Friday, July 31, 2015

The Domino Effect with suitcases

Hi there

My friend arrived from Auckland last week, to housesit while I am in the United States.  This morning we tripped happily along to a department store to look around. 

"Oh, look, there's a cabin bag the same as my one," I exclaimed happily, pointing out a small case.   "I wonder how much they're charging for it-""

The bag was sitting on a high long table in a cluster of about eighteen other hard-backed wheelie cases.  I attempted to move a bag in the front row of four deep to get at it.

"Oh, noooooooooooooo.........."

The bag in front of me wheeled to the side and, in the process, knocked the bag beside it.  That bag knocked the next bag to it.  A third swayed precariously until - craaassssh!  Down to the floor, the three bags fell, but not before one of them had knocked the bag behind it, which in turn knocked the bag behind that one which also knocked the next one.  These bags fell off the other side of the table-

As my friend said to me after we'd raced, red-faced, out from the shop, "Wow, that's one in-store video the employees will definitely hoot over at their next Christmas Party ..."


J and I did 10 swims in July.  Today (1 August NZ time), we got in a swim in the rain.  Extremely cold.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

cookies, both sorts

Hi there
The blog people have told me I must mention that they have a cookie on their blog site.  Goodness, I hardly know what a cookie is, outside of the obvious kind that you eat.

I well remember the Andy Williams Show on tv back in the sixties (where The Osmond Family were first introduced - Donnie was such a tiny little tyke!).  Andy had a bear friend that kept demanding cookies.  So popular was this weekly segment that our biscuit company came up with Cookie Bear biscuits, biscuits that are still selling strongly today.  I wonder if the biscuit people got permission to use Cookie Bear, an  obvious steal from the Andy Williams Show?

Miramar Murals and art

Hi there

I like looking at the art work that seems to be cropping up around the suburbs.  On my walks around Miramar, there are several that I love.  There are a few on fences but I adore the murals that are on the front of those big electrical box thingees. 

Here's the latest electrical-box-thingee mural.  It's still being painted, and is on Miramar's main street (on the way to Weta Workshop).

And here it is again, from another angle.  You can easily see the door in it:

Here's a dinosaur in front of Worser Bay School which is at the top of the hill that leads down to the bay.   This school, over the years, has taught the children of various celebrities living in Miramar:

This dog and bone mural is at the bottom of the Worser Bay hill:

Friday, July 24, 2015

I'm just looking, thank you!

Hi there

I mosey on into a clothes shop.  Today, I will buy nothing, and nothing will deter me from my non-buying quest.  This is to be a fact-gathering mission.

"And how has your day been-?"

Several times before, and just for the fun of it, I've actually told an astounded sales assistant, in excruciating detail about my day, starting off with getting out of bed, choosing an outfit, eating my cereal, waiting for the bus...

But, this time, I'm too tired for any of that-

"I'm just looking, thank you," I say.  It's an old phrase taught to us by generations of ancestors.

"Those are lovely ear-rings you're wearing," the assistant gushes.

And just like that, the assistant and I bond.  I tell her where I bought the ear-rings, how much they cost, how I love them. 

I let myself get talked into buying a lovely summer jacket that I truly don't need in the middle of winter.  I am assured, however, that it's "new summer stock, just come in".  I have to buy it because the assistant and I are now ... friends?

I began to get suspicious about this bonding-with-shop-assistants-thingee when three assistants in three different shops over the space of two hours waxed deleriously over my various accessories, two of them loving my ear-rings (obviously a popular choice), and one my watch.

I guess, nowadays, retail shop managers believe in sending staff to "How to train your Customer 101".   I can testify that this soft sell totally works.  Darn-it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Whoops, my carparking incident

Hi there

A few weeks ago, I drove into the Countdown Supermarket Carpark in Kilbirnie at 11.30 a.m, and I left their carpark at 12.25 pm.  The parking notice said I could park for an hour and a half.

I reached the beach at 12.32 pm to discover a parking ticket flapping away under my car's windscreen wiper!  Unbeknown to me, and by some magic trick, my car had sat in the Countdown carpark for over the legal hour and a half.  Naughty car, I would have to smack it's bottom. 

(I had been told several years earlier  that the Wilson's Carpark people patrolled the Countdown Carpark one day a week;  I wonder if one day a week is still the case, or has the situation been amped up?)

Anyway, I wrote a letter to Wilson's and pleaded my case.  They informed me that after deep reflection they would waive my $45 fine.  Phewww!

Just to let you Wellingtonians know.  Be alert ....

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More about Hataitai Beach Jellyfish

Hi there

Yesterday, I bravely informed my friend, J, that if we swam at Hataitai Beach she would have to protect me from the jellyfish.

"How?" she asked.

"Swim in front of me, blazing a trail. Those cowardly jellies will skitter away at the might of your formidable frontal attack".  I would follow closely in her wake...

We decided on swimming way over the right side of the bay because the grounded jellyfish had beached themselves more on the left.   Thong man was our test subject in the water; when we didn't hear any surprised yelps or yips coming from his direction, we gingerly got into the sea.

Not one jellyfish bombarded us, though I swear the entire swim was accompanied by the theme music from "Jaws".

The pair of us scuttled out of the water, too cold to even remember - until we were at my house in front of a heater - to hi-five for our five swims in July.  We wore our light t-shirts for the first time this winter.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

the jellyfish are back at Hataitai Beach

Hi there

My swimming friend, J, emailed me yesterday (Sun pm, NZ time) to say that Hataitai Beach was covered with dozens and dozens of jellyfish.

Oh, no.  I've never known them to come in July.  They're usually for a week or two in the summer, but this year there's been a heck of a lot of them.  We had bad storms on Thurs, Fri & Sat, so the storms probably swept the jellyfish into shore. 

