Sunday, May 27, 2007


So the latest craze amongst the youf round here is to get a bed sheet, tie knots in it and whip it so that is makes a cracking noise like a gun. Round where we used to live there would be the constant sound of this all afternoon from about 3.30 until it got dark. Once you know what it is, it is ok but the first few days we thought our street had gone downhill a bit! Round here, it is a little more subdued but this afternoon we went for a stroll and ended up coming back through the park and saw two groups of kids practicing with their whips. One group were a little older and more practised and made some very impressive cracks, bouncing off the hills for an echo effect. The other group were quite young and still trying to work out how to make the noise.
So, yeah, I guess I can see why it has caught on and all that, but is it anywhere else in the world? Did it start here? Or elsewhere? Has it spread? Or do just have our own little bed of insanity?!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up...

It seems I'm not over my listy mood yet!
In no particular order:

  1. Journalist
  2. Geologist
  3. Vicar
  4. "Something to do with horses"
  5. Novelist
  6. Actor
  7. Athlete
  8. Educational Psychologist
  9. Astronaut
  10. Singer
  11. Someone with a PhD - cos my dad has one
  12. Bookshop owner
  13. Women's refuge worker

So most of these are out due to a lack of natural talent. Some of them are out due to the fact that I'm really not that interested any more (like the whole realisation of being scared of horses).

Strangely, writing this list has not suddenly made it clear what I want to do with the rest of my life. (Spot the person who is about to have to go back to a lot more temping and really, really doesn't want to!)

Best Things About Our House

  • There are fantails in the garden.

  • We have an open fireplace in the living room. (We are yet to discover whether we can use it...)

  • Our garden is lovely and rambly, nice but not "immaculate"

  • A family of pukeko live at the stream at the end of the street.

  • Our landlady is not crazy. Well, she is, but in a good way. Not in a making it an awful place to live way.

  • It is small enough that we actually mostly fill it. Which is so much nicer than rattling.

  • The hills are at the end of the street. We can go for a bush walk from our doostep.

List of Books

So Pomgirl did this a few weeks ago and as I'm feeling highly listy today, I thought I'd give it a whirl. And then I might go on to lots more lists or I might have gotten over the list writing need...

Instructions: Look at the list of books below.
• Bold the ones you’ve read.
• Italicise the ones you want to
• Don’t do anything to the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To kill a Mockingbirg (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I know this much is true (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with a Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I wouldn't advise all the ones I've read, nor am I snubbing all the ones I've not italicised...
And I resisted putting comments next to a lot of them...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

High Speed Update...

So today is the day of cleaning the old house...I have dusted, hoovered, kitchened (ahem) and ought to be bathrooming...but the super power cleaner needs time to work...
New house is lovely (though no broadband yet) - it is all cute and cottagey and we actually fill it so it feels much more like a home than the strange rattling about we've had for the last nine months. And the move? It went amazingly well! We were all shifted and half unpacked in four hours! We had mucho good helpers. :)
Much as it is tempting not to, I suspect it is time to attack the shower now...

Thursday, May 17, 2007


We have a house! We signed this morning and we move on Saturday!
I should really be packing now...
It is a lot smaller than where we are but feels really nice and cosy...and for winter, I don't think I'll complain about the smaller rooms. It also has an open fire but we are waiting to find out when it was last used...
And the best thing? (Besides being $100 a week cheaper...) is that the hills are right there at the end of the road. Ah...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Being Volatile

So, I've mostly got my head round the impending surgery. Or at least, I'm not entirely distracted by it.
However, I am mostly distracted by our housing situation. Which is that in ten days, we don't have one. We've currently rejected about four houses following drive bys (one of them was a shed). We've been rejected by three houses we were interested in. Twice for not wanting to stay long enough (a fair reason but really, what are we meant to do for nine months?) and once for being a couple (he wanted to let it out to a young, single, guy. surely as a landlord that should be bottom of the list of what you want?!).
So there has been a lot of crying...a little bit of throwing things...a lot of thinking of mean things about people (mostly about the various landlords)...a lot of hiding in a book to pretend that it is all going away...and a lot of being unable to string sentences together...
I also have a silly cold so I can't breathe either.
Grump. Grump. Grump.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Being Grown Up

Today, I feel like being grown up has been forced upon me. As many of you will know, I've had surgery twice in my life on my jaw. Although the second time I was 18 so technically I gave my consent, it had been rumbling on since I was 5 so there wasn't really a decision to be made at that point.
Today, I went to see a specialist and came away less than an hour later with a date for surgery (just over a month away) all booked in and ready to go. I also came away with lots of not very jolly information about said surgery and about my preparation for it.
Anyhoo, the point of all this is that I had to make the decision. And I didn't really get any time to ponder that decision. Husbink is at work so he couldn't help me. My mum was asleep on the other side of the world so she couldn't help me. I had to sign myself, as the patient, that yes, I'd have this, yes, they had my consent to talk to all relevant parties about me, yes, I'd have a blood transfusion if needs be, yes, they could do whatever necessary on opening me up, fundamentally yes, I would not sue them.
As my previous two surgeries were fairly hefty (5-6.5 hours each), I have never really considered a lot of routine surgery as that major, it would be something that I could take in my stride. And this particular instance definitely doesn't count as that huge. It will be all over in two hours tops. It could be over in twenty minutes. (Or there abouts...) And yet now that it is happening to me, it does feel rather more major...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Today, we joined a gym. As we don't have anywhere to live in 2.5 weeks time, I'm unemployed in 3.5 weeks time, our visas semi-expire in a month...this might have seemed like a slightly strange priority. But oooh, it did feel good. When we joined a gym in Leeds I thought it would be the one and only time I joined a gym. I didn't think I'd like it at all. But having somewhere safe and warm and nice to exercise seems to agree with me. It even made me do strange things today, like saying "of course, 8am on Friday morning is a perfect time to have my fitness assessment". Hey ho.
Of course, really the good thing about going to the gym is coming home...and feeling justified in eating chips, chocolate and drinking wine...

Saturday, May 05, 2007


For my birthday (which hasn't happened yet), my mum has given me some money for some new winter clothes. As we are staying in NZ until Febuary (I realise I may not have said this before), I now need a whole winter wardrobe which wasn't really in the plan. So I brought only a few big jumpers with me. And having not brought so much clothing, a few items have been worn to death the new clothes are really needed.
So yesterday, I did a very brief perusal of a few of the nicer shops in the area so see what I might want to spend birthday money on (and will then go to the cheaper shops and spend my own money too!!). The only problem is that the fashion here seems to be mostly really quite weird at the moment. But I don't know whether that is NZ fashion or whether UK fashion has also gone weird. So should I go with the weirdness or resist it?! So confusing...
All I wanted was a lovely cuddly jumper or two and a few new layerage options...
Ah, the trials and tribulations.