Archive for October, 2013

It has been a long time coming. The last public holiday was back in June!  The weather forecast was not promising but it’s been better than expected.

On Saturday I headed into town to get a new tyre for a warrant of fitness for the car, due in two weeks.  I’m also due to drive to Tauranga so wanted the tyres to be good.  My usual tyre man wasn’t open so I went to Tony’s Tyre Service.  One can never buy just one tyre there.  The salesmen there are very good at selling you more so you end up purchasing two tyres, wheel alignment and wheel balancing and having to wait two hours.  I walked into town and looked around the shops, not really wanting to buy anything.  I’m not ready for summer clothes shopping (I have to mentally prepare) and anything I did want, naturally I couldn’t find.  I felt I might get some new walking shoes but found nothing and couldn’t remember where Rebel Sport had moved to.  Walking back via the library I bumped into a colleague outside a material shop.  She said the shop was closing in January, so I might think about sewing myself a summer dress instead of having to find something in the shops.  We had a coffee together and I introduced her to the French café by the library.

The car was ready when I got there, so I drove home and continued with my plans, which was to mow the lawn and weed the garden.  I’d bought more petrol for the lawnmower on the way back (and also checked what postage was for an item to sell on TradeMe).

Lawn mowed, I weeded two beds and then gave up, leaving two more beds at the back, one of them chocka with grass.  I emptied two large outdoor pots of dead plants and hauled them out the back to wash.  They were heavy.  They were amongst several unwanted items left to me by the ex when he headed over to Australia.  Probably thought he was being generous, but the most of the shit he left behind didn’t work.  I’m still getting rid of it.  I also washed and photographed a doll’s cot (I got for Christmas when I was four years old) and listed that on TradeMe.

I also chopped back overhanging branches on the driveway and cleaned it all up.  The problem with gardening is you’re left with huge piles of garden waste.

I called it a day.

Sunday dawned cloudy and partly sunny again.  I made a start on the large bed of grass and got out as much as I could.  I decided to remove the large rosemary bush which had grass growing up through the middle of it.  I felt rather sad to be killing it.  The space left behind after removing it is huge – inspiring me to plant out the bed properly with manageable plants (she says).  A woman bought the pots and came took them away.  She was very happy.

I did some indoor decluttering.  I now had space on my bookshelves to add books from a smaller shelf.  I removed the shelf from my bedroom and put it in the sunroom ready to sell along with two boxes of books, etc.  The carpet behind the bookshelf is not the best.  What to do with it?  Ideally it needs replacing but I can’t afford a houselot of carpet (all the rooms need it).  The wood underneath looks good so I could strip it at least from that room (and risk being frozen in winter.  I even dreamed about the dilemma.

And so to today.  On Saturday a friend from Auckland phoned saying she was in town and wanted to visit me today.  I remembered the last time she and her mother visited.  They stayed for four hours and talked and talked and talked.  I didn’t want my precious holiday wasted on a visit from them so I made an excuse saying I was invited out for lunch and offered, instead, to visit them after 4pm.  In that way I could use the day doing what I wanted and still see her.  It sounds terrible, but I had been looking forward to this weekend to get as much done as I could (and it still doesn’t feel like much).

Anyway, this morning I tried to finalise our itinerary for our trip to the South Island in February.  I now had dates and just need to decide on accommodation.  I had a look at a few options.  Nothing’s cheap unless I go for backpackers or camping grounds.  I will see what H says and then go from there.

I continued my attempt at decluttering.  I had hoped to empty two plastic drawers but could not.  They are full of sentimental stuff such as maps and brochures of places visited, school magazines, etc.  The trouble with being a family archivist is that I can see the value in keeping ephemera…  However, I did get rid of a bin full of paper (patterns and ideas for medieval clothing for feasts I would never attend, old bills and receipts, etc).  I still have some boxes to go through, but I doubt I will be able to chuck anything and I have nowhere to put said boxes.  There is very little cupboard space in this house.

It’s nearly time to get the car out of the garage (I actually cleared a space for it to fit!) and visit the friend.  When clearing the garage I realised that 90% of it is junk,  not even worth selling.  Someone might want the extra tools though (again stuff dumped on me by the ex).  But that’s another job that needs a skip bin (again).


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Nothing much

There’s a colleague at work that when you ask what he’s doing in the weekend he replies “Nothing much” or “Not a lot”.

Well, I can’t say a lot has been happening for me either since I last updated. I haven’t been anywhere, or done anything significant. Part of this may be due to the fact I was addicted to Grand Theft Auto V. I have now finished the main missions in that game (it took less than a month) but still have a few minor missions. I think what I like most about the game is just the sheer beauty of it. Some scenes are captured here and here.

