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Friday, 21 December 2012

a, over and out

A few final pre-holiday thoughts. 

It might look like this right now…

SUNSHINE!

But the forecast is not looking good.

Someone read my blog in China!  Yay for uncensored internet…trust this wee blog was all you dreamed it would be?  *Ahem*

Fuck you, pimples from muggy weather, fuck you very much.  See also: frizzy bits.

Road trip with P & K tomorrow!  Let’s see who murders who first!  Just over four hours in a car without a working radio.  Yep, that’ll be a JOY.  I won’t be posting for a while as I’m out of town, but I think the internet provider has completed its service strike over our …how you say….”payment dispute” and the weather prior to New Year is looking DISMAL so I’ll likely be around.

Tennis: haz tickets to the Mens’ Open in Auckland, will watch buff men.  I mean, athletic displays of skill.  OBJECTIFICATION ALERT. 

Happy holidays, y’all.  I loved how our super in New York wished us a general Christmas/Hannukah/Kwaanza in pictures and decorations all over the building – I now love me a good non-denominational holiday festive greeting!

See you on the flip side.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

end of year thoughts (only 12 days early)

Ha.  I've bought in to this posterity recording meme situation.  Warning, serious navel-gazing ahead.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Quit a job not knowing what was next.  Usually, I have the next job/study plans all lined up etc.  While I had options sorted prior to leaving the UK, I didn’t lock anything down until after I arrived back in New Zealand and that was pretty scary for me.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Do you know, I could probably find out what those resolutions were simply by looking back to January’s blog entries but fff that…cause I suspect I failed.  No doubt I’ll have some in mind come 1 Jan (garden variety: exercise more! Be better person! Drink less!) but even less doubt that it’ll go to the pot pretty quickly.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law gave birth to a gorgeous wee boy who I call Squishy and a variety of other awful pet names.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.  I am so grateful to be able to answer that question with a no, ‘specially given the health problems circulating in our family at the moment.

5. What countries did you visit?
It’s kind of ridiculous – what with our wedding trip, Le Grand Tour and moving back to the Southern Hemisphere we went quite a few places - (in rough chrono order) England, US, NZ, Hong Kong, Thailand, Scotland, France, Holland, Croatia, Bosnia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, India!  (I know, I’ve counted the bits of the UK separately but throw me a bone here; they certainly FEEL very different!  Don’t even start on the Ireland thing).  We spent the most time in the UK and NZ but managed to visit France thrice during the year.  And Germany missed the cut in 2012 by a day or two – we were there for Xmas 2011 and a damn fine time we had there too.  Germany has the best schnitzel and some very tasty bakeries.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A home!  One of my own!  Probably unlikely but a girl can dream.  And a CAT. 

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
11 February.  CHEESE ALERT: I married the best man ever.  Not P's best man, I mean P is the best man.  Just in case that wasn't clear.   

15 June: I turned 30 and discovered a good friend was having a baby.

4 September: stepping out onto NZ soil, a resident.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, if getting married counts as an achievement, then that!  If not, it’s a toss up between moving back to the other side of the world and finding gainful employment or planning and experiencing an epic holiday.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Being an old grump far too often.  I feel like I’ve fought with P frequently this year which is very unusual for us (symptomatic of stress?).  It feels like a failure though – knowing I’m married to the most wonderful, thoughtful fella BUT YET still being a bitch on occasion.  From time-to-time.  Regularly. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The Bowels of Death have been quite a regular feature on this old blog in 2012…

11. What was the best thing you bought?
That damned holiday.  But if it has to be a tangible, the camera.  Not that any of you’ve seen a photo I’ve taken with it; all you get here is the damn iPhone instagram BS.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding and holiday! Oh yeah, rent was also a bitch. 

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Fuck this is getting repetitive.  MARRIAGE AND VISITING PLACES.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Jono McCleery – no clue on the title of the song, but it was playing as we hit Barcelona’s motorway to the airport.  I hear it and I conjure up the most intense recollection of the place, the moment.  Um…don’t judge but Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne album has the same effect for me driving over the hill from Cadaques to Roses on the Costa Brava.  Time, place, indelible.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Happier or sadder? Happier
b) Thinner or fatter? Fatty fatty boom boom. 
c) Richer or poorer? Poorer. Spent all that pinger as aforementioned, also was earning GBP rather than NZD (despite the fact the NZD is rapidly climbing!)

