Monday, January 31, 2011

A 'Large Rooster' by any other name...

From time to time I will need to remind myself that potentially this blog can be read by anyone. When I exclaimed to my friends Katie and Petrina today that 'That's the title of my blog post for the day!' I had not considered that. So I have played the synonym game, and will leave my readers to fill in the blanks, which will become clearer as I retell an anecdote from today.

Isn't this little angel delicious? JP (Joshua Paul) West in his second appearance in this forum. Today he had two doting 'aunties' smothering him with love and attention. Petrina and I were two of Katie and Paul's bridesmaids back in 2006 here in Thailand, along with Paul's sister and... the lovely Laura.

It is Laura who inspired the post's title. 'Aunty' Laura had also visited the West household to see wee Joshua in recent times.
"That's Laura's favourite bib" said Katie.
"Why?" we enquired.
"Because it's got a *large rooster* on the front of it".

At the time it was hilarious. Especially if you know Laura. But now, after writing it down, maybe it was one of those times you had to be there? I am glad I was.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gummi Bears and Jalebis

So today I was invited to a birthday party - not just any old birthday party, but that of a pink Teddy named Lily.

Teddy/Lily had her own cake, generously decorated with gummi bears by her friend/mother/owner Isabella, and whilst this guest brought a present, others made jalebis - an intriguing and quite delicious Indian sweet treat. You can find out how to make them here, though I think Minakshi's looked much more professional!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last Lazy Day of Summer

Despite the best of intentions today, I gave in to my lazy gene today and knocked a few more off the Outrageous Fortune episodes. Probably about 5 in total. And didn't do a lot else! (Well, the weather was a bit iffy still)
This lazy bumble bee I'll admit I did not actually shoot this very day, but I will say that I did take a photo of the sunflower today, as I have done (almost) every day since I potted it. I hope to post them all together in a few days, once the final shot has been taken...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Morning @ Karaka

Woke up this morning at Karaka to find Roger was out of the Aussie Open. Bloody hate Djokovic at the best of times.
That's all I've got to say about that.
Heading back to the couch.
Even if it is only to watch the doubles. And go David Ferrer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Energy Source

This is the title of the photo I have to post today! Unfortunately our pre paid mobile Internet connection thingy has run out and the pic is on my computer. I am sure there will be some way around that, but I can't be arsed problem solving after another busy day working with our amazing staff, so I will edit and add the pic from home tomorrow ....

So the above text was sent from my iPhone last night. I am sure I could have found a way to send the photo, but ... well, I didn't.  This windmill is on the Pukekohe Golf Course, and in view of the window from our venue.
I chose the title to represent how I was feeling being back with my work crew, whilst away on Retreat. Not sure how many folk have the privilege of working with focused professionals who do provide a 'zing' to your working life. Fortunately for me, I do :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lost in Translation

So, here we are at our Staff Retreat, not that far from home at Karaka Golf Lodge.
We are self catering, and I am intrigued by the sign on the fridge in the kitchen. It is placed just above the chilled-water-come-ice-maker area.
 I hope we are following the instructions correctly - the only word in English is encased in a fist, bottom right...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I've been watching way too much Outrageous Fortune

I loved Outrageous Fortune, and I mourn its departure from our screens. Before it was done, I pre-ordered the box set of DVDs with the intention of watching them over this summer break. It was a bigger ask than I had anticipated, and with a few (holi)days to go, my Outrageous-athon has stalled; I have not yet finished Season 5. The tennis and preparation for our upcoming Staff Retreat have gotten in the way of my nightly (sometimes daytime too) Westie-fix.

I am currently packing for said Retreat, into the above "You-had-better-like-it-because-it-was-really-expensive" christmas gift from my Mum and Dad (Thanks Ma!) When I opened it there was a general consensus in the room that it was very "Sex and the City". Quite fancied toting a Carrie-like bag. It's been sitting in the corner of my bedroom since Christmas, and over that time my visions of who I would represent with the bag, have changed.

It's SO Cheryl West. And I like that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back-to-Work Blues?

Today was the first day I was actually sitting back at my desk, in my actual office, after the holiday break. Can't help but feel a little blue in a situation like that.
That's when my friendly local courier made my day. I wish I had the decency to remember his name - it's something common in Indian, like John or Steve or Mike is in English - because this is the second time he has remembered mine, out of context.
I won't go in to the personalised Christmas Card delivery debacle, except to say he did his best to get them to me on time. If only everyone else had done their bit I might have received them in time to send them out for Christmas.
Today, while delivering at school, he saw me, confirmed I was Lynn, and said he had a package for me in the van. Had he not remembered me, I would have had to wait till Saturday for the delivery of my new blue shoes, as I would not have been at home to receive them.
So instead my back-to-work Blues ended up being a pair of skyscraper Mi Piaci heels, which I quite forgot I had ordered on Friday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nothing extraordinary here

I had intended to post a photo of the carnage at the NZKC grounds today, where exhibitors had left their gazebos etc out in readiness for a second day of outdoor showing. Following the storm we had here last night, it looked like a war zone. (Fortunately we have an indoor facility available too!). But I digress.

