Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Take Two

Wow! This year is already flying by. It's been 2 1/2 weeks since little baby girl Bartlett was born. She has been named Hazel Louise Bartlett. Nice. I am very excited about flying to Queenstown on Thursday night to spend the weekend with her, her big sister Annabelle, her Mummy and Daddy, my Mummy and Daddy, and Granny Annie (her Mummy's Mummy). Camera presently charging.

Averil and Eru's wedding is less than a year away now. Averil has asked our very good friend Renee McInnes to be her sole bridesmaid which, I think, is perfect. Renee will make the best bridesmaid. She's good under pressure which means if Bridezilla makes an appearance, Renee will know just what to do to settle the nervous/stressed out bride-to-be. Not that I think Averil has any Bridezilla tendancies but you never know what stress can do.

I have appointed myself as Wedding C0-Coordinator along with Kathryn, who is getting all sorts of pricing deals through Barter Card. With our powers combined we will organise a wedding on par with Wills and Kate at a fraction of the price!
Mum's work colleague Marilyn Newlove has very, VERY kindly offered to make Averil's dress for free. All she has to do is supply the material. Some people are just so lovely! I know Averil will chose something as beautiful as she is, even though she would look gorgeous wearing a paper bag!

Last weekend I had my friend Rachael's hens weekend in Tutukaka. We hired a holiday home which was so posh and fab, and 10 of us stayed there for the weekend. We had planned a day at the beach on Saturday but the weather was not looking as good as we had hoped so we stayed at the lodge and everyone came there instead. It actually worked out much better I think. There was a huge deck, spa pool, and close, clean toilets! We had a few games but generally just had wine and laughter. Rachael was made to wear the most beautiful bright floral Mumu with pink sash and princess tiara. She looked B.U.T ful! Although she said she didn't feel it. Ha ha.

SOMEONE thought it would be funny to buy us bridesmaids bachelorette party crew hats and silly glasses - so we too got laughed at. A lot. Not so funny when the shoe is on the other foot.

Saturday night we went out to dinner - Rachael in her fancy gladrags - to the pizza restaurant and, as there had been a girls fishing competition on that day, there was a band at the Game Fishing Club so we went there too. It was a very good night.
On Sunday I had just enough time for another dress fitting before heading to Warkworth for an hour with Mum and Dad, and then back to Auckland to catch my flight to Christchurch. Another successful whirlwind adventure!

I started a 16 week course last Wednesday in Beauty Skills. It's an introductory into Beauty Therapy done at Aoraki Polytechnic here in Chch and fits in around my work hours. Last week was my first class and I am about 200 years older than all the other students AND the only one without kids. Or so it seems. I have had homework to do this week which seems very unfamiliar to me. I don't even think I did homework when I was at school!! Not much anyway. I was far too busy finding out where all the parties were. I am looking forward to learning some new things and putting them in to practise - even if it is just for my own personal use.

On Sunday I finally went to see The Kings Speech at the movies with my friend Gail. I had joined the social club at work the week previous purely for the $5 movie tickets we can get through it. Bonus! I detest having to pay $16 bloody 50 to see a movie. So for a measley $2 a week I can get $5 tickets PLUS they have shouts, raffles, free entry to City to Surf (fun run/walk) and anything else that may interest the majority of social club members.
Anyway, I digress, it was a lovely movie. I laughed out loud a few times. A really nice story.

Yesterday I recieved a text from Jane Metcalfe from Mainland Dating to see if anyone would be interested in a night of speed dating as she was short of ladies. I rallied up Renee and off we went. I was not nervous at all this time. Mainly because I had it in my head that I was going as Renee's wingman. When I told Renee this, she said she was only going as MY wingman. Ha! Anyway, it was a really enjoyable night. The guys this time were of a slightly higher calibre than the last one I went to. Really nice guys... most of them. There were a couple of Nutbars, but that is to be expected. One guy was really nice so I ticked him and HOPE he might have ticked me too. Waiting to hear from Jane to see if I have any matches (guys that ticked me that I also ticked). Fingers crossed!

BREAKING NEWS: I had to abandon my post while writing this as Christchurch got hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake just before 1pm today. All Carter Holt Harvey employees assembled in the cafe and were told they could go home if they wanted. I don't think anyone stayed.
I came home to what looked like the aftermath of a teenage party. All food was out of the cupboards on the floor. A packet of Dorito corn chips had burst open all over the floor. There were some broken bowls, smashed light bulbs and CD's and DVD's spread around the lounge floor. We also had liquifaction this time out on the street and in the yard. I went over to Roxburgh Street after 4pm and the whole street is covered with silty liquifaction. The chimney had come down but LUCKILY had not fallen through the roof. Eru and Scott got up on the roof and cleaned up the bricks and waterproofed the hole.
The cats are scampering around VERY low to the ground. Poor wee things.
Unfortunately this time there have been fatalities. 65 reported so far. It's a very, very sad day for Christchurch.
As I write this we are still getting massive aftershocks approximately every 5 minutes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's A Girl!!

