Thursday, 30 October 2008


A hectic busy day at work especially this afternoon. At points I was literally running from person A to person B to meeting C to meeting D. And weirdly I thoroughly enjoyed it... last time I had a day like this was in early-mid August. Luckily my climbing partner was unable to climb this evening (unfortunately she is not well) as I didn't get out of the office until well gone 6pm.

Then home to get ingredients for banana cake for "morning tea" in work tomorrow. This seems to be a Kiwi thing, or at least an ACC thing... we have two people leaving tomorrow - one for good, the other on extended maternity leave so we're having a morning tea where you bring in "home baked" stuff! Every other time I've bought something but I thought I'd try to make some banana cake tonight. Here's what I learnt...
1. Don't forget to add the eggs
2. A casserole dish will not do in place of a proper mixing bowl when you're using an electric whisk and there's flour involved.. and you forgot to add the eggs
3. Don't forget to add the sugar

So it's in the oven now but I'll be somewhat surprised if this is something that i can actually bring in to serve to other people tomorrow!!!

Looking forward to the weekend - my mate is up from Christchurch, I have my photography field class and hopefully we'll get some climbing in too.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Tum te tum

Climbing tonight. No foot cramps. I did pretty good. I got past that point on that wall - the green wall (see this post). I was well pleased. But what pleased me even more was that I not only got past that point but I made it to the top :-) It was hard; not one of those walls where there's just one difficult part and once you're past that it's a breeze, oh no, but I was half way there and if I could get past that point I was so going to get to the top. Feeling smugly pleased and happy with myself!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Today in a meeting, one of the project managers that I am working with referred to me as "Ether". Not once, not twice, but every time that he mentioned my "name". Trust me, I fully understand the difficulty that the name "Aoife" can provide to anybody outside of Ireland, and I have indeed been called many things in my time but can somebody please please please explain to me how "Aoife" could possibly be pronounced "Ether"??

In this manager's defence I should add that this is not the first time that this has happened... at my Uni graduation uni ball I was informed that in first year my nickname was Gassie as a number of my friends thought that my name was "Ether" and not "Aoife". They at least realised before the first few months were up that this was not the case but I've been on site here for 14 months!

I'm not annoyed, I'm actually amused... and confused!

My annual rant...

I'll try to keep it brief and to the point but...
it's October and Kirkcaldi and Stains have Christmas trees up in their windows. October. Not even November (I'm not a fan of Christmas trees in November either mind you), but October. It's just wrong!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Oh dear...

well I didn't make it on my hike as indicated in my previous posting and well, I took it out on my credit card. Now in fairness I did go for a run this morning but it seems that pay back of some sort was still required.. so a number of hours later I've bought some cute shoes (can't get a photo I like so none - will try again later), a book, some running and trail socks, running shorts, running top, 2 Icebreaker t-shirts, and eh, oh, another book. Yeah. So, no more shopping for me at a week or two!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Not what I had in mind...

Not impressed at all. Had somewhat fretful sleepless night as bit worried about keeping up with hike today. Up at 7:35am. Packed. Big breakfast. Out door and boots on in plenty of time. Quite nice outside (nasty weather not due until after lunch). And before I get to exit of building left hurting with each step. Alot. On top of foot up to ankle. Get outside, flex it a bit. Hurts. Relace and think I'll walk to bus stop at least to see how it works. Don't make it as far as bus stop. Back to apartment. Phone Amanda. Eh, Amanda, my foot hurts. With each step. Whether it's still tender/bruised from last weekend I don't know but well, there you go, that's my Saturday day hike. I'm actually really disappointed because even though I was not looking forward to the weather this avo I've been looking forward to the hike itself since Sept when I found out about it. I thought it would be a good way for me to focus on NZ terrain which is little difficult to back home without having to worry about being off balance because of overnight gear on my back. Hmm... Well going to try out my new running shoes now... see if foot/shoes any better behaved.

Grumble grumble

Thinking positively...

