Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two More Sleeps

As I am kept awake by the sound of the driving rain, my dreams of filling our new raised garden with its first layer of sand are fleeting. With only two more sleeps to go before I leave for my South East Asian experience I have an urgency to complete lists of seemingly necessary jobs.

It is only 5am and I succumb to restlessness and leave the comfort and warmth of my bed to blog. The bravado of planning the Asian getaway rapidly dilutes with anxiety as the date of departure looms closer. What started out as an easy fun adventure seems more like a character building challenge as I contemplate yahooing across foreign soil in previously unchartered territories with only a girlfriend and carryon luggage as company.

The nine months of planning will be put to the test. It seemed like an excellent idea to take only a small amount of luggage to avoid check in queues and cumbersome trappings and a bold and mature statement to rid ourselves of all material evils like matching bags and shoes. Packing lightly in an attempt to relive the feeling of youth where you had and needed little and travelled simply on a wing and a prayer, we have decided to hit the ground running in Ho Chi Minh City and outfit ourselves in the local attire and blend into the sea of seven million locals. As well as one can blend with Western blond highlights and sapphire blue eyes (Karen).

After a flurry of farewell dinners and good riddance lunches there are only a few more things to attend to. Like, collect our tickets, *visas and passports, repack one last time, lay out the travelling outfit and fret over the unlikely cavity search I may or may not receive as a result of travelling lightly to Vietnam/Cambodia as two Western women with only carryon luggage for 11 days!.Dup!

*Visas for entry to China and Vietnam still being processed somewhere in NZ as a result of an oversight by the travel agent. Not to worry, bureaucracy be damned.

The itinerary has been meticulously planned and rehashed commencing with an 11 day whistle stop tour of the killing fields and China beach. In one of the two pairs of shoes packed, we shall be collected by car from our hotel and whizzed about door to door to witness the hot spots and highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia. Domestic air travel will be involved at intervals. After having custom made suits of every description and fabric fitted to our bodies in Ha Noi and having ridden yet to be found and booked elephants in Cambodia, we shall then jet our way to Hong Kong for some serious retail therapy. Many more shoes will be purchased as we up the ante and shake free our adventurous spirit as we enter the confines of the internationally acclaimed 5 star Peninsula Hotel for three nights. As we dust off the filth of war torn villages and step into the air conditioned luxury of Chinese shopping malls, all bets will be off and the thoughts of repetitive outfit wearing syndrome only a distant memory.

After shopping till we drop we then wing it to China to drop in on the wall. With over five thousand kilometres in width of country to explore, we decided we couldn’t do it justice on our time frame and have settled on two nights in Beijing. I have booked a cycling tour of the CBD in a bid to orienteer around at speed the areas of note. We shall spin around Teananmen Square, skid into the Forbidden city and generally make a nuisance of ourselves on wheels. The next day we shall test our mettle yet again on said bikes as we embark on an eight hour cycling tour to the Great Wall. We shall thumb our noses to the city and cycle out to one area of the Great wall, climb up on foot (and hands if required), survey the vast lands, nosh on local delicacies and then cycle home, spent on fresh air and sporting saddle sores after eight hours in the seat.

We then return to NZ on my 44th birthday where I shall make a meal of it in transit and then do it all again in NZ as we arrive first thing in the morning. This could be my last entry for a while as I shall be far too busy doing it instead of writing it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Think I have PMT which is good.....means i will get that nasty business over b4 upcoming Sth E Asian trip..... eating all forbidden fruits in one day....(kettles/fried bread/crunchie bar)...still unsated....openly questioned younger offspring if it was unnatural and wrong to want to strike her in the head for mildly annoying me....lost the will to use Shift key/punctuation and put together any kind of aesthetically pleasing look, didnt admit to older offspring that i wanted to harm her too for thinking that we were responsible for her insurance ad infinitum...another $196 i see no benefit from as it is third party cover and all she keeps doing is wrecking her own car! Another spin in the rain into a flax bush yesterday resulting in insanely run mascara and dishevelling of the mobile trash unit.

Returned overdue DVDs to library, succumbed to the couch with the children and witnessed another teen tripey movie with them, performed circuits around the city in search of food in between netball drop off and pick up...such is the life of the supermom!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Week One


Retire - intransitive verb, to leave a job or career voluntarily, at or near the usual age for doing so....
What does it all mean? I got the first bit right. People keep asking me “”what are you doing now?”” to which I reply...the same as I was doing before without the threat of impending commitment to work...

It takes a bit of getting used to...who am I? What do I do? How do I get remunerated? Am I beholding to ‘him indoors’?

I have decided my plans are to have no plans. I have a notebook with ideas that I will research and review when I have some spare time and to remind me of what to do with it.

This week’s accomplishments involve...writing a budget (last one was 7 years ago), setting up a *salad dispensary in my fridge (kids more excited than Xmas about it), paying for my upcoming overseas sojourn (with my squirreled away money), biking three times, roller blading the dog, returning overdue library books, paying the fines and vowing to use second hand book stores instead, visiting Chinese markets and getting free cooking lessons from mother, one on one with teens at varying stages of the day including breakfast at Tiff...Joe’s Garage and carting a drug induced friend home from a rather serious tooth pulling session. I told the dentist I was used to her in this state as she got drunk a lot...she won’t remember .
All in all a sweet transitionary week...

