Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Easter morning tea at work today means that my tummy is making me happy and angry: so full, so content and so ROUND. 

I like Easter very much, which is weird for an atheist (agnostic previously…but atheist seems to fit better now?)  It’s not the chocolate that makes me Easter-ish because 2002-2005 I ate my way around a choc factory up to 6 times a day as a tour guide and now I am largely ambivalent about milk chocolate (still keen on marshmallow eggs and the occasional crème egg, but if you hand me a white choc crème egg I think I’ll be sick.  Absolutely cannot look a peppy chew in the eye either. DO NOT SPEAK to me about crunchie bars.) 

It annoys the bejesus out of me that the shops are closed for Good Friday and Easter Sunday when I need something, but that’s just because I’m a modern Millie who has come to expect a life of convenience.  Actually spending the day knowing that you can’t just pop down to the off-y or supermarket is kind of nice.  Enforced time en famille, shall we say?  Means the queues tonight and Saturday for petrol etc will be a complete clusterfuck though, so there’s that.  And trying to drive ANYWHERE over the next 24 hours? Please, my affinity for the Auckland motorway (so handy! So convenient!) does not extend to spending three hours in gridlock on it. 

My affection for Easter probably has a lot to do with a four day holiday.  What’s not to love about that?  This year, however, we’re not doing too much with it, spot of rellie-visiting, bit o’ open-homing (of course).  Easter last year?  I believe that was spent in London?  Don’t quote me on that?  OH THAT’S RIGHT – just delved the archives – being involved in train confrontations and getting sick in Edinburgh!  The year before, we were with my parents in France, just before P proposed.  Beeee-youtiful; printemps en Bordeaux et Toulouse.  I believe we spent the Sunday in St Emilion, where P was pissed that people had closed tastings at the vineyards.  That and I believe he was stressed about speaking to my father prior to proposing (I’m not sure he’s dumb enough to have asked for permission literally because I would have had his balls tied around a tree in a hot minute if he’d done that; I’ve been led to believe it was more a ‘I’d like to marry your daughter and I hope you’re down with that’ – to which I understand the response was ‘Weeeeeell, if you can get her to say yes…’).

Side note: I LOVE it when women have a tab on their blog entitled “Love Story” or similar and you can follow their relationship history.  Seriously, it’s adorably funny and addictive.  I’ve talked about the v v beginning of my relationship with P before and gushed about him on occasion, but I can’t get up a head of steam to write something like that.  Mostly because it would probably read “Met P.  Pashed P.  Drank with P.  Moved in with P.  And then squillionty eleven years later, got married because it’s important to P and also awesomely fun”.  Not really an interesting storyline.  Also, I guess it’s his story too? 

Anyway, that is all an extremely long-winded way of saying: Easter.  I’m not doing much but I will like it.  Hope you do too – whether it’s church, chocs or travels that float your boat.  Drive safe. 

PS Marriage equality debate last night in committee – let’s get the third reading passed quick smart! Equality is the business!

yes, i am still talking about my urinary tract

Panic not, dear friends, the cranberry juice hit the spot (ugh) and I am healthy again.  Well, as healthy as a woman who eats a diet based on a food pyramid with a bottom row of cheese can be.  SRSLY though, UTIs are the bane of my existence.  I had issues with them as a very wee girl, then again persistently in my early 20s.  They’re slightly more infrequent now, but I suspect that’s because of a long term course of god-awfully strong antibiotics America prescribed me (I felt terribly guilty for antibiotic blasting my system so I converted to the cranberry cure which MIRACULOUS.  There was this one time in Hong Kong when I had to drink about 50 litres of juice because the cranberry content was so low but drink it I did and lo, I was cured). 

What did women who lived in, say, 1563, do about this?  Probably lived in persistent pain and terror and died early from childbirth?  Let’s face it; I’d be totally f’d if I’d been born then.  Given I’m now 30, I’ve probably busted the Tudor life expectancy by heapses and, if not, I should have had about 8 pregnancies or something similar.  I was going to say doesn’t bear thinking about but it kind of puts writing a cruddy email to my workplace about being late into perspective, no?  Plus, this is also a cross for much of womankind to bear, isn't it?  I don't think I've met a 30 year old who doesn't know that particular version of pain?

