Monday, October 27, 2008

Labour day

If you are a regular reader of this little blog you will know that all summer I talk about the beach and the great days we have there and I make no apologies for that as it is just the best part of our life. Today was the first day of summer fun this season and we shared it with Ruth and Simon and family as well as Lesley and Julian plus Alex, Pete, Oliver and Joseph. It was a busy day with our neighbours coming and going as well. Perfect

This weekend has been a weekend filled with people and it has been great. Nic has collapsed into bed after playing for hours and hours all weekend. Here are pictures of some of the fun things we got up to...

Jonty's first surf of the season
Hut building with Morgana
Fishing with Alex, Owen and Rachel

Building with Oliver, Joseph and Olivia

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just finished reading #2

I managed to finish two books today. Reasons? Sunday is my 'sleep in' day and combined with a late night last night for Nic it meant no movement in the house until 8am. With sleet, rain and hail lashing the windows I felt well within my rights to lie in bed for a couple of hours reading. Jonty and Nic were up and the fire was on slowly warming the house.

I completed what I call a 'sorbet' book. The one you read between two weighty books. Something to clear the palette, light and refreshing. Today I laughed my way through the final chapters of 'Fearless fourteen' by Janet Evanovich. I have read all but one of the previous 13 titles....I skipped 13 as I just couldn't face the sameness of the stories. However, 14 was a bit more interesting and funny to boot. So that was my sorbet.I also managed to read another in its entirety which was pretty easy considering there were lots of recipes and travel notes - well written and sweet. 'The cookbook tour' by Flip Grater, whom I mentioned in my last 'George and Helen' entry, was the perfect quiet Sunday read. I did get very peckish reading it and had to stop and make butter bean fritters for lunch just to get through the book. Not a recipe in the book but a made up one seeing as there was no corn in the house. Met with great approval from the blokes so was a good attempt. Made a salad thing to go with it to provide a bit of crunch and semblance of healthy eating. Flip toured NZ solo in her Lada called 'Lada' to play a few gigs and decided to use the tour as an opportunity to collect some vegan and veggie recipes along the way. Consequently the book is an interesting combo of a road trip, musings of a muso and cookbook lover. Perfect for a cold Sunday.
I love libraries because when you get someone into your head, like Flip, you can go online and reserve the book, the album and whatever else you can find and continue the tiny obsession for a little longer. I am about to start another book but haven't decided what yet so will get back to you on that.

Now the sun is out and the boys are gone for a few hours so after reading on and off during the day, it is time to get stuck into the ironing pile. Ahh reality!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Wow, I am half a day through a special day. A day of annual leave all to myself. I have discovered the secret of 'at home' mothers and now I know why they would never want to go back to work. I am, of course assuming that most are at home because they can afford it and that shopping is part of the package. So far today I have dropped Nic at school and chatted to his teacher about her upcoming trip to Europe and North Africa. Sounds like bliss. Then I had to pop home to get Nic's lunch box which I had forgotten. It is not normally my job to fill the backpack so missed it. No problem though, nothing to rush off to so popped home and back to school for the delivery.
Then I took myself off to a lovely cafe near home (Piccolo) which I had heard about but not had time to get to. While I drank a fantastic smooth and entirely delicious (Underground Coffee) long black, I flicked through the pages of the latest URBIS magazine which I normally try to read for work but seldom get to. Got to have a brief conversation with a couple eating breakfast together. While sitting there I sent off a few txt's. Then realising I didn't have the credit card I called Jonty and popped over to his work to pick it up. No problem, nothing to rush to.

After a quick visit, kiss and cuddle with my darling I popped out to the French Bakery to pick up some pizza bases for flatbreads I am making for an Italian pot luck dinner we are hosting tomorrow night. While there I whipped out to Aramunga to get some bunches of gorgeous cream and red roses. Lovely! Couple of mothers there with small children enjoying the space and the lovely flowers.While I was out Ferrymead way I thought I would pick up a mask for the masquerade ball I am going to at the LIANZA conference next week. What fun I had trying all the masks on. No hurry, nowhere to go. What a pleasant experience. I also popped into the stunning Casual and Country design store. Being surrounded by stunning Designer Guild fabrics stimulated my senses and I left having spent no money but feeling very calm and happy.
From there I popped to the Mediterranean Warehouse to pick up some amaretti biscuits and then cruised home to make a lovely Ricotta and raspberry trifle type thing for the Italian dinner party. While in the kitchen I whipped up a batch of biscotti and some bright yellow lemon curd. Threw a couple of loads of washing on the line as well as listened to some entertaining and interesting things on National Radio.

