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bad boys for Christmas!!

Posted on Mon 7 April 2008 at 12:55 - 1 Comments - Link

Just had an email from Shane (eldest son)  - there is a strong possibilty that Mark and Darren  (middle and youngest son) might be coming out for Christmas!!

That would just be so bloody great!!.  I know it's not definite yet but just the thought of it at the moment is enough to buoy me up a bit!!  I can't wait for them to make some definite plans so that I will know for sure before too long.


We went up to Plimmerton and rode this afternoon - it's beginning to sound like this show may well be happening.  It's a 'cross-jump' apparently - one round that includes both show jumps and cross-country jumps.   They offered me the chance to ride in it as well and initially I was going to.  And then I thought that it really needs to be for Melissa.  I feel it would take away from her day if she felt she was competing against me in some way.  And then it turns out  I will be working anyway, so I didn't have to make a choice.  No, this one is for her and I'm still so hugely impressed with their thoughtfullness at giving her the opportunity.  It's the kind of thing that restores your faith in human nature. 

And talking of Plimmerton, this is the shore there.  I started a blog entry 2 days ago, downloaded 3 photos and then managed to lose them somehow. I was so ticked off, I couldn't be bothered doing it again at the time.  However, in a better frame of mind now, so doing it again!!

And this is the inlet at Whitby.  Neither are super-fantastic but just to have places like this in my daily life, make life more worthwhile.


Right, offski!!

Things to do and people to phone - look out it may be you!!


The Cup Diaries {4}

Posted on Sat 5 April 2008 at 07:56 - 0 Comments - Link

Dennis enjoyed his trip to Rotorua.  I think he was taking a quick mud bath somewhere in the background of this photo of Lisa, Melissa and me.......


{that's me, [Shane No1 son!!!] and Dennis!}

Ayway, Dennis was looking for a holiday job with a bit more bite...........

but backed off rapidly from this one.......!!


Enough of dennis though.  The weather is changing rapidly here, it seems like Autumn now and the clocks change tonight.  I have the log burner on for the first time since moving here - not because it is freezing but because it is a miserable, dank day and I thought it would cheer me up a bit.  Well, I managed to light it first time, which impressed the hell out me and then proceeded to hugely overfill it.  The heat it has been throwing out is fantastic and it seems to be heating the whole house.  I will have to get some wood delivered as I bought a little bag today and it cost me $7.  That might last me 3-4 days so I'm sure it must be cheaper to buy it and bulk and stack it on the front deck which is completely overhung by the roof.


I went on some generic orientation earlier in the week.  Again, I find myself echoing that 'don't look for logic in New Zealand'  thing.  I have been employed here since December and they finally think to put me on orientation?  I'm not saying I think I know it all but this would have been far more useful when I first started work.  The one thing I have picked up on was the contingency planning in case of an earthquake.  I knew that Wellington lay on a major earthquake fault but I didn't know there was another that ran through Porirua as well.




It's obvious once you look at the way the hills fold up on themselves and as you drive along past Tawa on the motorway (dual-carriageway to us Brits!), you can see it lies in the fault-line.  I decided to start getting my earthquake survival kit together and went out and bought a big plastic container with a lid and a 20 litre water container.  Both are now sat in the kitchen with nothing but cat biscuits in them but at least I have made a start!!


Sharon and Katherine (who own the horses up at Plimmerton) have mentioned there is the possibilty that Melissa could ride one of their horses at a show next weekend.  For me, it is the kind of thing that only happens in litlle girl's horsey fiction books, so I am again, deeply impressed with their generosity.  Even if it doesn't happen for whatever reason, the fact they offered her the opportunity fills my heart.  Thank you.  Melissa was beside herself when she first found out.  Unfortunately, the rain has been coming down in stair-rods today, so we didn't get the chance to go up there.

And I will keep you posted with that one.

Home again

Posted on Mon 24 March 2008 at 10:55 - 0 Comments - Link

The girl is back and now watching a DVD as I wanted to watch one last night and now we can’t seem to get the TV back on……..damn technology!!

(EDIT:  a judiciously placed phone call sorted out the DVD/TV problem nicely........thank you for that!)

I worked every day she was away apart from today.  And today was glorious, so I was glad to be off.   Although we are technically in Autumn, it was a beautiful day.  I went down to the bridge in Whitby, where the inlet comes round and sat on the grass there for a while.  Not quite the beach but still the sea and slightly closer than any of the beaches.  Again though, I sat there and felt at peace with the world:  I just wish I had taken the camera so you could all see how bloody stunning it is round here.  It’s gorgeous the way the hills fold in ripples like a piece of silk haphazardly thrown down. And the way the houses on the inlet are perched willy-nilly on the hills.  Melissa takes umbrage at the untidyness of the communities here but I like the way that houses just seem to be strewn about rather than in nice neat little rows with handkerchief gardens in perfect symmetry.  It brings a deep contentment to my soul to live here.  I won’t willingly move away from here.  And as the house is sold and I can make my own choices, I don’t see a move back to Britain ever happening.  Once my year’s lease is up in this house, I would prefer to move to Papakowhai (about 2-3k down the road) as it is closer to work and more convenient for school but I’m not going to worry about that yet.  I’m going to enjoy the next few months then start looking for somewhere else in October/November.  There is the chance that the owners of this house will choose to stay in Australia and I may be able to prolong my lease but I’ll cross that one when I come to it.


I saw a man rescue a child that had gone out too far into the deep water channel.  No big drama – he just raced along the water’s edge, then charged through the shallows until he was only about 10 foot from the kid.  It must shelve steeply at that point as he wasn’t far off at all.  But there must be some current there as he seemed to be there for ages until someone else gave him a hand.  No-one even seemed to come and claim the child (seemed to be about 10 or so), so goodness knows what kind of parental control was going on there.  But all’s well that ends well.


Scottie has taken in her first lizard – well, the first one that I am aware of anyway!!  Lord knows what I will find when I move from here:  a strong possibility that there will be little corpses under all the kitchen appliances………ugh!! 

She took it into the bathroom and it did that little sinuous wiggle that they do so well and promptly hid beneath the door.  It was pretty funny watching the cat trying to extract it from either side but not being able to do so until she nudged the door a bit.  I took pity and rescued it, much to Scottie’s disgust.  Sulked for days she did!


I went up to Jac & Adies the other night and I love their new house.  Thank you for inviting me people and really good to catch up with you again.  I feel a house-warming coming on!!


