Pixie Post

Monday, August 27, 2007


Never say never...


Well, there’s the one that’s most definitely over, and considering how easily we’ve slipped into new roles shared-parenting, living separately, yet remaining civil, I was right. It was most definitely over. Then there’s the one that chose to turn his back on something I'm pretty sure he also found quite extraordinary, because he thought he should ..... so there he is, back in the bosom of the fundamentalists. Coward. Then there’s the out-of-town someone I know through work who calls me once a month or so, after hours, for a long lovely chat, but turns down my suggestions that we have a drink or dinner when he’s in town. Chicken. Then there’s the one who seems quite wonderful, if we forgive him for being Australian. Oh, but he lives in Australia. Which is too damned far away.

Men? Nah, not at the moment, thanks.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


from the outside, looking in

I love libraries. The Wellington City Library is a beautiful modern building, full of light and air, a fine collection of clocks, an excellent cafe and even a basement carpark (someone kissed me once, for the first time, in that carpark). There are books in there too. I've made regular trips to a few suburban libraries around town, but the City library has my heart. I've been taking the boys there, well, since they were born, and they still think it's a treat to visit. They've grown from the ground floor preschool picture books to the childrens books, to young adults and now to the first floor where there are graphics arts, architecture and music books. The craft collection is extraordinary. I've spent a lot of hours there. I guess I'll spend a whole lot more.

My favourite thing about this lovely building are the Nikau Palms that march around one side of it.

Here's Jack, a few years ago, inside that window you were looking in.

Now, that'll make a few Wellingtonians homesick I suspect!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The Kiss, by Rodin. You know him, The Thinker is his too. You can see them both, at the Musee Rodin, in Paris. A comparatively small, not so crowded gallery, in a beautiful garden. This was one of the most memorable works of art I saw in Europe (a long long time ago). It's incredibly sensual, and the photograph doesn't do the detail justice. But such passion.....ahhhhh.....

J is for Jack

J is for Jack. He’s 13. Sometimes I don’t understand him at all, at all. He loves his computer, sleeping in, potato chips (chippies, crisps, whatever you call them), his mother’s roast chicken and his very few friends that’ve been a tight unit for years now,He’s into computer animation. They swap funny, clever “Flash” files and critique each others work with humour and honesty. Teenage boys are great fun. They’re so funny! They laugh all the time. I love having the house full of them, but it doesn’t happen very often. They prefer to ‘talk’ via their computers rather than be in the same room.

Jack is fiercely intelligent with a huge imagination. His primary school teachers thought that was fantastic, to be celebrated. His secondary school teachers? Not so much. You know that boy in the media? The one who doesn’t do well at school, compared to the girls? The one who cruises through school doing just enough to get by? He lives here. He effortlessly gets excellent marks on tests, but never does his homework. I don’t like all the loud attention the issue of educating boys gets in the media. And I loathe the stereotype that says boys all need to be active and must play sport. What kind of message does that send these lovely young men? They’re not expected to excel at school, all the information says they won’t. So why bother?

I hope he keeps fighting against the mainstream, laughing and putting his own quirky twist on things. But don’t tell him I said that.

I is for Inspiration

I’m not a quilter who struggles for inspiration. I either want to be sewing or I don’t and I don’t let it bug me. I’m a go-with-the-flow kinda girl. I’m not getting much inspiration from quilt books or magazines these days. I’m daydreaming about colour and colour combinations. Look at that cover, silver and lime. Wow! This is the only magazine that I let myself buy these days, and I find it very inspiring. It comes from Australia. This is the current issue, which I haven't seen on sale yet.

There’s a quilt idea in that stripy rug. I love the colours, they'd go well in this house.


Hi, I’m Helen. (I chose the most flattering pic I could find, of course).
I notice as my blog gets older, I get less concerned about the anonymity factor. I notice that happens a bit in blogland, there are pictures of the bloggers and more and more often as people, well, crafters, go into business, they publish their name and their address too. Are we getting slack? Are we weighing the risks of identity fraud and harm to our children, and deciding we don’t need to be anonymous? It would gag me too much I think, if more of you knew exactly who I am. So I won’t tell you my surname, and I guess you could probably figure out where I work, but I’ll keep trying not to talk about that either.

