Monday, January 30, 2012

Cats ...

...are better than dogs!

Not a Morning Person

Out of bed before six this morning - and so the routine begins for another year. Friday was a more a dress rehearsal, but today dawns on a full week of needing to be organised every morning. Those 'morning people' really have it easy. We 'early afternoon' people have it tough! Some high schools are scheduling their start to mid-morning to meet the needs of the teenage body clocks of their students. Apparently it has been scientifically proved that teenagers are not lazy at all, simply at the mercy of their biology. I guess I'm just a perpetual teenager!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

The SpecSavers specs have arrived and are fulfilling their promise admirably. Modelled for your pleasure today are the prescription sunglasses that make my views from the beach crystal clear - 20/20! The reading glasses came into their own yesterday when I was required to read from a tiny font on the printed order of service for the staff blessing.

Now I have joined the bespectacled crowd, this song from 10CC's excellent 'I Dare You' album keeps coming to mind. I hope no-one calls me a 'freckled, spotty, specky, four-eyed, weedy, little creep' - but of course I've always wanted to rule the world!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Queen of All She Surveys

This time last year poor Millie was hiding under the bed, very unhappy with the move. She quickly came to appreciate the new beach lifestyle and more manageable garden size - perfect for the more mature feline enjoying her retirement years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Year Ago Today

A perfect Petone day - sunshines abounds - to mark a year since the big move. I can't believe how fast that year has passed. The house and garden are just perfect for Millie and me, and we look forward to continued fun times at the beach.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Return to the Island

Another wonderful time on Matiu/Somes Island today. Wellington turned on the weather, and this time all the photography is by my brilliant big brother. Thanks for a fun day, Ross!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pondering Anniversary Day

From Wikipedia:

'The Wellington Province was a province of New Zealand until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. New Zealand law provides an anniversary day for each province. Wellington Anniversary Day is the Monday that falls closest to 22 January and is observed as a public holiday within the old provincial boundaries.'

I really think these provincial holidays should be abolished. Our one is particularly badly placed, falling so close to the Christmas break - late February would be much better, for instance. My plan calls for abolishing all the provincial holidays and giving the whole of New Zealand a break together. Since Waitangi Day has become so political and a time for not just celebration but also protest and examining our sometimes unsavory history, I propose the new day be our New Zealand Day - a day for simply appreciating how blessed we are to live where we do. I'm thinking November as a possibility, though we could really do with a mid-winter time of celebration. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Love the Smell ...

... of rain on hot concrete. Now a nice steady downpour that will do the garden the world of good.

Made a start at school this morning, all set out in a new way but still looking very empty until all the children's artworks bring the place to life. Four precious days of holiday left.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Avoiding the Mall

I don't mind summer mark-downs, Easter bonanza specials, winter interest-free deals or spring sales. They can theme any of their plans to reel in the consumer in any way they choose  -  it doesn't matter, I don't care. Except for this ....

.... this is just plain evil. Only one precious week left and I don't need signs like these everywhere I look!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Books vs Movies

Movies of books are never as good as the original books. When you have a picture in your head, the movie portrayal of beloved characters never make them as wonderful as your imagination did. Today I was flicking channels and saw the movie 'Ramona and Beezus' was on Sky. When I was a child the books of Beverley Cleary were some of my firm favourites, I read and re-read them and still do.

This is the Ramona on the old book covers ....

This is the Ramona in the movie ...

They covered all the key events in some of the Ramona books, but it just wasn't the same - because it never can be. I feel sorry for the modern child who knows so many of the great children's books only as movies - from Dr Seuss classics through to Where the Wild Things Are.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Lovely Day

Apparently we are not having a good summer and the media reports depression and anger among our discontent population. Meanwhile, here in the Wellington region we keep quietly enjoying the sunshine.

A walk to Birchville Dam this morning - one of my all time favourite spots.

This afternoon, a pleasant stroll along the shore ..

... to buy fresh terekihi for dinner - delicious. Very happy to stick with this bad summer just the way it is!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Over the Hill

I visited a Wainuiomata friend today. The people living there really do have a wonderful treat in the views they enjoy going over the hill. The Hutt Valley and Wellington harbour looked magnificent and, now the dreadful wind of the last day or two has abated, could be enjoyed from outside the car.

 Perfect day.
 One of those Petone rooftops is mine!
 I'm going back to Somes Island again sometime soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

But wait ...

... there are more! This one was spotted today in Stokes Valley. I'm going to be on the lookout now! I'd love to know who is responsible for this excellent improvement in the city streets.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I saw this attractive paint job on a walk into the Hutt this week. It covers one of those ugly boxes that I think contain cabling and wotnots for telecommunications. It was very striking and very well executed. The remarkable thing about it was that it was in Moera. This can only be a slip up by the Hutt City Council. I am pretty sure it is their policy to only allow such attractive features in Eastbourne or Woburn. They much prefer to festoon the the lesser 'burbs with advertising billboards and ugly bus stops plastered with advertisements for personal lubricants and the like.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Yes, that's what my vision is going to be in two weeks time when my new glasses arrive. Apparently I am short-sighted with astigmatism and my eyes are not the same strength. On the upside, I don't have glaucoma and my cataracts are only at 1-2 on a ten point scale, so with care I can go over ten years without repair. I have ordered prescription sunglasses, prescription nerd glasses and two pairs of prescription reading glasses. I hope this will cover all my visual needs for a wee while. Can't wait to see a crisp, clear world in 2012!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Matiu/Somes Island

What a great day out today. Caught the 10:30 ferry from Days Bay. A large group were disembarking after a week long taiaha course on the island so we were witness to a karanga and haka on the wharf when the ferry arrived.

Haka rings through the air as we depart.

Looking back to Days Bay.

The island is just amazing. So much history and spectacular views.

When I lived in Pohue Grove people always asked what Pohue meant and I would tell them it was a native bindweed. This is the first time I have ever actually seen it.

I knocked the bastard off - made it to the summit!

This was fascinating. By turning the handle on the stainless steel speaker you charge it up in order to hear a woman talk about her time on the island during the war. I am now an expert on 'degaussing'!

The seagulls there are constantly soaring and swooping down at you as you walk, protecting their chicks. These three were being watched over carefully by their mum and dad. They were much younger than I've ever seen before and must have just left the nest.

Coffee at Days Bay at the end of a wonderful trip, looking back to where we had been.