Thursday, 31 March 2011

Earthquake humour

YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN CHRISTCHURCH WHEN.....
  • Geonet / ChristchurchQuakeMap is your homepage
  • The rest of the country offers you a place to stay
  • “Munted” and “buggered” are official technical terms
  • You go 'pfffff' when Wellington has a 4.5 earthquake that's 40km deep
  • You sleep in one suburb, shower in another and collect water from yet another
  • You are happy two Policemen came for a visit
  • When your bike becomes your best friend
  • You think it's fine for a soldier to be stationed at the end of your street
  • You see armoured vehicles driving down the road
  • It’s normal to greet people with “do you need a shower?”
  • A bucket of sh*t is no longer that old car you drive
  • Every house is a crack house
  • Instead of rushing to the clothes line to get clothes in when it rains, you put dirty washing on the line in the hope that it will rain enough to clean them
  • Going to Wellington to escape earthquakes makes sense
  • Your doctor recommends having a few stiff drinks before bed to help you sleep
  • You know how to start and refuel a generator
  • You have tied the pantry, liquor cabinet and all the cupboard doors closed and it's not to keep kids out
  • You prefer to sit under the table instead of at it
  • You know and actually understand the terms and conditions of your House and Contents insurance policies
  • Your en-suite has a vege garden, dog kennel and grass
  • Your teenagers are only too happy to sleep in the same room as their parents
  • Discussing toilet habits with total strangers is an everyday norm
  • Wee boys don't get excited when they see (another) digger or a dozer - but all the adults in the street cheer wildly
  • Voluntarily staying in Timaru for five days seems like a good idea
  • You know what that extra gear lever on your 4X4 is for
  • You can use the term "liquefaction" in everyday casual conversation, even your 3-year old can
  • When a massive group of students appears in your street, you feel overwhelmed with gratitude instead of calling the Police. What’s more, the students leave the street in better condition than when they arrived
  • The answer to where anything is .... it’s on the floor
  • You smile at strangers and greet people like you’re one big family
(written by a Cantrabrian)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Watercolours class

Pffff, it's not easy, watercolours!


Here a few pics...


Only now after 6 classes or so do I get more confident with the paint and all that water :-)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The veggie garden

Just a few images to show what the veggie garden looks like at the moment...

It's only just 16m2 or so that we have availabe, not huge, but enough to play around with veggies :-) Pic above: just after our gardener had cleared the lot. In the distance grapes, a lime tree, lettuces and conifer balls (!).

As I said: grapes, lime tree, tiny orange tree, lettuces and conifer balls.

Tiny cauliflowers in the background under the lemon tree, and kohlrabi at the front. Kohlrabi is war-food, according to Age.

From the other side

Ah, now we're talking.. This is broccoli.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is radish - sown 2 weeks ago!

And here... is Fennel :-)

Also showing at the moment after being sown 2 weeks ago: rhubarb, endive, brussel sprouts, swedes and onions.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

And another week gone!

If you get in a bit of a routine the time really flies past, another week gone! Nothing too exciting happened here to be honest. We've played the last game in the golf business house last Wednesday (it's getting too dark now too early to keep on playing late), and ended up 12th or so with our team. Luckily there are always prizes for almost everybody, so I got a box with new golf balls :-)