There are other things I might have struggled with if born in 1563, on reflection, such as a loud mouth and fundamental laziness (I NEVER want to handwash.  Imagine if ALL your washing was handwashing.  THE INHUMANITY.) 

Writing all of this down has sent me on a memory lane bender: Memorable UTI Edition.  God that’s awful.  Look away now, as I record them for posterity:

-     The One at My Hall of Residence, 2001, The First As An Adult And I Totally Thought I Was Dying But Also a Diseased Whore
-     The One When I Made P Walk Me To Urgent Care in the Middle of A Cold, Cold Dunedin Night, circa 2002
-     The One When I Was on a Plane To Go See My Mother With My Sister And I Made Them Drive Me Directly To Urgent Care, circa 2005 ish, And My Mother Made Jokes About Sex. 
-     The One in Hong Kong (see above)
-     The One Where I Finally Used That Expensive American Health Insurance, While P Suffered From Pink Eye And Visited a Dodgy Back Alley Doctor

In conclusion, I am grateful for cranberry, antibiotics and urgent care doctors.  Modernity, at its most convenient. 

Monday, 25 March 2013


Do you know how hard it is to compose an email to your office warning them that you'll be in late today because you're having to chug cranberry juice somewhere near a loo, as your urinary tract is being a dick?   

I wrote something mysterious about a "health issue" (not wanting to lie and say I (a) needed to go to a doctor or (b) needed to pick up a prescription because we infection-susceptible vagina-bearers all know that cranberry juice is the magic hippy bullet, if only you can get your hands on it quickly and wait out the horrible half hour until it soothes the burning razor blades).  So they probably think it was diarrhea. 


Sunday, 24 March 2013

i live for the weekend

Monday morning, how much more do I adore thee when thou art followed by a four day week?  Easter.  Can’t come soon enough.  Choc + a four day weekend is the best thing I can imagine right now.  If the weather stays the way it currently is (clear, 20+ degree days, cool nights and mornings) it will be sheer bliss.  This lingering summer is melting into autumn but slowly, slowly.   

Weddings for the season have now been attended, gifts given, cards signed and we’re facing down the barrel of a bleak, ceremony-less winter.  When I see a house I like I think I might marry it, though, because then it can’t leave me, right?  Those two pics I posted on Friday were of houses we visited this weekend and decided we could TOTALLY live in so that brings the next round of auctions to three possibles.  You will have to wait until after Easter to ride the rollercoaster again though – auctions are on the 3rd, 10th and 13th of April.  We will have been house hunting for about three months then.  May not sound long to many of you, but it’s far more of my life devoted to the process than I ever previously intended. 

Other updates: P spent the weekend chatting with Melbourne based friends about how we should totally go over for a visit, apparently ignorant of all my birthday scheming (muahaha).  R nearly wet himself, writhing with excitement over the secret when P was speculating about a good time for a visit (P in his best man’s speech about R: “Apart from the fact he can’t keep a secret, he’s the best friend you can imagine”).  I think he might be on to me, actually.  Sneaky beggar is very sneaky and I cannot for the life of me work out how I’m going to secretly pack him a bag to get to the airport. 

Also, not to boast (totally to boast), but it is EXTREMELY attractive when one’s husband makes a speech about his best mate and has everyone in tears of laughter and emotion.  The booze helped a willing audience to be sure, I was so proud of him nonetheless. 

