Saturday 27 August 2011

Out and About

Good Morning All, I am well rested and can't wait to show you some of my adventures today.   First up.   I have a room with a view!!!   She kindly took some pictures so I can show you what I saw when I first opened the curtains and looked out.

Yes!   A great volcano looming over me.   She said it is extinct but I know and you know,  that scientists cannot always be trusted.   I don't mind telling you I'm worried.   Besides this volcano there are seven or eight others dotted around this city!   I asked for a clearer shot so you could see what I saw, but somehow her focus shifted off me and I told "never do that to me again." 

Her garden has some pretty flowers - it is Spring in New Zealand folks and apparently baby lambs are a sign of Spring in this country.   I have asked her to show me some lambs and she promised to try and fit that in when we go on our road trip.

New Zealanders have a national sport called rugby and in two weeks the World Cup of Rugby is starting - right here!   She and the HDHBEM live about 10 minutes walk from Eden Park which is the holy grail of NZ rugby.   She took me there today but when I saw the size of the stadium and surroundings I excused myself from the photos and sat in the car with HDHBEM while 'she' went mad and took photos to show you.  

Seems a bit hypocritical of her really as she told me herself that she has no interest in rugby and only likes it when the NZ team wins.   She called them the All Blacks but as I haven't seen one in real life I cannot vouch for their colour at all.
She's got chores to do she tells me and as I always have my stitching to hand, I will find a place in the sun and keep quiet.   I don't think there will be daily updates but rest assured I am enjoying myself and will have plenty to tell you all when I come to visit your house.
Ka Kite Anou (that's Maori language for See You Soon -  but more about the Maori's later)

Friday 26 August 2011

Madame Muriel Flat Flossie has arrived in New Zealand

Kia Ora Koutou
My travelling pod was mighty comfortable but it is a long way to Aotearoa!   You guys in The States probably don't know that word but I have been here half a day and am already absorbing the Maori culture - at least my new hostess tells me what to say and I dutifully repeat it.  Tena Koutou . Ko Madame Muriel Flat Flossie tenei.
She's no expert in the geography of the USA and I had to ask her to get out the big atlas and show her where Mishawaka is.  

Really small printing in that atlas -  I had to look for ages to find it.   Then she asked me why it was so small when famous people like Stewey, Bosco, Aunty Chrissy and Stewey's Mum lived there.  No answer to that one folks!
Next she showed me where I had come to.  

There's an awful lot of that blue colour in between us so I made certain to tell her that I don't swim. She said not to worry as Air New Zealand has a really good reputation and she will make sure I travel on the Kiwi airline.   Kiwi?   Tonight she introduced me to Kiwi -  a native bird of this tiny country, the kiwi doesn't have wings, can't fly and only comes out at night.   Travel is supposed to broaden horizons and increase experience but jet lag ensures I don't really understand how a bird can't fly!
My passport has generated a lot of interest - nobody here has seen such a unique one and they asked me why there was no identity chip in it.   Apparently the 'Kiwis' (not the birds silly that's what these New Zealanders call themselves) need an identity chip in their passports if they enter the United States.   Anyway, as usual my timing is impeccable.   She and her elderly mother who is called HDHBEM (??) are going on holiday very soon and will take me with them to the Gumboot Capital of the World.   I just want to see some sheep and some of this "Clean Green New Zealand" that the travel brochures promised me.  
Well folks, I'm real tired and I need to find out where my guest room is and have me some shut eye.   She and the HDHBEM live in a small two bedroom apartment and I expressed concern that my snoring might keep them awake but HDHBEM said not to worry, she snores the loudest of all!
Good night all. Ka Kite Anou

Sunday 21 August 2011

Where does time fly to?

What a week!   Time has flown by and yesterday I had to spend all day at work.   Well, it was the annual Expomania (Trade Show come Sales Conference) and I spent the whole day dressed up in a T Shirt two sizes too big, in a colour that doesn't suit me, standing talking to people anxious to demonstrate stationery and office products -  when all I do is pay their bills!  

The theme this year was SuperHeroes and almost every stand had a photo opportunity.   In the course of half a day I was variously, Sellotape Man, Oki Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, and several others. 