The Cup Diaries: entry 3

Denis decided he had better get a holiday job, so asked the chaps at the Zorb in Rotorua if they could find him anything.  He got on really well with the team as you can see!!

Lisa and Melissa enjoyed the Zorb thoughoughly as did Shane - to the degree he went 3 times and managed to blag the last one free........as the chap who took him up the hill in the van has Scottish roots.........say no more mate!

However, Dennis felt a bit seasick and didn't think it was the job for him........he fancied something a bit wilder....

Tune in for the next enthralling episode of the cup diaries.........whew.....cliffhanger ending or what!!!!

The Visit

Posted on Mon 17 March 2008 at 08:13 - 0 Comments - Link

Well, they have been and gone.

A fortnight simply wasn’t long enough.  I had to work the first few days, so Shane would drop me off at work, drop Melissa off at school and then they headed out and about locally.

 We had a big party on the middle Saturday and loads of the ex-pats and my colleagues turned out.  It was so nice of them to make the effort to come and say hello to Shane and Lisa.  I spent all day cooking and had so much left over, the freezer is still full.

 Then on Monday, we headed up to Taupo for a look about and then on to Rotorua.  We spent 2 nights there and a small fortune on accommodation and sightseeing.

 Then off to my favourite place in New Zealand – the Mount.  Well, Papamoa to be precise.  We booked into a sea-front chalet and the view was stunning. 

Met up with a few ex-pats en route – again, thank you for your hospitality Caroline and nice to see everyone.

I don’t really want to dwell on it too much as they headed back on Saturday.  I dropped them off at the airport, saw them properly checked in and ran away.  I couldn’t  sit there for the last half-hour in case I burst into tears, and I so didn’t want to do that. 

Fantastic to see you both, hope you had a good time.  Like I said, can’t go on too much in case I start greetin’!!

I will elaborate on the visit via the cup Diaries: much funnier and less painful that way!!

The girl goes to Hamilton for Easter.  I will be working nearly every day she is away, so that ought to keep me busy.


Cup Diaries: entry 2

Dennis wanted to see the sights of Wellington, so started off with some Tex-Mex food at Coyote.  He met Maz for lunch: we had to hang about waiting for him to do his chat-up lines.  He didn't pull though, so decided he would have a walk about.  But as you may imagine, he isn't built for walking, so took the cable-car up the hill.

The Cup Diaries: entry 1

Posted on Thu 6 March 2008 at 05:33 - 1 Comments - Link

Many years ago, about twelve to be precise, my middle son Mark got a ‘Dennis the Menace’ cup with an Easter egg in it (for Easter, funny enough!).  He treasured that cup and hated letting anyone else drink out of it.  So of course, it had to be done.  I used to take immense pleasure in using it because it would really wind him up.  “Mam, dinna use my cup’  “Mam, pit that doon the sink’ or just a growled ‘MAAAAMMMMmmm – dinna!’  Endless hours of fun.  He kept it for years.  Once he started working, I was even known to phone him up at work to let him know I was using it.  I once made the mistake of going on about how the stuff in the airing cupboard had to be folded perfectly:  all the towels folded a certain way; all neat edges; all tidy piles; all arranged meticulously.  I went in there one day after using his cup and found everything in a heap – he had revenge at last.  But I never told him how annoying it was, just ignored it and it never happened again.  When I last went to Scotland, it had to be done yet again:  out came Dennis the Menace from the back of his cupboard where he had lovingly stored it as it is past it’s best now.  And he had to rise to the bait, just couldn’t help himself.

WELL, when Shane arrived – there was Dennis the Menace in his suitcase as requested.  Mark was less than impressed when I phoned him up to tell him….and he’s 22 now!!   “Maaaaaaaaaam – send it back now’ was the gist of it.   He sent Shane a rather crude text berating him for his complicity also,


This is the beginning of the Cup Diaries – Dennis is sick of being shut in the cupboard and has come to visit. 

So, let’s kick off with Dennis bowling!!

Cheers Mark!!

They arrive tomorrow!

Posted on Sat 1 March 2008 at 08:45 - 3 Comments - Link

It was September 06 when I last saw any of my sons, so you can probably imagine how I feel right now.  Dammit, just typing that has made the tears well in my eyes and I didn't know it was going to happen.  My heart is full to bursting: it's a difficult emotion to convey.  The sheer pride I have in all my children, how the boys have matured into well rounded adults and made me feel so incredibly lucky that they are mine.  Boys,  I miss you loads but I'm happy in the knowledge that you are carving out lives for yourselves and seem to be making a damn fine job of it.  Always know that I love you.  Shit, crying again........I guess it's the anticipation of Shane's visit - that and the fact that the other 2 phoned me up this afternoon - which made it 3am  in Scotland!!  Bad, bad boys!! 

But it has been absolutely pissing it down here – please Lord, don’t let summer be finished as Shane and Lisa are here for a fortnight!!  I’m working tomorrow, then round to pick the girl up from the horses, then off to the airport.  I have no doubt whatsoever I will be crying as soon as I see them on the tarmac (note to self: don’t wear make-up as it will be smeared down face before they get in the terminal!) Today was meant to be a day of cleaning but it’s not that unkempt, so I have done very little.  And what I did do, I did with the accompaniment of my new CD’s – Marylin Manson, Nirvana and Linkin Park  - I’ve had a cracking day!!  Stereo jacked up to the max – a veritable wall of sound – I could still hear it over the hoover, the washing machine and the waste disposal!! 


I had a really crappy day at work on Thursday – got punched in the face by an irate patient.  I just didn’t see it coming so I am a bit annoyed with myself that it happened.  Not to worry, he punches like a girl but I have bruises from his knuckles on my chin and a bit of a fat lip.  C’est la vie, I guess and chalk it up to fate.


I went to yet another housewarming yesterday – I’m so loving living here!  A good mix of social events: some with the expats and some with my colleagues.  Not only that:  we got a lift with other work-mates so I didn’t even have to drive.  When you do all the driving, it’s just so good to not have to for a change.  Lavi – you’re a star!!


Nothing new with the bad kitties, apart from the fact Melissa and I have just given them flat tops in honour of Shane’s arrival.  Anyone else do that?  Trim the end of the tail off just above the bone so that it looks like the tip of a paintbrush with a nice……..well……..flat top!!  I have done it for years with every cat I have ever owned and it makes me smile, so it’s all good!

Well done that man

Posted on Wed 27 February 2008 at 08:56 - 0 Comments - Link

I want to tell you about Danny.  Danny (and his wife Donna) have been a huge source of support to me since I moved here.  Fantastic people who deserve the best that life can offer. 

