Life, etc

Jul. 27th, 2014 10:02 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)
Some months ago, my livejournal account was going to be renewed and thanks to my bank being overprotective, the payment was declined. I decided not to renew my paid LJ account and have finally set up one at Dreamwidth instead. I will still read in both places.

Haven't posted since May, but oh, well. In the intervening time, we have booked flights to New Zealand for January and done some of the booking for our travels around too. We still need to book accommodation for a night in Fox or Franz Josef, decide whether we are staying an extra night in Queenstown (and if so, book accommodation for that night) and also book flights back up north afterwards. It is in pretty good shape.

Since I have voting rights, I have dutifully been reading my way through all the Hugo nominations. There are some outstanding entries and some that left me cold. I will vote this week - I think it closes on Thursday! My bonus came through so I have also picked up a few new ebooks, including The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison which I have been resisting because it's 9GBP for the e-book! Also a couple of new James Hetley books - [personal profile] tamarillow you may be interested in checking them out (same universe as Dragon Eyes etc).

We came back from a week away with friends in Somerset on Friday and it is back to work tomorrow. I am not quite ready to be going back to work tomorrow—there is so much to do in the next two weeks! The week away was lovely; glorious weather, I cooked dinner for 21 once, ate and drank to my heart's content (and body's occasional displeasure) and swam daily. Also did lots of crosstitch and am making good progress on the wedding present for May.

In a couple of weeks there are two science fiction and fantasy geekery conventions: Nine Worlds and LonCon3. I feel more prepared to face them now (but have still not brought myself to look at the programme).
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Pouring tea)
I am getting used to this being on holiday thing. Unsurprisingly, the weather is not co-operating, being generally overcast, windy and rainy. Sometimes there's sun, sometimes it's ridiculously humid (like right now). I'd actually prefer going back to work a week earlier and having another week to play with sometime in the rest of the year. Mind, most of New Zealand isn't much better - there's rain and the possibility of flooding down south.

Managed to do useful things today:

  • put away my suitcase (with my winter duvet packed into it);
  • put away my jewellery;
  • did the ironing;
  • did the laundry, got it dried and put away;
  • cleaned up the kitchen;
  • cleaned the bathroom;
  • made apple cake;
  • made chocolate brownie; and
  • collected up assorted mail to be mailed tomorrow (including [livejournal.com profile] thesane's cards that have been sitting under the tree since well before Christmas.

Go me.

I also managed to watch the Top Gear Christmas special and a two-part episode of Holmes Inspection. Both were lots of fun, particularly the Top Gear one - I mean, wtf BBC!

Gaming starts again tonight. We managed to get the magic back into the fantasy world last time... what next? Starting to take on the shadow monster? I'm lookin forward to finding out what happens next.

Day one

Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:51 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Biggles - Sopwith Camel)
I had brussel sprouts for the first time ever last night, and even though I made all sorts of mistakes with dinner last night, I thought they were okay. Dinner was potato rosti, pork steak flavoured with freshly ground pepper and good olive oil, gently fryed, and brussel sprouts with chestnuts and bacon.

By the time we ate last night, I was grumpy because my timing was spectacularly off, my slice of pork wasn't quite as thoroughly cooked as I wanted it to be, and I was concentrating on the other dishes, so the bacon, onions, garlic and some of the brussel sprouts and chestnuts were completely black and stuck to the bottom of the pan. And I managed to get a sliver of chestnut skin jabbed under my thumbnail, so my thumb still hurts.

I haven't failed at cooking this much for ages. That being said, I would make all the above again - only with better timing and possibly stronger complementry flavours on the pork.

The assorted baking and cooking for the weekend has hardly been started. I have made sugar syrup, and that's about it. Believe it or not, the only reason I made sugar syrup is because we couldn't find any to buy. The one time I'd rather buy something than make it... Sugar syrup, it turns out, is agressively clear. Water is just clear, but sugar syrup is agressively so. And the way it flows is quite neat as well. I have a 1.5L bottle and most of an old sundried tomatoes jar of the stuff, so that should be plenty. Does anyone know how long the shelf life is supposed to be?

To do before people get here tomorrow afternoon:
  • make hot cross buns;
  • make tea eggs;
  • make brioche;
  • dust vaccum my room;
  • collect, fold and iron laundry; and
  • clean the bathroom.


I've spent most of the afternoon reading (and getting increasingly annoyed with the music on C4 - have just turned the tv off, so that's better).

This is day one with no coffee. I almost had a cup this morning when I got up, but I went back to bed and dozed instead. I'm starting to feel like I might need one, but shall get a cup of tea instead and maybe do something. Or I could nap. That also sounds pleasant.

