Wednesday, October 30, 2013

no halloween house this year for Miramar

Hi there

The Miramar house that is usually thoroughly decorated for Halloween and usually has Brussels Street bursting at the seams with children and their parents is not decorated in any way this year.  Maybe because of the bad weather.  Maybe it's all got too big for the householders.  Maybe the house was sold.....

As I type this, it is 7 pm NZ time on Halloween Night, pouring with rain,  and no kids have come to my door yet.  Halloween is not all that popular in NZ . I havent had any callers for the last three Halloweens.  I think mostly kids visit relatives.

J and I did 10 swims at Hataitai Beach during October.  We high-10'd (?) each other triumphantly.  Mind you, after our ninth swim we were cold and shivering for hours.  We got carried away talking nineteen-to-the-dozen while we were in the water and forgot the time.  It was after we got dressed that the cold hit us.  So with our tenth swim we made sure to look at our watches.

TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10
TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10 TEN ten 10

But as J said when she sent me the above,...  who's counting?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More about Coco, my Wednesday Dog

Hi there

Coco, the little shih tzu dog,  really can't do much of anything except, perhaps, look cute.  She doesn't point out shot ducks, or rescue prepubescent boys from burning buildings and deep wells.  She'd be terrible as a service dog because she can't concentrate on anything for longer than a minute before she's racing off to do damage on someone's sofa, or piddle and poo on someone's bra and library-book.

When Coco took me out yesterday for a walk, we passed a young mum and her toddler. The boy was happily jumping over and over again off a seat that was probably about one hand-span high off the ground.  Coco and I stood by and watched.  Coco got more dejected every second, her ears and tail flopped downward, and her eyes lost their usual sparkly gleam.  There's no way Coco could have jumped from that seat;  my little Wednesday dog insists on being lifted down from anything taller than finger-height.

I had to say something, give Coco back some pride.    "Ah, but can your little one sit on command?" I asked the young mum.  Coco perked up her ears.

The young mum  shook her head.  "No..."

"Neither can Coco," I rmuttered under my breath as  my little Wednesday dog and I bounced happily away.    Thank heavens we could rejoice in small mercies.  If that three year old toddler had truly been able to sit on command, Coco and I would have been been thoroughly humiliated.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Walking the (Wednesday) Dog

Hi there

Today is Wednesday. Wednesday means that I look after Coco, my friend Lorraine's little shih tsu  dog   Yes, yes, my friend's name is Lorraine,too, and we have the most hilarious public conversations by continually addressing each other by name.  Leaving messages for Lorraine is often difficult because recipients always think I'm stuttering or have Alzheimers.

Today, I took Coco to an enclosed dog-playing plot of grassy land which is diagonally opposite Hataitai Beach   I never let Coco off her leash under normal circumstances so I expected her to leap in the air, this time, with the doggie bark equivalent of "Freeeeeee!!!"

She looked up at me, big brown eyes querying what she should do.

"Run," I said to her.  "Explore... dance...  sing....   It's up to you, sweetie.  The whole plot of land is yours..."

She slowly plodded along the fenceline.

I flapped my arms to encompass the whole doggie playground, just to show Coco that she could move to the middle of it.,  "Fly, my pretty," I shouted.  She either couldn't understand English or wasn't a fan of flying monkeys and nasty witches from Oz

Coco crept moodily right around the ultimate edge of the enclosure,  regardless of my leaping, shouting, calling, clapping, and pleading for her to come into the centre.  

"Come on, baby!  Come on!  Run with me - "  I was puffing as I zig-zagged madly around the field..   Did I embarrass Coco?  Who knows?  She was carefully not meeting my eyes.

Coco patiently waited for me at the entrance gate.  I attached the leash to her collar and she took off down the footpath at a hundred kms an hour, woofing madly, happily.  I guess my little Wednesday dog is truly an urban pup.

Oh, today J and I got in our eighth swim at Hataitai Beach for October.  Coco sulked in my car.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hands up if you have trouble sleeping?

