Sunday, 31 July 2016

July 29th BB and AB

Are you wondering what BB and AB stands for? Well it is when you are out for either a lovely meal, drinks or both. Of course with instant photography these days, the cameras, well actually more likely phones, come out. Photos get taken.  Everyone does their lovely smile. A wonderful moment in time recorded for posterity. This is referred to as BB, ie Before Bill. Here is a perfect shot of Friday night's dinner which was BB

Then the bill arrives. Quicker then a mother can whip off a poo filled nappy, everyone's expressions change. This is the photo that is referred to as AB. Yes you most probably guessed it. This is After Bill

Friday, 29 July 2016

July 28th Don't Wet Your Pants In Excitement

This was it for me today. And with all the howling overnight winds and rain, today may be a repeat.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

July 27th A Definitely not IRR-Elephant Day!

What an awesome day. To start off my day of loveliness, I had lunch with the lovely, lovely Wendy. It is always such a pleasure to see her and to have a catch up. We don't do it often enough - as is the case with a lot of people in my life unfortunately. But when we do, I always am pleased to have her in my life.

Then I went home and a customer had contacted me. Her and her husband had just returned from a tour to Japan, which I organised. I also must gloat that it went swimmingly well without one hiccup, and they have done many organised tours and this was the best yet (note to self: try and sell the benefits of a tour through Japan to George).  Anyway she wanted to call in to see me as she had a gift for me as a thank you. I half expected a Japanese souvenir, but was most touched with the following. She was looking through her library before they left and found this book, and thought I would love to read it, and it should stay in my possession

Needless to say I am looking forward to curling up with this book. I am currently on to the second book in the Game of Thrones series of books, so that may have to go on the back burner and be interrupted by elephants

Finally the icing on the cake, was a Facebook link sent to me by a friend, with an elephant inspired coffee cup. I love the wording on the cup which says:

Always Be Yourself
Unless You can Be an Elephant 
Then Always Be An Elephant

Which made today fit into the mould of one of the sayings I love the most:

"Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant".

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

July 26th Feeling Sick? Need To Vomit?

Well not really. But was having a tidy up and found a 'gift' from a wonderful friend, whose sense of humour matches mine.

Maybe I should position this in front of the mouse trap we have for Mickey. I thought I heard it go off yesterday but it was a false alarm (or Mickey is very, very smart). He may have need of this if he gets too close to the trap?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

July 25th Run Mickey Run!

But before you run Mickey, I have to warn you. This is a trap! Well for the first time ever, that we are aware of, we may have a mouse in the house. And hopefully a solitary mouse and not a whole family and their seven cousins and their families residing in the roof.

There has never been any evidence of mice activity in the house before, ie little black pellets indicating they are pooing everywhere. But George was up very early and he did spy, from the corner of his little eye, a mouse go fleeting by. And out of the old coal range of all places.

Poor George spent the day wondering how to deal with the problem, thinking I would go into mass panic mode when he came home with not one but four traps. But having lived in the country, my fear extends more to rats (one day I will tell you the story of how I  had to kill one with my own bare hands whilst holding a shovel, so I could exit a shed - but that is another tale).

So the trap is set with a delectable dinner of peanut butter, ham and cheese. Why not indulge a mouse three courses, for his last supper? And we wait.  Will Mickey take the bait? Is there only one Mickey in the house? Who will empty the trap? Watch the next episode for answers to all these questions and more, including what is the meaning of life?

Monday, 25 July 2016

July 22nd to 24th From Paris to Pukehina

Well we weren't in Paris, but on Friday did get to see a Paris landmark, and it's twin, on the back of another car. We were heading off to Pukehina Beach for an extended long weekend. What better place to recuperate after George's dental surgery. Minnie and I of course had to go along for the weekend, to also breathe in some restorative fresh air.

Back to the Paris landmarks - this is what we spied as we were driving, before we left Hamilton

Finally arriving at Pukehina, the beach that is our piece of paradise on earth. With a predicted stormy weekend ahead, we didn't anticipate many long walks on the beach. However the weather behaved itself and only during the night decided to misbehave. Gale force winds actually drowned out the sound of the sea, and on the second night torrential rain on an iron roof, also added to the noise levels. But it was a fantastic weekend and we truly felt  as if we had a relaxing break. Here's a section of snaps from our three day sojourn.