On Sunday, Danny was taking his son to play cricket and headed off over the Rimatakas in the car.  He was one of the very first people to come across a serious accident.  A motorcyclist had come off his bike and was in a bad way.  Danny got out and helped for 40 minutes at the roadside, by the sound of it saving the chap’s life.  The biker (although extremely unfortunate to be involved in an accident) was lucky to be first aided by Danny, who is a paediatric nurse and another man who turned out to be an A & E nurse.  They kept him going right up until the point he was put in the ambulance. The fire crew and Police thought they were doing such a good job, they left them to it and did what they needed to do instead.  Despite his many injuries, they kept with it and as the ambulance pulled away, the crowd that had gathered broke into a spontaneous round of applause for the first aiders.  Well done that man – I’m proud to know you.


I am running out patience with BAAAAD kitties.  Every time I think there is nothing worse they can do, they prove me wrong.  Lord help me, I think New Zealand will become a barren wasteland devoid of all lifeforms smaller than the kitties shortly as most of it has ended up on my living room carpet.  Poppy brought a live mouse in the other day and let it go in the kitchen.  I yelled at her and she picked it up and stalked off - if indeed a cat can stalk with it’s mouth full of mouse, climbing through a catflap!   But Scottie kitty takes the prize this week.  Melissa woke me up at stupid o’clock 2 days ago.  I thought she had come to tell me she wasn’t well but no, Scottie had brought a live bird into her bedroom and then let it go.  She woke the girl as she clambered over her head in a fevered attempt to get it down off the curtain rail.  I had to get a towel and throw it over the bird to get it down.  There seemed to be a lot of feathers and bits of flesh in the hall but the bird (looked like a little sparrow) seemed unscathed.  We shut it in the spare room for a while and it started cheeping so we took it out the front door and it flew off.  But there was a fingernail sized piece of flesh and many feathers in the hall, which leads me to the conclusion that there must have been more than one.  I know it is a cat’s nature to hunt but dear me, could they not wait until a respectable hour of the morning to do so?  No sodding consideration for others!!  I will return the favour by getting up at 3am this morning and turfing the pair of them out with the aid of a large bucket of cold water – let’s see how THEY like it!!


Only 4 days until Shane and Lisa arrive!!

 WOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!  I have been counting down the days  at work and they all know how many days left!!  I made them all come and look at the band’s site on the office computer today: 


and tomorrow I am going to take in the copy of ‘The Northern Scot’ with an article of the band in it………God: I’m relentless!!

Can’t wait!!


Posted on Thu 21 February 2008 at 08:15 - 2 Comments - Link

During the C&R training the other day, I managed to get my upper arm pinched between the instructor and another member of the course.  It now looks dappled!!  Bastards!!  I have a big bruise in the middle with lots of little ones radiating out from it.  Put that together with the numerous little bruises all over my arms and I look like a sodding leopard……..

But the course itself was really good.  I spoke to the co-ordinator about becoming a trainer and he sounded quite receptive as they have only 1 woman trainer.  I think it gives  female staff confidence in their own abilities and strengths to be taught by another woman – well, it does me anyway.   I’m not tall or particularly heavy at the moment but once I get a hold, I don’t tend to let go!! They will be recruiting at the end of March and he told me to hand in my CV, so I rather think I will!! 


The course finished early yesterday, so I raced home and managed an hour on the beach at Plimmerton before getting the girl from school.  The weather is still beautiful and it was like a stolen hour: an unexpected gift; a simple pleasure.  It’s not the most fantastic beach in New Zealand but I still find joy in going there.  To be able to jump in the car and be there in 4 minutes without having to plan it like a military operation is great.  As I have stated many times before, being by the sea is good for the soul.  I sat on my little blanket on the sand, book in hand and felt so good about life.  I think sometimes we miss out on the simple stuff like that.  We get so caught up in the daily grind and the stress of bills, work, finances etc that it is difficult to take the time to sit back and appreciate what we have.  The sun was beating down and the beach was empty apart from me.  The tide was coming in and the lapping of the waves was mesmerising.  It replenished me.  I left there feeling ready to shoulder my burdens again.


We went to a school barbeque yesterday.  Met up with some of the other parents and expats and it was such a beautiful evening weatherwise.  I found it strange though that a school ‘do’ should be selling alcohol.  It appears to be the done thing here.


My phone rang earlier and I was very surprised (and delighted) to hear one of my colleagues from Hamilton on the other end.  It really made my day that he should think to phone.  He was at work so I got passed round a bit!!  It’s nice to know they haven’t forgotten me and wanted to know how I was doing.  I missed one of them, so he texted and I caught up with him as well.  Thanks people, I appreciated that.



My Aunty Mary is in hospital, recovering from an operation.  To all who read this and are planning going to visit her, please tell her I hope she feels better and give her a hug from me.  Lots of love and get well soon.



Parties and ponies

Posted on Mon 18 February 2008 at 07:18 - 0 Comments - Link

We haven’t been up to the horses much over the past week as I have been busy at work.  But we did manage to get up there on Saturday morning and mess about a bit – grooming and poo-picking etc.  I tell you, Melissa and I would win medals of there were such a thing as the 2 man poo-picking tag team.  There are 2 scoops and 2 spade/hoe type jobbies.  So we take in turns to shovel like f**k while the other one runs and empties the scoops.  We have it down to a fine art now – anyone up for the challenge???  There was only one horse available for us to ride so being the kind, considerate parent that I am, I let Melissa ride and I had to run beside her.  The bridleway down to the area is incredibly hilly and I was buggered by the time we got there.  And we were on quite a tight schedule due to other plans so I sat down for about 10 minutes while she did some jumping and then had to clamber back up the hills again!!  But she made it up to me by cooking noodles for breakfast, which I ate in bed the next morning:  see: life is about compromise!!  And then off to the horses again at 3pm that afternoon, for some more messing about.  They let Melissa ride their stallion, which I was very impressed with.  She only rode him in the tiny school but he is very docile when there are no mares about.  I think she was very pleased with herself about that and had a glow of satisfaction about her when she got off.


On Saturday, we also went to Simon and Louise’s housewarming party.  There were so many people there!! It must have been very gratifying to have so many turn up.  Great party – thank you for the invite and for the company and conversation.  Quite a few new faces for the Porirua Posse – again, widening that group of friends you have outside work is always a good thing. 


