Sunday, May 31, 2009


Signs When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Alexander Graham Bell


31 May 2009_4I woke late this morning with quite a headache following the partying through to the early hours of this morning. A great night was had by all if the number of empty bottles and the mess are anything to go by.

To aid my recovery today, Rory and I took Bonnie for a walk to the top of One Tree Hill. It was a cold and showery day and I was feeling back in top form in no time from the fresh air and the exercise.

It’s great that tomorrow (Monday) is a holiday as it gives me a chance to knock the house back into shape.  I might even try and get in a couple of hours in my garden as the weeds are overtaking everything right now.

----------------------------------------------------------Richard Kahui-----------------------

You may remember me celebrating ‘my’ rugby team, the Chiefs,  being on the top of the Super 14 competition table?

Well the great run continued and they made it through the semi finals successfully and into the the final which was played in South Africa last night. The result; the Chiefs were slaughtered by the Bulls from Pretoria. It was a humiliating defeat. Less said the better.

May 31

I love this story and thought the anniversary was a good day to share it here.

It is said that on this day in 1678, Lady Godiva, a local noblewoman, stripped naked and rode her horse through the town of Coventry in England to protest her husbands harsh taxes on the people working his land. Lady Godiva by John Collier                                                     Artist: John Collier. 1897

He supposedly initiated the naked ride when, tired at her repeated requests, he told if she would ride through town naked he would review the taxes.

The story follows that Lady Godiva asked all of the towns residents to stay indoors and to shutter their windows while she made her ride and all obeyed except for one young man named Tom who peeped through the crack in the shutters when she rode past. He creating the Peeping Tom of today.

According to the fable Lord Godiva was true to his word and reduced the taxes on the villagers making life much easier for them.

A woman of strength and courage. I aspire to that strength and fortitude, though without the public nudity.

What do you aspire to?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gee thanks sassy girl

1) What is your current obsession?  Statistics. Not an easy choice of study when one is mathematically challenged but I had to take the plunge for my careers sake.

2) What are you wearing today? I am having a day off work and it’s freezing. I’ve just got out of bed so I am wearing baby blue pyjamas with tiny little cartoon elephants on them – I am a big fan of elephants.

3) What's for dinner? No idea yet. Nothing imaginative I can guarantee you that.

4) What would you eat for your last meal? It would  involve pasta and red wine and fresh fish and bread. WineAnd pavlova and cream with strawberries to finish.  It’s a last meal for goodness sake, who cares about calories?

5) What's the last thing you bought? A DVD copy of the movie Trainspotting. I loved that movie when I saw it years ago so I re-watched it last night. It’s shocking but entertaining.

6) What are you listening to right now? The local rock flavoured radio station. Pearl Jam classic Better Man is playing right now. Love this song!

7) What do you think of the person who tagged you? sas from sas’ magical mystery tour  is a thoughtful and intelligent kiwi chick. She’s cool.

8) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? On a huge Montana ranch. Not that I have ever been to Montana but in the movies it looks like somewhere I’d want to live.

9) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? London to catch up with a couple of good friends or maybe New York for a quick peek. Or perhaps Fiji for a swim in the sun in tropical clear waters mmmmmm.

10) Which language do you want to learn? Spanish

11) What's your favourite quote (for now)? Sorry I can’t limit it to one. A couple of nights ago I re-watched a few episodes on DVD of a kiwi TV series called Outrageous Fortune and I’m still chuckling;

Grandpa: "Life is shit."
Wolf: "What's pushed your button?"
Grandpa: "Being old and useless."
Wolf: "Yeah, well, you get that."
Grandpa: "That's pretty fucking profound son."

"Is texting someone eighteen times and getting nothing back - is that stalking?" – Munter

I'm going to be like a nun - except better dressed. And no church crap." – PascalleThe West family - Outrageous FortuneVan: "What does ironic mean?"
Munter: "It means how come the guy with the job has never got any money for any piss?"

12) What is your favourite colour? Plum right now I think with winter here. I seem to be wearing a lot of deep reds this season, though by no particular design. More to do perhaps with the beautiful maroon 3 inch courts I succumbed to a couple of weeks ago. Italian.

I was too ashamed to post about them at the time seeing as how I am meant to be on an economy drive *sigh*

13) What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? My winter swing coat. It’s a double breasted, hip length, tiny grey and white checked pure wool number and I feel like Audrey Hepburn when I wear it.