I'm trying to do this honest. It's Friday evening and at 9am tomorrow I am due to be on a bus to Eastbourne where I will start on a day hike with some folk from the club (Medium, not Easy grade!). I suspect it'll be relatively long but hopefully I'll manage that fine as I'll only be carrying a day pack rather than a full pack. The downside is the weather... spring may be here but every now and then it sort of forgets. Tomorrow's weather (and the forecast for this hasn't changed since about Weds and current temperature implying this will indeed be the case) is for rain and a cold southerly with a high of 12 degrees. Oh dear is all I can think. I'm having images of being cold and wet and well, cold and wet. So I suspect that my pack may not be all that light after all as I carry lots of clothing! Don't hold your breath on the photos front either... I don't even intend on bringing my camera!

Speaking of photography I started my photography course on Weds evening. I really enjoyed and while my brain did go in to frazzle mode every now and then (might explain why I'm so exhausted today... still recovering) I'm looking forward to the next class!

Anyway, I've finished off the week nicely. Last night after climbing we went to Maria Pia's in Thorndon for dinner. Maria Pia's is a wonderful Italian restaurant with a fantastic amibance and wonderful home made pasta. Oddly I don't always love my food there but I always love the meal and whole dining experience there and the pasta itself is always superb. And the wine was pretty tasty too :)

This evening after work I met a friend in Old St. Pauls for some Fri evening jazz. I'm not a jazz afficionado but I really enjoyed it. And it was wonderful to see a female jazz pianist - not sure that happens too often. It's a wonderful building (historic) and I definitely want to head back there (there being about 5 mins up the road from me) with the camera.

And that's about it as I'm actually feeling pretty tired tonight.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A Weekend Update...

I seem to be recovering reasonably well from my tramp at the weekend even if ankles and hip bone a little tender :) We had a beautiful weekend weather wise and as it's the school holiers here there was a risk that the hut we were walking to would be fairly busy. Dave had been thinking about buying a 2 person tent so it was decided that this was a good opportunity to do that; he'd carry it up and if the weather was nice then we'd camp a little bit past the hut. We started walking about 11:15am on Saturday morning from Otaki Forks in beautiful weather. For about the first hour and a half or so we're on gorgeous track in the sun and I'm thinking, yeah, this could be good.

About 90 mins in there's a bit old slip that we have to climb around which I found fine. Then ground starts getting a little bit more difficult - lots of mud to avoid, tree roots, climbing up over big tree roots (most of the time this is fine as nature provided some wonderful foot holds). Then there's a climb (about 400 - 500 metres I think) up to the plateau where lunch was had. The pace isn't exactly fast but little did we know that I was going to get slower after lunch! I guess I was getting tired (carrying the pack.. I'm sure that's it :) ) but it was the constant criss cross (after descending from plateau) across tributary that took it from me. Initially yes I'm trying not to get feet wet but then that becomes less of an issue as i know boots are going to be flooded later when crossing the river to the hut, but what I find hard is just balance and trusting my feet between/on rocks in the river. At one point I'm so busy watching the ground (this is back on the dry ground - read muddy ground) that I walked head first in to a rather large and thick tree branch. That hurt :( Anyway after close to 6 hrs we get to the decision point to take detour up around river to hut or to walk down stream (in stream) to the river and then cross that twice to the hut. The former approach was going to add about 45 - 60 mins to the route. The latter is about 15 min walk to river and about 10-15 mins from there so while I was somewhat apprehensive of wading thigh/hip deep across a rather large river I decided to try it. Unfortunately we got down there and it was too deep/fast so with only two of us to form a chain we decided it prob was a little dangerous. So turned around and back up the detour route.

