Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stormy Weather

I actaully took this photo last year, the past few days have been so wet I have bacically scuttled in and out of doors. We are in storm mode. Tomorrow they ("they") are predicting 140mm of rain for us, today it snowed in Amberley. Hopefully it will dump down big time over night and we can stay in bed in the morning. Sigh, wishful thinking.

The Stud had a car accident on Monday so he is without his car, which means I am also doing 2 school runs now instead of just the morning drop off - plus full time work...blah. Next time I'm gonna get me a zillionaire with a bad cough.

But until then, "bugger".

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ood 'ave that for a face?

Dr Who blazed across our screens last night, the one with the greeing of the Ood. The 10 year old enjoyed it (I still struggle with Donna bleating like an Aussie fishwife "Doctaah") and then decided that now the Ood were free maybe they would get real names instead of numbers. She favoured Burt.

I may be getting old and grumpy or I may be just tired of drab, dreary and cold weather (or I may be smarting over our thugby team losing 2 in a row...) but I am certain David Tennant was leering like a man possessed during tonights episode. I felt like perhaps he could see thru my top with those groovy specs he continuously takes on and off - whoa, if I was the writer I suspect (geddit?) that his specs wouldn't be the only on/off action. Wouldn't dare tell the 10 year old that, she's got him pegged as my number one son-in-law.

Anyway, am off to view Life on Mars. Oddly not the political thriller that it sounds like but it is certainly great social commentary. Anyway, speaking of social commentary I'll leave you with this interesting arrangement! (Parental supervision highly recommended).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Best Kids book

When I was a child, the only story I ever wanted to hear was The Wait-for-me Kitten. I just LOVED it. Briefly, the wee kitten is always being left behind by it's mates and always the one to get the trouble meant for the other "naughty" kittens. Suffice to say, the wee kitten triumphs in the end. For years I wondered where my well-leafed thru copy went. We moved around a lot when younger so the book could be anywhere. However, one afternoon a few years ago I was recounting this story to the wife of a friend of my husband's. Well, that year on my birthday...they proudly handed over The Wait-for-Me Kitten which their now grown up kids have long since forsaken. It is in good condition, actually it's not... but it is more likely in the same condition as my own well-loved copy would have been at the time. I just LOVE it.

Sure, I had other favourites..The Velveteen Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh....but this book has held a special place in my heart forever!

What was your favourite book as a child? Do you still have it?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hm. Spell check extra perhaps?

I know which one I'm buying. And it's cheaper! (you might need to click on the graphic it.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Tea?

Isn't this chap darling? Bought him in an Antique shop a few years ago, used him twice then worried he would break so he is stuck in the cupboard and brought out on special occasions now!
The Tea House tea pot, dribbles a bit really and not used much. Good for Lap Sang Soochong tho'.
And here we have Cinderalla's Pot. This one reminds me of Cinders coach; the spout broke last year and after we glued it back together I decided it was a bit fragile so she is only a "display" pot now.
Today would have been my Dad's 75th birthday - if cancer hadn't claimed him 13 years ago. Every year I try and imagine how he would look now, the things we would have joked about. My Dad and I were very close. I REALLY miss him.

I took this photo at Sumner Beach this week. School holidays here so I took 3 days off work; my cousin (who is Head of Music at Dulwich College in Shanghai) was visiting me as well. Haven't seen her for about 6 years and we are each others only female cousin so it was a wonderful catch up. She's cool.

Anyway, I have been watching the second episode of TORCHWOOD. I'm still not sure if I like it enough to keep watching, it on late here - 10.30pm. And I'm also not sure if I will blog about it - this has been done by bloggers a damn sight better than me. So far, it has been good to see John Barrowman doing his thing (as it were) but the Gwen character I find irritating. No idea why, but she does. I think its her wide eyes and "newby" status. Plus her cleavage ain't much. This week however we were treated to Mr Barrowman giving a life saving kiss to another irritating character - this scene I thoroughly enjoyed. He was sooo cheeky, loved it. He also reminds me of my dear friend Alex from Sydney....

Weather is wintery here, fog bound today with rain. Snow maybe next week - hoorah!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Snow way to start the day

Yep...look at that. This is the weather we went out in on Saturday night. Snow. Loads of it. A bit of an occasion for us really as we often only see the snow from a distance. However, my poor wee Morris got a coating and we lost the lawn as well as the street.

However, we also had to go out to a Ceilidh. I was quite keen to go as I had never been to one before. I think the term "herding cats" best describes most of the nights antics; people going left when they should be going right "No, your other left!" some ginger haired, skirtwearing bloke yelled at me (more than once actually); the Stud was happy with his whisky and hardly noticed the weather (or me but thats another story too). I managed to get the hang of some of the dances, Imy tip is to have as much wine as you can before getting down to it 'cos you don't get much chance once the dancers get their hands on yiou!! We missed the opening of the night sadly because I threw my Scottish Heritage to the wind so that I could watch the Mighty All Blacks (sans Ritchie, boo hoo) deal to those recalcitrant South Africans. And we did of course. It was a helluva night weather-wise and the game was hard and fast too.

