Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making waves

We were woken to the reoprts of a Tsunami in Samoa, reports of a major earthquake having started 8.3 you oculd say that was a decent shake!

My mum lives near the coast (about 3 hours south of here, not in Samoa) and she said the local Civil defence used the matter as a training exercise and they had the warning siren's going most of the morning, with radio updates to match. She's 76...running is not an option for her. I suggested they go to the pub up the hill for a long lunch! She was very matter of fact about it, they would be fine afterall the CD was only predicting an extra metre swell (which would coincide with high tide but no...she'll be right!)...the kind of stiff upper lip reaction that seems to go hand in walking stick with those who have weathered wars, depressions and other disasters.

I wonder sometimes if we are doing enough to toughen our kids, so that they will have the smarts to survive without their iPods, their Nintendo's, without takeaway food and without someone asking them what they would like to do in the nicest way cos otherwise we might scar them for life if we (heaven forbid) tell them!

As for me, even after several years as a brownie and Girl Guide I still can't light a fire without masses of kindling wood or even better a fire-starter block!  My kids won't learn much from me...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

For those of you having trouble getting your champers open from last week, you could visit here and see if that helps.

While you're off doing that, I'll mix up a tipple for this week.


4 large, fresh mint leaves, torn
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 lime, cut into quarters (or '4's for the Americans)
60ml Bacardi (or real Cuban rum if you've been thru Duty free lately)
1 cup ice
soda water

Place mint and palm sugar a mortar and 'muddle' - this is fun. If you don't have a muddler, try a shaker and crush lightly with the back of a spoon.  Transfer the muddle mix to the shaker, add the lime, Bacardi and ice and shake. Pour into a highball glass (do not strain out the ice) and top with cold soda water, and sprig of mint.

Kick back in the hammock and enjoy! This is one of my favourite drinks for a hot sunny day (which we haven't got yet, but I'm dreaming...) and this is a song that we also enjoy down this way! In fact, when we went to their concert they played this song and the crowd went nuts!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

I am going to keep it simple this week.

CHAMPAGNE - in honour of our All Blacks finally doing something grand at the weekend (beating the Aussies) you will need as many of the following as you can carry:-

 plus this , and this is what you do on down! The following clip is the only version I could find of this song, my fave version is actually by NRBQ but these guys do a fair enough job!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Meanwhile back in May...

You might remember that we went to Invercargill in May for the Oyster Festival. Finally have got some pix to show you, firstly and obviously the Oysters! These were only about 10 minutes off the boat, I personally don't like Oysters but The Stud adores them and scoffed up large. I can't tell you if they worked or not because this is a family show and also most of you are probably shy and bashful!

There was red wine available (and white also), which we had with our fresh mussel kebabs. I know, I'm a heathen - who has red wine with fish? Ssh, don't tell Gordon!

And then of course, more Oysters for The Stud and some divine scallops with coriander for me. Wonderful.

The worst thing about the whole day was the weather. Colder than witches tits and windy as Henry Blofield, the kids complained from the minute we got there until a few hours later when we packed them in the car and sent them off with their Aunty back to the warmth of the house, the TV, the PCs, the nintendo's...gah, how did WE survive outings with our parents in the old days eh?!! With grit, determination and fear of the odd back-hand I hear you all whisper??

On the way back to my brothers house, where we stayed for that weekend, we drove past this old Presbyterian church. It was raining when i took this photo, but in black and white you can't notice it really and to me it looks more like somewhere at an Oasis! Here's the untouched-up colour version...

It's Saturday night here, hope you and yours are all well and happy so to see you all out I have chosen my other husband aka The Boss...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ernie wants in

Isn't he handsome?

His paw is still puffy, despite having been flushed and antisepticed, he is taking the pills like a good boy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

That old classic, the COSMOPOLITAN for this week. It's starting to get warmer over here and that makes me think of a nice sunny drink with Vodka.
So, here we go....

10ml of Citron vodka (you can buy this or make your own - flavour plain Vodka with a wedge of lemon for about 7 days, just slice it up and slip it into the bottle, or you can mix it in a jar, strain and use! Voila! Vodka is very easy to flavour and you can basically use anything. I have used Christmas Tea before now and that gives a lovely Christmas pudding/spicy flavour)
20ml Vodka
30ml Cointreau (ah, bliss)
60ml cranberry juice (not just useful for cystitis sisters!!)
1 lime wedge
1 cup ice

Place all the ingredients into a shaker. Shake - don't you love that sound?
Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a twist of lime.

get your dancin' shoes on...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Out and about

I had a bit of work to do 'up-country' so headed along our beautiful coastline. Arriving in Kaikoura, got the work done and had some 'play time'. I took the opportunity to go and visit the Seal Colony and what a treat! Seals sunning themselves at low tide and they seemed rather unbothered by us humans with our camera's. Here's a bit of me with a sleepy seal. He just lay there oblivious to all the fuss until a woman with her young child got too close and then he snarled and waved his head about, can't say I blame him.