I'm not giving up caffeine entirely - I will still be drinking tea, but am trying to cut down on coffee, particularly at work.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Calvin & Hobbes - Like I'm going to get)
I am sort of desperately looking forward to this weekend. Easter has been subsumed into my desire to sleep as long as I need, and attempt to break my coffee addiction (which may require naps). There will be nine of us Saturday night for cocktails and girly movies, which is going to be awesomely fun. On Sunday [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow and I are on pre-service coffee at church, and then I believe there are plans for helping people pack. Monday is the usual gaming, only earlier in the day.

In the meantime, this week I've been counting off the days. Today being the last day of the month is billing, and I am also handling the majority of three settlements tomorrow. The latter is still new and fairly novel for me, and two of them are trickier than I've usually had to do (the one I've been doing all the way through looks like it should be smooth-as). I've not had lunch with anyone so I can be flexible when I go, and also with the being antisocial.

So very tired, and I've been tired all week. I'm looking forward to daylight savings being over, because I am tired of it being dark at 7.20am, but it's been hard going to sleep because a) my brain isn't wanting to shut up and b) the moon is fairly full and shines in.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)
Maybe these need some describing, but here are (the better) random pictures from my holiday. Not dial-up friendly. Mostly landscapes and close-ups. Lots of plants.

Christmas )

Tauranga )

Raglan )
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
Home!

I have a fair number of photos to sort through and post at some point (flickr account upgrade here I come); none from today because I couldn't find the spare batteries for my camera and decided it wasn't important enough to replace them. I both missed the camera and was glad I didn't have it when I stood out on the viewing platform. Not having it made me actually look at what I was seeing, rather than in photos. And I saw a hawk against the tussok grass gliding on an updraft, and I don't think I'd have seen it if I was taking photos, so I feel good about that.

Train trip back was good, although running a fairly consistent half hour late. Northern side of the moutains were all hidden under cloud, but after we left National Park, heading south, Mt Ruapehu was clear and glorious. There were these Australian tourists from Cairns exclaiming over how much snow was on it and I kept thinking that that was nothing compared to winter.

New World Metro at the Railway Station was closing as I got there 7.45pm ish, so I took my suitcase on wheels and rolled it up Molesworth St against the wind to Thorndon to buy bread and cheese and pesto and chicken for dinner. Got home about 8.30pmish.

Came home, saw [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow and Tobias, cuddled Jemima, took my dinner and went to catch up on five days worth of lj and emails. Jemima followed me into my room, but she still hasn't forgiven me for going away in the first place and is doing her usual stay relatively close but not actually be in contact thing that she does.

I have five rows of tabs to work my way through. At least I don't go back to work for another week.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
My parents had to go to my cousin's wedding today - apparently it was very nice - I've seen the pictures that Dad took and the bride looked lovely. There are also some neat shots of the groom, my brother and the other groomsman mucking around on the jetty and a trailer and the like.

Accordingly, I had the house to myself so spent much of the day catching up on livejournal(new [livejournal.com profile] bb_shousetsu and the new chapter of Embers (the Avatar: The Last Airbender fic I am eagerly following), before making dinner and flicking between an episode of Dr Who I've seen before (and didn't particularly care for), Bend It Like Beckham and Time Team. Didn't do much embroidery and realised that the last of the little I did needs to be unpicked.

I have managed to swim yesterday and today. Yesterday was really hot and I was trying to find the cool spots in the water (the rest of it felt like the salt hot water pool, only it can't have been that warm), and today I was finding the warm spots in the water. Didn't stay in particularly long, either. Didn't have to dodge the kite-surfers today, either.

Tomorrow, we head off to Raglan. We are to be at the bus stop at 7.45am and will get into Hamilton shortly after 11.00am. My sister and her husband have kindly volunteered to give us a ride out to Raglan - Mum says they're finally getting over their self-centered perspective of the world.

I'm still not entirely sure what to talk about with my sister now - we have such different lives and interests, but we're working on finding things in commmon. I think that I should give her a hardcopy of The Curse of Chalion (if I haven't already - must check - I know she has it in e-book) so we can talk about it. I think she'd enjoy it - and it's better than Eddings, whom she is currently rediscovering.

...I think I'm starting to reach the point where I feel that yes, I'm on holiday. And I don't have to be doing anything.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
On holiday, and I'm actually feeling like I'm on holiday. I am generally remembering what date it is, but not what day of the week. This is partly because my last day of work was a Wednesday.

