Wednesday, June 28, 2006

If a cow goes 'moo', what sound does a fish make?

... this one goes cluck cluck cluck!

Here's the latest photo of my niece Megan at 3 months old. What a cutie. Takes after her Aunt, I reckon.

Holidays and a random observation

It's nearly the end of term. Bring it on!! I'm looking forward to having a bit of a sleep in and reading some books. I can never stay awake long enough during the working week to read more than about three pages. I fall asleep really quickly - just ask Sam! Last Xmas Holiday I read 24 books during my time off.

What I will do with my holidays

Week 1: Choir School. It's kind of like band camp but not as dodgy, and no flutes are involved :) I'm one of the Matrons - camp mum in other words. Quite mad of me to volunteer to spend a week of my holiday with a bunch of pre-teens and teenagers, when that's what I do for a living anyway... and I miss four netball games, possibly finals :(

Week 2: Me time. And Sam is on shift, so we can spend a bit of time together. Awww :) I plan to start back with the swimming - it's been too darn cold to get up and go recently, but I can go a bit later in the day, cos it's holidays. If I'm going to help people train for a triathlon, I'd better get my style perfect first.


I realised the other day that I come across as really rude because I often interrupt people in the middle of conversations. But it's only because I often pick up on what they are saying and finish it in my head. And so I start talking. But the person talking hasn't actually finished what they are saying, and I look like I am butting in - if only people could talk faster than my brain spins...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fiji Part Two

In this instalment: Less words! More photos! Fun and Friends!

This is me tasting Kava for the first time. Quite strong it was, as we found out later in the week and the locals tried to push diluted stuff on us. The fabulous Tui is standing by.

Most evenings were spent playing cards with our new friends and drinking Fiji Gold, the beer of choice. Note: don't drink Fiji Bitter - it's gross!

Another shot of us chilling with our new mates. Yay for drunken secret telling and bonding! I think the angle is intentional - I wasn't THAT drunk. I hope. This spot by the beach became our hangout during our time at Sunrise. We left the spot late at night and came back early to watch the sunrise each morning.

There seems to be a limit of 3 photos per blog, so till next time...

Things I like right now

1 The Fatboy Slim video where the guy juggles to the music. I can't not watch it.

2 Electric blankets and fluffy sheets.

3 Feeling on top of stuff even though there is so much going on in my life.

4 Driving assorted friends around in my car and having interesting conversations.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I had a flat tyre last Thursday. I was about to leave school for the day when I noticed that my car was on a bit of an angle. I managed to change it all by myself - the school caretaker wandered over and offered to help, but I wanted to prove I could do it. I took the offending flattie to Tony's Tyre Service last Saturday and they fixed it for free and swapped it back (cos it had better tread than the spare). Yay.

So imagine what I found this morning as I got in the car to drive to Church. You guessed it - another flat! And the same tyre too. Some choice words were offered to the boys at Tony's I can tell you... anyway, as Sam had to go to work today, I had to go inside and wake him and tell him he couldn't go till I got back because I needed his car.

Sam has now left for work and I have just come inside from changing the tyre AGAIN.

I take back all the comments I made about Tony and his mates. The picture says it all really.

Fiji: One year on...

It’s been nearly a year since our little posse went to Fiji. (‘cos it’s nearly the mid year school holidays. Rock On!!!) Thanks to Richard’s fab travel organisational skills (and my bank manager), Richard, Kirsten, Anna, Sam and I got to spend ten days in the magical Yasawa Islands off the coast of Fiji.

Our trip was kinda ‘backpacker-y’, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the poolside resorts in the world. Compare a stay on your local Marae with ‘The RotoVegas Experience’ and I think you’ll know what I mean :).

We met some weird and wonderful friends on our trip. Some have emailed us since – some haven’t. Funny how you all promise to keep in touch but then it becomes a huge effort.

I don’t have the lyrical genius of Sam, so I will tell the story mostly in pictures instead. Enjoy.

