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Archive for January, 2009

Strange weather

After three blistering hot days, yesterday was gloomy, wet and cold.  Today the sun shines again.  One never knows what to wear.  There could be a cold wind, it could be swelteringly hot, it could rain.  The weather is daft.

And on top of all that the black dog nips at my heels (again) as I try to clamber out of my rut.

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A successful morning

Well Saturday saw a successful trip to town.  I left early to get a warrant of fitness for the car (as I know the queue builds up quickly).  I’m always nervous that the car will fail the test and then will involve an expensive trip to a mechanic.  However, the car passed – yippee.  Next stop an electronics store, for which I had been given a couple of vouchers at Christmas.  I wanted a new LCD monitor instead of my old CRT which displays graphics rather dimly, and of course takes up all the desk room.  Also needed were new comptuer speakers as the old ones were past their best.  So a consultation with a young chap resulted in a new monitor and a nice set of speakers.  I stored them in the boot of the car and headed to the supermarket for some essentials (and not-so-essentials).

I headed home feeling very pleased with myself and found the kids were still in bed.  I unpacked, detached old, attached new and turned it all on.  Very nice!  I tried some music and played it a bit louder to wake the slovenly and it all sounded wonderful.

The best part of the morning (and it still hadn’t reached 11am) was when my daughter headed out to the lounge and realised that the music wasn’t coming from the stereo.  She rounded the corner to see the new monitor and speakers and she was actually speechless, her mouth opening and closing, and rubbing her eyes.  It was a sight to remember with delight.  It’s not often these days that one receives a pleasant and totally unexpected surprise.

So yes, for once, a successful trip to town with a truly satisfying result.  Usually I go with firm intentions and come back empty-handed.

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New blog

A friend of mine has started a blog about old postcards she collects – particularly the messages on the back of them which are quite fascinating.  It got me thinking and gave me the idea of having a blog of my grandmother’s diary of 1952.  Years ago I had typewritten her diary out (for ease of reading and less handling of the actual diary) but, naturally, the typewritten copy’s gone missing and it wouldn’t have been much use in any case because I have to type it out again on the computer.  So I’ve started.

She must have written other diaries because throughout she compares blooms and weather to the previous year, but that diary (or previous diaries) must have got lost years before.

The diary ends suddenly in November.

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Thanks to one of those useful blokes who can do stuff and happen to have spare computer parts lying around, my computer is back up and running (reasonably well).  It does make an awful noise when it starts up though so I’m not sure it’s completely healthy.  Time will tell…

A couple of pics from my trip to Tauranga/Mt Maunganui.  On New Year’s Day we went climbing up the Mount, as previously mentioned.  It’s just a hill, basically.

Mount Maunganui from afar
Mount Maunganui from afar

However, on a scorching day with a headache, it was a bit of work getting up there.

View from Mt Maunganui

View from Mt Maunganui

 I didn’t get too close to the edge, as you can see – apart from the fact I’m scared of heights, the others were on their way across the top to the other side and I was in a hurry to catch up. 

Main beach

Main beach

 The following day was quite drizzly and we climbed another hill to the southwest and got a different perspective.  That climb was much easier but with less of a view because of the cloud.

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Introducing Jasmine

Our new pet was just sitting beside this laptop on the table and I realised that in this non-diary, irregularly-updated blog that I hadn’t mentioned her at all.  She’s a gorgeous tortoiseshell kitten who acquired the name Jasmine after two weeks of agreeing and disagreeing over a list of possible names with three other people (my daughters and the boyfriend of a daughter).  None of the names seemed to fit perfectly but ‘Jasmine’, at least, was agreed upon by all.

jasmine2

It was my younger daughter who suggested getting a kitten after my dear old dog died in June.  Our cat, Ziggy, had been very close to Zara and we were sure he missed her company.  He would go outside and yowl.  Well, it had to wait a few months until ‘kitten season’ but here she is.

She was fully housetrained by the time we got her at 8 weeks old and when it came to letting her outside she started doing her business outside almost immediately – she knew exactly what to do.  From the first night she went to sleep as soon as we turned out the lights.

She has a strong personality – unlike any other cat I’ve ever had.  She’s very affectionate.  She looks up at you, goes up to your nose or chin to nudge with her head or gently place her paw, then settles on your lap and purrs loudly.  When I pick her up she just sits there in my hands, and initially she spread her front paws as if to hold something in mid-air.

She’s almost doubled in size already (we got her late in November).  She has a very little miaow but when she thinks we are leaving her at home alone, she’ll miaow quite loudly in distress until she realises there’s still someone home.

Ziggy didn’t like her initially but her charm has brought him round.  He’ll now lick her and play with her briefly until he gets annoyed at her insistence.  They will happily sleep side by side or eat side by side and share each others’ food (so we have to separate them as she’s on kitten food and he’s on senior food).

I’ve missed her when I’ve been away.  She’s been a wonderful addition to the family and has eased the pain of my dog’s loss.

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Xmas/New Year done for another year.  It was a fairly quiet one at my friend’s place.  Of course I drank too much (I blame the red wine which my friend’s partner kept pouring in my glass).  When will I learn?  However, I remembered everything and everyone else danced to the blues music as well, so I didn’t embarrass myself.  I did, however, have a bit of a hangover the next day (which was a scorcher).  My head didn’t appreciate the climb up Mt Maunganui that day – the hot sun and the effort of the climb made it pound rather a lot.  When I can I’ll add a photo of the view from the top but the computer with all the photo programs on is out of action at the moment.  Naturally it expired just before Xmas so there was little chance of getting it fixed.

Two days was enough at my friend’s.  We’ve been friends for a long time but just occasionally I get annoyed.  She doesn’t listen.  She talks non-stop and when there’s a gap for me to say something I try to but she ignores it and continues on so I barely get a word in.  Even after asking me a question, which I started replying to, she talked over my reply about something completely different.  I wonder how she gets on at work where she’s in a position to make quite important decisions – does she ever listen to input from anyone else?  So, instead of the trip being a pleasant time catching up with good company, I felt more alone than ever.  Nor did I appreciate the negative comments about the wine I’d taken there or the hovel I call my house.  They’re busy doing up the bathroom and having the house repainted inside and out.  I would love to be able to afford doing up my house.  She just cannot conceive of how little money I have.  I often wish I had a friend who understood – I don’t seem to have any. 

Anyway, enough of the self-pity.  The black dog continues to accompany me.  Perhaps it will leave soon…

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