Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Trip to the Horse's Mouth...

Two previously shaken Christchurch women take a day out to offer support and cake to the currently shaken Wild West coast.

The recent predicament of the 29 nine miners and the resulting fallout left in their wake, necessitated an emergency run of home baking to the Greymouth township.

A last minute invitation by a pharmacy guild board member AKA my bestie to join her on a mercy mission to the town’s two pharmacies had me hurriedly clearing my calendar and packing my day bag.

The 50th birthday party celebrations attended the night before is not recommended as a good prerequisite for traversing the Otira Gorge. The restorative sausage roll at Springfield petrol station did little to restore or assuage the nausea.

Once loaded up on fuel and saturated fats we headed west according to Patrick our friendly Tom Tom cyber compatriot.

Toting banana cakes and savoury muffins cooked that very morning by the gifted chemist/epicurean, nestled in their baking tins and tea towels, we ventured deep into the pass awed at the encompassing grandeur. After snaking our way through the precarious roads, motion, sleep deprivation and a propensity for narcolepsy took over. I was blissfully brought back by the gentle humming; word for word of the “Mum” CD that had been loaded into the sound system in the absence of cognisant adult company by the driver. The dulcet tones of a Bryan Adams old favourite; Heaven revamped for the 2001 Twin Towers tragedy thrust us right into the required melancholic mood for our entry into the scene of the tragedy.

We drove into the town centre following our nose and Patrick’s instructions and quickly found the first pharmacy and then the second about 100m down the road. We then parked our car dangerously close to the local fish and chip shop. Drawn like a moth to the flame, I lingered with intent outside, willing additional saturated fats into my system via osmosis.

Refocusing on the job at hand, we gathered our home fare, wrapping one cake and hiding it in my large handbag allowing us the convenience of concurrent visits. The first pharmacy was pleasantly surprised at our spontaneous visit and offer of nutrition and support. The two female owners worked on stoically whilst simultaneously explaining the events and reactions of the locals over the past week. We listened attentively and offered in person support by the mere fact of our presence. Commission over, we travelled to the next pharmacy, a smaller operation. So as not to cause an overkill, I left it to the expert and waited outside gauging the feeling of the immediate township.

The central township was surprisingly un-overcome by grieving locals or media; local and international, tripping over each other for more breaking news. I strained my eyes for glimpses of Peter Williams and his TVNZ entourage. The closest I got was a well dressed man in covered shoes with a notepad loitering at a doorway. A lone helicopter buzzed overhead.

We entered a florist shop and felt the tension of the overrun staff. We later learned that the mother daughter combination; a popular form of business ownership in this town, had sustained a loss at the hands of the Pike River mine explosion but were compelled to comply with the unprecedented demand.

Another dress shop we ventured into also was unsurprised or perturbed by the company of obvious outsiders and surmised that we were also foreign media.

A final stop at a local watering hole to form the ultimate measure of emotion, we took up residence at an outdoor table and observed first hand, general townspeople behaviour. The local cafe owner brought us out our fifteen dollar roasted vege salad with accompanying sauvignons without entering into any local banter. Whether they do or do not usually was uncertain.

The only sign we found of the elephant in the room residing in Greymouth was the two signs we had seen haphazardly pinned in local retailer’s windows heralding sympathies to the universe or to whoever passed.

Giving Pike River mine a respectful wide berth, we departed shortly after 3pm a week exactly after the first explosion. We later learned of just missing a third explosion.

Bathed in a virtuous glow we headed home east with only the sounds of the rattling empty baking tins and the B side of the CD as company.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thick Shake!!

It is great to be a Cantabrian today....we rode the ride of a lifetime, all 45 seconds at 7.1 on the Richter scale and came out the other side with NO loss of life!!! Can't beat that record. 6 lives were lost in the Inangahua quake of 1968 which was at the same reading although due to current reports, incomparable.

Christchurch and it's surrounds survived a miraculous event of which we should all be extremely grateful.

The quake shook us all up physically and emotionally and we will never be the same again. Families and communities clamour together for support and realise the fragility of our existence.

Some are thanking God, but that would mean that we are special and those that have perished before us are not. I am just grateful in general that the timing was such that only material goods were harmed.

Go Canterbury, go us!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Addicted to iron.....cast that is!

This month I have had an unusual attraction to cast iron cookware...

As we speak I am sipping (good) red wine that comes with cooking in the aforementioned apparatus.

It all begin one sunny afternoon in Sumner about three weeks ago, as my love and I were sniffing around open homes in search of the lifestyle home of our dreams by the sea. Thwarted by another unsatisfactory property we moped into the township and hungry with grief fell upon the Cornershop Bistro. In a bid to cheer ourselves up we feasted on the Boeuf Bourguignon accompanied by other out of town friends who happened to see our sorry faces pressed up at the window.