The bus trip up was pleasant, and until Taupo (where we changed buses) was also both on time and in a comfortable bus. The bus from Taupo was a lot older, slower and the driver clearly knew he was on time-and-a-half as he took ages loading things on and off at the stops. Still, we arrived only three-quarters of an hour late, which isn't too bad.

Wandered around the salt marshes for a bit on the 29th. Took lots of photos, some of which I will upload when I get around to it and/or are back home again. Was most bemused by the rusting barbed wire fences in the marsh grass and eventually decided it was for the sharks.

Callie and I went over to Mt Maunganui on the 30th, which required a bus into Tauranga City and another one over to the Mount(my brother had a stag do and my parents a funeral or we would have got a lift). We had what was meant to be a late morning tea but turned into an early lunch at one of the cafes there. We'd ordered breads and dip for under $10 and the bread was about the size of a large pizza. Then we wandered around the shops, lay on the grass by the beach for a bit and walked around the base of the Mount. After, we had an ice-cream from the highly recommended Copenhagen Cones (which has nothing to do with the Copenhagen ice-cream places in Wellington) and soaked in the salt-water hot pools for a while, before going to the sushi place for a snack and catching two buses back to my parents place.

Yesterday, my mother kindly dropped us over at Callie's friend's place in Papamoa, saving us the cost of two buses. It was a lovely afternoon/evening of drinking and good company. We went over to their local bar for the New Year's Eve celebrations. For $15 we got a free lei, a drink, meat from a spit roast and a live band. The band was okay, although all the music was slightly too fast. Because tickets were limited, it wasn't over-crowded, which was really good. I was crashing by the time the band finished at 1.00am and we went back to their place. I understand some people stayed up drinking til about 4.00am, but I didn't feel like being hungover in the same house as Mum and Dad and went to bed when Callie did. First new year's I've ever spent in a pub. It's not something I would object to doing in the future.

Also: black sambucca is horrible (even in shots), but the midori and baileys shots weren't too bad.

I cooked breakfast (bacon & scrambled eggs on bread - and I couldn't stomach the bacon) and Dad picked me up around noon. So I got back about the same time as I would have otherwise, but without the hassle of catching two buses.

Also took the opportunity to catch up on lj a bit - I've been checking email daily, but not much more. Have now caught up to skip-280 on lj and think I will take a break and go read Devil's Cub and do some more handwork on the third floor balcony, which will catch the breeze. I can catch up much more tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I have the house to myself for the afternoon/evening, so my plan is internet internet internet (and some handwork and reading no doubt). My cousin is getting married, I don't have to go to the wedding (too many cousins, so only the ones they are close to are invited, which is standard family practice for us), but Mum and Dad are going, and my brother is the best man. It will be lovely. I will catch up properly then.

I am yet to wear a jersey or slippers since I arrived here. It has finally cooled down enough to sleep under more than just a sheet.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
I am packed (except for what I am wearing and Pania) and have a taxi booked for 8.00am tomorrow morning, so I will be in plenty of time for the bus.

Tabitha is loaded up with a few podcasts (Girl Genius radio plays and A Very Long Summer - thank you for the suggestion, [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow) and whatever music took my fancy as I scrolled through itunes. Pania has been loaded up with assorted Yuletide fics saved as html and my entire e-book collection. I have packed [livejournal.com profile] thesane's wedding sampler and the Maidens of the Seasons to do in way of handwork. I have even remembered to pack my ipod cable and cellphone charger.

I keep thinking I've forgotten something, but I'm not sure what.

There will possibly still be an unsecured network somewhere around my parents place that I can pick up. There might be something in Raglan, but failing that Gran has broadband, so I will at least be able to check my email. Won't be online much, though.

Most of the leftovers from Christmas have been used up. Still to go are assorted mince-meat pies (and I still have about a jar of the mince-meat to go), half the ham, and an entire cheesecake. I couldn't face any cheesecake until today, so [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow has an entire one to herself and whoever she chooses to share it with. I don't think it will freeze well.

Spent a couple of hours in town today. Bought another set of summer sheets, a new nightie, and a couple of pillowcases, all of which were planned, and a set of cocktail glasses, so when we experiment with cocktails we use something other than tumblers or sherry glasses. Town wasn't too busy, but it was ridiculously muggy, so I gave up trying on clothes and got the other stuff instead.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)
Finally signed up and paid for Aussiecon4 next year. W00t.

Also: two more days left of work. It's nearly time for summer holidays.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)
One of the things I like about being on holiday is the ability to get up around 9.00 or 10.00am or whenever I feel like it and read a book over breakfast. Reading the book inevitably takes longer than the breakfast, but I don't have to stop reading until I've finished it. Such luxury.

