Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And so this is Christmas

Another year over - to abridge John Lennon.

This year seemed non eventful. Stressful at times - althoughgh different from last year.

I am carless for the first time since I could drive really. I'm adjusting. Its not that hard.

I have the best and biggest Christmas cake, I had cookies on the train home end tommorrow I have 2 nights planned in the Hutt. and I am beginning to be glad that the 'working' year is over.

As Te Radar has commented in his book - in a review I read of it - sustainability really only works if you have a supportive community.

Tonight I went next door to ask my neighborus to feed Ali was away - well, to feed him officially. I took roses. They gave me wine and Christmas cake - the first time I had been in their hosue since I moved in. My lady neighbour Marge enquiired about the absence of my car and observations that I had been carrying grocercies home. She offered me a lift anytime I want it to go and shop. Actually I could have used this lift on Sunday when I felt stinkorama and walked to New World to get disprins and lemons and water. They told me about all the neighborus movements and holdiay arrangements - but clearly they had not picked mine. Apparently the neighbour across the road has gone wih a lady in Maserton. And gary the firewood man and his mum have gone away on holiday which again is breaking with their pattern.

Its actually nice to have neighbours observe these things.

My neighbours are pleased and in a fact a little overwhelmed that I will have company at Christmas. I think they think I am a hermit. Heck as soon as I said I was going away for 2 days Marge wanted to break out the wine and selection of home made cakes as if I was going to Disneyland.

In some respects she is not that far off the mark. I think I've only been away from home 3 nights in the last year.

I commenced number one of my 100 things to do. It s one of the most important I must do. It wont be easy, but it will be worth it.

I also commenced number 2 re a proper but cheap holiday given next year is the predicted economic year of doom. That is looking up $50 night PSA houses. I'd like to go Queenstown. But I cannot even contemplate booking the accommodation until I have completed the jigsaw of Queenstown I complted today

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can you hear me

I am glad I can hear the rustle of the wind
I am glad I can feel my ears adjust when they come out of the Rimutaka tunnel due to the change in altitude
I am glad I can hear music
I am glad I can hear all sorts of sounds

Today I met a Deaf man as part of my work. It had a profound effect on my day. It was a difficult conversation we had becasue I did not have the answers he wanted in any language.

Then he ripped our conversation which had been conducted via my notebook out of my notebook. I agreed to this but it still felt odd to have my conversation taken away like that. I wish we had conducted our conversation by email. Why would that have been different? That remains as a record I guess. Easier for me I guess.

Anyway, I am so glad I have my hearing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

RIP Toyota Corolla

A few months ago my Toyota Corolla was pronounced terminally ill. At that stage I should have left it at the garage but I didnt. I squeezed a few more rides out of it with its red alert lights showing, and its breaks stuffed. When I went to start it yesterday it had died. No ignition. No life yet. Now I need to dispose of it. I'm hoping if I make the garage man the offer of towing it away for free on the basis he can have it for free then that will work.

The car was an ex DHB car. I liked that. The car was my Dad's car. I liked that too. I also liked the fact in that car I travelled some fairly solid distances.

In that car, it blew up just before at the crossing before Martinborough becasue I forgot to put water in it. It blew up on the Rimutakas once.

Its greatest moment was when it took me over the Rimutakas 3 times each way in one day!!!to Martinborough from Wainuiomata when I moved. How I did that driving I don't know. It was crazy. But I did it. I figured why pack when you can jam your car full. Clearly in retrospect that wasn't a well planned move.

Anyway, I didn't heed the ex brother in laws advice and haven't been saving for a new car.

I'll be carless for a wee while due to my carelessness....possibly a year as I'm trying to only pay cash for what I purchase. Cant pay cash, then dont purchase. Or something like that. And my imemdiate priority is a a little bit of hosue maintenance over the next few months. On the up side no petrol costs, insurance or registration and a supder duper reduced carbon footprint.

Anyway, RIP grey toyota corolla. Thanks for the journeys. I guess this closes another chapter to the past and allows new ones to open up, at least with regards to my movements.

PS. My sheep have disappeared from their paddock. I guess my neighbours will be having lamb for Christmas...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

P, Manslaughter, Rape, Custody, Drugs, STDs

The heading only touches on the conversation I overhead x and y having today on the train journey home. It started with x saying to y that had been a stink day. x had missed a ride over the hill and only just managed to catch the train. x had no money left on the cellphone and the benefit had not gone through. Then the coversation progressed.

Basically x was on custody charges and a manslaughter charge. In between there had been death, rape, drugs, prison, hospital, mental health assessments, court cases, custody case, broken jaws and tinanum plates, scars and other body parts, STD* (note terms used by x) police, overdose, a house burning down and a mortagee sale and other related stories. The thing is the story was told with clarity by x who was talking to y that really believe every word was true. It did actually follow a sequence that was interrelated. They were sitting in the seat behind me so it was diffiuclt not to hear. In fact on the whole carriage it was difficult not to hear becasue x was talking quite loudly. I guess she needs her story heard. Quite frankly if she has survived what she has, I believe she does need her story. But I have deliberately not exapnded too much becasue it might be identifiable.

When x got off the train at the destination before I get off I observed the frailest of women who had literally been knocked down and over in more ways than one and in quite the worst ways imaginabale. But there she was walking across the carpark and getting on with her life in the best way she knew how. One step at a time. Full credit to y who didn't really know her but was going to give her a lift home.

It made me realsie I lead a simple life.

I looked around the carrige trying to make eye contact with people I never speak to. I wan't to acknowledge that we had just overheard an amazing life story while at the same time as it actually being incredibly sad. The thing is the regualr commuters didn't even blink. There was not one recognition of what they had just heard. I found that quite sad.

Clearly, x had connections and assoications with various "udnerworld" people and criminals, but like who are are the train people to judge how someones life can follow a seperate and different follow a certain journey.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Peeping Tom

On Friday I was walking home from the Carterton railway station at 11.55pm. I looked up and there was a peeping Tom. Peeping into the window of the "P" house that I posted about some time ago where there was a Police party. I looked at him. he looked back and then he crouched. I was going to ask "what do you think you are doing" But then I decided it was quite obvious what he was doing. He was peeping. In a quick asessment I estmiated him to be about 15 years of age or so. I decided it was best to pretend I hadn't seen him and kept walking. FAST walking. He didn't follow me. I didn't call the Police -becasue by the time you call the Polcie get posted to Auckland office then Masterton and then Carterton I figured it wouldn't be that much good. Hopefully the Peeping Tom will think he had a lucky escape and not do it again. It was a tough call though- but at the time I thought my number one priorty must be own saftety and getting to my house or close enough to neighbours where I could call out.

I'm not sure if this was more scary than Ali depositing a live mouse on my bed in the middle of the night.

My car failed its WOF - the man said "your car is very sick" started to list failing breaks etc. Foolishily I askd "could it get any worse?" Apparently so - over $1,000 to fix. Guess I will be learning what carless days are about for awhile. The novelty may wear off but I've decided fro now a) not to get the car fixed and b) not to buy a new car. Yoyo beat me on my carbon footprint - except its carbon footprint or fix rotten house boards this Summer. Anyway, no car for awhile:-(

Oh, and my grass has weeds. grrrrrrrrrrr have had to resow som patches.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Train taboo

Every now and then I have a brillant train convo. Today was one of those days. On the 6.18 there was Marg and Lani who got on at Waterloo. We ended up having this chat and it was brillant.

Marg is a 60 + lady who hasn't had her free travelling card validated. Lani lives in Featherston with a mother who has dementia. I found out out through the train trip a few other radnom facts. These included how Lani gets people who petend they need 2 seats mto vacate one of them. Like one word for Lani: respect! she gives people the opportunity to make the empty seat available and then if they dont she basically confrfonts them in various ways. Fuck sustainability and use transport to promote social sustainability. This maybe the new theme for my blog

ps. the best thing in the world is when you have a friend who you can have a 10 minute random coffee rave with. Today at least that I think was one of the best things in the world.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am growing GRASS

Germination is a wondrous thing. There comes a morning when you are, as you do most mornings, staring forth ...at your bare patches, reflecting as you invariably do, on the baffling way in which the stones which you have removed by the barrowful are replaced from mysterious sources by other stones, when you realise the patch is not bare at all, that it has been brushed with colour, as if a green mist were clinging to it. You hurtle forth, and there, magically appeared among the stones, are the first drifts of the risen grass, blades cobweb thin, hardly enough to be looked at let alone touched.

Yet, there are amazingly energetic in their growth, these pins of green. Each day the tinge strengthens, suggestion becomes reality. It is still a fragile thing, but it has declared itself here to stay.

From: The Grass is Greener - Our Love Affair With the Lawn, Tom Fort. 2000.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Have I mentioned my workplace has an antiquated computer system? Doesn’t do a lot to foster productivity, or my well honed skill of surveillance not having access to Lotus Notes. You try and book a room – it gets routed to the temproay receptionist who confirms or rejects your request. You can see if the room is available before you issue the request. However, I note it is not, “it is not” intuitive. So today, and actually it wasn’t deliberate I requested access to 5 rooms at once on the basis of increased odds or something for a meeting I want to convene to have tomorrow. All were all booked. The correspondence with the “automated” booking room clerk/temporary receptionist went something like this:

email a. This meeting was automatically declined because it conflicts with another appointment.
email b. This meeting was automatically declined because it conflicts with another appointment.
email c. This meeting was automatically declined because it conflicts with another appointment.
email d. This meeting was automatically declined because it conflicts with another appointment.
email e. This meeting was automatically declined because it conflicts with another appointment.