Home above the dunes

Extremely large pine cones
A little spot of colour in the front yard

Still afternoon
Stormy Afternoon
Minnie enoying her R & R

Friday, 22 July 2016

July 21st The Dentist And The Lollipops

Seems like a very unusual combination doesn't it? To find a Lollipop tree in a dental surgery. Firstly I was there as a support person and driver for George, whilst he had some major dental work done. I thought it slightly odd that there was a tree of Lollipops on the counter. Were they drumming up business?

Being me, I just had to ask of course. It turns out that these are sugar free, supposed to resemble teeth, and are imported from America, and go under the odd name of Dr John.  Just out of interest, Dr John was a musician we always listened to in the 70s!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

July 20th He Loves Me

You know you can have that fuzzy wuzzy warm feeling at end of day when two things happen. Firstly you are brought a glass of wine as it is quite a while after when you should be finishing at your desk. When you finally get to leave the office for the commute home (ie all of ten steps down the hallway), and go into the kitchen, and find this sitting on the bench

Then it's time to draw the drapes to keep the evening winter chills away, and you see the sun doing a late peek a boo

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

July 19th Peekaboo - I See You

The sun very gallantly tried to make an appearance today. In the end it was unsuccessful, and the cloud cover won the day. But it tried. I know one day, it will return

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

July 18th A Little Bit of Indian In My Life

Tonight we headed out for dinner with my little sister Lynette and her husband Ian. Being a Wintry night, we decided a good curry wouldn't go amiss, so headed to Ian's recommended Indian restaurant, Jaipur. The beauty of eating out with four of you, is that with a shared meal in the centre of the table we were able to enjoy four curries. So it was Palak Paneer, Lamb Biryani, Butter Prawns and a not on the menu item called 'Cry Chicken'.  I have no idea where the name comes from or what it means.

We had a lovely dinner, and it was a good opportunity to chew the fat. Well there obviously wasn't much fat in our meals, so a chance to catch up. We were there for about 3 hours in total? When we were leaving the owner came out, and actually mentioned how nice it was to see us sitting there, taking our time and indulging in the food slowly and having a good conversation. He said it isn't something he sees very often, as people usually dash in and dash out. He really appreciated our actions.  Although as we commented after we left, he may think differently on an extremely busy night when four people are hogging a table for three hours!  This was a Monday night and the restaurant was by no means full to capacity, but definitely had a lot of comings and goings.

So for those of you in Hamilton or surrounds who enjoy good quality Indian food (and the meal here rates up there among my favourties to return to), all four of us can definitely recommend Jaipur Indian Restaurant, at the north end of Victoria Street.

Monday, 18 July 2016

July 17th, 16th and 15th When Life Hands You Lemons..

Have you spotted what I have done with the dates in my subject line? Yes I have worked backwards. Only because, for the sake of photos taken over the last three days, it works better. And to mix up the format a little bit. A bit of change never hurt anyone. Or as a wise person (ie myself) once said "the only constant thing in life is change"

So let's start at the end of the weekend, that is on Sunday.  As another wise person (not myself this time) stated if life hands you lemons you make lemonade, okay maybe not lemonade. With our penchant for a good drop of alcohol, how about limoncello. Wrong again. No, I decided to make a yummy Lemon Syrup Cake. It was supposed to be a loaf, but I decided to double the recipe and make a cake instead. And you can't beat the quality of good home grown lemons, as opposed to the plastic version you often find in the supermarket

Rewind back one day to Saturday, and it was another food focused day. For myself that is. Bluff Oysters (NZ's finest) are still in season. It went without saying that I had to indulge in a dozen of the best premium grade for myself. Thank God George doesn't like oysters and I get to have the entire 12 to myself - this was my dinner. Raw oysters dolloped into a mix of Soy sauce and Wasabi paste. Absolute food heaven.

Now back to Friday. You most probably are thinking it must have been a super awesome day to leave it until the very end. Actually no it wasn't. It rained non stop. I didn't get out, and the only photo I did get was of our Orchids on the front deck. No doubt grateful to have some shelter from the constant rain

Friday, 15 July 2016

July 14th The Carboy

We have got a bit of boil, boil, toil and trouble on the go in the house. Well definitely no trouble, and just a lot of noise that sounds like 'per-lop, per-lop' every now and then.

