Welcome, stars of the New Year

If you were to look at a New Zealand calendar, there’s a good chance you would see 18 June marked as Matariki ~ 18 June being the official start of Aotearoa’s New Year. I have written previously about Matariki, the traditional Maori New Year and its connection to the star cluster, Pleiades, as well as its connection to  my life.  You can find the post at this link.

https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/matariki-and-my-mothers-birthday/

This New Year, instead of a re-hash of my own limited knowledge of Matariki,  I  invite you to join me over at Juliet Batten’s  blog, http://www.julietbatten.co.nz/musing-on-matariki/ , where you can see the wonder of one of New Zealand’s own seasonal events through a different pair of eyes.  Juliet is the author of  ‘Celebrating the Southern Seasons, Rituals for Aotearoa’. In her book, she writes with wisdom and clarity about our inherited ( Pakeha )  festivals, and how we can attune them to the seasons of New Zealand, and the traditional observances of the Maori calendar.

Despite Juliet’s clear instructions  on locating Matariki in  our southern skies ( “start with Orion, move diagonally down to the left, past Taurus and look low” ), I have failed to do so: mostly because I am functionally illiterate when it comes to reading the stars, but also because, this year, the weather has, so far, been distinctly unhelpful. Like this, in fact, ~soggy ~

Soggy boggy rhubarb

Soggy boggy rhubarb

with both night and day cloaking themselves in the same dark, dense, water-logged fabric.

Now, whilst I may be failing at star-craft and Pleiades-tracking, I have  spotted the return of another visitor, this Matariki. It’s none other than SOFIA, the ultra sophisticated and ultra modern star-gazer, from afar.

Sofia, a stratospheric observatory, is a joint venture  between Nasa and the German Aerospace Centre and will be based in Christchurch until July 24th. There will be 18 missions during the six-week deployment, each lasting ten hours. Although the main focus this year is Pluto, I am sure the crew on Sofia will get some fine glimpses of the Pleiades.

This is a photo I took of Sofia during her visit in July 2013. My old post on Sofia can be found on this link. https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/2408/#comments

Sofia

Sofia

If it weren’t for the dripping state of the landscape,

Dripping Nandina

Dripping Nandina

I would have been out getting you a new photo of Sofia. But, as it is, I  prefer being indoors,    salivating over   gazing at the stars of my kitchen laboratory:

Tarte Tatin ( the first I have made );

Golden Tarte Tatin

Golden Tarte Tatin

Apricot and Feijoa Cobbler;

Sundrop Cobbler

Sundrop Cobbler

Poached Quinces;

Celestial festive quinces in honour of Matariki

Celestially arranged festive quinces in honour of Matariki

Piping hot pumpkin soup;

A little sunshine dips into the pumpkin soup.

A little sunshine dips into the pumpkin soup. (Do you see the pink monster at the window waiting for her turn at the soup bowl?)

Hmmm……looking at my kitchen creations, does anyone else get the impression that I am hungry for the sun? Thank goodness, the solstice and the rebirth of the sun are nigh. 🙂

Happy New Year. 😀

© silkannthreades

 

179 thoughts on “Welcome, stars of the New Year

  1. Fabio

    Very Happy New Year, Gallivanta, to you and yours! Excellent information on this post, plus the DELICIOUS and BEAUTIFUL quince dessert! Water came to my mouth!!! Bravo!!! 🙂

    Reply
      1. Fabio

        Yes, they are soooo good! While Dave enjoys the fruit of NZ, his father savors the white wine from those gorgeous islands… 🙂

        Reply
  2. Sheila

    Happy New Year! Your creations do look like sunshine so you could be eating the sun or the stars. I’m sure they’ll warm you up. I hadn’t heard of Matariki. I love the sound of it and anything with a connection to the stars. Your dripping Nandina is beautiful, but I hope you’ll get some sunshine soon. Until then, it looks like lots of fun to create it!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Sheila. The sun is attempting an appearance today, which is nice, because I am in need of cheer ~ went down with a nasty cold yesterday. 😦

      Reply
  3. Shakti Ghosal

    The photos of all that delightful food was so alluring that as I gaped at them , I forgot to pay attention to the accompanying text. Well, better luck next time as they say!

