I have missed chestnuts since leaving Europe. I used to go up into the foothills of the mountains where we lived in the South of France to collect great baskets of chestnuts in the autumn. Every city and town would have chestnut vendors with their fires on the sidewalk. There is nothing like clutching a newspaper cornet of freshly roasted chestnuts on a chilly morning. We used to roast them, eat as many as we could and dry the rest to put in soups throughout the winter. Sometimes, with a bumper year, I would boil, dry and grind some into chestnut flour. I have missed all that. Every autumn since leaving Europe, I have missed my roast chestnuts. I was stuck for words in how to describe them to Jed...because, really it was impossible. But, look!
That, right there, is a big bowl of freshly collected chestnuts! My dear friend Claire must've heard me complain about my lack of chestnuts and how un-autumn-like it was without them. I found these beauties in my letterbox. I just may have done a happy dance all the way back down again.
They are from a most beautiful property in the Coromandel's Kaueranga Valley...the Green Party of New Zealand's ex co-leader's land. So, not only are they chestnuts, they are chestnuts from trees under which great policy shaping conversations take place. Special chestnuts. And they taste so good. It is really truly autumn now. Happiness. Thank you Claire.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Nature puts on the best show. We have been having the most amazing sunsets.
These photos were taken a few minutes apart. Jed and I were literally ooh'ing and aah'ing watching it all unfold.
Special quiet moments shared together at the end of a busy day. The only sounds out here are birdsong and the distant crash of the waves. A little bit hard to contemplate leaving? Ah, yes.
Once, years ago, when I was leaving the St Laurent de Cerdans, in the Pyrenean mountains in France, a friend said to me. "But how could you leave? You love it here, and it is so beautiful."
We gazed out over the mountains we both loved and finally I said, 'You know, finding beauty has never been a problem for me'.
I will remind myself of that if our offer of 'the town house' (with a very very big garden) is accepted!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Cheeky look at 4 months old - takes after his mama there!
I was woken up by cats fighting in the night and as I was lying there waiting to get back to sleep, I got to thinking. Of this wondrous journey that is motherhood. Of the magic of the past years. Of how quickly those years fly by. Of how important it is to make the most of each moment, to live a life of awareness. Of how much I have learnt about myself, people in general, and our society. I have had many questions about parenting along the way and I have tried to tune into my instincts and Jed's needs more than whatever most mama's/kids were up to. I think I have done pretty well by us.
I felt incredibly blessed to have had Jed almost six years ago. He came crashing into the world after his Dad and I had only really just met. Right from that surprising start, we were both really clear that we wanted to be this little person's parents. Looking back over the last 5 and a half years, I am so glad I parented the way I felt I needed to. It continues to be a most magical journey. I love this little boy so very much.
Mother's Day is one of celebration but also a day of remembrance. I have had eight miscarriages in the last few years. I remember those little beings I felt quicken inside me to be lost to the greater world again. I thought of all my friends whose babies or children who have died, all the amazing single mama's, the mama's whose children have passed before them, those who have lost their mama's recently and those who desperately wanted to be mama's, but couldn't. I have made my peace with my losses. Having another child has not been an obsession like it can become....but that emotional and physical roller coaster is a hard one no matter how well you manage it. I cherished every minute I got to carry those babies. Kinda how I love Jed. I have no regrets. And I love who we are as a family today.
That peace is a wonderful Mothers Day realisation.
Happy Mother's Day my lovelies.
A very young Jed in the sling
(And thank you Jed and Ra for the breakfast in bed, bike-ride in the sun, the heartfelt gifts and the wonderful cards you made. Most of all, thank you for being you. x)
Friday, May 10, 2013
These arrived in the mail and my feet are so happy. A brand sparkling new pair of ecco shoes someone bought in the wrong size. My gain. There is no way I'd buy these puppies new.
I don't mind that they look a bit like my old high school shoes, or that I look kinda geeky, I love these shoes.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
What? Your other blog?! I hear you say?!
Ah, well, it is not strictly mine, although I created it, write for it and beckon lovely guest bloggers to it.
It is a fledgling blog. A work in progress. It is most lovely and restful space and those of you who are holistically minded might like to pop over there every now and then.
It's the East West Organics lifestyle blog. (Official name pending.)Interviews with well known eco- progressive folks, delicious wholefoods recipes, giveaways, craft tutorials, gardening tips, news from East West crew and the like.
I am lucky enough to be the East West Organics Social Media Manager. I work part time from my home office and at my hot desk in the office. It's important to me to create a worklife that lets me be the mama I want to be and do work I love to do. Preferably one that makes positive change in the world. I love a work place where meetings begin with hugs don't you?!
Today I had the pleasure of posting an autumn tutorial written for us by Melissa Wastney of the tinyhappy blog and author of the recently published and truly wonderful book, Sweet and Simple Handmade. Melissa's tutorial is how to make a hot water bottle cover out of a cardigan or jumper. It would make a perfect Mother's Day gift. I have one cut out and ready to sew already.
So cosy, I love my hot water bottle.
I have worked with Melissa several times, she took part in the GrowMama Creative mama series, and she has illustrated my articles in Extracurricular magazine. It is always a pleasure. She is truly a good soul. If you haven't discovered her tinyhappy blog yet, you need to!
Click HERE for Melissa's hot water bottle cover tutorial. xx