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Archive for December, 2012

I had stayed up until after midnight uploading photos of the birthday party for the father of the child, so I was rather grumpy to wake up at the usual time.  I was reluctant to do much, but got out the paint roller.  I first googled roller stippling and one site recommended dampening the roller first.  That was a mistake.  The roller holds too much moisture and it was like painting on a wet wall.  However, the end result, eventually, was all good and the walls look much better.  I touched up the corners I couldn’t get to with the small brush.  I had a break while wondering what to do next, and H came home.  She started packing for her trip to Turangi for a New Year’s eve party.

Since I had the paint out, I cleaned, sanded, then  painted a scuffed skirting board in the kitchen/dining area.  I did the same to some scratched door frames (which had been gouged by an annoying fox terrier cross we used to have years ago – shows how long it is since I did any redecorating).  I cleaned the ceiling above the oven and tried glueing the wallpaper which is peeling off in that corner.  I will have to strip the wallpaper there, I think.

I thought about filling some gaps in the laundry (caused by previous occupants when they ripped out a cupboard), but reading the safety precautions on the back put me off.  Seems like you have to wear a hazard suit and breathing apparatus to use the damned stuff.

It doesn’t seem like I did much, but the painting and cleaning all took time.  H headed off to Turangi at about 4pm, picking up friends on the way.  I was kindly invited to a party in town, but I was feeling tired already and a friend down the road offered to share a drink and watching a movie.

We did so – having gin and wine while watching “22 Bullets” (Jean Reno).  It was ok.  Friend left about half an hour ago, also feeling tired.  We’re old and boring.  I’m having one last wine before heading to bed.  I think it’s the first new year’s eve I’ve spent at home for a long time.

I hope 2013 is more eventful (in a good way).  This year was rather humdrum, but at least I achieved a bit in house maintenance and decluttering.

That’s it.  I’m saying goodbye to 2012.  I made it through the year.  May I see many more!

Thanks for following and happy new year to any readers.  See you next year (tomorrow!)

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I picked up H from the house she was looking after.  I walked in the back door and the layout was exactly the same as a house we used to rent before I bought this place.  It was uncanny.

Grey, but dry, as we headed south.  We hit the rain at Levin and it continued all the way to the Ngauranga Gorge in Wellington.  Then at the bottom, as we turned into the other motorway, I noticed the roads were dry and there was some blue sky.  A cruise ship was in port.  I drove straight to the house where H’s cousin’s daughter was having her first birthday party.  The house was right near the airport.

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I hadn’t met the baby at all.  The mother is American so the baby spends quite a bit of time over there.  Caught up with the ex-mother- and sister-in-law and her three ‘kids’, one of whom was the father of the baby, and another was visiting from Australia.

Had a barbecue and took photos, then drove home again at about 4.30.  Dropped H off at the house and came home.  Noticed that there were flooded gutters and a lot of water lying around.  There must have been a huge downpour while we were enjoying some sunshine.

It’s just taken me an hour and a half looking at, and editing, over 100 photos.  Luckily I’m not hungry (had too much to eat at lunch) as it’s now 8.45pm.

Perhaps a snack, and I’ll watch another episode of “The Wire”.

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Jasmine woke me at about 5.30 am.  I dozed for another hour or so but was wide awake at 6.30.  Got up and was quite grumpy.  The grumpiness could have been one or all of the following: the depressing grey clouds and rain; the necessity of travelling to Wellington tomorrow; the impending visit of a so-called friend next Wednesday; lack of sleep; something else.

I had breakfast and played a few brief computer games and was no happier.  I was waiting for H to get up so we could go to town – she wanted to use the gift cards she got for Christmas.  While waiting, I went through a box of papers.  Last night I had successfully got rid of numerous maps, tickets and paper mementos from trips overseas.  I took photos of some (like a train ticket to my great aunt’s suburb in Sydney in the 70s) before throwing them out.  This morning I went through numerous old genealogy notes and spare photos, throwing out a large number.  It helps to be in a foul mood, I think – I was more ruthless.  I even found an old chequebook of my mother’s, which I threw away.  There is still a drawer of stuff I’m not sure what to do with – old school magazines, recorder music, old coins, etc.  I did a quick browse of my bookshelves and put another five into a bag to give away.  Little by little, but it’s been too long since I did any decluttering, so I have to make this a regular thing – just half an hour here and there, perhaps when I’m bored and/or angry.

H got up and we headed into town.  The weather was cool and grey and looked like it would rain again.  We parked in a free area and walked to the dreaded mall, the ‘Plaza’.  I hate the place but it wasn’t too crowded.  H spent her gift card on some underwear and a new bag.  I liked the bag she got and ended up getting the same style in a different colour.  It will be ideal for my trips to Australia in February.  I looked around for skirts but found nothing.

We walked over to the library to look at foreign movie DVDs.  I got out three.  H showed me a diary she liked but it was quite pricey.  It had a lovely design on it. She decided to wait until around February when they might be cheaper.

By now the weather had cleared and it had become humid.  It goes from one extreme to the other.

Next stop a shop which had sales on rugs.  I bought one to replace the raggedy old one by the laundry.  I thought it was cheap at $35 but turns out the sale price was about $17.  Score.  Next door was a supermarket so we bought a few essentials and headed home.

H drove to a house she was looking after for the next two nights.  I will pick her up tomorrow morning to go to Wellington to a birthday party for a one-year-old – daughter of one of H’s cousins.  I’m not keen but one has to attend such things occasionally.

I painted another coat on the bathroom walls.  I’m still not happy with the result.  I’m not sure if it’s the paintbrush, which has seen better days, or because it was so hot, the paint dried too quickly.  The result is better than it was but still a bit streaky in some areas.  I’ll try the roller next time, if it still bugs me.  Can’t have it looking crap for the critical ‘friend’.

