Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Tony died today at 3.30pm.
And the sun shone on the trees as he headed off for his next adventure.

Clinging to life

See how this tree is clinging not only to the cliff but to life, despite having most of it's root structure exposed the leaves are green and the tree still upright.

This old winch lies dormant in Lyttelton, by the shoreline where boaties still come and go, their yachts bobbing about on the waves waiting for their next adventure. The winch a mere forgotten bystander to the past...

Around the other side of the winch, and providing shelter for a dandelion.

Any port in a storm?

A close family friend of many years is lying seriously ill in hospital. He was diagnosed with leukaemia last Monday and the specialist tells us there is no point in providing chemo, he cannot eat or walk or move without pain....the nursing staff are keeping him comfortable and have told his wife to gather the family round.

Even tho' the sun is out today the weatherperson is saying to batten down the hatches as rain, hail, sleet and snow are on the way this evening...a good night to sit by the fire, gather close those you love and just breathe...I like this song:-

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

This was a very nice drop which we consumed during the Wild Night Out.

The cocktail for this week is this:-

PERFECT LOVE (but I warn you, it does look like Meths on ice....)

30ml vodka
15ml Parfait Amour
15ml maraschino

Pour ingredients, one after the other, into serving glass filled with ice. Serve with a twist of lemon in an 'old fashioned' glass.

If 7 is your lucky number, watch out for this

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The weekend that was...

As we had friends visiting from Sydney we decided to head south and show off a part of the country they had not seen. 3 hours south, we spent the night at my mothers in Kakanui. It was raining and so we had to stay indoors and tipple.
I can tell you're all with me so far...

The next morning dawned dull and grey and raining, so we headed even further south to the beautiful city of Dunedin. I do love Dunedin but there are lots of hilly streets and so on, my youngest decided Dunedin was too "up" for her!

We visited the old Railway Station Building, the floral display outside was great, and as I love blue in gardens I chose this photo to show you!

From there we wandered about and took even more photos, the kids were delighted to be able to use their own cameras rather than 'borrow' mine. The entranceway was enticing, indoors is a sports gallery and and art gallery. This is one of the side entrances.....with a rain puddle (incase you're wondering, it was not me)!!

I could tell you about our wild night out on the town, but that may be the subject of another post. Suffice to say - we had a wild night out.
The next day dawned BRIGHT AND LOVELY! So we went to the Cadbury Chocolate factory, and had a mini tour owing to the fact they don't process at the weekends. It was great seeing all that chocolate, sadly we weren't allowed our cameras during the tour so I can't show you the giant chocolate-fall, but their website might have it if you follow the link. This is a photo of a Crunchie Mountain...

Then we went to Larnach castle, NZ's only real castle. Fantastic place but if you're used to seeing castles it may be rather smaller than you're used to. Can you believe it, but even tho' I have lived here all my life I had never been to the castle before. I am so glad I went as the gardens were beautiful and walking through the bush to get there was magical - birds singing and trees whispering, sun laughing in the distance.

All through the grounds there is an Alice in Wonderland aspect, apparently there is some alleged relationship between the Larnach family and Lewis Carrol that suggests "Alice" may indeed have been based on the Larnach daughter of the same name. The link will fill you in!
Poor old Mr Larnach didn't have much luck with wives, they seem to have died all over the place and he himself eventually died by his own hand - he was quite an important fellow in our Government circles and he shot himself in Parliament.

The view form the front of the castle back towards the city can be seen from the next photo...

If you (hahahahahahaha) 'imbiggen" the photo you should be able to glimpse the city across the water in the background. Just lovely, but isolated and no wonder one of his wives felt left out up there (he built her a smaller house in the city but she died of apoplexy not long after).

From there, having had a wild night out, we were all in need of a greasy lunch. Why is that? You have a night on the turps and suddenly you need a shot of grease to feel better. Or is that just me? In the old days, I used to have poached eggs with brown onion gravy the morning after the night before...if you could get past the fact that the eggs looked like Marty Feldman eyes your hangover would go in a matter of hours! I digress,
Anyway, we knew there was a fish and chip shop in Portobello just round in the next bay so off we went.

Of course, I got sidetracked by the 'cemetery' sign. Dunedin was settled very early in our history so the scattered grave stones are very old indeed. There were 2 that caught my attention.
This one, which entombed a husband and wife...

 No idea who is sleeping on which side but SOMEONE is hogging all the moss!

And this one, which is somewhat self-explanatory....

Come on...out with the 'stiff dick' jokes, I dare you! Actually, for the record there were quite a few Dicks buried  here, apparently there was a large family of them who worked on the Castle as stonemason' the left behind the gravestone above was another family plot whose name (in equally large lettering) is 'ARNOTT'.

And that was the weekend that was!

