Monday, 29 July 2013

crack open the heart medication, me old ticker can't take it

Am back.  Holiday good.  Mid-winter sunshine-y.  I had not appreciated exactly how good it would feel to ignore emails for a couple of days and do a crossword in the afternoon light through the window.  Really, really good, in case you wondered.   

In related news, here is the Continued Report on Middle-Aging: P trimmed the hedges on the weekend.  I followed him around picking up the pieces and weeding the verge.  I got a sense of satisfaction from it.  MY GOD. 

We spent large chunks of the weekend with the nephews too, in pursuit of family togetherness, as my mother in law is in the country.  These boys are a hilarious delight and I had a specially good conversation with Three Year Old Nephew about babies, ancient history (i.e. last year), who has been a bad boy and where Singapore is.  One Year Old Nephew gets a thrill from car crash noises so he's easy to please. 

However, some of said weekend was spent with the nephews inside our four walls.  HEART ATTACK MATERIAL.  Between Three leaping off the retaining wall and One banging decorative coffee table items and sticking screws into his ears, I was convinced they would not leave unscathed from my death trap home.  It has never really occurred to me that I do not have a home that can be enjoyed by all ages but there you have it, we keep a whiskey decanter below waist level and we own heavy, toppleable sound equipment. 

Not only that, but even though I had just been to the supermarket I had nothing really appropriate for children to eat.  Tamarillos in the fruit bowl, sure, but those make One's mouth pucker.  Beans in the cupboard, but only seriously grain laden bread with milk products in it (Three and One have dairy issues).  No noodles, no easy sandwiches - nothing that can be prepared in under 25 minutes, in short.  Surely a sign I've grown up?  I mean, I stewed fruit for breakfasts yesterday.  My identity crisis continues.  Surely, surely, I'm about to have an about-face and realise that this domesticity is a phase, much like Three's current defiance?

Also, can we all please have a moment's reflection on how nice it is to be well?  Sadly for Three, he was feeling a little under the weather yesterday.  In good news for me, however, he saved a spew for half way home in the car, rather than on my Turkish rug.  I'm pretty sure his mother/father/grandmother did not feel as buoyed by that news as I did.

P swears we are now never having children, by the way.  It's too much stress for his old nerves to take.

Monday, 22 July 2013

praise be

The work insanity is over, for now.  I don't have to go to Christchurch for a month, I don't have to have any more dreams about work for a while, I am taking most of the rest of the week off and IT WILL BE GLORIOUS.

I think I might go see my Mum. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

my my, how things have changed

I am at the office on a Sunday, again.  Lady Lawyering is just so riveting that I love to work weekends, as I'm sure you well know.  In fact, I'm mostly stuffing around on the internet (bought treats from Mondegreen, whose misspelling of 'yippee' on their site is irksome but not irksome enough to quell my desire for a cute wee tights/jumper/dress situation, apparently) and going out for chai (did I tell you I gave up coffee?  Well I did and I feel great but my tea and diet coke intake is now insane) with a fellow colleague stuck in limbo at work.  We're waiting on the outcome of a Big Thing Outside Our Control, which dictates the next six weeks of our lives.  Brutal, I tells ya, on the most glorious day of winter sunshine. 

By the way, has it come to your attention that I've left my 20s behind?  Oh yes, you can definitely tell.  Here's what I did yesterday:

1.30am: woke up in a cold sweat having realised that I didn't send an email on Friday night.  Drafted email, put reminder in phone, fretted.

6.30am: answered an email from the UK the minute it came in.  Lay awake, panicking about work.

8am: sent the forgotten email.  Heave sigh of relief.

8.30am: got up for tea, toast and talk with my mum. 

9.30am: showered, pottered round the house: bathroom cleaning, two loads of laundry, tidying, dishes

11.30am: coffee with friends and their 18 month old, discussing their renovation plans

1pm: tasty soup produced by P, based on a recipe we saw on old episodes of Rick Stein's Food Heroes

1.15pm: dishes.

1.30pm: trip to the dump

2.30pm: second trip to the dump

3pm: trip to Mitre 10 Mega.  Purchased shit like a spirit level, cordless drill, hedge trimmer

3.30pm: trip to Noel Leeming.

4.30pm: sorted out bookshelf

6.30pm: out for drinks and dinner with friends

9pm: so tired + have to work tomorrow.  OK, one more drink but only one, you guys.

10.45pm: bed

I mean, I really don't recognise me any more.  I was making work phone calls and basically being a pseudo bitch to an event coordinator (who, in my defence, had cocked up) by 7.45am this morning.  (pseudo bitch in that I was vaguely masking the bitchiness; I'm not a pseudo bitch myself, you well know I'm the full bitching banana.)


