Archive for the ‘chatter’ Category

Things that have made me happy today

September 11, 2009

Miss Smith asks, “What are you feeling happy about today?”

Well, today I am happy that:

  • the cat pooed on my husband’s clothes, not mine;
  • by pooing on my husband’s clothes the cat has demonstrated that I am right when I say the best place for dirty clothes is in the laundry basket, not on the floor;
  • my friend loves the slippers I made her;
  • her daughter also loves the slippers and keeps trying to steal them, so I am making her a pair, too, which makes me happy because it’s so nice to have such grateful recipients of the stuff I make;
  • spring has sprung, and I’m looking forward to the longer evenings;
  • the lady who wrote me two horrible passive-aggressive notes accusing me of neglecting my dogs because I left them alone for 12 hours in the garden with food, water, shelter and bones apologised profusely, and now thinks I am a sweetheart (though if I had said out loud the things I was thinking in my head she may have revised her opinion!);
  • my dogs hate said old bag;
  • my husband will be home soon, and we are having nachos tonight.

What my husband’s colleague said to my husband

June 9, 2009

It’s Fieldays this week: the largest agricultural event in the southern hemisphere. My husband has to go with his colleagues, and he asked if I wanted to join them. “What is it?” I asked, “What would I like about it?”

“There’s tractors,” he said. “And farming stuff, and stalls and… stuff.”

Hmmmm. “What time are you leaving?”

“Six o’clock.”

I’m not going.

Then today, my husband came home from work and said, “Bill at work wanted to know if you were coming with us to Fieldays. He says I should tell you there are a couple of stands in one corner that sell potato peelers and cleaning products and saucepans, and that all the women love them.”

Potato peelers? That changes everything. I thought it was going to be all sheep dip and stuff. But potato peelers? Oh yes, I’d definitely get up at 5 am to see those.

Apparently, the girls at work think Bill is a bit sexist.


April 25, 2009

I love this.

James Stewart reading a poem about a dog – what could be more cutesome?

Butterfly money

April 7, 2009

When my family was here a few weeks ago, we paid my niece to do little jobs around the house so she could buy herself ice creams. Her favourite NZ coin is the 10 cent piece:


It’s a picture of the head of a tiki, but my niece was having none of that. “Look, it’s a face. There are his eyes, see? And he’s poking his tongue out, see?”

“No. It’s a butterfly. SEE?”

So now, in our house, 10 cent coins are called butterfly money.

We found all sorts of little jobs for her to do around the house in return for butterfly money: feeding the cats, putting toys away, picking up dead flies… Towards the end of the holiday, she turned to my sister and said, “Mummy, what jobs can I do at home? I can’t pick up dead flies because we haven’t got them in our house.”

When she’s grown up she’ll remember me as the auntie whose dirty house smelt of cats and dogs, and was full of dead flies.

At last!

March 28, 2009

Gordon Brown is apparently committed to to ending the ban on Catholics succeeding to the throne in Britain.  Hurrah!  I could become Queen!

Because, of course, the only thing standing in my way is the Act of Settlement.

Right, I’m off to polish my tiara.  Just in case.

I never thought I’d see the day

March 21, 2009

My niece got a magazine that had a free bouncy ball on the cover.  Once my not-yet-quite-two year old nephew got hold of it, it got filthy, and my sister chucked it in the bin.

A few hours later, my niece (who is four) ran into the sitting room with the ball in her hand, shouting, “Mummy, I am very angry with you.  I never thought I’d see the day when you threw one of my toys in the bin“.

Valentine’s Day 2005

February 14, 2009

My boyfriend was in South Africa, and I was in London.  He had been gone for 10 days, and wasn’t due back for months and months.

I was already feeling slightly depressed when I went to Tesco after work.  The sound of the love songs playing over the tannoy and sight of numerous men picking up bunches of supermarket flowers didn’t do much to alleviate my mood.  But imagine how much better I felt when the checkout assistant scanned my ready meal for one, bottle of wine, and pack of cat food, smirked, and said, “Better luck next year.”

99 things meme

January 8, 2009

I’ve seen this meme in a few places in the last couple of days, and have decided to join in the fun

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicise
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to: leave in plain font

