Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More Melbourne

Hi there

Aside from getting lost every hour I was in Melbourne, I seemed to be doing a lot of walking ... and walking.  My Skeechers shoes were fairly new but by the time I got home, the soles were pretty worn down.  I was worn down, too.

I saw 'Matilda - the musical'.  To my mind, it wasn't as good as 'Sister Act', though still entertaining.  But I must be getting some kind of selected hearing in my old age because all the little girls' singing voices sounded like unintelligible chipmunk chittering;  I could hardly make out a word.

Above: an overseas clip


I went to the Arts Centre and there was a collection of stage clothes worn over the years by Aussie singer Kylie Minogue. 

Okay, all right, yes, I did get up-close to kangaroos.  I mean, come on, I was in Australia ...

No-one who lives in this little town at the foot of the Grampians mountain range own lawn mowers.  At dusk the kangaroos come out from the bush and hop through town munching on people's lawns.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Been to Melbourne!

Hi there

I've just returned from five nights in Melbourne, Australia.  I lost my wallet at one point, backtracked for several hours through half a dozen shops looking for it until I reached a 7/11 convenience store.  I joined the end of the store queue just in time to hear the shop assistant say to another shop assistant, "If a lady comes back looking for her wallet, I'll put it over here..."  I jumped up and down, waving, in my excitement.  "Me!  Me!  It's my wallet!"  Everything was safe inside, money, credit card (which I'd already cancelled), and my bank card which couldn't be accessed without a PIN.  Whoopee!  I still had to pay my hotel bill and luckily I had a second credit card kept in a different place from the first.

I went on an hour long up-hill guided walk in the Grampian Mountain Range, at a place that is called The Grand Canyon.  I cannot understand why the Go West tour guide didn't cancel the walk when as we got to the foot of the hill it started to rain  The track was comprised completely of rocks.  Rocks that got slippery and slide-y as we progressed, and the rain got heavy.

Remember last year when I got all traumatised riding a horse?  Well, it was the same on this trek; I was so tense and stressed out  I was scared I might slip on a wet rock and end up wih another bad knee; bang would have gone my hiking trip this summer down the Abel Tasman National Park.

More photos from Melbourne later ..

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sister Act - The Musical. In Wellington

Hi there

I saw "Sister Act - the musical".  I loved every minute of it.  Such a happy show and with such wonderful rhyming lyrics.  It's a very Broadway musical.  The songs are all reminiscent of the disco era.

There was one song "When I find My Baby" that was hilarious.  It's sung by the Mr Big baddie and starts off sounding sweet and ends up with him and his henchmen dancing and singing like The Temptations.  The song morphs into how when he catches Deloris who saw him commit murder, he's going to shoot her, stab her, disembowel her, kill her (!!), and all done as if he was Lionel Ritchie singing a love song.

I do love musicals. And I thought the Wellington singers performed fabulously.  Dare I say it, better than in the below overseas clip?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Why do "they" keep changing things?

Hi there

As I grow older I  try to accept change, but every now and then I find myself thinking, or even shouting, "I hate change!"

Earlier this year, I was trying to learn how to use my new mobile phone, my new laptop , my new house phone (I gave up on that and kept my old phone), and my new Kindle.  All in a one month period. I stamped my foot many times in a real temper tantrum because I couldn't learn fast enough.  I guess I should have asked a five year old to help me.

The style of my circuit class at the gym was changed,  I changed dentists after forty years at the one dentistry, and then I had to get a new hairdresser (no, no, stylist, stylist)

When did the sandals that I used to call 'scuffs', suddenly become 'slides'?  My favourite restaurants always rebrand after a few years.  As a kid, all the guys played  'footie' or 'football', until 'football' became a much used word and our national game became officially  'rugby' .

I used to stand up in picture theatres for the National Anthem of 'God Save the Queen' and glare at people who never rose from their seats.  When TV1 came on air of a morning at mid-day, way back in the sixties, the start-up shot was of a group of kids standing on a hill singing something called "God Defend New Zealand".

What?  I'd never heard of the song before and, suddenly, it was our National Anthem? 

This past year the nation was asked to vote for, and choose a new flag.  Just think what I could have voted for given the choice of National Anthem.  "Ten Guitars", anyone?"

Above:  international singing star, New Zealander Hayley Westenra, singing "God Defend New Zealand".  Rugby themed.  She sings it first in Maori, and then English.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Shortland Street tv Series - Ukraine

Hi there

Well ...  The New Zealand TV2 series "Shortland Street" has been around for a couple of hundred years.  Oh, wait, no - it just feels like that.  I remember years back when it first started, I thought the acting was so amateur-ish.  Nowadays the show has reached iconic status.

