Friday, February 27, 2015

Farewell Mr Spock

Oh dear....  A part of my growing-up has gone.  Leonard Nimoy (aka Mr Spock) has passed away.  And next year it will be classic Star Trek's 50th anniversary.

Many of the loves of my young life, be they from the movie, television, music, or literary world are passing away.  Goodness, as a retiree, it makes me feel so vulnerable.  I truly will have to write up that bucket list!

I just can't do that Vulcan salute!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Titles that sell books

Hi there

I got a Tad Williams book out from the library today.  I haven't read Tad Williams in a long time but I just had to get this book because it was called "Sleeping Late on Judgement Day".   Great title, eh?

If you want to find weird/funny/heartbreaking/sexy/whatever titles, you can't go further than Kindle (you can get a free Kindle app for your computer).  Here are some titles I came across lately.

Are We there, Yeti?      Yes, it's a fantasy about a yeti.
Bigfoots Don't Do Mini Coopers     Another yeti.
A Baby for My Billionaire Step-Brother   Whoops, little sis is pregnant?
Wives Watch Their Husbands Go Gay for the First Time      !!!
Fashionably Dead in Diapers     Sex?  Mystery?  Haute Couture?
One Bite:  A Romantic Retelling of Snow White     The prince is a vampire?  Yiicck.

And how about The Poodle Apocalypse...   The two main guys are gay hairdressers caught up in a zombie takeover.  The electricity is cut off which means that - oh dear - hairdryers don't work.  And what about Mimi, their zombie poodle?

Many stories on Kindle are written by just about anyone who wants to write something, and with perhaps a million rival titles, a writer has to be creative.

J and I were trying to think up weird book titles and J's personal paparazzo casually came up with this vampire title,  "Blood-Sucking Dude From Down Under".  Okay, he wins...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sundaes and Swims

Hi there

The sundae at the New Plymouth Cobb and Co was a bit of a disappointment. It almost seemed as if the caramel sundae had been watered down because I could get no taste at all from the caramel syrup.   For a comparison, you can  look back a couple of my blogs and see a pic of the lovely Cobb and Co sundae that I got in Taupo.

My friend J and I are still swimming at Hataitai Beach.  Yesterday J had me in fits of laughter trying to do water ballet.  She said that it was a pity the people on the shore couldn't see her because she was, in fact, doing a delightful arabesque under the surface of the waves.

Syncronised sea swimming for our next challenge?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My New Plymouth trip

Hi there

Last week, I took off for a three night stay in New Plymouth, Taranaki, which is another one of my fave New Zealand places.  I love to stay at the Belt Road Seaside (Seaside?  How 1920's British is that?) Holiday Park.  The park is right on the edge of a cliff, facing the sea, and cabins have the most breathtaking views; I had an en suite.  I needed that shower after all my biking, swimming, walking.

Every day for three days I went swimming at the beach down the road, about a 15 minute walk away.  On day two, I hired a bike from the Park and did the coastal walkway (I walked it on day three).  The coastal walkway runs right beside the Park and is great for anyone:  walkers, cyclists, scooters, mobility scooters (senors can hire them free from the i-site office nearby), skaters, and wheelchairs.   I adored seeing all the different ways folk got along on the walkway.

The woman hiring me the bike lowered the seat for me.

"I don't think this is working," I said.  The last time I'd hired a bike, I could only get on and off by balancing myself beside a fence.  So, the woman lowered the seat again for me, down to its lowest setting.  It was still hard to balance but I could - puff, pant, puff, wobble-wobble - just reach the seat without the bike crashing down to the ground.

By the end of the day, I had a real sore bottom!  Getting on and off the bike had been a challenge.  I had to do it so often ... whenever I crossed a part of the railway track or stopped to let people pass, or saw a big hill in front of me (or what I classed as a big hill.  Other people would no doubt call it a slight rise).  I wobbled and puffed continuously.

below: part of the view from the deck of my cabin.

The en suite cabin

A view in another direction.
 And another....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Who doesn't like ice cream?

Hi there

I rarely eat ice cream but, goodness, I do love it!  When I'm on holiday I luxuriate in ice cream!   I'd bathe in it, if I could.

In Queenstown I went to Movenpick a lot and had a double scoop in a waffle cone.  I felt so decadent, sitting outside the shop, under a sun umbrella and watching the coming and going activities on the wharf.  Actually,  I think I preferred this double scoop at Movenpick to Rata Restaurant's elegant cheesecake roll.

When I was in Whakatane, Taupo, and Tauranga last December, I had ice cream sundaes from the different Cobb and Co restaurants in each of these places.  Except for the Tauranga branch sticking a rolled biscuit stick in the sundae, they were all absolutely alike to look at..... wonderful!

Here's a pic of the Taupo sundae.

And here's a picture of this little dog in Taupo that kept bouncing up and down trying to see me over the top of a fence.  Obviously, he never thought to look at me from between the palings!

And, oh, yes, the Cobb restaurants do have scrumptious roast meals for when that particular craving hits.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Those Supermarket Shopping Baskets

Hi there

You'd think that a supermarket basket would hold nothing compared to those immense trolleys that dot the aisles and run into the backs of  your ankles?  You won't overspend when you fill such a small basket, surely?  You won't have much stuff to carry home?

Ah-ha, it's a trick for the eye.  There's nothing small about supermarket baskets.   At checkout, you discover the basket is not only equivalent to Dr Who's phone box where the inside is bigger than the outside, but Mary Poppins' handbag also comes in to play.  You seem to be forever pulling things out of the basket and setting them on the conveyor belt.

"How on earth will I carry all this home," I wail to the checkout operator.  Honestly I trot away from that store like a pack-mule.

I've come to the conclusion that supermarkets spray us with some invisible hypnotising marketing vapour as we cross their threshhold.  Before we hit that threshhold, our mind says, "I'm only going to buy a tin of tuna".  But then we come out of the store with three heavy bags of goods that somehow we've suddenly miraculously decided we need.  Oh, and minus the tuna which we've forgotten to buy.

Once I couldn't find what I was looking for and left with no purchase.

"I escaped," I said dramatically to the checkout operator.

"Good for you,"  she said.  "But we'll get you next time."


I feel for the poor folk in the Ukraine.  We watch footage on tv and it is all so sad what you are going through..  I'm hurting for you.