Gavin and Catkin became the proud parents of another beautiful wee girl on Monday morning, 7th February. Born 7.42am and weighing in at 7lb 14oz, she is yet to be named.
Apparently it was another all nighter and Catkin did an amazing job. Another home birth and all went well.

Looking forward to hearing what they name her and getting a glimpse and perhaps a cuddle (If I can wrestle her away from her adoring Nana) when I go down for the weekend at the end of February.

Annabelle looks as proud as punch to be a big sister and have a REAL baby doll to play with!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Mamas And The Papas

Mum and Dad came down to Christchurch for the weekend on 14th January which was lovely. It turned into a weekend of parent meeting for them.
On Friday night we had dinner at Roxy Inn and Paula, Kazio, and Alex came to join us which was really nice. The meal was delicious - mostly vegetarian - and hit the right spot. It was a very pleasant evening.

On Saturday afternoon we took a trip out to Kaiapoi to visit Dad's Uncle Albie and Aunty Lorraine and went for a walk along the river to see the damage the earthquake had caused to some of the houses out there. It was bizarre that some houses, all along the same straight, had been damaged beyond repair while their neighbour got away with very little damage. It was a beautiful day so after visiting for a while we left Mum and Dad there so they could go on to visit Dad's Aunty Bev in New Brigton afterwards, and we headed home to start preparing dinner.

For the evening Averil and Eru had organised Eru's father (Graham), sister (Sandra), and Sandra's two kids (Tahlia and Asher), brother (Karati) and Karati's fiance (Zoe) to come for a bbq to meet Mum and Dad FINALLY. It all went very well, as I knew it would. Graham is such a lovely man and very easy to talk with so I suspected it would all go well. Again, the meal was delicious and I, for one, left about 2 kilos heavier.

So, of course, it seemed only fair that Sunday night was the Lethaby's (Scott's parents) turn to come for dinner. Mum and Dad are getting quite good at this 'Meet The Parents' routine. Scott and Claire had cooked a lovely roast lamb with roast veges. It was delish! I appreciate roasts a lot more these days as I don't ever cook them just for me.

Averil and Mum went to the Ron Mueck Exhibition at the Art Gallery on Monday morning. They had tried to go with Dad on Sunday but when they got there the line was way out the door! Monday was cooler with less people. They said they enjoyed it as much as we had when we went previously. Such a brilliant exhibition. I would recommend it to everyone.

We had a nice dinner at Roxy Inn before Mum and Dad flew back to Auckland on Monday night. I feel I should have been paying rent there as I had been there and eaten there all weekend only going home to sleep!

Wednesday was Paula's birthday so on Tuesday night she very kindly took Me, Averil, and Claire out for dinner at the Latimer Hotel. We had a lovely time with good conversation and great company. It was nice to have a wee girls night out. The food was superb.

You may remember a few blogs ago my friend Kristine was down in Christchurch for a weekend last year. While she was down here she happened to win a voucher for a facial and massage from Progressive Beauty in a random competition at a cafe. Happy days! Unfortunately she didn't get time to use it herself SO she gifted it to me!! Happier days. I used the voucher a few weeks back and all I can say is that Progressive Beauty should change their name to 'So-Relaxing-You-Will-Fall-Asleep-And-Possibly-Snore-A-Little-On-The-Massage-Table Beauty'. It was fabulous. So good in fact, I'm going back next week for another facial.

Last Thursday I packed up all my troubles in my old kit bag and moved out to the Mansion in Templeton for 10 days of house sitting. Bliss. I LOVE it out there. The owners, Nicky and Grant Lucas, went for a road trip up to the North Island to visit relatives and see the sights. I had the chickens, bantams, and two cats to feed and nurture while they were away which was easy peasy. Even getting up at 6.30am on the weekends for the morning chook feed was fine. I really, really love it out there. And again I had Duddie, the black cat, to keep me company. He is like a shadow and followed me everywhere. I'm sure he's an old soul. He helped me get up in the mornings after the alarm went off by sitting on the edge of the bed and tickling my face with his fluffy tail. Bless him.

