Sunday, 24 January 2010

Wild in the Country

Okay, today didn't go just how we planned for it to go, but it was awesome nonetheless. Kimberley and I had a plan to take our kinders to the Greytown Arts Festival, and we were on our way mostly on time, and we had provisions packed for a picnic of sorts, and we got as far as Greytown ...
and then we decided to just keep going to Carterton, because both the boys looked like they were on the verge of kip, and we thought we'd give them a chance to refresh. But they didn't go to sleep, and we ended up in a leafy park in Carterton, running around looking at trees, mushrooms growing at the base of trees, and most interestingly, a revolving sign advertising a bar down the road.
Hurrah for nature, in all its forms ...
And I can't remember exactly how this tummy-reveal came about, but it made total sense at the time.
And did I mention that it was about a million degrees, with a cloudless sky and a slight breeze?? Hurrah for the weather side of nature.
In other news, Sweeney looked like this up until 11:30am yesterday:
Now he looks like this: Thanks, Colette at Hair By Ange!! I just had to go there, what with it being the same as my name and all ... These things are more hilarious in my head, I think ...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Salad Days

Man, what a scorcher today. Glorious to wander home at snails pace with an ice block, then eat dinner outside and play outside until bathtime. If only summer wasn't due to be over by midday tomorrow again ...
All I have is a list of random musings ...
  • Robert Downey Jr is an amazing actor;
  • criminy, the prices for food down Lambton Quay are astronomical. Quite the motivator for making my lunch in the mornings;
  • I can't believe petrol's going down in price when I've got a full tank and hardly use the car anymore;
  • Sweeney's sitting on the stairs, calling for me to come out of the living room and give him ... something. I think it's attention, but who knows?? He absolutely HAS to get to sleep earlier than he has been lately. He was awake at 10.30pm last night, and got up at 6.30am this morning. Which was great for getting out of the house on time this morning, but word from preschool is that he flew off the handle and cried for no discernible reason ... several times this morning, then snoozed big time this afternoon. And of course he's still awake and kind of furious that I'm not responding ... *sigh*;
  • I love my Vivs, but I feel like it's been forever since I wore my Chuck Taylors;
  • I've got to finish the bees I've been putting together for Amy's graffiti knitting;
  • I've eaten salad every day since last Monday. Sweeney ate a bowl of grated carrot and a bowl of sliced beetroot for his dinner tonight, followed by three bananas, two pears, three crackers with tomato and maybe a litre of water;
  • then he did a looooooong wee in the bath. *blerg*
In other news, check this out from Minnie Cooper. See some actual New Zealanders you're keeping in a job when you buy New Zealand-made shoes and bags. Thrill to the awesome skills these people have, and the cool machinery they use to make wicked stuff. And they're having a sale just now, too ...

Monday, 18 January 2010

My Name is Prince (William)

My co-workers and I went down to the Supreme Court to check out Prince William this morning. Girlie took a great photo of the pillar he was behind for most of the event, Andrew made unhelpful comments about how we couldn't see anything, and I actually quite enjoyed myself. Not that I don't usually enjoy myself, but, well, I really did think it'd be just dumb, but the sound of girls squealing as he approached, and the chorus of little kids around us complaining that they couldn't see, and then when we'd all moved about a bit so they could see, well, it became clear that they had no idea what they were coming to see ... flipping magic.
And you know, I kind of like young William. Maybe I've just got old, but he seems nice.
Later, there was a fire alarm and we had to stand in the sun for twenty minutes. More magic.
And when I'm actually in the office, doing actual work, I'm kind of liking it. Do-able, and interesting.
Then, when I think things can't be better for someone who is Actually Me, I find that 30 Rock is on. I'm writing this while I watch it. Sweeney's probably setting fire to something somewhere.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday Morning

Ahhhh, bliss. To get up in the morning and churn out some breakfast for the young'un, hand over parenting to Playhouse Disney, and pile back to bed with a great book and a pile of jammy toast for an hour. Mmmmm.
Then off to see my friend Pauline, who's in town from Woy Woy for a stretch. Fabulous to see her and her parents. Then off for a swim at the pool.
Loving going to the pool at the moment. We spend time in the teensiest pool, where Sweeney can do a bomb off the side with no danger of even his shoulders getting wet. I think we both find the sprinkler wonderland pool just a pain in the rump, what with the sprinklers and their infernal sprinkling. So today I forged further into pool-land than ever, and we found a pool that goes quite deep and lets us bob around together, do some dunks, horse around a bit more.
I've never learnt to swim, but I'm verrrry keen that Sweeney does. I congratulate myself every time I put my head under water to encourage Sweeney to do it, because it freaks me out and I'm verrrry keen that it doesn't freak him out.
What else is happening? Well ...
  • I'm knitting some bees for the Greytown Arts Festival. All Amy's idea ...;
  • Sweeney spent yesterday at Bela's house. They put on a series of shows for adoring audiences consisting of combos of Rex, Liisa and myself. And they did a whole lot of other stuff;
  • I had my first week of the Proper Job and I don't think it went too badly;
  • Home life is extremely busy, what with trying to be organised and keeping us from eating pizza five nights a week;
  • Made a cake with nectarines on it tonight, based on Donna Hay's Peach and Raspberry cake. Awesome; and
  • Sweeney invited me to a party being held by an alligator. In his room. Tonight. At bedtime. All the toys in his bedroom were there, too. We had a great time. I think I'll be calling Guest Pooh later in the week, see if he's hooked up, maybe ...

