Wednesday 30 November 2011
Tuesday 29 November 2011
To say I've missed my UK mates since I've been home is to baste in the sour juices of understatement.
But tonight I was reminded of what friendship looks like when I shared plates of tapas and glasses of rose with Mary and Susan, former colleagues and two of the dearest women on the planet.
Susan has now decamped to the far north to grow veggies and live out her Good Life fantasies, while Mary and I don't catch up nearly enough. But when the three of us manage to align our diaries, we end up having the best time in the world. Tonight Mary let slip that her new photography book, which is published in June, features a dedication to myself and Susan, which must surely be up there as one of the nicest things anyone has ever said/done.
Call me a sentimental old fool but do you ever get the feeling that sometimes, just sometimes, you're in the right place at exactly the right time?
Monday 28 November 2011
Sunday 27 November 2011
Having been starved of a decent kitchen for so long, I am now making up for it, tearing through bags of flour and sugar faster than should be allowed by state law.
Today's count included a tray of chocolate brownies, which will be shared with the boys at work, and this raspberry coconut cake which was made in honour of my in-laws, Joyce and Pat, who came over today to admire their son's handiwork and to fall under Bristol's spell.
Later, a coriander and lime udon noodle dish successfully made the transition from the gorgeous Cranks cookbook to our dinner plates.
Welcome back Sundays in the kitchen, you've been gone far too long...
(Photo credit: ODT and Google Images)
Saturday 26 November 2011
New house, new dog, new job: no wonder I am marinating in tiredness. Today, however, was like being handed a ticket to an amusement park ride known as 'relax and enjoy'. There was some big ticket item shopping (DVD player, TV for the kitchen), a bit of socialising (introducing Bristol to our tenants), some picture hanging and painting. We cast our vote in the national elections and salivated over recipes in my ever-growing collection of cook books.
And then there were these beauties straight out of the garden: anyone who knows me knows I favour white flowers above all else, and these delicate roses make me smile every time I see them. They seem particularly taken with the vintage Dundee Marmalade pot I paid two quid for at a carboot sale in Cheddar in the UK (yes, as in the birthplace of the cheese) which now has pride of place in the upstairs bathroom.
Friday 25 November 2011
Thursday 24 November 2011
First there was the bottle of Thai fish sauce I managed to spill all over the place. The answer to how long it will take to get the nasty smell out of your shirt is, I fear, never. You also tried not to look angry when a lengthy rummage in my handbag produced several used tissues, pens, receipts, brochures for film festivals long past and hair ties; everything, in fact, but my wallet.
You seem like a terribly nice chap and I promise never to darken your checkout again.
Wednesday 23 November 2011
Tuesday 22 November 2011
Monday 21 November 2011
Sunday 20 November 2011
Saturday 19 November 2011
Yesterday we stopped being an old married couple with an almost completed house and two crazy busy lives and started being a trio.
This scruffy little bundle of grey fluff joined the Stephenson/Haughey whanau at around 5.00pm when we picked him up from the vet where he'd had his manhood removed. As I type this, he's sleeping next to me in his soft new bed, making the cutest snoring/snorting noises.
After 18 months of being doggy free, it feels good to open our home and our hearts to a four-legged bubs.
Following much deliberation, we settled on the name of Bristol, in homage to our last place of residence and one of our favourite cities...
Friday 18 November 2011
Thursday 17 November 2011
Tuesday 15 November 2011
Even though I was living in the UK when the first series of Downton Abbey screened, that particular train somehow, and carelessly, missed my stop.
But I have been riveted to the second series – quality writing and acting, deliciously dipped in a broth of Upstairs Downstairs. If I can ever escape the renovation, I will buy the DVD of the first series and play catch up.
Dame Maggie Smith, of course, gets all the best lines; I want to be her when I grow up.
Monday 14 November 2011
Sunday 13 November 2011
Wednesday 9 November 2011
“When you are in hell, keep going.”
Yes, I know I'm not being forced to go down a mine, or to spend hours in a sweat shop. I'm not in Liberia, or Kabul or even Greece.
My hell this week is being stuck on a goddam hamster wheel that is spinning wayyyy too fast.
I have my day job, a couple of freelance mag pieces to finish and now my manager from the new contract has given me a stack of writing and editing that can't wait for my official start in 10 days. Did I mention these documents are super urgent?
We're also in the midst of finishing the renovation, moving into the house (this Friday), moving our furniture from our rental property into the new place and doing a major clean of said rental property.
Fate has cocked its leg at me and right now, I'm not coping very well.
Blogging may be limited over the next few days as my mental breakdown kicks in. The next time we meet, I'll be in the new house...
(Pic credit: Google Images)
Tuesday 8 November 2011
Monday 7 November 2011
Sunday 6 November 2011
Saturday 5 November 2011
Friday 4 November 2011
Wednesday 2 November 2011
Tuesday 1 November 2011
Yesterday someone finally turned on the sun and in the space of a few hours I saw FOUR blokes with bare feet – two in the supermarket, one walking down the street and one in the bank (WTF?)
And we're not talking hobos or homeless folk but regular men who were obviously so confused by the appearance of the strange golden orb in the sky that they mistook the city for the beach.
I will admit that Kiwis are starting to dress better, but the can't-be-arsed choice of attire is still very much the default setting. I once went to a wedding where the guests looked as though they had either just rolled out of bed or wandered in from the vege patch. True story.
But not wearing shoes whilst walking around town? Not only is it incredibly unhygienic it's also a whole universe of wrong.
Seriously people, is it too much to ask you to put your frickin shoes on?