a full day doing not much in Taupo. Beautiful. A little construction work on an automata was very satisfying- Jase set up a little hand wind crank so that it struck the wires of an egg slice. So clever. A few bits of driftwood selected from The Beach (see previous post) to amplify the sound.
The next day, an early drive up to where they let go water from the dam to create the rapids on the Waikato River. Then on to a ‘hidden valley’, Orakei Korako cave and thermal park. Really amazing…
managed to get a cheap lobster. (Yeah, that sounds suspect, but we’re all good). Ripley apologised ‘sorry lobster’. Then we ate it on the banks of Lake Taupo, as the local sailing school tacked out, battled a whole black-cloud weather front, and back in again.
On to Napier tomorrow…
big, big walk up between two peaks to find a deserted beach, a quick cold nude swim then a warm up in sand.
We spent all day there. For a while we just sat.
then I started collecting bits of driftwood, mostly pine, and shells; and then constructed some sort of sculpture thingie. Don’t ask me what it is. It was hugely satisfying and when it was finished I left it there in a tiki hut someone else had made before us. Ripley made a decorated bludgeon, and Zoe made a decorated bow.
driving, driving. Up north toward the east coast where the baby offshore islands begin. Not quite as far as the Bay of Islands.
up early to catch dawn sun on the beach, tide out.
then down the east coast, across the top of Auckland, and up to the tip of the Coromandel peninsula. A tiny town at the end of the road, where a secret beach is a short walk between two tree-covered peaks. That’s for tomorrow’s adventure…
little travellers were pretty excited…
NZ is so close, really – a perfect first OS destination for the kids. Air sickness claimed Ripley on descent and Zoe’s ears were really painful.
We camped out front of a museum in Helensvile for the first night. My morning run took me past an old co op near the rail line, and a sweet water estuary. The ground underfoot was lively, almost spongy. Skylarks singing high. Spring flowers everywhere. Made up for the serious lack of sleep!
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I’ve embarked upon a little artist collaboration with two other Baw Baw Shire artists, Sue Acheson and Russell Lilford. Originally Sue’s idea, we’re coming together to evolve in our learning as artists by working into eachother’s artwork, on a really … Continue reading
Every year, depending on the weather, I haul the woollen blankets off all the beds, wash the grubby ones, and store them until the cold weather returns. I dig up the cotton cellular blankets for summer. I think last season I didn’t take the woollies off the beds, the summer was so mild.
This year, I ended up with piles of blankets that were all really dusty so I took them to the laundromat. 4 loads, at $6 per load. Done in 22 minutes. Hanging in the not-too-bright sun to kill off all the remaining dust mites.
they smell fine…so fine.
I read today an article about the blankets v. doona (or ‘duvet’, depending on where you’re from) debate. Apparently (so says the BBC) the royal bedrooms are to move from blankets to doonas. [The article also had a really specky image of a brown bedroom and an astute house-husband 'making the bed' by hoisting the doona into the air as his 'wife' sits at the dresser painting her nails. *snort*]
So why not a doona? Everyone uses them. I used to, as well. I guess I’ve dictated the change in my household because of a personal preference… is that a case of weilding power over the #littlethings ??! I dont know. Doonas cook me. When I used them in my twenties I would stick my feet out to cool down. Now, if I’m in a hotel room (with their ubiquitious doonas), I end up sticking nearly my whole body out to cool down, with a corner of said doona over my kidneys. It’s not perfect.
Every now and again I put doonas on my kids’ bed in lovely doona covers. They complain about being too hot and bad dreams. So blankets.
Truthfully, though, I’m not really sure why I prefer blankets. I’ve tried the light-weight doonas; they’re too-hot too. It’s highly possible I could find a doona that suits. But that would mean buying it. And I have all these beautiful blankets! and they all have history…
Some people might be freaked out by the thought that several bodies have rested, coughed, sweated, slept, cried, died, made love, dreamed – under the very blanket they do the same under. I’m not worried about that – in fact it has a kind of settling effect, a comforting illusion of human permanency.
‘Blanket’ is a verb as well as a noun…
My old dog went through a phase of naughtily jumping onto beds while no one was home. In making his guiltily selected spot more comfortable (or to annoy me and provoke attention whether negative or otherwise) he would scratch at the made bed to bring together several folds for comfort. Unfortunately, this resulted in his tearing of several blankets, over several occasions. So I darned them, with woollen yarn. Not invisible stitches of beauty, by any means. But serviceable.
As a result, most of the blankets have great ungainly stiches in places. Mostly, these are colour-coordinated…
I think the most enjoyable aspect of a blanket is in the underlying textiles technology. Such a clever and simple invention – but a dying manufacturing industry in Australia. I’ve visited the Creswick Woollen Mills, which still manufactures blankets (the Waverley Woollen Mill is the oldest, still-operating mill in Australia). The big looms only operate spasmodically…the blankets made per week there would barely cover a sheep’s back. Compared to a woollen doona, the technology required is much more complex to create a blanket. I dont know much about an industrial loom, or an industrial spinning mill – but I think that there a lot of rapidly moving parts in them there machines… It makes me think of pre-industrial revolution times, and how intensive human labour instead created the blankets to sleep under. Clever humans.
So anyway, I now have a stack of clean blankets, ready to fold away into blanket boxes, along with a natural moth deterrent that I found here, because mothballs are bad, bad, bad. That smell NEVER goes away, and it basically kills the critters because the solid naphthalene is constantly creating a poisonous gas. ugh. double ugh. Instead, I’ve chopped a heap of the lemon scented geranium and it’s hanging upside down, drying, after which I’ll bag it into pillow cases to put in the blanket boxes. Nice.