Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Ta Da List

Previous lists can be found here: 2008 2007 2006
In 2009 I:
  • Finally got married
  • Visited Ireland, specifically Dublin, for the first time
  • Got a promotion at work
  • Saw the All Blacks play France
  • Met John Campbell
  • Saw Kings of Leon live in Wellington
  • Saw Billy Connelly again (the 1st time was 2005 in Glasgow)
  • Decorated the lounge and dining room
  • Planned the wedding
  • Visited friends and family in the UK
  • Ate Rossi’s ice-cream at Southend seafront
  • Conquered all the scary rides at Chessington World of Adventures
  • Finally got engagement photos taken
  • Got a spray tan (without looking orange)
  • Grew my hair the longest it’s ever been
  • Visited Huka Falls and Craters of the Moon
  • Found a scrummy pancake recipe (thanks Delia)
  • Learnt to Crochet (Thanks Laura! I still need heaps of practice though)
  • Bought and used a bread-maker
  • Discovered Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker
  • Took lots of photos from planes
  • Baked muffins, cakes, biscuits and savouries that tasted good
  • Kept a holiday journal
  • Had my photo taken with a bagpiper (and Graeme’s 2 cousins!)
  • Went through the Clyde Tunnel holding my breath the whole way
  • Visited the Guinness Storehouse and had a diet coke in the Gravity Bar
  • Learnt Something New every day in September and scrapped it
  • Bought the prettiest, sparkliest shoes that receive attention wherever they go
  • Visited Kelly and Michael and went to Hamilton Zoo
  • Assisted at my first ever Kiwi Sausage Sizzle
  • Removed all the sequins from my wedding dress so it could be dry-cleaned (thanks Mum. Now I just need to find someone to sew them back on!)
  • Completed 22 of my 27 things to do aged 27 list and wrote my 28 @ 28 list
  • Took 3814 photos (a bit more than that actually because I deleted the really blurry ones as I went along)

And it was taking all those photos that helped me write this list! Without going through my monthly photos I would never have managed to get this list as long as it is. So there you have it.

Bring on 2010 and all the Ta Da's that will come with it :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blogging from the iPhone

Wow, look at me getting all technological and blogging from graemes iPhone. Shame I forgot to put a capital G for Graemes name and don't know how to go back to it without deleting the whole word though.
Not worked out how to add photos yet, that will be my next challenge!
Today I think we are heading to the movies. We are deciding between The Lovely Bones and Sherlock Holmes. Graeme is more keen to see Sherlock and I don't think I'll argue - who can resist Jude Law!
Well I better post this and give Graeme his phone back before he gets withdrawal symptoms!
Back soon and hopefully with photos!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


No not muddy, MUDDLY. Which is how I'm feeling at the moment. Got lots of things whizzing around in my head and no focus to get any of them done.
I think it's end of year-itis. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything I want to get finished before 2010. And when Kate feels overwhelmed she does nothing. Not good.

For example, I thought I'd make a start on my 2009 Ta Da list and couldn't get past Number 3. Now I'm positive I've achieved more than 3 things this year (and yes I did remember 'getting married' - that's number 1!). But I can't for the life of me remember how I've completed the previous 3 years lists (which I'll link to when I get the 2009 list completed). I think it will be a pouring over of the calendar and diary and blog posts and see how far I get.

Boxing Day is always a strange day. A bit of a comedown I suppose after the big day. We've kept it fairly low-key really. We did brave the Plaza which I didn't think was possible. It wasn't actually too bad - probably helped by the fact we went at 4.30pm when everyone else was laden with bags and heading back to their cars. I didn't get much but my husband bought an iPhone. I would be jealous but he's promised to let me play with it too. Who knows - maybe my next blog post will be from the iPhone.

So I will head back to my muddly-ness and leave you with a picture of our forever puppy - isn't he gorgeous?!

And yes, I hope to be back in a day or two with a Ta Da list.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a wonderfully festive Christmas wherever you may be.

Love and slabbers,

K, G & R


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Feeling a little festive

The christmas box has come out of the cupboard...
the decorations have been unpacked...
the twigs have come out the garage and been de-spidered...
and the christmas candles have been lit...

Things are starting to look a little like Christmas around here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

December already!

Not quite sure how it happened but it's December already. Christmas Day in 3 weeks time. Wow. Where did this year go? Who knows?!

We have the advent calendar up - filled with Thorntons chocs from the UK food shop - and a poinsettia but that's the extent of the festive decorations so far. Oh, and we bought a christmas smelling candle but haven't burned it yet.

I'm working all weekend (yuck!) so not sure how much I will get festive before next week but I will try.

We are both pretty snowed with work at the moment and looking forward to the break over xmas to rest and recuperate ready for a new year and a new decade. (Never mind where did this year go, what about the decade!)

We have the proof book from the photographers and hoping to pick photos for our album and thank you cards soon.

There's lots to do and it doesn't feel like there's enough time but I'm sure we will get through it all.

Oh and somewhere in the middle of work this weekend I have to write my xmas cards cos I'm already a week past the last posting date.

