Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A Fun Day

I had quite a fun day yesterday. Lots of silly little things that probably don't sound like fun to others but which I enjoyed :) I was meeting Dave in town at 12:30 so I headed in earlier to spend some time in Hodges Figgis and Waterstones (big bookstores). I'm still thoroughly enjoying the fact that books cost so much less here. Unfortunately not much in the way of good 3 for 2s in HF so I poppe across the road to Waterstones. I knew that I definitely wanted When Will There Be Good News (Kate Atkinson) so was hoping it would be in a 3 for 2. Not only that but instead of finding 2 I wanted and then struggling for a 3rd (which happens so often in those selections) I picked at least 4 I wanted so had to narrow it down to 3. In the end it was the Kate Atkinson, The Girl Who Played with Fire (2nd in trilogy) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist which I've heard alot of good things about. Another close runner was Howards End but I'll get that another time.

It was actually rather sunny and toasty here yesterday so to pass the rest of the time I sat in the Green enjoying the sun. It was quite toasty :) Hiking gear in New Zealand is actually relatively expensive and no one shop has a very good selection of hiking boots so it was with quite a bit of excitement (on my part at least!) that we headed in to The Great Outdoors. I didn't try on any boots yesterday but there was quite a bit to choose from so maybe I'll pay a visit tomorrow. While Dave was trying some boots I just browsed and observed (as you do in these situations) another shop assistant with what I can only call a fairly demanding customer. She wanted this and not that (definitely minimal stitching!) and he (assistant) should remember this... quite amusing really :)

Now... Ikea! The republic's first Ikea opened at the end of July so we headed out there. It was great! We were like two little kids both wishing for an empty space to furnish. We weren't buying (sure I don't get to move back in to my place until October so no point) but it was fun to wander around. No idea how we did it but downstairs we ended up going in via the checkouts and at one point we were very much walking against the crowd (and it was busy!). I was wondering how many people get lost in Ikea ('cos that is exactly what we were at one point... okay only for a couple of mins :) ) Amazingly we did walk out without buying anything but I definitely want to visit again!

Rest of the day was just chilling out in Marino. A walk down the Bull Wall and the beach. Some food (Bombay Pantry... good but disappointing Nan break!) and then home :)

And last but not least... for those of you asking for another photo of Matthew...

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Time for a Name Change?

Well I no longer live in New Zealand, I live in Ireland again. So, as somebody pointed out to me a while back the name of this blog is no longer apt. I'm open to suggestions 'cos I certainly can't think of anything to call it.

I've been back since Tues afternoon. The weather has been relatively warm actually but not quite as bright or sunny as I would hope for for August. Actually even though I knew, while in New Zealand, that it's much brighter here than here (even in winter), it was still a shock to be faced with it. But all in all at least I've been able to go around in t-shirts, if not shorts :)

So on Tuesday afternoon I met my godson and nephew and Matthew. I'm not a baby person. Never have been and doubt I ever will be. But he's a cutie! What I've found fascinating is that watching him I realise that babies are born with literally no motor skills and have to learn everything. He's only 6 months old so he's a bit to go yet but he can still move around a carpet by rolling himself about. It's great. So as part of my godmother duties my sister asked me to give him his dinner last night while she ran out to the Chinese. His main was some sort of chicken and spring vegetable stuff which looked pretty unappetising (actually most baby food looks unappetising but this particularly). Ciara warned me that he was only getting to used to the taste of the chicken so I didn't expect him to eat too much of it. I got him to eat a bit of it but after the grimace on the swallow which had been preceded by him spitting it out at me twice (oh yes and the timely sneezes as I put food in his mouth) we switched to his Autumn Vegetable stuff which he likes much better. 45 minutes later (I kid you not!) I was gagging for a glass of wine and he'd eaten his main plus some mushed pear stuff and some milk. Brownie points for me from the parents. He proceeded to spend the rest of the evening busy razzing (first I'd heard of that word) at a rate of knots combined with chatting to himself. Result? Four adults trying to watch TV with baby making bizarre noises and adults breaking up with laughter at regular intervals.

Today was the big day. The Christening. The parents were well behaved. Matthew was extremely well behaved. There was a bit of chatting to himself in the church but that just resulted in me laughing to myself. He looked very angelic in his white gown and robe...

There was some food and friends in a pub across the road afterwards. A little later more friends arrived and before long I was scared. I felt like I was in a creche with no way out. Luckily all the young people were in one half of the room so I made sure I was in the other half. For the record I was not the only person afraid. Hearing that there'll be 30 children there is not the same as the actual reality of being in a room with that many babies and children. Trust me. I know I made the right decision in not ever even considering being a teacher :)

Hmm... what else? Oh I excitedly visited a bookshop the other day. One of the things I have been looking forward to about moving back here is the fact that books do not cost $30 each! Unfortunately it was a slightly disappointing experience. My fault. I should have gone in to the city centre to one of the bigger stores but I just headed down to Dun Laoghaire. Decent stores but I was picturing a Unity Books but with Irish prices (books, cheese and hiking boots are probably the only things where I'll want Irish over NZ prices!). Wasn't like that. I did buy a couple of books but I intend some more purchases later in the week :)

p.s Yes I miss Wellington.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A bookcrosser in the making

Meet Matthew my godson and nephew... I think we might have a future bookcrosser in our midsts here :)

Busy reading

However as he loves the camera (seriously this kid poses for photographs) he did act nice and take a break from his reading to pose for the camera. But I do like that "What, I'm busy here" look on his face.

Don't interrupt I'm reading!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Making Someone's Day

Yesterday morning I met some friends for brunch at Midnight Espresso in Wellington. I'd only been in there once before to have a coffee so it was my first eating venture there. There were four of us (the usual international crew of a German, a Canadian, an American and an Irish person) and we all ended up ordering variations on the same thing - pancakes with banana and fruit, pancakes with banana and fruit without the maple syrup and pancakes with bacon and banana. As we didn't know how long the food would be Megan appeared at our table with a muffin to help us get through to breakfast.

I hadn't seen these guys in a few weeks so there was alot of catching up (Kate's in the process of moving, Megan will be moving at the end of August, Kat going to Australia for Christmas etc) and as usual with these girls, alot of laughter! Later as were eating our breakfast one of the girls working there was clearing some stuff off the table to give us some space and went for the last quarter of the muffin. My comment of "oh you should leave that... it's food!" produce a "you guys make my day" comment. I'm guessing it wasn't that particular comment so much but rather the fact that we had been laughing rather, well, not demurely for the previous 30 minutes! About an hour after that the same girl appeared at our table with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ (and maybe grapefruit or grape juice?) for each of us. We looked at her in surprise and got told that we had the staff's day with all our laughter and chatter that morning and they'd enjoyed having us there hence the juice! There was quiet for about 10 seconds... and well, after that it was back to our chat and laughter and yummy juice.

It's hard to believe that in a few weeks I'll be gone from Wellington and there won't be that sort of international brunch with the ability to laugh at anything in such a great little cafe for some time to come.