H is most definitely for Helen. You can call me Pixie around here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I went to the Theatre

I interrupt the Encyclopedia to tell you I have been to the Theatre. Yes, Theatre, with a capital T. The Royal Shakespeare Company, King Lear, Sir Ian Mckellen as Lear. It was extraordinarily wonderful. It was funny and violent. There was passion and grief by the bucketload. It was 3.5 hours long, but it simply flew by.
There were some glorious little bits of business that I loved....the opening scenes of dividing the kingdom with Lear reading badly from cue cards at a lecturn.....Regan's fondness for a 'drop'. She took a goblet of wine at every opportunity, which set her up for her eventual poisoning very cleverly.....Lear and the Fool had a running gag going tweaking each others noses....and bawdy moments too....Lear nudging Goneril's husband suggesting it was time she was pregnant, Regan spreading herself across part of the crumbling scaffolding to seduce Edmund, and yes, Lear dropped his trousers in a moment that was completely appropriate, and more shocking for the graphic illustration of the madness than for the nakedness itself. The storm scenes were fantastic, real water raining on Lear and the Fool and Mad Tom. Lear's "Blow wind and crack your cheeks, rage, blow" gave me goosebumps.
Sylvester McCoy plays The Fool, maybe you know him as Doctor Who. He played the spoons, sang and made mischief and told those truths of his with great energy. They hung him, front of stage, and left him hanging, while the lights came up for interval and we went to buy icecream. The 'body' was collected with dignity while we watched and chatted. So clever.These scenes, Lear with Gloucester (William Gaunt) were haunting. Two greiving, broken old men. The Edgar/Edmund story was rich and strong, I thought someone would get hurt in the swordfight. Mad Tom (with a bit of a Gollum feel about him) was wonderful. They got a standing ovation. There were hoots and hollers as the top ten (or thereabouts) took their bows. There was serious feet stamping for Sir Ian. He is beloved by Wellingtonians after living here for a year filming Lord of the Rings. I hope the riotous reception he got at the end of the show reminded him of that. (The pictures are from the RSC website).

I've been disagreeing with reviews by the Dominion Post's Laurie Atkinson for over 20 years now. How does one become a theatre critic that so dominates this little city? Anyway, today's review is another I disagree with. The set, the rain, the Fool....they were magnificent. I had high expectations. They were exceeded.

Picture from the Dominion Post

There was another class act in Wellington on Saturday. Tana Umanga played his last game for Wellington. Famous for keeping his family out of the spotlight, he was joined on the field after the game by 2 of his children. In his farewell speech he spoke of the need to protect our children, of how he could play hard rugby, but he could also go home and love his kids. Just a very few, carefully chosen words. Very classy. Kia ora Tana.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Let's talk about Gollies. I've got two more, and I'm getting on with this post rather than stress about not being able to find them. The missing gollies are hand knits, from school galas. The bow tie boy above was a gift to Jack when he was born, and the hand made one on the right was a birthday gift to me. (Thanks again J!!) He is made by Pam Lorimer, a very talented local doll-maker. He came with his own quilt, which is around here someplace. See how he is clutching his own tiny teddy? I love his elegant fingers, his wild hair, and his funky blue/black socks.

Ohh, look. These guys are for sale here.

I had a treasured Golly as a little girl. I called him my walligog (apparently!). I have some old Noddy and BigEars books that belonged to my mother as a child, and my favourite features a naughty golliwog story. Sometime in the eighties, naughty Mr Golly was declared racist and disappeared from the Noddy stories. Noddy and Big Ears weren't allowed to spend the night together any more either as I recall.

Here's a Golly quilt, called "Golly Gosh". You can buy the pattern here. Gollies seem to be popular in the Australian quilt making world.
Are they racist? Well, I can understand they may be seen this way, so we'll definitely call them gollies, and not gollywogs. For me they are a much loved childhood memory, and you should know that I don't have a racist bone in my body.

F is for ...