Averil had organised a garage sale at Roxburgh Street for Saturday 22nd January. Richard from work made some spectacular signs on the sample table for us to put along the street, beckoning people in. The weather was a little iffy but the rain stayed away for the most part. We did quite well and found that produce seems to sell the best. The girls had bunches of rhubarb from the garden that sold within about 15 minutes and THEN the people who brought it came back in the afternoon and asked if they could buy part of the plant so they could grow some themselves! Result! I had taken about 6 dozen eggs which all sold. There were also courgettes from the garden which went alright.
We were left with lots of stuff afterwards too but it's strange what people buy. Some of the things I didn't think would sell were the first to go! We had very strange lady who, after trying on a pair of moccasins, went back to her car to get some money and returned with a small wine rack which she put amongst our stuff and then left, leaving the rack with us!! Strange, or what? She never said a word about it either. So now we have a small, chrome wine rack for only $100 to the first caller! Ha ha!
We all made a bit of money and it was a good way to spend the day. Averil and I even managed to fit in a game of Scrabble during the after lunch lull. She won, but she was also the score keeper... if you know what I mean....

Tuesday morning was a busy morning of specialist appointments for me. I took half a day off work and my first appointment was with a dermatologist. I have these strange red rings that appear on my chest frequently. They look like I have had a hot cup sitting on my chest. This has been going on for years now and I have done little experiments myself - cutting out mushrooms, noting whether they are better or worse in certain seasons, when I am around animals, things like that. And there seems to be no pattern as to when they arrive or how long they stay. So I decided to get them dealt to once and for all (hopefully). The Dermatologist was as baffled as I am so I am getting a biopsy done on 21 March. Because she has to take a biopsy from my chest we decided to do it AFTER I am bridesmaid in March. Hopefully this will show what causes these, we can get it sorted, and I can be beautiful! Ha - Well the first two at least. I realise she's not a magician.
My second appointment was with a Neurosurgeon for suspected carpal tunnel in my right hand. I had some tests a few weeks ago which showed that I have mild to moderated carpal tunnel in my right hand while my left hand is fine. So I am booked in for 2 May for the quick 20 minute procedure to sort that out. This week it has been especially bad so I am very pleased to be getting that sorted too. My thumb, index finger, and middle finger get pins and needles and go numb often when I am using the phone, mouse, or keyboard for an extended period of time. It's just annoying more than anything.

On Friday 28th January my Scottish pal Jenni came down to Christchurch from Ngaruawahia for the weekend. Because we were lucky enough to still be out in Templeton, I had organised a wee country pub crawl. After drinks at nibbles and the mansion, the 9 of us (Me, Jenni, Renee, Claire, Scott, Averil, Eru, Julia previously from CherryTree, and Flattie Belinda) waddled down to the first pub which was just a 5 minute walk down the road. It was quite quiet so when we arrived we doubled the numbers and trippled the noise! They had a FREE juke box in the corner which I commandeered. Some time during our time there a party bus of super heros came in and that's about when the table dancing started. Brilliant. Surprisingly no one fell off and the tables were quite high... like bar leaners. Scary in the cruel light of day.

After causing havoc (not really) there we caught the courtesy van to our next pub. There were a few more people in this pub and they had a DJ who seemed to know all the right songs to play so we could try and look like we were dancing on the alcohol soaked, sticky floor. At one stage Renee lost her shoe -when she moved her foot in one of her awesome dance moves, her shoe stayed stuck to the floor.
We never made it to the third pub. Poor Scott fell over outside and knocked his head on a large rock. It's possible that he might have blacked out for a few moments and now has a slightly egg shaped lump on the back of his head. Luckily he had a drunk girlfriend and qualified drunk nurse on hand. I'm not sure what Renee is qualified higher in: drinking or nursing. She's very good at both. Scott woke up the next morning wondering why his head hurt with no recollection of the fall. Apart from that it was a great night with lots and LOTS of laughter.
Everyone was feeling a little sorry for themselves the next morning.

The rest of the weekend was quite quiet for Jenni and me. We went to the mall on Saturday afternoon with a list of goodies that Jenni needed to purchase. And I managed to find a couple of things for Rachael's hens party next weekend. Then it was home for a wee snooze and a quiet night in watching telly. We couldn't even face a glass of wine.
On Sunday we managed to make a quick trip to Denny's for lunch (it's become a ritual now) before heading to the airport.

I moved back to my flat on Monday and as much as I do love house sitting in out in Templeton (I may have mentioned this a few times) it was nice to be back home with all my things around me. Averil had her first day of teaching her new class at her new school on Wednesday and seems to enjoying it so far. This year she is teaching year 1's so they are little 5&6 year olds. Bless. She said one little boy in her class, who happens to be the Principal's son so she has met him already, told her that he loves her. How can your day not be a good one after that start to the morning?
So now we're waiting for news of new Baby Bartlett due tomorrow. Come on!!