  1. Started your own blog
  2. Slept under the stars
  3. Played in a band
  4. Visited Hawaii
  5. Watched a meteor shower
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity
  7. Been to Disneyland
  8. Climbed a mountain
  9. Held a praying mantis (only a titchy baby one, though.  Big insects make me squeal.)
  10. Sang a solo
  11. Bungee jumped (every time I’ve seen someone do it I think, oooh, maybe I could do that. Then I remember how much I hated abseiling, and jumping off the top diving board, and make a mental note not to watch bungee jumping again.)
  12. Visited Paris (though not as often as I should have done given that I lived only minutes from the Eurostar station in London.)
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (I’ve seen one over the sea, does that count?)
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (crochet, knitting, sewing, calligraphy)
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning – see 23
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  18. Grown your own vegetables (only tomatoes – OK, I know they’re a not a vegetable, but I’m sure they count.  We have just built a new veggie patch so watch this space…)
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (I went to see it, but the queue was too long, and never went back.)
  20. Slept on an overnight train (though I have slept on many trains during the day – as soon as I get on a train I fall asleep. I once did a presentation in Bristol with this lovely old Irish man, and we caught the train back to London together afterwards. He was such a darling – one of those people whose joie de vivre is infectious. But, as is my wont, I felt myself getting sleepy, and said, “I’m terribly sorry: I always fall asleep on trains.” When I awoke from my nap he turned to me and said, “Ah, that’s such a gift you have to be able to sleep like that. What a blessing.” I wanted to take him home and keep him.)
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitch hiked (but I did flag down a complete stranger when my friend crashed my car, does that count?)
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – see 16.
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb
  26. Gone skinny dipping (not since puberty, though)
  27. Run a Marathon (Blimey O’Reilly, NO!)
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (I’d love to go to Venice)
  29. Seen a total eclipse
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (the last sunset and sunrise I saw were on new year’s eve and new year’s day. When I saw the sun rise I realised it really was time to go to bed.)
  31. Hit a home run (I’ve hit a rounder, though.)
  32. Been on a cruise (not on a big, posh cruise ship, though: on an ex-racing yacht round the Great Barrier Reef)
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (it was much smaller than I expected. I saw Geri Halliwell from the Spice Girls once – she was also much smaller than I expected. Maybe things just look bigger on TV?)
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (they hadn’t travelled very far…)
  35. Seen an Amish community
  36. Taught yourself a new language
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (then I left my job and emigrated – what was I thinking????)
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (I bet it’ll be less leany than I expected… – see 33)
  39. Gone rock climbing (I was young…)
  40. See Michelangelo’s David.
  41. Sung karaoke (though only when we’ve managed to wrench the microphone away from my sister)
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (seen several geysers in NZ, though.)
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  44. Visited Africa
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (well, I do live by the sea)
  46. Been transported in an ambulance
  47. Had your portrait painted (it was rather unflattering.)
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling (the Great Barrier Reef was awesome.)
  52. Kissed in the rain (can’t really avoid this if you live in the UK!)
  53. Played in the mud (as above)
  54. Gone to a drive-in theatre
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (is this an American thing?)
  62. Gone whale watching (apparently we get whales where we live, but I’ve never seen them.)
  63. Got flowers for no reason(maybe I’m cynical, but isn’t there always a reason?  Even if you’re not aware of it…?)
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (used to do this regularly in the UK. I loved it – you get treated like an angel. But if you’ve lived in Britain you’re not allowed to give blood in New Zealand because of mad cow disease – such a shame.)
  65. Gone sky diving (see 11)
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check (all the time at university. Everyone did it at the end of term when they ran out of money.)
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favourite childhood toy
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (I just had to google this to check. I got vertigo on the stairs and had to go down them on my bottom.)
  71. Eaten Caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt (I will make a quilt one day, I will.)
  73. Stood in Times Square
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job (I’ve fired a couple of people, but never been fired myself.)
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone.
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (before I was born, my father’s cousin was killed while riding a motor bike, and my father had a very bad accident when he was young, too, so I’ve never been tempted to go on a motorbike full stop, let alone a speeding one.)
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book (two, in fact, with a third to be published later this year.)
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand new car (one day….)
  83. Walked in Jerusalem
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper (I was 9 months old and my mother was almost arrested for making a fuss in a shop about a broken kettle. I’m glad I was too young to get embarrassed.)
  85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve (aaaah, NYE 1999/2000, on the banks of the River Thames. I kissed a LOT of strangers!)
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I’m vegetarian precisely because I couldn’t possibly do this.)
  88. Had chickenpox (when I was four, my father, sister and brother all caught chicken pox at the same time, but I didn’t.  My mother spent the rest of my childhood trying to make sure I caught it so I wouldn’t get it as an adult, as it is much worse in adults.  She used to send me round to play with children that had it, which I thought was mean.  I still haven’t had it, and if I ever see a child with it I run screaming in the opposite direction, so I bear the mental scars of chickenpox, if not the physical ones.)
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury (Oh God, it was awful. Nine of the other jurors on one particular case thought the accused was probably guilty just because he was black – I kid you not.  It was appalling and made me hope I’d never have to be tried by jury.)
  91. Met someone famous (Oooh, loads! I used to work over the road from a great theatre pub in Islington that was frequented by lots of famous people. But, funnily enough, I meet famous people even more often now I live in New Zealand than I did in the UK, but I usually don’t realise until later that they’re famous as I’m not that knowledgeable about NZ celebrities. I spent a couple of hours on new year’s eve looking after a really, really, drunk girl who was staggering around all over the place, and I had no idea she was famous ; I found out the next day.  And no, I’m not going to say who it was.)
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Lost a loved one (Too many; far too many.  Grief is the price you pay for love.)
  94. Had a baby
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone
  99. Been stung by a bee (OUCH!  I screamed so much my mother thought I was being murdered.)

Four going on fourteen

November 29, 2008

Not long after my niece turned four, she and my sister were in the car. My sister said to my niece, “It will be so funny when you’re a teenager. You might not like Mummy and Daddy very much.”

“Why not?” asked my niece.

“Well, you’ll think we’re old and boring, and you’ll find us embarrassing.”

“But why?”

“Because that’s what teenagers are like.”


A few moments later: “Mummy?”


“I don’t like your singing even now.”


November 15, 2008

Marks and Spencer now delivers to New Zealand!

Ummm, this is probably only interesting if you are British and live in New Zealand.