Thursday, June 29, 2017

Americas Cup - we got it!

Hi there

There are millions of people on this earth who have never heard of the Americas Cup, including millions in America who don't even think about yachts.  The Americas Cup Is officially the oldest sporting trophy in the world and I was the only person to voice this answer at a table quiz a few weeks back!  Kudos to me.

After four years of preparation and weeks of gruelling competition in Bermuda, Emirates Team New Zealand won!  I reckon every solitary person in New Zealand, the whole four and a half million of us, watched or listened to the unfolding drama of that final race against Oracle.  Oracle had its millionaire backer, we had dozens and dozens of sponsors and donators.

After the debacle (for us) of the Americas Cup competition four years ago, the country is now deliriously happy.  There is to be a ticker tape parade in Auckland next week.

Goodbye Bermuda, hello New Zealand

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mid-winter swim, 2017, Hataitai Beach

Hi there

Brrrrrhhhhhh!  June 21 was a fine day, but extremely cold.  We weren't going to hang around in wet bathing suits posing for photos, even if it was for J's personal paparazzo. So, we compromised.  Our little group posed after the swim, all wrapped up in our winter woollies, and proudly holding polar bear certificates to show we truly had done the plunge (actually it was my 10th swim for the month, and my friend J had beaten me by one swim).

We have learnt to dress very quickly and get to indoor heat as fast as possible after a winter swim.  Otherwise, for hours, we end up with chattering teeth, extreme shivering, blue skin, and frozen fingers and toes.  An important thing to remember is never-never shop in the frozen food aisle at Countdown directly after a winter swim!

(It's been said we look like a group of carol singers in the photo.  We are so open for paid offers come December.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rimutaka Forest Park

Hi there

My swimming friend J, her personal paparazzo, and myself went for a hike at the Wainuiomata end of the Rimutaka Forest Park.

It was a nice day, birds were warbling, we had a pleasant hike and a yummy picnic.  Also, as an added bonus, there was no slipping or falling (remember my famous forest fall the summer before last?).

Photos by J's Personal Paparazzo

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Speed Bumps

Hi there

I was seventeen.  My brand-spanking-new driving licence had been clutched in my hand for only three weeks.

I was driving through the gates at the Shelly Bay air force base that's right on the coastline here in Wellington.  It's a through road for the public.

A sign announced something to the effect of 'Speed Bump Ahead".

I read it as "Speed.  Bump Ahead".  Notice the subtle difference?

I raced toward that bump like a Le Mans rally driver.  My father's car took to the air.  I landed with a loud crash!  Thank heavens the car was intact.  My nerves certainly weren't.

I notice, nowadays, there are signs everywhere that say "Slow down.  Speed bumps ahead". Even at Shelly Bay.   Good thing, too.  Precious young teens in a funk with so much Road Code clutter in their heads might not be able to cope.

Friday, June 16, 2017

taking surveys

Hi there

I agree to take a phone survey.  I then agree to test a spanking new mystery product.  I am quite excited to be a guinea pig.  My friends will be ever-so jealous.

Wait-!  What?  I'm to test toilet paper?

I find at this point that I am a little over my initial excitement.

When the toilet rolls arrive, I read the accompanying instructions.  I have to fill out a questionnaire:

Is the toilet tissue soft to my body?  How many squares would I tear off at a time?   Does it rip easily?   How is the paper to flush?  Are width and length pleasing ?   How often would I use it ...?

Goodness, I am so finished with phone surveys.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Paying Bills

Hi there

Do you remember the times when we used to get 30 days to pay a bill?  I'm not sure if that was an official rule or just a "gentlemen's handshake" thing?

Last week I received my monthly phone bill from Spark, and from the time that bill landed in my letterbox to the close-off date for payment, it was eight days.

It doesn't help that New Zealand Post now only delivers mail three days a week.  I do understand that people aren't writing letters much anymore.

I suppose the time will come when I only get a couple of days in which to pay my bills.  If I'm on holiday I may miss out completely.  If I'm between paydays, I may be financially embarrassed.  Goodness, I may have to end up with automatic payments, via the internet?

Pity, because I love being a holdout rebel.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Zealandia Nature Reserve, Wellington

Hi there

Last weekend it was gold coin entry ($1 or $2) into the zoo and into the Zealandia nature reserve.  I went to the zoo on Saturday, and Zealandia on Sunday.  I managed to escape the rain, though it did rain later on.  The days were glowering, dull, dark.

I love hiking around the bushland in Zealandia.  Zealandia is huge, and completely fenced in.  Apparently it has the longest predator-free fence in a nature reserve of its size in the world.  There are tracks that take hours to walk, with so many birds warbling.

There's a man-made lake.  It was Wellington's original reservoir.  There are free buses every hour from Visitor Information, Te Papa Museum, and from the top of the cable car in Kelburn. There is a fee to get into both Zealandia and the zoo.

below:   on one of the bridges.

below:  the cheeky kea birds have learnt to press a pedal to open the lid of a feed dish.