.

Martin was persuaded to pose and highlight the word for my photograph. The word is tracklements (ha – the WordPress dictionary doesn’t think it is a word!). Martin told me it has a similar meaning to condiments, but covers a broader range. Here’s a link to the dictionary definition on wiktionary, and another on World Wide Words which provides more information on the origin of the word.

Here are just two of Martin’s tracklements:

I’m so pleased to have learned a new word today!



Doing a Photo-A-Day

I had such fun – and was challenged creatively – in 2010 when I did a Photo A Day for the entire year. I have to confess that there were some days when I missed taking a photo, but not too many. (I made up any gaps by taking an extra photo the next day – making sure it was some constant feature of life that stayed the same over several days).

This year I’m doing it all again. My approach is to try to capture everyday life, and photos range from an ordinary breakfast:

to special dessert and coffee (hazelnut mousse, from La Cloche, on the Old Hutt Road):

The household animals feature strongly too – here’s Martin the sheep:

Martin’s full name is Martin Baasley, after Martin Bosley the chef. Each year we host a lamb for the Hyde family, for when their town section’s grass has all been eaten up there’s still plenty at our place. For the last three years we’ve renamed the lambs on arrival here, choosing to name them after chefs. We’ve had Gordon Lambsey and Lam(b)ie Oliver as well as Martin Baasley so far. The challenge is coming for next year as we’ve run out of the easy ones – if you have any good ideas for chef/lamb names, please let me know. They all have to be males as the female lambs don’t get given away as they’re too valuable as breeding stock (else we could have Annabelle Lambein, of course!).

Even though the year is not yet one month old there have been lots of photos of Ninja the kitten. As she’s getting older and bolder she comes ‘walkies’ with me and seems to enjoy seeing new territory with the safety of her person nearby. Here she is a couple of weeks ago in the cattle race:

There are also pictures that reflect our developing business. We have had many visitors to the grove over the Christmas/New Year holidays (and we hope for more as the summer continues). As yet we don’t have a separate sales room, so visitors come into our big living space to taste our products:

We are also selling at some of the open-air markets over the summer. I am so grateful to our son’s girlfriend for her help at these – she is a terrific sales person and keeps me going with her enthusiasm and energy. The Eat, Drink and Be Crafty market was on Saturday, and we had loads of family groups enjoying the sunny weather, great (locally produced) craft, listening to the country band, and all in support of the Life Flight Helicopter Trust. As it was such a beautiful day and a lovely setting, I’ll leave you with a nice big image for this one: