Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Queenstown!

Just a quick entry this time to wish everyone a very merry Christmas wherever you may be.
Claire and I set off for Queenstown this morning just before 10am and arrived at 5pm.  Mass this year will be at 10am Christmas Day as it is too late for Annabelle at midnight tonight and we would like to all go together.  Claire is coming this year hoping to get another solo from me... I've been practising just in case.  

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night!

Sad News: Claire and Mark broke up recently which was a massive shock to everyone - especially Claire. It seems Mark wasn't sure what he wanted and after two weeks of dilly-dallying around, keeping Claire hanging and giving her false hope, big brave Claire took matters into her own hands and ripped that sticking plaster off, ending things and reclaiming her life. I was SO proud of her - not an easy thing to have to do. Neccessary though, it seems.
It's such a shame as Mark was a nice guy but the way he handled the last two weeks was so disappointing. For someone he claimed to love, he didn't show much respect.

Weight Watchers is still going ok. I seem to have been stagnant for the past two weeks - not putting any weight on (touch wood) but just staying the same. It's hard at this time of year when there are often chocolates and treats in the office, and work parties. But when I think I have been unfocussed I think about how much worse I was before I started Weight Watchers and don't beat myself up so much. Being 'naughty' now means having 2 chocolate biscuits - not a whole packet like I used to! Weight loss to date is 8 kilos. I'm a third of the way to my goal weight. Only 16 kilos to go. Easy.

I was asked to house sit again out at the mansion in Templeton for the weekend just gone. My shift started Friday night and I came back home on Sunday evening. There were twice as many chickens this time and lots of baby chicks. Sooo cute! It was a nice relaxing weekend with, of course, plenty of SKY watching. I can't believe with all those channels SKY has to offer there was really nothing very good to watch. But I still managed to find things to watch. I've had my fix for the next 6 or so months. It's such a time waster!

It's hard to believe next week is Christmas!! How did that happen? This year has gone way too fast for my liking! Claire and I are driving to Queenstown on Christmas Eve. That's the extent of the plan so far. I've been asked to join the Hampton's for a night at Omakau where they are camping on my way home from Queenstown. Other than that I am just going to fly by the seat of my big girls pants!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Claire and I jetted up to Warkworth for the weekend last weekend. It was great!
We arrived early on Friday morning within an hour of each other. Dear Dad and Mum were at the airport to pick us up.
After many hugs we headed North to Warkworth. Home.

Mum, Claire, and I had lunch with A Mary and Heather on Friday. We went down town to Ducks Crossing for a lovely bite to eat in the sunshine. There was lots of laughter and funny stories. It was so good to see them both.

On Friday night Mum cashed in a voucher I had sent her for her birthday for a belated birthday meal of her choice. We had Beef & Pasta salad. Mmmmmm.... Then the cooking montage for Saturdays bbq began while Claire kicked Mum's cute little butt at Scrabble.

Saturday was another brilliant day and some friends started arriving around 12.30pm for an afternoon bbq. There was lots of laughter, wine, and food. It really was a good day and most stayed until after 9pm. Mum said she had a great time too and Claire said she laughed lots. Just what the doctor ordered.

On Sunday (after the AB's dominated in the rugby) we went over to Matakana to see Uncle Bryan and Aunty Bev. Uncle Bryan is still recovering from a hip replacement but doesn't seem to have slowed down at all. He took Claire and I for a ride on his Mule (a 4 wheel drive golf carty-like vehicle) up to the top of the farm. It was fun but laughing with mouth wide open while travelling at speed = bugs in mouth. Not fun.
We also saw the site where they plan to build the new house WHICH looks very impressive from the plans.

We left for Auckland around 4pm and stopped in to have dinner with Kathryn and Moos at their new pad. A nice little two bedroom unit in Epsom. The carpets had just been cleaned and were still drying so we sat on the couches under the trees and ate dinner. It was lovely.

The weekend went all too quickly and before we knew it we were on a plane heading back to cold and rainy Christchurch. The weather down here suddenly turned very wintery this week but this weekend just been has been summery again. Phew. The vegetable garden is looking good though.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Old Friends

I can't believe it's already been nearly 3 weeks since I posted the last blog. Time flies. Especially at this time of year!

Exciting happenings at my work (in a round about kind of way). You may remember back in a September blog I mentioned my work colleague Robert Johnston's daughter Kelly entering and winning the Miss South Island beauty pageant? Well, she was in the Miss NZ Queen Of The World competition in October and won that one too! So now Kelly, Robert, and his wife Jenny, have all jetted off to Berlin, Germany, for The Queen Of The World competition. What a great job that would be! Robert is away from work for 3 weeks so I am looking forward to hearing all his stories on his return. He is one proud father. Of course, the comments querying whether he is her biological father are wearing a little thin. Watch this space...

A few weeks ago on a Saturday Claire and I met with Paula at Denny's for lunch before going to a movie. On the drive there down Gasson Street we passed an old friend. It was Timmy!!! For those who don't know, Timmy is a big white Mitsubishi L300 Van that I used to own. He'll always have a special place in our hearts. Claire was driving so I leant across and tooted the horn and we both waved like maniacs. The guy driving looked a little dumbfounded. Timmy would have known though. He looked good. You can imagine how exciting it was for us.

A few weeks ago was Show Weekend here in Christchurch which meant the Friday was a public holiday. It always seems to just break up that long slog between winter and Christmas, and usually the weather is starting to warm up by then too.
This year I decided to head to Picton for the long weekend to see my exclusive man friend Lance. The weather here on the Friday morning had looked promising as I had gone for a walk early but as soon as I got home and put some washing on a mini tornado seemed to strike. It rained most of the way up to Picton but the rest of the weekend was fine. I even got a little sunburnt on Saturday whilst sitting on the deck, playing Scrabble, drinking cocktails. Ah, that's the life. It was a very chilled out weekend. Just what I needed.

