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Friday, 22 August 2014

nothing

FRIDAY.

FRIDAY.

(It bore repeating).

Thank goodness for that. 

HAVEN'T PINCHED A GOOD PIC FROM FUCK YEAH, BOOKS IN A WHILE.  THANKS MORRISSEY, THANKS FUCK YEAH, BOOKS

That is all.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

diy

I posted something terribly depressing, then I fled the scene of the crime for a solid two weeks.  Well done, self, you're a real peach. 

The break was prompted by my holiday from work...AKA the week in which I learned my deficiencies in the home improvement realm!

Here's how it actually went:

1) I paint swatches all over the dining room wall and melt down about the difference between Quarter Surrender and One Eighth Surrender, because it's clearly a big deal.  Much time spent staring at walls in different lights.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO/NAP TIME.  THIS IS ACTUALLY HOW AMATEUR WE ARE.
2) We have a cup of tea.

[50 SHADES OF GREY JOKE HERE]

3) P starts demolishing the linings.  It transpires they're hard board not gib (plasterboard) and there's a fuckload (official term) of wood behind them for bracing.  There is a technical term for this but it escapes me, or perhaps I never had it.

4) I cart loads of rubbish to our bin.

5) I cart loads of rubbish to the bin of the empty house next door, looking around to see if anyone's busting me.

6) More tea. 

7) Sparky comes to fix the outlets in the dining room and add a heated towel rail to the bathroom.  HOLY SMOKES a heated towel rail is a super luxury item! I mean, my towel is always dry now! AMAZING.  Yes, I have had an HTR (we're on close terms now) in my life previously but seriously, it's a minor improvement to an incredibly shabby bathroom and it makes me beyond happy. 

8) Tea while watching electrician and his apprentice (who seemed about 17 and named Silkie.  'Silk, get under the house.' 'Silk, get in the roof.' 'Silk, have you fixed that yet?' Endlessly entertaining).

9) Spend HOURS pulling superfluous nails out of the bracing.  HOURS.

SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THIS WE WENT TO WAIHEKE ISLAND FOR A LONG LUNCH BECAUSE HOLIDAY.

10) Get dressed up in a disposable overall (something I hope never to do again) to install insulation.  Install insulation and only breathe a bit of fibreglass in the process.  Feel itchy.

11) More nail pulling.  It turns out they used approximately a million tacks to secure the hard wood lining, none of which came out when we ripped off the lining.

12) Freak out when P uses the drop saw. Convinced he will lose a finger, so instead of sensibly supervising with my finger on the dial to call 111, I go outside to paint a window hoping I'll somehow avoid the emergency.

13) P still intact, hammers things. 

14) Gib fixer and plasterer arrives.  Takes ages to dry.  Attempt poorly planned pathway around side of house as landscaping project in interim.  Present status: muddy.

THIS WINS THE PRIZE FOR MOST BORING PHOTO OF ALL TIME BUT WE HAVE WALLS!  ALSO, A SHIT VIEW FROM THIS ROOM. 

15) Sanding stuff.  Architraves, ceiling.  (OMG sanding the ceiling). 

16) Select paint.  Resene Quarter Surrender with white for ceilings, archs, skirts and scotia.  USe Dad's store card for discount and P nearly gives the game away asking me how I got it in front of the clerk.  Immediately have regret about colour choice. 

Aaaaand that's about as far as we got.  I didn't bother writing it in, but we made approximately 50 trips to Mitre 10, Placemakers, some fancy Villa timber store down the road, the booze store, the paint store and the supermarket during that time.  OMG, I bought building paper from Mitre 10 and nails and shit, all by myself.  They let me buy it all without some kind of licence.  (Not so much feminism's win as it is capitalism's, I expect).

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

day 1, again

In the most roundabout way, I came to the realisation on the weekend that I ought to do something about my weight.