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week was ‘calming and restraint’.  This will be my 3rd 5 day course in 3 years since qualifying (today and tomorrow making up the last 2 days).  Each District health Board in New Zealand works to the same general principals but makes up it’s own course and things may vary a bit, unlike the UK, where it is meant to be exactly the same wherever you go.  So I feel quite familiar with it now.  I’m not saying I think I’m perfect: far from it!!  I fumbled one manoeuvre so badly that I sat back on my arse with the male instructor’s face just about buried in my crotch!! God, was my face red!!  Don't know about his though!!  I certainly feel a lot more competent and confident about using C&R on the ward now.  In fact, I know they are looking for more people to help run training sessions and one of the instructors made a passing comment about giving it a go.  I don’t know how long it would take me to get competent enough to teach it but I am seriously considering pursuing that one.  Bruised to bits as usual following it though.


Lilaine phoned last week and we were back on the theme of how good it is to have family on the same side of the world as you.  Someone who could, if needed, be there with you in a couple of hours.  Someone you could dissolve into tears on without feeling stupid.  Someone you wouldn’t have to explain everything to.   Someone who used to play in the same playpark and go to the same school.  Someone who knows what the ‘Doonie’ is.  Lilaine coined the phrase mac-whanau, which I think is just brilliant.  I will use it;  I will use it a lot!!


And so she did.  I have just ‘adopted’ my 3 newest colleagues who are just out from England.  Carl reminds me of my middle son Mark, even though he is about 6ft tall and Welsh………just something about him that is ‘Markish’…….  So I couldn’t leave the girls (Kirsty and Suzanne) out could I?  So I now have my own little mac-whanau.  I invited them round here last Thursday as we are all on the same course together, then fed them chilli  and beer.  A good time was had by all and they came with me to the housewarming and met the rest of the posse.  I know it can be a bit daunting being the newbie so hopefully they will settle in well and enjoy living here as much as I do.

Scaling new heights

Posted on Sun 10 February 2008 at 08:41 - 0 Comments - Link

Poppy kitty has been a right little pain in the arse over the last few days.  We thought it was time to do the routine flea treatment, but as I had flea powder, I couldn’t be bothered going out and spending more money on the stuff you apply to the back of the neck.  So we gave her a bloody good dusting with the old flea powder.  But the next day she really had the shakes as she had been licking it off and had obviously ingested it.  We thought that really, we ought to wash the rest of it off in that case.  She is usually very placid and loves attention, so we thought a bath wouldn’t upset her too much.  Well, were we ever wrong………  We got her in the utility sink and bathed her gently with warm water.  Her little paws suddenly seemed to turn into hands as she grabbed for everything within reach, narrowly missing pulling the iron down on her own head.  So we put the shampoo on and she went mental.  As it was still in her fur and we couldn’t leave it on, we thought the best idea was to stick her in the shower.  With further ado, we bunged her in the shower and I stood on a chair to rinse her over the top of the shower cubicle.  You know how tall a shower cubicle is?  She launched herself up the side of it and I thought she was going to take my face off in her attempt to escape the water.  I felt so guilty but had to keep going.  She has forgiven us now though and is up to her old tricks again.

She came in with a bird the other day, which luckily the girl retrieved and it flew off none the worse (hopefully!)  I thought if I typed in ‘bird most likely to become extinct in NZ’ and googled it, the sodding thing would pop up!!   As it happens, it appears to be a silvereye:


So then she really excellled herself and comes home with a lizard!  TWICE!!

Most likely to be these:


But I’m not 100% sure.  Wasn’t doing any barking by the time we found it……..


The girl has been at pains to make sure I tell you all she made tea on Friday.  She wanted to make meatballs.  And so she did.  And they were nice.  And very much appreciated.  When you do all the cooking, it is nice to have someone else do it once in a while.  Well done that girl!!  And she washed up today as the dishwasher is broken yet again.

She started back to school on Thursday of last week and it seems to be OK so far…………….


And I need to tell you about Porirua.  It doesn’t have the best reputation of all New Zealand cities but I feel so at home here.  Possibly because there is a high concentration of immigrants perhaps?.  The fact that a huge proportion of them come from the Pacific Islands doesn’t really matter.  The fact stands that we are all immigrants and that makes us all equal. 


and Whitby:


I love living here.  I feel accepted and part of what is going on.  I think it helps that I works with so many Samoans as that has helped me understand their way of thinking and general mindset.


Anyway, enough from me: you all have things to do and reading this doesn’t get them done!

lovin' it!!

Posted on Tue 5 February 2008 at 08:02 - 6 Comments - Link

I am so loving it here.

I dropped the girl and her friend off at the cinema the other day and went to pay some bills and do the grocery shopping.  Having 10 minutes to spare, I did the Kiwi thing and got myself a coffee and sat outside in the sun.  It was another of those 'I live here' moments'   They catch you by surprise and make you think about how much you have achieved.  I sat there on a bench in the middle of Porirua shopping centre, sipping my (excellent!) coffee and felt amazed at how fantastic it felt to be there.   I know full well that Porirua is considered to be the main base of the Mongrel Mob but I just felt so at peace with the world: a vindication and validation of my move here. 

And again later that day:  Melissa and I were out trekking on my new found friends' horses.  We were at the top of a rise and the scenery was laid out in front of me for miles.  The sun was shining, we had spent the afternoon doing something together that we both derive immense satisfaction from.  It was glorious.  It engendered one of those moments that come so rarely - a complete sense of peace with the world and satisfaction that touches your soul.  Couldn't ask for any better.


I have been on holiday for the past week but I will be back on Thursday, after Waitangi Day.  I like working weekends here as my colleagues usually stop by the market on their way in and buy something for breakfast!!!  I have eaten some strange stuff since coming here - but Hey!!, I have subjected them to my baking so it's been a fair exchange.

They have some odd ideas about food though.  Deep fried bread....they must have some affiliation with scots there!!  Sweet bread rolls dipped in coconut ceam, bread rolls with pork baked into them.  

And apparently, the scottish shop in Tawa sells scotch pies!!  Now, if they sold macaroni pies, the girl would be in seventh heaven!  But we manage well enough as it is, so we can live without them.  Shane has promised to make tablet when he is here, so really looking forward to that as well.


I had some friends come over on Sunday.  We had a quiet drink to celebrate the house sale.  Thanks for turning out people! 


