Friday, March 31, 2006

Quick update

I haven't mentioned the car tour we were on last week at all and not because it wasn't a lot of fun, because it was. We travelled with a fabulous group of people and a good time was had by all. A bit much of the precipitation occurred which caused a few difficulties as we were tenting. Or rather, we planned to tent but actually only spent 1 night in it as we got cheap accommodation on the other nights.

But this is what we came across as we were leaving home on Wed to go to work for the morning before leaving at lunchtime. (Leaving work at lunchtime is ALWAYS a great feeling.)

Anyway, it turned into this:

There was a huge steam engine rally on in the weekend and I guess that they were ensuring they got there in plenty of time.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The sun is out . . .

and all is right with the world. We've just had 10 days or so of cloudy, cold, drizzly, horrible weather and this afternoon it suddenly cleared up to clear blue skies. Unbelievable. I'm no longer cold and my fingers work now as well.

Just now when I went down to clear the mailbox, there was a guy leaning on the wall at the bus stop playing a harmonica and it sounded great. It made me think of holidays for some reason. Unfortunately the parcel that my little blister (Hi E!) has sent over hasn't arrived yet but I live in hope.

This happened Tuesday outside work (no-one injured, just cups of tea required) but you'd have to wonder how you can swerve off the road and hit a lamp post on a straight stretch of road. At least the pole didn't fall across the road. But it is only 50km there and the lane is really wide so it was quite an achievement. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this building is great for the built-in entertainment opportunities.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Playing with photos at Lake Rotoiti

I mentioned in a previous post how great I'm finding it having a digital camera. This is part of a series of photos I took on my walk around part of the lake where I just experimented.

Its always been said that the closer in to your subject and the more tightly focused you are, whether its photography or anything, the better the end result. So I played around with this concept with these dead trees in a rock slide and yes, my favourite photo is the one of the tree against the blue sky.


My brain is too full to write anything reasonably coherent but holiday tomorrow. Yay!!

-• Every day there's a fantail that visits the stairwell of the building checking out all the cobwebs and dead insects. Today he's bought a buddy along and they're both hanging off the light twittering at us as we go past.

-• Had a unannounced fire drill this morning, just as we'd all made ourselves our coffee. So of course we take our mugs with us but then get told off by the 'expert' as we'd taken longer & its dangerous to take our drinks/food with us in case we spilt them and someone slipped over. He didn't mention anything about the fact that we were standing outside in a howling (OK, slight exaggeration) southerly and were freezing.

-• Thank goodness for pain killers - the headache has now dulled to tight band round my forehead, instead of the thumper that it was.

- The view out my window is gradually decreasing as the weather closes in and it gets all misty/cloudy. But how great is it to have a view at work?

-• I've managed to completely trash my office over the last 9 days of work and I think I am actually going to have to take some time to put everything away again or I could get lost in here.

That's all I'm capable of today.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Weekend just disappearing in a flurry of work

After the last couple of great weekends, I'm really struggling to accept the fact that I've had to work all weekend. Its my own fault - procrastination is the bane of my life. I now know why I do it but it doesn't help when I've procrastinated and am now desperately trying to catch up by using all my spare time at work. Its a temporary situation only because it will all be over by Wed lunch time one way or another! I mean that the work will be done one way or another.

Apparently procrastination often arises because one wants to do a perfect job and as a result, one finds it difficult to get started until you know how its going to pan out. I always thought that in my case it was laziness but apparently not necessarily. Sounds much better.

A side effect of all my procrastination is tension - shoulders, stomach, tension band across my forehead. Not a lot of fun. Plus I've lost my ability to multi-task which is a real asset in my work. So at the moment I'm just working on one thing at a time and have this constant feeling of fighting fires on every front.

But I know that Wed lunch time it will all be behind me because I'm taking the rest of the week off to go on the car tour. Once I'm in the car and driving north, life will be good and as the miles roll by, the tension will ease and the furrows in the brow will decrease.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

All work & no play!

Work is all I've done this week, or at least, that's what it feels like but if I review the week, I've actually been pretty lucky.

Tuesday morning my mother came and picked me up and we drove to Akaroa for morning tea! (There are some benefits to being self employed, which include having to work until 9.30pm last night to try and catch up from all the time I've had to take off lately but that's by-the-by.)

Anyway, Akaroa — I hadn't finished setting all the route for the Marathon next weekend so rang Mother up to see if she was up for an adventure. That in itself is a fairly safe bet but scheduling is always a problem in her life as she's a very busy woman. So, 8am departure from Leeston, very cruisy drive over with minimal traffic. The hardest part was finding a café that was open with food at 10am. Ended up in Ma Maison Deli which provided excellent muffins and lots of locals cruising through.