Bowled over by the stewed goodness I set about procuring a cast iron Le Creuset casserole dish from heaven and replicating the melt in your mouth recuperative hotpot. After many torturous hours of scanning web sites and homeware stores, I settled on the half price MADE IN CHINA lookalike at Stevens as opposed to the four hundred dollar option on Moorhouse Ave.

Set with a Julia Childs recipe and my new pot, I cut, braised, browned, portion after delectable portion of beef, bacon, onions, mushrooms etc and after only about 16 hours of preparation and cooking I had achieved my goal. Exhaustion! Stir frying has got it's merits!

The family did approve wholeheartedly but they can whistle! With my new found casserole methology, I shortened, removed, added and concocted my own recipes for the next seven dishes working the cast iron for all it was worth. It is a pleasure to use and will remain a fixture in my kitchen.

Go the iron!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

food...what else

Have just consumed my second vegetarian lunch from Vivace Cafe in Tuam Street. It is my designated coffee shop whilst working in the sweat/spring shop.

Have dutifully made 'him indoors' lunch which comprised of three day old Molenburg sandwich bread found in the pantry on Monday morning, slathered with cream corn remnants (found in fridge - age unknown) topped with a generous slice of Edam cheese then toasted in the factory sandwich machine (dodgy but effective).

Back to my carefully procured mid day snack....the aforementioned vego delight consisted of roasted vegetables; kumara, red pepper, broccoli, red onion, red cabbage and feta cheese all jam packed into a brown bread, multi grained roll emblazoned with a collection of seeds then toasted. Result: loud mmmm-ing noises.

Was compelled to find website and comment positively on my ingestion to it's creators.

Liked it so much, I went back for me the next day....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day of many flavours....

Having a meltdown... Just sent number 2 daughter to cafe by Whitebait studios where I used to work and she got lost. 6mins by car 2.3kms according to google maps. Took her 30 mins!! and fifty nine texts as well as a shouting phone call blaming me for my poor instructions! My name well and truly sullied I fought to refrain from shouting incompetencies and instead encourage progress....I lost!

Point two contributing to my implosion is a pending lawsuit! This one is priceless....self appointed Marketing Guru purchases cheap marketing list off the internet then gets slapped by intellectual property lawyer working for their client who just happens to be Yellow Pages NZ. It seems I have to give back the next to useless purchased list and $2000+GST to boot for Yellow pages legal costs. Sounds fair. NOT!!!!

Am sharpening the knives as we speak to perform self harm.

Was a great day till about 4pm when all this stuff started happening.

Pre 4pm
Attended writing course at 10am, aboard cruising bike in the mid winter sun. Fell into an uncontrollable laughing fit with two women named Barbara during class. One was the teacher. Complete with eye wiping, shoulder trembling and spasmed breathing. Rode home collected Charity Dinner organising folder then rode to Cambridge Terrace offices through Hagley Park with earphones on drinking in the aforementioned mid winter sun some more...met co-worker and brainstormed over a glass of wine....(see the attraction?) then rode home albeit a bit wobblier two hours later. By now it was nearing 4......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Relationships. Can't live with em, can't live without em! Have been doing some light reading and found these following points very helpful so thought I would share.....

- humans are not logical creatures when it comes to relationships.
- the relationship is a game.
- you cannot change the past.
- do what works drop what doesn't.
- you do not NEED each other.
- you cannot control the behaviour of your partner.
- you DO NOT have to be right.
- you CAN be happy at any time.
- you do not have to work ON the relationship - you are IN the relationship.
- do not complain to anyone who cannot do anything about it, like your friends and family.
- you CAN choose what quality of your relationship you want to have.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Still alive...

I have been shackled to the office at the sweat/spring shop allllllll day. It seems like I am a full timer again! How does one hand in her notice to her husband? May have to feign a long term ACC injury....

Back onto much more pleasant topics....Melbourne, the shopping Mecca. Five days in Melbourne beats one night in Bangkok hands down. The aforementioned incarcerator took me on a good behaviour jaunt last week where we holed up in The Olsen hotel, Art Series. Awesome digs with banging art work. Nine floors up we perched like proud cockatoos dining on room service and amused by the large plasma acutely angled in our direction reveling in the infinite thread count.

By day we scoured the streets on our suburban cruisers dressed smartly in everyday clothes eager to fill our wicker baskets with produce and products of the nation. Expertly maneuvering our way away from the tram tracks as not to topple and soil our civilian attire we snaked around the city, joining the cycle ways winding deep within the CBD.

In a bid to annoy the locals we clipped onto the back of a peloton along St Kilda waterfront and managed to draft them for a good kilometre before falling aside with laughter at our form of amusement. They were none too impressed with the two clowns on granny bikes hanging onto their tails.

