July 30, 2010

Smiles all Around

I just couldn't resist this one. 
It sums up the spirit of New Zealand to me.
My friends will attest to the fact that I am a big Richie McCaw fan.
He is Captain of the All Blacks rugby team. I love watching this game....especially when he plays.
Sorry Mr. H :)

I couldn't resist the looks on the faces of these children.
I would have been on the sidelines beaming too!

(Mr. H thinks it is time for me to come home!)

July 28, 2010

With love from New Zealand

Loving the hunt for the perfect postcard. 
I find it hard to stop with just one.
If you want to share this special pastime...drop me a line :)

Rangitoto Island
New Zealand

July 27, 2010

Travel Notes: A Home and Postscript

I went back for a visit to our house in Auckland yesterday. The last time I glanced back thru the front door, the beautiful dark kauri would floors wished me well. It was the sort of house that spoke to you...it was happy to share it's love. I looked for the familiar greeting as I opened the door yesterday and I could see it has moved on. It is filled with toys and laughter and I was happy for that.
I sat on the front porch while others milled about, sizing it up, thinking if it would work for them.  We are renting the house and someone is interested in buying it. In and out, people fluttering all around. I sat in my favourite spot on the front porch looking at this urn. I love this urn, I love the garden we designed around it. 
All the while, they continued passing around me and I sat there thinking that they are missing the point. If you love a house you can make it work. The house is 100 years old...it will not give you the conveniences of a brand new house. It will give you it's history, it will give you it's charm, it will provide a safe haven for your family and treasure those memories as much as you do.  

Home, you say, when day is done,
Home to comfort and peace and rest;
Home, where the children romp and run-
There is the place that you love the best!
Yet what would the home be like if you
Had all of its endless tasks to do?

Would it be home if she were not there,
Brave and gentle and fond and true?
Could you so fragrant a meal prepare?
Could you numberless duties do?
What were the home that you love so much,
Lacking her presence and gracious touch?

She is the spirit of all that's fair;
She is the home that you think you build;
She is the beauty that you dream of there;
She is the laughter with which it's filled-
She, with her love and her gentle smile,
Is all that maketh the home worth while.

Edgar A. Guest

Such thoughtful comments one and all! Much appreciated and I have to smile at Jackie's question about staying in my homeland. This is a common problem when you set up home in new places. After a few years, it is home and then you remember that you felt the same about the country before that and then you stop and wonder where home is! All great memories and for that I am very thankful. Our house in New Zealand will one day have a great family living in it who will add their own special touches to call it home. We are off to England soon and I look forward to that. The kids have said they are ready to go home. Mission accomplished :) 
Next week bagpipes...I can't wait to photograph men in skirts!!!


July 26, 2010

A Winter's Day in Auckland

A bookstore...

A comfy chair...

A few delicious treats....

Coffee with a friend or two....

A walk along the beach...

Beautiful creations....

A perfect winter's day...

PS..as always,
I love hearing from you,
thank you for your comments,
there is a little one in there for you too!

Auckland, New Zealand

July 23, 2010

Recipe for Life

One of the pleasures of reading is the anticipation of a good book.
This is one of them.

I can't resist this one....

'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. Babetta has spent a lifetime tending the garden of her tiny house on the Italian coast, growing food to feed a family now grown and gone. One summer these two women are brought together in a crumbling Mediterranean villa, with the shared language of food and the soil they grow it from. There, under the heat of the Italian sun, or the shade of the pomegranate tree, secrets will be spoken, fears and hopes shared. 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.'

Looks like the perfect airplane read to me!

Many thanks for the well wishes for my trip to New Zealand.
Just had to stop in to wish you all a wonderful weekend!!!


July 20, 2010

Something About New Zealand....

If I timed this right,
I will be landing in Australia when this post appears.

People often ask me which country
I prefer, New Zealand or Australia.
The answer is easy- I love both
and although they are relatively close they are so different..
the land, the people and the culture are both fascinating
and unique to their respective country.
What is not to love?

The purpose of my trip is to spend time in New Zealand.
To that end, I would like to give you a little taste
of what New Zealand means to me.

I thought the best way to do that was to share some
of my photographs from one of my favourite
New Zealand magazines,  NZ Life and Leisure.
I spent many an afternoon with this magazine
by my side and am so attached
that I brought the whole lot with me to England.

I am glad I did, as I can now show you these....

The people, the land, the culture....there is just something 
about New Zealand that is unforgettable!

PS...I collect postcards wherever I go, 
if you would like to receive one,
send me your address. I would be happy 
to drop you a line!

You can write to me at henrqs@yahoo.com

July 17, 2010

Be it ever so humble....

I have a lot of feelings mixed up in this post. I have been procrastinating all week. Each day I have thought, I must do it, I will write about it tomorrow and then the next day and the day after that and now it is Friday and we are leaving tomorrow.

I think anyone who has moved houses, towns or countries and later gone back to visit the place they left will understand this one. It has probably happened to most of us. In our case it has happened often and when kids are involved it gets a bit trickier. 