14) What is your dream job? It makes me sad to think about it as I have no idea what my dream job would me. Perhaps a children's author or maybe a teacher?  Maybe a travel writer or a professional foodie? All I know is that right now I have to be challenged. One day perhaps I could run my own small business combining my loves of people and food and books and coffee?

15) What's your favourite magazine? Don’t have one. The only time I pick up a magazine is in a doctor or dentist waiting room. Perhaps NZ House and Garden? It’s very stylish and glossy but it’s also about NZ$16 a copy. I’d never spend that much on a magazine.

16) If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on? That’s about NZ$256 right now. Heaps. Don’t even have to think about it. Boots. 

17) What are you going to do after this? It’s scheduled maintenance day today. Hair cut, manicure and eyebrows. Am considering adding a facial to the usual mix as am holding a wee soiree tomorrow night.

18) What are your favourite films? See my profile, they’re all listed.

19) What's your favourite fruit? I pretty much only eat seasonal fruit so I need two favourites: oranges in winter, I love the smell. Peaches in summer.

20) What inspires you? A great book. A fantastic sunset. Italian renaissance art. Snorkelling in clear water. A million things inspire me. Botticelli - Birth of Venus21) Your favourite books? See my profile, they’re all listed.

22) Do you collect anything? Architectural drawings of old houses. The pure lines are fabulous. 

23) What are you currently reading? I just started re-reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I adore this book.

24) Go to your book shelf and take down the first book with a red spine you see, turn to page 26 and type out the first line: “…the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue in it five weeks without changing.” from an 1889 Clarendon Press edition of The Tempest that I bought a couple of years ago at a fair.

25) By what criteria do you judge a person? Tough question. Language I suppose, openness, integrity and let’s not forget that grooming and hygiene are also important.


1. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention. 
2. Tag eight other people. Tagging, with love:
Du Pree, Uamada, Xanadu, edder, Kate, Bob, Lermontov and Tim. Anyone though please feel free to participate (or not) just as you desire.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


New Zealand celebrates the Queens Birthday this weekend. That means Monday is a holiday so hip hip hooray for our lovely Queen Lizzie. D' queen

I’ve taken an extra day so I’ve got four whole days off starting now. Extra super fabulous.

Happy happy happy Friday tomorrow everyone.


Artist: Lucien Freud

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What ever Wednesday

What ever happened to 2 year olds Adlan and Nikita?


Earlier this year 2 year old boys were reunited with their biological families following a 2007 hospital mix up wherein 2 families took the wrong boy home. One mother was Chechen but both mothers gave birth to sons on March 1 2009 in a Russian hospital.

Last I heard in The Guardian on 1 April blue-eyed Adlan had been renamed Nikita and returned to his biological mother in Russia while dark haired Nikita had been renamed Ali and repatriated to Chechnya and his family. 

I can only imagine how very difficult the process would have been. It would be nice to hear an update about how the boys and their families were doing. 

Or would it?

Would I actually want to hear that things weren’t working out for what ever reason? Perhaps it’s better assuming, nay trusting, that everything worked out just the way it should.  In this fairytale world of mine everyone is happy and both boys are settling in successfully with their new family.

Я живу в сказке.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On the run

A kiwi guy and his girlfriend and kid have fled the country and are believed to be hiding up somewhere in Hong Kong with a few million dollars that the bank deposited into his bank account in error.

The story (see NZ Herald online) has captured the imagination of New Zealanders and two clear camps have emerged;

  • Team  Leo – those who can understand why this guy was tempted to abandon his failing business and heavily mortgaged mini property empire and do a runner with the ill gotten gains.
  • Team Westpac – those who disagree with Leo’s decision.
NZ Dollars


What would you have done in Leo’s situation?

Monday, May 25, 2009

No offence…but…

Three words which invariably make me cringe, and then I square my shoulders and brace for impact.

“Don’t take this the wrong way…but…” is another good one.

What exactly does it mean when an insult is prefaced by the above words? Is the message that follows less offensive because of them or is the insulted party just expected to take it on the chin because ‘no offence’ was intended?

These little words somehow miraculously remove the need for tact or good manners. It’s freedom of speech gone berserk.

My grandmother used to say that;

Anything before the ‘but’ is a lie.

Do you agree?