So, as you can see, it's all go around here ...

Saturday, 9 January 2010


This morning I cleaned out the preschool's budgies' cage. Fruity and Loulou - for those are their names - squawked and screeched and flapped their moulty wings even more than usual while I did it.
I feel a little sorry for them. They're birds, but they live in a cage. Their day job is to hang out at a preschool - albeit a nice one with children who take notice of rules and don't do anything terrible to them - but it can't be very relaxing. On the weekends they get taken home to children's family homes and subjected to being photographed and documented for the preschool's book about them.
The number of families who offer to take them home at weekends has dropped off enormously in the last few months. I think it's because budgies are just no fun.
I mean, where's the warmth?? The cuddles?? You can't commune with them hardly at all. They don't run along the beach with you, they don't catch the ball when you throw it to them, they don't curl up on your lap and purr so loud you have to turn the telly up.
We've had them here since mid-December, and I feel a bit bad that in order to keep them safe from the cat, they need to be in a corner of Sweeney's room, with a view of a wall and some of a curtain. And a windowsill, but they can't actually see out of the window. I know this because I had a fit of empathy and actually worked it out. I put them outside whenever it's sunny, but we were away for five days and I couldn't add that to Libby's petsitting duties. Gods help her, she vacuumed up five days of their dander from our house, which was phenomenal on its own.
When they're outside, blackbirds and thrushes come really close to them and I wonder if they mind. They clearly mind it when I come near them. They huddle together at the far end of the cage. Even if I'm feeding them, and especially if I'm sticking a hose into their cage and cleaning the last four days' poohs off its floor.
Cool your jets, SPCA - the hose was hardly on at all.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Precious Things

Today I heard a snippet of a programme about hoarders on the radio. It told a story of pe.ople who were found in their house, surrounded by piles and piles of matchbox cars. Years ago, I knew a woman who had a whole room left over to the piles and piles of newspapers she hung onto. She was the nicest person ever, although it was clear that both she and her brother were loopy as.
Apparently it's not as unusual as you'd think, it's just that we don't see much of people's houses from the street.
Made me resolve (again) to get rid of a whole load of stuff, and to push my way into people's houses more. Okay, just get rid of a whole load of stuff.
With that in mind, I thought I'd keep an In/Out log for la casa this year. This week's In/Out is a feeble attempt, but here it is anyway:
  • groceries;
  • Sweeney's cricket set; and
  • Sweeney's Tonka truck
  • two pink cot blankets, for the neighbours' friends' newborn twins;
  • four pairs of newborn-sized booties, for the neighbours' friends' newborn twins;
  • a few fetid items from the fridge - compost. Does compost count??;
  • my pair of Capos - binned;
  • three pairs of utterly munted shoes that I should've ditched years ago - binned;
  • the Christmas tree - on the deck until ... October, probably ...
Yes, we're fairly rollerskating around the football fields of reclaimed space in our house now.
In other news, Sweeney, Harper and I took their Nana to Fairfield today to see our Auntie Thelma. She's nice. Her husband, our Uncle Joe-who's-Keith-Quinn's-uncle, was so hilariously bad at telling jokes that it was the theme of his funeral. He was also nice. Today, we ate fruit cake and I ran around with the boys while the girls caught up. It took about two days to find the goshdarned place and four minutes to get back to Wellington. I hate the Hutt.
Sorry, the Hutt, but you just don't make sense to me.
But good road trip, Nana, Sweeney and Harper!!
In other, other news, I took the car into the garage to get the outrageous noise coming from the wheel diagnosed. The outrageous noise kind of ... went away on my way there, but I figured it was still worth a look because I'm trying very hard to be sensible in all areas of my life. The mechanic called me later and confirmed that no, there was no noise, and indeed, no issue that required any action at all. He reckons that a stone got lodged on the brake's Wear Indicator, and dislodged itself this morning. Hurrah!!
In still more news, I watched Psychoville tonight. It's made by two of the chaps from The League of Gentlemen. Same creepy feel, cast of gazillions. With added extra Dawn French as a delusional midwife. Ace.
I must've watched the League of Gentleman dvd twenty times. It's brought it all back, watching Psychoville tonight. Local things for local people. Twelfty. You're my wife now, Dave.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Bat For Lashes

