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Category Archives: Whoops didn’t tag these puppies

Wild and windy empty shores


Ain’t no jumper like a seventies acrylic waistcoat

We have been in NZ for a lovely ten days now, although it is just our luck to arrive when it is tipping down so badly they have had to evacuate whole towns due to flooding. Poor timing on our part. BUT as ever, there is a silver lining – because lolling on the beach is out, a serious amount of lolling around charity shops is IN. Can I get a whoop whoop!

As we wander around these junk stores I often find myself wondering what people do when the clouds open up? In my opinion secondhand shopping is quite simply a wonderful, all round hobby, perfect in every way for those rainy days.

We are majorly limited by what we can actually buy as we have to lug it all back across the world but this hasn’t hampered our browsing. Amongst other things we have found some cool old toys for Ramona, a yoghurt maker (one of the things on my hope-for list) and some fabric. But today is really an ode to some of the retro style you can pick up here in NZ so easily.

UK charity shops often lack good vintage clothing- is it because vintage dealers nab them first and stock up their own shops with it? Or is it just harder to find amidst all the Primark tat? I very rarely find great retro clothing back home.

So here it has been a particular pleasure to rummage through these shelves and admire some nice Kiwi old skool. I left my FAVE cardi back in England (It was one of those “I will put this cardi here in this special place so that I DO NOT FORGET IT” moments) so have managed to pick up three cardi’s to take it’s place. Nothing beats a nice seventies acrylic cardi! All three of them made lovingly in NZ. Here we are squizzing at the cat in the next door neighbour’s garden- Ramona is utterly obsessed with them. You also get a good look at my finger toes in these shots. Your welcome.

Hand Knitted Lemon Yellow Cardi-  £3.99 from the Salvation Army in Lower Hutt

White Acrylic Waistcoat with Gold and Navy Trim- 25p from the Hospice shop in Levin

White Acrylic Cardi with Light Blue Patterned Stripe- £2.99 from Savemart in Levin

Ramona’s Green Checkered Dress- 25p from Hospice shop in Levin (they were having a beauty 50c sale)

Our first visit to the beach


Her name in sand


Eating sand


Richard Branson and bellybuttons

I once taught Richard Branson how to do the running man- it was for a charity thing for work, but then when he got up on stage to do it he was really bad, worse then my mum when I tried to teach her in the early nineties. He literally just jogged on the spot where as my mum at least had the scrapey foot thing down. Geez, how hard can it be, Dick?

Or perhaps I just failed at teaching….I have given 3 people driving lessons who all failed first attempts to pass. In New Zealand, where I lived for 7 years, it is all pretty low key, to be honest I didn’t even have my full license when I was teaching them which might explain it. (Don’t tell my mum this.)

While on this dodgy half-license I once drove through a police check point at ninety kilometres an hour with a car full of yoofs. I was a youth worker and I’d taken them to the beach for the day but was driving without my spectacles and thought the police waving me down were just random flashy lights. They chased me and did that thing where they brake in front of you to make you stop. I may also have been on one of those follow-the-cops-around-tv-shows. (Don’t tell my mum this either.)

You see, I should really wear my glasses as I have a stigmatism in one eyeball. But I don’t because I just spend half my life trying to remember where I’ve put them.

As well as a stigmatism, I also have toes that are very finger like, and in fact I can pick stuff up off the floor with them and put it in my mouth. Not that I would ever do that with biscuits or popcorn as a grotesque attempt to be the life and soul of a party or anything ever as that is clearly just filthy…

You may think THAT rank. But I’ll tell you what is rank- belly buttons. UGH. I am totally allergic to people touching my belly button. Even just typing that makes me quiver oddly. Ramona loves trying to grab my belly button so in the name of sacrificial mothering I try to steel myself.

Mothering is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love being a mum to Ramona more than I thought possible. It took us nearly three years to fall pregnant with Ramona and she feels like a precious little miracle.