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Picture taking and enjoying time with P – too much is never enough.  Also, MORE travels.  MORE OF THEM.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Being a witch to my husband.  Also, eating. 

18. How will you be spending Christmas?
Traipsing around the countryside to be with our various extended families.

19. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yes, I did.  With France all over again, as well as Greece and Croatia (probably the stand outs…though how can I miss Istanbul off that list? Or Florence?!! Or Amsterdam!! Etc)

20. What was your favourite TV programme?
Game of Thrones (I’m embarrassed for me.  SUCH a nerd).  But 2012 is the year we finished watching The Wire, which = BEST EVER.
21. What was the best book you read?
Big call, this one.  Elizabeth Costello by Coetzee left a really indelible impression so it was probably the best, but it certainly wasn’t the book I enjoyed the most.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Jono McCleery or Trixie Whitley.  Trixie could have been 2011, but that might have just been the year of obsession with Black Dub.  Anyway, claiming it.

23. What did you want and get?
A fancypants camera.  Also, love, light, sunshine etc. 

24. What did you want and not get?
I wanted a first year of complete newlywed bliss – but that was not to be of course, because, well, LIFE.  With its vagaries, frustrations, illnesses - - yet joys as well.
25. What was your favourite film of this year?
This is incredibly sad and it’s a 2011 film, but at the beginning of this year I saw Warrior on a plane between Hong Kong and London.  I freaking cried.  I HATE fighting movies, think they’re BULLSHIT, but seriously, LOVED it.  Could not get enough of huge, tattooed men beating on each other.  WHO AM I??!  I don’t even know me anymore.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to work, and then I flew to Lithuania!  I turned 30 and I was not evil/hateful/despairing even.  We discovered on arrival that our very good friend was pregnant – it was so exciting!
27. What kept you sane?
P, the family, copious cups of tea, sushi lunches with a colleague in the UK.

28. What political issue stirred you the most?
Yeah, that whole abortion bit really wound me up.  LET’S NOT REHASH IT, shall we?!

29. Who did you miss?
My Mum, a lot.  Dad too.  Solved (in part) by moving back here…but they’re still 5 ½ hours away! Also, still missing my grandmother four years on.

30. Who was the best new person you met?
My newest nephew, Squish.  He’s delightful. 

31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012
The sunscreen thing, again.  Also, your travelling companion WILL hear everything through the walls and dignity will be lost.  Resign yourself!

 

Monday, 17 December 2012

whinge, moan, rinse, repeat

In that last state of the nation post, I figured I was happy.  And happy I (generally) am.  IHOWEVER, it just so turns out that  there seems to be a direct correlation between happy + pudgy, which = fly in the pudding, blight on the apple, etc etc.

I never appreciated that this behaviour was so compulsive until recently.  You know, open the bag for a “quick snack” to “tide me over” and then holy shit I’ve just consumed an entire bag of kettle fries.  With a side of hummus or other, viler, dippy-substance.  The tummy I blamed on post-India bloat on arrival back in NZ is now a beast of entirely of my own making.  I’m paying for a gym membership I’m not using.  I’m paying for a weightloss aid I’m not using.  You’re reading this and being all “never visiting this piece of shit website again because mother of god she's obsessed with herself”.  I’ve got to sort it out.

Cutting out rice at lunchtime is probably part of the answer – excessive donburi and sushi have got to go as marvellous as the reintroduction was (oh how I missed you while I was in the northern hemisphere which has heard of you but not perfected the art.)  Using the memberships I’ve got too would probably be smart.  In sum: eat less, exercise more you goddamned genius, A.  Get your shit together.

Also: having this epiphany the week before Christmas?  Fucking brilliant.  God I’m stupid.  I think I know what prompted it though; the idea of getting into a bikini in front of family at the lake next week.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  While they’ve never given me an overt eating disorder, That Time I Came Home From University 8 Weeks After Leaving Home and Got My Upper Arm Squeezed Immediately By My Mother has really stuck with me.  We operate by taking the mick out of each other which, hilarious but also which, sobsobsob leave me aloooooooooone. 