Last week at Weight Watchers I had lost another 700 grams which was good. Total loss to date 7.7kgs. Only 16.3kgs to go. Easy. I won't be able to go to my meeting tomorrow morning as I am catching the red eye to Auckland for a weekend in WW. Ooh I can't wait! Claire is coming up now too so it will be great to have a weekend of Mum hugs and Dad jokes.

I spoke to the Southern Barts on Skype (Oh how I love thee) on Sunday night and was informed that Annabelle has started to crawl. Oh happy days!! Gavin said she isn't all that fast ... yet... but has a cute little grunt. Well, you try crawling everywhere! It's hard work!!! So cute. She will be a little menace around the Christmas tree - I can't WAIT!
Speaking of the wee cherub I found a photo for the caption competition in the archives. Please feel free to leave your submissions.

And saving the BEST for last. Happy happy birthday for tomorrow Apes! I hope you have the best day ever and that you are suitably spoilt. We'll all be thinking of you. xx

Sunday, November 8, 2009

People Of The Hill

Since beginning my weight loss mission I have taken to walking up the hill once a week usually on a Saturday morning. From home I walk up to the Sign Of The Takahe and back which originally took an hour and a half but I have recently got my time down to one hour and 20 minutes! During my walk I have time to brainstorm for the blog and think about my hunky boyfriend who, this week, is my hero. More about that later.
I'm not the only person crazy enough to be walking around early on a Saturday morning - there are 3 types of people out and about at that time:
The walkers
The runners
The cyclists
Us walkers are all friendly and always say good morning to each other.
The runners are in two sub groups - the mature runners who say good morning or at the very least smile on their way past, and the young runners (mostly male) who are fully focussed and have no time for niceties. They are there to run!
Then there are the cyclists. The cyclists don't talk to anyone unless they are in a group of cyclists and in that case will yell to each other. Whatever time of the morning it is. Now, I gave them the benefit of the doubt due to the fact that they are concentrating on keeping their bike upright while going forward up the hill - not an easy task I can imagine. BUT then coming down the hill they STILL are too cool to korero (that's Maori for 'talk' for those who don't speak the milk) they do however have time to blatently perve while enjoying the downhill speed. I guess I should be thankful that I am a wee bit perve-worthy. I will try and remember to thank them next time!
Getting to the top still makes me proud of myself. The inner me raises my arms and runs around on the spot whoop-whooping not unlike Rocky in the movie of the same name, while the real me staggers, ever so cooly, over to the drinking fountain trying not to collapse as my legs suddenly feel like they are made out of jelly.
It all seems to be worthwhile though as last weeks weight loss was 900 grams. Total weight loss to date is 7 kilos. Only 17 kilos to go. Easy.

Claire has been a busy little B-artlett in the garden. She has made a tyre garden. Yes, that's right, a garden out of tyres. It looks nice and Toby loves having a new warm place to sleep.

The veges are all in the main garden now too so hopefully they will start growing rapidly so we can take what we can fit in the boot to Queenstown with us for Christmas. Fingers crossed.
The potatoes are growing rapidly so that's good.

The Southern Barts came back to ours for 2 nights after Melbourne. In the week that they had been away Annabelle changed heaps again! She is really growing up fast. It was nice to see them again so quickly and it sounded like they had a fabulous week away.
I took the day off work on Monday and we walked into town for lunch and visited EVERY outdoors shop in the city. It was a fantastic day so perfect for being out and about.

My exclusive man friend Lance was down last weekend. Unfortunately he had left by the time The Southern Barts got back into NZ so they still have not met him. Catkin doesn't think he is real. He is so!
Anyway, Lance and I went out for dinner on Saturday night to Costas Taverna in Victoria Street. Very yummy it was too. We caught a taxi and on the ride there my mobile somehow got out of my zipped up bag and was left behind in the taxi. Please note: Absolutely no alcohol had been consumed at this point. I still can't work out how it happened. Anyway, when I discovered my mobile missing Lance called it and the cute little taxi driver answered it. He was out at the airport at this stage but promised to keep in touch and would drop the phone off when he was back in the area. After dinner we went to the casino to watch the rugby and then headed home. Cute little taxi man rang just as we arrived home and Lance told him there would be $20 in the mailbox if he could drop the phone off there. In the morning the phone was back!! Happy days. And THAT is how Lance got elevated to Hero status.

Last night Claire, Mark, and I went to an 18th birthday party. Ashleigh Hampton from our netball team had a bbq/party at home and we were lucky enough to get an invite. It was a really great night - lots of laughs. It wasn't a particularly late night either and I think we all woke up with clear heads.... I know I did anyway.

It seems to be the month for birthdays - we went out for a pre-birthday lunch with Lynnie today to Harrington's Brewery in Belfast. It was yummy. We hadn't seen Lynnie and Courtney for what seems like ages so it was really lovely to catch up with them.

This week is a short week due to Show Day on Friday. Yay for short weeks! It will be nice having a sleep in on Friday morning knowing that the rest of NZ have work as usual! I might even set my alarm just so I can go back to sleep again. Ha!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

But wait, there's more!

I know, like me, you just didn't get enough of the cuteness that is Annabelle on the last blog so I'm adding a little more. Claire took some brilliant footage of the wee poppet and this one just makes me laugh. She's so good at just entertaining herself. And so talented!!
In this wee movie you'll see her doing the Haka, practising her words (Dadda), and cleaning the floor with a little spit and polish. Bless her.