Rich, Anna, Kirsten and Sam on the bus waiting to be driven to our hotel in Nadi. Entering the terminal, we were greeted by a bunch of Fijians singing to us while we queued at Customs. Somewhat tacky but also kinda cool. The temperature was just wonderful - note we all look quite hot as we had left Wellington in trousers and warm tops. We couldn't wait to get to the hotel and change.

That night, the Oasis fan club (read: bunch of drunk Poms) in the dorm above us kept us awake.
With their rendition of "Don't look back in anger".
Just the chorus.
For about an hour.

I joked about going upstairs and doing a haka outside their door, but of course girls aren't supposed to do haka. Sam eventually went upstairs and earned the respect of the 9 people in our dorm by asking politely for them to go to bed. It was 3am, after all.

After visiting Nadi in the morning (where a guy offered to sell Sam some marajuana), we came back and lazed by the pool all afternoon. I had a meal of raw fish called kokoda. It was YUMMY. I swam at least once an hour till about 7pm.

The next day, we started the actual tour. We were booked on this catamaran that travels up and down the Yasawa Islands every day, stopping at each island to load and unload happy travellers. The trip up and back takes a full day. Our first stop was right at the top of the trip, and so it was that we arrived at Sunrise Lagoon Resort.

At Sunrise, we met the inimitable Tui, the 'camp mum' person who taught me how to ask for a beer in Fijian (see fact #49), and over the next two days met Ann from Ireland, Steve, Claire, Charlie and Dino from England, Johannes and Eva from Germany, and Michelle, Rawiri and his girfriend Carina from Aussie. Actually, Ra was a Kiwi and his girlfriend was Swedish I think, but they lived in Aussie. I tasted Kava for the first time at Sunrise. Tasted but mud, but it grows on you.

This is my absolute favourite shot of the whole trip. It's also one of the only photos of all five of us. Ra took it on the afternoon that we left Sunrise for Botaira. Don't we look relaxed :).

More to come. It seems this is going to be a LONG STORY as my Dad would say...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

eight eights are sixty-four

More about me!

51. I sleep with a teddy bear. No, I don't mean my husband. I mean a real teddy that I have had since I was thirteen. He's about the size of a pillow, so Sam often has to throw teddy out of bed so he can get in!

52. All my toys had names. Teddy, dolly, bear, mousie, lion, ellie (the elephant)... REAL imaginative, huh?

53. I also had a doll called Janet. I think she was the only one of my toys who had a proper name. She was made of squishy rubber filled with sponge, so she was nice and soft. I used to play with her in the bath a lot, and I remember the sponge took ages to dry. Dad used to always remove her head and leave her upside down in the hot water cupboard.

54. I love backrubs.

55. and footrubs.

56. and my shoulders and neck adore a nice firm massage.

57. Despite looking like a beached whale in my togs, I love swimming. I feel really graceful in the water. I love that I can swim properly, not just move through the water, but really swim. All the bits in the process happen efficiently and in the right order. I find it amusing to watch people struggle through 1 or 2 lengths then stop and have a breather because they are exhausted. I usually swim 60 lengths (or more) with no stops.

58. I have sprained my right ankle about 5 times. My left about 4 times. The first time I did the right one was when I was 15, and jumped from about 3m on an Army confidence course. My ankle made a really excellent POP! and was like jelly. I couldn't put any weight on it at all for 2 days.

59. The other times are all netball related.

60. Once I drank too much tequila and puked in my husband's MX-5. He was not at all impressed.

61. "Just once?" you all reply. Yes, just once. The other times I wasn't in his car. :)

62. I think much more often about having babies since I hit 30.

63. I don't worry about losing my figure, as I don't really have one to lose.

64. I like my back. It doesn't have a lot of fat, and it's smooth and strong. I have rather nice biceps too. IMNSHO of course.

More to come...


I hurt my finger playing netball last night and it hurts :(

I made a good clean take - one of those ones where you are behind the other player and you come round with the outside arm and flick the ball away. Unfortunately the ball hit my fingers end on, and my middle one (being the longest) took the hit. I just tried to fit my wedding ring on that finger, but it only goes as far as the first little bendy bit. It fits on my other hand with no trouble.

