Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness …

Good old Keats... here if you want to reacquaint yourself with a beautiful poem.

Autumn in Auckland has been more like an Indian summer and you can still get raspberries in the fruit shops. But the pears and apples are now holding sway and I’ve put my cashmere trackies on of an evening. However, it has been a lovely month and I am going to photo journal it to give you a flavour of April/May.

Firstly the mad hatter day at Marmalade Hats

The Milliner of Marmalade Hats- what a talent.

It all began innocently enough with the Helensville Art Trail that occurs once a month. We had a great time, in beautiful weather, visiting many professional artists in the Helensville area. Jeff Thomson’s studio was a veritable Alladin’s Cave.

Clearly could have spent the whole day there….

Marmalade Hats was our final studio visit and as we ventured down a side path into a gorgeous cottage garden, where we were welcomed by the milliner of Marmalade Hats. it had a slightly mad hattery feel to it really, as though we had stepped into a different world. We had a great time trying on all the exquisitely handmade hats and thinking about our next trip to Ascot.

I began to witter on about a hat I had tried on at least three times in a posh but favourite Ponsonby shop called The Shelter. Despite coveting it, I mused, (I thought it was made in Japan….) I just couldn’t justify the price. Marmalade Milliner, then told me she made hats for The Shelter and at that same moment, I glanced round and there on the shelf was “my hat”. It is made by MM and out of paper of all things.

Naturally I had to buy it as clearly this serendipitous moment from the universe was a sign that it was made for me.. as modelled below.

As autumn is definitely here, I have changed my living room curtains to the liquorice ones as it feels cosier and the the duvet is now also on the autumn setting. I love the crab apples around HP and the leaves are drifting off for another year but we have had the most beautiful still clear days of fine weather, birthdays parties, plural, a bad movie, too much Netflix and a puzzling question or two.

For example, asking for a friend, who watches the Kordia TV channel?

Birthday breakfast started with a bottle of champagne kindly given by Fabric Cafe and Bistro owner, Luke. It’s my home away from home so if you haven’t been, you are missing out.

Food continued to be the theme for the day.

My birthday evening was celebrated at Janken in Jervois Road yum!

I hesitate to tell you about Janken as it is so delicious but its a tiny restaurant gem and you need to book. So don’t go telling everyone.

The pictures above were just quick pics while out walking in Whenuapai. See what I mean about still, calm autumnal weather. I think it is my favourite season. No spring sneezing, no summer sunburn and no winter whining about the cold.

Other highlights and low lights included a delicious glass of wine and tapas at the lovely Stafford Street Wine Bar where the staff are friendly and the leather chairs quite sumptuous.

The lowlight was possibly the worst film I’ve seen in a while. Perhaps I missed something as I like Anthony Spall and it did have good reviews. I guess I just wasn’t arty enough to get into It Snows In Benidorm. Not sure why I am highlighting it in bold. Take it from me it doesn’t get much more exciting than those empty deckchairs. I was told I yawned about twenty times and my companion thought I was going to nod off.

I did enjoy the Scandi festival though and soon the French FF will start and I’ve ear-marked 14 films to look forward to.

Today was another beautiful day that included a Mother’s Day brunch and walk around the Orakei Basin where we saw baby shags haranguing their parents for food, the burrows of puriri moths and loads of fish. I was the parent haranguing the baby for brunch, so thanks Sam!

Another lowlight involved this…

Turned out it wasn’t the problem but at least my GP is thorough…. and it points once again to how great our health service is and how kind nurses are, despite the shit pay.

I guess this pic could be seen as a low light too as it kind of reflects some broken dream. Someone once must have imagined lying in their hammock one sunny day and yet there is a poignancy to it too. Either that or it’s the dreaded Greenhithe mammoth spider web.

Another lowlight was seeing Eli Mathewson and his teacher Johnny being eliminated from Dancing With The Stars – it suggests to me that homophobia is alive and well and some people can’t seem to just feel the joy in people dancing together. Most articles I have seen have skirted around the homophobia viewpoint but it wouldn’t surprise me if “Christian” groups didn’t pay swags of voting money to everyone else to ensure the same sex couple were eliminated. And that’s just sad. I don’t usually watch that stuff and won’t be watching the rest but Johnny and Eli’s waltz was very beautiful and moving. As an ex-teacher, I have seen too many suicides of our young men and women and these two were really effecting positive change in a way many of us can’t imagine. Donate to Eli’s charity if you are of a mind, it’s a great charity to support.

As always, I have spent far too long on the couch watching pretty ordinary tv. I confess to binge watching all seasons of Casual and justify it to myself that it’s my party and I can binge watch if I want to, want to etc. I really liked all the flawed and nutty characters and especially the funeral scenes.

My greatest pleasure this month is my birthday card. I insist that the poor Sam make me a card each year, and each year it is a variation on the cat theme. Actually the only variation is the implement it’s drawn with- sometimes it’s biro but this year he really pushed the boat out and used a kind of charcoal to create his Cat Picasso. I think it might be my all time favourite but the competition is stiff.

In the spirit of self care I also bought my own card, although I do know of a couple of Susans that it would also be appropriate for…

Nope, that’s for sure…

Low Lifes:

The dickheads loom large on all sorts of scales from Putin to the Wade V Roe fiasco to the tosser CEO of chemical company DGL group, Simon Henry, and his fatuous and frankly unbelievably ignorant comments about Nadia Lim. One can’t help wondering what kind of mind finds “cleavage” on a woman in a modest camisole and where he discovered the term “Eurasian fluff” from. God I can hardly type it, it is so offensive on so many levels. I’ve told Milford Asset Management if they continue to buy his shares I will be withdrawing my (very small) investment savings with them. I know it may not mean much to them but imagine if everyone did the same.

It’s hard not to end on this grimness underlying everything, casting a deeply dark and ugly shadow -the attack on Ukraine and the suffering and destruction there while I go about my frivolous existence. I am so grateful to hold a NZ passport.

Therefore I will end on an upbeat note and leave you with the image of our BNB in Grasse during our trip to France in July and the avenue right outside our door. Happy May everyone. FG

One Reply to “Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness …”

  1. Couldn’t go past those amazing hats! A dying art I expect but I do love them. Lucky you finding one you love that suits you perfectly


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