I have actually wondered why the glass receptacle is called a Carboy. Really? Carboy?  That word appears to have absolutely no direct co-relation to wine, beer or fermentation.

So, of course I went to the sauce. ie Mr and Mrs Google's amazing world of facts, figures and misinformation. And I found out the only possible explanation is that in Arabic, the vessel is referred to as a Qarabah, which is from Qarraba, which means big jug.  The Q,  when pronounced is as a hard K. Then somehow in the English translation Kar-bah became Carboy. Totally understandable and makes sense doesn't it? Not!  At least there are no sexist connotations to the translation.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

July 13th Silence Of The Rams

I decided to try my best Hannibal Lecter impression today. Well I didn't think anything about Hannibal Lecter until George knocked on the bathroom door to ask a question as to something's whereabouts. You know the drift - usual Man Eyes searching in place, and no matter what it is, it will be right there, sitting on it's own at the very front of the shelf, crying here I am, look at me, look at me.

Anyway so he gave the knock on the bathroom door. And didn't expect me to swing it open and look like this. His shock was that great, that he forgot what he was asking for.

Hannibal Lecter eat your heart out. Allow me to present Irene With A Subsequent Face Like Nectar!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

July 12th Chalk Art

You know it's the school holidays when the neighbour's driveway is festooned with chalk art. This is only a small section of the art. I would have liked to take a photo of more, but the artists were still in residence.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

July 11th Yes The Sun Is There

Practically every day, and especially as it is Winter, I compare weather notes with a friend in the South Island.  Where it is noticeably colder than the North Island, which is where my posterior resides.  Below my daily photo, is a normal example of a chilly Winter's morning text exchange.

This photo is me providing proof that we have sunshine. Note to self: Office doors need a damned good clean, both inside and out!

Monday, 11 July 2016

July 9th and 10th - What Was That Blurr?

What was that? Oh okay, it was what is commonly known as a weekend. It went so fast, it didn't feel like it happened.

Saturday was spent catching up with family. A chance for us three sisters, Sophie, Lynette and myself, George, two dogs, and one cat who fled under the bed, to get together

Saturday was much better than Sunday. Sunday comprised of George heading in to work for quite a few hours, me doing the compulsory weekly grocery shop and getting Minnie out for her walk. George came home, and whilst I busied myself making a very yummy Lemon Syrup Loaf, George busied himself with the momentous event of the day. He finally managed to finish erecting our new garden shed. It came in kitset form and apparently made an Ikea installation look like childs' play. Couple that up with a few weeks of very long extended working hours stretching in to weekends, and our garage and the outside has housed individual shed walls. So it was an achievement to see it up and standing and completed (apart from it's contents of course). Definitely worthy of a photo opportunity

Saturday, 9 July 2016

July 8th Winner Winner Noodle Dinner

Dinner tonight was an easy Noodle Vegetable Bake. I only have made it once before, and that was over 10 years ago. Back then I thought it was a lovely easy recipe, but it went completely off the radar. Well tonight it was back. And it will be back a lot more often.

I started off with this, and a few extras such as onions, ham, garlic and pepper and fortunately remembered I needed 2 packets of noodles, which also meant an extra egg

That hunk of green is frozen spinach, but why does spinach in a sealed bag ice up? This was out of a brand new bag!

The above went into the oven like this

And finally finished up like this

A great easy prepare ahead dinner, for when you don't know what time you will be eating.

Friday, 8 July 2016

July 7th One Of Those Nothing Days

Sorry folks, not much to report about today. I could go into a long convoluted description of today's weather, but I am over Winter. I actually had to laugh when I read that the filming of the next season of Game of Thrones has been delayed due to nice weather in Europe. They should come here to NZ.  We are all saying Winter is here.

So here is my one and only photo taken whilst out walking Minnie.

