Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Chocolate Fish Cafe, Wellington, New Zealand

Hi there

Today, about a dozen of us girls (girls?  Who am I kidding?) from the gym went to The Chocolate Fish cafe at Shelly Bay (on the Miramar Peninsula) for an end-of-year lunch.  The food was lovely, yum.   I nearly died though ecstasy when I saw this glorious cake covered in what looked like snow peaks, and chocolate shards, and cherries, but I managed - only just - to restrain myself and not have any.

Shelly Bay is where the old Air Force Base used to be several years' back.  It is now a sort of artsts' colony.  Lovely sea, harbour and hill views.  When people say they're "going for a drive around the bays", the peninsular is rated a 'must-see'..

There's all sorts of debate going on as to what should happen to the land.  Peter Jackson tried to buy it for a movie museum but that publicly fell through when suddenly the price sky-rocketed. Still, there could well be negotiations with Jackson still going on in the backgrounnd..

A campervan/caravan park has been suggested.  Also the Maori tribe who originally came from the area may be interested in some sort of project there.

The cafe was crowded today.  Cars were jammed in everywhere.  The notice, in the below photo, asks motorists not to park on the grass. 

Click for a clearer photo..

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Roxy Theatre Hobbit 3 premier

Hi there

What?  The Roxy Theatre in Miramar is going to have a New Zealand premier for "The Hobbit:  Battle of the Five Armies", at exactly the same time as the premier in London?  And I won't be able to trot along and catch all the hoopla, and glitz, and film stars, because I am obliged to be doing something else at that same time?

Here I am, living in Miramar, down the road from Stone Street Studios, Weta Workshop,  Weta Digital, the Portsmouth offices, Park Road Post, and the Roxy.  And all the excitement next week will go on without me and my camera?  Hey,  guys - change the date.  You,'re all gods to me, so I know you can do it.  Perhaps bring in Gandalf;  one air-twirl of that old man's magic staff and the Roxy premier can be moved to a much more convenient day, I'm sure of it.

Anyway, good luck, guys....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Hi there

There's a Bush/plant/flower that is officially a weed.  In ordinary talk it's called 'Kiss Me Quick' which in my opinion is a great name.  However, many, many people think it's a proper garden plant.  A guide leading a hike that I was on was laughing that it was now being sold in plant shops.  It can be pink or white and grows rapidly, spread by seed.
It is all over Miramar.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dinosaur Exhibition, Te Papa

Hi there

Yesterday I went to Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington, to see the T-Rex dinosaur exhibit.  Goodness, those dinosaur fossils were huge!  And small.  There were tiny ones that came up to my waist.  I only came up to the ankles of the biggest dinosaur.

There was a host of school kids present, dozens upon dozens of them.  And the weird thing was that not many of these kids actually looked at the fossils that were millions of years old.  With hardly an exception they raced to the inter-active displays in front of the skeletons and starting tapping the screens.

Weird?  Anyone can do this on a home computer, surely ("Don't call me Shirley." ... no prizes for anyone guessing where that popular quote came from!).    Me?  I just wanted to peer at the real life (real dead?) dinosaurs for a long, long time.  It was almost irrelevant that the inter-active sceens were in front of me.

There is a new head honcho at Te Papa.  He says he wants to concentrate on bringing inter-active activities to the museum.  How sad.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cleaning the house

Hi there

Last Saturday, I had a group of visitors come to my house.  For five and a half days prior, I was cleaning, dusting, washing, and tidying.  I answered the phone to a friend and she wondered why I was so long picking up.  "I had my head in the toilet," I said.  "I really must get a longer toilet brush." And no, I wasn't cleaning the toilet with my silken tresses..

An hour or so before The Group arrived, I spoke to my swimming friend, J.  "That's it!  I'm done!  I am totally exhausted through all this cleaning".  I explained to her that the one place that neither my short arms nor the vacuum cleaner could easily reach was the small square of carpet under the television.

"I stretched as far as I could beneath the coffee table," I said.  "But come on, who's going to look under there?   It's all cords and connectors, and whatnot."  I figured this dusty area was safe from prying eyes. 

The Group arrived on time.  John brought along a laptop.  He crawled under the tv to plug in the cord of his laptop.

Aw, no ... 

Is "dust bunnies!" a swear word?   It definitely should be.


