Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dame Part 2 and Lawnmower ettiqutte

Dame Part 2
There are possibly 3 reasons I pay attention to the Dame that lives close by.
1. I like to think I launched her career or at least made her elevevation into the realms of management very comfortable. In my my first job out of school I was an administration clerk. I am probably still an administration clerk in some respects (I plan to change this in 2008). Anyway, one of my first tasks was to assist the Dame (at that stage she was a Dame in waiting) to buy the office furnitur for her very own office. This meant assisting her with selection couches and choosing pink fabrics and curtians from Maurice Kain which at the time (1984) was Tinakori Rd based and very cutting edge for the public service - and the Dame - who is not really known for her fashion sense or hair styles. Each time we see each other she smiles at me and I smile back. I am sure she does not know my name, but does recall I helped her select primo office furniture which set her on the way the bigger and brigther things or perhaps she associates me with:
2. She spent many years in charge of a psychriatric hospital. This leads me to:
3. My prompensity on occasion to stalk

Lawn Mower etiique
Now I love mowing lawns and due to the fact that I spent a year or so on a to ride on mower on an acre of land in addition to my already lifelong knowledge of lawn mowing know a lot about lawn mowing. The first thing is to observe whether your neighbour has their bedroom curtains closed. If they do then they are either having sex or are asleep. In my case I am clearly not having sex but am asleep.
I spend most of my year getting up at 5.30am. Therefore when I am on holiday I do not think it is a big ask to want to sleep in until 9.30 am due the fact that I can actually have the luxury of staying up "late". I just don't get it - Rule no 1. Check the curtains and don't mow until they are open. Let the lawn grow a little if the curtains stay closed. AND the fricken lawn didn't even need mowing!! I especially don't get that. But somehow as the year end approaches it seems to have become imperative for most of neighbours to mow the lawn. Well. of course the neighbour on the other side who um doesn't really mow her lawn at all! Gosh, one extreme to the other!

Friday, December 28, 2007

To live like a Dame

There is a well known Dame that lives in a street very close to me. She is a legend and her status as Dame reflects that. This is just one of her houses. To my knowledege she has at least 3. But she seems to be quite at home in this residence quite often. She is quite a mature Dame as in probably about mid sixties. She is became a Dame becasue she is outstanding in her field. Which also happens to be one of my fields of interest. If I could achieve as much as her in the manner that she has, then that would make me very happy and content.

But what rocked my world about seeing the Dame today was seeing her riding a tandem racing bike with her "partner". She was dressed in racing cycling gear and seriously looked about 21. I thought full credit to her and felt extremely guilty that I happened to be passing her in my car on the way to the bakery to get a loaf of bread whne ahem I could have walked there. That will be one of my new resoultions "to live like a Dame".

She also is a good gardener and puts in the effort there which is yet another reason she has my uttmost respect.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Market Rules and Rules of Life

Clearly, as Hebequeen I believe in a Queendom. And with a Queendom this means there must be some sort of rule. As there is no other Queendom such as the Hebequeendom I will share with you some of the fish rule as it illustrates well my point.

Fishmarket rules

When you "shop" at the market, you need to abide by market practice. This means not simply taking your flash recycling bag but applying some common market rules senses. Therein lies the key to the Hebequeen's rules. Its not so much as conforming to a strict regime, and its definitely not based on a structural class system of you are the working hebe and I am the Queenhebe. Let me illustrate this: The "fish lady" "Jean" sells fish two ways. One is filleted and the other is whole. There is a reason for this. Filleted fish is to be barbecued or pan fried. Whole fish is sold to be cooked whole. Hence it is "dumb" and not market protocol to ask for your whole fish to be filleted and look frustrated when Jean says she can't do this not least becasue there is a q of 10 people. Total respect to her. She smiled and quoted the health and saftey regs about not being able to fillet at the market. I seriously wanted to ask the lady in front of me if she was "retarded". Clearly she wasn't but if she actually was I would have much more patience. Anyway what the fish rule is all about is: respecting the fish, respecting the fish lady and respecting yourself as a customer in that you don't be an arrogant prat. These are good rules of coruse to apply in other contexts.

