Thursday, 18 June 2015


My husband and I don't drink spirits as a rule - we have four bottles stashed behind the sound system in the office covered in dust: a bottle of gin purchased from Duty Free eight years ago (unopened), brandy (opened when we have colds), whiskey (my husband is allowed to drink this when I'm overseas as I cannot bear the smell) and Limoncello (used for a dessert I make at Christmas).

So, when I found our ginger huntress sitting amongst bottles this morning in the office and none of the bottles were upright, I knew something, yay verily, had come to pass. She is STILL sat amongst the overturned bottles staring at the floor under the cabinet. This is the part of the house where mice are brought during the night and played with. Each morning we have to check the patterned rug for skeletons or body parts of rodents.

Tonight could be interesting. Thankfully my husband's hearing is too poor to hear any clinking of bottles from the room three doors down, so he will sleep soundly through any hunting, I will lie awake, wondering if the cat is getting drunk and the mice will probably have a party.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Walking on the wild side

I never ceased to be amazed at the variety of life on our small country road. This morning the bird life I encountered on my walk was wonderful; plovers, an Australian hawk, kingfisher, goldfinch, fantails and a peacock! The peacock is the latest addition to a menagerie that is growing in the field next to the stream. It includes, ducks, sheep, very large chickens and a ginger pig, the latter obviously added to be the "spice of life". So, here are a few shots from my 2km + walk down the street this morning.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Pie Therum

There is something enormously comforting about making a fish pie. Because they take a wee while to assemble all the components, you should only really make one when you have a bit of time. My excuse today was that last night's meal was so disastrous (the remnants were put in my neighbour's mail box for her dog's dinner), I had to make up for it somehow. Enter the pie.

I think I started making pies when I was a student. I had a slightly strange recipe book from the 1970s which included exotic delights like Russian Kasha! Not sure how that recipe snuck past Brehznev to the West, but it did, and I once served it to a close friend (who still is, remarkably). I think that is why I always call this my Russian fish pie. Not necessarily because it would be approved of by a citizen of that fair land, but simply its proximity to Kasha in the weird cook book.

Today's offering is more of a Scottish, Kiwi, Russian, Greek Pie. I concocted it with mackrel, salmon (the Scottish part), hoki (the Kiwi part), mushrooms (shades of Russia) and topped with Agria potatoes, which I think of as Agora potatoes - hence the Greek connection! It had better make a spectacular entrance this evening at dinner, or I could be demoted to scullery maid.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Whether the Weather be cold

I am still adjusting to the difference in climate between Wellington and the part of the Horowhenua where we now live. It has been a spectacularly mild winter thus far (if you discount a few nights of minus temperatures). Sunny still days are the norm, and although I have had the fire burning for a few days, it is more to dry off the laundry and the luxury of feeling "snug" than sub zero temperatures.

This was the driveway a few days ago. It is now completely carpeted in cherry tree leaves, which look so beautiful, I don't want to sweep them up.

Our neighbour and friend, has recently given his rather long barbary hedge a trim, so now it is possible to see the blue roof of our house peaking over the top.

And on a walk on Sunday, I was finally able to catch a shot (on massive telephoto) of this local friend. He always seems to know when I'm about to photograph him, because it has taken me a year to get the shot!