Did your parent or grandparent have a saying that makes more and more sense as you get older?  Grandmother





Artist: Marion C Honors

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I had the best weekend. My girlfriends are truly precious.

23 May 2009_14

It was almost sunny on Saturday, the first dry day in weeks. It was still chilly but was almost bearable in the watery sunshine. We slept in, breakfasted and then walked, talked and fished (I only caught 2 very undersized fish so both went back). We found a great cafe for lunch and later we walked again, this time to the fish shop to satisfy our need for fresh fish.

23 May 2009_24We went through the whole fire lighting process again when we got back to the bach so we could be warm and cook our fish on the coal range. It was a real novelty cooking on the range, we didn’t use the electric stove all weekend. We then ate and drank too much and talked and laughed late into the night. We had dragged the mattresses and blankets into the living area so we could sleep there where it was warmest.

We slept late again this morning and woke to rain. Just for a change. I have no voice at all today. It was a bumpy trip back on the ferry this afternoon but we’re home in one piece and all agree the weekend was a great welcome home surprise for Liz.

Have a great Sunday and Monday everyone. My working week starts again in just over 12 hours {sigh}.


“A real friend walks in while the rest of the world walks out.” Walter Winchell

Friday, May 22, 2009

Roaring fire

I am trying out this new Vodafone Vodem stick that Bridget* has brought with her to Onetangi (it’s prepaid, no contract) and I’m using her lovely new laptop too. It didn’t cross my mind that we might be hooked up this weekend, it’s cool. In fact I now want a new ‘puter as this one is really nice. Bridget is showering right now while Liz is napping after the multi day trek that is coming home when you’re a kiwi. She’ll be up and about in a couple of hours.

I’ve got a roaring fire going in the living room now thank the gods. It was completely  freakin’ freezing when we arrived a couple of hours ago and I confidently offered to take on the fire lighting as it’s not normally a task I have any trouble with. As long as there’s reasonably dry wood available. There’s also a working coal range (a hundred years old if it’s a day) so I have lit that too and we can get some soup heating a bit later.  I must be a bit out of practice as there was a minute when I thought both fires were going to go out, somehow I held it together and the place is now getting snug. Phew!

I can hear the surf crashing on the beach, can’t wait to go walking in the morning. Maybe some fishing too if it’s dry but that is totally unlikely seeing as it’s barely stopped raining in Auckland for the last 3 weeks. I live in hope as snapper caught from the beach would be awesome for dinner tomorrow night.  I love fishing.

Sounds like Bridget is finishing in the shower so I’ll sign off now and open the wine and nibbles. Yummmm.

Happy Friday night, Lou

*Not their real names.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it. Alexander Graham Bell

Roses on Fence


Tough day

It started with a blinding migraine and steadily went downhill from there. Stressful.

But it’s Friday tomorrow and I have a great weekend planned.

An old friend is arriving home tomorrow from the UK after a long time away and we’re off to have a catch up for the weekend along with another of our closest friends. We’ve very bravely loaned a small bach (pronounced ‘batch’, which is what we in northern NZ call a small basic holiday home, Cats Peeusually at a beach) on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki gulf. I say bravely because this place is really rustic and it’s getting freakin’ cold here now. There’s plenty of firewood though and lots of blankets and so it’ll be great.

There’s fishing gear there too apparently so I might cast a line if the opportunity presents itself. I’m always up for surf casting.

We’ll pick up food and wine in Auckland before we get on the ferry as everything costs more on the island. We’ll jump on a commuter ferry tomorrow night and then a quick taxi ride should deposit us at the front door by 7.30pm. It’s right on the beach.

I can already taste that first fruity chilled sauv blanc mmmmmm oh wait; that’ll be the one I’m drinking now. I bet tomorrow’s one will be just as good. 

Have a great weekend everyone. Be safe on the road.



What do we all think of the change to the followers widget ? A bit ego driven perhaps?

New Star Trek Film

Long time fans of the Star Trek franchise say JJ Abrams' enjoyable, engaging prequel betrays what Star Trek is all about. Check out The Onion if you haven’t before – read the comments, the funniest parts is people thinking it’s real news.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Britains oldest mother-to-be dismisses concerns about her age. "It's not IVFmy physical age that's important - it's how I feel inside," she said. 

Yeah, right!

The London Telegraph reported yesterday that 66 year old  divorcee Elizabeth Adeney of Suffolk is 8 months pregnant with her first child conceived via IVF treatment administered in the Ukraine.

