The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Gallivanta

Last month Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate revealed how crucial it is to remain curious in life, to explore every piece of the world, inside and out. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, beautiful beings from all over the world explain why life is so awesome to them.

This month I’m overjoyed to bring you guys Gallivanta from Silkannthreades all the way from New Zealand. Gallivanta’s blog is always playful, positive, intelligent, and inspiring. Even simple photos from her garden seem to awaken something special in all of her readers, including yours truly. Her youthful zeal shines through her words and I always leave her blog smiling big. 

To show you all one example of what a lively woman she is, back at the end of July Gallivanta sent me on a totem pole quest in Portland. Yep, a totem pole quest. I’ll write about my discovery next week, so stay tuned!

On a side note, I feel pretty darn special after working with her on this project, because unlike so many of you out there, I know her real name. (Don’t worry, Gallivanta…your secret’s safe with me.)

Delight us, Gallivanta…


 Hello. Kia Ora. 🙂

Sheep in the Square
Sheep in the Square

 So pleased to meet you.

Only woolly threads here.
Only woolly threads here.

I am Gallivanta of Silkannthreades, and I am feeling rather sheepish about being here, as a guest on the Life Enthusiast Chronicles.

Because I am not so much an enthusiast, as an observer who quietly enjoys watching the world go by, and wondering what it all means…

What do you think of the new view?
What do you think of the new view?

 …and how it all knits together, or doesn’t.

The yarn unravels
The yarn unravels

Don’t get me wrong. I love life, but in a contented, sipping cocoa, knitting granny’s bed socks by the fire, sort of way. It’s my natural inclination but, really, these days I haven’t much energy for anything else.

You see a lot has unravelled since our city was hit by the big earthquake on 4 September, 2010. And, as if that weren’t bad enough most people then had the stuffing knocked out of them for a while, when the deadly 2011 earthquake erupted underneath us with the force of 15,000 tonnes of TNT.

It takes some time to stand up again after a blast like that. And when you do arise, you alternate between exhaustion and bone-weary exhaustion. Enthusiasm becomes subdued, takes a back seat for most folk, but it is definitely still there.

Every now and then, it pops up somewhere to remind us of its presence and to allow us an exuberant whoop of pure, silly joy. 

Did we surprise you?
Did we surprise you?

And to forget for a moment that, behind today, are the days that changed our lives, and continue to change them.

The Dark Days
The Dark Days

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for without the shake-up of the quakes I wouldn’t have started my blog; I wouldn’t have met the ultimate life enthusiast, Britt, and so many other wonderful, positive bloggers, happy to come along for the ride, as I bleat about the small joys and little woes of my ordinary life.

That’s something to think about, eh?

Oh, and here’s another thought. What’s with this using woolly threads in my post? They are not silk, as in Silkannthreades!

Well, since we don’t have much silk in New Zealand, wool has to be my visual substitute. And, some New Zealand wool, let it be known, is every bit as fine as silk. 🙂

Not bad, eh? What do EWE say?
Not bad, eh? What do EWE say?

Thanks so much for having me, and, just so you know I am not really a woolly sheep.

Here are some of my favourite photos from my blog.

The first one is me, as a little one growing up in Fiji. The last photo is me, growing older, in Christchurch, and the middle drawing is how a lovely blogger friend sees the little girl who continues on, in me, despite the woe of recent years.

Looking forward; Gallivanta circa 1958-59
Looking forward; Gallivanta circa 1958-59
and healing
and healing
Power of the flower
Power of the flower

And, finally, a last little stitch to hold together all the threads of this post……

The poetic theme of my blog

Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)

© silkannthreades

77 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Gallivanta

      1. I’m definitely going to mention these sheep to my friend who’s a local councillor and our Mayor. She’ll love them — hopefully enough to order a multicoloured flock for our town.

    1. Yay! I’m sure you will have many more guest posts to come, Gallivanta. You’re awesome! Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful piece. So cool about the wooly sheep!

      1. Britt, I have remembered something rather cute. When I was young, my father helped set up a trial sheep farm in Fiji. We had a lot of contact with the sheep farm and the sheep and one year we had a pet lamb. That was so unusual in Fiji. We called the sheep Lamb Chop, of all things!!!!!! In my autograph book I have a small piece of wool from Lamb Chop. Ha! That was a nice memory to recall. Thank you for taking me back to that happy childhood time.

  1. Classic Gallivanta! A beautifully ‘knitted’ post from the fantastic sheep to the William Blake poem. I always love reading Gallivanta’s words and am so happy you had her on your blog, Britt.

    1. Letizia, thanks for enjoying my guest post. In real life I am a less than adequate knitter so it was fun to knit/craft things together in an alternative way! At first I wasn’t very confident about doing a guest post but I took up the challenge and it was fun.

  2. Are those woolly sheep still there???? Are they in latimer square??? I saw the striped acrylic/plastic ones in town yesterday… they are nowhere near as good as the woolly ones

    1. Forgot to say the earthquakes have indeed been devastating and have taken their toll in so many ways, it’s nice to see the different ways the Christchurch community has found to restore some hope and joy in their ruined city.