Anyway, the Ukraine has bought the bones of the series.  I think this means the basic plots, sets, characters.  There will be Ukranian actors in the show.

It is so interesting to know that a kiwi plotline was considered good enough for tv in another country.

Of course the Ukraine will put their own stamp on the series, and good for them.  I expect that, if the series lasts, the storylines will veer a long way away from our series.

Thank you, Ukraine.  Hope you enjoy the series.

PS:  Hey, Ukraine, I  was in the supermarket and noticed fruit biscuits from your country on the shelf.  An open market for fruit biscuits in exchange for a  tv series -  Yummy!  A great swap!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Shady Pines Rest Home?

Hi there

A friend and I often joke about the time when we will end up at Shady Pines.

We are well aware that the slightest slip, any small sign of forgetfulness - like a bowling ball put into the fridge by mistake, a kettle left on the boil too long, a small house-fire, - and it will be Shady Pines, here we come.  A 20 year old putting a bowling ball in the fridge would have her friends grinning indulgently over the mistake but, hey, we older folk would be raced into a care facility faster than one can say "Alzheimers".

There are questions asked by the medical profession to see if an older person is ripe for induction:  "Name the Prime Minister?"  "What's the date?"  "Count backwards from a hundred in sevens".  "Draw a cube".  "Draw a clock face that reads ten-fifteen".

I'm pretty sure I would remember the name of the PM (phew!), I'd be somewhat hazy over the date,  I can't count in sevens forwards let alone backwards, and as for drawing a cube? - well, I have no eye for perspective.

When a relative was asked to draw the clock face, he drew a digital watch with the numbers "10:15" on it.  Five stars for being creative?

From now on, I'll have to watch my P's and Q's.  And my boiling kettles.  And my bowling balls.  This very morning I'm going to start in on drawing cubes ...

Monday, September 5, 2016


Hi there

About ten years ago, I was staying at an isolated lodge in the Marlborough Sounds area (just off the Queen Charlotte track) at the top of the South Island.  It was a bring-in-your-own food place and I was there to go hiking, swimming, kayaking.  I had calculated in advance exactly what food I needed for my visit, right on down to the last slice of bread for my last day.  I would be starving a fraction but if i was careful, I knew I could manage.

My first night there, I had made myself a meal of salad, potato and mussels.  I sat at a shared table.

"Oh, your food looks good."  A young lady backpacker sat down next to me.

"Yes, doesn't it?"   On my plate, I had six mussels,  one potato, and a measured-out salad.

This young lady continued to compliment me on my food, exclaiming over and over of the wonder of it.  To her, it was obviously the most fantastic-looking meal ever.  Gordon Ramsay, take a back seat.

She  looked beseechingly  at me with soulful puppy-dog eyes.

I would have liked to give her something to eat, but I knew I couldn't.  Most of these overseas backpackers were at the lodge for a night or two.  I was there for a week.

For years, I felt awful about being such a mean person.  But today I was reading a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail in the United States.

The book told me that non-stop exclaiming over the wonders of another person's food, coupled with the puppy dog eyes, is actually called ... Yogi-ing.  It's named after Yogi Bear who had this style of begging down to a fine art.  Hikers use the technique a lot.  The rule is that they are not allowed to actually ask for the food

Maybe I'll try it.  I'm hiking the Abel Tasman National Park this coming summer.  Shall I play the little old hungry lady card?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Three little(!) Polar Bears Are We

Hi there

You know that my swimming friend J, myself, and The Young One call ourselves polar bears, yes?


We've decided that I'm the laidback bear, J is The Guardian, and The Young One is texting. The patiently-waiting bear in the background is J's personal paparazzo (minus his camera).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Trying times

Hi there

Yes, trying times this week for anyone wanting to swim from Wellington beaches.

First, there was a lot of Spring pollen in the sea.  On another day, there was a leak of sewage into the harbour.   The next day a water main broke and swimmers were told not to go in the water.  Now, today Friday, we have a tsunami warning emanating from this morning's 7.1 earthquake off the East Coast.

I live about 300 metres from the sea.

I think (hope) it's only going to be a mini tsunami, the water will only be a little higher than normal...

But I don't think I'll swim today.  Or paddle. And walking along a beach is most definitely out..

Later:  the tides only rose 30cm higher than usual.