Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flu Jab

Hi there

A few days' ago, with Winter beckoning,  I visited the nurse at the Miramar Medical Centre.  Time for my flu jab.

Poof, flu jab?  A flu jab is nothing compared to the dentist.  I can take a flu jab, easy-peasy. 

And I did, with no probs.

I went to Hataitai Beach 2 hours later.  There was a little ache in my left arm, but nothing to worry me.

... until I got stung by a bee on the same arm!

"Yoww!!!"   I'm so ashamed to admit I hollered. I leapt up from where I'd been sitting on the deck, swept the bee off my arm, and commenced to dance around yelling about a wasp.

My swimming friend, J, peered at the body.  "It's a bee," she proclaimed.

I wanted sympathy, not an insect biology lesson.

I pulled the bee's stinger from my arm and yelled, "Vinegar, quick!"

J was beside me in a trice, a vinegar phial in hand.

Yes, we're prepared.  For stingray and jellyfish attacks.  Did vinegar work, too, for bee stings?  Who cared, we were doing .... something!

I rang the Medical Centre nurse, just in case a flu jab didn't exactly mesh with a bee sting, but everything seems to be okay.

I have the utmost faith in vinegar.  Someone in the medical profession would no doubt say (smugly?),  "Well, as long as you think it's doing good ...".

Friday, April 22, 2016

Eating Fads?

Hi there

About ten years' ago, I had a group of people come to my place for an afternoon meeting.  It was nearly Christmas and in that good old kiwi tradition of  "Bring a plate", everyone had brought some snack or nibble for the coffee table.

I was stunned.  Where were the foods that people usually brought for such an occasion?: the cakes, biscuits, Christmas mince,  chocolate, sausage rolls, fizzy drinks, little bacon and egg pies?   All I could see in front of me was food and drink that was yeast-free, sugar-free, salt-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free ... taste-free!

It was my first experience of such a thing.  Nowadays, of course, this sort of eating has completely taken over.

In the nineteen-fifties, we read that in the future we would be eating pills that tasted like roast  beef,  plum pudding, pavlova, or fish'n'chips.

The way we're going, I figure this particular fad in eating is just around the corner ... 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ghost in the Shell movie filming at Stone Street

Hi there

It's busy, busy, busy for them at Stone Street Studios in Miramar for the movie "Ghost in the Shell".

I can never spell her name right, but the star is Scarlett Johanssen.  Above photo taken today.  To be allowed to  take it, I was almost made to stand down in the South Island.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

swims and films

Hi there
This weekend, I drove to town in my seemingly endless quest for new glasses and, yes, I did find some which I'm still not happy with, but, hey, the insurance people are paying.

I had to meet my swimming friend, J, at the beach directly after my glasses quest, but getting through town was a nightmare. Several streets were blocked off because Scarlett Johanssen was filming her new movie.  Is it called "Ghost in the Shell"?;  I'm not too sure.  Anyway, the stupid people who were organising  traffic cones obviously didn't coordinate with each other because they had us driving around and around the same block, with no obvious exit to other roads.  I wonder how long it took them to sort themselves out?

Also, I got a note in my letterbox yesterday warning me that, over the next couple of weeks, there will be night filming for "Ghost in the Shell" at the Stone Street Studios down the road from where I live.  Goodness, the movie people were so apologetic to the neighbours.  There is going to be a lot of blank gunfire and pyrotechnics with a midnight curfew most of the time except when there would be 6pm-6am filming.  Oh, it's all right though because the noise will only be for ten minutes every 30 minutes or so.

Anyway, I finally got through the traffic jam and made it to the beach.  Here are some nice pics of Hataitai Beach that I took yesterday.  J and I swim out of the bay and around the corner to the jetty.

The streets below were blocked off for the movie making.

Friday, April 15, 2016

choosing spectacles

Hi there

Today, I went to buy a new pair of glasses.

I started looking through the racks at Specsavers at 10.30 a.m.  I finally left the shop, without having selected any frames, at 2 pm.  I was exhausted from doing so many laps around the shop, from standing for so long with a bad knee, from trying on hundreds of pairs of glasses.  Besides, the shop assistants had started to whimper pitifully when I insisted they line up with placards numbered 1 to 10 and rate each choice of frames as I paraded past them (I'm joking.  Maybe).

Every time I found passable frames, an assistant would tut-tut:  "It's not quite you, is it?

"It isn't?  I thought it was me.  Me likes them."

"No, no.  The frame sticks out too far at the sides of your face.  Read that number on the arm of the specs:  52?  Your face only needs a 49 or 50."

My face warranted a low number?  I didn't know whether to be mortified or deleriously happy.

"I want something unusual," I said as I pouted and posed in front of a mirror.  "Something colourful and lightweight.  Perhaps with a pattern at the sides?  I don't want to look like Clark Kent, or an owl. Or someone from 1965 - been there, done that, wore these exact same frames then... "

I caught the bus to another Specsavers branch and, for an hour, tried on more frames.   I came home glasses-less.  The hunt continues next week.  How many Specsavers shops are there in New Zealand.....?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Polar bear birthday

10 April  New Zealand time

Hi there

Its my birthday!  It's also Wahine Day, the day, in history when the passenger ferry, Wahine, sunk in Wellington Harbour with a terrible loss of life;  the worst storm in living memory.  So whilst I am whooping it up, receiving birthday wishes from my loved ones, the radio and newspapers are going on about today being a sad day in New Zealand history.

My swimming friend J and I have begun to liken ourselves to polar bears because we swim at Hataitai Beach during the winter.  So, at exactly midnight, J emailed me birthday wishes, along with the below picture -

Thanks, J.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Lord of the Rings filming in Miramar

Hi there

Every time I walk past the California Garden Centre in Miramar, Wellington, I think of the filming of Lord of the Rings.

On one of the 'making of the movie' DVDs, it's said that a scene, with riders and horses, was being filmed in a warehouse opposite the California.  Apparently, there wasn't enough room for the thundering horses to slow down their wild run inside the warehouse so the main doors were opened, the gates of the California Garden Centre were thrown open too, and when the horses pell-melled it out of the building, they crossed the road still at a ferocious gallop,  and only managed to be slowed down in the grounds of the garden centre.

The garden centre building was once a huge tank and is now full of plants, gifts, cafe.  It's practically next door to Park Road Post, the post production film place.  It's a minute or two from Weta Workshop, about fifteen minutes walk from the studio.  Here's California -

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Was this an aura?

Hi there

I think one time I maybe saw an aura?  An aura?  Poof, who believes in auras, right?  I certainly didn't.

I was eating with friends in a hotel restaurant when a restaurant hostess (I presumed) walked into the room.  She had a black shivery fringe totally around her (like a wavy ribbon or the fringe around the bottom of an old-fashioned lampshade but it stood out from her body by about 3 or 4 inches).  It encased her completely as she walked, meandering it's way around the hem of her skirt, and also it followed the in and out curves of her legs and arms.    She opened the kitchen door and disappeared from my sight.  I rubbed my eyes frantically.  Was I seeing things?   Noone else in the restaurant had a shivery black fringe around them.

The kitchen door opened.  The woman came out again, still surrounded by the black fringe.  she walked  across the restaurant and out the door.

Had I seen an aura?  I don't know.  Years later, a friend suggested she might have been a ghost.  Another friend said that I should have approached the woman as she might have been in a depressed mood and needed help.

In family folklore, my great grand-mother was referred to as a "witch".  She went up and down New Zealand telling fortunes to sheep shearing gangs, and the like.

I wonder, do I have some sort of  ability in a ... spiritual field?  Gosh...