I'm putting learning how to catch a crayfish back on my New years list - well my new list for 2008. I'll add something each posting until the new year. Technically I'm not really list person, but i need to set a few goals for 2008.

Hebequeens 2008 New Years List
1. Learn to dive. This is becasue I LOVE crayfish. I LOVE sustainability. I LOVE the coast, and its crazy not to live so close to so many CRAYFISH and PAUA and not be able to catch the, myself. Number one will be related to some of my other numbers on my list but I'll keep to one a day.

to be continued each day until New Years Day

Oh, my car is making noises. I'm not sure I will feel confident driving it over the hill during the Christmas break. Buggar. Still I kind of feel like "staying home and being rotten". Just like Shona Koea's book. Except, actually, I feel quite at peace even .

And today's culinary tip:
A whole kawhai is meant to be be baked in cococunt cream, kaffir lime leaves from your garden, lemons from your garden and onions. Its technically (technically is my new favourite word) a cheap fish. But I reckon its the equivalent of what lamb knuckles were a few years ago. A cheap eat but a gourmet meal if you know how to treat it right.

Merry Hebemass
Merry Christmas from Ali and moi. nb Ali has already caught THREE birds tonight! Wow does he knows its Christmas or what?! we have a new rule where if he catches them I will watch him eat them if he stays outside. It makes me feel a little sick, but saves an increadible amount of mess in the house. It also means that sometimes the birds actaully get set free when they are outside. But not tonight becasue its Christmas.

Wont say happy new year quie yet because I will be posting over the "festive" season.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The best love story ever

Google "cow girl carterton" and you will be able to read it. I love this story. I've seen a Ken a few times from my car. He is a true legend. I have to request you google becasue I'm still learning how to do the linky things on my laptop - sometthing weird happens. Anyway, bear with me. It is worth the google.
I like it when I see old faces on the Terrace. I avoided it for awhile. I needed the space. But I'm back and hanging out on the Terrace - and its kind of special to see that the special and beautiful people of the world still inhabit it. Yep I', back for a short period and after Wellington anniversay weekend I will be truly back in that magical place of policy land.
Today I had my farewell at my workplace becasue even though my last day is Monday some people will be away tomorrow and Monday. The work people wrote lovely things in my cards and the cards were lovely and gave me a lovely present (well, it was cash for my garden) but it was the thought that counted - and the cash. Rambo wrote that I had been a "breath of fresh air"! That was kindof nice coming from Rambo. My cowo thanked me for my support. That was nice too. My manager said lovely words and baked me a Christmas cake. Such a contrast to my last direct-report manager who mysteriously went awol on my last day! My current manager said this random thing that wasn't so random in the context of the last 12 months. Something along the lines of I hope you will keep in touch and that when we pass each other in the street you will stop and say hello. With her, I will. Perhpas the secret to a preoper farewell is to stay only 3 months rather than 13 years. This is not to say that elements of my last departure were not nice, but the reality is that it was darkened by my previous direct report manager. Still, she has to live with her actions. Its been healing for me to be reminded that there are good, decent and caring people. Ok, that's my last entry on work matters until the next year. I just had to mark it though because its a penultimate (strongerlight loves this word:-)) and significant work milestone for this year.
My Christmas tree is rocking with happiness at the thought of impending visitors. It's even started singing carols.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Opportunity cost

Opportunity cost is when you give up work funded trips to Dublin, Dubai and Canberra to work in the Unisys building on the Terrace, Wellington.

Am I crazy? Tonight I think F*** having principles and yes, I must be v. crazy. But when I wake in the morning I will be glad again that I do have principles - and as Annie (lennox) would say "money can't buy it" . In the morning I will be glad again, just like I was today when "Don Johnson" appeared by my desk and I thought F*** you are a serious f-wit and twat. twat with a capital T so that is, Twat.

Sounds a bit self rightous and all that but sometimes its actually hard having principles - its harder though working with ex principals and Twats - well, at least I think so.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Chirstmas Tree

is dressed and looks "hot". Build it and they will come.

