Friday, 30 August 2013

daffodil day

They hover yellowly in my vase, cheerily announcing in a clamourous almost-chorus that spring has arrived.  I sneeze; so has hayfever.  I love them for the first few weeks.

But then the turn of August into September ushers in the plastic stems.  Garish fabric pinned to my chest; a reminder of the cellular mutation of the disease.  The fresh turned into the distorted. 

This is not to say I hate Daffodil Day; on the contrary, the Cancer Society does amazing work and I support them proudly (elsewise; why affix this badge of fake spring?)  It just is what it is, a melancholy reminder of the transience of life in the face of the turning, new season. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

stream of consciousness ii

It's wrong that it's only Thursday afternoon, but I've already been having an internal monologue like, 'don't stress, just do it Sunday afternoon, it'll be ok'.  Weekends are precious, o procrastination centre of my brain, stop with that crap already and get stuff done now, plz? Or write a blog post instead and continue to sink into glum, go on, I dare you. 

So, remember those fifty gazillion posts in which I remarked on my own tediousness?  Of course you don't.  They were dull.  I'm not one to bust out of the mould so today's tiresome commentary vis-a-vis First World Problems is on the obscene pricing of drycleaning in this two bit town.  I had serious difficulty swallowing my middle-aged ire when I got served with a $73 bill for two dresses, a top and a skirt.  None of that stuff was made by fairies out of the golden fleece or any such rubbish - we're talking polyester, baby.  The only reason I didn't hand wash these things is that I'd probably just crumple the bejeezus out of them.  The price I pay for my own inability to act like a domestic goddess, aye?

Plus, I put a hole in the bum of my pretty swirly dress so I have to pay to get that fixed.  Pray that it's not too horrendous a bill, I cannae use a needle and thread.  My hem is falling down as we speak and if there was a stapler to hand, well, I'd not hold myself responsible for the consequences.

Apropos of nothing but my general malaise, I feel compelled to tell you that I've not been to the theatre or anything cultshural for an age.  Nor have I felt super compelled to comment on politics either (don't worry, still taking on the patriarchy at home.  Cornered P on a half hour walk home from work and very nearly made him admit he's a feminist.  Badgered the poor bugger to death, I did. He's still recovering.  To clarify, he doesn't want the label but believes in the principles which I guess I can take.)   Things I should probably care more about and would normally expound on at length include:

- Labour party leadership;
- Miley Cyrus and minstrel show at the VMAs (Hadley Freeman in the Guardian said something insightful with which I agree, I suppose);
- Auckland's Unitary Plan;

OH WAIT.  The effed up Hop Card mess in AKL, there's something I care about! And it fits in nicely with the themes of First World Problems, Tedium and White Middle Aged People!  Remember children, in a city far, far away there was an Oyster Card.  That magical, wondrous card gave you access to buses, most trains in the metro area, ferries and trams.  It topped up magically through the internet or - gasp - even magically and automatically from your bank account when you dropped below five quid.  Those were the days.  But, children, Auckland is hopeless like me and could not organise a piss up in a brewery.  So we have different cards for everything, no way of topping up online and only limited and hidden dairies where you can apply funds to catch the bus.  You can still pay the driver in ten cent coins.  I know that in theory they are fixing this.  I know that they were *meant* to have transferrable cards.  But.  BUT.  Sort it out, Auckland. 

There, I feel so much better after working up a righteous rage.  Stream of consciousness solved my ennui. 

I'm lame. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

we may own a table

In a fit of avoidance-based mania, I just bought a clock.  It is a very nice station-style clock, with numbers for telling the time, hands for telling the time, etc.  I'm sure it will be extremely useful for yelling at P in the morning "hurry up it's already 7.30 for crying out loud.  STOP ADJUSTING YOUR POCKETSQUARE and LEAVE WITH ME ALREADY."  I really enjoyed that three minute online purchase but now I'm jonesing for another hit.  Quick, it's time for distraction before I buy $45 cushion covers what have no cushions in them (you KNOW that if I buy them, I'll never get round to finding inners / finding inners what fit, right?)

