Friday, 28 February 2014

february, be gone


I could have finished the post right there, but I'm verbose, so.  Thanks be to the almighty it is Friday.  Am already dreading Monday.  Am so, so sad.

Going to a wedding this weekend and am having the perennial (privileged middle class female) debate:

- sexy shoes what will get broken in the grass; OR
- slightly less sexy shoes which might survive several hours on turf.

Despite my shoe dilemmas, YAY wedding.  I seriously love being a wedding guest.  Despite being so fundamentally ambivalent about the institution of marriage, ceremonies celebrating love and commitment are my jam. 

(*qualification - my ambivalence relates to the need for marriage to be the only legally recognised form of commitment between human beings.  We can all commit in our own ways and everyone should enjoy legal rights and recognition where commitment exists).  Hymph, digression, got all political there for a second.  Soz.

ANYWAY, love wedding ceremonies.  I'm going to see some of my favourite people be supremely happy tomorrow, how awesome is that?! P + R are just going to have the best day and I bet they're already having the best ever after.  [Did you also love Ever After, that Cinderella movie with Drew Barrymore?  Oh god, late 90s I had such a THING about DB movies - Never Been Kissed?! She's the business, Drew is.] [I wish NZ had Netflix because FRIDAY NIGHT memory lane time!]

The wedding is in Hamilton, so we're having another night away from the purrymouses.  The kitties will have to survive on their own this time - food will be delivered but no pet sitters, this time.  They spend lots of hours happily outdoors now chasing cicadas so I trust they'll keep out of trouble. 

I hope you all have as lovely a weekend as I will attending a wedding.  May spring arrive for you in the northern hemisphere and may summer stretch out in the south. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

property matters

I think we're back on an even keel now.  I enjoyed P's company yesterday on the bus over to his dad's house so I guess he can't be made of pure evil. 

OK, so.  Say you have a cross-leased home.  You own 1/4 share of X metres squared with four houses on it; say, Numbers 2 through 5.  You live in Number 4.  None of the houses have off street parking.  Number 1, not on the cross lease, is a home and therapy business, though you've never seen anyone go there for treatment, much less understood what sort of therapy it is doling out.  Number 2, probably the nicest of the bunch, is for sale.  You get a phone call from a prospective purchaser.  She:

- wants to use Number 2 as an office for her business;
- has three or four staff;
- will need resource consent from the council to do this and thinks that the council will only by concerned about noise and traffic;
- thinks there is good parking on a side street;
- considers her business won't generate noise;
- has been told by other residential neighbours to her business in its current location that they appreciate having someone home all day;
- wants to sound you out about whether you'd be prepared to consent to vary the terms of the cross lease to allow No 2 to be used in this way. 

Do you agree to the usage of the property in this way?  My instinct is no; but I don't want to be unreasonable (slash can't be unreasonable by the terms of our cross lease).  I mean, it's really just a preference on my part for nice, residential neighbours, and a desire that our whole street doesn't become marginalised / workplacified, which is kind of a worry given it's proximity to the city.  Ill defined complaints, really.  It might be the time to agree to subdivide?

Also, do you think I've done a terrible job of seeking to anonymise this information?  Why yes, so do I!

And yes, I think it's probably apparent that my daytime lawyering has little if anything to do with matters property.  I received my worst ever grade in property law while an undergraduate; I'm pretty sure I erased what little knowledge I had of it shortly after gaining admission to the bar and would NEVER advise anyone else on property issues, FYI.  In case you were wondering what sort of hopeless solicitor asks the internet questions about her real estate issues - I'm a different sort of hopeless lawyer.  (I JEST.  I AM PERFECTLY COMPETENT.  MOSTLY) (Never ask me about trusts.  Just, don't.  Wills either.  In fact, just assume I'm not able to advise you about anything, ever, including your haircut.  Hopeless is the name of the blog, after all)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

frosty wife, frigid life

Having onions in your lunch is always a risky decision.  Just so you know to avoid my office this afternoon, in case you were thinking about dropping by. 

So, the Great Housework Debacle of 2014 has reached a frozen denouement.  P tried valiantly to engage me in neutral conversation yesterday, followed by lots of little touches (e.g. running his hand over my lower back whenever he walked past). He fairly rapidly realised the frosties weren't going away any time soon.  This morning he said he was sorry and hugged it out, which was a bit like hugging a board, really (albeit a board with a quite a bit of excess adipose tissue - I'm squishy even when I'm cross).  While I'm pretty sure he was internally qualifying his sorry six ways from Sunday - just saying it to get the fight finished and to appease me before announcing we've got dinner with the in-laws tonight, a fact he'd previously neglected to mention - I think I'm going to magnanimously accept the gesture and move on.  I'm usually the one who'll do anything for the sake of peace, so I think that's probably fair. Also, he's kind of nice when he's not being a dick.

Kitten update, you say? OH GO ON THEN I WILL. 