Sometimes it is the simple things that catch your eye.

These two little fellows, humble and common mynah birds, were taking shelter from the persistent rain as I drove up my driveway.

Some useless information about the mynah bird from here:
The same pair mate for year after year (My two do look like an old married couple up there)
Unlike most other birds, they walk, as opposed to hop.
"Mynah" is a geographical classification, as opposed to scientific. Mynah means "starling" in Hindi, and derives from the Sanskrit “madana,” meaning joyful or delightful, which comes from the word “mad,” to rejoice, which in turn derives from a root meaning “bubbles.” So ultimately the word “mynah” means “bubbling with joy.” 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some things are hard to let go

This little fellow is one of them.
Here he is having a rest from today's proceedings at the NZKC All Breeds show, where we were placed Reserve Dog of Breed and Junior of Breed today.

Stirling - son of my Reilly and co-owned by myself and my friend Mignon the breeder - is not a permanent resident of the household. He comes to stay for the weekend when we have a show to go to, but has had a two week period here over the holidays.
He's everything a cavalier should be - playful, tenacious, loving and awesome company. He also does pretty well in the breed type department (well, for the cavalier breed type I like).
Tonight is meant to be his last night here, as I am set to hand him back after tomorrow's show. It will be a very hard goodbye this time...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shake It Up

First Dog Show of the new year with my baby Stirling tomorrow, so bath time today, followed by the inevitable shake and rub fest. As I got ready to bathe him, I was reminded of a clip I saw a couple of months back by DiscoveryNetworks which slowed down the Dog Shake - fascinating viewing even if you're not a dog lover.
Well the photos of Stirling's post-bath shake aren't very sharp, but the thought process was there, and my time was limited. The clip is better :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods

And therefore I am such a heathen.
Lisa, my good friend and 'neighbour' at work, and I have recently become worshippers of Mi Piaci shoes. Personally I am all about the Skyscraper heels - something to do with the illusion they create when you lack length of leg yet have plenty of circumference. What's different about Mi Piaci's lofty numbers is that they are honestly amazingly comfortable. I have proven I can even run in them.
Sale season is well and truly here and Lisa has been making the most of it. Maybe I should tempt the devil in me and pop by the store tomorrow and see what new heights I can reach...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Mum Loves Me

Fresh from the Bay of Plenty via courier this morning, a boutique box of (mainly) green 'goodiness' from the prolific garden at Fothergills on Mimiha.

Tonight Matthew, I'm having Bean Salad for dinner. And maybe sauteed courgettes on the side. Or maybe Bean and Courgette salad. Something delectable from the box in any case.

Thanks Mum, you still know how to look after me all these years on!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nice Day for Ducks

Not much good for anyone else today!

Ducks are commonplace in the enclave that is Wattle Downs. Attracted no doubt by several artificial 'wetlands' such as this. I understand that they are protected here too. It's all very good when they stay where they are meant to be, here in their manmade oasis, but when they venture to the end of the peninsula where our school is located, they become Public Enemy Number One.
The first mother ducks, and often there are two or three, usually arrive shortly before the September holiday break. All very cute with their downy little ducklings trailing behind them throughout the school grounds. Until they start terrorising the children that is. Not content with the scraps of food that are inadvertently (yes, and deliberately) left on the ground for them, they literally steal lovingly packed lunches from the hands of five-year-olds,  and even venture into unattended school bags for a snack. They get so bold as to enter classrooms on occasion, leaving their calling cards wherever the 'need' demands.
Gradually the number of ducklings dwindles off - not quite sure what the attrition rate can be accredited to, but we did find one in the toilet once, and another with quite a tangle around its leg. One did run into my foot once when I was on duty (actually that was a mother not a duckling...) Seems that the school grounds are not safe for the students OR the ducklings.
Our Principal tried several avenues for having them removed a couple of years back, to no avail. These days we find that they have actually moved on after the summer break - food supply dried up and ducklings flown the coop so to speak.

Mother ducks, know your place. It's so much better for all in the long run. And your place - see above - is lovely for you on a day like today. Not me though. I knew my place - on the couch watching tennis.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Problem 'Child"

Yes, the same one who escaped through the rose gardens on Jan 12. He's done that run-back-the-opposite-direction thing twice since then on our normal route, taking his impressionable son with him. (Both pictured below - photos taken yesterday and day before).

