“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
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Hubby and I had a mid-week escape to a sweetly charming film,
A Good Year, set in London (yep, in the gherkin!!) and the sun-dappled countryside of Provence. I was hoping Bulldog or Hogman might write a review… in the interim, here's one I found:
Forgive me for taking this path, but the wine/film comparisons are inevitable with this one. Like most of the films made today the fresh elements in this film come from the particular vision of the film maker, the chemistry of the cast and the way all of it can come together in a charming and palatable fashion. In other words, the blending of the key ingredients. It all comes down to being a matter of chemistry, craftsmanship and preference. Chemistry causes the grape to ferment and become wine. Craftsmanship and experience make that wine something worth drinking. Chemistry amongst the elements of a film – story, cast and setting makes these pieces form a cohesive whole. Craftsmanship and experience make it a palatable film. And the rest is simply a matter of taste. Though it lacks the crisp originality of a sauvignon blanc, the hipness of a pinot grigio or the bold edginess of a Cabernet, but the elements here come together to make a film that plays pleasantly over the tongue like a decent rosé – easy to sip and enjoy and given the chance could well leave you with the warm glow of a late summer afternoon.
I loved it. All of it. From sensuous French scenery to London buzz and bustle. Vine-growing and wine-tasting. The tender moments between a grandfather and a gorgeous lad.
One line in particular stuck with me: when Max, eyeing the replica Van Gogh on the wall, asks his workaholic boss, "Whenever do you see your original?"
Ahhhh... picking the daisies and smelling the roses and hearing the surf crashing on sprinkly sands like skies swirling across a Van Gogh canvas..
it's Friday: beach day!!!
post script: guest blog insert
Dear Kate I won’t be writing a film review on A Good Year as I feel marvelously incompetent these days but I will offer you a blog reflection. I went to this movie with little or no expectations and came out richly rewarded. Russell Crowe consistently inspires me with his varied roles and the dialogue and the rich scenery was like a drowning experience for me. Somehow
I won’t be writing a film review on A Good Year as I feel marvelously incompetent these days but I will offer you a blog reflection. I went to this movie with little or no expectations and came out richly rewarded. Russell Crowe consistently inspires me with his varied roles and the dialogue and the rich scenery was like a drowning experience for me. Somehow
I found myself bathing in rich lines and the mood of
It’s not often these days that I leave a movie with the desire to reflect on it for hours and days to follow. A Good Year did it for me. We returned home at midnight and I had to crack a bottle of
So…I loved it and I can’t wait to buy the DVD. Ridley Scott certainly created a major departure from Alien and Gladiator.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
happy birthday charlie !!!
Fabulous big brother, J10 aka Charlie nine-er nine-er is J11 today!!!
Daddy found a very cool birthday card, which is just *you*..
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson went on a camping trip.
In the middle of the night Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."
"What does that tell you Watson?"
"Well astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?"
Holmes was silent for a moment and then spoke...
"Watson, someone has stolen our tent!"
Yep, you've always got a word, and you're not afraid to use it: in or out of context..
You are a scientist, a pianist, a mine of information, and a lover-of-sparkly-jewels-and-Beautiful-Things.
in the words of the groovy RHCP
Charlie's making me smile
Happy Birthday, J11.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Cinder-Elle, you *shall* be the belle...
My gorgeous friend Elle (say, "Ellie") is getting married next month.
She has designed her wedding dress with a koru on the skirt...
The koru shape is a scroll shape and is linked to the New Zealand fern plant. The shoot of the fern has a curled-over tip which unfurls and becomes a fernleaf.
The koru represents the unfolding of new life, that everything is reborn and continues. It represents renewal and hope for the future.In July, Elle saw these: designed by a Titirangi jeweller, and got all inspired. Very kiwi, very funky, love it. So she asked me if I'd have a go at creating/recreating some wedding jewellery for herself and three bridesmaids.
I finally found my muse.
