kate5kiwis: July 2006


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Monday, July 31, 2006

book meme

I've been tagged by the ultimate evil genius, a.k.a. Barb to do a BOOK MEME.. heck, that's a new word for my kiwi-vocab.. I have been procrastinating all weekend, but today is a rainy day, so have had a bit of thinking-time (in between lunch with Mel and Madz, hockey with the kids, cuppa teas with Nicky, and beading necklaces with Jessica and R13)

1. One book that changed your life:
This year, Bono on Bono, and that's just from the snippets hubby has read to me. His nose has been stuck in it for the last month.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S Lewis. Our whole family has a love affair with the lion and his cronies..

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
Oh, heck, just give me Captain Jack Sparrow !!!

4. One book that made you laugh:
My kids'n'I always get a laugh from Tintin and Asterix books.

5. One book that made you cry:
Desert Flower, the first third of Waris Dirie's autobiography

6. One book that you wish had been written:
I'd love for my mum to compile a massive folder of her hundred favourite recipes. She is my inspiration in the kitchen.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Growing Kids God's Way. i'm not even linking to it. sheesh, that's a whole 'nother story.

8. The book you are currently reading:
I always have a few on the go. I'm about to start Celia Lashlie's
He'll be OK (subtitled Growing Gorgeous Boys into Young Men).

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
some good historical novels (that fit into the chick-lit category)
..any suggestions??

10. Now tag five people:
this is the tricky question, i've been blogging for only
four months.. so here are the five people I know IN REAL LIFE who are bloggers !!!!!
Leighleigh, Nicky, kiwibopha, Abby and Maddie

Sunday, July 30, 2006

CinderFELLAS.. you *shall* go to the ball...

Who is this masked man?

Forty-eight hours ago, D16 and five of his mates

were sweet-talked into going to their annual school ball.

(Big ups to Mrs "School balls are all about the food, not the dancing!" Razz for the last-minute persuasion and tickets)

You lads sure do scrub up well in your suits..

The hilarity began at our house with drinks and nibbles, and continued as hubby and I drove the Princes-charming ten minutes to the local yacht club, at which point hubby dropped them off in a discreet part of the carpark (we don't have a low-riding-chevvy) and they sauntered towards the balloons and masquerades.....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

nanma and nandad

We've had a very sunny day with nanma and nandad..
(a.k.a. nana and grandad)
making paper darts, doing origami,
eating pumpkin soup and sticky lemon muffins
(i know, i'm so predictable)
and going to the QUARRY PARK.

J10 playing on our fave

walking the plank: M4 gasping,
"D16, can you please hold my hand or I'll fall into the crazy-water."
(sounds like a
addy-story to me)

R13 trying on Sally's hat..
, you look so gaw-geous!!

S8 standing on the

J10 having snuggles with the grand's
in the late afternoon winter sun.

Friday, July 28, 2006

francais friday

Our first day: it was so overwhelming, so beautiful, so perfect.
Everything in Paris is grand, exquisite, quaint, delightful.
We woke up to a french breakfast in the "dungeon" of our hotel: cereal, croissants, ham and cheese, fruit, yoghurt, juice, coffee.. and after scoffing all that.. we weren't hungry until late afternoon!!

We wandered five minutes down the road, past cafes with ones and twos drinking little espresso coffees and tearing pastry bits off croissants, past huge ornate buildings, across the Seine River and down to the Ile de la Cite, where our lady, Notre Dame stands.

The Seine is the ribbon that ties hearts to Paris. All along the river people wander, sipping coffees, drawing, writing in their journal, painting, drinking a bottle of wine with friends, thinking or larking about.. being alone and together.

Here is the entrance way to Notre Dame. I wonder who all these people are.. saints, church fathers, heroes?

I was quite jittery when we first walked in, but the atmosphere was intensely peaceful, a pipe organ was lilting, and I felt grounded for the first time since arriving in Paris.

We treaded the floor gently, and thought about the thousands of people who have pilgrimmaged here over the years, being awed by the beauty within and without.

We bought a two-day-red-double-decker-tour-bus pass and jumped on and off wherever we liked along the route. Just look at the architecture. No 1970s Glen Avon apartments here.

First stop: Les Champs Elysees. I was astonished to note that there are huge trees lining this wide street. I had expected a poky, stifling place, but the openness of it was fabulous.

