Monday, 24 December 2007

The "I Like Cats" clip show!

As I sit at my desk on Monday the 24th of December, watching people in Santa hats go past, and the clouds scudding along in a bright blue sky, I am put in somewhat of a nostalgic mood for 2007, and the usual wonder of how 2008 will be for me.
My parents arrived yesterday for the Christmas break, but I am at work because I stupidly said I would come in...and now that I am here I have realised it is going to be the longest day in the history of my life....with staff at about 30% capacity, and deadly silent phones.
But! It gives me time to catch up on things that have been gathering dust on my desk, and also to do some final present shopping (I'm going with a board game for my sister and Ben, probably Monopoly - my sister and I would play this for hours when we were kids, and had a special "money-getting time" halfway through the game, where we would gift ourselves a few grand to keep the game going. We were somewhat fraudulent property brokers. My sister would also hide some of her money under the board, and triumphantly bring it out just as I was down to my last pound).
So this will be my last post for 2007, my first ever blogging year, and I'm going to shamelessly copy Jen - yet again - and do the year by numbers.

Number of countries visited - 3

Number of houses bought - 1

Number of houses lived in - 5

Number of haircuts - 2 (I know, I'm very low-maintenance)

Number of hours spent in the garden - a billion

Number of days spent in hospital - 4

Number of cats bought - 2

Number of cats I still have - 1

Number of scorched almonds I have eaten in the last 2 days - a thousand

Number of Christmas ribbons I have tried to tie on Basil - 5

Number of successful tries - nil

Number of gorgeous neices born - 1

Number of days spent not drinking consecutively - 28

Number of Facebook friends - 170

That pretty much sums up my year. It really has been a roller coaster and I thank you all for joining me on the ride.

Best wishes and sending love for the Holiday season,

Aims xx

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Not known for his technological skills

My Dad is a big fan of quizzes and trivia, and nothing pleases him more than working out a tricky situation.
It was his birthday recently, so I had him around for dinner. My present to him was aftershave, by Kenneth Cole which comes in a wooden box. I let Dad go ahead with his usual "what's in the box" that used to drive us bat-shit every Christmas. After settling on "a miniature bottle of whiskey" (he doesn't even drink whiskey) he was delighted with the smellies.
But what he adored, was when I handed him my Christmas card from Jen, which was a photo of her 2 lovely smiling girls.
"Right Dad. Figure out how I know these kids."
Dad leans back with the air of One Who Knows All, studying intently.
"They're not New Zealanders."
I am surprised.
"Why not?"
"I don't know. They're just not. They look American."
"Alright psychic...you're right."
"Um. Have I met them? Have you met them?"
"No and no."
"They're Britt's kids."
"Dad, since Britt only got married 3 months ago, I'd find it hard to believe that she'd squeeze out a 7 and 9 year old since then."
"So someone you've never met is sending you a Christmas card of her kids."
"That's right."
He's stumped. I'm loving it, because he is impossible to stump. For someone who left school at 15, he really does know a lot of stuff. I give him a hint.
"I have my own website."
"....."
"On the INTERNET. Where I write stuff and other people read it..."
"Why?"
I am stumped.
"I don't know why. Because I'm hilarious, that's why. Now, how do you think I know her?"
"Does she read your website?"
"Yes."
"Huh."
When Dad can't work something out, he immediately loses all interest.
"The traffic was shocking coming over the bridge today."

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

If I was a rich girl...na nanana nana ananana

I am at the final hurdle when it comes to buying the family Christmas presents - having left it very very late this year I am most displeased with my picks. Having done a bit of panic buying last week, I've ended up with some pressies that I"m guaranteed to get that oh wow! THANKS Aims! Wow! Yeah! Um. Pass the next one.
Now if money/time was no issue, this is what I would have got.

Mum: Tickets to Celine Dion's final concert in Vegas. She would have loved that. Mum plays Celine a Lot, except when I'm not around, because the CDs mysteriously disappear.

Colin: A session at an insomniac clinic. He has been very stressed lately and Needs To Relax.

Sister and Husband: A chef - my sister is not a culinary gem, and her husband is the cook of the house. I'm sure they'd love it if Jamie Oliver popped in every day and left 3 meals. I would also come round a lot more.

Amelie: A bumblebee suit. Doesn't every kid in the world look best dressed up as a bumblebee? Just the word itself is cute. Bumblebee. Bumbling around. Cute.

What they did get: A subscription to Vogue Living mag; a foghorn for the new yacht; nothing yet (I know, EEEK); toys.

Oh yeah, Basil is getting a catfood bowl by Trelise Cooper - she's done some for charity. He's going to be the most fashionable cat on the block.

Monday, 17 December 2007

The year that was

Depresssion is a funny thing. It's like this black prickly cloud that hangs over you, stopping anything fun and nice getting through, instead enveloping you in a big ball of Blah.
Hence yesterday, when I thought about doing a year-end wrap up, all I could think of was, wow, this is the first Christmas that I can remember that I have been single. WHAT A SHIT YEAR.

Then the drugs must have kicked in, and suddenly I noticed a photo of Amelie on my fridge. Oh yeah that's right. A little person that I love unconditionally is now in my life, and smiles at me all the time. The relationship I have with my sister and her husband is so lovely and I have them moving 3 minutes drive away from me to look forward to.

I also cast my eye around where I was, which was In My Own Home, a home that if you had asked me what my dream home was, would have matched pretty well. Except it's not in France. But hey.

Basil came running up and brushed against my legs and I thought oh yes, I also have this precious black ball of fur who follows me everywhere and loved prancing all over the garden doing the butt wiggle every time he sees a bird. I can't imagine my home without him.

I looked at the spare room and thought in a week I'll have my Mum and Step-dad staying, who have given me so much this year, and I can finally give something back.

So while 2007 has had plenty of downs, there are also plenty of ups, and the sick thing about depression is that they tend to get lost among the downs. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants to remember just what I do have.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Green thumbs

Here is a list of things I have in my garden:
  • A plum tree

  • A tamarillo tree

  • A feijoa bush

  • A walnut tree

  • A tree that is about to fruit, but with what, I don't know. Could be a pear, but I'm thinking apple

  • A lemon tree

  • A mandarin tree

  • A raspberry bush

Here is a list of things I have in my veggie garden

  • Sage, thyme, tarragon, dill, rosemary, basil

  • Spinach

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Proper tomatoes

  • Strawberries

  • Cucumbers

I have discovered that I love gardening. I spend most of my waking hours in there, weeding, pruning, planting. Basil follows me around and pounces on flies and spiders, climbing trees and rolling in the grass. I picked the first ripe plums off the tree this morning and brought them into work to share. The cherry tomatoes should be next, I am going to be inundated with those.

If anyone has any tomato chutney or plum sauce recipes, feel free to share!

My favourite place to be.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Ghosts of Christmases past

A switch finally went on in my brain today that it was nearly Christmas time, probably from reading Jen's gorgeous tree-buying post, and I am feeling that old happiness that comes from planning some delicious meal for my family, and buying lots of fun presents.
Our Christmas has changed somewhat over the years, being a very extended family and now with grandkids into the bargain, we have got a lot less formal.
When we were kids, my sister and I were like any other kids and equated Santa's arrival with the Second Coming, if we had been religious. We fought over the advent calendar, decorated the tree with popcorn strands (and ate it slowly over the weeks, even when it was the texture of polystyrene balls) worked out what Every Single Present under the tree was before the big day, even the ones that weren't for us, and I learnt to play Christmas Carols on the piano, so we could all stand around and sing them. We actually did that one Christmas, how chocolate-boxey is that? Kinda cute though.
One memorable Christmas Day when I was about 5 and Megan 7, we somehow woke up at about 4am, and went downstairs. The tree was a snowdrift of presents, and we briskly set about opening them all. You see, we were of the age that still believed in Santa, and we were dying to see what he left us. Turned out a Swingball set was under there, and I remember barrelling upstairs after a while screaming "MUM! DAD! Santa brought us SWINGBALL!" Our parents were thrilled, and every Christmas after that, our presents were hidden under lock and key and guard dog, until we had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. They would block our doors so we couldn't get out. I kid you not.
Our parents were great sleeper-inners, and forbade us to go downstairs before 7:30. One Christmas Day, we had the great idea of timetabling our morning ablutions to begin at 7:00, meaning that the last half hour would be nicely spaced out so we didn't have to wait. The timetable looked something like this:
  • 7:00 am Wake up.
  • 7:02 am Get out of bed
  • 7:04 am Go to bathroom etc.

Of course we got through brushing our teeth and hair and putting our fancy smocked dresses on by 7:05, and spent 25 fidgety minutes on the bed before getting the okay and burning down the stairs for our Stockings.

After stockings the parents would drag themselves up, and we'd have croissants and OJ on the deck, then it would be the good stuff. My sister and I got so many presents it's almost embarrassing, and we would lie them out in the order we were going to open them. I remember some opening marathons that lasted about 3 days, but maybe I am exaggerating. Dad would always fall asleep on the couch, and I would have finished my box of Roses chocolates and be complaining of tummy ache.

Phone calls would then be made and dutiful thankyous said to the grandparents, then it was PLAYTIME while Mum got the pork roast on and the table set. We had all the trimmings and the flash set of china out, and we'd even be allowed a little bit of champagne. Afterwards Dad would fall asleep again and we'd play more, then be hungry again by 6.