And so, hi ho hi ho etc – work. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

anticipating bad behaviour (the good kind) (sort of)

Last wedding of the season for me this weekend.  R is getting hitched to A.  R + P met in 6th form (as they called it, back in the days of yore in ye olde high school) and caused general hijinks for years following.  R was P’s best man, P is R’s best man.  This means that I’m sitting at a table of wives/girlfriends from the bridal party, plus a few assorted other interesting folks, including a guy by the name of Irish Rob, because (congratulations, aren’t you CLEVER) he’s from Ireland.  I shall get gloriously tiddly with Irish Rob and the WAGS and we will be vaguely obnoxious while wearing pretty, pretty things.  Maybe I will cry at bit during the ceremony.  The bride will be beautiful.  Weddings, aren’t they lovely?

This one is the whole she-bang, too.  Upwards of 150 guests, formal attire (you know I’m wearing the same summery dress anyway, right?  It brings that thing down to about $100 per wear which is still horrendous to contemplate), church-y bit etc etc.  An old boss of mine is the uncle of the groom (this is New Zealand, of course.  Dad recently did the 2 degrees of separation trick in Bonn with some Kiwi he’d just met and within a couple of questions had worked out that the new acquaintance used to work in a former government ministry with a friend of mine from university who Dad basically adores), so that’ll be odd/nice. 

I better go find some new, respectable, only slightly-whore-y shoes in my lunch break today…except FFFFFF today’s the day we’re paying off P’s student loan!!!  The millstone hanging around our necks is finally going!  YAYAYAYAYAY – except it leaves us with basically nada in the coffers for the next wee while (spesh with this house purchase palaver going on).   OH WELL will wear the $20 shoes that gave me allergic reactions and are basically deteriorating within 2 wears (but they’re cute! $10 a wear at the moment, if I wear them tomorrow we’re down to $6.66 a wear!).

HOUSES.  HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE do you love these???? (you better.  I will hear nothing nasty)

OH YEAH and the girls from work are having a BYO tonight at a Thai restaurant in Ponsonby. UH-OH SPAGHETTI-O!

(why yes, my much improved (somewhat manic mood) must be because my soul is shriven! I apologised to P! Who is taking steps to fix the problem!)

(Also, I resigned from my job in Blighty a year ago.  Feels like forever or the blink of an eye.  I shall write a post about the change, no doubt, entitled something like "London, I Love Thee, But I Did The Right Thing".)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

suppression, repression, whatever

Ha.  You know we swept that shit under the carpet, right?  What, deal with issues?  No, bottle 'em 'til they explode again.

OFF TO A PLAY TONIGHT.  This means I could potentially have something to discuss on this here blog that is not:

(a) A real estate whinge; or
(b) A whinge whinge!

Must make the most of the Auckland Arts Festival - oh, and the list of writers attending this year's Auckland Readers and Writers Festival 2013 has been released! Go, look, do, etc.  I think tickets are on sale in a day or two.  An hour of Bill Manhire's poetry set to music sounds pretty rad to me. 

have you ever

known that you've behaved like a real ass-hat, but been unable to (a) apologise or (b) change the behaviour? 

No?  Just me? 

Well that's depressing. 

My ass-hattery, I feel compelled to add, was not without justification.  Put it this way, multiple small irritants have lead to a large, lustreless, irregular pearl.  Certainly not something beautiful.  I can't justify the over-sized (gargantuan) past sulks nor my likely reactions to future irritants. 

Oh, and my husband has had to bear the bad behaviour, despite not being the cause.  He came down on me like a ton of bricks this morning and I cried petulant tears of frustration (because he was right) and alienation (because he didn't understaaaaaaaand).

I know how intensely irritating it is for a public forum diarist not to give details, but I think my anonymity is pretty thinly veiled so: nothing further to see here.  Telling you more would only lead to further embarrasment as the extent of my bitchiness was revealed.  However, lest you think this a giant waste of time, writing down that I've been a sulky eejit does make it easier to say it out loud to P later, though, so thanks blog, for the cheap marriage counselling. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

by rote

Hallo sailors.  I am here and it is Monday and what is wonderful about that?  We've had rain!  The drought is (sort of) broken, and we're back to standard Auckland humidity (frizz, sweat, panting, window-scraping and the other assorted side effects of humidity are back too, of course).