Very random post but thought it was time for an update and I've not got any photos to share but will try to rectify that over the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

28 things aged 28

(Had been planning to post more wedding mosaics but can't remember my password for the mosaic programme - hopefully will get more up in the next few days).

Following on from the success of my 27 things to do aged 27 list I came up with a similar list for my 28th birthday.
Like last year, I will try and do sporadic updates to show how I am getting on.

Here goes:

28 things, aged 28

=not done

1. Post 28 hand-written letters DONE
2. Get married – become Mrs. G DONE
3. Perfect my new ‘married’ signature DONE
4. Have a honeymoon DONE
5. Watch 28 movies DONE

6. Play Badminton
7. Ride a horse
8. Read ‘A Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley
9. Swim 20 times 3/20
10. Scrapbook our wedding photos (not scrapbooked in the usual sense but I have the professional album plus an album of guests shots so I'm calling this DONE)
11. Walk Rhett 75 times (nowhere near 75 unfortunately)
12. Capture the seasons on camera and document (Half done - I got the photos but didn't document them in anyway)
13. Give myself 50 beauty treatments (about 20/50)

14. Purchase 28 bonus bonds
15. Scrapbook 50 times
16. Keep an everyday life journal (300/365 days at least)..(I made a good start on this but didn't make 300 days)
17. Make an acrylic mini book - I bought the album, might get round to making it this year!
18. Blog 50 times - 29/50
19. List 100 things I love about myself

20. Try a new recipe every month DONE
21. Crochet something DONE - I haven't finished it bit I've definetely crocheted something!

22. Tell Graeme I love him 100 different ways
23. Have a K&G date night every month

24. Eat 365 portions of fruit
25. Choose a song per month for my 28 compilation album
26. Go on the Wii Fit/Treadmill 50 times
27. Phone a friend every month
28. Spend time each week making the house ready for company

One thing already completed before I've even posted the list. Result!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

All on our lonesome

f friends 13
Originally uploaded by Katie in NZ
The last of our guests left this morning on her way back to the UK (bye Sarah!) and the house feels so empty.
Don't get me wrong - it's lovely to finally have some alone time with my new husband (still smile everytime I say or type that) but we miss everyone so much.
For the last 3 weeks we have had at least one person staying with us and most of the time it's been much more than one.
The three of us (me, G and Rhett) are rattling around not quite sure what to do with ourselves.

So between weepy missing everyone moments I am trying to keep busy. Today I baked rolls and fairy cakes ans we watched Elf (best Christmas movie ever!)
We had some amazing fresh fish fried in breadcrumbs for our tea. This morning was the first of the Palmy Farmers Market which will hopefully become a permanent Sunday morning fixture in town. We also bought cheese. Next week I'm hoping to get some local and fresh eggs and veggies - yummy.

Will get mosaicing with some other wedding photos soon and get them posted.
On Friday we also had the excitement of access to our online album containing 397 photos by the official photographers - way too many to choose from! They are all lovely.

This is turning out to be quite random now so I am off for a bubble bath and early night.

This photo is us with all of our friends that came to the wedding.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wedding : : The Boys

: : Top to bottom, left to right : :
1. At the hotel, 2. Posing at the heliport, 3. Same
4. Arriving at Boomrock, 5. Same, 6. Waiting for the bride
7. Groom shooting, 8. Bestman shooting, 9. Posing
10. Extreme golf, 11. No garters, 12. What does a Scotsman wear under his kilt?

Wedding : : Food

: : Top to bottom, left to right : :
1. Title, 2. Starter - Beef fillet with horseradish filled Yorkshire pudding & rocket salad, 3. Starter - Buffalo Mozzarella Vine Tomato basic & proscuitto
4. Main - Snapper fillet, pan roasted with pepper provolone tapenade, warm snow pea, scallion, pear tomato & bell pepper salad, 5. Main - Lamb rump with roasted kumara, pumpkin, potato & parsnip with mint jelly, 6. Dessert - Traditional New Zealand Pavlova with Kiwifruit Strawberries & Cream

I had the buffalo mozzarella, lamb and pavlova. Graeme had the beef, lamb and pavlova. It was divine.


We also had canapes after the ceremony which were amazing. Unfortunately, we were all busy with activities and photographs when they were served so there are no photos but they were beautiful. The pakorah was my favourite :-) Here's what we had:

Lemon chicken skewers with lemon pickle
Boomrock venison sausage rolls with Maharaja chutney
Carrot & pistachio ‘pakorah’ with yoghurt & poppy seed dressing

Wedding : : Details

: : Top to bottom, left to right : :
1. Bride's bouquet, 2. Mother of Bride buttonhole, 3. Wedding cakes
4. Bride's hair, 5. Bouquet's and dresses, 6. Mother of Groom buttonhole
7. Place setting, 8. the Table, 9. Table decoration
Just some of the details I want to share here. If you have an aversion to weddings you may want to avoid the blog for a couple of weeks. If you love weddings, come back every few days and I'll try to make regular posts.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

mr & mrs

i us 17
Originally uploaded by Katie in NZ
On Monday (2nd November 2009) we became Mr and Mrs.
It was an amazingly beautiful day and we are currently over-awed by the amazing photos our guests have taken.
This is just one of them.
We will try and get more posted over the coming days but if you want to dive straight in and see them all - go here:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

27 things at 27

Well I didn't go too badly with the list as a whole.

