Thursday, July 28, 2011


My mind has been churning over making comparisons lately, so many huge decisions & choices to be made. Once again I find myself not knowing where to start & with no hand here to guide me it could become almost overwhelming .....if I'd let it. Revisiting the same thoughts & concerns repeatedly & making those same comparisons time & again serves no purpose & becomes all too consuming.

When those thoughts start creeping in I think of the three things you can't recover in life:
The moment after it's missed
The word after it's said
The time after it's wasted

So quite simply I'm not letting anything overwhelm me - I don't the time to waste on that!
I'm putting it down on paper, making lists 'pros' one side 'cons'  the other - you know the routine. More often than not I find myself seriously torn...really seriously, & it surprises me. Perhaps it would help if both sides weren't quite so even!

While I'm on the subject of comparisons two images taken just a few days apart.

 This was looking towards the sun rising on the morning the mailleman left for Australia.

Looking in the same direction 5 days later. 

By this time the snow was well on it's way to melting so there wasn't much left - but for me it was certainly a first seeing what was left of the snow on the beach. The mountains in the background have never looked so clear or so close. I wouldn't have missed this for the warmest of tropical locations on offer!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Oh yeah! "Time may change me - but I can't trace time" (thanks David!)

And boy have there been some changes around here! I certainly can't trace the time because everything seems to happen so fast. I think it was possibly the week before my birthday, on a laid back Sunday afternoon, that I suggested to the mailleman that if there was work available in Australia that would benefit our situation - then it might be worth looking at.

Within 3 days we'd gone from suggestion to reality & by the Wednesday evening that week he'd been given a date to be there - 3 weeks later on the 21st July. I'm still not sure what happened to talking about it, making fixed plans & weighing the pro's & con's - there simply wasn't time.

I pretty sure that my head was spinning from the speed of it all over the next 3 weeks, although the mailleman seemed to be his usual chilled out self about the whole thing - on the surface anyway ;)

I'm not entirely sure what I was worried about, it certainly wasn't being alone here, so perhaps it was the potential for the huge change this could mean for my entire family. I dithered, I went hot & cold about the idea, which was in fact already reality & I couldn't settle or focus on anything much....again.

In the meantime I watched as people still obsessed about every little aftershock & wondered what had given me the ability to chill out about & become objective about all the earthquake related stuff that is still going on. The answer that came to me was quite simple - creating, primarily with glass & in between times pounding metal. I realised that since I had started thinking about glass again my focus had shifted. Later when I was cautiously trying to pick up where I'd left off  it was the sole time that my absolute immersion in something was so intense that I thought of nothing else.....well, apart from the times we've had a decent aftershock when I've been mid way through some scrollwork.

That in itself has been educational. Initially as I'd feel a mid size one start coming, the fight or flight response would kick in - my body would tense, heart pounding in my chest & I'd be halfway out of my chair stringer in one hand & bead in the other ready to move. Very quickly I learned to read those pesky aftershocks a bit better though (hey, I hate wasting glass!!!) while sitting as still as one tends do at the torch. The heart still thuds - but the body doesn't tense up until those nasty suckers feel like they are going to keep building, before which I've had time to take the stringer out of the flame, pass it into my bead hand & reach down to turn off the propane.

As my focus has slowly shifted back to glass, first sorting it & reorganizing it, then later sitting there melting the wonderful mesmerising stuff for brief periods of time I have realised how utterly absorbing & cathartic it was.

So when I felt myself getting a little stressed about the mailleman leaving,  & starting to get uptight about all that seemed to need sorting & doing before he left I made myself a visual reminder..
So far it has worked...

You can go here if you want to generate your own Keep Calm poster. Try it - it's fun! This was just a quick effort a few weeks back, but they can be fully customised to include your own logo on the website.
If you want the full sized version of the one I created - go to the site & use the search image function - the key words are Flameworkers Mantra ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snow Day!!

Or rather it would be if the kids were at school instead of home because it is the School Holidays.

The anticipated dump of snow eventuated & this morning I awoke to the wonderful still, muffled silence that only a good layer of snow blanketing the city can bring. Utter peace! I well recall the feeling of stillness & silence that only a decent layer of snow can bring & knew before I even looked out of the window that the snow had given us a something quite special to wake up to. I wasn't disappointed.
Today was quite magical - although I'm not so sure I will feel that way when it melts.