Weekend was good. Yup.  Spent some time with Hat Friend which was a blast - she makes me laugh - and, you guessed it, went house hunting.  Had a great skype call with a friend in London.  If you ignore all the driving from A to B to C and back to A, then C, B, B, A (of course all the open homes near one another are not grouped in a nice consecutive viewing order), it was a lovely weekend, really. 

Ate terribly this weekend; consider this the start of a health kick, boys and girls.  To ease myself back into good habits, last night's dinner was a hefty iceberg salad, roast pumpkin and a little bit of rump steak, thinly sliced.  Heaven, when you've been living on carbs and cheese and grease. 

Phoning it in with some pictures instead:



Wednesday, 13 March 2013

[sad trombone sound]

OF COURSE I didn't buy a house last night!

Close though.  POWER HUNGRY bidder over here nearly did everything she said she would (sweated profusely, for sure, ground teeth into oblivion, no vom though) and nearly succeeded... on the third and final call, dick-bidder upped the game and I was out.  SAD PANDA. 

Let the cycle begin again!  Long, slow, exhalations for us all...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

i'm a cheery wee chap

So, here we are again.  Day of the auction (two auctions, actually).  I’m sitting at my desk, filling my pants, waiting on the results of two desk-top valuations (that’ll be another $270 each please, bringing the total spend on house-buying-type-reports to approx. $1,500 without much [ANY] success yet) to see how much authority the bank’ll give us. 

Frankly, I’m pretty negative about the auctions today.  There are a number of factors playing into this:
  1. RBATWAFD has a LOT of interest and we don’t think the valuation will support a number sufficient to buy it.
  2. BWAGBALLS (heh) has an asshole agent who hates me.  And some committed bidders.
  3. BWAGBALLS’s auction will start at a fairly high number because it’s been brought on by pre-auction offer.
  4. We are dividing up – so I am responsible for bidding on RBATWAFD. Yeah, you heard me. There will be tears, people. This will not be done confidently, professionally, or without vomit.
There are probably other factors I could count – it’s the 13th today (gotta be lucky for somebody, right?!) – I’ve got gas which is a TERRIBLE sign for SOMETHING – We can’t go househunting for the next couple of weekends by which time we’re gonna be out on our asses from the current rental – it’s all bad.  ALL BAD.  Those probably don’t count as relevant considerations, really.


Ummmmm, let’s see…I took a beginner’s course in Excel yesterday?  Looks pretty useful?

Still have houseguests (6w6d – isn’t that the kind of abbrevs people use in pregnancy/fertility forums? OH WELL)

Mum and Dad did not manage to see a tiger.

Yeah, basically, I’ve got nothing.  Keep your fingers crossed.

i'm an asshole (but he was first)


I emailed a real estate agent from my work address. 
It was not deliberate - it's just that I'm not on my gmail account all day and we're under a deadline in relation to this particular property.  However, this dick move on my part means that said agent knows I'm a solicitor.  ROOKIE MISTAKE. 

It matters not that I'm not a conveyancing solicitor.  It's like a red rag to a bull.  I have had nothing but smarmy responses from this jerk all day.  He's knocked back my attempt to change the standard deposit percentage required (basically, he hasn't actually asked the vendor but is trying to get me to up it because whaddaya know, his firm will be holding the deposit on interest bearing account pending settlement), been a dick about questions regarding clear title - generally trying to illustrate how much more he knows about the conveyancing process.  Which; fine - absolutely he does!  I'll admit it!  I'm not a conveyancer! I have my own solicitor to advise me on buying a house! Who suggested I ask those questions!


I do know how to look up the legislation governing conduct of real estate agents and the complaints procedure. 

Yeah.  I'm an asshole solicitor after all. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

on an upswing

Guys! Guys!  THERE ARE MORE HOUSES I WOULD LIKE TO BUY! Quelle surprise!