When I was a kid, I hated it when we had to go to the dump (the tip, the rubbish place, you know, waste collection).  Dad wouldn't let us ride on the trailer the whole way there which was SO UNFAIR(tip was down State Highway One, NZ's busiest road, good call Dad) and it smelled bad when you got there.  And yet yesterday, P and I got a real kick out of backing the car up and punting polystrene into the void.  We have definitely moved on from Saturdays of the previous decade, which inevitably involved a hangover, late rising, junk food, possibly a spot of part time work at some cruddy retail job, acquiring another hangover by being out well into the early hours of Sunday.  These are the days of our lives, I guess. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

this is not a real post

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORK.  It's what's for dinner just now.

(not werk)

(am I using that right? probably not)

So, I am aware that some of you sneaky readers know me from my real, unembellished life!  OUT YOURSELVES IN THE COMMENTS SECTION PLZ.  Validate my online existence! 

Plz to keep all fingers and toes crossed for me on Sunday, as contingent on a thing what will happen (or not) on Sunday, I may be living and breathing work for all of August in Christchurch.  I'd really rather not do that.  What I would like to do instead in August is noodle around Auckland and find somewhere selling gluhwein. 


Can you tell I'm basically the world's laziest person what is also liquor dependant?  Thought so. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

i was born so that other people could roll their eyes

I would totally like a whinge about work, plz, but that would be entirely inappropriate (Love You, O Employer of My Dreams, no really, I promise, mean it).

So that leaves me with basically fuck all to tell you.  Ok, ok, I know I have totally insufficient blog fodder.  How about a list of people who've had a laugh at my expense recently?

- Recycling truck guy, who saw me screaming outside in my slippers muttering shitty shit shit as I heard the truck come down the street.  He got the bonus of watching me pull out the wrong bin, drop a slipper down between the wooden steps off the front verandah and fall over on what my sister calls the Kitty Litter Stones that gravel our front yard.  (Just this weekend she told me to be careful weeding there while pregnant, because of the risk of toxoplasmosis.  Given I've not ever been known to weed or to be pregnant, I'm not sure where that came from.)

- Insulation Installation Quote Guy, who watched me shivering under a blanket in my living room last night and wiped a finger down the terrible condensation on the kitchen wall.

-  Anyone who has seen the inhuman growth on my forehead (crappy Benefit's crappy eyebrow waxing bar destroying my precious petal leaf skin, back to the tweezers I go)

- Approx. 3 people on the street who saw me trip on nothing, look back angrily at the pavement, realise it was nothing and then shamefacedly turn for home,

I think that is it, recently.  Let me know if not...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

i've infected P, this is probably the ominous beginning to some disaster movie

Of course I've passed this bug to my husband so that the Great Nose-Blowing Extravaganza of '13 can continue apace.  We are so, so vile.  P is wrapped up in bed with two tissue boxes and the enormous column heater I purchased online while in the grip of this evil lurgy.  Best $80 I've spent in a long time - it's so warm in our bedroom right now!  I suspect the power bill will make my eyes water (some more) but it'll be+ worth it for the warm toes and removing at least one source of moan when it comes to P getting out of bed.

You should know that P is a terrible riser.  It's the one time he makes me feel like his mother and I hate it - I don't even say anything, and he's all I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE MAKING ME GET OUT OF BED IT'S SO UNFAIR or WHY WOULD YOU WANT ME TO BE UNHAPPY or JUST ANOTHER 5 MINUTES?  I put up with this bullshit because I'm a tolerant angel.  No, I lie, I shoot him my best devil glare and say WELL IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE WITH ME I'M OFF IN 15 MINUTES which then makes me feel like someone's mother.  Horrific.  We're a lethal combo in the morning of creature of routine (me) and dawdler extraordinaire (him).  He cannot for the life of him understand why it is that I need to leave at exactly 7.30 each morning whereas I cannot understand how his day does not fall apart if there isn't an orderly routine of shower, dress, tea, toast, hair, face, teeth, shoes, gone.  And yet, we love walking to work together which is really, really dumb in the face of our morning incompatibility. 

Wow, I really did not expect to expend that many words in telling you that P is sick with my bugs. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

still vile

Here I am, still gunked up with snot (clear, I've been checking, no need to panic just yet), open-mouth breathing and exhaling heavy sighs approx. once every two minutes.  I spent all of yesterday at my new house, sending out emails saying things like:

"I'm just trying to shake this cold.  I'll definitely be in by lunchtime"

"I'm afraid I won't be in today but I'm checking email and I'll definitely be in tomorrow"

"I'll deal with that on my return, if that suits?"