I remember these days as some of the happiest in my childhood, which is probably why I still love to really make an effort at Christmas. This year we are having it at my step-sisters, because her house is the only one big enough to hold us all, and we're going to have a couple of boned legs of lamb on the BBQ and lots of crayfish and champagne. I won't be getting a stocking in the morning and I'll be doing most of the cooking myself, but the family love and laughter will be there and I Can't Wait.

Monday, 26 November 2007

What haven't I done?

So after a most pleasant weekend of re-acquainting myself with my old nemesis C2H5OH, I find myself on a fantastic summer's evening babysitting my nephew and 2 neices, while their parents go and rock their bodies at Justin Timberlake.
I seriously don't know how full-time Mothers do this - I have spent the whole afternoon going No. Stop that. Daniel, share. Daniel, careful of Mia. Samantha, you didn't hurt yourself. Eat a carrot. Just one. Just half a one then.
I seriously sound like a nagging old bitch and I don't like it. I feel like that mean old baby-sitter that made you go to bed on time and just watched telly while you wanted to play. My favourite baby-sitter when I was young used to make up dances with us, and when we saw the headlights weaving up the driveway (Dad wasn't known for his stance on drink driving) would hurtle upstairs with us and throw us under the covers. I don't think I'm meant to be that type of babysitter. Luckily I never became a teacher as I wanted to.
These kids are pretty cool though. Daniel is all eyes and screams, and was telling me about a trip to Dreamworld. "I nearly DIED!" says he. "You ALWAYS nearly die," says Samantha, who bathes and dresses Mia more deftly than I. I am forced to endure half an hour of NumberJacks, the most boring programme for kids ever. "Daniel," says I, "this programme is doing my head in."
"Huh," says he. Mia in the meantime is trying to put her winter boots on, and getting iceblock in every crevice. The bathwater turns red when she sits in it. Samantha is running around in her undies picking out 49 books for us to read at bedtime. We compromise and pick a Dr Seuss, which I hate with all my heart and soul with all its no I don't, yes I do, who do you, let's all do you etc. It also goes for about thirteen hours. Daniel is leaping around the room like a moth by a lightbulb and Mia decided to let loose a sewage works in her 4th nappy of the evening.
Finally. One hour later, I can look in on them all peacefully sleeping, one arm over their heads, eyelashes brushing their flushed cheeks, and think Always Use A Condom.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Avarice

Avarice means Greed.


And with that over with, let's go on a wee tour.

How fitting that I spent my last evening of no drinking in Dunedin, where I was at University for 2 years in the late 90's. That sounds like ages ago and I guess it was.

Dunedin was a place where I learnt a fair few life lessons, namely, if you don't go to lectures you won't pass, and that carpet covered with beer and wine stops smelling after a couple of months.



Pretty isn't it? The buildings are super nice, apart from some hideous 70's mistakes. Don't be fooled by the blue sky and green trees. Dunedin is a super hell-hole in the winter, which usually goes for about 8 months, and we spent most of our time huddled together on the couch swathed in duvets, each with a blow heater aimed at our feet.




This is the Geology building. I used to go to my Asian Politics lectures here. Go figure.




This was our first flat, at 641 Castle Street. I lived here with 4 other girls, all from nice backgrounds. My mother saw this place and lost it. She couldn't believe I was going to live in a house where the floors sloped, the doors didn't shut and the loo was outside. You can imagine the below zero nights scampering out the door standing on all the broken glass. The flat was condemned, but we begged the owner to let us rent it. He relented, and has obviously been persuaded further, because that was 9 years ago.

We all used to smoke like chimneys, I'd have 1 every ad break, meaning that although I got up at about 11am every day, I'd easily get through a packet. On some cold clear nights the smoke wouldn't disperse, and it would appear that our house was on fire.

My flatmate and I would watch TV all day, from the talk shows, to the children's telly. "Arthur" was my favourite, the little canadian bunny I think he was, with his sister D-W.

I really don't have much recollection of my first year, probably because I was always a) just watching telly or b) getting really drunk. We would go out Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We would drink a bottle of wine each or share a cask, then head to the pub and drink jugs of beer. It was awesome. Oh to have those days back again.



This was our other haunt. Kings Dairy was right in the middle of Studentville, and must have made a mint from us. They did the best sausage rolls. Every Wednesday after my 4 hour Psych lab I would get 2 sausage rolls and a V energy drink for lunch, and even now, when I get a V, it always tastes like sausage rolls.




This was our second flat. 519C Leith Street. It was called "The Lockwood" and was indeed made from wood. It was way nicer than our previous hovel, and I had a gorgeous room that overlooked the Leith River and the Bot Gardens. I spent most of my time in there, having got my boyfriend back from overseas, and somewhat co-incidentally, the onset of depression, where getting out of bed and facing People, urgh, People, was just too damned hard. By the second semester I wasn't going to any lectures at all, and threw in the towel and went home. Now, I think what a waste, but then I couldn't see any other way out of it. 8 years later I have a great career and some great memories, and who knows, maybe I'll stop shaving my armpits and wear Birkenstocks and become an Adult Student (shudder).



Stop me if I'm wrong, but Glass Blowing/Dentistry are not an obvious mix?

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Sloth

Sacre bleu mes amies. Forgive me for my hiatus. Normally my lack of blogging is due to the couch being far too inviting, or my brain has gone on holiday and cannot come up with the usual witty repartee I entertain you all with.
No at the moment my lack of interweb contact is due to my job. I know. How dare it get in the way of my personal life. At the moment I am training a whole lot of staff members on a new system we have integrated. It means I train for 5-6 hours a day, then I do my normal 8 hour a day job on top of that. I have discovered the joys of lugging a ten tonne lap top to my car and back every day, and also that my house can't even get broadband access where it is, meaning I am doing some very late nights at the office. I feel like a hardened career bitch like Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl, except I don't talk like I've sucked on a whole lot of helium balloons.
So training. It's interesting. I've never trained anyone before, but I know the system inside out. So I tend to babble on and on using lots of acronyms and clicking in and out of screens, only to turn around and find one colleague checking emails, another staring out the window and another in the land of Nod. It has been a huge learning curve, but I now know why teachers do it, because when one of them clicks and becomes all enthusiastic about what we're doing, the feeling is really great.
I'm off around the country for the next 3 weeks, specifically to Hamilton, Dunedin and Wellington. I went to Uni in Dunedin and haven't been back since, so will be hilarious to go see my old flat and all the old haunts. It's also supposed to be snowing down on the hills there at the moment while it's summer up here, so that'll be a shock.
What else is news. I got the t-shirt from the previous post in the mail last week, and have already worn it twice. It's super cool. I had a family weekend and Mum came to stay. We painted my back steps (will post photos soon) and Mum tried to put together a BBQ from kitset. If anyone has seen the Simpson's episode where Homer becomes a modern artist, you'll know what I mean when I say it looks interesting. We also gave the garden another good going over and shared the very first strawberry. It was spectacular.
One more week of no drinking to go - have done really well I reckon, but will be so fucking glad to get it over with. I find relaxing is really difficult, but on the other hand I am not tired as much, also I can concentrate much more. My skin is also better. But man oh man....I can just SEE that frosted glass of Sauv Blanc on the bar counter and my hand reaching for it. Oh yeeeaah.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Lust

Since there is zero actual lust of the boy kind happening in my life right now, I know, tick-tock-tick-tock, I'm going to post about things that I am lusting after at the moment.

Having a brand new house with all that fresh wall and floor space just makes a person hanker to fill it with Stuff. However having a brand new house goes hand in hand with a brand new fatass mortgage, and when I did my budget for this month after receiving my pay, I snickered, and tried it again. I then doubted Excel's summing abilities. Because for the month, I had a whole $40.00 to last me as play money after paying the mortgage, bills, and Visa. Turns out Excel was right, as usual, and this month has been notably fraught with penny pinching.

But it didn't stop me from buying this, sent to me by a friend who thought of me as soon as she saw it.




I haz it in red, and it is going to be my summer uniform.

I also have had this watch on layby for 2 months now. I really really really want to go and pick it up, but as I still have a huge amount to pay on it, it just all seems a bit much. Talk about buyers remorse, but hopefully I'll trip over a stack of dollars on the way to lunch today.


Gorgeous huh. It's like a bangle and sits really snugly around your wrist. Me like.

Other things I am coveting...the new CD from Robyn, the Swedish pop star who has reinvented herself...I love the track Konichiwa Bitches, says it all really.

I really want Bill Bryson's new book on Shakespeare but will have to wait till it comes out in paperback.

I'd love to carpet my lounge in a striking charcoal pattern, and curtain it with swishy silvery taffeta, and de claw my cat so he stops destroying my couch. Seriously it's 3 months old and is looking like a couch the students normally burn on the terraces at the cricket.

I'd REALLY like a new car, the little Escudo is no longer befitting my status of grown up home owner, plus it's starting to make a really odd noise, like metal scraping against metal (think Freddy Kreuger knives) so before it blows up on me, I'd like to get rid of it and buy a BMW 1 series. But because I am not a pasquillionaire, the little Holden Barina would be just as cool.

I know these are all just material things and that having a house as an investment is better than wasting your money on stuff that won't last, but it is seriously difficult to come to terms with not having the disposable income at your um.. disposal. I'm used to just buying whatever I feel like but hey I'm sure it's a good lesson to learn, to save up and feel you have really earned what you get. Learning lessons is so bloody boring though isn't it?