Mrs Adeney, a wealthy businesswoman, is said to have been "desperate" for a baby, and was "over the moon" when she discovered that she had fallen pregnant.Elizabeth-Adeney_1404638cShe’ll be 67 by the time the baby comes along and if she’s still alive, she’ll be 80 when the child turns 13.

Selfish cow.

She has considered only her own wants, not that of the young child she’s likely to leave an orphan at around the age of 10. Emotional scarring practically guaranteed.


Global Day of Action

Join Amnesty International and death penalty opponents all over the world in supporting the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis today (May 19th). Go to the US Amnesty International website for information and to find out what you can do to help.

Check out my post of April 30 for more information.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fly Your Ideas

I’ve been awaiting news about the finalists and their ideas for the ‘Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge’.  It’s a global competition designed to encourage innovative thinkers to develop ideas around the future of aviation and reduction in the industry’s impact on the environment.


As a twice weekly air commuter and someone who cringes at the impact on the environment of those flights, I was fascinated when I read about this competition late last year.

The Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge was open to university students from around the world at an undergraduate, Masters or PhD level in any academic discipline. The winning teams will be those whose ideas demonstrate the greatest potential to reduce the impact of the aviation industry on the environment.

Check out the Airbus News where it announces the teams that made the finals. Some of the ideas are really out there.

-- The University of Queensland team, who call themselves COz, have made the top 5.  Their proposal is on the use of bio composite cabin materials made from castor plant natural fibres. Anyone fancy flying in a plane made of ‘flax’?

-- The Stanford University team also made the finals for their proposal on inverted V formation flight, building on the model of migrating birds to reduce energy consumption. Don’t know how that would work – wouldn’t all the planes have to leave at the same time and be going to the same place?Air NZ Airbus 320 The finalists now have to develop a presentation about their project before presenting the proposals in a live final in Paris in June 2009. It will be judged by a panel of Airbus experts, industry leaders and eco-efficiency experts.

€30,000 is at sUQtake for first place.

Good luck to team COz.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday theatre


Atonement. The 2007 film directed by Joe Wright and starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. From Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel of the same name.

Cecelia (Knightley) is the elder of the two wealthy Tallis sisters, her younger sister is 13 year old Briony (Saoirse Ronan). Robbie (McAvoy) is the housekeepers son who has a Cambridge education courtesy of his mother's employer.

Briony witnesses sexual tension between Cecelia and Robbie and misunderstands what she sees.  She blames Robbie for something he didn’t do. With far reaching consequences.

Keira Knightley gives an unusually natural performance and James McAvoy is as solid and believable as ever. Vanessa Redgraves’ performance in the final act is superb.

Not entirely unexpectedly, the film is about regret. It’s 2 hours worth of totally engrossing drama with a great ending, a really great ending. Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Knowing meme, knowing you


Artist unknown 







Edder from I Don’t Care for your Tone shared her top 15 pet peeves and invited others to do the same. Here are mine:

  • Sniffing. If your nose is running, blow it.
  • When people don’t know how to use the words their, they’re or there.
  • Double negatives.
  • People without ethics. Just because others do it doesn’t mean it’s right.
  • When people say 'supposebly' instead of 'supposedly' or ‘praformance’ instead of ‘performance’.
  • Those that borrow books and don’t return them.
  • Drivers who perform dangerous manoeuvres in order to gain a car length or two.
  • People who don’t pull their weight at work.
  • Guests who don’t know when to leave.
  • Not covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing.
  • People who ask a dozen questions of the waiter before ordering.
  • Using the phone speaker function in a busy work area.
  • Whiners.
  • Callers who say their phone number too quickly at the end of a long rambling voice mail and you have to listen to the whole thing again to get the number.
  • People who drop cigarette butts on the beach.


Hermetically sealed worlds

Though not usually a fan of snow globes, I must say these are spectacularly artistic examples. I remember Domestic Daze saying she collected them.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz are an American/Spanish artistic collaboration known more for their installations. Their latest series of work is a collection of snow globes entitled Travellers. They have interesting, somewhat macabre themes.  Click on the pictures to enlarge and to link to the website and more information about each globe. The detail is fantastic. 