Right now I am listening to Shona Laing chatting away. Might make myself a lovely sandwhich for my lunch. Loving this day. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to give up my job but now I know why 'at home' mothers walk around with relaxed looks on their faces and are a little smug as they congregate in cafes after dropping the kids off at school. They have a secret and it is all about having time to themselves. I have achieved in one morning things that would probably take me about a week of dashing from place to place getting what I need, baking at 9 o'clock at night and not spending time with my boys to achieve. I wonder what the afternoon holds. I think it will be forshortend with the school pick up only about 1.5 hours away. No worries, no rush, no where to be.

Please note: This is not meant to be offensive to my 'at home mother' friends and I know it gets lonely and boring sometimes but really, the good times are really good, especially when the sun is out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

George and Helen

I have had a busy week with lots of social activities and busy work stuff. I composed an excellent blog post while biking to work the other morning and for the life of me, have not been able to recall it since. This lead me to thinking about doing a post called 'Inappropriate thoughts' but thought it might get some very inappropriate porn hits. Anyway, the tenor of that post would have been the constant stream of thoughts popping up just when I don't need them. Example: thinking about what needs to be in my bag when I am about 100m away from home on the way to somewhere and having to go back and get forgotten things. Websites/houses for sale/phone calls I need to make, when I am on my bike and miles from any from of technology. Things I need to do in my lunch break at times that are nowhere near my lunch break and finally thinking about things I need to do at work at about 4am. What is that? When will my thoughts align with my physical location?

Now, about George...'The George' to be precise. I scored a free nights accommodation at said hotel and Jonty and I made the most of that last night. Very nice. About Helen. I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the Beca Heritage Week on Friday night. I took my friend Karen who was in town for the weekend and we got to hang out at the COCA gallery with a cross section of the architecture, local government and other heritage type people. Nice wine, nice food, GREAT music courtesy of the very talented and sweet Flip Grater (whose sister is a friend of Jasmine's).

While we were deliberating over Chardonnay v Sauvigon Blanc, there was a buzz and hustle behind us and in walked Helen Clark our Prime Minister. She looked tired, trim and toned, short and prettier than expected

She spoke for a long time, very knowledgably and in a very relaxed manner,

She had very cute security guys and was rushing to catch a plane so whipped out pretty quickly

Whether you like her or not and aside from the fact that it is election year, I was kind of tickled to see the PM up close.

Check out the events this Heritage Week and enjoy something interesting and different in your life. The theme is 'Retrospective' and here are a couple of pics representing some 70's Christchurch architecture

Monday, October 13, 2008


I have been going to Taylors Mistake for about 45 years and yesterday was just another day at the bach. There was a nippy easterly wind blowing so the beach was quite deserted and I am sure everyone else who did decide to go to the beach was thinking that Saturday would have been the go. It was a perfect beach day. However, I was having a blissful day of another type with the market, delicious food and wine and the company of my oldest friend. Where I am going with rambling is - how refreshing it was to see the beach from a different direction. Walking the cliff path isn't new for me but with the spring flowers and the air cleansing breeze it looked shiny, green and new. By approaching from the cliff top and not the road, Nic and I had a fantastic walk and discovery trek. Gorgeous!! And this is what we saw.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just finished reading #1

Six Suspects - Vikas Swarup
One of the most lingering and enjoyable books I have ever read was the last book written by this author, called 'Q and A'. It is the only novel I have seen Jonathan read and he loved it. Everyone in our book group loved it. I loved it! Mind you being a real fan of Indian fiction I was a push over.
This latest book is much longer and follows the successful formula of weaving a complex tale of six different characters and the reason they were at the party at which the host is murdered - shot. The six people in the room with a gun are the suspects. From early in the novel we know this and through various methods we discover, over 400 pages, how each of the diverse characters end up at the party and ultimately the holding cells at the police station.
Although not as fantastic as 'Q & A', I really enjoyed Six Suspects as Vikas is a great writer, but I didn't LOVE it. Still worth the many weeks it takes me to read a book. Now I am on to something amazing but will have to tell you about it in the next instalment of 'Just finished reading...'

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Book group

I hosted bookgroup this month. The way it goes is that the host buys about $110 worth of books, makes some yummy nibble, gets the wine in and makes a cake type thing for coffee at the end of the night. It is great fun and a monthly social event that I really look forward to. We had a full turn out at our place and it was a bit of a tight squeeze in our little house. Nic couldn't work out why there was so much noise - how could 10 women be reading books together so loudly? Of course there is no reading but lots of talking and laughing...yay.

However, we do talk about books a lot and here are the ones I bought for the group this month.

How to look at a painting - Justin Paton

The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society -Mary Ann Shaffer

The Art of racing in the rain - Garth Stein

The other hand - Chris Cleave

I didn't pick any of these to read and now I have to rush off to work so will chat more about the books later in the day.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Tonight, in lieu of anything else to do other than watch tv, do the dishes or get an early night, I have been playing around with my blog template. I thought it was time to move away from the over-worked colours and go for something simple. Thought I would start changing the pictures more often on the right and also added a list of labels. I am not sure if many people come and visit, but if you do, I would love to know if you like the new look, or not.