Driftwood constructions and a mantra for 2014

photo 1photo 2Driftwood sculptures along the coastline heading towards Farewell Spit

Rachel has photographed these amazing driftwood constructions whilst freedom camping along the north-eastern coastline of the South Island.

And I am finally finding the time to sit down at my computer and think about our blog after a wonderfully frenetic summer break spent traveling and entertaining.

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Inspired and challenged by a famous quote I re-read at the start of one of my favourite Isabel Allende books, I feel compelled to share it with you.

The final question in a poem written by American Pulitzer prize-winning poet Mary Oliver asks, ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’.

It seems to me that this question would form a powerful and deeply thought-provoking mantra to recall regularly during 2014  ….

Reflective thoughts at sunrise

IMG_2822Sunrise at Sumner Beach

The sunrise at Sumner Beach this morning was quite something.  I had one of those lovely reflective moments with my daughter whilst out walking our dog.

Reminiscing about my childhood in England, I recalled how as a young girl I would pick a few precious flowers from my garden before school, soak their stems in wet cotton wool, scrunch them up in tin foil,  and take them in for my teacher.

As much as I sometimes now struggle to cut flowers that I have lovingly tended in my garden, I think it is a shame that this rather charming childhood tradition no longer seems commonplace.  To this day, I can picture myself turning up at school with a soggy bundle of flowers  and handing them over ….

The sun rises slowly these wintry mornings

Governors Bay Jetty resize 650 blogGovernor’s Bay Jetty – photographer Rebecca Bijl

The sun seems to take forever to rise during these colder months, this morning being no exception.  Sneaking the first daylight sitting on my verandah cup of tea in hand I am reminded how good (and slightly smug) I feel experiencing  this undisturbed quite spiritual time of day.  Not sure whether there is a physiological explanation for this but for me it works every time.  Something to do with seizing the day rather than it seizing you!  Watching the sun come up knowing it is disappearing on the opposite side of the world makes me feel small and insignificant but somehow part of the larger picture,  if that makes sense!

A dear friend of mine is currently researching and writing about positive psychology and she tells me that enjoyment of nature and being outside is one of the key contributing factors to mental well being.   So there we go, that’s why gathering feels so good and seems to feed the soul!   Set your alarm a little earlier tomorrow perhaps!

Sunrise paddock DH

Sunrise at Diamond Harbour

Make a Hat Project

Nina cropPhotographer Sabin Holloway

If it’s not a hat, it’s a headscarf.  Rachel and I are crazy about head wear.  So much so that Rachel has been scouring op shops and ruthlessly going through drawers of loved, but outworn clothes  in search of interesting fabrics to turn into hats.

If you’d like to make the hat you see gorgeous Nina wearing (above) check out Rachel’s Step by Step Hat Project which follows.

Make a Winter Hat final

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gathering-1 resize blogGathering muehlenbeckia at Diamond Harbour – photographer Rebecca Bijl