Thursday, September 27, 2007

Things I Don't Do Enough

1. Breathe

Not normal breathing, but slow, deep breathing.

I went to yoga this week for the first time in quite a while and after that first five minutes I was ready to leave - not because it was bad but because I'd done what I really needed to do. I'd sat still, comfortably but with good posture, and I'd focussed on my breathing. Slow, deep breaths. I felt instantly amazing and healthy.

2. Go to this cinema

Husbink and I went for a date on Tuesday afternoon. The cinema is small and lovely and has a cafe. We went in to watch the film, sat down on our two seater sofa, cushions and all, me with a pot of earl grey (I'm still liking coffee but I'm back on tea too!), Husbink with his moccachino and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

3. Watch

As you are by now all well aware, I "do" a lot. I have lists, I must achieve! But watching, like deep breathing, is so good. Today, I'm watching the rain (and being grateful for my long socks and little heater). But watching the sea, watching people, watching birds, watching flowers in the breeze, watching sun and shadows...

4. Stop procrastinating

This week, I've been writing two talks and a reflection for our church's women's retreat this weekend. It is my top priority at the moment, I really want to do it - and to do it well so that the women get something out of the weekend...and yet, here I am. So much of this week has disappeared in a fog of procrastination!

5. Smile

It's not that I don't smile a lot anyway, but I think that is an area where there is always room for improvement.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Falling Over

Husbink starts nights tonight so got up at 5am this morning (so that he could be tired by lunch time and go back to sleep). When I got up he made me pancakes (yum) and we still had a few hours to kill before he needed to sleep and it is yet another beautiful day (yay) so we decided we had to go somewhere. And after a bit of umming and ahhing we thought we'd go to Mt Victoria in Wellington - for the views from the top and also it allegedly has many Lord of the Rings filming sites (according to our book). We know now that we will never actually find the sites listed in said book but it usually provides a decent enough trip out.

We got to the lookout and I had much fun snap happying the views and the planes landing and taking off. Then we went to climb an extra little bit to get more views (particularly decent views back to the Hutt) and that is when the falling started happening. I suppose that makes it sound like there was heaps and heaps of falling but really, I'm an adult, falling over twice in the space of five minutes probably counts as "heaps of falling". My old and battered trainers (I had them last time we were out this way so they are over four years old) just could not cope. The first fall I had the camera in my hands and so all I was thinking about was not breaking it - so my elbow got a little broken instead. The second fall was a rather more classic feet-from-under-me-on-my-bum...
So we gave up on Mt Vic and the paths around it and took a little detour on the way home to the Botantic Gardens. Where they really believe it is spring. It was beautiful.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a weekend

We have just come back from three nights up in Napier. It was beautiful. Gorgeous weather. We went to Napier in October last year and it was beautiful then too. We'd prepared ourselves that it might not be so beautiful this time but it really, really was.

On Thursday we mooched up through the Wairarapa but still arrived in Napier too early so had to play frisbee on the beach (shucks) before heading to our B&B. Which was lovely - above is the view from our balcony where we sat to drink tea and eat home made biscuits (more left in our room each day - yum!)

The purpose of the trip was to go on a wine tour that my brother and sister in law gave us for Christmas last year so that was Friday. It was great fun. Five wineries (we reckon about 35 wines in the day, I'm very glad I limited myself to a sip for most of them!), heaps of info, beautiful settings, a fantastic lunch. The photo is at the fourth winery. Considering that, I don't think we look too bad!
One winery in particular was amazing - very small, very enthusiastic, very interesting wine and let us taste from the barrel which was cool - a chardonnay before all the oak and a red (we can't quite remember, a merlot we think) when it was very new and young and fresh.
We tried to be restrained...we only came home with five bottles of wine...but we are waiting on an email about a port from the very good winery (which is called Moana Park by the way, should you ever come across them.)
We also drove up to the top of Te Mata Peak and got amazing views of the area.

The rest of the trip saw us cycling, playing mini golf, visiting a farmers market, playing with the camera and tripod, going to the aquarium (bit disappointing, compared to Sydney), eating far too much, going to a chocolate factory to balance all the wine...
We stopped on the way home at a DOC bird sanctuary. It was a slightly random unplanned stop and we didn't know quite what was there but as it turned out, we were just in time for the kaka (North Island parrots) feeding. The kaka are wild, free flying and not dependent on the feeding to survive. The feeding is mainly used by the staff to keep a track of the population - if they don't see a bird there for a while they go out in the forest to track them down and make sure that all is well. The project started with around 20 birds about 10-15 years ago and now has over a hundred. And a heck of a lot of predators gone from the forest. Their wild kiwi population has gone from 7 to 19 in four years. Very good!

All round, a fantastic trip - that has hopefully led to Husbink being fully healthy again and me being fully chilled again. :)

"Wild" life

I mentioned a while back how relaxed the ducks round here are getting about cars.

I had just driven past this guy. I must have gone within inches of him. He didn't flinch.

And far more excitingly, kereru (native NZ pigeons) have started visiting our garden. They make a fantastic sound when flying. I won't attempt to describe it...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Something is wrong...

