Friday, March 31, 2006

Which city do you belong in?

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.



A little bit punk rock? Er, I seemed to have missed that aspect of my character.

I do miss Blighty though.

Good thing Taupo is so incredibly like London.

Snigger.

(I hope you click the link and take the test yourself - I stole it off Gillian's blog - Thanks gorgeous!)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What the monkey?

Dear blog fans...er, well, blog readers....blog tolerants? However you would describe yourself....I am calling you dear.

So sorry for the appalling, lamentable, disgusting and flagrant lack of posts this week. Ditto response to emails/phone calls/yells through loud hailers or whatever medium you may have been using to contact me. (Note. Mime is not terribly effective as a communication tool between continents. But thanks anyway Jon P.)

There have been two very significant factors affecting this lack of blogging. Firstly the wonderful Alyn and AJ Jones have been staying with us since Sunday. And let me tell you when you have 2 people that entertaining, witty, hilarious and downright good looking in the house - it's very hard to blog. Yes I know THEY managed to blog, but that's where my second 'significant factor' comes in.

I seem to have lost my brain. AKA I have been re-located to la-la land. AKA I am away with the fairies.

Now I know compared to the shapers in my life (please note Dave, Alyn & AJ are all super high shaper personalities....the planner, organiser types who cut through problems to find solutions like aniseed cuts through flyspray. (made up that thing about aniseed because 'hot butter through knife' is overdone and couldn't be bothered to think of a clever alternative.)

Oops too many brackets let's start again.

Now I know compared to the shapers in my life I am always a little bit 'away with the fairies' purely in comparative terms. BUT this week...the fairies have kidnapped me, taken me to fairyland, dressed me up like a Mustardseed or Peaseblosson, given me a wand. Oh and my new job is collecting teeth from under the pillows of small children, and leaving a small coin there instead.

Some small examples (most of which I have probably forgotten as, plot summary, I am now a fairy with a heavy responsibility for tooth collection).

Driving AJ and Alyn for the first time. AJ points out just before I hit the gas that I am actually in reverse. This was not the direction I was intending in going (due to the wall behind me).

Cooking for Alyn & AJ for the first time. With a staggering amount of forethought (laziness can sometimes be a good thing) I anticipated that after driving to Palmerston North and back to collect them on Sunday (round trip-6hours) I would not be up to deciding what to cook. SO I had bought ready-made (but fresh) stuffed tortellini, Alfredo sauce and some veggies. All I had to do was bung it in a pan. Simple. Or so you would think. But apparently fairies have difficulty in the kitchen.

I wandered around the kitchen holding a courgette (zucchini) and a knife for about 5 minutes looking for something that I had thought I needed, but halfway through forgot what I was looking for. Then I forgot what i was doing all together and stared at the courgette in my hand with some surprise. What was that doing there? I ended up just staring into space. Still clutching the courgette. At this point Alyn came and removed said courgette and knife. Guided me to a chair. And took over.

Multiple other fairy incidents this week...but fairy brain has failed to re-call them...some were along these lines:

1) reversing car onto the wrong side of the road and wondering why everyone else on the road was in the wrong place
(only took me 3 attempts to realise why they wouldn't get out of the way)

2) Rushing to midwife appointment only to realise on arrival that I couldn't remember her name to ask for her.

3) Failing to turn up to a meeting with the Fatherheart Ministries web maintenance people. Because I totally forgot it. Forgot to look in my diary. And still had no idea when Jan asked me where I had been. (It's not like I have more than 1 or 2 appointments a week...you'd think I'd remember them)

4) There have been a travelling troupe of performing flies lurking in the house this week which have been driving us all mad. I offered chocolate as a reward to anyone who killed one. (My tally is the highest in the house at 2 dead flies - it would have been 3 but Dave took the placemat off the top of a glass of ribena where I'd trapped a fly and was waiting for it to drown in blackcurrant juice...BWA_HA_HA!). Anyway after a while madness starts to set in and you really begin to believe that your hand is quicker than a fly. That you could smash it's evil little head into the counter with your bare hand if only you could sneak up on it. Of course sneaking up on a fly is difficult, we're quite a bit larger than them. But yesterday a fly. A slow, stupid-looking fly settled on the back of Alyn's white shirt as he ate his breakfast at the kitchen counter. In a stealthy panther-like way I snuck up on the fly and (without thinking - duh, that is the point of this post) I smashed my hand onto the fly as quickly as I could.

