Friday, 30 September 2016

September 29th Happy Birthday To My Darling Better Half

September 29th is my darling George's birthday. He likes to keep his birthdays low key. No going out for meals or doing anything fancy schmancy. His indulgence is to try and take the day off if it's a working day, and couch surf the entire day. He did have to pop out for one errand, and he decided to spoil me!  He thought it very inappropriate that I - yes me - had nothing special to celebrate his birthday with, and came home with the below.

All together now as you raise your glasses - awwwwwwwwwww. Can you see why I love this man. Happy Birthday to my darling George.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

September 28th An Explosion

Because it is Spring here, obviously a lot of the trees are in blossom. However what I can't understand is that one day you are looking at a tree, for instance I see this one from my back door every day. And every day it looks as it has all winter. Threadbare, birds able to be seen easily on the bare branches. Oh  look at that sparrow, oh no the big blackbirds are chasing them away.

Then one morning, as in this particular day, you wake up and you look at the tree, and this is what you see.
An overnight explosion of blossoms.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

September 27th Well What Do I Follow That With?

Yesterday's Blog was quite momentous for obvious personal reasons. But now what do I follow that up with? Because I did take the entire day off work, that meant I had to make up for it, and was desk bound for the day.

Oh boy I thought. Here I go again. Struggling for a photo. Before I shut my work computer down for the night, I decided to catch up on the non urgent emails ignored during the day. Then I found this particular gem on the very last page of a newsletter from Travcour, a Visa processing company we use.

Someone was applying for a Visa to visit Vietnam and this is what they really did put on their application form.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

September 26th Can You Tell The Difference?

Yesterday's Blog was written as an Australian citizen, who lives in New Zealand and has done so for a total of 44 years.

Today's Blog is written by a New Zealand citizen, who was born in Australia.

Yes, today I was granted my NZ Citizenship Certificate, and have that in my humble possession. The ceremony was actually quite nice. I  had the distinction of being the only Australian in a group of 64 people being granted citizenship.  There were South Africans, Indians, Samoans, people from the United Kingdom, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian and Fijians in attendance. Each individual and each family were gifted a Kowhai Tree (native to NZ).

I didn't expect to be as moved as I was, until it came to the singing of NZ's national anthem, in both Maori and  English. I found myself in tears at the very emotional moment.

So I can no longer be referred to as a Polish Australian Kiwi. I am just a Polish Kiwi girl (OK woman, if you want to split hairs).

Afterwards, you know what was called for. And I really went all out and treated myself and spent the rest of the day concentrating on my celebratory skills and did not work. The shock, the horror!!

Monday, 26 September 2016

September 24th and 25th A Big FAT W for Weekend

Yes folks that time of the week certainly rolled in again. And just as fast as it rolled in, it rolled out.

Saturday we had a wonderful visit from Chantal and Bernice, her absolutely gorgeous 10 year old. And as always, I kick myself after visitors leave as usually I am so engrossed in their company, that the last thing on my mind is taking photos. Then they drive off into the sunset and I realise I have done it yet again. However I did get a photo of a wonderful gift Chantal brought us, complete with flowering pansies. And all in the right colour matching as well

Sunday - bleurgh. George had a job to attend up in Auckland and an early start. So I worked as well as I had some complicated files. But I did venture out in the garden and spotted this in some newly laid cement that George had put down yesterday. Yes Minnie has left her paw print for future generations to know that Minnie lived here

Saturday, 24 September 2016

September 23rd Gaijin Eating Japanese

Time to dine out with Alvin, Alicia and their two gorgeous girls Ella and Esme. Last time we were out it was Indian Cuisine and because we like to change the mix around, tonight we opted for a newly opened Japanese restaurant called Edo.

For those not familiar with the word Gaijin it actually refers to non Japanese, and literally translates to outside person. How do I know the word? Because I read the author James Clavell's Asian series. The books in chronological order (compliments of Wikipedia) are:
It has been many years since I have read these and I still have all the books and must sit down and read them again.