On that note I'm off to Napier this weekend for a family visit, my sister is coming down too with Amelie so Mum will have her 3 girls to cuddle. Now that is something money can't buy.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Pride

It’s Day 7 and I haven’t cracked. This surprises me somewhat, as I haven’t ever been known for my will power and self-control, and I think even I assumed I wouldn’t be able to do this. I have never told myself that I couldn’t have something – my motto being if it makes you feel good, go right ahead, be it alcohol, food, make up, clothes, and cats.
There were 2 hurdles to get over in these last 7 days. I was in Auckland for the weekend, and helped my friends move house, and also had an old friend’s engagement party to go to. I think the house move was the hardest. It was a beautiful sunny day and we all worked really hard to get everything right across the other side of town. The proud owners of the new home shouted a few beers after, and let me tell you, sitting in the sun surveying a job done well and not celebrating with a frosty beer is just WRONG. I had a Red Bull.
Got to the party later on and at first it wasn’t too bad. Caught up with everyone and had another Red Bull – big mistake. I get panic attacks and too much caffeine was making me very shaky. All the people seemed to get louder and more annoying and it wasn’t long before I cut a track. But, I still did it, and let me tell you, waking up on Sunday and pottering around, singing a song here and there then going for brunch with my very hungover friends made me smug as all hell. The drive back to Tauranga even flew by.
Got home and it was another lovely day, so played in the garden trussing my tomatoes and picking lettuces. Sunday evenings are usually my favourite time for a vino but luckily I am getting a cold so was feeling a bit crappy. Hopefully it sticks around for the next 3 weeks!So claps on the back for me please….I am very proud of myself and I really think I am learning some huge lessons here. One being that drinking isn’t the be-all and end-all, and one being that to a sober person, a drunk person is really really unattractive.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Gluttony

So today I was a real dilly and forgot that it was my turn to provide morning tea. There are about 15 of us in the Propeller Head team here at work and someone provides morning tea every Friday. Last time I made 2 lots of muffins, banana chocolate chip and lemon and poppy seed, which were delicious if I may say so.
So I was very annoyed at myself for forgetting, and annoyed at our admin lady for not reminding me yesterday as is her normal practice, because this morning I had to then go spend $50.00 on slices and delicious things. That’s $50.00 of stuff for the house I can’t get this weekend now. GRRRR.
But I got the most delicious slices, from the Deli on Devonport if you’re ever in Tauranga on Devonport Road. There was raspberry brownie which was rich, damp and utterly moreish; toffee apple slice – chewy, sticky and tart; and date shortbread which was a bit of a letdown, a bit dry and dusty. But still better than a kick in the pants.
Friday here at work is always an eating day….in the Winter we would all go for a Friday Curry down on the Strand…$10.00 for a totally decent Lamb Tikka Masala with rice and naan. We would wash this down with a few Kingfisher beers and toddle back to work with only two hours to go until the drinks and nibbles trolley appeared, groaning with chips ‘n’ dip, nuts, lollies, wine and beers. No wonder I have been feeling grotty lately. Now that Summer’s arrived and the sun is out I think it’s time to pack a salad and go and sit by the harbour and get a tan. Life is pretty good here in Tauranga!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A round up of the weeks news

Well it’s Day Two of the Detox. Last night being the first night I was unable to chillax in front of the telly with a lovely cold glass of crisp white wine. No, didn’t miss it at all. I kept myself busy with babysitting duties, and looked after Amelie while her parents went to the movies. Being her first ever baby-sitter was a big honour, and I was very chuffed. She really is so smiley and huggable, we literally fight over who gets to hold her. I win, because I am the biggest. We talked about holding these days of her like this to heart, because sooner or later she’ll be running around and far too busy to sit on our lips idly playing with a necklace or watch for half an hour.
Also by the way, my sister lent me a book, called the Memory Keeper’s Daughter. Am about halfway through and I really didn’t want to put it down. Very readable and astonishing for a first novel. I highly recommend it. Megan said she cried at the end so be warned.
Basil got taken to the vet yesterday due to all his barfing-and-eating-it-again habits of late, and I had forgotten how cats grow another 9 legs and their claws grow another foot when put near a carry cage. It was one time I wished I had someone else around. I ended up having to just throw him in the car and drive like hell to the vets (luckily only 500 metres away). The lolcats police would be horrified. We got there and thankfully they lent me a cage and helped me put him in it. Initially the vet thought he had a heart murmur but it turned out he was just having a mild panic attack at the thought of having Mr Thermometer up his bottom. But anyhoo, turns out he has a skin complaint, hence all the licking (see the photo here, of Basil doing what he does best) hence all the furballs and barfing. So he’s on injections and special food. Yeah yeah over-anxious pet mother…..I felt guilty thinking he may have been in pain for all that time. Hopefully it comes right. It was a 3 day weekend here in NZ with the celebration of Labour Day, so we all had Monday off which was lovely. I managed to see all of my family, and on Monday I met up with a friend and had what in my view was the perfect afternoon. We checked out the Earth from Above exhibition which is touring NZ at the moment, then walked around the Mount, then had a couple of beers in the sun, then had an early dinner. It was fantastic. I hope the rest of summer is just as good.

Friday, 19 October 2007

A discussion on my cat obsession

With a name like I Like Cats as the title of my blog, some of you may be wondering why I don’t feature my cat Basil on the site more often. There are a few reasons:

Stories about cats are only interesting to other cat lovers – as Antonia tags hers so well: “Shut up about your cats”.

Taking photos of Basil is very difficult, as he is black as black can be, and you cannot differentiate between his head and his butt. Unless he looks at the camera, in which case he then has green alien eyes. (By the way who saw the .gif at Fussy of Happy Cat? Sooooo funny).

He has a very good routine, and doesn’t often do anything out of the ordinary that I could share. This is Basil’s routine:
Wake up on the couch
Watch Mum have a shower (this is getting unsettling)
Lick the shower water from the bottom of the bath
Trip Mum up while she tried to get dressed, put her makeup on and have breakfast
Get sworn at
Get patted for being too cute
Get fed.
Lately*, throw up on the (luckily wooden) floor
Eat the throw up while Mum dry retches and leaves praying it’ll be gone by the time she gets home
*don’t worry we’re going to the vet on Tues
Sleep all day
Upon hearing Mum’s car on the driveway, sit sleepily peering out the cat door yawning.
Trip Mum up while she tries to get inside
Get fed again.
If he’s really lucky, get brushed.
Scratch Mum when she stops brushing.
Sit on armchair, scratching the hell out of it
Have a bath for about an hour
Run up and down the house chasing either the lid of a water bottle, a peg, a lavender sachet, a piece of paper, an earring, a fly or something invisible to the naked eye
Settle down near Mum’s feet at bedtime after a good game of biting the goblin that lives at the end of the bed (my toes).

Seriously. He does this every day. I am also a big fan of routine so it suits me fine.

I used to have another cat, called Polly, or Princess Polly PJ. She was a long haired tabby moggy, and way more snuggly than Basil, probably because we got her when she was about 6 weeks old. From day one she crawled under the covers and snuggled into me and stayed there all night. God knows how she didn’t suffocate from no oxygen and sharing a small double with 2 people. But she’s still alive…. Living with friends. We had to give her up when we moved over to Australia…it was devastating. But anyhoo….I managed to teach Polly to fetch. She had an obsession with chasing the plastic lids on water bottles – like would do it all night. She had a bell on her collar so you’d hear jingle jingle jingle JINGLE JINGLE jingle jingle jingle all night long. It became soothing after a while. Then my flatmate made me remove it.
I digress. We lived in the top story of a run down old house, and had these massive stairs to climb. For some reason, I began to throw the bottle top down the stairs, and Polly would fly down, pick it up, and pad back up the stairs and drop it at my feet. Seriously. I am not kidding you. It was our party trick. She could do it for hours. Some mornings I would wake up, and Polly would be sitting right by my bed, looking at me expectantly, with a Matterhorn of bottle tops by her little paws. What a lovely way to wake up.

In Australia, we swore we’d never get another kitten until we knew we were settled, but me being me, couldn’t help it when I heard there were free kittens down the road. One was super fluffy, and dark grey. I took her home and when her Dad walked in he was greeted by a skittery little dustball dancing down the hallway. Luckily he liked her as much as me so I didn’t get into too much trouble. We named her Ruby. Her mother had died very early so she wasn’t weaned very well. She thought I was her mother and tried to suckle (bad word) on my head. She’d wrap herself around the back of my neck and claw away. I had short hair at the time so when my friend Emma came round who had lovely long blonde curls Ruby would pretty much set up camp in there.
Anyhoo after about 2 months we were at the vet and while the vet was doing the surprise butt sex thing with the thermometer, I was going, oh poor little princess, oh you precious angel. I realised the vet was looking at me funny and I was all what? And he was all, you know this cat is a boy don’t you? I burst into tears and was in denial for ages…..her Dad straight away was all oh he’s a super wee chap etc etc but I couldn’t look at it. Took me forever to think of him as a boy – we renamed him Rudy. Rudy the Rooter. Rudy grew into an exceptionally handsome cat but was never very cuddly. In fact the day I left Perth after breaking up with my fiancĂ©e, I remember trying to pick him up and cuddle him, and he just let loose with his claws and ran away. Really helped my mood. Our friends were taking over our wee house and adopting Rudy in the process. After a couple of weeks I got a phone call saying Rudy had been run over which was devastating as you’d expect.