    Shakti

    Reply
  4. Aquileana

    How interesting to learn about that June 18 th is the official start of Aotearoa’s New Year, according to traditions in New Zealand… I much enjoyed the post and I hope you could see Matariki as well ⭐ . All my best wishes, dear Gallivanta! Aquileana 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t seen Matariki yet! I am wondering if you have ever written a post about the Greek mythology of the Pleiades? “In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were seven sisters: Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope. Their parents were Atlas, a Titan who held up the sky, and the oceanid Pleione, the protectress of sailing.” ( source Wiki)

      Reply
  5. Dina

    Happy New Year to you and yours! So many utterly delicious dishes and smashing photos!! 🙂
    Sorry about the weather, hope it will improve soon. And here too, it’s cold, wet and grey … 😦
    Best regards from all of us, Dina x

    Reply
      1. Dina

        👍🏻 Please, please, please! 😉 I’m heading for the North 🇳🇴 and they need buckets of good wishes, the rest ist shivering news. 🙀

        Reply
  6. Tish Farrell

    The Pleiades seem to have sacred meaning in so many places – ‘the digging stars’ in parts of Africa. Also important in Inca cosmology for the same reason – the time to plant. But clearly not planting time in your neck of the woods. Happy Matariki, whatever the weather, and you’ve made my favourite pud too – tarte Tatin. Yum.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That was my first tarte Tatin and I am keen to make another. But tonight we are back to an old favourite, baked apples. It’s wonderful to realise how connected we all are via the stars. We have the stars in common. They guide us all. Let’s hope that we don’t ever get to divide up space and lay claim to sky states, and thereby repeat the dreadful divisions we have created for ourselves on earth.

      Reply
  7. Mary Mageau

    While I commiserate on trying to view the heavens on a cloudy, water-washed night, and loved reading about SOFIA for the first time, it was those mouth-watering delights that came from your kitchen that really made my day. Winter is a great time to enjoy a cuppa near the fire, to bake more lovely treats and to deeply enjoy home.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mary, I am the sort who could quite easily hibernate all winter in a cozy corner of a home. I am not brave about being outdoors in the cold. Hope your winter is gentle and kind.

      Reply
  8. Tiny

    Thanks for sharing about Maori traditions! Exciting to have SOFIA visit again…and I’m sure you can see Matariki shortly. Seeing the gorgeous pictures of our delicious baking made me hungry…I went to look for “night-eats” and found my hubby’s fruit salad bowl (with lots of Kiwis)…it was really good, I hope he can make a new one for himself in the morning 🙂

    Reply
  9. clarepooley33

    A Happy new Year to you Ann! I wish you and your family peace and contentment.
    I found your post and all the links absolutely fascinating and the food….gorgeous!! I have never seen the Pleiades, never having thought to look for them. I will search for them when our winter arrives. I look at the stars a lot as we have no street lights here and at the moment we can see Venus and Jupiter as well – very bright in the west. When I first moved to East Anglia in 1988 from London I was amazed by the night sky. I would stay up for hours during the night just staring at it. Keep cosy!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your good wishes Clare. Some peace and contentment would be lovely. 🙂 It’s a long time since I lived in a place where I could see the stars clearly. It’s wonderful there are places, like yours, where light pollution is not yet a problem. I am sure that when we lose sight/connection with the stars we also lose connectiion/communion with the earth. Understanding both the heavens and earth is vital to our survival, don’t you think?

      Reply
      1. clarepooley33

        Yes I think it is. We do have slightly more light pollution now than we did when I first moved here in 1988 as the local towns keep their street lights on all night now and there are some chicken and pig farmers who also keep lights on all night. Looking at the night sky and seeing stars, planets and the moon and experiencing the enormity of what’s out there really makes me feel quite small and insignificant but also gives me such a feeling of wonderment and awe. It puts me in my place.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh that is a wonderful way to express the situation: viewing the stars puts us in our place. I wonder why chicken and pig farmers have lights on all night. For warmth?

        2. clarepooley33

          I am not sure – could be for warmth or it may be that there is night work to be done as the pigs are store pigs and the chickens are not free range either.

  10. Britt Skrabanek

    Oh, man! Now I’m SO hungry. In case you’re sharing, I’d like a bowl of the pumpkin soup and I’ll have the cobbler for dessert. Comfort food at its finest. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      No one ever leaves my house hungry! Pumpkin soup, cobbler, are all to be shared. Just made a loaf of bread, if you’d like some of that, too.