Sorry I went off on another tangent didn't I!  All I wanted to do was explain how I knew the word Gaijin. Which the six of us were in a Japanese restaurant - if we had been in Japan of course. But we weren't. We were here in good old NZ and enjoying extremely authentic Japanese food (according to local reviews), and some very good Ramen.

psst.... Check out the Menu - Sping Onion anyone?

Friday, 23 September 2016

September 22nd Pop Pop

What better way to end a day. Not only with the enjoyment of having a glass of red, but also adding to that pleasure with a sheet of bubble wrap. Pure bliss!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

September 21st Four Ingredients

What do you get when you have Chicken Nibbles, Garlic, Soy Sauce and, and, and the unlikely addition of Coca Cola?  Why Coca Cola Chicken of course.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

September 20th Are You Ready To Drool?

Are you ready to get your taste buds working? Are you ready to salivate? Are you ready to have drool dripping down your chin? Do you remember the Pork Belly I posted photos of? Both at the preliminary stage and another with it ready to hang. We could wait no longer and decided to cook some up for dinner. And this is the result (with advance apologies to vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, those of religious beliefs, fusspots critics etc)

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

September 19th Homage To The VW

Today I am going to pay  homage to the VW.  I had a tradesman here today and he saw our new front door mat (photo posted last week) and then the below cabinet, and he started saying how much he loves VWs. So forget why he was here, we had a general chin wag about VWs. I think he was here for an hour - five minutes of which was spent to do  his job and fifty five minutes was spent talking about VWs.

Well when you meet a fellow enthusiast - what is one to do? So I showed him the toilet. No, not for that reason. Come on guys, I do have some class. I just wanted to share the VW love that we also have in the smallest room in the house

It's a bit hard to take a photo of all four walls and in a very small room. So here is the majority of the collection combined into photos. Oh you wanted to see them all? Well you will just have to visit us, and ask to use the toilet (or bathroom if you are American) won't you!

Monday, 19 September 2016

September 17th and 18th: The Weekend That Was

Let's start on Sunday when I stumbled upon some Art In The Park. Yes, our suburban green wonderland had it's very own art installation

It could be interpreted as a large block of cheese on a green canvas, or a sea of foam in a green sea... or... OK I give up! I confess, it was just a piece of old foam rubber on a piece of grass. But I am sure if it had a barrier placed around it, and an admission fee was charged - people would flock to see it.

Let's go back one day to Saturday. They day was spent preparing a lovely dinner for all the family to celebrate my youngest son Todd's, 32nd birthday.  Can I just blow my trumpet here and tell one and all that I do make a fairly mean Cauliflower Cheese. Not that I am one to boast of course. But did I tell you about my Cauliflower Cheese?  However, I think I was too busy in my abilities in the kitchen, that I didn't really take any photos. I overlooked a photo of the birthday cake, and mini pavlovas. But I did manage to grab a photo of one of the mini cupcakes that were also provided.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

September 16th Slightly Ironic?

We were driving today, and it was a very grey and bleak day (what's new Pussycat?).  The irony of the message on this truck in front of us, was I thought fairly obvious.

Here we have a truck delivering dangerous chemical goods 

And this is the message written at the bottom of his 'curtain'

As I said, it was a very grey and bleak morning, so the photography isn't that great (I was not driving). But the writing says 'If we take care of the Earth, it will take care of us'

I don't know if my brain works in weird ways as to how I see things, but don't you think that is a strange message to carry on a dangerous goods truck?

Friday, 16 September 2016

September 15th Let's Floor It

Look what we received today. A new welcome mat for our front entrance. But can I please ask if you are visiting, to try and walk over it. I know it's a door mat, but it's a special door mat.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

September 14th Guardians Of The Office

I have to confess I had absolutely no idea of what photo to take today. Some days an opportunity just pops out of the box, hits you in the face, and says here I am. Well other days, in complete contrast there is nothing. Well there is obviously something, because I don't stay confined in one little corner all day. But at the end of the day (as our irksome Prime Minister is want to say) when your day comprises the following routine:
  • Breakfast
  • Blog
  • Work
  • Walk
  • Work
  • Dinner
  • TV 
  • Snorefest
and it is the same routine, same places, same things. What photo can one take that is different? Although I guess I could have provided you with a photo of Wayne and Laurie, who came up to discuss the removal of a very large and old Palm tree stump (4WD and a rope - really!!). Or our first tulip has flowered (but to be honest it isn't very pretty looking and looks quite sad being the only one in flower).