So after all that, you’d think I’d never get a cat again but now that I have a good job, good home, settled lifestyle it was time for one….and I’m so glad I did. Living on my own has a million positives, but the loneliness is one negative. Basil fills a gap with his antics and listening to him purr from the end of my bed always makes everything okay.
And that, my friend, is why I Like Cats.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Can I do it?

Okay so. Next week I shall start on one of the hardest challenges I have ever set myself. Given that most challenges I set myself are not really too taxing, i.e. try and go the weekend with keeping the kitchen tidy, don't eat the ENTIRE bag of chips, this easily goes to the top of the list.
I am going to not drink alcohol for one full month. 4 weeks. 28 days. Sandra Bullock eat your heart out.
I would have drunk alcohol at least once a week for some years now....and most of the things I do in my spare time revolve around it. Go for a walk around the Mount? Let's reward ourselves with a beer! Do a hearty 3 hour gardening stint? Of course it's all about the cold ones in the fridge. Come home from work and fall on the couch? Frosty glass of Sauvignon. Meeting up with friends? Always for a drink.
I don't do anything that doesn't involve having a drink somewhere in some way, like go to the movies....or.....I can't think of anything else that I wouldn't weasel a wine in somewhere. This fact has niggled at me for a few years now, and having had a few bender weekends recently, I decided to take a month off and see if I could do it. I don't give a rats about my health...it's purely all about my willpower and whether I can. If I fail, everybody will be all, I told you she wouldn't be able to handle it, and I'll really be disappointed in myself, and slightly worried.
I have 2 engagement parties to go to in this time, which is REALLY going to be a test. I will be the most boring person there.
Anyway to make the stakes more interesting, I roped in a friend at work to do it with me. We wrote up a contract, signed it before we came to our senses, and are already planning our post-detox party.
Here is the contract in all its glory.

Contract stating rules for Month of No Alcohol and a Somewhat Healthier Lifestyle

Tuesday the 23rd of October to Tuesday the 20th of November – 28 days

I, Amy, and Her, Shannon, do solemnly declare to not let one tiny drop of God’s nectar alcohol past our mouths during the above dates – not even mouthwash.
We promise that we will support each other, and not get cross at each other for nagging when Amy is sitting on the couch smelling a glass of wine, or Shannon is eating rum and raisin icecream “just to see if it works”.
The following is also out of bounds:
Nicotine
Crack
Marijuana
Peyote
And all other Class A, B, C through Z drugs except Paracetamol.

As this is possibly going to be the most boring and grumpy periods of our lives, we will endeavour to do lots of different things we never would have done, like go kayaking or to the clay bird shooting place or to church, just to take communion.
We also endeavour to make as many people as possible do it with us, kinda like Mormonism, so they can be just as miserable as we will be.
If either of us cracks before the other, the cracker owes the crackee $100 – but only if the crackee makes it to the end. If both crack, they must both pay $100 to the Tauranga SPCA. This is non-negotiable and will be enforced by our “eyes and ears” spies.
If both get through the whole month clean and clear, they both owe each other an awesome girls night out, thereby undoing all the good work they had done.
Signed, Us.

So I shall be blogging a lot I'm assuming....what else is there to do on a Friday night?

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Memory lane

So while I was back in the Bay for the weekend, I took the opportunity to go through all my old childhood junk that Mum hadn’t yet thrown away.
And lo and behold if I didn’t find the best box of treasure ever, namely a shoebox of my old mixed tapes.
Having inherited a love of music from my Dad I was one of those people who listened to everyone and everything, and constantly had a recording tape quivering on pause so that if I heard a song on the radio I liked, I could leap on it and record it. I would also spend hours, seriously hours in my room, compiling my favourite songs of the moment and working out which order they should go in. I would then listen to these tapes until they either fell apart, or I made a new one. Then I finally got a CD player and stopped making them, which is actually kind of sad.
So it was completely bizarre to find this dusty old box, with these familiar friends inside. Luckily I had a 3.5 hour trip ahead of me back to Tauranga where I could blast these babies on my really awesome bottom-of-the-line car stereo.
It was the funnest trip I have done in some time. The first tape I found was one I had done when I was 15, and the most horrible child in existence (in my mother’s opinion, and mine in hindsight) and I hated the world and the world hated me. The first song was Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Okay, pretty stock standard you say. We then moved on to Plush by Stone Temple Pilots. Soma by Smashing Pumpkins. Oceans by Pearl Jam. How these songs must have spoken to me. I have never laughed so hard in my life as each song came on, picturing myself obsessively learning every word (I still knew them all) or what my mother must have thought, waving her off in the car they had bought her, the whitest chick on the block, off to her private school with “BURN YOUR WICKED GARDEN DOWN” blaring from the stereo. It’s still making me giggle. I knew more about blunts and j’s and sparking an owl from Cypress Hill than I did from real life…I never even saw pot until University (and then I did not inhale, Mum).
The next tape was one I did while studying for exams in seventh form. I had read that classical music made you learn faster, so I got hold of Mum’s Best Classical Album in the World……..EEEEVVVVEEEEERRRR!!! and made a tape. Possibly, I should have actually not spent the hours making the tape, and instead used them to study, but hey I still passed. I had completely forgotten that I had taken this tape over to England with me after exams, and used the end of it to record the first UK songs I liked. So at the end of Bolero by Ravel, we get Your Woman by White Town, and Remember Me by Blue Boy. Always a nice transition. I remember getting to England and waking in my unfamiliar room in the middle of the night and noticing the previous Gap student had left a small tape player behind, so I switched it on, and it was tuned to Radio 1. Having read about this British institution many times it was so surreal to wake up after a horror flight, in the middle of England, listening to Radio 1. Listening to that tape brought that feeling of displacement and surreality right back.
The last tape I had time for was one I did in my first year at Uni. I didn’t know it at the time but I was suffering from depression, and boy any Psych who listened to that tape would have picked it a mile away. Carnival by Natalie Merchant. Fade Into You by Mazzy Star. Fire on Babylon by Sinead O’Connor. It’s no wonder I was munching Prozac by the end of that year (saved my life, seriously). I have about 30 other tapes to go through, some from 1991 when I was 12 years old, so will be full of Color Me Badd and Maxi Priest. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

A Day at the Races

Have you ever woken up on a beautiful Spring morning, and been so excited about the day ahead, that you actually danced around the kitchen? No? Yeah….um me neither.
No seriously, that’s what I was like on Saturday….a great day of catching up with old friends ahead, a cute new dress to wear, fake tan on that hadn’t streaked or turned me tangerine, PLUS a list of picks to bet that were sure to make me a millionaire.
The girls all looked amazing and the boys were looking sharp. I seriously like a man in a suit. Luckily I work around them all day which is good times indeed.

So we managed to get through many many bottles of champers and savvy, all the while having serious, deep and meaningful discussions of who’d had the craziest one night stand and which Dr Hook song was really the soundtrack to our teenage years. (Cover of the Rolling Stone won that one).
I bet money on horses and lost most of it…..until super horse Patrick charged up the home straight winning me an entire $50.00. This is the most I have ever won at the races so I mentioned my winnings to approximately two hundred people, who all indulged me by saying I should have gone into Punter of the Year. I fully agreed, but entries were closed.
The day ended with a big party back at a friends house where we all put on a hat, grabbed a kitchen utensil for a mike and danced around to Living on a Prayer. Ah good times. Luckily I have no photos of that.
The next day started out brilliantly with the All Blacks losing (!!!!!!!) to the cheese-eating surrender monkeys that are the French….can you believe it. The whole country certainly can’t. The best joke I have heard so far regarding the situation is: what’s the difference between the All Blacks and Viagara? Viagara at least guarantees you a Semi. And with that…. I bid you adieu.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Catch up

So today I am still recovering from a very busy weekend – with the added issue of the clocks going forward an hour meaning I am very snoozy this week.

The housewarming went really really well – please see my pics on Facebook – my stupid computer won’t let me upload them to here. I got home early on Friday and cleaned the house till 11:30 at night. It looked IMMACULATE. I was very proud. Of course, ten minutes into the party there were chips and bottles and glass rings and tomato sauce handprints on everything, but not being a Monica, it didn’t bother me. What did bother me was that it was Tuesday night before I could be bothered cleaning it up, after the house had acquired an interesting aroma of stale beer and chop fat. Tut tut my mother says.
So we had lots of beers and wines and sausages, and the back yard got an enthusiastic cricket work out. Lots of people brought their kids so it was a nice family day.

THEN later on the baby-free ones headed into town, where we went to a pub quiz. Our team was definitely the most annoying, and loudest, and drunkest, but still we won. It was weird. I think we were at that stage where you’re supremely confident about everything you do. No wonder people think they’re alright to drive – I probably would have sworn I had the skills to land a plane. However, I remembered that dyspepsia was heartburn, and that Johann Strauss wrote the Blue Danube, and we won. First prize though, was 4 of the most hideous wooden statues I have ever seen – you know like those Indonesian god statues? They also had a mop of red plastic hair – like Red from Fraggle Rock - to add to their aesthetic. Whatever happened to a bar tab I say – anyway we left them there and no doubt some eejit took them home to make their garden look even worse, right next to the plastic flamingoes. If you’re saying, hey, I have some of those statues, please, take my advice and burn them, they’re awful.