Our first glimpse of the Tour Eiffel. She was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889, commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution and was the world's tallest building until 1930. Up close, she is magnificent. We went up the tower (which was all lit up like a Christmas tree) just before midnight, and we snuggled and gazed at the sparkling lights all over the city.

Just hubby and me, in our little francais bubble.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

she's blogging...

the gorgeous R13 a.k.a. pearl-girl
has her own blog!!!
she'd love ya to
pop over there and visit
and leave her a comment!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

our first go at *felting*

At steiner today, (on a gorgeous clear skied sunny day) we were talking about *w*i*n*t*e*r* and we all made cute little pink-and-purple felt hearts, which we stuffed with Peter's sheep's wool and stitched around the outside.

Cornelia also taught us how to "felt".. we arranged dyed/carded wool on little woollen squares and pricked a large needle through again and again to "stick" the picture on.
The finished square looks really funky. You can even make it into a cushion!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

daisy girl

my friend mel has an interior/fashion designer friend who says he can tell what kind of a dresser a woman is by knowing her favourite flower..

wow, a real-life-quiz??

so she tried him on my fave petals:
"someone who loves white daisies?"

his answer:
she's fun, full of life and energy,and she wears funky casual clothes.

sheesh. that's spooky.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dance me to the end of love...

A week ago. A wedding.
After all these years, I have a sister!!!

At the Two Bridges Hotel, in the South of England, Greg and Emma said their vows, and we danced until midnight. Hubby and I stayed in the Prince of Wales room (next to the Mrs Wallis Simpson room) and we slept in a four poster bed!!

The Hotel is grand: its rooms are filled with antiques and memoirs from the last century. We had the whole day to get ready, and I sneaked into the bridal suite to be with the girls as they got dressed; we did a bit of DIY on the bridesmaids shoes and fussed with the dresses.. and drank a glass of bubbles.. lots of giggles and excitement.

Emma looked radiant in an ivory strapless dress, layered with floaty organza, bejewelled with beads and sparkles. It was laced up at the back and the skirt spread to a train. Her hair was pinned up with pearls and curls. She held a bunch of cream roses. Classic.
Greg and the lads (hubby included) scrubbed up brilliantly in black tails, grey waistcoats, and peacock-blue ties.

Hubby and I read a poem to open the ceremony, and I even got to sign the register as a witness!! and after the vows were said ("I give you this wing..." Emma, you were a very Impressive Clergyman!!) there was much rejoicing outside with Pimm's-and-lemonade and photos.

The Wedding Breakfast (er, dinner) was divine.. we supped on Cornish crab and Dartmoor lamb, and NZ Cloudy Bay Pelorus 2001 bubbles to toast during the speeches: the NZ contingent sang a waiata to conclude Mum's very cool speech. Greg, I loved the way you spoke too.. you have the ability to time your words for max humour!!

..and then we danced!!! and danced!!!
Madeleine Peyroux serenaded the lovers during their first dance as man and wife. (I loved her so much, I bought her CD in Paris.)

We waved the bride and groom off to the honeymoon suite at midnight, and then we party-ed until three in the morning, when Cinderella's chariot arrived for Prince Charming and her, and they retired to the four-poster-bedroom.

Dance me to the wedding now,

dance me on and on

Dance me very tenderly

and dance me very long

We're both of us beneath our love,

we're both of us above

Dance me to the end of love

Saturday, July 22, 2006

frosty the snowman

R13 sewed these funky winter PJs while she was staying at Julie's last week. very very cool.. er, warm.
her new top says:
i'm not just cute, i'm gorgeous.
true, though of course i am biased..
(PS note the new hair do: a mini-fringe)

Friday, July 21, 2006

francais friday

Two weeks ago we were in Paris.. it was a three nights/two days whirlwind in the city of love.
It was a dream come true for me: I have been longing to visit Paris for over twenty years.
Hubby and I travelled by Eurostar from Waterloo, and arrived at the Hotel du Pantheon just in time to whizz down to the Ile de la Cite for a quick look at Notre Dame before finding a possy at a little french cafe to watch The Game.. the FIFA final between France and Italy... what a blast.. five hundred people all drinking warm beer and chilled red wine (what *is* it with those british and french?? sacre bleu!!!) and yelling hysterically... they all cheered for Zidane's head butt. Hubby was mortified!!
I had my first croque monsieur (a glorified ham-and-cheese toasted sandwich, cost $NZ 20 lol)
The next day, walking down the Champs Elysees, (I could hardly breathe, and it wasn't just the heat.. so amazing just being there) we noticed everyone rushing to the Place de la Concorde.. and so we joined thousands of spontaneously-gathered-French-soccer-supporters yelling, "Allez Les Bleus!" and "Zizou.. clap, clap, clap.." waiting to welcome the team. What a celebration!!! What an experience.. people everywhere, up on statues, all over the huge area at the Concorde..