And for those who find themselves in dire staits: thinking that life has come to an impasse; a standstill; a desolate wasteground where once stood everything you held dear;  that things will never get better;  believe me.........there is a whole wide world out there,  just waiting for you to grasp it.  If you had told me 4 months ago I could feel as I do now, I would probably have cried.  But it's out there people, just waiting for you, so bear with it and hopefully it will turn around for you as well. 


sale and serenity

Posted on Wed 30 January 2008 at 07:36 - 1 Comments - Link


I dropped Melissa of on Friday evening at the airport with no problems – Donna and Beth came with us, so I was glad of the company and the directions again.  Once we got back, Donna came and picked me up and I spent the evening at their house.  Copious amounts of alcohol were consumed and we had a good laugh.  Thank you for your company Danny and Donna, I had a great evening. 


Then after work on Saturday (aye, a late night is not conducive to an early start!), I went to Upper Hutt and picked Jac up and we went to Maz’s birthday party.  Met all the usual suspects and some new faces too.  Again, so nice to feel part of the “Porirua Posse’ and to have the friendship of the expats here.  More thank- you’s:  this time to Marion and Phil for hosting a fantastic party.  Unfortunately, I had to be at work for 7am Sunday morning so that was a bit of a chore, I can tell you.  By the time I got home from work, I had to have a brisk lie down!

As the girl was still away, I headed off down to Petone on Monday night to visit a mate there.  We had a really chilled evening, walked along the seafront, drank loads of coffee, listened to music and ended up doing that gazing at the stars thing you do when you are wired on caffeine and nicotine.  I’m sure you know what I mean……about  the cosmos in general and your place in the universe and how immense it all is and isn’t it all fantastic etc.  yes, you’ve all done it…and it made perfect sense at the time, didn’t it? 

{just had to come back to add a swift edit at 11.41pm local time:  the sky was stunningly clear here at that time. For those of you still in the Uk, we have very little light pollution here and Orion stands on his head.  Spectacular sky!}

But I stayed really late and it was at least half-past midnight before I headed off.  And I was so tired by that point, I completely missed the turnoff for State Highway 1 and kept right on into Wellington and ended up by Aotea Quay before I could get turned round.  By the time I finally got home, the road was starting to blur at the edges, so I was relieved to make it without further mishap.  And yet again, I had to be up for work………  I wouldn’t change any of it though – I had wondered what I was going to do with myself when she was away – I think I filled my time pretty well eh?



Melissa’s flight was delayed yesterday – because her plane had to detour to Palmerston North as the flight to there was cancelled.  I find it quite funny – in Britain, you would be extremely lucky to have a bus wait if it saw you running, let alone detour for you but here, they think nothing of detouring a plane!  I think it pretty well sums up the laid back attitude to life here, so well done Air new Zealand!

And I went all on my own to the airport – I’m so brave and clever these days……..The drive was lovely, now that I feel confident enough to do it solo.  She arrived safely and we picked up the most enormous order from Hell’s Pizza on the way home.  For those of you who have never tried Hell’s Pizza – I think it is one of the best things ever to come out of New Zealand.  I thought that pizza was meant to be deep fried until I was about 15 but this is cracking pizza:



I’m on holiday!!! And apart from a small shower this morning, the weather has been brilliant.  So hot in fact, I had to retreat indoors.  Bliss.

But I did go into work today.  Only to sign the house sale documents.  They faxed them to me, I signed them and faxed them back.  They have phoned to confirm they received them and all is in order.  So it should all be over and done with tomorrow.


The ‘horse lady’ texted me yesterday, so we went up and did a bit of grooming and shit-shovelling today.  And will probably do the same tomorrow.  It’s really too hot to ride in the afternoons so she said text in the evenings and she will see what is going on.  Like I said before, lovely people.


So, as you can probably tell from the tone of this entry, life really seems to have turned around in the last fortnight.   Sun, sale, and shetlands (well, horses and ponies really but I was alliterating, so allowed a wee bit of poetic licence!).  Put them all together and they equal serenity in Karenland – Yippeeeee!!

Government Health Warning

Posted on Thu 24 January 2008 at 07:24 - 1 Comments - Link

My kitties ought to come with a Government Health warning:  beware all creepy crawlies!   Nothing is sacred from their ravening jaws: cicadas; stick insects; spiders and the latest ‘cat’astrophe – a weta. 


I’m not sure if this particular sub-species (I think it was a Wellington tree weta) is ‘protected’ or not, so I rescued it very gingerly with the aid of a plastic bag and threw it out the back.  Needless to say, it made an encore as I didn’t throw it far enough and Poppy kitty took it back in.  It was her new best friend!  OK, threw it out again, didn’t let Poppy see where………..and in it came again.  Looked rather dishevelled this time I might add.  But it was still alive so I put it right over the back fence and thankfully didn’t see it again.  Melissa was screaming her little face off, she doesn’t like them at all. 

(quick edit at 10.20pm:  I've just scraped up the chewed remains of another weta and released a baby one back into the wild!)


And was I ever right about pony heaven.  Oh, yes I was!  We went to see the people my colleague Ray had put us in contact with yesterday.  They showed us round and introduced us to their horses, about 12 in total.  So we went up again today and did a bit of grooming, a bit of shit-shovelling and then they let us take their horses out on our own.  I was astounded by their trust and generosity.  Lovely, lovely people.  I asked if they minded if I put their link in here and of course they said it would be OK.  So here it is:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

It is only a few kilometres away and if you look at the scenery in some of them, it is absolutely stunning.  They have several foals and they said they need some handling.  I see a job for Melissa. 

At the moment, she is up the hill beside the house, tending to her ‘other ponies’.  She has taken it upon herself to ‘look after’ these two and often goes up there to groom them, bring them treats, check the water etc.  The farmer came along one day and said he thought someone had been looking after them.  He then proceeded to go and get the saddles and let Melissa ride them.  So, put the thought of a whole day attending to horses together with having her friend stay over and Melissa described today as ’just the best day ever’.  I’m so pleased she’s so settled here and so happy.  Because what makes her happy, makes me happy too.



She’s off for a long weekend in Hamilton tomorrow and comes back on Tuesday.  I will then have the last of the summer holidays off work with her.  I think we will have to take it in turns to decide what we do though.  I’m keen on horses too but really want to go to the beach and have a proper explore round Wellington before too long.  Ah, decisions, decisions!  As long as the sun continues to shine, I don’t really care!