All in all a great getaway....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This is pure gold....had to be shared

This was originally shown on BBC TV back in the seventies. Ronnie
Barker could say all this without a snigger (though god knows how many
takes). Irony is that they received not one complaint. The speed of
delivery must have been too much for the whining herds. Try getting
through it without converting the spoonerisms [and not wetting your
pants] as you read …

This is the story of Rindercella and her sugly isters.
Rindercella and her sugly isters lived in a marge lansion. Rindercella
worked very hard frubbing sloors, emptying poss pits, and shivelling
At the end of the day, she was knucking fackered.
The sugly isters were right bugly astards. One was called Mary Hinge,
and the other was called Betty Swallocks; they were really forrible
huckers;they had fetty sweet and fetty swannies. The sugly isters had
tickets to go to the ball, but the cotton runts would not let
Rindercella go.
Suddenly there was a bucking fang, and her gairy fodmother appeared.
Her name was Shairy Hithole and she was a light rucking fesbian. She
turned a pumpkin and six mite wice into a hucking cuge farriage with
six dandy ronkeys who had buge hollocks and dig bicks
The gairy fodmother told Rindercella to be back by dimnlight otherwise,
there would be a cucking falamity.
At the ball, Rindercella was dancing with the prandsome hince when
suddenly the clock struck twelve. “Mist all chucking frighty!!!” said
Rindercella, and she ran out tripping barse over ollocks, so dropping
her slass glipper.
The very next day the prandsome hince knocked on Rindercella’s door and
the sugly isters let him in. Suddenly, Betty Swallocks lifted her leg
and let off a fig bart. “Who’s fust jarted??” asked the prandsome hince.
“Blame that fugly ucker over there!!” said Mary Hinge. When the
stinking brown cloud had lifted, he tried the slass glipper on both the
sugly isters without success and their feet stucking funk.
Betty Swallocks was ducking fisgusted and gave the prandsome hince a
knack in the kickers. This was not difficult as he had bucking fuge
halls and a hig bard on.
He tried the slass glipper on Rindercella and it fitted pucking
Rindercella and the prandsome hince were married. The pransome hince
lived his life in lucking fuxury, and Rindercella lived hers with a
follen swanny.

....go on, wipe the tears away.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Fave sport.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bucket List

It doesn't matter whether you are living or dying, now is as good a time as any to write your own bucket list. Inspired by the 2007 movie of the same name starring Morgan Freeman and by the myriad of ideas I have competing for space in my mind, I have finally committed them to paper.

The movie had 20 entries (check the movie website for ideas) so I thought that would be a good number to start with. I got to 16 without having to think too hard. They can be as easy or as absurd as you like. It's your list.

It is lots of fun and gives you a good reason to step off the treadmill and weigh up what is important to you in this world.

Don't leave it too late.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Budding something....

I have be so busy going to a Starting to Write course at the local uni that I have forgotten to continue to write on my blog.

Anyway, as I currently undergoing what we writers call a mental block, I have copied my homework from the course for this week. It is about settings and we were asked to write 150 words set on somewhere in your childhood.....

It was 1974, the NZ dollar was strong and the tropics were a great place to temporarily spend your childhood. I was nine years old. My father was in the army and our family of four were ‘posted’ as in stationed and not in mailed, in Singapore.

My hair was long, brown and fringed. It’s style complemented my purple flared slacks. Our interim home was airy and tiled. It was large enough and empty enough to roller skate around in my tiny satin shorts. The windows bars kept out the visible intruders and a little contorting on my behalf made for a fun game of breaking and entering.

The garden outside held all the right colours of greens and oranges and the lushness belied the seething movement underfoot of tropical insects. The adjacent monsoon drains were deep and treacherous and warned of danger and disease......

Wow, deep eh? Should knock the sox off my fellow classmates.

The course is nine weeks long, and two hours a pop. It's attendees vary from week to week with the odd no show from some and a never come back from others. The tutor is an older, vibrant English rose, slightly zany with a wicked smile and sense of humour called Barbara Arnold. I want to take her home to be my friend and relish in her intellectual diatribe. My 'take home message' from this course is an interest in all that has been written and how but not what I can see a future in for me. I will try more courses to get the literary juices running but more in the write for magazines/papers area than as a budding novelist.

Enjoying the hedonistic lifestyle though....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blast from the past..

The aging rockers gathered en masse at Al's Bar on Saturday to pay homage to their aging rocker leaders, The Jordan Luck Band.

A quarter of a century later we slipped straight back to the swaying mass of adoration, older, wiser and drunker. From the outset we were easily pleased. Well oiled by time and liquor before their 10.30pm start we moved straight to rock mode. No warm up necessary and continued to the end of their set. Left arms held erect, finger punching the air and hips girating we used each other as support as the entire crowd moved as one reveling in the new and old songs alike.

