I must be crazy

There's got to be something wrong with me that I thought it was a good idea to get up really early on a cold winters Sunday morning, dress up in a Santa outfit drive for an hour out to Glasgow and then run round a loch. Did I mention that it's winter here in Scotland? My hubby was shivering so much it was a real challenge just to get his race number pinned on.

We first saw a couple of Santa's getting out of a car and then soon we saw lots of Santas, reindeers, a few angels, a snowman and lots and lots of tinsel and we knew we were in the right place! I'd got my outfit out of Poundland and I think about half of the other runners did too!

If there is something wrong with me for doing this then I think it might be some kind of epidemic! There were 446 runners that took part and the majority of them were dressed up.

I entered this race to give myself a prod. My running has been irregular at best and although my times have been improving for both the mile and the 5k, I'm still building up to running without the need for walk breaks. I'm a work in progress.

This race was organised by the lovely people at JogScotland. Their races always pull a varied crowd from the serious club runners to the beginners still building on their walking programmes. This makes a good race for beginners because there will always be lots of other people jogging and walking too. So whilst I wasn't as prepared as I have been in the past when I race, I really enjoyed it and realised how much I miss racing.

Another good thing about this race is that it had chip timing. As a beginner runner who is still at the jog/walk level, I would never position myself close to the start line as that's for the more serious and competent runners. If I did that, I would just be in everyones way and besides, it's a bit demoralising being overtaken by hundreds of people! I find it much better to be closer to the back with others that have a similar pace. This often means that it takes some time to get over the start line. In this race, it took 1 minute for me to cross the start line. Those 60 seconds can make a big difference to how you feel about your performance.

So I thought it would be a good idea to enter another one in 4 weeks, same distance but this time with a rather humongous hill.

For anyone interested, I ran the JogScotland Christmas Cracker 5k in Strathclyde Country Park in a time of 35:29 – like I said, a work in progress!

Christmas Wish List


Should my family be stuck for an idea of what to get me this Christmas or if anyone feels inclined to buy me a gift here are some of the things I like, in no particular order:

  • Fleecy PJ bottoms that were dark blue and had snowflakes on the from Primark

  • World Peace

  • Thermal boot socks with traditional looking prints on them that make them look wintery/Christmassy

  • Unusual ear ring holder

  • Kath Kidston knitting needle bag
  • A pretty crochet hook roll

  • Small evening hobo bag like the Julien MacDonald ones

  • Decorative triple wave bun pins

  • Cardigans

  • Coloured, patterned or plain holdups

  • Ribbons

  • Love Etc perfume from the Body Shop

  • Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon – it's a fiction book

  • Pretty little trinket boxes

  • Charms for my charm bracelets (I have traditional and Pandora – you can get some nice cheap ones from Ebay)

  • Car charger for my ipod

  • Vintage or thrifted brooches

  • Geeky T shirts

  • A home-made music mix CD – What are your favourites?

  • Pretty notebooks and stationery

  • Pink Moleskine notebook

  • Chocolate - This particular one from the Animal Aid shop is a real treat!

  • Slanket - The blanket with sleeves

  • Momiji dolls
Things I definately don't need are:
  • Underwear
  • Gloves, hats and scarves
  • Diary
  • Ornaments
Other things to note: I'm a vegan so I don't eat meat, diary products, eggs, honey, insects or fish. I also don't wear leather, wool, silk or any other animal fur or skin.

I have no problems recieveing a gift that is second hand or from a charity shop. I think it's better for the environment anyway.

I hope this helps and if you don't want to give anything at all, that's fine too.

Let me know if you have a Christmas Wishlist!

Christmas Shopping and other fun things


I finally made a start to my Christmas shopping this weekend. I was on the 9:40 train to Glasgow for my 6 monthly trip to the opticians on Saturday and shopped for the whole day. I caught some Zzz's on the train ride home and then it was time to get ready for a night out with my nephew and his fiancée.

We went to Chiquito's in Dunfermline for some tasty Mexican/Texan/Cajun food. We ate a lot! You get fairly big portions there. Then after some good food, drink and conversation we headed out into the freezing cold night to play crazy golf. Yep, we must be crazy!

