Thursday, June 25, 2015

But does your beauty bar actually clean me?

Hi there

I rang up the phone number on the side of the product packet -

"Um... about your beauty bar?" I said.  "Does it ... clean me?

"Pardon?"  The woman was perplexed.

"It doesn't say anywhere on the packet that it's actually soap.  I have to know if it will clean me."

"Of course it will clean you."

"It doesn't tell me that.  It tells me it's a beauty cream bar.  It tells me it moisturises.  It tells me it hydrates .  Written on the side are the words 'pain de toilette'-"

Now, aside from 'menu' and 'entree', I don't really know much French;  I don't even want to think about pain, and a toilet, and a beauty bar all in the same breath.

The lady on the end of the line kept insisting my beauty cream bar would, indeed,  shine me up all squeaky-clean.  Apparently, too, I wouldn't even have to sit on the loo to receive the benefits.

I'm still not convinced.  Why would soap manufacturers - "Dove", I'm talking to you - want to dress their product in such an ultra-snobby cloak that buyers haven't a clue what the thing actually is?

I don't want a bar of it-

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mid-winter swim, Hataitai Beach

21 June (NZ time), shortest day

Hi there

My swimming friend J and I did our mid-winter swim today at Hataitai Beach.  We never thought we'd be able to do it because yesterday's weather was so terrible.  But as I said to J this morning, "... even if the sea is crocodile-infested, I am definitely doing that swim today". 

J said, "What if there's faecal contamination?"

"Oh.... I might change my mind."

But there were no crocodiles.  No faecal contamination.  And no debris had yet reached our beach after yesterday's storm.  Blue skies, but it was extremely cold.  After our swim, we put on so many clothes you would have thought we were overweight polar bears.

 above: me
 above:  J
above: me

Talking baby-talk to animals

Hi there

There was a little dog tied up outside a shop.  I bent down to talk to it:

"Hello, darling.  Aren't you beautiful?  You are such a gorgeous widdle doggie-woggie. If all the little-bitty doggie-woggies were placed in a row, you would be the most lovely-wuvly-"

A shopper passed me.  She smiled indulgently.  Immediately, I got all embarrassed.

"Am I the only person in the world who talks baby-talk to puppies?" I said.

"We all do it, dear," said the woman.

And this got me thinking.  What is it that makes us talk so silly?  When I had my beautiful cat, StarGirl, I would come home from work, calling out, "I'm home, Sweetie-pie...."  

Oh dear. 

One of my favourite tunes from the wonderful Judy Garland/Fred Astaire movie "Easter Parade"  is "Snookey Ookums" where the two sing in baby-talk.

Well if Garland and Astaire can sing like that to each other, I can most certainly croon to any passing animal I come across.  So - new resolution - from now on I am going to proudly hold my head up high as I chatter away in baby-talk.

Above is a link to a short three-song medley from "Easter Parade" featuring "Snookey Ookums" which is the middle song.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Me, trying to diet! Lamingtons & Pepsi Max

Hi there

I've been on a double diet for a little while.  I've cut out Pepsi Max as well as any fattening food.   It's a very hard thing cutting out the two together. 

 I was up to a 1.5 litre bottle of Pepsi Max a day..  I'm now drinking a lot of water, and eating healthy food that I am totally detesting.

I did cut out Pepsi once before about five years ago,  and it took me three weeks of intense cravings before I could let it go from my mind.   Pepsi Max is sugarless but it has (I believe) three times more caffeine than ordinary Pepsi.  Probably this caffeine craving was why I went through such hell for those three weeks.  I was in such a bad mood - my friends saw me coming down the street and ducked behind lamp-posts or into shops to get away from me.    This time around, my Pepsi cravings lasted about ten days.

Now, it's my food cravings that reign supreme.  Today, Pepsi was on special at the supermarket.  I walked past the display with my hand across my eyes, muttering, "No, no,no", and I shot out of that aisle as quickly as I could ... to end up right-slap-dab in front of some cream-filled lamingtons!

Oh, nooooooooo......   I want-a-lamington-I-want-a-lamington-I-want-a-lamington-

Australian Lamingtons - stock photo

I didn't buy those darn lamingtons, but they've been in my food-filled thoughts for the last four hours.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hataitai Beach winter swimming

Hi there

We've now done 6 swims for June, and that's our minimum per month so I'm quite happy.  The shortest day is next weekend but the long range weather forecast is for cold and rain.  We'll just have to see if we manage more swims.

