Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Katie & The Talking Factory

 After 8 long weeks The Mother stands silent (she needs new bearings & a valve replacement),
dozens of squeaks & squeals have been remedied
but not my noise!
 I now know more about the guts & inner workings of "the most productive factory in the world" than I ever cared to know.
We think that we may have finally tracked the source of our noise but the next challenge is to find someone on site who can actually "hear" it too. Factory deafness is endemic, so it seems.
I feel like the little boy Sparky who heard the train talking to him. One of those stories for children on the wireless back in the day. Only, I'm a Katie & the factory has been talking to me.
This time of acute challenge & sound sensitisation has been quite fascinating, in it's own perverse way. I have discovered that sound is sneaky & deceptive & that it likes company. That it travels in waves, bounces off walls & masquerades in layers. I have also come to realise just how cacophonous our modern world has become & how many people go about their lives quite oblivious to the bombardment of loud & irritating sounds. 
Yet to hear...the voices of our loved ones, the chatter of children, birdsong, the susurration of the wind  through trees, music, the purr of a cat...these things are gifts. Truly to be treasured.
I find that I had rather got out of the habit of listening to music but with my constant & annoying companion persistently wittering in the background I have sought refuge in the sweeter friendlier more lyrical sounds of music. A few months ago when Matthew & Sarah popped in for a visit they brought with them a particularly natty little device called a base disc. So cheap & entirely portable...almost pop it in your pocket compact. A little blue tooth portable speaker, it enables anyone, anywhere to listen to music even from a simple iPhone. Our stereo is creaky, hopeless & "had it" so I bought a bass disc for myself so that I can get a better sound from music played on my computer.  
 I even discovered an upgrade that cost precisely nothing-when the speaker is, quite simply, plonked in a bowl you get greater amplification!
Finally, now in October we are having some magnificent days of spring.
What a joy these double tulips have been. I will certainly be growing them in a large pot again.
 I am always refreshingly astonished by the incredible burst of spring power that overtakes every bush & blade of grass come spring.
 So much green-life green.
 And then begin the flowers...

 I discovered that an elderly neighbour has an un-favoured lily-of-the-valley patch tucked in to a corner of her front garden. I popped in to ask if I could pick a little & offered to bring her some flowers from my garden. in return."They'd just be a damned nuisance that I couldn't be bothered with," came the reply, so I picked some divinely, fragrant, bells anyway.

 I do believe that these dear flowers should be called "fairy bonnets".
 This is perhaps the sweetest fairy bonnet I have ever grown. I adore it!
 Last week on one of Rob's days off we grabbed a pretty vintage blanket & a bottle of bubbly & found ourselves a hill on top of the world.
There wasn't a breath of wind,
 just birdsong & spring magnificence all around.

 On our way home the sunset was so beautiful...we screeched to a halt & raced back across the Havelock North bridge...just catching the colours as they faded in to night.
A few days along...
 The flowers are now filling the garden & my vases with spring joy.

 We have had a delightful supermarket promotion here for the past month or so of Little Shop items. Tiny groceries for children to collect & play "shop" with. I did giggle when a friend passed on some little packets & what should we find but a tin of Watties peaches. (Watties is the factory over the fence making all the racket)
 I hope that you are all well & living with gracious & well behaved sounds around you!
I hope it won't be quite so long before I get back here again.
Much love to you.
Thank you for visiting me.
Much love Catherine x0x0x

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Looking For My Sanity & Away With The Fairies

It all began about 5 weeks ago, although I'm not entirely sure about that, having lost a few marbles along the way.
One day I heard a noise, a quiet persistent noise that sounded like Morse Code. 
I heard it in my bedroom at first. That night it was louder & it woke me up.
Then I discovered that it was in every room of our house...but how weird, when I stepped outside to see where it was coming from it stopped. 
What could it possibly be?
Perhaps it's the wifi, turn it off...no not that.
Can't be the neighbours, we've all been here for years: no noise.
Must be coming from Heinz Wattie, the factory over the fence. Hastings is weird like that.
A designated Heritage Street one side of the wall, factory on the other. 
We've lived along side one another for the past 25 years & managed to get a long fairly well most of the time. 
 It is a factory though & there's lots of machines & 
 old buildings
 & desperately ugly bits.
 I had to track this noise down. It was waking me night after night (sometimes every hour) & wearing me right out. But how could it be in every room in the house, the garage the shed & even Lucy but not be heard outside?
 I contacted the noise person at the plant & we began to explore what it could be. But nothing worked. I started walking around the whole site, down the railway line at the back & along the paths & roads that circumnavigate the whole outfit. The wind would howl right through me, desolation & despair began to set in. Then I found "it" in Margaret's house next door. Rob began to hear it to, but could still manage to sleep. On Tuesday they fired up the sauce plant (doesn't usually happen until the summer) & my noise became unbearable....all through the night. No sleep!! By 4 am I was going crazy so I drove Rob's car to the scout hall & tried to sleep in the back of the car. I could still hear the noise there too. It's about now the noise burst out loud & wild from the top of the plant. 
To trim a long & unresolved story very short...it appears it is emanating from a strange & difficult to access position quite high up. At first there was enormous relief, but apparently it may be Labour weekend before they can fix it, as it will require some major engineering work. Meantime, it is still in my house incessantly repetitive, 24 hours a day. Ear plugs are only partially useful, the stress grating my nerves raw. I cry a lot. I think I need to sleep at my brothers for a while to get some restful sleep.     
 I do what I must, we walk, work & then I must return to my home.  My home I also work from. A home that I love but I am not safe in... driven out.
If you pray please pray that I can find peace.
I have prayed all my life but never really got answers...perhaps your prayers might be heard better.
I am so tired of being bullied.
I refuse to apologise for being sensitive.
I have created a new world...
The sweet images soothe my soul, if not my nerves.
I wish I was away with the fairies.
Peaceful & trusting.
My dear friend Sue has been passing on the New World Little Shop collectables; look what was in the pile this week. Funny.
 Pretty things are flowering now..
 but it's sure been a strange start to spring.
So sorry that I haven't replied to comments lately. Just can manage it right now.
Hoping for better days & some help.
Much love to you all.
Catherine x0x0x

