Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Year of the Three Winters

So this weekend the mother of all storms headed our way.  The thunder was so loud yesterday it shook the lab and had a really loud thud - I actually thought someone had dropped or managed to push over one of the rather heavy, expensive pieces of equipment we have at work.  So went out of the lab (which doesnt directly look outside) and looked out of the write up room windows and the rain was so thick you just about couldn't see through it.  Unreal - so was a complete surprise when I woke up this morning and there was blue sky to be seen.  I liked that a lot and started making plans to go into Wellington and grab B's Schoc chocolate and coffee beans to send to Shepshed asap.  Then it got very dark and the heavens (cause God hangs out in Totara Park) opened and gale force winds ripped through shaking the darling buds of September!  Then I thought well everything I wanted to buy can be found online and I will order them when I am in Napier.  That and my coat needed a clean so I whacked it into the washing machine this morning - just another reason not to go to Wellington today.

Which brings me back to that this year is notable for a number of things but will be remembered as the year of the three winters.  My first winter was in the UK - which was the coldest for 31 years and was memorable for lots and lots of snow, buses skidding sideways and a taxi putting on the brakes two houses away from our apartment and skidding to a halt directly outside our driveway.    Not having grown up in place where there is a lot of snow (I didn't really experience snow till I went to live in South Korea) - Napier is more known for sun, sun, sun.  I loved the snow - don't love the ice so much.  Decided I love our awesomely insulated and double glazed skylights as well - it makes a difference.  

The second winter has been in the land of the long white cloud - or rather black grey clouds and freezing cold.  I forgot my thermals and had to get B to send them over - Doh!  And it has been sometimes decidedly unpleasant without a car (Upper Hutt is not known for its excellent transport) I took to wearing two scarves and hiding under trees whilst waiting for the bus (no bus shelter sigh).  The house I have been living in is quite light and sunny, but NZ houses aren't known for double glazing or insulation, so when it is cold, it is really cold.   But having said that the temperature has moved in an upwards direction just in time for me to make an exit stage left back to the UK in time for my third winter.  I must admit that it wasn't planned to be the three winters in a row - I had to come back to NZ to get a visa to stay in the UK - which took longer than I thought and was quite stressful really - but all sorted now and I have the lovely but expensive visa sticker in my passport and I will guard it well!!

I now have my eyeballs on a new winter coat and some wool tights for our trip to Glasgow to ring in the Christmas Party with Psychochicken and his most lovely woman.  Rock on with the snow!


Monday, 13 September 2010

Spring is in the air...

Not known to be the cultural mecca of New Zealand, Upper Hutt's Spring Carnival (really a fair down the main street) was quite enjoyable.  I even bought a politically incorrect golliwog knitted by elderly members of the Upper Hutt Bowling Club.  Not for the faint of bogan's or crowds but kinda cool anyway.  Best picture of the day.

Seriously where else can you find Punch and Judy cavorting with the devil (or SATAN) as the voice person was quite keen to tell the audience....


Monday, 6 September 2010

Come on Kindle, light my fire....

So in previous posts I have extolled the virtues of reading books as God first thought them out i.e. ink on paper and for all intents and purposes I don't think you can go past the whole book reading experience smells and all.  However, books cost money, and in New Zealand books are unbelievably expensive and I'm not as down with that as I once was - even going to the second hand book shop isn't as fun as it once was.  Truth is mostly it because I found a lovely little file sharing site which allows me to download whole series of books in pdf form, in very quick fashion for nothing.  Nada all free.   I am so, so okay with this - and as B said why don't you go to the library - trouble is they often don't have what I want, or if they do I have to wait for it, and the truth is I am a voracious reader.  I read a lot, in the last few months I have read 49 books (which reminds me need to update the list), which, if I had to pay for would have chewed into my budget a fair whack.  I have read them on my mac baby which I love, but lugging it around and reading at the bus stop or on the bus is less than thrilling or really practicable.   Which leads me to thinking that it might be time to invest in a kindle that will allow me to read my pdf's where and when I want.  

I think I may be being dragged kicking and screaming into the world of the kindle, sigh. Sob - Santa can I have one for christmas?  Or even as a pre christmas taster?


Sunday, 5 September 2010


Wow - Christchurch had a rather large earthquake yesterday morning at 4.35am.  Jolting all and sundry out of beds, cupboards and shelves and onto the floor.  Scared the bejesus out of a lot of people I imagine.  

Have to say woohoo for our earthquake guidelines and building regulations because the majority of buildings didnt fall down and cause injuries and fatalities.  Yay too for the timing of the quake had it been in the afternoon and a weekday I dare say it wouldve been a different story.  Glad my whanau and friends were save and sound just shaken.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane 1

So yet again I am making preparations to leave the land of the long white cloud.  I have the UK visa (also known as "The very expensive sticker" in my passport.  I have my tickets booked - Wellington to Napier.  Spend a couple of weeks with peeps I love.  Then on October 15th Napier - Auckland and then Auckland to Heathrow via Hong Kong.

I like flying via Hong Kong it's generally shorter and you can get out and walk about the massive complex that is Hong Kong International.  Compared to LAX it's heaven.  Although I must say Singapore-Changai was really nice but AirNZ (who were cheapest) doesnt fly through Singapore on the way to London.   Am excited must say.  Just organising little things now such as getting a new drivers license and possibly organising a little care package for me to be posted before I leave NZ but in time to be back in time for the postie to deliver it to me.   Have been looking at jobs in the UK and writing apps - Yay - hope the job is forthcoming quickly!

And of course I have made a list of books that may accompany me on the plane :D at the moment it is only two: The Passage and Americans in Paris.   


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I thought it was warming up - I was wrong

It was freezing last night and its colder than cold tonight brrrr!  But warm on the inside cause my UK visa came through - hallelujah and thank the baby jesus!  Not necessarily well planned my timing as I will be enjoying three winters this year, but with double glazing and a hefty set of thermals I sense no real problems ahead.  Ewww and highly likely I will get a paper out of six months of work - which works for moi - Im liking that.

Have been reading a lot lately - I found out that around 15 books is the max my brain can tolerate in a two week period before I need a break.  Good to know my limits - will review them later.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Sometimes Winter's just cool...

Upper Hutt on a very foggy morning.  I saw the photo I wanted but had to wait for bystanders to get out of the way.  It works though, it works.