Sunday, June 28, 2009

The sun also shines

Jeepers it has been hard to find anything to post about these days. Winter hibernation is well underway. Jonty and I were commiserating today about the dire state of our collective well being brought on by sun deprivation in the weekends. Dull, cold, grey and windless - utterly dire. Reading over my last posts you would get the feeling that we were just living at the airport and feeling sorry for ourselves. This is partially right, however, there have been some highlights punctuating the weeks and weekends and it is time to let the sun shine in and forget about the crap weather. Having a terrible couple of weeks at work hasn't helped either. Wish I had won the 36 mill. I have drawn the curtains and have the fire cranked up so I can ignore the world outside. Sharing some highlights of the past few weeks.

1. Movie - The Grocers Son
Jonty and I went to see this film on my birthday. I love the movies and could go a couple of times a week so always jump at the opportunity to steal a few hours in someone else's reality. Set in Provence it is a pretty and evocative film about a son returning home to help his mother run the family grocery store and mobile grocery van after the his dad has had a heart attack. He is the 'disappointment' of the family so this is a bit of an ask and there is a tonne of under explained family history stuff going on through out the film. He brings with him his neighbour who he is secretly in love with as she needs a quiet space to study in preparation for entrance into a Spanish university. His brother, the 'good one', is living a 'successful' life but for the fact that his marriage has been over for years and his parents don't know. There is a raft of eccentric country characters and some good yuks but overall I thought the film was a bit vapid. Sometimes you can leave too much out of the film and it ends up being a bit dull. I think there is a balance to be had between block buster films that leave nothing to the imagination and this film which is entirely left to the viewer to interpret. Still, lovely scenery and the lead bloke and chic are pretty cute.
2. Upholstery
I have a new project to rush through until the end of the year sees the demise of adult education in New Zealand. The all knowing Anne Tolley (minister of ed) has decided adults, gifted children and those with severe learning difficulties are not worthy of education funding anymore and has just chopped it either all off or down by 80%. Yikes. Private schools, however, are feeling pretty buoyed with a giant handout of many millions. I guess those poor kids need all the help they can get. The bitterness of my anger for this old fashioned attitude sticks in my craw, as it does with the many 1,000s who consider life long and life wide education to be a fundamental for ongoing non-work related learning and skill development. However, there isn't much to be done so I am going to make the most of this last opportunity. Feel really sad that my sanity space and community connection opportunities are just disappearing before my eyes with barely a mention.
Moving on and back to my new project. It is my Granny's old chair that I inherited when she died 20+ years ago. It has been lumped around all 12 of my flats and is pretty shabby. Yesterday I went to Fabric House and indulged in some fabric therapy. I chose a fabric that is reversible but haven't decided which way to go yet. We are painting our bedroom a lovely light blue so this fabric should be perfect for the chair in that room. I know it will become a clothes horse within minutes of being proudly placed in the corner. Never mind.

3. Art - We love our gallery and had spent a few very happy hours visiting 'Rita' a few weeks ago. I think I might have swooned and felt breathless a few times. Bloody fantastic. I took a few pics of the gallery itself which are fun.

4. Friends

Last night we had a pot luck dinner with some friends, the theme being 'food from you childhood'. I think we all called our mums for family favourite recipes and turned up with everything from pizza to mushy peas, fruit sponge and savoury pinwheels. The only 'non childhood' ingredients were the wine and beer. It was a real hoot and I am still a bit full. Late night though. Has been a slow day today.

aah, that feels better. Blog therapy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just finished reading #18

Girl with the dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

Big books frighten me. This is due to the slowness of my reading and often the immense amount of padding hidden in the middle 50 pages. My personal theory is that it is all about publishers wanting to make bigger books for a higher price, or very bad editing. I digress. I had already attempted this book earlier in the year so it was with trepidation that I had another go. I loved it and read the last 50 pages in the ads last night, that's how engaged I was. I have a deep interest in books set in Scandinavian settings so there was an added layer of interest for me.