And after six blissful months of eating without a fuss since switching to a BARF diet, he's decided once again to turn his nose up at food. Unless it's some form of (pet grade) chicken product, I resort to hand/force feeding him to at least get him going. Sometimes I have to hand feed him his whole meal.
Now I could leave the food out for him to eat in his own time - right? Wrong. Where Reilly is particular, Hugo will eat anything he can sniff out... so not an option.
Tonight I chose tough love and left him hungry -  until about 8p.m. that is, when I began to feel sorry for him. Raining by this stage, he even got to eat inside. He decided to eat the last of the meat by himself, with Hugo and our house-guest Stirling, looking on with envy. So this pic is definitely about the 'Musing'... what to do with a problem canine child?

P.S. Indulge me if I refer to, and write about, my dogs as if they are people/my kids. It will happen, probably quite often, in this blog, Some of us have not been lucky enough to have actual human children, and all that love, connectivity and responsibility in my case at least, is channeled to my boys. No apologies...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It had to happen

It's the first time, but it certainly won't be the last. I didn't actually take this photo today, I took it yesterday - Kate and Damien's wedding car. No ribbons and miniature dolls - guess you can't insult a car like this with s*&# like that?
But when I was playing with this pic this morning, it did incite a recollection, so the 'memory' is definitely today's :)
I would never profess to be any sort of a car buff, but I do believe this is a Holden Kingswood. Circa 1970s??? Someone will correct me if I am wrong.
In the 1970s where I lived, the car to have was the Chrysler Valiant. Our neighbours had two, I think at the same time. Rich farmer's tax dodge? I don't know, I was just a kid. I am thinking one was orange and one green. Munter and Van would have loved them.
We lived, as my parents still do, up a no exit country road, conveniently tar-sealed to just past our letterbox. Remains the same today. Living in the country, you are always aware of the vehicles travelling up and down the road, and one quickly developed the audio-astuteness necessary to ascertain which of our three neighbours it was. We certainly knew when it was the Valiant. The transverse into the gravel was always a good time for a bit of a spin, depending on who was driving.
Similarly we knew when it wasn't  'one of our own'. My Dad would always, and probably still does, venture to the window to check it out. I shan't divulge the actual question he used to pose if he didn't know who it was, far too un-PC for today's world.
So the Valiant was it. But I must admit, this Holden looked pretty cool yesterday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Was the Bride Beautiful?

I was lucky enough to be invited to look in on the wedding ceremony of Kate and Damien today, at Footbridge Lodge in the Bombays. Many of our work colleagues (Kate's and mine) are anxiously awaiting an album upload to FB - I am so predictable? efficient?  I think they  have come to expect this of me... However my first posting allegiance tonight is to my blog.

I am quite impressed to have had well over 500 page views on my first ever blog after its first 2 weeks. I think I am safe in saying that all those who have dropped by have done so because of the persistent Facebook links I am providing. I am not fooling myself that anyone from the world outside my own 'social network' has looked in. But do let me know if you have...

So, in answer to my own question, indeed she was. My photo today is testament to that. And a little teaser for those who are waiting for the rest. They are not far away, I promise.

PS Congratulations, Kate and Damien, my genuine best wishes for the wonderful life ahead that you both deserve.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Zhuzh up

Zhuzh - it's such a great word. If there were two Zs in scrabble it would be a terrifically helpful word. Spell check is giving it the big red underline, but if it's in Urban Dictionary that's proof enough for me.
Today I decided to give the immediate outdoors of my section a zhuzh up. I am not particularly enarmored with the aesthetics of my house, inside or out. I miss my 'real' house and garden in Tauranga. However from time to time I decide to make it a bit more bearable here in the 'hood and pot up a few plants. I will water them with love until I go back to work, then I will probably forget about them until one day I think - oh shit - the potted plants have carked it.  Then it will take me a good few months to do it all again.
Maybe I should get some of those self watering GreenSmart pots?
PS 'carked' also gets the red line treatment. Also a very good word. Possible derivation from carcass, apparently. Did not know that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whose watching? Who cares!

One of the small goals I have for myself this year (have I mentioned it before?) is to worry less about what people think of me. It really is none of my business. I have to learn that a lot of the time what I am doing is none of their business either. To practise meeting this goal, I am challenging myself to stop and take photos EVEN WHEN PEOPLE CAN SEE ME!
Today I went to get some plants to pot up (pretty slim pickings on the selection actually, Kings Plant Barn) I saw an opportunity to stop and photograph the water lilies alongside the driveway.  At least 5 cars drove past while I was doing so. No one stopped. No one pointed and laughed. No one told me what they were thinking. (Although I did wonder...)
So I am thinking it might be OK to do that sort of thing again. Ooooh, brave!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good boy, BAD boy!

Met up with Katie at the Botanic Gardens this morning - me - 3 dogs, her - 1 baby. Hmmm, not hard to guess who was responsible for the bad boy?

