My Favourite Window

December 31, 2014

Year's End


Watching this orb web spider spin her web on the Christmas tree, which had come in from the garden, reminded me of the challenges I've faced this year - how every step forward seems
followed by a set back. Of course the spider's web didn't last long. Once the morning sun had moved away the gossamer disappeared from view, we carried on placing presents for each other under the tree, and broke the threads.  I'm sure she had another go and that's all I can do for the time being. When the chronic tiredness that dictates how I organise my day, or the indifference of social welfare reformers, or Newspeak from the Earthquake Commission threaten to overwhelm me I count my blessings and take the next step. 


There are certainly plenty of blessings in my Life and December brings so many of these to the fore.


Early in the month Kitty and I visited friends in Wellington, fitting in a spot of Morris dancing with the Britannic Bedlam Morris Gentlemen at the Thorndon Fair. A spot was about it with the rain that day driving us into the nearest pub for a pint or two.


But leaving the Capital behind doesn't mean leaving behind a rich cultural life. We came home to a house full of thespians, rehearsing, sewing, tweaking their Christmas show due to open next day at a school near us. I went to bed as Bryony and her Black Peach Theatre Company friends were puzzling over a framework of wire and draped fabric. I got up in the morning to be greeted by...


a fully-fledged and personable penguin!  Teagan, Logan, Holly; they've all been part of Bryony's social circle for a few years now, but their place here is definitely one of my blessings. 


Thanks Peaches for the extended version that you performed for adults in the DHSSD studio theatre - all those improvising skills of yours came in handy!



This year I combined my Summer Solstice observance with decorating the Ashley Church Christmas tree.  The summery photo of Kitty and me capering under our willow tree was part of that day and I enjoyed dancing to sung music for a change.


My sister Ingrid worked her magic with flowers from her garden to decorate the church for the annual Christmas Eve Carol Service,



which reminds me how well roses grow around the Ashley village and how late the early roses have flowered this year. They are often over by Christmastime but are still budding and cascading here on New Year's Eve!

One blessing that cannot be forgotten in my December round-up is the progress on the new Ashley bridge. Those of us who live this side of the Ashley River watch with anticipation as we cross the old bridge, which has suffered badly from age in the last few years. I'm sure I'm not the only country dweller to count the new spans as they have been laid over the course of the year. Early in December the first beams of the tenth and final span were put in position. I toasted the bridge builders that night: they work in that exposed place through all the extremes of Canterbury weather and I understand that many of them work far from home. 


Here one of the beams for the final span is being moved into place.  Visible just left of centre is one of the big gates that were fixed at each end of the old bridge, to be shut when high water flows dictate that the bridge be closed.  Their presence is a constant reminder of the 25 minute detour we face when that happens.  Such is the flux of life - Earthquake recovery, bereavement recovery, bridge building... re-making your cobweb when it gets broken.




17 comments:

John Gray said...

If I don't get the chance
Happy new year to you
Jxxxx

rusty duck said...

With all best wishes for the New Year Jeneane. And enjoy the summer!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

John Gray: Lovely to hear from you and a Happy New Year to you two. Jxxxx

rusty duck: All the best to you and your secret garden whatever the weather :-)

Susan Heather said...

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015. I always enjoy reading about the happenings in your life.

Cro Magnon said...

Keep dancing; it's good for the soul. Very best wishes for 2015 (can that be right?); may you and your family thrive. Cro xx

Steve said...

Wishing you and yours a very joyous and happy 2015. Let's meet up again soon!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Susan Heather: You are kind especially as this last year I haven't spent much time reading anyone else's blog. Hope the year ahead is good to you :-)

Cro Magnon: I do like the way the blogosphere brings brother and sister together from different sides of the world on my comments pages. The dancing keeps me sane! A 2015 resolution for me could be to read more blogs and try out some of your recipes!

Steve: The lovely summer weather we've been having has definitely made me yearn for - not Christmas in England but Summer in England :-)

Gill said...

Another good read Jeneane. The Black Peach crew performed well for us. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Thanks Gill, I was a proud mama in the audience :-) Hope you're enjoying your summer break and have a great year ahead.

Nana Go-Go said...

Dance on Good Lady. Happy New Year to you and yours and loads of best wishes for 2015. Awesome pics and great to 'see' you again. One day I might 'see' you for real - my bestie moves to Auckland next month to be with her daughters and she's already talking about me boarding a plane to go see her. I'm just humouring her for now - no way you'll get me on one of those big tin birds for 24 hours (unless I can go Business Class, of course!).

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Thanks Nana Go Go. You know every time (not often) that I fly to England and home again, I think "Never again." And after about a year and a half the yearning sets in... I keep adapting as I get older, which does cost more. Stop-overs in Dubai and Sydney probably amount to a Business Class fare anyway, but they help me to adjust to the time difference. If you do come make sure that it's for more like 3 months than 3 weeks.

Karen Berry said...

Hi Jeneane....I came across your blog quite by accident when I googled "Thomas Skudder". I am yet another one of his descendents! I am a great grandaughter of his daughter Harriet. I would love to come and see the Skudder House sometime. I live only half an hour away.

I have enjoyed reading your blog and am thrilled to see the Skudder House is being well loved!

libby said...

Happy New Year...keep putting one foot in front of the other..xx

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Karen Berry: Karen you are very welcome to come and visit. Sorry I didn't pick this up earlier. To get in touch scroll down the side of my home page till you get to the bottom of all the blogs I follow. There you will find "About Me." Click on "View my complete profile" to reach my email contact. Otherwise just drive by and I might be around. I live in the big old villa at the back of the Skudder House.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

libby: Thanks for that libby. You too :-)

The Sagittarian said...

Its certainly been trying times for you...hope the summer has done ok by you and that this year brings all kinds of goodies! Hopefully you will have a house warming to attend later this year on our side of town!! :-)

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Yes Indeed! Thanks Saj. Gosh - progress for you at last. Look forward to that House warming but not as much as you, I bet :-)