Ha.  And you thought I moved back to NZ to be closer to family.

(Love you guys, if you’re reading this.  No, really, I do!)

 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

(don't) burn baby

Not to brag,* but it is the most glorious early summer day here in Tamaki Makaurau today.  Outside my office window buildings are glistening, wavy with reflections from the Waitemata Harbour.  There is a light salt haze on the horizon, where sea meets sky.

Today really is lovely and is a delicious reminder of why we moved back (does it seem to you like I’m still justifying the decision or trying to convince myself?  I thought so.)  The sunburn is not, however, so delicious.  I sat outside for 20 minutes at lunchtime today with my shoulders bared and the heat they’re now generating is astonishing.  The effect is compounded by chilly air conditioning in my office; I’m shiver-y with localised hot spots. 

We have had a sunshine-y spate of summer days over the past week.  Sunday in particular was a cracker - - but when I had lunch with my husband on Monday, the number of women walking past our outdoor table with strips of red up the backs of their legs was beyond belief.  I just don’t think we Kiwis learn, despite the heavy slip-slop-slap messages we are bombarded with.  When P and I were on holiday in Europe, we were really cautious about using plenty of sunscreen.  We were outdoors almost all day, so it was pretty logical.  Here, I use a moisturiser with SPF15 on my face (o glorious recording of the mundanities of my existence for posterity!) but I’ve been less careful otherwise.  That’s pretty stupid, given the burn time here (only 10 minutes in the heat of the day) and the skin cancer rates. 

Also, you’d think I’d have learnt.  I’ve recorded some burn horrendousness here previously (when we were both triple-x sexxxy on our honeymoon after a nuclear burn sitting on the bow of a Thai ferry – honestly, it still makes my shins ache thinking about it).  There is a veritable slideshow of pictures from my childhood recording stupid burn incidents and they all conjure the smell of Mum’s after-sun green aloe jelly.  A few occasions spring immediately to mind:

-     Taupo, New Years’ Day 1990ish: giant red stripes up the back of my legs.  I oh-so-carefully lotioned myself at age 8 or 9ish, then promptly fell asleep on a lilo (inflatable pool bed thing) on the lake…only to discover I’d failed to do the backs of my legs (the bits I couldn’t see).

-     Tamahere, last day of school, 1992: sunstroke.  I could have cared less about the burn as I threw up and saw black spots outside Room 3 on our last day of school.  Can’t remember why I’d been outside for so long; perhaps it was an outdoor assembly?  Yeah, I’m seeking to transfer blame to the teachers…ahem. 

-    Waihi Beach, December 1999: red schnozz of social death.  Age 17, my friends and I went to a campground to pick up boys, peroxide our hair and drink booze on the sly.  The burn on my nose and ears killed my chances with the other sex; I also came home with a spotty bleached pillow from a failure to wash out the peroxide properly.  We also attempted to smoke oregano; which? Don’t.  Crap on a cracker we were cool.

-    Mt Mauganui, 2001: back fat stripe.  You know how belly shirts were kind of a thing? Well, this 19 year old girl forgot that there was a vital strip of flesh between singlet and bikini bottoms as she lay on the beach desperately trying to maintain a nonchalant, devil-may-care, super-hot attitude with her new-ish boyfriend and all of his friends.  My cover was blown; good thing I’d had the foresight to bring a 3L bottle of duty-free Jack Daniels for the boys when I arrived on the trip.  On reflection, I’m not sure they’d remember either the burn or drinking the second half of that bottle.

Burn itself isn’t really a funny topic though.  I look at my English brother-in-law and his careful attempts to protect his rose-leaf complexion and I realise he’s doing the right thing.  My aunt is passionate about wearing cover-ups, using skin protection and wearing a hat.  My mother and two of my close friends have had cancerous and pre-cancerous lumps removed.  It’s the right day to remind myself to take care, a day like this.  Hope you do too. 

*Totally to brag

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

all i want for christmas

I sent P a barrage of emails around lunchtime today with requests for Xmas – bras, knickers, Wodehouse – and then remembered to ask him if he was feeling better (he was all hot and shiver-y last night and growly this morning about the level of noise I made in the shower which *surely* is a symptom of a deadly disease).