The scenery is so beautifully done, I’ve wanted to take photos myself. I’m still discovering roads I’ve never been on and views I’ve never seen. There’s also nothing like zooming along in a fast car on a freeway (they’re done very well too, capturing the complexity of LA’s interlocking freeways) with nice music playing on the car radio. Sounds bizarre, I know. I found the main missions quite easy compared to previous Grand Theft Auto games, due to the option of replaying from a certain part, regaining some health from that point.

Anyway, enough of my addiction.

I’ll update a bit more later (doing this from work) and see what photos I can add, or what events I might be able to remember in the real world!

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I was selling something cheaply online and was contacted by a woman who wanted it.  She wanted me to wait until Thursday (presumably when she got paid).  She didn’t have a car, so I dropped it off after work.  When I saw the address, I realised it was within sight of where I spent nine years of my life as a child.  It was a state housing area and these days that area is particularly rough.  I prepared myself.

It was almost funny.  When I drove along the road to the woman’s house, a couple of Maoris were standing in a front yard and stared at me as I drove past.  I was reminded of the ‘hood’ in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.  I parked, and walked past another couple of big Maori guys (one in quite a flash car).  Got to the house, walked past a kicked-in bit of house wall (patched) and to the front door.  I surveyed the fenced front yard – rubbish everywhere and empty bottles of Jägermeister, etc.  When the woman opened the door, I was hit by the smell of cigarette smoke.  The deal done, I walked back to the car, feeling highly conspicuous as the only white person in the neighbourhood.  I looked across to the house where I had lived and it had been revamped and made into a community centre.  The side garden was now a carpark.  One should never go back (although I couldn’t help it on this occasion).  I laughed as I drove away.  Man, what a place.

I was feeling extraordinarily tired (thanks daylight saving) and a bit achey the next day, so decided to “take a sickie”.  After all, two older women at work had not turned up because they were tired (one had a nightmare), so I thought, bugger it, why not.

Our washing machine had decided to break down, and as it was something that needed to be dealt with during the week when someone was home, I took the opportunity.  I rang a company that had been recommended to me.  Unfortunately, that company had been taken over by a bigger company and I just got a receptionist, and not a tradesman.  I wanted to ask if the machine was worth fixing (as it was fairly old).  She wouldn’t have known but the decision was made when she said it cost $80 just to have a look at the machine.  I decided to head in and look at new and used washing machines instead.

By chance, H had left her lunch behind, so I headed to her work place and gave it to her (she hadn’t even known she’d forgotten it).  While there, I had a look at the cheapest washing machines (of good brands).  They were more expensive than I’d hoped, even with H’s staff discount.  I headed to the second-hand place and saw a nice machine there for just $250.  I decided to buy it, willing to fork out extra for delivery.  Delivery was free and they could deliver that afternoon.  Brilliant.  One problem solved, just  by taking a day off work.

I tidied up the deck (blasted jasmine plant just takes over, no matter how many times I try to kill it), and mowed the lawn.  The delivery guy came exactly at the time they said he would (1.30pm).  I was impressed.  My cat, (coincidentally called Jasmine – she did take over but she’s not a nuisance), was sleeping in the sunroom.  As soon as the delivery guy saw her, he talked to her and I figured he was a cat man.  Later, after installing the machine and testing it, he called to Jasmine.  I called her over and he let her sniff his hand.  She must have known he was a cat person too, otherwise she wouldn’t have stuck around, let alone come over.  He told me he had a tortoiseshell cat as well.  There’s something magical about those cats – they’re very good at making humans they’ve owned go weak at the knees when that human sees another tortoiseshell.

Job done, I could catch up with some washing and still had the afternoon in sunshine.  After such a successful morning, I think I just relaxed.

Yesterday, I met a friend in Foxton.  Her teenage son is into horse-riding and they were down for a ‘show hunting’ event.  I’d never heard (or been aware) of show hunting before friend’s son got into it.  It’s like normal horse jumping but more precise.  Instead of doing the course as fast as possible and clearing all jumps, it’s more about style and a certain number of strides between each jump.  Friend’s son was the only male out of all the pony clubs there, I think.  He didn’t do too well in the results.  To me, it looked like he went over the jumps beautifully, but not according to the judges.  Friend thought the judge was biased against males (they ride differently), but he probably had too many strides, or something.

Whenever I’m at a horse event such as this (and at Horse of the Year earlier this year), I can’t help thinking of Thelwell’s Angels on Horseback and Riding Academy (if you don’t know of it, do look it up), and just want to snigger.  You get riders that are too big or too small for the pony they’re on.  You get arrogant riders from families made of money who have the flashiest horse floats, and poorer riders who have to borrow a pony.  Quite often I find the people more interesting (and amusing) than the horse event.  It’s always women who organise and run the pony events.  The husbands just tag along, turning up when there’s food on the table or it’s time for a beer.


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Dead tired (I think everyone was, including the horses) by 4.30 pm, I left shortly after and headed home, buying a burger and chips on the way.

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