For years, since about the age of 8, I've been a tea drinker. It's not that I haven't dabbled in other hot beverages - I've been quite committed to hot blackcurrant at times, the occasional hot chocolate and so on. But for the last few years, since uni really, I have been a very dedicated tea drinker. Those of you who know me will already know that my tea drinking is a little "different" (weak and black) but it is still tea!
But this last week or so I've been getting bored of tea. I've not really been enjoying my morning cup of tea, sometimes I've even skipped it, and I've certainly not put the kettle on again for seconds.
But what is really, really odd is that I've been craving coffee instead... I've sometimes dallied with liking coffee in the past but have mostly been put off by it not liking me. (I would expand to double my normal size within a few minutes of drinking it...people would ask when the baby was due...) In the UK I could ONLY drink coffee from Costa - Starbucks, Nero anywhere else and boom, blowing up like a balloon.
But here, I have been slowly discovering, I can drink coffee. And Husbink got an exciting new coffee pot thing last week that makes really nice coffee. And a zizzer so there can be frothy milk too. And now I'm wanting coffee. Which is just very much not me (I think le welsh will confirm). I'm wondering what aliens abducted me without my knowledge...

Saturday, September 08, 2007


That is all.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A very bitty post. Not quite a list, just lots of bits...

Bit 1. So first of all, is it some kind of blogger rule (as in www.blogger..., not as in bloggers) that I must never, ever, ever be able to get the word verification right the first time? And yet I can always get it the second time (except just now when I actually couldn't tell at all what the letters were meant to be). I don't think I have some strange perception issue that means I can type a random assortment of letters correctly the second time I try but never the first...and it isn't like they stay the same. So yes, I have concluded blogger is out to get me...

Bit 2. Today is the kind of day when I would never need to live anywhere but here ever again. The sky is blue and the hills are green and it is lovely and warm (in the car, in the is actually really rather chilly). Ah.... (The pic is from Saturday, which was another lovely, sunny day).

Bit 3. There are lots of ducks at the end of our road and they are no longer in any way afraid of cars. A number of times recently I've had to just sit and wait for them to move. Which is quite fun in an odd sort of way when you aren't trying to get anywhere very fast. They are also showing signs that it is spring and have started pairing up, sitting cosily in twos. I'm looking forward to seeing all the ducklings!

Bit4. (Quite a lot related to bit three). Several families of blackbird and starling are making nests in our garden. Hurrah!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Wonder of Husbink

Yesterday, Husbink and I were both off, Husbink's yucky cold/flu was sufficiently gone and there were no pressing jobs to be done. So I took Husbink into town for the afternoon and evening to treat him on my wages (seeing as I don't have wages all that often).

We took the train. Mooched around some shops (and bought me some heeled work shoes to cope with the very long trousers I have just bought (I'm still having to hem them)). Went to a cafe and had cake. Bought a tripod which we've been trying to do for ages. Spent a long time mooching in a second hand book shop. Had a drink in a nice pub/cafe. Went to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. Caught the train home. Took silly pictures of ourselves using the new tripod. All good. Except...

Husbink had persuaded me to wear a skirt (which I wanted to do anyway but was feeling too grumpy to do without persuasion) which meant I was wearing my almost knee high beige boots that are rather old and tired now.

We let a little later than we meant to for the train and had to rush a bit. We walked around quite a lot of town. After our dinner, we left a little later for the train than we meant to and had to rush a lot. All this meant that by the time we got back to our station and had the fifteen minute walk home ahead of us, my feet were feeling very broken.

I hobbled up to the top of the bridge to get out of the station and knew I couldn't wear my boots any longer. It was quite cold and wet but taking my shoes off was the only option. I considered putting on my new shoes but with their heels and their brand newness, I didn't think this would help. I walked down the bridge, along the pavement, across the road barefoot. About a minutes worth of walking. When Husbink said "would you like my shoes?" and I said "yes". So I put his shoes on and became capable of making it him. He rolled up his trousers against the wet and walked the rest of the way home barefoot.

He is very wonderful my Husbink.

(I still wince when walking today. Tomorrow I'm doing a new temping job and planning on wearing the new heels. I think I'm probably mad.)

That's us. Using the tripod. Displying my knitting escapades. :) (We both have very sore feet at this point. Our smiles may appear a little forced!)

Monday, September 03, 2007


I have been reminded just now, by Rosanna's post of perhaps one of the oddest but loveliest while sad nights I've spent in a youth hostel.
It was September 11th (you know, the first one, the one that gained it the meaning). We were in a room that was really just a room in a house, just outside the family's dining room. We were on the West coast of Canada. Vancouver I think but a long way out of town. We'd been woken up at some point that morning but the son of the house banging on the door and telling us we had to put the telly on. And the day had been "odd" from there on...
There were four of us in the room, me and my travelling partner (I think I've previously called her Anne on here), a woman, I don't remember where she was from - Eastern Europe maybe and quite a quiet chappy, again I don't remember where from, perhaps south America. Anyway, after we'd all watched the TV for a couple of hours, it was time to try to do something with the day so Anne and I went out. We already knew it was the european woman's birthday and we felt we had to do something about it, after all her birthday would always be associated with that date from then on.
We'd already bought each other fluffy moose (we were in Canada) and I think we decided to furnish her with a similar fluffy moose.
The day was all very disorienting. But that night, we were all back in the dorm, quite early, all not quite sure how we felt.
And it all got very silly. We lay there that night, lights out, no one able to sleep, debating what noise moose make. And demonstrating. Heaps of madness. Bonding.
We all went our separate ways the next morning with no contact details, no thought we'd ever get in touch again. Just a strange day that we will all remember.