After the pub quiz it was all about drinking as much as we could so we went and partied in Tauranga till 2am. It was fun! Not so fun was waking up the next day, realising I was still drunk, and waiting in fear for the hangover to kick in (right around 1pm).

So that was my weekend – good times indeed – and another enormous weekend on the way with the Kelt Capital Races in Hastings on. I just went and bought a fascinator to wear with my LBD and yellow shoes, and some new bright red polish from Creative (Wild Fire, if you’re interested). We’re heading to a very posh tent where the bubbles are free and the horses beautiful, and I am guaranteed to lose at least $50 on the betting, but I know I’ll have a super duper day. Normally I would catch up with my parents at the same time, but at this moment in time they are swanning around Europe on their way to the Rugby World Cup final, which the All Blacks will be in, and win. My step-dad is a rugby fanatic (hey, he’s male and a Kiwi) so it’ll be a trip of a lifetime for him.

Anyhoodle – off to have a coffee with my sister and Amelie – see you next week with pics of the horses and hot guys in suits!

Aims

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

8 random things!

This is my first ever meme. It was Jen who took my meme virginity, and while I am not too sure of the protocol of the thing, I would like to thank her and hope she calls in the morning. So 8 random things about me…..here we go.

1.......I used to be a fully qualified beauty therapist, and worked as one for two years until RSI in my hands from too much massaging made me quit. Also the low low pay in NZ and Aus wasn’t great. But my god it’s a fun job…playing with potions and pretty things….always smelling nice…..making people feel good. The other great thing was the peace and serenity of the work place – lots of dim lighting and Enya music….although quite a difference out the back where we prepared everything and screamed at each other for not having cleaned the treatment room out or for running over time…oh the joy! If I was a squillionaire I would probably look at opening my own clinic, or beauty store…but I am not, so propellor head it is.


2.........I like hot ring cinnamon donuts with Wattie’s tomato sauce. I discovered this culinary gem purely by accident. Ordering fish and chips in the old days meant you got everything all in a square of newspaper (this is being slowly phased out in place of stupid cardboard boxes, sob sob) and so my usual order of a hotdog, donut and chips would be all squished in with my sister’s fish and Mum’s battered oysters. Once open, you’d spray tomato sauce like it was a fire hose and dive in. I must have squirted my donut by accident and, being the starving child I was, eaten it anyway. I tell you, it’s a really good combination. Try it!


3......My sister taught me to read before I started school….where on my first day apparently I was dragged out the door by my teacher, who to my eyes was approximately the size of a large whale, and presented to my waiting mother with the statement “she can READ!” I tell you there’s no genius in this – just a fact that as my sister was reading to Mum, no doubt I was hanging around trying to get the centre of attention back… and just learnt as she did. Much like Scout Finch learning to read over Atticus’s shoulder. It meant that for the first 2 years of school I was left to do my own thing (usually stapling my thumb or covering my entire arm in black paint – that was a memorable telling off from Miss McLaren) while the rest of the class caught up….and also meant that I was incurably lazy and detested authority for the rest of my schooling life.


4........I used to be utterly obsessed with Queen. Not Queen Liz, but the Freddie Mercury Queen. I was about 12, and had a crush on a poor boy at school who hadn’t hit puberty yet (I’d got that milestone over with at 10). Anyhoo the news was on and it showed Freddie’s funeral. I was all, hey! The drummer from Queen (Roger Taylor) looks like this boy! And so it began…. The collection of tapes, posters, joining of fan clubs, letters to the fan club, t-shirts. I even baked Roger Taylor a birthday cake and took it to school. I don’t do obsession by halves. Anyhoo I can now recite pretty much all Queen lyrics and know the entire history of the band. Test me if you like. It all came to a halt when I hit 15 and started going out with this guy who was like, totally into grunge, dude. Suddenly it was all about the Afghan Whigs (??!!!) and Pearl Jam. I’m a follower, not a leader. Although I am happy to say I introduced Oasis and the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack to my sixth form class.


5......I was told when I was about 11, that I would grow to be 5’8”. I am 5’1”. The urge to sue the doctor who told me this has never entirely gone away. In fact, when he told me this, I think I stopped growing. As previously mentioned, I developed early (it’s fun wearing a bra when you’re 10!) and was among the tallest in my class when I started high school….but then I stopped. And watched my skin and body go hey, since we’re no longer going upwards, we’ll go outwards! Seriously, if I grew 5 inches, I’d be slender. Don’t you love that word? Slender.

6.......I am lefthanded, and my handwriting is appalling. To quote Claree from Steel Mags, I have the handwriting of a serial killer. I thank god for the invention of the keyboard. I get really embarrassed writing notes in a meeting because it looks like a drunk child got hold of my pen. However, my lefthandedness has given me a killer backhand in tennis, and it made me the centre of attention in my Psychology labs at Uni when we were testing brain stuff. I disproved the theory however, that lefties look at things differently than righties. Or maybe I just wasn’t concentrating because this Psych Lab was cutting into my cigarettes/cups of tea/oprah-sallyjesseraphael-rickylake time.


7.......Today I am wearing a long sleeve white top, with a black shift dress over the top, and brown knee high boots. I think the boots will be retired soon as spring gets into gear and it’ll be all about the peep toe heels. I also dyed my hair last night, and am now sporting Garnier Nutrisse Tamarind. It was the first time I dyed my hair thinking, not only will this make my hair really shiny, but will cover those rogue greys. And this made me sad.


8.......This one time, I won a competition, the first (and last) I have ever won. What had happened was, Care Bears had just been re-released, so I bought 2 little ones and sent them to my childhood buddies. I went into the draw to win 7 full size ones. A few days later, the phone call confirms that I am now the proud owner of 7 Care Bears from Lambton Quay Toyworld, would I like to come and collect. So I did, and there’s nothing better to start a conversation than to walk along the main street in Wellington and get the bus home carrying 7 soft toys. The smiles you get! Anyhoo, what to do with them you say. At the time my Mother was volunteering as a Budget Advisor for some families in Napier whose priorities were a little up the whack, as in, hey, here’s my beneficiary payment for the month – alcohol and the horses, or furniture to sit on? She came home one day with a story about a wee boy who had been given a comic book and a marshmallow Santa for Christmas. This made me feel guilty at the amount of presents I had received as a child, and no doubt boasted about when I got back to school, thereby creating resentment from the children who did not have what I did. So when I had these Care Bears spare, instead of giving them to children that I knew and loved (my neice was only 2 at the time) I gave them to the Christmas Drive that the Budget Advisory service organised. The kids I knew would have got ninety presents that Christmas…but I hoped that one small kid got a brand new Care Bear along with his marshmallow Santa.

The End. I can rant can’t I?

Saturday, 22 September 2007

I grudgingly take it back...

Feeling somewhat sheepish after that rant, I am sitting here posting this from my office at home. Well I hope I can post it...if the tenuous connection is up to it! Cross fingers.
MaybeI can post a couple of photos finally.


This is my sister Megan with little Amelie, on Basil's favourite armchair. I still think my sister looks far too young to be a Mum. I had dinner with them this week and got to have lots of cuddles and playtime.


This is my friend Sarah. She is one of my oldest friends, and is married to another very old friend. Their wedding invite was a photo of us heading off to a friend's birthday party, when we were all 3 years old. (They cut me out!). Sarah and Cam are the best type of friends....they know when to party and when to be serious...and they don't feed you fake bullshit advice. I love them to pieces.
This is me at the races last year with yet more old friends Sam and Rich...we all went to primary school together and have stayed mates ever since. We're heading back to the races in a couple of weeks with extra reason to celebrate - Sam just got engaged to his girlfriend Penny. By the way in this shot I am wearing my all time favourite dress - it's by Madame Hawke, a very cool NZ label. Check it out on http://www.rubynz.com/
This is me and Jimmy. Finally able to post some of our Argentina photos. I have posted them on Facebook instead of here, as there are about 50. Those long time readers will remember Jimmy as the Farmer from down South who I travelled to Sth America with in March, but then we broke up. We are still mates so there are no hard feelings.
This is my Dad. It's been good having him living nearby and he's been awesome at doing fatherly things for me like mow my lawns. I haven't lived near him since the divorce, when I was 14, so I am pleased that it's turning out well.
This is a beautiful photo, if I may say so, of a very patient Monarch butterfly who perched there on the branch while I cursed at my camera and finally got it working. The tree has been blossoming for weeks now and is my favourite thing in the garden. I have hung a bird seed bell from one of the branches but the birdies haven't noticed it yet.
To end on a high note, this is a most precious photo of the littlest bundle of snuggles, Amelie. Don't you just want to pick her up and snorgle her? I love her to bits.
Anyhoo a big weekend ahead - got my housewarming on. I am very very excited and spent last night cleaning windows and doing my nails. I have priorities! It's shaping up to be a very busy week with an enormous load of work on, then a big party to pull off, and I fear my temper may be a little short. I guess when I'm feeling like that, all I have to do is look at this pic of Amelie and just grin at how adorably smily she is.
xxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Stuck in the sticks

So this is kinda funny. Tonight I am at home, with all the free time in the world to write a blog post. Normally I churn one out in 5 minutes quickly on my lunch break (hence the many grammatical errors).

But tonight, having finally got myself connected to the Interweb at home, after many long years, I planned on writing a big newsy post with lots of photos of say, my Argentina trip, my new home, and of Amelie looking adorable. We are unable to upload photos at work so all the ones I have previously used have been off my phone (!) or nicked from my sister’s website, with all my incredibly artistic shots of us getting drunk in Sth America gathering cyber dust on my memory card.