Speaking of purchases, I suspect that P went and ordered a huge ass dining table today that cost a fortune and has no chairs but appears to be the table of his dreams (who knew he dreamed so big? Not his wife, though she ought to have suspected.)  We are hemorrhaging funds that would be better spent reducing the mountain of debt we have (original metaphor, no? oh wait, cliche you say? go fuck yourself, I can't do any better today.) 

Wanna see?

And just like that, with a single picture of a table, this blog reached new levels of boring.  THIS FROM A WOMAN WHO TWO DAYS AGO POSTED ABOUT LAW CAMP.  Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, it's pretty exciting around here!  And it's about to get even better: my Ma and Pa are visiting for the weekend, then, HOLD THE PHONE, my sister in law, her husband and two children (you remember Three and One, right?) are moving in for five weeks during their renovation.  IT'S ALL ACTION, ALL THE TIME around here! Quick, I'm desperate to stay relevant...ummm...Miley Cyrus?  Does that help? 

Monday, 26 August 2013

nerd alert


Of course you did (ahem). 

I am back now and better than ever, even if I did come home from what I now admit to be a giant camp for lawyers (does it get any better than that?!) feeling greasy from my dormitory stay.  Personal highlight?  Organisers were getting a group photo in front of the Courts on Saturday evening, with all of us garbed in our best dark suit/white shirt/suitable shoe combos.  Guy driving past slows down, winds down his window and yells "GEEKS" before shooting off.  Best. Driveby. Insult. EVER.  We completely, totally and utterly deserved it. 

I absolutely loved, loved, loved coming home yesterday.  Even if it was clearer in the deep south with gorgeous views to the snow-capped Southern Alps, I stepped off the plane in Aukalofa and had to take my jacket off because of the warmth and humidity.  I wore short sleeves yesterday!  Also, my house is now insulated in the ceiling and under the floors and it now retains heat!  Who knew what a difference a boatload of some kind of polyester situation would make?  (Lots of people, apparently, but I'm still marvelling).  Oh yeah, very nice to see P too after 7 days of pining (him pining for me obv, I'm awesome). 

Um, what else?  I am most definitely not going to tell you any more about my big geeky week because I'd bore you to tears and you'd loathe me forever.  Oh, wait, one thing: suffice it to say that I have ACTUALLY missed my calling to be an Actor.  We got to play witness a little bit and fuck me, if it didn't all come rushing back and MY DAUGHTER WAS SHOT IN FRONT OF ME OF COURSE I'LL BE ON THE VERGE OF QUIET YET PROFOUNDLY EMOTIONAL TEARS IN THE WITNESS BOX.  Why I didn't pursue that career is beyond me. (No it's not.  It's because 16 year old me was a fuddy duddy and decided to give up the dramatic arts for something that would be more lucrative / steadily employed.  I think 16 year old me wasn't ready to admit it either, but with these looks and stooped shoulders I was only ever going to be competing for the 'character roles', if you know what I mean. Ah well, still time for a career change nearly half my life later, right?) (RIGHT??!)

So, weather report, Spring has basically Sprung here.  It is seriously awesome, I love it.  There are daffodils and lambs and new produce and it is all la-di-dah very lovely. 

God I'm boring.  Sorry. 

Friday, 16 August 2013


P.S I really do NOT like feeling earthquakes up here in Auckland on floor 21.  You be safe, Wellington.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

another leave of absence

I'm on a residential course next week, in the (gasp, shudder) provinces.  I'm not even sure if they have internet down there.  I'm staying in a university hall of residence and there are set meal times as well as shared bathroom facilities.  I'm too old for this shit. 

I do hear there's a bar, however.  Whew. 

This is all by way of saying I wouldn't expect any hot blog action for the next 10 days or so.  No doubt I'll come back with some vile stories about fungal infections picked up in the shower.  You can't wait, I'm sure.

Wish me luck, dear readers. 

P.S. Burglars if you've worked out where I live, P will still be in residence so please don't drop round to pinch anything.  There's only books and wine glasses and an underpowered heat pump in my house anyway, nothing you'd be interested in. 

eau de plonker

It comes as no surprise, I'm sure, that I like food.  Similarly, I'm sure you've twigged that I also like wine. 

This love for food and wine is turning me into a giant ASSHOLE.

