Friday, 31 July 2015

July 30th Perfect Timing

I know most people don't usually take a photo of a rubbish bin in a park. However I think we may have a revolutionary residing in the 'hood.  This bin had this motto on it and the Council 'kindly' painted over it. I have no idea what it means, but it was nice to see a bit of artwork, no matter how oblique the meaning is to the general population, and then it was gone and the bin returned to being a same old bog standard rubbish bin.

I was so pleased to see it back. A little bit of graffiti warfare happening in the park. I wonder how long it will last this time.  If it is painted over again, will it return? Viva La Revolution! As for the initials MDT?  Mouse Defying Trashbin? Mouse Defending Trashman? Mouse Does Tron (a popular slang name for the city of Hamilton)? I have no idea.

You can therefore understand why I had to take a photo. And then without realising, the perfect photographic moment happened. Look through the bin and there is the star of our family, perfectly centred. Maybe Minnie is the revolutionary and MDT stands for Minne Deserves Treasure? And she walked through here so I would take the hint!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

July 29th The Death Of The Laptop

Our laptop is in the throes of a slow, painful death!  Which means I can only blog from my desk computer, which is in the office. Which is a fantastic, super duper, whizz dizz, up to speed computer, but I am not used to hiding away in an office for every day computer functions.  Until we get ourselves sorted, a general warning that my blogs will be spasmodic.

We headed out to the Coast to Raglan last night for a catch up with the grandies. Hopping out of the car, I had this uneasy feeling we were being watched. The Machines have arrived!!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

July 28th Mushies.....

Mushrooms would be right up there as being one of my favourite vegetables.  You just think... they are kept in the dark, fed shite and yet still come out okay. No counseling required, no traumatic episodes - apart from when they get cooked and eaten of course.

I even loved Mushrooms as a child, but a particularly bad poisoning episode left me unable to eat them for years. I don't know if there was something magic in the mix, but I was extremely sick, and the memory stays with me to this day.

An attempt to revisit mushrooms wasn't made until my teens, and yay I could eat them again. And have continued to do so.  Here is last night's batch all ready to go, to be served with dinner. Let's give it up for the humble mushroom and a round of applause please!

ps Mushrooms were harmed in the making of this photo. They were cut into slivers, sat upon a knob of butter, and sprinkled with black pepper. Tortured over medium heat and then had sour cream stirred through.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

July 27th My Dirty Little Secret............

I love this stuff!  The Food Police will want to throw me into jail for serving up this rice, but it is seriously so good and so tasty.  We always enjoy it.  I actually expected the ingredient list to include Parabens, Herbicides, Food Grade Silicon, Boob Enhancers, Hair Stimulants etc etc etc, but it isn't too bad. When I look at the ingredients list the only baddy as such is Flavour Enhancer [621], which is a way of telling us discreetly, when no one is looking and I'm wearing a raincoat and fedora hat type of way - that MSG is included. That is the only baddy of the bunch. I can live with that.

Monday, 27 July 2015

July 24th - 26th A Three Day Whammy

I am going to bowl you over with a three day in a row whammy today.  Friday, was like any other. I had to go in to the bustling metropolis of Hamilton City, and was happy to see that in our fair city, the Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well.

On to Saturday and errands day to start with. I actually got to pick up a Fender Guitar (won't go into the full story on that one, but it was an on behalf of collection for friends), then on to stock up on Cheesemaking supplies. Between you and me Rennet tablets do NOT cut the mustard - or the whey to be precise. And I am that disappointed. Why can't places stick with what works. Back to Liquid Rennet I go and believe me if ever you go down the Cheese making road, it is preferable.  On to George's work for some items he forgot to bring home. They have had a complete office refurb, and I had the grand tour of the premises.  Lovely to see this old beauty at their entrance way. An original cream separator. I had a crank of the handle, and believe me it was not easy. No need for gym workouts back in the day for obvious reasons!

Saturday evening was dinner with friends. Olimpia makes the best Bean Soup (the name doesn't do it justice) in the world. It is a meal in itself, and you can never have one bowl.  After a Bean Soup night, I always walk away feeling like Buddha reincarnated with a big bloated belly! It is just the best. The meal was so good, the phone was away and I didn't even take a photo. Pretty bad form on my part.

