Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Moving Away from the Dark Side...

I'm still here. And now that I've just gone and ordered my new MacBook I have a major driver to get my arse in gear and get a broadband connection set up at home.

For those of you who know some of the folk down here in the NZ office I would like to point out that the decision to buy a MacBook is mine. And mine alone. I have not been influenced by the fact that I am surrounded by a serious number of Apple fans. I am not, and will not become one of those people who has to buy the latest Apple iPod Nano or iPod Touch just because, well just because it's new and looks good... although the iPod Touch does have some funky new features admittedly. Honest. I promise! The fact that there a serious number of Apple fans here (at least one of whom should probably be earning commission from Apple for converting the others) may have been the reason why I was in an Apple reseller store on Sat.. and how I ended up playing with a MacBook and thinking that it was really quite beautiful and fun. I would have gone down to store today to purchase (I've been informed that walking out of that store with your purchase is a great feeling) but they're out of stock. So I've ordered online.

I headed out to Dick Smith at lunch time to try to decide whether I would be happy with the white or if I wanted to pay the Black Tax to get the black one. But to be honest, I prefer the white... so I guess I've saved myself the cost of my, as yet to be purchased, thermarest. Anyway, all the apples are off on their 5 year lunch so there's nobody here to get all excited over my order. Then again I think that suits me fine as I almost, but not quite, feel bad that I can't muster up the same excitement over Apple products that these guys do. Then again... I am looking forward to the arrival of my new MacBook :-)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Packs and things

No, still no internet at home so scribbling this at work. Had lovely 3 day long weekend for the weekend just past. I was pretty whacked by Fri so I had a lovely early night on Fri evening after a dose of Morse. Saturday I headed off my long planned day in the spa where I thoroughly enjoyed my massage followed by facial followed by body exfoliation followed by Vichy shower. Lunch after that and then manicure and pedicure. I could live without the latter two treatments. I mean I go to these things not to come out looking good but for the pure relaxation of it all and that was obtained from the pre-lunch treatments. The back massage was much needed but I believe that I really need some more serious treatment on neck/back. I'm really missing my regular visits to Carolyn my physical therapist back in Dublin :-( Probably doesn't help that I haven't found a decent pilates class to attend yet either.

Sunday was a really glorious day. Got lots done like buying apartment stuff (basic things like a lighter so I could light candles!), nice bedroom stuff, a vase (so flowers no longer in hiking flask etc :-) ). I even got a bit red in the face just from my walk in the morning and pottering about outside in the afternoon. A work colleague invited a bunch of us over for dinner on Sun evening where we had some wonderful Indian vegetarian food. I left there quite full :-)

Mon was just lazy. Read lots. Bought some lamps bla bla. Nothing exciting. Oh, what I did do though was finally buy a rucksack so I can't put off going tramping any longer! Jeez I had no idea that these things were quie so technical! I had been advised to do at least two things:
  • Buy a Macpac brand
  • Make sure it's got a good harness
So, in I go in to one of the numerous outdoor shops here in Wellington. I explain that I haven't owned a proper rucksack for tramping before (i.e. I've no idea what i'm doing or how to use the harness properly) but I need to get one. Mac (well after 45 mins I knew his name) shows me the Esprit which is designed specifically for women. Macpac have just updated their range of packs so new materials, harnesses etc so new prices too. So where as I? Oh yes, Mac shows me pack and then goes but this is a bit expensive (at $575 I didn't disagree) but look there's one of the old range and it's a size 2 and it's 70L. Yes, apparently I'm a size 2 in rucksacks. Spend about 15 mins adjusting, putting weights in walking about etc an dcome to the conclusion that it's not for me. Shoulders hurting within mins of weights going in yet apparently it's correctly adjusted. Mac then says that he thinks I'd be better off with a smaller pack because of my petite frame (I'm not sure that at 173cm I can be described as petite but hey I wasn't complaining), say something like 60L. The problem is that on tramps you have to carry your own gear and some shared gear so that just wouldn't be big enough. End up trying on the one he initially pointed out (that's 65L) - just to compare, and well, the difference was phenomenal! Seriously! Even with the weights in it was so much more comfortable. So, to cut a much longer story a bit shorter, I ended up getting that but I did get a 10% discount so happy enough. As I said to him, I wasn't going to buy the first one no matter what as it wasn't comfortable and if my shoulder was hurting with 7kg in after 10 mins how would I feel after a day with 15-20kg! We both had a good laugh at the fact that the new harness can carry a load of up to 40kg before comfort is affected... as if I'd even get it off the ground - almost as heavy as me for God's sake!! So at the end of the day the newbie has one of the latest packs on the market. Hoping to put it to good use on non club tramp with Dave weekend after next. Apparently I'll have to carry my "fair share" which I don't dispute but it's good to know that should it all get too much for me...

Second tango class this evening....
End of ramble!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Abridged version of my week (in no particular order)

  • Work.
  • Kristen Hirsh gig with some of the guys after work. The warm up band (two-thirds of duo) were pretty good actually though I was informed that by liking them I was only one step away from liking auth country! Kristen Hirsh in a totally different game though. Angry/harsh but great guitar playing!
  • Work.
  • Booked Four Seasons for Sydney visit in a few weeks. Then cancelled and rebooked on hotel site itself as cheaper than intermediary site.
  • Worked on making friends jealous by sending on link to accommodation on Aitutaki (Cook Islands) for Dec/Jan holiday.
  • Some more work.
  • Watched Pride & Prejudice the movie (again). No, Keira Knightly is not a more spirited Lizzie than Jennifer Ehle in my view though Jane is definitely less insipid!
  • Meeting.
  • Went to first tango lesson... apparently the bloke's job is to totally take over the woman's space and her job is to move her feet fast enough. Eh... right!
  • Another meeting.
  • Got bit stressed at work. See above.
  • Got sent on article that says that swearing at work can help reduce stress... Personally, all I can is that I've been trying it for years and it *doesn't* work!
  • Skipped moutaineering club as needed night off to do my ironing (exciting stuff I know!)
  • Booked return flight from Christchurch after Christmas to allow enough time back in Wellington for washing and sorting of summer clothing before heading off to The Cook Islands.
  • Didn't bother with second pilates class as first was pretty rubbish.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Some music

Off to a performance off French choral music this evening to be performed by The Tudor Consort. I recently bought one of their CDs where they performed some early music pieces and it's quite beautiful. Details on this CD at

Concert this evening will of course be quite different but if nothing else it should be beautifully sung... lovely way to start the weekend :-)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Still alive!

Just a quick one to reassure people that I am in fact alive and have not yet frozen to death! A number of people have dropped me emails/txts in the last day or two commenting on quietness of the blog so thought I'd better put a quick post here. As yet I still have no internet at home and kinda busy at work so not been writing much. All is good with me; generally having lazy fun weekends that involve yummy coffee, brunches, food, and friends. Hoping to start pilates next Tues as well which I'm looking forward to. It is introductory course but as i've been away from it for so long now I don't think that will be a problem.

I'm off to Sydney in November for a long weekend and can't wait. Fly Fri afternoon and not leaving there until the Mon evening so that's 3 full days there :-) I've lived there so not a new city to me but looking forward to visiting again, and going to a concert in the Sydney Opera House on the Sat evening which should be fab! Hope it's warmer there than it is here at the moment!

Right folks have to go and get on with some work!!! Keep me updated with your news :-)