P poured a glass of red last night and offered me a slurp (I was being all 'I don't drink on weeknights' which is patently NOT TRUE but anyway, a guzzle from someone else's glass doesn't count).  I delicately inhaled over the rim of the glass, took a swig and promptly made a face. 


'A pinot, young one, plus it needs a bit more time out of the bottle'

'WELL ITS RUBBISH AND... ... ... AND... ... IT'S SO ... SO FLORAL'

'You told me to stop spending so much on wine, and I got a staff discount on this thanks to a client'


I am actually an asshole.  A WINE asshole.  That specific breed that rolls its eyes back in it's head as it savours the delights of an 88 Bordeaux out of a Riedel Bordeaux glass with it's nose.  (Ha.  I WISH I had an 88 Bordeaux and I keep breaking those fucker glasses). 

What happened to the girl with the bladder of wine in her flax kite, tap out the bottom, asking the bartender at the Bowler (RIP, a fine establishment) for just an empty glass please?  Oh, she was an asshole too, JUST A DIFFERENT KIND.

I lead a very spoilt and privileged existence.  I could go ahead and qualify the above all day (I still drink cheap plonk! I'm grateful I can afford anything from Chateau Cardboard and above in my discretionary spending! I know there are starving children! I give money to charity on the regular!) but fact of the matter is, I'm an asshole. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

meringues the hopeless way

Words are not pouring out of me these days, try as I might to force the issue.  I've broken instagram* and so there's not even really crappily filtered pictures to post on ye olde blogge, in these trying times.  I am living and I am working and I am eating my dinner with gusto and I am supervising heat pump installers who insist on pointing out squeaky floorboards and interrupting my flow from my working from home pozzie (my bed.  Of course. They were lucky I wasn't in it)

Oh yes, I had a weekend one time.  It was really lame.  I had a serious case of the sneezles that antihistamines would not move so I made it worse with cheese and wine and wouldn't get off the couch. 

OH THAT'S RIGHT! I made meringues on Sunday and they turned out!? Want my recipe? (No you don't but humour me.)  This is how I made them:
  1. Turn the oven on to 140 degrees celcius, bake (NOT grill.  I've made that mistake before and it does not end in a delicious roast or unbelievable chocolate cake, I can tell you)
  2. Grease a baking tray.
  3. Separate two eggs.  Only get a tiny bit of yolk in the white and congratulate self vigorously.  Hand yolks to husband who effortlessly uses them to whip a batch of hollandaise, the smug asshole. 
  4. Put whites in a largeish bowl and try and get your electric beater/whisky thing to work because doing it by hand SUCKS.  Add a tiny pinch of salt.  Beat it until stiff.
  5. Add 4-5 oz of sugar in 4 lots, beating well between each lot. (Fucked if I know what 4-5 oz converts to - this is Mum's old school meringue recipe.  I completely forgot about google and got out the Edmonds cook book to see if I could convert it, found out that 4ish oz is about 125ish grams.  Realised I don't have scales.  Thought, 'eh, fuck it', got out a measuring jug and decided that 125ish mL of sugar must be roughly equivalent.  Thought better of it later and added a little more.  Really must buy scales.  Actually, I won't bother, I probably won't do this again for another decade.)
  6. Add a 1/4 tsp of vanilla essence with the third batch of sugar.
  7. Present husband with whisk for licking.
  8. Dip (cleanish) finger in liberally. 
  9. When thick and shiny, stick dollops on tray.  Get the meringue mix all over your shirt, the oven, the bench, two spoons and a spatula.
  10. Stick em in the oven for an hour and a half.  Resist the temptation to open the door every five minutes. 
  11. Let them cool in the oven for as long as you can stand it.  Preferably until cold, but patience is  a virtue and I understand.
  12. I served them with a berry reduction thingamee (berries, honey, splash of water on the stove top - would have used booze but ultimate consumers' allergies had to be accounted for) and some fresh mint and cream (sorbet for the dairy intolerant).
  13. Make your audience give you the praise you undoubtedly deserve and them make them clean the unholy mess up. 
I think that is possibly the first recipe I have ever both cooked and given to another human being (or the internet, whatever).  What a milestone moment. 