I was very relieved to see hut, which, it turned out, we had to ourselves! It was great. We had leisurely, relatively gourmet tramping dinner of pasta, pesto and asparagus before crashing for the night. For the first time in ages I wasn't freezing in my sleeping bag or in the hut.. it was great!
Preparing dinner
Walk out on Sunday was much more enjoyable. Whether this was because I knew what to expect or because I was in front setting the pace I don't know but much better. A portion of the track is totally blocked by some bad tree fall and whereas on the Saturday we somehow or other clambered over (a little on the dangerous side as never really knew if we had solid ground beneath us), on Sunday we just went in the river/stream. Trees are of course large so there was some interesting swinging under tree trunks even there to avoid the fall. But the difference on Sunday was that it was just more fun and much safer avoiding the tree fall in the river than on land! I did finally manage to grab a few photos once we got out of the bush and back in the sun on Sunday afternoon... so you'll see nice photos of this tramp only rather than "aoife finds difficult" track:)
The Swing Bridge
A thoroughly exhausted Aoife got back to Wellington about 5:45 on Sunday where I did not allow myself to get in to shower (which trust me, was greatly required) until pack emptied and washing on. I had had good intentions of also cleaning/waxing boots as well but that got postponed.

All in all, a challenging but enjoyable tramp with some fantastic New Zealand Spring weather :)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

I could..

I could write a blog entry about our tramp (good, long, great weather) this weekend... but that would require more energy than I currently possess. So I won't. No real reason for this particular entry then of course but not sure I'm awake enough to worry about that :)

Friday, 10 October 2008

The Ballad of Sarah Palin

I'm not actively following the leadup to the American elections but let's face it, it's hard to ignore. And we've heard so much about this Sarah Palin (anybody even know who Obama's running mate is??), not much of it good so I did a little youtube search to find something to make me smile :)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Running out of Patience...

I honestly do not know how much more I can take of this "green" wall. Tonight was my fourth week attempting this and I'm tired of getting stuck at the same point every week. I think I could deal with this if I was getting a bit further on each attempt but getting stuck at the same point... well, trust me when I say that I was not "being too hard on myself" (Spencer's words not mine). I'm tired of this and it seems to me that I need a lesson on technical climbing if there's such a thing. I intend to speak to the people in Fergs and see if anybody there can help me with some technical moves that I don't have but need! Of course it could just be that it's a nerve/arm strength/leg strength thing too but at some point I'm going to need the technical stuff too... I ain't good with using the wall unless it's obvious bit of rock (1 inch) jut/ledge to use.

Last weekend I finally finished John Irving's "Until I Find You"... if you haven't read then my suggestion would be go, "read it". It's fantastic. It's a long novel (close to 1000 pages) but it's so well written with fantastic characters that I loved it from start (literally) to end! I started reading "The Italian Woman" by Iris Murdoch after that which I have to admit I'm finding much more readable than I expected! But I decided the other evening as it's such a lovely light thin book I should keep it for our tramp this weekend. We're going to walk up to Waitewaiwai (Y-te-Y-Y) Hut from Otaki Forks on Saturday and back out on Sunday... apparently about a 6 hrs walk. Well I need the exercise (hence finally buying some running shoes this weekend)!!

As for the runnng shoes... I feel I can trying something a little more than climbing, tramping and pilates. My aim is to do the Corporate Challenge 5km run on the 12th November. As I've never actually done any serious running (Bray to Greystones once does not count!) I don't really expect to be able to run the whole thing (but I'm still aiming for that) but sure I have no doubt that I could easily walk that bit that I can't run.

Enough waffle so that's it for now...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Menu... for anybody interested

Last Saturday evening's very tasty veggie degustation menu that I had at Citron...

Degustation Menu

Amuse Bouche
A small bite of food to amuse the mouth, invigorate the palate, whet the appetite

Eggplant mousseline w cocoa nib & micro greens

Cherry tomato w olive paint, avocado, purple potato crisps
& tomato oil

Parsnip dumplings on sweet corn puree w glazed baby onions,
truffled chestnut & cumin foam

Indian spiced split red lentil soup

Blue cod w cauliflower crumb, balsamic caviar, buttered turnip
& parsley couli

Portabello & crushed potato galette w edemame beans, Spring pesto
& aubergine ragout

Meyer vintage gouda w peach & almond paste

Nectarine & green tea refresher

Pain d’épices w dark chocolate mousse, cherry compote
& crème de cassis caramel

Petit fours