I loved the fact that the automation seemd to be developing a life/voice of its own.

Although of course it wasn't intentional.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Things I observed today

1. A lady kissing a letter as she posted it in the Post box at the New World Metro. It was a beautiful moment and worthy of making into an advertisement for New Zealand Post. I could see her lover in her eyes. You know, like those ads for Air New Zealand. It was nice in an old fashioned way.

2. Listening to a guy on the train describe his weekend events. This inlcuded "Oh yeah, on Saturday I worked for the government" Then there was a silence "you know, I think its call p.e.r.i.o.d.i.c. d.e.t.e.n.t.i.o.n so like you know, I don't get paid for it. Yeah. PD. " And then he and his companion burst into laughter.

3. Another colleague advised they had resign. I don't particulalry like this colleague, but I don't like even more that this means 7 people in 8 months have resigned from my team - no replacements except 2 impending contractors.

4. A lady disappear on TV- how does the magician on NZ has talent do that?

5. I alos met a public health nurse I used to work with at Hutt Valley Health. She reminded me without saying that I am not the person I was in 1990. But I am also not the person I thought I would become. That is, I know for sure, she remembers me as a keen committed ambitous graduate who thought one day I would hold the senior management position or equivalent that she held. Now, I am a disillusioned public servant drifting. Still it was nice to meet her unexpectantly as she now lives in Christchurch in semi retitement but is back in Wgtn doing contract work for the MoH.

6. I met an old colleague for lunch - she is now a manager aspiring to be a group manager/general manager. We were both analysts once.

7. My grass growing - well actually, I can't see my grass growing quite yet - but like the lady that disappeared - I believe it will appear any day now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Warehouse, and the iron

Yesterday I went to the market for my fish, veges and worm tea. I am so into worm tea the lady asked me if I was drinking it. No, I said, I'm feeding my roses for Strongerlights wedding....
Anyway I go to the Warehouse in the hope of getting equipment (the correct bag and filter) to make my vacum cleaner go. When I return to my car there is a note on my window. "Your radiator is leaking - very badly". I look up and there is a massive stretch of oil. I got my car home but now I cant drive it becasue my radiator is leaking very badly.

On Thursday as the train approached Featherston "oh, no I think I have left the iron on". Had this been any day I probably would have got off at Upper Hutt and got the trian back to Carterton. But oh no, this was "project management training day". So, I sat thtorugh project managemnet day configuring various project managing scenarios of how to rebuild my bungalow, and living in the garage while this occured. Then at lunchtime I googled what happens when you leave your iron on. Somebody had left their iron on and like me lived too far away form home just to pop back and turn it off. Their house didn't burn down so I decided mine would't either.

When I got home my iron was on but was beeping off because it had been unatteneded. I wouldn't recommend it for stress levels but would reccomend the SUNBEAM iron for this feature. I'll also be putting a spare key out on my section.

The project management course was weird. Predictable but wierd becasue my manager wanted to talk talk talk. I'm still getting over that when we had to do an exercise where we drew a picture I was the only one who populated my pictrue with people. That for me was very telling.

Monday, September 29, 2008


After about nearly 9 months with no light bulbs in my kitchen I thought I had better put some in as I had visitors at the weekend and being in the dark may not be that great.

What a joy. Now I don't have to strategically use the backdoor light or living room to cook my meals. BUt duh, why did I leave it so long until I could see. Now that I can see, I can see I have quite a few cobwebs in my house.

apparentlly I dont have bora- although I think I do. I do have cobwebs.

Ali recieved his first smack tonight after a small behavioural problem with my work bag. He then sulked and would not come near me for a few hours and in fact cowered. Hes now sitting by the computer. It wasn't a big smack but it was a smack.

Another cowo announced he was leaving my team today..."another one bites the dust". I have to be the next person. I HAVE TO BE THE NEXT PERSON THAT LEAVES MY TEAM BECAUSE THEY HAVE FOUND A BETTER JOB. Unfortunately, I am still there. There is a place I would like to go I just don't know if I will get there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My TV appears to be lacking transmission. This is sad (for me). especially as the remote control that went through the washing machine is functional again now that it has dried out.

I may need a new TV. NO coronation st, uk tv , living channel for me.


Broadcast transmission is interrupted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Over $30 of Flirting advice for FREE

Yes, this post makes me weep. It will make Homeperm weep!

I like to think I am an intelligent woman. Clearly I am not as intelligent as I thought i was.

So one night I am googling flirting advice or something like that. It asks me to enter my cellphone number so I do. Then I start reciveving texts about 6.30 pm and 7pm while I am bored on the train. They read as follows:

  1. Speak up. Speaking softly 2 him 2 pay closer attention will backfire if he becomes exhasuted trying 2 hear what U R saying.
  2. Dress sharp and ? does this even need saying? be clean. If you look shabby you'll attract shabby.
  3. Position for the knockoutr LOOK! Make sure you are facing away, then look over your shoulder+ SMILE This asymmetrical position signals that your'e interested.
  4. Self-esteem is everything. Its not always as easily done as said, but if you feel good about yourself, he'll feel good about you , too.
  5. When talking to a guy they like. girls often rest an elbow in the palm of one hand while holding out the other hand, palm up. Who knows why?
  6. Online flirting - Short and sweet is the key to online communciation. Serious conversations are meant for in-perosn talks, not online chat.
  7. Learn to smile with your EYES. Watch Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts. try it next time and notice his reaction.
  8. Body language: He winks at you while talking to you or winks at you from a distance. This one isn't even remotely subtle is it? Wink back.

Then I recieve a text saying I've been charged $30.00. I text back. To a machine it seems as the next day I recieve further texts. Guess I have to ring Telecom and pretend I'm a 12 year old girl or something that accidentially signed up:-)

Still this evening as I was leaving work my group manager passes me in the corridor. She says "you look fabulous....in those colours" referring to my hair colour I guess. Normally we have limited interaction - apart from the fact I spent last week writing a 2 pargrpah letter for her to thank a guest speaker. I guess she liked it! Seriously I had two versions of the letter. Guess I gave her the right version, but I would have preferred to send the other. anyway, I reckon being called fabulous by your group manager is quite cool. but i'd prefer it to be "hey hebequeen. that policy piece you constructed. Awesome fabulous"

Still, I wont reject a "fabulous"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Street party

At the weekend. Saturday night to be exact, it would seem there was a party 10 doors down from me. The kind where lots of photos get taken - the next day by the Police. And today there were Chubb security men on guard.

I checked todays Dom - no reportage of assualt, murder or P labs. I figure hundreds of empty tui bottles don't quite add up to P lab.

Guess my neighbours will know - what with their son in law a local policeman.

Tonight it seem business as usual at the house. It was occupied and the lights were on. Someone was outside smoking. I walked quickly passed though.

Sometimes it seems such a juxtoposition this stuff (whatvever stuff happened) happening in my street as most of time it seems quite normal. Makes me appreciate my neighbours if the worse crime in the world that they seem to commit is chopping branches of my tree down while I am work - and I only discover this at the weekend.

I don't really mind the chopping of the branch - I just think it would be polite to ask, not just chop it down and leave it for me to remove. I acknowledge the tree shades their rooms and I grew up in a house where I know what that is like. Still, I guess on the positive side, it saves me having to do it - and in comparison to the party that happened at the weekend, it makes them look like brill back neighbours.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blue Skies

Today I was standing at the Carterton railway station at about 7.10 am waiting for the last morning commuter train that arrives about 7.15am. The man next door to me turns to the woman next door to him and says "Good to see some blue sky there" . I looke up from the Dominion Post and see this amazing "sky blue" streak in the sky - especially for that time of morning. Then the lady says "Yes, but not enough to cut a sailors suit". I thought that was an awesome analogy. Especially as there are usally quite a few "force" people at the station. Well, a few army and navy men in their suits. What attracts them to live in Carterton?

And then tonight when I walked home - becasue I'm trying to create a Carterton footprint - and it is silly I drive 900m to the railway station when I can walk in almost the same time it takes me get into and out of my old Toyota.....I saw this amazing white cloud like a big cone in the sky.

I love the sky - especially in the Wairarapa. And some days/nights - like today - I love coming home to the place I call home. Just to smell the air - and be in a different space.

Monday, August 11, 2008


So, if you reside in Wellington, you will have noticed the Snapper people, the Snapper concept. I YOU may even have a Snapper card. I would understand that if YOU shop at WISHBONE or catch the BUS.

Essentially, my loose translation is that Snapper is a way of carrying your cash in a card that also looks like you could be a Christian from the 80s - continuing my 80s theme. eg when the fish symbolised the greek version of peace love and happiness as set out in the Bible. You knew people were Christians both by their love and actions - but also by the symbol of the fish.

I understand the 2008 version of the fish. Its carrying cash - and a money spinner for Wishbone and the buses.

What I don't understand is why on earth would you wear the Snapper card your neck when you are entrapped in an office all day. "Like excuse me, I'll just pop down to level 2 and use my Snapper card""@!?. Why on earth.? "Look, I'm wearing cash round my neck". I mean, its the same thing isn't it? I might get a $20 note, wear it round my neck and say LOOK - I cut out the middle man - less carbon foot print!!!