Trees are bare
the sky is grey
I wish this Winter
would just go away

Thursday, 7 July 2016

July 6th Cobwebs

I definitely have Winter Brain, and it is full of cobwebs. Unfortunately when I look outside, I am not the only one with cobwebs. Our poor garden furniture has them as well. One spider sure as heck went to a lot of work on this one. I wonder if when they weave their webs, if they have a pattern in mind, or if there is an automatic GPS system which comes in to play? For example do they hear - in the next 5 seconds take a sharp left; at the roundabout please take the third exit; when it is safe to do so, please turn around, when it is safe to do so, please turn around.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

July 5th Qantas

Today, as part of my working day as a Travel Agent, I ventured out to have lunch with our Qantas (the airline) rep. Lunch of course, wasn't the only reason to get together and I received an update on airfares, aircraft etc. 

Something that I did like, and I hope other airlines take on board is the ability to pre-order online, your meals on international flights from 7 days to 12 hours prior to departure. No more seeing 2 choices on the menu, ie chicken or steak, and by the time the meal trolley reaches your seat there is no chicken left. There are up to 4 choices if booking online.

Most impressive. And when I am at these type of meetings, instead of taking notes, I take a photo of relevant information instead. This makes the information much easier to find in the future

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

July 4th A Butterfly did Flutter By

I spotted a Monarch Butterfly in the garden, which I thought was unusual for winter time. They are such a beautiful butterfly. I decided to do a bit of  research on the Monarch and found out some interesting facts, of which I was not aware.

The Monarch Butterfly is not native to New Zealand, but actually established itself here on it's own. So it was not a species introduced by man. With the Monarch being native to North America, that was a very long migration to embark upon.  I always thought they had a short life span, but not so. They can live for up to 60 to 70 days, but if they pupate in Autumn, their life span can extend out to 7 months. Which is why I was privileged to see one today. One of the wise old ones from the clan, making the most  of winter sunshine to get out and have a feed.

Monday, 4 July 2016

July 3rd Get A Dictionary!

I was out this morning for a very last minute and unexpected invitation for a girls' coffee morning. Which was that unexpected, that I had 30 minutes to hop in the shower and make myself look presentable. On Sunday mornings here, I move slower than a tortoise on a go slow day. Sunday's, if they are spent at home, are for lots of cups of coffee, and breaking into the day so very, very gently.

So you can imagine to get the phone call and the invite out. I don't think my body has moved that fast on a Sunday for a very long time.

It was  lovely coffee  morning with Deb and her friends. Actually it was seriously good coffee. Love my long blacks, but this morning I splashed out and had an Americano - which is a long black on steroids size wise. Of course it was chat, chat and more chat - after all it was a table of 4 girls, ok ladies. Then my eyes spotted the following. And because I am a perfectionist, in amongst all the chat I really had to suppress myself from saying anything to the staff. Can you spot the error?

Sunday, 3 July 2016

July 1st - 2nd Still Working and Jack Frost

The week finished of wonderfully on Friday with a catch up with my sister Lynette, brother-in-law Ian, and their friends Geoff and Deb Hutton. I attended solo as I cracked the whip and made sure George stayed home and had an early night. Which isn't the truth - he needed to stay home and have an early night. He had not only a hectic week at work, but worked both Saturday and Sunday the previous weekend. Combine this with a very early start for work the next day, so it was early to bed and early to rise for him. That did not have to apply to me. So on Friday evening, I was able to say I was Still Working - well at the bar called Still Working, for some yummy Pizza (thoroughly recommend their seafood pizza and it had the perfect thin base) and even better than the Pizza was some good company. This photo wasn't a pose, they were just all in awe at my magnificence and my bling bling phone case!

Saturday morning dawned, and Jack Frost sure did pay us a visit. Actually I think he doused the entire country of New Zealand in a spectacular white frost. The overnight low was minus 3 degrees celsius, and it was just a tad chilly. Actually more than a tad, it was damned freezing. Which was evident when I went to hop in the car to do the Saturday grocery shop.

There wasn't much chance of seeing out of the side windows

This was my view from inside the car and looking at my iced up windshield

Friday, 1 July 2016

June 30th End Of The Month

Last Day of the Month. We can now wave the first half of 2016 goodbye. We can't say au revoir because we will never see the first six months of this year again. I think you can tell there is nothing much going on here, apart from lots of rain. Although I was pleased to get Minnie out for her walk today. We managed to do the full circuit and were home all of 5 minutes, before the heavens opened and it rained - yet again. I think we may investigate the options of purchasing an ark, if this current weather situation continues. Any recommendations?