But No. Because I am a cheapskate I have gone for dial-up service instead of broadband. $16.95 a month compared to about $80.00. However. My patience is being sorely tested. So far, I haven’t been able to do One Thing I have wanted to, that would justify my entire reasoning for buying a computer, a desk, and a house with an office.

So far I have been sitting here for 36 minutes. I am unable to post to my blog directly because it cannot display the log in box. So I am writing this in Works, hoping that I can email it to my work email, from my Gmail. The palaver! I am unable to send an email to my mother with ONE photo attached of my new house. I am also unable to upload my photos to Facebook. I probably WOULD be able to if I had unlimited hours, and went to bed and left it chugging away but yes, being a cheapskate, I only have 150 a month.

You Americans out there are probably snickering at the backwardsness of New Zealand technology and you’d be right to - we have one giant telecommunications company that charges the earth for peanuts, and lots of Chihuahua-like little ones that are desperate for your business, but are just Too Difficult to deal with. Do I want a home line with someone other than Telecom? Yes! Yes I do! Oh what’s that you say? I need to make sure I can get this certain signal from some random satellite situated behind what used to be Pluto but turned out to be a chunk of foam from the latest NASA blunder? I need to be home between 11:00 and 11:05 every day this week to try to catch the technician who will then install a few kilometres of wires that the cat will immediately try and chew through? My home phone has to be kept in my office? I can do what? But no-one else has that so what’s the point if I have no-one to call with it?

Meh.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Purr-serverance (lame!lame!)

So last night Basil and I got acquainted with a new addition to the house - the cat door. Yes it's taken me forever, but I finally got sick of waking up, finding the cat sitting 2mm away from my face staring at me, willing me to wake up and let him outside for a wee. At 3am.
So yesterday I got home and didn't feed him as usual. This resulted in him practically stapling himself to my legs, as in , Hey Mum, can't you SEE me? Look how snuggly I am! And I love you so much!!!
Instead we sat together by the cat door and I let him sniff it. Nothing too scary surely.



I then put his food on the other side (steak and kidney, only the best) and held the flap open. He looked at me all, Mum, you have to OPEN the DOOR. I then picked him up, held the bit of meat out through the flap, and waited till he was just about to eat it, then dropped it. He fell through it like a Slinky.

I did this a few more times and each time he got better. I then upped the ante by dropping the food through and not opening the flap. Quizzical looks ensued. I then picked him up and bunted his head against the flap. This resulted in furious wiggling and the tail wag of doom.

I gave up for a bit and fortified myself with a Chardonnay. Basil had his eighty-seventh bath of the day.

I tell you, that cat is Clean. Licky noises are not my favourite though.

We then had another go, this time coming in from the outside. Excuse the shocking pic - Basil tends to camouflage at night.

Everything was going well until, just before bedtime, I gave it one last shot. Picking up Bas and striding to the door, who should be outside but next door's enormous furry scary-looking German Shepherd Jack, hoovering up all the dropped biscuits and bits of beef. Basil grew 80% in size, and commenced to hissing and scratching, and hiding under the bed. He now looks highly suspiciously at the cat door, and I had to get up at 3am to let him out for a wee.

Anyone have any tips I can try?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Still here

OMG so sorry about the lack of updates. Truth be told, it’s not because I’ve been busy doing something interesting, which I’m sure you’re all imagining I was.
No, the reason for my absence is an enormous deadline at work, which if we don’t reach, will have bad ramifications.
So this is my life at the moment:
Get up.
Go to work.
Work like a mad man.
Come home from work.
Eat, watch TV.
Bed.
Get up.

Etc etc. It is so boring! I even went into work on Saturday, which is something I Never do. I think, if you can’t get all the work you’ve been set done in the hours you’re asked to work, there’s something wrong with your time management skills. But at the moment – the amount of work I have to do far surpasses the amount of hours there are in a day, so Saturday it was. Most unhappy.

Good things though – the deadline is Sept 30th, and my housewarming is on Sept 29th, so will be a great way to celebrate the finish. Cross fingers we make it.

What else is on my radar….the Rugby World Cup has just started in France and I’m all about the All Blacks coming to the party. It has taken over the media here and if you don’t like rugby, you’re going to be getting out a lot of DVD’s. About rugby. There’s even an All Blacks CD, a compilation of songs by NZ artists AND a recording of them doing the Haka. I thought it was a joke until they gave it a good review on our local music channel. We have a sweepstake going at work, and I’m already bringing up the rear (I always pick the outsiders – I feel sorry for them!).

Also getting ready to go the races back home in Hawkes Bay early October- need to get a spray tan and a haircut and generally spruce myself up. I’m going to – horror! – wear a dress I have worn already. This is because my bank account is emptier than an…empty thing, and hopefully, no-one will remember.

While this is very much an “I’m not dead” blog post – here is a picture of Amelie looking super adorable to perk things up. I bought her the t-shirt and the great pic is courtesy of Trish.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Things that have made me smile this week

  • Hearing my boss (male) call kiwifruit “teddy bear eggs”. Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard? I liked it.
  • Basil taking the plunge and coming to snooze up by my head (normally he’s almost falling off the end).
  • Seeing the buds on my trees (my! trees) come out
  • Watching JD and Turk discuss Marmaduke on Scrubs. I am already a fan of Marmaduke hater Joe Mathlete so it was nice to know that it has now gone global.
  • Hearing that my mother’s recent hospital visits turned out to be nothing too serious, but a complication of shingles damaging her nerves down deep. Apparently this is the most painful thing ever and listening to her crying on the phone is not something I wish to repeat often.
  • Cooking perfect blueberry muffins last night. Seriously, they were so good, I took a photo. Which I am not going to post, because it’s just a photo of muffins.
  • My car passed its Warrant of Fitness after failing its last one. The car is 17 years old so it’s amazing that it hasn’t fallen to bits!
  • Realising that I am often too hard on myself and the only person worried about me, is me, so really, I should stop.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

It's not The drinking, it's How we're drinking

Finally the brain fog has lifted enough for me to write something.
What an insane weekend – a few years ago it would have been nothing out of the ordinary but now that I am 28! and a Homeowner! I think it’s a little bit sad.

Friday night involved a group of workmates and me heading into town for a drink on the Strand. I got into that mood where I felt like everyone wanted to watch The Amy Show, and I must have talked for oooh, 90 percent of the time, and everyone had to listen to Me and Only Me.

I got home at about 10:00 – on no dinner – and listened to my new Peter Gabriel CD (I love the oldies) and sang along to Don’t Give Up about twenty times. The cat appreciated it, and gave me 10 out of 10.

On Saturday 2 friends, Richard and Katrina, arrived from Auckland to stay the night. We spent the day walking around the Mount and shopping, but by 5pm it was all about the champagne and Red Bull. Date Man arrived and having got through a bottle between us, we headed out to a cocktail party, where I made a huge jug of 42 below Feijoa vodka, apple juice and mint leaves, best drink ever, and proceeded to kill a few more brain cells and be the loudest person at the party.

Then we headed into town, to a bar, for a couple of hours, where I have a recollection of dancing with someone’s Dad, like full on rock and roll dancing, a recollection of meeting some famous rugby guy and trying to take his picture, a recollection of ranting to a friend about how happy I was for her (having just got engaged). This is about 10 minutes recollection so god knows what I was doing the other 2 hours.

Sunday was an hilarious day of being horizontal on the couch, trying to keep down a pie (I failed at 5pm), feeling guilty, pathetic and disappointed in myself.

I still kind of feel like that, even though I can guess that everyone has had weekends like these, but I guess this is the first time I’ve seen that it’s not the best way I could live my life, and that my drinking can easily get out of control. I really have this Jekyll and Hyde personality sometimes, I can have 2 glasses of wine and be fine, but another day I can have a whole bottle and then more. And I have no control over it.
I think I shall be doing some navel-gazing over the next few weeks to see what I can do about this. My Mum will be pleased!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

I am my Father's daughter

Last night Dad came round to my new house for dinner for the first time. He has just got back from a 5 week trip to South America, namely the Galapagos, Ecuador, and Peru. He is now slightly obsessed with blue footed boobies, and I now know more about them than I ever thought I would (namely, nothing at all). Hopefully a quiz night I am going to next week will have a whole category based on them.
Anyhoo it was nice to show him the house (he approved) and he helped me connect my new garden hose. Basil gave him lots of smooches (purely because it was dinner time, he’s such a food-whore) and we had a good chat about stuff.
My parents divorced when I was 14 and Dad moved up to Tauranga from Hawkes Bay pretty much straight away, so we haven’t been enormously close since then. But we get on well, sometimes, although Dad has some idiosyncracies that are completely unique, such as not allowing cell phones in his home, and always having to know which direction the winds are going. He is a general knowledge geek, and nothing pleases him more than a Reader's Digest book of facts.
Last night Dad displayed some vintage Dad behaviour as I was about to get dinner ready. “Do you want to watch the News?” I asked him. “No,” says he. “I know everything already.”

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Recurring Dreams

After reading a link from Dooce last week at McSweeneys called Mundane Dreams I gots to thinking. Firstly, that I love McSweeneys and it makes me feel joy that there are so many awesome writers out there with my exact sense of humour. Secondly, that recurring dreams are an odd phenomenon – why do we as a group of people all have the same themes when we dream? We all experience life so differently and in so many varied environments.

