Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two movies in two days must be holidays.  I could go to the movies everyday so getting the chance to indulge two days in a row is pretty blissful.

Firstly, Sherlock Holmes...
Loved it.  I am not a huge fan of the books and perhaps have let myself down a bit but denying myself the chance to enjoy the subtle brilliance that Arthur CD has developed in his character.  Holmes is a total geek and I would have to say I thought the movie version was brilliant.  Definately sexed up for the 21st C and probably lacking in integrity for the perfectionist but who cares?  I loved the pace, the detail of the set, the action and adventure, the relationship between Holmes and Watson and did I mention the stunningly gorgeous Robert Downey Jnr is Holmes?  I melt at the very sight of that man.  Although weather beaten and wrinkled he is still a gorgeous man.  Aside from my misguided love of a movie star, the film was just bloody good fun.  It was dark and mysterious and you can see the hand of Guy Ritchie in the direction with lots of gorgeous stuff happening.  Can't wait for the sequel.  Thanks to Jonty for choosing it.

Last night Alex and I got together to enjoy Julie and Julia.  What a sweet film.  I know some have said it wasn't 100% acurate in the portrail of events but it was lovely.  I went home and Googled it and visited the blog and even thought about making a few of the recipes although I am not a huge fan of traditional French cooking.  I like Amy Adams for her down to earth qualities and anything with Meryl Streep is a winner.  She was great.  Loved the love story of her and Paul, whether that was accurate or not, it was charming.  I suspect it was totally accurate.  I think I might have to persue some of her books.  I am sure I am not the only one.  Another good holiday film.  Felt excited to be out and about and in the imaginary world for a few hours.

Just finished reading #27

One Day - David Nicholls

Great book.  Funny and interesting especially for those of us of a certain 40+ age group.  Dexter and Emma hook up at the end of their university days on the 15th July 1988  (St Switherns day, by the way) and remain friends for the next 20 years.  The book chronicles both their lives on that same day every year and cleverly depicts context through popular culture, music and some politics of the time.  Most of all it is a great yarn,  about two people growing up through their 30's and 40's.  David has written beautifully and every word is in its place.  Loved it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Contemplating Christmas ....grandad

friends and family

sunny garden (you can just see the bbq spit roasting the turkey in the background)

pink perfection
Cruising in the garden
Nic's childrens table with adornment and'activities'

The haul
What you CAN'T see due to the need to abandon the camera for cooking and hosting duties
  • 2 x 1.5 hour Skype sessions with Louisa and Co in Leicester
  • Skype session with Jasmine in Dunedin
  • Chatting with Philippa in Troutbeck
  • Julian, Lesley and Ria enjoying pudding in the backyard in the late afternoon sun (yummy panna cotta, chocolate roulade (thanks Marie - Anne), fresh raspberries and strawberries
  • Present opening
  • The SPREAD mmmmm

    ...ending on a sad note, thinking about a young colleague waiting to meet the angels, people who can't bring together a happy Christmas for all sorts of sad reasons

Saturday, December 19, 2009

...and the winner is

...jeepers, that was something I hadn't thought of, having to pick a winner out of my friends. So, here is what I managed to come up with....K and A and Lou are my lovely friends and family and there are presents under the tree for them already. Peach is a mate and he wins the main prize because it was really funny and I REALLY miss him and miss laughing a lot at work. Now, Jus is new bloggy friend and is also really funny so I bought her a little something at Ballantynes last night, in the form of a decoration, that I think she will really like. So THANKS you guys for sharing your stories. I loved them all and each on had memories for me attached which is very special. So thanks again.

Peach, I need your new address pronto to get your prize in the mail. And Jus, same with you. I will set a thingy on the blog to send me a message.

Love you all lots

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nic's week

Last night playing the ukulele for the first time, singing with Emily and totally stealing the show...well I thought he did. This was the piano teacher end of year celebration.

