Saturday, December 29, 2012
I'm looking foward to going back to Savai'i and especially Lano again. I haven't decided yet whether to hire a bike for the 2 weeks and circumnavigate Savai'i or to head to American Samoa for one week and the other week simply lazing on Lano beach.
This trip is a little bitter sweet right now due to thoughts of the damage done and lives lost in the recent cyclone over there. The last bit of news I heard mentioned that the water and power supply to Apia has been severely damaged. One of the reasons why I want to head back over is to spend my tourist dollars which is my way of helping the recovery. The other reasons are simply because the country is beautiful and the people couldn't be friendlier. There's got to be a reason I'm heading back for the 4th time in 3 years.
Monday, December 24, 2012
A second batch of chocolate cupcakes are in the oven as I write. It's just one of several things I need to bake before going to bed. I'm exhausted but with a trip to a farm park and bbq tomorrow, then work all night there's not really much time left between now and when people come over for brunch on Christmas day to get things done.
I did splash out a bit tonight during a last minute late night dash to briscoes. Somehow I left with a new crockpot, tablecloth, bowls, serving dishes, champagne flutes, sunnies etc etc. Whoops. My bank account will not thank me for it but I'm a sucker for things that match.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Right now I have the West End Les Miserables soundtrack keeping me company as I bake some Christmas goodies for friends. I am so excited for the movie coming out in January. Every time I hear the trailer I almost get goosebumps.
I have mum to thank for a love of musicals. As kids we weren't really allowed to watch tv, especially not cartoons. On sunny days we had through outdoors and our imaginations to entertain us (and the run of a farm), when stuck inside there was boardgames, books, cassettes, crafts and so many cookbooks to peruse.
So now as an adult I still know all the words to Cats, The King and I, Grease and Les Mis. Shame I was born without the ability to hold a tune. I cannot wait to go to Europe to see them all live one day.
I am not an unclean person but I can be very messy. My problem is that I spend an hour or two here and there cleaning and always start with the communal areas, the pets and the garden. My room always left until last and therefore mostly neglected.
Today though I made time to give it a thorough clean and organize. Now I feel great and actually want to spend time in here (I want to sit at the sewing machine!). It's amazing what a tidy environment can do for your mood. Now the challenge us to keep it that way... you wouldn't think it'd be hard when I spend 80% of my day at least at work or sleeping.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
This week I splashed out on a new phone. It is F-A-N-C-Y! Hopefully it means I will update more as now I have internet access where ever I go. The coolest thing about it though is that I can tag on and off the bus with it. No more scrambling for change when I've forgotten to top up my snapper. It's the little things. ..
This month has been hectic with work. I think I''ll end up doing almost 3 weeks without a day off. Lucky I love my job,have great colleagues and access to free barista coffee!
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get the xmas tree up. I'm excited for christmas this year. We don't have to be at work until the afternoon so I'm planning a good brunch spread for all of us that don't have family here. Can't wait.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Saturday, November 3, 2012
After a seven course dinner the night before, we started off Sunday morning with a walk into town and across the harbour bridge. I didn't see the point in forking out for the official bridge climb when there's a free pedestrian walkway with the same spectacular view. Under the bridge on the North side was a craft market. One stall in particular took my attention and I wish I'd taken photos. This woman from the Central Coast was selling gorgeous cupcake tea cosies and knitted 'The Very Hungry Catepillar toys'. What a cool idea!
We took the ferry back to Circular Quay from Luna Park. There we headed to one of the oldest pubs in town, in the Rocks, for a kangaroo and lemon myrtle pie - part of the Coopers Ale Pie section of the Food Festival. It was pretty tasty. I can safely say I'm a kangaroo meat convert. Also I'm pretty sure lemon myrtle is a native Australian plant so it was an interesting (and very Auzzie) mix.
Katy had to head back to the airport that afternoon so after I dropped her at the train station I checked into a different hostel in the heart of the rocks. Mainly I chose it because it has a rooftop terrace that'd give me a easy vantage point to see the Opera House all lit up at night. The view did not disappoint.