Adventure Gold Island is right next door to the restaurant and has two 18-hole mini golf courses. I can't remember which of the courses we played, but I think it might have been treasure island.

Most professional shot


A perfect hole in one!

Flukiest shot


battered off every wall before going into a the most obscured hole and getting a hole in one!

Best use of geometry


His ball always ended up behind a rock or someone else's ball but math helped him!

Too many shots had to give up

Rachael and Me

This was a draw because we both had to give up on a hole.

Most shots up the same hill


It was a close one between Billy and Rachael, but I think Rachael takes it.

Getting in the water hazard



Highest shot


battered off some rocks and it went right up into the air before coming straight back down again. Rachael is a nutter with a putter!

Best bum wiggle shot


Was a close call, but Billy managed to pot his after the bum wiggle so he wins.

Most under par


Somehow he managed to win it overall :)

Set off sirens


For the hole in one at the end. Yay!

Yes, I set of the sirens because I managed to make the coveted hole in one shot at the 18th hole and won a free game the next time I go. You know how I did it? I was thinking, if a tree falls in the woods when no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

The next day was a much calmer day but we still had more Christmas shopping to do. We went into Stirling and managed to buy more presents. I was disappointed that McAree's was closed, but they are running workshops where you can crochet a snowflake and a star (21st Nov) and knit a mini stocking (12th Dec) which I'm thinking about attending. I think they cost £5 and that might sort out 2 Christmas presents too :)

Hope people like what we've picked for them :)


So it's November already, how did that happen? It must have crept up on me and now it's only 6 weeks until Christmas and I haven't done a bit of Christmas shopping. I'm usually finished long before now and being all smug about it. Not this time though.

I have an appointment in Glasgow on Saturday so I should get a chance to make a start to it then. That's when the tricky part comes in to play - what do I actually buy for people? There's little point in buying useless tat. That makes me sad to think that the Earth's resources have been used to make such rubbish and I would certainly prefer not to receive anything at all than some mindless nonsense that has no purpose other than to tick a box on the gifter's to-buy-for list. This might make me sound ungrateful but every year I spend a lot of time and energy into picking a gift that I think the receiver will enjoy and whilst I may not always get it right, I do try. I don't like it when others do not show the same consideration.

That said, I have 6 weeks to procure 24 gifts for family members (and make some gifts for friends) and this year we also have the added challenge of DH facing redundancy.

DH told someone recently about his fear that he may lose his job to which the other person, unsympathetically, told him they were looking to buy a house and asked him for mortgage advice! Way to rub salt in the wound! We wouldn't even still be in this country if it wasn't for the same persons Special Event next year. So our lives are on hold because of them and they can't even try to empathise?

Wow, 2 rants in the same blog post? OK, better settle down!

Took my niece up to
Grays School of Art at RGU last Saturday for the open day. It looked really cool, I want to study there! They have rooms full of knitting machines and others full of sewing machines - Heaven! I think she really liked it too and we hope that she will get accepted for entry next autumn. Aberdeen was beautiful and sunny as it usually is when I go to visit. Again, trying to seduce me into moving back there. Maybe one day ...

I won't mention Aberdeen drivers though since I've already had 2 rants.

On another tangent, I was reading some nonsense article in the Scotsman, which led me to the Oranges and Apples blog. This was a fun read and I'm thinking about doing something similar like posting my Outfit of the Day or maybe I will try and do the capsule wardrobe thing. Not decided yet.


Whilst I've had the Paris videos on the video box on my blog for a while now, I haven't actually written anything about the trip. Well thanks to my Dear Husband I don't have to! Here is the link to his post: http://statanomaly.blogspot.com/2009/10/paris.html

Paris was indeed amazing and I'm looking forward to visting again sometime in the future.

I’ve dyed and gone to heaven

I got home from work on Friday and my Dad wasn't around. His cars away getting fixed so I figured he had blagged a ride from someone and was down at the bowling club. I decided that it was a good opportunity to dye my hair. I'd bought a brown/black colour and considering last week I was blonde, this was going to look very different!