When he got back from a client lunch (oh Christmas, you are full of events that seem like treats but are still work underneath it all), he thanked me for my concern for his delicate constitution and wished me a happy anniversary.  It’s only been 10 months since we got married but we’re both basically convinced that while we were pretty good at de facto, we’re likely to be hopeless at married, so we’re congratulating ourselves on the small milestones.  I had completely forgotten and promptly became concerned about the need to keep our marriage alive.  Over a series of increasingly desperate emails, I sent P a variety of suggested activities to keep us together that finished with :

“…destroying the Beach Boys back catalogue or eating cookies or something”

He said that those options were very different but nonetheless appealing when done with me, but had I been drinking?

I think I need to work on my marriage maintenance skills.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

public service announcement: summer is here

The yellow sun is up, the yellow sun is over the house.*  Summer has arrived in Auckland!

SATURDAY IN THE VIADUCT HARBOUR, LOOKING TOWARDS THE RAISED PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AND WYNYARD QUARTER
A beautiful weekend of barbeques, outdoor wandering, present wrapping and getting singed around the edges.

KIWI CHRISTMAS TREE IN FULL BLOOM.  THE POHUTAKAWAS AND RATAS ARE GOING NUTS ALL OVER THE SHOW RIGHT NOW; I LOVE IT. 

*Go, Dog. Go!  A literary classic.  Which I believed until now was Dogs, plural, because that’s how my father would roaringly finish the quote – “Go, Dogs, Go!” – as he routed us out of bed for whatever weekend adventure he had planned.  He generally took us to the library, supermarket and hardware store to give Mum “five minutes peace” and plan the weekend’s DIY.  I love the library, always have, but libraries do make me want to pee and I couldn’t stand using public toilets when I was small, so the adventure was generally trying to get home before bursting.

Friday, 7 December 2012

state of the nation ii


I bumbled down the road home last night, still warm at 11.30pm and slurping on a blue powerade (is there any other magical non-booze-juice flavour?  I ask you.  The most revolting colour known to mankind AND YET it has been known, in combination with a potato top pie, to stave off the worst symptoms of excess the following morning.  And I wonder why I’m squidgy).  Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I thought I was the most inventive photographer alive en route and I woke up with a selection of shite photos like this on me telephone:
 
SKY TOWER: FESTIVE AND PHALLIC
My husband was curled up on the couch when I walked in the door.  He unfurled his limbs when he saw me, for a great big bear hug.  We went to bed; I smooshed my face into a pillow and passed out for the next 5 or so hours.  I wouldn’t call it ‘sleep’; more like a boozewhore coma.  I had been at a Christmassy dinner with lashings of a tasty Bordeaux blend from the Gimblett Gravels (that’s what the waiter told me anyway, I kept the smug references to (a) that time I went to Bordeaux and (b) that time I got married in the Gimblett Gravels to myself (UNTIL NOW that is.  Apparently I have no filter and am perfectly happy to appear like a complete asshole here)).*  I got up the next morning easily; ready for the day.

Where am I going with this?  Nowhere.  Just I might, sort of, be generally happy.  At this point in time.  Smug, for sure.   But happy. 

*JC on a stick that’s a lot of parenthesis.   

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

easy, tiger

Today’s inspiration is brought to you NYMag, usually an indefatigable purveyor of snark: an article in a womens' issues column about the sexlessness of lifestyle blogs.

I don’t count this as a lifestyle blog, but Lauren Sandler refers to “the blogosphere” more generally, saying it “…is about intimacy, not international market share; memoir, not magnates.”  To the extent my blog is about memoir (who enjoys reading my old posts better than me, in a sadistic sort of a way – oops, accidental sex reference!),  then I guess Lauren’s extrapolations apply to this blog too. 

She’s right, in that we’re becoming obsessed with curating a gorgeous life that is perceived as desirable by others.  She’s right to quote the statistics about women and sexual dysfunction.  But I have trouble imagining that these things are linked; other than that they are activities engaged in (or omitted) by women.  I think it’s wrong to generalise that women are enjoying shopping for sheets more than what goes on between the sheets for a number of reasons.