There are some things I just didn't do but that's okay. If they're still important to me I've added them to my 28 list (yes I am doing this all over again!) perhaps with different wording or making them more measurable. If they're not important for me for my 28th year then c'est la vie - life changes and so do I.

There are also some of the mammoth tasks (i.e. requiring weekly or daily actions) where I was one or two off the total but that's alright - if I got more than 95% I'm calling it done and drawing a line under it! These last 5 weeks have been pretty different to how I had planned and I have to accept that some of these things just weren't a priority.

So out of the 27 things on the list - I completed (or will complete once I've got past the end of today!) 22 (hey - my lucky number) of the items.

Out of the 5 I didn't d0 - 2 have been ditched as they are not a priority for this next year and 3 have been reshaped and added to the 28 list.

The 28 list is only handwritten at this stage but I'll get it on here some time soon.

And I would recommend something like this - so much more fun than new years resolutions :-)

Wedding Favours

I've been busy this week organising the favours for the wedding. I decided to make origami boxes for the favours. Anything involving paper and my hands is always good!

So here they are above - the pink bases and the start of the name tags.

And below - I've now folded the blue lids as well and even made a set of tags and boxes for me and Graeme - although we will only be getting part favours...trying to keep it a surprise so can't spill too much just yet!

I've also found pink ribbon to match the flowers and ordered some black and white tartan (which I hope will be here in time!) that's the closest match I can get to Graeme's kilt. I will tie the ribbon round the boxes and then tie on the name tags. These will then be the place name settings at the table.
Gorgeous huh?!

Birthday Blog

Today is my 28th birthday. I must say it's been quite a strange birthday. Not bad by any means, just strange with everything else we've got going on at the moment!

I finished work yesterday so I could take my birthday off but Graeme was still at work today. He was also out for pre-wedding drinks with the football lot last night so was perhaps a little worse for wear this morning (!) but still managed to wish me a happy birthday and show plenty of enthusiasm for me opening my presents and cards before he went off to work.

I did well with presents and got some books, a CD, some British chocolate, a Kate pen, a gorgeous tiny plate to keep my rings on when I'm not wearing them, some British pounds and some cute heart window stickers. Lucky girl :-)

As it was Graeme's last day at work - they held a morning tea for him and had decorated his desk 'wedding style'. I went in to see everyone and must say Graeme looked very fetching in the veil they made him wear :-) I didn't have the camera with me...and even if I did I'm not sure he'd let me publish the photos!

After leaving Graeme to do some work I took a stroll back to the car via George Street which is a lovely little boutique-y type shopping street. I decided I may as well spoil myself just a little and had a stroll round the shops.

I bought a few 'nick-nacks' including this tiny K & G - sorry for the bad quality photo. I collect K & G's and have them scattered about the house! The little symbols on the G are 'Buzzy Bees' - a true kiwi icon.

I also couldn't resist this sign as soon as I saw it! And I didn't know Rhett could read but he obviously can because he has been in and out of the back door all day long. And it was raining so I had to dry him off everytime he came in! He really does have ants in his pants at the moment. I think he is picking up on my slight anxious/stress/worry-ness that's in the's all getting a bit close now and I am feeling a little restless myself.

And finally - here's the freshly dusted and reorganised mantle piece with my birthday cards. They're not all here yet - apparently there's a couple more on their way over with my Mum.

And that was my 28th birthday :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1 more day left at work

I can't quite believe it. After tomorrow, the next time I go back to work (I hope!) I will be married.

Gradually getting more organised and slowly ticking things off the list.

Feeling yucky tonight though and in need of some sleep so this is going to become possibly the shortest blog post in history.

Hope to be back with photos tomorrow.

Night night.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In two weeks time...

We will be Mr and Mrs. How awesome is that?!

I really wish I could add more words and photos to these last few blog posts of my 27th year but as you can imagine - there is much to be done.

Tonight we have been making changes to our ceremony and I have been making origami boxes for the wedding favours.

And our first guest arrives on Saturday (Princess Louisa) - I have her airport sign - which she requested months ago all ready for her arrival - complete with glitter glue - it's classy, let me tell you :-)

The picture is of my beloved fairylights in a basket with collected shells and pebbles and the ornament was our wedding present from Graeme's Gran and Grandpa. It seems right to have it out, twinkling next to the lights and ready for our guests to arrive and the big day to take place.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

7 more to go after this one

On my list of 27 things to do aged 27 (it's not up to date by the way - I'll do a conclusion post once I'm no longer 27!), number 19 on the list was to Blog 52 times.
I have to blog 7 times after this post to complete that goal. And it's my 28th birthday on Thursday so I have until Thursday to do it.
I also have to walk the dog more times than there are days left and also finish my 28 list so I'm already to start on Friday with that one!
Wish me good luck :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

He's Home

...and sleeping off the jet lag after being smothered with hugs (of course)!
So good to have all our feet on the same piece of ground (or carpet) and to be operating in the same time zone.
And next on the agenda is a wedding...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Looking Forward

I promise I will consider going back to the Holiday in Review posts at a later date but at the moment I am trying to focus on the future and the things we have to look forward to.