Friday, September 12, 2014

Violet Jelly & the Journey of the Piano Keys

I am so grateful to be living in this amazing time in history.
To be able to learn & connect, to encourage & be encouraged, support & be supported; share inspiration & friendship across borders, barriers, nations & provinces. We are no longer confined to friendships & connections that we make in the villages, towns or cities in which we live. We can freely cross borders of time & space to live more openly, broadly, even deeply than ever before..in connection; while still maintaining our own rhythms of daily life.
When I opened the unexpected parcel that I found in my letterbox last week, my heart melted & tears streamed down my face.    
 I had waited my whole life long for those of my past to "see" me, to tell me I was at least ok, but that time never came & never will. Yet here in my arms was a fresh proof; the gift that carried a thousand affirmations in one, from a dear heart to mine. I am seen. I will be ok. I am so grateful!
 Memories... new memories I have softly laid down in a bed of kindness & care.
 I am so glad that you have traveled with me, my friends, as I have journeyed through the hard things & the "Lucy" moments.
 The best & most beautiful things in the world are indeed felt with the heart. Thank you dearest Julie for your loving stitches of kindness. How glad I am to be able to visit Threadbear Cottage & your Threadbear Life at any time of the day or night to have a catch up, find endless inspiration & entertaining kitten antics. 
 The days have been endlessly dull for ages now, which is a little perturbing. 
 I think that that may be why, although we can see the signs of emerging Spring, it doesn't really feel like Spring; just yet. This is a lovely place to walk down by the Karamu Stream. Getting out & about in the country side always helps to lift your spirits when the times are a little odd.
There are moments of some sunshine.
Coriander does so love the cooler weather though.
 As does the floral marvel of radicchio. Such a beautiful vegetable....you could almost wear it.
A little muddly potager
 down in the back corner of the garden.
 Just over from the bluebells..
 and the brand new of the raspberry canes. Green arises from "dead" sticks.
 A new white dove descended in to the Fairy Garden last week.
 My most exciting triumph in ages....finally figuring out how to make a truly effective, non-toxic weed killer!! And so simple!! A tablespoon of nasty table salt, a big squirt of dish washing liquid & fill up the bottle with white vinegar. That's it. 
 And it really works.
 Cath Kidston has a theme of clocks going on at the moment. Aren't these little cruets cute.
 I just love my Trade Me "work"...sending things like violets, fabric & Cath Kidston wallpaper all over the countryside. We have so many lovely people living in our land. I like to wrap things nicely with ribbons & handwritten cards, but these old piano keys were a tad tricky on that count. They arrived with David a few years ago when he returned home from Greymouth. I listed them for a dollar as I couldn't bear to throw them away & a very interesting arty lady bought them locally. She very kindly deposited $10...as a "token of her delight". They have gone off to be shared with four other arty ladies & so their journey is complete. As it happens the piano itself was gifted to a kindergarten in Canterbury in the 1960's, later it was sold to a family, who eventually moved & couldn't take it with them...David fancied ownership & consequently hauled it over the Southern Alps where it resided with him for quite sometime. Heavy & cumbersome at the time of his leaving it then appears to have met it's demise, yet not quite fully caste off, the keys journeyed north with the intention of becoming an art installation...which, indeed, has now been fulfilled. 
How extravagant to pick a whole bowl of violets!!
 If you pour boiling water over them 
 & leave them to steep for an hour or two
 strain, add honey, lemon juice, gelatine & a tiny splash of rose water you end up with the most divine jelly. You can find the recipe here.
 We ate it for breakfast with rhubarb & kefir cream & a little fresh coconut grated over the top.
And so are these gorgeous grape hyacinths & bluebells.
I wish you all fragrance, good friendship, some jelly & a very happy week!
Much love
Catherine x0x0x
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