Posted on Mon 21 January 2008 at 09:23 - 0 Comments - Link

Came in from work with the girl the other day:  hadn't been in long when she started screaming; there was a dead mouse under the coffee table!!  I have no idea which of the kitties took it in but it went out again pretty swiftly!  They are a law unto themselves these days: a pair of little bloody bandits or modern-day highwaymen; nothing is safe anymore.  I bet they parade the local environs with bandoliers and sabres, threatening old ladies until they hand over cat-treats and lacy handkerchiefs.  They probably scare little children out of their dinner money and McDonalds toys.  Poppy would be a smooth, seductive operator:  ‘Hey baby, you wanna give me some of that?’  Scottie would bluster her way through it ‘Hey, hand that over or the fat kid gets it’, with her voice squeaking with nervousness.

 I have toooooo much time on my hands…………!!


One of the ex-pats offered to show me some of the beaches and points of interest, so we went out exploring last week.  I now know a few more places to take Shane and Lisa when they come over, so thanks for that, it was a good day.


Then off we went to Jac & Adie’s for the evening.  Melissa groomed their cats to within an inch of their lives and proceeded to make a giant hairball with the loose hair.  It got thrown around the room with much merriment, especially when Melissa managed to get a direct hit into Adie’s mouth!!  Well done that girl!!  She also started her vetinary career by giving Oscar kitty his insulin injection twice.  I’m impressed, she handled it in a very mature manner. 


Work continues to go well, I feel I am becoming part of the team.  I will be happier that I am really pulling my weight once I have completed the 5 day control and restraint course in February but still happy to be there.  I have finished another 2 competencies, all bar the oral component, so that is another hurdle leaped.


The house sale seems to be going ahead as planned.  I’m afraid to get too enthusiastic in case it all falls through.  But having spoken to the estate agent again today, it all seems to be on track.  I took a huge gamble moving here before the house was sold.  I didn’t really know how I was going to manage to pay the rent and half the mortgage if the house didn’t sell but that hopefully won’t be an issue by the end of this week.  I just couldn’t bear to be there anymore.  I had to feel I was in control of at least part of my life so I found myself a new job, a new house, a new life.  And for most of it, I’m happy here.  A huge re-adjustment, but one of my own choosing at least.  And now it looks like I made the right choice after all - thank God.


Off to Maz’s birthday party on Saturday – that promises to be a laugh – I’ll keep you posted!


my cousin!!

Posted on Sun 13 January 2008 at 05:29 - 3 Comments - Link


The Picnic in Porirua meet-up turned out to be really good.  It was a bit overcast and windy here in the morning but come midday it had brightened considerably and by the time I drove up there (which took closer to 25 minutes, not 15), the wind had dropped too.  Melissa was a bit put out there were no kids of her own age and that Jac & Adie hadn’t taken their dogs but got into the spirit of it eventually.  There must have been about 20 of us including the kids.  Queen Elizabeth Park has a decent picnic area right by the shore so we ensconced ourselves there for the afternoon.  And did I say I probably wouldn’t be going in the water?  Well, that’s what I thought when I left the house!!  Melissa didn’t bring a swimming suit, as she had no intention of going in, so neither did I.  But having paddled and got myself pretty wet anyway, I threw caution to the winds, handed my sunglasses and watch to simonmarkellis and took the plunge wearing all my clothes.  As that consisted mainly of a short skirt and t-shirt, it didn’t hamper the swimming much at all.  In fact, it was so good; I went back up to the picnic area and got Melissa to come in fully clothed as well.  It wasn’t too cold and we had a good romp.  Then it was decided we would all go to the Fisherman’s Table for a meal afterwards.  That involved me charging back down to Whitby so both of us could get changed and charging back up again.  We got there just after everyone else had ordered and they caught us up pretty quick.  I was impressed with the service and the meal was OK.  But Kiwis just don’t seem to grasp the concept of ‘blue’ steak.  It came medium rare rather than blue.  If the plate isn’t swimming in blood. It can’t be blue can it?   Still. It tasted OK, so I wasn’t going to complain.  It seems that a good time was had by all who went, so hopefully, we will do it all again at some point.  Thanks to Jac & Adie for organising that one.


Just  met up with my cousin Lilaine for the first time in 20+ years.  She left the village and moved to Ashburton, New Zealand.  She has been back there a few times but I had left and never managed to make it when she was there.  In fact missed her by a day the last time I went home.   But it was indescribable (me: lost for words!).  Just to meet her again: someone who has known me most of my life, who loves me unconditionally; who understands the whole ‘being on the opposite side of the world’ business; thank you so much for the 90 minutes we managed to put in today.  Sweetheart, it was SO good to see you again!  She’s not a member of BE but I know she reads my blog.  She is going to try to make it here for the ‘celebrating Shane’ party I intend to have once No 1 son is here.  I packed her off with a copy of Shane’s CD, hope she likes it!! I'm on the right, as usual when having a photo taken, look totally pissed!! Which in fact was not the case.

Since then, i have heard from my estate agent: there has finally been an offer made on my house!  Way, way under what  I need, but any offer is good news.  I just want to be able to walk away from the whole sorry scenario and write it all off. 

Watch this space!!

Shelob attacks

Posted on Fri 11 January 2008 at 08:47 - 0 Comments - Link

I went to put the rubbish out at stupid o’clock the other morning – and as I walked round the side of the house carrying the recycling bin, I found myself ensnared in the stickiest cobweb I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.  I have noticed this before in New Zealand but damn me: it was the worst ever.  It seemed to wrap round my head and I had visions of Shelob skittering down from the roof and carrying me off!  It was grotesque!!   I almost started looking for bloody Hobbits and Elves at that point.   Of course I had just done my hair and I was left with the dilemma of washing it again or combing the detritus out.  Time was of the essence by then so I had to settle for a quick comb through.  Ugghhh, there were bits of beasties and dirt all over me.  And as I drove to work, I could swear I heard something buzzing in my ear!!  Horrible, I tell you, horrible.


And why I hear you ask, was I up so early?  I will tell you.  KITTIES.  Kitties running round the house from 4am when all good little kitties should be tucked up fast asleep, dreaming of smoked salmon and little furry mice.  The little bastards were practicing for the Kitty Olympics by the sound of it and by the effort they put in, Team Whitby should be in the running for a pawful of medals.  Sofa hurdling is down to a fine art, outstanding effort in the 10 metre corridor dash, the 15 minute dirt tray scratching is vastly improved and the catty wrestling and yeowling is beyond compare…..

I got up and threw them out.  Practice has been banned between the hours of bedtime and getting up and as team coach I have the final say.  Enough.


