Friday, February 18, 2005

just one more thing before I go...

well, a couple, "Hi!!" secret-pal-o-mine! I will be home 27 feb, my parents are coming over to look after the girls, which is handy 'cos my Dad has to come over for work anyway, Mama arrives today, and he arrives in a couple of days. I am feeling better about the cruise now ( so you should you jammy tart!...sounds like Anne, Anne is that you?? the neopets are coming back with Mum, tell Declan 10 more days!) but would love to stay here with them, I miss them heaps.

Marmite is a sticky black substance, which my children and husband spread on toast, bagels, english muffins, cheese on toast, and (it seems) every pale coloured kitchen surface available. Apparently Australian marmite doesn't taste the same as NZ marmite...I wouldn't know.

Thought I would post a piccy of the yummy yarn I just bought from the LYS, but Flash has taken off with the cable thingy...anyway I bought Jo Sharp's Silk Road DK tweed in Emporio, which is a sort of burgundy colorway that I think will look quite sumptuous knitted into Clapotis, and it will be a bit bigger knitted in this thicker yarn.

Something spooky in the Blogosphere...while I was having my own private, personal nervous breakdown, out here for you all to see, ( wednesday 16) things were not going to well for others, the gorgeous Harlot came to some grief for cursing winter, the incomparable BTCHWSTX has had her PC hijacked ( bastards)this on top of the water incident(s), and all was not well over at Nake-id, not well at all, maybe this is a week when some of us should have just stayed in bed ( with our knitting) and had the kids bring us regular small meals of tea and toast ( hold the marmite) take care out there possums.

back and in a better mood :-)

have put my "famous five" hat on, and am now packed, poised and ready for adventure on the high seas, aha me hearties!

am putting my rant down to PMT , the position of Mercury, and a nasty sinus infection, so please forgive me, however I am not removing it, I figure this blog is a reflection of me, the good, the bad, the snotty.

Went out to a bar on Wednesday night, Cherrijam in Double Bay, lovely place, low ceilings, chandeliers and loads of armchairs, chaise lounge, and sofas arranged around the piano., low lights, very welcoming and comfy, went there to watch my mate Jason's friend Shelley sing, she is a "qualified" jazz singer, and despite her small stature, she has one big voice! It was nice to spend some time out with my husband, he has been away far too much lately.

Mama arrives this evening, I can't wait to see her, we'll drag her up to King St no doubt, and keep her up late catching up on news from home. She will bring offerings of marmite ( yes I know that you can get it here, but apparently it is "not the saaaame")

My bag IS packed, I even went and bought a grass skirt and leis for the Hawaiian night, so I am getting into the spirit, was heartened to be told that the company would cover all of our "incidentals" except our shopping ( fair enough!) so am feeling much more positive about the whole thing, that and the fact that the antibiotics have kicked in, and I have printed the Clapotis ( yes I have relented...and I want to work out if I can make it on the knitting machine...) pattern, and am off to buy yarn! I figure, with Blaise's poncho, a pair of felted slippers, and Clapotis to make, I should feel like I have achieved something at the end of this voyage.

so, Bonne Chance my luvlies, I will return, with piccies, and stories, and although I am going to Indonesia, maybe some yarn...but definitely, definitely lots of batik.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

packing ( rant warning)

I hate packing, I think carefully, make piles of clothes that "work" together, walk myself thru the days to figure out exactly what I need, make a trip to the mall to find yet another white t-shirt or whatever...have a couple of tantrums about my complete lack of "smart casual wear" and my complete lack of understanding as to what constitutes "smart casual" because it is kind of a contradiction in terms...I have smart...I have a healthy corporate wardrobe, because I hate having to think about what to wear in the mornings...I have an eclectic collection of interesting skirts and lacy/frilly/mesh tops that I wear the rest of the time, jeans do not like me, so I am really struggling with the casual...and I don't want to buy any more clothes...I feel like a sausage in track pants, most t-shirts and sweatshirts look weird on me, and don't get me started on polo shirts...sometimes I feel that some psycho designer made a model of me and made a mission of creating the very garment that makes me look like utter crap...and invented the polo shirt...and this is where things start to get very spooky, because we received a package from the cruise people yesterday, and inside it were 2 POLO SHIRTS!! one for Flash ( who suits them) and one for me ( who would rather wear trackies) but wait, theres more! they are 100% polyester and came with instructions that we MUST wear them at the airport and on the plane ( 9 hour polyester?) so that we are easy to keep track of, and to engender team spirit ( with 1600 people, 400 on our flight alone, thats not team spirit, thats a herd mentality)
so add that to the "suggestion" that we will need $2-300 dollars per person per day! for "incidentals" and you can kinda understand why I am having a mini-breakdown...we have to go for Flash's job, we don't have a choice, and we don't have that kind of money.
It is lovely that we are going on a cruise to exotic locales...but this is not like a vacation with your honey, this is a vacation with your honey, and 1600 of his customers, bosses and colleagues, whom he has to spend 6 hours a day in meetings with "send your wife to our spa or onboard jewellery store" and the rest of the time entertaining "paint that smile on comes Walter and his wandering hands" if Walter gets within 2 feet of me he won't have hands!