Sunday loomed and the smell of paint permeated our household air. George has decided the spare room needs a spruce up and paint job,  This weekend the job got finished. I was busy on cheesemaking duties, so my hands did not get to meet the paint rollers.

Actually the photo doesn't do the colour justice. It looks grey here, but it is a beautiful  blue bird's egg colour, called Ashanti.  Prior to this, it was a Pink, but a Mushroom Pink. Ashanti is a definite improvement.

Friday, 24 July 2015

July 23rd The Business Meeting That Took Me Down Memory Lane

Today I had to meet an Airline Rep for coffee.  Just between you and me, Etihad do not fly direct into NZ but have some wonderful fares and great routings and European destinations. And who wouldn't want to fly in an apartment up in the air, in First Class. That would definitely be an item to put on your bucket list, and even more surprising re the cost, it is of course up there, but not as expensive as other airlines!

Anyway meeting over, back to the car and I looked over the park and saw the block of flats where I resided something like many decades ago! For vanity reasons, I won't post exactly how many years ago. The tales that little flat could tell from my very sober and upright youth (ok that was a gross exaggeration).  And I can even remember embarking on a fitness kick and running around the park - that lasted all of two days, or if I remember correctly maybe the one evening!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

July 22nd Mama's Little Helper

These are the best invention since sliced bread. Love my crockpot and I use it with the same frequency all year round. Today I cooked a Corned Beef, which was going to do two meals. Note the use of the word 'was'.  There was only enough left over for a certain persons lunch, after they kept going back and cutting off more slices. OK I confess I went back for more as well. The meat was melt in your mouth tender.

Monday, 20 July 2015

July 18th - 19th My Cheese Mojo Has Returned

The weekend started out rather bleak, as in weather bleak. Saturday morning we woke to a gentle pitter patter on the roof. Which eventually turned into the sound of 1 million Irish mice doing a Riverdance on the roof. Which totally scuppered all our plans for the day of venturing out. I was that devastated as I could not get to the weekly grocery shop and stand in the queue and wait for what seems like hours. My Saturday had been turned upside down.

This was the view from our laundry window.

If you are going to be inside all day, time for some overdue chores. Empty wine bottles need to be recycled and labels removed so we can fill it with our own wine. Now for a confession - George does this bit. He just seems to be that bit more adapt at this chore then I am.

On to Sunday and the weather was better.  Definitely not warmer, but at least blue skies had returned and so has snow down the line, and it was making its presence felt even where it doesn't snow.

And the best part of our weekend? I have finally managed to find a farmer who will provide raw milk on an as required basis. I can get my Cheese Making hat back on. The milk is from Ayrshire cows which has a higher protein content apparently. This was obvious with the creaminess of the milk. I finished my weekend with a batch of cheese underway. Fat Bottoms Estate Cheeses are back!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

July 17th Living is Bad For You

Recently I have been reading that health professionals have decided that sitting is bad for you. We should be standing at our work stations. Then I read contrary advice that actually standing for too long is bad for you. Which makes sense - ask a factory worker who stands on concrete all day how they feel.

Which lead me to think about all the 'health advice' doled out. Remember when eggs were bad for you. Now they are the best thing since sliced bread. Wait, hold that thought, because bread is bad for you as it has gluten in it. Gluten is bad for nearly everyone, all of a sudden. Fat was evil. To the extent that we should be wary of healthy foods such as Avocadoes as they are fat laden. Yes I do remember reading that theory. Now fat isn't such a bad guy, it is the type of fat we should be wary of. Which leads me to the latest evil. Sugar! Now it makes sense that refined sugar in copious amounts is bad for you.

I am not disputing any of the above. After trying to work out what is bad for you, and forget about keeping up with the Joneses, as now we have to keep up with the bads. In conclusion maybe living is bad for us!!

Don't worry I am not suicidal by any means.but maybe the dissemination of this information should be focussing on what is good for us,instead of constantly berating us with what is bad?

To clear my head a walk was needed. It was a lovely day and wonderful out - so I actually was surprised to find out what the actual temperature was. What a difference a blue sky makes - and that is good for you!

Friday, 17 July 2015

July 16th I've Got My Eye On You!