Namely, this time in 3 weeks, fingers crossed, I will be Mrs Graeme ;-) (by the way - that could very well be the most amount of commas I have ever put in one sentence!)

Graeme is on his way back to NZ as I type and I cannot wait to wrap my arms around him and give him the biggest hug ever in the history of the world. I have a fortnights worth of normal hugs to give him let alone all those ones I was desperate to give when things were tough and we both needed it.

It's been so strange in the house without him. Me and Rhett have been wandering around aimlessly quite a lot - both expecting him to be here somewhere and then remembering why he isn't :-( But we have lots of great family and friends sending messages and emails and tweets and all sorts of things that keep us smiling. And we have some great locals nearby as well.

So yesterday (Sunday) we took a walk down the river with our neighbour and his dog Ramses. Rhett was most excited about riding in the back of the ute and had his head stuck off the side the whole way looking at where he was going and breathing in all the fresh air. (Can you believe this is the dog that once used to be sick just looking at the car?!) We walked for over an hour and a half and it was nice to be out in the air and watching the dogs sniff everything in sight and go paddling every now and again.

By the time we got home and washed the stinky water and mud off Rhett I managed to snap a quick photo of us both enjoying the long awaited sunshine while Rhett smelt nice and before we both collapsed to relax after our eventful day :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Graeme's Gran

Graeme with his Gran & Grandpa at Loch Lomond, July 2009

I’ve been debating all week whether or not to mention what has been happening these last couple of weeks and have finally decided that it’s the right thing to do.

Graeme’s Gran – Margaret – died on Friday 2nd October.

After the news came that the doctors could do nothing more for her we got Graeme on a plane as soon as we could. He arrived in Glasgow on lunchtime on Thursday 1st October and was able to spend time with his Gran before she died. I am so thankful that he was able to get there in time to see her and so grateful to her for waiting to see him.

There is so much I could say about Graeme’s Gran. She was a strong person with a huge personality. I think the words from her funeral service describe her well so I will let them do it for me:

Margaret was a person of great warmth, faithfulness, encouragement and love. She had a good sense of humour and a quick mind and she enjoyed life. People, especially the family and close friends were very important to her and she went out of her way to support and help them.
She had a great interest in knitting, gardening, cooking and baking - and she had a knack for ‘sorting things’ when people had problems. She loved all sorts of music, she enjoyed travelling and visiting places and finding out about the history of wherever she was.
She had her own ways of doing things and encouraged others to work the same way. She set high standards for herself and others.

One of Margaret’s requests was - that those who are able to - to give blood as she had to have several transfusions during her treatments. So please do so if you can.

She will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just Because...

Because there are 70,000 things going round in my head right now and I haven't had a minute to sit and sort through the Ireland photos to do my Dublin post let alone any others.

But I just had to get some photos off the camera to email to a friend and I saw this one and it made me forget the 70,000 other things and smile.

And perhaps you need to forget some stuff and smile too...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe for Malteaser Tiffin (Fridge) Cake

A brief break in Holiday in Review posts. I haven't got my Dublin photos organised yet but wanted to post something :-)

While we were in Scotland I got this recipe from Graeme's Gran. I tried making it recently and it's amazing!

It is very sweet and even I (Queen of Sweet!) can't eat more than one piece at once. I took some to work and they loved it so much they all wanted the recipe.

Here's what it looked like in my baking tin....

And here's the recipe....


  • 100g margarine (I used butter and it worked fine)
  • 3 tbsp syrup
  • 150g milk cooking chocolate
  • 225g digestive biscuits, roughly crushed
  • 225g malteasers, halved or crushed
  • 400g white or milk cooking chocolate


  • Melt the first 3 ingredients, then add the biscuits and malteasers.
  • Mix well and spread over a swiss roll tin.
  • Cover either with melted white or milk chocolate.
  • When chocolate is set cut into squares.

My notes:

  • We couldn't find milk cooking chocolate at supermarket so it was standard plain cooking chocolate and it was yummy but the milk might go better with malteasers.
  • I put the tin in the fridge to set but kept checking on it and before the chocolate set hard I made cut lines which I think made it easier to cut up. It was a bit tricky getting the first bit out of the pan though!
  • 550g chocolate is a huge amount - we only got about 500g or just under and that was still plenty to give it a thick chocolate top.

Enjoy and do let me know what you think if you try it :-)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Holiday in Review - Part 2 - Scotland (part 1)

After arriving in Glasgow on Sunday evening (26th July) we got a good sleep but found ourselves awake at 5am on the Monday morning! Isn't jetlag great?!

We took it easy on Monday and caught up with family and visited Graeme's cousins new school (the same primary school that Graeme went to which has been rebuilt on a new site since we were last there). The jetlag was still evident that night because we were asleep by 8pm!

Tuesday was a brilliant day. We headed up to Loch Lomond Shores with Graeme's Mum, Gran, Grandpa, Aunt and 2 cousins. (Hi Nicole and Emma!)

