In sailing terms, “becalmed” means the ship or boat becomes motionless for lack of wind.

I think that becalmed can also refer to individuals who suddenly find themselves without the energy or impetus for their usual activities due to a series of unfortunate happenings that ‘take the wind out of their sails’.

I thought a trip to see my family would help ease that becalmed feeling.  I took some knitting. A pair of socks; two cardigans that needed finishing; yarn for a vest for my niece. Yarn for more socks. More yarn for a scarf or cowl if I ran out of other projects. Just in case. It was for a week after all – and you never want to get caught out!

I finished the socks quickly:

The cardigan took a little longer. In fact, the cardigan might not have got done at all had I not forced myself to knit. It wasn’t that I had much else to do. It was rather wet:

The North Island of New Zealand got a bit of rain this week. This is what a portion of the town looked like. Fortunately, I was staying in a hilly part where it wasn’t flooded.

We went for a walk in beautiful New Zealand native forest.

It was especially healing to go into the bush. I could have stayed in there forever.  This particular forest is covenanted, which means it is protected for perpetuity. It will never again be harvested for timber, or grazed, or ‘developed’ for housing or commerce. With predators kept in check, it will continue to mature and develop and grow as a haven for New Zealand’s wildlife and as a soothing, uplifting retreat for people.

Yarn companies like Zealana and Supreme are helping the fight to keep forests like this intact through supporting the industry around possum eradication. Whilst I didn’t get any photos of them, this forest echoed with the calls of native birds like the tui and the fantail. Bellbirds and the New Zealand parrot, the kaka, are yet to become common, but I hear they’ve been sighted. Large, heavy kereru (native wood pigeons) hopped around the branches, feasting on berries. Chicken-sized wekas (they look like the kiwi but without the long beak) scurried around the edges of the bush, booming and calling to each other. The booming thing is incredible – they must have a throat organ of some kind that they can swell up and call through – it sounds almost bullfrog-like. And there’s its shrill ascending “weeeeeek” – at night, the forest valley came alive with weka calls. It was heart-warming to hear them as it indicates that their population is slowly rebuilding after decades of near extinction. Little New Zealand owls, the Morepork, added their mournful “mooore pork”. It made me think of what New Zealand must have sounded like when first the Maori and then the European settlers arrived, before the forests started to be cleared and the introduced predators made their mark on New Zealand’s delicate ecosystem.

We went to the beach. Here’s my brother with his baby daughter, wearing the jumper I knitted and gave to him:

I got home last night and looked at the house and decided it needs a jolly good clean. Lawns must be mowed if it ever stops raining, windows should be washed. Floors vacuumed, kitchen cleaned. Cupboards wiped down. The laundry monster wrestled into submission. Spiders made to live outside.  The car washed.

Somehow, I am feeling a little more energetic than I was.  It was nice to be away.

18 thoughts on “Becalmed

  1. I love your photos, stunning. We have nothing like that over here in Texas. I hope to visit NZ one day. That would be the treat of a lifetime. 🙂

  2. You may be becalmed but you inspired me to knit the lovely Evelyn cowl and I am on my second one. Thankyou

  3. What a lovely post. I know what you mean when the wind is just not in your sails at this moment in time. Life here is very strange at the moment. All I have known is being a Mum and I am seeing my little ones grow and no longer needing me (well not so much, one off to College in London come September and one at his Dads most of the time) I level myself and my emotions by walking out with Lily my dog in unspoilt parts of Dorset. Many of them are owned by the National Trust, so therefore also protected, although we do not have the trouble from Possum, or the treat of deforestation (?) they are at risk from human disrespect in itself.

    I am glad that you feel recharged and had such a special time with your family. (and really really glad that the wool has arrived!!!) Have a wonderful weekend and when you have finished cleaning your place you are more then welcome to the UK to do mine!!!!

    1. Your ‘little’ ones will always need you. It might not seem like it now, but even “big ugly teenagers” actually still appreciate a mum’s loving words and touch even if they don’t show it. 😉 Just you wait until the grandchildren come along! Although I’m rather hoping that won’t happen to me for quite a few years yet… I have too much to do of my own!!!

  4. Nice photos – I can see how being there would be becalming. I get the same thing when I’m in the bush or by the sea.

    1. Although it’s great to be able to wander in bush-like areas of Wellington, you are right in that it’s not at all like the real deal. Looking forward to seeing you soon too! xx

  5. Beautiful post and the photos of the bush were stunning. I especially loved the photo of your brother in his hand knitted jumper and your neice….what a cutie!!

    Hope you are feeling on top of things again soon…PS Nice socks, glad you didn’t get them wet!

  6. Your photos are incredible! Sometimes a change of scene (however soggy) is all we need we to flick a switch inside us to recharge our batteries. Your brother looks warm in his jumper and it is a very ‘manly’ knit too.

    1. The change of scenery has certainly helped. I’ve been a very busy bee since coming home, and definitely feeling invigorated and refreshed. 🙂

  7. I found some Supreme Possum Merino while on a recent trip to Hobart. Of course some had to come home with me after all I read here. And yes, I do love our native possums wild in ‘OUR’ bush 🙂

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: