Friday, February 28, 2014

drivers who can't park between the lines

Hi there

Sorry, gentlemen but .......   Why is it that every driver who zooms into a supermarket parking spot, parking all skew-whiff across the line, is usually a male?  Well, actually, I'm being kind of nice here, because I better tell the truth:  they're always male.

I figure this type of driver wants to show how macho he is, showing off that he can zoom into a parking spot, rush out of his car, and run into the store in one  - what-he-thinks - is a fluid movement.  I mean, his time is so important that nobody else counts, yeah? 

Don't these drivers realise that other patrons just think they're not very good at driving?  Maybe even learners?   I drive into a space and if my parking skills aren't that good - and they mostly aren't - then I reverse out and go forward again until I have it right.

I admit that some women (again, me, as a for instance) might not be that good at driving, but in supermarket parking, I do think we're pretty okay.

Here's a pic of the car that was parked next to me at New World Supermarket in Miramar today.


I now think I have a fifth reader of this blog.  This one in the UK.  How exciting can things get?  It appears that owners of iPads can finally get through to write comments.  Thank you 'Anonymous' for doing your darndest to get through.  I appreciate all the attempts (I deleted a couple of the practise runs)) and, finally, you made it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

embarrassing confession

Hi there
Several weeks ago my printer suddenly stopped working.  The paper was trying it's darnest to sink down into the paper feeder but no paper was rolling out.  There were several jobs that I desperately needed to print and I was truly frustrated.  I didn't want to call in My Computer Man, as I kind of thought he would just press a button, put out his palm and say "$110 please".  Several friends looked my printer over, and left scratching their heads. I trotted down to Harvey Norman and looked into buying a new printer. 

In the end I asked my friend, A.J, for help.    A.J. is the author of "The Wizard's Guide to Wellington", and she's the one who originally set this blog up for me.

"I think there's something jammed in the paper feeder," A.J  said, burrowing her fingers down deep.

Oh, yippeee, I thought.  It would be paper.  I mean techno people always rant about paper jams.  I was just one of many paper jammers?

"It's a ..... pen!"  A.J. flourished forth a BIC ballpoint.

Oh dear. 

Point of the story.  Never stack things up on top of your printer; items tend to escape.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Flibberty-gibbits and whatcha-macallits....

Hi there

My swimming friend J and I are doing some workings on the computer.  We are trying to follow instructions from guidelines, and we've been on the project for weeks.  It would take someone with computer knowledge just a few hours to do what will eventually, probably, take a couple of months for us to complete.

It's the terminology that's throwing us. We're told that we have to make sure that a flibberty-gibbit follows a whatcha-macallit.  And please to be aware that unless the doodlebug fits in with the temporal falange, then the biscotti could be null and void.  Oh, and if we don't tick that we want the razzmatazz to be coupled with a widgereedo and not the fluffikins, then everything could explode in a load of pixie-dust (or is that 'pixels' - I never can remember the proper word, but I'm pretty sure I have the rest of the terminology spot on). 

"We've done it!  It worked!", J shouted as we finished one little thing.  She shot up from her chair and did a Snoopy dance.

I joined her, kicking up my heels.  We hi-fived, just like we do after each winter swim.  Elation!

The following morning we discovered that whatever we'd done the previous day had evaporated in a cloud of that pixie-dust.

Both J and I worked on computers prior to retirement.  We were both brilliant at it.  But for some reason, nowadays, all our computer knowledge has flown out the window.  We spend a lot of time giggling and chortling and collapsing on the floor in mild hysterics over the fact that our fingers are having trouble automatically finding something as mundane as the guide keys.  It can't be 'old age'.   It has to be the pixie-dust.  Of course, I blame that naughty Tinkerbell.  I guess she resides inside my laptop

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What personal resolutions in our lives were our favourites?

Hi there

I've had two resolutions in my life that literally stood out head and shoulders above everything else. One dealt with shorthand, and the other, aerobics....

I was in my late twenties, a Typist in the government, when I suddenly realised that unless I did something about that, I would be stuck as a Typist - the lowest typing rung imaginable -  forever.   In those days, one could only advance up the typing scale if one had shorthand abilities.  I did not know shorthand.

So, I bought some books and studied at home, right from scratch.  Every night, for over a year, after tea, I sat in the lounge with a tape recorder, a text book, and a shorthand notepad.

It's impossible to describe the joy I felt when I passed my shorthand exam..  A friend swore that when I jumped up in excitement, with pass mark in hand, that my head hit the ceiling.  Something about adrenalin, I guess.