Timothy: not his usual shining self, Timothy has been hiding under the bed and feeling a bit under the weather, I think.  He has also point blank refused how to learn to use the cat door properly and insists that we open it for him.  Wee Tim is no longer so wee; he's starting to grow into his enormous paws.  He's no longer chewing wires (whew).  He loves to sleep between P and I and press his face into ours with purring sound effects as he resettles in the night.  I love it. 

Tabitha: a wicked, naughty bundle of fun.  She's brilliant and I love her.  She knows how to use the cat door but only when she feels like it.  We've taken to naming all the cat toys variations on 'Tabby's baby': Tabby's mouse baby, Tabby's crack baby (the latter being a catnip mouse that sends her crazy - one minute she's snuggling, the next she's savaging her baby like she desperately needs to get at the good stuff inside). She sleeps under the bed or in the spare room, leaping up at about 6am to see if I'm awake enough to get her biscuits yet.

I'm fully aware, thank you, that I sound hormonal, obssessive and just a touch pathetic when I talk about my cats.  In all honesty, I probably am hormonal, obssessive and just a touch pathetic when it comes to my cats.  At least I'm frank with my weblog?

(Except when I'm not.  I'm partial to a bit of revisionist history, from time to time.)

Monday, 24 February 2014

end of the summer

Friday evening was a beautiful, balmy evening.  When I stepped out the door of the building, a wash of warm air ran over me and, I don't know, the pixies got into my bloodstream or something.  Two colleagues and I plonked ourselves down at an outdoor table and, well, got plonked.  We gossiped, we drank, we laughed. 

I rolled home and into bed and woke up dry mouthed at 6am, sweating white wine profusely under a pile of kitten.  P was gone for the weekend, but I like to think he would have appreciated the glory of my appearance - sweaty, disheveled, mascara smeared and all.  But as I sat under the stars at 11pm in 20 degree plus heat, swirling another glass of wine, pretending I was in South East Asia, consequences seemed oh so very far away.

As a punishment: the mornings are now crisp.  The leaves on my pear tree are turning. 

That, and after P arrived home, we had a godalmighty dingdong about the state of the house.  Positions:

P: It was dirty.  You are slovenly. [Implied by tone and body language until I asked him straight out if he was mad at me, because he was behaving like a dick]

A: Well where the fuck were you this weekend?  I still washed your shirts and undies for which you should be grateful, and any lack of fridge cleaning is both our faults. 

We scrapped.  He apologised for upsetting me, which further needled me because NON-APOLOGY.  It is dumb and the house is now cleaner but as jeebers is my witness, I will have the LAST WORD on this.  We walked to work this morning in a mostly silent stand off, until we ran into two of my colleagues.  I put on a cheery face.

This, my friends, is a relationship.  You're both tired, broken and possibly guilty from weekend misbehaviour and it ends in a fight over emptying the compost bin.  It's everything I ever dreamed and more. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

personification is a girl's best friend

I'm not sure the kittens appreciated that we'd given them unfettered access to the outside world.  They were sound asleep on/under my bed when I arrived home yesterday, having pushed every item off the top of my dresser onto the floor.  To be entirely fair to them, it was scorchingly hot and they may have come back inside for some respite from the heat.  But there's no firm evidence that they recognised they could use the cat door, propped up flap and all (you should see the jerryrigged string situation we've got going on with the cat flap.  It's proper home decor.)

Just as we thought an early autumn was kicking in, this past three days have been searingly hot.  The harbour is hazy with heat today and the roof cavity didn't drop below 20 degrees celcius last night (o HRV system, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  The ability to constantly check the temperature; cold air in the bedroom last night; no condensation in winter: you are my favourite inanimate thing of the week.)

This heat is a good thing, too.  P has planted some late beans and tomatoes, which I hope will bear fruit / veg in a month or two for a late harvest.  I'm not quite ready yet for summer's departure (which, given it's only February doesn't seem unreasonable to me) - I feel like the warmth hasn't quite made it right through my bones (stupid work A/C at fault, no doubt). 

Ack, I keep posting hodge podge jumbly snippets of 'What I Done Lately' and it's irking me.  I need to sit down and write something all proper like.  In the meantime, have a list:

Things What Have Irked Me Lately, Other Than My Dumb Blog:
  • slow drivers speeding up as soon as they hit a passing lane;
  • the toilet paper situation at the Huntly public toilets (I was desperate, if you must know.  Eventually found some loo roll that wasn't already stuffed into an overflowing bowl);
  • the inability to fly to, say, Fiji for super cheap exactly when I want to;
  • a slightly underripe nectarine; and
  • the death of my lawnmower (R.I.P Buzzy).
Things What I Have Been Happy About, Lately
  • the surprisingly good performances of the New Zealand cricket team;
  • a lamb and carrot, beet and potato meal I made last night (much nicer than it sounds, of course);
  • celebrating our second anniversary.  P and I went out for a formal meal and laughed copiously.  It was brilliant;
  • the possibility of buying a new lawnmower (Buzzy was awesome and all, but had a serious flap issue that occasionally lead to fistfuls of cut clover flying in your face); and
  • a perfectly ripe avocado for breakfast this morning. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014


I dislike feeling a compulsion to apologise for my absence from the blog, but then, I apologise for all sorts of things, so why not this?  Things I apologise for include:

- my appearance whenever complimented by friends (Oh, this dress?  Sorry, just a cheapie from Next) (Oh, my hair? Makes a nice change from the usual bird's nest, doesn't it?)

