Friday, December 31, 2010

The sands of time are flying again

This year has sure been one heck of a ride. We've had personal tragedy, we've had earthquakes, mining disasters and floods...and you know what? We're still standing.

Thanks to all who have visited and commented and cared, much appreciated. I wish you all a happy, safe and wonderous New Year with new things round the corner and those you love close by.

Cheers everyone, here's a poem that we read at our nephew's funeral earlier this year (jhas it really been six months??) and I think you will find it an inspiration for the following years to come.

So, charge up your glasses (those regular visitors here will have theirs at the ready, for any newbies there's a glass on the bench, help yourself...) and singalong to this ol' late night favourite. Happy New year. xx

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not so silent Sunday

Had a lovely Christmas day, sunshine and family and chocolate and bubbly - what's not to like!?

What we didn't like were the 3 aftershocks during the night and the belter that got us outta bed at 8am! I feel so sorry for those families just a street away from us with port-a-loos still and those round the river, am betting they spent the night huddled under their tables again. I have checked GeoNet and the biggest one was 4.2 followed by a 3.7 half an hour later, then a 2.7 which we felt as it was quite shallow. The 3.8 at 8am was the last straw for us, time to get up! The New Teen was already in osition in her doorway, all sleepy eyed and cross that the perfect Christmas had hit a bump. I think we've been slowly getting used to NOT feeling the shakes as much and now we're slightly back on egde. Mind you, as my Grandmother would say "Worse things happen at sea".  PS Since posting this we have had several more shakes, so far we have had 11 since 2am....

I tried to get some photos of the blood moon the other night, but too cloudy. Did manage to get some nice pix of them!

The deep pink was captivating. Anyway, in honour of the kinda night we had - enjoy this music from our Aussie 'cousins'....and a happy Christmas to you all, where ever you are.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

I am guessing that no-one wants to hear about our 32 degree heat today? No?

Ok, how about this then....

Red Passion Lemonade

5 parts Alize Red Passion
2 cans of lemonade
1 whole lemon

Cut the lemon into wedges, fill a glass bowl or jug wuith ice. Add ingredients, pour into tumbler and garnish with mint tip. Chill-ax!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

 On Saturday we scattered our beloved 17 year old nephews ashes in the hills above our city. On one side of the (above photo) hill you can view the Port and out to sea, keep swimming and you will eventually get to South America!

To the other side (above) are views over the city and on to the nearby Mountain ranges. There wasn't a breath of wind, and as we laid our boy to rest 3 bell birds suddenly shot out of the bushes, circled around and 2 flew away with one remaining for about 5 minutes in a cabbage tree overhead, almost like it was checking to see if all was well before it too flew away. Just lovely.

Rest easy, Matt. We love you and miss you so much.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

Happy Margarita Day!

30ml Tequila  (why did the Mexican throw his wife off the bridge?)
15ml fresh lime juice (sure, use the bottled stuff but you can tell the difference)
30ml Cointreau or Triple Sec
salt for glass rim

Rub rim of glass with lime slice, then dip in salt to coat the rim. Pour all ingredients into shaker, shake, then strain into serving glass. I use wide rimmed Margarita glasses but a champagne saucer would do. Garnish with lime slice. And yes, I know...I know, you just wanna kick back, glass in hand and SING ALONG TO THIS...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A significant day

Happy birthday to me. 

Apparently I used to go nuts to this song! Some might say I have stayed that way.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

OK, so we're starting to edge towards the silly season and I thought, let's start with the Christmas Cocktails! Usually by now I have started to flavour my vodka with Christmas tea - try it, you will find the vodka gets that Christmas pudding kind of taste and it's actually quite nice!

However, this one will get your glow on....

Candy Cane Martini

  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • crushed candy canes for garnish
Rim a martini glass with crushed candy canes. Mix vodka, schnapps, and club soda with ice in a cocktail shaker; strain into prepared glass. Too many of these might turn you into the Christmas Ho Ho Ho so take care, you know what they say about Bad Girls....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tragic, sad outcome

Rest in Peace, guys. Let's hope the media circus we have seen here lends respect to all those involved in this complete tragedy. Let's hope the families find strength to carry on.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not so Silent this Sunday

I am breaking my silence today to ask you all a favour.

I have some friends in big trouble. My friend is the Safety Manager at this place, and he has one son who managed to get out but another son still trapped. Also, as you have read there has been another tragedy to strike this family.

I also have another friend who works there, and I haven't heard from him so no idea if he is trapped or away on holiday.

