Friday, 30 October 2009

Boredom Busters

We're off on yet another long road trip tonight, back to the Hawkes Bay. Given that we're leaving Auckland right on rush hour, the entire trip will probably take about 6.5 hours.
Now some people quite enjoy car trips, in fact I don't mind them during the day if there's some good tunes on the radio and some lovely scenery, which there usually is in good old NZ. But when it's 10pm, pitch black and you're stuck behind a stinky sheep truck doing 10 km/h around the twisty bends of the Napier Taupo Road and you JUST WANT TO GET THERE, God, the allure of the car isn't so beguiling. Plus, because I am so bored, I tend to get reallllllllly hungry. Last car trip we broke our healthy eating run and had Burgerings, Maccas, lollies, and an icecream. So. This time I am planning.
To avoid the binge eating, I'm going to the supermarket and preparing a wee picnic. Rice crackers, ready-popped popcorn, dried fruit, and as a treat, some lollies. Dinner will be filled rolls with cottage cheese, ham and tomato. Will throw in a 4 pack of sugar-free Red Bull to keep our eyes open. I may buy a chocolate bar for Richard to keep him quiet.
To get the conversation going, as we're both so tired this week and have just about had enough of everything, I'm writing a good thorough list of conversation-starters. Things like:
  • What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
  • Who was your favourite teacher and why?
  • What's your dream home or holiday?
  • What's your opinion on global warming? (Not).

These should avoid those conversations that degenerate into "but you're not even listening to what I'm saying. No, you're not. You're changing everything I'm saying. So much for MY opinion then.." etc.

Am also going to bring out those brilliant car-trip games from my childhood. My favourite was going through the alphabet listing towns in NZ. A was Auckland. B was Bulls. Etc. P was the best one to get because of all the P Towns on the Kapiti Coast. Paraparaumu, Plimmerton, Paekakariki....Eye Spy was another good one. I would always pick something totally random, like the cigarette lighter in the car itself. Although because no-one could pick it, everyone got bored and would move onto something else. The other good ones were car cricket, which was something like you scored a 6 for every red car, a truck was out, white car was 1 run. Of course travelling with my Dad meant we had to listen to the news every 15 minutes UP FULL BLAST, and not the fun news either that went for 30 seconds, it was the full Newstalk ZB read by a very British sounding lady who talked about countries I'd never even heard of. Then Dad would smoke a stinky Benson and Hedges cigarette and drive too fast around corners. We'd be feeling ill in the back seat surrounded by beach towels and buckets and shovels and BBQs, and Mum would be passing us warm Orange and Mango Just Juice. Combination of all this meant we would need to stop to throw up and Dad would refuse because there was NOWHERE SAFE TO PULL OVER so he and Mum pretty much ended up wearing most of it.

Aaaah family life. Nothing like a good tangent to get you reminiscing.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Wit.

Colleague: My computer just crashed again.

Me: Did it forget to give way?

See me later on the Comedy Channel.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Close encounters of the neighbourly kind

This morning, as I rolled over and hit the snooze button for the 8th time, preparing to burrow down for another nine minutes, a sound made my eyes pop open.
It was a fart.
Rich had already gone to work. Basil was on his armchair. And it sure as heck wasn’t me. It was our neighbour.
You see, we share a driveway with our neighbour, and it goes directly along the side of our house. The side where our bedrooms are. The house is not known for its solidness – in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the walls were made of MDF – hence if you walk along the driveway while we’re in bed, we’re going to hear you. You are not all alone, humming a tune, enjoying the birdsong. We’re listening. So when you drop a bomb while you’re getting something out of your car, we’re going to hear it.
A lovely way to start the day.
When Rich and I discuss what we want from life, the first thing – always the first thing – is a big house set in the middle of ten acres, with no other houses to be seen. The joy of being able to sing really loudly to a bad song. To be able to jump around the house doing aerobics without having to pull the curtains. To sit on the deck staring at the stars and smelling the night-scented flowers without being slammed by a wave of cigarette smoke from next door. City life – it’s not for me.