-     Retro Brick and Tile with a Fab Deck: Pt Chevalier, basically beside the zoo.  We can probably hear the monkeys!  It’ll be just like living near the fandamily!  Don’t love the bedrooms but the living areas (northwest facing) are superb.  Goes to auction Wednesday…I can hear you all heaving rather large sighs about the shape of this week’s posts already…

-     Bungalow with a Great Backyard and Lovely Living Space: Sandringham, good pub nearby (hey, I’m basically British in terms of my attachment to having a local.)  Auction is Wednesday week.   People: it has a walled vege garden.  You don’t even want to know how excited that makes me. 

I also looked at a ton of cruddy houses this weekend, so we were more than grateful to find something that (a) we might be willing to spend money on and (b) we might be able to afford.  When we were at an open home in Kingsland (so close to town…and yet so close to the shitting motorway) we realised another potential purchaser viewing the place was a former All Black (I thought P was going to lose his shit, seriously.  Was so proud when he played it cool until we got in the car), and at another do-up in Grey Lynn we ran into none other than Rachel Hunter, supermodel and ex-spouse of Rod Stewart.  So yeah, we can’t really afford either of those places.  Paddy no longer cares and is dining out on the stories of his best house-hunting day ever (“Me and Mils go way back” “Rachel gave me her number” “Rachel and I really checked out the bathroom, if you know what I mean” etc.)  She is, by the way, a stunningly good looking woman in real life – seems much smaller and even more beautiful than in her pictures.  She looks natural, which is lovely.  Apparently I am now a Rach Fan Girl.  Somebody pass me a Trumpet.

OH YOU POOR SODS, I’m back on the housebuying horse. 

Other things: Ma and Pa Hopeless have hit India.  I’m dying to get a report from them (so jealous, and yet STILL I can’t face dahl).  I am sure they will have some very bloggable stories which may mean you get more than a stream of consciousness re: property purchasing and flatmate flagellating from me. 

Also, picture! This pic is in honour of the fact that it was the most glorious weekend here – we’re talking mid-high 20s temps, with clear blue skies and very little humidity.  Just lovely.  Oh, and the Bluff oyster season has started.  Expensive but delicious; we treated P’s Southern born father to oysters which I suspect are his personal brand of crack.  Worth it for the look on his face. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

distinguishing characteristics

Murky green eyes.  Bluish, sometimes.  Bits of brown

Slightly upturned nose

Gummy smile, vanishing top lip

Mostly even teeth

No wisdom teeth

Top of left breast, faded birthmark (my left, not yours.  It’s my breast, after all)

Moles, lots

Weird lump on left knee, outer quadrant (possibly also on right knee or so my doctor says)

Lump on back of right hand, where the bones for forefinger and thumb meet

Junk in trunk

Claw-like big toes (turned up at the end)

Enormous earlobes, pierced once each

Mid-length to long hair

5’8 or 5’9

Long torso, short legs

Not fair, but not far off

I always thought that, had I been an 18th century gentleman, people might have complimented me on my well-turned calves.

Oh that reminds me: when I had my wisdom teeth removed, they put me under IV sedation.  I have some very odd memories of being told “You need to be quiet now so we can get in your mouth” and being disconcerted.  Had I REALLY just told them completely inappropriate information, while people were hovering over my open gob?  When I came to, P was there.  He took me home in a cab and felt like he was being pegged by bystanders as a daytime date rapist wielding rohypnol.  I called my mother from the cab: “You’ve got to try this stuff! It’s AH-MAZING”.  Three hours later, I didn’t feel quite so well (or high.)  P made me mashed potatoes.  It went downhill from there. 

PS Happy IWD!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

personality: bitch

I’ve been operating on that ubiquitous maternal advice: if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.  Consequently, I have basically not spoken for the last three and a half days.  I am losing my mind over trivial shit.  I don’t know why everything grates me so, but I nearly punched someone when they validated my condiment choice for me last night.  I AM A BIG GIRL. I CAN MAKE MY OWN DECISION REGARDING WHAT I SLATHER ON FISH AND BE COMFORTABLE WITH IT. 