Hi there
Last evening, I was on the sofa, in my lounge, under my ravaged ceiling, trying to watch television.  I truly was trying to do it but my eyes just wanted to close.  Heck, it was only;  I couldn't go to bed at 8 pm!  Only kittens, puppies, babies and other oldies (never me!) go to sleep at 8 pm.

At 8.30, I awoke with a start.  Still on the sofa.  I fumbled to turn off the tv, and staggered into the bedroom. 

"I'll be asleep in mere minutes," I told myself.

Suddenly, I was as wide-eyed as a lemur. 

I picked up my Kindle.  I read a chapter.  Then another chapter.  I finished the book.  10 pm.

I reached down under my bed for a crossword puzzle book, couldn't find it so had to get out from between my snuggly sheets and burrow underneath the bed.  This put me more wide-awake than ever.

I finished a mini crossword, plus one that took up a whole two-page-spread.  It was midnight.  I turned on NewstalkZB.

I read another book on my Kindle.  2 a.m. 

On the radio, they were talking about how terrible Rod Stewart was in concert.  So, of course, I had to ring up and skite that I had seen him "in August, that's this very last August, two months ago, at Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas - and he was marvellous!"  This call wasted  three whole minutes of valuable sleeping time..

I read Debbie Reynolds' autobiography "Unsinkable".  My goodness, what trauma she's been through.  The book (a real honest-to-goodness paper-paged hard-covered book  - from the library) was so rivetting, I was on the edge of my bed, living every second of Debbie's life along with her.  The time was 4 a.m.

I drifted off to sleep at 4.30 a.m.  Woke up at 8 30 a.m. 

I guess we all have nights like this....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weta workers Exhibition - plus the hole in the deck has been fixed!

The artistic Weta people  are taking part in an exhibition showcasing their stunning science fiction and fantasy artwork.  These are leading New Zealand artists.   Some of the paintings from Paul Tobin's two White Cloud Worlds' volumes will be on sale.

The exhibition will be on show from Nov 7th to Nov 25th.  Please see the special days listed above. 

The address is:  Rona Gallery, 151 Muritai Road, Eastbourne.

Sorry I'm such a klutz with the above excerpts.  I didn't know how to move the pamphlet over to my computer.  So in the end, I tried photographing them.


Oh, J and I got in our 7th swim this morning for October.  But, my goodness, Hataitai Beach was crowded.  There was a bunch (maybe 20) of swimmers in wet suits, a couple of paddle-boarders, a family picnicking on the sands and two gumbooted foragers searching for shellfish.  THE  HOLE  IN THE DECK THAT I FELL THROUGH (and had J in hysterical laughter, darn her!) HAS NOW BEEN PROPERLY REPAIRED!  Took them long enough..

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A couple of days in Auckland

Hi there
I went up to Auckland on Tuesday morning and flew back Wednesday night (free flights from Jetstar).  I went to Skycity Fortuna Restaurant for a nice buffet lunch, Hectors in the Heritage Hotel for a great buffet breakfast, Firewood at Mission Bay for a good burger meal, Sylvia Park Mall for a wander (mostly same brand-shops that are in Wellington), walked half the length of scenic harbour-side Tamaki Drive (glad I hadnt brought my bathing suit because the water was murky), and took the ferry to Devonport for an explore.  And I think I  have finally worked out the correct trainers to wear with the correct inner-soles because I did a lot of walking in Auckland and my heel was only on low-level hurt.

Oh, and The sitcom queen struck again:

The waiter at 'Firewood' said to me, "Did you enjoy your burger?"

I felt that I had to explain to him why I'd left some of it.  "I don't like to eat bottoms," I said.

"Who does?" he said, straight-faced.

"I really hate soggy bottoms," I added, completely oblivious, for the moment, to any other meaning.

"Me, too," he said.

What?  Straight out of "Are you being Served?" or perhaps a Carry-On movie .... ?

     Oh, J and I got in a fifth swim today (Thurs) for  October.  We're staying in the water much longer nowadays.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another storm, more ceiling-leaking....

Hi there

How many storms over the period of a couple of months is Wellington going to be forced to endure?  I've given up counting.  The guy came the other day to fix my leaking skylight, whoopeee!, and now all I had to do was call the plasterer and painter to re-do my ceiling, and all would be set.