Let's see.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Human SIte Meter

The human site meter is not working. I have a readership of 0. That is, zero. I am considering
early retirement. It was brief but real for the brevity nevertheless. All those years in surveillance and "this is what they represent" - "do you know how I feel" - to quote Lennox. As in Annie. But then some people overuse lyrics. I can be one of those people. But maybe, lyrics are to me what sonnets were to Shakespeare.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sheep and pine trees

Well, if you have been following the plot you will know that today was the designated Christmas tree felling day. Fortunately, the lady who does not read my blog was able to accompany me. This proved useful as I think the elves that are paid to assist you with the task were still waking up and seemed to want to hibernate in their little sheds. This meant that this year I chopped the tree completely by myself. That was quite satisfying. The lady who doesn't read my blog was then able to assist with some superb knot tying and then the tree was atop of the Toyota and I held my own version of a Baumfest circumnavigating the Square in Martinborough, waved to the fish lady and then back to Carterton. I splashed out this year and purchased a stand to prevent the bucket toppling occasions of last year. Unfortunately I think I may have screwed in the tree a little askew. So I have delayed trimming the tree until I decide tommorrow if this matters really. I have placed the angel on top. I am quite into angels.

This angel has a whakapapa back to Kickaldies in the Crabtree and Apple section. When I purchased her I had a brief conversation with the Kirkcaldies ladies about how beautiful l she was. She looked different then. She still looks beautiful but um today she looks a little like the angleic version of the scarecrow I created for Halloween/GuyFawkes. oh well, that in its own way is probably ok.

On the way to get the tree I hard to navigate sheep going for a walk en mass down a country road being shepherded into another paddock. To some people all sheep look the same. But not to me. Each sheep is unique. Much like the pine tree. From a distance they may seem different. but get up close and you can see they are each unique and also the smell is different.

I have temporarily lost the Next magazine due to the fact that I tidied the house. It will turn up like the Whittakers chocolate did today that I lost at Halloween/Guy Fawkes (it was at the bottom of the pot drawer). This means I have not been able to educate myself today on how to "attract people into my life" which is why I purchased it. My difficulty is not attracting people into my life. It's keeping the people I want to keep in my life. Sometimes people disappear from my life when I thought they would be there for ever. I'm not talking loss by death here. I'm talking how you get close to someone and then that closeness turns into a distance without any real explanation. Anyway, that only makes it more special for the people that do stay in my life, for the connections that remain strong. And that's as deep and personal as I will get. Guess I'm reflecting on this today because yesterday it was one of my of my "lost friends" birthday. I still remember.

OK. Tonight I am creating a human site meter (because if you have been following the plot I am computer challenged). If you read this entry, please post a comment. It can be related to the topic, or it can be random. It can be who you are, or you can use another non de bloom. The key is the P factor: participation: to know make a hebequeen happy :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Angels and fairies

Today the Market Queen (you can generally find her on the organic stall - she grows very good herbs) shared with me her wisdom on how you tell the difference between an angel and a fairy this days. It is increasingly hard I concurred. We reached agreement that an angel really should have wings. But then some fairies have wings. Hence the discussion.

For lunch I had fresh crayfish with rocket and radishes. The fish lady told me that "he" was that fresh he had been cooked last night.

The flower man is back at the market too. I didn't really need flowers but I wanted to encourage him to come back next week so I purchased some.

My long black went missing at the coffee stand while I had been talking to the Market Queen, so they made made me another one.

Tomorrow I am celebrating Christmas, including the annual harvest of the Christmas tree. I will also be reading NEXT magazine and will post more on that NEXT time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chicago Christmas work party

Today was the day of workplace Christmas work party. It was held at Chicago on the Wharf. This took me back to the hey day of a decade or so ago. Or at least my heyday when I used to hang out there on a Friday night. It used to be hot happening place that you could dance and have good night. This was pre Dockside days. Different clientele. But back then it was for me what Dockside is to some people today I guess.

