Tuesday, October 30, 2012



galosh (plural galoshes)
  1. (UK) A waterproof overshoe used to provide protection from rain or snow.
  2. (US) A waterproof rubber boot, intended to be worn in wet or muddy conditions.
I have bought myself some new gumboots, and yes they are purple.
"What else did you expect?"  - I say this to those of you who truly know me!

Well needless to say I needed them. My current pair of gumboots have been used for many years and although the soles are still in good condition the lining and outer rubber of the upper part of the boot have seen the worse for wear.
I like to wear slippers inside and not trudge in dirt etc from outside when I have been outside.
We have free range hens and one can often accidentally step in one of their 'deposits' and if you wear you shoes outside and then come in with them and not change into your slippers you leave a smudgy trail through the house.

But sometimes I just want to quickly slip something on my feet, when I am popping outside, but not necessarily gumboots and I have often thought of getting a pair of galoshes.
Now I know that some of my cherubs would laugh at me if I had some and yes I am sometimes swayed by their opinion or what they say.
However when it came to discarding the old gumboots after obtaining my nice shiny new ones I thought of the idea of cutting down the parts that had split and turning them into galoshes.
It was actually a bit harder than I had thought as the scissors I had weren't strong enough so Harry got some clippers from his garage and cut them down for me.
Unfortunately he suddenly thought of the pull on tag at the back like the picture on the top left after he had cut down one boot so didn't do the other but if you try this yourselves you will see that with some boots there is a bit of a seam at the back and cutting out a 'tag' shape will give you a strong flap.
With these golashes I am going to try and re glue part of the lining back into place on the insides.

Needless to say I am pleased with the result and am sure they will be handy for things like feeding the hens, empty the rubbish into the garbage can or rushing out to bring in washing when it starts to rain.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oranges and Lemons

I’ve been picking a few of our oranges and this song came to mind.

"Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's Dead."

I remember it as a game singing the song at birthday parties. The song is sung with two people (usually adults) facing each, holding their hands together and up in front of each other forming an arch. Then the children all file between the adults through the arch. The challenge comes during the final lines:

    Here comes a candle to light you to bed.
    Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.
    (Chip chop, chip chop, the last man's dead.)

On the last word, the people forming the arch drop their arms to catch the child currently passing through, who is then "out" and would then stand behind one of the people forming the original arch.

Alternative versions of the game include: children passing through in pairs and those caught "out" by the last rhyme may form additional arches next to the existing one. In this way, the series of arches becomes a steadily lengthening tunnel through which each set of two players have to run faster and faster to escape in time; and, children forming "arches" may bring their hands down for each word of the last line. It was often the case, in Scottish playgrounds, that children would pair into boy and girl and the ones "caught" would have to kiss.

The words to "Oranges and lemons" have always been a little strange and have a sinister historical connotation.
The exact date of origin is unknown but there was a Square Dance called 'Oranges and Lemons' dating back to 1665, unfortunately there are no known record of the lyrics which accompanied the dance but it’s likely that the words were similar to that of the nursery rhyme. The neighbourhood names relate to some of the many churches of London and the tune that accompanies the lyrics emulates the sound of the ringing of the individual church bells.

The game of 'Oranges and lemons' which culminates in a child being caught between the joined arms of two others, is thought to be the act of chopping off their head! The reason for the sinister last three lines of the lyrics are easily explained, they were added to the original rhyme, probably by children! This addition dates to sometime before 1783 when The Tyburn Gallows (the infamous public execution gallows - the Tyburn-tree) was moved from Tyburn-gate (Marble Arch) to Newgate, a notorious prison which housed both criminals and debtors hence "When will you pay me?” Apparently this move was necessary to reduce problems caused by the crowds, often exceeding 100,000, gathered along the execution procession route. This stretched along a three mile route from Newgate Prison to Tyburn and around the Tyburn tree itself.
the 'Execution Bell'

Newgate Prison
The 'Bells of Old Bailey', or more accurately the tenor bell of St Sepulchre, had been utilised prior to 1783 to time the executions but after the gallows had been moved, Newgate prison (now the site of the Old Bailey) obtained its own bell. As the words to the poem "Oranges and lemons" indicate the unfortunate victim would await execution on 'Death Row' and would be informed by the Bellman of St. Sepulchre by candle light 'here comes the candle to light you to bed', at midnight outside their cell, the Sunday night prior to their imminent fate, by the ringing of the 'Execution Bell' (a large hand bell) and the recitation of the following :

All you that in the condemned hole do lie,
                                                         Prepare you for tomorrow you shall die;
                                                         Watch all and pray: the hour is drawing near
                                                         That you before the Almighty must appear;
                                                         Examine well yourselves in time repent,
                                                         That you may not to eternal flames be sent.
                                                         And when St. Sepulchre's Bell in the morning tolls
                                                         The Lord above have mercy on your soul.

