Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Chinese new year

Feb 3 2011- the year of the Rabbit

Called the Lunar New Year, especially by people outside China.
Begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th.

The Chinese people age a year together. Tradition holds that on the seventh day of the new year, all people in China become a year older.
On the fifteenth and final day of the celebrations, the Chinese Lantern Festival is observed where members of Chinese families walk the streets with lanterns, marking the end of festivities and gorge on traditional dishes.

Japanese "tsujiura senbei" is a kind of fortune cookie associated with New Year festivities at Shinto Shrines. The cookies contain tsujiura (a writing that tells one's fortunes) inside a senbei (Japanese crackers).

Gifts - "Ang Pow"s, are red envelopes containing money, given to their kids or relatives by married couples only. Amount must be an even numbered amount and never an odd numbered one because the latter is usually associated with funeral money. Also, the money should never add up to anything with the number 4 in it, because 4 in Chinese sounds like the word death.
Month 1 as the beginning of their year.

Burning of firecrackers signify warding off evil spirits

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Do it till you get caught....ooops!

Do it till you get caught is a great philosophy of which I have tried to live my life by.....the doing it part has been fun, the getting caught, not so.

My admirable adage that has taken me places in the past finally tripped me up in the weekend.

I foolishly believed as promised that there would be plenty of food at the Joe Cocker concert in the picturesque Mudhouse winery and to not bother packing a hamper. I threw in a bag of Copper Kettle Fries for good measure. I did manage to find some wine and consume it and a couple of handfuls of the aforementioned crisps as well as half a steak sandwich.

High on Savignon and the atmosphere I decided to venture closer to the stage to witness first hand the aging rocker. After performing several party tricks of slipping between the railings I forged on towards the stage, lured on by the melodious crooning like a sailor to the Sirens.

Before I knew it, the long arm of Security had me in it's evil grip escorting me out through the in door and depositing me unceremoniously in the car park. "Removed due to intoxication!"

I stood there incredulously, pondering my next move. What do I do now? So I made a drunken phone call. That's what everyone does in the movies, protesting my innocence to my unsuspecting friend who tried to calm me from afar.

Meanwhile, the group of ten I arrived with were no doubt equally gobsmacked. Two of whom were stone cold sober (a very attractive option about now)but similarly dazed. I was blessed with above average intelligence company this evening; the one I had married 22 yrs ago accompanied by a quick thinking man adept at trivia. They wandered out to the perimeter armed with another ticket (we managed to have spare) and the advice to "lose the jacket, they are looking for a lady in a long black jacket..."

Keen to be reunited with the herd, I tossed the jacket off (whereabouts still unknown) and joined them in a re-entry to the concert post WW2 veterans would be proud of.

Our covert operation a success, I blended back into oblivion.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

deal of the century...

I am still reeling over the deal of the century received by a customer at the spring shop on Tuesday.....

As a consumer, how many places can you go to, if any where you walk in with a problem, speak to one person, wait 90 seconds to have it fixed, then pay $5 for it!

The problem and solution, in depth....

Auto garage door spring breaks, auto garage door doesn't work, manually work garage door till someone has the time to get spring fixed. Find spring fixer. Come into spring shop after Christmas when everyone has jobs to do and get in queue. Speak to competent Dutch owner/engineer who fixes the problem by bending up a new end to the spring in 90 seconds flat. No call out fee, no empty promises of prompt arrival to an agreed appointment, no lag time, no bill that will take you another year to pay off, i.e. NO bullshit...

What a PR exercise. Clayton's Dutch owner ''could'' have taken job sheet out, made customer wait a week to collect, (lots of manual garage door opening), lost job due to busyness and post Xmas workplace blues and to complete the experience, taken 90 seconds to do the job and charge a minimum one hour labour fee costing the customer easily and plausibly $50.

That is what I call service.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I see a light...

After having completed six days full time, my year of work is over....well back to one day a week so I can fit in all my crafts....

It was great to pull in to 58 Falsgrave Street in a separate car an hour after Ant and witness the wheels of industry grinding back into action. I could almost hear the coins dropping into our business account replenishing the empty jar.

I swept in euphoric in the knowledge that tomorrow I was free again, high fiving the returning foot soldiers whilst simultaneously passing on the baton of responsibility. Having provided support, nutrition and the odd marketing tip for the last week my work was now complete.

Back to my real life.....


This could be the year of craft.....look what my super talented friend Suzy made from driftwood collected off the beach and an idea from Casual and Country in Ferrymead.....they retail for $600+ and she made it...." It was super easy to make, in fact I made it after drinking 2 glasses of wine." That is my type of craft class.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hell Week...

Productivity is at an all time low at this time of year.....with all the winding down for Christmas and the required winding back up again after a relaxing/exhausting holiday break, it is a wonder anything gets achieved at the workplace. Ant and I have been valiantly holding the fort while the 8 strong staff wallow about on annual leave for a further week in a bid to reduce their rising leave allocation.

Customers lay ed in wait for our triumphant return after two weeks of carefree, clock less schedules, ruthlessly stripping us of our previous joi de vivre. My fingertips have infected with dermatitis from the red hot ringing phone.

Day 4 at the coalface has left me shaken but not stirred. I have had one run this week (snail's pace 4km), poor nutrition, less than standard attirement and dodgy bowel motions. In this time I have managed to see three friends and snatch around 4-7 hrs average per night of sleep. Mothering (taxi driving at ungodly hours, cleaning, washing, gardening, walking the dog) continues to sap any residual strength.

The couch beckons, taunting me with is vacancy as I bid it a solemn farewell again and am thrusted head first into the depths of the industrial zone....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Nude Rear 2011...

All Virgos love a clean slate. I am born again ready for embellishment. Please refer to my new improved serene photo - pre Transcendental Meditation. More on that later.

Have decided to 1. change my photo 2. link my blog to Face book for ease of use (just need to work out how to do it) 3. Report regularly on new and wonderful websites.

Having completed 1. and 3. I am going to jump straight in.

The first website being:

This site came to my attention through a very close (no names mentioned here) friend who unfortunately never had the information. If I can save just one other of the humiliation faced on board a pleasure craft (or anywhere) where she was at the mercy of her colon in front of what may or may not have been a future daughter in law, then my work will be done.

If you scroll down to the wondrous invention of the hallowed "Bio Toi" you too will be able to order some. This will enable you to excrete freely, capture unmentionables in tasteful fully biodegradable bag which can float proudly on the sea's glistening surface alongside blissfully ignorant snorkelers. As not to foul the ocean or trap albatrosses, it will eventually break down long after your vessel has departed leaving you relieved, complete with your pride in place.

On a serious note, this is an excellent website that we owe it to ourselves to purchase from if we give an iota about this planet! Support Kiwis, support green.

Another community service completed. I am sure I will get a mention in the new years list for this one next time.