Friday, 17 October 2014


It is with great relief that I announce that time has indeed passed this week in accordance with its usual practice and we have arrived at Friday evening after all.  It felt like we were in danger of missing the goal there, for a bit. 

As you were.

Monday, 13 October 2014


Had the first casual wine on the back deck of the season, this weekend gone.  It was a chardonnay I'd popped in the fridge in anticipation, waking on Saturday morning to a clear sky.  Two friends visited to check out an open home over the back fence* and we ruminated over the marketing material over a glass or two of wine.  I shared sunscreen with my visitors.  Towels were drying on the washing line, flapping in a gentle breeze.  Felt properly summerish and not a moment before time.


P had disappeared for the weekend on his annual migration to the river to 'catch fish' (for which, read: commune with nature in the company of male relations).  He did manage to bring home a fat trout so I think he's assuaged the hunter-gatherer urges for another few months.  Fishing has been a hot topic in our household, of late.  He's organised a charter to catch kingfish or hapuka over the Christmas holidays, as well as a snapper expedition with work.  I will gladly eat the spoils.

I'm planning the next set of work on the house.  I booked a plumber to add some exterior taps (nothing's gonna die on my watch, this year! Filling the watering can in the bathtub got a bit tedious, after a while.  No doubt I've just jinxed the summer into being wet, wet, wet.) I've also planned a quick refresh of the kitchen window.  But the real buzz is getting a builder in to replace weatherboards in anticipation of an exterior paint job.  We're going to leave that to the professionals, I think, but I'll find it satisfying nonetheless.


*It would be so nice if they bought the place but the eau-de-dog permeating the front rooms was powerful.  I know it can be overcome but boy, it affects your first impression!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

what addiction shall we address next?

In a meeting yesterday at someone else's offices, the sun on my back kept getting hotter and hotter.  My blue suit doesn't breathe particularly well and I was increasingly uncomfortable and sweaty, as the minutes ticked by into hours. The sun rose higher.  It was a formal meeting and ripping off my jacket to a sleeveless top would have been inappropriate in the circumstances.  I surreptitiously tried to blow air up onto my face.  When we finally took a break, I raced outside and gulped fresh air as fast as decorum would allow.  I was rapidly followed by another meeting attendee, guiltily lighting a cigarette.

I realised then that cigarettes are almost non-existent in my life, these days.

I've never smoked myself, but I vividly recall the first occasion in 2004 or 2005, after the indoor smoking ban took effect, I went to the Bowler (RIP Bowling Green Tavern, once Dunedin's finest, I partook of your delicious beverages, pashed on your dancefloor, even once managed to gain entry with two bleeding knees*).  That night, the smell in the bar without the mask of cigarette smoke was so horrific I had to go home.  But! the next morning, my hair was fresh. No burn marks in my clothes or on my arms.  Once the Bowler ripped out the old carpet and the smell issue was reduced (wouldn't go so far as to say eliminated), I forgot all about gross secondhand smoke issues after a night out. 

In 2008, I recall having a few colleagues who'd still nip outside for a smoke during work hours.  There were only a few, but you knew where they'd be when they weren't at their desks.

In 2010, P relegated his social smoking to only very special occasions.  It had been pretty infrequent anyway (getting laid > smoking), but he didn't always have a packet stashed in the top drawer of his bedside table anymore. 

Today, I would be pressed to think of a friend who is a smoker in the classic sense anymore.  None of my colleagues leave the office for a cigarette (a coffee, different story). 

Butts on the street are much fewer.

The Quit Me Mutu advertising is prevalent. 

Amazing what changes can be wrought in a decade or so. 

*the result of two (2) separate accidents in one (1) frosty night with (1) unfortunate pair of shoes and no doubt three (3) too many pre-drinks.

Monday, 22 September 2014

decision 2014

We got half cut on champagne and went to pick out wedding jewellery for M on Saturday afternoon.  I expect that's why I fell asleep by 9pm on Saturday night during the election coverage; being sauced, that is.  We had a lovely time at the jewellery store.  After finding the perfect earrings and matching necklace, we tried on everything in the vintage cabinet.  I flounced around the store with a three carat diamond on my finger (verdict: terribly gauche and wondrously obnoxious, three carats is), while trying to persuade Hat Friend to purchase an expensive gold fob chain or a beautiful emerald ring.  We drank some more bubbles afterwards and toasted the bride.  Can't wait for her wedding day. 

