Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Her last day of freedom

TLM's new school year starts tomorrow, so I took yesterday and today off work in order to get some last hurrahs in.

The forecast for these two days was not promising, but I'd fully expected it to rain and blow- because I am apparently The Weather Jonah.

However it's turned out nice and sunny in the afternoons, which means I could stop bitching about the crappy weather I always get when I take annual leave.

Yesterday we went to the local library for Captain Underpants books (for her) and knitting books (for me), followed by sushi at Yummy Sushi, a walk around the green bits and then a quick visit to see my mum in the hospital. (She went home shortly after our visit and is doing very well thank you very much for asking).

Today we drove out to Petone to visit a new art gallery which a friend of mine helped promote. It was full of great paintings, photos and ceramic art themed around the local wharf - and I would have bought some if I wasn't so stingy. That was followed by lunch at Beanie (great place, loved how they serve kids'  milkshakes in little half-pint milk bottles) with the friend, a walk along the Esplanade, and a visit to Chocolate Story (where I had to get us out of there quickly so as to limit our chocolate spend).

Then we looked and looked for the Holland Road Yarn Company, which for some reason is always hard to find. But of course it was closed - it's closed about 50% of the times I go there - which was really disappointing. I will probably just shop there online from now on because I only go there for the hard-to-get-elsewhere yarns, certainly not for the service.

I'm currently trying to repair a parasol which is a prop for an upcoming dance performance for Chinese New Year celebrations. Fortunately it's just a glue job, rather than one involving patience, thread and a pointy needle.

And then, before we know it, it'll be Tuesday evening and the end of the school holidays.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

That was another one we didn't feel*

Yesterday afternoon TLM and I went out for a spontaneous walk-and-adventure - as in, we'd go somewhere on the coast for a walk to see what we would see.

We ended up at a local rocky beach - particularly handy because it has toilets (something you have to consider when you have a child whose bodily rhythms tend towards the late afternoon).

We spent an hour or so clambering about on the rocks. (Funny how a spot of rock-hopping can tire our your legs eh?) I was a bit nervous a lot of the time because I couldn't be sure TLM could handle some of those sharp rocks and steeps bits on her own. But I didn't want to cramp her style so I let her take the lead and go pretty much where she wanted.

Because I'd accidentally left my phone at home I eventually decided it was time to get home before the boy got worried.

On the drive home, I heard on the radio that there'd been a 6.2 earthquake in our part of the country. If the boy had known we were at the beach during the earthquake he probably would've assumed we'd been washed away in a mini-tsunami. eek!

**Of the three big shakes we've experienced since the start of 2013 I've only managed to actually "experience" one of them even though I was there at the time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yet more hats

This weekend I finished two hats which are for a friend of mine and her partner. One of them is made from stash yarn that she gave me, which I thought she'd appreciate -

She's going back to the Northern hemisphere soon, so hopefully they'll come in handy! I used the same pattern for both (Washington Square Hat from Metropolitan Knits) but they look really different eh?

In other news, TLM is very unhappy about starting her school holiday programme tomorrow. When I pressed her, she revealed that it's because there's a mean girl who is is horrible to her - a bully who hasn't hit TLM yet but keeps threatening to. So when I sign her in tomorrow I'll have to have a talk to the manager about keeping an eye on them. I'll also have to reinforce to TLM that she'll need to be assertive and clear about telling the caregivers when the mean girl gets out of line.

And last of all, my mum has the dreaded shingles - at 89! I've heard it's a terrible affliction to get even if you're in the flush of otherwise-best health. For someone like her it must be intolerable. And the pain meds actually make her feel worse, so it's back to the doctor's tomorrow.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The colour pinky-purple

We had a lovely long weekend at Castle Point, joined by some friends who are similarly inclined to play boardgames on rainy (or not-so rainy) days.

There was a day of summery sunshine which allowed our respective daughters to frolic in the sea, roll around in the soft grey sand, and run around until they fell over.

This was followed by a day too windy for sea frolics, but it did clear up around 6pm so we went for a second walk up to the lighthouse.

In between, we played lots of board games. One of the games was Lords of Waterdeep, which - when we play at home - I often win.The boy should not have said this out loud though, because for two consecutive evenings I came last. I can only put it down to either performance anxiety, or the fact that TLM was not playing (and therefore not backstabbing her daddy).

I took my knitting with me, a hat. It took far too long for me to finish it, because I was making up some of the instructions myself. It's finished at last though. More details here.
 And I also finished this super-cropped cardigan (just perfect for those days when the top half of your boobies are feeling a little cold, but the lower half is just fine). More details here.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2014. I don't care about new year's resolutions but there are a few things I would like to happen (or not happen) this year:

no major earthquakes - we had two big ones in my town. It woke us up to the possibility of dying horribly under office rubble, or slowly from lack of earthquake-preparedness. But now that we have learned this lesson, no more earthquakes thanks.

no drought - while I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying the unusual event of no rain for three whole months (just glorious sunshine and warm temps), I appreciate that it's very bad for farmers and gardeners.

no major storms - our household was lucky because we're in an area which is relatively sheltered from severe winds, but others were not so lucky. Nelson, especially, seemed to suffer most from surface flooding and houses tumbling down newly-formed cliffs.

better health for my family - last winter was much milder than normal, so we didn't succumb as frequently (nor as intensely) to the usual viruses that got about. But TLM developed a chronic tickle cough which I hope doesn't turn out to be asthma or anything like that; and I developed bletharitis which is basically dandruff of the eyes. Which is okay if you don't mind looking like one of the more homely characters from True Blood - but not so much for me.

more exercise! I am definitely bigger that I was this time last year. I partly blame my boss, who got into the habit of plying us with chocolate and other sustaining sweets in the afternoon. Then, on the afternoons that she didn't do this, I started popping out of the office to buy myself  a little something…

I will leave you with one of the presents which the boy got me for Christmas (the other being a knitting bag which is decorated with an image of two balls of yarn, and captioned with the eek-making title of "Ball sack"). It is a tea leaf filter and I call it Mister Tea Pants -

Please don't forget to read this blog from the Family Times website. Even if you don't bother voting, just the fact that you are visiting via their website increases my chances of winning a trampoline for TLM to bounce around in.