Friday, December 23, 2011

We are ok.

But sick of cleaning stuff up. House still standing. Come on Mother Nature, you Lemon-sucking Presbyterian you, leave us alone!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A few drops of rain...

Iris is in a purple funk
dew to rain drops on her junk

Monday, December 19, 2011

We miss you, Mummy

I consider that I have been a tough nut these past 15 months or so, until I drove past this sign the other day. Erected by the children of  Natasha who was killed in her workplace during the February earthquake. I sat in my car and bawled like a baby. And then I went to work. And I was actually thankful that I could.

Go purposefully into this festive season. Make everything count.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This day that is Thursday

I have a theory that the Christchurch rebuild is going to take longer than it should. We had a phone call last week from a very chirpy young woman requesting that either myself or The Stud make ourselves available for an inspection of the unit that had been installed.

Me - (eyeing up the heat pump on the wall at the house we are renting)what     unit do you mean?

Chirpy - the one we installed. It needs to be signed off.

Me - riiight, the 'unit' would be what exactly?

Chirpy (clearly irritated) - the LOG BURNER.

Me - Oh. You mean the one in our own house.

Chirpy - yes of course.

Me - well, not much point really is there? I mean, the thing was installed in the wrong place back in April, but since then we have had to move out of the place and it is all going to be demolished.

Chirpy - no, that's not on my bit of paper here. So when would be a good time for us to some round then?

(Here you insert the sound of a stifled screech from me)

Me - (Speaking slowly and with determination if you will) The burner was installed in the wrong place, you lot were going to come round to put it in the right place ON THE DAY of the June earthquakes. Are you with me so far?

Chirpy - Yes but I just need you to tell me when we can come round to sign it off?

Me - So, when the 5.7 and then the 6.3 earthquakes hit, your lot DID NOT come round that day nor since to do the corrective work. Actually, we rang and told you not to bother and you said thank you for letting us know. Now, the next bit is really important - THE HOUSE IS ABOUT TO BE DEMOLISHED. IT WAS TOO BADLY DAMAGED and we are not even living in it. You still with me?

Chirpy - yes but....

Me - no, there isn't a time that would suit me or The Stud. Sorry about that. Thanks for calling tho'....

Chirpy - so would a Friday morning be best? 

Friday, December 02, 2011

Thank goodness it's Friday

Happy Birthday to me...I have chosen the order of events carefully this year after the fiasco last year...

First, the rule is to remember to eat so there will be cake!

There will be dancing.....

There will be a modest drink or three to keep hydrated....

and cards, of course.....

and then unwrapping a present or two...

Ah yes, the joys of having a birthday this close to Christmas!
Cheers everyone, thanks for coming - last dance anyone?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

Tuesday is starting to be my next favourite day of the week! 


1 part vodka
2 parts Champagne
2 parts pineapple juice

Chill a glass with ice, then tip the ice out (it takes up too much booze room!) and add the ingredients - no shaking now or the Champers will spill and I won't stand for alcohol abuse! Settle back, and ENJOY YOURSELF!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The lack of new Dr Who episodes is getting to me!

My resident Whovian is innovative in her response to my lament about the lack of new Dr Who episodes on the Giggle Box (as my late Dad used to call the TV) and made me some Ginger Bread Ood (I really like the Ood).

In fact, in addition to the baking she also selected a Complete Series of Dr Who DVDs from TradeMe and conned me into buying them so we have been feasting ourselves on the episodes with Rose, and Donna (also known as Gobby in our house) - we didn't notice the first time round how funny the Donna series was, the interactions with DT are fabulous and I'm really enjoying the banter. The hapless Martha isn't a favourite - too needy and dumb according to the Whovian and I found her rather simpering and annoying (especially in the Shakespeare episode).

And then we got Rose the GingerBread girl, with a Darlek studded with M and Ms and a Tardis which might have been iced when too hot!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

I am in the mood for something fabulous today, especially in honour of my cyber-sibling's success in the photographic world! So, since I am in the Southern Hemisphere and he is in the North, let's have something I have always wanted to see as well as drink...