If only bat made contact with ball, however, the energy and enjoyment far outweigh the skill right now.

Writing to Santa - '...can I please have a new school bag. Green please....'

Loving that Jasmine

Getting ready for the 'Hoedown Throw down' class party at Grace's.

Before we I sign off I want to say how much I love the first five 'present comments'. They have made me laugh and cry a tiny bit. Now I have to choose...eeek.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy 300th post Christmas

Hi my bloggy friends. This is my 300th post and as it is Christmas I thought I would send a present out to someone in bloggy land.

I don't have a huge readership but I know there are some regular readers who don't comment as well as those who feel moved enough to make a comment. I love hearing from you.
Please leave a comment telling us all about your most favourite Christmas present and why you loved it. In a week I will pick the one I like best and send you a wee Christmas pressie for your tree. (see, it is made of little people holding hands??? ohhhh)You can leave a comment with out being a blogger, just go anonymous and then we can hook up later.

Really looking forward to hearing from you all...Love Sally

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Social 2#

So, how has it been? Thanks for asking Jus. I have been trying to summons the strength to write about it. Like you I am fairly knacked. I have to admit out loud that I piked on a few things. Oh the shame...

Tuesday lunch, very fun and delicious and post upholstery class drink, very nice. Will post a picture of the chair sometime soon.
Wednesday - Party at Jasmax...very fun!! Had a great time, so great that I was late for my next bit and had to sprint down there without changing and also without my wallet that I had inadvertently left at home. Still, financially bailed out by Alex, I enjoyed the evening. Picked up a few books too. Lovely people.

Thursday - Bishopdale breakfast, Very pleasant. Sadly after a full on day at work, I piked for drinks outside at the Dux. Shame.

Then on Friday I piked for an early breakfast for Khrys but did catch up with her in the afternoon. Friday farewell drinks didn't happen either... got caught up at the pub with the people I was meeting with in the afternoon then had to get into work to pick up stuff for AFFIRM the next day and then Jasmine was in town. Shattered by then.
Saturday....a stunning morning at AFFIRM and then afternoon shopping and cooking for Lesley's birthday. Great night, a groaning amount of moreish food and bubbles.
Wayne taking an amazing amount of care in his drawing of what he would like to see in his Aranui library Our first photo wall contributor A photo wall close up. Very proud of this. Gorgeous Clare with the wheelbarrow of books
Saturday - The children at the birthday party. Of all the photos these are the only publishable ones. Not one adult managed to smile nicely for the camera. Love these little faces.

Sunday night was a repeat as we needed to get through the leftovers. OH DEAR GOD!! Seriously, I put on 1kg last week. Sunday - The gingerbread house (on Acid) I made with Nic, Olivia and Ben

Today! 12 stunning cupcakes courtesy of a supplier. Made by Cup Cake Parlour...the box looked exactly like this. I couldn't resist. It is just all too much, in a very good way. Heading for a lie down soon. More little gatherings are materialising and I know I am going to explode.
Sorry about the GIANT post but the next is my 300th and I want to save it for something.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Just finished reading #26

Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest - Stieg Larsson

Shame that lovely Stieg died. He is a hot writer. I so enjoyed this the last of his trilogy. It totally lived up to expectations and I can't tell you anything about it as you need to read the other ones first and I know you will want to read this and become an addict like everyone else who has read these books.

So to recap we have

  • The Girl with the dragon tattoo
  • The Girl who played with fire
  • The Girl who kicked the hornet's nest

And if you need a reminder, the books are set in itself really interesting, the main characters are a couple of journalists, a maths genius, some cops, criminals and a pile of others.