About three months ago, P was gifted a Westfield voucher, to spend at any store in a Westfield mall.  At about the same time, he closed down an old credit card and used the last of his points to redeem a voucher.  He picked a Bendon voucher for me to spend on frivolous underwear, something which we'd both enjoy.  It was hosing down with rain on Sunday and the first voucher was nearly at the expiry date, so we decided to brave the mall.

I've written before that my boobs are not petite, or even mediumish.  I am fairly tall and have a long torso, so I can carry some chest weight and I certainly do.  I hated my boobs in my younger years because going braless (or even strapless bra'd) is not possible for me.  I've learned to like them more as time has passed (familarity, I suppose, which in this case has not bred contempt but rather resignation and acceptance).  I hemmed and hawed at Bendon over the bra selection, which was not extensive for those with a reasonably small band size but large cups.  I eventually picked out a lovely one, but as I was assessing the fit in the mirror, the damage I've been doing to my midsection over the past couple of years was brutally apparent.  We don't have a full length mirror at home, so I've only been looking at it from my own perspective, recently.  I shrugged it off - fluorescent lighting always makes you look horrific, I thought. 

Finished with the bra selection, we wandered to the electronics store to spend the other voucher.  P eventually settled on Apple TV.  We also bought an SD card converter thingee to get all our photographs from the camera to the iPad (P recently got one for work).  I got antsy with all the people in the store and in the mall, so we scarpered for home.

Back at the Lavender Loveshack, P asked me to model my new knickers and I felt oddly reluctant.  I shrugged him off.  He set up the Apple TV instead, then downloaded a whole lot of photographs from the camera.  Showing me how great the Apple TV is, he set up a slideshow of reasonably old photographs I haven't really seen before on our TV. 

I freaked.  Internally, I was berating myself that the photographs, none of which are particularly recent, were horrific.  In my eyes, I was huge.  I asked P to turn it off, snappily.  He asked why.  I wouldn't speak about it and he got cross.

I got up, and went for a run. 

I downloaded food tracking apps and started a plank a day challenge. 

I'm not going to be stupid about this.  I'm running a 10k in November anyway with my sister (not that far, but she's on the mend from surgery on her ACL), so training is necessary.  I could stand to cut back on the booze and treats.  I'm not obese; I have a healthy BMI presently, for what that's worth (albeit at the high end of the range).  I know that it is not realistic nor even desirable to expect that I'll lose over 10 kilograms.  Five kilos would, however, make a world of difference to my own self-image. 

By the by, P apologised for upsetting me.  He thinks I get stupid about my self-image which might well be true but he recognised that what's required is compassion, not ire.  In turn, I apologised for behaving petulantly. 

I could be setting myself up for failure by writing about this at the outset, but processing it, writing it, makes me accountable, I hope. 


Monday, 4 August 2014

day in the life, winter 2014

Hi! For those who are new, I am A.  I'm 32, f, married, no kids, 2 cats, from Auckland, New Zealand.  My interests include books, wine, eating things, travelling, making questionable choices, being nosy and writing things about myself on the internet.  I find that DiTL posts fit nicely with the latter of those two interests!

It's Friday 1 August 2014.  It's winter in NZ and a working day for me. 

*************************************

5.30am: wake up, but am NOT HAPPY.  Lie in the dark, mentally turning over the questionable choices I made last night.  We were sending off a colleague who is moving to London; predictably, one beer lead to many beers (the pub was going off! I was having a good time! meeting people! gossiping!), lead to Mickey Dees en route home (I am not proud), lead to furry mouth at 5.30am. 

6.15am: finally bring myself to get out of bed.  Shake some bikkies into the cats’ bowls and discover the mess I made filling up the biscuit container when a bit boozled last night.  Turn on the shower.  It’s warmer outside this morning thank god (about 10 degrees celcius) so the bathroom isn’t completely frigid and I can disrobe without squeaking.

6.25am: flick on the kettle, desperate for tea.

