Monday, 25 November 2013

Garden photography

I escaped the house while waiting for the kids to chatter themselves to sleep last night, and it was good to be outside. If you must know, I was actually emptying the rubbish and the compost when I found something that made me want to get my camera out, and once it was out I didn't want to put it away. It's a really good feeling - finding something I really enjoy doing and don't want to stop. That doesn't seem to happen often, and needs to be recorded here if I'm talking about things that make it good to be alive.

These photos are achieved through a combination of my great new camera, the extension tubes I bought a while ago, and my very shabby but still lovely garden. I'm really going to miss it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Glucose chocolate

I couldn't possibly tell you how I got there, but you know what it's like. A while ago I was reading something on the internet and then I clicked on a link and then I followed something else and somewhere along the way I ended up at Wild Patch Chocolates. And hoorah! What a great place to land. Wild Patch Chocolates was set up by chocolatier Linda Komesaroff who found herself on the possibly awkward journey of becoming sugar-free. But rather than having to find a new vocation, she started making glucose-sweetened chocolate. What a brilliant idea. And lucky for us!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

New items, same old subjects

Hoorah! I have two recent acquisitions to let you know about. No, neither of them is a house. But the next best thing. I received a delivery of some glucose chocolate the other day, and...bought a new camera. A Canon EOS 1100D, for those of you who are interested. Here's a sneak preview of the choc, and a few of my first pictures -

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Book Summaries - "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen..." Chapter 1.

Book Summaries are summaries of books I have been reading about bringing up children. They're not book reviews. Their purpose is to help me clarify what I have been reading, and you, too, may be interested in the main points of some of these books. I intend to use them as a useful quick reference, and you may like to as well. Not everything that I read (and therefore write here) will be my own point of view, though it's highly likely that the books I've chosen to read will be on par with my own ways and views. Though perhaps not always. Sometimes learning about different approaches can really cement my own views. These summaries are not me suggesting to you how you should bring up your children. Take what you wish from them, or if you don't feel the need to have any further input on how you do your job, pass this post by and I'll see you on another topic.

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish 

This book is packed with information and includes loads of examples, including many cartoon strips! My summary will include a lot of their examples (including some paraphrasing for brevity), and many direct quotes.

My bed companion

Gosh it's been a while. I notice that none of you are keeping me accountable. But then I don't suppose you will tell me that I'm slacking. I don't know if you have noticed that my Portrait a Week has been slipping a bit, and I'm now 2 weeks behind. I tried to remedy it a few days ago, only to discover that my camera is broken. I'm hoping like crazy that a quick trip to Wellington Photographics will fix it fast, and trying to decide whether to use an inferior camera or just take a brief break. The kids are growing fast, but not that fast.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Intro - Book Summaries

I read a huge amount as a child and a teenager, and I read quite quickly. Well - I don't whether or not I'm a quick reader, but I got through books fast because I could never put them down. Once my head was in a book it could not be dragged out. I remember reading books and brushing my teeth at the same time... I must have had some awareness that life had to continue, but not at the expense of the book. I think my Mum, obviously pretty happy with my choice of pastime, sometimes despaired when I had a good book going because, you know, sometimes a kid just has to set the table for dinner or do something.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


A  portrait of my children every week for a year.

Busy People's Bread

A few of you have recommended Annabel Langbein's "Busy People's Bread" and as it happens I have the right recipe book on my bookshelf, so I have made it a couple of times.

Morepork in the trees

There's a morepork in the trees
When I go for my night time wees
It's making quite a racket
Across the evening breeze.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Buying chicken (and wrapping it)

A couple of times recently I've come across the idea that buying whole chickens is the most cost effective way of eating chicken. That sounded appealing to me, so I thought I would look in to it.

For me it wasn't quite as easy as just buying a whole chicken. The point is that I want to be able to eat my chicken in different ways, not just whole roasted. This means chopping it up in to pieces, which is a bit off-putting. I'm not really a wuss when it comes to raw meat, but I don't love handling raw chicken, and the truth is that slicing up a whole chook would require some serious knife work, a serious knife and a bit of time and energy.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Fed up with eating

I've been trying out this remarkable way of eating. Well, trying it as often as I can manage over the last couple of weeks. It's quite radical; you might call it a diet, if you must, but it doesn't really have a catchy name. Maybe somebody should come up with one. At the moment I call it "eating when you're hungry and stopping when you've had enough."