Then it was back to the city time, stopping along the way to visit funny places I hadn't stopped at before and finding this house that may suit Owen or Steve when they emmigrate?

Further along, and by now we are inland a wee way..Frog Rock. I am rather disappointed with myself as I missed the opportunity for free wine tasting at the new Marble Point vineyard. I know, I can hear you all gasping in disbelief but it's a long story, and basically involves me having to drive like mad back to the city (in the wee small hours of the morning too I'll have y'all know) with my work colleague who had been summoned by her family to the hospital as her mum is seriously ill.
Then, after I had dropped her off at t'hospickle, I went back 2 hours up the road and finsished the work we had started, and drove at a more safe pace home again. Stopping to admire the view at Waikari - isn't it grand?
Some days I am conviced I have the best job ever but that's only while I'm waiting for the chocolate taster and wine taster positions to become available....and here's a taste of a good Kiwi band!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

Hot Aphrodite

22ml ouzo
30ml Vandermint
22ml green creme de menthe
22ml fresh cream

Pour all ingredients into shaker, shake then strain into serving glass. I'd use a nice old champagne saucer. I reckon half the fun is hearing that ice rattle about in the shaker, don't you?

I hope you like this music clip, once you get past the chitchat the song is an oldie and a goody!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Ernie's story

Ernie turned up at our place on wet night about 4 years ago.

He is a tabby. He has a broken tail and a distrust of menfolk! I loved him straight away - much to The Stud's chagrin.
"How can you encourage that smelly cat?" he has asked me a million times in 4 years. While trying hard not to hear the Smelly Cat song from friends in my head, I just state simply "Look at him, how could you not?".

Yes. He is smelly. As he has a broken tail (which doesn't seem to bother him at all) he cannot lift his tail out of the way when he wees.

He also arrived as a tom, hence the huge head on him. Some in my family regfer to him as Melon Head, but I won't be naming names.

Over the years Ernie's time with us has been sporadic. He comes and goes when he pleases and sometimes has disappeared for weeks before arriving 'home' bedraggled and shabby looking, big woeful eyes peering through the back doors.

Before we legged it to Australia for Xmas he shot through about 2 weeks before we left and didn't show up again until March this year. I was so relieved and he was genuinely happy to be back. I could tell. Its in the way he looks at me you know. And he has stayed here everyday and night since then.

Last Friday he had been gone a day and a half, arrived back with a very swollen paw. What to do, he had just scoffed his dinner (he gets through a tray of chicken necks with lightening speed) and had limped off under the house. No amount of coaxing would get him out. When we got home Sunday, it was raining but within an hour Ernie was at the back door yowling plaintively. His paw still swollen. We fed him and off he went.
I was sure he would be gone for a few days, last time he had na abscess on his head and he went off only to come back almost proudly when it had burst.
However, he was there Monday morning. I grabbed him and stuffed him in the cat/rabbit cage and carted him off to the vet. They found no sign of an abscess initially so that meant an X-ray to check if his paw was broken or something. I threw caution to the wind and suggested the Vet give him the ol' snip snip while they had the cat sedated.

Turns out that Ernie did indeed have a very deep abscess which is only just healing. He has spent the week locked up in the kids disused playhouse, having a drain in his paw and recovering from loosing his 'nads'. He is not a happy camper at all but I hope he knows I'm only doing it for his own good. Now, he's been a fighting whoring machine for all his life - the Vet says it might take some time for the habits of his life-time to be over-ridden.

The Stud is shaking his head that we have spent $400 on a stray. He's not a stray in my opinion.
It may be the presbyterian ancestry in me, but I believe that the moment we started feeding him and named him we gave him an assurance that we would be responsible for him. He can rely on me.
He's my wee boy.
Look at him, you see what I mean don't you?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What a difference a few hours makes

Sometimes when you first get yourself out of the scratcher, it's hard to know why you bothered. I mean, weatherwise things can get a bit mean at this time of year down here. However, somedays start out like this (above), I took this photo one morning very recently...yes, it was foggy and cold but the park is only a house away so I didn't have to traipse too far. It's abit soupy and Jack-the-Rippery don't you think?

And then, about 2 hours later there I was at a worksite visiting and by then the grey had given way to this....
Glorious sunshine, blue skies and a few lambs in the paddock (and not a drunk in sight).

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

My last post may have frightened the beejesus out of some of you, so today I'm making you all a Corpse reviver by way of apology! So, are you all sitting comfotably? Good, then we'll begin....

Corpse reviver

30ml brandy (my next favourite spirit actually, best to try a bit first you know to make sure it hasn't deteriorated in the bottle...)

15ml Calvados
15ml rosso vermouth

Pour all ingredients into shaker, shake, then strain into serving glass. To serve, use a nice footed and stemmed glass - doesn't make a blind bit of difference to the taste but you'll look fab sipping it!