After they and we were spent from over exertion they finished and then mingled peacably about in the crowd. I felt it vital to engage him (as I had one new years eve circa 1988)so in my uninhibited state called him over, spoke drivvel then released him.

After the pumpkin hour we decided to return home to our ailing daughter, dehydrating from food poisoning. As always we had to amuse ourselves with the obligatory drive down Manchester St to congratulate ourselves on how our lives were so much better than the poor hookers hooking their trade there.

All in all a great night...

Monday madness...

In my new part time role as Marketing Manager for Bellamy and East Springmakers I magnanimously decided to actually spend some time on location at Falsgrave Street to immerse myself in the position.

Until further notice, I will be holed up at reception, receiving custom whilst drumming up new custom at the main office of Bellamy and East Springmakers of which I am a major stakeholder.

As the real office lady decided she hated Mondays this has worked out well with her having a three day weekend every week and me catching up on office work on Mondays. Win,win!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beware the “users”

Wondering why your broadband is slower than a hillbilly’s brain activity? I have finally tripped across the answer, thanks to my I.T. literate gfriend...who sent me the life saving link;

Beware the Users lurking behind closed doors using up megabytes faster than all the milk and bread in the house. They lay in the comfort of their beds dining out on your allocated 3 gigs (at $39.95/month) downloading sitcoms, amusing Youtube clips, music and anything else that takes their fancy. If that’s not enough to exhaust your bytes, there is the multitude of photos (mostly self takes), urgently uploaded from the weekend that thanks to the digital era is ‘’free’’ to them.

Once all the bytes have been consumed, generally halfway through the month...enter all other fee paying users. AKA you! While you painstakingly try to download your crucial joke email, upload your latest blog or google international accommodation, you are thwarted in your attempts at the dial-up speed you have been relegated to by Telecom, due to overuse.

Once in the know... go straight to . Call your friendly 0800 22 55 98 and someone in India is going to save you lots of money and assist you in allocating blame. Armed with a new username and password you are set to lay down some serious ground rules from the plethora of information gleaned off the website. You will be able to pinpoint actual times and date of the aforementioned infractions.

At varying intevals over the month you and your magical username can check on current usage and thanks to our Indian friend, I am even being emailed warning notes of impending doom.

Forewarned is forearmed...

Printer yarn in 200 words or less....

The HP photosmart C309g printer is just the catalyst I need ......

Imagine being caught in a mid life crises without a printer? It’s not pretty.

I chucked in my job (in a recession with a mortgage) of seventeen years to re-evaluate my career path. It had grown weeds and the pavers were cracking. Six months later, fitter but none the wiser, I am about to embark on a community education course at the university....’Starting to Write.’ Let’s hope they don’t want me to print anything. Perhaps I could just email them.

My last printer was as big as a small fridge and ate toners like candy. With my extra time I decided to try my hand as printer engineer and managed to replace the toner cartridge so expertly, it burst itself, hydrogen bomb-like all over the inside of my printer. Let’s just say that the replacement cost is preferable to repairs.

With knowledge gleaned from a full nine weeks of university instruction, time, the inclination and a HP photosmart C309g printer, I will soon be writing books buried deep within me, desperate to escape the confined space between my ears guaranteeing me a place on the best sellers list!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Biking with the boys...

The patriarchal peloton departs most Wednesdays from an undisclosed location at around morning tea time. The text goes out to those on ‘’the list’’ the night before or early that morning. Getting your name, and staying on ‘’the list’’ takes years of commitment, determination and making sure you are in the know.

Like soldiers into battle the group poles for position eager to catch up on races raced or rides ridden over the weekend. This happy group chitter chat at medium pace with positioning irrelevant most of the way to Tai Tapu, weather permitting.

Once on the main road with cars whizzing past at 100km minimum, the group morphs into single working unit. With a particularly hard head wind it is time to group ride professionally, sapping each rider equally as to gain no advantage before the hills of Gebbes Pass. To date the predominantly male (all but me) peloton has acted chivalrously but as their nurturing has increased my game tactics, I have been expected to do my share or a fraction thereof.

Motukarara can be an evil bend in high winds, nudging you perilously towards the white line and the oncoming open road traffic. The cluster stick together surrounding those with less oomph in a shroud of testosterone all the way to the turn off to the Pass.

Heading towards the inevitable hill the chatter has been left behind with cyclists deep in their own private Idaho contemplating the climb ahead. Some defeated before even started, others plotting their strategy for a yellow jersey finish. At the bottom of the hill momentum can be counted on for an early getaway. Gear gnashing and postulating for position occurs before the full brunt of the gradient hits you. True colours can be witnessed as the hard nuts just dig it in and grind their way to the top with every muscle in their body stretched, their lungs screaming for oxygen and their veins pulsating violently. A quick reprieve at the top for a tally up, a snack or just a release of the bladder (it’s great to be a boy) and then whoosh down the other side, the previous pain, like childbirth, soon forgotten.