The Stud wore a kilt, of all nights to do that, and grizzled about the wind about his knees etc...ha!

I have included this clip because (a) it features Rugby AND (b) features Scotland and (c) I think if you squint you catch a glimpse of the gorgeous Gavin Hastings while he was still gorgeous!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In the beginning

This photo is world's away from my story. However, it was a backward glance through a lense....

In the beginning
– Amanda Stephens 2005 ©
“We’ll be landing as soon as the sheep have been cleared from the runway,”
I peered out of the plane's small porthole and sure enough, on a paddock far below miniature sheep were being persuaded towards some trees at the far end of the “runway”.
“Fancy that,” Mum muttered.

I didn't, as it happened. I wondered what we were letting ourselves in for.
The Bristol Freighter lumbered to a halt outside a tin shed.
“No, that’s the airport building.” I was indignantly informed. As they would say today "Yeah, right."
We watched as the Freighter opened it’s jowls and people busied themselves unloading suitcases, freight, and our cat and dog still sleeping in their dual cage. Someone had a crate of wide-awake chickens. It was all loaded into the back of a dirty orange ex-army truck.
“That’s the Orange Puddle-jumper,” a large man with a tooth missing and wearing a black cap cheerfully explained to my father.
“Isn’t this an adventure and a half?” Mum insisted bravely
“Well….,” I couldn't quite entirely disagree but, watching the Bristol Freighter, reloaded now and rumbling back down the grass runway like a fat ungainly bird attempting flight, this was not yet my idea of an adventure for an eight year old.
“OK, everyone on that’s going! That you, mate?” a jolly beanbag of a man helped Dad into the back of the orange truck. Around the inside edges of the truck’s deck were hard wooden slats as seats. Dad turned to help Mum but she had already been seezed and loaded. My two brothers were hauled aboard and then me, clutching my life-size doll that my grandparent’s had "careful, brought me from Egypt" . I squashed up close to mum, feeling equally out of place in my new red coat and shiny black patent leather shoes.
We drove past the sheep, which had returned to graze, through the gate, past some trees which I would later discover had ancient carvings etched onto their surfaces, and into a lagoon. My Aunt’s words came back to me, “Don’t go there…it looks all water!”
Apparently there was no road to Waitangi, the main town on the Chatham Islands, and we were going to drive down the middle of the Island through this lagoon to the town Waitangi which was to be our home for the next 5 years.
“The Yellow Sub broke down out here, that’s why we’re in this truck,” Pointing as we passed the yellow truck, the beanbag man eased himself into place and, reaching into his pocket hauled out a bottle. “Bacardi, mate?” he wheezed, offering the bottle to the man seated next to him. I nudged my older brother with a "watch this" kind of nod. I didn't need to, he was already expertly pretending not to notice anything.
In the middle of the truck our cat and dog were beginning to come round from their Vet-induced sleep, much to the dismay of the chickens.
My brother and I were watching closely with our best 'not watching at all' stance, heads slightly down eyes ever so slightly narrowed ready to pretend to be asleep at the drop of a hat. We had never seen adult-pass-the-bottle and now it was moving closer to our dad.
Over the grumbling engine we could hear snatches of conversation.
“Nah, mate…wouldn’t live there for quids!” “Did you see television?” “What are those New Zealanders up to now, then?”
“What are you here for?” this last question was directed at Dad.
“Graham Stephens,” he introduced himself, “I’m the new County Clerk.”
“Here y’are then,” the Bacardi bottle was thrust into Dad’s extended right hand.
We waited. This was breathtakingly great. Would Dad have a drink of “grog”?
“Hey, look – you can see fish through here, flounder’s I think,” Mum was peering through a rip in the truck’s canvas.
“Let me see – I see one!” “There’s another one. Look!” in our excitement my brother and I jostled for position and were both rewarded with seeing fish skittering away from the truck tyres through the muddy water along the bottom of the lagoon.
I stole a look at Dad, but the Bacardi bottle had moved on while Dad, smiling secretively for the rest of the trip, was also peering through a rip in the canvas.
I knew then that this was indeed going to be an adventure, even though at this point I had yet to discover the joy of hunting for (and finding) shark's teeth in the lagoon, finding old Maori canoes, thumping over dirt roads in a Land Rover, of having picnics on windswept beaches, of basalt rock columns, of finding a sailor's old chest filled with treasure buried in the sand dunes…..that, as they say, is another story.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy July y'all!

The above is what sunrise looks like around the causeway Ferrymead/Sumner - don't get me wrong, I don't often get up to see a sunrise. However, I was off to get my brother and take him to a bus station so he could travel. Even tho' it was very cold, I thought it quite beautiful.

And, a few posts back when we did the Albums thingywhatsit - how could I have forgotten Cold Chisel. Yes, I know - they're Australian (for those who don't know this, that means that they are a neighbouring country to ours, NOT part of our country). Grand band all the same.