Levi had a blast - the dog who doesn't like to go out in the rain & get wet became the unstoppable snow dog. Cavorting around the back garden & racing circuits that quickly spoiled the pristine white too fast for me to capture on camera!
There were a few still moments though.

 Hesitant at first!

 Figures that it's safe to play & explore.

What's that? You say I need longer legs??

Gabriela took her Dad up on the offer of a ride up to Waipara & took my old small point & shoot camera with her. I would have loved to have been on that wee trip!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Snow - The Icing on the Quake

It's started snowing. Not something that happens that often here in Christchurch. After a brilliantly mild winter so far I'm not really surprised at this. Even the frosts have been lighter than they usually are at this time of year..... it hasn't even been cold enough for really hard frosts.

It's been trying to snow on & off all afternoon.....dull moody skies, the odd flakes of snow which couldn't really decided whether they wanted to be snow, sleet or rain. We've had that often enough - but it never seems to settle.

As of now it's officially snowing though, & what is more - it's settling!! This is quite exciting for a city that really doesn't get snow on any sort of regular basis. One decent dumping over a couple of inches that I can recall in the last 10 years doesn't tend to indicate snow being factored into our daily lives.

It will be interesting to see what happens if this continues & we get a good cover. I clearly remember the last time, in 1992, the power going out city wide & the most of the city pretty much grinding to a halt.
While this is a most welcome distraction to me - I can't help but wonder whether, with this city's compromised infrastructure, we are any better prepared power supply wise than we were back in 1992.

Watch this Space!! I'll update this post if anything spectacular happens within the next couple of hours :)

As it was a few minutes ago at 10.03pm

Edited to update:  11.30pm - It looks like it's settling :)

 Levi discovers SNOWWWWWW!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Parents These Days

What do mens boxer briefs, women's white singlet tops, socks & bandana's have in common?

Give up? 
Are you sure that you can't guess? Perhaps you can guess, but I'd put money on the fact that you'd be wrong - so I'm going to tell you ;)

Apparently, worn together as a complete ensemble, they are suitable attire to wear to a school dance.
I kid you not.

Picture this, if you will. Three teenage girls on a chilly Friday night getting ready for a school dance. One in particular had made a huge fuss of having to have her hair trimmed & straightened that time for the dance, because one must look good right?

I can't pretend total ignorance of what was being worn, after all I had provided money for the shopping trip. I just expected the ensemble to be worn with something - preferably over it or, at the worst, over opaque tights. Yes,  that fashion blunder that see's shorts being worn over tights. That at least I'm getting used to!! It's mid winter here after all - tights would offer a bit of would thermal underwear under the singlet tops.

Back to the preparations;
Giggling & girlish chatter filter through to the family area from up the hall. One of the girls Mum & I go up to explore. Both of us are a tad incredulous at what we see - but our exclamations of  "you can't possibly just be wearing that" are greeted with more giggles & firms assurances that is exactly what they plan on wearing.

Time to leave for the dance & the three gigglers all come out dressed in their finery. Singlet tops showing lily white arms covered in goosebumps, funky striped mens boxer briefs showing long expanses of winter white legs & folded bandana's wrapped around & tied in front. I'd have been speechless if it wasn't for the fact that all three just had socks on - no shoes!!

Having positively squeaked out "where on earth are your shoes" I was informed that they wouldn't be wearing shoes because they are required to take them off at the school hall door. I think I may have made a couple of other mild noises  about the foolishness of no footwear before hopping into the car to transport them to the dance - but really it's all a fog.

I could have made a fuss, I could have said all of the things that were going through my head - or refused to let them leave the house like that. But really the bits that mattered were covered - they weren't plastered in make up & looking older than their years, they didn't look cheap or tarty - they simply looked a little, dare I say it, silly.

I'm so pleased I kept my mouth shut!!

As I was leaving after I dropped them off another car pulled up discharging a group of girls into the bitter winter night. 
Three girls wearing men's boxer briefs, singlet tops, bandana's & socks.
Then another car....
You get the picture ;)

This parent is obviously out of touch. Hopelessly & completely. She was also chuckling to herself the entire trip home.
Can't say I'm particularly fussed with this fashion  'uniform' - but then again I expect my Mum felt the same about platform shoes & flared pants & some of the hideous things I wore back in the 70's.