Monday, March 24, 2008

On the road again....

Well, we planted corn this year called "Bloody Butcher" and this is what it looks like! Amazing...amaizing? Anyway, it seems to look great and taste fine. We haven't turned into ten-fingered scroots yet....
Took the kids to Brighton Beach today. It was fun, and even tho' a cool wind was blowing we had a great time. I recall being on the Beach near San Francisco years ago and it was a cold and blustery day but nothing on this one. Topday was LOVELY. Bugger all wind, weak watery sunshine. Soothlingly so. The above photo is from Brighton looking back towards Kaiakoura. The one below is looking towards Sumner.
The other end of the beach looking towards Sumner. Haaaaaaah.
So, now you mention it.I am away for the rest of the week for work. I will be drilling the facts about the evils of drugs and alcohol at work to Union members from Balclutha to the rest fo the world....I will be back but perhaps not until the end of the month. Cheers ears.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Shocked and Horrified - can it be true?

News tonight announced that some boffins in the good ol' US of A have calculated that the Bush adminsitration has made at least (AT LEAST!!) 900 untrue statements about the war in Iraq.

No! Crikey. Who would have thought it. (Yes, do read that with dripping sarcasm and sparkling wit).
So, who have the media been "pandering" to? I find it hard to believe that they have only just figured this out by themselves, what level of journalism has uncovered this fact now when clearly the facts have been incorrect all the time surely? Tut tut. Off to the naughty step with them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

School camp and wine festivals

Isn't this lovely? This is the view from the front lawn of the camp where my youngest had 3 days on camp. In the background you can see Lyttelton - our Port. This is where the "forefathers" arrived by ship (well, there were The First Four Ships really - one of my relatives arrived here from England on the Randolph) and where the big cruise ships and traders come and go from. It looks very pretty but is a right royale shite in winter. Some properties that don't get the sun in winter basically never thaw out!!
Yesterday we went to the Waipara Food and Wine Festival. It meant dragging the wee trolls from their pits at 8am - something only the brave and the desperate for fun would attempt on a Sunday! However, growling subsided eventually and we went on to have a great day. We went by bus with a group of friends and some strangers. Given the area certainly is not famous for its red wines, I went in early for a Sauvignon Blanc and can recommend the Fiddlers Green. It was just the thing for that hour of the day with a whitebait sammie! (OK, it was about 11am by the time we got there) Then one of our crwod and myself felt that primal urge for a bubbly. Several "try's" later we stumbled (figuratively speaking, afterall I am a responsible adult remember!!) across the Sherwood estate Laverique. Oh it was smoother than a close shave with the law and just as exciting. This wine behaved like it knew it was great and was going to get down. Dunno what you pay for it in the real world but on the day you could snap it up for a mere $28.00.....bargain!

This fellow had his strategy all sorted, I suspect he would have got there bang on 9.30 and got himself ripped by 2pm. He had his sleeping bag all set as well, what a planner!!
This si the historic Glenmark Church where the festival is held. There was also the Old Vicarage wine stall with all the other exhibitors, very nice stuff (sorry, haven't managed the toff words for wine - with me its either great stuff or crap!). The guy selling the wine was dressed as a Vicar - not sure if he was the Naughty Vicar or not.

All in all, it was a restful day out. The kids were happy doing their own thing, kids entertainment arranged there and they had the strawberries and ice cream thing going on as well. The Stud was bemoaning the fact that there weren't any "proper reds" - Pinot Noir doesn't feature in his list of wines that he likes. Didn't stop him hoovering up the wines he did decide to try though!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I feel a bit like this today - all grey and washed up. Not sure what's going on really. I am at home with 2 sick kids which could account for it, and it is raining and getting cold. I have a library book which I can get into but can't settle to it. There have been a lot of changes going on round here, eldest off to High School, lots of trips for work, never-ending projects round the house....maybe I need a "me" day. Don't get me wrong, I love my family but am starting to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to tack on a bit of what I want to do in it!! A full time (paid) working mum sounds so easy doesn't it? The fatigue has really hit me this week, maybe I need a holiday somewhere exotic. Maybe.
This is a flower from our garden. It is well rested and appears very happy.
What do you do when you feel a bit blah??