TADA! That was 7 things you didn’t know about me- ha, and there you were thinking I was just having a particuarly colourful mind vomit. I was tagged in this cute little meme by Wild Thing’s Bek so in turn I am tagging  Mel Wiggins, Valerie from Mama’s Little Beats, Living it Little’s Fee, Miss Lizzie B,   Mel of The Cookies , Claire from Border Stories and the Jacqui the Barefoot Crofter

Feasting at the Occupation- a glimpse of utopia

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There is a little old lady who lives round the corner from us with a tree in her garden that is spilling over with fat, juicy apples. A few weeks ago we plucked up the courage to knock on her door to see if we could pick some.  She was completely delighted as she can’t reach them and doesn’t even like them (I know! Who doesn’t like apples?!) and in all her time living there (she has lived there FOREVS) no one has asked.

So this morning we packed a few bags of those scrumpcious morsels and took them up to the protest camp in front of St Pauls – Occupy LSX. As we wandered over to the kitchen we saw a table GROANING under the weight of abundant fruit, sandwiches, chocolate, lentil soup. It was exactly like the harvest festival at my primary school when I was a nipper but with a lot less baked beans.

Throughout the course of today this food has been handed around, shared out, feasted on. It is a beautiful, utopian picture of how the world could be. Where people who have lots, bag it up and pass it round the crowd.  Mums and babes getting served first (woo!) along with the really hungry and vulnerable. Skips delved into, bringing out still the freshest of delights; nothing wasted.

It is a really tiny aspect of Occupy LSX, the feasting, but the rest of it is pretty up there with ideal too; the huge diversity – every age, religion, ethnicity, sexuality and salary represented, the creativity and friendliness, the slow and steady democratic process – and the patience shown throughout it.

Of course it is only a tiny corner of the world, but it reveals what is possible AND highlights what a complete, criminal, joke our current global system is- where people simultaneously die of obesity and starvation.

If you haven’t already joined your local occupation, take a few hours this week to join in the antics – even if it’s just for the food. (Jokes, that would be well cheeky. You should at least make a placard or something.)

Today we started a Kids Space, which will be every afternoon from 2-5pm by the big statue in front of the steps. We have bubbles, toys, paper and pens.

This blog was written for Blog Action Day 2011, the theme is Food, coinciding pretty superbly with World Food Day. Check it all out here.

Christmas at Poundland

I walked past Poundland today and saw CHRISTMAS HAIR CLIPS!

There is something wrong about Christmas going on sale the same day the kids go back to school, no?

But the funny thing about it was that I have been so focused on Fair Christmas Fayre 2011 this week that it took me a full 30 seconds to realise the wrongness. The image of a Santa head stuck on a hair clip completely matched where my head was.

Fair Christmas Fayre is a one day ethical Christmas marketplace on Oxford Street we began four years ago. And I really want this year to be completely and utterly amazing.

We already have some brilliant stalls confirmed, oldies from the last few years and some newbies.  We have got some super crafty craft cornery-ness in the making, with a hard core retro badge machine booked in. The poster is being completed as I type.Our Twitter account is buzzing.  (Well, it will be if you follow us!)

Well, that’s all. I’m off to style my hair with my new accessories.

(JOKES! I know Poundland hasn’t signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative!)

PS I have just cross posted this from the Fair Christmas Fayre wordpress site. What a lazy sod, I know, and is it even legal? Have I just plagarised myself? Or just let myself down? The beautiful thing is though I only did it because I want you all to come and have a wonderful time at the Fayre. However, I promise I will (probably) not do this again.

Christmas Cards

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Here are the three I did for the church Christmas card. They chose scrabble. Feel free to use and send as E Cards! x

Woo! Christmas!

Christmas peg angel

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It is nice having a little baby that just sleeps and feeds- it is a tranqil transition to motherhood and means I’m still able to make things. Don’t worry I am not under any illusion that this will last!
I am making a Christmas card for our church at the mo and for one of the concepts wanted a little angel. Inspired by a sultry peg senorita that Mel gave me, I whipped up a holy peg angel. Here she is with her more exotic friend…