Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm off to Las Vegas!

Hi there
My house-sitting friend and her husband arrived down from Auckland last night.  I had to move all my things-to-be-packed off the lounge sofa.  I had to clear the floor of a lot more stuff.  I had to gather up dozens of to-do lists from the dining table. 

I had to act welcoming when what I truly wanted to frantically do was have yet another fashion parade around the house.  I still can't decide what clothes to take to Las Vegas.  When it all has to fit into one cabin bag that is only allowed to be a certain height, width and length, and weigh no more than 7kg, let me tell you it all takes some doing.

The other day my swimming friend, J, made some joke about me having fashion parades throughout the night.  I laughed hearitly with her and tried not to remember that I leapt out of bed at 2 am the other morning to try on a tunic that was tucked away in a box at the top of the wardrobe.

I even trotted over to Wellington Airport with my cabin bag stuffed full of two cushions to ensure it would fit in one of those little crates that the airline people put out.  If a bag doesn't fit, it won't be allowed on the plane.

Anyway, I'm off tomorrow.  Las Vegas buffets, here I come!!!!

See you in two weeks.   

PS:  don't forget me......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The swimmer in the thong

Hi there
I wonder if I have fooled you with the heading?

Today, J and I went for a swim at Hataitai Beach, Wellington, New Zealand.  Our fifth swim for the month.  We've had such terrible weather for the last couple of weeks.

When we arrived at the beach, the guy we call Thong Man was in the water.  He has been coming to the beach for a fair number of years now.  Summer, winter, he swims in just a  .... yes, you've guessed it ..... thong.  Or is it a g-string? - I never know the difference.  Anyway, with this gentleman, there's virtually nothing covering his bottom and a very small pouch at his front. 

He must be about 80 years old.

Today he insisted on talking to us about the weather as he got out of the water  and plodded up the stairs.  We were heading down the stairs.  Honest, we didn't know where to look!

On the one hand we admire his bravery swimming in the cold winter in such skimpy attire.  On the other hand we wish he'd swim in board shorts.  Heck, we'd even accept Speedos.  Better yet, how about a neck-to-toe diving suit....

Hataitai Beach. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Las Vegas, Baby

Hi there

My friend and her husband are coming down from the Auckland region next week to house-sit for me.  I'm off to Las Vegas for a fortnight.  Whoopeee.....

Because I will only be taking cabin baggage consisting of a small hold-all, I have been having fashion parade after fashion parade over the last month, trying for materials I can wear that scrunch up to virtually nothing.  Chiffon mainly.  I've had so many fashion parade try-outs that I've had to wash all my clothes twice already 'cause I've handled them so much. 

Everything has to match with everything.  It's killing me that I can't weigh myself down in glitter clothes, a la Vegas, but as my long-term readers know, because of my plantar fasciitis of the heel, I have to dress down to match my trainers and my hiking sandals which are just about the only shoes I can wear nowadays (it's now been 18 months)..

I have the most gorgeous glitter purple chandelier dangly earrings.  I have a fantastic shimmery silver and black evening top.  I have sparkly evening shoes.  I have a tiara and a sceptre.....   No, no, only kidding about the sceptre.  Oh, all right, and the tiara.....    The point is that I won't be able to dress glittery and it's really upsetting me. 

A friend told me today to get out and buy a pair of sequinned sneakers,  She said any fashion goes in Las Vegas.  At first I was horrified by the thought of sparkly sneakers but I might just go out trawling shoe shops tomorrow....

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hobbit actors

Hi there

I was culling my computer pictures and I came across the ones I took at the charity cricket match between Hobbit actors and our NZ sports people which was in aid of the victims from the Christchurch earthquake.  Actual filming of "The Hobbit" had only just started at the time.

Here's a pic I took pointing the camera up to a balcony area at the Basin Reserve.   Russell Crowe is on the far left wearing red, but I just havent a clue if any of the people on the balcony are in the movie or not.  Maybe the two gorgeous looking guys  turned out to be hairy-beardy dwarfs, in which case I wouldn't be able to tell them from Adam.  Maybe they were sporty guys?  Anyone know?

Russell was so nice to me (again, see earlier blog).

I remember I took a picture of Richard Armitage at the premier  (see earlier blog) but until someone pointed him out, I really had no idea who the guy was.

Guess who was the mysterious actor in the yellow shirt?  (there's a  small clue in the picture!)

PS:  J and I have done four swims at Hataitai Beach this month.  Brrrrhhhh, cold....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Those Passport photos ... again

Hi there

 This time I'm writing about someone else's passport photo.

I was in line at a suburban  NZ PostShop.  All I wanted to do was post a parcel but the line was very (very) long.  Of course there were only two tellers, one of whom was tasked to take a passport photo for a young woman of about twenty.  All of us in line had nothing better to occupy our time, so we watched the goings-on.

