Archive for October, 2010

I did not think this dress would take so long to sew!  I thought by the end of a four-day weekend that I would have finished all but the hem.  How wrong was I!  I’ve joined the bodice and skirt and am now working on the sleeves.  The long dangly bits were proving a right pain to sew!  It took about 2 hours to pin together the contrasting velvet to look even!  Velvet has a mind of its own!  So frustrating!  I’m not fond of sewing so this is one big project for me and I do a lot of little other things in between in procrastination when I come to a fiddly bit.  I even went out and mowed the lawn after dealing with those pesky sleeves all morning.  I haven’t finished my Spanish homework yet either.  When I look back on the weekend I seem to have achieved very little.  Once I’ve finished the dress I’ve got daughter’s skirt to sew and a top to alter.  OMG.  It’s just as well I”m taking the week off after this short week.  I’ll need it.

Apart from mowing the lawn and planting some flowers in pots I haven’t managed to tidy up the garden at all.  For once it’s been sunny and hot outside so it did beckon me outside, but only to sit outside and read a book.  “The Hobbit” finished with and it’s back to the ghastly sewing.  I tell you what, that velvet dress is going to be very heavy to wear.  I only hope it’s not a scorcher on the day of the feast, but at least it’s evening.  (I well remember being dressed in medieval garb at the Medieval festivals at Mana a few years ago – not comfortable on a hot summer’s day, I can tell you!)

The pattern calls for some decorative trim around the neckline, waist and sleeves.  Spotlight is absolutely hopeless.  They only have ric-fac, ribbon and sequins (I’m sure I’ve moaned about this before).  Luckily TradeMe came to the rescue and I’ve bought some lovely Indian braid (which you used to be able to buy in shops, but no longer, it seems).  When looking for contrasting material for the dress I was looking for some sort of brocade in preference to velvet, but there was nothing.  It was either a satin type of material or plain cottony stuff.  Nothing suitable at all – hence the velvet to go with the velvet.  Might have to do some arm exercises to boost the muscles enough to hold my arms up with that weight!

Getting rather nervous about the feast.  Never organised such a thing before so want to get it right.  Need to hire a few extra trestle tables, need something for table cloths, need candle stands and candles, need ingredients for food I’m making.  Need music sorted.  Need to work out what belly dances there’ll be.  Thank god I have a week off beforehand.  Will also need to tidy the garden and get the hot water cylinder leak sorted before brother comes and comments on both again.  Ho hum.  A week probably isn’t enough!

Well, I’ve had a long enough break from sewing – back to it.  I want to have the bulk of it finished by tonight… and there’s still the Spanish homework to do…


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My medieval feast is now only 3 weeks away. I hadn’t got around to sewing a dress but have bought the material – purple velvet. I’ve sewn 6 flags to hang (somehow) in the hall. Might take a photo of 3 of them at some stage – all 6 is a bit tricky.

So Sunday morning loomed and I thought I’d better get onto the dress. I pulled out the pattern pieces of a pattern I bought years ago when I was still a member of a medieval group. Alas 2 pieces were missing. Decided a trip to Spotlight was in order. Daughter was still sleeping so I headed out the door on my own.

I chose a good day to go to Spotlight. They had a special on patterns – buy one get one free. I bought this one:


and another one for daughter. She wanted a skirt to go with her bodice so I got this one for her:


I also bought some cheap plastic axes (on sale because of Halloween coming up).

I spent the afternoon cutting out the pattern pieces and the material for my dress. Now, however, I need some contrasting material and lining for the new pattern. It’s a pity Spotlight have unfriendly hours during the week. A lunch-hour visit is out of the question as it takes too long to get there and back and the staff are notoriously slow in serving. I’ll have to wait until this coming weekend and make another visit.

Lastly the promised photo of the flags – I got too lazy to take all six so just took the lot.  Don’t know what the blotch is – some would say it’s an “orb” as in some ghostly presence (seriously I once chatted with an American who believed this).











Better photos will be taken at the feast.

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Farewell to Ziggy

Our “old man” cat, Ziggy, had kidney problems and high blood pressure.  He’d given us a scare before when he wouldn’t eat and so we expected the end was near.  However, he came right and enjoyed playing with Jasmine and more recently enjoyed being outside in the sunshine (which is fleeting for this time of year).

When again he didn’t eat much, we thought he was going through one of his phases.  But then he didn’t eat anything at all on Saturday.

On Sunday morning he was lying outside on the grass which was unusual for him.  I picked him up and brought him inside but when he stood, he swayed.  That was it.  I knew.  But still, I took him to the vet and hoped it was treatable.

I knew he was seriously ill when he didn’t miaow at all on the trip to the vet.  Usually he yowls all the way.  I felt back to the cage to check he was in fact still alive and then he miaowed in a strange tone.

The vet, who looked so young, examined him and said there were two things that concerned her.  He looked severely anaemic and there was blood around his anus.  It seemed he was bleeding internally.  It being a Sunday the labs were closed but she said she’d do a simple blood test and let me know.

I was in the Plaza shopping centre, taking the opportunity to shop for medieval-looking jewellery, when the vet rang.  She said something about badly anaemic having about 40% red blood cells.  Ziggy had 10%.  I was in the process of paying for some jewellery and walked out in shock as I listened.  Tears welled as I made my way back to the car.  The vet said she’d send samples to the lab the next day but in the meantime he needed a blood transfusion straight away “to buy him some time”.  I wasn’t quite taking it in.  Poor old Ziggy.