Yep, you're ahead of me there. Predictably the fly moved and so I just ended up slapping Alyn on the back quite forcibly. Quite why I would think he'd be ok with my mashing a dead fly into his nice shirt anyway, I'm not sure. To make matters worse he'd just been choking on his breakfast and was having trouble breathing. So me sneaking up behind him and slapping him didn't really help.

Anyway this is just a few paltry examples of fairy-like behaviour from yours truly this week.

More importantly let me just wax lyrical for a few moments about how totally wonderful it has been to have Alyn & AJ here. Not only has Alyn done magical things to my Mac, solved the slowness problem (Mac, not me) ordered me extra RAM, sorted out our network problems and demonstrated iLife 06 - which is THE BOMB........BUT he has also been the most encouraging monkey ever known to mankind. Yes he deduced my levels of storge were low and set about restoring them with lots of encouraging words and appropriate side hugs etc.

Meanwhile the divine AJ, despite crippling backpain, stepped into the breach and honed my talons into something approaching an acceptable length. (My nails have been growing double speed and I wouldn't say they were long, but I could scratch the bottom of my foot while standing up). It took her about 45 minutes to saw them down to a reasonable length. And then more time to shape them according to madam's requirements (I like round not flat or square or rectangle or hexagonal).
She showed me how to set up my RSS on my Blogs. And she coached Dave at the swimming pool on how to improve his swim style.

Yes they were supposed to be here resting but spent most of their time doing us favours. That's the quality of the people, folks.

Oh and in reference to the title of the post. One of Alyn's expressions of outrage (usually at some stupid Microsoft act) and something that makes me smile. Just like them. We miss you already!

p.s just been re-reading throught this post and noted another instance of fairy-itis. Did you spot it too folks?
I wrote 'a hot butter through knife'.....he he he....back to fairyland for me.......

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Stuart!!!

WOOHOO, Mr Stuart Allan is the big FOUR OH today! Happy Birthday Stuart!

How can he be so mature, worldly wise, handsome and yet retain his puppy-dog-young looks?

(a cute puppy, not a rottweiler or bulldog, clearly)

We are in awe.

Well what can I tell you poor unfortunates who don't yet know Stuart?

He's tall and imposing with a true Kiwi rugby player's build.....yet the demeanour of a Teddy Bear.

He is in fact a Kiwi through and through, but has been living in Toronto for the past....er...7 years (something like that).

This is a considerable sacrifice - although the outpouring of the Holy Spirit considerably softens the blow. But still he has left friends, family and BEAUTY behind him. And more to the point, he suffers in a land without a single Ponsonby Steak and Cheese Pie. This is sheer cruelty to the NZ male.

Stuart is an all round great guy. He's the man you want next to you in a tricky situation. He's always got your back (and has been the one we've run to when those fancy mushrooms have hit the fan).

He's just great company. Chilled out. Knows how to enjoy himself. Hilarious.

I love it when he laughs...or better yet gets the giggles. You have to see a 6ft plus kiwi with the giggles!
He's naughty. Watch out when he has a glint in his eye!

I used to love it when he would drop by the SoM office for one of his 'pastoral visits'.

He's a big softy and a tough negotiator.

Capable, caring and contemplative.

He loves Lynley in a way that makes tears come to your eyes. (Ok I now have tears in my eyes just thinking about it).
(He once secretly arranged for them to go on a caribbean holiday....with us...and she had no idea. It was so much fun)

He throws the best parties. Cooks Dim Sum. What more can I say? Total respect!

And last but not least, apparently he is VERY good at napping.

We love you Stu!

Happy Birthday and see you soon!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hold the front page

I AM DRINKING A CUP OF COFFEE.

And it doesn't even taste like poison.

(No I have THAT taste in my mouth the rest of the time. Not that I'm, er, still complaining or anything)

This is the first cup of coffee in 8 weeks.