Well, my manager wears a snapper card. This has what has prompted this post. I also had a snapper conversation with my Group Manager the other day when we were walking to a meeting.

By the way: i said to my manager - "is that a Snapper card round your neck" This led to a 10 minute conversation on what the Snapper card was, and how NZ was one of the first countries to embrace the EFTPOS. Maybe its supposed to be a conversation starter.

Anyway, my verdict: Perhaps it has its uses - but no need to wear the thing round your neck eh?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maggie Barry

Today I decided my hair looks a little Maggie Barry. Effectively, what that means is it probably looks 80ish and needs a cut. Anyway, I'm hanging out on the cut. Maybe when I get a job interview....

So, anyway, because I think I am Maggie Barry, or maybe I would like to be Maggie Barry, here are is garden tip:

If your newly planted and lemon and lime trees loose their leaves, spray them with Epsom salts. I got this tip from channel 8 - Sky Living Channel and one of the gardening programmes. I then checked it with one of my granny smith apple sellers - the guy from Clareville Nursery. What I didn't check was how much Epsom salts - so I put a bag in the spray container which is abouut 4 litres- then I checked the empty bag of epsom salts and it said one teaspoon for that amount of water - woops. Epsom salts supersized. Oh well, I sprayed it on in anticipation that more is more.

Now according to my apple seller - the reason new season lemon and limes loose their leaves is becasu ethey are conditioned when they are grown commercially, and suffer a little shock when transplanted. I know how they feel.

I've always had trouble growing lemons - this time though I am determined not to be defeated. I do actually have a functioning lemon tree at the back of my section. Its functional but I want a lemon tree that has big juicy lemons.

Epsom salts - cheap as chips - not only can you use it on lemons and the garden but in your bath. Same as what you buy from Kirks all fancy pansy dressed up or that Rexon stuff form teh supermarket which is nice and smelly - but does the same job in terms of relaxing the muscles and making you feel nice in a hot bath for a fraction of the cost - and you can had oil drops or put fragrance on afterwards..

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Todays admin meeting

I think I managed to get my manager to say F""" In fact, yes, I did. Should that be measured as sucess or failure? Anyway it was all about the lighting. After several tedious items it got to the lighting issue. And how people should turn the lights off and on when they go to meetings. So I said, and this was backed up by the Englishman - "why doesn't the Department install automated lighting like is installed in the toilets" The manager then said "for fucks sake its not that diffiuclt to turn off the lights on and off" I agree, actually. But then its not that hard to install automated sytems either as the Englishman supported me - as they have at Education and at Health.

Now heres the rub. Like talk to me about energy saving measures. I am the energy saving Queen. But do my colleagues know that? NO. Beccuase to them its all about political correctness. Oh please. Heck I go to work at the moment for free heating and lighting. Give me some joy!!!

What else did we discusss at the admin meeting:
  • How many compressions it takes to giive someone CPR - appranetly its 20 or 30.
  • Where the defribalator is located - this is important becasue one of the dep secs once had a heart attack.
  • When people are going on annual leave
  • Who will be monitroing international developments. I was pressured to volunteer for this task but resisted
  • what workshops/conferences/people will be attending

I don't know, maybe having worked in Health I'm immune to taking the first aid stuff seriously - but actually I think its good advice, if there is an emergency get the people who know what they are doing involved.

zhello, I have risk factors for a heart attack. Should I die at my work place and you have read this entry, please note at my funeral that it was the admin meetings that casued my death and not the risk factors.

I hope, despite the odds of the attendance at the admin meetings, and the other risk factors that I have, I do get the privelege of dying of natural causes.

Fortunately the admin meetings only happen ev ery 2 weeks - I take credit for this. Its progress. But they should't happen at all.

Upshot. I think I am in the process of disenfranchising myself from my manager. Not a good career move - or maybe it is, if it want to keep it real and remember what it is important - other than free heating.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Apple Advice

If you order a Granny Smith tree from Clareville Nursery, they will ring you a week later and say it has arrived and is ready to pick up. So, um, why did I buy a dwarf Granny Smith from High St Plants at the weekend. Now I willl have two Granny Smith Trees. Well, .5 if I count the grafted tree at the back where the other .5 is a gala.

The quest for sustainability is not an easy one. I am running out of land.

Oh well, I like Granny Smiths. Real Granny Smiths. They are in fact my favourite apple.

And in fact my first memories of the Wairarapa are assoicated with long drives over the Rimutakas to get to Greytown in the May school holidays to pick Granny Smiths. This would be supplemented with a stop at the Greytwon Dairy factory and the purchase of pineapple cheese - which was sort of a version of a big block of real mild cheese with chunks of pineapple in - not that processed stuff. Well those memories take me back a good 30 years or so.

Anyway keep reading this blog for the next five years - and in that time I should due to my 2.5 Granny Smith trees have an abundance of my very own fruit. Looks like I will be digging up the side area by the house this weekend.

I have 3 more white roses to plant for Strongerlight and Morgues wedding (read civil union - but I am old fashioned and prefer the term wedding, even though I acknowldege the political importance of the civil union) - but will be posting seperately on the development of the white roses

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Post Conference

I have spent the last two days at a conference at Te Papa. Thats probably about as good as my training will get I anticipate. It was an odd conference, which is not to say there were not good speakers.

1. On day one it was opened by the PM and about 4 Ministers of the Crown. each of them had previously been Health Ministers, including the PM - the transition for them to non health seemed to be easier.

2. When I walked into the Soundings theartre I kept looking for familiar faces, but there were none. Well, there were a few, including one man who now works for TEC who once worked for where I last worked, but I didn't really want to talk to him.

3. I spent day one dsicovering that the lady who works on the other side geographically of my team shares exactly my thoughts and frsutrations on certain ways my team and operates- the difference is she generally manages not to disclose her disdain. But it was a small hallelujah moment for me becasue she expressed basically withouth promptiing all my frustrations

4. Day two was spent with cowo 2 who does not share my frsutration, so I have not expressed it to her. At one point I wanted to say to her "f""" do you have to be so f""""n intense about everything". Like lighten up lady. Btw, she has seen the Rita Angus exhinition 3 x. I don't get that. whats it supposed to demonstrate?

5. Day two and I felt like I had confirmed I was defintely at the wrong fellowship meeting and in fact like I or the taxpayer was paying for a certain group to organise a cofnerence for people to play grown ups.

6. This is not to say there not some good speakers. The best was Janice Shiner from the TEC in her farewell speech. There were pics of the double decker bus her father drove in the uk - no 43. Buildings she once worked in the UK. Her at the airport. It was brillant and at the end everone sung Now is the Hour - but hello, did my cowos from my team who were there get it? Nope.

Tomorrow I return to work. The only good thing is my cowo who sits nexct door to me is equally as frsutrated as me. Its not particulary healthy but we have mock intense discussions about comparative analysis of tea houses down the terrace and coffee establishments - about how if we commissioning this research from our team it would never happen. It somehow makes it bearable to have this to refer to.

I've reached the 6 month mark now. Now I need to get serious about getting out. Thats what I kept thinking at the conference. Ther's lots of reason. My team dynamics, and dysfunctional work programme of my team but also the wider issue of actually, the subject matter doesn't rock my world. I need work I can be passionate about - even if its as John Key would say "aspirational".

Now I am going to make bread and butter pudding - its late (for me). I don't usally make puddings - but i need pudding therapy.

It is reputed I once made the best ever bread and butter pudding - and i think this is true actaully

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today I arrived home to a tax bill of $608.10 Just like when I've worked out a budget - and intend to stick to it. How can that be? I thought I payed my tax forthnightly PAYE - Pay As You Earn. Well it appears not according to my "personal tax summary". I have no idea who "Corporate Services - Wage Workers" are. But I allegedly worked for them the same time that corresponds with my current employer - unless thats what my current employer lists as - although I would suspect not as I am not a wage worker but a salary worker.
I read stuff at work and omg I realise I earn significantly more than most NZers. But I forget that because most people I know earn significantly more than me! Its all relative.

Anyway, I hope the IRD statement is wrong. I will be ringing the automated machine tomorrow. Trouble is, I suspect it may not be wrong. You earn more you pay more.

Today I saw a man in an office chair go skateboarding in his chair down Bowen St. He was out of his tree or out his chair or something -but I admired his desire to take the chair out of the office or something like that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Random stuff

This is my 103 posting - why celebrate 100 when you can celebrate 103?!

Today I purchased amazing oranges from the Masterton Market from the man I buy my celeriac from. I said "did you grow these" . He replied "No this man next to me did" I said "in Masterton?" He said "yes, just up the road. Virtually no carbon footprint" I said " not in Spain then, wow they are amazing" and I purchased a big bag and they are amazing. Every week the celeriac man I have virtually the same conversation about celeriac, how to cook it and how it is amazing vegetable, and then he gives me a discount becasue I love cleriac! - so it was nice to vary our conversation. I'm still amazed at the amazing oranges.

Before I went to the markert I opened my gate. Due to the relatively recent security threat of someoone ruffling through my car it now has a very sophisticated her secruity system in place. I close the gate and put what was supposed to be sculpture but broke into two pieces across the middle. I slab of concrete. I heave it off and the gate opens.