It was reasonable weather and lovely to look around the shops there and take in the sights of the loch. We also took a drive round to Balloch Castle and were surprised to see it all boarded up. But we were still able to walk round the grounds and right down to the loch side to take lots of pictures and admire the scenery! We finished the day off with fish and chips from the chippy and Balloch which we sat by the river and ate before all piling back in the cars to head back to Glasgow. All in all a lovely day.

Wednesday was Graeme's Mums last day with us before flying back to Bristol that night so we went for a family lunch and got some family photos before dropping her at the airport. It was sad to say goodbye but great to know the next time we see her will be in New Zealand when she comes out for the wedding! On the way home from the airport we stopped in at Pollock Park which we used to visit alot when we lived in Glasgow and took an evening stroll to admire Pollock House and the gardens.

On Thursday we headed back up to Loch Lomond with Graeme's cousins to pick up a wedding present that we had ordered on the Tuesday. Graeme's Aunt, Uncle and Cousins had bought us a beautiful print of Loch Lomond in Autumn by Daniel Campbell so we drove back up to collect that and had a great excuse to have an ice-cream by the Loch! We had a great laugh with the girls in the car and after heading home to cook dinner for Graeme's Grandparents we took the girls to Braehead shopping centre to hunt out some bargains!
On Friday we got the train into town and met some friends for lunch (Hi DJ and Craig!) - yummy Chinese! It was really good to see them - felt like ages since last time (December 2007).
I used the excuse of being in town to do some shopping and got a few things. Probably the most shocking thing of the whole holiday occured on this day. I went into Borders/Paperchase and DIDN'T buy anything. I know, crazy huh?!
That night we headed over to Shawlands and caught up with Alan and Lindsey in the pub which was good. I had a big surprise when I bumped into Terry and Gordon who I worked with way back in 2001 and had a good gossip with them about what they've been up to!
So that's the first 5 days in Scotland. Next post will be aboout our couple of days in Dublin and then we were back in Glasgow for a night before heading down to Essex.
In other news - I'm just back from a weekend in Auckland with work. Life is back to being hectic once again! We are currently trying to get a lot sorted with regards to the wedding, tidy up house and garden ready for our guests and work is set to be fairly busy for both of us. Here's hoping for a lay-in sometime after the wedding :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holiday in Review - Part 1 - Getting there

So it's been a while. Mostly due to the fact we were away for almost 3 weeks and it's taken me over a week to catch up on sleep :-)
Before that, my only excuse is too much excitment at the prospect of a holiday and seeing family and friends to sit down in a chair and type a post - pathetic eh?!

Anyway - I have plenty of photos and a few words to share - a review of our time away. I don't want to bore you in one sitting though so thought I'd split it up a little for you.

This time - you get an idea of our itinerary and news and photos from the 30 hour journey.

So we said a fond farewell to the dog and headed round to Palmy for our 6pm flight to Auckland on Saturday 25th July. We managed to get to Palmy just in the nick of time to check our bags all the way through to Glasgow (handy!)

We then had about 4 hours up in Auckland before our international to London Heathrow via Hong Kong.

The flight wasn't too bad. We managed to get some sleep (I think I got about 4 hours in the first leg and none on the 2nd). I watched 'He's Just Not That Into You', '17 Again' and 'Monsters Vs. Aliens' plus some episodes of 'Two and a Half Men' and 'The Big Bang Theory'.
The food was okay, I stayed clear of alcohol and popped my homeopathic No Jet Lag pills every couple of hours.
We were surprised to find the shops at Hong Kong shut when we arrived at about 6am in the morning. Okay, I realise it was 6am but I just figured a busy international airport like that would be open round the clock.
It didn't matter too much though - we sat ourselves down and watched planes and people and the hour and a half wait flew by.

We got to Heathrow about 2.30pm in the afternoon and managed to get through security and customs without too many long lines or hassle.
The coolest thing was being able to switch our mobiles on as we taxied in and my phone beeping with messages from actual friends and family (not just the standard text from vodafone UK) welcoming us to their timezone and checking if we had arrived yet! I called my Mum from a payphone at Heathrow - pleased to call her at a reasonable time for once and we mooched round the shops to kill some time.
Then we headed down to the BMI lounge to wait for our flight to Glasgow. Honestly - that's when I started to wilt. I was half asleep on a typically-uncomfortable airport chair when a message was read out calling a list of names of people flying to Glasgow. I couldn't be sure but I thought perhaps I had just heard two completely new and previously unheard pronounciations of our names so we headed over to the desk. Turns out since we had checked in (back in Palmy about 28 hours or so before) the plane type had changed meaning our seats were invalid.
I thought I reined myself in quite well here because at this point - 28 hours into a journey with about 4 hours sleep - I was ready to scream and cry if someone told me we weren't getting on that flight.
But it wasn't a message to say we weren't getting on. They actually told us they were upgrading us! They must have taken one look at us and realised we needed reclining chairs to get some sleep! An upgrade on the longer journey would have been preferred but I wasn't going to complain and soon we were sitting on big leather chairs that could recline almost to the point where we were laying straight!
Needless to say we slept most of the flight - even declining the free meal (with real china, glasses and cutlery) in favour of keeping our eyes closed.
I did manage to wake up in enough time to get some photos of Glasgow as we landed though. And we managed to wake up pretty quickly at the excitment of seeing family we hadn't seen for over 18 months!