Anyway, it was nice. Nicer than than the last few work Christmas parties I have been to. Maybe becasue it was new. Maybe becasue it was my first and last Christmas party with my workplace and also that I kept to catching the 6.18 home.

There was a theme. It was dress up as your film stars. And a good 80% of the staff did. So I guessby NCEA standards they would get an "achieveved with excellence" or something like that. I didn't dress up. I've been a little preoccupied with other stuff this week to gvie attention to a suitable outfit. Although the deisgner records student did say to me "I really thought you'd be into dressing up"! That boy will go far in life with a line like that to a lady like me.

My boss dressed as Hotlips from M*A*S*H. And she looked quite hot. My favourite male cowo dressed as Rambo and he looked mighty fine. But then with that theme how he could he go wrong in my eyes. But what I liked about hs effort was he put a lott of effort into every aspect of his dress, inlcuding having a friend trim his wig to get the exact hairstyle right. Now thats class. There was Top Gun worried he would loose his hat and lots of assorted otherssuch as nuns and pink ladies form Grease. oh, one of cowos went as Olivia Newton John.

There were aspects of familarity. The CEO giving a speech. Luckily I was outside when this happened. But hey, she looked the most laid back I had ever seen her - and even had a lei around her neck - which I think may mean I lost a bet with my cowo that she wouldn't wear fancy dress.

The boobee prize went to the Deptuty CE who thought he was Don Johnson from Miami Vice. Hello, I watched enough epidsodes of this in my time to know that Don wore dark suits and pink shirts. Not pinstriped white suits. I don't think he hired his suit. I nearly told him he needed to put in a litgtle more effort like "Rambo" had. what c ould he do: fire me?! I lvoe that line. But I didn't. Kindof reflects who he thinks he is . Much like Fancy Dress does as a whole.

Today I've had it confirmed I've scarifeced a overseas trip to Ireland for my new job. I knew that when I made the decision to change workplaces. I had it confirmed today. That represents a business class return trip to Ireland, worth say $12,000. Still money can't buy happiness or career progession and I'm still sure in my decision I've done the right thing. I guess that's a bit of test of it though.

Which reminds me wone of teh highlighst of the day was the dam fine Irish music playing. Altthouigh no hot dentist fiddle player!

Tomorrow I will go out again. I could get used to this. Being sociable and having a good time. Tomorrow though I intend to live a little bit more danegrously and adventoursly while having a dam good evening with some of the best company I know to keep!.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New World Carterton Christmas Club

Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the Carterton Christmas Club shopping night evening. Tonight was that night. I was a late gatecrasher because the train was late (apparently if you move four carriages of passengers into three carriages the train goes faster: bullshit!). I am not a member of the Christmas Club. One reason is becasue Homeperm once told me it was false economy and it would be better to have a savings account with greater interest. Economically that maybe true, but not when there are social benefits. Pocession of the Chirstmas Club entitles you to fully fledged membership and rights to enjoy the Christamas Club shopping evening. What do you get for this?:

  • Father Christmas
  • Zappo the magician
  • the local school singing Christmas carols
  • the Mayor
  • lots of free stalls like Premier ham samples, wine samples, just like they do at the Thorndon New World everyday
  • and the best bit - all the shop tellers wearing Christmas red hats and quite quite tiddly on I suspect one glass of Lindaur.

I note the average age of the New World Shop assistant would probably be about 55. But they have a few young people too - it creates a nice sense of these are the people that make up my community. The New World is actually my main form of community interaction which is why I value it.

The trolley boy would be included in this. He too appeared quite tiddly wheeling his trolleys around.

It's a simple pleasure this give me.

Just did a google search for Carterton New World and found that it s has 38 members on Old Friends - by far the largestm workplace listing. Then I found this entry for someone lcoal - I think it is great:

"Running a Bed & Breakfast in Carterton (Camcraft Villa & Cottage) with husband of 41 years, Warren. 3 children and 6 Grandchildren. Playing the tenor drum with the local Pipe Band, but this may not be for much longer. It is not easy keeping up with the long legged pipers when carrying a drum. :-) Warren plays the snare drum and marches in the row behind me and gives me a nudge when I'm too slow."