I know that I sound negative and whiny, but I suppose it is because my husband travels so much for work, and the company expects a lot from me in terms of attending a lot of functions, and putting up with a lot of lost family time, Flash was once away for a total of 30 weekend days, plus almost 100 week days in one year, this didn't include nights that he came home late, I am a very independent person, I even struggle with name tags! and I have a life and job of my own ( again yay finally!) I know that Flash appreciates that I carry a large load because of his job, but I am a wee bit peeved when these people basically order me to go on this trip, which means:

*getting my Mum over from NZ to watch the kids
*worrying about our finances as we have Holly starting Uni and needing books etc, and the painter needing progress payments etc.
*I start work the day after I return, and want to be fresh and alert...but don't fly well
* the "incidentals" costs are really worrying me
* I have to be on my best behaviour for a whole week, and bite my tongue often, in the face of bigots, racists, chauvanists and frank idiots, I must spend hours each day in the company of women who will try to demean my clothing, jewellery (or lack of) and hairstyle, and the strongest reply I can make will be something like " I find that comment hurtful" or " I think we should just agree to disagree"

I am praying that somewhere in that 1600 I will find a kindred spirit, with a black sense of humour, and a wry grin, someone I can act out scenes from "Titanic" with ( no not the bowsprit scene you twit!) and mimic the people who pain us ( one in particular comes to mind...exiting the jeweller's room in Africa..."this bracelet was only $2400, so Flash, what did you buy Justine? did he show you how much he loves you dear?" on that trip my new friend and I became ill at the number of times other women equated the amount spent by their husbands, with love.
And Flash will be there, understanding my pain, last night when I told him about the package we had received ( oh he is away at the moment!) and that we could line up and get our photo taken doing the "Titanic" thing ( yes the bowsprit thing) and how daggy I thought it was, he was much more positive..."turn it around, make it something humourous" and he is right...I'll get him a yellow wig, and myself a stick on mustache, he can be Kate Winslet...keep posted for THAT photo!

anyway, the reason I haven't posted for a few days is that I have been sick :-( sinus, blood nose etc, and have been trying hard to take it easy and get well, don't want the whole sinus-head explosion, thing on landing, and then spend the week in bed, and had my eyes tested as GP thought I might have a detaching retina !*%@#%$ aaaarrgggghhhhh, but all was fine, just a wee floater, and I got to spend the rest of the day freaking the kids out with my "Village of the damned" eyes, as the drops kept my pupils fully dilated for 6 hours.

On the knitting front, I have started a dreaded poncho for Blaise ( she begged) out of the Cleckheaton Lala, and am knitting on the machine, a four foot long lace panel, which I will then cut and sew sleeves into, so it is a kind of wrap cardi, saw something similar in a shop on the weekend, and knew I could do it so much better...we'll see.

once again, my apologies for the negative ranting, I know I am very lucky, and blessed, and if the worst thing that can happen to me is a cruise, well I should be slapped upside the head for complaining.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Live at the Hollywood bowl!

Blaise and Maria ( my monty python posse) and I are watching a marathon, "live at the hollywood bowl," "life of Brian" and " Holy Grail", we have 2 packets of the new chili flavour tim tams ( oh yum, they should be illegal!), and a bowl full of peaches, nectarines and sugar plums, Charlotte is at work for the night, Flash is still away, I love evenings like this we can just lie around in our jim jams and not worry about housework, homework or anything else....

Oh and....I got THE job!!! yay me
I start when we get back from Singapore, I cannot wait, I hate being at home all day, I have had a nice holiday, but I have been going stir-crazy! I am blessed to have a husband who earns enough that we could make a lifestyle choice out of me being at home, but I don't want to make that choice, I am crap at housework, the house is tidy and hygenic, but not spotless, and I need to be out of the house talking to people and doing something for myself, and this way we can enjoy the other lifestyle choices we have made, like ensuring Holly doesn't have to have a student loan, at least for a couple of years. The job is a blend of everything I love to do (at work) and more, and is only a 20 minute walk away, so I don't need a car...YAY!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

boiled bag

is not what we are having for dinner, but rather the name of the fulled bag I have been making, the kids asked me what came next, and I told them that it gets washed in hot water...hence the bag's new name. It came out lovely, all boxy and snuggly. I will go up the road this afternoon to buy the embellishments for it, then post a piccie.