Election coverage: do you know, I think the coverage on my facebook page was probably more extensive and vitriolic than the coverage on the two major free to air channels?  That's saying something.  I woke up to posts on Sunday morning saying things like:

- 'Shame on you, New Zealand'
- 'Crying into a bucket of KFC, Dotcom?'
- 'If you didn't vote, you can't complain'
- 'Moving to Scandinavia'

Had the result gone a different way, I think I would have seen just as much disappointment from the other half of my feed.  It wasn't all one-way traffic.  I've found it hard to work myself into a proper lather about this election, though for all that I'm disappointed that NZ doesn't appear to wish to make any major decisions that might result in a narrowing of the gap between the rich and poor.  Wow, I didn't expect to make any direct statements about my political leanings on social media (other than, you know, me feminism) but there we have it.  Oh, except I've bagged Colin Craig before and I was thrilled to see we'll go another three Colin Craig-free years. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

what's next, gout?

Fresh page, blank slate notwithstanding, my bloggy muse is still AWOL.  Am feeling very stilted on the old blog recently, given I don't tend to write about work, my husband generally (other than, you know, putting up mocking faux-fashion pictures) or details regarding my friends.  Maybe it's just that I'm leading a boring life?  Probably.  I can usually wring a drop of drama or six out of the most innocuous material, so I'll resort to a nice list and see what pops out:
  • Summer holiday is mostly organised, including a trip to see the olds, a week at the beach with friends, and a visit from P's mum.  We've also booked a trip to Golden Bay (upper South Island, v remote, hippy heaven) for a wedding in March.  Am feeling good about summer time on the horizon.
  • Friend saga.  Friend 1 has been a dick to Friend 2 over a gift that Friend 1, a bunch of other friends and I arranged for Friend 2.  I heartily disapprove of Friend 1's dickish behaviour and dealt with endless email/FB correspondence, including a few calls to other friends myself for sanity! Mother above, how is it that friends can still bring the drama at age 30+? I am actually ashamed of having had any involvement in a squabble at all.  But given I'm not going to parse the details here, you probably don't care much about that at all.  Safe to say: my policy on this sh*t now is: Let's All Calm Down and Have a Glass of Wine.  Actually, that's an excellent policy to apply across the board for me, I'll have it printed on an inspirational fridge magnet in no time.  Watch out Pinterest.*
  • Tabitha cat has found an access point to the roof and scares the bejesus out of me on the regular.  She creates massive thumps, and I rush outside to see what's caused the noise, only to realise I'm being watched over the eaves by a furry wee stalker.  Gets me every time and is somehow worse than when I realised I'm being watched during midnight pee trips. 
  • HAHAHAHA I jinxed myself with my recent post about musical theatre. Turns out the Sound of Music is coming to town and my sister K is desperate to go.  Mum said no way, on the basis that it won't be as good as the movie, but K pointed out that comparing it unfavourably is half the fun.  I mean, why would you watch the Keira Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice otherwise?  So, I'm going back to the theatre for a singalong, goodness help me.
  • Weekend: nearly upon us, whew. 
  • State of the Chubby Update: fell off the food recording bandwagon hard, but am making better decisions and feeling better about meself generally.  More cups of tea, fewer diet Cokes, no snorting chips before dinner.  Good rules, hey?
  • OMG I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO TELL YOU: I think I had an attack of gallstones! No, I'm not 90 or a very fat man (the population segment I associate with gallstones)!  The other weekend was spiked with abdominal pain, that started near the bottom of my ribs and worked its way down.  I was achey on and off all weekend, with marginal improvement on the Monday.  After I was palpated by the doctor (ick! palpation! sounds vile, right? Mind you, it could have been worse - she threatened me with a transvaginal scan at one point), she concluded that the likely culprit was gallstones.  I was so ashamed, but did you know that it is actually more common in women?  And that it can be caused by long term oral contraceptive use?  Well, that's what Wikipedia tells me anyway.  I had a blood test/pee test to rule some other stuff out, but they won't know that it was the 'stones for sure unless they do an ultrasound.  Given I'm feeling better, I'm going to flag that, so unless they flare up again, I guess we'll never know.  GALLSTONES.  AM SUFFERING FROM MYSTERIOUS OLD PERSON AILMENT.  SHAME.
*I joined Pinterest in 2011, pinned approximately 3 wedding hairstyles I knew I could never be achieved with my hair, and never looked at it again. I often get so-and-so-is-now-following-you-on-Pinterest! emails, and every time I feel sorry for them, because it must be pretty damn boring.