Tahi.  I’m not convinced women enjoy shopping for sheets.  They enjoy having nice sheets for aesthetic as well as sensual reasons.  Well, that might be just me, but don’t worry, plenty more blatant generalisations ahoy.

Rua.  Many blogs – lifestyle or otherwise – pick a particular focus and sex may not be even on the periphery of that focus.  As far as memoir goes, there is often a nod to sex (in fact, I would venture to suggest that hinting that you have a wild, romantic, regular and satisfying sex life is part of the image that many bloggers seek to portray, striking envy in the hearts of many.  Much easier to do with hints and pictures of your bearded lover than with a blow by blow or even a generic discussion).

Toru.  Many bloggers have privacy concerns (should my blog mix with my family/friends or my work/colleagues?), and discussing more neutral matters on their blog is part of an image protection scheme should the different spheres merge.  Also, there are usually two people involved in a sexual act – privacy extends further than for the blogger her or himself. 

Maybe this just stems out of the problematic definitions of the word “lifestyle”, which Lauren notes was once a crap-mag euphemism for sex? 

I thought about inserting a HOTTTTT XXXX RACY assertion/dissertation about my sex life here.  It is an important dialogue for women to have, no doubt.  But P would kill me.  And clearly, I’m too bound up in the New Prudism. 

By the way, did I tell you I have a new set of sheets? 

Monday, 3 December 2012

this stupid little girl is cross


Go jump in the lake, you stupid little girl?  Pimply little girls in the newsroom?  WHAT HAVE PIMPLES GOT TO DO WITH IT, MR TAMIHERE?  Or Paula Bennett’s size, for that matter?

Do you think John Tamihere’s latest is:
 
(a) A blatant attention seeking move;
 
(b) The product of bone-deep misogyny; or
 
(c) Both?

Well, he’s drawn blatant attention to the fact that he’s a bone deep misogynist, that’s for sure.  If there was another point he was getting across (I’ve got all the time in the world for interesting discussions of journalistic integrity*), I’ve totally missed it. 
 
It's not like we didn't see this coming.  He's got a track record (see the section "Controversies and Loss of Seat in 2005" in that link for some real gems).  Don't worry ladies, he's also got it in for most minorities as well.  You are in good company. 

*Side note – watched The Insider for the first time on the weekend.  You know…that movie about the 60 Minutes article on Russell Crowe spilling Big Tobacco’s secrets?  Yeah, just watched it nearly 14 years after it was first released.  Anyway, it still seemed relevant, even if we do make fewer pay phone calls these days. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

the season

December!  December is here!

I HAVE CRACKED OUT MY ONE CHRISTMAS DECORATION.  THE GLOW WAKES ME UP AT NIGHT BELIEVING THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE.
I THINK I NEED TO MURDER A TREE TO MAKE MY HOME FEEL PROPERLY XMASSY.

I am pretending that it is cold and dark-ish and all twinkly Christmassy right now, as it should be in the northern hemisphere.  OH WAIT.  What the f, Auckland.  This weather is BULLSHIT. 

THE LAST, LINGERING RAYS OF NOVEMBER OVER THE WAITEMATA HARBOUR. 
I SNAPPED THIS FROM A FRIEND'S DECK WHERE WE HUDDLED UNDER BLANKETS, DRINKING AND FREEZING EXTRANEOUS DIGITS, SWEARING ABOUT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SUMMER NOW

Thursday, 29 November 2012

exhibitionist

My dress flew up on the street this morning and exposed a good deal of my cheeks and knickers.  I tried really hard to be cool about it but went bright pink and scurried along Victoria Street trying to escape what I imagined were all the sniggers/stares. 

I really, really hope all the people at the bus stop outside Sky City casino enjoyed themselves at my expense.