While I did spend quite a bit of time napping, nose-blowing and binge-watching Laguna Beach (the second series, woefully inadequate without LC), I also continued the stocktake of the house.  Was definitely warmer after I stuffed dirty teatowels in the half inch gap under the back door.  My mother recommended I find "one of those craft fairs" and buy some kind of "handmade sausage" to stop the drafts.  It was sometime before I finished laughing.  The telephone and internet connections came online yesterday (note: NZ services - infinitely faster set up times than the UK.  Sure, you have to hand crank the internet once it's in, but at least it gets set up within two weeks, rather than, say, eight).  That is an enormous relief because do you know how much data one chews through when one needs to check the Daily Mail thrice daily?  Quite a bit (ROYAL BEBE WATCH PEOPLE, PRIORITIES.)

Oh also, in News Of The Day, Hat Friend scored us tickets to Beyonce!  Me circa 2003 is so unbelievably pumped about this news.  Seven 30-something girls at a Beyonce concert: what could possibly go wrong?  Quite a bit.  There's already talk of taking a day's leave (it's on a Friday) to "get ready", for which, substitute "blow out on cheap bubbly before the concert even starts."  God, I'm that woman that circa-2003-me would have felt sorry for.  How the mighty have fallen.  Don't be so smug 2003-me.  You wouldn't have had the money to buy tickets.  Be grateful to yo' old ass self! 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

i don't like me much right now, either

Today I'm one of THOSE people.  Those snotty-nose-in-an-office people.   Am constantly suspecting other people of resenting my sneezy, goopy carcass (as I would them were the tables turned).  I wouldn't be here infecting others, could I ditch my responsibilities (I know, I know, no one is *that* important but in this case, I'd be sitting in bed on the phone giving directions every five minutes and responding to emails and, frankly, that's easier in this disease-incubator of a building from the luxury of my lumbar-supportive chair.  And where there are people who I can scam into making me cups of tea.)

I'm a walking contagion, just be grateful it isn't reaching out through the screen as you read this.  Very timely that we are already investigating extra insulation solutions.  The power bill at the end of this month is going to be something horrific, at the rate we've been pumping the gas heaters.  We made the call today just to wrap up warmly on the couch in the evening, under a blanket, rather than wasting more of the earth's precious resources.  Oh, and in a completely selfless move to reduce our power bill, I bought a very cute rug for the bedroom floor (selfish for my toesies!)  Wanna see it?
It was delivered to our front deck at 6 this morning and I thought someone was in our house and fuh-reaked out.  Was very pleased to find it was just soft furnishings on my doorstep and not, say, a burglar (dressed like the Hamburglar, obvi.)

While I'm on the subject of extravagant purchases for my new home (what? You thought we were done with MAH HOUSE talk? Oh, you were so wrong that I feel a little sorry for you), I also bought an ikea situation for the TV shite to sit in/on (cables! speakers! general boy crap like that! P is OBSESSED with the sound quality in our new living room) and some bedside drawers.  FUCKING EXHILARATING OR WHAT? I ask you. 

As you were. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

eating is my favourite

Xi'an Noodle Bar on Dominion Road is the best.  Spicy Joint: yeah, she's ok.  The dumplings at Barilla?  V. tasty but no 5 Spice Stew Pork with Handmade Noodle or Lamb Soup with Pancake.  DELICIOUS.   My new remedy for a 30th bday party hangover, let me tell you (thanks for the party C!  Good times.)

Dominion Road eateries I think I love you. 

Oh also Wellington, I love you too.  It was a flying visit with an extremely rock'n'roll start on the descent to the airport, but you were lovely.  Gusty, yes.  But you were full of old friends and new babies and laughs and can't believe its.  Just lovely.

We got home yesterday (home! it is home! I can call it that and mean it!) and after a short stint at work (ugh) we noodled around locally, literally, in the case of Xian, buying screwdrivers and potting plants and drying washing and hanging pictures and weeding the path.  I wonder how long this burst of domesticity will last?  Not long, I suspect.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

navel gazing: winter 2013

This time last year, I was about to depart the UK for Barcelona, having had a glorious trip around Scotland and Ireland.  I really thought that during the Southern Hemisphere winter of 2013, I'd be miserable, reliving the three month travels highlights package and mourning the loss of London's lifestyle, while being cold, damp and miserable in Aotearoa. 

I am pleased, and somewhat startled, to find that it's not like that at all. 

This winter hasn't really been that bad so far.  Today's projected high is 19 degrees celcius, the sun is out and I probably didn't need my coat on the way to work.  On a good day in winter, you can still wander around in short sleeves in the sunlight hours, which are longer than in the UK.  Sure, houses are terribly insulated and abysmally heated so the nights are a bit cold but it really isn't as miserable as I'd predicted.