Three weeks after I passed, the government rules were relaxed and non shorthand-typists could advance up the scale!    Still, I will never forget the triumph I felt by passing that exam.

My second triumph was when, in my forties, I got my Aerobic Instructors' Certificate.  Wow!   I only wanted it to write my own programmes, not actually teach a class - though I did run a few classes at work.  Receiving that certificate was just as exciting as when I passed my shorthand exam.

I wonder about other people's favourite resolutions??  Were they achieved?


Oh, below is another pic of Waiheke Island.  You can see the ferry, leaving Matiatia for Auckland, with a wake behind it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Even more Waiheke.....sorry!

Hi there
I'm still on my Waiheke Island buzz.  I didn't take my camera with me, but I did have my new mobile phone.  Yes, that's right, not just my old mobile that barely got text and phoning done, but a brand new one that seems like I can do everything on it ,bar boil an egg.  Or, maybe it truly can boil an egg; I haven't looked at 99.9% of the features yet.

This phone is a very cheap basic model, but let's see if I can rescue some of the pictures that I took...

The first pic is of a for-sale sculpture in front of a shop in the main street of Oneroa, on the Island.  I think it's fabulous.  The bottom part of the sculpture is an ice cream, the top part is The Beehive, which is another name for NZ's Parliament Buildings.  So, I guess the sculpture represents that the country's management which was like very soft anyway, has now toppled over (out of its cone, ie the bosom of the people) and is gradually melting away - or is this just my interpretation?

 Below is a fish meal I had at a Palm Beach area restaurant, part of the Waiheke Island Resort at the top of the hill above the beach.  It was just okay. There was a sort of bottom layer of some sort of potato-kumara thingee, and this threw me because I couldn't identify what the vegetable really was.

 But there was a wonderful view looking down to Palm Beach.  The prices were, I guess, reasonable.  I think I just picked the wrong dish - as per usual.  Other diners seemed to have better-looking more filling identifiable dishes.

Below was taken on one of Auckland's main streets.  I thought someone had dumped a sack of rubbish beside a bin,  Turned out it was a backpacker in a sleeping bag.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Swimming on Waiheke Island, Auckland

Hi there

I had to wander around Auckland for a few hours before I left for Waiheke and, my goodness, was it windy.  People go on ...and on .... about Windy Wellington, but the day I arrived in Auckland I could hardly stand upright. Anyway, it was still windy when I reached Waiheke, but the first thing I did before I'd barely even looked around my rental accommodation was change into my togs and rush to the beach. 

The breakers were huge because of  a storm further out at sea.  Still, I'd looked forward to this holiday for months and nothing was going to stop me getting into the waters at Palm Beach.  There was nobody else in the sea, but quite a few folk were sitting on the beach.

Whoops.  I couldn't stay upright in the water.  Or even swim to get out to calmer waters.  One wave was so gigantic that I got thrown back onto the shore, landing on a myriad of hurtful crushed shells and, worse, the top that I was wearing ended up somewhere around my neck.  In hindsight I should have tucked my top into my shorts.

All I can say is that thank goodness I wasn't wearing my glasses.  It would have been horrendous and not to mention embarrassing if I'd been able to see the looks on the faces of the folk on the beach as they took in my topless torso!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Waiheke Island

Hi there
I've just returned from a whole week on Waiheke Island which is 40 minutes by fast ferry out of Auckland.  I stayed in an apartment complex on Palm Beach (the unit was called Palm Breeze, if you're looking it up) and was just across the road from the beach.  What a beautiful place to swim.....   I swam at least three times a day.  I swam at 7 a.m.  I swam at 7 pm, and any time in between.  The temps were from 23c to 28c, and I only had about an hour's drizzle in total.  Poor Wellington, they didn't have too good weather, I believe! - hehehehe...

My heel didn't play up (I took a collapsible stick with me but didnt use it).  In fact, I did a lot of hiking along tracks.  Everywhere on the island there is greenery, and bird song.  The i-site office can supply folk with free walking maps.

Another thing that is rampant on the island.... chain saw noises, mower noises, weed-eater noises...  You know how they say that a dog can bark at the top of the north island and the call is taken up by other dogs continually all the way down the island until a bark reaches Wellington?  I figure chain saws and such noises are the same on Waiheke... from one end of the island to the other in mere minutes.