As I was doing my heaving and looked up and saw a lady that regualrly walks my street. She wears a coat and is clearly exercising. She must live somewhere near me. Quite close I think. I've seeen her a few times but she must be back in town. I'd like to talk to her becasue I think she could be a potential Carterton friend. I even know here name (becasue hello I am actaully a well honed brillant stalker). I'm not really sure how to approach her though. It probably would be ok to call out her name becasue everyone does know it. Perhaps I will just need to spend more time in my front garden. And then one day I can either comment on the weather - or she could comment on my garden....its Georgina Beyer. I don't just want to talk to her becasue she is well known, i'd actually like to talk to her becasue I think she would have interesting conversation. But maybe that does link in with being well known. Maybe I could start walking on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Right, I am determined I will find a way to be introduced to her. But hey, shes's also actually my neighbour - I'm just not 100% which house but it is either in my street or the next street.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I do the hardest thing on earth. Face the truth - as KM as in Katherine Mansfield once said. And I am determined I will - face the truth and a certain shadow that haunts me.
Its not my day, but its my momment to face the truth/or a few truths actually. I know this will make me stronger. It will be hard actually, but it will also be healing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wolf, Wulf,Woof

me: Can you see that dog over there?
her: No, that's an animal with four legs that barks
me: Yes, barks like a dog
her: oh, a German Shepherd
me: yes, a German Shepherd that barks like a dog because hello it is a fricken DOG

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sweet Mothers Kitchen

Today I was introduced to Sweet Mothers Kitchen by Strongerlight. It was nice. It was also an opportunity to catch up with another lunch companion, one who I hadn't seen for a a few months or indeed this year. Today I realised while I have missed contact with this person, it didn't really matter. Theres always a reason why people are present in your lives at one point or another or not, even its not possible to understand at the time, after a period of time you realise it doesn't need explanation.

On the way to Sweet Mothers Kitchen I discovered all the new landscaping outside Penny Farthing - I seriously do not get out enough. I bet it has been there for months

Tomorrow - I have the fortnightly catch up with the manager which due to the last one being cancelled is now I guess the monthly catch up. It is her birthday tomorrow so hopefully she will be in a good mood. Will she be ready to discuss peer review? and how I think "wasteful" is not a policy term? Well, all I can say is she better be, because I am.

Oh, and re my work team - if there was a team motto it would be "its all about me". Work it out - how can you create a team from that statement. I think I would hear this phrase used daily with the exception of me and the Englishman. Its kind of used as a joke. But I don't think my cowos realise its actually very telling about who they are, and their values.

Anyway, I have noone to share my nicknames with: but they are seriously helping my headspace now that I have a few.

It also helps to have lunch at Sweet Mothers Kitchen

Monday, June 9, 2008

I am

a domestic goddess Jamie Olivers aunty. I'm thinking marketing. My busineessss name ? LOL - Labour of Love - as opposed to.....I like the double twist LOL. The fact I'd make about enough $ to cover the fuel costs of a bicycle - that is probably end up in deficit is currently a deterret. Oh well, it gives me time to refine the sugar quantities.

Anyway, I have jam - feijoa jam - and dam jam - it feels jolly good to be a jam maker - Homemade jam made with 100% homegrown organic feijoas and lemons. It is possibly a fraction too sweet. And I was close to overboiling. difficult to know when this is the second time in lifetime have ever made jam.

Now I want a pantry of home made preserves.

Why jam? well the freezer was full. I used to take excess to work. But not this year. Can't really explain that - except making jam seemed a better option....and best to keep seperate my LOL from my workplace I think.

Tired but v. satisfed jam maker.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

remote control

If you want your remote control to function it is not a good idea to put it in your automatic washing machine (accidentially in between the sheets)

Oh well, I have clean sheets and a clean - but not functional remote cotnrol.

This means I have to get out of my bed to change the tv

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I have found my perfect man

he likes dogs, he lives locally, he is engaging, ecofriendly (in that he rides a bicycle for and his transport mode) and dark and handsome - if not that really that tall. Our conversation started over a black labardor that seemed to be lost. We both agreed it was a young dog, didn't live in my house or any of the neighbours nearby. We agreed we didn't want to see it run over, and was at risk of that ifi it kept standing on the corner of the road. It was a nice conversation. He circled round on his bike while we chatted.

Unfortuanetly, the man I met was about 35 years too late. He would have been about 10 years old. He called me Miss so immediately he had my heart. He did indicate he was off to see his uncle who lives up my street. Perhaps his uncle is more my age.

Oh well, it was a nice conversation. I thought what a lovely caring young chap you are. Your a good kid. Now I just need to find a grown up version of you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How can a petrol station have no petrol?

So, I drive up to Masterton. Tank is on empty. I pull into the Caltex petrol station just near Solway. A young man comes out instantly. Thank goodness, I think. My faith is restored in service stations provding service. Then the conversation goes something like this:

Petrol guy: Sorry, wev've got not petrol
Me: How can a petrol station have no petrol?
Petrol guy: Bad management - didn't pay the bills. Weve got no petrol.

Petrol guy walks off. I laugh and drive off. What else could I do? Except hope that I get to the next petrol station.

I laughed and drove off. When I arrive at then next petrol station, theres notices that you can only get petrol if you pre pay. Heck it was 6.40pm. Not fricken after midnight.....so I prepaid, on the basis at least I was getting petrol.

So, having prepaid I nip into Woolworths, Masterton for a few essentials. The guy in front of me is stoned or drunk out of his tree. It was only 645pm. The Woolworths guy sells him a 12 pack of steinglager. The guy walks off and forgets to take his Steinlager. Comes back, gets his Steinlager and then goes outside and hops on a fricken motorcycle. I closed my eyes. It was all too much. His friend says what took you so long. His friend hops on the motorcycle....

Only in Masterton.

I get to to the event I am going to (which is why I needed petrol) at the Masterton Museum and am served "free" Ata Rangi pinot noir.

Oh yeah, only in the Wairarapa do you get that juxtaposition. Well, of course you get it elsewhere too. Its just seems more marked.

Anyway, its but one of the reasons I kindof love my village.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Two toothed longhorn borer

I reckon thats the type of borer I have judging by the size of the hole and my search of the internet that says these beetles surface in Autumn - April/May. This is more serious than the other borer beetle. The only consolation - and its a small one - is that soon after the beetle surfaces - it dies.

Unfortuantely, I can't fit through my roof hatch to climb in my roof and see whats on the other side. This would be funny if it wasn't funny. Also, even if could fit, I'm actually not that fond of enclosed spaces, and if. I could fit, I'd be a bit worried about the roof carrying my weight in any case.

I may spend the rest of the week cleaning, super cleaning my house, so that I can ask my neighbour (who happens to be a retired joiner) come over to look at my hole. I am beginning to worry about my hole. Mainly becasue it is BIG - well comparatively so for a borer hole and um becasue its in the beam - the beam that holds my living room up.

Meanwhile cold is almost over and I have new socks, new trackies, ect and need to start using that gym membership I am now paying for....and then I might fit throuhgh the hole!- not the two toothed longhorn borer hole but that hatch roof hole...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dr M

Well Dr M has been in touch. We have set a lunch meeting for next week. I'm not really sure what we will talk about. Like we never knew each other that well. I'm pleased, but also feeling a bit awkward about it. Still I guess thats how you make friends eh? By getting to know someone better that you dont already know. And it kind of helps that we don't have work to unite us. She will ask ask straight up hard questions - and I'll answer them. We'll talk about our different lives and it will be the point of difference that unites us in friendship. I kind of like that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Work update

well oh, contrary to my last posting I am going to post about work. Today work seem honky dory fine and dandy. This may be becasue I did not got work today. I have a cold. Its a moderate cold - like someone is slowly placing a grater ony throat so I need to cough and sneeze and a bit of moderate fever. Well, in my new workplace there is a strict infection control practcie put in place - if you have a cold stay home do not infect - its more of a socially acceptable thing. Its not socially accepatble to come to work and germ infect. This is quite foriegn to me. At first thought I thought it was OTT now I think maybe it is actually good practice - it allows you to rest and recover - wheres the glory and wheres the common sense in spreading of germs. I seem to be amending some fo my fundamental views on this. I suspect the little grater man will be on my throat tomorrow...

I've also had a ephianic moment in the last 24 hours. Sometimes its easy to see and reflect back wearing rose tinted glasses on what was, where I have come from. But well actually, things aren't always perfect. Things aren't perfect in my new workplace. I don't get everything they do, but basically on the whole they mean well, they seem to have good intent and seem good genuine caring people without any visible intent to do harm. I will rememebr that when I return, when the grater man is off my thorat. -

Flaw of being home is I get those telelphone questionst - which I answer becasue I think its how some people are depenendent on for income - adn usually I aren't home when they call so don't get to answere them often. Well today I got the rudest dumbest questionaaire man. I always say 3 people live in the house, they are all public servants and all high earners. becasue each in theri own way are. When the man asked how much the highest earner earnt " How much does he earn" I said "why do you assume its a he - your sexist biased, and I this is over". I slammed the phone down.

Have a trademe bid on a shredder - close tonight. Then I can shred branches, etc ect.

I so need a shredder - yes i do!

Buggar bora

Buggar - I think I have Bora in my house. I thought this a few weeks ago when I saw "beetles" rambling round - but they were outside - hmmm so I thought _ rather hopefully, they had come in with the firewood. I looked them up on the internet at the time and yes they looked like the bora beetle. Tonight I discovered one these beetles blatantly rambling across my living room wall.