      Reply
  11. Leya

    Interesting and tasty – ingredients typical for you, my dear!. Now I’m beginning to see the light again, peeping out of my dark hole of tests and correcting essays. When my children were small, we had a wonderful book about travelling through the Pleiades. now you made me want to read it again…heading for the library!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The Pleiades book sounds wonderful. I didn’t have any books about the stars when I was little. 😦 Enjoy the light of the long summer evenings, even if they are getting a teeny bit shorter every day.

      Reply
      1. Leya

        I will find that book again…there were beautiful drawings and paintings in it too. And yes – I love those long summer evenings. Only the weather here has been strange this May and June: Cold, rainy and windy. We have had 2 (two) days of real summer weather so far… I feel so sorry for the little ones, the insects and the birds relying on them for feeding their offspring. There can’t be many new birds this year – unless they can start a new. Sometimes some birds do.

        Reply
  12. Steve Schwartzman

    As someone who likes to take a roundabout route when driving from one place to another, you may enjoy following this apparent connection (at least apparent in my mind). In looking up the origin of the name tarte tatin, at

    http://www.tartetatin.org/home/history-of-the-tarte-tatin

    I found a good and seemingly reliable history. The confection bears the name of two French sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.

    Then I discovered the existence of a French artist named Robert Tatin (and I have no reason to think he was a relative of the two sisters). When I pulled up the website of his museum,

    http://www.musee-robert-tatin.fr/

    I couldn’t help thinking that the designs on the museum looks somewhat like those of the Māori.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for that pleasant detour. I am glad to know more about the Tatin sisters and their famous tarte. The recipes given in the article are more to my liking than the Jamie Oliver one I used. I like a rustic pastry. 🙂 Robert Tatin’s museum is a revelation. If I read the text correctly, it seems that the museum represents a crossroad of cultures. Tatin’s museum made me wonder about buildings here which have cross-cultural or bi-cultural references. I found this excellent article on the subject. https://jkeelan.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/maori-in-a-global-world/#respond

      Reply
  13. utesmile

    21st June… the longest day here and summer start I think, well it is not warm here either.. not summery. Still time though. Your soggy pictures look great though specially the one with all the water drops on the leaves, so amazingly beautiful. And who can resist your cooking… yummy , yummy and yummy again! The apricot cobbler i’d love to try and how do make poached quince…. it looks delicious and I can smell the quince already My favorite jam and jelly my sister makes. I really wished I was in your kitchen! Hope your weather will improve until then enjoy the warmth of the kitchen and keep making great soups and desserts.

    Reply
      1. utesmile

        Thank you so much ! I appreciate that. I shall give the recipe to my sister as she always gets lots of quince form her friend… and then I get to taste it. Yum.

        Reply
  14. Steve Schwartzman

    According to the Australian website of the Japanese automobile make Subaru: “The name Subaru is Japanese, meaning ‘unite’. It’s also a term for a cluster of six stars in the Taurus constellation, named ‘Pleiades’ by the ancient Greeks. According to Greek mythology, these stars were once Atlas’ daughters. The six-star cluster featured in the Subaru badge design is known in Japan as mutsuraboshi, meaning ‘six stars’.”

    If you don’t succeed in finding Matariki in the night sky, you could head over during the day to Armstrong Subaru at 161 St Asaph St in Christchurch and gaze on the Pleiades logos on the cars.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, indeed I could. Or easier still, just park myself in a coffee shop (window facing the street) and play a game of Subaru spotting. With the continued bleak weather we are having, the Subaru car is most likely the closest I will get to seeing Pleiades for quite some time.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am enjoying the last of the apricot cobbler tonight. With only two of us at home, my baking lasts for a while. 🙂 I noticed on your mid-summer table that you had kiwifruit, another of my favourite fruit. This year, I had my first ever kiwifruit growing in the garden….they were delicious.

      Reply
  15. Mrs. P

    Had no idea NASA operated in your area! Those goodies do look delicious and if I did any more than look at them and all the other goodies you post I would be quite a bit more rotund. Oh, I wish I could eat all that yummy food, though pumpkin soup would do well on the figure. 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Mrs P you work so hard I am sure you could eat an entire tarte by yourself to no ill effect. But, yes, the soup is definitely the healthy option. 😉

      Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        Lately it’s been come home, eat a bite and crawl in to bed. I don’t think I could eat that much…really!