Alone Together

The Well

Traveler 63 Traveler 156 at Night



Check out their website ( Fantastic stuff. All sorts of installations. Surreal.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Non-fiction at Noosa

Reality Bites

Have you seen that the Reality Bites Non-fiction Literary Festival is happening at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast between 6 June and 2 August? 

Click on the logo to check out the Reality Bites blog.

I am almost tempted to use my last 3 remaining days of annual leave and jump on a plane and take in a couple of sessions or three but I’m way too poorArt Life Chooks unfortunately.

I see that fellow blogger and author Annette Hughes is one of the featured authors at the festival. 

Seeing I can’t make it there this year I’m treating myself instead. I’ve ordered a copy of Annette’s book Art Life Chooks. It looks like my kind of read. 



Onwards and upwards

I’ve had a much better day today.

Thanks everyone for your support over the last week. Sorry I haven’t much acknowledged messages - a great big thank you to you all. It’s been a tough week but it was made easier through the support of my online and local friends. 

I’ve also been lurking around but not commenting sorry so I’ll try to remedy that as well and re-engage a bit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I agreed to meet with the bereaved husband today (see earlier post for back story). We set up a lunch time meeting in a quiet local bar. There was no sign of anyone matching his description when I arrived so I ordered a wine and found a booth where I had a good view of the door. I was starving but didn’t want to be in the middle of my lunch when he arrived so I didn’t order anything. I was nervous as all hell. I spotted him the second he walked in, he was dishevelled and looking shell shocked. He looked around, spotted me and I beckoned him over.

It was one of the most difficult conversations of my life.

The poor man is still understandably raw with emotion and was obviously convinced that whatever I had to say would bring him comfort.  I told him everything that happened on Thursday night, from the second I pulled over until I finished with the cops nearly an hour later.

I wish I could say I helped him but I don’t think I did – I had nothing to offer that was going to bring him any tangible relief. I told him everything she’d said hoping that things that hadn’t made any sense to me may make some to him but he seemed as confused as I’d been at the time – she was obviously incoherent due to her injuries.  I hope that sometime later he’ll be able to draw some comfort from the fact that she wasn’t alone and I held her hand and talked to her soothingly until the ambo’s took over. According to him, by the time she was loaded in the ambulance she was pretty much fully unconscious. Her heart failed repeatedly on the way to the hospital and she couldn’t be revived the last time. She died before he could even get to her. Tragic.

I am totally drained by the whole experience. I have cried more than once during the afternoon at work. I feel so sorry for him.

And now I’m weeping again……need sleep………goodnight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A century almost without loss

‘The Quiet Life’ spluttered into life on 11 January 2009 following a conversation I had with a blogger at a party on new years eve. I named my web log after my favourite poem by Alexander PopJournale (see the poem here in my post of 6 Feb).

I had never blogged before. I had barely even read a blog so I had no idea what I was doing. I had though kept a pen and paper journal most of my life.

On that very first day I happened upon the blogs of Kate at blogging is my only vice and Balboa Island Tim and figured out how to get myself following their sites as they seemed like good people. The next day if I remember rightly I found Intelliwench at Post Raphaelite Sisterhood and jclouds at Moments, Drip, Drip, Drip. All you guys inspired me. I started very nervously leaving the occasional comment. At the time I was barely aware I was gate crashing a reunion of sorts of refugees from the Journal Space crash. If I had have known, I may well have been even more self conscious.

I had no followers myself at this stage but that didn’t stop me, no siree. I was on a mission.

I was prolific in those early weeks and in just over a month I had published 49 posts. Posts I must admit I was proud of. Posts that told people about who I was as a mother, a woman and as a New Zealander. They certainly weren’t literature but I had great fun writing them and they felt real to me. Honest. By this stage I had a half a dozen followers and each comment that was left filled me with purpose and drive. Helen from ‘Helen’s Journey’ (since disappeared to who knows where) commented religiously every single day and I loved her for it.  The gorgeous Hot Tamale and  my self-exiled compatriot Moko (Stranger in a strange land) along with my newer followers at the time, Bob (I should be laughing) and Brosreview (The odds are good, but the goods are odd) were all hugely encouraging. I was making new friends all over the world and I was loving it. The sense of community was like an open fire on a cold night.

Then a minor disaster struck.