So last night I spent on the sofa stitching -  and trying to keep awake until the end of Lewis.   Despite the tiredness I did actually guess "who dunnit"  and completed the sixth ornament.   Not a great shot but I am stitching in one thread of DMC floss over one thread of 28 count Cashel linen.  The chart called for the lighter colour geese to be a mixture of two different colour flosses.   Impossible when stitching with one thread of floss -  so the great decision was made and my geese are beige and brown!

My elderly eyes are asking for a visit to the optometrist but unfortunately the practice I have loyally supported for over twenty years has sold out to one of the big chains.   So my loyalties have shifted too and I have found another "boutique optometrist"   This is a snapshot of his current window display.   Seems he and I are likely to get along just fine -  obviously he loves books as I do!

 We have a great public library system here in Auckland with a very speedy request and reserve feature.   I also have a full wall of bookshelves in my room so I suffer from no lack of reading material.   However last week Simon on "Stuck In A Book" introduced me to these

Ex Libris   by  Anne Fadiman

and I have enjoyed reading slowly through them devouring each word.   No Speed Reading here!   At the same time I am accumulating a list of "Books that Must be Read" and another of "Books that Must be Purchased".    Thank you Simon!
In just over two weeks I have five days annual leave and I am already crafting my 'priority list'.   Needlework shops and Secondhand Bookshops feature high.
Hope you are all enjoying good weather.   Have a great evening

Sunday 14 August 2011

A winter afternoon at the beach and a Christmas finish

Hello all.   I have had a good week -  busy but somehow quite satisfying.  
The HDHBEM had her second surgery on Monday and is now recuperating.   She feels there is some inprovement in the vision in the left eye already and we are hopeful that when she has her followup visit to the opthalmologist in a month that the all clear will be given.   Then she will no longer be half blind and my "little brother" says that the HDHBEM will need to be Fully Sighted Half Deaf Elderly Mother!   Well, we wait and see!  Thank you all for your good wishes.
Yesterday afternoon she and I went for a drive to Eastern Beach  - here's a crazy shot.   FSHDEM didn't want her photo taken and I hoped to get her reflection in the mirror.   No such luck -  only the roadworks and the rubbish bin.   Oh dear -  well I do not have great photography skills :-(

I stitched the next in the Prairie Schooler Starry Night series  -  my nephew and his wife get one each year to add to their Christmas tree.   This year I hit a road block!   Instead of the 32 count linen I have used to date I somehow pulled a piece of 28 count linen out of the stash and stitched happily away.   But,  too big!   So instead of a rectangular finish I made this small "lantern" which has turned out quite cute.

Progress has been made on the Kogin Needlecase.   I hope to finish the actual stitching tonight and complete the construction during the week.   While I like the blue of this I'm not 'in love' with the actual item but am determined that it will not be left unfinished.  

I am still waiting for my thread pack for Heirloom Nativity Sampler to arrive so will probably have to start my Shepherds Bush "Angels Song" as I have all the supplies necessary for that.  But here I am running ahead of myself, there are still six more Christmas Ornaments to finish!!

Tomorrow morning I go for a check up on my pacemaker -  it will be interesting to see if this little friend is feeling as exhausted from gym workouts as I am. Five years ago when I receivd this one (my third), the surgeon said 'he' would have eight years of life but I 'he' and I keep fairly active so every six months I get a battery check.  
Apparently the inbuilt computer records all the data and I plan on asking the technologist to give me a copy - not that it will make much difference to either my limitations at the gym or to my trainer's energetic encouragements!   With my nephew's wedding coming up in January I am motivated to keep fit and hopefully slim then more easily find something suitable to wear.   Despite it being still winter and the temperatures closer to 5 degrees celsius than to 15 degrees, the shops are full of Spring and Summer fashion -  but, I am not motivated to go looking ....yet!

Anyway, have a great evening everyone.

Sunday 7 August 2011

A rainy day just suitable for stitching

Hello everyone -  today has been like this

so I have been inside working on this

and re-reading this

Well!   I am very tired after spending almost all day yesterday baking ( and shopping for a Slow Cooker) and cooking.
Tomorrow the HDHBEM has her second cataract operation and while she is in theatre I am making an excursion to the conveniently close Ribbon Rose Needlework Shop to stock up on threads for my Shepherds Bush piece and for the Japanese Needlework Accessories piece.   Watch this space!
Hope you all have a great weekend