Post resignation: I am so glad I did it. So so glad. For a number of reasons. It's about learning what's right for me. I've got a lot of work ahead of me in the next job and think there will be more demands on me. I'm quite looking forward to that. But at least I will not have to observe collegaues pampering to the needs of the white middle aged chauvinistic male. I expect they will be there in disguise somewhere as they always are, but not as my manager's manager.

I've decided Christmas is coming and I will celebrate it. The tree cutting will be this weekend. I aske my sister if she would like to help me. She more or less said she would't be seen dead driving with me with a Christmas tree on top of my Toyota driving through Featherston, Greytown and Carterton. That's one of the best bits. Luckily, the lady who gets bored by my blog does not get bored by real Christmas trees and shares my excitement in the tree process. Goodness my sister even suggested I purchase a Farmers tree. I do not think so.

The tree though can only ever be as special as the people who visit it.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Here are some random notations. I was going to aim for one of those 100 meme things. But I don't think I will make it so, makybe instead I will aim for ten. OK, here we go:

1. Tonight I recieved my latest TradeMe rating from the letterbox seller in Raumati. I was beginning to worry that he wasn't going to post. He did and he has said that I am a "good trader/recommended trader" This means that I have five positive feedbacks from five transactions. trademe rankings are trademe rankings, but I think its important to strive for simialr rankings in other life endeavours.
2. One of my Queendom - HebeWiri Grace is now over 5.5ft tall. This is quite amazing given this Grace is the grandchild of of the original Grace still residing in Wainuiomata - or at least I hope so.
3. Today I resigned from my job. I will be offically unemployed on Christmas day. But hey, its ok in the new year I will start a new job. Apparently if you last 3 months then you will last awhile in a job. I didn't last 3 months. I will in my next job. I will do better than last. I will secure a position within 12 months befitting a hebequeen. It's all about positioning. And that's what I'm doing. This is all about moving forward.
4. My current boss did not understand me when I talked about the determinants of health or in fact social policy. That explained quite lot. We talk different lanaguages. It made me feel better about resigning.
5. Plant a lot in HighSt Carterton sells single tomato plants. These are intended for single elderly people who live alone the Plantalot lady advised me. She did not recognise me as a single elderly woman who lives alone. So, instead I purchased a six pack of russian reds. I'm aiming for the tomato crop of a couple of years ago that kept me sustained through the whole of winter.
5. According to National Radio yesterday if I was truely sustainable nothing green would leave my property.
6. According to my neighbour, if I was truely sustainable I would not have two hoses going when there are water restrictions on.
7. Tonight there is a new moon.
8. I watch too much Living TV - I have seen the ASB ad for getting a home loan at least ten times because it is played after proprty development programmes. You can learn a lot from Living tv such as the importance of form and function.
9. I lovee groper and especially the bit right in the middle that is a littel like the middle in a cheap cut of lamb, but tonight I got a little disturbed when at the fish shop I could smell janola or chroline cleansing stuff.
10. Tonight I played the piano. I always go to the piano in time of change. I can't play it like I used to simply becasue I don't practice like I used to. But the piano will always connect me.

One final thing. imagine walking along Lambton Quay on your way home from work, and who should you meet, but the person you had lunch with. That's what I call random and nice, and other former collleagues who stop and say hello and smile at you. These small and not so small encounters are what count.

Ok, must go and move my hose, like one of those ladies of the resistance in the war, that moves within the shadows of the night, when hopefully the nieghbours can't see. But I know they know nevertheless!

Friday, December 7, 2007


Christmas is in vogue at this time of year. I can never bring myself to spell it it Xmas. This is becasue a vicar once preached to me to use the term X was to annoymise Christmas. To take the Christ out of Christmas. This was preaching before the X generation was even recognsied. I still believe that even if I don't give testimony to my belief by sitting in a pew each week and the weekly ritual of church. So, Christmas will always be for me about Christ.
This is why I struggle when I pass the Kirkcaldies Christmas Display and theres a whole window devoted to what looks like a model version of Burger King. Like, wheres the relation to Christmas to that. This is somewhat ironical given Burger King is more or less directly located opposite Kircaldies. I think its fine to adapt Christmas to what it means to you, but I just don't get where Burger King fits in with Christmas.