Something about being in the cemetery made me think of this song...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

A touch of Zam

22ml Sambuca
22ml Benedictine
22 ml Glayva
30 ml orange juice
15ml fresh lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into shaker, shaaaaaaake, then strain into a serving glass, garnish with orange and lemon slices and there you have it, a drink worthy of swilling politely from a glass slipper near you....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just another night

Just another night  (c) A.S.
(as observed at Molly Malone's, Wellington late one night …)

She’s a faded red head
Sitting at the bar
Perched up on a bar stool
Where the boys are
Sometimes, she smiles all night
Other times she’s sad
Hitched up on that bar stool
Looking for a lad
And when the lights
Are all switched off
And it’s time to go
You can see her in the streets light
Unsteady - still no beau
She’ll be back tomorrow night
Propped up at the bar
Hair still faded, heart more jaded
Still searching for
Shangri la.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Its funny what you can find...

Lynx likes the warm sunny spot in the glasshouse, hiding behind the Xmas spuds...

Not sure who named this stream, and equally unsure of it's accuracy....

But look who dropped by for a cuppa and a cuddle...

This guy arrived too and since we hadn't seen him for so long he had his name tag on.....

Uriah Heep was shocked to see him, after waiting for some time for him to arrive....

 It was cold outside but Paul was protected.........

Another supreme visitor!

Can you tell we had a fun weekend? Or do you think we need to get out more? :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Missing 2 year old


Have you seen little Aisling Symes

She went missing on Monday the 5th of October 2009 and naturally her family are extremely distraught. They hope and pray she will be found alive and well. 

If you think you saw something suspicious around Longburn Rd, Henderson in the late afternoon of 5th October, or think you may have seen Aisling since ….please phone 08004AISLING (0800 424 75464)

I know I seem to have a more international readership, but if you have contacts here in NZ anyone PLEASE help find this wee tot.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Community Service Newsflash - DON'T GET RABBITS!

You may recall those fluffy wee bunny-things we got last year.

Have I mentioned that not only have they cost a fortune with their ventures into DIY surgery, Daisy also has now developed a wonky tooth. This tooth initially required knock-out surgery to correct but we have since found that he tolerates a good old fashioned grind (of the tooth variety that is) by the dental instrument weilded by the Vet...they only charge $25 for this every month....yeah. You'll know me when you see me, I have 'MUGGINS" across my furrowed forehead. I mean, you can buy a fair amount of wine for that kind of money if you know where to shop!
Gah, for the record it wasn't me who wanted these creatures.

However, the youngest sproglette was keen and was going to look after them yadda yadda. To her credit she did look after them for about a month, and now will look after them if I am away from home but to be honest, I probably brought this on myself .

I should have been meaner "No, you can't have a rabbit" should have rolled off my tongue as easily as "No, you can't have an ice cream before tea" or "No, don't play on the road" rolls off my very same traitorous organ.

Now, these guys aren't even in the same hutch. We had to build a new one to house Gretel after his brother savaged off his dangly bits (which weren't even dangly!)

So, beware those of you with tiny terrorists amongst you, those small creatures who know how to tug at your heart strings are not always up to any good!
too so best be nice to them, just in case eh?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday Tipple

Ok, so I played up on a 'school night' and now even typing this is hurting my head.

Yes, it's true...old enough to know better (young enough to do it anyway) without further thumping on the keyboard and in deference to my Scottish ancestry:

Blood and Sand

30ml scotch whisky
30 ml rosso Vermouth
30ml cherry brandy
30ml orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker, and shake (but not too loud...pleeeease), then strain intoa  serving glass.

get it doone yer neck!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Finding out stuff

I have been digging about in the family closet lately, not for tidying up either, just to get a better idea of where my side the family is from and so on.

One of the things I have discovered while digging (other than the fact that a fair few of my bits come from Scotland) is that in 1885 my great-grandfather saved a young girl from drowning in Dowling Bay in Dunedin. She was 10 at the time and was with her father, and 4 siblings when the accident occurred and all 4 of her siblings drowned. According to the news report (written in fantastically florid prose) if it hadn't been for the extensive exersions on the part of my Great Grandfather, the girl would have drowned as well.  He was even awarded a Certificate from the Humane Society in a ceremony conducted in the town square!

That got me wondering whatever happened to the little girl, what sort of life did she have, did she get married, have children of her know, that sort of thing. So I set about trying to find out. She had a rather common name so it was very tricky to find her at all, but eventually I think I found her. If it was the young girl in question, then she did marry and lived to be 60 years of age but not without a few more sadnesses along the way - the tragic death of her own young son being one of them.

I have now been driven to delve deeper into the family than I had before, it is involving such internet searches as "Cemetery search" where you can find burial plots and even the last known address of the deceased but only if they have been dead for over 80 or more years - fascinating stuff!

Has anyone ever delved into their family past? What did you find? Got any tips to share?