Please send warm fuzzies, prayers or whatever is your bag to this community. We lived in Greymouth while growing up, and it is indeed a small but feisty place. I visit there for work these days and I love it. You can smell the coal dust in the air, it gets into your blood. I took the photo below on a road heading towards where the mine is.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh woe

I used to be able to read a book a day (well, almost). For some reason these days I am lucky if I even get to skim over the cover to see if I even want to read it. I have several half started (finished?) books in various sunny spots round the house, but I cannot settle down to read.

I have no idea why that should be. How can I get my reading mojo back? I love a good read, always have. 

I can recall as a teenager I would often be found in my room, reading away, (and ok yes nibbling on crackers or cabin bread spread thickly with butter and Vegemite). That was my thing. Clearly I was far too soft on my parents. 

I can only hope that the Scowly Teen (pictured below aged 2 years old) takes after me....

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Garden

I love Blue in gardens, always, always will. This year the cornflowers seem very blue....

the Japanese Maple appears even redder, rustier....

and the "rhodo's" even pinker! Maybe we're more appreciative this year, having gotten through the earthquake ok? Ok, so we're still having aftershocks (and the one last night at 4.5 was a nice reminder of who's in charge around here)

But THIS is the kind of blue I can really go for!! And yes, that is in our back yard....I knew he would come and save us.

And now for some classic Kiwi stuff! Enjoy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Hello, my name is Amanda and it has been 4 days since my last big shake.

The earthquake commission people called round today and inspected our cracks (!!!) and broken stuff.

We are very thankful things are not as bad as they could be.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

I'm feeling a tad fruity today, let's have a Rockmelon Dream!

30ml Galliano
22ml Maraschino
30ml fresh orange juice
30ml fresh cream
3 scoops rock melon

Pour all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth, then pour into serving glass. This looks fabulously rich in a champagne glass. Then I will slink off to the hammock and use a foot on the ground to gently rock back and forth to this tune....(and when I wake up I WON'T be at my desk, slaving away for the man....)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

Crikey, after the past 24 hours I reckon I'll need a tripple tipple!

Yesterday morning we had a 4.1 to remind us the earth is still moving, then this morning we had several then a 4 then within half an hour we had a 5. In our building it felt bigger than that, but it was quite shallow and close to the city hence the feeling of "OMG".

If anyone has a palace in Tuscany that isn't being used at present, I'm sure a contender for housekeeper!! (Actually, I could almost settle for an unwanted, up turned compost bin just as long as it doesn't shake, rattle or roll..)

Gloom Chaser

30ml Grand Marnier
30ml orange curacao
30ml lemon juice
7ml grenadine

Pour all ingredients into shaker, shake then strain into serving glass. I'd use a champagne saucer if they weren't all broken! Decorate with an orange twist.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Today has not been a good day. Today I went to farewell a very good buddy of longstanding. He died of a massive heart attack, unexpectedly. We're in shock.
BC, you taught me so much and I didn't even know it. I will miss you so much, that crazy laugh that you could hear miles away, that love of Guinness (well, you're Irish!), your stong principles and endless fear when protecting what you stood for, very proud Union man. You have left us all with big boots to fill but we're the richer for having known you. Its been an honour, BC.

This one's for you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

I've got a ruddy doze and I'm only up for tea....white, no sugar. Thanks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Feeling Blue?

Blue sky and blue water, old blue building, and old Blue Hotel....
many ways to be blue and Barnesy does it best (with this song co-written by our very own Kiwi Classic Neil Finn)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Moggy Monday

My Cat

- by Amanda Stephens

My cat likes to hide

My cat likes to ride

My cat likes to sleep

My cat likes to peep

My cat creeps.

My cat likes to roll and run

My cat likes to have fun

My cat likes to clean his paws

My cat likes to sleep in drawers

My rumbustious cat SNORES!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, the Scowly Teen was not so scowly. 

The end.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

Greetings from the Land of Shaking and Not Stirred, rather like my cocktails if you think about it. I rarely stir them.

Yellow Bird

30ml Bacardi
22 ml Galliano
22 ml Cointreau
22 ml fresh lime juice

Pour all ingredients into shaker, shaaaaaaake, (if you're in Christchurch this will be easy) then pour into serving glass. I'd use an old-fashioned glass with a slice of lime in the drink. Then I'd sashay on over to the nearest hammock and flop down, with one leg dangling over the side I'd gently rock myself to the bottom of the glass....before starting again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Am feeling rather wistful today, no special reason really. The sun is shining, we had a flurry of snow for about 2 minutes yesterday, car was iced over this morning but all good now and no aftershocks that we have felt. Things should be on the up and up.