I have splendid Christmas decorations located in my spare room. So far, I don't know if I can be bothered with them this year. Hopefully this will pass. And I will think of an alternative way to celebrate Christmas in new ways - like invite new neighbours over. I am going to be be an orphan this Christmas. I am in adult orphan already. It's quite dramatic when I say it like that and I really only do say it for dramatic effect. But I really will be an orphan this year as my whanau will be offshore in Australia. This is one of the pitfalls of having a small whanau. I've got the Christmas cards to write this weekend. I think I may go back to the handwritten card this year rather than the generic one. Each year I wonder now "will I get to send this card t my aunt and uncle" next year.
This Christams I'm going to have four weeks off week. Potter round the house. That will be awesome. That reminds me my workplace don't send out "Christmas cards" they send out "holiday cards". Guess I'll be taking one long holiday:-)

Just had the last two days off work. I slept for most of them. I am very skilled at sleeping and will post seperately on that another time.

Strawberries: best easten small and a littel impfect straight form the strawberry basket. The quantity is small but the quality is unsurpassed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Can never really go wrong with KM advice (even if its hard to follow - and followed in an abstract way - that's the art):

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices
Do the hardest thing on earth for you
Act for yourself
Face the truth

I first heard Witi Ihimaera say this to me (well me and about 15 other people in the Von Zedlitz building at Vic.) So I always replay it in my head with his tone. Somehow it makes it nicer for me.

It's a good quote though and lasted me for number of years. I just have to remember to remind myself of it now and again. Its simple but its hard too.

Today's culinary tip: Groper steaks: simple. Distribute rock salt and pepper on Groper steaks. Place lemon slices, preferably sourced from your own lemon tree or a very good friends all over. Drip olive oil onto the lemon slices - if you read the last entry you will know I reccommend Olivo on top. Bake until the lemons caramelises and the skin on the groper crisps up. Can serve this with tomato salsa - tomatoes onions and coriander - picked form your garden - finley chopped and blended together. One of Jamie Olivers recipes from his early days. Pukka Tukka. Classic but great. Creates more dishes than the artichokes but worth that extra effort.

Monday, December 3, 2007

How to eat an artichoke

First, source your artichoke directly from a reputable artichoke grower. (There is a very good one at the Masterton Farmers Market where you can buy huge artichokes for a $1.00). Boil a big pot of water - biff your artichokes in and boil until they change colour. Drain and place on a plate. This is a magnificent feast, even for a meat lover like myself. Grab a fine bottle of olive oil - olivio is a good medium priced one - tip some into a desert bowl and swoosh around. Then one by one pull the "petals" off each artichoke flower and dip into the olive oil and then eat the tips. Repeat this taste sensation until you get to the "heart". Then grab a small vegetable knife, peel all the prickle bits off (otherwise you will will feel like you are eating a Thistle - which actually, you proabably are!) and then duck the artichoke "heart" in olive oil and eat. Repeat until artichokes are finished off your plate. Makes a helluva mess, but not a lot of dishes, so is one of the best vegetarian dishes I know. Devine. Recycle used flower petals into your compost bin. This is not only a very cheap meal it is also a very "sustainable" one. This meethod of artichoke eating comes no where near to sourcing your artichokes from Moore Wilsons all neatly packaged in olive oil. Try it!

Speaking of hearts, I heart the Farmers Market Queen. At the weekend, she came up to me and gave me a little bunch of beautiful flowers in the form of a tussie mussie because she said I was a regular customer and supporter - which hello I am. The Markert was celebrating its first birthday. It was better than getting quadruple flybuys from Noel Leeming and being served by the CEO of Noel Leeming and given a free pie maker. Tussie Mussies and the Market Queen rock.