A long narrow white screen slowly rolled down from the ceiling.  Hey, neat.  Does new technology know no boundaries?

"Stand in front of the screen please?

The young woman obeyed.  This attractive customer looked as if she had never had a bad photograph taken of her in her  life.

"A bit more to the right?" sing-songed the teller.

The young woman shuffled over to the side.

"Maybe back to the left, just a bit?

Duly noted, and done.

"Could you raise your head?  Not that high.  Down a bit.  Could you pin your stray hair back?"

The young woman changed position to fish in her topknot for a hairpin.  The orders - an even longer list than before - rat-tatt-tatted out all over again.  Finally ...

"Step back please - "

Snap!  The camera clicked.  It clicked again.

The young woman peered over the counter as far as the restrictive security panel would allow her to look into the computer screen.  Oh dear, something was wrong.  .  NZ PostShop woman tut-tutted.  "I'll try again.  Back to the wall please.""

The rigmorale rolled out once more.  More rejected photos.  And then a third attempt-

Step forward please.  No, back!   No, forward-"

A guy behind me in line muttered, "Now raise your leg-"

"-wave your arm," another person chortled.

"Do the hokey-pokey," called out someone else.

The young woman and the teller peered at the photos.  Apparently, they were not going to be good enough for the passport people.  The red-faced customer exited the PostShop having been told to try the chemist around the corner.

Poor woman.  I've been there, I've done that.  But, thank goodness, not in public.

Here's the main street in Kilbirnie, Wellington. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Passport photos and mug shots

Hi there

I was reading the other day about that convict guy in America who looked so gorgeous in his mug shot that lots of women are swooning over him.  Apparently, he's been offered a model contract when (if) he gets out of prison.

And Hugh Grant looked great in his mug shot.  All that traumatic stuff happening to him, and he still looked boyishly adorable ...

I have never had a mug shot of myself, but my passport photo is horrific.  The first attempt at the camera shop was so bad that I trotted out of the store and went down the road to another place.  The photo from the second shop was just as horrific.  So I went to another place.  And then another ...

I well remember seeing one of the "I Love Lucy"  tv shows way back in, probably, the sixties.  Lucy just couldn't get a good passport photo of herself and ended up having dozens plastered all over a wall whilst she tried frantically to pick out a good one.  If I'd been able to afford it I, too, probably would have ended up with my lounge walls completely covered.

The one passport photo of me that was let's say 5% good, had my fringe down across my eyebrows.  The passport instruction stipulated that no hair should be obstructing the eyes.  After I explained my sad plight to the lady at the passport office ("Honest, I've never had a good photo of me in my life!  This one is the best of a bad lot..."), she said "Okay, we'll see if we can get away with it."

And I did get away with it.  My fringe-down-to-my-eyebrows photo now adorns my passport.  But even the photo thingee machine in the States at the airport on arrival rejected it three years' running  as I stood on the painted footprints and stared at the camera.  No-noooo,  it's computer brain was obviously yelling, you are not the person in this photo.  Go line up over there and be told off.

And you, my five readers, think I am going to show you that passport photo?  Dream on ....


J and I have done 3 swims for July.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stone Street Studios, Miramar

Hi there

I was rambling past the Stone Street Studios in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand today and it got me wondering when Peter Jackson was going to actually start "The Dam Busters".  I know a heck of a lot of back-room activity has gone on with it already.  I think the actual filming was due to start some time back but then, because of Hollywood machinations,  Jackson had to step in to direct "The Hobbit".

I was talking to a Weta Cave guy a few years' back and he said that Peter Jackson was waiting for the dam busters book to be re-edited .  Apparently, with the lift of a declaration of secrecy time limit rule, there is  now new information that can be incorporated into the book, followed by the movie.

Of course, all the Avatar stuff is being done, too.  And I see that director James Cameron has bought more land in the Wairarapa.  He and his family are staying there indefinitely.

Here's the Stone Street Studio.  You can see the green screen.  I took the photo today, looking into the sun.  Sorry it looks hazy.

I was also intrigued by the parking notices in Stone Street that are on the studio wall -

One notice says 'public parking at all times' with one half of the arrow going to the right.
The next notice - just about 15 parking spaces away as the tourist trudges in a straight line - has an arrow going to the left and says 'private parking only'.  So, who's actually allowed to park in those spaces between the arrows?   Private studio people?  The public?  A mix of both?  Obviously Orcs can park anywhere.

It's me who's first-time effort it was with the  red blobbing out in the pic above.  I'm sure the studio would have done it more elegantly.

PS:  J and I got in our second swim for July today at Hataitai Beach.