Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts from this extra day

I should be working so these are just bullet point jottings:
  • I. & I have decided that the next time this extra day rolls around, we're going to take it off work and give ourselves a FUN day that doesn't involve work or any 'should dos'!
  • I have just inherited a digital camera from the best brother-in-law ever!! Quite aside from the fact that he'll always be that because he's my only one, all I can say is 'THANK YOU'.
  • I have been out every night this week. It looks like it may continue for a bit longer as well. I'm looking forward to being at home on Saturday night though. Makes juggling appointments challenging and I've already overlapped a couple of things next week which is going to be a bit of a challenge.
  • 'Men in Trees' has started again and I. taped it for me last week, even though I'd forgotten it was on (because I was out). Isn't he fantastic?!
  • My baby sister and her hubby (see point #2) are in the country for another two and a bit weeks. Yay! Next weekend all our family are going away to a holiday house in the mountains for some together time. It may be a bit overwhelming for I. but the rest of us are fully intending to have a great time. The 5 nephews & nieces are going to get thoroughly spoilt. There will be cake and maybe even some shoe conversations!
  • I've eaten out far too often this week. My bank account has taken a bit of a hammering.
  • Gave my brother P ticket to go to the Split Enz concert and am now suffering from envy. May yet get tickets for ourselves.
  • Haven't had my afternoon coffee yet and am not sure if its a good idea as I already feel hyped up but am out tonight until midnight, minimum, so may need the kick start it will provide.
Enough blithering. Things to do, people to see, coffee to drink!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Valentine's Day

I've just realised that I haven't shared what I did on Valentine's Day. I was a flower courier person! Do you have any idea a) how exhausting it is to load & unload your car with flowers all day & b) how much fun it is to deliver the most amazing bunches of flowers to people (not just women!) all over the place?

My friend M bought a flower courier company last year and, of course, Valentine's Day is their biggest day of the year. She was looking for people to help her so I volunteered as its something I would never normally get to do and it was a whole lot of fun, even if the day did start earlier than I expected!

I stayed in town overnight at M's place and I'm glad I did as I didn't get to bed until midnight and was up at 5.15am. I was scheduled to start at 7am but a florist rang in a panic saying that they had more arrangements than they thought and we would need 2 cars to fit it all in. So at 6.10am I was standing in the dark outside a florists, helping to sort, load and check.

Then it was back to Addington Raceway (hired for the day to sort all the deliveries), unload the arrangements onto the various suburbs (tables) and into the centre of town to help pickup more flowers. 2 vans and 1 station wagon (mine) couldn't pick up all the flowers. One of the vans did two more trips to finish getting all the flowers. Some of the arrangements were massive! 12 long stemmed red roses in such a large arrangement that you could only carry one bunch at a time as you needed both hands to support it! I wrote up 44 bunches and that was probably only about 1/3 of what was laid out for collection!

Back to the raceway for sorting and then start loading up for my 1st delivery run. I ended up doing a run in the central city (Peterborough, Salisbury & Kilmore Sts with Cambridge & Oxford Tces). Completely filled my car with flowers and couldn't fit them all in of course. It was only after I'd been driving around for an hour with a car load of sweetly smelling flowers that I remembered I hadn't taken by hay fever tablets! Luckily I. came to the rescue (he was also roped in to help & ended up out Papanui way) so it wasn't all bad.

When I delivered the flowers to offices and reception desks, peoples reactions were quite funny. Some appeared to be bitterly disappointed that it wasn't for them. If a male boss was there, I often had to wait while they went and found the sweet young thing it was for so that I could hand them over directly and they would be embarrassed. All sorts of reactions. Surprisingly, I only went back to the same buildings a couple of times during the day but I did get quite familiar with where businesses were.

I. has never given me flowers. He buys me books and CDs which I really appreciate. But at one point as he staggered past me loading his car with huge floral arrangements, he did say "this is as close as you'll get!"

What amazed me was the conspicuous consumption of it all. Obviously a lot of money had been spent on these Valentine's Day flowers and of course, they were fantastic and would be appreciated. But at the end of the day I felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of money spent. I know that for the florists and flower growers its the most important day of the year but in the end, for a lot of people there is the underlying expectation that they HAVE to do it to show their loved one that they love them. Apparently the next day was unexpectedly busy for the floral couriers as they frantically delivered flowers for those people that had forgotten about Valentine's Day or who got into trouble for not doing something on Valentine's Day!

Still, to be part of it all was a lot of fun. I don't want to be a courier driver but felt honoured to be part of the occasion. I was too busy to take photos which I now regret as it certainly was spectacular.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thoughts on why I blog

Talking to my brother D last night, I realised that I'd lost track of why I'd wanted to blog in the first place. It was a way of keeping in touch with my overseas family (hi E & T) and also as a record of what I've been up to. I'd never thought it would be a place where people come to discuss politics or to straighten themselves out, it was just for me to blither in and for friends and family to read as they felt like.

Reading other peoples' blogs is always inspiring for how well they write, for what they're achieving in their lives and for how much they're prepared to open themselves up to complete strangers. That really isn't me. I've always been a very private person and even putting up photos can be a bit of an effort for me.

But I have changed over this last year. I've realised that by my not sharing my life with my friends and family I've kept everyone at bay. Someone I met recently said that the secret to making new friendships and expanding the ones you have, is to share yourself and allow them to share themselves. A very simple equation. If the equation is out of balance in any one direction, then the friendship really doesn't develop.

It can be very scary to open up to someone you don't know very well but I can see, from my experiences over the past year, that anyone I want to share my life with is someone that will honour what I'm saying. They may not agree with it but that doesn't matter. Listening and being listened to is what friends and family are for. Knowing that they understand and accept me with all my foibles and that I understand and accept them, makes the relationship stronger, not weaker.

Thank goodness for all my friends and family.


Friday, February 01, 2008

November readings - I can't believe it!

Drawing with the iGirl whilst babysitting, Dec 07

I'm completely staggered to see how long its been since I blogged. I'm an avid blog reader and I suspect I get put off putting my own thoughts down here when there are so many other, waaaay more articulate and regular bloggers out there. I know that its not a competition and that I am doing this just for me, blah blah blah, but I still feel as though I have nothing worth while to contribute.

In lieu of actual thoughts, here is the reading list from November 2007:
  • City of Light (Lauren Belfer)
  • Angels (Marion Keyes)
  • Bad Boy (Olivia Goldsmith)
  • The Dead Sit Round in a Ring (David Lawrence)
  • Icehenge (Kim Stanley Robinson)
  • Making Hay (Veronica Henry)
  • Beneath These Stones (Ann Granger)
  • Metro Girl (Janet Evanovich)
Only 8 books that month as I've been quite busy. Least favourite book: hard to decide as there were quite a few books that were completely predictable but 'Icehenge' drove me completely nuts. I only finished it out of sheer pig-headedness. I find it incredibly difficult to read books where more than 1 character is telling the story and when you space the characters out over a long time, it just (there's really no other way to say this) prolongs the agony. Don't read it. When Science Fiction is good, its absolutely brilliant but bad SF is truely horrendous.

I don't have a favourite for the month although Marion Keyes is always a relaxing read.

As a result of my busyness I've discovered something interesting that I do whenever I feel overwhelmed by the world - I sit and read so I don't have to think. I think I've always known that I do this but its only in the last couple of months that I've acknowledged it. At the moment I've reduced my reading to make sure that I only read when I genuninely have nothing else that I SHOULD be doing.