The story is about a journalist who works for a financial magazine and has just been done for libel by a very dodgy business man. Although importatnt to the plot, there is a giant family mystery waiting to be solved and another business man nabs the journalist to get invovled in solving this mystery while taking some time out from journalism for a while. There are tonnes of characters in the book and trying to remember them all is just not worth the worry. The important ones come to the fore, Lisbeth the odd but brilliant PI, Berger the journals and sometimes lover of Blomkvist, the entire mad Vanger family for which the whole story revolves around (and there are tonnes of them) and a range of other goodies and baddies.

Not a great revealing review, I know. The plot to me is less important than the enjoyment. The enjoyment is the great great writing, the clever twisting plot, complex and interesting characters, detail without too much detail and the setting. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a mystery in the modern sense. Shame that Steig died after only writing three novels. The good thing is that the next one is out and that it is part of a Trilogy so my newly engaging 'friends' will be back and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Amazing race Part 2

I bet you are surprised to hear from me from Queenstown! Would be a surprise if we were actually in Queenstown. Instead we are at home again. Second weekend in a row that our flight has been cancelled. Felt a bit like groundhog day. Turns out that being an Aussie airline the Jetstar pilots fly to Aussie rules and they don't land in fog so we missed out on our adventure again. Sigh. Nothing else to report.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Thank you to all my lovely friends and family for my birthday texts, cards, presents, phonecalls, wall posts, coffee visits and cupcakes. I feel the love and send it right back. Nice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amazing Race

Seated on the sofa at 9.30 this morning, Nic and I received the news of our day. 'Nic, come here and read this'. 'Sally and Nic's Amazing Race'. We read the first clue and ran to the silver car and headed out to Springvale Gardens where we had to do some letterbox number addition and then go to a house with our answer and get our next clue. Fortunately it was at our friends house, another birthday girl, from whom we received our next clue on bright yellow paper.

Head towards a road that is related to harvesting, find a big blue building with a map on it and say the name of the continent out loud. Ooops, in typical 'Amazing Race' form we had to take a detour on the way to get more petrol. After finding the Antarctic division of the NY Air National Guard we received our next clue from the 'camera man' in the back seat. Off to the airport to check in for our flight to Queenstown! Excitement extreme. HALT.....fog closed airport in Queenstown. Five hours later we arrived home a tiny bit deflated but still with a buzz of excitement. Yay Jonty for being such a wonderful person. All the work he put into this was amazing. Packed bags, tooth brushes, clues with numbered stickers. Just brilliant. Nic was beside himself with excitement which quickly turned to 6 year old boy boredom after hours in the airport. I must say I was having mild conniptions at the thought of heading away for the weekend with only one pair of shoes and not knowing which clothes I would have to wear, but I decided to go with it. We hemorrhaged more than a few $$$s but it was still an adventure....I think we might have another episode next Saturday. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Just finished reading #17

The other hand - Chris Cleave

Wow, this was a page turner. Loved it and recommend it. Interestingly, the blurb refuses to tell you anything lest the story be ruined for you. I think this is just a marketing ploy to make you read it, luckily the book lives up to the hype. Interestingly the Christchurch City Library catalogue entry for the book gives you the whole story in one hit. I intend not to but a brief flick through the plot wont ruin the story for you. It is about Little Bee a Nigerian refugee and her connection to a middle class English woman called Sarah. I loved Little Bee's narrative and her gentle admonishing of what is upsetting for those with everything compared with those who have nothing. It is horrific in places, funny as anything in others and utterly compelling as the stories unfold. I read it in four days flat and that is fast for me. Put it on your list. I think I would read it again, which is unheard of for me.

Friday, June 05, 2009

David Bain - Not Guilty

Wow, what an intense time this has been. Having a friend on the jury and working so close to the court as well as the media and giant nature of this case has made today's decision like a watershed. I didn't have a view on what the outcome should be although I kind of knew what it would be but on the face of the evidence I knew 'reasonable doubt' would be the key to the case. I happened to be at the pub when he came out of court and started walking down the road so I took a photo on my phone. It is a very tragic photo but I was there and love being on the tippy edge of something big and interesting.
Actually, this is almost embaressingly bad but he is in there.