Thursday, October 22, 2009

Patty cakes, smatty cakes, fatty cakes. . .

These are now in the freezer - yep - I don't know what came over me last weekend. Too many birthdays in a row? Cupcake day to raise money for the SPCA recently? An ancient deeply buried childhood memory of not getting one myself at a kid's party? Whatever, my (un)svelte form can no longer take the constant input of these little beauties and they are banned for the time being.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday month continues with Ashley

Ashley's 20th birthday celebration at Helen's on Sunday night, with Ian and Jem there to pick up her stuff and return to Rotorua on Monday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday month

It is that month - FOUR birthdays no less - mine and nephew and niece: William, Magda, and Ashley. The only one I get to capture is Magda's, and we did it today, with cupcakes at Grandma and Granddad's.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A day of weirdness and wackiness

I have to write down yesterday's events, or I'll lose them. And it WAS one of those days. We have a bus strike on at the moment, so I took it into my head to cycle the not inconsiderable distance to work in the city. Particularly as it was my half day, which meant I would have time to carefully prepare for my journey and arrive in good time. I envisaged a slightly flushed but impressive figure making her way up the stairs to Level 5 triumphantly carrying my helmet. That sort of happened. . .
Things started to go wrong when I loaded the bag onto my back and set off into the garage to prepare my bike for the trip, 5 mins before I needed to leave. It should be no surprise, since I don't actually make a practice of checking my tyres for glass, that the front one was flat. In all the months of riding this bike I have grown careless and take for granted that flatties happen to other people. Oh well. I grubbied up nicely getting the wheel off, and pulling inner tube out, and then attempting to put my new 'puncture proof' tyre on. It was jolly hard. Flatmate kindly came out from basking on the couch on his 'annual leave' to help me insert and inflate the rubber bits. After a BRIEF spin around the cul-de-sac, I headed confidently off toward the city. What a mistake. Hadn't even made it out of the Peninsula when a strange scuffing sound occured NOT in keeping with the gaps in the concrete path. I stopped and investigated and after a thorough check found that the brake pads needed alignment. Whoopee. Out came the toolkit and soon I was heading toward the motorway.
Things were going QUITE well - not as easily moving as I remember, when a strange lurch started affecting the forward movement. As before, I kept riding thinking it was the path, but finally had to stop again and investigate. Ah, could it be the nearly 15 cms of tyre hanging outside the rim? 1) Deflation of tube 2) Pushing tyre behind rim with special tool 3) fiddling with small pump attempting to get it to work 4) Looking helpless and having cyclist stop proving more effective. He pumped up tyre and I was once again on my way.
The hills grew progressively more 'bouncy'. Lovely from the car whilst traveling along the motorway, not so easy on a bike with shaky legs and just past a bout of bronchitis. I was not the vision of glory as I rounded the driveway into the AUT carpark and shuffled up to Level 5. I'm sure that's why they all looked askance at me.
Off to the shower on the same floor, and carefully depositing makeup and nice clothes and towel and soup in various places, I 'locked' the door, and proceeded to shower and try to get makeup to stick to my red and shiny face. It didn't. And the face got even shinier and redder when I realised the door hadn't in fact been locked and any number of men from the IT dept could have wandered in.
I finally sat at my desk and viewed the work I should be doing. AH, a pile of books on dance had been left for pick up on the desk behind the main entrance to the library, ready for me to put into a display case. I headed down to that level and carefully opened the tall glass case with my key, and placed all the books in tasteful array within. The halogen lamps beamed down upon their glossy covers.
Back at my desk I set to on other projects and was as annoyed and irritated as the rest when the fire alarm went off an hour later, and only two week since our last drill. I trundled down the stairway with all the others from our building, and stood outside with 7 floors of people while wardens counted heads and the two fire trucks were heard arriving. Imagine my dismay when I heard this local conversation:
"This isn't a drill, you know. There IS a fire in the building".
"Oh, how on earth did it start?"
"Apparently a librarian saw the smoke coming out and set off the alarm"
"Why? Where was it?"
"In some display cabinet - a book I think".
Yes, I realised that it was all about my display and that I had unwittingly caused this horrible scene. Slightly hysterical now, I saw the Vice Chancellor nearby talking with a colleague, and since I knew him (friend's brother) I approached rather jollily and admitted my involvement in the affair. He LOOKED amused but I'm not sure.

When the all clear was given, I went up the stairs with other librarians and scanned the damage. 8 firemen had put out the blaze having smashed open the cabinet with their axes, and doused the flames. Amazingly only one book was badly damaged and had sent clouds of smoke out into the floor. Much has been made of my involvement in the fire - my manager keeps playing 'Fire Starter' music loudly in his office and ducking his head up to see if I've noticed.
I was rather glad to get out on my bike and shamble home - hoping nothing more could happen to me in the remainder of the day.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The birthday weekend

Lovely weekend spent with friends and family. Starting on Friday lunchtime with lunch with Robin at Revive on Lorne St, and then off to movies that night with Naomi and Helen. Saturday I had lunch and a long catch up with Megan, who was up from Christchurch, before heading over to the Cowans for dinner with friends there.
Naomi serving up the roast lamb while Matt hovers nearby.
The two delicious choc cakes that Helen made for Gene and I. They toppled a bit in transit from West Auckland, but still looked fab when they were readjusted at the venue.
Serving up - the great wire sculpture of cyclist on the wall behind was given by the Duncans and on temporary show.
The next evening was the family gathering at Helen's place, with lasagne and the usual patter of conversation and silliness.
Helen did so well in making an occasion of it, and Mum made a fruit cake - yay.
We took the opportunity to photograph Jem in her gown ready for graduation this week.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

This last month of wet, windy weather - SPRING

Yeah, it's the birthday today, and I'm wearing the new blouse sent by Marcie in Jacksonville, FL to me. A good fit. Nice to have something that speaks of summer when the weather is STILL grey and wet.
For a brief moment it DID clear, and I was in Rotorua at the time, and John, Naomi and I went cycling around the thermal areas and up to the Redwood Forest. A delicious memory now.
And earlier this month, cousin Douglas from Perth arrived and we had a family get together at Steve's house. Douglas is with his brother Gordon bottom right.