On February 21 in a moment of sheer idiocy I inadvertently deleted every single post I had ever published to my blog. I was completely disheartened. I had no back-up. For 24 hours I was the poster girl for self pity. I sent a plea for help into cyber space and the support I received via comments gave me the motivation to persevere. Domestic Daze and jadedj (Banquet of Consequences) shared their back-up secrets and the lovely Helen suggested Windows Live Writer.

I downloaded WLW and I started again. I restarted tentatively after taking heart and courage from the fact that many of my followers (by now perhaps numbering 8 or 10) had experienced the same thing on a far more dramatic scale when JS crashed. They could carry on and therefore so could I.

Thankfully I remained smoke free throughout this minor crisis and I am up to 11 months without a cigarette now!!CandlesThis is my 100th post since that day on February 21.

I have 44 fabulous followers now though most don’t read regularly. Somehow as my number of followers has increased so too has my sense of responsibility around keeping it real. Around trying to uplift rather than drag down. Around looking for the best in people rather than criticising. Around trying to show the authentic me, the real me, not just some silhouetted version of me.

I love to entertain but that’s not always who I am. Sometimes I am more reflective. Sometimes I’m silly. Sometimes I am on a soap box sharing something that I am passionate about. Either way I post with you, my reader, in mind hoping to make your day a little bit more interesting, a little bit more humourous and a little bit more positive.

You know by now I am a tree hugging liberal. I care about the planet and about human rights. I oppose the death penalty and I abhor bigotry. I am a conscientious objector.

But don’t be fooled – that’s not all I am.

I am a compassionate woman who lives in a tiny country at the bottom of the world who needs to feel connected. I am  a middle daughter who will at some stage over the next few years become primarily responsible for the care of my aging parents. I am a mother and a sister and an aunt. I am a loyal friend and an armchair sports nut. I am a hard worker and a coffee addict. I am someone who can be counted on. I am a 40 something woman who hasn’t yet completely given up on the idea of romantic love.

I look forward to continuing to share my life with those of you who choose to come along for the ride. Here’s to the next 100.

Much aroha, LouHearts

Sunday, May 10, 2009



Mothers Day

Had a delicious breakfast in bed this morning for Mothers Day and scored a lovely new pair of slippers which is great with winter fast approaching.

I think Rory was trying hard to get me out of my ‘funk’ of the last couple of days and suggested we jump in the car and go get his suit hire organised for the school ball on June 6. He rang his date as she wanted to come and bring her dress so they could co-ordinate their look. We picked her up on the way and I watched his eyes light up as she came down her front steps. He’s besotted.

It was a great idea to get out of the house for a couple of hours. It was wonderful seeing him looking so grown up (and suave even) in a beautiful black single breasted jacket with a charcoal shirt and silvery grey embroidered waistcoat and tie. I enjoy watching him and his girl interact; he’s gentlemanly and considerate - I’m really proud of the man he’s becoming.

I love you son.

Friday, May 8, 2009

To voicemail from now on

He’s rung again. Twice. I think he’s so desperate that he’s grabbing on to any link to her and I appear to be at the top of the list right now. I firmly told him he has to stop ringing as he’s starting to freak me out. I told him we’ll talk more after the funeral if he promises to stop ringing me now and to lean on his friends and family for support over the next week.

I hope he hears me.

I’m glad he only has my cell number and my first name. The cops did get my full name when they took my statement last night but they don’t share that information around right?

***UPDATE 9/5/09, 3.30pm*** No further contact. Whew!


FYI: If this makes no sense check out -

Movie review


I’m at home today and I just finished watching a movie that I missed first time around in 2007 (and second time around I guess when the DVD was released) Run Fat Boy Run.

It stars Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and Hank Azaria. I am a big fan of Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, 2004 and Hot Fuzz, 2007). He plays the down on his luck, smoking, boozing, Londoner Dennis who’s in love with Libby (Newton). Libby’s in love with the successful handsome American, Whit (Azaria). Whit runs marathons and there’s one coming up that he’s running for charity. Dennis challenges Whit and subsequently has to prepare his fat, out of shape body to run a marathon in less than a month.

Run Fat Boy Run was directed by David Schwimmer. The two had worked together previously in Band of Brothers. Stars

Loved it. Hilarious.  Made me forget the horrible last 24 hours for a while.

What a day II

I was a bit shell shocked last night so I asked my boss for an annual day so I could take it easy and have a quiet day today.

I am very glad I did. Weather

I don’t know what the weather thing in my sidebar says whenever it is that you’re reading this but here is what it says right now.