And she always has big smiles for her adoring Aunties!
We're counting the sleeps til Christmas in Queenstown.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bubs, Bugs, And Making Movies

We had visitors for Labour weekend - the Southern Barts came to stay for a couple of days before heading off to Melbourne for a week. Of course cameras were on charge a week in advance to allow for maximum paparazziing!

It was great to see them again as it had been 3 months since they were here last which was the last time we saw them. Annabelle was rolling around and sitting up on her own. She's a big girl now... with a great big set of lungs! It makes me laugh that Gavin (he who likes quietness) has a very vocal daughter! Ha! (Apologies for the clip - it sounds like Elmo is in the background.)

Again the cats were on high alert - the midget with tourettes was back! Annabelle clearly loves the cats and gets VERY excited upon seeing them. They are getting braver but do tend to stay out of sight when we have visitors of the tiny variety.

I dropped the Southen Barts off at the airport early, early on Sunday morning. Unfortunately Gavin had picked up a bug and wasn't very well. We had to stop en route to the airport so he could 'get some fresh air'. Two days later I caught the same bug and am currently on my second day off work. Not nice. Silver lining = I should do well at my weigh in this Friday. Fingers crossed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back On Track

After a week of not much exercise but a WHOLE lot of stressing out, I weighed in this morning with a terrific 1.7kg weight loss result! I have reached my 5% original body weight loss too.
I do need to work out a plan this weekend as I am finding it hard to fit in exercise now that I have a part time job. As we all know - exercise is a key factor in losing weight.
I think the secret is the hill walk - the week I didn't do it I put on weight. So look out hill, here I come!!
Total weight loss to date = 4.9 kilos. Only 19.1 kgs to go. Easy.

Today is a good day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bangladesh Upgrades

I've been home alone for the past week - Claire and Mark are house/cat sitting for a friend of Mark out at Burwood. Claire isn't due back home until Sunday. I did get a text from Claire yesterday saying that the cat they are looking after is naughty and she misses and appreciates the good behaviour of Min and Toby.
It's all in the parenting....

I had a visit from my friend Jo Glover from Auckland over the weekend. Jo has just returned from a 7 week tour of some parts of America and was en route to Winton to stay with her brother, his wife, and their two little kiddies.
She arrived on Saturday afternoon bringing the sunshine with her. We went to a movie on Saturday night - Couples Retreat which was quite good. Some laugh-out-loud parts. And then had a nice Chinese meal. $18 each got us about 5 different dishes to share PLUS chicken and corn soup PLUS spring rolls AND wontons! Needless to say we took a rather large doggy bag home with us! It was yummy!

On Sunday morning we conquered the hill walk - all the way up to The Sign Of The Takahe and back which is an hour and a half round trip. There was a lot of silence up the steeper parts of the hill! It was just too hard to talk.
I took Jo out to Riccarton Mall for a look around in the afternoon and then we met Mel at the Museum for a walk around Hagley Park in the evening. It was a good weekend.

Jo caught the bus to Invercargill on Monday morning so I dropped her in Worcester Street on my way to work.

Tuesday afternoon at work my exclusive man friend Lance popped in with perfume and wine that he had bought me while he was in Australia for 10 days for work. It was nice to see him but unfortunately he was on his way back home to Picton as he had an important meeting this morning at work. He plans to be back down in a few weeks so I will look forward to catching up properly then. Mmm... I smell nice today!

I have a sneaking suspicion that our horrid neighbours at number 12 have come into a bit of money recently. They have started upgrading bits around the house - starting with a new gate from the house to the garage. You'll never guess what the gate is made out of - Corrugated Iron! The very same material that she complained about us building a fence out of saying, and I quote 'It devalues the street'. Ha! Eat your words, Tinny! I hope it doesn't cause her too many migraines... much! The labourer had to replace wooden panels on the garage to attach the gate to which OBVIOUSLY means that the garage is rotten and about to fall down. Good to know.

Also it has been noted that they have new netting curtains - about time! AND she may even have slightly cleaned the windows of all the cat fur! There were no net curtains up at all for about a week which gave Claire and I maximum peeping Tom oppotunities! Not that we could see a whole lot - it's very dark in there.
I stand in the kitchen and don't even try to disguise the fact that I am staring at their hovel with a look of disgust on my face. Maybe they got the message.
We still get the constant noise from the breeding cats in cages down the back though which breaks my heart. I swear I can hear them saying 'Let me ouuuuuut!' or 'Danieeeeeeellllllleee!' Poor things. Cat breeders are NOT cat lovers, in my opinion.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Not such a good result at my weigh-in this morning unfortunately. Apparently I put on 500grams this week. That's half a kilo. That's a lot. After walking every day this week for at least half an hour - most days twice - it was a bit of a shock. I guess it just means I will have to try harder next week. And I was so confident that I would have lost weight too - skiting away to Averil last night on Skype. That will teach me. Today I just feel like crawling under a rock.... with a packet of toffee pops.....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Visit From The Queen

We've had quite an eventful time since the last blog was posted. Last Friday I had a waxing appointment after work and while I was upstairs getting hair ripped out some guy backed into my car. Luckily for me he is a nice guy and left his business card with details and licence plate number so I won't have to pay an excess to get my car fixed. The back drivers side light was completely smashed, with a dent in the metal below the light, and cracking on the bumper. I think the bumper has also been pushed forward a little. I have been in touch with my insurance company and got a quote from a collision repair place near my work. I've got the ok to go ahead but am just waiting for a courtesy car to come free and they will get it all fixed for me.

It was Nana Bartlett's 10 year anniversary on Saturday 26th so Claire and I went and met Paula at the graveyard and took some fresh flowers to put on the grave. The graveyard is kept really clean and tidy which is nice to see.