        Reply
  16. Karen

    Love the photo of the rain splashed nandina. It looks like you have been creating a lot of mouthwatering dishes, perfect for a rainy day.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Karen. I expect you will be looking forward to creating mouthwatering food in your new Florida kitchen. Do you think your food choices will change to suit the Florida climate?

      Reply
  17. April

    Looking at the stars is something I shared with my dad. He would point out constellations and such, but I could only find the moon. 😀 I can’t wait to get away from city/suburbia to stargaze some more. Your food looks yummy!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My Dad used to try and help me identify the stars, too. Not always a pleasant experience because of mosquitoes! But star gazing is something fun to do with family. After all your scanxiety, may I suggest an extra helping of the goodies from my kitchen. You need to replace your energy. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Mél@nie

    magnifique post, comme d’habitude, Lady Ann… 🙂 I did recognize the NASA plane while it’s rainin’ in my mouth watchin’ your yummy and refined “stuff”… ❤

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I expect you can but I am not finding any helpful sky charts. The stars were so clear from my sister’s place in Cairns. Grab yourself some tarte tatin, a good drink, and see what you can see. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I will have to bail out the rhubarb, I think. The water is not draining at all. 😦 Oh, how wonderful to have a father in law who loves making tarte tatin. Does he experiment with different fruit? I am wondering if I will try a quince tarte tatin. I am in love with quinces.

      Reply
  19. shoreacres

    It’s wonderful to see your photos of SOFIA. I’ve never seen her, but the Guppy and Super Guppy that hauled some of her parts around the country while they were building her do fly over us from time to time. Now and then one stops at Ellington Field, and people go out to stare.Just seeing one of those planes in the air is such an experience. Like the bumblebee, you wouldn’t think they could fly.

    Orion and the Pleiades were among the first stars I learned. In our Iowa winters, they were high in the sky, and easily identifiable. Here in Houston, it’s not so easy to see them, as they’re lower, and often obscured by light pollution. I never learned any of the names of the individual stars until I started blogging, and met a fellow who used the screen name Alcyone. So, now I can remember at least one.

    I suspect we’re as eager for sunshine as you. I’d been hoping the skies would clear so that I could see the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon, but it had better hurry. The best nights are tomorrow and Sunday, and it’s still cloudy. No matter. We can do as you have, and make sunshiny dishes served up on sunshiny dishes!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, Linda, thank you for the introduction to the Super Guppy. The name and the object both made me smile. Sofia is svelte in comparison. 🙂 I wonder if you got to see the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon. Our weather cleared today after a hefty frost overnight. I was hoping (just the barest hope) that I will catch a glimpse of the aurora tonight. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201759568/aurora-tonight But I think I am too far north, and the clouds have returned as well. If Sofia is flying tonight the crew will probably get a fabulous view of the aurora australis.

      Reply
      1. quarteracrelifestyle

        Ours too, everything that survived a long warm winter is now wilted and soggy 😦 I thank my lucky stars though we don’t have the snows they get further South, I would hate it….pretty as it is in pictures the reality is bog and cold.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And such a bog (and cold, too, I guess) up North. It’s hard to see how our little country can manage much more in the way of natural disasters. We will soon be uninsurable.

  20. cindy knoke

    Gorgeous photos, fabulous dessert and interesting narrative, but I can’t find your like button and I like this post! But, I like all your posts because I like you!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aww, thanks, but, oh dear, I hope the like button returns for you soon. A while back I couldn’t find the like button on anyone else’s post. It was frustrating. Then, by some WP magic, it reappeared.

      Reply
  21. Su Leslie

    Oh those gorgeous sweet treats! And I love your shot of the Nandina. Thanks for the link to Juliet’s blog (and actually her whole website). I hope the skies clear for you soon, and perhaps a little more sunshine and warmth would be good too 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The nandina is such an all weather friend, isn’t it? And it’s all weather that we are getting. Black ice this morning. I hear it was rather chilly in Auckland, too. Glad you enjoyed Juliet’s blog. She has a welcoming place which is full of inspiration.