THIS IS FIRST-RATE COMPELLING PHOTOJOURNALISM, RIGHT HERE
6.26am: Tabitha hauls in her newest victim through the cat flap.  She has recently graduated to trapping earthworms, crickets being in short supply this time of year.  Not wanting to waste a good worm (or watch Tab torture a worm on my kitchen floor), I don a pair of jandals to deliver the worm to our compost bin outside.  Jandals, dressing gown and no knickers – good thing the neighbouring house is empty at the moment because I am a sight to behold.  I choose not to take a picture of that – count yourself lucky.
 
TABBY AND VICTIM AND THE TERRIBLE STATE OF THE FLOORING IN MY KITCHEN.  AT LEAST WORMS ON AN ALREADY DECREPIT FLOOR AREN'T REALLY A BIG DEAL 
6.30am: flick on the TV to catch some Commonwealth Games coverage while scoffing breakfast and drying my hair etc.  NZ has just won a bronze medal in the Men’s Floor (Gymnastics) and a Gold in the Women’s Time Trial (Cycling) – go Kiwis! The coverage is largely of lawn bowls this morning and it’s not quite as thrilling to follow as, say, 100m sprints or the swimming. 

6.40am: P emerges from the bedroom, grumbling.  As many bad life decisions as I made last night, he made a few more out on the town a bunch of graduates from his office, following a training session he ran for them.  He likes to think he can keep up with a bunch of 23 year olds, but looking at him this morning I have my doubts. 

7.15am: I have managed to dress and make myself mostly presentable.  I am wearing opaque tights, a red silk mullet dress fresh from the drycleaners, a black blazer with a sheer back (sounds very odd when written like that) . P however is struggling to get his stuff together and is yelling for help to find a grey cardigan.  I don’t know where he thinks I might have secretly stashed it, but if it’s not in the drawers or on the wardrobe rack, he’s well out of luck.
OF NOTE: (1) MY HAIR STAYED LIKE THIS UNTIL I WAS APPROX. 5 STEPS OUT MY FRONT DOOR INTO THE FOG.  REST OF DAY HAVE BEEN SHAGGY BEAST.
(2) THE STATE OF THE LIVING ROOM BEHIND ME. THIS IS REAL LIFE, PEOPLE. PEPPER GRINDERS AND ALL.
7.30am: the Great Man Cardi Hunt of 2014 has proved unfruitful and most unsympathetically I throw another sweater at P, telling him to put a sock in it.  We manage to depart the house for work.

7.30-8am: walk to work with P.  He’s on rare form today and, upon hearing about my DiTL post day, he announces ‘Well I’m looking hot today so you should definitely take a picture of me for the internet’.  He raced over to a wall nearby and struck a pose and I nearly died laughing – he thought he was taking the mickey out of magazine styling, but it is so completely fashion blogger I nearly wet my pants. 
I HOPE NONE OF YOU THINK THIS IS FOR SERIOUS. P'S TONGUE IS FIRMLY IN HIS CHEEK - THIS WAS DONE IN A HEARTBEAT AND WE RAN ON, LAUGHING TIL MY FACE HURT.  I'VE ONLY JUST NOW NOTICED ALLTHE CIGGIE BUTTS AT HIS FEET, WHICH MAKES IT EVEN BETTER
8am: arrive at work.  Debrief with my secretary, who was also a party to yesterday evening’s shenanigans.  She lasted longer than I did but is regretting it!

8-10.30: workity work work.  Nothing thrilling, believe you me: drafting, emailing, considering, reviewing. At about 9.45 I get up to go to the printer and realise I have a terrible static situation going on with my dress.  Slip or no slip, it’s a clinger which is just annoying because the colour is so nice (a change from my usual drab wardrobe choices). 


