Saturday, 29 November 2008

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth...

The Kiwi dollar has been weakening over the last 6 months and I got quite excited when I was getting about $2.10 per euro on my credit card. The other day I got a rate of $2.34 to the euro and that prompted my brief lunch time clothes purchases. But... I have been talking about getting a 55m-200mm lens for my camera. They're cheaper here than back home and the shops match prices if you seem same item cheaper elsewhere. So today I decided to do something about it. I was buying the lens and a polarising filter and not only did they match Christchurch online site price but they bettered it. Of course I don't yet know how credit card rate but I'm expecting it to be good. Happy me :)

3 weeks to the day to heading home for Christmas... I'm excited!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bits & Pieces

Well, I've managed to whittle down the large number of photos that I took on hols to the 27 that I've put up on flickr. Needless to say I have many more that I could put up but I'm trying to show some restraint :)

Week back at work is fine... been pretty busy. Just 16 working days to Christmas break :) Will be a long journey home but I'm looking forward to it!

No climbing or running at the moment... ankle has been misbehaving (i.e. swollen and sore) for over a week now. Hopefully it'll get bored and go back to normal soon.

Kiwi dollar is so weak at the moment... as a result I had a brief shopping visit at lunch time :) And no, it wasn't shoes!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Some holidays snaps

Sth Island was great. Don't even know where to start.
Visited Picton (dodgy motel - I slept on floor),
Christchurch (stayed with some friends),


the totally breathtaking Lake Tekapo,


Mt Cook National Park (2nd visit there and I still haven't seen Mt Cook - the mist at back of photo is Mt Cook),


Arthur's Pass (cold but so so beautiful),


Punakaiki,


Cape Foulwind (I love the irony of me staying in a place called that!) where we had beautiful meal and great time in local bar,


Motueka (beautiful bird sanctuary near beach),


Takaka (I LOVE the Wholemeal Cafe), Farewell Spit (stunning) and Pohara where we spent 2 nights in the wonderful Sans Souci Inn. Oh and photo is of when three grown men spent nearly 20 mins trying to get one tiny little bird out of the hut :)


And that'll have to do for the moment as there's no way I can blog everything that I saw and/or did. I have many many more photos (like nearly another 370) some of which will make it up on to flickr at some point :)
Oh my favourite new phrase from the holiday was "meadow muffins" to refer to sheep (or other) dung in fields :)
Oh and I realised this morning that I have one too many silver/grey hairs in my head. It would seem that age is catching up with my head.. maybe time for visit to hair colourist soon.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

And...

not only did I run the 5km run but I did it in 28 mins 36 seconds :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I did it.

I did the 5km.
I don't know my time as I was so focussed on getting over the line that I totally missed the rather huge big timer right in front of me! Hopefully I find out tomorrow.
Foot/leg is pretty sore but then again it was sore before I started so reckon it's fair to say that it isn't any better.
Calves feeling a little sore now... maybe time for some more stretching!
Pretty happy with myself.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Wonderful Music

Yesterday evening we went to see and listen to Hesperion XXI perform in Wellington town hall. Unfortunately both of the female vocalists were unable to perform as they were ill but... I need to just say that the music was wonderful. The instruments were wonderful... the oud had a beautiful sound from it. Jordi Savall's 360 year old viola de gamba was just beautiful with a fantastic performance of Musical Humours (Tobias Hume). I could go on about all of the performers but I'll stop as I'm not a musical critic. What I will do is finish by saying that, it was an evening of wonderful, beautiful music.

A leisurely Sunday

Last Sunday we had a wonderfully leisurely day which was needed by both of us though probably for different reasons! Dave had valid reason in that he had been involved in a 12 hr mountain bike team event the day before... I had been supporting :)

Kiwis really do these things properly... there were some serious tents set up with tables, chairs and BBQs. We weren't too bad either (thanks Ian!) with tent, 2 chairs and heater (which I needed later on in evening). Some of the teams take the event very seriously whereas others... well they're just doing it for fun (though having said that a 12 hr event is a 12 hr event!).