Elle's necklace, and heart-shaped earrings, modelled by the beautiful R13.
Necklaces for the maids.
Their earrings are tear-shaped paua, like the flower petals.
I hope she likes them. I do.
Monday, November 20, 2006
M5: "Hey Mum... A-R-M-P-I-T!!!"
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I wanna jam it wid you
The Bears are staying with us in The Sunny Bay this weekend.
But they have brought their rainy weather from The Big Smoke... (looks like the kids'll be tenting inside tonight lol)
S9 and Mister Bear have snuck off to a remote corner of the lounge (rather hard to find!!) for a bit of a jam.
Everyone else is playing Monopoly or Cadoo, riding bikes, having a nap, bouncing on the trampoline, doing the cryptic crossword, drinking an early morning espresso...
oh yes, it's an amazingly harmonious atmosphere with seventeen gorgeous bods in the house...
Friday, November 17, 2006
In Paris, we saw these signs (quelle surprise, I knew exactly what they said!!), and I took the photos with visions that D17 might put them on la porte de sa chambre à coucher...?
I was amused at the vieux et nouveau thing going on again. The buildings are so ornate, yet some traffic warden's lackey has banged les cercles right on top of them.
C'est très drôle.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
the very un-magic mushroom
aka Dad's tool shed, "up the back" of our property.
My friend affectionately coined it *the mushroom*
cos it appeared there seemingly overnight.
Yesterday evening I blinked at our front garden,
aka the park/oasis/duckpond over the road,
and someone has built a great big bus shelter there.
sheesh. At least it's hidden by the tree.
I'm not very happy about it.
But S9 is.
It appears that *this mushroom* is also his private hut.
Nigella: not so scarily chic, delish domestic goddess
This chick is a real foodie. She's more than an inspiration. She's so friendly. Really. Nigella gets her fingers in the food, and she licks them too. She sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night for an illicit snack. Every word she writes zings my taste buds. And I have to give her book back today, borrowed from a friend, so I am posting my two *must try pre-Christmas (or all summer long)* recipes here:
So I remember:
Enjoying food, enjoying eating, isn't about graduating with honours from the Good Taste university. I'm not interested in pleasing food snobs or purists, or in eating just one type of food. Yes, I want whatever I eat to be good, but there surely is a place - and in my heart a fond one - for a bit of kitsch in the kitchen.
The trashy cook should not be stoveside too long without a drink in hand. And preferably this drink. You don't have to go overboard with the postmodern, anxiously ironic bit: this is ambrosia even for the good-taste gods.
The watermelon doesn't come frozen, by the way, engaging thought though that is: just buy it, slice it, chunk it, stuff it into suitable bags and stash them vibrantly in the freezer.
100ml (or to taste) Bacardi
juice of one good-sized lime
1 heaped tablespoon icing sugar
approx. ten 5cm cubes of watermelon
Put all ingredients in a blender and blitz to a pinkly foamy puree. Pour into two waiting marguerita glasses- and tip back, bangles jangling.
and Petits Pots aux Chocolats
(Renee has been raving about these. She makes them to indulge in a spoonful of rich, satiny sweetness after her divine Friday night curries, which I *know* we will sample again one weekend soon...)
Nigella explains: The method used to make them is ludicrously simple and done, necessarily, in advance. You just process the lot, pour them into small containers (coffee cups would be fine: there's no need to make a production out of it) and sit them in the fridge to set. This recipe makes 500 ml altogether.
175g best quality chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
150ml double cream
100ml full-fat milk
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp allspice
8 x 60ml pots (I'm thinking four cappuccino cups. Adults only. Or maybe the kids won't let me get away with that..)
Crush the chocolate to smithereens in the food processor. Heat the cream and milk until just about boiling, add the vanilla and allspice and pour through the funnel over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Process for 30 seconds, then crack the egg down the funnel and process for 45 seconds.