Mel's birthday was the 26th and we were invited to join her for drinks and dinner that night. Drinks were at 7.30pm at No.4 in Merivale then dinner was at Tutto Bene. There were about 10 of us altogether - all females - and it was a great night. We met a few of Mel's friends who we hadn't met before and they were lovely. We had a lot of laughs. Dinner was nice and afterwards we went to Sullivans for a drink. Claire and I headed home just after midnight... I think.

This week I started my new part time job at CherryTree. I worked Monday-Thursday 5.30-8.30pm. I really like it so far. The other girls are really lovely. So far I have been calling numbers from the phone book. Everyone so far has been very friendly. If they say they aren't interested then I politely end the call - they don't have to say no 10 times!
I'm hoping to keep playing netball on Thursdays so am going to talk to my manager tomorrow night and see if Thursdays can be flexible. Fingers crossed.

I had to rearrange my Weight Watchers meetings to accommodate the new job so have transferred to a meeting in town on Friday mornings at 7am. I got there in plenty of time on Friday and my weight loss this week was 1.5kgs! I was totally stoked!! Total weight loss to date is 3.7kgs. Only 20.3 kgs to go. Easy.

We had a VIP stay with us this weekend - Mum came on her way home from staying the week in Queenstown with the Southern Bart's. It was so nice to see her and get much needed Mum hugs. We got to play 2 games of REAL Scrabble (not that electronic Facebook one). Last night we went to the Pak's for dinner which was very yummy.
Yesterday we had a lovely ladies lunch out at Elevate - down by the Centaurus Road roundabout at the base of the Port Hills. It was just so great hanging out with Twisha (aka the cutest woman in the world!)

This morning we dropped Mum off at the airport and then this afternoon Claire, Mark, and I went to the movies to see 500 Days Of Summer. It was a nice movie. While there we saw advertising for the movie based on the childrens book 'Where The Wild Things Are'. I couldn't help but think that the character Max looks familiar.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Losers Can Be Winners!

Last weekend we had my good friend Jacqui Dinneen from Auckland down staying with us. What a great weekend! She left her husband - Shane - and her two girls - Ashley and Alexis - at home and came away BY HERSELF. I think the best bit for her was sleeping in AND not having to worry about anyone but herself. Things that us single folk take for granted.

On the Friday night we met up with some other Auckland friends - Sean, Karen and Max McArthy - who were down for a couple of days visiting old haunts. Sean went to Art College down here 25 years ago and Karen worked for a small newspaper in Sefton. Max is only 6 so it was his first visit to the Garden City.
We had a lovely dinner at the Belgium Beer Cafe and it was so great to catch up with them again.

On Saturday Jacqui and I went to the Craft Fair at Addington. There was lots to look at. I couldn't help but notice the many stalls for soaps and chocolates. I guess they are catering mainly to the female population and these are two things we like - smelling nice and anything chocolate.
I bought some beads and beading wire but most novelty stuff was a little overpriced for my liking. I did see a great idea for a bird feeder - a pottery/china cup and saucer sitting on top of a post. Easy yet effective. But they were selling for some ridiculous price so I thought I might give it a go myself. Watch this space.

After a nice lunch at Denny's. (Yes, we are both cheap dates!) We went for a walk through Hagley Park to the Arts Centre for an ice cream. (Please note this was my last weekend BEFORE starting Weight Watchers so I had to make it count!).
The trees through Hagley Park are all in blossom at the moment and look beautiful. Jacqui is a florist so was most appreciative of all the spring flowers in bloom.

Next we decided to head home for an afternoon nap which Jacqui was most excited about - having a 3 year old and a 1 year old doesn't leave much time for afternoon naps. Another thing I am just not ready to give up.
Saturday night we got pizzas and a movie and stayed in. It was a nice relaxing night in.

After a nice lunch at The Globe on Sunday we had a cuppa in the sun before heading to the airport. The weekend was over all too quickly.

Last Tuesday was my first Weight Watchers meeting. Eek! I weighed in heavier than I actually thought I was which was a little bit of a shock. But made me all the more determined. So the last week has been all about counting points and refamiliarising myself with the WW points system. It's easy once you get the hang of it. The first couple of days I ate and then counted the points I'd eaten... often going over my points allowance. By the third day I realised that planning the menu for the day ahead was a much better idea. On Friday I had a binge on a handful of salt & vinegar chips and about 10 WW chocolate chip cookies.... it tasted so good.... until I counted the points. It worked out to be about 12 points. I'm only allowed 21 per day!
So on Saturday I went for 3 walks - totalling 2.5 hours which only just cancelled out the binge.. Makes me look at chips in a whole new light.

Tonight was the weigh in. Dum-dum-dummmm!! I lost (yes, that's right LOST) a whopping 2.2 kilos!! I was floored! I was hoping to lose at least 500 grams. I know it's not always going to be that high but what a great start! I had to talk about my first week at the meeting tonight in front of everyone and it was like giving an Oscar speech - afterwards everyone clapped and I nearly cried!

Claire and Mark went up North for 6 days on Friday and are due back tomorrow. Sounds like they have been visiting up a storm!! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it tomorrow night.

I managed to score myself a part time job 4 nights a week for a company called CherryTree. I start on Monday and am really excited about it. I will be telemarketing which I've never done before but it's not the usual hard sell kind of telemarketing. It's offering to send out information on a tour of the company which, if you join, offers it's members wholesale prices on a whole lot of goods saving lots of dosh. I'm interested to give it a go.

And that's the happenings of the past few weeks. I got the potatoes planted in the weekend. The garden looks like it has two dead bodies buried in it! The weather has been fantastic lately with a bit of welcome rain this afternoon/evening. It is supposed to be thunder and lightening tonight. Oooh how exciting!!