I whiled away that afternoon sitting outside the Opera House with a glass or two of bubbles and my knitting, watching the cruise ship leave port and ferry after ferry departing. The people watching was fascinating. So many people both there and around the Rocks that afternoon were having wedding photos taken. I stayed sitting there until the sun sank behind the harbour bridge. I really loved this city.
I also took a stroll through the Rocks market that afternoon, namely to find the corn on the cob I saw so many people walking around with. It was a favourite street food in Peru (and doesn't feel like such a guilty snack - bonus). Oh my gosh, it did not disappoint! Slathered in butter with spicy chilli on it too...somebody needs to start selling that in Wellington!
Monday morning I made the most of my work discount and checked into Rydges for a night - purely for the luxury of a bath and a sleep in a MASSIVE bed. Check in sorted, I headed out to Blacktown on the train to visit the Ferndale wildlife park conveniently also owned by the same group. Staff discount - woo!
I spent a few hours there transfixed by the wallabies and kangaroos (there were some seriously large joeys trying to fit into not-so-large pouches), stroked a koala (or two) and saw all the typical animals (tazzie devils, crocodile, all the birds, wombats, echidnas etc etc) in a much more personal way than behind the glass of Auzzie World. It was a serious trip highlight. I didn't mind in the least when I missed the bus and had to stay an extra half hour. Cup of tea while sitting on the ground next to a friendly wallaby - hell yes!
I did have to rush back to town though as I had dinner booked at the Hilton. Yes, you
The dinner itself took me out of my comfort zone a bit. I don't mind going places by myself but this particular dinner was communally seated. At my table they were all at least a decade (or two, or three) older than me and very very successful - owned large companies kind of successful. I felt slightly inadequate when they asked what I did and I had to say well, I am a manager at a cinema. Ah well. We were all there for the food and after some initial awkwardness the conversation and wine flew freely. Perhaps it was because of the wine that the conversation flew so freely haha.
Each course came with matching wine - mostly from Argentina. Photos to come. It was a great evening and I enjoyed both degustation meals a lot. The thing I love about modern Peruvian cuisine (and I am very passionate about it) is that it takes the elements of pretty simple and humble street/home cooked food and transforms them into something quite different - sophisticated and chic but still very true to its roots. If that waffle makes any sense.
I didn't plan the night in the hotel very well though as I didn't get to sleep in the next morning. Instead I did a quick spot of souvenir shopping, in a yarn store of course (Morris and Sons). So. Much. Pretty. Yarn. There was a whole wall of Noro and a lot of Peruvian and Italian yarns. I ended up taking home a 300g of yarn in total, which I thought was pretty restrained. Oh and a little owl cross stitch kit too.
Then it was on the train to the Blue Mountains. I spent most of the ride balling up the yarn I'd just bought.
The Blue Mountains I'll save for the next post...
Well I very nearly didn't make my flight to Auckland to start off with. I'd booked with Jetstar and despite having flown with them before and knowing their check in rules, this was the first time I received an email from them on the day of my flight with the first sentence saying 'you have selected auto check in'. After reading that my mind thought that I was already checked in, so when I finished work and left for the airport, I skipped the whole check in process and went straight through security. It was only when they started to board the flight I realised I had no boarding pass. Whoops. Luckily they bent the rules a bit and let me on.
After a night camping in the airport, I slept the whole way over to Sydney. When we landed I expected sunny skies and warm temperatures. Instead it was pouring down and 9 degrees. Brrr. I hadn't packed for that! Our plans for that first day ended up being perfect for the weather. We visited Auzzie World and the Aquarium, both at Darling Harbour and both indoors. Both were good opportunities to get up close to all the animals you think of when you think 'Australia'. Kangaroos, koalas, dugongs, salt water crocodile, sharks, snakes... I couldn't spot the platypus though.
We stayed the first couple of nights at the YHA near the railway station and on the same block as a wee cafe selling Colombian street style food. That was the first of many yum meals. I think I spent most of the holiday eating, suprise, suprise.
