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Friday, 31 July 2015

Mystery solved; questions remain

Dear Diary,

Jesse: You may remember some time back when I reported that all of Angelo's shoes had disappeared.  At that time I had made many thorough searches of our house, including two trips to the attic.  Sadly, I was unable to find his footwear.

Last weekend, we decided that we needed to clear out some of the things in the attic before the ceiling cave in.  I brought down lots of very large plastic storage containers and we happily decided that since we had forgotten the things inside were even still around, we didn't need to keep them.  In one large box there was an assortment of things, from clothes to kitchenalia.  At the bottom was a white plastic bag and inside - Angelo's shoes! I would not have been able to see them when I looked through the sides of the clear plastic boxes.  I was delighted (and relieved to find them) but for the life of me I have absolutely no idea how this box came to be put into a plastic bag and then put into the bottom of a storage box in the attic.  It just doesn't seem possible but it's the fact.

Angelo is absolutely over the moon about having his shoes back.  As we went through them we discovered we had more pairs of JJ shoes than we remembered (a very nice surprise).

"With heaven as my witness I swear I'll never be shoeless again!" (with apologies to Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With the Wind'.)
We're all agreed that Angelo needs more shoes but there's no hurry now.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Thrift store clothing shopping

Dear Diary,

Adam:  For the past 2 1/2 years, Jesse has been a volunteer at the local Red Cross thrift shop.  Once each fortnight he pulls a shift, working in the store.  He loves doing this because he feels he is giving back to the community where we live.  In addition, he has met many people and become well-known.  The other day he went to pick up something he purchased on-line and when he arrived the woman said to him "I know you from the Red Cross shop!"

A few weeks ago when he went for his shift, there was an 18" boy doll for sale.  I use the word "doll" loosely because it isn't really a doll because it could never be played with.  It's more a manikin; you know the type: ceramic head, hands and feet, cloth body and wired into a pose to represent something (like a dancer, little child, etc).  Think Franklin Mint.  Anyway, this boy doll had on an old fashioned newspaper boy outfit and Jesse thought it would probably fit me.  So, he bought the doll, stripped it down and donated it back to the charity shop much to the chagrin of the other volunteers!

As a rule, the clothes on these dolls can be  pretty nice and in this case, they weren't too bad.  The shirt was too large but the leather shoes fit.  The tweed woolen trousers were fine in the waist but too long so Jesse shortened them and added cuffs.  The braces (suspenders) were also too long but they were successfully shortened.  The cap is hopeless.  It was made so poorly that nothing can make it look good.

It has a bit of an Edwardian look.

This cap is absolutely dreadful!

As soon as we're done, I'm going to find a shovel, dig a hole and bury this awful cap!
Anyway, since I'm really short of clothes, this gave me some more options (minus that cap!).  Jesse  says I shouldn't be fussy about where we buy our clothes; after all, he buys lots of his clothing there.  He says you never know what treasure you'll find in a thrift shop.  Perhaps that's why in New Zealand we call them "opportunity shops"!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star..."

Dear Diary,

Adam: Living out in the middle of the country has one fantastic benefit – on a clear night we look up and clearly see the starry firmament. There are no big cities or towns nearby pollute the night sky with excess light.

At the end of June, there was an amazing astrological phenomenon: the conjunction of the two planets Venus and Jupiter. It's said that this event hasn't happened for the past 2,000 years and won't happen again until 2023. We were very fortunate to be able to see the stars coming closer and closer.

The planets at dusk

The planets at twilight.  Jupiter is on the left, Venus on the right.
Angelo: Unfortunately, on the night of their actual alignment, there were too many clouds so we couldn't view it. But, it didn't stop us from waiting outside in the winter chill anyway!

"Here we are, bundled up against the winter cold; staying warm under this Peggy square rug."

Jesse: This was a most amazing sight!  Venus, named after the Goddess of Love and Jupiter, named after the God of Thunder, are about to cross paths.  There are many debates on what this all means.  In our opinion, it means a conjunction of planets - nothing more.  But, whatever you believe, we hope you had the chance to observe it and to enjoy it.  I know my lads did.