And typing is really difficult with two fingers taped together. I never realised that I typed with more than just the index fingers on each hand. Yay me :)

Bleurgh :P

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Auntie fish

My Sister Carol is visiting the North Island this week with her baby Megan. Today we had 14 of the clan round for lunch, and actually managed to seat 12 of them round the folks' massive dining table. Casserole and pumpkin - yum.

Megan is such a cutie (takes after her Aunt I reckon). I changed her nappy just before. Didn't get peed on, so that's something. I did, however, get the baby badge vomit on my shoulder afterwards.

About time I washed my top anyway.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two of my favourite things...

...Lego and Escher. :)

I was watching "Futurama" the other day, and it reminded me of this picture I found somewhere. I'll reference the site when I get round to it.

Why Futurama you ask? Bender and Fry were looking for a new apartment, and stumbled on one that looked a lot like this. Cool huh?

I think I need to visit my folks and drag the Lego out of storage...

Netball ramblings

I've been thinking about this for a while now, so here goes...

"Hi my name is fish, and I have a netball addiction."

There. Done. I feel better now.

What to do about it? I know my ankles are starting to show the strain - I hate to think how I will be able to walk 20 years from now. I can't even rise up on my toes on my left foot without pain. Netball keeps me fit, but I think perhaps six games a week is too much. There comes a point where "getting exercise" is outweighed by "walking cos I can't run", and you're not much use to the team. Less is more perhaps.

Thought for the day: You can only sprain a ligament a few times. The other times you sprain scar tissue.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

There and Back Again

So last Friday, Sam sent a shout-out to a bunch of our friends suggesting we do a road trip on Queen’s Birthday Monday. As the weekend progressed and the weather turned foul, some of our friends pulled out, but it just made the rest of us more determined. We were going over the Rimutaka Hill, come Hell or high water.

We didn’t much fancy snow though, so we decided to go up the coast instead.

I took my car with three passengers, and one lucky person at a time got to share Sam’s car. Damon had battery issues, so we missioned off to get him, then away we went. There were six people in our merry band - Sam, Morgue, Kate, Damon, Anna, and me.

We took the coastal route to just out of Waikanae, where we stopped for coffee and a munch. The poor wee girl at the counter got us confused with some student types that arrived before us and who ordered takeaway coffees, and thus we ended up sitting at some lovely tables in nice décor with paper cups and plastic forks. Oh dear. Triple layer chocolate cheesecake made up for it somewhat though. We decided to pop into El Rancho as Morgue hadn’t been there before and was feeling rather left out. Can’t say he was missing much. Mission accomplished, we headed back onto the main road and Northward.


Kate mentioned that there was a nice café in Levin, but unfortunately it was closed. We admired a statue of a generic market gardener while the boys scanned up and down the road for an open food place. Incidently, Levin owes much of its existence to early Asian immigrant market gardeners, but the statue looks remarkably like a Pakeha. Sad. In an ironic twist, we found a Chinese place that was open.

This was the kind of place that does fish and chips, but also has pictures of each kind of Asian dish that you can order. Feeling like a nice hot and sour Tom Yum, I ordered a #16. This turned out to be mostly noodles with a small amount of liquid. Still yummy though. Noodles are really hard to eat with chopsticks. I soon discovered that if you pick up as much as you can and quickly shove it in before it falls, you can bite off what doesn’t fit and drop it back in the bowl.

Better still, I could have asked for a fork.

I had just about finished my soup when the other peoples’ food started to arrive. Brilliant service. Damon’s Bami Goreng (noodle dish) arrived last. About 25 minutes later. Without noodles. I think it was actually a Chicken & Cashew Nut stir fry, but Damon was past caring by then.

Somewhat sated, we waddled back to our cars via the public loos where some guy called Leonard was caught perving under the doors at other men about 10 years ago. Apparently you can say ‘Leonard’ to any Levin-ite in my generation and they know who you mean.


