Saturday, 28 February 2009

Real or Satire...

It's possible that myself and other women who work (I felt the phrase "working women" left me open to slagging) are responsible for the credit crunch! Not men who work, women. I'm particularly fond of this snippet "It would be ludicrous to suggest that women should be sacked purely to give men their jobs. In many cases, their jobs should be abolished as well".

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0225/1224241774267.html?via=mr

BTW, I am assuming that this is satire as opposed to serious!

Random thoughts

I'm not tramping this weekend. Dave is. It's raining outside... lots. I'm glad I'm here writing this and not out in the rain, up a mountain with a pack on my back. Off for my 90 Balinese massage soon and have bought in dinner supplies for later on. I'm settled for the evening :)

Had a fairly busy/chaotic/lots on week at the office. By yesterday afternoon I was well ready for the weekend and enjoyed a few glasses of wine following a team update meeting yest evening (i normally disappear after those but nice wine and was just in the mood for bit of a chat yest). This morning I finally caught up with my sister on Skype... Matthew was sleeping but Ciara directed the web cam towards him so I could see him. From the sounds of it I should be glad he was asleep. When he's awake he either cries or is feeding. Except for when he gets his nappy changed... apparently he likes that. Anyway, here's hoping he adds the "awake, not feeling, not crying" combo to his set up soon. He's awful cute though :)



Oh and some trivia... my most viewed, though definitely not my best, photo on flickr is this.  They're cute dogs but I don't even really this photo!  Oh well...  Enjoy the weekend! 
Fergus And Maggie

Monday, 16 February 2009

The Tongariro Crossing

So, you might think that I was going to have a great weekend anyway what with Matthew finally putting in an appearance, but it was even better than that as apart from the fact that I got to constantly say "Have I mentioned that I have nephew?" or "Have I mentioned that I'm an Aunty?", we did the Tongariro Crossing this weekend.

Volcanoes


For those of you who don't know, this is an alpine walk between active volcanoes (well okay they haven't exactly been particularly active in the last while but...) and it's a walk that can be done in less than 7 hrs. It's considered by many to be one of the "must do" activities for anybody visiting NZ. Because of its popularity it's always very busy in the summer (up to 2000 people per day sometimes!) but it's also walked by people wearing clothing that I would never dream of going out for such a long walk in. And it's often obvious that these people really do not understand the way that the weather can literally go from glorious clear sun to v cold and no visibility in less than half an hour in this country. It's freaky but it does. We headed out in proper tramping gear wearing proper boots and carrying plenty of water each and with extra thermal layers in our packs and water proof gear. Amazingly we passed people with tiny little packs on their backs (though that was minority) and wearing either just trainers or sandals or thin plimsols! It's one of those things, you can do it wearing that gear if there's no sudden weather change and you don't stumble and twist your ankle but it ain't recommended. Note my sturdy boots below (don't they look huge??)

First Lake


Anyway the crossing itself was fantastic. We were so lucky to get a beautifully clear day which provided full visibility of Mt. Nguarhoe (Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings; as opposed to Mt Doom being its English name which is what I thought initially :) ) and fantastic views. We did the walk in 6.5 hrs with a number of breaks and numerous photos stops. It's a wonderfully barren landscape but quite captivating... walking across an inactive volcano crater is pretty cool :)

Mount Ngauruhoe


Oh and this is a photo of Soda Springs which is a short diversion off the main track after about an hour (?) of walking... not quite sure actually. Anyway they were quite lovely!
Soda Springs


On Sunday we visited some wonderful thermal pools and had a great walk around the area where there was some fantastic geothermal activity. We had a long drive back to Welly so about midday we set back off that way. Along the way we stopped off at the army museum in Waiouru, which I have to admit I was not that enthusiastic about initially, but which was just wonderful. Very moving and quite sad (well statistics and stuff from WWI always is I think). Well worth a visit for anybody driving along the desert road.

Got home about 6:30 on Sunday evening at which point I saw the first photos of Matthew and a wonderful movie snippet that my brother in law took of my sister holding Matthew for the first time.. at which point I burst in to tears. Ridiculous to cry at something so happy, but such is life :)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

My Nephew

My nephew Matthew Anthony Maguire was born on Thursday 12th February 2009 in Philadelphia, USA. He is my first nephew and to say my day was made when I received a text at 8:20am Fri morning at work is to put mildly. I was practically skipping about the place. I've been away all weekend so catching up on new photos now... happy days :)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Long Weekend

Friday was Waitangi Day here in New Zealand so we had the day off work... which was great! Myself, Dave and Amanda did a day tramp (hike to folk outside of NZ) up to Mt Kapakapanui. Apparently there are great views from the summit (1100m) so I had my camera packed up in my day pack. As we drove to the road end I got a fairly good hint that I might not be taking any photos from the summit as I saw lots of cloud cover over the mountains. Not to worry I still brought the camera... you never know :) In typical Kiwi style the track kept switching sides of the same river which required walking through it a number of times! Thanks to gaiters and luck I guess I got nothing more than damp heels to start with and actually that was due to my splashing while trying to get across relatively fast!

I admit that I found the initial steep climb relatively tough going but at least I managed to keep going... most of the time :) After lunch at Kapakapanui Hut there was one more steep portion before we reached the top... where there was a bit of a wind and lots of mist/cloud. Definitely no views! But worth the climb anyway. After all that, it was the rather steep descent (first 600m of the 900m descent is pretty steep) that has put the muscles on the front of my thighs in to a state of shock! I was fine getting down but yesterday those muscles were a little tight but today... well today I'm not sure they're working! Well, pilates tomorrow evening so they'd better fix themselves up pretty fast.



We've had a really lovely weekend weather wise. In the low to mid twenties in Wellington here today. A few friends came up from Christchurch for the Rugby Sevens so we met up this afternoon for a relaxing lunch at the Lido and then a visit to see the Colossal Squid in Te Papa. I know that one of it's eyes is missing, but the other one is meant to be there and I couldn't see it. Oh, if you're wondering, the reason I was looking for it is that it's apparently the size of a football! After the guys left for the airport I headed back to the waterfront with my book for a bit of sun and a taste boysenberry gelato (well passionfruit is my favourite but there was none left... which is not surprising considering the queues outside Kaffee Eis all day!)

Oh, and another wonderful gift I got this weekend were two sandfly bites which I can only assume I got on Friday afternoon when I was taking off gaiters, socks and boots after the tramp. Itching is driving me nuts!!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Yeah!!


It's arrived!!!
154 episodes, 112 hrs of viewing. 5 hrs of extras.
My complete The West Wing DVD box set has arrived :)
That's my TV viewing sorted for the next few months then!