June 24, 2014

Lovely week.....

It was a great week in Hamilton.. despite the hour long wait for a cab in the rain when we arrived. Think they need to review their evening airport runs as we landed up with seven people, plus piles of luggage, in one shuttle at $20 per head. By 9pm we were cold and hungry, but walking into the lobby of the Novotel and being surrounded by All Blacks cheered us up no end. Even I was seen to grin broadly...
A late dinner and a Pinot Gris made all the difference.

It was a great vet conference.  There was a recurring theme of mindfulness, wellness and stress relief over the programme - and a great session with Sir John Kirwan had us up hugging, dancing and with a greater appreciation of how depression and anxiety can take over lives. You can read more on how JK dealt with it, and is now helping others, on depression.org.nz.

The other main theme was the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.  It seems inconceivable that we could lose antibiotics within 100 years of their discovery but increasing overuse or perhaps just misuse, could end their effectiveness very soon. Meanwhile alternative treatments, better use of sterile surgical and nursing practice instead of antibiotics and many other necessary steps must be taken by all medical people - and educating the public on not expecting them to be available for every virus. We all have a role to play.
You can read more at the NZ Vet Association site.

Meanwhile I caught up with some great friends - and although I took very few pictures, I did get Jan in her catsuit....

Big thanks as well to Louise and Mike who took me out to lunch and gave me a bottle of their latest olive oil harvest - loved catching up with you :).

The All Blacks managed to entertain the hotel with spa pool company for some lucky vet nurses, along with trips to the gym and frequent return company in the lifts clad in their towels. There were many appreciative comments from guests and overall the men were all polite, chatty and good company. A credit to the team.

We had dinner by the river one night at Ferrybank ... and lots of time and a great Gala dinner at Claudelands Event Centre.

It was good to get home for the weekend and stop for a while.
The All Blacks won.
The dogs were happy.

On Sunday we had many laughs over some brain teaser puzzles when we got together to celebrate Kirsty and Jess's birthdays from last week while I was away.
Try this one:
Be warned - it was harder to get it off the buttonhole on James's shirt after  - took the three of them while we were all helpless with laughter.

We also set up the projector and relived some old memories from Mum and Dad's slide collection. We are trying to sort out a few to convert to digital. I felt like a huge slice of my childhood in England finally fell into place again as I haven't seen those pictures for so long.  Strange to see so many young people as well - was that really us?   I felt the same at the vet conference - the people being honoured for awards were often at Massey doing their PhD's when I was a vet student - so are not much older really, but repeatedly I acknowledged to myself how old they appeared to have got. A chilling reminder again how fleeting time is.

After slow progress with all the rain, finally today, the first half of the new gutters went on to match the new roof.  It's looking great! Very happy with it.

And now it is almost the end of term.  One more week before the holidays.

I think I will go and practice some mindfulness and truly appreciate a coffee. Living in the now still the mantra.

June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th and a full moon

As I was born on the 13th, this date holds no superstitious fears for me. It is considered a lucky day for us.  I was 13 on Friday the 13th...
today - so far so good! But, the moon is rising as I write. That might be another story.

It has been an interesting week - gloomy skies, grey days and heavy rain has drenched us all and created flooding, mainly in North Canterbury, while strong storm winds have swept Auckland where Mark was working.  Jaz and the girls have been home all week in Rangiora as schools were closed out there.  It is also rare for the whole main North Highway to be closed. We had a few students stuck getting into town this week.


Huge relief to sit in sunshine today and watch things dry out again.  Having the new roof on has been great - next step the new gutters.

Poppy spent a day home with Alex this week, who is studying for his uni exam. He posted this pic - love it
Duck viciously mauled in attack. Perpetrator waits by victim anxiously awaiting recovery; most likely will re-offend. #PoppyandDuck#Toomuchfreetime

Alex taking his jelly shots to a party was also the reason for a picture I took last week - first time I think I have had this for breakfast!

Brunch...Roast pork, vege soup ( homemade), jelly vodka shots (thanks Alex Richardson), chocolate brownie (thanks Libby Stuart), and coffee. Happy Sunday 

Mid June for us is the week of birthdays - starting yesterday with Alex. Jess and Kirsty are next week.
Had a wonderful get together here - just waiting for the actual pictures to arrive from James!  We were warm and cosy with plenty of candles going, and there was wine, and Moet with fish and chips, raspberry and white chocolate moussecake, followed by Baileys.

Tomorrow will also be the fourth anniversary of Arch's death on Mt Hutt.... I still find it hard to believe. It is strange how much has changed since then - and know he never felt any of the earthquakes or saw what has happened to the city. Perhaps more importantly, it is sad that he doesn't get to see his children growing up.

Had a lovely (but totally non alcoholic for me anyway) lunch at Pomeroy's pub today to farewell the latest class who are leaving us. Great meal - lovely place. 
All the best everyone :)

and now it is Friday... yes TGIF!
I am engrossed in Diana Gabaldon's latest book and finally have time to read it over the weekend. 
The short term future beckons with more birthday partiess, some flights, a conference, All Blacks, time to catch up with many friends ... so once I have recovered from the week, survived the full moon, and caught up on everything - it will be awesome :)

Have a lovely weekend.

June 7, 2014

Making the most of the fine weather before the rain

Teams of men have been hard at work this week making the most of the fine weather after the frosts. Finally a new roof !!!  It's lucky we have been altering the front garden too so there was somewhere to put the old iron. The relandscaping of the rotten sleepers around the garden is the other major project underway.

The new matching gutters go on next week - but at least the forecast 75mm rain arriving tomorrow will not be dripping onto the roof beams - as it has done for the last 10 years. The roof should really have been replaced then!

At least the weather has been fine and a lot warmer than the week before. Haven't had to scrape the ice off in the mornings this week.  But despite the -4C mornings, it was good to have a long weekend for Queens Birthday despite the cold. I spent the Saturday with Jaz and the girls while Mark had a break in the -5C conditions in Naseby ( I think that was the high for the day!). Jaz took me out to see the Route 72 Emporium in Cust - we had a glorious shop with the girls and coffee and great food - can highly recommend it.

Rosie has adopted a teddy bear as her puppy and loves cuddling it. I tried to get a photo! She has turned into such a lovely dog and is much loved.

After a sunnySunday afternoon with my parents I also managed to get out for a scrumptious dinner at Jo's in Burnham - thanks Jo :)  Mum and Dad dog-sat the girls and I picked them up on the way home in a bitterly cold frost. Icy windows by 10.00.... was bliss to have Monday off. I don't remember doing anything significant at all - which is how a long weekend should be.

I have noticed a lot of council activity on our river banks this week  - and today we managed to check it out.  There is a lovely new path and the banks are reinforced with rocks in many places. Certainly made a change to our usual cross country style walks.

Colder weather makes our pets snuggle into the many bed choices they all have.....Poppy's main choice is wherever I am.

Poppy emerging from the blankets
 Jess likes anything meant for Poppy.
Jess stealing Poppy's basket
Jessie being Goldilocks and sleeping in the smallest bed....
 Beatrice and Rupert like their fur throws, but they also steal Jessie's bed while she is sleeping in Poppy's....

Beatrice stealing Jess's beanbag

So not a lot to write about - just enjoying some peace and progress on the house very much. Long may it all last....
Contentment :)


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