Foxton was the next point of call. We wanted to see the famous windmill and go to the beach. The windmill was, well, a windmill. That done, we headed for the beach with a packet of Mentos and a bottle of Diet Coke.

Damon had recently seen a clip of some crazy Americans (aren't they all?) putting Mentos into Diet Coke, making 20ft high geysers, so we had to see if it could be done. Our geyser was rather sad and pathetic - barely more than 2cm, but what the hey. We need to try that again sometime with warmer Coke and more Mentos I think.

After spitting all the sand out of our teeth we decided it was time for home. Sam tried to lose us by turning off just before Levin. I think he wanted to drive off with Kate, but she made him stop till I had executed two rather stylish U-turns arcoss State Highway 1 and found them. Kate directed us to her Parents' place. She had called ahead and got no answer so we decided to do a quick mission round the garden then head home. Imagine our surprise as we emerged from the bushes right next to Kate's Stepmum, who then took us into the house for coffee and home baking! What a gracious host.

Tip: When you have hayfever and pet allergies, it's a good idea to not sit on the carpet next to a vase of huge lillies. Urg.


The drive home was fairly uneventful. We stopped on the Paekakariki Hill to watch the sunset and stamp our feet in the cold, and then tootled off to my place. Where I cooked a stirfry for 7 people (cos Leon turned up too).

And Damon finally got his noodles.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

From a quarter to halfway there

"And now, the continuing story of a fish who can't stop talking about herself..."

26. I play the clarinet. When I was ten, I was on the What Now Wacky Challenge. I had to go busking with this long haired hippy with a bass drum strapped to his back and cymbals on his knees. We made about ten bucks. I also got a Milo tracksuit which I wore EVERYWHERE, and a Milo bag FULL of chocolate and other goodies. Mmm, chokitos were my favourite…

27. I can play some chords on the guitar. For some reason, I just can’t play bar chords. I bet I could if I really tried, but I just don’t manage to practice often enough. I went through a phase last Summer where I had worked up a great set of callouses on my left hand, but I still couldn’t play an F or a B chord.

28. My Great great great great grandparents were murdered in Petone in the late 1800s. A French guy bought some pepper in their shop, then returned later that night and threw it in their eyes before making off with the day’s shop takings. He was hanged for the crime. The story was on Epitaph once.

29. At my school prizegiving in 1981, I got a certificate for “general diligence”. I stopped halfway along the stage to read it, and all the people laughed at me.

30. I can do Rock and Roll. You have to remind me to stop leading every now and then.

31. This line left intentionally blank.

32. I am in an Indian dance group. I like how my hands look graceful when I dance.

33. I never feel completely at ease when dancing. The image that usually comes to my mind is one of those dancing Hippos in Disney’s Fantasia. The ones in tutus.

34. I never believe anyone when they say I am pretty or graceful. I know they are just being nice. I still like hearing it though. I can concede that I did scrub up alright on our wedding day.

35. I believe people when they say I am intelligent.

36. Both my Parents were in the Army. Mum was a nurse, a Captain. Dad was a Warrant Officer. As it was the 70s, Mum was asked (ordered) to leave the Army as it wasn’t the done thing to marry beneath your rank.

37. I was conceived in Waiouru.

38. I love my Mum dearly, but I hate that I am too much like her at times.

39. My Dad often says, “gosh, you’re like Steven”. I like that.

40. He still calls me his "little bubby" or just "bub". I like that too.

41. I was an Army Cadet. 1989 through to 2000. I went on lots of courses and camps, did loads of stuff that I am so thankful for. I gained heaps of confidence there.

42. I was particularly good at drill. Rememberance Day (11 November) was always particularly special. I was in the Flag Party for five years in a row. Slow marching the NZ flag up the length of Wellington Cathedral while the Army Band plays a lament makes the hairs stick up on the back of my neck. Still does now.

43. My brother in law plays the bagpipes. He is one of the top pipers in New Zealand, and regularly wins competitions. He gets invited to play at competitions where he can’t win ‘cos he’s too good, so he’s just there as the floor show.

