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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Plastic Free July, Books as Art

After some consideration I have decided to sign on for Plastic Free July. I was deliberating over it because I thought it might make me feel like a failure, as I know at this point we are struggling to not buy some plastic. However there are different levels that one can commit to, and although we are in between those levels, I told Katie and Derek that I have committed to it and asked them to do what they can.

Today (1st of July) I have been to the beach picking up plastic, which I will keep til the month end, then weigh it in to see how well I can offset what comes in, and what we throw away. 
If you want to join in - take a look at this site

The first thing to come through the mail today (first day of plastic free) is my order of two new plastic saxophone reeds.
However, these will last up to two years each (at $45 each!!),
as opposed to the usual biodegradable reeds, which each come in a plastic holder with foil wrapper and a box, and only last a couple of months each.

Using Books In Art
I have discovered that some people really get upset with people cutting/tearing/sawing up books to create artworks. (I will no longer give my mother-in-law any of my collaged cards). I buy discarded books especially for this purpose, and well, at least they are then enjoyed again. 
I saw this on my facebook page and was interested in how many for and against comments it provoked.  
  This is a sculpture by Susanna Hesselberg called "When My Father Died It Was Like A Whole Library Had Burned Down"  go to the link here at this is

I just love books - whatever way they come.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Warkworth - Small Town New Zealand

This week I had cause to kill an hour or so in the lovely little town of Warkworth, population of approx 4,000, which is on the way to Auckland when driving from Whangarei.
A chilly winter's day in Warkworth NZ

There are some lovely cafes and shops in this township, which sits on the south bank of the Mahurangi River. 
I particularly liked Juggles Boutique, which sells new and nearly new label clothing and accessories - it was just so pretty.

Juggles Boutique, Warkworth

And I liked the look of The Warkworth Butchery, which carries on the tradition of a beautifully laid out window display.

The town was founded in 1853, around industries such as logging, boat building and a flour mill - all making use of the river which runs into the Mahurangi Harbour, then the Hauraki Gulf.

A couple of restored wooden steam boats at the wharf

I ran out of time to whiz around all the junk shops, of which Warkworth seems to have a good supply. Sigh - retirement is so busy.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Motivation Shake Up

I'm finding it hard to shake out of holiday mode, and with the cooler mornings, not actually wanting to get up before ahem, nine.

Do you love books so much you try to read several at once? I do

The thing is, I feel guilty doing it - which is crazy as I am fully entitled. I think it is a little battle in my head about underachieving.
What do others do to spark up their motivation at home? I have plenty to do - I think I need to go back to writing a list and ticking it off.

Plant garlic
Finish mail art parcel to sister.
Finish tax books
1 hour of gardening every day
Training Munta dog to come when he is called 

There, one thing achieved. It's not fabulous but is more interesting than a courier bag, and is all recycled. (It's the book I bought in Rarotonga, and a tropical fish chart that they wanted but missed buying)

I think I need to go back to Aunt Grace's rules, which I posted about ages ago.


I have had this written in my journal for quite some time, and unfortunately didn't write the source, so if anyone reading it recognizes it, please let me know so that i can attribute it appropriately.

1. Do something for someone else

2. Do something for myself

3. Do something I don't want to do that needs doing

4. Do a physical exercise

5. Do a mental exercise

6. Do an original prayer that always includes counting my blessings.
    (In my own interpretation it is think of something I am grateful for daily)

Here's part of today's physical exercise - saved $500 on a gym membership. This is no easy patch of lawn. It's usually Derek's part to mow, but he goes to work and comes home in the dark, so that covers doing something for someone else too!

 and here are some I need to add....
                           Anne's Rules

1. Finish a project every day that I have left uncompleted (imagine the impact)

2. Spend some time with nature every day - and really see it, feel it, smell it, touch it, hear it.

3.Spend 15 minutes every day doing an extra cleaning job.

4. Make time to text, email, write a letter, phone or visit a friend every day.

5. Do something extra for the environment every day (like picking up rubbish or signing a petition or writing a letter)

6. Do something creative every day (can be a new recipe tried, journaling..)
Here's today's pick up, from when I was out riding my bike

Yes, that's done it. That got me up and moving!
PS, I've decided to keep a log of these things that I do so that I can look back and know that I am achieving. But don't worry, it's not going on here - wouldn't want to bore you to tears.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Island Idyll

What better way is there to catch up with my family than to all meet on a tropical island? I have feelings of guilt about our carbon footprints due to flying, but have tried to tread lightly while away. But yeah I know - still not good.


Rarotonga is one of the Cook Islands, and is an "associated state" of New Zealand. New Zealand currency is used there. More Rarotongans live in New Zealand than actually reside on the island. Cook Islands Maori (and English) is spoken there. 

We bought local - lime jam, vanilla beans and drinking coconuts from the market, tropical fruits from side-of-road stalls.

My daughter - buying perfumed coconut oil

We supported local artists, by buying cards and prints of their beautiful bright works.

Images of Cook Islands by Tim Manavaroa Buchanan

The boys toured the local boutique brewery "Matutu" and reported that the beer was very good.

Rarotonga is just beautiful, unspoiled, the beaches clean. Swimming in the lagoon out in front of our villa was like languishing in a tropical fish tank, the water warm and clear, the myriad of colourful fish almost brushing against us as we snorkelled.

No food scraps are permitted in the rubbish - we were told to put them out for the chooks and the dogs
A visit to "The Whatever Bar" is a must.

I bought a book from the Bounty Bookshop that caught my eye - it was the perfect read for lazing on the Beach. In "An Afternoon in Summer" by American Kathy Guiffre, she tells of a year spent on Rarotonga, and her friendship with 82 year old Emily, who took in Kathy and her two small boys. It was fun to read about the places we had seen, including the Bounty Bookshop. Derek read it too, and also enjoyed it.

I think my late parents would have been well pleased that we used the last trickle of inheritance coming in to get together, because we live in different countries. My parents met in the Islands, and we felt like they were there with us as we enjoyed the Island life and raucously played cards at night.