Fabric of course!
Here's how most of my stash is stored, in plastic covered wire drawers, which are strong and light and easy to see through. For years they have lived in an old oak wardrobe, but when I moved I left the wardrobe behind. I'll reclaim it when I have to relocate again. It keeps the fabric out of the dust and our harsh NZ light that fades and weakens cotton fabric very quickly. The drawers fit perfectly with some space in the middle for a stack of plastic drawers that hold tread and notions. I love that cupboard. These drawers are sorted by colour, believe it or not. About half of them hold blue! They're a little untidy at the moment. There are 6 sets of 3 drawers and in my head I try to keep the stash around that size. In reality, well......I think the fabric reporduces itself. But never in the right colour.
I've been messing about with fabric ever since I can remember. I come from a long line of knitters, but I've barely touched knitting needles.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

E is for Edward

Edward = sunshine.

simple as that.


I've spent far too long dithering about D, so best we move on quickly.

There're daffodils of course, my favourite flower.
I thought about photographing dolls, the dolls I played with as a child, true 'vintage' they are, from the days long before Barbie reached these shores....lovely dolls with beautiful dresses. Not in the mood to dig them out and arrange them to show you though. Some other time.

So here, some of my favourite 'd' blogs. One of these has over 2200 bloglines subscribers, and one has 22.

dear megan

Deborah's Journal

Design *Sponge







and here's baby Dylan. Delicious!

Monday, August 06, 2007

C is for Crochet

It's a blanket.

But don't hold your breath.

Well, you know.... everyone else was doing it.

Actually I ripped this one out, and started again. It needed to be smaller. You know, so that it took me less than a week to crochet half a row.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

B is for books

Books. Can't live without them.

I've read the new Harry Potter. It was good. Better I think, than the last couple, which were too dark, too disturbing. I liked the Hallows much better. I've just read a couple of No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books. They're fun. Think I've had my fill of them now though.
I've been trying to remember some of my earliest favourites. I remember a birthday present book of nursery rhymes that I chose. It's a beautifully illustrated book, trashed by my kids and with its ancient glue and stitching giving way now. I remember Enid Blyton books which belonged to my mother, featuring Noddy and Big Ears and naughty gollywogs. There was a collection of Girls Own annuals at my Grandmother's house, and I loved those too. Thick cartridge paper pages, full of tales of hockey-playing boarding-school gals. I read and re-read the Little Women stories, and Katy, in What Katy Did, and What Katy Did at School and What Katy Did Next was my hero. I remember thinking Jonathon Livingston Seagull was the answer to everything. HA! Slyvia Plath's The Bell Jar probably increased my teenage angst tenfold. Maurice Gee's Plumb series is my Kiwi favourite, and The Bone People by Kerri Hume was a real treasure of my university days. It's the poetry I remember mostly from studying English Lit though, Dennis Glover (a Kiwi), Yeats, and yes even Chaucer (which will make AOF laugh). The Chaucer was compulsory, the exams torture, but the stories are so funny! I remember an incredible lecture about Foreskin's Lament, a NZ play about rugby, with the lecturer taking huge strides using the lecture theatre tables like stairs and rubbing pungent liniment (the smell of club rugby)into his hands and ours and raving about this, the great New Zealand play. Unforgettable. I dropped out of economics about then! And Shakespeare, of course. I have a huge beautifully illustrated Complete Works that my brother bought for me, many moons ago.
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.
Charles De Secondat (1689 - 1755)

Hear hear!!

Let's start with A

A meme for August. An encyclopedia of me.
It's Bella Dia's idea, and I'm a little behind. Have a look at what she wrote on 31 July, and join in too.


July was not kind to me. Character building. There are lots of reasons, and individually they are managable, but one after the other? Well, just too much. With the pressure has come the realisation of some of the things that being alone means. There're the small things, like remembering to put the rubbish out for collecting, and dealing with the re-invasion of the mice, alone, because I'm the grown-up around here. The big decisions, and there are lots to be made, are mine alone.
Alone is, however, not lonely. There is freedom in being alone. My independent spirit is thriving. Let me know if I become cantakerous or intolerant. The few nights I spend at home alone, I treasure. I like the silence. I like to listen to the sea. Sometimes I like to play the same cd over and over with no-one to complain. I can read or blog all night and eat toast for dinner. I can fill the house with friends. I was more lonely in the last couple of years living in an easy, ordered family home than I have been this year. Loneliness was probably one of my main reasons for leaving. It was much harder to be desperately lonely in a relationship than it is to be alone.
So here I am, alone. It ain't so bad.