That evening the vet rang and said he’d had the transfusion, had perked up and was eating.  Things were looking up.  However, they needed to do an ultrasound to see where the bleeding was coming from.  She thought it best if Ziggy was transferred to Massey vet clinic.

The following day, Monday, Ziggy was taken to Massey vet clinic that morning.  I was rung by them to say I had to pay a 50% deposit which could be anything from $300 to $600.  I arranged to pay in my lunch hour.

I walked to the vet clinic expecting only to pay and go on with my day.  Before I paid the vet, a nice woman who reminded me of the mother of a friend of one of my daughters, said that the ultrasound they’d just done didn’t show anything.  They wanted to do more tests and an x-ray, which might show up what the ultrasound didn’t.  She outlined further options – more blood transfusions, a scope, possible identification of a likely tumour, possible surgery, etc etc.  It was finally sinking in that this was the end for Ziggy.  I agreed to further blood tests and the x-ray, then went to see him.  He was lying happily in an oxygenised see-through box.  I scratched under his ear and he purred.  I tried to keep tears at bay.  I paid $350 and walked out the door.

Instead of returning to work, I went to my car and sat and cried.  I’d have to make the decision.  If the x-ray showed nothing, more tests and possible surgery would cost about $3000 with no positive prognosis.  I sent a text to youngest daughter asking what to do, while knowing what I had to do.

I finally headed back to work about 1/2 an hour late and tried to get on with work.  Others around me, who knew the situation, realised I’d been crying and suggested I talk to the boss.  She gave me tissues and hugs and advised me what I knew already – that I had to get Ziggy put down.

I waited for daughter’s reply text which said the same thing, and left work.  But instead of heading home, I sat in the car for an hour until my eyes looked “normal” enough to go to the supermarket and buy cat biscuits for Jasmine.  Then I sat in the car again to wait for the results of the x-ray.  Just as I was about to give up and go home, the vet rang to say the x-ray didn’t show anything but that Ziggy was losing a lot of blood and would need another transfusion if I wanted to go ahead with more tests.  I told her my decision, then rang daughter (who was at a friend’s) and we headed to the vet clinic to say our goodbyes.

We went to see Ziggy and he’d deteriorated quite markedly since lunchtime.  The vet student took him to a room so we could be with him (he didn’t want to leave the box), and got the vet…

Daughter had never seen a pet put down so she was glad that it was so quick and peaceful.  She held his head and one second he was alive and the next his head dropped and he was gone.

Jasmine will miss him.

Everyone at both vet clinics said he was a lovely cat.  He purred so much they couldn’t listen to his chest.

We took him home and buried him next to my beloved Zara.  Ziggy was 16 years old (the vet said the equivalent of an 85-year-old).  He’d had a good life.

Farewell Ziggy.

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What a dick

Perhaps I should rename my “insanity” category to “what a dick”.

Some idiot is protesting over the fact that library books are being stored at a masonic lodge and has turned in his library card in protest.


The stupidity and narrow-mindedness of some people is staggering – not to mention total ignorance.

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“Breakfast” presenter, Paul Henry is a moron, in the news once again for his stupid and offensive comments.


Paul Henry is a racist bigot and yet TVNZ allow him to air his bigotry on national TV – therefore the producers must also think the same way.  Their initial reaction, after all, was that he was only saying what people think!  This is more proof that racism is alive and well in New Zealand. Just look at the poll results. The majority think he did nothing wrong or was “spot on” in his comments.

An article about Paul Henry’s previous comments:


This is on top of saying that “we can’t afford to look after the environment”, calling Susan Boyle a “retard”, etc etc. He opens his mouth and garbage comes out.

The man should be sacked, but I can guarantee he won’t be.

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What a difference a bit of sunshine makes to my mood.  I spent last weekend at my brother’s place and the weather was pleasant – sunny and no rain.  We went for a walk in a nearby forest (the same one I did the 10 km walk, half of it uphill, last time).

It was a welcome break from the dreary grey dampness of the past few weeks (months?).

This weekend just past was also pleasant as the sun shone locally for a change.  On Saturday I went shopping for some material to make a medieval gown and some scraps/second hand material for making flags and table cloths (to cover the trestle tables).

Last night I started making a black flag with a white decoration on it and I completed that today.  I made another flag – white with a diagonal red stripe – and I have to say I’m quite pleased with the result.  I want to make about another four flags to hang up as decoration at my feast.  I’ll take some photos after I’ve completed a couple more.

I heard back from another person today that she and two of our friends (actually more like acquaintances) won’t be coming to the feast because they “didn’t know anyone”.  Well, they knew each other didn’t they?  I’m not surprised.  At the mention of a feast they probably would have panicked as they’re rather conservative.  We actually have nothing in common so I’m quite relieved in a way that they won’t be coming.  They wouldn’t feel comfortable with the “weird” side of my character that they never normally see. (It’s amazing how many people thing you’re strange because you enjoy such things as medieval dancing or, more radically, belly dancing.)

Also today I got some of the lawn mowed and some weeds pulled.  Daughter did some repotting of her succulents and I planted a couple of flowers that my sister-in-law had given me last weekend.   I had some medieval music playing as I sewed the flags, a glass of gin and tonic and the tuis were singing outside.  All very pleasant.

I wish I could take the next few days off work as the sunny weather is supposed to continue.  I hope it’s just as nice next weekend so I can continue the tidy-up of the “garden”.  Even daughter was saying today that she actually feels like doing stuff when it’s sunny.  So do I.  When it’s constantly grey and wet I just don’t feel like doing anything.

It’s 10pm already so I’d better head to bed for another week of work.

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