Friday, May 29, 2015

Ohope Beach ... again

Hi there

This month (May) I had two wonderful relaxing weeks at Ohope Beach, about half a dozen kms from Whakatane.  The beach has been voted New Zealanders' Favourite Beach.

I couldn't believe the weather.  18-24!  In New Zealand, in May!!  People were wandering about in shorts, singlets, jandals.  There was no wind at all, and I swam about every second day, whilst my friends back home in Wellington were going through one of those innumerable 'once in a century' storms.

It was at the farmers' market in Whakatane where I bought my figs.  I was on safari through Miramar New World (my home stomping ground) this week and saw figs here for $20 a kg.  What?!  It was $3 for a bag of six in Whakatane.  This just goes to show that figs can't grow in Wellington, but the higher up the North Island one goes, the price is reduced because the weather is so much warmer.

I went on a guided  bush tour one night to listen for  kiwi bird mating calls (only in May and June apparently).  At one stage, the people ahead of me on the track scooted away, and those behind me weren't there when I turned around.  Not one torchlight to be seen ahead of me or behind me looking down-down-down the hill.  I kept on walking, pushing through branches.   Calls of the kiwi?  Who cared about the stupid birds?  I was l-o-s-t!!   Eventually, however, I caught up with everybody but for about 10 minutes there, my knickers were in such a twist.  Oh, yes, I did eventually hear the call of the kiwi - but only when I got back to the carpark.

Here's Ohope Beach.

     a log had washed up on the beach and someone had  painstakingly done a Maori carving on it.

I went swimming through these huge breakers?

It was a long walk out to the sea at low tide.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gone and done it!

Hi there
In the words of the magnificently-voiced Ms Shania Twain, I've "gone and done It"*.

I've booked for America.  Again.  Obviously, i took into account that i needed to save up to repair that hole in my lounge ceiling, and that i really need new blinds, and my bank account is in dire need of replenishment, and I've just forked out for an expensive new stove, and my friends will roll their eyes aware I have Las Vegas OCD....... And yet I still booked?

For the love of little bunnies (thanks "Four Brides USA" for giving me this phrase), what came over me?  I should never have peeked at a "Do you want to go back to Las Vegas" spam email that was sent me.  I had ignored these emails for months.  SIGH.

It's bad enough that I'm a Pepsi Max addict, but to also admit that i am addicted to Las Vegas is surely over the top?

(Eight horrific days now without Pepsi.  Do i get my eight day good-girl badge?)

Ive never so much as played a poker machine in Las Vegas - don't gamble in any form, never ever bought a Lotto ticket - but I do think Vegas is an exciting and safe place to indulge my luxury-on-a-budget whims.

I truly have gone and done it ...

               *from the song "Love Gets Me Every Time".

Friday, May 22, 2015

cockney rhyming slang

Hi there

After watching all those English cop shows through the decades  I figured I had rhyming slang down pat.  Apples and pears?  - stairs, right?   Butcher's hook? - look.  Pork pies, lies?

I had vaguely wondered if there was any new rhyming slang going on, so I googled and discovered something about sleeping in your Barack Obamas (pyjamas ... or 'pajamas', if you're American).

But blow me down with a feather....  For what feels like forever I have been saying something like "Oh, this old shirt?  I've had it for donkeys' years".  I think I even said it in a past blog.

Imagine my embarrassment to discover that the cockney phrase should be "donkey's ears" and means "years".

Ever since i can remember, my kiwi-born mum used this particular slang but my childish mind must have picked it up differently.  Right context, wrong words.

I truly love you, Mum, but why-oh-why couldn't you have enunciated more clearly?  It's horrifying to think what else my young brain picked up from you and to this day - donkey's ears later - I am still saying wrong!

Stupid donkeys...


PS:  a reprieve, hallelujah!!  A friend has just told me that "donkey's ears" has been traced back to 1915, but that now it's become more common to say- wait for it! - "donkeys' years".

Sorry, Mum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cliff Richard. Huh, who?

Cliff Richard The Early years

Well, slap my wrist and tell me off:  Helen - she who danced in that leafy square in France with a stranger - reminded me that I used to have a thing for the singer, Cliff Richard.  She wondered what I had done with my two-page hand-written letter that I got from the guy in the 1960's.  This Comment from Helen was after I'd gone on about how rock'n'roll memorabelia wouldn't be worth a tin of fish in the future.  Oops.