So at the end of the day (once again kudos to the irksome PM for this saying), I was in my office. And then I remembered! The ones that have my back. I have a floor to ceiling, room width, book shelf that George made for my office (don't worry, in the event of an earthquake it is conveniently bolted to the wall so I don't get buried).  In amongst all the books are my Guardians Of The Office - ie they who have my back and that have travelled from all different points of the globe. That I can always depend upon to be on the lookout for me, each and every day They have no choice do they?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

September 13th A Night At The Museum

Tonight I indulged in some culture. Please do not be shocked! There actually is a partition in my brain with a specific section dedicated to  'Culture'.  I love admiring art work.  My greatest experience was actually seeing the greats, ie Van Gogh in Dutch museums. But I am not in the Netherlands, and am in Hamilton, New Zealand.

I actually wasn't at the Museum for culture as such. It was a work related evening, with a presentation by the tour company Tauck. Most impressive by the way. However because I was early, I had time to look at a current art exhibition focusing on the Waikato region here in NZ. There were paintings from the early 1900s and it actually was amazing to compare art depicting local scenery and towns, from a then and now perspective.

So that was my evening. A mix of culture and a mix of education.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

September 12th There's Something About Mary

Or rather, that subject line should read 'There's something about Minnie'.  Remember the movie 'There's Something About Mary'? 

Well I don't know what Minnie was up to early evening. George was outside tinkering as he does. I was preparing dinner as I do. A Penang Chicken Curry, just in case you were wondering. Then I hear the sound of little paws emerging from the lounge and coming into the kitchen. I turned around to look at Minnie and saw this

What would you immediately think of?

Monday, 12 September 2016

September 9th to 11th A Whimsical Whitianga Weekend

We were extremely fortunate to be invited by Chris and Judy, over to Whitianga for the weekend. The annual Whitianga Scallop Festival was on, and it was a wonderful opportunity to have a weekend break.

Saturday was about all things food - not only Scallops, but also seafood and other yummy delights accompanied by good wines. We managed to also watch a cooking demonstration, dedicated to the humble scallop.

 Sunday morning loomed, and it was a beautiful day. So of course the boys went out to test their fishing capabilities. We were treated to some beautiful waterway views both the night before and again when the fishermen headed out and returned home

And what did us girls get up to while the lads were out fishing? Lunching of course. You had to wonder? Although we didn't partake in any of the on tap offerings, and indulged in either a fine Pinot Gris (them) and a glass with lovely bubbles in it (me).

Friday, 9 September 2016

September 8th Brrrrrrrrrr!!

Well as I am arranging travel for customers to go to warmer climes, receiving photos from them of their view from an apartment window in Venice - not that I am jealous much. Especially when we are supposedly into the eighth day of Spring here in NZ. We had a real polar blast from Antarctica blow up this way and the whole country was affected. A local mountain, Mt Pirongia, had a very rare dusting of snow on it's peaks.

In other words, today was colder than anything I have felt all Winter. Even to the extent that I had to wear a beanie when I walked Minnie, and she had to have her little doggy jumper on.

Below is the temperature just before 8:30am. For Fahrenheit people, that is 41 degrees. And they call this Spring?

And three hours later it only climbed to 7 degrees (44F) and for us, didn't get over 11 all day (52F)

Thursday, 8 September 2016

September 7th Cuba It Is.

But unfortunately not for me. How I wish it was me that was going to Cuba. I am just in the process of winding up arrangements and booking for a customer off to both Cuba and Mexico. Her itinerary is jaw dropping and  I keep telling her how envious I am. She did extend an invitation to join her, but nah. It just wouldn't feel right to go there without my George.