This is particularly relevant now as I started these blogs as a way of transitioning myself from one country to another. In this case, moving from New Zealand to England. If you go back to the beginning of Collage of Life,  you will read about my thoughts on moving. If you go back to the early days of In One Place, you will find even more...that was my secret hiding place. If you go back to Finding My Way, you will find photos and thoughts on our new home in England. If you go to the B-Well Report, you will find posts on how I keep my sanity thru all of the above :)  All of this started in October 2009.  

I have written 662 posts since my first post on 24 October . I was told that one of the best ways to deal with emotions is to write about them and I have been pounding away at the keys ever since and loving every minute of it. It all came from one simple line 'shape that thoughts that stir within'.  Hey..it is cheaper than therapy, right?

The best part is that we are hopping on a plane tomorrow and going back to visit two of my children, Miss Tine and Patrick who are attending University in New Zealand and Australia. An added bonus it that we are also going to the welcoming arms of dear friends too.

I had a dream last night and have not stopped smiling since. The doorbell rang in my dream and I opened the door and there were my two oldest yelling 'surprise'. To have all my family under one roof for any amount of time would be one of the most precious gifts I could receive. It makes the packing that much sweeter.

There is a life here that we all enjoy and are settling into nicely. There are points in time when you feel 'the shuffle'..the shuffle of emotions. The ones that make you feel like you are on a roller coaster and you are not sure if you want to get off or keep going. 

Three months, six months and a year are major turning points. Every book written about life changes and moving talks about them. We are at the six month point and traditionally when we go back we leave happy for the visit but also happy to return to our lives in our new home country. It is sort of a rite of passage. Sounds strange but it works. Well, it works but you do have to keep your fingers crossed that it will all go according to plan. We all know what life is like and it is those little mysteries that keeps us on our toes.

Hence, Collage of Life,  all of this is what life is made of. For me it centers around the home.......be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. In our case...make that times four...America, England, Australia and New Zealand. I really do hope it stops there!

I think Miss Claire's paintings say it all. 'Kia Ora' is hello in Maori.  Her first love is soccer and this is her running thru all the countries she has lived in. 

With that I say  E noho ra (good bye)
but not for long...in fact when you least expect it,
I will be back :)

Best wishes for a glorious weekend!!

Jeanne :)

July 15, 2010

Jacqueline Bisset and Mr. H

Years ago, when Mr. H and I first started dating, 
I asked the question I could not hold back on.
Who is your favourite actress? 
I was sneakily trying to find out who he considered to be a beautiful woman. 
Jacqueline Bisset was his answer.  
I had forgotten all about it until I came across these today.

An English beauty...
she is as stunning today as she was back then. 
At least I know he has good taste :)

July 14, 2010


Tea at Hampton Court Gardens

I have been thinking about a post all day,
by Joanna @ Confident Writing

Her post starts....
For the morning when to-do lists won't get done 
without some doodles, without some word plan
 and some play words, 
without some play worlds and some world play: 
I will write me a poem
For the moments when the world stops moving on its axis, 
when it stops for a moment, for just one precious moment 
when the sun glints on the water or the clouds 
drift past the mountains or the rains burst on the island 
and my feet sink home: 
I will write me a poem...
Continue here

The post is part of a Group Writing Project entitled Can Writing Keep us Well? Details are noted on her blog, Confident Writing.  Joanna also inspired me with a post entitled The Art of Paying Attention.  Within it she mentions her friend, a poet-photographer who has encouraged her to take less ordinary photographs and look for the extraordinariness in everyday things. I have to agree, when you look thru a camera lens at the simplest things, it is like you are seeing it for the first time. 

I like everything Joanna has to say, it just hits home. She talks about confident writing and finding your voice, taking responsibility for your words, trusting yourself, writing with positive intention and writing to read.  I know many bloggers are looking to get more from their writing and or photography. I thought you might find Joanna's words inspiring too. 

It is something to think about.

Jeanne xx

July 12, 2010

Thinking Zen

My house is under siege at the moment. The kids don't know what hit them. I recently discovered zenhabits and like what they have to say. The words they use sound like mantra for mediation to me-- simplify, get rid of excess, declutter, straighten things up in your life, get your mind clear, feel like a new person and to this I say...bring it on. This is a dream come true for this Virgo!

July 11, 2010

Summer Sunday and Quiet

The Dictionary definition of quiet:
peaceful, tranquil, saying little, being at rest, moving very gently, 
refraining or free from activity: a quiet Sunday afternoon

 Summer Sunday is upon us again and what I enjoy most is the 
peace and quiet of a day spent in our backyard.

Ok, maybe not so peaceful, wet dog who decided 
I was her best vantage point for giving a shake was not ideal...
but up to then, peace and quiet :)

Hoping you find peace and quiet this Sunday 
and for those of you whose Sunday has past...I hope it was a lovely one!

Thank you again to The Tablescaper for this wonderful meme concept.
If you would like to read more about Summer Sundays
visit her blog and join in the fun!



Just posted my trip to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show @ Finding My Way.
If you are interested, click on this link: