Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I had high hopes when I started writing in this blog that I would add to it every day but that just turned it into a burden. I then decided to take the pressure off & just write when I felt I had something to say, which turned out to be once a week. At some point I guess I'll get the balance right.

Having a particularly yucky day today. Don't feel good and my brain has turned to mush. A client rang up about some work that I thought I'd already sent a proof for and I couldn't even find the work. Took half an hour of frantic searching and eventually found it with completed jobs. And I hadn't sent the proof! Thank goodness he had the good sense to phone & see what was happening.

So now I'm frantically working on another job that I'd said would be ready tomorrow, but then ignored. We're planning to take tomorrow pm off to potter around and do stuff so I can't even make up time then. I guess the real problem is that I'm not even feeling tense about it because I feel so terrible. But progress is being made.

The weather at the moment has been really weird. The ground is very dry and we're having to water the garden, but the days generally have a cold wind (either an easterly or sou'west) with the occasional great day. Very strange. Rock on warm weather again.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Weekend catch up

Having reviewed the few photos I took over the weekend, I'd have to say that they're not particularly brilliant. But a good time was had by all. It was very hot driving up to Lake Daniels on Saturday but perfect for camping. We just stayed at the turn off, rather than walking in the 2 hours to the lake, partly because when we're away on our Peking to Paris we'll be camping with the cars and partly because that area is renown for break-ins into cars that are left unsupervised. There was another group of walkers there who camped as well but when they walked in to the lake on Sun they left a couple of people at the campsite.

Because Saturday was so hot when I was packing, I almost didn't throw a warm jacket in but I was glad I had. I tend to forget about the altitude making a difference and there's still some snow around on the tops which means it got downright chilly when the sun went down. I think we were all in bed by about 9.30pm.

When we were packing out on Sun morning quite a few horse floats cruised in. They'd been at an endurance event in Canterbury some where and most of them were on their way back to Nelson and were using the area to let the horses out and move around. It looked as though quite a few of them camped in their floats.

We'd had virtually no wind at the campsite and even the sandflies weren't too bad. I got bitten a couple of times on my ankles but I think that was from not applying the repellent well enough. The lavender repellent seemed to work quite well and I certainly smelt better than some of the others after they'd put their concoctions on! Had a huge nor'west wind driving home - pushed the car all over the road. We decided to stop off at Hanmer Springs for lunch which was a great decision as it meant we were able to get a decent coffee (and fit in a little shopping). The wind was so strong it was blowing the pine cones off the conifers.

All in all, a great weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2005

And now its summer again!

Its a fantabulous day again - clear blue sky with a warm breeze. And its just in time for the weekend. So we're looking forward to our campout tomorrow night with friends at Lake Daniels - chosen for the size & ferocity of its sandflies. It'll be the ideal time to try out my lavendar insect repellent, bought when we visited the lavendar farm in Kaikoura on the garden trip. The boy remains sceptical about is repelling power but he hasn't smelt how strong it is yet! I may yet be able to post images of sandfly bites - something to look forward to.

Spoke to my little blister in London yesterday. Hard to imagine that she's wearing coats and scarves whereas I'm in summer sandles and raffia hats (and the bits in between!). Its amazing how much more motivated I am on warm sunny days, as long as I don't spend too long looking out the window at life going on out there without me. I have to go through to Lyttelton to do the banking shortly and I know I'll just want to join all the tourists sitting at the caf├ęs soaking up the sunshine.

Got to dash - all of sudden the phones have gone crazy with people wanting work done by tonight. Aaaahhhh - Fridays!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Quick catch up

The long weekend was fabulous. Friday and Saturday were incredibly hot - 31 degrees, but each night a front came through with amazing dark thunderheads but we didn't get any rain until Sat night. We got a lot done in the garden - mainly along the tree pruning front and filled the double axle trailer. Luckily my parents came up on Sun afternoon and took it away. There's an old shingle pit they're able to put prunings into and then burn them which makes life so much easier for us. We're trying to catch up on things that we should have done over the last couple of years which means that the hedges have got away on us. We've been cutting tree-like branches out of some of them which means that we have an awful lot of greenery to get rid of.

Today the weather is freezing. We've had to put the air conditioner at work onto heat and even then its still cool. Sitting at the computer typing with cold fingers is not my definition of fun. The forecast was for the weather to clear up this afternoon so hopefully we'll get back to our summer weather.

These photos show how fabulous our roses are at the moment. Top left is Leander, top right is Royden and the bottom photo shows how they're growing with Freisia in the middle and some Alstomeria underneath. I can see these roses from the kitchen window which is great. We've tried growing a Royden before and it just didn't "do" but this plant is very healthy and strong. All these roses have a strong perfume so every time you walk past you're almost swamped with the smell. Fantastic.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Summer's here

After reading so many blogs from the northern hemisphere I feel I have to put the record straight.

It's a fabulously warm day with people wandering around wearing their summer clothes. Most of them are still winter pasty white but everyone is looking relaxed and out-doorsy. I'm sitting here in a short sleeved top, summer skirt & sandals with a holiday weekend (Friday is Show Day) coming up and feeling very relaxed. Mostly because I've got the urgent jobs out of the way so all I've got left are my short jobs and invoicing to do. The plan is to take Thu afternoon off and just relax. I'm looking forward to it. I may just go to an outdoor cafe and sit and read and write. Who knows. Depends what comes in in the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Motivated cat

Yesterday, as I was driving away from work, I had to wait for a little black cat (probably a teenager) as it chased a young rabbit across the road and around a parked car before it caught it. The cat was completely focussed on what it was doing & took absolutely no notice of any hazards (like my car) but it succeeded. It then ran back across the road carrying the poor little rabbit which was almost bigger than it. I can only imagine that it now has it stashed some where to eat over the next few days as there is no way the cat could fit it in in 1 meal!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Back at work

Some Monday mornings there is nothing exciting about getting up and going to work but today we saw not one but TWO helicopters hovering over the high voltage power pylons dangling people in little carts off the bottom while they checked the wires. Something along the lines of the following photo that I took on dusk a couple of months ago. Now there's a job I wouldn't want!

At work there is a little sparrow family building a nest some where not far from my window. I've tried to get a photo of the busy little bodies, but they're too quick for me. Occasionally Mr Sparrow will sit on the rail with his feathers all fluffed up looking pleased with himself, but mostly they're just flying backwards and forwards with their beaks full of straw.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Brown Iris

This black bud turned into the most amazing brown iris flower. Its a named variety but of course I can't remember it.

Our iris have been fabulous this spring - even the ones that in the past haven't done so well are putting on an excellent show. Maybe they read my mind and knew that this was their last chance before I put them on the compost heap.