* Broken instagram = locked myself out of my husband's apple account, therefore can't access and can't update the damn thing.  Probably a mercy.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

i cannot stop with the potty mouth today

Update to the report on rapid aging: I may have been at Mitre 10 last weekend, but my hangover made me buy a saus from the sausage sizzle and I basically deep throated that bad boy so quickly my husband gasped "I didn't know you could do that?!!" which, mores the pity for him.

Wow, that was crass, even for me.  So yeah, I'm keeping the maturity factor on the low side.  That, and I'm keeping tomato sauce all down the front of my top. 

Anyway, I am saying goodbye to a friend tonight who is departing these shores for Blightly.  She's on the edge of 31 and will no longer be eligible for the two year youth mobility working visa (or whatever they call it) soon so she's cashed in her chips here in Aotearoa and is off to the very Big Smoke to see what it's all about for a bit. 

I'm so jealous.  But also I'm not (see: quite happy here).  But when I speak to her about it, I find myself reminiscing about the weirdest shit that I never thought I'd miss:
  • M&S (What. The. Actual. Fuck.  I cursed the M&S queues so many times and was gobsmacked at the casual wastefulness of their packaging.  But then someone reminded me about Percy Pigs which are the best sweetie ever invented and then my basic black M&S work dress died and I was sad because you can't get that shit just anywhere, you know.)
  • Online shopping.  So much easier in the UK.  Possibly the best thing about my workplace was that they didn't complain when I had personal parcels delivered - I'd try on the goods in the ladies loos on the 8th Floor, West Side - call in G or N to evaluate the purchase, if necessary - then if it was crap, the post office for free returns was right next door.  Brilliant.
  • Cabbies
  • A Coat For Every Season
  • Really manky breakfast cafs, you know, the place where beans and bacon on the thinnest white bread toast imaginable came with tea for 2 quid 50 p. 
  • Anonymity.  Being able to walk anywhere without fear that you would definitely run into someone you don't want to see (High School Pseudo-Boyfriend Whose Parent's House I Chucked All Over But I Didn't Remember The Next Day At Breakfast, would you just FUCK OFF out of Auckland please???  I really don't want to continue pretending I don't recognise you and being reminded of the really shitty decisions I made at 18...) (SRSLY, I was 18 + STUPID) (and at 31 + STUPID you really don't want to be reminded of your history of making really dumb decisions) (also, his hair? What the hell has happened to the boys I used to know?!)
  • Radiators
  • Stupidly enormous bank notes
  • Tutting, especially on the tube escalators
+ so on, + so on. I still miss the big stuff.  My flat, my neighbourhood, my friends, the restaurants, culture, transport, the pub, travel...etc etc.  But yeah, that there above is really odd.  G will have a fantastic time, I've no doubt, even without her Marmite.  I'm really excited for her. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

things what i'm thinking, recently

What ho, chaps?

I haven't really covered all the good topics recently, have I?  In case you felt like you were missing out, here's the highlights package in a lovely little listicle:
  • Royal baby: I approve.  Post-partum tummy? Real life, mah friends (or so I am told). 
  • Simon Cowell's harem: well, bully for him.  Sounds like a baby will upset the pecking order. 
  • Earthquakes: I felt one! In the office! In Auckland! That's ridiculous!  Guess what! I froze! I did not get under my desk! Hopeless in an emergency!
  • Hilary Mantel: OH MY GOD SO GOOD.  Read her now.  Do it.
  • Blonde: I am heading that way tomorrow (no, not a NEWS item as such, but then does the above really count?)
  • Baths: are really not that great when you hop in, inhale in preparation for a big sigh of contentment and realise that you're searing your nostril linings with the acrid scent of bleach.  I think my MIL bleached the bathtub without my knowledge, which is super sweet.  I'm also super clean, having bathed in dilute sodium hypchlorite.
  • Names for the North and South Island: OF COURSE Te Ika O Maui and Te Wai Pounamu should be known as such.  No one is taking away the right to call them the North and South Island because GEOGRAPHY. 
  • Oh god, I'm feeling uncomfortable.  I think the gastroenteritis that has been passed round my rellies recently is headed my way. 
And on that note! Ta ta for now!