Friday, 31 August 2007

That's me told!

Okay, so apparently there's no charge for connecting to NTL (unlike with the phone companies) in which case there will be no money withheld from aforementioned tenant. I guess my annoyance is that is that she didn't even mention it in advance, she just went ahead and disconnected. Well, I'm not going to think about it anymore... what's done is done!

Angry face

Just spoke to my mother (happy face) and was informed that my tenant has taken it upon herself to cancel BT contract (I gave her permission to do that even though I would incur reconnection charge) and NTL (angry face). I did not, nor would I have, given permission for that.
Grr... no more being Miss Nice for me. Will be making sure that reconnection fee is withheld from her deposit in 12 months time!!! Now... where's that bottle of wine??

The end of my first full week...

and it's fair to say that I'm not hating it yet :-) So so different to my previous role and I haven't actually produced anything for the customer yet but soon I hope! Anyway, I felt sure that ye'd be interested in tonights tipple...



Out for a walk tomorrow (walk, not hike) providing the weather continues to behave. Really looking forward to that... I've been told that if the weather is clear that there are great views. So, should the weather behave then I'll post a few piccies!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Afghan

biscuits are just the best! I believe these are a unique to NZ and nobody knows why they're called Afghans. But having just munched one (they're more than a biscuit) I felt obliged to share my fondness of them with you! Did a search to try and find a photo and came across the following blog entry which might give you an idea of their yumminess :-) http://laughinggastronome.blogspot.com/2005/11/cookie-swap.html

That lunar eclipse photo...

Photo is courtesy of Madhav Gangakhedkar

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Well, so much for that!

I have no will power, that's all there is to it.
Books are expensive in New Zealand so before leaving Ireland I bought some books to ship down and didn't I go and join the library first thing last weekend?
And what did I do today at lunchtime? Visited Borders. Not just visited I purchased.
I can't pretend that it was a spur of the moment thing... I went in to that shop with intent. The intent to buy a book. And I did.
Well, I haven't actually taken anything out of the library yet, and no, it's not like I've finished my current book, but well, what if I did finish it before I got to the library?! I mean that would be terrible. I like to plan ahead (for the important things anyway :-) ) so I felt that it would be irresponsible if I didn't have a book at hand for when I finish this one.
I mean it's not like I intend to make a habit of this or anything. I absalutely have no intention of using the voucher I got which gives me 15% off next week. Honest. I swear.. Really....

Mountaineering club this evening... off to sign up for a 1 day walk in September. Thought I'd better get a few 1 day walks in before I kill myself with a weekend tramp carrying 20kg on my back.

And for anyone interested, the wine last night with dinner was really rather delish. Can't remember winery but it was 2005 Pinot Noir from Central Otago.
And my downfall from today.... The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murakami)

There was an eclipse here last night. I didn't actually see but one of the guys took some photos... one of which I was going to attach here but taking too long to upload. Will try again later!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Music and Wine

Longest afternoon ever today... at one point when I looked at clock and saw that it was 3pm I was genuinely taken aback that it was still so early. Not necessarily a bad day but definitely a long one. I guess that's what happens when you get hunger attack in the morning and have to go for lunch at 12:20 (I haven't succumbed to snack machine yet)!! Of course then eating that lunch (rather good falafel wrap for those of you interested) at desk while filling out numerous customs forms for my shipped goods probably didn't help.

I managed to do a mini-raid on a friend's CD collection yesterday evening (after a couple of glasses of rather nice Kim Crawford Pinot Noir in bar with work folk) which was much needed as I only managed to fit 3 CDs in to my suitcases... the other 97 or so are in shipped goods. While I wait to meet others before heading out to dinner I'm taking advantage of the time to listen to some of this music now; have very beautiful "Pilgrimate to Santiago" playing at the moment. For anybody interested it's John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Monterverdi Choir...

Well I must head off now... I'll be sure to let you know if wine with dinner is good :-)

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Not too exciting I'm afraid!

I guess I should apologise to any of you who are expecting to read here about the exciting activities that I got up to on my first weekend in Wellington (on this visit!)... not this weekend I'm afraid! Once I'm over the jetlag I'm sure, or at least I hope(!), I'll have something a little more of interest to report :-)

Yesterday was enjoyable enough with brunch with and then walking between different furniture stores. She needs to get herself some furniture for her new place so it was decided that either bed or sofabed needs to be one of her first essential purchases. It's great; the gir's as fussy as me when it comes to choosing a mattress! I shouldn't laugh of course as if I am lucky enough to find a bright, furnished, 2 br apartment in central wellington within my budget, the chances are I'll probably have to buy my own mattress as well... I mean the chances of getting a decent mattress in a rental property are slim (unless you're renting my home in Bray of course!). But I found a furniture shop with great bookshelves so I'm hopeful that maybe, 5 years after purchsing my own home, I may buy a bookshelf.. pity it's in Wellington and not Bray :-)

Before we finished up at the end of the evening I introduced the Ms. Furniture Shopper to a rather nice little patisserie on Cuba St where we purchased a little cake each for munching on at a later stage. I got a rather scrumptious citron tarte that was enjoyed with a nice glass of One Tree pinot noir... I did plan to put a piccie in of said citron tarte but to be honest it didn't look particularly appetizing... so I decided not to. You'll just have to use your imaginations!