When I moved into my house I put beetle bombs in place. That was 3 years ago. Now it appears I need to do it again. That means I will need to evacutae the house for 24 hours. Ali will also need to evacutae th house. But I don't really want unnecssary holes in my walls. These bora beetles are clever beetles. I don't want to exhume either Ali or myself but I do want to exhume exoloriate or whatever the beetle.

In other astounding news today I pruchased 2 new pairs of shoes. This adds to the pari I purchased last week. What prompted this shoe fetish? Well last week I was in a meeting. There were three of us. One said "I can smell toast". So, I said (in a lady who moved to Auckland manner) "so can I". But that smell of toast was my burning smelly old shoes wet with holes.

New shoes. I like new shoes. So, will my colleagues without knowing it!

Oh, and speaking of colleagues - today a certain code was distributed at the weekly team staff meeting. This means I can no longer post about work. I am resolved to that. cOS well, its not healthy, its not professional and all that. Will be venting my frustration for $19.50 per week at Les Mills.

Buggar the bora beetle. How could it just disappear? Like, it was big - as in at last a $2.00 coin size. It was there when I came home, but jsut before I sat down to post this, it disppeared. The bora beetle is my immediate challenge.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wig-out update

Thank you for your comments - it helped and I took them into consideration. No, really it did. These also aligned with:
1) what a senior manager once advised: “Smile, acknowledge in your head the person is a f-wit, but smile and do not concede any ground”. Its good advice, its r.o.w. Its hard to execute, but in general its an effective strategy to use. So, I didn’t wig-out. Wigging out, explaining my frustration in this instance is, and likely to recoccur situations (like tomorrow when I have my fortnightly catch up scheduled) are not going to work. Basically, I’ve concluded its bad manners. But if someone has bad manners then that ultimately is their issue. My issue is not to let it affect me and not reciprocate in kind, especially when a power imblance exists. . I note ** who was to attend the same meeting yesterday came over to me this morning and profusely apologised, but this is because he has manners…
2) Today's Dominion. It referred to mandarin burecrats. It also provided defintion of a number of txt spk - one being Wombat

W O M B A T - Waste of money, brains, and time.

So I put togetehr the two and renamed for my voacb my manager Mandarin Wombat - MW. This is quite clever on a number of levels, one being it corresponds with teh managers initials - but not if the manager or SSC ever read this blog!

The Manager came and asked me if I had completed the weekley report. I advised I had and that I had becasue ^^ had already asked me. Then I thought of Dilbert in todays Dom where the manager asks two people to do the same job. I smiled and advised that the task had already been completd. My manager, visibly agitated, but chequereed by me, walked away. (remember advice no. 2 from former manager: don't play games!

I even got to write WOM on the "in/out"board. becasue I was having an official meeting at Word of Mouth. I am sure noone had any idea where I was. But I knew what WOM stood for. WOM and Wombats. I find the "in/out" board off becasue it is kept under extreme and strict surveillance by the manager. Odd becasue for example, its required to be filled in cirucstaces like when everyone is at the same meeting - well, hello, doesn't everyone know they are at thesame meeting. I mean alongside everyones name of the the meeting room gets plcaed.!! Not ot just one general mark up.

Oh, and I "won" a trade me auction for Les Mills membership. Yep, I'm going back to the gym - mainly I'll be going to the Terrace because that is in close proximity to where I work - this will also solve the "problem" of "F" who put me off going to Extreme - although "F" does occassionly go to the Terrace., Becasue um clearer I need to vent my frustration physically

I suspect my meeting tomorrow will either go well or badly. If my my manager insists on advising the Pucinni is an opera - I will slap manager - again, thats just pure arrogance.

Weather looks good for the weekend - Yay!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Time management and ethics

I was going to post bout newspapers and recycling and my latest update on this topic Instead I will revisit another topic I have written about before.

I have two problems. The first relates to the time management of my manager. She reschedules every meeting. This would be Ok if it was the exception to the rule. If she was very busy. If she needed to accomodate the manager above her manager. But as the manager above her manager no longer exists this is not a problem.

My problem is I get very agitated.

I see her outside her office when she is supposed to be meeting me, and then gets one of the "princiapals" and shust the door. Well, today I had had enough. The 2.30 meeting got shunted to 4.30. As she didn't bother to come out of her office I didn't bother to stay (theres this unspoke rule if the office door is shut you dont go in). I left at 5.15 without explanation underr the pretence I had to catch my train. But actually I catch the 618 so could have stayed tilll 6pm. I could have stayed, but I was getting increasingly agitated. Its rude and arrogant and ego driven. Thats what irks me. I seem to have the lowest thresehold within my team. She does it to everyone - well, all the "seniors". However, that in my view does not make it justifable. It just wastes time. I have time, but that is not the point.

My problem is it is potentially going to create conflict because it is pissing me off big time and I know I am not managing it effectively and I lack the ability to hide my discontent. But like I said, its just something I have zero tolerance for as I consider it to be an ego thing. I could accept it if it was justifed.

I have thought about telling her its one of my values and I find it frustrating - but I dont think
this would work.

Advice would be valued. As tomorrow, I still need to meet with her - and guess what? Its over fricken template. Maybe thats the other thing thats equal to the discontent. Its the meeting thing but its also collective input when it is completely unnecessary and a decent horse becomes a Donkey.

As referred to above the manager above my manager has resigned. This was becasue apparently policy was not followed. Did this concern my colleagues? It appeared not. Not in the slightest. However, when supplementary information appeared to reveal that the manager above my manager was not quite as well qualified as she had led colleageus to believe, this seems to stress my colleagues and outrage them into dicussion on how it was all wrong. Well hello. Wheres the ethics in that? Without knowing the full evidence but having read the OIA report becasue its public, both were wrong. It really concerns me that my colleagues can't seem to distingusih this. I think they feel outraged becasue they feel they have been betrayed and do not know this person fully like they throught they did. I just don't get it. Both behaviours are wrong.

I just don't get my workplace. Its values are not aligned with mine.

Seriously, advice on this time management thing would be appreciated becasue tomorrow I fear I may up for wigging out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life is not a Template

Its a shame noone can construct a common sense template. Imagine how much money you would make from that? Still, one persons common sense is in the eyes of another bizarro fantasy land.

Sometimes I think my colleagues are retarded even though they are highly educated. Today when I reported back that the consultation I was sent to comprised 75% govt officials they were outraged. But Duhhhh, I was one of those unnecessary officials.

As part of writing up my evaluation from the consultation I attended yesterday I was required to fill in a template. This template included such gems as whether economic transformation, Maori discussed, Pacific people, immigration were discussed. These things set out objectively could seem resonable. But hello, people dont turn up to a consultation and have a discussion according to Dr Xs template unless the facilitation is based on Dr Xs template - it wasn't.

Are you for real Mister Mr X template writer? I wanted to say.

When Mr MBA template coordintor (seperate burecrat from Dr X Template writer - becasue hello we all have different skills and abilities - and why have one person do the job when you can have several?learnt I was sticking an unauthorised "table" in my template he advised me in quite strict terms that no tables were to be used in the template - or words to that effect. "Are you for real Mister template co-ordinator?"

I finished my template - added the disclaimer that Dr Xs Template format was not completely suitable for the discussion I attened and this is why I had included the table. I suspect tomorrow I will be asked to remove the table due to its non compliance with the template.

I suspect I will be very tempted to say fuck off and get real but I will adhere to repetition. Your template did not fit the format of the discussion becasue real people do not use templates.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

There's a burglar in my hood

How do I know this? Becasue I recieved a letter from Constable G370. It advised me that the burgalry occured yesterday between the hours of 10.am and 12pm. Police are looking for:

Dark Skin
Approx 20 years of age
5ft 7
Medium Build
Clean Shaven
Wearing a drak top
Carrying an object wrapped in a sheet
Was seen running down Rhodes Street.

The letter I recieved is apparently evidence of "Safer Communities Together".

As it happens I was home yesterday. And as per the last Police incident in my hood that I was informed of I was sleeping during these hourse of the incident. I find this a littel disturbing, because I makes me wonder if I could sleep thorugh my house being burgled.

I saw the Policeman deliver the letter. I had arisen from my sleeping "sickness" for coffee ar Mirabelle - which in time (the next few days) I will devote a whole shout out to. I was returning home in the car. I was remiss in that I wasn't wearing my seatbelt. The Policeman who was walking his community bicycle as he delivered his letters shouted at me. "Put your bloody seat belt on lady". I pulled into my driveway. He continued delivering his letters. Thats what you call Carterton community policing.

Anyway, I am glad my retired neighbours are home. My single lady living next door his home. The shift workers on the corner are home. And the firewood man pops home to see his Mum a couple of times a day. This is the best neighbourhood watch one could hope for.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I've got lots of stories about trains. Lots and lots. And they are growing in their various categories. And lots and lots of them reach my heart. My Dad was a Stationmaster - a real railway man - you could smell it on him, on his stationmaster uniform, and from the time he spent in the railway yards. I can recall the times he took me into the railway stations themselves as a kid. It was certain smell. When I walk into teh Carterton railway office - I dont get that smell - but at least the outside is famailar to what I grew up with. I lived by the rails for the first five years of my life, so I like to consider I am a railway child. Although clearly I am not a child anymore. This is part is why I like travelling on trains, and that I like listening to the trian toot its way in both directions at the back of my house. That by way of introduction is merely context. Anyway, heres one particualr story that tugs at my heartstrings - specifically in realtion to me and my life journey.