I've been fossicking about on YouTube lately, and have rediscovered a group I had forgotten about. I can't say they are a band because they aren't really a band, they are a group of Kiwi musicians who get together to play live only and as a result have varied styles whenever they get together so you can't even 'peg' them as any particular type. Here, have a listen to these two different tracks and you will see what I mean.

Laddles and jellyspoons - I give you "FLY, MY PRETTIES"....

Pretty good, and no brass section! You could imagine sitting in a groovy bar and having a grand time out with this group eh?

Now, try this one...this is for the wistful bit in me today. I think I will dedicate it to someone in the 'states who is going through a rough time at the moment. You know who you are!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Tipple

How boring I am, I had to search out this topical tipple....looks like a nerve-steadier to me! I have to say that the aftershocks are subsiding, we get the odd one or two but they are now 'spaced out' and I think people are less on edge than they have been, I know I am!

So, I hope you've all got your torches at the ready, stout walking shoes nearby and a good supply of fresh water....kick back and enjoy this new one from OpShop. They would be one of my favourite Kiwi Bands (and not least because one of my friends 'discovered' them). This is a track off their new album.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wellington Visit

A mere 3 days before the earthquake struck, I had the blessed fortune to be in Wellington for work. I stayed the night as I had 2 meetings, and took advantage of it being Pixie's birthday. We went out. yes, on a Tuesday night! On my way to meet Pixie at a bar, I found these ol' birds....

Later in the quaffing procedure we ventured past this old Lady of the Evening, once called Aqua Vitae, now named the GP...

and this poor ol' sausage, once a regal bank building and now a fast food joint.

These youngsters have no respect for the elderly!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silent Sunday

I'll break my silnece rule for today, I figure if the Carmelite nuns had to break their vows of silence last week  ("Get under the doorway, Sisters!") then it's ok for me to do it today.

The above website is a cracker, if you'll excuse the pun. And so is this one, it keeps us up todate (incase we miss the odd aftershock) and helps with our scoring of them - yes, we have wee cards that we hold up score like and the one with the closest to the richter scale gets a prize! Play along at home!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bye bye Chimney...

A bit of relief yesterday when the wonderful Fire Service boys arrived to push over our chimneys, we had been spending the week convinced that the next aftershcock would send them tumbling into either our bedroom or the neighbours bedroom! Up the ladder, one of the Firemen fastened a noose around the neck of the chimney. The noose was made of a fire hose, very McGyver! The everyone incluing us grabbed and pulled and over she went, Bruce. No damage to the houses at all and only a biot of a crack in the neighbours driveway and a few splintered bits on the fence, we couldn't believe it. But the Fire Service assured us they had done a few of these lately so knew exactly where to get it to fall.

The remaining bits of brick sit there like a sad tooth stump. It has since been covered and someone will be calling round eventually to sort it properly. Tally ho and off to the next chimney which miraculously they saved. Albeit the thing resembles a soldier form the Civil War the way it's splinted and wrapped but the Fire Boy reckoned it would stand anything that ol' bag mother nature feels like hulring at it! Great.

The kowhai is flowering. And without the worry of the chimneys going 'thump' in the night, we can sleep which means life is good.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Shaken but not stirred

Hey just a quick message, we're fine. House is a mess but we have teenager girls we can blame for that!

We have 2 chimneys that may topple any minute, depending on the aftershocks. Just got power restored hence we can get this message out. The size of the quake keeps being reported as either 7.4 or 7.1 depending on which station you listen to. Suffice to say, it shook like hell!!

Our fireplace 5 mins after the 'shake.

Our corner dairy, about 150 metres from our place.

Many roads around here like this, mud/silt/water everywhere.

We're very lucky, for some reason pockets of the city are not as bad as others. In some areas one side of the street is a bomb site and the other looks almost untouched.

It was super scary, The Stud and I could hardly stand, ended up crwling across the floor and being thrown against the bedroom furniture. The Scowly Teen and the New Teen were spooked, stuff fell on us while we tried to get to them. The Stud has an injured ankle but is fine really. I have an injured wrist but can still hold my wine glass!

Our backyard was awash as the pool did it's thing throwing water out. The rabbit hutches stayedupright (good news for when you immigrate Steve!)

In the city itself fire has broken out and shops have fallen over, lot of old brick buildings here anyway so wasbound to happen.

The after shocks are nerve wracking and have been up to 5.1 so you can feel them, although there are heaps smaller than that and some of us feel seasick with the motion. bridges have collapsed round the road from us, and the river looks murky!