I managed to cover the bathroom in black dye and just when I thought I mopped up the last of more appeared. It was on the floor, the toilet, the cabinets, the bath panel, my tub of Vaseline, everywhere! I used the Vaseline to cover my forehead and ears so they wouldn't get dye on them and those were probably the only places not to have dye!

I had to go into the kitchen to check the time and then I went to the sitting room window to see if my Dad was back yet. I swear I did not drip at all – I don't know how spots of black dye got on the floor! My route was clearly visible for all to see though.

Then came the rinsing and by god was there a lot of colour coming out of my hair! It took ages standing over the bath rinsing. That's when I noticed some of the dye on the floor, so I was quickly trying to wash the floor as well as my hair and then I knocked down the tray that has all the toothbrushes and mouthwash and everything and that all slid into the bath. It was chaos.

So I rinsed until the water looked clear as per instructions and got ready to pick up my hubby. I still hadn't heard from my Dad. Got hubby and visited my Sis, told her I hadn't seen Dad and we assumed he was in the bowling club. When I got back in the house I was getting worried about him and then my Sis called to say my Mum had been trying to get in touch with me and that my Dad was in Blackpool on the girls weekend with my Mum! Mystery solved. Hubby and I had the place to ourselves for the weekend – heaven!

(Although once my Mum see's the black dye mark on the bath panel and the bits of brunt on spill-over I've just remembered about from the cherry pie I made I'm going to be sent straight to hell.

It's damn fine cherry pie though.)

I’m not really the one to ask about career advice


When I was 4, just before I started school my Mum got a job as a stand-in cleaner at the local school. When I started school, she was able to become permanent and this was a perfect arrangement for us that lasted my entire school career. When I was 5 I wanted to be a cleaner just like my Mum. I was encouraged to set my sights a little higher, and there was no one higher than my Mum's boss so I wanted to be a Janitor.

My 3 older sisters left school at 16 to work in the local woollen mills. Perhaps like me at that time, they didn't know what types of jobs were available or maybe those jobs seemed like they were for other people. In my sisters' cases, I know that we were not a rich family in the financial sense and that they wanted to buy things like fashionable clothes and have fun nights out with their friends. The mills offered money in exchange for work and you didn't need an education to get it.

I think they knew this wasn't for them but it took them a few years and further study at college to find themselves on good career paths that they enjoy. As I was growing up, they all told me to stay in school and get an education and get a good job. As women who had returned to education as adults, they told me that it was harder as adults with other responsibilities such as homes, husbands and children.

I'm really lucky that I know what I like and I had a good idea of the direction I wanted to go in. When I was in primary school, my Dad and I programmed a basic card game into the computer and I knew I wanted to work in IT. I remember making a basic dating database for dolls lol! (I'm not sure if Sindy will ever forgive me for setting her up with Michael Jackson)

My niece has started college recently and I think she doesn't yet have an idea of what she wants to do as a career so the choices open to her are overwhelming, confusing and perhaps a little frustrating. She is studying art and building her portfolio for university which she plans to attend next year. I think she enjoys her course, but her lack of money (and the inherent problem of being unable to buy things) means that she is often swayed into flirting with the idea of dropping out and getting a job – any job. (And in today's climate, for high school leavers it's pretty limited to the service and retail industries, which is the normal market of the uni students looking for part-time work during their studies). It's a little bit like history repeating itself, since this is not unlike what her Mum did.

To my Niece: When it comes to this, you and I are different and whilst I would love to give you that one piece of great advice that would set you on your path to achieving your full potential, I'm lost. I will offer up this though; the world is a big place with lots of different and interesting people, places and opportunities. You are a creative, open-minded, adventurous and caring person and you won't let these opportunities pass you by. Maybe there's not just one career path out there for you. Maybe you're destined to be a sea-lion trainer, a makeup artist, an au-pair, a camp counsellor, then study at the open university before opening your own business. I might worry about you sometimes, but I know you'll be just fine.


Time to shake up my fitness regimen. Actually, it's overdue. Maybe it should be time to TRY to shake up my fitness regimen? Urgh, I'm rubbish.

I've reset all my Nike+ stuff which means that all the lovely widgets I put on this blog are all useless now, oops.