Pour into whatever little cups you're serving in, and sit them in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. But remember to take them out of the fridge a good 20 minutes before you want them to be eaten; the chill interferes with their luscious, silky richness.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
'tis the season to become a blondie..
i confess i've been a bit bah-humbug about the approaching season, but i woke up this morning with visions of make-our-own christmas cards. funny how my finished product didn't quite turn out like cette vision. (oh how i l-o-v-e rupert everett)
i think we'll buy/find little seashells and stick them on instead of trying to design anything brainy.
late this afternoon the gorgeous deb and i got matching mags to inspire us (well, they came with free salad servers which match my newly-acquired-camping-plastic-dinner-set) and after torturing R13 for nearly an hour: pulling strands of her hair through a frosting cap, deb and i shared a glass of baileys to calm our nerves while waiting for blondie's hair to do its thang.
i'm *so* chuffed with the result. when i grow up, i am *totally* gonna be a hair lady!!!
(S9 has just asked: "Mamma, can you dye my hair?"
My friend, you are Mister Cool.)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
eleven o'clock. tick tock.
So, Hubby and I were lying in bed last night, watching Fantastic Four, as recommended by some of his students (*naff* movie, don’t bother) and the phone rang….
It was the fabulous Hogman, 100 metres from the front of stage at U2’s vertigo concert in
Talking was nigh impossible, so a series of texts ensued:
It may be too late to call u when they come on but if you want a call during a song lemme know :)
The mexican waves have started
I will call you when they first come on but don’t expect a conversation :)
And then.. the phone rang:
screaming crowd. electric guitar.
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now
Neon heart day-glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They're advertising in the skies
For people like us
And I miss you when you're not around
I'm getting ready to leave the ground
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights..”
What a huge buzz. We missed out on tickets to the NZ concert in a week and a half. But hey, now we’ve been at a concert in
The songs are in our eyes, we see them when we smile..
Sunday, November 12, 2006
just doin' the time warp
i hopped on a bus yesterday with forty-three of J10 and R13's youth groupies..
went to the Big Smoke and wound up at the zoo, the underwater world and..
twenty tears later:
i've still got it.
i can skate forwards.
i can even skate backwards (you shoulda seen R13's incredulous look as i grabbed her hands and skated her around the rink)
i can even twirl.
and after about the sixth circuit around the rink, i started getting that leg-crossing-over-motion for going around corners.
just like a friday-night-teenager.
it's just a jump to the left.
and a step to the r-i-i-i-g-h-t...
and i even bought myself a caramel chew for reasons of nostalgia.
but it didn't taste as frozen as it used to.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I know that Parisians debated most passionately when the Louvre had its glass pyramids addition, completed in 1989 (the year we were married!).
The Palais du Louvre, which houses one of the most stunning collections of artworks in the world, is known first and foremost as a museum. Yet for almost seven hundred years the buildings constituted one of the principal residences of the kings and emperors of France. In 1793, the Louvre became a museum, and has been given over ever since to the conservation and presentation of thousands of artworks and legacies of past civilizations.
The construction of the pyramid triggered considerable controversy, many people feeling that this futuristic edifice looks quite out of place in front of the Louvre Museum with its classical architecture. Others came to appreciate the juxtaposing of contrasting architectural styles as a successful merger of the old and the new, the classical and the ultra-modern.I understand the feelings of hesitation re: mixing vieux et nouveau. (it's just like eating nuts with chocolate: no. NO.)
and i had exactly the same reaction when, after mooching through this beautiful garden, basking in the sparkly magic of exquisite structures,
ponds and fronds, and statues.... including Mr Tumnus lol..
we came across this:
I do love the Louvre's pyramids: they add a breathtaking quality and provide a wonderful place to chat and cool off on a hot summer's day..
but français-ly, that surreal face gave me a fright.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
sunshine. storms. sweetness.
are not those on which anything splendid
or wonderful or exciting happens
but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly,
like pearls slipping off a string."
