Tag Archives: cards

A Toast with Thanks

Brace yourselves for some surprising news.

Gallivanta is about to attempt something very difficult …for her….which is to write a simple, straightforward post. Will she succeed? You can be the judge.

Here we go.

My plan is twofold: to give thanks to a kindred blogger; and to propose a toast in her honour.

I want to acknowledge and thank Pauline, The Contented Crafter,  for a beautiful giveaway. Pauline is a multi-media artist, and a devoted companion to the irrepressibly joyful Siddy, and to the stately and  dignified Orlando.  She is a compatriot of mine and she lives in the south of New Zealand. The giveaway was in celebration of a very important birthday for Pauline and the beginning of her official ‘retirvivement.

The giveaway  package arrived,

just before my sudden departure to Cairns at the end of September, which meant I didn’t get to appreciate it fully until my return home at the beginning of this month. And, my goodness, when I opened the parcel, what a spread there was to appreciate. I was overwhelmed by Pauline’s generosity. There were cards, postcards, a bookmark, all lovingly created by her own contented hands and heart,



The Faces of Contentment

The Faces of Contentment

and sweetest of all were the Bunnies; a pair of handcrafted Hugging Bunnies, which Pauline had knitted in response to my   Happiness in a Bag post.

Kisses and Hugs and Lots of Love and Happiness

Kisses and Hugs and Lots of Love and Happiness

After my harrowing goodbye to aged loved ones, can you imagine the comfort and delight I found in coming home to the fruits of Pauline’s gentle, joyous crafting?

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart

Now for a toast.

To Pauline; to her continued contentment, the best possible health, and a long and fruitful retirevivement. I raise my cup of chocolate, in my best Bunnykins mug. Please join me with your favourite beverage/tipple. 🙂   Let us be upstanding.  To Pauline!

A Toast to Pauline; chocolate in a Bunnykins mug :)

A Toast to Pauline; hot chocolate in a Bunnykins mug 🙂

With love from Gallivanta and Jack to Pauline, Orlando and Siddy.

Ps. How did I do?  Only two links. That’s pretty good for me, don’t you think? 😉 But perhaps still not that straightforward. Sigh!


© silkannthreades


Resting Places; Take Two

Resting Places; Take Two

At Tom’s,

Normans Road Post Centre

Normans Road Post Centre

I stop to browse the shelves; to see what’s new,

to post a letter,

and discuss the weather

The weather

The weather (remnants of Cyclone Lusi)

and the state of the nation,

and the state of the street, and the theme of the week.

Hairy Maclary and Friends http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairy_Maclary "hungrily sniffing and licking their chops, they followed him past the school and the shops"

Hairy Maclary, from Donaldson’s Dairy, and  Friends “hungrily sniffing and licking their chops, they followed him past the school and the shops”

And catch, if I can, the tales, that Mavis

must tell, of Mrs Carbuncle’s feet.

If I linger long, and lost, in Nancy’s  garden of notes,

I am bound to hear of Audrey’s Jim, who’s rowed ever so well  in the Maadi Cup,

and big brother Ben, who’s working in London and enjoying the slum of his OE* flat,

whilst Susan’s Prudence has had enough and is heading back home, come next June, to give little Johnny and Sam the chance of living close to Nan, and squelching their toes in the soil of the land.

And I will hear Tom say, with wisdom and care, ‘That’ll be twenty, today, Alastair, and Margaret’s magazine will be here next week. See you then. ”

A few blocks north and it’s time to sit,

The old barber's chair

The old barber’s chair

in an old barber’s chair, where a golden-haired maiden, elegant and thin,

washes and trims this gossip’s, (yours truly 🙂 ), grey mane ,

whilst we discuss the earthquakes, the state of repairs,

and her good young man who knows how to cook and take care of the kids.

And, as we engage in idle chatter, Hamish and Ryan wriggle and squirm on the bench by the door,

waiting their turn (no appointments necessary)  for a short back and sides, because Mum, flipping texts and pages, said that they must,

all oblivious to the fact that once, over there, Charlie stood,

and sold a half loaf of bread to Martha and Fred, and a scoop of sugar for Mother’s tea.