- my appearance generally (I'm sorry I look like I've been dragged backwards through a bush today.  It's humid, you know)

- my presence (I'm sorry for bumping you [even though you were standing in the middle of the bus aisle like a chump when I was trying to get out of my seat])

- my cooking (sorry it doesn't look that nice, I promise I haven't poisoned anyone...yet)

Etc.  There is a probably a long list of things I should apologise for, but I'm wilfully choosing to feign ignorance in that regard.

So.  Yes.  Sorry I've been gone.  No excuses, the muse has not been with me is all.

What have I achieved in my absence?  Strikingly little.  I had a very nice long weekend at the lake with family, following which we did not pick up Cocoa the Cat from Hamilton as expected.  As I mentioned, my MIL's co-parent to Cocoa, J, is in a hospice where she is receiving respite care for terminal cancer.  We had understood that Cocoa had no one to look after her in the interim (my MIL still being in Germany) but it transpires that J's family are now house/cat-sitting for J and are taking Cocoa to the hospice for visits.  We may still be asked to provide a home at some point in the future, but that seems much less traumatic for Cocoa and good for J, too.  My MIL arrives home for a few weeks at the beginning of March and I think some more decisions may be made then.

This weekend I spent at least two hours on my hands and knees removing kikuyu grass from the lawn.  It was extremely satisfying ripping out chunks of root systems, tragically.  How rural is that?  I ask you.  You don't come here for the recipes or the outfit posts, do you dear readers? You come for the unmitigated excitement of reading the details of my personal life! WEED REMOVAL, GLAM.

Also, I scored some free courtside tickets to see the NZ Breakers play basketball.  Much more glamourous.  I sat in front of Valerie Adams who, to us South Auckland types, is a real deal A-list celeb in sporting circles.  Was very exciting. 

It's the kittens' first day at home alone with unrestricted access to the outside world.  Hold me, I'm scared.  Will fill you in on how it went in a week or three, no doubt. 

Nice to be back, actually.  I've missed you. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

where i have been / more cat news

Ack.  I joined an internet thing, met lots of nice people, and then vanished off the face of the earth for nearly two weeks.  Awesome work, A. 

In my defence, I was working and the working thing was not my fault.  Boss people, with all their demands and their 'we pay you a salary' thing, right? I know.  Horrific.  Can't believe I'm supposed to deal with this for the next 30 odd years.  When do I get to retire, please?

(Yes.  Am Entitled and Awful, I know.)

Aaaaaanyway, I spent some of this week working in Christchurch.  Christchurch is still recovering from a series of earthquakes the effect of which I find difficult to put into words, given that the newsmedia has just about destroyed the impact of 'devastating' or 'catastrophic'.  I drank tea from a makeshift cafe in a shipping container in a carpark while I was there, and it was great.  Christchurch has an almost indomitable feeling to it - the CBD is still largely empty, but there's action there, if you look hard enough.  Christchurch was also sunny and warm and not humid (Auckland, I'm giving your humidity some serious side-eye right now.  Don't make me move to the South Island, yo.  You know I'd have better hair there, right?)

In other cat news, my slide down the slippery slope to crazy-cat-lady-ness has gathered momentum.  We are rehoming a cat named Cocoa, who was adopted some years ago by my mother-in-law and her flatmate of the time, J.  When my MIL moved to Germany for work, J retained custody of dear old Cocoa, who is a dark cocoa-coloured (!) fluffy number with no voice.  J has not been well for the last few years and we received the bad news that she is now receiving respite care at the hospice.  The least we can do in the circumstances is to provide Cocoa with a new home, though we do so with a heavy heart.  It's very hard to acknowledge that J won't be home again.

In the space of a month, therefore, P and I have gone from a no-pet family to a family of five.  It's going to be a fairly traumatic move for Cocoa, who we're picking up from Hamilton on Tuesday.  We'll be keeping her in the spare bedroom for a while and buttering her paws, but if you have any other suggestions for helping Cocoa acclimate to her new home, I'd love to hear them.  Timmy and Tab will be kept apart from Cocoa but they'll be able to smell each other and swipe paws under the door.  We're hopeful that since the Terrormouses are still only 14 weeks old, they'll be young enough that they'll accept Cocoa quickly and with any luck, she them. 

So, it's a very bittersweet time at the A+P household (no pun intended - seriously, no pun intended, I just can't find a better word).  We're happy to have this old puss, but so sad that she's coming to us in these circumstances.