But I will be starting again, or at least, trying to start again.

OK, as Bart Simpsons says, I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try.


Woo, I went for a walk at lunchtime up a hill.

My picture of Corstorphine Hill Tower as proof! http://twitpic.com/h2nph

Wedding Season is Now Over


Since June, I've been to a wedding in each month. I'm beginning to feel like a professional wedding guest and my closet is full of wedding attire.

Things I have learned:

  • Always wear nice undies; because I will inevitably tuck my dress into my knickers.
  • A kilt works on every man. Day or evening guest, it never looks out of place.
  • The photographs take ages; so have food before leaving the house (or put a sandwich in a bag).
  • Print out the directions and a map to the venue so if there are road works another route can be found.
  • I probably could have made it as a professional dancer.
  • My husband is rubbish at remembering to take photographs!

Some of the highlights were:

  • Getting to know my cousin Lesley and catching up with relatives.
  • The groom's epic speech and musical showmanship.
  • Meeting a whole bunch of new people.
  • Seeing an old friend truly happy and in his element.

Not so long ago it was mostly funerals, but perhaps soon it will be baby naming ceremonies? Hmm, do I need different dresses for that? ;)

It’s been a busy week; I’ve hardly watched any TV!


I'm not very well and I'm feeling sorry for myself. This makes me grumpy and not a lot of fun to be around. I'm especially intolerant of swine flu jokes. So whilst normally I would wander around singing "woe is me" and enjoy the sympathy whilst spreading my bugs around, it's best that I avoid people – for my own sanity.

I think the events of the week have finally caught up with me and the bugs struck when I was feeling run down.

Last Sunday I was in Edinburgh for the awesome Mr Rhys Darby's show at the Udderbelly. (Follow @rhysiedarby on Twitter!) Afterwards we went to the pub to use up the £50 bar tab we had won on the Thursday night.

On the Tuesday we were back in Edinburgh for Richard Herring's Hitler Moustache show (Follow @Herring1967 on Twitter!) which was very funny and thought provoking. At the end we were all given stick-on moustaches to wear or stick on another fringe acts poster.

We were up early the next morning to go to the airport as Kane had to fly to London for business. Then the next day I went to visit my friends new flat and pick Kane up from the airport that evening.

By Friday I was glad to enjoy a drink and a giggle with the ladies but it was another early rise on the Saturday to go to Aberdeen.

My plan was to go to Aberdeen, maybe take a video for this here blog outside my old flat and further along the street to the flat that my grandfather lived in when he was a young boy (my sister discovered this from the old registers when researching the family tree). I also fancied checking out some of the shops and finally getting that Starbucks that I've desperate for for weeks now.

None of this happened.

Instead I dropped Kane off at the pub to watch football with Steve and Craig whilst I parked the car. I then wandered back to the pub had a good old natter with them then after moving to another pub, Steve's OH Kerrie came along as did Tosh and after a few more drinks were had we made our way to a restaurant for some food. We left a little later than planned, but sometimes things have a way of never going to plan and it's all the better for it.

I think by Sunday, the events of the week had finally caught up with me and that's how I got ill.

I'm planning to lay low for the next couple of days and let whatever's got me take its course. Early night yay!

A Wee Jog

I did it. I went out for a wee jog. I decided to make a video of it too so now everyone up Gartmorn Dam tonight thinks I'm completely bonkers.

The best bit was at the end when Lance Armstrong told me I had just done my farthest run.

Check out the video in the vlog box.

Lead Legs

Last nights run was supposed to be easy but my legs felt dead and my pace hugely suffered. I probably shouldn't have recorded the 5 minute warm up beforehand either because that also makes my stats look slower and makes me feel bad :(

I'm having a night off tonight and see how I feel after work tomorrow. I'm better at running in the mornings and I need to try and get into a routine for these evening runs so I have enough fuel and feel alert.

5k Run


Had an ace time at my sisters birthday garden party on Saturday. It was great to meet some new people and spend time chatting and laughing with friends and family. I arrived at the party at about 3pm and things were already in full swing and the time flew past and I quite surprised when I looked at the clock when I was leaving to find that it was 1am!