There's this phenomenon that occurs at Carterton Station. There are at least 4-5 couples that stand at the station each morning. The "husband" or "partner" stands by their lady, in at least two cases the man holds the ladies bag. Then when the train arrives, the man kisses the lady/wife/partner goodbye. And then....and then the man is there to greet her on the return trian home. Its not just "ageing couples". There's a couple of young couples that do this too. One brings their dog each way.

Increasingly, more and more, I think it would quite nice to have a man hold my handbag, pass me the newspaper, and wave me goodbye, and be there to greet me when I got home, and then we would walk hand in hand off to the home cooked roast he had made for me - or hot pot of fresh pumpkin soup on the stove accompanied by French bread from Moises and the homefire would be stoked..the house would be warm - and he would keep all the lightbulbs active and not wait until they all blew out before changing them, necessitating navigating the house at times like a partially blind person.

Anyway, whats prompted this entry? I guess its been building for sometime, but was jolted by overhearing this guy talk about his sister on the train home tonight. He was talkinga bout how at 38 yeah she was fine with no kids, no commitments, but now shes 43 and empty. Eek, I'm nearly 43, I'm not empty - but I guess I am reassessing my status as as a SWLA - Single Woman Living Alone. It used to be funny. I guess I am finidng it less humourous than I used to.

So now I just need to find myself the perfect man - refer paragraph 3 - oh, he would of course, also have weeed the garden during the week, so that at the weekend, I could merely plant out the vegetables and "potted colour". We'd talk about what we had done during the day, to which wed'e be interested, but then we'd talk about other stuff and make exicting plans to travel while he was doing the dishes.

Somewhere between these lines, as hard or not as it maybe for some readers and even myself to believe, I am actually being serious.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recyling newspapers and the end of the Wishbone for me

I recycle newspapers. Its a well known fact. I collect my own, that of people who leave them on the train, and that of whatever workplace I am occupying. It was turning into a bit of a newspaper fetish. Then voila.

I discovered the recyling section at the back of the Post Office. When the bin is nearly full. Its a like a lucky dip for a lady with a newspaper fetish. But alas, I went tonight and the bin was empty:-(

Mental note: Visit the recycling station before Council rubbish collection day - not after recently after rubbish collection day.

There is a reason I collect newspapers, apart from the fact that has become one of my addictions, (although I'm getting the "bad" ones under control, actually). It is to put as a layer on my garden.

The magic formula is: weed, layer of horse manure, thick layer of newspaper (hence lots of newspapers are required) and layer of peastraw. Result: hopefully a lot less weeding over the winter period.

Wishbone ham egg and cheese sandwiches have risen 50c to $6.00 for two pieces of bread with egg, cheese and ham. For some reason I could bring myself to pay $5.50. But I cannot bring myself to pay $6.00. Thats outrageous. I will be making my lunch, at least, more often.

Meeting Dr M again

Today I met “M” at the Lambton Quay pharmacy. I was actually looking for hair dye, but I looked up and there was “M”. I have not seen “M” since she left to live in Australia circa 2000 or 2001. To put it in Hebe context - the row of Hebe Graces that are now 6ft or so that reside at the back of my section were only in conception - as in cuttings.

So, I sort of did one of those double takes and gave a smile as if we might have met before, or maybe just practcing the happy smile so I get the happy vibe - as hard as it is somtimes. *M* did too, and then she said “Hebequeen”. Well, Ok, she did not say “Hebequeen”. She said “*” and I said “M”. Now the thing is I met “M” at what was one of the biggest nights ever (for me) one Melbourne cup night – which I think I have referred to previously, at my former former employer. I think the year was 1998 and I think she was a friend of Mr BB who is of course friends with everyone. It was random how we met. We met at the "Opera" bar when it was the "Opera" bar.

We never really had that much in common, except that night we both got quite drunk and ended up at the Irish pub in Courtnay Place with the Greek man who used to work in Facilities until about 3 or 4 in the morning – who I think she went home with. We then kept in touch intermitantly by email – she was sort of like a penpal before the advent of Facebook/Blogs etc. Although it turned out are both Gemini, with one or two days that seperate our birthdays and the one thread of commonality was that she had once dated someone with the same surname as me, who in the cicrle of life (gosh, thats so Lion King eh?!) would have been working for the same Govt dept I am now working for, but no longer is.

Since that time she lived in Australia, met a man there, had a baby, and finished her PhD in a specialised area of resource management. “M’s is one of those people in the world that I would describe as beautiful and charasmatic. Charming, engaging, intelligent and funny. She would walk into a crowded room and you would notice her. She wouldn't be "me, me, me". She's one of thsoe people that doesn't need to be becasue she has prescence. She’s hard to be negative with which is why I always enjoyed her company because instantly she just made me be positive. Weird but true. She asked me if I was still living in the Wairarapa - and of course she pronounced it how it should be, with the r's rolled correctly in the right place. Easy to answer yes, becasue I am. Then she asked me that harder question. The one about if I was writing. Because when we met I was writing a lot. I said “I’ve got a blog”. It counts but it doesn’t in terms of “writing”. Her silence acknowledged that.

She said I looked different. I said, “I’m older, I’ve grown my hair a bit, I think”. She said, “Aren’t we both, no, I think the colour is different”. I realise now as I write this its probably because I wear my glasses a lot more than I used to.

I gave her one of my current business cards – because if you’ve been following the plot I’ve been accumulating quite a few lately, and hello, I wouldn’t actually hand out a redundant card would I? Oh yeah, and I’m hoping to get a new card printed by the end of the year, but just don’t know yet what will be on it. She read out the one liner at the bottom of it: “Were helping New Zealand work better”. We laughed together. It sounded so funny reading that line out in a pharmacy. We laughed, and we didn't even get to the bit of the story that I don't actually like my job.

We both said we should do lunch. I hope we do. It would be random (again) to reignite our contact and really there would be no need to. But that's why I think it would be nice.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Well I was going to post about Wainuiomata eh? Well, I kindof said it yesterday. There's now officially a house occupying land where there once was this amazing garden. It was going to happen and it happened. The people have done an ok job actually of the subdivding thing - and from a quick look from the Alleyway - they seem to have made some imrpovements to the house I lived in also. In some respects its better to have another home on that land than see it parked up with cars on the land. At least it means there's new life there. The story is much bigger but for now thats enough about the Wainui house.

So, Mushrooms. yesterday when I was in the Hutt I went to the Italian Bella or whatever it is called in Petone. All I know is that it may be run by Italians, but heck it is occupied by Wellington people. Took an effort to pick the Hutt people. Anyway, so I order this Italian dish of pasta, mushrooms and Italian sausage. It cost $17.00. It was ok, but defientely not amazing. the mushrooms were about one or two dried, the sausgae some crumble effect of a good old pork sausgage not falsh pastrami or chorizo or anything.

So, today (becasue I am not at work....) I made took this Italian dish and I made it my own. Here is how you make authentic mushroom pasta. First you source your field mushrooms from the mushroom honesty table outside one of the hosues in the main st. The mushrooms may come in a pak n save bag but they are 100% authentic field mushrooms clearly picked this mornning. Cost $5.00 Second, source 100% pork sausges from the young buthcher guy in Greytown. Cost $4.00. When you get home source half a packet of Italian penne from cupboard. Cost: free. Have some left over cream: free. Parma cheese in fridge: free. OK. the cheese and cream did incur some expense at one stage but not on the actual day.

Stir fry mushrooms until they reach a deep dark jet black consistency - the whole exercise is worth it just to see this amazing mushroom black colour. Boil water and cook pasta and bake sausages. Throw pasta into mushroom mixture. Add cream. toss over cheese. Slice sausage and serve on side - because hello I am a carnivore - but actualy the sauagses weren't really needed.

volia - three meals for the price of one.
I've lost my Jamie Oliver book - but who needs it when you can make magic with the freshest of ingredients and who needs that Italian place in Petone?

The mushrooms are spectacular - becasue of course you can only get them at this time of year, becasue its an autumnal thing becasue they are genuine field mushrooms what with grass and everything on them.

Respect to the honest box. I'm glad they can still exist in my community. I now buy mushrooms, pinecones, and horse manure via the hoensty box. This is saying something because the honesty boxes are generally placed on main roads, so "naughty" and dishoinest people could abuse them - as happens in some place. But they appear not to in my community and I think thats great - I really do!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Homperm has talent

Last night I attended a talent party hosted by Homeperm and her talented friend. It was the best party I have attended this year. (well, the last party I attended was technically on New Years Eve....so draw together the dots and it is the only party I have attended this year. But that aside, I am confident that even if I had attended nore parties it still would have been the best.

It was to give it crude analysis a remix version of a traditional talent party, updated with a little of "so you think you can dance", a little of "american idol", a little of "stars in yoru eyes" "The Terrace Classical concerts of St Andrews" mixed in with an updated section from the old Country Womens Instititutes shows. The art was making that mix work - and it did. There were classical sounds, there wer floyd sounds and there were beasutiful "beats".

The best thing is that everyone had talent and everyone got to appreciate each others talent.

One of the quirky things I liked about the night was that the contractor who disappeared from my not my last workplace but the workplace before that turned out to be a magician! That explains a lot.