Here are my top recurring dreams – both scary and happy – I should note that I am an exceptionally vivid dreamer – whole plot lines and imagery, and I dream in colour, which is apparently quite rare.

1) I’m back at school – haven’t studied for that exam!
It is the last day of term at my old boarding school and I have plans to head off to Uni. Other girls are packing their things and there are suitcases everywhere. I am desperately trying to finish a set book before sitting an exam on it. It is beginning to dawn on me that I won’t pass the exam and therefore won’t get into Uni. Eventually I give up hope and decide to wing up. I always wake up before I actually have to sit the exam.

2) I’m having arguments with my mother or someone close to me
I’m usually back at high school, living in our old house, and Mum and I are having an enormous argument so fierce it ends up with me hitting her. These dreams affect me hugely because I wake up with a guilty conscience for something that never happened. I wish these ones would stop most of all.

3) I can fly!
I’m on my way somewhere and I realise that if I push off of the ground and sort of lie on my back and kind of doggie paddle, I can fly. I don’t go too high off the ground but I do know that I am impressing everyone hugely with my flying abilities.

4) I’m back in England
For some reason I have decided to stop whatever I’m doing and go back and do another gap year in England (see here for further information). It’s usually the day before I leave and I suddenly come to my senses and go what the hell am I doing but I am stuck and have to go. I recall in my last dream going “hey….normally I have dreams about this – am I dreaming this one too? Dammit I’m not!”

5) I lose the ability to do simple things
I’m usually in a hurry and I can’t do things, like dial a phone, put my shoes on, drive a car. I also really battle to walk or run, like there are concrete blocks on my shoes.

Do these all ring a bell to you? I do have other dreams – like last night where I was picked to be Eminem’s main groupie and to go on tour with him. I don’t even like Eminem! I once asked my therapist who was a Clinical Psychologist what these dreams would mean, and I said I was worried about them as they tended to shape my mood for the day. She was very hesitant to answer as she said there’s nothing proven and she didn’t want to go all witchcraft-y. I also am not into spiritual readings of dreams i.e. if you dream your teeth fall out you’ll be coming into money!!
Does anyone know of a logical scientific explanation to recurring dreams, or can direct me to some sites?
Thanks and happy sleeping – Aims

Friday, 17 August 2007

Rules of being a woman

Yesterday I arrived at work in the worst mood I've been in for some time, not because of anything that had happened in particular, but because the last few nights I've been waking up at 3 am and have been unable to get back to sleep. That, along with some cold windy weather, meant that you did not want to fuck with me yesterday.
When I am grumpy at work (which is actually not often) I tend to sit at my computer and not say a word. Normally I am quite chatty and happy so it's kinda obvious that I am in a grump and should not be disturbed.
So by 4pm it was Time For A Chocolate Bar to see if it would help me out of my mood, which it was, then it happened. This TEMP we have in, looked at me as I was munching away on a Moro Gold, and said "Do you really need that, Amy?"
Lady, if a woman wants to eat chocolate, you let her. I desperately wanted to reply, "Hey, Temp Lady, do you really NEED to be such a bitch? How's it working out for you?" But I didn't because a cat fight would have ensued and I would have been fired. So I gave her the Stare of Evil (copyright) and haven't talked to her since.
Oh yeah, and Basil pissed in the shower this morning, as I was brushing my teeth. It was so blatant I had to laugh. BUT, one thing put me in a super good mood, apart from it being Friday today and about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday - I got a bonus in my pay yesterday and I didn't even know about it. Yay!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The great waste of time that is Facebook

So, lately I have been battling an addiction. Luckily it is not one that will cause physical harm to my body. It is the latest craze of making friends on the Net that apparently (so say the Bebo nerds) was thought up by the FBI.
That's right, Facebook has been my most favourite way to waste time lately. I probably log on about 10 times a day. I have about 140 friends. I read all their stuff and look at all their photos. I have set up a school group and joined another group, and have done my invite for my housewarming on there.
It has got so bad that I now THINK in Facebook. Last night Basil was having a bath on the bed, and while trying to get a hard to reach spot on his back, he fell off. I laughed, then IMMEDIATELY thought "Amy is laughing at Basil falling off the bed". Or, when I woke up yesterday morning to find he'd pooed in the bath, I thought "Amy is grossing out at having to clean up poo before 7:30am".
Yesterday I tried to face my demons and, after checking in first thing, I said right, no more Facebook until 11am. I tell you it was the longest 2 hours of my life. I was LITERALLY counting down. Of course when I did log on, nothing exciting had happened.
What I'm worried about is when I get broadband installed at home (finally) I will be on the stupid thing 24 hours a day.
Does anyone else have this problem?

Monday, 13 August 2007

A good weekend.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away from pretty much everywhere else, a girl was making her new house a home. The weather gods smiled and gave her sun and warmth. She was most grateful.
Firstly the girl decided to test out her oven and make muffins, using lemons from her own tree. They turned out most delicious, and caused her stomach and thighs to expand gratefully, not being big enough already.

Basil the cat liked them too, although he would have preferred it if gravy beef had been the primary ingredient.

The girl (it's me in case you're wondering) then pottered off to the garden centre where she felt very grown up, perusing the enormous selection of....plants n shit. A gardening addiction may well be in the wings people. Anyhoo she bought some herbs and a daphne bush, fertiliser (sheep poo - no it's not just on the road for anyone to pick up) and potting mix. On her arrival at home, she managed to spill half the potting mix on the lawn, and possibly damage the daphne bush's roots - but hopefully not. The veggie garden was given a good going over with a trowel, and sheep pellets were sprinkled liberally all over. This is what she found whilst energetically digging away:

The world's most enormous worm. This is it all scrunched up. The girl threw up in her mouth a little bit, but knows that worms are excellent for gardens, so put it back. Upon further digging, she found a whole colony of World's Fattest Worms, which gave her the heebie jeebies, but managed to get over it and plant a wee herb garden.

Later that day, the delivery men gods smiled on her and said Your new couch and armchairs shall be delivered not on time, but early! This made her skip for joy.
Her lounge no longer looks like a student flat, and instead is a stylish yet comfortable page out of the Freedom Furniture catalogue.

She loves her armchair so much she doesn't even let the cat sit in it. Oh alright. Just don't scratch it...oh alright. Isn't it awesome? Please ignore the purple curtains. They will be torched just as soon as she can afford new ones.


She very much enjoyed lying on this last night watching Top Gear.

After re-arranging the furniture ooh, about 10 times, she pootled off in her little car to babysit her nieces and nephew (6, 3 and 1). The child gods smiled at her and made the kids so tired that they Didn't Get Up Once after they had been put to bed. Maybe they felt sorry for her after having to read the 6 year old a Very Very Boring story about a stupid fairy ball with these lame-ass fairies that just went on and on and on and on. Give me Roald Dahl anyday.

She then pootled back to her wee home, was greeted by a purring cat, and fell asleep in her bed of clouds and didn't wake up until 10 am the next day.
The End.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

A surreal experience

Where to begin, oh faithful readers. I suppose you thought I was had it with blogging, and was in heaven playing with my new cats and decorating my new home.
But no. I have just spent 4 days in hospital. Yes, Hospital. The last time I was in hospital, I was born. I was hoping that the next time I'd be there, I'd be giving birth.
Hang on, I'll let you make a cup of tea before I go into details. All ready? Right.

So on Friday it was a normal busy day at work, and I went off to the doctors for my daily dose of IV antibiotics (see here if you don't know what I'm talking about). The doctor looked at it and said off to the hospital with you missy, it's not getting any better. I begged to differ. I was going to the rugby that night! I rang Mum who said, if the doctor says go to hospital, You Go To Hospital.
So I rang my step-sister Kathryn who is great in an emergency, she ditched the kids at the neighbours and helped me pack and check in. Oh sorry, that sentence didn't quite describe the actual length of time it took to be admitted. Which was Four Hours. While patience is a virtue, it's a virtue I don't have, especially when I am hungry and surrounded by mothers with Munchausen's By Proxy and healthy people who think they are dying and basically society's dung heap in general. But once I made it up into Ward 4, it was nice and quiet and I brought the average age down by about seventy years.
So by this stage I was quietly freaking out - I'm supposed to be at the rugby! But instead I was in a hospital bed, with a swollen hand, and a nice big needle in my arm. My sister Megan left Amelie with Ben, and came to visit me (and brought me McD's, mmm). We both giggled over how weird it was, until the lady next to me broke both our hearts. In the final stages of dementia, she repeated over and over again "Cassie? Where are you Cassie? You know I love you. Why don't you help me? Am I dying?" etc. It was AWFUL. She then nearly fell out of bed so the nurses moved her into the nursing station. I made a point of chatting to her every day which she loved, the poor thing, and I deduced that this Cassie person was her daughter who lived in Tauranga - but I never saw her there. Families huh- we've all got our little secrets!
Anyhoo to save this post from being thirty pages long - here are some bullet points and photos.