Needless to say I was very tired when I got up at 8.30am to calibrate my new Nike+ Air Pegasus trainers with my iPod. I wanted to this prior to my jog with Sandy so that when we went out I would have a fairly accurate reading of how far and how fast we had gone and I'd also get a snazzy graph to post up to this here blog. Somehow I managed to pause the darned thing about 13 minutes into my 5k so now I have no idea how I did *gutted*.

I think it was roughly about 38 minutes for 5km which I'm really pleased about since my last noted jog was 31:29 for 3.4km. I don't even hurt and I'm looking forward to the next run. In fact, I'm even thinking about training for the Stirling 10k.

My Handbag

My new handbag has been the talk of the office day. I've made a short video of it:

The Move


Myself, my husband and my cat have now moved in with my parents. We took a week off to complete the move and tie up loose ends in the flat. We packed everything up on the Friday and then the move took place on the Saturday and was very straight forward. My nephew had borrowed his works van and we roped in a few extra bodies and the whole thing took about 1 hour. It took longer to sort everything out again at my parents, but by then end of Sunday we had a replica of our sitting room and a mostly tidy bedroom (with fully functioning drum kit!) set up. The rest of the week was spent getting rid of junk from the flat and doing little DIY jobs we hadn't noticed.

We still have a few jobs to attend to. I hadn't appreciated all the things that need to be taken care of when a person moves.

We are still settling into our new routine. The commute is no problem, my total journey time is about 1 hour 10 minutes and it just flys by. I may need to upgrade from my iPod nano to an iPod classic though.

The differences between living in the centre of the city and then living on the edge of a small village are fairly obvious, but some have still surprised me as I've been a city girl for a long time now.

  1. The supermarkets are eerily quiet on Sunday evenings.
  2. Lawns get mowed
  3. There is an ice cream van that makes an appearance 4 or 5 times a day
  4. Children play outside
  5. Cats wander about the streets
  6. People know their neighbours and talk to them

There will be other things I'm sure I will notice in time :)

A Very Busy Weekend


I love doing things on a Friday night because it always makes the weekend feel longer don't you think? This Friday I went to visit friends of mine who have recently returned from Australia and are currently living in a caravan in Linwater, although they move into their new house today.

Friday night was a lovely night for sitting out in the countryside in the last bit of warmth from the sun. It was a very chilled out an relaxed night and it was great to chat and catch up.

On Saturday I played Haze most of the morning, was disappointed that there isn't any trophies in Haze. There doesn't seem to be any trophies for playing multiplayer capture the flag in Unreal Tournament 3 either.

Capture the Flag in Unreal Tournament is my most favourite multiplayer game. I used to play this years ago with the rest of the Systems team at Realise when we would take on the Programmers in the next office. I used to be fairly good. My husband can sometimes have difficulties with motion sickness when playing first or third person games. Recently he had to take a break from playing Mirrors Edge and has had to do the same with Tomb Raider. So I suppose I thought I'd be able to kick his ass at this game – WRONG! I totally got my ass handed to me over and over. My new plan is to practise secretly and then get him to play Mirrors Edge or something for a while before I challenge him again!

Also on Saturday I carried on with my knitting and I'm now at the arm hole shaping. It was a bit tricky since the pattern says to bind off at each end, but as I discovered, you can't cast off at the end of a row without cutting your yarn, you need to cast off at the start of the next row. So I've made a slight error with it because of the pattern, but hopefully all will come right in the making up.

Whilst knitting I also finished season 4 of Greys Anatomy, which was very good and I'm looking forward to season 5. This also means I can finish playing the Greys Anatomy NDS game that I have. I started it but got worried it was giving away too much of season 4 before I had watched it, but now I can play – yay :)

Saturday night was party night. It was Kane's boss's birthday party at his house and it was a gorgeous house. I really hope I didn't drive over the roses attempting to get out the drive way!