Today was spent in the Hutt. Then I decided soon as a had the car and transport I would go over to Wainuiomata to see my old family home. I can't explain why I did, I just felt the need to -its a strange way of grounding myself, reminding myself where I have come from, but also reminding myself I no longer belong there - there are of course parallels in there for my work life. The new owners have buildt a new kitset/garage type house where the garden was. It was weird. But I knew it would happen - so did my Dad. He used t say something like "when I'm dead I bet some buggar will come and get rid of the garden, wipe it out" and put another house there - but I wont be alive to see it" Well I am, and I have seen it, and I'll post more about it tomorrow.

On the way home I stopped at the Indian diary in Epuni and bought some crysthamums and carantions - not that Dad ever really grew those - but in just in memory of the flowers that once were in that place where the new house sits. I alos stopped at the garden centre - but will post more about that tomorrow.

Anway, finally for todays posting, pre Homperm's party I was reminded that Strongerlight and Morgue are getting married next January - my talent for this occassion is flowers - so I have some serious work to do. Its a good and enjoyable goal to strive for - and reminds me of the importance of creating my own garden to the standard I used to achive with my Dad. The flowers we grew together in that place where there is now a house were used for weddings, funderals and other occassions....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Just plain fricken weird

I've been building up to this post all week. At the commencement of the working week (for me), that is, Monday, the "normal" team meeting was held. Highlights and lowlights were discussed as usual. Although as usual, personally, I found it hard to distingusih between the two. Then just as the meeting was about to draw to a close, the Acting Manager asked all the ladies to stay behind.

She then approached the rather delicate subject that there was an issue with how some ladies were using the toilets. Effectively that "shit" had been discovered on the toilet floors, and "someone" it appeared had toilitree issues that were resulting in a potential health hazard that in the worst case sceanario could possibly lead to a hepatitis A. omg I so wish I had been quick enough to say the most common casue of hepatitis A outbreaks in toilets is between men who have sex with men, and the prospect of this happening in the 7th floor toilets of my building, was in my opinion while not impossible, quite remote during "working hours". I regret I was not quick enough with this retort at the time, beccasue I was simply so overwhelemed at the inetenisty of discussion on the state of the use and state of the toliets.

It was suggested that everyone could contibute to the solution by paying attention to personal hygeiene, washing their hands, and executing care in their toilet excursions. It was also suugested that if anyone did have issues about their toilet behaviour that perhasp they could discretely and confidentially appraoch the Group Manager to "discuss".

Now full credit, actually, to the way the Acting Manager approached the subject and dealt with it swiftly and smoothly and "upfront". But end of week, a few "discreet" notices later, I still find it rather odd.

But more to the point, I think it says something about the work culture or my current employer.

But I don't know, I have thought about it all week. I just find it weird. The behaviour that has led the discussion and the disucssion and attention to it as a result.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Three words

Three words have crept into the venacular of the modern day discourse. These three words are "its all good". Like, people use these three words at the end of a sentence, a discussion. All sorts of people use these three words. Well, I don't like the way these three words are used. Its too like "have a nice day". Why do you have to say "Its all good" if in fact it is all good. Its a NZ equivalent of "have a nice day". Its a meaningless qaulifier. I suppose its an updated version of the old "she'll be right" now that I think about.

I far prefer the way the judge on Dancing With The Stars used the word A.maz.ing. Thats what I'd rather everyone finished their paragraphs, their sentences with. A.maz.ing. Cos you know, it could be A.maz.ing ly good - or it could be A.maz.ing ly bad.

Anyway, if you have a conversation with me, please do not use the words "its all good"!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I have just completed a telephone survey. I know a little about these things so agree to participate in them as a matter of personal curiosity and professional development. This survey was about "general state of things in New Zealand". It lasted about 10 minutes. But thats becasue I am probably your dream question answerer. Reasonably educated and attuned to the types of questions being asked.

I would have thought the lady I was speaking to was from Bombay - but she was probably from Bombay via Auckland. I did ask her the name of the company. Two letters represening individiauls. Think: A&C - but it wasnt A&C so I answered the questions.

The questions ranged basically from whether I would voteein for a Labour Govt (I would) - how happy I was with the Labour govt (relatively happy) to whether I liked cricket or rugby league (clearly being from Wainuiomata, rugby league ) . Take the girl out of Wainui but not Wainui out of the girl. to whether I knew about various current affairs and John Key.

But then there was the question: How happy are you with your life on a scale of 1-10. I answered 5. the interviewer said "Oh, you sound so positive, I thought you would answer much higher". Well, hello. Most people sound quite happy when they have had a few drinks!

Various questions intervened and then the questionnaire ended with the lady saying somethinglike "I really hope your things improe with your ranking on how happy you are@v

I hope so too. I really do.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pedestrian observations

Pedestrian observations
We can walk on different sides of "The Terrace“
We can pretend we don’t see each other
When we can
But you know, I would know that look,
that movement, that head tilted down concentrated look that says without saying
I can’t see you – but you can
You see
Anywhere, Anytime
I would know that look without even looking
I’ve executed it myself
So many times before over a lifetime
Just, you know, the point of difference
Not with you

It was just a random but automated glance to the other side
an automatic eye movement
my eye flickers
like a failed exposure
without knowing
it would locate you
standing there in the entrance way
to where I once belonged

You can shuffle your feet
like suddenly they are the most important
things in the world
to choreograph
but its just a metaphor
for the distance
than now exists

This time last year
there would have been a wave
a smile at least
a positive result
that communication was still alive
even if there wasn't time to talk
to cross-over and converse

You once asked me what I feared most
Now I know
Distance and silence
when they replace the friendship
that once existed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Phone Parable

here is the text of an email I have just sent:

Tonight I had it verified that my cellphone has been stolen and some bastard named "Mike" has changed the number at um 840pm.Anyway, I suspect "he" has probably deleted everything inlcuding the names and phone numbers in the address book and onsold - but just to let you know if you get any random calls or txts they are not from me (although yes, clearly they could have been but they are not) - and clearly another number will show. Several lessons to be learnt here (for me);Dont download several photos of your garden onto you phone;Dont download several photos of the balloon fest onto your phone;Don't download several photos of your beautiful cat onto your phone;Dont download $$$$ of songs onto your phone and programme them into categories etc;Dont download $$$$ for phone calls onto your phone;Dont leave your phone on the boot of your car becasue you have this little morning routine of "bag, phone, paper, locked car check" - although clearly I missed one of these steps out this morning of your car and in the interests of getting the paper, and ther train and getting to Wellington forgot I had the phpne but left it one the boot all day and expect it to be there when you return;If you do get a user pays phone with telecom put a security check on it so some bastard name Mike cant phone up and change the number;Better still get a job where your employer pays for the phone and these thinges are of less importance;Does one really need a phone - maybe the universe is scarifcing my phone to teach me something about communication ......yeah right.........Anyway, I dont' know if I will get a new cellphone. I may go into communication hibernation and instead just buy a new alarm clock - stereo etc I do know I may lodge my first ever insurance claim. Guess its only a phone - but whoever has it knows my name and could look me up and know where I live........they could also look you up....... grrr and GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A balloon birthday photo

You can visit Hottieperm here:http://homeperm.blogspot.com

Its her birthday today so I'm celebrating with colour

trade me table

A couple of months ago I purchased a table from a Trademe man who lives in my trademe region. Today he sat next door to me on the train. I found out he was a medical doctor. His wife is a manager of a health instituition. His wife reupolstered the chairs. Quite nicely. This would perhaps explain why they have not had time to post feedback. I've decided the feedback doesn't really matter because I got a good table table and chairs for the price that is in keeping with my house so I didn't raise it with him this morning. I guess I just like feedback.
The things is when the man visited and delivered my table I thought he looked familiar - but just attributed that to perhaps having seen him locally. He shook my hand and I attributed that to good manners- I have found my best deals are sealed with handshakes when the people introduce themselves. I had viewed his extensive listings on trademe which included among other things, a flash late model porsche, a flash motorbike and another flash car. From this I had deducted he was an IT professional.
He his leaving Wellington to go to Melbourne becasue he needs to move on from the Wellington health scene. I kind of felt for him. His story had a resonance for me. Just hearing him speak, pulled these enormous heart strings/triggers for me. We have different backgrounds but there were similarities in some repsects.
There is something about when people talk about health and their work in health that stirs me. You see, you can be passionate about health, about making a difference. It is easy. It is real.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fantail in house

I have just googled this. "Fantail in house" - " Some tribes believe a fantail in your house is a sign of death. Others believe it is a sign of good fortune".

Why did I google this? because a few hours ago I had a happy fantail in my living room - moving from one lightbulb to the next. Then when I got the broom - to direct it outside it flew out of its own accord.

The Ngati Porou in me believes that fantails are not a good sign. But then again as I am not really Ngati Porou maybe I can interpret is a sign of good fortune - a signal of good change.

The thing is I take these signs seriously even if I don't know know what they mean. A fantail doesn't just fly into your house unelss it has something to say. Furthermore, a fantail is not even a common sight on my property little own the prospect of flying into my house.

It has unsettled both Ali and me.

I guess the fact that the fantail was happy could allow interpretation to be on the side of good fortune.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Neighbourhood watch

About 7pm I was visited by a local policeman. He asked me if I was at home at 4pm. Yes, I said. But then I had to concede I was at home but I was asleep. This means Imissed an act of serious violence halfway down my street. I asked if their were guns. No. It was the wrong question I realise in retrospect. I should have asked how injured the person was. I suspect they are either in intensive care or dead. The incident occured at this house were a group of young people hang out. In general, its far enough to really affect me, but at the same time it is concerning.