Graeme's Aunt met us at the airport (and it was strange seeing the new layout and security measures at Glasgow - brought home exactly what had happened since the last time we had been at that airport) and we loaded up the cases and headed over to Graeme's Grandparents house. It was so good to see all the family and we sat in the lounge and chatted. And then Graeme's Mum landed (from Bristol) about an hour and a half after us and she turned up too! We managed to last until about 9pm catching up with everyone before we wilted and had to make our way upstairs to catch some zzzzz's :-)
Next post - a summary of what we got up to in Glasgow and Scotland.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Oamaru and other news

Oamaru Whitestone-pola
Originally uploaded by Katie in NZ
I love Oamaru (not worked out links via Flickr 'Blog This' yet...
It's just gorgeous - between the penguins colonies, beautiful whitestone and knick-knack shops I am in heaven whenever I visit.
I was there mid June for work and took this photo.
And no, I haven't somehow miraculously got my hands on a polaroid camera. I've been playing with Polardroid - you drag and drop your photos to it and it turns them into a polaroid complete with polaroid quality! Cool huh? (

What else is new? Hmmm, I finally got round to cutting some flowers from the bush in our garden and putting them in wee glasses on the fireplace. They look gorgeous - haven't got the photos of the camera yet but will try and post it soon.

It's been chilly as here. Winter well and truly but the good news is that winter solstice has passed so the nights should be drawing out.
Not long now until we spend some time in the UK and Ireland with friends and family. I can't believe it's July already.
And it's less than 4 months until we get married. Wow - so much to do before then. We are almost sorted with rings and I am hoping to sort out my wedding dress this week. That's most of the big things at least half sorted. I am sure it will all come together in the end.

And I've been doing lots of baking: muffins, biscuits, cheesy crumbles and fairy cakes - all rather yummy I do have to say. It means that we know what ingredients are going into what we're eating and also helps warm up the house when it's chilly!

Be back with more photos soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mt. Taranaki (aka Mt. Egmont)

Originally uploaded by Katie in NZ
Trying out my Flickr 'blog this' button to see how it works.
This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when I drove over to New Plymouth for work. It's a 6 hour round trip so I was pretty tired by the time I got home. The views were pretty awesome though. A beautiful snowy mountain to drive towards in the morning and then this view in my wing mirror as I drove home. And yes I was driving when I took this shot. And yes that tiny little point in the wing mirror is the mountain :-)

Blogging from a new location

Worry not - I have not moved. I am right where I should be. Just blogging from the laptop tonight rather than the PC. The reasons for this are 2 fold:
1) The PC is so slow lately it's driving me up the wall and 2) Graeme's poorly and watching Lord of the Rings in bed so I am cosied up next to him watching Lord of the Rings with one eye (which is closing firmly at the bits that scare the living bejeezus out of me) while blogging at the same time.
This does mean I don't have my usual access to photos but hope to upload one or two through Flickr so you won't be too bored by my words and will get some visual goodiness.

It's been busy as usual round here but we've been enjoying ourselves. Graeme turned the grand old age of 29 on the 20th so we headed off down to Wellington for the weekend. Primarily to see the lovely All Blacks who were just as awesome as you would expect them to be. They may not have won the trophy but it was still an amazing feeling to be in the same stadium as them. We got absolutely soaked and chilled to the skin but it was so worth it!

We also got some wedding bits done and are pleased to report that we have chosen a celebrant so we have someone to marry us in November. That's a relief, let me tell you. As much fun as it would have been to have Lou ordained to marry us, I would quite like it to be official, thank you very much.

Well the batteries going on the laptop and Frodo's debating whether or not to throw the ring in the fire so I will call it a night for now and hope to be posting another update soon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Signs of Winter

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. I keep meaning to sit and find some photos and get them posted but it's been hectic. We have both been very busy with work and hardly saw each other last week. It's settled down now - for a week at least - so I thought I would make the most of being at home and near the PC to post!

I have already started writing my 28 @ 28 list (in the same vein as my 27 @ 27 list which can be found here and one of the things I have added is to capture and document each season. I love watching the changes of the seasons and often take photos but have never documented them or done it with any regularity.

Of course, I am too impatient to wait until my birthday to start doing this so I have already started taking pictures of winter (it will probably be document one of the seasons on my 28 list). I have dotted a couple of the photos through this post.

I am lucky enough to do a lot of travelling and flying with work which is how I got photos of Mt. Taranaki and Mt. Ruapehu with snow on them. Aren't they gorgeous? Totally makes me wish I could snowboard or ski to make the most of them. I also recently bought some fingerless gloves which I thought captured winter well. I have been printing the photos when I order others to be printed and will probably turn them into a mini scrapbook.

So that's what I am up to at the moment. As well as arranging a UK visit, my wedding, a mass invasion of family and friends, working and a hundred other things! Busy is good though - I get more done when I'm busy.