Rory’s bio class is out of school all day today on a field trip to a local estuary to study the environment and collect samples for back in the lab. I hope they’ve cancelled it.

…and then the bad news.

For some reason last night it appears I rang the car accident woman’s husband on my own phone – I don’t know why, force of habit I guess. Anyway he rang me an hour ago to talk to me.

She died. He’s completely distraught. He wants to meet me though I’ve told him she didn’t say anything, she was incoherent. He was crying and then so was I – both sobbing. I said if he still wants to meet me after the funeral he should ring me again then. He said I should come to the funeral, that he’d let me know the details. I said no.  No way, that’s macabre. I did determine that they have no kids. She was younger than I thought; only 32.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What a day

A terrible car accident happened right in front of me on my way home from work tonight.  I rang 111 and parked my car so my hazard lights would warn other cars coming as it was quite a dark semi-rural road. 

A woman of about my age or a bit younger maybe, was badly hurt and I was the first one to her. I couldn’t open any of her car doors and the steering wheel was jammed into her legs which were obviously broken. I could get to her through the broken window, she had a bad cut on her forehead and I was trying to stop the bleeding with her gym towel while holding her hand as she was freaking out and wouldn’t let me go.  By this time another couple of cars had arrived and people had got a guy out of the other car.  He didn’t seem too badly hurt.

The ambulance arrived super quickly thank God as the woman was losing consciousness and I didn’t know what to do. Some guys who’d arrived managed to get her car door open with brute force and the ambo’s officers eased her out of the car.

When they had her out I saw her phone on the floor by the pedals. There’s a big thing in NZ about listing an ICE (in case of emergency) number on your cell phone so I thought I’d have a look and sure enough there was an ICE in her contacts so I rang the number and got her husband. The ambo’s told me which hospital they were heading to. Poor guy, I hated telling him.

This was all well over two hours ago but my heart is still racing and my hands are shaking as I type. Rory reckons I was really pale and my bloody clothes gave him a heck of a fright when I walked in the door. I spent 20 minutes in the shower trying to warm up when I got home - it poured with cold autumn rain through the whole episode and I was frozen to the bone. That reminds me I had better go put my blouse in to soak now.

Freaky day.

I don’t even know her name (I think the husband said Olivia) but she’ll be in my prayers tonight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Registration number please

Have you had need of a superhero recently? 

AngleGrinderMan Perhaps you’re a famous scientist with the cure for swine flu but before you can save the world you need rescuing from a sheer precipice 500 metres above the ground on a deserted pacific island? Or perhaps you’re a cop and  you’ve run into an evil genius attempting to take over the world but you’re ridiculously undermanned and need some serious help?  Perhaps your city has been besieged by a Godzilla type creature and your mayor has sent out an international SOS for assistance? 

Chances are it will be a superhero who answers the call and arrives like a speeding bullet to save the day. 

Before they get down to the business at hand though, don’t forget to first ask to see their current and official world superhero registration. Disclaimer: Your insurance may be invalidated if you use an unregistered superhero. WorldSuperheroRegistryClick on the logo above to gain entry to the brave new world of superheroes. The site serves as a forum and resource centre for the superhero community. Check out the minimum criteria for registration as well as;

  • the gadget gallery
  • the hero support page
  • legal advice
  • the costume advisory service
  • tutorials

In the page called “Coming out of the phone booth” you’ll find information about all registered superheroes, their costumes, their superpowers, any particular categories of crime they fight, their arch enemies and their region of influence. You’ll find their contact details as well as it seems the most effective way to contact a superhero in 2009 is via email. 

There is also a record of all retired superheroes, all superheroes in training and another list of applicants still to be formally vetted and considered for professional registration. It’s an organisation that takes it’s responsibilities seriously.


It feels good to know that someone out there is making sure that superheroes today maintain the same high standards that we’ve grown to rely on to save us from evil.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I’d like to thank…

The delightfully humourous  jadedj from Banquet of Consequences has seen fit to bestow his favourable glance on my inconsequential web log of daily ramblings. Though you’ve made recent noises about dropping out of the blog race JJ, I Bella_Award for one hope you’ll settle on a wee break and a recharge for a short while rather than a full blown desertion into the Nebraskan sunset.

Thanks for the award jadedj, I appreciate it heaps.