So all I can do now is salivate over her itinerary and wait for all the feedback when she returns. At which time I will die of envy once again. To have one of these in my possession (and obviously not for long) is quite a rarity. This is a Cuban Tourist Card.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

September 6th Top Of The Morning To You All

May your bottles be full
May your troubles be nil
May your plate overflow
May your heart with love grow

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

September 5th I Was Fiji'd

I had my nose rubbed in it this evening, in all things Fiji. Here I am in Hamilton. At 17:30pm it was only 12.5 degrees celsius. And where was I? At a function being updated on Fiji and its many resorts, its white sandy beaches, its beachfront bures, its dreamy cocktails, its food, its adult only swimming pools at resorts, its blue blue sky - and current temperatures of around 34 degrees celsius

Jealous much! Well I damned near was. So my photo was of a little plaque spotted at the entrance to the function event, the Ferrybank Reception Lounge.

And here's an underside to a Bridge. After living most of my life here in Hamilton, I have no idea what the real name of this bridge is, as it has always been referred to as the 'Traffic Bridge'. Which is a fairly obvious name don't you think?

Monday, 5 September 2016

September 2nd to 4th The Weekend Of The Three 'Fs'

From Friday, it was certainly going to be the weekend of the three Fs, which was Friends, Family and Food. Friday evening started off with our monthly game of cards. I am going to sweep reference to this particular evening under the table and make very little mention of it. Well I have to confess this is only because I came last. There were only the three of us playing this evening (Cristina and Crae decided they would rather travel Europe then enjoy the pleasure of our company - hmph) and then to rub salt into my wounds, I lost! Yes I lost the game. All kudos to Bryan, who managed to come first. But as I said we won't go there

Let's quickly move on to Saturday. It was family day. My little sister was back for a short visit as it is her birthday, which meant dinner out.

Obviously I didn't take this photo, but it was too nice of a get together for me not to be included
Sunday was a lot quieter for us. George actually worked (yes a 7 day week this week). He managed to get home early enough to get his foodie project underway. He has had a wonderful, wonderful piece of Pork belly in a rosemary brine this week. It was finally time to smoke it.

In the first frame of each photo we have the BS photo - get your mind out of the gutter. That stands for Before Smoking!!  And the second frame is the AS photo, ie After Smoking. The neighbourhood was treated to the smell of smokin' bacon in the afternoon. It is now hanging to dry, and we are salivating as we wait for the time we can enjoy it.

And that's a wrap for the weekend. Good times, good company and good food. Who could ask for more?

Friday, 2 September 2016

September 1st There Is A Nosy Neighbour In Our Neighbourhood!!

Yes, there has been confirmation today that a nosy neighbour resides in our neighbourhood!  And that person is ... drum roll.... wait for it......... ME! 

I was driving up the driveway and happened to spy the following down in our neighbour Bryan's yard. He is the one who has a difficult time winning at our monthly card games and I am sure history will repeat itself this evening. Anyway back to what I spotted at Bryan's.  A bit of retroactive history, that has really seen better days. George has never seen one before, but I sure as heck remember Mum having this type of old wringer washing machine, as did every other NZ household back in the day.

Oh, and don't worry I did do the right neighbourly thing and get Bryan's permission before letting myself loose in his kingdom.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

August 31st A Little Bit Of Rosemary In My Life

Well it was getting to 7pm and I still hadn't taken a photo of the day. I have to confess as to some stomach churning as to what I could do. I started giving various elephants the eye - who is photogenic, who looks good in this light? Those were the questions going through my head.

Whilst all this was going on, George was outside doing his bits and bobs. He came inside and said to me 'Hey,  have you taken your photo of the day'?  Well, I don't need to tell you what my answer to that was. He then invited me to see his project. I went into the garage and the smell of Rosemary (which obviously I can't photograph) was thick in the air. I don't know if you remember me posting a photo the other day of a piece of meat buried in salt? Well it now looks like this