I honestly didn't think I would have a photo for today. It got to end of day and I had nothing. Then I cast my beady eye on Minnie, and thought well she is always good for a photo op. However it was end of day and she wasn't moving unless it involved bed or food

 Winding up the evening with a game of Words With Friends. I scored a 101 pointer! But this was playing the computer. Now why can't I get these sort of scores when I am playing my friends. I had to take a screen shot as this was such a goodie!!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

July 15th Confessions From A Piercing Parlour

The other day I attended a 'Piercing Parlour'.  I obviously wasn't there for a cup of tea or to window shop. I actually had to come back as there was a slight error with the piercing done a month ago, which I had to allow to close and heal before proceeding again. Which is painful, but bearable.

So we walk into the parlour.  Come into the parlour, said the spider to the fly. Well not really, I was very nonchalant but wanted George there this time to watch and make sure they got it right. I really don't want this to become a monthly hobby believe me! So we were waiting in the waiting area, with only a sliding door keeping us and the rest of the people in the shop from the goings on happening behind closed doors. Then we heard a wailing from behind the doors.

At first I thought it was nervous laughter, but this wailing became very vocal. For a good five minutes, us and the other people in the shop had to listen to this banshee. I actually thought at first it was a little girl, and her mother was inflicting a piercing on her. The wailing was terrible. You could then notice a slight apprehension amongst the audience from those who had never been pierced before. Was it really this painful? Was it that bad?  A staff member even discreetly made her way in, to see what was up. Eventually the door opened, and a halfwit posing as a young female emerged. I hate to think how vocal she will be when it comes to childbirth!

That was all fine. Then it was my turn. I knew it would hurt, but pain is fleeting. Can you imagine when I walked into the room, and I noticed the seat appeared 'damp'. Losing all sense of decorum and utilising my foot in mouth skills, without thinking I said 'Please don't tell me she peed herself'? (I have actually sanitised my wording for the purpose of this blog. The Piercer gave me a look, and said "Oh my gosh no!!  We wipe the seat down after every piercing"  Just between you and me, does that mean some people have?

Time for the deed. Needle poised. A fleeting moment of pain and it was over. I was told to wait outside. Can you imagine the poor people waiting after me. I am definitely not a wailer, but for some reason this particular piercing decided to bleed.. And bleed, and bleed, and bleed. The poor staff were giving me copious amounts of swabs. The poor people waiting after me were aghast. First a wailer and now a bleeder. It definitely wasn't a good day for the Piercing Parlour!!

I am pleased to say I am all healed now. Just lots of daily swabs going on, for which I am thankful to have these little blighters. If you want to know where the needle entered my body - well you will just have to see me won't you?  Whilst it is readily apparent to the public eye (so not in a funny, raise your eyebrows, Its and Bits place), it is different and you really will have to see if for yourself and not in a public forum.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

July 14th The Positive Side to Winter

In an effort to keep myself chirpy, as in chirpy chirpy cheep cheep on these cold, wintry days, I decided to focus on the positives. Here is my list...

  1. Working from home is a big plus and if it is a day where it is not even possible to venture out, you can stay in your jimmy jams all day and no one is the wiser
  2. It is easier to sleep (well not for me, because I am an insomniac and have erratic sleep patterns), but there is no poking one leg out from the duvet to cool off or tossing the duvet off all together
  3. You have to admit the food is wonderful. Pots to the brim with comfort food. No rabbit food and crunching on lettuce leaves
  4. Your house is toasty warm, and when you do have to venture out, it is always a pleasure to return to a warm home
  5. You constantly check the garden, but don't have to garden. It is a pleasure to see the first tulip leaves emerge from their dark hiding place, and every day you check for the first freesia bud. Still waiting, but they will flower eventually and then you know Spring is around the corner
I am surprised I got to 5 on the list. Actually there is 6 and this is a biggie!!  But I saved the best for last.  Drum roll please...... Please pretend you can hear a drum roll at this point in time. Actually why do they call it a drum roll, because the drum doesn't up and roll away does it? OK let's refer to it as a drum bang boong a bang boong boong

You can have the most super, hairiest legs and no one is none the wiser because your winter wardrobe consists of leggings, and more leggings. Who knows what lurks under there on your calves?  You can embrace the feminist movement and for a shortwhile, this little Mama's Helper gets a respite

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

July 13th Another Day Another Frost

I think we have had about a week of recurring Frosts now. Which has led to extremely crisp but clear blue sky days and the sky takes on a beautiful pinky hue first thing in the morning