Le Pantheon, just down from our hotel.
It's huge, and so elaborate.
Louis XV built it as a monument to St Genevieve
after he recovered from illness.
It was finally completed at the start of the French Revolution.
People buried there include:
Rousseau, Voltaire, Marie Curie, Louis Braille and Alexandre Dumas.
(See, you learn a new thing every day!!)
La Place de la Concorde

Allez les Bleus!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

*kate waves to nicky and grins*

beach, breathing, earthed.

this afternoon,
with Aotearoa.
salty hair, nose.
sandy toes, clothes.
M4 in the water,

kinky boots

my head is clearing, but i've got a mix-up of days and nights happening, went to bed last night at 7pm and have been awake since 2am, so.. here's to early morning blogging:

i've been wanting to watch this movie for a long time, partly because i have a secret sparkly-shoe obsession, and partly because my friend sarah's brother acts in it.

it was actually the highlight of my journey home from the northern hemisphere, squashed into economy class, the whole plane melted away when the movie started.
what an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS FLICK DAHLING , loved the story, loved the soundtrack.

of course
rotten tomatoes doesn't love it
("There's a little... chill in the air... isn't there?")

but here's
this review in the Los Angeles Times:
Little movies about the radical self-reinvention of working-class underdogs have become as reliable a British export as Prince Harry damage control. You could say the factory layoff has become the Chekhov's gun of contemporary British cinema — if a plant closes in Act 1, the protagonist must be engaged in some sort of arts-related fabulousness by Act 3. A decadelong diet of this sort of thing and you'd be forgiven for thinking the collapse of industry is the best thing to happen to England since Cadbury Easter Eggs.

That said, when they're good, they're peerlessly cozy and fun, if you like that sort of thing. I know I do, and the new Miramax movie "Kinky Boots" scratches the itch. A humanist parable about how to be a good person, live a good life and make gallons of lemonade when life suddenly hands you lemons, it's predictably delightful and delightfully predictable.

as Lola sings,
Yessir I can boogie
all night l-o-n-g...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hi, honey... I'm h-o-m-e !!!!!!!

so jet-lagged..
we arrived home last night after 36 hours travelling: car, plane, airport-wait, another plane, another car, another car...
got the kids, all home and hosed...

we had the time of our lives, Greg and Em's wedding was completely fairytale.
i think i'll have to start a *francais friday* or something, to blog all my Paris photos over the next few months lol.

we were welcomed by a sweet banner that R13 has strung across our doorway.. and THIS:

The Rooster aka D16

it turns out that the brother of one of his mates bribed D16 with $10 to give him a mohawk.
and he used blunt scissors. so as of this morning, D16 has a number-three.

right then, sweet dreams, i'm off to bed. again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

London calling, yes, I was there, too... And after all this, won't you give me a smile? (part four)

It was the boys' stag do tonight, so we had a girls' day/night out with the sisters and the cuzzies: first off, Mum and her sister and Em and I popped into the Tower of London to see the crown jewels.. very sparkly.. magnificent.

da princess-sistas

da royal sistas

Then it was off (on a red double decker bus) into Picadilly, and we had the most marvellous evening: drinks.. then on to a tapas bar.. then to cocktails and cigars in Soho !!!

my cousin Nyree has got the smoke-blowing thang down to a fine art..
fabulous fun..

and today...
hubby and I are off to *PARIS* !!!!!
we are both breathless: me because for as long as I can remember, I've wanted to go to gay-Paree and eat baguette and fromage underneath La Tour Eiffel; and hubby because it's the final of the FIFA world cup, and he gets to see FRANCE play Italy... IN FRANCE!!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

London calling at the top of the dial (part three)

We went to the Tower Bridge, London's most famous bridge, which is a tribute to the nineteenth century industrial era. It is still in use today.. raising the road to allow tall ships to pass.. up to fifteen times a day.
We walked along the top rails, rather freaky...
but not as freaky as..