44. I like to make Milo in a really BIG glass with about 5 spoons of Milo. Mmmm, crusty bits…

45. I had to just go and make a Milo cos #44 made me want one.

46. I love to sleep. I can doze all day if I get the opportunity. Most days I have to get up around 6.30 though. Nanna naps are good too. Put me horizontal or in a comfy chair, and I am guaranteed to be asleep in about 7 minutes. I awake refreshed in about 10 minutes. I often do this in my office at work. Don’t tell the boss!

47. My Grandma is 93 and still lives in her own home. She’s the only grandparent I have left. She fell over and broke her hip last year, but is still going strong.

48. I went to Fiji last Winter. Still dream about going back.

49. Ao vinakata ndua nan Fiji Gold kerekere (apologies for the incorrect Fijian spelling).

50. Kava’s not all it’s made out to be. It played havoc with my digestion processes.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

25 is a number with exactly 3 factors

Here's a few to get you started:

1. I got married in November 2004. I love and trust my husband completely.

2. I have a tattoo of a fish on my right shoulder blade.

3. My parents didn't see it for almost two years.

4. Which is pretty amazing as we are the kind of family that wander in and out of the bathroom naked. Saves turning the shower off in between changeovers and wasting water.

5. I have a sister and a brother.

6. Half-brother, actually, from my Dad's first marriage. He died last November of bowel cancer at 48.

7. I shaved my head last September (Daffodil day) for my bro. I raised over $500 in sponsorship.

8. Last time my head shaved was in 2001. There was much booze involved. Funnily enough, the one handling the clippers was quite pissed. I was sober.

9. I have four nieces and one nephew. One niece from my sister, the rest from my husband's sister.

10. We have no children yet.

11. We own a pet rat (wee man). Kinda funny for the poor nurse at the Vet Clinic who has to call out "wee man" to a full waiting room :)

12. I know Pi to around 30 digits. Yay for geekdom.

13. I teach Sunday school.

14. I believe in God (kind of a pre-requisite for #13).

15. I also sing in my Church choir. Alto is my part of choice, but as we have only one reliable Tenor, I sometimes sing that too. I also love a good descant at the end of a hymn.

16. I took Calculus, Algebra, Statistics and Geometry at University. I adore Algebra and Geometry - they are so logical - but I can't stand Calc. Bores the pants off me. Stats is ok I guess, but I have to say that - I may be teaching it to your children.

17. I used to be able to hold a decent conversation in NZ Sign Language, but if you don't use it you lose it, as the saying goes. I can still struggle through if required.

18. I taught swimming for five years. Parent and Baby classes are really fun. If/when you have children, I highly recommend it. See me for free lessons, if you like.

19. I dated a guy for three years who was 17 years older than me.

20. I was 17 when we met.

21. He was screwing this other lady the whole time and I never found out till the very end when we were breaking up. The arrogant ba$t^rd thought it wouldn't matter. And we had plans to marry and have babies and the like. Yeah Right.

22. I love to make pizza from scratch. Kneading dough is very therapeutic.

23. Curry too. I love all the different spices and stuff.

24. Kiwi Hot is my favourite, but I usually get Medium in restaurants so I can share with the hubby. When I cook he just has to manage.

25. I have had three operations on my right eye. I have no 3D vision, poor depth perception, and if I close my good eye, everything goes like the world does when I am drunk. I also can't see those magic eye pictures. (Can anyone??) I have vivid memories of being about seven and the eye doctor asking me to wear these 3D glasses and to point out the picture that stands out in a row of five. NONE OF THEM EVER STOOD OUT, but when you're seven you do as you are told. I wonder if he knew I guessed every single time.

Making a splash

Well, I've done it now. Jumped on the blog-wagon, so to speak. I'm currently composing a list of interesting things about me to be posted in the near future. Thanks to off-black and not-kate for the inspiration. I expect most people who know me will know most of these things anyway, as I have no secrets.

...or do I? Watch this space...