Oh I joined the library here yesterday. You can take out as many books as you'd like for up to 4 weeks! Unfortunately "bestsellers" can be only taken out for a week and have a fee associated with them! Weird...

Today has been less than eventful. Charging through my book (Die Trying by Lee Child), supermarket shop (bran muffin purchase required!), natter with Eamonn, listen to last episode of The Tao of Bergerac while dozing and now I think I'll go back to my book...

Friday, 24 August 2007

Grrr...

You see this is the problem with the weather here in New Zealand. When I left for work yesterday morning I was layered up as you do down here. This involved long sleeved top, fleecey top and my nice brown puffa jacket. Last night when I got back here I realised that I'd forgotten to bring my dry cleaning (can't blame that on the weather). However, just now I've realised that I also forgot my jacket! You see it's cold in the mornings and evenings but during the day with the sun you normally need one layer less than you did setting out at the start of the day (unless there's a nice southerly blowing). And so I forgot to take jacket out of office. In Ireland that would result me in me going "holy shit" the minute I walked out in to the cold and so runnning back upstairs for jacket. Over here, it's only noticed when I think to myself, oh bit windy out there today... I'll wear my nice warm jacket. Ah yes, that would be the jacket hanging up with my dry cleaning in the office wouldn't it?!

Wind, view and instant coffee

Bit windy out there today. I can tell this without having gone out at this point based on the tree across the road from my window. While I'm in the same place as my last two visits here I'm on the other side of the building. Whereas before I had this view


on this visit I'm getting

That's the Radio New Zealand building across the road from me there; not a particularly interesting building I admit but just thought I'd mention it as I'm currently listening to a performance of Karl Jenkins' Requiem on Radio New Zealand.

I'm actally writing this as I'm waiting to meet up with a colleague who's also relocated here. She's found herself an apartment so I said I'd tag along as she does some furniture shopping. We were meant to meet at 11am but she had a bit of a late night so it's 11:30 now :-) I didn't make it along last night - couldn't be doing with that talking to people thing when I was so tired! Anyway the bit of a delay does make me grateful that I had my less than tasty instant coffee this morning... I really must buy a coffee pot today!

So now you know....

So, in an effort to keep myself distracted and awake I came across a Jane Austen characters quiz. I love Jane Austen novels and I'm certainly not going to admit to the number of times that I've read Pride & Prejudice other than saying that we're in to double digits :-) Anyway, for one of the questions I was torn between two answers so I went for quiz outcome using the two different answers that I wanted to suggest but keeping all other answers the same and, drum roll...., here are the results:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

or

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of silliness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

All rubbish of course but so much fun. Anyway, I'll leave it to you, the discerning read to decide which if either of these characters I in anyway resemble :-)

Take the Quiz here!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Ugh...

Just a short one.. my brain is just way too fried for anything else. Trying to figure out how it's possible that if last Sat was my last full nights sleep, and I only managed abouat 5-6 hrs in total on journey over, how is it that it was gone 5am before I could go to sleep this morning?! Not impressed. Not impressed at all!!

Got up at 9, headed in to office. Had a natter with some folk, went for lunch with the mountain biking trio, went back to work (work constituted figuring out which of the 500 emails in my Inbox I needed to keep and which I could delete!) and when at 2pm my keyboad connection stopped working it all got too much for me and I left. Tried to snooze this avo but no joy :-( So, instead opened bank account, bought mobile and collected my pictures from my cousins wedding last Thurs :-)

Now trying to figure out how to make myself stay awake until 9pm and after that, how to make sure I stay asleep!!! Thoughts and suggestions on a postcard please...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

20th Aug...Been and gone...

After what seems like months of "yeah, I'm leaving on the 20th Aug" the 20th Aug has been and gone. For so long that date seemed like some unreachable point in the future while all the time it was slowly creeping up on me and well now, here I am, back in Wellington again.