The girl came home on Sunday.  Welly wife (Louise) agreed to come with me, which was a huge help and greatly appreciated.  I had built the drive to the airport up to insurmountable proportions and was stressing hugely about it.  And with my chest infection, bad back and stomach pains caused by all the antibiotics and painkillers I had been taking, I felt lousy.  But it wasn’t bad at all.  I was so pleased to see the girl that of course I cried when I saw her standing on the tarmac as she got off the plane.  Hats off to Air New Zealand: they seemed to have looked after her very well and wouldn’t hand her over until I produced some identity.  Now she has done it once, I am far happier to let her go again. 

One of my colleagues offered to take me for a drive out there the day before.  He reckoned that he and his girl-friend would be happy to show me where to go and then we could go and get something to eat afterwards (I politely declined as I felt it would inconvenience them greatly).  I was so touched by his offer.  Remember, I have only worked there since the 10th of December.  He is Samoan and I have found Samoans as a race to be such caring, honest people.  I work with a lot of Samoans now and they have been without fail, generous and easy to get on with.  They seem to have a certain naivety about them that is lovely to behold.  It’s a pleasure to work with them.  God knows what they think about Scots now though!!  They can’t seem to tell the difference between a Scots accent and an Irish one.  I say something and for about half an hour, I can hear it being repeated by a few of them in the most execrable Scottish accent you ever did hear.  Funny though – I haven’t laughed so much in ages as I did listening to one of them saying ‘it gings roon yer hert lik a hairy wurm’ time after time.  Priceless!!


Off to The picnic in Porirua tomorrow.  Another meet-up by the expats, this time a picnic on the beach at Queen Elizabeth Park, about 15 minutes drive from here.  The weather seems set fair, so I’m hoping for a lovely day.  But apparently there has been a shark sighting not far from there, so I’m not sure I will be getting in the water!


New Year update

Posted on Fri 4 January 2008 at 08:55 - Link

I went to my work-mate's New Year's party, quite a few people turned up so that was good.  I stayed over at their house and as I had  only had a few, was on the road home by 08.30.  It is a 40 minute drive and it was beautiful driving home in the sun along the coast.  But I'm glad I don't  have to do it on a daily basis.  In the middle of winter at stupid o'clock in the morning,  it would really mess with my head.  I got in and then went shopping as all the shops are open here on New Year's Day.  Returned all my wrong sizes and ended up buying a pair of jeans for $45.  I have always had a problem finding jeans that I like and that really fit.  Walked in and they said "buy me" - so I did!!  And a size 8!!  So impressed!! 


Went for a coffee and a walk along Plimmerton Beach with one of the ex-pats the other day.  It was a lovely evening so it was very mellow.  Nice to have so many friends here - thanks for that!

I actually hit 7st 13lbs the other morning and realised I had to start feeding myself.  Considering I weighed 10st 5lbs in September, that's a huge drop and it's time to take stock and start looking after myself properly.  This was reinforced today when I had to register with a GP and get antibiotics for a chest infection.  I also have a sore back but funnily, feel better than I have for a few weeks.  Xmas Eve saw me hit rock-bottom.  I felt worse then that I did at the start of this whole sorry mess.  Missing Melissa, missing my sons, missing my family.  But it can never get that bad again, so I have resolved to put it all behind me and get on with life.  No 1 son Shane (and little Lisa!) comes out for a fortnight's holiday in March and I am already planning the biggest party ever to celebrate their arrival!!


The little thieving bastards are at it again!!  I walked out onto the back deck yesterday  morning and nearly screamed.  What looked for all the world like a naked mouse turned out on close inspection to be a toy dinosaur, nicked from God knows where but it certainly doesn't belong to us!!  Already here we have been presented with various pegs, a water pistol, several socks, a large pair of ladies underwear and a used condom.  If the owners would like to come and collect their belongings, they re very welcome.  Apart from the last item which was unceremoniously chucked over the back fence with the aid of an unused pair of barbeque tongs.  Dirty buggers!!   And Poppy-kitty has a fetish for cicadas.  She takes great delight in dragging them into the house and crunching them up at her leisure, like some kind of portable snack.  You can always tell which is hers in the dirt-tray, hers has shiny bits in it!!  But Scottie-kitty came into her own last night and presented me with a stick insect - which she then took back and proceeded to rip the legs off.  I think they have missed Melissa as much as I have so they will be very pleased to see her when she comes back on Sunday.


Right, I have to be at work by 07.00 tomorrow, best push off and try to sleep - will probably be up by 5am but as the sun will be up by then, it's not so bad.


Hope your New Year's Eve was all you wished it to be, best wishes for 2008


what more could you ask for?

Posted on Sun 30 December 2007 at 07:16 - 1 Comments - Link

Good evening Dear Listener:  another update from Karenland.


I went to work again today - I've had one day off in the last 9 but that has been my choice.  It has kept me busy and will go a fair way to paying all those 'resettlement bills'.  You know, setting up your new electricity, phone, internet etc.  And Friday and Saturday turned out to be long shifts as they needed extra cover in the evening.  But I turned it down today and finally hit the sales for some retail therapy after work.  But that didn't turn out to be as straightforward as i thought!  I was too lazy to bother trying my new clothes on and out of 3 t-shirts and 1 skirt, only one t-shirt fits.  I still see myself and a weighty heifer so I was shocked and stunned when my new size 10's are too big!  I'm a size 8 for the first time in my adult life!!. What more could you ask for?  I know the sizes here tend to be bigger but even so, it's a shock.  In one way, it's really nice, I am finally thin!!  But it's a bit of a bugger that I will have to take them back tomorrow and exchange them.  Hey-ho, life is full of surprises!  And I bought the silver and paua shell necklace I have been coveting for weeks.  My lovely Shona has basically paid for that - so thank you my little love.  It's a solid silver piece that slots round my throat, with paua shell embellishments at the front.  It goes very nicely with other bangles and earrings I already have,so I have no doubt I will wear it often when I feel like being 'dressed'.  I'm sat here in solitary splendour with it nestled round my neck as I type and it's weight makes me think of Shona - thanks again baddie!!  I've got 'welcome to the Beautiful South' playing on my other purchase - a new portable stereo, and it also brings a smile to my face.  "Woman in the Wall" is a particular favourite from that CD and now I'm listening to "love is". -  what more could you ask for? 


I hope I continue to think this - work is really good at the moment.  I know that's usually how it goes: any new job is fantastic and the people are great.........and then a few months down the line, you find yourself wondering how you could ever have thought that.  To be fair, I have been sorry to leave my last two jobs but due to moving, it had to be done.  As things are, I can see myself fitting in really well and being part of the team, so long may it continue.  And even the drive to work makes me smile as I can see the sea as I go along the dual-carriageway.  I've always maintained that being by the sea is good for my soul and this morning proved that point.  it was a beautiful clear morning and the sun was catching the water, making it glitter like a spray of diamonds - what more could you ask for?  And the sun has shone today, which always  makes me feel good.


