You know you’ve turned some sort of corner in life when you’re more excited about going to see Downton Abbey than any of the last several Avengers movies.

You’ve got one job

This beauty is a puriri moth that we found, probably just at the end of its life, on the footpath.

The caterpillar lives for up to five years inside a tree, eating and growing. When it metamorphoses into a moth, it lives a maximum of two days (has no mouth to eat), during which it hopes to meet another puriri moth and make babies.

Cat got your cart?

We’ve been really happy with this little cart we got to haul our farmers market finds. It’s easier now that we’re too old to care if we look like old people pulling a cart.

Misty is a great fan of anything with a string attached.

(Tiny {House) Concert}

Last Saturday we did two fun things.

In the AM, we went to the North Shore Miniaturists show. Which is like dollhouses, only a bit more varied than just the traditional dollhouse idea. Lots of cool stuff… some real talent on display. Lee is working on a couple of mini arts and crafts projects and this was an inspiration.

Then in the evening we went to the KBB Music Festival gala concert, for the second time. It seemed less good than that first year, but the kids still did some great work.

Rites of spring

This pink tree is definitely one of the nice early signs that spring is around the corner. The birds love these flowers.

Running through Cornwall Park yesterday… no dogs, please, it’s lambing season. It’s pretty great to have this park, totally available to the public, in an otherwise ordinary suburban neighborhood just a few miles from downtown.

Who’s the fairest?

Our furnished rental house came equipped with a very sleek black and white colour scheme. It showed well, but over time we have found both the furniture and the decor to be too sterile.

We’ve been acquiring stuff of our own here and there, but the dining room wall was still home to some old framed stock photos. They were only united by the B&W scheme.

So, did a thing we’ve done before: a collection of mirrors… united only in being mirrors, I suppose, but still happier for us than the noir.

We laid them all out on a sheet first, trying a bunch of different arrangements before ending up pretty close to the very first design. The sheet technique worked great for transferring the positions to the wall.

Whenever we do move out it will be a fair bit of work to restore the look back to the original… maybe we’ll choose to say goodbye to some of our deposit.


Above, Tutukaka’s Paradise Bay, where I went for a swim on Sunday morning that featured a sea cave and a fur seal.

Below, Auckland’s Rothesay Bay, where I went for a run yesterday afternoon.

Warkin’ It

We are in Tutukaka this weekend planting trees. En route yesterday, we stopped in Warkworth for some fried chicken. Walking around we found this clock tower, presented by the local Jaycees in 1967.

And we got to witness the free market in action at a local op shop. Supply of cricket books outpaces demand, resulting in depressed prices…

Get a job

I saw this tableau on my way home last night… nobody around it.

I believe it is now widely accepted that telling a homeless person to “get a job” is unhelpful and inappropriate.

Is it more or less hateful to throw down a textbook on multivariate data analysis?

Putting down roots

After almost two years we thought it might be time to repot the star jasmine plants on the deck. We were right, they were totally root bound.

It was a shame to have to bash the pots, but also kinda fun.

Happy 29th

We celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary this month, which is apparently the year to give furniture. This old wardrobe will help keep Lee’s sewing and crafts supplies safe from curious marauders…

Far, far away

In one of those random coincidences that happen all the time,

• we got something shipped to us wrapped in newspaper

• which had a recipe for a clafoutis, a dessert popular in France and particularly the Northern part

• which reminded me of the “far Breton”, a denser cousin of clafoutis and a favorite of mine from my time in Brest all those years ago

• so Lee made one!

It’s every bit as good as I remember, and just the thing to keep you warm for a day of backbreaking work hauling lines, mending nets, and wrestling a meager living from the cold and treacherous seas. Or mind numbing meetings, answering your email and fleshing out your cloud migration strategy. Whatevs.

Puzzling but cool

Street art in Mairangi Bay. Some might question placing this outside the loading dock of the grocery store, but probably that kind of question would show a lack of artistic sensibility.

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