Only Mother said could they have it on tick, because baby Mabel is sick, and Pa’s got no work till next Tuesday week.

And kind Charlie nodded, and sighed,  with wisdom and care, and allowed them to add broken biscuits for free, because he knew Billy and Annie would pay when they could. Then he secured the safe in the floor,

and went to his home, out the back door,

where his Kathleen played and the dog kept watch.  And Charlie was content that, at least, for this day, he had food in the larder, stock in his shop and a place to stop, with his lovely Louisa and  daughters, two.

The shop,  which is now Madisons for Haircuts,  was operated (owned?) by my grandfather for a few years, from 1921. It is one of the few physical reminders of our family history that survived the earthquakes.

[This will be my last post for a few weeks. I will be taking a rest from writing my blog as I will be busy with house guests until early April. I will try, as best as I can, to read your blogs and comments but I may not be as active as usual.]

*OE means Overseas Experience, a little like a Gap Year.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I was perusing my birthday cards and gifts, and wondering where to display them, when it occurred to me that the cards, so thoughtfully chosen by friends and family, were like special snapshots of my life; the yesterday, today, and tomorrow of it.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is the common name of a flowering plant that used to grow in the garden of my childhood home. To us, it was known as Morning, Noon and Night.  I was fascinated by it because it had the prettiest flowers. Some were white and some were dark purple and others were in between.   A plant with three different coloured flowers! How was this possible? I didn’t know then that the colours of the flowers represented their ages and stages, but I did know about grafting because I had watched a man graft two hibiscus plants for our garden.  So my little head imagined that a very clever person had managed to graft together a Morning Plant, a Noon Plant and a Night Plant to create this  wondrous hybrid. The fact that no one seemed to own a Morning Plant or a Noon or a Night one  was a puzzle but not too concerning. The world was full of puzzles yet to be solved.  Fellow blogger Pleisbilongtumi  at http://pleisbilongtumi.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/inside-the-beauty-of-brunfelsia-uniflora/#comments has  beautiful photos of  this  garden treasure as it is in his part of the world.

Other treasures, for me, in our family garden were the frangipani trees. I loved them for their rich satiny and sweetly perfumed flowers. I loved their shade. I loved climbing them. I loved watching the ants climbing them. Here is my Yesterday birthday card from my parents and my sister. In  Yesterday,  I dawdled completely absorbed in  natural beauty and my greatest concern may have been nothing more than the whereabouts of the Morning Plant. Well, yes, that and the annoying boy who had a go-kart and who lived in the hotel around the corner  and refused to be my boyfriend. What was he thinking?Memories of Frangipani

Here, from a dear friend who has been beside me almost since the days of Yesterday , is the Today Card. Today is a Balancing Act. I have to negotiate the mundane and often precarious materiality of the adult world. Yet, in the tumbly jumble of that world, the preservation of my soul depends on my rushed efforts to  consciously apply and reapply beauty and graciousness  lest I lose sight of them.Today's Balancing Act

From my brother comes the Tomorrow card. It is a little bit in Yesterday, too, because our first cat, Tiddles, looked similar to this creature. Tiddles enjoyed sleeping comfortably  amongst the gerberas.Tomorrow? What's that?Now I am not intending to, and my brother doesn’t intend that I should, follow the words on the card and sleep my way through the future. I will leave that to the current cat of the house. The Tomorrow card is an aspirational card. It expresses a wish for contentment, peace, relaxation and an accepting oneness with both the natural and man-made worlds.  Tomorrow can be here as soon as the next breath but, in the long term view, it  contains the hope that keeps the heart beating.

What happens when I mingle these cards of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? How does my life look?  Is it  beauty or mess? Or some of each?RenderedEither way, can you see the heart in the middle of it all?

Peg note: If you are wondering why my cards are pegged on a line, it’s because, in contemplating the cards and their relevance to my life, I was, in a sense, “hanging myself out to dry”.  The cards, hung by pegs, also remind me of photos being developed and brought to life. And, on the mundane side, it was scorchingly hot indoors, so it was much nicer being outside taking photos in the shade of the pergola.

© silkannthreades