      Reply
      1. Su Leslie

        It was cold here — minus 2 in Silverdale apparently. But still mild compared to down south. I hope you’re staying warm. I only really knew of Juliet as an artist, and I think she was lecturing at AU when I was there in the ’80s. Reading her website was a revelation. You are right; it is a place of inspiration.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Minus 5 expected tonight…brrrr. But, in some ways, it’s rather nice to have a really cold winter again. ( I say that, of course, from the privilege of a warm home. 😦 ) Juliet’s books, the two I have read, anyway, are inspirational. I particularly liked Spirited Ageing; which is how I plan to do it. 😉

        2. Su Leslie

          I know what you mean; cold is enjoyable when you can choose to be warm. I worry about all those in cold, damp houses — or no house at all as seems to still be the case in Christchurch. I haven’t read any of Juliet’s books, but I’ll see if the library has any.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Are you still in Fiji, Lisa? Please do tell me if you see it in Fiji skies. From the little I could find via Google it seems that it is time to harvest the yams in Fiji when Matariki appears. But there is no mention of what that star cluster was traditionally called in Fiji.

      Reply
      1. lisadorenfest

        🙂 Still i Fiji. Have not yet had the good fortune to see Pleiades. There was no obvious evidence of yam celebrations in Vanua Levu. However, from what I’ve read on-line, it is possible that such celebrations are specific to tribes located on Viti Levu and in the Southern Lau. Would have loved to experience Matariki in New Zealand. Cheers

        Reply
  22. wheremyfeetare

    Sorry for all the rain but looks like you kept busy inside. Your desserts look absolutely delicious. I want to taste them all! And I love how the raindrops are haning on to the Nandina. Happy eating!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am eating well! Too well, probably. 😉 The nandina is a bright spot, rain or shine. When there are no flowers to be cut, I often bring in handfuls of nandina branches and put them in vases. The foliage keeps so well, and gives warmth and cheer to the rooms.

      Reply
  23. dtaylor401

    I’m so glad to know about the Maori calendar. And that Matariki was prominent in their thoughts. Years ago I read that Peruvians had a close connection with the Pleides, even communicated with them in some way. I’ve seen this star group when sailing at night. Happy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Diane for your New Year greetings. To see the Pleiades, or any of the night sky, from the sea, must be wonderful. Not something that I am likely to see, as being on water makes me seasick. 😦

      Reply
  24. aleafinspringtime

    I have a confession Anne. I can’t read maps. And I am hopeless at reading stars (even on a clear night). I have only been able to spot the belt of Orion so far out of the vast terrain of unexplored galaxy. It’s been raining here in Helsinki and they promise lashings of rain for mid-summer tomorrow too. But your tempting and delicious treats make my eyes shine! I am especially fond of feijoa but since my stay in New Zealand in 1997, I haven’t had one since! Kia Ora and happy new year! Sharon x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Kia Ora Sharon. I wish I could send you some feijoas. My tree was very fruitful this year, but we ate the last of the crop yesterday. I am not too bad with maps, well, road maps, that is. But it is intriguing how many of us are so estranged from the star maps. Sad, too.

      Reply
        1. aleafinspringtime

          My husband tells me that he doesn’t even qualify as an amateur astronomer since we don’t have a telescope (it’s been on the wishlist for a long time!) But the Northern skies are good for star gazing and we live close to the sea which makes it always a nice place to sit and study stars. We can see Mercury, Venus and even Mars on a clear night. Love from a very wet Helsinki on mid-summer’s day.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          A telescope would be lovely, wouldn’t it? But not essential if we remember that some of the greatest navigators, the Polynesians, got by very well without them! Perhaps it is good for our eyes and our minds to attune ourselves to seeing the heavens with the naked eye. 😉 Hope the sun has found a way to shine for you by now. It visited us today. What a blessing.

  25. Letizia

    Oh dear, that is one soggy rhubarb! But your tarte tatin looks so beautiful, bravo!!!!!! I haven’t had one since I left Paris and now you have my mouth watering!

    I’ve always had trouble reading the sky and the stars as well although it’s something that interests me. Thanks for providing the link to Juliet’s post – that was so interesting.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Juliet is a great story teller and artist, as well as being very knowledgeable about our Maori and Pakeha cultures. I enjoy her books and her posts greatly. I am glad you visited her.
      Yes, my poor rhubarb. I have never seen it water-logged like that before. 😦 I will have to watch that it doesn’t rot.
      And even though my tarte tatin was yummy I am sure your Parisian one was simply superb. Alas I haven’t tried the real thing.

