a gift

When you  make something to give away you never quite know how it will be received . . . but you give it away and hope.  Like watching a child leave home because you put everything into it that you could at the time.

Yesterday I received a gift in return.  Spontaneous words of appreciation.

“Nanna, you know that book you gave me for my birthday.”

“The nature one?”

“No, the one with the photos.”


“I really like it.”

And she gave me a cuddle so at this point my heart melted all over again.

Yes, a delightful, inquisitive, cuddlesome monkey.

Yes, a delightful, inquisitive, cuddlesome monkey.

One day Meg could be an animal trainer.

One day Meg could be an animal trainer.

She loves being at her Nanna's house

She loves being at her Nanna’s house

But the beach is what she loves most.

But the beach is what she loves the most.

Three weeks ago for her seventh birthday she received a book with 5 years worth of photos of her taken at my house . . . but I received something much more precious.

walking in mud

On a bad day, I feel a little like this . . . Clipped into shape, not much freedon to move.  Or maybe like this . . . Growth compromisedWith my true shape compromised by structures around me . . . but note . . . spring is here!  And with each season there is a chance to burst forth!  Now I know it’s technically still winter and spring doesn’t start until Saturday week but it IS here with lambs, calves, pale green leaves, daffodils and blossom as evidence.

I took a good look at the tree – it hasn’t been cut back, it just has put all it’s efforts into where the freedom to grow has presented itself.  There is a lesson there for me.

My mood is lifting – the sun has just risen over the Tararua Range – no clouds!

I just have to include this abandoned building which is adjacent to the one above – it’s fascinating but I have no idea what it is, or was.  Why would the brick base be that flared shape and rounded at the corners?  I’ll try and find out but do you have any ideas? And get a load of that bright blue winter’s sky – goodbye grey skies!

what prompts you?

Over a week and no post!  It’s work, it gets in the way and drains my energy sometimes but it fills up the coffers so who am I to complain?  I have the most wonderful drive to work each day.

The Monday morning drive

The first call of the day . . . no not the sheep, I was visiting the school behind me!

I’ve been watching the trees take on that first blush of colour where the buds give the trees a russet hue before that first sprinkle of green.  And if you’re not one to notice it?  You’re not desperate enough for spring.

And over the weekend?

Gulls at the mouth of the Waitohu Stream

I often looks at Tammy Garcia’s blog Daisy Yellow.  Somehow, I start with one prompt in mind and it morphs into something different as I doodle in details.

The crooked spirals received some colour and glitter

Faded: watercolour was, pan pastels through a stencil, a spritz of purple, copic markers and a white pen for some detail.

Doodling on water colours.

And that Type O flu I’ve suffered from?   New Zealand rocks!  Literally sometimes . . . earthquakes, volcanoes . . . but sporting achievement, that really gets the population excited!  I’m sure once the closing ceremony is over I’ll make a speedy recovery!

And now I’m running late.  Why is it that the “it’ll just take a few minutes” task always take so much longer?  And why does it always seem to be what I’d rather be doing?

Still, I have that lovely drive to look forward to.

are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

Some people have the courage to be vulnerable while for others, they have to be brought to their knees first.

Looking back at the road from Tibet down into Nepal. While it wasn't really on this crazy angle, it was road works all the way.

I put my hand out the window and took this photo over the cliff into the mist below. Sometimes you just have to put your hand out, or up, and you don't know what you're going to get. A metaphor for life?

At the Voodoo Cafe earlier this week, Ricë Freeman-Zachery interviewed Jill Berry.  During the interview, Jill had some words of wisdom about the value of allowing yourself to be vulnerable – you learn that way.

Also this week, friend posted this link to Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability on Facebook – sorry, I don’t have the facility on this free version of WordPress to embed a video.

If you have ever suffered from self doubt or that inner critic, I urge you to watch – it’s 20:20 minutes long, wise and witty.  When you’ve watched please come back and leave a comment – let me know what resonates with you.  There was a bit 12:50 in that shook me – as well as many other a-ha moments.

Love and courage.

more mucking around

I’ve been playing around with my iPhone.   After reading a post on Traci Bunker’s blog I downloaded the Hipstamatic, Pic Grunger and Fish Eye apps and compared some photos – great fun!

Lion's Tail

Lion's tail - regular camera shot

Lion's Tail 2

Lion's tail - a Fish Eye option

The second example is a separate shot.  In the next two photos, the second example is a treatment of the first.  I don’t know if I’m using the correct terminology here – and if you learn something new it’s the short-sighted leading the blind as most of what I know is the result of just mucking around.

Sailing forth

Hipstamatic shot

Sailing forth 2

Pic Grunger treatment

I really enjoyed messing around with these apps – not as much as being down at the beach with my grand-daughters though.  They stayed for the weekend and the weather was perfect – it was sheer delight!