I read the library copy as the bookgroup one is in hot demand. Bookgroup dinner last week at The Crumpet Club was superb. Food delicious. Go there and enjoy the tapas and the puddings. They make the best desserts in town. Complex, refined and perfect.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I am a social person, I roam the halls at work chatting to people as I head for the loo or the staffroom. I do lunch, coffee, drinks after work and enjoy being interrupted by a phone call. Before Jonty I was VERY VERY VERY social, after Jonty but before Nicholas I was just social, since Nicholas I am not social at all outside the hours of work. It is the biggest thing that has changed in my life, time to socialise. So, it is with a modicum of sadness that I am sharing the extent of my Christmas socialising plans. My entire Christmas social calendar takes place in ONE WEEK!! For some reason my Christmas fun is squeezed into one little week.

Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming and I could organise a wide range of things myself to ensure my early December activity does actually link to Christmas. I am very grateful to have the following social events to attend next week. Sadly they are all, but a few, work related which tells me I need to sort my life out and start heading out at night and being a part of the world outside my work Saddo.

Fortunately I work with a wide range of lovely and engaging people so each one of my work related activities will be interesting and enjoyable...

  • Lunch with lovely Viv our most recent interior designer. Will be an enjoyable interlude
  • After Upholstery class...the last ever! We are off to the Fox n Ferrit for a pint. Jonty is kindly taking the night of work to facilitate that. Much appreciated.


  • Early evening Jasmax Architects 1st Birthday roof party. Not sure how this will go but I am guessing it will be friendly and stylish
  • Later evening Book group Christmas outing to the Crumpet Club. Will be loud and fun. Can't wait.
  • Early breakfast with the Bishopdale library team before we deliver a 'Roadshow' to them. Will be very nice. Great team, generous invitation
  • Early evening drinks and chat at the Dux De Lux with Aoraki LIANZA peeps. Not sure who is going but should be ok. Nice to sit outside in the evening sun if the weather behaves


  • Early breakfast farewell for Khrys at Upper Riccarton library - retiring to Hokitika. That will be fun. Also an opportunity to check out how the re-laying of the tiles in the library is going.
  • Early evening - farewell to Lovely Elizabeth a colleague whom I appointed some years ago who is feeling the pull of her homeland and heading back to the States. One of my most favourite appointments. I will be the Nana who leaves early as I know this evening could get very messy and I am not really comfortable losing my composure at a work related function.
  • Jasmine is also coming to town that night.

  • Morning - not strictly social but a day spent at the AFFIRM festival in Aranui doing some pre-new library- schmoozing with the locals
  • Night Lesley's 50th birthday party. This will be fun and the food will be delicious.

And that is it. I am sure more personal non-work activity will crank up but I think others are far more busy than I and have much more exciting and flash dos to go to. Might do a report back later. Actually I think we forgot to go to a cricket club social last night. Obviously we need to do some calendar work and get our act together.

So, what is everyone else doing to celebrate in December?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just Finished Reading 25#

Finger Lick'n Fifteen - Janet Evanovich

The sorbet course of my reading feast. I enjoy these books purely because the characters are the same and they don't change much from book to book. The stories are funny and there is always lots of action and silliness. Nothing much else to say except there was a lot of talk of eating and chicken. I had 10 pages to go before going on holiday so I ended up reading it in the car on the way to the airport so I could clear my palette for the last in the Millennium series....slowly working my way through that now...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dragon Fruit

Jus commented that there were no pictures of fruit from Tropical Fruit World. Good point. So I trawled my pics and found only one of anything resembling fruit. Here it is.....ta daaaa

Dragon fruit cactus plant things...dragon fruit is very delicious and if you grew them you would just eat them all the time. They come in various colours, we ate yellow ones. mmmmm

If you see them in the shops, give them a try

Monday, November 16, 2009


Home from what seemed like a very short break away. However, it was fabulous to spend time with John and hang out in the warm of the Gold Coast. Not a lot of shopping or roaming went on, just lots of hanging out and being together.

A week in pictures
Grandad's place from the plane. (the brick place) Yes, that close to the runway at Coolangatta

The view from John's home, our place was the next door apartment, our view almost identical

Grandad waving a flag of farewell, funny as anything - our place just to the right.