This is a public forum, and some of you sneaky wee buggers from my real life are reading this.  Hence, I will shut my yap on this topic.  But know this, readers of the Hopeless Blog, I am the most intolerant woman alive.  Basically.

Soooooooo, I can hear the clamours of “House Hunting Update!” from here.  OH ALRIGHT THEN I’ll tell you where we’re at:

I missed an auction on Tuesday.  P was stuck at work, I was stuck on a bus in absolutely horrendous traffic trying to get to the auction room in Royal Oak.  I had textual contact with the agent, who let me know it had been passed in at a higher sum than we were willing to pay (Hah.  I really mean higher than we can afford.)  Apparently, the vendor was approached in the carpark afterwards by a prospective purchaser seeking to cut a deal without the agent.  Good luck with that, I’m pretty sure they’ve got super powers where their interests are concerned.  We’ve basically given up on the northern point of Mt Eden now because Cute House with a Nikau Palm and Dark House But Did You See The Backyard! were both beyond our means, and there isn’t much that is cheaper and nastier in that part of town that doesn’t come with a giant LEAKY HOUSE stamp.

I have a list of about ten trillion more places to visit this weekend.  There is a bit of focus on Arch Hill / Kingsland now, as they’re nice and close to the city, but cheaper because of the stinking motorway dividing the two.  I probably shouldn’t reveal all of this in case you’re all a bunch of frothy-mouthed stalkers, planning a visit to stab me in my sleep or steal my GHDs (which is the worse crime?!!!) but OH WELL TOO LATE NOW. 

'Exciting' weekend plans shall proceed thusly:
Friday: work drinks to welcome the new graduates.  I shall escape earlyish and pissedish.

Saturday: loads of washing.  Passive aggressive loo-cleaning.  About ten squillion open homes.  COFFEE.  BOOZE.  Dinner with friends (recent purchasers; no doubt the entire evening's convo will consist of whinges about the Auckland property market.  Fuck me, I’ve really become that girl I hate.)

Sunday: more washing.  Passive aggressive vacuum-cleaning.  A frillion more open homes.  Really should visit Number 2 Nephew.  Resentment over Sunday night, a whole 'nother week's work, etc. 

Crap on a cracker, it is quite difficult to prevent this bloggy business from becoming a public forum whinge-fest.  Well, if you’re me, anyway. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

rainy days and mondays

Another near miss, boys and girls.  We were closer this time though.  It transpired that SNWACK house had a host of building issues.  Accordingly, we dropped our bidding limit and predicted it would sell for the top end of our limit.  Whaddaya know, it did.  P briefly considered getting the bid in at our upper limit before one of the other interested parties placed it on the table, but I think we’re both glad he didn’t, given the breadth of the issues with the property (sleep out with no building consent and too low a ceiling, shoddy foundations etc, together with a host of other structural/non-structural issues.)  Back to the drawing board, at least this time with a little bit of a better sense of the market, I guess.  

That, being the above, was a boring paragraph.  Word of warning: it’s not going to get any better. 

Oh god you guys.  I’m a misery guts at the moment.  I’m experiencing some kind of hormonal clusterfuck, I’ve seen my mum (saying goodbye to her ALWAYS makes me emotional no matter the circumstances, for reasons I am unable to pinpoint), I’m overtired and I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning clumps of someone else’s shit out from under the rim of the toilet.  FUCK ME.  (Just deleted rant re houseguests.  I’m sure you can extemporise.) 

You better add to the catalogue of woe my concerns about my hair.  It’s gone a heinous dishwater brown and sobsobsob I miss blonde already, even bleached out frizzy nasty blonde.  DON’T DO IT, is my advice.  JC on a piece of toast, I’m a whinging narcissist with no sense of perspective and TERRIBLE hair.  

Oh yes, the visit to the farm was lovely.  Hung out with a horse, spent an hour or two pulling fleabane, ate steak, drank wine.  V civilised for the provinces, I must say.  Given all of that, my whinge seems even more ridiculous, but there it is.