I managed to resist the urge to play games on Sunday and actually started packing. After all it's only a week before I move out of my flat. So I packed up the bedroom. I left a weeks worth of clothes and stuffed everything else into big black bin bags. I also packaged up my DVD and CD collection. When I got to my parents house, I discovered that they are not yet prepared and thought they had a further week. My stress levels are close to through the roof! So I spent the rest of Sunday sorting out the rooms there. My Mum is going to contact a company to come and take away the remaining furniture that has been cluttering those rooms for some years.

The rest of this week will be spent packing. Maybe I will video from the thick of it.

Darth Vader dancing like MC Hammer


New Layout

I'm loving my new blog layout! I need to add a nice video and then it's done. Is there anything else I should add?

This Past Week and a Bit


I've been wanting to blog for a while but have been having trouble trying to think of something substantial to blog about. Instead I have lots of little things to note which I think that's what Twitter is for but I'm blogging it all anyway.

So for starts there was the Edinburgh Rugby 7s which was on 30th and 31st May. It was a really good weekend. The sun was shining, the chips were hot and the beer was cool enough. I had to go out on the Sunday and buy shorts and vests to wear as I discovered that all my summer clothes are at my parents' house. I also have a nagging suspicion that none of them will fit me anyway.

I always like the 7s because it is a rare chance to surround myself with my fellow kiwis and there are loads of people in fancy dress and silly outfits. My favourites from this year were the really brave guys in Morph suits, the buff looking cavemen and of course The Stig.

Later that week, I met up with a friend of mine who now lives in San Diego and it was really good catching up. The conversation always flows so naturally and I hope I'm not offending Rosie, when I say that I think we are quite alike in a lot of ways – we have similar tastes and similar thoughts on many things. Later on we met up with hubby and pub quiz team where sailed to victory! Another £50 bar tab under our belts!

And then on Saturday it was my cousins wedding. It was held at Forrester Park Resort which was a lovely location for a wedding and everyone agreed how lovely it was inside. I discovered an unfortunate side affect from having to do the dance-offs at the pub quiz so often is that I have almost forgotten how to dance normally. It took a few attempts before I was dancing normally again, but I did treat the others to a few of my classic moves including the robot.

The rest of the weekend was spent watching the last of the Big Bang Theory and the start of Greys Anatomy season 4 and I've started knitting a singlet. So I expect knitting and Greys Anatomy will be how I spend the majority of my time over the next while.

As well as knitting, other plans include Resident Evil 5, getting creative with this blog layout and my Twitter page, and reading about how to get skinny and putting it into action. Well that's the plan anyway.

Couch to 5k - Week 2 Day 1


A tougher run today, I don't think the graph gives a very accurate picture.

Couch to 5k: Day 2

A second run! I'm making progress towards my goal of keeping this up for 3 weeks. I must admit though, that today my quads are particularly tight and I feel a little stiff throughout the lower body. My yoga mat is at my parents house so I might have to retrieve it and do a little yoga in the evenings.

Here is the graph of my second run. I messed up the warm up at the start but generally it's the same as yesterday.

Couch to 5k

I'm flirting with running again after a very long hiatus. The plan this time is to use the CoolRunning.com couch to 5k plan. It's a 9 week plan that does what it says on the tin; it gets you from zero to 5k hero in 9 weeks.

Robert Ullrey has made some podcasts to go along with this plan. I've never got beyond week 2, but those first 2 podcasts are really good. They tell you when to run, when to walk and give advice and motivation. The podcasts can be found on iTunes or from ullreys.com.

The program is designed to be run 3 days a week, but I personally prefer to run 6 days a week because it helps me to keep going. If I take a rest day after one run then I find it hard to do a second run. If I can keep this up for about 3 weeks then usually by that time it's become a habit. It's a real challenge getting to the 3 week mark, so that's my first goal.

Anyway, here is the graph of my first run:

This includes a 5 minute warm up at the start and then intervals of 60 second runs and 90 second recoveries.

I <3 my PS3


The PS3 arrived yesterday and already I am so in love with it. I never noticed how much I missed having one. It's so much more than a games console although we did have a bash about in Tekken. Without needing me to do anything, it automatically found our Buffalo link station with our media on it and we were able to play music and watch TV shows.