I had a somewhat blutterflys in stomach Sunday and Sunday night before leaving house at 8am to get the new Pattonflyer coach to the airport from Blackrock. Don't know if anybody has used this yet but it's fab... I was at the airport in under 30 mins! It uses port tunnel which I guess accounts for speed of journey but it costs the same as the AirCoach so seems like a bargain to me!

The journey was long but uneventful. I mean, uneventful if you ignore the fact that I wanted to belt the child beside me in the lounge in Heathrow who spent 30 mins spinning a coin on a glass top table. You know when you get that slowly building up feeling where you feel like you slowly need to scream? Well that was me. The only reason I didn't move was that there were v. few couches (as opposed to armchairs) in the lounge and i was sprawled out on my couch and wanted to stay that way. Luckily his brother decided to inform him that it the noise was indeed a little irritating :-)

I haven't flown business class with Air New Zealand before and I have to admit that the seat setup is quite nice! They're more like pods that are angled in to the aisle so that every seat/pod has direct aisle access - no stepping over anybody. When you sit right back nobody can see you either which is kinda nice. There's the armchair seat part and the ottoman/mini seat across from you that you can put your feet on. When you need to go for a kip the armchair part folds out to meet the ottoman so you get a flat bed. Very nice... and also a little hard! But it was lovely and the food was really good too. As flight stopped for a couple of hours in LAX for refueling we all had to disembark and go through passport control with our US visa waiver forms (!!!) to spend duration waiting in a transit lounge. Not fun but it was grand. The fun part of the journey was saved for the end....

My flight was due to arrive in Auckland at 5:15am and I was booked on to the 7am flight to Wellington. I was thinking to myself that this wasn't alot of time to go through passport control, collect luggage, go through bio control where of course I'd have to dig out my hiking boots to show they were clean, and get to transit check in before 6am. Obviously you can check in after 6am but in that case you have to get your luggage over to the domestic terminal yourself. Anyway, my flight had been an hour late leaving Heathrow and so delayed out of LAX but we did make up time in air later and plane was on ground by 5:20am. Off I get and I promptly set into "walking with a purpose" mode. Through passport control no problems (apart from dodgy irish imitation accent of friendly passport control officer). Now to luggage. After a while the belt starts. I'm thinking, great, my luggage will be off first as I was business class. Belt goes around. People start taking luggage off. More luggage. Belt stops. Little delay. Belt restarts. More luggage... tum te tum... oh look it's 5:55am... more luggage. Oh, my bag suitcase, great. Grab that. Wait for my other case. Eventually it turns up. Next bio security queue... open two suitcases trying to find hiking boots - "they're clean honest" doesn't cut it, they have to be viewed. X-ray luggage. Get around to transit checkin at 6:10am. Get to desk. She goes through tickets bla bla bla and then comes up with "you'll have to take your luggage over to the domestic terminal yourself" to which I respond "am I going to catch the flight?" to which she responds "hmm... you'll need to hurry". No shit sherlock! There is a transit bus but only runs every 10 mins. So we now have the fantatsic site of somebody who has spent 2 days sitting on their arse on a plane suddenly running while pushing a trolley with two rather full suitcases between terminals... in the dark! I'm not a fit person at the best of times so let's just say that I made it but it wasn't a pretty site :-)

And that's about it really. Lift from airport in Wellington which was great, checked in to my favourite Welly accommodation (that's irony for those of you who don't know of the history of my first stay here) as before, and well that's it for now!

The Siblings...

I think I took more photos of myself and my siblings over last weekend than I would ordinarily take in a year! Definitely a combination of playing with my new camera ( :-) ) and the fact that I'm going away. The latter is probably what allowed me to do the first.
My brother, and Dad in I think, seemed a little put out (well not really but...) that they weren't invited along to lunch with my two sisters, myself and Mum last Sat. Don't know about anybody else but notice anything there... Mum, sisters, me...? Like maybe it was a girls lunch?! Ye gads, the poor boys are hard done by sometimes aren't they? :-) Anyway, scrumtious lunch in Avoca and picture of me with the sisters here...


I always feel relatively when standing next to the other women in my family but that isn't the case when I'm standing next to my brother... he makes me feel decidedly, well, short!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Published... or sort of...

Well seems that Schmap used my photo for their Wellington City Guide. Lots of photos were used but it's nice nonetheless. What is it that they say? Ah yes, it's the simple things in life...

www.schmap.com/wellington/tours_tour4/p=30502/i=30502_8.jpg

Friday, 10 August 2007

Food, food and more food!

Hit another "preparing to leave for NZ" milestone today; it was my last day in the office here in Dublin. I'm off next week though I can't believe how busy the week already is. All I'd really like is a few days of having to do nothing - no packing, no sorting, no nothing!