As my five readers know, I am absolutely petrified of these jellies.  I know they're harmless, but when they bang against you in the sea it's like you've suddenly hit a plastic bag that's full of hard water.  Scary....

I went down to the beach today for a nosey.  It was high tide and the jellies that hadn't disintegrated in the sun were in the process of being washed out to sea again.  The last lot I'd seen were the size of dinner plates.  These ones were smaller. Maybe thirty or so of them.

We've done four swims so far this month but I'm not going in the water again until those jellyfish have disappeared from Hataitai Beach shores.  Our monthly minimum is 6 swims.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Cleaning out my garage

Hi there

I had 48 hours before the Red Cross Charity Shop did a collection sweep of my suburb, so I was ready and  rarin' to clean out my garage ...  I had a mound of plastic rubbish bags, my MP3 player, and a packed lunch.  I was set for the whole day.

"But I really don't want to do this," I moaned over the phone to a friend.

"You can so do it," my friend said in that jolly-hockey-sticks sort of rah-rah way your pals often have when trying to egg you on and yet, at the same time, are immensely relieved they don't have to do the work themselves.  She was off to town, shopping, didn't give a toss about me and my garage.

After I'd backed my car out, I stood at the entrance of the garage and contemplated all the goodies that over the last two decades had been deemed too important to throw out ...

There were three suitcases crammed full of curtains and table cloths, and doilies.  There were loads of photos and negatives, pop star memorabaelia from the sixties, and 21st birthday cards.  There were two twiggy broom-sticks, a huuuuge pile of clothes,  painted shells, unpainted shells, a toastie-maker, a record player and amps, glass-ware and crystal, a bike seat, half-a-dozen framed pictures, cans of paint, reams of cardboard and typing paper, and my old school shorthand exercise books.  There were mystery books, and how-to books, and chiclit books, and a bucket-full of pumice I'd gathered from around Red Rocks.  There were dried-up balloons that when you looked real closely read 'Happy Birthday Lorraine', long playing records from the rock'n'roll era, lots of gym stuff, a fold-down Christmas tree, a pair of rugs, a venetian blind, a partridge, a pear tree, the ark of the covenant....

By day's end, my back was hurting, I was exhausted and snarling, and I'd only cleaned three-quarters of the garage.  Still, there were eight bags for the Red Cross, half a dozen bags for other charities who weren't as picky as the Red Cross with their request for good goods, and six more bags that were truly meant for the rubbish.

Thank goodness, I don't have to clean the garage again for another twenty years.  By then it will probably be up to my heirs to do the deed.  Ah, there is light at the end of this tunnel!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Four swims for July at Hataitai Beach

Hi there

My swimming friend, J, and I have now four swims under our belts for July.  The water is very cold.  Maybe next week we will slip on light t-shirts?

Yesterday, I had to wear a different bathing suit because my usual one was damp.  I moaned the entire swim that the shoulder straps on this new one were less wide (by about an inch) and this was why I was colder than usual.  My friend J, never the cold-water moaner, didn't go for that theory.

Two young guys got out of their car at Hataitai Beach on Sunday, one in swimming shorts, the other carrying a camera.  In the space of, say, twenty seconds, swim-guy raced into the water, ducked down under the waves, emerged with a blood-curdling scream because of the cold, and raced out again.  His mate, who had filmed the whole episode, was bent over with laughter.

J came up with the scenario that the mates had a bet as to the outcome of the previous day's rugby final, the loser having to take the plunge!  As good a guess as any.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Miramar Wanderings

Hi there

I was power-walking through Miramar last week and approached the goods entrance for Weta Workshop.  Standing in the gateway was a guy in a fluorescent vest with some sort of two-way radio in his hand.  We were probably about a metre or so apart.

He said into his radio, and looking right at me, "There's a big truck here now-"

"I hope you're not referring to me," I said.  "I know I've put on weight but ..."

As I walked away, he was apologising profusely, explaining that he wasn't talking about me; there was a truck coming up the road to the back of me.

It's so sad that people nowadays are so scared of being politically incorrect that they don't register a joke when they hear it.

above:  Weta Workshop goods entrance.  The building immediately behind is the Weta office block.  I haven't been in there for a few years but in their conference room they had their Oscars on display.

Today: I power-walked the same route this morning.  As I turned a corner away from Weta, I came upon something being filmed from across the road.   It's for tv apparently.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Me, going to Las Vegas

Hi there

My friend in Auckland rang me a month or so ago:

"When are you off to Las Vegas again?" she asked.

"Wha-?  Who said I was going to Las Vegas?  I've never told you I was going back .  I've been telling everyone for months that I've been there-done that."

"So, you're really not going?"

"Well ...."

"I knew it!  You can't resist the place.  Now, I've looked up what's on in Wellington during August for when I come down to house-sit;   I'll go ahead and book for 'Wellington On a Plate' and 'The International Film Festival'-"

"Whoa there.  Who's to say I'm not going in.... September!  Or... or December."

There was a bit of a pause.  Then:  "Nah ...  You like the August sales.  And the shows.  And the vibe of  millions of people surrounding you in Vegas at the height of summer.  You're a weird person, Lorraine."

My friend nattered on asking me about half a dozen Wellington restaurants. Did that restaurant have a good rep?   Was this restaurant too far away from Miramar to commute to?   Did I know of a place where crayfish would be on the menu?   And, oh-yes-there-was-a-rate-the-best-burger in Wellington contest; she was definitely up for that.

It seems that while I'm attending those ritzy buffet spreads in Las Vegas my Auckland mate will be down here in Wellington sampling every restaurant and cafe in the entire region.

I pity for both our weights afterwards.

PS:   J and I managed 10 swims for June.  And once this month, so far.