I'm off to put the jug on for a cup of tea and two Weight Watchers biscuits which are awfully small but really yummy and only equal 1 point!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Time

First up I must congratulate ALL entries in the caption competition last month - and the winner is.............drumroll please............... EVERYONE! They were all great entries. Well done. Now the pressure is on to find another good photo for the next competition. Watch this space.

Claire is up to her usual tricks of passing assignments left, right, and centre. The last assignment to come back had a pass with MERIT. No simple old passes for Claire, oh no no no! She's a machine!!

And speaking of passes, I also know that Mum is doing extremely well and got an A in her last assignment which is brilliant!! Well done Mum. Sending you a great big congratulatory virtual hug!!

Claire turned 30th on 3rd September - of course no one believes she's THAT old.... which is good because that hopefully means that no one believes that I am 5 years older that THAT.
Mark whisked Claire off for a romantic mini-break to the Capital for two nights which sounds like it was lovely. They said they had a great time with just the right balance of relaxation and tourist attractions, as well as a lot of people watching (commonly known as 'staring') which is ALWAYS fun (as long as you're stationary and don't walk into a sign).

We had a few people around for a takeaway meal on Saturday night and then invited others to come along later for drinks. It was a good turn out and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was good to catch up with some we hadn't seen for a wee while.

We also had Alex's 19th birthday on 6 September. 19!!!! Wow - time has flown by.
Claire and I were invited to join the Pak's, Henry, Sam, and Mitchell for dinner at Garden Restaurant on Sunday night. It's a buffet and is mighty yummy. I left there feeling like I was actually going explode. Paula also snuck in a yummy chocolate birthday cake which I HAD to have a slice of.

We had our end of season function for work at the end of August. We don't have anything much at Christmas as it is our busiest time so they put on a dinner and band for all staff and partners mid year. It's always a good night. I got a little (lot) tipsy and ended up losing my camera. It is a shame as there would have been some brilliant photos with some hunky guys on it. I initially thought that someone may have picked it up and would return it to me at work so I put a notice up on the noticeboard at work but after two weeks I can safely assume that I won't be seeing the camera again. Someone obviously needed it more than me. The hardest thing about that is that it is either someone I work with or a partner that has taken it. Doesn't make me feel very good about the morals of my workmates. If I had a dollar for everytime someone asked me if I had found my camera I could afford a new one! Nice that they all care though. Oh well, that's life I guess.

My new favourite thing is SKYPING. Ooh it's so great - seeing AND talking. So great for those far away AND for growing babies!

Exciting news - I will be joining Weight Watchers on Tuesday which I am looking forward to. I have slowly but steadily put on 21 kilos in the 6 years that I have been home from my OE. That's a lot. I looked up on the WW website today and apparently my weight is perfect............ if I was 200cm tall!!! Easier to lose weight than lengthen my body I think. So Tuesday is D Day. I thought I would bring it up so that I am more likely to be motivated knowing that you all know. That's the theory anyway.

Oh and something completely unrelated but worth a mention - one of our sales guys from work, Robert, is the proud father of the new Miss South Island. His daughter, Kelly, was approached while working at Dragonfly in Rolleston and asked to be part of the pageant. She agreed and won it!! She is now getting ready for Miss NZ at the end of October. Very exciting. I think Robert is getting ready to quit work and be her manager if she wins that one!

Min & Tobes say meow purrrrrr. Little fatties. Bless.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Good Life

From 17th-27th August I was invited to housesit for friends of my workmate out in Templeton on their little 10 acre farm. The house is beautiful, big and new with SKY tv (a bit of a treat for plebs like me). The farm consisted of 5 sheep (two of which were pregnant) 8 chickens (1 was sitting on 10 eggs), about 24 bantams, and two cats. It was my own little slice of heaven for 10 whole days. The chickens/bantams had a great set up with pens I like to call 'Chicken City'.

My chores included feeding the chickens/bantams morning and night, collecting the eggs, feeding the sheep in the mornings, feeding/patting/talking to the cats. One cat was hardly seen as she is very timid and prefers to sleep in the barn only coming in at night to eat. The other cat, Duddie, is the complete opposite. He even followed me into the toilet one day and jumped on my knee!! We had to have a little chat about boundaries after that. He was great company and followed me EVERYWHERE. Even out to feed the chooks - they weren't bothered by him and he wasn't even interested in them.

The 10 eggs under the hen were due to hatch on Saturday 22nd August and sure enough, when I went out on Sunday afternoon there were 3 little chicks. Soooo cute! Now, those of you who are lucky enough to have SKY may be familiar with The Girls At The Playboy Mansion - a doco about Hugh Hefner and his three young, blonde girlfriends living at the Playboy Mansion. Being a non-skyer I got instantly hooked on this mind-numbing dribble and decided to call the 3 little yellow chicks Kendra, Bridget, and Holly after Hugh's girlfriends. After talking to Nicki (the home owner) when she returned, she said it is possible their names may have to be changed to Ken, Bruce, and Hal. Although it is a little early to tell.

When I returned home from work on Tuesday 25th there were two sets of twin lambs! Ooh if you know my love of all things mini, you can surely imagine how excited I was!! One of the little ones didn't look to be doing too well so I went in for a closer look. He wasn't looking all that flash which concerned me but he was breathing which was a good start. His Mum warned me to stay back by stamping her hoof. I went back to the house and when I came back out 10 minutes later all 4 lambs were up and jumping around. I was so happy I think I cried.

Thursday morning was my last shift before heading to work and from there going back home. Although it was nice to get back home and see Claire and our own cats, I miss the farm life. I feel I have done my apprenticeship now and am ready to take on Uncle Brian's 200ish hectares! Ha! Although nothing would get eaten - how can you eat it if you name it??