*Salad Bar
If you have ever been to Rocket Salad in Worcester Street you will be amazed at the plethora of ingredients they have on display to tantalise you with. You choose, they toss and all is well with your colon. Much to the delight of my female teens I decided to replicate it in-fridgero.

Gathering all my worldly contents I cooked, cut, chopped, tore, shredded, grated and placed all manner of ingredients in the conveniently compartmentalised container and got younger teen to whisk up a honey Dijon dressing in readiness for a serious tossing. This could go one of two ways...either a screaming success with convenient combinations of all food groups being consumed by growing girls or a stagnant grouping of decomposing ingredients laying forgotten and wasted in an overpriced, difficult to wash storage box. I am rooting for the former....

The Jacket
Having given up the opportunity to train work colleagues, I took it upon myself to start on the husband. What he needed I decided was a jacket! I tired of having to witness him in poorly chosen garments quite clearly not suitable for the elements. I had spied an appropriate sample on a previous fashion finding foray but needed his body to size it.

Upon the guise of a trip to the beach....I lured him into the upmarket fashion outlet en route, assuring him it would only take a minute and would benefit him against the upcoming off shore winds. He reluctantly parked and we entered the shop. I quickly found the article and encouraged it onto his person. He made minor noises about the sleeves being too short when he held his arms up, so I told him not to do that. Always the opportunist , and in an effort to cinch the sale I spied, tried and buyed, a “dracket”for myself. A cross between a dress and a jacket. He insisted I had many jackets but couldn’t deny me my sole dracket purchase .

An hour later, reclined in the sun in his jacket and sunnies, sipping a Corona at a local sea side cafe he emulated a Southern man, laid back, cool (but warm), rugged, confident and did I mention warm?

The Helmet
The search for the ideal helmet was finally over...

I had spent six months researching a civilian head protector for pleasure biking as opposed to a cycle helmet for cycling. When bedecked in street wear as opposed to luxuriant in lycra, I wanted a headpiece to match. I am all about the total look. I had taken to riding naked from the neck up in an internal battle to look less dorky. I was spotted and chastised by locals who quoted ‘’cool kids wear lids’ to me in a deriding text to which I smartly quipped, ‘’yeah, but free spirits die with good hair!”

A Belgium website ( held the answer for me. After many months of coveting and justifying the price, I finally placed the order and wore the freight cost. It arrived to much excitement on my part. I ripped open the box, stretched the stylish cover over the glossy exterior, placed the adhesive spots on the interior as suggested in the instructions and placed it on my head. I ran expectantly to the dork-o- meter had dramatically reduced but still held a reading. With my short, age appropriate hair style unlike that of the younger, long loch bearing models on the website I now looked like I had just returned from the stables!

Unfazed, I mentally pictured a pony tail wig under it which would balance out its large unwieldy spherical nature.

Phase one completed, I now have to purchase the bike to match the helmet.....

It is fortunatethat I am going to Asia in less than three weeks to source one...amongst other things...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Game over...where to from here...this one is for you said (from the bar at No. 4) go home and write up here goes...

Parting gestures....when you don't one turns up...or if they do...they consider it part of their working day....the real friends do..and those married to you...god bless.

All dressed up....nowhere to go..

Onwards and upwards...I shouldn't be blogging but I am because I don't often do what I should be doing.

After I get over my leaving...swinging between wanting to feel bereft but not and wanting to feel euphoric and not...I will have to settle on indifference. Not a feel we "Creamies"(stuck in the middle) like to feel but are prone to.

Must go to to get up for man ride at 7am, porridge, lycra up then departure 8am..short bays 45km mmmmmmmmmm. ya ya!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gmail - the new rush -

New Beginnings

OMG! How flash am I? In my soon to be new status of '"retired until further notice" I thought it appropriate to begin new things......blogging could be and will be the first. On my fancy new laptop purchased specifically for my new life I can wile away the hours commenting on my metamorphasis.

The world is my oyster...

One more day of work....Must inspire last set of trainees of MPM to outstanding new heights before I sign out for the last time.

Back the bus up.....

Last week of work this week before I am a free woman.....had a uge night on Saturday with our annual conference being held in Christchurch. I attended the gala dinner on the Saturday night with my dear/long suffering husband....yes i did get a wee bit blotto....and he did have to look after me again. To my credit I did manage to totter out on my five inch reception anyway whereupon I continued in stockinged feet....fifty dollar stockings with cutsie bows up the back black line that had had a good three outings so the average was close to seventeen dollars per wear..not bad considering...not to be repeated under new unemployed status. Mental note to self to take better care in future. Anyhoo, big Mike P himself of Mike P Mortgages fame did give me a good send off in the form of a heartwarming speech coupled with a giant powerpoint presentation highlighting my poor grooming choices over the past ten to seventeen years in larger than life size splendour behind him on the wall. I then had to totter up in aforementioned shoes in front of a crowd of one hundred plus and burble out a witty retort...blinded by the lights, I garbled incessantly, chronilogically challenged, whatever came into my mind. I then snatched the proffered envelope, clutched it to my less than ample bosom and returned to my seat to the roar of the appreciative crowd. Pleasantries over I made it my mission to consume the last of the free alcohol I would be able to drink on the company. The freedom, lack of consequences and copious consumption led me to forget my manners and after spying a particular broker that had been less than hospitable to me in the past and more than a little full of his own importance...I took it upon myself to regale him with his long list of shortcomings. Thankfully my bodyguard was with me to catch any stray punches that could have landed upon my belligerent jawline...