L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Avonlea)
our day has been just like that.
sunshine and storms.
a bit o' school stuff in the morning, and lunch at one of our favourite places.. kids playing rummy-o and the piano, and me reading julie's stash of parenting mags.
a little inspiration and voila: D17's and my spianata creation for dinner: it's kinda like a rolled up pizza (of course we made *two*).. we stuffed ours with smoked chicken, our homegrown organic silverbeet, S9's pesto and tomatoes-and-olives, cheese....
it was pronounced "G-O-O-D" by M5.
and now everyone's tummy is happy and we're chilling to the chilis.
mamma is enjoying a glass of cabernet merlot and waiting for papa to come home soon..
('twas difficult to get the lads to stand still..)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
R13 and her friend Jean have been busy whizzy with the makeup this afternoon.
nope, they're *not* getting all dolled up for a night on the town!!
ok, so I have been sucked in many a time before.. with things like:
"Mum, Lucy has scratched me again!!" (bleeding scratch)
"Mum, I fell over and whacked my leg on the trampoline.." (dark bruise)
it does look very realistic... from a distance...
Friday, November 03, 2006
Spotted under the picnic table:
M5 blowing up his new whoopee cushion
(not sure that’s spelled correctly??)
the look (and sounds) of glee….
Dahling Clare reading her Tiahnee
and our M5 his newest book:
"I love you, stinky face"…
Putting candles in the number *five* cake,
adding another birthday song (thanks, B-fairies)
to our family's fabulous collection:
It’s a birthday, it’s a birthday,
and we’re here to say:
Many happy, many happy
returns of the day…
I'm not a biggie for make-up, per se (which is obvious by this photo, but if you went to Paris, would *you* sleep??). Well sometimes I'd like to be, but am so blind that to see my face clearly, I have to be a nose-width from the mirror. So when I get dressed up, I tend to wear mascara and perhaps a bit of lippy. But I was hugely tickled to whizz past this building in Paris.. and now you know why Scarlett Johansson is the new face of "because I'm worth it"... and I'm not..
I asked hubby this morning about his abiding parisian memory, and he said: it's gotta be the soccer. The world cup, that is.. that we watched.. there were huge pix of Zizou everywhere, it was *days* of french football fever..
and.. this has to be in Paris, cos it's in my photo file, but I can't remember what/where it is.. any ideas??
Thursday, November 02, 2006
our very own teen drama queen
So, this week we've watched Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen -twice- at least.. and everyone's been quoting the extremely talented Miss Boggoli aka Carol Kane (yes, Leighleigh, she's Valerie, Miracle Max's wife)
".. Listen up, everybody: Cost-toomes are sac-red. COS-toomes are SAC-red.."
imho it's a pretty *naff* movie: but very relateable on the teenage dramas level. and i l-o-v-e every moment with Miss Baggoli, "Yes, Lola, it's my idea. I know I'm just a teacher, but I am capable of thought!"
Anyway, R13 got the 80's teen hollywood girl haircut today..
she looks oh! so grown up.. her hair all straightened with a side fringe and all layered and wispy down the sides.
Baby, you are a gorgeous Lola:
Here's what I learned: when you're happy, the whole world's New York. And that dreams are important. Someday, when you're not even looking, they find you.
J10: *snuggling up* “Have you ever tried to imagine what heaven would be like?”
Mummy: *smiles* ”Yes, I have. What do you think?”
J10: “Just like here, but fresher. Like this earth is shadow and heaven is a brighter light.
In CS Lewis’ words he said: The world is like an onion, except that each circle is bigger than the last.
I think he was talking about heaven.”
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
moment of glory
here's what i found hubby and the kiddos poring over tonight:
a word square:
G A I
Y A I
N M R
make a word from all of the above letters.
beat my two-minute record.
J10 did get *margin* as an unscrambled word though..