Biking speed varies as we regroup before taking on the next two sets of climbs, endearingly referred to as “The Bitches.” Not quite bad enough to be a “Bastard” but annoying nevertheless. The strength of males never ceases to amaze me as they climb relentlessly, getting stronger as the length of the climb increases. Happy to be left in a whiff of their after shave, I pound it out alone through both of my aforementioned sisters and catch the tail end of their convivial conversations at Governors Bay.

With only Rapaki and Cass Bays to race through before the last climb up Evans Pass we press on, euphoric in the knowledge that most of the work has been done and that now the fun begins. The Rapaki climb is a tough stallion to tame. Always unpredictable on how you hit it en masse, it can leave you ‘’dead on arrival’’ or still punching your way through it with momentum as your friend. Cass Bay on the other hand is much more fun. With accurate positioning you can be sucked into a vortex propelling you to the front seemingly effortlessly if manoeuvred correctly.

With three wins to choose from, seldom taken by one rider alone, the peloton returns to its amicable self as we head in to Lyttelton. Always picturesque, a brief and pleasurable encounter before the last climb for the day up the interminable Evans Pass. The chatter ceases again as we turn left into a particularly angry incline exiting Lyttelton as quickly as we entered her.

The climb up Evans is enjoyed and endured with panoramic views of the harbour to the right akin to those of any Mediterranean coastal town. The men are sorted from the boys (and girls) as again their testosterone fuelled thighs pump their way piston like to the final crest. A final regroup and recharge then a rapid fire descent into Sumner.

Sumner is awash with tempting coffee stops but ‘’time is money’’ and it is a week day. The ride out of Sumner gains momentum as we build to a crescendo on the causeway. Unspent energy is released with gay abandon as attacks are made and challenged with another ‘winner on the day’ crowned on its conclusion.

The ride into town is fragmented with the odd altercation between cycles and cars and the addition of the obstacle course that is our city streets. Cyclists pare off the peloton at differing intervals to return to their normal lives. For those left there is one last sprint champ through the CBD. On a one-way street over three lanes wide the dregs of the peloton gather the remnants of their meagre might for a final surge. Any passing van or bus is utilized for its magical drafting powers as we hurtle towards the hospital turnoff, escaping Admissions on this occasion.

The ‘’boys of the peloton’’ range in age, employment, social standing and gender, but come together weekly joined by their passion for the ride. I am often asked what I am training for as this peloton is very goal oriented. My reply to that is the ride itself. It is truly a privilege to ride with such a physically accomplished lot and as long as I can continue to do so; I will have achieved my goal. That and the legitimised gawping at Lycra clad well formed bottoms.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Who would know that something so comfy and aesthetically pleasing could cause so much anxiety?

I am again in the throes of trying to choose new cushions for my couches. Now two couches to cushion as the first set on the first couch were never right (hundreds of dollars in and hours and in the purchasing)and need to be replaced again as well as the new couch upstairs where I can start afresh.

So many options and all so wrong. How hard can it be? They look good in the shops. You rush them home, place them at the right angle and step back for a panoramic view and.......ugh.....all wrong! Defeated you return them and try a new set, again....all wrong.

Like shoes they have to be just right, give you that little thrill when you glance at them, work well with surrounding furniture, pick up the colour accent in the room, be able to be nestled just so under the chin for perfect reclining, have the ability to take a little dribble without staining and last but not least, robustibility to withstand the odd stomping on.

Cushion pride is not yet mine.....

Monday, March 29, 2010


I have just finished hosting my only sibling and his oldest son, aged six on a quick ten day holdiay from Japan.

No blood was drawn and a civilised time was had by all involved. In previous times over family gatherings, harsh words were said, tears rolled and voices were raised. Someone has grown up. Not sure who...

My brother, his bulk and smoking addiction stayed in a hotel for four nights and the rest with his mates at their extensive man lair. I had the privilege of having my blood nephew stay with us for 3 nights.

Finally having someone to match my energy and enthusiasm for all that is fun in this city was fantastic. We did Orana park, Sumner beach, the Gondola and he was allowed to do whatever his six year old mind wanted to. I fell short of joining him in my undies swimming at the beach. The red trike we resurrected for him was a hit. He spun it around Hagley park with gusto reveling in the great outdoors, feeding loaves to the ducks and hanging from the chain rings with his skinny little arms.

He fitted right into our family and really enjoyed the attention without the competition of his two younger brothers. I do hope he remembers this special time...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Forgive me Father...

It has been about three weeks since I last blogged....

Might have something to do with direction....I have none at in the now. I've heard that is good.

Have contacted a life coach, but can't be bothered going to see her. Will take a referral instead of one off the internet. Soon.