    1. Aww…thank you Pauline. I am so glad you did come by to read my post. With the soon to re-open Knox Church and Isaac Theatre Royal, (both beautifully renovated), I feel we are close to turning a corner in the city rebuild. Did you feel the wee shudder down your way the other day?

      1. It was a bit more than a wee shudder, it was a loud bang and the house felt like it had been hit by a ten-tonne truck! My thoughts immediately turned to ChCh – and then I found out it was centred here so thought you all would be okay. It’s unusual for us to get quakes here that feel like this – even your bad ones were relatively insubstantial under my feet – must be this new fault line they have discovered. I’m happy to hear the Knox is reopening and a theatre too, though I don’t recall that particular one.

      2. Nothing would surprise me anymore re earthquakes in NZ but, yes, it is unusual for Dunedin to have a shake. I hope the city took it as a warning to make sure that all their beautiful old buildings are as secure as possible. Hope Orlando and Siddy weren’t too alarmed.

      3. Dunedin went into shut the door after mode when Christchurch fell. Old buildings are being shored up or demolished according to the ratings they received. Both my boys got a fright and went on high alert for a few minutes – but calmed down pretty quickly, which I took as a good sign.

  3. A gorgeously uplifting post that shows it’s still possible to be positive about life following devastation. The sheep are wonderful and I love the way you describe your attitude to life as sipping cocoa and knitting granny’s socks by the fire!

    1. Thank you Andrea. My description is, of course, very metaphorical. I do indeed sip cocoa but my fire is a heat pump, and knitting is something I dream about, rather than actually do!!! 🙂

    1. And Mary because our city is quite small we get to see real sheep on the outskirts of the city; which means about 5 minutes drive from my home. Once upon a time sheep were in the central city as you can see from this wonderful old photo of sheep grazing in our central city park http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/heritage/photos/disc4/IMG0032.asp There are actually current proposals to bring sheep back into the city to help with control of grass in public areas/parks.

  4. Love all those delightful woolly sheep, made from yarn, and even the knitted tree. Many places, including here in Australia, are holding winter festivals where knitters dress the trees and buildings in woolen scarves, beanies or jumpers. A great idea to brighten up a dull winter’s day. I’m reaching for my knitting bag and needles right now.

    1. Mary, I am trying to imagine what you will knit and for which tree. 😉 Isn’t it strange, though, that for such a fun activity, we use the harsh words, ‘bombing’ or ‘guerilla'(knitting)?

  5. In the USA such joyful and sometimes even political statements are called yarn bombing. Usually done clandestinely. Love the sheep–in another life I was a weaver, and still have a collection of sheep of all kinds and shapes. Your post brought a huge email. Thanks.

      1. No, they’re packed away. I was a weaver with several looms, and often went to local farms to purchase fleece to weave or make felt. Those were glorious times. I also would take walks into the woods. and collect grapevine and honeysuckle to make natural baskets.

      2. They do sound like glorious times. How lovely that you made natural baskets as well. Now your creativity has moved in other directions. 🙂 You weave magic with your camera.

  6. Totally agree that it is important to retain one’s curiosity and involvement in life, as close up to the end as possible.

    I bet sheep cones get more notice than the standard traffic cones!

    1. Yes, they are a point of difference, especially when we have so many of the standard ones. There are thousands upon thousands of standard cones in the city because of the rebuild.

  7. A wonderful post, and what I’ve come to expect of our friend Gallivanta. That is, I never know what exactly to expect, but I know it will be interesting and make me think, and make me glad I read what she wrote.
    Thanks for having her as your guest. And for meeting her challenge!

    1. Cynthia, does this mean you have turned the virtual page to the next post and read about Britt’s completion of the challenge? Britt has grit, and determination, and, just as well for me, a good sense of humour.

    1. Clanmother, since it’s spring I wonder if the Ninja knitters have thought about adding a few lambs to keep the ram and the ewe company! That would add another level of delight to the little scene. I must go and see if there have been any recent developments.

  8. Wonderful post!! And I so much love the wooly mammoths …euh I mean sheep 😀
    Thanks Britt for inviting Gallivante. Beautiful name as well btw.

  9. I love those sheep. They have wonderful faces and colors. This is actually the second time today that I have had an encounter with sheep — one of the students at the school where I work was carrying a Shawn the Sheep stuffed animal out to recess. (Shawn the Sheep is a cartoon character on television, in case you don’t follow cartoons!) I surprised the student by greeting Shawn by name, and he was so excited I knew who Shawn the Sheep is. He hugged his toy tightly and smiled big and bright. Right away, I got a sense that this little stuffed animal brought the boy comfort. Much like the sheep seem to for your community. Wonderful post.

    1. I didn’t know Shawn the Sheep but I do now. I am laughing myself silly watching the Youtube clips. No wonder he’s a favourite of your little pupil. Sheep are very homely and comforting; I guess we associate them with the gentle warmth of sweaters and blankets, and with idyllic country scenes.

  10. Now I feel better about the times I’m feeling sheepish…As usual Lady G’s posts make me smile and feel warm about life and our little blogging community.

  11. I never saw this Ann till browsing on my phone I came upon Brit’s current post and followed it back to you. I’m in Poland still and being fed to the limit and beyond. My waistline thinks it nearly time to quit cake and go home. Sending hugs xx

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