The executions commenced at nine o'clock Monday morning following the first toll of the tenor bell.

St Clement Eastcheap
It’s also a street guide to the old city of London

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

St Clement Eastcheap, - St Clement is the patron saint of seamen, which he became due to the fact he was martyred by being cast into the sea with an anchor around his neck. Records suggest there has been a church on the site as far back as the 11th Century. Before the Great fire of London (1666) and current church (built by Wren in 1686), the area was near the wharves where citrus fruit used to be unloaded.
Citrus fruit was an expensive luxury in Elizabethan England.

St Martin Orgar

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

St Martin Orgar, again the body of the church was destroyed in the Great Fire. The tower survived, until it was rebuilt in 1851. The rhyme relates to the moneylenders who traded nearby. Thus the child singing the song would borrow money to buy expensive fruit.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

St. Sepulchre
St Sepulchre-without-Newgate (opposite the Old Bailey),
 is still the number one court in London, but it was for serious crimes, and the child only owes money. The Old Bailey did not have its own bell - it refers to the bells of St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate church and the bell of Newgate prison.

The Old Bailey

The bell of St. Sepulchre marked the time (death knell) of imminent executions until Newgate prison acquired its own bell. The church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Wren in 1671. The medieval courthouse of London was also destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and was replaced by London's Central Criminal Court which was used during 1673 -1834. The local name for the court was the 'Old Bailey' which was so-called after the street in which it was located Bailey Street.

St. Leonard's Shoreditch.
When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

St Leonard's, on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch - now part of the London Borough of Hackney - Was often frequented by Elizabethan actors as it was located near to the first purpose built theatre called 'The Theatre' and also in close proximity to the 'Curtain Theatre'. The current church, rebuilt in 1740 still has the graves of many actors including William Shakespeare's friend and builder of the Curtain Theatre, Richard Burbage. The hopeful phrase “When I grow rich" must have been echoed by many an actor in Elizabethian England.

St Dunstan's, Stepney

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

St Dunstan's, Stepney High Street has a long traditional link with the sea and it was once known as the 'Church of the High Seas'. Many sailors were buried in the churchyard. The phrase "When will that be?" could possibly refer to wives waiting for sailors to return from voyages with their fortunes - their wives would have to wait for their return to receive any wages, but they never knew how long the voyages might be - a two year wait was not uncommon!
St Mary-le-Bow

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

St Mary-le-Bow, off Cheapside. There has been a church on this site dating back to before the arrival of the Normans in 1066. The current building was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1670 and 1680, after the Great Fire of London destroyed the previous church. You were considered a Cockney - a Londerner, if you were born within the sound of Bow Bell.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's Dead.

This version was created for the execution of Charles by Parliament , but the Elizabethian nursery rhyme is much better

Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town
"Oranges and Lemons" say the Bells of St. Clements
"Bullseyes and Targets" say the Bells of St. Margaret's (refer to archery which was practised in the nearby fields.)
"Brickbats and Tiles" say the Bells of St. Giles (refers to the bricks and tiles made from London clay used by the city builders)
"Halfpence and Farthings" say the Bells of St. Martin's
"Pancakes and Fritters" say the Bells of St. Peter's (this was the area of the original 'fast food' of old London's workers)
"Two Sticks and an Apple" say the Bells of Whitechapel (Whitechapel Bell Foundry- transportation of bells to other parts of London drew great crowds and the atmosphere was similar to that of a fair where of course toffee apples were traditionally eaten)
"Maids in white aprons" say the Bells at St. Katherine's (main food market before great fire, where women of the early 1600's sold the wares which included meat, game, poultry and fish.)
"Pokers and Tongs" say the Bells of St. John's (by the Tower of London - used as a treason prison for many years and the refer to the instruments of torture which were used there!)
"Kettles and Pans" say the Bells of St. Anne's (refer to the utensils sold by the coppersmiths who worked nearby)
"Old Father Baldpate" say the slow Bells of Aldgate (Church of St. Botolph's - known as the 'Prostitutes' church' - refers to "Old Father Bald Pate" relates to Saint Botolph. A bald pate was a colloquialism used to describe a bald-headed person, and the main client of the ladies.)
"You owe me Ten Shillings" say the Bells of St. Helen's (The church was frequented by many rich merchants who lived in the area. Many operated as a money lenders)
"When will you Pay me?" say the Bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow Rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch
"Pray when will that be?" say the Bells of Stepney
"I do not know" say the Great Bell of Bow
Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town