Family from Japan have been my major focus currently. Number one brother and nephew in tow have been marvellous company. Orana park, the Gondola, Lyttelton and Sumner have all been visited and revisted in the last week. Meals have been made and washing has been done. No blood has been spilt....yet.

Another week of them and also my baby turning sixteen. Tumultuous times. The now is difficult to live in as you have nothing to look forward to. Will remedy that and book up a storm AsAp.

Have decided to call it a day on the Board at Burnside HS after three years in an attempt to sweep the old life clean and start a new one. It is not natural to have to sit still in a meeting for up to four hours at a time. DVT is setting in.

Much more interesting stuff to follow, not sure what it is yet.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Inspiring Women...

After a week of revelling in the win from the race, I rejoin the real world and am left wondering what to do next now that the previous six week goal has been achieved. Loathed to enter more cycling races I am forced to look at my actual life. See sawing between congratulating myself on my achievements of the past six months and chastising myself for my lack of direction and inability to decipher my point on this earth, I am left in a dazed state.

My answer is to look and listen, play guitar, go to the beach, eat kettles and drink more wine. AKA procrastination.

In line with my aforementioned philosophy of looking and listening, I have been truly inspired by three women this week.

The first being my beautifully bald headed girlfriend Julie. Whilst chatting with her yesterday I was struck with the amazing job she is doing of fighting her disease. Her outlook should be text booked. Such calmness, wiseness, fighting spirit and lack of self pity should be applauded.

The second being a mutual friend of Julie’s and mine who has realised her dream of singing for a living, albeit part time. ‘’Mon reve’’ as she is known sings fortnightly at 9.30pm in Sumner where she resides. Mon reve means my everlasting dream in French and she is living it. As a closet karaoke queen who has spent a lot of time out of the cupboard I admire her chutzpah.

The final, a woman called Victoria who is the wife of an old colleague of mine who I caught up with at a party last night. She was looking fresh, vibrant and energised. Ten years younger than when I saw her last. She shared her secret.....she has started up her own legal firm, with a twist called “Legal Options’’ where she and another lawyer charge by the hour for advice of what to do and where to go next. She loves it while juggling a husband in PR and 3 children aged 2 – 13 and looking about 30 to boot.

Great girls doing great things....

Monday, February 22, 2010

The big race...

I am back in the land of the Kettle Fries and it is a great place to be...munching as we speak!

Game over.....race done...bad habits back in place.

The big weekend in Methven didn't go off! Having said that; was fifth over the line, second in category ensuring a podium finish, did eat breakfast with Robin Malcolm from Outrageous Fortune and did stay in a five star B and B. I guess I was expecting a lot of mayhem; 800 rowdy women cougaring virile young urban lads, carnage on the streets and all that other good clean fun stuff.

I think I am getting old....girls weekends seem so sensible now, good footwear, classy accommodation, excellent wine, all food groups on the pyramid covered. Where are the hangovers, self revulsion and the nagging anxious guilt gone?

Back to the race....lined up at the start line up front, would have slept there overnight if allowed. Watched my heart monitor rise and fall as we waited for the big go...registered riders A - D took off with one to two minute intervals then we randoms were let off in waves of 50. Being up front in the first 50 ensured I didn't have to weave through lesser mortals. The adrenalin was doing its job as I kept in the top 20 from go...the other girls up there were very quiet...surreptiously sussing each other out and making lots of mental notes.

About half way round the leader led us up the garden path as we all viaed off the actual route alerted (five minutes too late) by the dickhead spectators watching us go the wrong way. With the reaction speed of a navy seal I instantly turned around and biked like a demon to catch the now new front team of the peloton. Back in line in the top 20, heart back to pace we meandered along and came across the D, C and B grade riders and engulfed them in our giant vortex. With new experienced and wily leaders we carried on at a very doable speed no one prepared to waste themselves and all doing their bit to rotate.

My trusty sidekick soon to be asskicker Emma shadowed me relentlessly, watching my seasoned ass keeping its place in the top 20 as instructed by superguru Neinka the night before. My speedo showed me all manner of details as I pressed indiscrimately at the buttons, none of which I could use to my advantage to the race. Wouldn't show me the distance travelled so I had no idea how far I had to go. I started to tire of all the go slow tactics and the lack of hills meant there was no breaking of the large group. With about five k's to go the atmosphere grew tense with the impending attacks imminent. An over aggressive jostling ended in a loud and ominous crash just behind me. I didn't recognise the agonising cry as Emma's and pushed on shakily. After adjusting my hyperventilation and justifying not stopping to myself, I powered on to finish the job.

The finish line was soon upon us without the helpful assistance of sign saying so. As Neinka's arse lifted for a sprint finish, I followed suit and hung onto her for grim death rising in euphoria over the finish mat then realising it wasn't the finish mat, only the first of two pads. DoH! Two passed me to get over the second pad. Big lesson. Keep riding till there is noone around you. Officially fifth over, unofficially 3rd over. I was thrilled to be in the top ten and in one piece with no flat tyres.