I'm almost inclined to say 'and that was it for the week'... let me think of some more exciting stuff...
  • we ate our first home-grown lettuce: with a few additional extras - some ants, a bird feather, and an earwig (spelling?)
  • the bugs and insects in the garden love our cauliflower and broccoli
  • the radishes came up, and I've thinned them
  • the sprouts are coming up too, as well as parsnips
  • the weather is still glorious, 23 degrees or so, blue skies, light breeze. We just went to Tahuna for an iced coffee with Anne, Adrian and her mum and did a bit of a beach walk, watching the kite surfers.
  • on Friday we had fish 'n chips with Jill and James - that's quickly becoming a tradition. We're thinking of going to Hanmer Springs with the four of us with Easter, but there's hardly any accommodation available! We might have to change our destination.
  • I played with a golf partner in a certain competition for a certain Cup and we won - it was the 2 best rounds out of 3. We'll get our prize at the end of the year (?!!).
  • I'm not mentioning Age much, am I?? He's just doing his thing really, playing tennis, going to Wellington each week, having fun with his computer(s), building websites for various sports clubs, ordering things from the Internet - like shoes, he really has a shoe addiction, it's crazy. We made the deal that if he buys a pair, he has to sell a pair as well. That works - he just sold a pair for $90.
  • And we had this tsunami alarm - although we live close to the sea and can actually see the see from where we live, we should be high enough up the hill to be safe. Very strange is it that Nelson gets the tsunamis the last of all New Zealand, while it's situated in the middle of the country. Say for example that Northland would get the waves at 8am, Wellington at 9am, Invercargill at 10 am, then Nelson gets them at 11 am. Not sure why that is! Nothing happened here by the way, the tsunami coincided with low tide, didn't see anything unusual.
  • And did I mention earlier that Age secured our bookcases to the wall? We don't want those to topple over in an earthquake and get buried under them, that's why. We also talked about having our 'get through' kit ready - everyone is advised here to get a get-through kit, in case disaster strikes, with food and water and other stuff to be able to get through on your own for at least 3 days after the disaster. In places like Wellington (where they expect a big earthquake, just like they do in LA) every organisation has those kits and lots of households too. There are regular ads on tv and in newspapers to get your kit ready. So what do you do? You only think about it and never get round to do it really, because it's such a hassle. You not only need to buy non-perishable food, but also batteries for your torches, a gas bottle or so, a stove, pain killers, first aid kit, loads of rubbish bags (for pee and poo), anti septic stuff, rubber gloves, etc. But after the quakes in chch we're now more in action mode. We're talking about the details now :-)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Autumn, golf, and a Southerly blast

It surely is getting colder now! Yesterday during the day when I was playing golf we felt the temperature drop a couple of degrees when the predicted Southerly kicked in, and when I drove home it was only 16 degrees! That takes some getting used to, as we haven't had these temperatures since October I think. This morning it was only 5 or 6 degrees outside (and 8 in the conservatory...), but luckily during the day we'll reach the 20's again.

The sun is definitely much lower in the mornings, it's even quite dark now around 7am, and the leaves are slowly turning yellow, brown and red. We are still on water restrictions, which means that we can't water the garden automatically with our irrigation system, but are only allowed to use a hand-hose on even days of the week. That surely is a pain in the $%#. I hand-hosed the garden once and it almost took me all day. Luckily for me and the garden we've had a good amount of rain the last couple of days, so hopefully the water restrictions will be lifted soon. By the way, if you ever are going to do some work on your garden - get an irrigation system! Pure bliss! It's attached to a little computer and you can programme when and how long you want to water the garden for, and indicate which sections need more watering than others (for example the lawn, or the vege garden while the rest of the garden is ok.).

And now that it's autumn a few of the summer golf competitions I'm participating in will come to an end too. I've played lots of golf in the last two months or so, and my handicap has nicely come down to a 26.2. On Friday I won half a dozen of beer (!) in the Twilight competition in Nelson, as well as $75, because I had shot a nett eagle. Had no idea what that was, but it had to do with a par 3 hole that I completed in 2 shots. That was actually the best 2 ever! I teed off and got somewhere in the rough, miles from the pin, and then chipped it out of the rough on my second shot, plop on the green, past the pin, and then the ball decided to roll back to the pin and drop into the hole! So I'm hoping to be able to live from my prize money soon.

Age played tennis, and he was literally the last man standing, as more or less one after the other in his own team and the team of the opposition got injured and transported back home by their wifes. Age's opponent told him that he had pretty sore and bruised ribs, while his mate had his arm in a sling (how you can play tennis with that is not clear to me to be honest). Age then added to the misery by hitting a ball straight into the ribs of his opponent, after which the guy dropped on his back to the floor, gasping for air!