Sunday, October 21, 2012

And the Shofar Blew

And the Shofar Blew is written by Francine Rivers and another great story that has you feeling like you are a part of the story as well. I found I could almost relate to some parts of the story from the last few years of where I worship. Often a person will be caught up in the glamour or the 'following' from others for what they are doing and loose their way along the journey.
A young man, Paul Hudson(son of a famous successful TV pastor) and a young woman, Eunice (her father is a part time pastor in a small eastern town) meet at a Christian college in the Midwest and get married. He serves as an assistant pastor and then is called to a small dying church of mostly elderly folks in northern California. He seemed like the perfect pastor with his perfect pastor's wife to lead Centerville Christian Church. When Paul accepted the call to pastor the struggling church, he had no idea what to expect. But it didn't take long for Paul to turn Centerville Christian Church around. Sadly, instead of ministering the gospel to the church members, he wants to "grow" the church. Attendance is up, way up, and everything is going so well.  If only his wife could see it that way.  Still, he tries not to let her quiet presence distract him. But Eunice knows that something isn't right and it hasn't been for a long time. In the meantime, he neglects and bullies Tim, his son and wife because everything is for the church. Well, that is, his conception of "church." His sermons become shorter and more entertaining because that is what brings in the folks. All this he does because he wants to be successful like his own father to gain his approval.
Pastor Paul’s ambitious work – done in God’s name – is actually centered on himself. Those who want the Bible and Bible-oriented music leave. But because so many more are coming in, the pastor doesn't care and feels those who have left are a good riddance. Many of those who left are praying for this pastor to see the error of his ways. His son becomes so messed up that he is expelled from school and goes to live with his grandmother in Southern California in the wealthy hills of North Hollywood. Tim grows up and is ready for college and the wife is cowed and pyschologically abused by her husband. It's at this point that things start to fall apart for the pastor. 
Church growth isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not if you lose your soul, family and those friends who count in the process.   

The shofar (שופר‎) is a Jewish instrument most often made from a ram’s horn, though it can also be made from the horn of a sheep or goat. It makes a trumpet-like sound and is traditionally blown on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. In terms of its Jewish history, it was used to announce the start of holidays, in processions and even to mark the start of a war. There are many symbolic meanings associated with the shofar and one of the best known has to do with the Akedah, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. The story is recounted in Genesis 22:1-24 and culminates with Abraham raising the knife to slay his son only to have God stay his hand and bring his attention to a ram caught in a nearby thicket. Abraham sacrificed the ram instead. Because of this story some midrashim claim that whenever the shofar is blown God will remember Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son and will therefore forgive those who hear the shofar’s blasts. In this way, just as the shofar blasts remind us to turn our hearts towards repentance, they also remind God to forgive us for our trespasses.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthdays with Friends

Shona and Jan the birthday girls
Harry and I joined two ladies, and some friends from church, as they celebrated their birthdays.
We tend to be a group of people who really enjoy doing things together and as most of us no longer have children at home 'going out' is now just for us to have fun.

First we went ten ball bowling and I managed to be last in both games in the team I was in.

That's OK someone has too. 

But it was so interesting to see the way some acted as they willed the bowl to knock down the pins!! or maybe if it missed make faces!

Harry choosing the 'special' bowl
Harry checking the right spot

Harry found that he did better with out his glasses and that there was one bowl that seemed to be a lucky one for him. So by the end of the evening he won his second game in the team he was in.

After the games we went for dinner at Restaurant on Alma, part of the whole Novotel complex.

Restaurant on Alma offers ... beautiful A la carte dining in the evening. Under new management since July 2011 when the “New Zealand Service Professional of the Year 2011″ winner, Manu Rosier, joined the team as Restaurant Manager! Restaurant on Alma is located on the ground floor of Novotel Tainui Hamilton.