Monday, 15 September 2014

there is paint in my hairline, still

We have finally finished the dining room.  Well, when I say finished, I mean, we've moved the dining table back in and all the major works are done, as of Sunday evening.  We are still fighting about pendant lights and sideboards and the best arrangement of art and shelves and whatnot.  But, I ate a meal at the table last night for the first time in a long time and we congratulated ourselves mightily.  One room: took us thirteen and a half months to start, one month and three days to finish.  At this rate, our house will be renovated some time this century!

I must say, the painting part of the process was lengthy but fundamentally enjoyable for me, even though I got up and down the ladder approx. eleventy million times and I am really not that good a painter.  Can't pinpoint exactly why I like it but there you go.  Sanding: hate.  Filling: eh.  Being P's assistant to hold this or that or the other: not bad for me, but I suspect painful for P, given my propensity to inform him of a better way to do things (clearly!).  Also, who knew that renovating involved such endless tidying and cleaning?  I felt like I spent a good chunk of the time shuffling sandpaper and tools and ladders from one place to another, readjusting drop cloths, vacuuming, sweeping, picking up nails, cleaning brushes and rollers etc etc.  Safe to say I wasn't a big fan of that cleaning biz either. 

I will take a picture for you blog, one of these days! I might even have people over to eat in my room! My god, the options are endless!

Busy-ish at work too, the usual.  Spent two days in Wellington last week and am off to Christchurch again tomorrow.  The places I've travelled for work have are not what you might call exotic.  I could get behind a conference in the Seychelles or even Rarotonga (you know, if it has to be within a four hour flight) but as much as I like Wellington, it's not quite as glam as, say, Monaco.  Ah well, at least with the trip to Christchurch I should get home in time to stand in the doorway and admire my new room before bed.  Can't say that for Prague.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

why i'm unlikely to attend any revival of 'cats'

One of (my) life's little mysteries is why I don't like musical theatre as an adult, when I was completely enamoured of it as a child?

Here are my theories:

1) Bitterness and envy. 

My parents took me to the Founder's Theatre in Hamilton to see My Fair Lady (starring Max Cryer; I forget who played Eliza, but she was beautiful, I thought) when I was about 7 or 8.  My sister was deemed too young, or it was a treat for just me, I don't remember the details.  In any case, she was dropped at the neighbours while Mum and Dad took me to the show.  It was dinner theatre, I think, a late-80s small-town fancy-pants evening.  I was entranced and decided then and there, that's what I want to be.  The star.  Long story short, I am now a lawyer, not a musical theatre performer, worse luck.  Not cut out for it, sadly.  Maybe I'm just jealous, which means I avoid watching?

2) P's curmudgeonliness is rubbing off.

I can't believe it's true, but I married a man who has never watched the Sound of Music.  Or Grease.  He has shunned two mainstay films of my childhood (the other being Pippi Longstocking.  I haven't asked P to join the fan club for that one). 

One of Auckland's main theatres is on our commute.  As we pass, P mournfully intones things like, 'you're not going to make me take you to...Wicked, are you?'  I truly believe he thinks Annie or Mamma Mia would scar him for life.  He happily joins me for plays and has been the driving force behind visiting the opera and orchestral events, but he has drawn a very bright line at musical theatre.  I'm afraid I've never seen him chant a chorus or, you know, shimmy.  Perhaps it's catching?

3) Perversity and/or snobbery

I worry that something deep and dark in me doesn't want to enjoy musicals like many others do, simply because it's popular and not as 'high brow' as other pursuits.  I'd like to think I'm not always an asshole, however, and there's plenty of evidence that I do not give two shits about 'high brow' culture - I often switch the car's radio to deeply uncool top 40 stations, I read and enjoy all sorts of books from all over the scale (Diana Gabaldon to Margaret Atwood to Dickens to Regency to Marian Keyes -- never, ever sports autobiographies -- although, most of the time I suppose you don't catch me reviewing or admitting to the 'low brow' stuff) (BTW, is it 'annoying' how I keep putting 'high/low brow' in quotes? It's because every time I write them I feel like an asshole.  But then the quotes also make me feel assholey.  Net result = 'asshole'?).

Could be a combo of the three I suppose.  Or just a change of taste over time, much like discovering that olives are tasty, around the age of 17.  Who knows? 

(I really hope you didn't think this post was going anywhere, it totally wasn't and it didn't, I'm afraid.  Soz about that.)