Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello Friends!!!!

We survived the earthquake.  All is well in Christchurch tonight.  I am working at a Welfare Centre as the CCC rep so I get to 'yay' or 'nay' all spending and requisitions.  Oh the power!! 

We had an horrific experience but we survived.  So far our friends have survived and so have our families.  We are in our home, a bit battered and very silty and we have no pwere, water or sewage but we are fine.   This is the first time I have been near anything elecrtonic in 5 days and I am so disconnected from the whole earthquake thing as we have no access to power.  Our friends and family are being fantastic to us as are many unknown people driving up and offering help and food as well as random people setting up sausage sizzles and lovely things like that.  Some people in areas with power have signs outside advertising washing machines for use.  It is amazing.  I am keeping a diary and taking heaps of photos so once we are up and running at home with power, I will post some images and words.

Love to everyone

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just finished reading #41

Mary-Anne in Autumn  Armistead Maupin

I have been a fan for many years but I am guessing it would be at least 10 years since I read one of his books.  Sometimes when you go back to an author you find that the thing you liked about them was the time and place you were in yourself and what this person represented and a revisit is not as fulfilling as you thought it might be.  this is what I thought as I was about 50 pages through but as the book continued I realised the characters and story just crept up on me and enveloped me.
This book is part of a long drawn out series called Tales of the City.  The characters appear in various strengths in each book.  I loved the way all the characters had a chapter and then they start intertwining.  And there are gay and straight and young and old in there.  Set in San Fransisco in an interesting community of trans and gay and straight friends of a range of ages all on a quest for discovery of some sort.  Acceptance, closure and sex and so on.  A nice easy and warm read.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The King's Speech

I have been away in Dunedin this week on a very fantastic communication course for which I am very grateful.  I went down earlier on Sunday so I could hang out with Jasmine and we went to the movies.  It was a dull afternoon so there was no summer day movie guilt.    I am a big fan of Colin's and for me it wasn't Mr Darcy that did it, rather everything else he has ever been in.  He is prodigious, taking risks and obviously flexing his acting muscles all over the place. A Single Man was my favourite film last year, and the King's Speech is right up there too.  It was a gorgeous film that was as much about a family as anything.  Loved everything about it.  All the actors were superb and I loved the 'workroom' scenes and the walls of that room were delicious.  After we went I remembered that Jonty and I were going to go together, so I guess I will have to go again.  No hardship there.

Just finished reading #39 & 40

Well, I would have to say that it has been the slowest and dullest reading summer for many years.  I just can't seem to get really excited about anything in particular.  Besides the Lee Child page turner in early January, I have only finished two books since then.  Sadly I have started quite a few more.  So all I have is a re-cap of the two finished items .In an unusual and very enjoyable twist, Jonty read fiction this summer and I tackled non-fiction.

Only two seats left - John Anderson (non fiction)
This is the story of Contiki, not a style of traveling I have experienced yet but an interesting story non the less.  We all love a tale of adventure and endeavour, especially that of a fellow Kiwi.  I enjoyed this read as the life of a company as well as a man.  It is not fantastically written but the story is interesting and fun.  I would love to be a person who gets an idea and puts it into practice and grows something fantastic out of it.  However, I don't think I am one of those people so love reading about people who have the drive and ambition to take the risks.   How all the ideas were developed and the lessons learned was  fascinating and I enjoyed reading it on holiday.  John Anderson is a good guy.

While in the holiday mood I decided to tackle another Nicky Pellegrino novel.  Having really enjoyed Recipe for life last year, I had high expectations of The Gypsy Tea Room and I was left a little wanting.  I could see what Nicky was trying to do and it wasn't a horrible book but it just didn't spin my wheels.  It is set in Italy in a lovely little hill town in modern times but it is a town with some old fashioned values.  The main character Raffealla is gorgeous and widowed so she is a no go zone.  Sent off to the big house to cook and clean for the visiting Americano get the picture.  HOWEVER, to the book's credit, it does not end the way you are thinking.  It has a lovely ending and in hindsight there are some lovely characters.  As I was reading it I kept thinking, 'I can see where the author got her idea for the next book'.  So, an ok read if you are fast and can spare a week for a light read.

I have picked up the recent Armstead Maupin, an author I probably haven't read for about about 20 years...and it is ok, but I will save that till I have finished.  I have a couple of goodies on the pile which I can't wait to read.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


We have just spent a fantastic week at our beloved Totaranui.  The weather was gorgeous and there were no cellphones, radios, television, lights or computers.  The most important thing to worry about was the weather, tides, and how to plan our activities around them, whether her it be snorkeling, rock clambering, boating, swimming, bush walking or lying around reading.  Didn't get a lot of reading done but oh well.  It was just the break I needed to restore my equilibrium. I am hoping this will improve my attitude and energy levels. Today I am back home and washing up a storm, scrubbing chilly bins, grocery shopping and generally getting sorted and loving it! Thank you holiday gods for giving me the sun, sea and summer we all needed.

 Nic and new mate Liam
 Friends passing by in their new boat plus Jane's unexpected family visit.  A lovely day at Mutton Cove.

 Camp food...bananas, chocolate and marshmallows in the embers...yeah
 Ella and Nic
 Fare-welling friends after lovely lunch at our campsite
 Windy walk out to our boat in the Awaroa Inlet as the warm tide come in. 
Cap'n Jonty