which is 202 feet tall, and it stands 202 feet from where the Great Fire of 1666 started.
(see I am a history buff)

we climbed up and up (I've really shagged my back) 311 steps to the very tippy top.
*don't look down*

*and then*
I got to go with Em to her wedding dress fitting..
(shhhh, no details yet, except to say that she's gonna look like a fairytale princess)
the dress is divine

Hubby woke me in the middle of the night to say that he could see a fox, just below our bedroom window.. can ya see it?? very cool.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

London calling to the faraway towns (part two)

... awoke yesterday morning to typical british weather: a thunderstorm :o)

We did a drive-by of Buckingham Palace just at "the changing of the guard".. there were crowds and crowds of people there, and a policeman told us to *drive on now please* (he sounded just like a copper on the movies!!)

Mum and I ducked into Harrods: fantastic.. and then we travelled a little way to the house that Mum lived in when she was six years old until she was ten. It's a grand brick house, with eleven 'stories'.. well, the stairs stop at eleven floors..

..and Mum told us a few gorgeous anecdotes of when she and her two younger sisters lived there: the road seemed so steep to her little-girl-legs; the sisters would sometimes all sleep in the same room, which left the playroom free for their toys and little-girl-games.. and sometimes they'd get sick of that and move around: typical childhood stuff, and it was wonderful to get a glimpse of that part of Mum's life.

From there we went on to the British Library. Hubby found a statue of Isaac Newton which he loved, and we were completely blown away by the library's collection of sacred texts, including the
codex sinaiticus and the codex alexandricus, two of the three earliest manuscripts of the whole Bible, dating from the middle of the fourth century BC. We also saw an original magna carta, and the collection of famous authors' handwritten copies of their works: the delightfully illustrated original of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground, some of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Geoffery Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, a mortgage document of Shakespeare's which has his signature on it...
and we saw the
penny black, the first postage stamp.

.. after this, we had a beer on Petticoat Lane, where Dad's Grandfather's Grandfather's Grandfather lived when he and his family emigrated to London. Dad told us some of the genealogy of his family, stories of fruiterers and cigar rollers, how people changed their surnames when they moved to new places, making it very difficult to track family history now. Dad has spent about three years researching his family's genealogy, and has it written up. It truly is fascinating, and very connecting, *being* in the places where my ancestors have lived.

To complete our day, we had a family-and-friends dinner at my cousin's friend's restaurant,
Satu. If you want some amazing Thai food and funky atmosphere, *that's* the place to go baby.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


hello from the motherland :o)
i thought i'd try a bit of remote blogging from the northern hemisphere...
i can't believe we're here.. we arrived 36 hours after leaving behind the winter in NZ, had a sleepover in hong kong, very luxurious.

we were so excited to see greg and em at their gorgeous flat. it reminds me of the house we lived in when we were first married, in ngauruhoe st in mount eden, two doors down from the metro college. lovely high ceilings and a big old fireplace. it was so good to see greg and em again, *polar bears* all round, and a lovely walk for grapefuit-and-lemonades by the thames, right beside mick jagger's house !!!

that was the first evening. since then it's been a three-day-blur of exquisite buildings, ornate architecture, overwhelming bigness, and a feeling of connection with the whole of history. i'm really struggling for words to describe the spiritual and emotional experience of being here..

Big Ben and parliament buildings, from the Thames River, photo taken on the boat cruise.

Big Ben. I didn't realise how t-a-l-l this clock is.

Westminster Abbey. WOW. This ornate sculpturing is above the front entrance.

F and me, standing east-sides and west-sides of the Meridian Line at Greenwich.

Sitting outside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

some highlights so far: a river boat trip up the thames with my cousin and her girlfriend, greenwich and the naval museum, st paul's cathedral, big ben, the british museum, walking across the millenium bridge, and shakespeare's globe theatre where we sat in on actors rehearsing of a play.. amazing, and the tate modern art museum, where we discovered edgar degas
la petite danceuse a quatorze ans
we'll see the original at the musee d'orsay when we go to paris, but even seeing this bronze cast was overwhelming: i just stood and basked in her aura.

we have come home to babich's 'the patriarch' 1998 cabernet sauvignon and a wonderful pork-and-beef bolognese sauce on top of organic spelt flour pasta. the boys have gone down the local pub to watch the football: germany/italy. hubby is so excited to be watching football at an english pub :o)
oh, and it's such gorgeous summer weather here, humid and sunny.. (it's 32 degrees today, mel!!!)