3/4 ounce light rum

3/4 ounce triple sec (or Cointreau...special drink, remember!)

Sparkling wine (or Champagne, this is a special occasion after all - (push the boat out!) for topping up

1 piece of orange peel

and 1/2 slice of orange for garnishing.

Shake the rum and triple sec together, with ice, in the shaker and strain into the champagne flute. Top us with the bubbly of your choice and squeeze the orange peel over the drink. Perch the slice of orange on the rim of the glass (if you can be bothered 'cos by now you will just be wanting to get it down yer neck!!)

Then, stand facing France and shout loudly "Cheers, Owen!", altogether now 1...2....3

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

I have no idea why, but I am in the mood for Vodka!

2oz Absolut Mandarin Vodka
1oz Triple Sec
1oz Lime juice (yes, use fresh - it's soo much nicer!)
1 splash orange juice
1 splash cranberry juice

Put ingredients in a shaker and shake (who would have guessed?) and then strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange slice if you can be bothered.

Then, toddle out onto the deck and slump into your hammock and sip as you listen to these guys....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

Let's see now, what is in the cupboard that we can shake about today then eh?

How about a DARK AND STORMY?
1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
fill ginger beer
In a tall glass filled with ice add 1.5 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lemon or lime wedge (optional).
Yes, that's hitting all the right spots...just like this group!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Music

Another shaky weekend...a 4.8 and several others thereafter with a 5.5 while we were watching the All Blacks play Argentina in the Rugby World Cup. I find it hard to believe how much we are still shaking after over a year! People ask if we are used to it all...that's a yes and a no. Yes because we know what they are, and no because they jump out at you when you least expect it.

Oh, I haven't mentioned that New Zealand is hosting the World Cup rugby tournament? Silly me, where are my manners, I put them down somewhere.....

Oh that's right, I have been distracted...these guys were part of the build up for the World Cup, apparently they had a blind referee (nothing unusual there eh?)

For the record, at the semi finals next weekend the All Blacks will play Australia and France plays Wales. Obviously our household wants the ABs to win. We do.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The colours in my day

Yellow always makes me smile, it's one of the happy colours don't you think? This tree is along the driveway into our temporary offices, and on blue sky days it is a joy to behold...quite takes my mind off the fact that any second and I will be at the coalface!

These flowers (possibly grape hyacinths??) are in full bloom at the cemetery just down the road from our temporary offices....they are stunning and quite a few of the plots are covered in them. I didn't have enough time to do a  thorough 'roam' around the plots, and quite a few of them have 'keep out/danger' tapes around the head stones. I assume it is because of the earthquakes having damaged the masonry and not for any other reason! :-)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

I've come over all sensible today - we're having a good old fashioned cuppa!
This is my favourite tea for the ordinary 'gumboot' tea time.....

In our 'old' house, I had a cupboard specially for my teas - I had all sorts from Moroccan Mint to Chinese Gunpowder to Russian Caravan, I have moved the cupboard to our rental place (no demolition man is gonna get their meat-pie mitts on my tea cupboard) and all I need now is to find the right cup to enjoy my teas in. 

Mind you, my dear friend Pixie sent me a new mug - red and white stripes to slurp from, all I have to do now is FIND IT! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Birthday Babe

It's my other husband's birthday today. He still cuts a striking figure as he downs his whisky and struts about naked in my head, tickling my fancy as he does so and singing loudly and lustily as a new born.

Happy Birthday, baby!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Whacky Wednesday

Such a sunny day here and I'm feeling sunny too so let's have a bit of silly stuff eh?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

OK, because I'm trying to keep life simple this week we're having a quiet wine and thats all...I'm sure someone will drop by with some nibbles. Feel free to take your pick of the cellar, it will be less for us to have to move! We are out of the motel at the weekend and into a 3 bedroom house rental, phew!!