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Captain's Blog: Stardate 0408:2009

What a crazy, fun, noisy, funny last week we have had at Roxy Inn! It seems somewhat like a ghost town this week in comparison.
Mum was the first to arrive on Saturday 25th July. Claire and I whipped out to the airport to pick her up in the afternoon. It was sooooo lovely to see her and get much needed Mum hugs.

Gavin, Catkin, and Annabelle (Henceforth referred to as The Southern Barts) arrived not long after we got home. Mum got right-of-way with cuddles as she was only staying for the one night.
Paula, Kazio, and Alex came around and we had a lovely family dinner... with 2 types of cheesecake... jealous much? It was a lovely evening.

On Sunday we went for a walk around the streets towards the Port Hills. It was a beautiful sunny morning - perfect for a walk. After lunch we played Scrabble and drank tea until having to drop Mum out at the airport again. Sad days :( There were a few tears in the car on the way to the airport but not for long as I pulled out the Smell mype joke!! It never gets old, that one.

The main reason for the Southern Barts visit was that Catkin had a two day vaccination course to attend. So on Wednesday and Thursday Gavin and Annabelle had quality time together without Aunties trying to grab, pinch, and prod poor Annabelle.

The week went well and Annabelle had lots of smiles for everyone. Catkin cooked a lovely dinner on Friday night which we all enjoyed.

The cats were very unsure of the 'midget with tourettes' (their words, not mine) invading their house. Everytime Annabelle saw either cat she got very excited and her little legs would start kicking! By Sunday morning Min became brave and by tricking her with the brush (which she LOVES) we managed to get her in arms reach of Annabelle. Annabelle got to pat Min which made her squeal with delight, and made Min scamper.... for a little while, but she came back. This went on a few times. It was hilarious.

We waved goodbye to the Southern Barts around 9am on Sunday morning as they started their journey South to Ohau for a night at the lodge before heading back to Queenstown the following day.

It has been suggested by a long time follower (thanks Apes! Great idea) that we have a regular caption competition. I found the PERFECT photo for this. Feel free to leave your caption in the comments below.

My entry - "And that, Nana, is how my Daddy fixes the Landrover!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Watch This Space

We have Mum coming for one night only tomorrow AND the Southern Bartlett's coming for a whole week! The next blog will be action packed!!

So many exciting things are about to happen so watch this space!

We did win our netball again last night. Yes, we are a force to be reckoned with! Final score was 22-13.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?!

Big exciting news first: Claire got a PASS WITH DISTINCTION in her last assignment. She was very proud of herself and rightfully so. Claire said that the fact that I mentioned it in the last Roxy Review might have been good luck so I thought I might talk a little about Lotto this time.... just put it out there.... and see what the universe throws back at me.... Ok, enough sillyness.
Extremely well done Claire!

We had a work shout last Friday night for Peter Isle's Retirement and 40 year service. For those of you who don't know, Peter was a special needs employee at work. He worked down in the factory but lately had become a bit of a liability and the call was made for him to retire before he hurt himself or someone else. The fact that Peter had worked for Carter Holt Harvey for 40 years is really saying something for the company in my opinion.

There was a good turnout at the function and he made a very good speech - handing over the responsibility of Carol Singer to one of the other members of staff. When someone asked what he was going to do now he was retired he replied 'find another job'. I'm not sure he understands the concept of 'retirement'.

A couple of 'Peterisms' have come out over the past few weeks which have made me laugh. These are my favourites:

'That guy is N.I.T Nil!'

'There's no rest for the wicketts'.

'It's no skin on my nose'

My favourite, favourite is his name for the old cafe lady Prue. He has always called her Prune. Bless.

I got a lovely letter last week from Lucy King who I used to babysit in Auckland. Her and her mother were coming down to Christchurch for the weekend and wanted to know if I wanted to catch up with them. You bet I did!!! I hadn't seen them since I left Auckland 3 1/2 years ago.
On Saturday I went and met them at their hotel in the city and then we went for a cup of tea in New Regent Street before heading to Merivale Mall for some shopping. It was really lovely to see them again. Lucy is 12 now and so grown up. She is still a really lovely person.
We spent about 4 hours together chatting and looking at ridiculously overpriced wares in Merivale, and I dropped them off at the Arts Centre on my way back through. It was a lovely day.

We had a visit from Russell and his sister Carmel on Sunday. Carmel was in Christchurch visiting friends for the weekend. It was lovely to see her again. She is very involved with the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra and has been kept busy with their sell-out concerts. Sounds like a lot of fun.
Russell busied himself bullying and rough-housing Toby (which I think Toby secretly loved).

I seem to have a bit (a lot) of an obsession with Scrabble. I play online with my dear Mum and some friends but lately I have been finding myself counting the point values of words etc when I am bored. The other day I added up the entire points value of my keyboard. It's 87 in case you ever need to know. Is there a Scrabblers Anonymous anywhere??
Please join me in welcoming a new Follower to the blog... To the right of your screen you will see this blog now has TWO followers. Feel free to link on if you want.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

As Mad As A Hatter

Unfortunately this blog starts on a sad note.  Grandad Bartlett's sister, Aunty Nancy, passed away on Sunday 21st June.  Paula and Kazio went down to Invercargill for the funeral and Gavin managed to get across from Queenstown for it also.  Paula said it was a good turn out and got to catch up with the cousins aswell.  They also got over to Queenstown the following day and looked after Annabelle while Gavin was in a meeting and Catkin was at work.  Nice quality time with the wee Princess!
I finally got out into the vege garden a few weeks back and tidied it all up for Winter.  I got all the weeds out and then covered it in compost. It was a bigger job than I had anticipated but was very pleased with my efforts. As I was digging around in the compost bin three little mice ran out and along the fence.  Cute!  Not sure where they took cover until they could return and start rebuilding their houses in the compost.  