THIS PICTURE IS A FAIL AT ILLUSTRATING CLINGAGE, MOSTLY DEMONSTRATING INCREDIBLY WEIRD BODY SHAPE INSTEAD? IT'S THE ANGLE, I PROMISE! THAT'S NOT A GIANT BOOBSHELF!
10.30: weekly morning tea for the firm with speeches for colleague S, departing to the UK.  Stuff face with a scone, a cheerio (not the cereal, the sausage-y type!), carrot sticks and scarper and take a wee sammie & pie for the road (I don’t eat lunch on Fridays as I usually make a piggy of myself at morning tea).  Tell the firm’s chef I love his work. 

10.45-12.30: more work, until M calls me.  She wants to go for a wander and a smoothie.  We look briefly at cases for our cellphones.  Mine is new and if I don’t get a case, I’ll probably destroy it.  No dice making a purchase though, I want a pretty one!  I order a green smoothie, which I feel good about (if I don’t consider the quantities of frozen yoghurt in it).



WINTER. 
1-5ish: workity working.  Incredibly unproductive this afternoon, however.  Drink at least two cups of tea.
5.10pm: nip upstairs where Friday Night Drinks are happening.  Look at beersies and feel ill.  Say goodbye for the final time to S and depart to meet P to scarper up to Ponsonby Road.  Call my sister K on route, because we have to debrief about the amazing video someone from her hockey team posted on FB in which she is doing the Fat Amy Mermaid for her team's amusement.  So funny, but she's worried her students might see it (she's a high school teacher). 

6pm: Grand Central Bar, Ponsonby.  We're meeting R and PW for drinks pre-dinner.  R has recently been to Austria for work but also managed to spend time in the UK with friends en route so I squeeze her for gossip.  It's warm enough that we're able to sit outside under the heaters and enjoy some fresh air for a change.
A WEE SIGN ON THE EXTERIOR WALL OF THE BAR THAT MADE ME SMILE.
7ish: we get our call from Orphan’s Kitchen, which doesn’t take reservations.  We rush in and order wine and tasty treats.  Highlights included smoked porae with a celeriac and green apple slaw, YUM.  Hipster central - so many good beards and artfully mismatched water jugs.  I love it.  They also have a very tasty wine list, highly recommend. 

9ish: finished with dinner, we wander down the road to Chapel Bar and have another bottle of wine between four, because FRIDAY NIGHT.  PJ and his new girlfriend are supposed to be meeting us but they're still at dinner elsewhere, and are trying to scam us into going to the city for dancing.  We're not quite in that zone!

10.30ish: wave goodbye to R & PW and walk home arm-in-arm with P.  It's about a 15 minute walk, and while I don't remember the conversation, I do remember laughing most of the way home.

10.45: open the door to find Tabby and Cokes on the end of the bed, watching us mournfully.  They forgive me when I fill up their bowls. 

11pm: bed.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

here is how I waste my money in spades

Verdict on the keratin blow out a mere four days and one wash later? While my hair feels full of gunk, it only took 5 minutes to blow dry and was not a ginormous mess.  It was perfectly presentable.  If this thing lasts four weeks it will be worth every cent of the $120 I spent on it (plus another $40 for shampoo because of course they upsold me on maintenance).  It does not look as shiny or feel as soft as I know it can, but it is not a giant, unmanageable tangle of frizz, so there's that.  I don't know that I'll be getting a keratin treatment on the regular because mortgage and good grief that's a lot of money for vanity, but for special occasions it seems like a good treat.

Will no doubt continue to report because what else is this blog for other than reporting on all things mane?

In other vanity news, I spent a metric shit-ton of money on new foundation and powder recently.  The MAC counter is a black hole into which I occasionally hurl my funds hoping that it will magically improve my appearance, when what would actually improve my appearance would be a willingness to actually remove all traces of makeup before going to bed at night and keeping my hands away from my face (didn't have the hands in pants problem endemic to so many small children, my fingers were probably up my nose instead.  These days they can be found gently resting on my cheeks and nose while deeply pondering, of course.  Not squeezing things, no).  I started wearing some of that Benefit pore concealer as a primer, followed by a bit of Benefit concealer on the spots, then the foundation and finally mineral powder and have noticed that the combo actually has a reasonable amount of staying power.  However, doesn't that all seem a lot of hard work, just to get myself to the office in the morning?  No doubt I will ditch this formulation again shortly, but now I've noted it for future reference when I next decide that my complexion looks like pond scum by midmorning under the flattering fluoroescent lighting in the office bathroom. 