"Better wait till it rains, just to be sure," the window fixing guy said, sort of as a throw-away line as he was departing.

So, I waited for a week.  It poured last Friday and my ceiling leaked as hard, as fast, as furiously as the Victoria Falls.  Okay, okay, I exaggerate....    But I did get a half-a-bucket full of rainwater.

This morning, I had to drive to Kilbirnie.  In another storm.  Through the Miramar Cutting - surely the windiest place in Wellington.  I went through ever so slow, but still I felt the car try to swerve across lanes with the wind.   We're not called Windy Wellington for nothing!  You know, I can never understand why tourists want to come to NZ in winter or spring.  December (possibly November) up till March (possibly April) is the best.

Below is a pic I got (from the net) of The Cutting.

Oh, sometime between last Friday and Sunday (it's Monday 2 20 pm, NZ-time, as I type this), the hole in the deck on Hataitai Beach has been (temporarily, I think) repaired.  Did that electioneering would-be councillor, Sarah Free, who I complained to last week come through for me by stirring up the council?   I see she was elected in the weekend.   Mmmmmm, I'm going to keep an eye on this young lady ....

......or maybe it was all those phonc calls and the email that I sent the WCC that finally got their AintoG?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Petrol Stations and the service they give

Hi there

For years, the guys at my local service station have pumped my petrol for me, and all they have gotten out of it from me has been a smile and intense words of gratitude.   It started about 30 years ago when a woman in front of me at the pumps drenched herself, by accident, in petrol.  An ambulance was called because the petrol had got into her eyes, ears, and mouth.  Then a year later, the same thing happened with a guy a couple of petrol pumps away.

I decided never to pump my own petrol again.  Okay, I guess, petrol pumps have changed somewhat over the years and they're probably as safe as houses now, but somehow it's all turned into a phobia and I couldn't change my ways, even if I was offered a thousand dollars (maybe a million??),

It was okay being petrol-pumped at my Miramar Shell Service Station where they knew me, but when I went on holiday, it was torture.  I came up with all sorts of stories for a petrol shop assistant as to why they should pump my petrol:  "I'm just getting over a broken arm..." ending up as the favourite.  Gosh, I am so ashamed...

But a few years back Shell was commandeered by "Z" (pronounced Zed, not Zee - for the benefit of my one American reader), a New Zealand company, and suddenly "service" was in.  There is now a concierge in the forecourt literally running to pump my petrol, and wash my windscreen, and check the height of my car's water and oil.  10 am to 5 pm daily.  And no tipping involved.  I love it.  Thanks, Z.

I stopped at Turangi "Z" station recently.  And wonders of wonders, there were four (count 'em, four) cars spaced out across four petrol pumps all with the car owners laughing away to each other and happily awaiting their turn with the forecourt concierge

Oh, and Z, I do like your new Coca-Cola-and-McDonald's-like television commercial.  All those gorgeous energetic youthful colourful types give me happy-want-to-visit-Z-just-for-the-fun-of-it feelings. 

Here's the commercial:

And here's my local "Z" station in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fourth swim down!

Hi there
Well, yesterday, we got in our fourth swim at Hataitai Beach for October so we've reached our minimum already.  What's more, yesterday, we swam in the rain!  Well, okay, it was only light sprinkles....  And we swam for quite a while.  We just didnt want to get out of the water.   I did feel cold afterwards however this was probably because directly after the swim, I spent a good five minutes wandering around the freezer section at Countdown Supermarket and it didn't help the warmth factor one bit.

The sealant window guy came and (finally) fixed the leak in my skylight-type window yesterday so I can now remove the bucket and towel from the lounge, good talking point though it proved to be.  Now, I have to get the painters and plasterers in to fix the ceiling.  Sigh, money, money, money.....

My little Wednesday dog, Coco, is coming today.  I so look forward to her visits.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Third Swim for October!

Hi there

J and I have just completed our third swim for October.  It was such a lovely day today at Hataitai Beach and we spent a long time in the water, then we had a lovely picnic lunch sitting on the deck after our swim.  Oh boy, summer is on its way.

