So what have I been doing lately? Cutting some strips to work on my RSC Cobblestone blocks. Blue is the nominated colour this month so I dug into my bag of batiks to see what I could find. I do my cutting out on top of the chest freezer, which is just the right height for this job. But like most jobs these days I have to pace myself so that I don’t affect the muscles on my back. Just a little at a time and I get there.
Cutting strips for cobblestone blocks
Now for a bit of a catch-up about our caravan trip the other weekend. Not too far away, just up to Foxton Beach with the caravan club members. On Friday evening we went down town to view the light show celebrating Matariki, the Maori New Year. According to the legend, the star Matariki is the whaea (mother), surrounded by her six daughters. Matariki and her daughters journey across the sky each year to visit Papatūānuku, their earth mother. During this visit, each of the stars help the earth mother to prepare for the year to come, and they also learn new skills and gain new knowledge from her, which they guard and pass on to others. Matariki has different names around the world, it is also known by its ancient Greek name, Pleiades or the Seven Sisters.
Crowds gathered in the courtyard surrounding the Dutch windmill, lit up with ever changing colours. We found some seats and sat and watched, thankful that we had our winter coats on during the chilly evening. There was also a slide show playing on the large windows of the museum, showing scenes of the early days of Foxton. The food trucks were doing a roaring trade, and we indulged in some tasty donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar, so warm and tasty. WE finished our evening stopping off to buy some fish and chips to eat back in camp.
Light show at Foxton
The Rally Captains had organised a busy afternoon for us all the following day, we met at the the local museum, “Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom” for a guided tour. This museum is a collaboration between the Maori people, the Dutch immigrants and the Council, and has displays on both the early Maori settlement and information about the Dutch immigrants who arrived to settle in New Zealand after WW11. This is the only facility in the country which has info boards in three languages, Maori, Dutch and English, we were told.
Maori Meeting House
Foxton was a thriving town in the early years. With flax growing naturally it was harvested and made into rope, sacking and mats. Prior to the Europeans settling, the local Maori people used the bounty of flax to make all sorts of items for daily use, including baskets and sleeping mats. The river (now silted up) ran alongside the town and was a hive of activity with ships coming and going.
Our guide then took us around to the Dutch area of the museum. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman is officially recognised as the first European to 'discover' New Zealand in 1642. Nazi Germany overran the Netherlands during WW11, nd the country and civilians were devastated. At the end of the war housing was poor, the economy in tatters, and people left in droves for a fresh start, mainly settling in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The new immigrants brought what furnishings they could with them to start their new life, to remind them of home.
Treasures from home
I was delighted to find a gorgeous cross stitch “Months of the Year” hanging on display. Such a lot of work but is was sure to bring a lot of comfort to the maker as she stitched away.
A beautiful piece
The weather worsened during the weekend, the rain came down and the strong wind buffeted the vans all night. We would just nod off and then, shake rattle and roll, more gusts hit us, it was not a pleasant night at all. The ground was sodden as we packed up after morning tea and headed for home. But the company was great, and there was plenty to keep us busy during the weekend.