The job interview on tuesday went very well, I was nervous, but honest about my skills, I have learnt that self-deprecation is not useful in these situations, it was also 38 degrees, and I was in long pants, a long sleeve white shirt ( praying my anti-perspirant would live up to it's claims ) and high heel pumps that I had never worn before, the taxi driver missed the place, and because I was 10 minutes early I decided to walk 200 metres, my guardian angel must have been looking over me, because I didn't sweat and my make up didn't I have the car, as Flash is out of town on business, YAY! ( the car thing not the Flash thing)I have my second interview today, this time with the woman who will be my immediate boss if I get the job, I am still a bit nervous, because apparently the interview will be one of those "behavioural" type, where you describe examples of situations where you have had to " be assertive" or "deal with an angry client" I saw between 10 and 20 people a day, every day for 2 years, and you think I can remember ANYTHING right now! after the gym I will sit down with my notes from the qualification I did last year, and go over my case studies etc. and get my brain into work mode, I am so happy I got this second interview.

I read the NZ Herald every morning, and felt very guilty as I did so this morning, Holly failed her science scholarship exam, and I had been "disappointed" as I had felt that she did not study hard enough, even though she told me that she had, Holls is very bright, and loves the sciences, but I chose to believe the child had failed...and as it turns out, the system was the failure, the "world's top science student" ( who is a girl from NZ) failed it too. I am angry that the proper checks were not made to insure that this exam was in line with the others, all of the sciences seem to have had exceptionally difficult, poorly written exams, and very hard marking schedules, and the children were not taught some of the topics. I am sad, as we need more people in the science - related fields, and next year, many students will opt out of the sciences, to ensure they get the high grades required for scholarship and university course requirements.

Holly wants to be a secondary school science teacher, not an illustrious career, but a rewarding one, she wants to own some land, and grow grapes in her spare time, she doesn't like wine, but is fascinated with winemaking's chemical processes...( and I am sure she will grow to like it as her palate matures!)sounds like the makings of a happy, fulfilling life, and I am pissed at NZQA for their stuff-ups, she can still pursue her dream, but they have made her feel inadequate, unfairly, and that sucks.
( Holly has requested that her scholarship paper be re-marked)

Off to the gym now to hopefully get some blood pumping to my brain, my interview is at 3pm, wish me luck blogbuddies!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

what happened to monday?

thank you my dear secret pal, that was the CUTEST! card.

Flash was correct (see darling there it writing) received 3 calls yesterday, 2 from recruiters - you know the drill..."the position you applied for has been filled...however we have a great blah blah blah could you please come in and meet us" and one from a real person, who I had fun chatting with, and who offered me an interview this afternoon...wish me luck.

The husband and I attended the first night of our course last night, we agreed on "just small talk" where you learn the intricacies of the art. Flash and I both feel that we are generally fine, but both need help with chatting to his customers in a social setting, especially because we will soon be on a cruise ship ( no escape!) with 1600 of them, and he has not met most of them, so there will be a lot of "cold call" type conversations, for me the problem is that I find it difficult to initiate a conversation with someone I don't know, Flash has an incentive, because he needs to know his customers, I haven't, except from the "corporate wife duty point of view" and everyone who knows me knows that I am not a corporate wife. Holly can talk to anyone,anywhere, she bounds into the lift and says "hi" to all and sundry, we call it the"puppydog effect" her godfather is just the same, he will get on a bus for a 15 minute ride, and have a new friend at the end of it.
ANYWAY, the group was a lot of fun, we have already learnt heaps, and started identifying our own small talk behaviour, and get this, for a group of people who feel they have problems chatting to strangers, we mananged to to talk and talk!

A 100% kiwi radio station launched in NZ on sunday, apparently they are only internet streaming for NZ listeners at present but will be launching to the world soon, I am so excited I can't wait!! For a small country we have a great music culture, from hip hop to jazz to rock, think of Scribe, and Crowded House, Stereogram and Kiri Te Kanawa, and the great thing is that I am in Oz, where all the great NZ bands all end up anyway!

I have to get that piglet pattern cleaned up and posted, but for now I am going to sit down with what was Blaise's bag ( but is now mine!) and finish it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

You say it's your birthday NZ? well it's my birthday too...yeah!

Happy Waitangi Day!
why oh why can't we celebrate our great nation the way the aussie's do theirs?
food for thought, but wading into a political/cultural cesspit is not this girl's idea of a good night out, so I will leave you with that thought, and get on with describing my day...

