Saturday, October 31, 2009

You must be kidding

The Watford Borough Council in England has banned parents from supervising their children in public playgrounds, because they have not undergone criminal record checks.PlaygroundOnly council-vetted "play rangers" are now allowed to monitor youngsters in two adventure play areas in Watford while parents must watch from outside a perimeter fence. The Watford Borough Council policy has been attacked as insulting and a disgrace by furious relatives who say they are being labelled as potential paedophiles.

Read the full story here:

Onwards and upwards

I’ve been feeling really ‘bleh’ the last few months.

tirednessIt wasn’t anything I could put my finger on; just fatigued, feeling a bit blue as well as inexplicably piling on weight. Actually it some ways it was rather reminiscent of the Glandular Fever I got as a teenager. My doctor just kept saying it was about working full time in a stressful role, being a single mother and running a household alongside juggling my study towards a Diploma in Business, but as of yesterday I have a concrete answer.

It’s kind of weird but it’s a huge relief to finally understand that my thyroid gland has stopped functioning well (aka Hypothyroidism). Apparently it’s a reasonably common condition (up to 3% of the population is affected) but it is often overlooked.

Today I have started taking replacement thyroxine, probably for the rest of my life,  but I am feeling very hopeful of a huge change in my outlook.  

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday flowers


I spotted this the other day and it thought it showed an interesting contrast; the presumably self sown but still formal and elegant pale lavender Iris existing happily alongside our wild and raggedy native Toi Toi grass.  The Toi Toi (pronounced toy toy) plume can grow up to 3 metres tall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two for Tuesday

I) Antipodean Flora

KoruThis is the New Zealand tree fern which we call Ponga. The new unfurling frond is called a koru.


II) Cottage Envy

Blue bachThis basic kiwi bach is at Waikauri Bay just north of Auckland. Cute.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thank the gods for lazy carpenters

It’s a long weekend here in New Zealand, it’s our Labour weekend and we have Monday off.

The origins of our Labour Day are traced back to the eight-hour working day movement that arose in our very newly founded colony in 1840, primarily because of carpenter Samuel Parnell's refusal to work more than eight hours a day. He encouraged other tradesmen to also only work for eight hours a day and, in October 1840, a workers' meeting passed a resolution supporting the idea.

Because it’s our first long weekend in 4 months and it’s spring, everyone goes mental trying to get out of town.  Last night the news was full of traffTraffic Jamic jams north and south of Auckland yesterday. The standing joke (among Australians particularly) is that the closest we get to a traffic jam here in NZ is fighting our way through sheep on the roads though of course we do actually have real traffic jams as well.

To demonstrate my point, here’s a cool photo taken by a chap by the name of Murray Douglas which shows traffic in Auckland. dog_in_traffic

Anyway I’m very pleased to be back online without being at Rory’s mercy. Especially pleased that my warranty covered a new hard drive so it cost me nothing. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do which I will endeavour to make a start on later today. Right now I’ll finish watching the Kiwi-Kangaroo rugby league test which is underway in England. We’re in the final quarter now and the Kiwis are ahead – go the mighty Kiwis!

*EDIT* The game was a draw :-(

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Missing you all terribly :-(

Being kept very busy with my new second job - a night shift job in 'customer service' (service being the operative word and for some reason all my customers are named John) to make some money to buy a new puter. Let me remind y'all that I am no oil painting so at this rate I might have enough for a bottom of the range notebook by July 2014. Plus it's hell on the hips.

Kidding of course.

Still waiting to hear about warranty but me thinks the delay is not a good sign. Might have to prepare to shell out the bucks yet again so it could be a few weeks until I scrape together some cash and get back on line proper.

Can hardly believe that I am accumulating new followers during my 'sabbatical' - obviously you've not got high expectations but I heartily welcome you anyway. Rest assured I'll be back compulsively oversharing every aspect of my tiny little life within the shortest timeframe possible.

Love to all. Be careful out there. Lou

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hi all

Thanks for all your kind words on my previous post and it's now Tuesday evening and yes I am feeling quite a bit better. Still having some trouble sleeping but nothing too major.

My biggest problem right now is that I fried my notebook and this is the first opportunity I have had to commandeer Rory's lenovo and check in here. Excess Skyping (you know who you are) me thinks. I hate Rory's 'puter so I can't wait to hear whether the warranty will cover mine or whether I have to shell out money for a new one - this latter option would be problematic seeing as I have no money after blowing it all on my new vehicle.

Rory has graciously 'allowed' me access for an hour, so after posting this I'll have a quick scan of blogs to catch up a wee bit before I check my personal email etc and use up my quota of time. This is weird posting via blogger rather than through Windows Live Writer as I normally would but there's no time to set that up here today.

I'll be back as soon as circumstances allow - anyone wanting to donate to my new laptop fund should email me for my bank account (kidding obviously).

Later all, hugs, Lou

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday flowers

Bluebells Bluebells at my brothers place

It’s Friday evening now so that means that somehow I have survived the week. I’m still hurting but not taking any painkillers because they were upsetting my stomach. I had another short day at work today so was home by 4pm, got most of the light chores done and am now kicking back for an exciting night of Friday TV. Bummer there’s not any Project Runway on right now - Australian Idol doesn’t quite measure up.