Then on up onto the tops to set the missing portion of the route. The views from the Summit Road are just stunning. Everyone on the tour should enjoy themselves. We then cruised back round Lyttelton Harbour and had lunch at work. All very relaxing. Mother had to head off (getting ready for a meeting - what a surprise) and I tried to settle down to some work.

But then I get a text message from my best friend from secondary school to ask what time we'd be getting home from work as she was on her way!! I'd muddled my days and thought she was coming to stay Wed night (apparently I. knew the plan and it was me that was confused) so had to race home and rescue her off the side of the road because we hadn't left a spare key out!

I didn't feel that S. and I talked a lot but according to I., we did. He bailed and went out to potter in the garage for a fair portion of the evening and then went to bed early. S. & I had a great time. She didn't have to meet her mother until midday so I came in to work with her and we pottered about the city, finishing with coffee in Lyttelton which was really pleasant. Its not something that she gets to do a lot of living out in the country and she seemed to enjoy it.

But it meant that 2 days in a row I was very late for work, which meant that I couldn't mess around here because of the guilt I feel because this isn't "real" work! Still got lots to do so had better go do it, instead of procrastinating which I'm very skilled at.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Adventurous Driving

Well, we covered a huge mileage this weekend - all in the name of classic motoring! I'm one of the organisers of a classic car group and we've got a car tour coming up next weekend so I. and I spent a fair proportion of this weekend out and about designing a route for participants.

We travelled on good, bad and indifferent roads and met the same sort of fellow drivers. I must admit I'm a bit more of a nervous nellie on shingle roads since our accident last year when our car got written off but some of the driving we saw over the weekend was APPALLING. For example, the guy in a ute that had a huge load of firewood that we had to follow for over 1/2 hour because he insisted on driving in the middle of the road, swerving out of the way of oncoming traffic. I suspect he never actually saw us but at one point we could have passed him on the left he was so far over to the right.

Another example: when driving on narrow roads, the courtesy is that downhill traffic gives way to uphill - except of course, if you're in a 4WD vehicle. Then, you don't have to show any road courtesy and can barge your way through. Followed by all 3 of your mates. Then when we were going downhill we met 2 4WD's towing trailers so we had to back back up the hill to find a place to pull over and let them past.

Other than those sort of examples, we thoroughly enjoyed our driving. Some of the roads were truly great and everyone should enjoy driving them and the views were fabulous. At one point we pulled over, looked back down the coast to the south and looked out over Lake Forsythe, Lake Ellesmere, Kaitorete Spit and the sea to the mountains in late afternoon sun. Fantastic.

This was the skyline as we drove out of Akaroa on our way home after eating fish & chips on the foreshore.

We had more motoring fun on Sunday as we had our club AGM. We'd decided that we needed to bribe people to come to the meeting so put on coffee and cake but still didn't get a brilliant turnout. More for us though. But the setting was great. We went to Terrace Downs which is a golf course and resort up the Rakaia Gorge. I'd never been there before and its great - you look out over the golf course and river to Mt Hutt and the Plains which just looked beautiful yesterday. I could have moved in.

With all the driving we did over the weekend, look what happened:

The poor little Alfa clocked 30000 this morning on the way to work!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A couple of photos from the weekend

This photo shows what a fabulous morning it was at the head of the lake in the weekend. I didn't even get mauled by the sandflies - the lavender oil repellent must work and at least it smells a million times better than all the others I've tried.

The following is a self portrait shadow photo! I had a lot of fun playing around with the camera that morning - I tried all sorts of things that I wouldn't have attempted if it hadn't been a digital camera. The delete button is a great invention.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Another wonderful weekend

I can't believe its been a week since I posted. Where does time go? My paternal grandmother always used to say that the older you got, the faster time went and I certainly believe it. I can remember as a child that the summer went forever, as did the school day!

We took this weekend off and headed up to Lake Rotoiti for the Antique and Classic Boat Show - we don't have a classic boat but thoroughly enjoy watching people messing about in them. We took our boat up with us but the wind was mostly too strong all weekend to get out on the water.

We managed to go to the head of the lake on Sunday morning where Ian fished unsuccessfully for trout - he only saw small ones and I walked & messed about with the camera, which I left at home on charge so photos will be forthcoming later. But when we returned to the camp at lunchtime, a strong southerly had come up and when we came round the corner (which was only about 1/2 way back) there were huge waves and whitecaps!!

It turned into a real slog to get back to the foreshore. We were both drenched - I had water down my back AND front. Luckily the sun was out so as long as we stayed out of the wind when we got back we managed to dry off. Good thing the local community was selling food as a fund raiser - when you're wet and cold, nothing beats sausage and salad in a chunk of french stick with home made lemonade. Lovely.

Tonight we go home to a trashed house as we were both tired and hungry when we got home so just emptied the car and boat onto the living room floor without sorting or putting away. Not the signs of organised people I'm afraid.