The race crash I heard and the two others I heard about marred an otherwise fabulous experience for me. Following a lead car with the leading ladies made me feel like a real biker not just a pretend one. Having said that, it is not a place I want to continue to reside in. The 'hard cores' can have it. I'm all about the social, camaraderie of riding and drinking in the atmosphere as opposed to grinding everyone else out regime. The podium finish was also another project I have wanted to experience and now have so no need to do again.

Onto my second bowl of kettles now.....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One week to go...

The big bike race I have given up my two loves for is one week away. I am slowly weaning my way back into alcohol and trying my liver on the odd glass or two but am vehemently staying a good arms length from the hallowed Copper Kettle Fry. I almost broke last night and again this morning.

Have tried SPIN for the first time this week at a local gym.....which has made my previous bikram yoga month membership look more like a donation. The SPIN experience was fascinating. My usual hand/eye fine motor skills skills, almost had me flipped clean off the machine with the mind of its own. Without the ability to free wheel there was no time for pausing and if you happened to like to try that you were smartly brought back into cadence by your trapped shoes in their cages.

The room was bizarre, the lighting low and sometimes blue illuminating anything white into a garish sheen. The walls harboured a busy city nightlife scene condusive to manic cycling into space. After a series of up down, spin then slow motions we were told to disembark then cycling and yoga merged into one discipline. I have a theory about the the niche market is mostly 35yrs plus woman they have the lighting dimmed with no mirrors. If the attendees bore witness to their actual reflection in the bright harsh light of day, they would not return. Best to keep them in fantasyland.

All that exercise gives you a wicked for all your herbivoric requirements..log on to here and enjoy FREE vege in your local area....spread the love and the vege. A great idea that smacks of community...I love it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Grindstone...

Being a martyr is rather taxing.....

I decided I needed a coffee to prepare myself for a full day at Bellamy and East Springmakers as the stand in receptionist as she is on holiday again after 4 weeks holiday and as the Manager slash Owner as he is boy bonding on a boat.

After receiving my two coffees (one for him too) I ran headlong out of the shop straight into some unsuspecting pedestrian. The coffees got a good shake up with some foam being deposited cutely on the not so cute pedestrian's nose. Gathering my caffeine milkshakes and adrenalin filled veins I ran chortling to the car and headed off to Falsgrave Street.

On arrival upon juggling my lunch, bag, his lunch, coffees, dog, dog blanket and newspaper I spilled the coffees again! Needless to say the four dollar mouthful of caffeine did not hit the spot...will have to sneak out for another later on in a veiled attempt at collecting the mail.

Am seated looking officious but actually catching up on personal admin answering phones and diverting responsibility all over the place. Will gather up my clipboard and march around the factory periodically looking managerial..

Anthony is reaping yet another bonus of my sebattical......

Monday, February 1, 2010


In a bid to achieve preset goals of retirement I have begun to timetable my week. Thus far it is working with a little swapping on events to coincide with mood swings.

Monday begins with my mother being allocated a spot to ensure I remember to see her. Housework, baking and groceries also take priority along with the newest fetish, Bikram Yoga. Very busy organising day.

Tuesday I get to enjoy the clean house (or whats left of it) beginning the day with a manic cycle with steamtrain husband out to Sumner and back at 6am. Then I get to read the paper and do the crossword once he leaves. Study time i.e. surfing the net for what interests me follows as well as my blog. Chinese supermarket and Theo's fish supply has to work in too. My new position as Marketing Manager for Bellamy and East is the real work for the afternoon if I can manage to stay awake for it.

Wednesday is big bike ride day broken up with "study at home" then compulsory weekly catchup and library if there is time.

Thursday another early morning cycle, then yoga then an arvo of "Marketing" again, if I can salvage the energy. Will keep up the coffees.

Fridays starts with a 7am meeting date with "the husband" at a local breakfast cafe, then a jaunt on the beach for quality time with the dog. Then because it is Friday, a bit of timetabled Mary time to do whatever the hell I please...

Monday, January 25, 2010


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." Abraham Lincoln 1805-1865

Almost three weeks on Thursday since I last had a drop of alcohol or a crunch of a Kettle fry.

I have almost reneged as recently as yesterday when my inner sabotuer urged me on to have just a wee small teeny tiny bag of kettle fries because I deserved it and this whole self deprivation thing was stupid and pointless....

The Virgo that is me, pushed on through the curtain of temptation resisting the irrestible urge of the hallowed potato snack to reach my goal of February 20.

I also joined into polite conversation at a recent "drinks night" as opposed to a unmemorable flirty slurred encounter and enjoyed myself immensely sipping on my sugared grape fizzy and snacking on my wholemeal snacks and hummus.