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A shortie

The Interview - by Amanda Stephens (c)

“I suppose you are wondering why I killed him? "
Well, it’s only natural isn’t it, I suppose. I didn’t really mean to do it, it was just one of those things really. What do I mean? We were having one of those days…most couples have them, don’t they? I mean, it wasn’t like that time we were in Akaroa and the waitress was paying too much attention to him and I accidentally spilt my red wine over her white top….he really was impossible that time. I mean, it wasn’t my fault she walked past as I stood up…yes, I know I shouldn’t have had my glass so high but well, we were celebrating and I was just happy. You would be too; it was our wedding anniversary you know. Just like this time. But that was our paper anniversary. This one was our wooden one.
Do you know, every year we try and get the most special gift for each other…something very meaningful that says something about our relationship usually. So, you can imagine my excitement when he told me my present was too big to wrap and that I had to go with him outside to see it….well, there it was, gleaming mahogany and brass…yes, a coffin. Can you imagine? Did it make me mad? On no, although my friends say that I am mad…”there she goes, oh she’s a mad one that one” they all laugh…Mindy laughs a bit too loud If you ask me. What? Well, I told you anyway didn’t I?
I have a keen sense of order you know, that’s why it was so important to me that he be the one to try it out first. What? Well, the lid wouldn’t shut properly so I had to nail it down. Where did I get the hammer? Actually, it was just lying there beside the coffin…how lucky for me, don’t you think? And then the phone rang…well, it was some woman going on about some plane reservations to New York and at first I told her she had the wrong number you know, as you would because some people are not very clever at technology, and then she asked to speak to him about it and, well, that just threw me because we hadn’t made any reservations and the woman seemed to think I was his maid – can you believe that – and she kept on about what should she take with her and insisting that I check with him because when she had spoken to him herself just two days ago he had told her he had a few loose ends to tie up and would get back to her about it. Well, I knew that was a lie because he had been in Blenheim on business two days ago. Anyway, I couldn’t hear her too well because she had some noisy child wailing in the background so I told her that I would have to hang up and she said that when she was his wife the first thing she would do would be to sack me! Have you ever heard so much? Well. Did that make me mad? I’ve told you about that….just ask Mindy. Anyway…by then I was in need of a drink…so went to fix myself a martini but we were all out of olives. Honestly, all he has to remember is to buy those nice ones from the Deli in Papanui Road and he can’t even do that! So, I got in the car and drove to the deli – it’s only five minutes in the Beemer - and they had a new saleswoman and it took simply ages before she got the order right. Well, then I drove home again and had my drink…and it was so lovely I had another right then and there. Yes, honestly! Wicked, don’t you think? But then, it was our anniversary you know and sometimes it’s good to indulge oneself…what do you mean? Oh, well, I realised that the lid was still on that coffin when I couldn’t hear that dratted thumping anymore…it suddenly went quiet you see and for awhile I couldn’t think what it was that was different but then the neighbour rang and thanked me for stopping that thumping and I asked him, what thumping? And he said that there had been thumping from our back yard and then, well, I rang you. Actually, you have wonderful structure, officer…very muscular and….Do I want a lawyer? Oh goodness me, no…I was married to one before…he drowned you know. He used to say he could drown in my big blue eyes…well, he didn’t.…he drowned in that Lucy Moreton’s swimming pool…dead drunk. Dead AND drunk, fancy that. Mind you, if he had been sober the doctors said he would probably have been able to get out of the way – it was my car that ran into the pool and clobbered him– faulty brakes, apparently. Imagine how dangerous it was for me driving about like that and he had only fixed them that morning! Sorry, what were you saying? Oh, officer isn’t that a bit kinky…….I mean my husband is hardly cold and here you are wanting to put handcuff’s on me!”