The weather cheered me somewhat.  Tonight I might start watching season two of “The Wire” or one of the foreign movies.

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Friday

Depressingly wet day.  I spent most of it painting the bathroom walls and cupboards.  It’s looking a bit streaky, caused, I suspect, by inexpert stirring.  I’ll leave it til tomorrow to paint the final coat and hope it turns out ok.

In between two coats, I watched the rest of season one of ‘The Wire’.  (Love the theme tunes.)  I found the ending a bit of an anti-climax.

Last night I watched another two episodes of season two of “Boardwalk Empire’.  I still have more episodes of “Hell on Wheels” to watch.  And then there’s “The Killing”.  So lots to watch – on DVD anyway.  There’s nothing but shit on TV.  When it goes digital next year I seriously wonder if it’s worth replacing the TV or having to buy a box just to watch all that reality shit.  Seriously, it’s absolute crap.  I’m sick to the back teeth of singing competitions, cooking competitions, feckin’ house renovation shit and any other cheap ‘reality’ crap.  There’s about one programme a week worth watching and it’s usually late at night.  “Prime” time TV is repetitive shite.  And they wonder why people rip off good series that never get aired on free TV here.

Had my rant.  Been a non-event day.  The weather is uninspiring.  What a shit summer ‘holiday’ so far.  The good weather will come when I’m back at work in that miserable brown-walled office.

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Thursday

When you’re at work, the thought of two whole weeks off work seems plenty of time to get a lot done.  But here it is, Thursday already, and one week is nearly gone.  The trouble is, Christmas and its preparations take up two days and then people visit and want you to visit, etc, etc.  I often wish Christmas was separate from summer holidays, as it is in the northern hemisphere.

Anyway, after uploading and updating photos and blogs respectively, I got to and finished painting the doors in the hallway, finally.  Tomorrow I will make a start on the bathroom walls.  Got a phone call from C and chatted to her while painting.

I received a card to pick up a parcel at the local post shop.  The package was the DVDs of the Danish “The Killing” I ordered on 3rd December, with the expected delivery date of 11th December, they said.  Unfortunately, somehow, I managed to order two copies of Season 2 instead of just one.  As the mistake was mine, I would have to pay postage and getting a refund would be difficult, so I will have to try and sell it locally.  What an idiot.  I thought I had made sure that only one copy of each DVD was ordered but somehow the system had my order down as two.  Goddammit.

It’s a wet day and not very inspiring.  Painting was the major achievement.  I should consult my spreadsheet of jobs to do but, despite the limited time, I don’t feel motivated at all.  Tomorrow.

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I did not have a good sleep.  It had been too hot and I felt groggy (and this was not due to alchol the previous evening – I had one glass of wine at dinner.)

Bro was feeling just as tired.  Again, G had returned from work and was asleep.  H had not yet got up.  It was far too hot outside already to do anything.  As a result we spent much of the day playing Siedler yet again, and getting crabby.  We wanted to play boules or go for a walk but we could only bear to be outside long enough to retrieve another beer from the second fridge in the ‘granny flat’ where H had been sleeping.  I did, however, go out long enough to test how long, in case we could play boules, taking my camera with me, as I’d spotted another quail.  G was up and watering the pot plants.  I was just about to take a photo of that very area when she walked in front of me, but her standing next to the “Le Directeur” chair seemed appropriate, so I took it anyway.

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The quail was on the fence walking away from me.

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It turned and saw me.  Rather than fly off, it started walking back towards me, perhaps fascinated by the camera lens.  Before it got too close, it did fly off, but the better pic is on my photoblog.

We had a huge brunch of leftover turkey, ham, cheese, tomato, capsicum, gerkin and many different spreads, chutneys, etc.

More Siedler and an afternoon meal of ham and eggs. It cooled down a bit, but by the time we thought of either going for a walk or playing boules, it rained.

H and I packed up the car and we left about 5pm.  It rained all the way.  It was still light when we got home and Jasmine, our cat, was waiting for us.  It was good to be home.

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It had been a hot night.  G was back and sleeping.  H was sleeping.  Bro and I tried playing a game of Risk.  It went on for over 2 hours without an end in sight so we called it a draw.  It was another misty morning so I went for a wander, taking photos.

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One of the lambs (nearly the same size as his mother) was still trying for some milk, its tail wagging (it still had one).

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The mist cleared and the sun shone.  I wandered around admiring G’s roses.  Mine have not done well but hers were beautiful.  Bro was on the phone to friends in Germany for quite some time, so H and I made ham sandwiches for brunch.

I can’t recall what we did for most of the day – played Siedler (Settlers of Catan) I expect.  There was nothing on TV.  We had Christmas dinner in the evening – turkey and roast vegetables with gravy.  For dessert we had the trifle I’d made and added H’s coconut milk custard which hadn’t thickened suitably.  However, bro loved it.  He said it was the best dessert he’d tasted in a very long time.   The coconut milk custard probably contributed to it – it went very well with the sherry trifle.  G was due to go to work soon so while she had a shower and got ready, we headed off for a wander around the fields.  It had cooled enough to take the dogs for a walk.  Bro took his camera and H hers so we were walking, pausing, clicking, walking, around three fields and back.

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I took 120 photos (and later deleted 24).  Bro had taken 190 photos and later deleted quite a lot.  Yay for digital cameras where it doesn’t cost you to experiment.  The sun was setting and there was a lovely golden glow on the fields and hills.

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My sunset pictures were disappointing.  I must have fiddled with the camera settings and changed them to even worse settings.  We headed back to the house.

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We watched another video “Julie & Julia”.  Meryl Streep was very good as Julia Child but on the whole, I found it average and I was falling asleep.  We headed to bed once it finally finished.

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