Of course, this means that I don't really start doing things until around noon, but that's okay. I'm on holiday.

This morning I read My Life by David Lange (a former Prime Minister of New Zealand during the fourth Labour government) and, well, I could have picked a much more interesting and better written book to read over breakfast.

Comments )

Now I shall go have some lunch and depending on where [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose is in her day, hang some art and do some housework.

Holidays

Jan. 8th, 2009 10:00 pm
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
Comrademojo came around this morning and endeavoured to set up a wireless network for us (me having managed to mess the router up last night). He was partially sucessful - I now have wireless cable and [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose has cable through the cable. [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow's computer did not take well to having a wireless network card installed and now doesn't want to get to Windows OS.

I also assembled a BBQ today (Dad having won it and not needing it, handed it over to me), which is a three burner and has side rests so that I'm not constantly looking around for where I put my tools. Cooked onions, potato and kumera wedges and pork steak on it tonight and it was good. Very good. And we were then able to eat at the table kindly given to us by my workmate MQM (in exchange for a dozen or so boxes and some beer). It is so good to eat at a table again!

New calendar has been hung and I even remembered to transfer over birthdays and anniversarys, heavy mirror has been hung (on hooks that are supposed to take up to 35 kgs) and general placement for art has been worked out, which will probably be hung tomorrow.

General plans for the week: call Telecom and say thanks, but no thanks for the free dial-up, we've switched to Telstra due to your lack of ability to provide us with broadband and it's working out well for us so far; read; do crossstitch - I'd like to finish Winter by the time I go back to work and made a reasonable start on Spring; cook more on my new BBQ.

It's good to be on holiday.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Made you smile (Garfield))
I am about to have barbequed shrimp in a light chilli, lime and fresh coriander marinade with snapper caught this morning when I went out on the boat with Dad for lunch.

Life is good.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Courteous kiling (Vorkosigan))
I was all organised today: I got to the internet cafe where they still had the USB key I left there two weeks ago, which was lovely; I picked up the wedding sampler and it looks fantastic; and then I caught the bus out to the airport.

About twenty minutes before my 12.50 flight was due to board, an announcement was made that the flight was was delayed until 4.05 (which actually turned out to be more like 4.15) and thus had the delightful experience of sitting in an airport for a few hours doing handwork. They did give us a $6 meal voucher, so I got a pot of tea and bought Pyramids by Terry Pratchett which I finished as we flew into the city.

Currently, I am sitting on the couch at [livejournal.com profile] thesane's and it is dinner time.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Doughnut (Garfield))
I booked my flight to Christchurch and back for my brother's wedding on the first of February. I fly down on Tuesday, fly home on Sunday and expect to see lots of people I recently saw at Christmas, some people I missed and [livejournal.com profile] thesane as well as watch my younger brother get married. It should be great. I have to find something to wear first.

However, when I was booking I was surprised to find that the title drop down menu only had Mr, Mrs and Ms on it. I chose Ms, being unmarried, female and single, but I don't consider myself to be Ms [livejournal.com profile] nishatalitha. I much prefer Miss and use that on my official communication, if called for. It really annoyed me to have to use Ms instead of Miss and I even filled in one of their feedback forms just to comment on it.

My new suitcase is smaller than my old one. My bag broke somewhere on the way to Tauranga and I now have an actual suitcase, rather than a soft bag which will fold up. It doesn't contain quite as much stuff and I'm hoping that I will have enough room for everything.
nishatalitha: slightly crumpled white sheets, small text= "sleep now" (Sleep now)
I am going to bed as soon as I have written this, which is an hour earlier than last night. I need to get up earlier tomorrow too, as I am going to my parents' church. Why do I do this to myself?

While I'm here, I haven't been online as much. This isn't my computer and I don't entirely feel comfortable reading my usual range of things somewhere where my parents might see, despite them having long gone to bed.

I'm putting off going to bed a little because I got sunburned today. I had hoped to manage to avoid getting burned this summer, but evidently lying in the sun for three and a half hours this afternoon, even with sunscreen and swimming was a bit much. And since I was lying on my stomach, it's my back and legs that are red. My face is more or less one giant freckle, but that's usual for this time of year. My parents didn't manage to avoid getting burned either. But the Mount was nice and the water was lovely. Still haven't gone to that ice-cream shop, [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose. Don't know if I'll get there, either.