And I hope to post sooner next time so you are not waiting so long next time :-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ten Things Right Now

Lists are the way forward...

1) I just downloaded Coldplay's free album for fans here

2) In 9 weeks time we will be in the UK (local time)

3) We are going to see the All Blacks play France on Graeme's birthday

4) I am wearing a blanket over a hoody

5) I love our newly decorated lounge more each day

6) I watched last week's Grey's Anatomy on TVNZ On Demand tonight and sobbed most of the way through it

7) We had lamb and roast veggies with couscous, natural yogurt, flaked almonds and mint sauce for tea tonight

8) I can hear Graeme on the Wii Fit (between Coldplay tracks at top volume!)

9) I ran out of hayfever meds on Friday and my eyes itch like nobody's business. Totally going to doctors tomorrow.

10) My hair is getting super long and I like it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Something new - video blogging

So much easier than a large flowery description and a gazillion photos.
Here's the lounge:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Flickr Mosaic

This was lots of fun...
Here it is on my Flickr account with credits for the photos.

Here's how it works:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Pick an image you like.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Katie
2. What is your favorite food? Tiramisu
3. What high school or college did you go to? King John School
4. What is your favorite color? Pink
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Rob Pattinson
6. Favorite drink? Starbucks
7. Favorite dessert? Tiramisu
8. What you want to be when you grow up? Content
9. What do you love most in life? Love
10. One Word to describe you. Crazy
11. Dream vacation? Around the World
12. Your flickr name. Katie in NZ

Now consider yourself "tagged" if this looks fun to you!
(Discovered here:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A New Zealand Great

G and I just spent too long (and too much of our bandwidth) watching clips of comedy shows on YouTube. We eventually ended up at this clip which G had seen before and recommended.
It's awesome and we think it just sums up kiwis rather well. Take of that what you will :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Note: I wrote this post yesterday (Thursday 19th April) and it was longer than this one now but Blogger ate it and I thought it was lost forever. Surprisingly it was in my drafts when Blogger allowed me to log in again today so here it is. It's not in it's entirety - there were a couple more paragraphs at the end but I am looking at the positives here (see below :-) ) and just grateful that 85% of it remains!

That title has been coming out of my mouth fairly often this week. It does not even deserve a capital letter as it's a negative noise and I need to get over myself and perk up.
I think I am becoming more kiwi as the days go by. I hope, in some ways, I am. That laid back attitude and ability to pick yourslef up and get moving right along is something I admire hugely...given the right situation.

So apologies, my little blog, for neglecting you. I've been meaning to swing by and pay you a visit and leave you some words but it just hasn't been happening.

Here's an update:

Decorating is on to Plan B....possibly even Plan C by now.

The stripped walls in the lounge are un-smoothable. No amount of sanding is ever gonna get those suckers smooth. So we are looking at getting it skimmed. Which means tradesmen. And waiting. And being stood up. Do these people not want my money?! Luckily, NZ tradesman are a better breed than some others I have met. The one that stood me up at lunchtime called back an hour after I left a 'where are you?' message with his receptionist and apologised. We shall now be getting up at an ungodly hour tomorrow to see him before going to work. (You can guess how grumpy I will be if he doesn't show this time can't you?). The one that didn't call me at 8pm last night as promised called at 8pm tonight instead - again with apologies and will be coming to quote on Saturday.
Once we know how much it will cost we can determine if we will have a redecorated lounge anytime soon or if we will be facing gibboard and wallpaper paste marks for the next few years.

The good to come out of all of this is that the dining room is painted. Two coats thank you very much. All good (we didn't have to strip wallpaper in there as it was in a decent condition). Now we just have to clean up the skirting/cornicing and we will be good to go.

Work in progress photos are generally being put here. I am too lazy tonight to wait for Blogger to load them so you will have to click to view this time :-)
And the hunt is on for a rainbow chandalier similar to this one. I may have convinced (heaven knows how) G that it is a good idea and I want to get moving before he has a chance to change his mind. I also ordered curtains and blinds today too. Because we can't sit here with the old ones pinned up with drawing pins forever.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Busy Bees

Wow - what a week. It's been a busy one that's for sure. Between us we spent 4 nights away from home (2 each) and I drove about 800kms. We've tried to spend all weekend catching up on....sleep, housework, washing, home cooked meals, each other, decorating, TV and the list goes on.

Hopefully this week will be a little easier. No overnights this week and with Easter Friday it's a 4 day week. Never have I needed a 4 day weekend more!

The decorating isn't going as fast as we would have hoped. We are STILL stripping wall paper in the lounge. Must be about 75% done now. Then we need to sand, prime and finally paint.
We've picked the colour and are trying to sort out new curtains. I think it's fair to say we won't be finished over Easter as was the original plan. But we are definitely planning to be done by the end of April as it's starting to get colder and stripped walls make me feel cold!

And while I was away I found a gorgeous throw at half price in Oamaru which should fit well with the new colours. It will be perfect for adorning the back of the couch ready to drag down for napping and reading on a chilly weekend afternoon.