Today, the sea was flat as a pancake.  It was flat yesteday, too.   Quite cold, but we're still swimming without light t-shirts on top of our togs.   As we enter the water,or as we come out from it, passersby often ask us variations of  "Is it cold?"

No, it's at boiling point.

Haha.  It's bloody cold.  We sort of forced a friend to come in with us last winter.  We honestly thought that she was going to have a heart attack - the terrified look on her face, after her first plunge, was like something out of a horror movie; she was so cold.   We are very careful now never to be offhand with people about the temp of the water..

One hour later, after writing the above:  have just discovered that today there have been fierce waves with the sea causing much damage, throwing up boulders and blocking roads on Wellington's southern coastline.  And yet, maybe 3 kms away, J and I were happily swimming in peaceful waters.   The waves at Lyall Bay were apparently 8 metres high.  My swimming friend J reckons that the water at Hataitai Beach was probably not even 8 mms high.


Oh, I passed a campervan yesterday which caused me to chuckle.

"I've often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go swimming."  I think Wickedcampers may be the camper rental firm that has been in hot water with the public because of some of the sayings on their vehicles.

Hataitai Beach today, Sunday NZ time. The airport runway is behind the yachts.  The other end of the runway is where the ferocious sea has been spewing up rocks and wrecking the road, and doing other damage whilst we were swimming in calm waters.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Winds at Hataitai Beach

Hi there

Wed morn NZ time

There were ferocious winds yesterday and last night.  So bad that last night two huge shipping containers got blown off the Wellington wharf -

After the gym yesterday, my friend J, and I decided - rather hesitatingly - to go and 'look at the water' prior to maybe swimming.

We stood on the deck at the beach with a gale howling ferociously around us and did decide to swim.  The water was clear and there were no jelly fish.   J's personal paparazzo went to wait for us in the warmth of his car.  On the footpath, people were scooting past snuggled deep into layer upon layer of clothes   There were short glimpses of the water  in its original state - flat-ish - but the wind was so bad it mostly blew the sea every-which-way.

My friend, J, got under the water first and suddenly I got an epiphany.  Swimming in the winter, in the cold, was .... crazy!

"I don't want to do it!  I don't want to do it!"

I did do it.

I giggled and chortled somewhat hysterically all through the swim.  The freezing wind kept whooshing the freezing water up into my mouth and nose, usually in mid-chortle.

Neither of us had arrived in ultra-warm clothes.  I'd rummaged in the boot ('trunk', if you're American) of my car and come up with a heavy jacket and an old cardy.   J managed to come up with five layers of not-so-warm clothes hidden deep down in her chasm of a backpack.

Our hands were so cold and our bodies so wet that we couldn't get fingers to work when rolling down t-shirts, doing up buttons, pulling on socks. 

Polar bears swim in heavy coats.  Wish we could.....

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Unforget-a-bull Bulls

Hi there

I always have a bit of a giggle when I drive through the little township of Bulls, here in New Zealand.  The people who work in the surely-no-more-than-twenty-little-shops obviously have a great sense of humour.   It must be difficult living in a place named Bulls, but these folk have leapt on the bull-wagon and truly  taken said bull by the horns, so to speak.  Many of the shops and even the rubbish bins have the word 'bull' comically somewhere in the labelling.

Veget-a-bull is the name of the fruit shop.   Delect-a-bull surely is a great name for an ice cream shop.  I would certainly pop in to sample the wares at "Afford-a-bull".

I would guess just about everybody's favourite is the local police station.  In big proud letters, it proclaims 'Const-a-Bull.  There's even a bull-ish painting on the police station garage door.

Bulls is on a corner of Highway No 1 if you're coming down the North Island from Wanganui, Auckland, Taupo or New Plymouth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Swam every day in June

Hi there

Okay, okay, it's the second of June,  but we've swam both today and yesterday!   Today, we swam in the rain - no, please I beg you not to say it;   don't call us 'mad' because we get that all the time.  Think about brave?  Or heroic?

Last month, May,  we got in ten swims.   I guess we will soon put light t-shirts on over our bathing suits.  Our Hataitai Beach mid-winter swim is in three weeks.