Pixie Post

Monday, April 30, 2007


I am rendered silent by the death of a colleague. A hard drinking, heavy smoking, diabetic colleague. But still. He was unexpectedly, prematurely farewelled in a simple little ceremony at the sports club he loved. It was hard to see his family, to talk with them about his working life, to hear those stories of him as a boy, a university student. To see his brother, looking so much like him, with the same smile, same hands. The sight of his jacket on his casket, branded with the yellow and black of our rugby team, made us all smile, and cry. It's funny how just one ordinary thing can be so redolent of a person, a personality. I wasn't close to him, but he's been part of my daily working landscape for over 5 years. There is a gap. It's hard to get used to.
Bugger it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


  • It's the ex's birthday. Do I buy him a present?
  • I've made spanakopita. It was great. I'll be eating it for a week. What do I do with the rest of the filo?
  • Keep the guns away from the people. Then the people can't do the shooting. It's easy isn't it?
  • and that guy, the one that fell asleep getting petrol...his sentence oughta help him get his act together don't you think?
  • so why is everyone criticising the sentence for this young fella? For crying out loud, he got the toughest sentence someone his age could get for that crime. Isn't that sufficient?
  • If Ali is only just testing the kiwifruit to see if it's time to pick them, where do the rock hard, very sour ones at the supermarket actually come from?
  • I've only got to write another 200 words or so. Then tidy up the references, make sure I spelt my name right and the essay is done. I can do that tonight can't I?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dear Big Horn Quilts

Dear Big Horn Quilts,
I got a lot of mail the other day. There were bills, of course, and lots of mail for people who cannot have lived here for many years. The lovely post-person had ventured through the gate and left the global priority envelope on the front step. It could only be from you. It arrived really quickly, not withstanding the Easter holiday, and was beautifully packed, as ususal. I especially like the handwritten 'thanks' from the person who packed it.
Look what was inside. Does it amuse you to send a package from Wyoming to little old New Zealand? It sure makes me smile to open it. There were two Quilting Arts Magazines because I'd got a bit behind. There are the daffodil fabrics for the back of my quilt. I'll have to finish it now. There's the tape measure fabric just for fun, and that pink rosy thing, which is for something specific. I don't like it much, but it's perfect for the job I have in mind. Oh, but look at this one. Birds and roses. Red and gold. And I have a whole yard of it! Sorry I haven't ironed it, I'm too busy studying to be ironing.

It's beautiful isn't it? Thanks Big Horn Quilts. I'll come and visit you one day.

Love Pixie, who is studying, of course.

Saturday again

I did enjoy all those blog birthday comments, thanks!
I'm studying today, and tomorrow. Have you noticed how I write blog posts when I'm "studying"?
I've eeked out the very last shred of sunlight left around the house to sit in to read. See how the shadows have finally caught up with me? I'm going to have to sit by a heater now. "Drug and Drink Driving by University Students: An Exploration of the Influence of Attitudes" (Davey, Davey and Obst). Want to join me? No, thought not.
Look, the sun is still shining way over there. This is the view from my favourite room. The windows are superb aren't they? They're very english in style, hand painted and hand coloured glass I suspect. (Dear A&E, homeowners, see how calm the sea is? No good for surfing, no point in your returning early).

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blog birthday

The Pixie Post is one year old today. I remember starting it on a grim Wellington day, when I needed to distract myself. It worked! It's still working!

That piece of birthday cake comes from the border of this quilt "2001" completed.....oh, go on, guess when.

That was the year I turned 40. Hence the bit of birthday cake. I stitched all sorts of things about me into the border, see me swimming down the wiggly blue line? There's my blue and white china collection, and my scissors, a symbol really, cos I don't use them that often. There's a pig and daffodils, and a lovely blue rose, shells from the beach and a big wine glass because those are things that make me smile. There's a hammer and a paintbrush too, because I did lots of decorating that year. It was my last year as a full time stay at home Mum. There's a blue ribbon, because I won my first one that year at the National Symposium in New Plymouth.

There's a teddy and a golly (we must talk about gollies sometime), for my two sons, that's a computer mouse, and there are 3 hearts for family. It has some stars too, one with american flags on it for Sept 11, and one with my friend's name embroidered on it, because Annette died that year. How I miss her. "What's happening this year" she asked me in January. "I'm going to be 40" I said, thinking to myself "oh my god, oh my god". "Great" she said, "we can celebrate". Had to do that without her in the end, but I've never felt bad about having a birthday ever since.

The best thing about this quilt is the gazillion 3 inch 9-patch blocks, stitched by 10 wonderful women, who swapped them fortnightly for a whole year. Deb made some. So did Morv. There were 9 quilts in the end, and they were all very different. We had crazy awards. I got one for the "bravest, most adventurous border".

It's been an adventurous year since the Pixie Post began. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I love my wetsuit

This is my wetsuit. Of course it looks much better with me in it. I love it dearly, I love it more than I love my sewing machine, and that's saying something. I could always sew by hand, right? But could I swim in Wellington's waters without a wetsuit? Not me. A couple of my (mad) swimming buddies do though. Today the inner harbour waters are choppy, which makes the outward swim hard going, and the inward swim much easier. We swam from raft to raft to a buoy and then around the fountain and back. There were a few jellyfish...we try not to bang into them, although I did hit a couple today. They're harmless to the wetsuit clad...and quite beautiful. We climbed up onto the rafts and leapt into the water. Must have amused the Sunday strollers on shore. We swam the last lap from raft to beach a couple of times, stopping to check out the starfish, big and bright on the sandy bottom, and we had a couple of underwater swimming races. No one was in a hurry to get out of the water. Then we all went out for coffee and planned a marathon swim before the end of the season. The Sunday morning swims are going to keep going all winter. So they say. Time will tell I guess.
The sea, good company, good coffee, and my beautiful wetsuit. I'm a happy Pixie.

Happy April

There was a time I was longing for March, because some hard stuff would be over with. Now March has been and gone. Phew. Now the hard stuff is about studying, and assignments with April deadlines. Look, I'm working at the table......

and still working after dark......When I'm not reading academic research articles I've been reading this (with a much more sedate cover too!)...You can read the first chapter online here. I'm really enjoying it. And while those northern hemisphere bloggers are boring us all silly (joking...joking) with pictures of daffodils and spring blossoms.....I've been to my favourite Big Horn Quilts and ordered these! Gorgeous. For the back of the daffodil quilt I think.
and do you think I can get the pictures to sit side by side? no I cannot, so I give up!