Sesame & Garlic Prawns

Harry chose an Entree

Sesame & Garlic Prawns, served with
avocado & lime puree, pistachio & pine
nut crumbs and micro spring onions

Steak Frites

and for a mains 

Steak Frites, 200g Savannah rump steak with 
shoestring fries & watercress, finished with
caramelized onion aioli

Chicken Breast

I chose a mains (I had already eaten a bit of the broccoli before I took the pic)

Healthy Options

Chicken Breast with mushroom & Parmesan cheese 

risotto cake, steamed broccoli, spinach puree & lemon oil

And then for dessert!!!

Rhubarb Eaton Mess
Oh so delicious

Rhubarb Eaton Mess vanilla poached rhubarb 
with strawberry coulis & almonds

All and all a thoroughly great night out with very good food and friends.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Lollipop Shoes

The Lollipop Shoes is the second in what is now a bit of a series by Joanne Harris. Five years have passed since Chocolat, the story of Vianne Rocher the chocolatier who, with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk, blows into the stuffy little village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and opens her chocolate shop at just the wrong time – and in just the wrong place – incurring the wrath of the local priest and pitting Church against Chocolate.

Since then, things have changed. We find Vianne in a subdued mood, she no longer wants to blow along on the feckless breeze; she now wants to settle down, to conform.  The wind has always dictated Vianne's every move, buffeting her from the French village to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie she rents courtesy of their brash, rich landlord Thierry. She lives above the drab chocolate shop, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Rosette soon to be four, and Anouk (eleven and now called Annie) who has started secondary school, safe.
On the surface, life seems good; Vianne has finally found a niche for herself. Life seems peaceful. She is accepted within the community. She has learnt to conform; to blend in. She no longer makes her own chocolates and now orders her stock, just like everyone else and is seemingly content to sell the confectionary of others.
But security has a high price, and Vianne has made some heavy sacrifices. She has given up her mother’s ways; the magic that she and her daughters shared, her identity and even making her own chocolates – the demands of motherhood are just too much. Most importantly, she has given up true love – in the person of Rosette’s father, Roux – and is considering marriage to her reassuringly conventional landlord Thierry, who promises her financial security and a home for her children. Thierry is bemused by Vianne’s technophobia (she doesn’t know how to use a cell phone) and her youngest daughter, Rosette, who has yet to talk and has both physical and behavioural problems. She also has uncanny and disturbing Accidents…. Anouk, a misfit and loner at school and is having some trouble setting in, she hates Paris, resents the “new” Vianne, and desperately misses the intimacy they once had together. Thierry is besotted with the poor "widow" and wants to take this seemingly weak clutch of females under his broad masculine wing.
The wind has stopped blowing – for a while.
But the wind will always catch you when you least expect it… 

Into their lives enters Zozie de l’Alba, on the Day of the Dead, the woman with the lollipop shoes, to shake up their world. A free spirit with magical powers and an appetite for other peoples’ lives, a witch and a stealer of identities, whose methods are as likely to employ the internet as a crystal ball to find what she needs. Unlike Vianne, Zozie developed her magical powers without the guidance of a similarly empowered mother. She culled a "system" from the occult books in her ineffectual mother's New Age London bookshop. She is practical where Vianne is whimsical; greedy and independent where Vianne is domestic and tied to her children. Beautiful, passionate, bohemian and fabulously indifferent to convention, Zozie befriends Anouk, moves into the shop, seduces half the neighbourhood with her effortless charm. But Zozie is not without an agenda. Little by little her influence grows - over Vianne, the customers, but most of all over Anouk, who sees in her an echo of her own mother, without all the fears that inhibit her.  little by little, helps Vianne regain, not only her skills, but her life.
And as Christmas approaches and Zozie’s “help” becomes increasingly more questionable, it becomes clear that behind the charismatic façade there hides a cold and malevolent being, her power immense; her greed insatiable; her ultimate goal – Possession.
Vianne was finally forced to confront both her enemy and her fears. She is terrified that their blooming supernatural abilities will put them in danger and set them apart from their peers. She accepts Thierry's ring. But Zozie wants even more from her than Thierry does. It is cold-hearted Zozie who encourages Anouk to explore the powers her mother suppresses and tempts Vianne back into making her own irresistible chocolates.
A postcard suggests that one of Vianne’s old loves may soon be on the scene. Vianne is battling something more insidious than just an institution. She’s struggling with herself; her past; her guilty secrets and small betrayals. Most of all she’s fighting her worst fears – in the face of which we are all alone.…  But will it be Vianne or Anouk who is carried off by the wind at the end? 