Birthday celebrations

Trawling the mall

Me on the flying fox at Tropical Fruit World

Mt Warning from Tropical Fruit World just over the NSW boarder

Jonty and Nic in the Mexican garden at Tropical Fruit World Goanna at Tropical Fruit World
Locals at the Tropical Fruit World

Playing in Buccaneer Bay after a long and exciting day riding the chutes at Wet'n'Wild.
A great fun day and no sunburn. Balcony

Fish hunting with Sophia at Muwillanbar

Handing out the sweeties on the way home

Monday, November 09, 2009

Letter from the Gold Coast aka two sleeps

We are two sleeps into our GC adventure and although I would love to share stories of wonderment and sunshine, I am going to share a story of motherhood.

One of the challenging aspects of having a son like Nicholas is that his need for sleep is about half that of a normal person. Since the day he was born he has never really reached the sleeping goals I had been promised as an expectant mother. At 6 years and 8 months x 365+ days, he has NEVER gone back to sleep after waking between 5am and 6am. NEVER! So, why would his father say to him every day of his life...'now go back to bed and go back to sleep'? I was pondering this as I lay awake at 4am listening to my MP3 player this morning. Why would his father say to him 'go back to bed and go back to sleep'? I guess that is because that is what he would do. Nic and I share some things and being woken after 3am means you are up - for the day!

So, Nic has been on NZ time since we have been here. 3am yesterday morning and 4am this morning. Yesterday he and I went for a morning walk at 5.38am. Home for breakfast at 6.38am and then a whole live long day ahead of us. As we sat on the balcony watching the ocean hours later, a van pulled up and the blokes sat there eating. I said to Jonty 'isn't this a nice place to sit and eat your morning tea?' He snorted at me and pointed out that it was only breakfast time. Really?, I thought. However, the upside is, it is dark at 6.15pm up here in the tropics so it is ok to slink off to bed at 8 after a snooze on the sofa.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

3 sleeps

Yep. Three sleeps until we climb aboard the silver bird and head for the warmth and brightness of the Gold Coast Australia. Yipppeeee. I am not sure I am going to make onto the plane without breaking into a gentle whimper of emotional tears brought on by tiredness and overwhelmed ness. However, for the sake of propriety I will hold it all together. Perhaps a few moments wafting through duty free gathering beauty products up in my arms and lifting the lids on smelly loveliness will calm my mind and remind me of the 6 days of baking hot bliss we are about to encounter. Aaaaah, holidays.

I am waiting with daily anticipation as I slip slowly up the library waiting list for 'The girl who kicked the hornets nest' (the third in the millennium trilogy). Imagine combining that big fat treat with trips to Wet'n'Wild and Tropical Fruit world. Getting to spend dollops of time with my eccentric and lovable father -in-law, hitting the shops and doing a bit of library lurking are adding up to a busy but relaxed holiday. Visit number five, it feels like a second home. Who knows, one day it might be.

Also, check out a new entry on 'places I go'.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Just finished reading #24

Novel about my wife - Emily PerkinsI bought this book for bookgroup hoping it was going to be a stunner. Considering it is an award winning book, I was a tiny bit disappointed. I could clearly see what the author was trying to do but I felt it lacked a little something for me.

It is written by 'Tom' and tells the story about his wife Ann who dies. She dies at the end of the story so thisis a posthumus tale. This knowledge contributes to the tension and anxiety of the story. Set in London it is well placed and you can visualise the places and get the feel of it. I think I missed some stuff along the way and I read it really slowly so was a little confused. However, looking back things keep popping up in my mind and I think I am still absorbing aspects of it. I think it was a little harrowing and very thought provoking. A few too many back stories left untold. However, not a terrible book and the writing was good.

There is a much better review of this novel in the Listener by someone who is much more discerning and obviously less distracted than me. I agree with most of it. (June 21 2008)