After this on Friday evening (you can just see the hail on the ground):
I dragged myself out of bed (after a very late night) to catch the train for this:
I love the Wairarapa. I was glad to be with some of my family this weekend because even though my family in Christchurch are fine, it was a strange feeling knowing they'd been shaken awake by a very big earthquake and that my sister was in the central city with no power and regular aftershocks. Seeing the footage of the damage on the news and knowing that Christchurch airport was closed made them seem really far away.
I noticed many more signs of spring in my travels around Masterton and Gladstone this weekend than I get to on my walks to work and around the city during the week.
The magnolia trees all around town made me miss a street in Wellington I used to walk down very regularly that I'm pretty sure will be lined with beautiful blooming magnolias and have a carpet of their thick creamy petals on the pavement at the moment.
My aunty bought me this awesome cup, saucer, and little plate set at a garage sale yesterday, she said she saw it and couldn't not get it for me. I love the colours!
Today my aunty, my Nana, and I spent a nice wee while drinking tea, eating lemon loaf, looking at pictures of people's nice houses in magazines, and reading bits of the newspaper while my two little cousins drew me pictures.
In the meantime someone else was getting creative. My little brother found some corrugated iron sheets in Dad's workshop and set up a slide off one of his motorbike jumps (yes, that isn't just a random mound of dirt and stones, it has a much higher purpose). The buckets behind him are for filling with water and pouring onto the slide to make it 'go better'. He's sitting on a contraption he built for sliding purposes.
All around the garden and the surrounding paddocks signs of his 'making' can be found - planks of wood in trees (tree huts) with smaller bits of wood nailed to the tree trunks (stairs), blocks of wood arranged just so (skateboard jumps), and a 'pimped out' scooter that he's changed the wheels on are just a few examples. No wonder his hand is in a cast (he has a broken thumb).
There is now a whole paddock of alpacas just down the road from my Dad's house. At one point as I drove past they were all looking up at something in the same direction, it was very weird, they look like sheep with really long necks.
Alpacas, because they are yarn-bearing creatures (imagine if skeins of yarn just grew on them like fruit and you could pick a couple off and be on your merry way? That would actually be so cool), could be a nice transition into an update on the progress of my first sock. Except there hasn't been any. If someone can't help me figure out the first line of the heel turn at Monday night Knitting Circle tomorrow, then I am going to have a serious tantrum. WHY AREN'T PATTERNS CLEARER? I have 30 stitches on the needle I'm knitting on at the moment, and the first line for the heel turn says 'Sl1, K16, ssk, k1, W&T'. That does not add up to 30. So I thought, okay, I'll just ssk along until I get to the last two stitches, then I'll do the 'knit one' and then wrap and turn because the way the pattern explains wrapping and turning you need the last stitch to do it with. But no. I couldn't make it work so that there was a stitch left for the wrap and turn at the end. I was so ready to attack the heel turn but I just couldn't figure it out which was immensely frustrating. I really hope someone can help me tomorrow night, otherwise it is going to be craft rage central.