Saturday, December 1, 2012


This was one happy reunion - Auntie Erica meeting her two lil nephews and one lil neice for the first time in the flesh. Of course due to the wonders of modern technology especially via skye she was previously able to connect in an 'of sorts' kind of way. Other regular up-dates gladly gobbled up via facebook, emailed photos and video clips... However nothing quite matches the skin on skin, touch and smell and kiss connection that she has been enjoying over the last month with these darling lil people. We have all loved having our Erica home a month early from London for some beautiful, quality time together - the four sisters have been hanging out together heaps too of course!

Her next happy reunion will be with her husband Dean when they meet up in Brisbane when we all gather for Amy & Steven's wedding - a happy union that will take place in Noosa on 12 12 12. Another happy reunion for us will be with our sisters - Pete will be joined by two of his sisters in Noosa for the wedding - one who lives in Australia who is also looking forward to meeting her great nephews and niece for the first time. My sister from France too will be there for a reunion with us all - especially lovely for her to see our Dad and Mum for the first time in ages... along with the first meeting of her great nephews and niece.... her nieces and their partners for the first time in a while... her first attendance at one of our family weddings - oh this is such a tangle of multiple reunions that I am quite losing count!

Life is made up of a series of hellos and goodbyes, arrivals and departures, welcoming and farewelling.... it is the mixture of joy n sadness and longing n full-heartedness that make it such a full and rich experience. In a weeks time I am anticipating a heart so full it may just burst!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

London Hospitality

To celebrate Mothers Day our Erica took me to Jamies Italian - it was my choice and it was certainly something different. Darling Man and I have watched quite a few of Jamie's TV 30 minute meal sessions and have been impressed with his 'styles' so I thought it would be cool to go to one of his resturants since we were in London after all!
We had a really special evening together - what could be better than quality time with one of my favourite wise women in this world!!!
It was very lovely - lovely, lovely, lovely!!!!
However the food was very average - but we were so caught up with enjoying each others company that we didn't even mention it for ages..... nor did it even matter in the grand scheme!
Some of the best food we ate in London was at Erica and Dean's flat. These Red Velvet Cupcakes were amazing. Not just because they were tasty but because a whole lot of effort and love went into them due to the fact that the oven in their flat needs some careful managing to say the least! I particularly admired Erica's determination to make delicious things for us to eat while we were at their house. It was important for her to have us sat around their table eating food that she herself had prepared for us.
We were treated to these gorgeous tarts at Erica's friend's nursing home accomodation - baked in a communal kitchen specially for us to enjoy with our afternoon cuppa.
 Again extra tasty and enjoyable because of the thoughtfulness of that hospitable act.
One of the most hospitable people I know is our dear friend Keriata - in the terms of hospitality being about love and acceptance and making each person feel like the most special person in the world - she was an expert. Sadly she passed away at the weekend in London after a period of illness. I bumped into a mutual friend today and she said - even though we all knew the end was near - now that she is gone it feels like the world is an emptier place somehow. It is very difficult to believe that a person so vibrant and full of  life and love could gradually slip away from us as she has.
We certainly enjoyed Ewan & Keriata's loving hopsitality on a number of occasions when we have visited with them in London - now precious memories to cherish and a sterling example to follow.
Hospitality I think is about welcome, refreshment, sharing, acceptance and love..... we have been delighted to discover on many and varied occasions that London is a very hospitable place!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Soup Weather

Where else in the world upon first stop at lunch cafe after arrival would you find 4 soups on the menu? Ireland of course. Maybe it's because they often have 'soup weather' over there! I chose Chicken and Broccoli and it was delicious.
The breads were amazing too - actually the food in general in Ireland was exceptional and the people very friendly and hospitable.
Travel can really inspire one to launch into creating new dishes once one returns home. After tasting a couple of really decent chowders in warm, cosy cafes in Ireland... and believe me they are a haven... Darling Man decided on return home that he would give it a whirl.
His Chowder is in fact way better than anything I tasted in Ireland. Since we have been having a bit of 'soup weather' ourselves it has been the perfect lunch and dinner (until it runs out) meal. Home is a pretty cosy haven to retreat to when husband on holiday has time to learn to make chowder!
P.S. His imminent return to work will see me back in the kitchen... sigh....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Special Birthdays

Our lovely Erica sketched and coloured this gorgeous card for me earlier on this year when I had a special birthday. To celebrate we went out for a nice dinner with our kids. I considered that to be a suitably low key way to mark the day - I am not a fan of a big fuss and am a bit averse to surprise parties but I did enjoy that our girls secretly organised a birthday cake for me and Pete did a beautiful impropmtu speech. All these special things gathered up together made for a perfect day and I was really touched. The cake was crafted by Amy's lovely friend Karen. I'm not sure if you can really see it in the photo but the 'lace' around the edge of the cake was pearly. She is a true artist.
Karen also made a cake for Amy's 21st Birthday Party which we went to last night. Pete and I sometimes can't believe that our baby girl is 21 and we don't know where all those years have gone. Other times we are just relieved to have got to this stage in the life of our family and wonder how we did it! We had had four daughters and our family was complete just before my 30th birthday. So that's the reason Amy and I end up celebrating our 'special birthdays' around a similar time. Milestones in family life are little opportunites to pause and reflect, give thanks to God and to savour that sense of heart-overflowing blessedness.
So we were the 'oldies' at Amy's birthday party but we did enjoy the beautiful 'young' people - they are so fun and interesting to chat to. The lovely cake-making Karen came especially to encourage Pete and I before she left - telling us what a lovely friend Amy was and what a good job of bringing her up we had done. Such things are very nice for parents to hear and we so appreciated that she took the time to do that. Our son-in-law Paul made Amy a 21st key which was also very thoughtful. People do sometimes moan about young people but personally I 'rate' them. I love their energy, creativity and freshness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Boys

I have just finished knitting a hoodie for each of our two lovely little grandsons. Kaedin recently celebrated his first birthday and Floyd is 6 months old now. They are so darling and give us so much pleasure. I love to talk about them and I especially enjoy refering to them as 'the boys' after having all girls ourselves. It just sounds so nice to me and different. They are beginning to take more notice of each other now and sort of 'play' together. Kaedin is very enthusiastic about Floyd and likes to kiss and hug him a lot. Floyd is however a little unsure of his exuberant affection at times. I asked the girls to do me a little photo shoot when they tried the hoodies on yesterday....
... so now I am all ready to start something for our new little grandaughter. Lola Adele Maria Verhij joined our family 2 weeks ago much to the delight of us all. 'It's a girl' YAY! I met up with Annah and Lola at the wool shop to choose a shade of Debbie Bliss cashmerino so I can knit her a little cardy for next winter. She has been given so many lovely knitted things for now so I can relax and take my time over this next project. She is pictured below wearing a gorgeous little set made by her great-grandmother and my mother. When I was a baby it would have been called a layette. I love the way Mum has adapted her knitting to keep it stylish and relevant to today's babies. She also made Lola a beautiful blanket that Annah really loves.

 I know I haven't written my blog for ages and you may well be thinking I am only using it as an excuse to brag about my grandies - well it is true - I confess. However to get back into my blogging I did need to up-date you with what has been going on in our lives and it has been quite a bit as you can see. Three grandchildren within a year has been pretty full-on - but very lovely!

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