I have always felt that the fact that I was born on Waitangi Day, meant that I was destined to be a kiwi...I was born in Gloucester, England, and immigrated to NZ with my parents and baby sister when I was almost 5, it was a toss-up between Canada and NZ, whomever offered my Dad a job first.

I hated my birthdate, it was always a holiday, often my friends weren't back from their holidays, no mail was delivered, and as the adults had a day off work, I often felt like I was missing out ( actually my Mama reminded me of all this, this a.m.!)

Today I missed my home, my turanga waewae, my pied-a-terre, my foot on the ground.

My darling husband presented me with not just a second-hand laptop, but with a Dell Latitude with XP, microsoft office pro, new anti-virus, and laptop backpack (cos I walk everywhere), and tried hard to make this day easier on my homesick self, bacon and eggs and the paper, then he tidied the house, and made lunch for the visitors, coddled and cuddled me and let me get away with chicken noodles from "simply noodles" for dinner, rather than the big dinner out which would have been too much, since it is usually shared with extended family...who aren't here.
Tomorrow I will once again be in love with my aussie adventure, tonight I just want Titirangi.
, and I am lucky to have a family who understand.

No knitting today, bought a lovely book last night, full of lace patterns, and some amazing 20s style children's clothes, went to the SSK meeting yesterday, and met even more delightful, charming and intelligent folk, seems to me that knitters are just naturally nice people. Started a fulled bag yesterday, am half way through, it is in a sage green wool, which I plied with one end of lavendar 2-20s for the base, then plain green, and then a stripe of about 20 rows, should look lovely and heathery when fulled, I will knit a row of picot holes close to the top on one side, thread cord through so that when it full, the holes remain open, and then thread jump rings onto 6 of the holes, parrot clasps threaded onto the jump rings will hold 6 decorative stitch holders, and the bag will hold the makings for a pair of socks, there, a sock bag! can't wait to finish and post a picture, hopefully the idea in my head, and the finished product will be somewhat similar!

Have a wonderful evening wherever you are, and as a dear friend said to me this morning, "kia kaha" stay strong.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Piglet is 99.9% finished!

Piglet is 99.9% finished!

I love the edging, the sweetheart neckline etc, it still needs pressing to make the sleeve heads sit properly, and some snaps sewn on...but I had to post, and do the happy dance :-) will get the child to model it when finished.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Childhood finished...

Childhood finished...

well, I have to actually sew the buttons on, but thats it. Uncle Doug ( the teddy) is too little to show it off to advantage, but he's the biggest little person we have.

since I was sitting here anyway...

thought I might as well blog, Charlotte and I have just spent time outdoors...while the 5th fire alarm in 2 months was in progress...sometimes I really miss living in a house. It is not quite 9am, and already really hot out there, I live in an air-con cocoon. Still no progress on the job front, Flash reckons I should give it a rest for a day or day, because he thinks I will be inundated with interviews in a couple of days time...I hope he is right, I just keep thinking of the big expenses we have coming up - Holly starting uni, the inescapable cruise out of Singapore, the renovating in our absence of the Waihi house...just have to let it go and believe that all shall be well.

Progress is going well on Childhood, just 5 inches to go on the hood, and then make up, I am still in a dilemma, I bought these cute as ceramic dolphin buttons, and a white zip, which is sportier than the buttons...I'll try them both out when I have sewn it up. By the way, the baby girl in question has been named "Lotte" ( they are dutch expats) Charlotte is delighted.


Ya know I just have to stop taking these tests...

this is SPOOKY....

I Am, I AM!!
I am getting a haircut

Which Desperate Housewife are you?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Re: site colour changes...

It's summer, we are having gelato :-)


A colleague of The Amazing Flash ( he has another career - breaking presentation today, trying to pump him up...go-gettum honey!!) produced a baby girl ( actually his wife did all the work...) so I decided that instead of making a little something that she would wear for two weeks ( and unlikely in this heat) I would make ChildHood, a cute wee hoodie, in the six month size, so it will actually be winter when she fits it. I am using cleckheaton "Lola" in white and a blue grey ( variation on the nautical theme as her parents are ardent yachties) the yarn is soft and cuddly, 52% wool/48% nylon, and machine washable, it has short fibres, so you don't end up with a sweaty baby palm full of lint.
This morning I completed the other front, and knitted both sleeves at the same time, if I make this again I will knit the whole body as one up to the armholes, and then continue with all peices on the needles but with seperate balls of yarn. I love the use of the snaps on the cardi using the buttons as decorations only, I used to do this with my kids clothes, but I think I may put a chunky plastic zipper in, instead.

I have not sewn piglet up yet...I keep finding other things to do...better put it at the top of the list for today.