      Reply
  26. colorpencil2014

    Delightful…summer is full blast here and not my fave weather. So I indulge in the images of cold weather and BEAUTIFUL baking!! Lovely story as always! have a lovely weeeknd, xo Johanna

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A good weekend to you, too, Johanna. You can see now why I was so attracted to the yellow bowls and yellow sun in the illustration in your recent post. 🙂

      Reply
  27. Cynthia Reyes

    I’ve forgotten everything else you wrote about stars and seasons and the book, because the dessert all looks so good…. Send some to Canada — please! I’ll have to re-read the top part. After I eat. I am suddenly so hungry.

    Reply
  28. restlessjo

    Be still my beating heart! Suddenly I’m ravenous! A large helping of Cobbler, please? 🙂
    I’m not very clever with the stars either, but I will go dutifully and look. Sorry about the weather 😦

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, Jo, this cobbler is a particularly good one. The apricots are bursting with the flavour of summer. You would indeed enjoy a large helping. But, perhaps, I should have made us a blueberry cobbler to help our night vision/star-seeking powers

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      GP, sad to say, there are many New Zealanders who will not have this occasion on their calendars. The observance and celebration of Matariki is undergoing a renaissance but it is not yet mainstream. If we are to grow as a country, as a people, we can’t afford to ignore our foundational history and traditional understandings of our land.

      Reply
  29. KerryCan

    Is winter always so very rainy for you?! You’ve definitely been counteracting the rain and chill by enjoying your kitchen–I can almost smell all that goodness way over here!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      No, winter is not always rainy. We have a mixture of days. It’s just that, at the moment, we are having a spell of bleak weather. The snow field operators will be delighted though….lots of snow falling in time for the opening of the ski season. Yes, the kitchen is full of delicious aromas; especially the aroma of quince.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks Heather. Is your garden continuing to thrive in your lovely sunshine, and in the warmth of your care? Have you ever seen the Pleiades cluster? Looking at Van Gogh’s Starry Night makes me wonder if he saw it.

      Reply
      1. Heather in Arles

        Oh, I am terrible at astronomy as much as I love looking at the stars! But if it shines over Provence, he most certainly did. As you know, he was a star-gazer too. And now that I live here, I can see in what paintings he did that the Mistral winds were blowing and which not!

        Reply
  30. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    the images didn’t load, but i enjoyed the post and followed the links… happy new year, and i’ll try to nudge a bit of sunshine in your direction! we are getting sunny days and rainy nights.. the rain is very unusual, though i’m happy that it’s keeping the landscape green…

    eureka! the first two attempts to send the comment did not work, and now the images have loaded! the cobbler looks so wonderful! set one more place at the table, please? i’m on my way!

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          That sounds like a good deal to me, but you will have to wait until November for the flowers to bloom again. At the moment, the only flower I have is a lone calendula. 😦

        2. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

          😦 is right! in mississippi, when my yard was bare, i often visited the florist shop and asked, ‘may i peek into your cooler?’ i would admire all of the flowers then select ‘one stem of this please? and one stem of that?’ then go home and spread little smiles throughtout the house…

  31. Aggie

    I am hungry for some of your tarte and cobbler!
    Happy New Year! May it be full of blessings and delights, and may any difficulties be easily transformed.

    Reply
  32. LaVagabonde

    Matariki….Polynesians sure have some beautiful words for things in the Heavens. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to find anything in the night sky. The sky here in Europe is not very clear. Too many lights. I have found the Pleiades, many times, years ago. Little fuzzy cluster. Too bad about your rain, but my goodness what fabulous kitchen creations you’ve concocted. Can I come over? 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, do come! Did you watch the night sky when you lived in New Caledonia? There was very little light pollution when I was young in Fiji. The stars were always wonderful to watch. In much of the Pacific it is probably still the same.

      Reply
  33. Juliet

    Well, you are the star of your kitchen, with all that delicious looking food. How fascinating to have Sofia close at hand. Thanks for the link to my blog, Gallivanta. Matariki will be easier to see as it rises higher. Give it another month or so, and wait for a clear night when you can climb a hill for a good view. Treat it as a quest, a pilgrimage, and you won’t be disappointed. Do let me know when you’ve had a sighting.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your encouragement Juliet. I do so want to see Matariki. The skies will clear, I am sure. But tonight there is fog. At least we didn’t get the snow that hit inland areas. It’s cold enough without snow.

      Reply

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