Part of the reason for getting the PS3 was for PlayTV. When we move, we'll not have cable any more or the ability to record all our favourite TV shows and that's where PlayTV comes in. You can watch, pause and record all the Freeview channels. An additional feature is that you can use your PSP from anywhere in the world to watch things you have recorded on your PS3. So if your PS3 is at home recording all your favourite TV shows whilst you're on holiday in, say, Greece, then you can use your PSP and an available wifi connection and watch them at your leisure. I don't have a PSP but I am tempted by this.

Singstar, Rock Band 2, Tomb Raider, Unreal Tournament, are just a few of the games on my wish list, and I want this PS3 Drum Kit so bad!!

I know, at this rate I'll never have any money saved to get to New Zealand!!

Looking to the future


I'm pretty happy about selling our house. We move on the 20th June with the official handover date as the 26th June. We're taking over 2 rooms in my parents' house and I hope I'm not causing them too much disruption!

It will be strange living with my parents again and it will be strange and sad to leave the flat that we've been happy in for the past 11 years. It's exciting too because this is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Many people are curious of our future plans and I am not being cagey or coy the truth is, we don't have any firm plans yet but the loose plan is that once we have settled in to my parents house, then we will start making plans for moving to Auckland, NZ.

We would like to save up some money before we go, because the money we make on the sale of house will go towards buying a new one in New Zealand. It's not cheap moving to the other side of the world, we have to decided on what stuff to ship over and what stuff we'll just buy when we're there, and then they'll be the costs of getting set up with rent, utilities, changing driving licenses, buying a car etc – that'll take a lot of planning! When my parents did it, they arrived with 3 children, a few suitcases and a weeks rent money!!

Right now the task in hand is to decide what gets packed for NZ, what we need to keep handy, and what we need to get rid of - and then actually do these things. We procured some boxes and bubble wrap at the weekend and since then they have sat in the middle of our hovel we call home (ever since we no longer need to show the flat it's cleanliness has gone into decline).

So an industrious weekend is planned, however our new PS3 is due to arrive any day now ...


I'm sad to say that Pyewacket died on Friday 8th May 2009.

My Cat


I haven't blogged for a while and it's been intentional because I knew when I did I would have to talk about my cat.

My cat, Pyewacket, is sick. He has gingival squamous cell cancer and unfortunately it is too far back his jaw for any treatment. The treatment for this would have been a mandibulectomy and radiation therapy. We were told that we would most likely have to have him euthanised in about, well, 3-4 weeks now. We have another appointment tonight to check that he is still ok and that we are not being cruel by keeping him alive. It's pretty hard and I guess I'm still kinda in denial maybe? I have no idea how I will handle this and I feel kinda sick every time I think about having to do the deed. Tough times ahead for us and I hope we have the strength to cope.

Feeling less social!


Having fallen so deeply down the rabbit hole of social networking and microblogging madness, I'm now finding it difficult to keep up with everyone and still lead a normal life. I'm thinking about dedicating a day of the week to just trying to catch up.

I feel so social

My work has started using Twitter and curiosity got the better of me so I've signed up too. This of course led me to investigating Twitterfeed and using this to update my twitter with my blog posts and ravelry projects. From here HelloTxt caught my eye and I signed up for this and added in all my social networking sites: Bebo, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. A slight detour took me by way of Feedburner and Google Reader. Then I saw an advert for Digsby, so I downloaded this and added in all my IM clients, MSN, Yahoo, GTalk and Facebook Chat. So now no matter what I do online, about a billion socialmicrobloggingwebsites will know what I am doing/thinking and I'm not even that interesting.

The Cupcake Cat


Steve explained to me in the pub the other night that Warren's girlfriend had made excellent muffins for the office the other day, and that my DH had said I make great cupcakes. Of course Steve needed proof of these great cupcakes so I baked up some chocolatey goodness for their office

I usually make cinnamon ones because they're my favs. I'm not really a fan of chocolate cake, so I figured it would be in everyone's best interest if I made chocolate ones!

My cat adores cupcakes. I know he loves plain and cinnamon cupcakes, and it looks like I can add chocolate to the list too. When DH tried to feed him this morning, he totally turned his nose up at it and returned to the kitchen to watch the cupcakes. DH is off to work with 11 cupcakes, as I shared one with the cat this morning.