Yep, been reading Alan Bennett. Made this one up myself. Now you know my real name. Oh well.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Time flashing by

This was a brand new car once, she was 'born" in 1961 according to her papers. A few birthday's ago, I had a nostalgic moment and fell in love with this Morris. Here she is parked up in our driveway on yet another sparkling Canterbury day. She is a good ol' gal. I love her huge steering wheel and the fact that I have to have the drivers seat up on blocks to be able to reach the pedals to driver her (yep, am slightly vertically challenged apparently) and that I can drive to the airport and back before the heater kicks in!! In winter this is a problem. Trust me.
Isn't she grand?

And as if I don't feel old enough knowing that I learned to drive in a Morris Minor owned by my mum (it was a 1959 model apparently...), when I wake up in the morning I will be the mum of a teenager. Tonight I don't feel that old but, according to others who have gone before me kicking and shrieking into their offsprings teenage years, I soon will. The same people told me that the Terrible two's should be approached with caution...I took the "Terrific Two's" approach and feel like I won that round. There is a chance that I'll have the "tough and ruthless" approach to the teens, then again maybe I mean rough and toothless?? Always get those mixed up.
Whatever (see, I have already learnt a teeny word). I am up for the challenge. bring it on (see, even got the teeny movies sorted! Mwahahahaha)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ode to the Pants

Tightie jeans
Shirt open to the waist.
Three day growth.
He says "If you were my drink, what would you be?"
She thinks long and hard, and replies "LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY".

Still up North...

This is the Treaty House I mentioned below. It is basically ahouse-within-a-house. The outer facade encloses remnants of the older original cottage, very cleverly renovated and wonderful to be inside.
This is the war canoe (waka) which is rowed about and ashore on Waitangi Day, symbolically.
These are carved wood panels inside the treaty Marae, very cleverly done and would have taken hours of patience to complete.
This fern reminded me of a curled up monkey!
On the way home from Dargaville, instead of flying out of Whangarei we drove to Auckland and I got a direct flight. It was great because it meant I got home 2 hours earlier than I had planned! Those "mainlanders' amongst you will know what a relief that would be!

I have been reading a book, a wonderful Kiwi writer named Frankie McMillan. My mum bought me "The Bag Lady's Picnic" for Christmas a year or three ago and I love it. A collection of short stories, it is the type of book that easily lends itself to re-reading, and I can imagine a few vignette's as well.

Right, battle donw with going to treat myself to a Vino.

Way up north....

I've been away. Here is the public loo's at Kawa Kawa. very unique and "eccentric", but I certainly wouldn't be game enough to navigate them after a few wines!!
Here is Whangarei as seen from Waitangi. It is truly the 'winter-less" north here, it was so warm and very green. Considering how much drought this country is having, the greenery was amazing. The "fun" thing was, I flew from Christchurch to here and they lost my suitcase. Yep. How about that? I've been round the world and never lost so much as a kilo, and on a simple homeland flight - my tiny overnight bag was lost!! Don't worry, it was found and forwarded but I was quite amused by the fact that of the two bags I took with me it was the clothes and essentials that went missing, not the bag with the work shite in it!

Here is a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi. It was my first ever visit this far North and I have to confess to feeling a bit overcome, the emotion of being where so much has gone before. Haven't felt anything like that since oh I dunno, way back when I visited an old cottage in Surrey, UK which about 800 years old!!
At Waitangi there is a Maori meeting house, a beautiful old restored Colonial Cottage and heaps of peace and quiet. On 6 February every year that tranquility is disrupted by the Waitangi Day celebrations, usually a day of protesting on this site. The day I was there, it was a magical day. Not many tourists, having visited between buses, and those who were there spoke in hushed tones like they were in a library or doctor's waiting room.

I have tried to put more photos up but blogger won't let me, so will do it in another post. I tried re-sizing ans all manner of shifty moves but Blogger will have its way. Harrumph.