Monday, 26 November 2012

things

I found myself ironing that dress last night thinking “WHO AM I?  I DON’T EVEN KNOW ME ANYMORE!”  Once upon a time I would have bought synthetic, non-crumply fabrics (mostly because they were affordable (+ sparkly) but crucially because they didn’t require ironing) and laundry be DAMNED.  Consider this an exponential curve on the Hopeless A: Grown-Up vs Time graph.
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Hoo-boy, I am back on the coffee bandwagon.  I am drinking macchiatos like I’m Tom Hanks on a desert island but instead of water and a volleyball, all I have to cling to is my black gold and possibly a slice of ginger crunch.  Found a lovely cafĂ© near work that makes an excellent brew, but I’m not sure they appreciate the foam-y part of a short macchiato – I say “Macchiato to go, please” and they (consistently!) say, “OK, long black”.  I think it’s going to become a battle of the wills but I will keep returning, if only for the tiny piece of dark choc santĂ© bar that comes with each cup.  I need to buy a reusable cup to keep up my hippy/hipster cred.  Must save the world, one plastic lid at a time (having a much harder time coming around to the idea of switching out my lovely halogen lights for reusable bulbs…I look SO. MUCH. BETTER. under soft lighting conditions.  Is vanity part of the hippy ethos?  I think not, sadly).
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Keep your happy, shining faces scrunched up with your eyes closed and fingers crossed for me.  It’s not me exactly, but send out some wonderful *good treatment* vibes my way for a relation. 
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Apropos of absolutely nothing, I think you should know that my husband is hard at work acquiring a side part.
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Mum’s moo-babies are mostly better.  The mostly part being those that didn’t make it, including one of her orphans, sadly.  Still, there’s one orphan left who is now 8 weeks and out of danger.  The rest of the mob are happily munching grass and emitting gassy fumes. 
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We were reminiscing about childhood bad behaviour last night.  Which is worse – painting a giant black Newfoundland dog white, or stringing up a length of Hubba Bubba across the hallway to clothesline unsuspecting family members?  Foot through the wall or stegosaurus?  (I have so many of these it gets embarrassing; no seriously). 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

flaking skin is a good sign?

My lips are burnt because……dun dun duuuuuuuuun….. I saw some sun this weekend!  Miracles never cease, we may have a summer yet here in NZ! 

LOVELY LAKE WAKATIPU.  WAS MUCH WARMER THAN IT LOOKS; MAH PHOTOG SKILLZ SADLY LACKING IN ACTUALLY CAPTURING THE SCENE
P and I packed our (10kg or less and within the applicable dimensions) bag on Saturday morning and Jetstarred off to Queenstown for the weekend.  All the NZ-resident Kiwis we’ve talked to have bitched and moaned about Jetstar, but apart from the dire lack of leg room, we didn’t have any incidents.  Unless you count the squalling ginger toddler on the way back, that is.  Hardly Jetstar’s fault, nor the baby’s for that matter; either the squalling on descent or the gingerness. 

IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH QUEENSTOWN, HERE ARE SOME FACTS: IT IS IN THE DEEP SOUTH, IT HAS MOUNTAINS AND IT HAS LAKE.  LOVELY.
This was a flying visit for an old friend’s 30th.  He had arranged a time-share situation with a fab deck overlooking Lake Wakatipu so we had a few bevvies on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine massively.  My face is a bit pink, despite the liberal application of sunscreen.  I had forgotten exactly how violent the sun is in NZ – once or even twice a day applications of sun protection is not enough on a bright day.  We rode the gondola and saw some fantastic views, celebrated excessively when we discovered the DSLR has recovered from India (the display is now working again…we took two weeks’ worth of photos in India with no VDU following some splashy times at the Agra Fort, but now it’s magically sorted itself out – YUSSSS – because the warranty is British and they weren’t going to honour it here, the assholes), ate merino lamb and smacked our (burnt) lips, all v nice.  I had a bit of a mozzer on Saturday night when the tiredness of the week caught up with me and I basically bailed just after 11 when the others were just warming up for a good time, so I looked like a prize party pooper. 

GLORIOUS VIEW OF FAREWELL SPIT AND GOLDEN BAY AT THE TOP OF THE SOUTH ISLAND ON THE WAY HOME.  I'M TOTALLY BIASED BUT NZ REALLY IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL. 
Also *sigh* - we’re in the middle of sorting out what’s happening at Christmas.  Does anyone else find this quite stressful?  P and I have spent the last three Xmases with his mum and various others (both family and friends), given that the three of us were living in the same hemisphere, far away from the rest of the whanau.  This year, we’re torn between three sets of family and it seems to me that we’re building up for what will likely be a long day.  Basically, I figure I’ll survive by just having another drink.  I started laying in supplies of bubbly stuff at the supermarket yesterday, having predicted the need.  Spoke to my mother yesterday and confirmed we would likely see her Boxing Day; she took it very gracefully so now I owe her a pretty decent prez.  Ideas for mothers who like farms and tennis and gardens, anyone?  Maybe some more paeony plants? 