With all this detoxing I fear I may start letting my hair grow under my armpits and begin sporting comfortable handmade leather sandals....

Somebody stop me!

Bikram Yoga - the thinking woman's sport.

I have been twice now and am therefore an exponent of the art.

Picture forty plus yoga-mat toting people crammed into a room heated to 38 degrees and rising. The door is then smartly closed and a heavily tattooed, American (from Arizona of course)board short wearing, bairded guru enters the room. His visual siezes your attention and his charismatic voice holds it.

You are taken on a journey of bliss....warmth, soothing directions/incantations, focusing on every inch of your body, the good the bad and the ugly as you stretch, hold and shake your way through the 28 poses over a 90 minute period.

Sweat, not perspiration as that would imply a light glow as opposed to a serious dripping, emits from your every pore and joins in soaking your conveniently placed bath towel. It drips into you eyes mercifully blinding you from you own image in the wall to wall mirroring.

Just when you think you are about to lose your breakfast or faint in the heat the poses wind down to a light contortion culminating in an ungodly backward bend that I may be able to achieve once I have a couple of vertebrae removed.

First time, frightening, second time, less frightening bordering on semi do-able. My goals to stretch and slow down are achieved in this 90 minutes of heated hell. The only thing missing is the horned red man with the pointy fork....

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I can report I am still alive after a full week without any alcohol. It has been relatively easy with only the odd pang of want and involuntary reaching for wine after a hard days work.

My head and stomach do not feel any different. I do not feel any more energised and my sleeping seems more fitful. First week jitters.

My friends are looking at me strangely, or is it that I can just see them more clearly now the haze has been lifted.

A dinner out was nicely accompanied by a fejoia smoothie as opposed to a sneaky pinot gris that looked tantalising in all its chilled glory. Not that I'm missing it.

My sobriety mantra....."Beware the saboteur!" inner and external!


The last day at the helm of industry was kicked off with an prepatory breakfast at Joe's garage which consequently made us 6 minutes late for work, thanks to a serendipidous meeting with Aunty Ju. Eggs, coffees and banter was an outstanding start to the day.

Back in the hot seat for the last time and after 1hour 40 minutes of catching up, (setting up and paying due GST payments on line, deciphering yellow post its, answering multiple phone calls) I can finally take a breather i.e. get onto personal stuff.

A medicinal sports massage is booked for my lunch break to 'straighten' me out ready for a big week on the bike next week. Looking forward to winding back into it ready for Feb 20 when I have booked for the first "Girls on Bikes" event in Methven. Have decided to cut out ALL alcolhol and Kettle Fries till then....uge ask!

But that's another story...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

House Shift....

As it is customary to consider a lifestyle change every year, I am currently considering a swap of homes from Riccarton to one out and rent the other! Genius! "Test the waters" so to speak, keep another real estate poor, become a tenant and screw a landlord. The benefits are numerous. Having found an ideal swap in Redcliffs, I am now negotiating for Toby to come with us. (NO pets). Paws crossed!

Anthony's patience with me at the helm of administration at Bellamy and East has become like my stature....short! It seems a great game to "kill the messenger" as he scowls at me for the hundredth time for bringing him the devil customer. It is lucky my shoulders are broad and my skin, thick and leathery.

'The weather outside is frightful' which makes my time stapled to industry all the more workable. Lunches and dinners out with no exercise will mean an extra layer conveniently acquired for the near freezing conditions.

Life is still sweeeeeeet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Xmas festivities continued...


Xmas KY massage...

Happppppy New Year! 2010!!

Wow 2010....sounds like something out of space odyssey.

Great holiday; over it and moved on already but will need to comment on it. Te Rua bay in the Marlborough sounds for about the 7th year running. Two weeks of wind down and winding up depending on the mood. We came, we ate, we drank, we skiied, we ran through gorse, repeatedly, then we left. The "we" changed periodically with a variety of catch ups from the old to the young.

Back to the present where I love to inhabit. In a bid to broaden my skills base, I am taking on the mantle of "secretary cum springmaker cum cleaner cum everything" and doing an outstanding job of it.....not! 'Him Indoors' can't understand why I am so useless here as opposed to so useful at home. I blame the training or the lack of it. Outbreaks of harsh words have been spoken like when he didn't like the roll I bought him for lunch ($7.00!!) because "it has too much sauce" (said in a cry baby voice) in frickin hoo! and when he told me the cash sale account number was 10003 when it was really 100003 and like I should have known that as I use it as a mantra to get to sleep......Jeeeeeeeez!

Apart from that our temporary joining at the hip is going well, the perks being, I can ask him questions while he is peeing at the urinal and we get to spend soooooo much time together. He keeps threatening to sack me...fingers crossed!

Got to go nudge the cogs of industry and get 'him' a coffee and collect the mail...