My Twelve Favourite Photos of 2008


False head of Elizabeth I




babyskull necklace


Eiffel Tower at Night



Take Courage


Fire Sculpture - Pre Burning


Tattoo At WorkTurtle just below the surface


Charlotte & I

It turns out I don’t like ANY of the 4 photos taken in September that I have on Flickr.
Instead have this one that I love of Me & Charlotte by Kat.




My Heart Belongs to ...


Bow Watch by Betsey Johnson

Au Revoir 2008!


The Darling Couple

Smiling, by JayneCraig squinting


P.s. I may or may not be taking this to the party tonight:



Christmas Post

A Very Oh Darling Christmas

In New Zealand Christmas is a two-day affair. The 25th is presents and family and food and movies. The 26th (aka Boxing Day) is family and left overs and outdoor antics.
Sometimes, for the brave, or fool hardy, it involves the Boxing Day Sales (it is no Thanksgiving Black Friday but we do our best).

This year our little family was missing a sister. She is all bundled up in London and we arranged to speak at 8 her time, 9 our time. Poor little Skype was overloaded and the video refused to work. Instead we had to describe everything in minute detail while she pretended to listen. It was exhausting.

Jayne is especially attractive early Christmas morn

If you never hear from me again it is because I posted this photo of my darling sister Jayne.
She should, however, know by now what she is getting into when I have a camera in my hands.
And besides! She can’t look absolutely stunning every second of every day. It’s just not fair!



Daddy-dear opening the gorgeous briefcase that was his main present.
It’s the same one that Mark Sainsbury has. He purchased his scant minutes before we did.

Our Presents

Craig and I had calendars printed for our friends and family.
(You can see the photos chosen, in the order printed HERE)


Pohutukawa & Gauguin Roses.
A centrepiece by Mummy-Darling.

And that? that is all the photos I took for hours on christmas day.

You can’t see how we received several pairs of pants, how I received a Bad vs Worse handbook (which would be worse to notice on your dentist’s hand: a flesh-eating bacteria or leprosy? Hee!) a pink-flowered-disposable-candelabra (cardboard!), and prettypretty earrings. A darling-apron & Hepburn-esque sunglasses. How Craig received three different tee-shirts and a waistcoat and decided to wear them all at once. How Craig decided it was wise to give me a pink tool kit. Hmm.

(I would link to my father’s photos but he doesn’t believe in flattering photos or flickr sets)

We visited my ailing Grandmother, I wore a really cute dress and my cousins came to our place to bounce around but I don’t have photos of that either. And if there aren’t photographs then IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

A Quiet Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

In Absentia

In Absentia

Glittery Reindeer

Glittery Fawn & Port


And Christmas day closed with us lying around, completely sated, watching the traditional Christmas Movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Well, not exactly traditional.

A Very Darling Boxing Day

The 26th December dawned early for this sales-bunny. I was up and out of the house by 8:30am so I could walk down to the mall and arrive justjust after it opened. If I’m going to brave the Boxing Day Sales then I’m going to do it as early and as quickly as possible.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Love.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Feeding my obsession.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Love.

Thanks to being horrendously early, the mall was not too busy.
I rushrushrushed around gathering goodies (a karma ring (from my in laws), a lace skirt from my mummy & daddy, a book, and seasalt hairspray) and by the time I was done, an hour and a half later, it was almost unbearable.

The Mall. Boxing Day.

The Mall. Boxing Day.

Finally? (I’m exhausted right now) we attended the traditional Boxing Day family Barbecue. Only this time we all hung out at a location from Lord of the Rings. As you do.





Beth. Post Dip.

Darling Husband holding my rings

My Darling-Husband holding my rings (the open circle? that’s my karma ring!).

Rose. Post swim.

Me. By Craig.

Coca Cola in my Jamie Oliver Goblets

I seemed to have a thing for feet*.



Craig was sick of holding them

Craig was sick of holding my rings. And no, I am not nice to my feet.


Wet Shoes

*Ew! Not like that.



Kids on the Rock

Kirsten & Mummy-Darling on a different rock

Teeny Flower

Reflected Reflecting.

Conor & Craig



Mummy Dear, Disappearing.



Conor & Adrian



By the end of the day we were one of the last families at the creek.

Back to our camp

Just like that, exhausted, heavier, not sunburned (victory! 70 spf wins!), and very happy, ends another Darling Christmas.

Quote of the Day (so far)

We opened presents with my Darling London Sister on Skype. And naturally, the video was playing up (with 10.25 million people online? it’s understandable.) so we had to explain every thing we were opening. Painting word pictures.

Sarah: And I just gave Craig a leather strap bracelet. It’s real leather, sorry Charlotte.
Charlotte-the-vegetarian: You make the baby Jesus cry.
Sarah: Nuh-uh! Jesus was totally into Leather … Woah. That came out wrong.

Christmas time means Candy Canes

Candy Cane Biscuits

I’m essentially obsessed with Candy Canes.
The shape, the colours, the twist, and oh oh oh, peppermint is the best flavour in the world.
Over christmas? I make the most of them (I love seasonal food!) and as such, I bake them into my childhood-recipe cookies.

12 oz Flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
8 oz Butter
4 oz Sugar
4 Tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 pkt chocolate chips (uh … the pack is like 2 cups?)

1 tsp peppermint essence
12 Candy Canes

Candy Cane Biscuits

Soften the butter, cream with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Add the flour and baking powder. Combine. Add the peppermint essence.

Break up the Candy Canes! Sometimes you can slice them, most of the time we just unwrap them, put them inside two plastic bags, and a tea-towel, and have at them with a hammer.

Candy Cane Biscuits

my pretty pretty sister was a little too into it …

Candy Cane Biscuits


Candy Cane Biscuits


I add in the candy cane with the blade still in the food processor …

Candy Cane Biscuits

But the chocolate chips get all broken up and turn the biscuits brown so I remove the blade and add them by hand.

Candy Cane Biscuits

Form into balls about the size of walnuts

Candy Cane Biscuits

Annoying huge chocolate drops. They don’t work as well as chocolate chips.

Smoosh (Technical Term!) with a fork.

Candy Cane Biscuits

Bake at 150c for … oh, like 10? 15? minutes. Until they are pale beige.

Candy Cane Biscuits

Sometimes the candy pieces are too close to the edge and they melt out and burn. But that doesn’t mean they’re all burnt!

Candy Cane Biscuits

Sometimes? they are all flat like this. Sometimes they are more like … proper biscuits. Nice and fluffy.
I think it might be when the butter is too melted in step one. But I’ve never paid enough attention to work it out and sometimes they are perfect, sometimes they are less-than but still taste lovely.
This was one of the latter times. And I couldn’t be bothered baking a whole ‘nother batch just for pretty pictures.

Another little drone for the ‘hive*

I finallyfinallyfinally have a proper full time grown up job. It’s kind of interesting and has an important sounding title. I kind of love it.

But no, I won’t tell you exactly where, with whom, or doing what. Because what would be the fun in that?

* Pictured between branches is the Beehive, the buzzing hub of New Zealand’s parliament.

Friday Morning

I realised that it has been MONTHS since I spent the train ride to and from work in absolute hysterics.
That is to say, I miss this cute little face:

My Darling Sister Charlotte.

My Sister is Adorable!

Seriously? How cute is she??

p.s. I might also be hugely jealous that she is spending christmas in London.