Lynnie and Courtney had a garage sale a few weeks back so I offered to help them and thought it might be a good chance to try and sell some baby Aloe Veras too.  I sold two and made $5 BUT I spent $10 buying their old bread maker!  Ha!  I have yet to try it out on yummy bready goodness but was very happy with my purchase.
They did really well and got rid of most of the big stuff they were selling.  They were planning on having another one the following weekend out at Lynnie's mums house in Kaiapoi.

Last week we had THE most dramatic game of netball ever.  One of the guys on the opposing team was gobbing off at the ref when she penalised him for something he had done.  He wouldn't let it go and kept swearing at the ref so she sent him off.  He sat on the sideline and was still swearing at her so she stopped the game and went upstairs to get one of the guys to escort him out.  While she was upstairs the rest of the team walked off the court.  AND we were winning!  Very bad sportsmanship from the whole team!  Anyway, we won by default and some people from the sideline made up a team so we could continue our game.  We won even though the score doesn't count.  
The team that walked off were at the top of the points ladder but no longer play at Howzat so now we are at the top!!  Yipppeee! 
A couple of weeks ago Russell played for us and brought along his new girlfriend, Melissa Archer.  She seemed really nice and reminded me of a blonde Kathryn Bartlett.

Last Saturday I drove up to Picton to see my exclusive man-friend Lance.  I was planning to drive back on Sunday but when Sunday rolled around I just couldn't be bothered so we decided that I should stay another night and, seeing it is SOOO quiet at work at the moment, I rang my boss at midday to see if I could take an annual leave day on Monday. At 12:02pm I rang Claire to tell her I would be home on Monday.  At 12:05pm I had my first vodka & redbull.  Much better than driving home and having to go to work the next day!!  It was very stormy up in Picton so we stayed in and watched movies in the warmth.  Nice.

On Thursday at work we had a Mad Hatters Tea Party.  We occasionally have theme days - just our department - and this week it was decided that we would have a hat day. Everyone brought a plate for a shared morning tea and a hat.  My boss Julian had a ridiculously oversized cowboy hat which made me laugh loudly every time I looked at him.  Hilarious.  I made and took along some chocolate caramel slice which wasn't as good as usual due to the fact that I had iced it while it was hot (like I usually do) but the butter in the icing melted and kind of settled on top looking a little dodgy. Anyway, everyone was very kind and said it was yummy.  Even Barb in the cafe at work had a piece ... and then another... and then asked for the recipe.  And she's a pro!  So that's saying something.

I was invited to join cousin Patrice, Vawn, and kids for dinner on Thursday night.  They had flown to Christchurch in the afternoon and were at a motel by the airport for the night before heading off to Cairns for a 12 day holiday. Unfortunately Claire couldn't make it as she had an assignment due the following day and was around at her boss's house getting it checked.  We went down to Robbie's at Church Corner for an early dinner and catch up.  It was really nice to see them again.  AND I managed to finally win at a game of Hang Man with Dylan and Krystle.  FINALLY!  I was very happy - maybe a little too happy.  Even though they are only young they are VERY good at the game.

After dinner I went off to netball.  We won our game 14-8.  Our WA Ashley Hampton brought her whole family along for support so we had our own cheerleaders!  It was a good game considering all our defense (Karati, Sandra, Kyra) are out at the moment so we've had to find subs for the past few weeks.

This morning we got our chimney swept.  So what, you might say.  It is a big deal to us as we were getting clouds of smoke billowing out every time we opened the door.  Even setting the smoke alarm off in the hallway!  At least we know the alarm works.  Which is a good thing.  
I had thought of a cheap way of cleaning the chimney by tying a rope around one of the cats and lowering them down the chimney.  Somehow I don't think Min would see the funny side!

The chimney sweeper guy said there was the gap only about the size of an egg at the top for the smoke to pass through...  The rest was caked in soot.  Anyway, now it's all done and safe again.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bring on the snow!

The past few weeks have been pretty busy. The weather has been cold and a little bit miserable although this week there have been some sunny days which have allowed washing to be dried on the line... outside. You know how exciting that is at this time of year!
Claire has been busy doing her assignments which seem to be going well so far. The first assignment came back with a pass WITH merit which was very exciting. She just posted off her second assignment yesterday and we have our fingers crossed for a pass with DISTINCTION. Ooh err.

Mark ran the Christchurch Marathon on the Sunday of Queens Birthday weekend. His time was 3 hours 37 minutes which was a little more than he had hoped for but still an amazing effort none the less. He said he was at the start line when it started sleeting and hailing and briefly wondered what on earth he was doing. Claire was his number one supporter meeting him at each checkpoint with water and words of encouragement.

Paula and I went to Queenstown this weekend just past. It was the first time that Great Aunty Paula (GAP for short) had met Annabelle AND the first time in about 20 years that she had been to Qtown. We left Chch on Saturday with our standard boot load of vegetables and got to Hensman Road just after 4.30pm. It was a great trip down - I had grabbed a few of the 'Ave's Beats' CD's to listen to on the drive but we didn't need them as we chatted for the first 5 hours of the drive. I learnt some family history I didn't already know.
Annabelle was as cute as ever and had lots of big smiles for us. Although everytime I tried to take a photo she would stop smiling and then start up again as soon as the photo was taken! I did manage to get a couple of good ones though. Bless her.