I am in shock.

How did it happen? Well you know the drill by now:

I had the urge. I obeyed the urge. I sniffed the coffee suspiciously. I sipped suspiciously. I broke out into spontaneous song and dance at the deep joy of being able to drink unhealthy beverages again.

Oh the deep, deep joy.

I just had to share that with you.

Also.

The BBC website today has a news story with the headline:

"Chinese micro-artist paints panda on single strand of human hair"

To which we all respond with one voice, (let me hear you say it people)

Why?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Dave!

This happy morn marks the anniversary of my dear husband's birth....just a few years ago.

It's a sunny morn so far and the mist on the river has evaporated already (which is a shame cos it's dead spooky and cool).

He's opened his birthday cards, received a couple of calls from La Familia....and sadly had to make his own breakfast. (It's too complicated and gag-worthy for me....a combination of 6 different fruit juices and some green powder called Spirulina which they claim cures everything)

A highlight so far has been a personal email wishing him Happy Bday from Lily Savage - icon of TV quiz show Blankety Blank.
(Ok, it may have been faked by Sarah D....but we're believing it to be the real thing).

Well what can I say in tribute to Davey Wavey, Caveman Dave or Henry as his mates from London used to call him?
(these are the same mates who called his new mobile phone - this was back in the day when having a mobile phone was a new thing - and told him they were from Telecom and they needed to test the reception. They then led him through a series of tests which culminated in him standing on his desk in the middle of the office to see if the phone still worked...while they laughed at him from round the corner. Ahhhh those lads....)

He's Mr Energy....the man with the plan...always dashing here and there (that's how he first caught my eye.....running past me in church)...with more oomph than an oompa loompa.

Motivated, mischevious and manly....he's just Mmmmmmm to me.

He always makes me laugh (even when I'm trying to be disapproving...hence I coined the phrase "I may be laughing, but I don't think it's funny").

Fit as a fiddle (why is a fiddle fit?)

My knight in shining armour...he's rescued me when the buses made me cry, from a potential kidnapper...and in many other ways.

A man prepared to leave his successful business, 6 figure salary and kudos in order to come and live in a warehouse with me to get our hearts sorted out.

A man born to take risks, rise to challenges and negotiate his way into or out of anything....

He's quite the guy this David Richards.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Baby does the boogie!

JUST got back from the 12 week scan...

It all began with having to drink a litre of water and then wait for an hour....without going to the bathroom.

This is pure unadulterated torture in my world.

I tried to nominate Dave for this part, as I am very much into the sharing of the pregnancy experience. He seemed to get off lightly with the morning sickness so I thought he could be the one to blow up his bladder like a huge balloon and then sit around with a pained expression on his face. But no!

Anyway FINALLY the scan bit started and there was the baby on the screen!

And the baby was a-boogie-ing all over the place. What a groover and a wriggler! At one point he was even waving one arm in the air (like s/he just didn't care). If there had been a crowd there...I'm sure s/he would have tried crowd surfing.

Anyway things to confirm: No crowd. One baby and one baby alone. PHEW.

Baby is good size, has all limbs (we saw the toes and the fingers!!!) and an excellent set of ears. (two, in case you were wondering)

I was mildly alarmed when the lady doing the scan started talking about the four arms.....

Until I realised it was forearms. Hence I can confirm I am not incubating a Hindu god.

Maybe a bit of a god on the dancefloor though.

Boogie on baby!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Batten your hatches!

We might be in a town near you in about 3 weeks time.....

Yes! Let the celebrations begin because my gorgeous and witty brother James has proposed to his gorgeous and lovely girlfriend, Christa, and they are getting wed in 3 short weeks.

SURPRISE!!!

But of the very best kind.

SO...Dave and I are hopping on a plane or 8 and coming to the UK for the wedding on 13th April. We will still be in the country for that other momentous occasion - my birthday on the 15th! Nicely timed wouldn't you say? Also happens to be the Easter Weekend...and my godson's birthday (on the 12th). Hurrah and huzzah.

And there's more....

En route to the UK we are visiting Toronto!!!! YES for five happy days we will be reunited with those we love in the land of Canadia. It's been 6 months since we left so we thought we'd take the opportunity to pop back and pay off those library fines. (Huh? No that wasn't supposed to make any sense).