I seized the opportunity in my interaction with the policeman to tell him about the threatening annoymous mail I had recieved today. Basically I was left a handwritten note in my letterbox that said if I was real Carterton person I would leave my rubbish in my bin., But I am a real Carterton person and I do put my rubbish in my bin!!! IN fact in terms of environmental recyclying I rank myself pretty high. Thats what hurts! It takes a lot of effrot to chop up chooped down trees -for kindling - more so than taking them to the dump. Except the person spelt rubbish with one b (ok, I don't spell check these posts, but I do the written note). It was odd. If the person writing it was a real Carterton person they would have told me in person of their concerns. But seriously, I can't see what activity I udnertake that could possibly be offensive to any neighbours. Its quite puzzling. The policeman provided no comment or advice. I conceded he would probbaly have greater and more pressing issues to address - but that I felt the need to tell him in any case.

The annoying thing about the handwritten note about from its unwarranted implications are that it is annoymous and there is no opprotunity to press the reply button as in an an email. That for me is one of the most frsutrating things.

Went to Noel Leeming to buy a digital camera - but no one offered to serve me - so I walked out. Its part of my customer policy. Besides its only douple flybuys and I wiill wait for triple.

Oh and fyi, my flybuys purchases are coming one by one, day by day. This was ok for today because I was home. But when I am not home, this neccitates a trip to the local post shop.

I am in receipt of sectauers and a nlue frypan. pillows, lamp and house and graden to come.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dream a little

Tomorrow courtesy of Flybuys I should be the proud owner of:

  • 2 Danish Duck pillows
  • 1 leatherman secetars
  • 1 blue skillet
  • 1 lamp
  • 1 year subscription to House & Garden.

It is 3 years since I purchased my house to do. This incidentially is Ali's birthday too. These are little Flybuys gifts to celebrate.

I didn't really need the pillows, but heard this lady on the train rave about how nice it is to have nice pillows and treat yourself. Its a bit like having nice towels.

This does of course mean I will need to purchase digital camera by traditional means.

Further lift advice

If you are standing in a full lift and you are trying to avoid someone - someone you would rather forget and not be recognised by - do not drop your swipe card directly in front of them and face side up so that they can confirm your identity - especially when you work in an organisation that prides itself on identity. It does tend to draw attention to yourself - not only by the person you are trying to avoid. But the whole of the lift.

When waiting for the lift to go down - if it is full, let it pass. This risks the lift is overloaded siren going off and the cause being attributed to you. It also allows you to make conversation with the other person waiting for the lift who may possibly be more important than you - even if you only talk about the lift - it is conversation with someone you may not have had a conversation with.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Country charm

Today I went to get my loaf of (unsliced) white bread from Country Oats. Parking (a current interest of mine as you will know from my last posting) was at a premium, well at least by Carterton standards. The usual cars I see parked out outside Kircks duing the week taking up local parking becasue the owners are that little more adventerous and extend their day in the coutnry that little but further than Greytown and Martinborough.

So, I park a few spaces up from Country Charm. Its an antique shop and you may know it from the fact that it has two elderly manequins dressed up that sit outside the shop. Just as I pass the china shop (becasue that essentially what it is with a few expensive wooden pieces) this lady pushing an elderly lady in a wheel chair passes me. She zooms the elderly woman in the wheel chair up to the manequins and they laugh at the manequins and then zoom off. I turned my head around becasue I could hardly believe it. The wheel chair was stuffed with three - yes thats 3 - real live chiwawas (sp) coming out - one at the front, one at the side and one at the back. This is one of the most surreal sightings I have seen for some time.

I also saw a one armed man and one leggged man in the space of about 10 minutes. Each of the men were probbaly younger than me, and playing with their children in the local park. They rmindeded me that life is about the attitude you give it.

Oh, and finally I froze corn and roasted tomato mixtures. I was a pit disappointed with my tomato crop this year given its been a scorcher of a summer. I've decided its all in getting thehem at the right time to get early growth. Its an ok crop but not quite as bountiful as I had hoped for.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Colour coded car parking

Today I passed six cars in the street where Rumbles the wine merchant is adjacent to Midland Park. The name of the street escaopes me but you can enter it more or less off Woodward St and exactly off Lambton Quay. It is where the popular sushi place is that people que in quite some numbers at lunchtime. Anyway the six cars I saw were all red. Yes, I saw red I saw red I saw red to adapt an old Split Enz song. This made me think that about the prospect of desiognating certain inner city parking areas by a colour code. eg you can only park in Featherston St if your car is yellow. You can only park in Lambton Quay if your car is grey (the fact that my car is grey and parking is difficult to get in Lambton Quay is incidential becasue my car is currently unwarranted and unregistered - again and it is over 3 months since I drove it to Wellington in any case). I'm quite hooked on this town planning concept. Like it brings colour into the town - and in its way is a kind of sustainable option to parking by restricting parking through colour. I guess though while the concept is brillant I could be acccused of bias. eg preferring grey over yellow. Its probbaly not an eeo policy and clearly would result in differential outcomes. But that for me is the beauty of it.

In other parking observations, I have notice on the otherside of Midland Park early morning obseravtions and it it is this. In the street adjacnet to Midland Park and Kircaldies - Brandon St. Often in the morning it is parked up with expensive specimens of the modern day vehicle. Typically these can fall into the catergory of very late model - as in just been produced BMWS, Volvos, Audis etc. I notice this because sometimes I divert my morning breakfast from Astroia to Wholly Bagels for coffee. Its random. How is it that every morning the street at appproximately 8.50am is parked up with expensive cars. Are the owners having breakfast at Astoria? Have the owneres arrived early to go shopping at Kirks or to do their volunteer service and collecting for the day. These are possible options I have consdidered, but quite seriously I lack a definitive conclusion.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lift activty

I randomly logged onto the Radio Live site and Marcus Lush to hear a prerecorded chat about the Carterton wheelbarrow races held last weekend. Then I decided to listen to the archived chat about lifts. Brillant.

In essence it provides reccommendations on when you are in a lift. Basically, if you are the last person in the lift you press all the buttons for the floors below so that the next person who hops in has to go to all the floors. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before.

What I have thought of and quite often do is pretend I am pusing the door open button when in fact I am pushing the door closed button and then look extremely disppointed when the door slams in front of the person.

Anyway, today I tried out the lift button thing. It was strangely empowering. I still have some way to go to perfect it. And the fact that I am the 7th floor doesn't mean I can quite get the full effect of it but nevertheless I'm going to be practicing and perfecting my lift movements.

I think my building has 5 lifts and about 18 floors so there is some scope in this activity.

Apparently like trains, this type of activty appeals to those with autistic tendencies.

Anyway, its giving me some pleasure, its free, it may inconvience a few people, but it doesn't actually do any harm.

All my colleagues in my seating area have been away for the last two days, so instead of being geographically located in "south pod" i have been an i-pod. But my other colleagues keep calling me a me-pod. Apparently, its more gramatically correct - this maybe so but it defeats the purpose of the rebranding - retards!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Late train

Tonight the late train was very late. Train logic goes like this: The 4.33 breaks down and gets cancelled and towed back through the tunnel back to Upper Hutt. The 5.33 loco has to join up to the 4.33 so is carrying twice the load of passengers and therefore goes slower. The 6.18 has to wait for the 5.33 to clear signals before it can proceed. Consequently, the 6.18 gets in to Caterton at 8.53pm.
The train gaurd loves it. She has soemthing to talk about in great detail and advises all passengers to complain to Toll. She also advises that the train will be late and she's keeping it in Wellington so passengers can hvae the choice of going to New World Metro or Trax for a drink. She has asked the driver to toot his horn so passengers know when to come back. Unfortunately, I had already been to New World and was to anxious I would miss the toot if I went to Trax. Besides, I am trying (and suceeding - well at least this week, but today is only Monday:-) to keep weekdays, with the exception of Fridays, alcohol free). Its not conducive to a lot of things.
The guard also mentions it's good enough to be be a reality programme. I think she must have been watching the UK version of the tube reality TV. The thing is that she (the gaurd) is good enough to justify her own TV reality show.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


My favourite grapes are in season and cheap as chips at the Masterton Farmers market. The black type that taste of homegrown grapes. Unfortuantely, this means Autumn has arrived.
Purchased another load of macrocarpa and it was delivered today. I love wood and woodstacking. But must remember I now have enough wood probably for this winter and next given I have priced woodburners and I don't think I will be buying a new one this winter. Wood people are a good breed of people. example: they post their feedback rapidly on Trademe and place excellent feedback. Trademe is the way to go for purchasing and having delivered wood from local suppliers. It does however leave me with a dliemena about my neighbour the wood man who has supplied me with pine. I may have to buy some more pine from him but make the point that if he had elevated me to his priorty delivery list I would have actually purcahsed my macrocarpa off him.
Anyway why pine and macrocarpa - well according to my neighbour you get the best burn when you mix the two.
I have chopped the red hedge down the side of my border with my neighbours basically in half. They have been dropping gentle hints for some time. It was a hedge that had turned into trees but now I have turned it back into a hedge - well it will be once it gets its Spring growth back. In their absence I relented. It lets in a considerable lot more light in to my house - and I suspect their house too. Hopefully, this solar solution will help my winter heating.
I can see why men get excited about chopping trees. A chainsaw would have made it quicker but it is more rewarding with a handsaw.