Monday, 13 July 2015

July 11th - 12th The Weekend of Walks and Yum Cha

A very fine, but very cold weekend. The minute your nose poked it's end out the door you could feel the snow in the air. Not that we have any here. But we do have extremely heavy frosts, which have been visiting us for a few days now.  Out on my walk with Minnie, I came along something I haven't seen in a while. Someone has dumped yet another mattress!  What is it with roadsides and dumping mattresses? Do people think a homeless person is going to come along and think yippee here's a great free score. It is not something they can roll up and take with them. Or if in this instance it is free to a good home, do they really think someone is going to come along and think wow, what a score. I have always wanted a free, pre stained mattress!

It was nice to continue our walk and be confronted by a more beautiful outlook, as opposed to a stained mattress 

On to Sunday, and we met friends Rob and Jo for Yum Cha. Always good to catch up with these two, and find out what has been happening in our respective worlds.

I nearly forgot! I was awake bright and early this morning and was greeted by this wonderful sight outside the laundry window.  Apparently (because I read it on Facebook and you know FB is 100% true) this is the last flight of the season. When the Balloon Festival is on, it is a common sight to look out our windows and see Balloons, but not regularly other times of the year. So this was a nice and bright spectacle to wake up to. Although with a very heavy frost down here, I bet it was even chillier up there!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

July 10th Say Hi To A Stranger

I decided today that Minnie and I could do with a longer walking route, and decided to go the extended way to get to our local lake. As we rounded one corner, I noticed this man and he would walk down the road, then back, and did this a couple of times by the time we had reached him. So I asked him if he was okay and needed any help. He actually had a map folded up in his hands and showed me the lake, and wondered how to reach it.

So I pointed the way to him, ie go to the next corner, turn left, walk to the end and between two houses is a small walkway where you can reach the lake. I also mentioned not to worry, as we were heading that way as well. But due to Minnie having to smell and pee on every blade of grass along the way and we hadn't been along this route for a long time, it would take much longer for us. Of course I didn't go into all that detail for him.

We eventually reached him and I noticed he was doing the same up the road and down the road and couldn't see the little pathway. Before he disappeared further up the road, I had to use my best foghorn voice to yell and point out the walkway. 

Ten thousand blades of grass later we reached him, admiring the lake. He said to me NZ is so beautiful and a wonderful country. So I asked him where he was from and he said Shanghai. So of course by that time I have to be my usual probing, nosey self and ask him what he was doing here in Hamilton (I also wondered what was so special about our suburban lake but that would be too nosey).

Apparently his daughter is an international student here, and he has only been in NZ for one week. We had a lovely conversation. When Minnie decided she had had enough of the niceties and it was time to carry on, he said he wanted to take a photo of me to show his wife and daughter that evening. I offered to also take one of him with the lake in the background. Then a little switch went off in my head and I said, well I would like a photo of you to show my husband this evening.

So photos were taken. We both went our merry way, having enjoyed for just a short while, the company of a stranger. And Minnie wouldn't have a bar of any of this and refused to be in any photos.

Friday, 10 July 2015

July 9th Memories...

We were walking through Casino building this evening, to enjoy dinner out. If anyone wants to know the best place to enjoy a Malaysian/Singaporean, South East Asian style chinese food let me know. I have never eaten Tofu before in my life, and yet when we dine here, I always make sure it is on the table to share.

Back to the Casino building. Back in my younger days (cough cough amount of years ago), this building was home to the main Post Office in town, and upstairs hosted the town telephone exchange. I can remember as a child coming into town with Mum and having to go to the Post Office for both banking and mail duties. That continued on into my early working days. But of course by then, I didn't need Mum to hold my hand to go into town.

It was nice to see that the grand old lady may not be a Post Office any more, but still has the same old bones that are lovingly being tended

Thursday, 9 July 2015

July 8th Peanut Butter

I have never particularly liked Peanut Butter. I use it mainly for cooking purposes (ie in Satays).  However this Made in NZ brand called Pic's, is the best I have ever tried. It is that good I could eat this by the spoonful if I was so inclined

Perusing the small print, as impressive as the taste, is their commitment to jar recycling

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

July 7th Who and Why?