I'm making tea loaf tonight, I don't think he's a fan of dried fruit but I suppose we'll soon see.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I must be mad or something but I went to see Confessions of a Shopaholic last night. I have read almost all the books each of which drove me insane to the point where I would shout at the book scaring my cats and prompting my husband to look up funny farms on yell.com - I would be there for sure if I'd read the one with the baby. The reason for the outbursts was that the main character was utterly annoying and needed a good shake. Still I read on enjoying the fashion and the romance.

I must say the movie was great! Some of the storyline had changed which worked better for the movie format but more importantly the main character was engaging and fun. I'm sure there was some kind of lesson in it, but I was distracted by the shoes.

Awesome Auckland

It's a typical Saturday evening. I'm sitting on the sofa drinking tea with DH watching TV. Except that it's Bells tea, the Wellington Sevens are on TV and I'm in Auckland!!

From New Zealand 2009

The first few days were a little tense when neither myself or DH could take out cash from any of the ATMs, but a quick call to the bank to confirm it was really us and we were overseas sorted that out. Lesson learned: Use travellers cheques!

I also got really bad sunburn spending the day wandering around town with no sunblock on. I didn't realise until that evening when I started to glow red. As is typical for me, I was wearing a T shirt and everything else I have to wear has straps and a lower neck line so I've got to go about with red arms and neck and the rest of my skin is white. Lesson learned: Always wear sunblock!

However, the past few days I have felt the stress melt away in the heat of New Zealand summer.

I've watched street performers, saw fish and penguins at Kelly Tarltons, sun bathed at Okahu beach, ate great food, drank beers and shopped. And there's plenty more still to do.

From New Zealand 2009

My best purchase has been a new ice blue NDS Lite. It was a Waitangi day gift and I'm so happy to have one again :D

Staying in the CBD, I see Aucklanders going to and from work and they all look amazing. It's quite intimidating really. All the women are really slim and fit looking and wear great clothes. Everytime I thought I had spied an overweight person, it was actually a pregnant person. The men are the same, most likely hiding six packs under their very sharp and tailored business shirts.

It would appear to be easy to achieve the look here. I see ads on lampposts for CityRun.co.nz and see runners around town and with Albert Park and Auckland Domain so near, it's feasible to go for a 30 minute run on your lunch break. The local swimming pool, Tepid Baths is cheap and close to lots of offices. There are plenty of people roller blading, running and cycling around the bays. I even saw one guy on skis with wheels on the bottom, propelling himself along with ski poles. The supermarkets is full of fresh fruit and veges and there are plenty of healthy eateries around like Salad Works, Umi Sushi, Raw Power and Revive. And as for clothes, there are loads of clothes stores and shoe shops - it's a shopaholics dream!

I certainly feel inspired and invigorated and by the end of my holiday I hope to ready to take on the world again.

Post Festive Round Up


The run up to Christmas was fairly hectic to say the least! We now have our house on the market and it was a bit mad trying to finish up some last minute jobs, before travelling up to Orkney for Christmas and New Year.

Spending 2 weeks with my in-laws has certainly highlighted my hermit tendencies and has brought back childhood memories of hiding in my room for days just enjoying my own company and busying myself with whatever project took my fancy and only appearing for meals. My in-laws probably think I'm some weird antisocial crack-pot and perhaps to some extent that's true, although I would have been more social if my SIL and her fiancé were elsewhere. I find I can't relax in too much mess and their laziness was getting to me, but 3.5 bottles of sherry seemed to help a bit!

A few days before we were scheduled to come home, we had to go to the post office and outside a man in a wheel chair sped down the ramp and junk punched another man who was on a mobile phone at the time – not something you see every day!

I think the term junk punch is quite funny, so I decided to tell my MIL and FIL this story. I'm not sure if they understood, but I'm just pleased with myself that I brave enough to do it!

Since being back home it's been quite relaxing. However, there are plenty of things that need to be done and this weekend it all starts again. Clearing out cupboards, packing things, trying to find things again! It seems to be endless, but it's all worth it!