While we were chomping away happily, a woman (Sarah Free)came to us on the deck and started electioneering.  Can't make up my mind to vote for her in the coming Wellington  City Council elections because she had the gumption to approach us, or be upset that she disturbed me as I was savouring J's scrumptious marshmallow cake.  A guy wandered onto the deck but neither he, nor J and her beloved chauffeur, were actually in Sara Free's electorate.  I was in it, so she concentrated on me.

After a dramatic showing of the bruise on my leg and an equally dramatic rendering of "The day I stepped into the hole on the deck", Sara Free promised to report the hole to somebody or other.  We'll have to wait and see.  As I type this, it's now been 10 days, three phone calls, and one email since I reported My Spectacular Accident to the Wellington City Council.

Oh yes, sigh, J still goes into her giggling hysterically routine if she so much as even thinks about my-falling-down-the-hole-in-the-deck episode.  I believe she's told everyone she comes in contact with, but freely admits the tale takes a long time in the telling because she's laughing so much.

Honestly, some people.....

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Breaker Bay Market Day, plus Hataitai Beach swim, plus Americas Cup-groan

Hi there

I had a stall at the Breaker Bay Hall yesterday (as I type this it is Sunday 3 pm NZ time).  My goodness, there were so many knick-knacks on the stalls.  It seemed like every stall-holder had decided to de-clutter.

What is it about hoarding?  As every month goes by, I get more and more  ashamed of all the Stuff that I have accumulated.  What on earth are my loved ones going to do with all of the clutter when I pop my clogs?    But do I stop buying silly little knick-knacks?  Not one bit of it.  All the determination in the world goes for nothing.  Yesterday, I went into the hall determined not to buy anything... and came out less $20.   The other stall holders were all seniors and all my friends.  I guess we just accumulate more and more stuff as we grow older, and never get around to getting rid of anything.  Maybe because of nostalgia.

A would-be-buyer picked up a 1920's plate that was labelled $30. One like it had sold on the week before for $52.

"I'll give you $10," he said.

"$20," I said.

"Nah, don't want it."  He walked away.  This sort of thing happened repeatedly,.

J and I completed our second swim for October this afternoon at Hataitai Beach.  There were four guys out there, too, all done up in so much wet gear that they looked like aliens from outer space.  Water wuzzes!  - J and I  felt infinitely superior in just our bathing costumes.  (Oh, the hole in the deck that I fell through 9 days ago has still not been repaired despite three phone calls and an email to Wellington City Council).

Okay, I better talk about the Americas Cup.... sigh.  We lost.  There was a big welcome and sail past for the team in Auckland on Friday.  I well remember, donkeys' years back, the very first time NZ participated.  We lost that time, yet we threw the guys a parade - and a foreign girl in my office was utterly perplexed.  She said to me: , "Let me get this right.  They lost...  And you're giving them a parade?"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

bits and pieces

Hi there

My leg is still hurting like mad, with a bruise the size of a saucer, after my silly fall through the hole in the deck at Hataitai Beach last Friday.  The Wellington City Council still haven't repaired the hole.

The WCC are also dismantling a block of flats on the corner of Tahi Street and Park Road in Miramar.  Dozens of owl-eyed little boys plus Dads were watching.

The Roxy Cinema in Miramar (around the corner from Tahi Street) has an exhibition on at the moment.  Some World of Wearable Art exhibits by designer Fifi Colston. 

The amazing outfit on display in the foyer is a WOW winner.  Ask at the counter if you can also go upstairs and look at the display up there. 

There's an outfit upstairs that represents the famous Mt Tarawera (Rotorua) disaster in the late 1800's.

When I was in Rotorua some years back I went on a 4-wheel drive tour over to Mt Tarawera.  You can actually go inside the crater and slide/stumble down to the bottom.

The famous pink and white terraces were destroyed in the volcanic disaster, hence the lava-looking appearance of the below costume.  This WOW outfit represents a Maori guide of the time.

Breaker Bay Hall Stalls:

Oh, the Breaker Bay folk have stalls in the Breaker Bay Hall in Breaker Bay Rd this Saturday,  5 October, starting at 10 a.m.  Lots of knick-knacky things, I believe..