Friday, 29 April 2011

Two jumpers

Finally finished off the purple sweater that had been lurking around over a couple of winters. I had to incorporate a different colour to finish it off, having run out of the purple. I used a denim blue which is pretty inconspicuous.

The other one I call my Dixie Jumper, as it was knitted whiling away time in scenic spots in the campervan. While knitting this one I listened to a couple of audiobooks -- Murukami's Kafka By the Shore, and Aravind's White Tiger. So the colours kind of evoke those stories, which is nice too.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Being tourists

Took the kids, Matt and Natalia, to Waitomo for the day. We did the Spellbound tour, which included a boat trip 250 metres into a cave that was lit by millions of glowworms. Which, it turns out, are actually glow maggots. Then I snoozed in the car while they went black water rafting with Rap, Raft'n'Rock. From 8 in the morning when we left Rotorua, to 10 at night when we got home, it didn't stop raining. I guess a good day to be underground.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Camel trip, Rajasthan

I just have to post some images from our camel trek in India. I wasn't all that excited by the idea of riding a camel when I was booking the Rajasthan tour, but it turned out to be a bit of a highlight.

Geographically at this point we were less than 200 km from the Pakastani border - felt like the depths of nowhere. We traveled to the desert hotel by jeep from Jaisalmer, our mini-bus having broken down just as we left the town. The Intrepid tour leader, Uttam, had 3 jeeps organised in a flash, and the bus was at the hotel waiting for us the next morning.

It was cool, this being November. Looking at these photos again reminds of the sounds - just the wind and a distant noise of children and goats, drifting across from the camel-keepers' camp.

There were 13 of us on the 15-day Intrepid trip. Here is the mandatory group picture - probably the only one we took. I love that golden light.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Kawhia Kai Festival

Some photos from the weekend of the Kai Festival in Kawhia. It was misty all weekend, a thick sea fog. Didn't stop the kids from swimming and playing on the black sand beach which is right in the middle of the little town.

Faces of Cambodia


Two creative things for Friday - I made a knife holder to hang in a convenient spot in the kitchen.
And then I made a rustic outdoor table for my patio. It cost me $14 for the 4x2 for the legs. I can sit out there looking at the lake and fell like a millionaire. A scavanging and foraging millionaire.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Lake Rotorua

There were beautiful sunsets last week, but this week, along with the end of daylight saving, the weather has changed. Today the lake is bitter navy blue with wild white-caps, and when the far shore disappears in an approaching rain cloud it looks like the ocean at my doorstep.

The eight-or-so local lakes are dropping in temperature, a couple of degrees a day they say. But swimming doesn't stop when you live in Rotorua. I have a monthly pass to the Polynesian Pools. We are so lucky in Rotorua to have a world-class spa - one of the top ten in the world, they claim. A soak certainly eases the aches and stiffness and there is nothing like soaking under the stars for a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The quince queen

The Cooper Ave house comes with a quince tree. The strange furry fruit have puzzled most visitors.

They have been turning a lovely yellow, so I gathered a bucket-full and spent a day chopping and stirring.

Results well worth the effort. I have many squares of a rich fragrant membrillo - quince paste, lovely with a grainy thin toast and smoked cheese.

Also made a quince jelly, with I have been enjoying on fruit toast with ricotta. Yum!

Kitchen before-and-after pics

This is about as creative as I have been over the last week - painting the kitchen in my new house. One day I will replace this kitchen completely. There is a hot water tank right where the frig needs to be, so that will have to go. In the meantime, I decided to paint the timber. I'm really pleased with the result. It is still a small space, but seems much bigger now.