My view for 4 days. Not being outside for that long is weird. When I finally got out I was feeling dizzy and ill - purely from lying down for so long.
Bed goes up, bed goes down. I amused myself this way for many hours. Note nice red nail polish, to try and score myself a hot doctor, of which there were many, including one I had gone to Uni with, which was embarrassing, as I was in a gorgeous hospital gown with hair so greasy you could have fried an egg on it (forgot to pack shampoo) and was high as a kite on morphine and slurring like an alkie. But I digress.As you can see, I was looking hot. This is just before my operation. I was put under a general, and they stuck a needle in my wrist joint and sucked out the goo. Yuk I hear you say. Yeah it was. It took about an hour and then I went back to the ward, where I entertained everybody by asking the same question ninety times, then fell asleep, and this was the time my boss (bless his heart) showed up to visit me. I hate to think what I looked like. Drooling on the pillow no doubt.



Hand after the op. Note piddling little band aid. This hasn't elicited much sympathy from work mates, I would have preferred a neck to knee cast, but what can you do. Oh yeah, throughout the 4 days I was there, I was being woken every 8 hours to be shot full of antibiotics. There really is nothing like being poked with a sharp needle at 3am and then half an hour of stinging pain to make a good night's sleep. Luckily I was spoilt rotten with many visitors, and packets of lollies and delicious flowers. Mum made a 3 hour trip to look after me and tidied my house and made me a bucket of soup. Yum.

So anyway - I got out on Monday, and was back at work on Tuesday. This was purely so that I didn't go mad with boredom. The hand is still sore, but not swollen, and I am still on oral antibiotics. I don't think I have any natural antibodies left in my body.

But what about the cat you say? What about Gordon, who put you through all of this? Well Gordon solved a problem for all of us, and bunted a window open and has run away. Can you believe it! Everyone wanted me to put him down, which I vehemently disagreed with - then Mum went back to my house, and suddenly the cat was missing. Hmm I hear you say. Yes the thought did cross my mind, but Mum knows that if she did Accidentally leave the window open and allow the cat to run away I would be most unhappy with her. To be fair though, Basil is loving being a one-cat-per-house pet. He is running around, meowing at everything, playing in his kitty litter (got to knock that one on the head) and snuggling up and purring at night. I have done everything to try and find Gordon, but if he doesn't show and no-one finds him, c'est la vie.

So anyhoo that's my story - can hardly remember it anymore which shows how good the drugs were! Hopefully it doesn't happen again for a long long time, and the moral of the story is - if you get bitten by Anything - go to the doctor!!!!!



Thursday, 2 August 2007

My silly kitten hurt my mitten

Well finally. I am back. I guess you're all DYING to know what happened to my hand. Well I love going on about it so here goes.
On Saturday I picked up my new housemates, Basil and Gordon.

Basil:
and Gordon.


They came from the SPCA. Before I took them away we put them in the same cage for half an hour or so to find out if they were going to be friends. They sniffed each other, then sat down, completely disinterested, which we took to be a good sign. Of course, what we know NOW, is that they said to each other, hey, if we act cool, we'll get out of here, and won't have to face Mr Spade.

Because when I got home, Gordon immediately leapt on Basil, going for the kill. I got in the way, and Gordon took a nice big chunk out of my hand. I could see things a human should never have to see without anaesthetic, and he delivered a nice big infection right down deep. Me, being slightly stupid, rinsed it under water and stuck a bandaid on it. I then tried to pat Gordon to let him know I wasn't cross at him. He bit me again. In exactly the same place. I was somewhat annoyed, and may have cursed, and my eyes developed a leak.

Anyhoo the next day it was bright purple and swollen, so I took myself off to the doctors, thinking maybe, allergic reaction or something. The doctors face made me seriously worried, and he may have mentioned "IV" and "hospital" but I wasn't really listening, because for once, I had UNDER-ESTIMATED how bad something was. Usually I'm like - runny nose = brain leak. So then I was put on a course of hard out antibiotics, which did nothing, and trussed up in a sling. "Hey, what did you do to your hand?" has been the topic of conversation at work. So now I am on daily IV doses of antibiotics, and the hand is slowly looking less like a raspberry, and more like what my hand would look like if I were obese. So there you go.

The lines are to trace where the infection is and to track if it spreads more. You can see the 2 puncture marks by my wrists.

As for the cats. On their own, they are delightful. Gordon is hilarious and into everything, leapt into the shower with me one morning, not realising that it was water, and then fell flat on his face, scrabbling everywhere trying to get out. That made it all better. He is semi-snuggly, when he wants to be, but has definitely got that psycho cat tendency to turn on you when you least expect it. Hopefully he'll settle down when he gets a bit older and more used to the house.

Basil. He's a piece of work. He has spent the last 4 days in my room, moving from under my bed, to on my bed, to the windowsill. As soon as he ventures anywhere else, Gordon body slams him. So he is now terrified. He snuggles up next to me at night though, so I don't mind. This weekend they are being introduced to the garden which I'm sure will be interesting. Am thinking Basil will end up under the house for the rest of his life.

So what else! Spent a few days last week in Auckland for a Gwen Stefani concert. It was so cool. I wasn't sure to what to expect but man, she rocked the house. She is now my all time idol. Her Harajuku dancers were so cool, it was like one long aerobics show.

Also caught up with the crew and old workmates, and after a slightly boozy lunch on Friday, I went to get my haircut, just a trim you know, because Every time I cut it off I regret it. But no! "Give me the Posh Spice" I said to Pam my hairdresser, and ended up with this cut:

It's quite short at the back. I really like it though and Pam did an amazing job. She's at Ryder Salon by Albert Park for those Auckland readers.

Now I was going to rant about boys, and how they get afeared of commitment, and can be somewhat insensitive to how a girl is feeling, and are often selfish, but you know what? I'm just going to let it go. Big ups to me!

Monday, 30 July 2007

Wings clipped

Hi everyone - sorry for v short post but am typing with one hand as my arm is in a sling. will reveal all when i am back up and running. oh the frustration.
next post will include:
  • thoughts on the gwen stefani concert i went to!
  • descriptions of my 2 new housemates!
  • lots of harry potter spoilers (i cried)
  • pics of my sexy new haircut!
  • lots of ranting about that wonderful topic, bloody boys!

till then, wish me quick healing.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Home sweet Home

House move is over. It's everything I wished for and more. I just adore it and am so so happy to be in my own place, with all my stuff around, and it's lovely to know that I will be there indefinitely.

Anyhoo details please. Moving began on Saturday when I had to be at the new house to receive the new fridge and washing machine I had ordered. I turned up and bless their little hearts, it was a hive of cleaning activity from the previous owners. The movers turned up on time! and installed! the appliances for me. Kudos to them.

Later that afternoon it was serious moving time. Megs and Ben turned up with Amelie who was a champion. She kept herself amused in her wee capsule for 3 hours and Ben fed her a bottle and she had a wee snoozy so Megs could arrange stuff and be Monica to her hearts content.

I tell you it's exhausting stuff, moving. That night I went to M&B's place to watch the rugby (All Black's vs Australia and we won YEAH!) and I was having to prop my eyes open with toothpicks.

Sunday and Monday were more unpacking, spending of money, and general joy and Snoopy dancing at knowing it was ALL MINE and MINE ALONE (except for the 2/3rds that Mum owns, but hey).

Anyhoo - photos of stuff. Everything looks a bit Amish because I only have the basics in. You'll have to imagine all the photos and art and actual furniture that will eventually turn up in a few months.

This was the very first thing I unpacked. I smell Good.

My room. This bed (new) is The most comfy bed in the Universe. It's like lying on clouds. I'm going to lose the feature wall and put up some mega hip wall paper, eventually. I have a lovely view of the garden and sunset at night.



The spare room. This is where the Amish look comes into its own. I have a few prints to put up and will get some cushions to liven it up a bit.

My hideous veneer bookcase with my wonderful wonderful books. I have had these in storage since March, and opening each box was like going to an old friend's reunion.
These are the only pics I have so far of the house, but if you want to see more, go here.


One of my most favourite parts of the weekend was The First Shop. My sister and I discussed my shopping list like it was a wedding registry or a five-year-old's first letter to Santa. I love the supermarket, in case you didn't know, and I always go down every aisle, and try every new product. Anyhoo even I had a heart attack when I saw the bill. Let's just say that for someone living on their own who buys their lunch every day it was somewhat high. Here is a pic of the trolley and see if you can guess what this cost me:

The receipt took whole minutes to come out of the till.

This is what it looks like in my beautifully organised pantry. I could look at this for hours. Date Man found the fact that all the labels turned outwards was an excellent indication of my personality.
After all that shopping, this is what I had for my first dinner at my new house:
A burnt bacon and fried egg sandwich with 2 triple strength brandies. It was delicious.


I shall leave you with some thoughts:


Weirdest thing I had to buy: Castors to stop my beds rolling across the polished wooden floors. Possibly not fun if I have a nocturnal visitor.

Item that brought me to tears: fucking fucking drying racks. Somehow I always manage to get myself tangled up in them and they fall over and poke me in the guts. I hate them.

Most expensive thing I bought at the supermarket: Instant coffee. I don't even like it that much.

Odd feeling when unpacking: coming across all the photos from my Sth America trip. Quickly put away in a dark corner to be looked at when ready.

Thing I love the most: my bathroom. It looks ridiculously cool.

Most useful house-hold item: Scissors. They haven't been out of my hands for days.

Quick 180: doing my first clothes wash and hanging it out was fun. Doing the sixth wasn't.

Best discovery of new house: There is a fully functional compost bin out the back. I don't quite know what to do with it, but am sure it will come in handy.

Can't wait for arrival of: new kitten - to be picked up from SPCA this Saturday. YAY!