Thursday, 28 August 2008

A weekend jaunt

Richard and I are off to Taupo this weekend for a wee bit of a getaway. I haven’t had a weekend away for 2 months which is not like me at all. As a result, I am as excited as I was before we went to Fiji.
Being me, I have many lists on the go as to what to pack. Bear in mind, this is a 2 day trip. I could just take a couple of pairs of knickers and an extra jersey. But my spreadsheet has columns, and they must be filled with data. Black polo neck: check. Red polo neck: check. Black cardi: check. Other black cardi: check. Other black cardi just in case: check.
Then, what if we go outside? Taupo is notoriously icey, and the forecast is for 12-13 during the day and 1-2 at night. Bunny fur jacket: check. Polar fleece: check. Space suit made from asbestos: check.
And activities! Togs: check. Towel: check. Bikini wax: priceless. Taupo hot pools are gorgeous – go there if you’re ever in the area – up at deBretts hotel.
The other fun thing about going away is cooking different things. Last time I tried homemade pizzas…. Turns out yeast is the one thing you can’t use after its best-before date. It was like eating scones with a light dusting of cement. The topping of caramelised onion, blue cheese and smoked mushrooms was delicious though.
This time I think I’m going to go for a spring menu….but haven’t got any good ideas at present. Enlighten me with yours. Maybe chicken pie? Free range of course…

I have already offered to drive on the way down – ostensibly because Richard’s eyesight isn’t the greatest – but really it’s because I can’t stand being driven by anyone. This is because I am the best driver in the world, and everyone else is shit. Conversations I have with people when driving:

My mother: “Your car has six gears. Why do you only use two?”
My best friend: “Can you please pull over…..I’m going to be car sick.” This because there are 2 speeds – mega mega fast or dead slow.
Richard: “ You can pass him you know. He’s doing 70 in a 100k zone on a straight road.”
“Can you go faster please?”
“Can you please not answer your phone while you’re driving?”
“You’re doing 80. If I were following you, I’d be tearing my hair out.”

Richard – bless him – takes this on the chin. Apparently I am the worst back seat driver in the world and I do freely admit I am. So hey, save us both the pain and let me drive! Not only will we get there in half the time, we won’t argue. You may feel somewhat emasculated, but we’ll make up for that later by letting you empty the car and drink pints down the pub. Now that’s compromise.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

More memeliciousness

Where is your cell phone? On my desk, about to run out of batteries.
Your significant other? Is at work. We had a talk last night about winter flab and we are both going to pull our heads in over the next few weeks. He’s going to start drinking lots more water, so no doubt is on the loo.
Your hair? Is clean, and due a cut already. Seriously, it’s growing really fast lately. Perhaps I’ve been ingesting the fertiliser I put on the garden.
Your mother? Lives in Napier, and is about to go to Tahiti on Friday. I am dithering over my perfume order.
Your father? Lives in the Mount, and is dying to me to go round and see his holiday snaps from Asia. I am demurring.
Your favourite thing. Surprise repeats of the Office or Little Britain on the telly.
Your dream last night. I can always remember my dreams. But not last nights’. Fate.
Your favourite drink. Alcoholically: crisp Sauvignon Blanc. I like Vidal Malborough SB at the moment. Non alcoholically: Sparkling water.
Your dream/goal: To fit all of my clothes by my 30th (4 months).
The room you’re in. The office.
Your ex. Is no doubt still cow farming down south and talking about grand plans.
Your fear. Is that I’ll die old and alone.
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Married with kids.
Where were you last night? At home watching Jamie Oliver’s Fowl Chicken Dinners. Brilliant.
What you’re not? Fake, empathetic, boring, patient.
Muffins. Lemon, poppyseed and cream cheese. Causes muffins over my jeans.
One of your wish list items? An iPod, with an iBook to go with it.
Where you grew up? Napier NZ. Going back for a week in October and I can’t wait.
The last thing you did? Tested a bug from our website and updated the vendor.
What are you wearing? Black trousers, black boots, red woolen v-necked jersey with wide black belt, Karen Walker hearts brooch. A stranger on the way to work commented that I looked nice. Resolved to hand out more compliments.
Your TV? Is a gigantic behemoth that takes up a whole corner of my lounge. I watch it 99% of the time I am at home.
Your pets? Make my life worthwhile. Basil the cat and HotDog the goldfish.
Your computer? Is so crappy, I often look behind it so find the guy pedalling the bike that makes it work.
Your life? Is nothing like I had pictured, and I don’t think it ever will be.
Your mood? Bored with a slice of optimism.
Missing someone? Amelie. She can now say “turtle”.
Your car? Is a red VW Golf. Every time one of my friends see it, no matter what, they say “that car is so you.”
Something you’re not wearing? A coat, for the 3rd day in a row. Winter is on the way out…..
Favourite store? B.A. Reader second hand book store on Wharf Street in Tauranga. Last week I found a garden dictionary from the twenties, and a home-medical textbook from the fifties. An interesting amount of ailments can be cured with either an enema or a douche it seems.
Your winter? Has been a blur of cooking, blankets, drizzle, books.
Like someone? I have done a turnaround on Jamie Oliver…I like that he puts himself out there and gets vilified in the press for what he does, even though he’s just trying to educate us.
Your favourite colour? RED.
Last time you laughed? This morning, while we tried to worm Basil, who was having none of it, nosiree.
Last time you cried? On Saturday, when I gave my best friends a book I wrote for their new baby who is due to arrive in 2 months.
Who will repost this? You’re all welcome to – let me know if you do!