The book is written in three narratives, that of Zozie, Anouk and Vianne

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Ta - Da"

A few ladies from our church started an "Aunty Pearls" group a couple of years ago. They are the Three Duchesses and they organise activities/outings for ladies (mainly from our church but others are invited to join us) over 50 who are interested in what is organised.
It is not a regular event as it depends on what activity may be coming up in the local communities. 
The one condition is that we have to wear our pearls.

This week we had a get together that was a High Tea type morning tea and a hilarious video.

Its a time of being women together and enjoying each others company, news and laughter.

One of the ladies had just come back from a winning trip overseas to Argentina and shared some sweet "treats" that were available over there.

Theses were a light wafer type biscuit sandwiched with a caramel filling and then coated in dark chocolate. They were each individually wrapped in a foil wrapper. Although quite sweet they were rather light and lovely!

At the end of the morning the hostess gave each of us a beautiful gift that she had made. They were packaged in a pyramid type gift box and inside were, a card saying "A Woman of Inner Beauty - Proverbs 31:31" a little envelope of sweet peas seeds, and a small box with three homemade chocolates in it. All the gifts were hand made by her including the gift box.


The video was

 ”Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Have I got news For You”.
 A-Z Faithlift for your sagging Self Esteem 
 By Liz Curtis-Higgs

I have never laughed so much in a short space of time. 

Liz encouraged us to see ourselves as God sees us and that tomorrow morning when we have woken, showered, dressed and put on makeup that we look in the mirror and raise our hands with a "Ta -Da" moment rather than staring at all the bits we don't like. 

When I woke this morning I did as she said and looked in the mirror saying "Ta-Da' .

And do you know that I actually saw a woman with a beautiful smile smiling back at me.
I was affirmed that I am a Woman of God, wife, Mother, Nana, daughter, sister, Aunt and the person that some people may be the only one they see with a smile this day so I went out making sure I smiled at all who caught my eye today.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Recipe for Life

This was a book I chose from an author that was suggested at our book club. We were challenged to find one of Nicky Pellegrino’s books to read and bring to the nest month’s book club night. I checked on line at the two libraries I belong to and put this one on hold not really knowing what I was going to be reading. 

Once I started I just found I wanted to keep reading. It was such a feel good book in a way and one I would highly recommend you read in the summer! 

On a basic level, it’s a wonderful and enchanting read, not to mention beautifully written. Pellegrino has a fantastic gift for subtly bringing a world to life so you can see it vividly in your mind – and almost smell the incredible meals being cooked up! I just loved it, but initially I couldn’t work out why. Maybe it was because I needed to just read a good chicklic book or something that feed me in more ways than one – and that’s exactly why Recipe for Life is so magical. 

The world Pellegrino creates isn’t perfect, and nor are the people who inhabit it. They’re just like us – sometimes confused, sometimes unhappy, and struggling to find the right career choice and the right person for them. And because of that they’re characters that you can really understand and like or want so much to win in life. 

Alice is right at the beginning of life. Just graduated from university and traumatised by a burglary gone wrong she flees to London, determined to pack all she can into every second. Discovering that cooking fulfills her, she throws herself into work, shutting out all that’s happened to her. As her life moves ever faster Alice feels that she’s losing control and when her friend Leila asks her to come and stay at her mother’s house in Italy, Alice gladly accepts. 

Babetta’s body is telling her that she’s coming to the end of her days, although she doesn’t feel ready for it. She has spent a lifetime tending her tiny garden on the Mediterranean coast and keeping the garden of the big house next door in good order and, with her own daughter long grown up, and her husband struggling with life, her life has fallen into a slow and gentle pattern. 

When Alice and Babetta meet they are drawn together by their shared love of cooking and food, despite not speaking a word of each other’s language. In the heat of a Mediterranean summer love affairs begin, friendships crumble and the lives of the women are changed. 

The story of two women, at either ends of their lives, who meet at a crumbling Italian villa tucked into the cliffs above the pounding sea, it’s a novel about what we run from, and the places that make us stop and reconsider. Drenched in sunshine, it’s about friendship and growing up, food and love. 

A recipe for life should be a simple thing: love and happiness, family, friends and a little food. But life is rarely straightforward...Alice wants to make the most of life - after all, she knows how fragile it can be - and knows she never feels more alive than when she's cooking. But life's lessons are not learnt easily. RECIPE FOR LIFE is a novel about discovering how life never stops surprising us, and about how, with a little love and courage, its flavours can be richer than we ever imagined.