So, on Sunday lazy morning with a tasty brunch before heading out to go for a short walk along the Rimutaka Incline Trail. The sun, when I was in it, was lovely :) Not sure how far we got (probably not very) as there was lots of stopping to take photos... have I mentioned that I love my new camera??

Not looking good

So, tomorrow evening is the 5km corporate challenge run that I put my name down for about 4 weeks ago. I'm not a runner but I thought I'd try try running as a way of getting fit. I'd heard that the best way of starting running is to do intervals - walk, run, walk, run etc. So, I did a bit of a google and found the podrunner intervals podcast and decided that I'd start on the First Day to 5km podcast series which is meant to get you running 5km from scratch in 9 weeks. Now therein you may see the flaw... 9 weeks, yet I don't have 9 weeks. So, I've been giving it a go and wasn't finding it too hard until I hit week 4... and I'm finding it hard now. I was out on Saturday and I went out again this evening and my legs felt like lead! Not boding well for tomorrow is it? Oh well... at least the weather looks like it'll be good :) Wish me luck!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A drink and food...

Been a very busy and somewhat stressful week. By last night I was exhausted by the time that I got back from my last camera class but at least I did get a good kip last night.

Today was busy like other days but after work it was out for a cocktail and some food at C3 in Chews Lane in Wellington. It's not somewhere I've been before but when I've walked past I can't say I've ever been thinking "I must go in there sometime". Just looks like one of those high ceilinged noisy places where the "good looking" people go. But we had a table to ourselves in the back upstairs, the food wasn't bad (well I only had a starter), the cocktail was different (Passion Fruit Cosmopolitan: a little on the boozy side for me but I did of course finish it) and the craic was great. Definitely lots of laughing and ughs and eeks during the course of the evening... A very enjoyable and fun evening :)



(There were more of us there than above but photos didn't turn out the best.. as can be seen by this one. Oh, and I'm only in one so reckoned if I was going to put one up it should be one containing a person people might recognize :) )

Sunday, 2 November 2008

From a cold wet gloomy Sat to a glorious Sunday...

that's been this weekend. Karen arrived up on Friday evening so after getting back from airport we went for a chilled walk along the sea front and then back here for some dinner... followed by some yummy banana cake :)

On Saturday morning I had my photography course field trip down in Civic Sq. This area is chosen as it's close to the water front, there's the library and there's normally loads of folk milling about. Not yesterday morning; it was wet, cold, windy (very) and generally gloomy! I took some photos, spent quite a while (about 15 photos worth) trying to figure out why all my photos were soooo blurry. I mean I knew it was windy but I wasn't shaking that much. Finally after much shaking of my hand I realised the problem - I had forgotten to switch back from manual focus to automatic!

The day was so so rotten that when I got back home we didn't venture out again until close to 7 when we headed off to the Matterhorn to meet Dave and to have some pre-dinner cocktails before heading to Le Metropolitain for a fairly tasty dinner! Later we ended up in Havana for a drink (not a direct route getting there but get there we did) and some music. We didn't stay long (that's probably down to me... I'm not a late night owl unfortunately) but it's a great little place with some cool music and some *very* interesting and eclectic outfits being worn by the patrons!

Today (Sunday) was just beautiful out! We met Dave for breakfast and then headed out to Makara Beach after a tasty brekkie in the Aro Cafe (who used to make the best Hollandaise Sauce in Wellington but took it off their menu!!!). It was just beautiful out there; wonderful blue sea, the Sth Island in the distance, lots of dogs, a mild breeze. So relaxing and nice and warm with it :)



This afternoon we introduced Karen to Moore Wilsons. Moore Wilsons is amazing - a huge kitchen ware department, lots of wines downstairs, a lovely fresh food section with lovely cheeses. It's a dangerous place for me, and I think others to go and a little while later we left with our respective purchases of kitchen bits and pieces, cheeses, wines, salads to name a few. After seeing Karen off on the airport bus I had a run down the very crowded waterfront and am now back here writing this! A great day and lovely weekend (even with the weather!)