So we arrive at YYZ (TO airport) Terminal 2 at 7.40pm on Thursday 6th April.

We sojourn, weeping copiously with joy at seeing you all again. We spend a ridiculous amount of time in Starbucks catching up. I finally get to satisfy my craving for a Tim Horton's bagel (honey and wholewheat with light cream cheese). We embrace you all to our manly and womanly bosoms and then we fly off into the sunset.

(Well actually it's a 9am flight on Wednesday 12th April.)

So there you have it. Several weeks to develop the mental fortitude it takes to cope with us in person...get fortituding!

I am so excited...the wedding....the birthday with friends....the Toronto visit....could it get any better?

YEY. YEY. YEY.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Breaking News!

As I type, I am eating Nutella on toast. (white toast, let's not get carried away).

I saw the jar in the cupboard and felt strangely drawn to it.

I removed the lid and took a tentative sniff with pregnancy nose*.

I DID NOT GAG!

I zealously whipped over to the toaster for the most daring meal of the last 7 weeks....

Let me remind you, people, that Nutella is definitely BROWN, not at all beige.


Could this be......could this be...I can hardly say it....could this be the return to my alma mater....?

CHOCOLATE?


* pregnancy nose - the ability to smell at 100 times normal strength all items within a 10 mile radius.

The lights are on...but nobody's home (even though I have hoovered)

So I've been wracking my brain for something to tell you. I've noticed there has been a dearth of updates on ye olde blogs in the last couple of days and I, for one, feel a duty to you to come up with something new.

Now in generating new tales to tell this is where that thing called 'leaving the house' comes in handy. Except I haven't for the last 2 days...unless you count a quick foray into the garden.

You'll be pleased to hear though that I DID manage to do the hoovering today. I wiped down the kitchen cupboards. And I cleaned the cat bowl.

Not exactly splitting the atom....but seeing as I'd been meaning to do all those things for the last 6 weeks ( I know GROSS)...I feel victorious nonetheless.

Also in breaking news...today I ventured into a radical trial of a new foodstuff.

Drum roll please......

Rice Krispies.

Yep, they're beige and they're tasteless....I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

I mean just in case you think I do nothing all day....I have actually been working, writing away at some copy for a website.

Yep, so, those are the highlights my friends.

Try not to get carried away and join my hedonistic lifestyle of hoovers and Krispies....

Maybe I'll go to town tomorrow for some REAL adventures....

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bethlehem 2 - The Return of the Census

I've just been whiling away the evening completing the NZ Census.

Yeah they have these national census things every 5 years and you have to hire a donkey and go back to the small town you were born in. If you're pregnant (which, duh, I am - where have you been?) you have to sleep in a stable. But you do get your own star which is nice.

Actually now Augustus Caesar is out of the way they let you fill the census forms in on-line. And let me tell you if you've moved between 2 countries, neither of which you were born in, neither of which you were educated in...and you've changed your job from volunteer at a church to being a freelancer working for UK client plus being another ministry volunteer in another country, WELL, it's pretty darn difficult to answer the questions. Strangely they seem to arrange the forms for people who pretty much stick to a normal job. WEIRD.

I spoke to a good friend today on the phone (for 77 minutes) who has been through the joys of labour. I mean child labour, not the UK political party. And by child labour I don't mean she employs underage filipinos to wash her socks. I MEAN she has given birth.

Anyway, she let me into the secret that it was SO unbelievably painful she was actually writhing and screaming, SCREAMING "JESUS, HELP ME" at the top of her lungs in the delivery room.

And this is someone I would consider like WAY tougher than me when it comes to pain.

Anyway, despite that I came away from the conversation much encouraged and excited about the baby.

No I did.

No, really. It's nice to talk to someone about it - makes it seem more real that it's a baby in there.

Ok, been staring at this screen way too long - yeah I even managed to do some work today. Speaking of staring at screens...sorry that The Fabulist has been out of action for so long. I've been feeling very Non Fabulous but do plan to get back on the storywriting pony soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bragging on a friend

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to our friend, Mr Charlie Newell.