I'm having a day at home on my own. Sweeney's at preschool, and I have nowere that I have to be at any particular time. Lots of chores on my list, but first a post about something very, very important ...
A few months ago, my mum won a basket of skin care and cosmetics from her pharmacy, and she divvied up some of the booty with me and Kimberley over Christmas. Part of my loot was a mascara that calls itself nourishing and ultra-lengthening. It's not overstating the case to say that it's changed my life. Or at least the bits of my life where my eyelashes are involved.
Let's walk through it ...
Start with existing eyelashes. Try to contain the shuddering in horror at the landscape.
Apply the first part of the mascara. Maintain calmness, even though am looking like this for a bit:
Apply the second bit of the mascara. Pull back when start to look like this:
Remember that am not preparing for performance at Wembley Stadium, so this may be too much. However, emerge satisfied when this looms in mirror ...
Okay, I'm still perfecting the last bit, but you get my drift.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Summer Lovin'

We're in Christchurch, having a few days of holiday in my Mum's house while she's on holiday in Wellington. Today we went to Sumner and Sweeney ran along the beach for ages, paddled up to his crotch in the receding tide, and threw sticks for dogs. Bliss.
Although I'm concerned to report that even though he was utterly slathered in sunscreen, his back and chest are a little pink this evening. I forgot his rash top when I was packing, and he was so excited about wearing his togs today that he refused to wear his t-shirt until we were on our way back to the car.
Anyhoo, he had a great time. We had an ice cream with Grandad, came back to the house and he had a bath and a nap.
In other news, the nap has stood him in good stead to still be awake at nearly 11pm. Oh, hurrah.
I like how going away can make you hanker to be at home again, you think of nice things around the house that need doing, or terrible things that you finally feel like tackling. Yes, that's right. I can't wait to get home to scrub around the bath plughole with a toothbrush.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Fresh New Year

My sister sums things up quite well, so this format is a total copy of her summing up of 2009.
What did you do in 2009 that you've never done before?
In no order ...
  • bought a Dominos pizza;
  • visited a hospice;
  • lived on instant coffee for four days;
  • went for dinner at Capitol, Metropolitan and Floriditas. Not all on the same night;
  • listened to Sweeney sing Jingle Bells, ABC and Row Row Row Your Boat around the house;
  • sold shoes;
  • had kids at my house for a sleepover;
  • took budgies home from preschool for the weekend;
  • read Robert Heinlein.
Did you keep your New Year's goals, and will you make more for 2010?
Actually, I mostly nailed it. I just want to keep working on it, maybe with some expansion in some areas.
Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. And yes.
What countries did you visit?
I went nowhere. Not even in my mind.
What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Where to start? In no order ...
  • a Proper Job, with actual $$ and all the secure feelings that brings;
  • a pruned willow tree at the bottom of the garden;
  • a new oven.
Hmm, those last two are definitely tied up with that first one. Handy.
What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
All the dates around Martin going into hospital and hospice, and then dying. They're all in stone.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I didn't end up in Debtors Prison or the loony bin. Sweeney isn't cutting himself or drinking absinthe.
Anticipating that next year's achievements will be a little less Dickensian.
What was your biggest failure?
Not always being as gracious as I could've been towards people who were just being nice.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I resolved to guard my health in 2009, and apart from a few wild colds and a niggly back that niggles me if I don't pay it attention and stretch it in the mornings, there's nothing to report.
What was the best thing you bought?
It's a tie between Sweeney's preschool fees and the five new tyres on the car.
Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Everyone who:
  • had us over for dinner;
  • looked after Sweeney while I worked;
  • looked after Sweeney while I did something along party lines;
  • contributed anything - cash, clothes, food, hugs, kind words - to our household;
  • listened while I got stuff off my chest;
  • laughed at my stupid jokes, especially when they were inappropriate and I deserved to be muzzled;
  • refrained from treating me like a halfwit and/or lunatic when I exhibited halfwit and/ or lunatic behaviour. We're really lucky to have the people in our lives that we do, we are.
And you all know who you are.
Special mention goes to Martin, who, in 2009, was an ace dad for Sweeney, turning up and turning it on right up to just before the end. He came back to me as a lovely friend and confidant again. And we did have an almighty celebration already, thanks. Oooh, my head.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Nobody's. Well, maybe a few people, but never for more than a nanosecond or two. 2009 was the year where I really tried hard to block that sort of stuff out.
Oh no, I've got one. Those people in that squalid flat in Kelburn - if you're reading this, then be ashamed. Be very ashamed. Of yourselves.
Oh, and our MPs, for supporting legislation to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only. I personally will be appalling and depressing to anyone who encounters me with a head cold, if I can't access pseudoephedrine asap.
Enough said.
Where did most of your money go?
Squandered it on keeping us fed and in an actual house.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sweeney being toilet trained. I still can't believe it.
What song will always remind you of 2009?
True Faith by New Order
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading actual books. Jane Eyre, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tu, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The Time Traveler's Wife made me wish someone would poke my eyes out, but there you have it.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Reading online. I can't tell you what piffle there is out there, waiting to suck me into its piffly vortex.
Did you fall in love in 2009?
2009 was the year where I really got the hang of blocking that sort of stuff out.
What did you want and get?
A Proper Job, and to survive with my wits intact until I got it.
I just made it. Phew.
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