Today was a Who and Why day.  Can you tell it is the middle of Winter, my toes are outdoors even less, which leads me to having more time to ponder the mysteries of life.

Firstly, let's consider the Who.  Everyone has no doubt noticed the little stickers placed on fruit. Every single piece of fruit has a sticker. Which leads me to wonder, who or actually what, puts the sticker on the fruit? Do fruit processing sheds worldwide have an employee with the job title 'The Sticker'?  Are their pay rises determined by how well they position the sticker. Which then means you would have to employ someone on Quality Control, to ensure the sticker has been put in the right place by 'The Sticker'!!

Well that is The Who part of my query for the day. Now let's move on to The Why.  I happened to be reading yet again another instance of strange lights in the night sky, and they were actually photographed and there is no logical explanation for these lights, even by those that are deemed to have authority in these matters.

My question then is.... if these lights are indeed from a Space Ship or beings from another planet, why do they only make their appearance after dark? Does that mean aliens are nocturnal? You never ever hear of sightings during daylight hours.  Maybe they are indeed upon us, but hide underground during daylight hours only to emerge with other nocturnal beings at night? I could well be onto something here. Or alternatively roll on better weather which will allow less pondering and navel fluff gazing.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

July 6th It Took Seven Months

I look at this calendar every day, several times a day in our little room that is a shrine to the Volkswagen Beetle. I have only just realised now that the lettering for the wording for the month and the words Volkswagen Beetle will be the same colour as that month's vehicle. I looked back for the past six months and forward until the end of the year and yes, it is true.  My attention for detail, while slow to catch up at times, is certainly amazing. It only took seven months.

Monday, 6 July 2015

July 4th - 5th Raindrops and Relaxation

Saturday was a raindrops on roses type of day. Well actually the entire weekend was. It did stay mainly dry but was a typical winter weekend, Which meant admiring the raindrops in the garden

That Rose is actually now inside, as all the roses had their winter pruning and are definitely no more.

On to Sunday and it was a day truly consisting of only R & R. Indulging in our Winter hobby, which makes a change from looking at a square screen

Saturday, 4 July 2015

July 3rd Walks With Minnie

It was a bit of a concern to walk through the park today and find these signs.  I googled the name and the poison is to kill either rats, possum or rabbits. I am not sure which is the problem here. How do you tell a dog who chooses your walking route, that the park is off limits?

This following photo isn't the best. But I still like it. The exposure went haywire for some reason. And talking about haywire - the power lines they were sitting on didn't photograph at all.There is a house that keeps Pigeons on our walking route, and they were out and about for their late morning romp today.My main concern (and most probably the reason for the dodgy photo) is not to walk under them and have one poop on me. Not a good look!

Friday, 3 July 2015

July 2nd Minnie and One of the Enemy

Walking Minnie today, we came upon one of her enemies. I absolutely love this cat. I always have loved Ginger cats and this one is always outside and just lying around wherever.  Minnie didn't even notice it and it was right on the boundary.

Now aren't Felines supposed to be royalty? Well look at where the above Feline is resting. Then when we get home this is where our Canine goes to rest her weary soul. And even adjusts her bedding to suit her aching bones after a long walk

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

July 1st Pop The Cork for a Celebration!!

The bottle of bubbles got popped and there was a celebratory drink. The reason? No I am not pregnant! If I was there would be pink pigs in the sky shaking their booty and I would go viral on Facebook. Which leads me to ask why hasn't this blog gone viral - although maybe it's good it hasn't. I have my followers and to be witty absolutely everyday is a bit of a stretch - just like my knickers after a few years.

Back to the celebration!! Why?  Because today I celebrated 10 years of self employment.  I have been a Travel Broker for 10 years now and worked here from my home office. I must be doing something right to have lasted this long. Or as I had cause to say to a customer today.. who was offering me champers and chocolates as a huge thank you.  Cyril (name changed for privacy reasons and how many Cyril's do you know) ... I am open to bribery and corruption, but not in this instance!

So here's to another 10 years of booking travel for my lovely customers. Cheers!

June 30th Say Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

A wonderful eighty minutes spent having a facial, neck, shoulder, lower back and foot massage. Thai's do it so well. It isn't soft and relaxing, but hard and painful and well worth it. I wish I could have these on a daily, ok I'll settle for weekly, oh god ok then, monthly basis!!