Monday, January 25, 2010

Big Day Out

On Thursday 14th January we finished work a little early, packed a bag and headed up to Taupo to stay the night. We stayed in a hotel on the lakefront and ate dinner watching the sunset. It was lovely. The hotel was safari themed and unlike anywhere I've stayed before.

On the Friday morning we left Taupo and carried on up State Highway 1 to Auckland where we were attending the Big Day Out. We were lucky enough to be able to check into our Auckland hotel a little early (another strange room - this time because it had a 'capsule/pod' like bathroom - very strange!) and leave the car behind before training to Mount Smart Stadium.

It was packed and a little overwhelming on arrival. Too many people, too hot and too much to look at. So we grabbed an ice lolly and found a seat in the shade and took part in some people watching. It was such a mix of people - all ages and all kinds. We stayed pretty close to the main area which held the orange and blue stages but moved seats a few times depending on what was going on.

My top 3 acts were:

No 1. Muse (how could it be anyone else!) They were amazing. Lasers and big screens and guitar playing acrobatics. What's not to like?!

No 2. Dizzee Rascal - I'm a little surprised by this as was expecting to like him but not necessarily love him but he really got the crowd going and Bonkers was amazing!

No 3. Lily Allen - unfortunately not as good as I'd hoped and the sound seemed a bit off but she was still worth a watch and got the crowd going with a couple of her more daring songs!

So a good time was had by all. I was exhausted by the end of it. Between the 3 hour drive from Taupo and a hot day and lots of music and clapping and singing I was ready for my bed by the time Muse were done. We had to get the train back to the hotel which was surprisingly easier than I had anticipated and we ended up back in our room just after midnight.

The next day we drove back to Palmy stopping in Hamilton to catch up with Kelly and Michael on the way. The weather on the Desert Road was shocking (very heavy rain and low visibiloty) but we eventually got home about 8.30pm. Needless to say we didn't do much at all on Sunday over than sleep and pick up the dog from the kennels :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Strolling

It is past time for a new post methinks. The trouble is that the last one was so epic that I'm not sure how to match it. So I won't even try! Instead I will talk about this weekend and what we've been up to. Very mundane and ordinary but a nice way to document normal life.
Yesterday I started off with a little baking after a lazy start. I made chocolate chip cookies which were delicious and then had a go at making Quiche which made a yummy lunch.
In the afternoon Graeme headed down to Wellington with some soccer team mates to watch the Phoenix Game so I had a few hours laid out before me with no real plans. After dropping him off at the other side of town I decided to do a little bit of shopping on the way home. And I found these beautiful socks! Two pairs but I wore one of each for photo taking! Aren't they cute? I also bought some colourful bowls for the kitchen and some craft supplies amongst other things.
And then I didn't really do much at all. Read some inspiring creative blogs, had a bubble bath and read some magazines. The time flew by really and I couldn't quite believe half the weekend had been and gone already.
Today started with a lazy morning and my normal Sunday morning chat with my Mum.
The sky was looking grey and the forecast was for rain but I had a desire to be outside even if it meant being rained on. So we loaded the dog in the car and headed over to Ashhurst. The weather held out and it was a lovely relaxing walk.
We walked through the woods and along the gravel road and through the fields and up the steepest hill ever and finished at the cafe for refreshments. The good thing about Ashurst Domain is that a lot of the fields and paths are sectioned so we can let the dog off the lead for a run knowing he can only go so far.
One of the usual sectioned parts had some unexpected inhabitants this time. It was full of baby cows! They were gorgeous. We were a little worried about the dog with them as he had never been so close so he was kept on a tight lead and was very well behaved. The cows tended to move out of his way but as I brought up the back slowly, taking pictures as I went, they were more interested in me! This one (below) actually got so close to lick my bag and hand!
And this is the view from the top after the steeeeeep hill. For those of you that have been to this part of the world - this is actually the Manawatu Gorge in the background. A very windy stretch of road that can be hair-raising to drive!
When we got home we were all feeling rather tired about our stroll in the fresh air so we've had a rather easy-going afternoon. The Lord of the Rings trilogy has been playing on TV so we've had that on in the background between grocery shopping, folding washing and dinner preparations.
And now, it's soon to be tidy up and bed time. The end of another weekend. It's a shame. I enjoy being at home with my boys and pottering around. I'm feeling tired just thinking about getting up at a respectable time and going to work. But we have to keep the dog in food somehow :-)
It's nice to keep note of what we've been doing though. It will be interesting to look back on in time to come I imagine to see how things have changed.
And one more picture to show you. This isn't a project from this weekend but I did get around to photographing it yesterday so wanted to show it off. I am far too lazy to do this kind of work in the hot summer sun. This is the work of my lovely husband - last weekend. The mulch on the beds kept coming down to the grass and you couldn't see where one started and one finished. It made cutting the grass a little difficult. So we bought the edging and Graeme spent a few hours fitting it around the curves of our back flowerbed. I love it - think it's a nice finishing touch for the garden and makes the lawn look even better when it's freshly mowed!

And that's me for now. I seem to have got my photo taking inspiration back after a couple of months off so I am hoping I can keep taking photos to share on the blog. See you soon.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Noughties : : 2000-2009

Wow, end of the decade. This, like the end of the year, snuck up on me somewhat. I’m not sure where these last few days have gone following Christmas and thinking about it that could be said for this last year and the decade as a whole. It’s sped by. I really can’t believe that this time 10 years ago me and my friend Lou were in Scotland to celebrate Millennium Hogmanay and I met the guy that finally, this year, became my husband.

I started this list the other day and today I found all my old diaries and combed through them to get the right dates for some things and make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. It’s made me really nostalgic. I’m very lucky to have some lovely friends and family and I miss those that aren’t near me every single day. I never would have imagined in 1999 that I would be where I am now but I’m glad I’m here. It’s been up and down all the way but an amazing decade.

I wonder what the next one will bring?!

2000 : : 8 months of a long distance relationship, completed my A levels, moved to Scotland, started full time employment, almost got snowed in over Christmas

2001 : : Bought a car, bought our flat in Glasgow and got settled in, had a road trip from Scotland to Essex for a seaside holiday with the family

2002 : : Went to Crete - Greece, got a new job, went to the gym regularly, my Nan died

2003 : : Went to Gibraltar, got Dave the hamster, went for a lovely break to the Lake District, took a web design course

2004 : : Went camping in Inverarry, went to Zante - Greece, got engaged, went to Alton Towers, started book reviewing, played alot of badminton, planned our travel to New Zealand

2005 : : Sold the flat, car and most of our belongings, gave up our jobs, had an amazing leaving party, arrived in New Zealand end of June, travelled round for 5 weeks, settled in Palmerston North, bought a car, went to Brisbane, Australia to see the rellies, my Dad came to stay for Christmas
2006 : : Got permanent residency in NZ, took a Freelance Journalism course, got a permanent job, Len – my Nan’s partner died, bought our house, got the puppy, started scrapbooking, Mum came for her first NZ visit, Dad came for Christmas

2007 : : Started my new job, went to Melbourne to go to the Grand Prix, wrote a novel, got chicken pox, got Graeme on a horse, went to the UK for Christmas

2008 : : Celebrated Hogmanay in Glasgow and then went to Italy, Hong Kong and Thailand, got indefinite returning residents visas, Graeme started his current job, went to Brisbane to visit the rellies, booked the wedding

2009 : : Had a trip back to the UK to escape NZ winter, Graeme’s Gran died, finally got married