Friday, April 30, 2010

Just finished reading #33

Recipe for Life - Nicky Pellegrino

I am not normally drawn to these kinds of books but I would have to say I really really enjoyed immersing myself in the world of Southern Italy, gardens and busy restaurants.  This is just the kind of book to help you get out of your own head and enjoy a romantic journey.  When I say romantic I am using a small 'r'. The kind of romance that sets your mind wandering to travel, warm water, delicious food and interesting and yes steamy people.  The story is told from the point of view from Alice the main protagonist and Babetta, a lovely old woman her neighbour in Italy.
The plot is not amazing but the characters and setting take care of that.  I wont go into it because it could ruin it for anyone wanting to read it.  If you want a really good beach read as winter sneaks up on us, transport yourself to Italy.  Finally, I enjoyed reading a book that didn't have any tension or menace, a nice change.  Thanks Alex for buying it for bookgroup.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tears and Happiness

ANZAC day is always a sobering day.  Nic and I went to the New Brighton parade and these are his photos
Then we met our lovely friends Karen and Justy for breakfast at the Globe for a short but fun catch up.  The food was pretty average though, not sure what that was about, probably wont go again.  Sorry Globe, always been a fan.
Nic took the photos and I would have to say they are pretty good.  Especially this one. Not sure how he managed the movement and the still. 


Does this movie poster give you the impression you are going to a menacing and rather harrowing thriller? No, me neither. Having missed out on the film we were going to see, Alex and I made a split second decision to see this. Looked great on the poster. Little did we know -a) we were going to be in the front row of the cinema about 2m from the screen, b) there was a lot of hand held camera work, c) it was going to be so suspensful, especailly for mothers!! Even dreamy Colin Firth did not help, although, he did kind of. What is it about that man?
Other news...finished my first assignment.  The agony.  Will start the next one soon but have a few other bloggy things to do first.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just finished reading #32

Not finished reading this very minute but over the last few months I have been reading as slowly as a girl can and this has not been that satisfactory. I have also had the pleasure of being read to by Nic and Jonty as we work our way through Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkahban. At any age there is nothing better than listening to a story. I love watching Nic absorb the story and his reactions to events and characters. Anyhoo, what grown up books have I read lately?

Old City Hall - Robert Rotenberg

Canadian set in Toronto, it is the story of a murder that leaves a famous radio show host speechless. Unable to or unwilling to? From there unfolds a wonderful webbed story that slowly unveils the mystery. Each chapter focusses on the case from the perspective of all those involved from both sides of the case.
I am probably not selling this really good book that well. I really enjoyed it for lots of reasons including the interesting and ever developing characters, the story and the location. My first Canadian novel! Yes, really. If you follow this link and you will find a much better book reviewers opinion. Is that a cop out?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I know I have mentioned it before but again, being at home is such fun and I have so much more energy.  I have had a lovely week off with Nic.
We had a bus ride adventure retrieving the keys from Jonty who had them at work so we could go about our business.  Went to 'How to train your dragon' - in 2D.  Special request from Nic, and a very good choice I believe...the 2D that is.  No need for more, it was perfect just the way it was.  Great film, based on a book by Cressida Cowell.
Spent a superb morning in the McLeans Island park mountain biking with Ruth, Olivia and Ben which was such fun.  Did the groceries.  A rare treat and frankly one that should be limited considering the hammering I gave the bank account.

On Thursday night I went out for dinner and then on to the Carole King and James Taylor Troubadour reunion tour.  It was a work related outing and a great mix up of fun people.  Such a good night.  Dinner was at Edesia.  Stunning food, service a bit slow and prices special occasion level.

The concert was amazing.  real musicians and performers doing what they love.  Lots of wrinkles on stage (and in the audience).  I have always enjoyed Carole's music but probably didnt think much about her.  She was a fantastic performer with amazing energy and mana.  James Taylor was adorable and soooo funny.  Talented to the max with the voice of an angel.  It is great to enjoy music in a bubble and not be distracted.  I should do that more often.

In all a stunning week off work (although I did have to do a half day on Friday).  I love my boy even more than ever having had a week of hanging out.  He is such a cutie.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Easter 2010

I love Easter holidays as I often say in my blogs and this Easter was no different.  We went south with the Warbirds over Wanaka as our prime destination.  I have wanted to go for many years but have not made it.  Jonty has been before though and it was he who did the extensive search for accomodation, leaving us in a tent at the Lake Hawea motor camp.  Forgot to take a photo of that but it was gorgeous and a very pleasant place to be.  We had such fun at the show but sadly as I was taking photos, there are few good ones of the planes.  Nic got some good ones as he managed to squeeze up to the fence line and see the action from a great vantage point.  Our new tiny tent lived through an amazing 7 hours torrential downpour, the likes of which Christchurch has not seen for many seasons. 

I am playing with Google Maps to show you our journey.  This looks like fun.  I haven't managed arrows and some of our places aren't actually on there but fun to try new apps.

View Easter Trip 2010 in a larger map

Here are some pics from the weekend....with some tiny commentary

Boy and Dog in Tekapo.   Due to Easter church services we were unable to get into the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Stunning day though.
Jonty and Nic at Lake Pukaki with Aoraki Mt Cook in the background.  I really need to put some effort in to using my camera better.  However, nice pic of the boys.

We had such a hoot at Puzzling World in Wanaka.  I am guessing we walked about 2km in that maze.  I was wearing jandles and am still nursing very sore calf muscles in my left leg.  Nic was very bossy!

Warbirds.  If you want to see some great photos of the warbirds then go to the website, linked above as ours were crap.  However, here is Nic in the cockpit of the Vampire.  Saw a real one flying, loved it.  Very Thunderbirds are Go. 


 Old Cromwell Town.  Gorgeous, if not a little hard to find.  Need the directional signs a little higher off the ground where people can't park in front of them.
Famous Wedderburn shed in the Maniatoto.  Stunning place.  Took many gorgeous photos of the area.  Just loved it and can see why my dad has so many fond memories of living and working in the area building houses.
Boys at the Ancient Briton pub in lovely Nasbey.  We stumbled upon, as you do when travelling, a weekend of bards, balladeers and bulldust.  Spent a great evening in the pub listening to folk songs and poems, meeting locals and having a blast.
Self timer outside the pub the next day.  Not a great shot but a nice memory for us.

Curling at Nasbey.  What a hoot.  This was great fun and I can't wait to do it again.  It is much harder than it looks.  We also met the NZ Olympic Curling Team Skipper Sean Becker.  Very nice chap.
Gold panning with a pudding bowl and a salad bowl in Dansey's Pass. 
Dansey's Pass.  Stunning place!
The Flying Pig in Duntroon.  Delicious food in a very pleasant setting.  Highly recommend a visit there if you are passing by.

Thanks for hanging in to the end of a very long post.