Speaking of weekend season has offically started with G's first game taking place yesterday. They have Easter weekend off and then it's back into the regime of Saturday afternoons. All good for me - I have the perfect excuse for doing girly things like painting my toenails, watching chick flicks and scrapbooking.
Wedding plans are coming along nicely with a few RSVPs and guests booking flights over the last few weeks. We have the photographer booked (and engagement prints ordered and on their way to us...engagement photos nearly 5 years after we got engaged!) and have chosen the hotel in Wellington where we will stay the night before and night of the wedding. We're also getting there in the way of flowers and a cake.
The only thing that we haven't made any headway in and that I am slightly worried about is a celebrant. Anyone reading this able to recommend a great celebrant in the Wellington region?
Hope to get round to a Wellington and also a South Island post soon with some photos and links for soon-to-be guests.
The photo above is sunrise taken on State Highway 1 between Dunedin and Oamaru on Thursday just gone. Makes the early starts and time away from home worthwhile :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kings of Leon = Awesome

We saw Kings of Leon at TSB Arena in Wellington last night and they were amazing!
I was so giddy with excitment that at first I struggled to take photos...
but I managed to get a couple of good shots (as did G when I passed the camera to him).

Highlights were: Sex on Fire (obviously!), On Call, Use Somebody, Knocked Up and Charmer but the whole thing was pretty good! They were on stage about 90 minutes and the atmosphere was pretty good.

We have been spoilt by Barrowlands and Carling Academy in Glasgow and tend to find other music venues very poor by comparison but Kings of Leon put on a blooody good show and the sound was fantastic!

We also squeezed in some wedding stuff including staying the night at the hotel which we have chosen to stay in the night before and night of the wedding. It was lovely. We signed the contract with our photographer and paid a deposit (eeek - things are becoming real!), found a good idea for wedding cake and spoke to a really nice florist. Things are coming along exactly as they should.

Hope to be back tomorrow with some photos of Wellington and the hotel.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reinventing the lounge

Warning - this is a picture heavy post. Probably the most amount of photos I've ever attempted in one post. Hope you can see them all (there should be 11).

So calling it redecorating would just be a euphanism. It's bloody hard work so I have decided 'reinvention' is a better suited description of what we are trying to achieve.

We moved in 3 years ago at Easter (how did time go by that fast?!) and at the time said we were pretty happy with most of the decor but we wanted to paint the lounge and dining room soon. Soon is now!

I used a very tecnhological way of determing when we should start by working out that the actual painting would take the longest so a 4 day weekend at Easter would be the perfect time to do this (now I hope to god that the painting will take half the time of the stripping or we could be here all year). Given our rather hectic schedules over the next few weeks and the fact we are both spending a fair amount of time away from home we decided this was the best weekend to get the stripping done.

The wallpaper has to be stripped because it isn't in a fit state to be painted over (not to mention how many coats would probably be required to cover up the orange...sorry, I mean terracotta).

That white strip is where I demonstrated to Graeme the unfitness of the paper by peeling it easily away from the wall. Oh how I wish the whole lot could have been that simple...

So we started stripping yesterday at 11am after our first trip of the weekend to Bunnings where we bought scrapers and a tiger (for perforating the paper to help the steam/water/whatever you are using to soak into the paste to make it easier to remove) and a new mailbox (possibly to be mentioned in another post when it comes out of the garage and gets put where it's supposed to be!)....

Look at those pretty swirls.

There was a point yesterday where I decided this was a fine enough pattern to remain on the walls indefinetly.

We started with the tiger swirls, a sprayer filled with hot soapy water, the scrapers and our bare hands...

It was a slow and painful process.....

and an hour or so later we ended up in Bunnings for the second time.
This time to hire a wallpaper steamer.

which moved things a little faster but still not quite as fast as we had hoped. We did continue to make steady progress (and managed to fit in a Starbucks break with some friends before getting back to it late afternoon). The only thing getting us through at this stage was listening to music DVDs at top volume (Muse and Travis in case you're interested)....

It felt like we were never going to finish this one wall. We made a pact to finish it before we went to bed and put on a Bill Bailey DVD when the music DVDs finished. And at just before midnight we finally made it...

By this time I had developed "the claw" where my hand was stuck in the position of holding a scraper and it hurt to stretch it out. We went to bed exhausted and wondering if we could get away with just leaving it looking like this forever.

But with a new dawn came new enthusiam and so this morning we were right back to it and make a fair bit of progress on our second wall...

We only had the steamer for 24 hours so it had to go back at 1pm today. We still have a long way to go but we've made a good dent in it.

We bought some wallpaper stripper to try on the evenings we are at home this week and then will probably hire the steamer again next Sunday and hopefully have it finished.

We got coffee on the way home and sat down to look at our achievements...

There is one member of the household who is quite concerned with our antics...

He can't work out why we are making so much mess and why his bed is in the dining room!

Hopefully I will keep snapping pictures as we get further along and I will be back with some more photos and updates as we go along.

The exciting bit is that we actually bought some tester pots today so we can start playing with colours ready for when we can actually paint our chosen colours on the walls (which will be after an undercoat goes on).