You know, I'd forgotten about that letter?  Maybe I should hunt it out and sell it right now?

Most people, nowadays, see Cliff Richard as this 74 year old singer who is a bit of a dweeb.  But in the late 50's, he was labelled as Britain's King of Rock'n'Roll.  I called  him my sigh guy and thought he was so cute.  I saw him in the movie "The Young Ones" 14 times.  I saw "Summer Holiday" 12 times.  This was all before videos or DVD's.

There has always been a little flutter, just a tiny one, in my heart when I hear his name.  Maybe the flutter is to do with the past and growing old?  It's a memory flutter for times gone by, perhaps a wish to be there again?  A friend tells me that her 'thing' was for American actor, Farley Granger.  She, too, looks back happily on her young dreams.

Wouldn't it be neat to go back to one's teenage past for just an hour or two?   Oh, wait, maybe it wouldn't.  Zits, boyfriend trouble, homework???   Maybe I'll take a raincheck on that time travel...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

choppy waves

Hi there

Before we swim at Hataitai Beach we always 'look at the water'.  Just in case J and I discover wood debris or jellyfish.  Or sharks.  Apparently a baby shark was seen in the close vicinity recently.

This day, the waves were extremely choppy... okay, 'wild' might be a better word.  Extremely wild.  For the first time in years we decided to call off our swim.  If you're not enjoying yourself in the water and you can't see each other over the top of the waves, all the fun of swiming disappears.  Still, i guess that seven swims so far this month is not a bad total for May.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bring back the crispy bacon

Hi there

What is it about bacon in cafes in New Zealand?  It's never crispy.  When I went to the States last year, I got all emotional thinking about the crispy bacon I was going to get there.  But, sadly, no.  It was just as limp as here.  Yet a year or so before, American bacon was so crispy I only had to practically look at it, for the stuff to snap!

I figure crispy bacon-lovers of the world should unite, get up in arms, take our request to Parliament.  Surely it can't be that hard to get crispy bacon in cafes?

And while I'm on the cafĂ© kick, how about those serviettes wrapped around cutlery.  The serviettes have obviously been wrapped around the knife and fork when the cutlery was damp because it would take a demented chimpanzee to unwrap that darn paper after it is brought to your table.  When a hot dish is put in front of you and then you have to spend five minutes ripping off the serviette from the cutlery, it's enough to cause a screaming fit.  Plus you get a cold meal.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

figgy pudding

Hi there

Last weekend i went to a farmers' market.  I bought a bag of fejoas.  Then i idly gazed over the homemade jams.

What?  Fig jam?  OMG!  I looove fig jam.

The fig tree in my garden has given me three figs in twenty years.  Figs in Welington are as scarce as hens' teeth.

So, naturally, i bought the fig jam.

A passing woman heard my loving cries.  She probably saw me salivating.

"They're selling figs - real figs - at the market stall over there-"  She pointed.


I bought three bags.

Figs, anyone?  - Nah, I'm not sharing...

Friday, May 1, 2015

celebrity collectables

Hi there

I often read about items that have belonged to celebrities going for fantastic prices at auctions.  Lately i have been watching Beverley Hills Pawn (or is it 'Hollywood', i can never remember).  On this tv show, anything that has belonged to a star sells for thousands upon thousands.

In my opinion, there is a shelf life for such items.  Obviously, the first generation of fans desperately want to buy things that their idol has owned, worn in a movie, or even touched in passing.

The second generation have been brought up listening to a singer that a parent has loved so, by osmosis, they too are hooked.

The next generation think its a wee bit embarrassing that Dad and Grandad like this old dead singer, and by generation four, the singer and his songs are all but forgotten.

In the 1920's, silent movie actor, Rudolph Valentino, had women fainting in picture theatre aisles when he was up there on the screen acting as  'The Sheikh'.  At his funeral, lots more women throw themselves on his casket, mobbed the funeral procession, and even committed suicide because without their favourite actor, life was now meaningless.

But how many Valentino fans are out there now?  Certainly not in their droves.

So, collectors of  pop memorabilia, i advise you to not hold on to your mementoes for too long.  That Paul McCartney handwritten lyric that you paid a hundred thouand dollars for may not quite provide the nest egg for your descendents that you figured it would do.

You only have to watch Antiques Road Show to see what was once the rage - crystal, dark furniture, George Formby - is not so anymore.

My hint for the day?  Sell Gerry and the Pacemakers' autographs now, because that ferry has all but sailed.