This wee fellow looks like he could do with cheering up too, or a crash helmet at least! He was patiently waiting for his master at the local supermarket.

Now back to the wine, I would actually recommend a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, although it's not quite warm enough weather for me to have one today. I'll find a nice Pinot Noir instead, anyone care to join me?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The house I lived in....

So, the jury has been in and given the verdict...our house is to be completely demolished and eventually a new dwelling will take pride of place on the remains of our memories.

It's a new beginning for sure, even tho' it will be sad to see our lovely old house in a pile of rubble. It was built in 1923, and originally owned by a locomotive engineer according to the paper work. Sometime in the 60s the owners added a swimming pool which has been both a curse and a welcome respite during our ownership. The pool may well be sacrificed initially to make way for the wrecker and then the builders. New pool too then? Thanks! 

Our girls are weepy and unhappy - they have never lived anywhere else (unlike me who has globe trotted internationally as well as nationally) and it is hard for them to accept the premise that a house is more than bricks and wood - it is the people who live there, who love there, and it is the memories created there...we will always have those. And we get re-wired, and double glazed and re-insulated. Not all change is bad. 

So this weekend we will be carefully up-rooting the roses, and a few small trees that may be trampled in the demolition, take a few last photos of the way it is...

and then start planning the new place. We have a few things we have always thought we would change if we ever got the chance so it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good and the house we lived in will never truly fall down....

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

Such a fine day, started out all foggy but those days usually turn out to be a cracker like today! Sure, the wind is a little on the cool side but that means the ice in your drink doesn't melt as fast....


4oz Champagne (or Sparkling wine if you're budget is like mine...)
2oz Bourbon Whiskey
1 tsp super fine sugar
6 mint leaves

Combine 4 mint leaves with the sugar and a few drops of water and muddle well.

Add the bourbon and stir, strain into a Collins glass, add ice cubes and the bubbly! Garnish with the remaining mint leaves. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

Gah, where has this week gone? I'm all up-in-the-air, we have insurance company woes like the rest of the city and it is a slow grind getting straight answers from anyone. Plus we're still holed up in the small Motel, a far cry any earlier motel experiences I MIGHT have had when younger and more nimble.
Its enough to make one turn to drink!

Drink you ask?

Oh don't mind if I do....

Cabin Fever Cocktail Ingredients

  • icon One mug coca cola
  • icon Half a shot After Shock (black)
  • icon One shot dark rum
  • icon Personal choice ice
  • icon OPTIONAL tia maria


  • icon Pour a half shot of Aftershock Black into a mug, and then a full tot of dark rum *Captain Jack Morgan goes well, good and spicy*. Tia Maria is optional. Drop some ice in, and blast it with some cola. Enjoy!
    Half a shot of Aftershock Black is a good amount because it has a very overpowering taste in higher quantities. The fusion of dark spirits here makes a very flavoursome drink that can get you ratted :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tipple

Because I remembered...
Ruby Tuesday COCKTAIL 

5 Parts Gin
4 Parts Apple juice, fresh pressed (clean your feet please…)
2 Parts Lime juice (yes, fresh is better but go with what you have handy)
1 Part Simple syrup (no, not idiot stuff…3 parts water to 1 part sugar)
4 or 5 Whole strawberries
7 Whole  raspberries
5 Leaves basil (more fun than mint, and tastier too because I like the slightly peppery taste)
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with basil, raspberry and strawberry.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

I tell you, if we're not dodging quakes we're shovelling snow! It is thristy work make no mistake.

So, in a nod to our recent weather...let's make a Snowball!

Get yourself (and me) a high ball glass, put 1 and a half ounces of Advocaat into the glass over ice and carefully top up with lemonade.

Let the snow fight begin...I warn you tho' I have called in some top class assistance this week (and yes, this is a photo taken in our yard Monday night)...see....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Forget SuperTramp - its SNOWING again!

Just back from the park, the Whovian and I found another butterfly which I thought was dead BUT when we picked it up and held it in warm snug mittened hands the wee wings started to move......

and it is now in a 'jar ward'....