In line with instructions on JJ’s blog, I should now share this ‘Bella’ award with some other lovely blogs out there that I’ve ‘recently’ come across.  I haven’t been doing a lot of browsing new blogs lately but the 7 below are seriously lovely blogs that I’ve recently started following.

Thanks to you all for making my days a little brighter. I’ll try and pop over to your sites tonight and leave a comment to let you know this award is here for your collection at a time convenient to you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wolfram Alpha

Everyone is talking about this revolutionary new search engine which is launching later this month. I understand it will be smarter than anything we’ve seen yet. They say it will work out what information you want and will accurately source it rather than deliver a long list of possible sites to check like ‘traditional’ search engines (e.g Google) do. Wolfram_Alpha The new system, Wolfram Alpha, by British inventor Dr Stephen Wolfram, was showcased at Harvard University in the US last week. It is billed as a global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does. I see the home page calls itself a ‘computational knowledge engine’.

Tom Simpson on his blog The Convergence of Everything asks “could Wolfram Alpha be as important as Google? Possibly. But what are the wider implications of  Wolfram Alpha exactly? A new paradigm for using computers and the web? Probably. Emerging artificial intelligence and a step towards a self-organising internet? Possibly.”

I am intrigued. What do you know about it?

Privacy Awareness Week

The week will see a variety of programmes and initiatives hosted by public and private sector organisations from across the Asia-Pacific region to promote awareness of privacy rights and responsibilities.

I work for the New Zealand government in one of the largest government departments here so privacy is always on the agenda for us.

Privacy Awareness Week is run in partnership with the Asia and Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA), which includes Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand and Canada.

A kiwi cartoonist, Chris Slane, has been commissioned to provide cartoons around the issue of privacy. They’re great – check out his blog.

I attach a few examples of his work (as permissible).

Shame Slane surveillance_lo agm1lo

Thought provoking.


It’s 6am on Monday morning and I am procrastinating.

I don’t usually get on my computer before my shower but this morning I found myself leaning off the bed and reaching for my laptop (note to self: don’t leave laptop within reach of the bed). It’s getting cold here and I want to stay in my nice warm bed.

It’s also so frantic at work right now that my usual leap out of bed is just not a happening thing right now. I was up way too late last night drinking wine with a girlfriend and now I am paying the price. It was the second night in a row having a few wines and I am just not up to that anymore.

I have a list as long as my arm of what I need to get done today or else I might have considered ringing my boss and begging an annual leave day today and staying in bed all day.  I’m in the middle of a great book.

OK it’s now 6.20 (just wasted a further 5 minutes searching for an animated picture for this post to cheer me up) and I really have to get in the shower so I will sign off now and publish.

Have a great day everyone. Diver

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Multi purpose George

The fabulous Du Pree from chlorine in the gene pool, got it right when he commented on my post of yesterday and said my new cyberGeorge pet monkey George, was strangely addictive.

George lives in my sidebar if you haven’t already seen him. Maybe you’ve even played with him. He likes bananas. 

Today though I have had a highly frustrating day. Nothing has come together as planned. A few minutes ago I found myself back on the net with my ‘pointer thingee’  clamped on George’s face spinning him around and around. Quite violently actually. Virtually throttling him - ringing his neck I suppose you might even call it. It was therapeutic.

He didn’t mind one little bit. He just kept smiling. 

So there’s a second use for George;

    1. he’s cute and fun to play with plus
    2. he provides an outlet for frustration while maintaining good humour

The Lucky Country

An Australian friend sent me this a couple of days ago. She obviously does not want me to come visit this year. Tourism Australia commissioned these guys to write a song in an effort to increase international visitor numbers (not really).

Does it work for you?

It’s the snakes that do my head in – we have none in NZ so the idea of something pouncing when you’re innocently walking through the grass and step on it by accident, freaks me out. Spiders etc at least you know they’re trying to get away.

Just to continue the theme of scary animals check out this photo. I have no idea where it was taken but I am guessing it was probably taken off a New South Wales beach :-)


Just noticed that the body shape  and the tail didn’t look quite right on this ‘shark’ so I went hunting for Kurt Jones and this photograph and here’s what I found.  We don’t need to be freaked out by it after all. I still think it’s a great picture though even if it is not entirely based in fact.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Monkey play

Check out my adorable new cyber pet.

His name is George and he lives on my side bar. Please play with him with your cursor and give him a banana from inside the tab labelled ‘more’.