Of course as soon as I forked out for an umbrella the rain disappeared and Sydney put on a gorgeous afternoon. We headed to Circular Quay to see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House - we took photos of each other in front of them of course, like proper tourists.
That evening we headed to Hyde Park for the Friday night noodle markets - part of the food festival. Oh my god, was that food good?! I haven't had much experience with Asian food so it was fun to a little something from several of the 50-odd stalls that were there. I tried peking duck pancakes, bbqed octopus, prawn on betel leaf, tapioca pudding, bbqed corn, dumplings, steamed pork and duck buns etc etc. I'm definitely a convert. There were chairs and tables set out and fairy lights/lanterns in the trees. I had a glass of wine (Katy had a sip of her's before the wind dumped the contents over the grass). It was a really awesome night out.
Wiped out, we headed to bed rather early. The next morning we headed out to Bondi Beach to do the Coastal walk to Coogee. I'd packed my togs but it was still windy and pretty cold so I skipped a dip in the waves. The walk was great - taking us along the cliffs past several small beaches, some with salt water swimming pools. All up I think it was about 6km - not a bad walk in jandals.
The afternoon we spent looking at some shops in the city and then it was time to head back to the hostel to get ready for dinner. We ate at Morena, a modern Peruvian restaurant. It was the reason I wanted to go to Sydney. My parents shouted us the degustation menu each (with matching wines for me) for my birthday present. I hit a quarter century next month. The photos don't do the food justice at all. I didn't want to use the flash as I thought it might disturb the other guests.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
|The knitting commission I've been working on - 2.5 days for a cardy and hat. I'm trying to |
subsidise my yarn addiction by taking payment for baby knitting.
|The knitting bag I picked up at KAN - never without it in my handbag.|
|Took a walk on my day off in between watching 3 films...|
|Stopped at Oriental Bay to read my book before being scared back inside by the wind|
|Dinner at work - Black Doris Plum cake with Plum and Creme Fraiche ice cream...mmm|
|Buquebus has picked up an annoying habit of tearing up cardboard boxes.|
|I spent an afternoon at the zoo with my favourite one year old. The lions were soaking|
up the sun too.
|My neglected mess of a vege patch - it's taking off with all this sunshine.|
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
It's Sunday so I finished work nice and early at 7-ish so I was home in time for a great night in of TV viewing - Nothing Trivial followed by Offspring. I have a glass or three of bubbly and my flatmate cooked me curry so life is good.
Once this is typed up I'll be able to get into some knitting. I've got quite a bit done this week. I'm working on a whole lot of teddy clothes, mostly of my own design, for a couple of special little (and not so little) girls' birthday presents. They look rather hilarious, in a cute kind of way, and at least I'm using up all of the yarn scraps lying around the house.
Since I last posted I've finished a couple of other projects - an Aviatrix hat in newborn size which is so tiny and sweet, another pair of gansey booties in gorgeous alpaca, the black rib beanie for a Christmas gift (yay me, so organised!) and a dish cloth in the most tedious seed stitch that I never care to repeat (part of another Christmas gift). That doesn't look all that much written down but thatt was a fair amount of teddy knitting. I also spent a good number of hours (upwards of 10) trying to untangle the beautiful merino silk I bought off Jessicah of Spinning a Yarn at KAN so I can cast on a cowl. I can't believe how tangled I got it. That'll teach me to try ball up yarn on a bus. There must be a simpler technique but I haven't worked it out yet.
What else has been happening...? I got my wisdom tooth pulled which wasn't nearly as painful as expected but did cost me a couple of week's rent. My sister flew down to come along to the Pumas vs All Blacks game with us which was a lot of fun. I've babysat my favourite wee baby with another date with her this week - she's the most laid back and happy baby I've met in a long while. I put Buquebus on the scales to find he weighs a whopping 5 kilos - not a small bunny, that's for sure - I also bought him a dog harness to take him for walks but he hates it.
Of course I got up to lots while I was on leave but the photos are worth sharing so I'll make a point of using the computer at work after I finish in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to put them on here.
Right, time to get back to the knitting... :-)