****BREAKING*****

Last night, I baked for the first time since the Grilled Chocolate Cake Disaster of 2002.  Miracle of miracles, I think it was edible.  At least, no one who consumed it has yet complained of any malady caused by it and they were all very polite, not least P who was effusive in his praise, knowing as he does my culinary limitations.  I made Lemon and Walnut Loaf from the Edmonds cookbook which was super easy, probably because that cookbook is likely aimed at beginners.  Beginner I certainly am.

Given the lemons had been donated to the workplace by a colleague, I brought a chunk into the office today to share.  This was ambitious seeing as it could have been disgusting and possibly poisonous.  Also, it was devious, because I know that had I left something with so much sugar and butter in my home I would have eaten the whole thing.


 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

that's a big assumption

Assuming everything goes to plan, P and I are taking a week off in August. 

We have needed to have something to look forward, so we tentatively locked in some leave a couple of months ago.  We're not going anywhere because we're trying to save, though I toyed with the idea of booking a getaway to Milford Sound and Queenstown.  Instead,we're going to engage in a spot of light demolition at Chez Mauve. 

This has (expensive) disaster written all over it. The plan:

- Remove all the internal linings from the spare bedroom.
- Insulate the walls.
- Replace linings with fresh gib.
- Get the electrician in to move outlets, and the plasterer to finish the linings.
- Sand, including window and door frames.
- Paint.
- Replace manky door, or at least give the current door a handle.*

*What, all your doors come with a handle as standard? The Purple Palace really is, um, unusual.

What is likely to happen:

- Have fight over logistics while moving all furniture out of spare bedroom.
- Rip down linings and create hellish mess. 
- Discover serious issues with timber frames which no doubt means whole house is screwed.
- Call builder, discover no one can help for at least six months.
- Leave the rest of it forever.

I can conjure at least six different permutations of the 'What is Likely to Happen' list.  Most of which end with all the bedroom stuff living in the dining room while the bedroom is unfinished for months, nay, years.  I am cursing our DIY efforts, no doubt, with my predictions of dire consequences.  But I know my limitations and while I'm not sure of P's, I'm nervous.

So, in order that the holiday feels, well, holiday-ish, I booked a long lunch for us the first weekend we're off.  Think of it as a marital counselling via pasta and wine before the arguments actually occur. Aren't I optimistic?!*

*Please note the move away from yell-y caps to an angular italicisation for emphasis.  I am attempting to be less...strident...in my piffling.  I know, not much of an improvement.  Still a great deal of overuse of the exclamation mark, to say nothing of the other egregious grammatical offences. 



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

vanity, thy name is blogger

My obsession with not having a giant triangle head of hair continues.  In advance of my attendance at P's big work thing, I have booked a keratin blow out this weekend.  This is despite not being 100% sure what a keratin blow out actually is.  There are vague promises of shiny, no frizz for up to six weeks, but I still wonder if that's predicated on being able to use a hairdryer.  Because my hairdrying skills are haphazard, at best.  As in, point it at the wet bits and blow the bejesus out of it until dry (aaaaaand that is probably the reason for my triangle head, right there).

Good grief I am vain.  My mother used to comment on my constant glances into reflective surfaces, right throughout my childhood.  I used to think it was probably self-consciousness (have I got something on my teeth? do I look ok?).  Now, I think it's definitely self-consciousness (particularly since the skirt-tucked-into-knickers almost-debacle I caught in the office bathroom mirror before anyone else saw me). 

We'll await the results with baited breath, shall we?