Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ohope Beach, Here at Home


We're here back at home in Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty, NZ. For chrimbo  as they call it here. Weather came good for the Big Visit, wetting rain changed to sun so boiling I had to cover my Donatella tan with that very unattractive white sunslap. D not best pleased.



Mum and Dad's house
Mum and Harley, Jackson and Cy and Poppi dog.
Mum's back patio
Trifle in fridge, all is right with world

I'm doing this on the bloggerapp so please forgive spelling misteaks.


The NZ "Christmas Tree" the Pohukutukawa are out in force with red blooms. Kevin and Jackson have bad allergies from them, poor things.  Can't please everone when you're a bloomin' tree these days. 


We went on a 12 mile hike (tramp they call it here) which was brutal as i've done almost no exercise since I returned from the Camino three months ago... 
Me, Kevin and Pietra starting out


Kids did half of it...with just a soupcon of complaints

We boated out to Whale Island which used to be barren and chockfull of rats and rabbits, now beautifully green haven for Kiwis birds, which lets face it with their not flying, must have been at the pub when the survival genes were handed out. Cute little buggers though. 

Only a few years ago there was only eight Kiwis in this area, now there are 300. 

At one point Sylvester Stallone wanted to purchase Whale Island for a casino. Oh Sly. 

Dad and Pietra on the PeeJay's catamaran on the way out. 

Here, niece Leah and I looking at the grey seals, which apparently are incredibly stanky close up, but magical to watch at this distance.



There's so much thermal activity that if you dig a hole in the sand it fills with toasty-toe warm water.


Climbed to the top of the hill and looked down and thought poetic thoughts as you do when you're on holiday.


Then we went to cut down a Christmas tree at our little pine tree farm we have in the backblocks ( yes, call me Mrs christmas).


Me, Sharon and Jackson
To the victor the (small) spoils

And we also dug some spuds (potatoes) for dinner. Dad has a vege garden out there, though the birds are getting the better of him, sounds like. 


We have a talent  for picking trees which have personality but would not fetch the highest bid in a lot...


See what I mean? This one was particularly vertically challenged and Mum had to tether it to the Grandfather clock. Imbibing early for New Years? The tree, not Mum. 

Mum made a cracking good baked ham and Dad carved. 



Tallulah, Leah and I made a pilgrimage that really cheeoice store down the road, Ruby Dunes. We just stood there and said "so nice" which is pronounced 'noice' if you're wondering...




Very happy that sister Sharon is wearing dresses that lay fallow in my wardrobe. She wore the triangular Tracy Reece frock to work and Tracy got to read the radio news and do some reporting so she was well employed.


Well that's all for now... What are your plans for The Big Day?  Meri Kirihimere to you and your whanau ( fam).
Arohanui. With love, my friends. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pink it is... and off we go.

Before I head off home to Ohope Beach, forgot to tell you about a couple of other things...As you can tell I put off packing until the very last minute.  I saw this snap of Jackie and though pink! maybe that's the final piece of the puzzle for our entryway.



Turned out it was. A decorator person once told me when a room is not working put something shiny in it (a mirror or something else glittery) and pink. Tried some pink flowers and my friend Jenny found an 1960's mirror in Hawkes Bay and put one of her photos in it. (Btw, if you're anywhere near Hamilton, NZ go to Jennys' gallery - Inspirit -  it's really cool and bursting with art and homeware and clothing).

Our entryway




Here's another one of Jenny's photo-mirrors in the kitchen.



I didn't decorate as we're leaving before Christmas but I thought these two birds, made by my sister's friend Phil (Metalbirds) are sort of decorations, especially as they've rusted in a shiny way...





My copy of Elle Magazine just arrived with Nicole Kidman on the cover wearing a pair of Dior Bermuda shorts. You know I love bermuda shorts but not sure about those shorts with boots and a duster coat...kind of like Mrs Danvers (the housekeeper from Rebecca) on a beach vacation.



The washer just went on the blink so had to send the 17 year old to do a truckload of wash. There is nothing worse than standing behind someone on the airport security line who is transporting dirty washing.  Except sitting next to someone who has just had a spray tan (it smells nasty chemically) Oops that would be me...

I picked the Number Three setting so I will see you on the other side - Donatella-done.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Good Old Clear Out.

Just finished an article about the purge before the New Year and thought heck - best take some of my own advice and give away clothes I hadn't worn in a year. Also out goes dresses too short for the 52-year-old knees (oh gravity - you beyotch!). Btw, how do we end up with clothes we like but never wear? According to Fashion Therapist, Vanessa Hernandez, it's because we go for print and color when in fact fit is the most important consideration.

This is all going to my sister....the blue Burberry coat was $40 second hand, never wore it as I already had a blue coat. Out go all the narrow shoes that are bunion unkind.

Not sure if I was being intentionally gormless here? Out goes this dress, pretty short even five years ago which is why I'm wearing strange tights I guess.

Nice story about youth today...Harley was asked to be in the "court" of his lovely friend Lois who was having her 18-year-old debut, performed in the traditional Filipina style. In all, 16 of her friends - boys and girls - practised the cotillion and a number of other formal dances for EIGHT months before the evening.  The cotillion was so intricate and graceful and so, so beautiful there as not a dry eye in the house. They danced it to the song of A Thousand Years. Friends, I defy you to listen to this song and not be affected. Bring back the Cotillion, I say!

Harley dancing around his friend Lois on her 18th birthday. At the beginning 8 girls bring her a candle and a rose and tell her what she meant to them. Eight boys each do a little dance around her. 





I wore my swishy blue frock, which turned out to be Lois blue.

Just found a snap of Harley as a three-month-old bubby, with his cousin Devan:

Baby Harley and cousin Devan 17 years ago. Seems like yesterday and yet a thousand year ago.

Also on the "youth today" theme, Cy, 10, is nothing if not genius about managing expectations.  He may not have covered himself in glory this year, as old FF would say. I just saw the start of his letter to Santa Claus.



My article about all the decor stores on Piedmont Ave, Oakland was in the SF Chronicle. Loved a new store called Mulberry Home which was a mix of Cali cool and East Coast preppy.

Mulberry Home

Arjan florists do that thing of using fruits and herbs in decorations

Also did an article about the couple who own Heath Ceramics (an iconic ceramics company in Sausalito) for Anthology mag (sorry no link). Trending are those old-fashioned pink tiles, black tiles and dark grout with a light tile. One of my Kiwi friends said she was all set then; her bathroom grout is all black (mold).

There I am with all the youngies
The couple who own Heath at their home in Sausalito. I really admire couples who work together but we could never (ever!) do it. What about you?
Their kitchen with acid yellow tile

This morning I went to Tamale-making Christmas party at my friend Cindy's house. The tortilla soup was incredible. I wore my stretch boots from Mexico.

silk sweatshirt

Purchased in a store in Sayulita, Mexico, eminently bunion-friendly as it turns out...

Cindy and her son Travis, 17 with the Tamales.


From the Philippines  to Mexico - friends, never say I don't take you places on this blog. We're headed out to the famiglia in Ohope Beach, NZ tomorrow. Apparently it's cold and raining. What are you up these holidays?


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