This little angel slept the whole way round, waking up at the end to say hello to his Aunty Lynn. Good boy, Joshua!

This little devil with the 'Who, me?' look, continued his latest trick at the leash off area, but worse. Shot off in the opposite direction through the gardens occupied by elderly volunteers dead heading the roses, chasing phantom birds, completely deaf to my call. BAD boy, Reilly!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Another idea I have been toying with is 'finding' alphabetic representations in the real world to photograph. I first stole the idea from artworks representing 'significant words' in shops like Texan Art Schools and An Eye for Art, and have since read about trying to 'find' the whole alphabet on various photoblog sites.
When I unpacked the chillies from the shopping today... Volia! They landed on the bench in the most uncontrived, perfect 'V'.  So I made the most of it. I wonder if my alphabet might have a food theme?

Monday, January 10, 2011

About time!

Not the most brilliant of photos, but evidence enough to prove that, after living in Auckland for 5+ years now I have finally made it to Piha!
Thanks to Diane and Catherine for a beautiful lunch, and for the tiki tour today. It's always so much nicer to do these things with someone else.
It would be great to find a 'photographer buddy' actually. I need to increase my skill base, and have someone to go exploring with. Takers?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A couple of characters...

Top pic, my niece Lisa and me at her 21st last night (me, Mama Morton (Chicago), she Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd), then my 2 brothers doing their best Blues Brothers' impersonation.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two ticks!


Meet the New Zealand cattle tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis.

I discovered guest number one on the (same coloured) carpet this morning; would probably not have seen it had Hugo not sniffed at it. I freaked out at first because I know small dogs are easily killed by some tick varieties (eg paralysis tick). My subsequent research says that the cattle tick is the only one in NZ - phew. These guys match the pic on the internet.

Hugo had been itching over the last couple of days - I had already gotten the flea treatment out for dosing today (Thankfully it also does ticks). So I bathed him, 'felt him up' and brushed him and found nothing. Also gave the other 2 a going over; not that I'll ever see anything on Reilly.

The second one I discovered when vacuuming. I looked at Hugo again and can see he has been chewing on his back leg... How I missed a second one that size and colour on a little white leg is beyond me. However, I think I would have been more grossed out if I had found it still attached...

I do remember extracting them from my horse when I was growing up, but don't recall them being this engorged or feeling as sorry for the 'host' as I do as a small dog owner.

I have no idea where they may have been picked up - we have certainly not been around any cows lately.

So why photograph them? (I wish I had a  macro lens...)  Because I am morbidly fascinated by them. That said, I will NOT be popping them.

Friday, January 7, 2011

And the winner is...

Following on from an earlier post re choosing a favourite Musical character for Lisa's 21st Bonanza tomorrow, I was happy to not have to compromise my selection as I managed to find a cossie that 'fitted' both the character I had in mind, and my voluptuous curves lol.
I must love you Lisa - costume hireage does not come cheap! That said, I purchased the feather boa outright - the used ones looked manky and it's such a purrrty colour.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fun and Games

I love games - not that I am in any way competitive :D
Tonight I was invited to the Notley's for dinner (I love eating, too) and games - specifically, Scrabble.
Over the past year I have really enjoyed playing Scrabble online with my FB friends. Tonight I was reminded how the game is not always about the win, but the fun of the group dynamic when when you're all sitting around an actual board.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On Target

Am trying - not especially successfully - to focus myself on some goals for 2011. Maybe I can gain some inspiration from this image taken at the archery range in Cornwall Park today...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A 'sweet' symbol of summer

nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's my favourite programme?

Well the question that actually prompted this photo was 'Who's your favourite Musical Character?' I was trying to find some inspiration for choosing someone to dress up as for my niece's 21st this coming weekend.
The upside to being a hoarder is the walk down memory lane. I have almost all the programmes from shows, exhibitions, sports events etc that I have attended and love the occasional revisit. Today I sat in the spare room upstairs and sifted through them for half an hour before deciding to make them the topic of today's photo and post.
Anyway, anyone who knows me well will know I am not a big fan of dressing up - unless it is able to be flattering... not a great chance of that at the moment...
I have a couple of ideas, but will definitely need help from a costume hire place. Watch this space...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ice-cream and Bubbles

Summertime kids, kept happy with ice-cream and bubbles! Thanks to the Holleys and Fothers for a sublime BBQ last night - I was still full this morning.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I think it's buggered

The boys and I basically do the same walk several times a week. While that may seem a little monotonous, walking alongside an estuary does bring changing views. This morning's view brought an added surprise, and spiced up the morning gossip of the local community. No prizes for guessing how the tractor came to be. The purposes of the remnants of the previous day's rescue attempts make for a little more speculation.