Until I can locate and transfer photos on my new mobile phone, for your perusal, here are some photos I took last year.  Below is Palm Beach, the main part.   There is a nude beach at the other end of Palm Beach, behind a rock cluster...

Here is the verandah of my Palm Beach holiday rental - it used to be called Seascape (the name is still on it's wall) but is now officially called Palm Breeze.

If my overseas reader ever gets a chance to get to Auckland, do take a day trip over to Waiheke.  You will love it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The sign to end all signs....."

Hi there

I'd just finished writing my last blog when I suddenly thought of a glorious photo I took recently that I felt I had to share with you.


If one is driving south along Highway No 2, here in New Zealand, this property is about 10 minutes past Eketahuna.  On a very busy road.

It might be a pig farm.

I could be wrong.

Waitangi Day in New Zealand ...and Eketahuna again

Hi there
It's Waitangi Day today (Thurs NZ time).  The day commemorates the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi (1840)  between Maori tribes and the representatives of Queen Victoria.  It's our national day.  The Treaty is the country's most treasured possession.


Oh, yesterday, I got a lovely card from the people who own The Cottage in Eketahuna where I stayed last month - and where I ruined their bedside lamp.

Well, they managed to fix the lamp, and they returned the money that I left behind for them to buy a new one.  What nice folk!

Here's some more pix of  The Cottage, Eketahuna.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hospital fashion

Hi there
Yesterday, I visited a friend in hospital.  The guy at reception told me I'd have to put on an apron, gloves, and a mask before I entered my friend's room.

I shook the plastic apron out from its box. Wellington Hospital didn't obviously have a stylist.   "But I'm so used to Dior."   I pouted.  "And Versace."

The guy said he would be my own personal stylist.  He helped me slip on the gloves, do up the apron and adjust the mask.

Everything was white.   Oh, well, I would just have to carry the colour off.  After all, we were in summer, and they say white is always right.

My ill friend is a true fashionista.  I was wearing the one designer dress I possess, a  newly-bought Trelise Cooper that I'd  found at a charity shop.  I knew my friend would love to see it.

But obviously, because of the hospital's dress rules, my friend could hardly make out what I was wearing.

So, I did a naughty thing.  I strip-teased out of the Wellington Hospital white ensemble.  And paraded up and down the private room in my Trelise Cooper outfit, keeping well away from my friend so as I wouldn't breathe any bad germs upon her.  As required, my friend oohed and aahed happily.

My mask and apron were back on and the gloves draped daintily up my wrists when I re-emerged  to reception.

"Your friend didn't mind the hospital outfit?" the guy asked me.  There was a twinkle in his eyes.  "Even though it wasn't the latest up-to-the-minute style?"

"Oh, my friend didn't mind one bit," I said, merrily.  I peeled off Wellington Hospital's pretence at fashion and threw it all in the nearest bin.

Truly, the hopsital must obtain the services of a new designer.  Someone who's not afraid of colour.  Or sequins.\


When J and I arrived at the beach today, it was very low tide.  And, this time, we managed to walk all the way out to the buoy, without being submerged or having to do any swimming.  We  lifted up the buoy triumphantly and waved it above the water.   One more challenge down. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Doings at Hataitai Beach

Hi there

I don't know if it's something to do with the King tides that Aucklanders have been yakking about a lot lately, but low tide at Hataitai Beach the other day was extraordinarily low.  J and I decided that for a change, instead of swimming out to a buoy,  we would see if we could walk to it. 

J strode out confidently, or as confidently as one can stride in water (it's a bit like trying to make headway through treacle), with me behind her, continually calling out "Can you still touch the ground, can you still touch it....?"  A variation on "Are we there yet?"

Darn-it.  We were this far from the buoy when we finally had to swim.  If we'd  both been maybe a hand's height taller, we would have made it.

J raised the buoy above her head like it was a prize cup,  and shook it.  Wimp that I am, I worried about getting tangled up in the cable.

Back on shore, a group of us sat on the deck and chattered.  There was a van parked just beside us on the road, with a picture on the side wall of a box of vegetables and fruit.  In big splashy letters, a sign read "Organic Boxes"

One of our number mused, "Why would people want to buy an organic box?  What would an organic box be made of?"

Silence for a time as we all contemplated boxes made of  egg-shells or hemp.

A young man sunbathing to the side of us, piped up:  "Actually, it's my van.  And it's the fruit and vegetables in the boxes that are organic, not the boxes."


Organic Boxes, it appeared, was a home delivery service.

He gave $20 vouchers to everyone in our little group.  Nice one.