Well, that’s my newsy little update for you all.  Bit like a Christmas letter really; the writer enjoys putting it together and the recipients could probably care less.  Very tempted to post a family picture featuring seasonal sweaters and an update that reads something like:

“Dear Family and Friends,

“Well it was a wonderful year in the A & P household!  A few highlights of the year:

-       January: We started the year with a disappointing return to work and never saw the light of day in London because of the rubbish winter sunlight hours.  Seasonal Affective Disorder FTW!

-       February: We got MARRIED!  Here are 50 bazillion photos of the Big Day for you to peruse. 

-       March: Went back to work and sulked; decided to quit and return to NZ on flimsy basis of “it means we can have a nice holiday on the way back”

-       April – May: planned said holiday on work time, in between fits of sulking about rubbish Spring weather in London.  Got really boozed in Bordeaux, ate stuff in Amsterdam etc, etc.

-       June: Started our Big Trip!  Here are 50 bazillion photos from the first part.

-       July-August: More Big Trip!  Look at some more photos you suckers!  Mostly unedited and seriously repetitive because one photo of the Blue Mosque is simply not enough!

-       September: We arrived back in NZ and promptly remembered about this Nation’s serious lack of proper insulation!  Got chilblains immediately, bitched about losing our tans and attempted to recover from bowels of death!  Started work in our new jobs.

-       October/November: Whinged at one another regarding how HARD full time employment is.  Continued oversharing about our bowel problems.

-       December: Began resenting our beloved families who we moved back to NZ to be closer to because they care about us and would like to spend Xmas with us.  Aren’t we just peachy?

“Isn’t that lovely?  In summary: we travelled, we drank, we wed and, most of all, we poohed.

“All our love, A & P”

A bit early for that sort of palaver; I must be getting my Xmas spirit(s) on. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

a sunday drive in spain


[Scene: rental car, B road, somewhere on the Costa Brava.]

A: Did you see that lady waiting for a bus?  Kinda weird to have a bus stop all the way out here.
P: And very organised to have a plastic chair to wait on. 
A: Yeah. 

…[drive further few kilometres]

A: The bus must not be far behind us, there’s another lady waiting.  Weird there’s no actual bus shelter or anything. 
P: A, have you noticed how the ladies are dressed?
A: No.  Why?
P: Keep your eyes open.

…[few more ks]

A: Lots of truck traffic on this road.  Why don’t they just take the A roads?  They’re way faster. 
P: I imagine they’re saving on tolls.  And…
A: What?
P: Nothing.

…[couple more ks]

A: Wow, she’s really going to town with the leg warmers.  And those are some short shorts.
P: And some extremely serious stilettos.
A: Do you think they’re waiting for the bus?  What do you think they’re waiting for?
P: Are you stupid?  Or just oblivious?
A: What?  WHAT?
P: They’re hookers.  Ladies of the night.  Ladies of the daytime.  Highwaywomen. 
A: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

[Ladies on the roadside start appearing thick and fast, each one with her own turn-off staked out].

A: Where’d’ya think they do it?
P: Jesus A, I don’t know. 
A: They don’t have tents.  Must have to be in the cabs with the truckers, aye?  OOOOOOh look, is that a pimp parked in the bushes behind her?
P: [Shakes head].
 
[End scene]. 

Fascinating stuff, I tell you.  Barcelona and the Costa Brava were lovely as well as interesting.
 
GLORIOUSLY WARM IN CADAQUES
 
 
QUIMET & QUIMET IN PARALLEL, BARCELONA.  YUM. 

"WE'RE TOTES GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, P".  THE JOKE THAT JUST NEVER GOT OLD AS SECOND STRING NAVIGATOR (I.E. DRIVER'S ORDER OF PREFERENCE = MINDY (THE SATNAV) THEN ME)