PS:    My friend, J, says I should have handed John a duster whilst he was under the tv.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to tell that you're old!

Hi there

Yesterday, I was in a tizz, rushing to make my dinner and then go out.  I put the lettuce bowl in the hot oven and reached out to put my peeled potatoes into the fridge.


I rushed to the oven....  "No-no-no!!!" 

The lettuce in its plastic bowl had only been in the oven about 5 seconds, but I was horrified.

Why is it that if someone in oh, let's say their twenties,  put a lettuce into the oven by mistake, everyone would think it hilarious, but if I do it as a senior citizen, I could be rushed into a rest home?

We have to be very careful over momentary lapses.  A friend worked at the hospital.  She told me a memory mistake reported to a doctor could well see us oldies taken into care.

Oh dear, I hope my doctor is not reading this blog.  Doc, I'm sure that my lettuce mishap was truly a oncer (fingers crossed).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thunderbirds at the Roxy Theatre, Miramar

Hi there

At the moment, the Roxy Theatre in Miramar - partly owned by Jamie Selkirk and Tania Roger who are both from Weta - is having a Thunderbirds exhibition in the upstairs foyer.  Just ask staff if you can go up and take a look.

There is a a cabinet full of Thunderbird collectables.  Also exact replica models made by Weta worker and Thunderbirds fan, David Tremont.

 The above model of Thunderbird 2 was truly big...  four feet long???   Waaay over a metre...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Smaug at Wellington Airport

Hi there

Yesterday Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop unveiled - at Wellington Airport -  the giant sculpture of Smaug, the bad dragon from The Hobbit movies.  I trotted down to the airport this morning to have a nosy.  Unfortunately, I happened to get there at exactly the same time as the 200 winners from around the world who had won a trip to New Zealand travelling around Hobbit and LOTR locations.  They spent yesterday in Wellngton, including seeing the upcoming Hobbit 3 movie:  Rise of the Five Armies.  In advance of the preview next month.  Wow.... Jealous, anyone?

Anyway, these fans were congregated around Smaug at the airport so I couldn't really devote the time needed to take a good photo.  The organisers were being interviewed by tv and I heard them say that they were bound by contract not to reveal anything about the upcoming movie.

There was also a bunch of school children present.  They were totally overawed.  The dragon slowly opened and closed its evil eye.  Any faster, and it would have been a wink.  My beating heart would surely have told me if Benedict Cumberbatch was hiding inside Smaug..

Hataitai Beach showers

Hi there

The other day J and I were getting into our bathing suits in the changing sheds at Hataitai Beach when a young woman came bounding in, shampoo, soap, and towel in hand, and chattered away to us.   We think, by her accent, she was probably American.  American women do tend to bounce and chatter, and isn't it lovely?  I'm sure I was meant to be born American because I'm a chatterer/ as well.  When my friends and I were very young teens, to flumox our elders, we grandly used American words like "movies" instead of  "pictures" , and once we were actually inside the movie thee-ate-her, we proclaimed that we were watching  "trailers", not "shorts".  Hard to believe now how unusual all that was then, eh?

Anyway, J and I were about to step down into the water when we heard a blood-curdling scream coming from the shower in the changing sheds..  I rushed towards the shed, calling out frantically "Are you all right?" to the woman we'd left there only a minute or so before.  Maybe she'd slipped in the shower?   Blood might be everywhere, I'd have to call an ambulance, and was my mobile in the car or had I left it, as per usual, at home?  Oh dear.

Back came the agonised shout, "The water is sooooo cold!!".

"Oh, okay, then..."

As J and I got into the sea, there were many more anguished cries coming from that shower-box.

Poor woman.  Hataitai Beach regulars are trained to accept the cold water.  In fact, there is always a mad un-genteel rush to be first into the shower after a swim because the first ten or so seconds of gushing-out water has often been warmed in the pipes by the sun.

Now that the next door Evans Bay Marina parking area has been designated for campervans, I expect we will get many more travellers using the men/women showers. 

Take note, tourists, all shower water in changing sheds around Wellington is cold.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

my friend, Lorraine Soto

3 November (NZ time)

R.I.P   Lorraine Soto

hairstylist supreme  .... 
wonderful friend (Lorraine No. 1) .....
and human mother to Coco, my little Wednesday dog.