I'm off to a colleague's house timorrow afternoon, I'm going to help her get ready for her New Year's Eve barbeque.  I'm staying there tomorrow night so I won't have to think about how to get home.  She knows I would rather be in company than sat here on my own, so I really appreciate the invitation to go in the afternoon rather than the evening.  I'm looking forward to it, several other colleagues are meant to be going and they are a really good crew.


Ohh, I've just put the Fine Young Cannibals on, haven't listened to that for a while!! Excellent evening planned - me, the laptop and my music - what more could you ask for!!

So, signing off from Karenland - it's all good!


ups and downs

Posted on Fri 28 December 2007 at 08:23 - Link

I hadn't realised how long since I last updated - had to look back and quite surprised to see it was the 18th of this month.

The time has flown in with an amazing rollercoaster of emotions - which is why I have disabled the 'post comments' thingy.  I'm not looking for sympathy, just telling the story.

The 18th of Decemeber should have been our wedding anniversary.  I cried and cried that night.  I guess now that the move is over and I am into work it has hit me now.  I don't want him back, I don't need him, but I miss the easy familiarity we had and the being part of a couple.  All part of the process I guess.

Anyway, work has continued to go really well, they are a great bunch and I'm learning all the time.

Jen and Frank, steve's Mum and step-father came to visit for a few days.  It was lovely to see them, really glad they wanted to spend some time with us.  I had organised a house-warming party, which turned out to be excellent.  Some colleagues, some neighbours and some forum members.  Good mix, good company.  And then on saturday morning they took Melissa off with them to go back up to Hamilton.

I went out with my work-mates on Saturday night and they are so welcoming and so supportive.  Several of them did the big group-hug thing with me and told me I am whanau now.  Whanau is a big Maori family thing, it encompasses more than just family, it's about extended family and belonging.  It was fantastic to feel so included in such a short space of time.

On Christams Eve, I worked until 4pm, then headed over to the Danny's house for a carol service and Christmas reading get-together.  And I cried again.  It suddenly hit me how different my life is now from any other Chrsitmas that has gone before.  I have a photo but as the main computer is in the shop and I am using the laptop, I won't even attempt to put it on today.  But we did the whanau thing there as well as we are an extended family and we all look out for each other.  Wellington whanau - you have been my support and inspiration, I feel honoured and priveleged to have been included into the family.  Thanks mates!!  And then I came home and cried for hours.  Simple as that.  It really tore me up to be here on my own. 

I worked Christmas Day.  I was glad to be there as it is usually a good atmosphere to work in and it was a huge amount better than the thought of being here on my own.  Then off round to the Danny's again for a barbequed Xmas dinner - which of course I couldn't eat.  But I did take a bit of lobster home with me......and the sodding cats found it and ripped it to shreds!  Little bastards - I'll give you Yo Ho Ho!!

Boxing Day - off to Jac and Adies for a barbeque - and the hail simply fell out of the sky.  it was quite surreal.  You think about coming to New Zealand and having Xmas in the summer - well, you could have fooled me!  Again though, great to see everyone and although the hail stopped a fair few from coming, we had a good time.

And that's about it really.  The sun has been shining now and again, I'm happy here most of the time. 

And Tina - you woke me up at 4.45 this morning with your text and I couldn't get back to sleep!  So I got up and started the day from there.  I hadn't realised when I got to work at 7am that I would end up pulling a double shift so I am absolutely knackered now.  I had an hour off around 3pm as I had to go and pay some bills  so my overtime today and Xmas day should go a fair way towards that at least. 

So, hopefully that is the worst over with -  it can't possibly hurt that much again.

Here's to a brighter New Year for all us - enjoy!




Competency done!

Posted on Tue 18 December 2007 at 05:23 - 1 Comments - Link

Wooooo!! That’s a relief!!  I have waded through shit-loads of stuff on mental health drugs and then had to do a question and answer session at the end of it.  The new Clinical Nurse Specialist did that with me and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.  But it passed off OK.  In fact she even complimented me by saying it was nice to do it with someone who knew what they were talking about as she usually does it with newly qualified nurses who are a bit hesitant.  I nearly looked round to see if there was someone stood behind me as I didn’t feel too knowledgeable at all.  Did my usual waffling and hoped I’d covered everything.  But I’m now deemed competent to administer medication so that’s it done.  Look out patients – the psycho nurse is up and running!!

I really need to do some PPRD professional development stuff as when it is passed, I will earn more money and that never goes amiss does it?  I don’t think they do it quite the same here as in Hamilton but I will get to grips with that shortly and sit back and reap (spend!) the benefits. 

Work continues to go well, just getting to know the staff and patients, figure out some kind of routine and find my place within it all.


Sunday was good.  Melissa made me breakfast in bed, which was nice of her, I really appreciated it.  I remember my friend Dawne once saying that when you are the only adult in the house and have to do all the cooking, even a slice of toast made by someone else is a bonus and I now know how she feels.  Well done Melissa and thank you.  We went to the beach at Plimmerton again and the tide was right in this time.  Melissa went to Beth’s birthday do which was held in the local bowling alley and she had a good time.  Then we went to drop the Christmas tree off at Maz’s  - Melissa couldn’t be bothered putting it up and if she couldn’t be bothered, then neither could I, especially as she won’t even be here for Christmas.  Maz and Phil very kindly asked us to dinner, which was lovely.  Thanks for that, it was so nice to be asked and the food and company was great!



Melissa came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea that Poppy kitty would really like to see the sea.  I couldn’t marshal a good enough reason why not, so after tea on Monday, off we set.  But I missed the turning on the roundabout and found myself heading back towards Whitby!!  So we pulled in by the inlet, which isn’t really the beach at all.  And no, Poppy kitty didn’t like it one little bit so I don’t think we will try that experiment again.


Jen and Frank (in-laws) are coming tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing them, as we have always got on well and they are still Melissa’s grandparents. Not sure what we will do while they are here but I’m sure we will figure something out.  Frank suggested going out to eat tomorrow night but I have no idea where to go as the only places we have been so far have been the foodcourt in the local shopping center or McDonalds. 

Right, best go and set the house to rights as they will arrive as I come home from work and I don’t want to be doing it then.

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