I went flounder fishing with Dad last night. This involves going out into the water with an underwater light in one hand and a spear in the other hand and walking through the shallows until an oversize flounder is found, whereupon one spears it. We didn't see any oversize flounder, which may be one reason I'm keen to go out again because I didn't have to kill anything. On the other hand, we saw eels, sprats, pipers, a baby kahawai and a sting ray. The ray was actually really cool; Dad managed to turn it towards me and it glided towards me until its nose hit the spear shaft and then it turned and swam away. It really does look like it's flying underwater. There were a few baby flounder too, only five centimetres long or so. One of them I poked gently with the spear, it swam about five cm, I poked it again and it swam another five cm. It was practically transparent. When I say poked, I mean touched gently or slid the spear tip under to lever up.

Some family friends are coming to stay with my parents over New Years, starting tomorrow with numbers gradually increasing until after I go home. I'll be seeing the ones I miss at the wedding and it'll be nice to catch up with the ones I do get to see. Wedding present is coming along nicely; I've finished five of the eight figures and have the remaining three, the lettering and the backstitch to go. It's very easy. I should have gotten more done, but I've been relaxing.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Play Collin (Friendly Hostility))
Having previously taken books back to Wellington and removing about a dozen this time enabled me to contract my four boxes in the roof into three boxes in the roof. I also left my parents a list of childrens book I recommended that they keep, along with a similar, but not identical, list of those I'll keep if they don't want to. I hope to get one of the boxes down this year when my brother goes through on his way to Christchurch. No idea of the likelihood, though.

The Hamilton place looks emptyish. Shelves aren't crammed with books and there are pictures on the wall where there never were before. Tauranga definitely feels more lived in. Went out to Raglan and saw my Dad's parents. Everytime I see them I'm reminded of how old they are. It was good to see them. As usual, there was a family dinner last night and I chatted with my brother-in-law and tried to convince him to start roleplaying, as he was asking me a lot of questions about it. If anyone knows anything about RPGing in the 'tron, please let me know, and I'll pass the info onto him.

This morning, to my surprise, Mum took me shopping, so I now have another three tops for my summer wardrobe. We just missed having to leave Centerplace due to a fire alarm, which may have been an actual fire, as the jewellers were closed with firemen in the shop when we walked through later.

It's been muggy up here more or less since I arrived and I was expecting the same when we came back to Tauranga. Apart from finding the car too hot (no air conditioning and the front passenger window doesn't open), it was a nice trip. I went down for a swim as soon as possible. The water was nice and I managed to avoid the metres of sea lettuce by the boat ramp. Apparently we don't usually get much here. Sea lettuce, while a pretty colour, stinks and is really annoying, especially if you're like me and don't like things touching your feet when you're swimming.

When I got back from my swim, I noticed a most unusual flower in the back yard. It was a hibiscus that looks like it was coloured by a drunk painter, because it shades from yellow at the outer-most edge through to orange, a large layer of pink - all in relatively pastelly colours, with the center bright red! This is compounded by the fact that the petals look like partially scrunched tissue paper. I'll get a photo before I leave. It's neat.

Either tonight or tomorrow we leave for Matarangi on the Coromandel, this being the start of Auckland Anniversary Weekend. My brother is staying here and in Hamilton so he can go to Parachute for at least one day, so it'll be me and the folks. I have the dozen books or so (mostly McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon) I fished out of the attic, Dad has gotten out DVDs which includes PoTCII among others, I have my crossstitch, of which I have already done about a cm worth of stitching, I think, and there is, of course, the beach and (hopefully) the sun. There is not, alas, the internets. I will be missing the internets, I will.

Have still only read one of the three books I brought with me, as well as the one I purchased, but did read one of my childhood favourites when I was in the 'tron, and decided that as much as I enjoyed it then, I do not actually need a copy of Follow My Leader by James Garfield, a book about a kid blinded by a firecracker, in Wellington or indeed, at all. It wasn't that good. I am bringing four books back to Wellington to cull - the first three Robert Jordan ones and the first one in a series by Juliet Marilliner. I'd rather cull them at home than here - that way I can exchange.

Dad is mowing the lawn. Along with people, the items that are most frequently making the trip between the two locations are the vaccum cleaner and the lawnmower. People here are mostly elderly, but very friendly. Mum was saying that she's not used to having neighbours who are actually interested in who you are and what you're doing. Their section looks tiny, but I am assured that it's about the same size as the Hamilton place. Hamilton, btw, now goes to auction late February. I'm hoping that goes really well.

I am almost in holiday mode now. I've started losing track of days of the week, which is a good sign.

Um. Can someone tell me when I need to have a registration in for the Otaki Ultimate thing, and if I can get a lift up?

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nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)
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