Have a great Friday everyone. Stay safe.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I haven’t slept in 2 days.

I was hoping to be much better today and because I  didn’t want to bore you, my reader, any more than necessary, I avoided mentioning to you the fall I had on Monday. 

Now though it’s reached the point where my compulsion for oversharing dictates I must do so.

On Monday evening I fell. I bruised and sprained the intercostal muscles between the ribs on my left side. It hurts. The analgesic I was first prescribed made me vomit repeatedly so I’m now taking a new one which appears to be working though I still haven’t found a way to lie down AND continue to breathe.

I spent last night standing and/or pacing watching movies most of the night. I’m so tired it is health hazardous to come anywhere near me. I only lasted the morning at work before my team begged me to go home, a request to which I ungraciously acquiesced.

I’m going to try lying down again now – wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two for Tuesday

I) Spring weather update061009

We are experiencing really weird spring weather downunder this year.

There’s been lots of rain as per usual but surprisingly it is still snowing in the central plateau about 300kms south of Auckland and this means it is cold. Unseasonally cold. Normally by now our temperature would be climbing  to reach at least 17 or 18 Celsius during the day but yesterday it only got as high as 8 all day (about 45 Fahrenheit I think).  Brrrrrrrr.


II) Cottage envy

Fale In honour of the tsunami victims of a week ago I thought I would post an island style cottage this week. The death toll from the tsunami stands at 149 in Samoa (including 17 vacationing New Zealanders), with another 31 in American Samoa and 9 in Tonga.

I think this painting more likely depicts a scene from the Caribbean but the roof has a slightly Samoan ‘fale’ feel about it. It is a work by the very talented West Indian, come Australian painter David D’Aguiar. Click on the pic to go to his website.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mind boggling

Check out this 3D sidewalk art created by Julian Beever and Kurt Wenner. Some they did together others individually.

Click on the links or the pics to check out their websites for more truly extraordinary street art - it seems almost impossible that it’s only 2 dimensional.
























Saturday, October 3, 2009

More hip marketing from Microsoft

Has anyone been watching the ‘party’ marketing plan for Windows 7 which is due for launch later this month?

This instructional video is so bad I initially thought it must be a spoof but apparently not. It is long but you’ll get enough of the picture in the first minute or two so there’s no need to inflict the whole revoltingly perky thing on yourself. There’s a lot of talk of ‘activities’ and lots of over-acting.

Is it for real? Have any of you American bloggers who read here signed up to host a Windows 7 party? I see there’s free promotional material and gifts etc supplied to hosts. You too could have all your friends over and do activities with them until they beg for mercy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday flowers

And just like that it’s Friday evening again. I have a big night planned – a 70’s party. Yes that’s right, yet another 70’s party, this one sounds like it might be a rage. Here’s hoping.

My outfit is all sorted, I am going as a punk rocker – all leather and Union Jacks, safety pins, studded dog collar and ripped clothes. Even managed to dig out my old cherry red Docs from the ceiling space at mum and dad’s. I can hardly believe that I just spent $16 on some beautiful tights so that I can ladder them and generally skuzz them up plus a further $10 on black nail polish – I don’t remember anyone actually wearing black nail polish in the 70s (in NZ anyway) but what the heck.

Anyway down to Friday Flower business…


I saw this rhododendron in a front yard up the street a couple of weeks ago but just got around to stopping yesterday to take this pic. My procrastination means it’s now past its best unfortunately as we’ve had rain, lots of spring rain. Typical of me to bugger around.

They’re a particularly small flower. I have no idea of the variety.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Travelling light

I’ve got a few days away coming up soon and it started me thinking about packing. I packed very badly going to Great Barrier Island a couple of weeks ago, I ended up bringing half my clothes home unworn and I don’t want to do that again.

This thinking reminded me about reading an article a few days ago in my local rag so I went hunting to find the following questions that were asked of a travel writer.

How about considering these questions yourself and sharing?


1) Do you travel light or heavy?

I used to be able to travel light but as I’ve gotten older I seem to have lost that skill.

2) Cattle or first class?

First is my first choice but seeing as work pays for most of my travel that never happens. I’ve gotten upgraded to business a couple of times but never first class. One day maybe…


3) I can't travel without...

My iPod and my trusty Kathmandu toilet bag. A place for everything and everything in its place.

 4) What's always in your hand luggage?

My reading glasses and a big fat book. I always make sure I have a book mark as well as I hate using just anything to mark my page.


5) Favourite or most exciting airport to land in?

Jean Batten Airport (Auckland) because that means I am home. Gawd that sounds lame so perhaps I’ll try Narita – there’s nothing like Japanese airports for hustle and bustle.

6) Most memorable trip?

In a good (relaxing) way: a few weeks relaxing on an isolated island in the Gulf of Thailand and experiencing all that the island had to offer

In a not so good way: Flying from Moscow to Mumbai on Aeroflot and finding that my seat wasn’t even attached to the floor of the plane – scary sh*t!

OK I know I cheated on that one.

7) Best packing tip?

Really consider what you’ll need – dual purpose clothing items and footwear are key to minimising the excess baggage charges.