Our Whovian was 14 yesterday....she wanted snow for the day, the snow arrived last night and this morning there is an abundance of it. I have never seen this much snow so close to our last 'dumping'. I guess these are indeed unusual times. When I mentioned that Christchurch must have annoyed Mother Nature - first earthquakes now snow, the Whovian corrected me. "No", she said " Snow is our reward for putting up with the 'quakes". Her glass will always be half full, methinks! (Some clever clogs has also stated that Christchurch is like a snow globe, if you shake her hard enough!)

This time the propellor heads (aka weathermen) are predicting another 2 days of snow....not sure how happy we will be about that! When it melts with the silt it makes for some very unhappy houseowners. I really feel for those without proper heating and homes.

Driving to work one day last week through the fog. I love a foggy morning as we know we will get a glorious day when it has burnt off.

Things have been rather quiet on the shake front, touch wood!! We still get them but they are smaller and further between, am hoping we're out the other side of that event.

Meanwhile, back at the park....

The pas few weeks have been taken up with working, and the crazy world of dealing with EQC and their counterparts. Everyone seems to agree that our house urgently needs help, but standing about talking won't get that roof and walls straight. We're apparently on a 6 degree lean, and we can now also see outside along one of the floors in the front room where already the bay windows have come adrift...

I have never been on so many lists and had to leave so many messages on phones in my life...would it be too hard for someone to actually answer their phone??

Friday, July 29, 2011

Snow Rescue

It's been a funny ol' week, but the snow has been magical. I know - it's cold and wet when it melts...and there are piles of very dirty brown/black snow all over the place as the snow melts and mixes in with the quake silt...however, you find beauty in all sorts of places if you look for it.

I may have mentioned before about the park next door and how there is a tree which houses hundreds of Monarch butterflies...the other day when I was strolling through the park with my Whovian Teen making snow angels beside me, I found about 3 Monarchs with their sticky wee feet stuck to snow. They looked so helpless, flapping feebly and trying to move.

I 'saved' three of them....

and put them on a nearby camelia bush to dry out in the watery winter sun.

Sadly, the weight of the snow had broken a large branch of the tree and I found about 8 dead Monarch's nearby, including these two lying together which brought tears to my eyes (yes, even a hardened old hag like me can be brought to tears over some things :-)

If you enlarge the photo you can see that they appear to be holding each other. Nature, I can't figure her out!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Magical Monday

Our road this morning.

The TARDIS looking very grand, don't you think?

The Park next door...somehow came out in sepia even tho' I haven't touched the settings or anything. Just magical!
I do have a few heart stopping moments when the snow that has pooled on the top of the roof slides down and thumps onto the bottom story of our house...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Freakin' Fridays, Batman!

"Good morning", said Mother Nature rudely and wantonly. I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but she kept on at me for a good 30 seconds - first this way, then that. Honestly, she is insatiable. Unlike my nerves. They're like that extremely old undie elastic and have been worn through.

"Cantabrians can expect a few high 4s in the next few days" chirps the early morning Radio Chick. 

By now, I'm so cheered up I could just spit.

But wait, there's more. "The weather this weekend..." (I'm yawning now, disastered out? )

Have a great weekend folks, wherever you are. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am having trouble getting out of bed these days, not because everything is in the too hard basket and not even because I'm not really even in my own's just too darn cold!

However, driving to work yesterday morning the sun was doing it's best to warm us all up...certainly warmed my wee heart to see it like this through the trees and I am truly thankful to be here to see it.

It was one of the many mysteries of the universe that struck me yesterday...the biggest one being this and our Prime Minister's lack of response to quite logical questioning about it. "I'm not telling as it isn't in the nations interests" - say what?? Um, you are an elected representative buddy, you are sure getting paid the big bucks to be answerable to us all. I wonder if my boss would allow me to answer any of his questions like that....yeah, right. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Silent Sunday

As the sun sets on one thing.....

it rises beautifully and magically on another.....