On the upside I had two very enjoyable evenings this week where I was out with different groups of friends for going away dinners. Last night I was out with 5 friends from work for a very filling and equally very tasty meal in Montys. And it was such a lovely novelty to be sitting opposite another vegetarian... I got to taste some of her main course as well as my own. Yum!!

And earlier in the week it was Milanos where we ate in a rather chilly Milanos... they sat us under the air conditioning vent. I believe I was halfway through my pizza (Fiorentina if you're interested) before I took my coat off! I was presented with a really beautiful silver torc style bracelet. The artist/jeweller is, I think, John Mckenna (apologies if I have that wrong!). Whenever I wear it I have people asking to try it on and asking where I go it. Had I working camera I would take picture to post... but I don't so you'll have to trust me.

And I'm afraid I'm actually too tired now to make this anymore interesting to read so that's it for now :-)

Sunday, 5 August 2007

HerbGarden


HerbGarden
Originally uploaded by eefajk
I've just received email informing me that one of my photos taken in the Botanical Gardens in Wellington last year has been short-listed for inclusion in the third edition of the Schmapp Wellington Guide (no I didn't submit it)! Obviously I'm well chuffed but it's odd as I don't think much of my photos from Welly 2006 but one was marked as flickr users favorite and now this. I mean even if it doesn't get chosen it's nice to have been considered :-)

Sigh...

How is it possible that today has been, well, so dreary? Rained consistently all day up until about an hour ago (16:30). And have felt yuckily sleepy all day. Possibly recovering from the trauma of doing a trial pack this morning to see what I would (and more likely, wouldn't) be able to fit in my suitcases and hence would need to ship. Then I had to unpack it all again. Oh but first I had to inventory (God I'm sick of doing inventories!) what I was going to ship for insurance purposes. Sigh... do I really need to bring those two pasta bowls? Or that lasagne dish? Do I care right now? Nope, didn't think so...

Update on the digital camera thing is that I decided to take plunge for the more expensive (i.e. moer expensive that I'd intended spending) camera after last post. Not available on pixmania. Found it on amazon.co.uk and great price. They won't ship to Ireland. Something to do with the Irish recycling charge for electronics goods. Have seen it in shops but it's another €30 dearer again so that's not happening. Of course if the camera on my phone would just decide to start working again all would be fine. Might be time to give it a gentle tap off a solid surface to see if that helps... :-)

Saturday, 4 August 2007

No more apartment...

So today I said goodbye to my home of 5 years for at least the next 12 months. I have to admit that it was very odd doing that; I'm not sure that it's dawned on me that it's not my home anymore and that I'll have to get used to not sitting on my big comfy (very bad for your back) armchair and looking out glass doors at trees across the way. Thurs and Fri were a frenzy of cleaning and packing, moving, sorting. Mum came out on Thurs and did the bathroom and kitchen (incl cupboards... but not the oven!!!), windows, ledges etc and then on Fri my friend Va who's home on her holidays did all the vacuuming. Without their help I'd probably be still at it trying to get everything ready before tomorrow morning! So folks if you're reading this, a BIG thanks. And of course I'd also like to tahnk my agent and my....

Va and myself headed down to Avoca in Kilmacanogue for a late lunch yesterday afternoon and after stuffing ourselves with their scrumprious salads I was reminded that Va is a bit of a shopping fiend (well fiend might be a bit strong but she does like to have a nosey around). I don't like the clothes from Avoca actually. Honest. No, that beautiful brown skirt purchased there was not really purchased there. I'm sure of it. So what this means is that I'm really quite annoyed with Valerie as she made me break the "no more clothes shopping" embargo that I'd imposed on myself after my reckless last few weeks... did you know that Reiss had a sale on? :-)

I'm back with the folks for my remaining two weeks and I'm starting to think that it's going to be difficult for me to not pick up some of their quirkiness while I'm here... at least if what I've observed so far is anything to go by. If, Mum or Dad you are reading this, please note that I think a little bit of quirkiness is a good thing :-) And the dog is not happy with my presence. I walked in to TV room yesterday evening and there's Mum on her chair with her magazine and Dad with paper on his chair and the dog... well the dog (and she ain't bit) is spread out over the little 2 seater sofa. And she wasn't looking happy when I sat down. Not at all happy. Oh no. Oh yes, I'll be watching my back while I'm here!

No pictures yet as while I would still like a small digital camera there's so much choice out there but to get something inexpensive but that also takes decent pictures is tough :-( And one recommendation I did get is prob a bit more than i want to spend.. Then again as I write this... I mean I've already broken my no more clothes shopping embargo so...