For those of you who already know him, he needs no introduction.

(What is this "State the Flipping Obvious Day?")

But for those of you who aren't so lucky......we met Charlie at the School of Ministry in TO - he was a student on the same school as us. A bit of a rabble-rousing, practical-joke playing, girl-teasing, musically enhanced, poetic-souled guy. Oh and he can act too. After graduating he bought a motorbike and rode around Europe for a few months (he's from New Orleans, USA....so even more credit to him for his excellent taste in French Cheese). Then he came back to the school to be on staff for a year.

He does a great Frank Sinatra. Looks grrreeeaat in a tux. And is a romantic soul trapped in the body of a cheeky punk.

Oh and he is SO going to be famous. You heard it here first folks. Yep he is already pals with Sean Penn after being his body double in a film...and then getting a speaking part in said film. He looks intense and brooding...but is more fun than you can shake a stick at. He likes fart gags and midgets - but we'll forgive him that.

Anyway he mentioned on his blog that he was interviewed in one of New York's actor magazines and so I have been plaguing him for a copy. He emailed me a pdf of the interview and I have given YOU a link to it.

I could only have done this with considerable help from my personal MacGenius - Mr Alyn Jones. He talked me through the whole procedure, and I quote, "Ok Adele, is the lid up? The silvery thing with the little apple cut out. Is it open? Ok, can you see words and stuff on the screen. Yes the glassy type thing. That is the screen. DON'T TOUCH IT!" Ok ,maybe it wasn't quite like that...but not far off!

SO if you want to read about Charlie...click here

(Uh, I never actually asked his permission to do this....but hey....he's an actor, he's got to get used to publicity.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Do they give you a snorkel and mask...or just flippers?

So I had my first visit to my midwife today at Taupo Maternity Hospital. (With Dave. We had our first visit.)

Picture a Hi-de-Hi chalet....or a cute Girls Dorm room...and you'd be on the right track.

Nothing at all like ER. No machines or masks or George Clooney running around yelling "myocardial infarction". Apart from the lack of the Clooney (now there's a good name for a baby....) it was all quite a pleasant relief.

Also, my midwife....or widmife as I like to call her.....is THE CUTEST.

Imagine having Nicole Martin as your midwife. (Ok is this getting too weird for you chaps out there?). Awwww she is just so nice.

Although I have to say as the conversation progressed I started to wonder if underneath the smiling blondeness...she was secretly quite insane.

You see she kept talking about NATURAL birth and NATURAL pain relief. And then she went on about how WATER really helps the birthing process. And honestly I frowned a little as I was actually picturing me drinking litres of Evian while giving birth. And I was thinking to myself - "so are you saying forget the drugs...just get a few pints of water down you??? How can that be right?" I've never notices the analgesic benefits of Le Glass Du Tap Water before.

Then it HORRIBLY dawned on me that she was ALL ABOUT the water births. I mean eeeewwwwwwwwwwwww. They don't even give you a weird mis-shapen 'I'm giving birth" swimsuit. It's all natural in there let me tell you. (Boys? Boys? You ok...you still breathing?)

Next she'll be telling me that the best bet of all is sprogging forth actually in the Lake...in the middle of a triathlon....oh and drinking a few pints of it for good measure.

Yes so the next glad tidings were (and I can hear Shannon falling off her chair already about this one)...that they don't give epidurals in Taupo. Oh no! Gosh darnit...we just breathe in and out and sip water and we POP them out here in Taupo.

No, if I need any actual you know DRUGS or stuff I have to go to Rotorua which is an hour and a half away. Hahahahahaha (hysterical laughter). Yes they can give you a bit of gas and air here in Taupo - but she looked a bit disapproving about the unnecessary use of gas. She chirpily gave me some kind of statistic about how in her 12 years of being a widmife none of her patients had ever needed an epidural...and if you're properly relaxed and all (y'know by the water you're glooping around in)...you should have no problems. hahahahahahahahahaha.

Also she doesn't really believe in scans. But she will let me have some.

Nice.

In her defence she really did have the nicest gold sandals on. But is that enough to make up for a lack of epidurals?

Shannon?