Gavin and Catkin are well and happy and healthy. It was a great weekend.
Paula and I both had Monday off so we left the Southern Bartlett's house on Monday morning for our journey back to Chch. The weather was perfect - sunny but crisp. There was a sprinkling of snow over The Remarkables which looked spectacular as the sun was setting.

Last week David Bain was found NOT GUILTY of murdering his family. A verdict met with mixed emotions by the public. This week some new evidence has come to light which was not allowed during the trial. It was the 111 call made by David when he found his family dead. Some 'experts' believe he is saying 'I shot the prick' amongst laboured breathing. It was on the news last night and when Hilary Barry suggested that he actually says 'I'm out of breath' it sounded more like that to me. I think it would sound like a lot of different things if you are told what to listen for before listening to it. Anyway, Joe Caram is still his biggest supporter and tends to answer all questions directed at David. Kind of like an agent.

I was so fed up with Woman's Day last week that I wrote a letter to the Editor. I turn a blind eye to their spelling, gramatical, and factual errors but when they published a full page and a half Nivea ad of the winner of NZ's Next Top Model BEFORE the final show had aired I was LIVID!
I also mentioned that they should change their cover 'stars' occasionally as they tend to rotate between 'Brangelina', 'TomKat', Jennifer Anniston, and Posh. Every week it's one of those on the cover. Boring. I may have also had a dig at the Editor's letter the week earlier about having to have a cold shower due to running out of gas. She rang her gas company and was told there was a 4 day delay due to their work load. The way she wrote it sounded to me like she expected everyone to drop tools and cater to her needs because the world revolves around her. I got a little volcano in my tummy! Pretty certain I will switch to Woman's Weekly now for my gossip/crossword fix.

We won our netball again last night. Whoop whoop! We played against a team we hadn't played before. Final score was 25-19. Claire and I have decided that Richard Hampton is our lucky charm as both games he has brought Ashley to have been successful. We're currently trying to persuade him to come to EVERY game but he's not having any of it. I'm sure I'll find something to bribe him with. He likes carrot cake muffins and I make a mean carrot cake WITH cream cheese icing. Mmmmm..

This weekend will be pretty quiet. Claire has a workshop for her registering teachers at ours tomorrow morning so I thought it would be a good time to book in for a wax. Ouch. Might go and check out the new mezzanine floor at Riccarton Mall afterwards (if I can walk). The weather forecast is for cold Southerlies and sleet which is a shame as I was planning to get into the vege garden and clean it all up and put compost over it so it would be all ready for planting in Spring.
Still waiting for a decent snow fall so I can legitimately take a 'Snow Day' off work. Come On!!

Min and Toby say 'Feed me Meow, hiss nip'

Friday, May 15, 2009


Last nights netball we played against 'Pring It'. They prought it. It was prung. We lost 10-23.
That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nameless makes a name

Good news!  We won our netball game tonight.  It was a good game and everyone played really well.  Lots of intercepts. Final score was 17-14.

This weeks team was made up of the following players:
Karati 'I Believe I Can Fly' Metcalfe (GD)
Sandra 'Broken Fingers' Metcalfe (WD)
Claire 'The Interceptor' Bartlett (C)
Kyra 'Can't Touch This' Guckert (GK)
Ashley 'Black Eye' Hampton (WA)
Alicia 'Gimme That Ball' Duggan (GA)
Danielle 'Old Yella' Bartlett (GS)

Next week will be tough as we are playing the team at the top of the ladder.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Celebrate Good Time, Come On!!

Well, it feels like a lot of time has passed since I last updated this blog. I turned another year older a few weeks ago and had a fantastic birthday week! I arrived at work on the 21st to find my desk surrounded by balloons and a 'Birthday Girl' sign. My colleagues and I had a shared morning tea and then Claire and Mark cooked me dinner. It really was a great day.
Along with all that we also had our dear friend Renee McInnes home for 3 weeks from the UK to surprise everyone (except me and her Mum who were in on it).

A group of us went to the Lone Star for dinner on Friday night. Lance came too so got to meet some of the family. I think Kathryn & Moos just got eyes for Christmas as they seemed to be staring at us ALL night. Take a photo... actually I think they did.

Kathryn and Moos came down for one night only on the 24th before heading to Queenstown the following day to FINALLY meet Annabelle. They have added photos on Facebook and Annabelle looks more grown up than last time I saw her which was 2 weeks previous. They grow up so fast, don't they!! Still a little button though and I still want to eat her up!

Claire has taken a weeks holiday from work this week. She has had her head down/bum up doing an assignment for the papers she is doing to gain her Degree. Very busy indeed but seems to be all on track.

We lost 2 netball players from our team a few weeks back. Not really sad days to be honest. The male of the two had a terrible attitude on court and gave one of his own team mates a black eye - apparently accidently - and argued with the ref a LOT. The female is his wife so, as sad as it was to see her go, she was being loyal to her husband. We have found replacements and have been enjoying fun games again without the embarrasment of a gobby, shoulder barging player.

We finally got the outside windows painted and finished to match the lovely newly painted house. We employed Mac & Co (Eion McInnes and his brother-in-law Kev) to do the work for us. It basically took them 3 days but there were a few wet days in between which meant they couldn't work so they finished it off this week. They even gave the garage doors a fresh coat of dark green paint and they look GOOD! It should hold them together for another year or so.

I finally finished my stone carving on Monday night. Phew!! I'm very pleased with the finished product and now have to find a sunny spot in the garden for it..... and keep the area weeded so I can see it!

The MOST exciting thing is that Lynnie and I walked up the hill on Sunday - all the way to the Sign Of The Takahe and back. Phew!! An hour and a half round trip but it was well worth it. I was so proud of us both. I can now check that off my list of '50 things to do before I'm 50'.