The house purchase has also made life a little more exciting.  I'm getting a ridiculous kick out of placing frames just so to cover giant scrapes in the paintwork.  In all seriousness, the house is a little reminiscent of a Dunedin flat in some ways and I've certainly lived in nicer places recently (Grange Road, Bermondsey, I still miss you and your mews-y loveliness! Crofton Road, Camberwell your kitchen was divine!).  But it's mine, and it has a big backyard, and I can do what I want with it.  Yes, it's been less than a week so I shouldn't speak too soon, but I think this is contributing to my surprising lack of nostalgia for Europe. 

Work has also been a surprise factor.  Yes, I'm really busy and I've been a bit stressed.  But I'm actually enjoying my job for the first time in a very long time.  I'm challenged, it's interesting, but I can shake it off when I go home at night.  I like my colleagues and my bosses very much.  I think I've been very lucky. 

P is great, of course - but when is he not?  This is the man who presented me with a glass of something bubbly on our first night in our new home and laughed maniacally and hugged me when I worked out exactly how nice that something bubbly was and mock-scowled at him with my best bank manager countenance.  Mortgage be damned - enjoy life! is his philosophy.  He keeps me dreaming (I worry that I keep him chained to the ground). 

My friends are lovely too - we've fallen back into ages-old friendships on our return to the mothership Aotearoa.  We're off to Wellington tonight for a 30th bday and hopefully to meet a brand new baby-friend (details to be ironed out) - staying with old friends.  We do miss all the London kids terribly, of course.  We keep plotting ways to either have them all return or to get back and visit soon.

It's great to be near family, too.  They've been so supportive since we got back and when you're gone, over there, for so long, it's easy to forget what it's like to be able to have brunch with your sister, or a play with the kids, every so often.  Easy. 

I'm pretty spoilt.  I know my swings (rants) on here are fairly extreme but underneath it all, I think Auckland was a good move for us.  Yes, I miss the travel desperately.  I miss our lifestyle, our friends, our places.  But I'm happy here.  I only just opened my eyes and saw that now. 

keeping myself honest, one shameful internet-airing at a time

Things what I have ingested today:

  • Two slices of marmite vogel's toast, one with some cheese (Germany: so right about the inclusion of cheese with breakfast)
  • a faceful of sushi, including salmon (good), tempura prawn (v bad)
  • a banana (slightly on the brown side but surprisingly satisfying)
  • a picnic bar (I spoke to it.  It spoke to me. It probably spoke directly to my ass)
  • a diet coke
  • four cups of tea (I no longer drink coffee and am compensating)
  • guzzle of water (srsly.  I need to go have a drink of water)
  • three Eclipse chewy mints.  Wait...four. 
Things what I am likely to ingest later today:
  • wine (work functions.  they are no good for you)
  • arancini (deep fried and everywhere at the moment)
  • wine
THIS is why I have terrible skin and an attitude problem right now, it's patently obvious. I need to eat more leafy greens and less crappy sweetener / fried things / booze.  Alright , here's a deal, if I cut the sweetner and the fried things will you at least give me the booze?  It's been a rough week. 

(PS mah house, she is awesome.  She also has tilty floors, a serious lack of insulation and cupboard space and a damp towel problem, but I love her.  My art looks good on her walls and my rug looks fab on her floor). 

Monday, 1 July 2013





(notice no OSP? myriad other flaws? OH WELL I STILL LOVE IT)

settling (i hope)

Today's the day, people.  Settlement.  If all goes to plan, I'll own a house by this evening.  I can probably stop using the "I want a house" label after this. 

Keep your fingers crossed settlement proceeds smoothly ... god, I hope we've got enough drawn down to pay for the damn thing!

Yesterday, I surfaced from a intermediate grade hangover (slept until 10.30, watched crap on television, went to the supermarket and ate my face off then napped until 3) and realised that there was still a boatload of stuff to pack.  This was a pretty drastic realisation and led to about an 8 hour round of serious packing activity surge / oh god I'm so thirsty / shuffling things for a bit / can I just have a break? And over again.

The worst part of the packing is the realisation that we have to find a home for most if not all of this crap and the house has no storage.  No wardrobes, no linen cupboard, a tiny ass pantry in the kitchen and about 2 cupboards under the sink, one wee cupboard in the bathroom under the sink.  That's it.  Where on earth I'm going to keep all the freaking teatowels I seem to have accumulated let alone fascinators, tiny leprechaun hats and other such costume junk I discovered late yesterday evening I've no idea. 

Oh wah, I know.  Cry me a river.  I'm pretty damn excited, for all that.  Will live out of my boxes for months and will try to only whinge about it in small doses. 

Maybe I'll even take a picture for you when I get there.