Friday, 15 August 2008

You're reading the writings of a medallist

So last Friday was our Olympic Day at work, and as predicted, "work" was somewhat thin on the ground. We had tasks to complete every hour, involving rowing machines, speed eating, trivia questions and singing of parody National Anthems. Our team was Australia, which we didn't mind, because being the IT department of a large corporate, everyone hates us anyway.

That's me in the front, looking a bit 'special', wearing Australian everything. Even got Olympic sunglasses on. The actual Olympian is behind me holding her torch.

This is me coming third in the rice eating competition. Mum taught me well with chopsticks.

This is me coming first equal in the Peaknuckle competition. What's peaknuckle you say? You have to hold the other's thumb down with your own and say PEAKNUCKLE! Due to a mis-spent youth flirting with a guy who had a double jointed thumb when I was 12, I am a peaknuckle queen, even with my cat paws. Note that Dick (representing North Korea), the guy who battled me for a long 5 minutes, has hands twice the size of mine. I should have won with that disadvantage. Totally unfair.

Anyway my and my teammates' efforts led to us getting the Silver overall. Pretty good for a bunch of net geeks.

So there you have it - I'm an Olympic Medallist. Michael Phelps couldn't beat me at peaknuckle I'll bet.


Today is an odd day, being one where I am buying a card for a friend who is celebrating the birth of her first child, and a card for a colleague who is mourning the death of her second, to cot death. The shock of the latter still has not worn off, and I don’t even have any children. I couldn’t imagine a worse tragedy for anyone, and if any of you have been touched by cot death, or SIDS, my heart goes out to you.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mother Goose for the Millenium

Every night when I get home, a few kids from around the street are playing on the neighbour’s trampoline, in their pyjamas and slippers.
They’re about 10, 8 and 6, and although they have all sorts of games involving the two elder boys double-bouncing the younger, I’ve never heard any of them get hurt.
Last night I was cooking tea with the front door open to let the frying onion smell escape, and was having a sly eavesdrop of their hilarious conversations.
“Jack loves Dayna!”
“DO NOT!!”
“Do TOO!”
“It’s my turn….let me have a go…” this from the littlest one.
“Jack and Dayna up a tree….K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”.
There are sounds of wrestling.
“Jack and Dayna went up the hill to fetch a bottle of water. Don’t know what they did up there but now they’ve got a daughter!”
There is a silence, then the little one bursts into squeals of laughter. I am giggling, not only because they’re repeating the exact same songs we used to sing as kids, but also because in this modern age, a pail has become a bottle.
“Jack and Dayna went up the hill to fetch a bottle of water. Don’t know what they did up there but now they’ve got a daughter!!”
There is so much hysterical laughter that I can’t help it and laugh with them.
A tiny voice pipes up. “Jack and Dayna went up the hill to fetch a bottle of water…Jack fell down and broke….got a daughter?”
“That’s not how it goes, dumbass.” DOUBLE-BOUNCE.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Grandpa Simpson

So to update, spinach is still not cool, in my books. I actually gagged on it. But it was nice, as Richard claimed, after hoovering up the leftovers for dessert.
It was really fun doing other cooking – I hope I inspired you to try something a little different too. Last night I made something really out of the box – a little “crazy” – a baked bean and cheese toastie. The no dishes thing was a real clincher with that one.

It’s funny how when you’re busy, all you dream about is sitting at home, with the paper and the cat on your knee. Now that I have had 3 weekends of doing just that, I’m champing at the bit for some action. Not “action” action…. Just something to do. I’m bored of re-arranging my magazines and picking up dropped lemons and mandarins from my garden. The linen in my hot water cupboard is perfectly organised and the cutlery drawer is crumb-free. The lack of money and the cost of petrol prohibits a quick jaunt away. I am seriously never content…but is anyone?

Something cool to look forward to – albeit a work function – is our Olympic Day this coming Friday. I am lucky enough to work with an actual Olympic Medallist – a swimmer – and she has brought in all her uniforms and gear from the two Olympics she attended, and has kitted us out in it all. I am wearing - from the bottom up – geeky sneakers, an Olympic tracksuit, an Olympic bum bag, an Olympic back pack, Barcelona ’92 RayBan Wayfarers and a swimming cap… all in green and gold. Oh yes – she batted for the wrong team….but we’ll forgive her because an Olympic Medal is an Olympic Medal. We’re not sure what we have to do on the day but I’m pretty sure that it’ll involve not a lot of work and a fair amount of beer and embarrassing stunts. Nice. I do love the Olympics…a great time-waster. I imagine this weekend will be spent on the couch with the remote in hand, with the cat on my knee.

In other news, Amelie will now point at either a bird, or a dog, or both! and say “bir” or “gog”. I got all teary when she did it. She’s not my little baby anymore. But, she still loves a cuddle. Awwww.

Oh yes, and Dad came around the other night. Again, perfect blog fodder. He’d just got back from Sth East Asia where he visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and, it sounded like, drank his way through all the beer in every country. I got him around for dinner and seriously, didn’t say a word for three hours. Because he talked continuously, I think without breathing, for the entire time. Rich and I ate our entire meal (rack of lamb with spuds and beans, yum) and I must have drunk a full bottle of wine before Dad even put his napkin on his lap. Luckily, unlike his normal stories of “I got up this morning at 4:30 – no wait, it was more like 5:00 – or was it?”, these stories were interesting. I got a phone call from my sister the following day:
“Dad just left.”
“Get a word in?”