Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas at the family ... ... ranch (?)

This year the run up to christmas has been all about wrapping presents, drinking wine, ever-so-much sun, family decorations, watching Q.i., making Candy Cane Biscotti, and herding runaway caterpillars.

Candy Cane Biscotti

Candy Cane Biscotti


Traditional Decoration

Our tree is a family history of christmases.
Ever so old baubles made by my grandma using sequins and polystyrene balls. And a crochet angel from which the starch has disappeared.

Sleeping angel decoration

She now appears to be sleeping. Yawning. Not exactly caroling.

2007 Decorations:

Jayne's decoration

Charlotte's decoration

Christmas tree decorations

My decoration

My decoration

Rogue Caterpillars!

Runaway Caterpillar

Rogue caterpillar

Runaway Caterpillar

And scary scary decorations in the mall.
Well, mainly just the one extra scary decoration:

SUPER creepy decoration

It's all I see when I close my eyes!

Pretty rose

Pretty rose

Rose Closeup

(much better)

This morning my sisters and I all got up at different times and didn't really see each other before leaving the house.
About an hour after we'd been all home together we kind of looked at each other and realised:


We'd all managed to choose some kind white tee shirt and jeans.
Spooky in a not very interesting kind of way.

Creepy decoration

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Out of Character

Remember when I told y'all about all the hundreds of photos I had to post?
And how I actually would post them?
Oh, that was fun. The tiny glimmer of hope that I might emerge from my camera-blind haze and put photos up in an organised manner.

Don't get me wrong. I do still intend to.
Perhaps after Christmas.
To tide you over, here are a few of my favourites:

Hong Kong

Reflection of a reflection

View of 2 ifc

View of 2 ifc

Pretty Flowers

Craig and the HK Skyline

Sarah-Rose and the HK Skyline

Cute little Lily face



Mmm Pocky (one)

Purple with gold behind

Incense with flowers behind

Burning Incense

Incense at Po Lin

Incense at Po Lin


Dark dark shell

Gannet in flight

Favourite clouds

Some people make me feel inadequate.

Proof Craig made it to the top

So green

View from Rangitoto

And now, I am in Wellington and Craig is in Auckland and the freedom is a little spooky.
We haven't spent this long apart since ... June 2004.
In the last year we haven't spent more than say, the day, apart.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Curiouser and curiouser

Today Craig and I took the ferry out to Rangitoto Island and climbed all the way to the top (!) and all the way back down again.
I took many photos (you're surprised, I know) but they will wait for another day because this afternoon something quite strange happened to me ...

We caught the 12:45pm ferry back to Devonport. I can't be wrong, because there are only 3 ferry crossings a day and if we'd missed that one then we'd have been sat on the island, twiddling our thumbs, for another 3.5 hours.
The ferry ride was uneventful. Except halfway through one of those things popped into my head.
One of those things that gets turned around and around and around like a rock in a tumbler, polishing it up in my mind. One of them is Dolarhyde but today it was ...
R.o.u.s es, Rodents of Unusual Sizes. ROUSes. ROUSes. ROUSes.

I even muttered it outloud as we were disembarking. I was trying to not slip.
The ferry ride took 20 minutes, we were in Devonport at 1pm.

On our way back to Craig's parents' house we stopped at a mall and I bought two pairs of shoes (also, not the point of this story) and the time on the receipt, (I just checked) was 1:51pm.

Have we established the time yet? Craig and I would not have been home before 2pm.
Shortly afterward I started editing and uploading photos from the day. And I checked my email.
I received this:


Bizarre right?
An obscure linguistical obsession pops into my head, apropos of nothing and I come home to a message saying the exact same thing??
My sister and I are obviously psychically linked.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Firstly, an explanation ...

Craig and I arrived safely in New Zealand a few days ago.
Ever since I have been awash on a sea of sugarfree V.
There is a strange cognitive dissonance, everything seems so totally familiar and yet strange. Little things.

On our first day in Hong Kong, we were walking down to catch the ferry and I exclaimed Sparrows!!, I hadn't, until that moment, realised that we don't see sparrows in London.

I have ... oh, hundreds of photos to post. Why?

An explanation ...

Because my husband is oh so darling. My fauxmas present was the camera I have been dreaming of for years. The Canon EOS 400d.
Which I have been calling my Ixty, as the US name for the model is the Digital Rebel xti. Hee. But I'm not a big fan of the us-centric nickname. And I will not be anthropomorphising it.
(I have to quit squinting into the viewfinder though.)

Friday, December 07, 2007


Attention family.
It seems we love all y'all too damn much (oh yea, haven't been in London at all. Actually Louisiana. Forgot to mention that) because the huge suitcaseS we just packed?
Half full of presents for you.

Craig would argue that it's just a sickness that I have. This present buying obsession. But I blame all of YOU.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

No turning back now ...

In 45 minutes I finish work.
I have 5 weeks leave and everyone looks at me a little askance when I tell them, but I had it arranged before I started! And they didn't HAVE to hire me!
Ach. It's frustrating.

Tomorrow I have a million and one things to do, including a massive repack. Oh that will be so so so much fun.

I really didn't plan this final week out too well. While the Pantomime last night was amazing (just fabulous boys and gels) and the concert tonight I'm sure will be equally fab, I just think that really I could have used an extra evening or two at home in the final run ... I can't think about it anymore. My head hurts just a little.

Why did I start this again? Oh right. To say that, as of tomorrow, we are on holiday!
In the evening we fly out to Hong Kong!! We haven't been before and oh, I am excited.
We arrive in Auckland on the 12th December (New Zealand!!) and then Wellington on the 20th December.

A week or so ago, I mentioned to Craig how it was disappointing that we leave London just as we hit our 6 month anniversary of arriving. It seems so soon to be abandoning it, even if it is only for a month.
Thinking about it, we left Wellington on the 1st of May. Which means that when I get back, it will have been 8 months since I left.

I almost hope that it has changed just a little ...

p.s. Is it strange that I'm really looking forward to coming back to London already? I hope it snows for us.

p.p.s. Please blame this entry on two cans of Red Bull. My fingers feel all twitchy!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's the Post Script that amuses me most. Hee.

This morning I received an email from my sister :

So, the other night i had an odd dream...
You had killed Craig, and had been arrested in London, and we weren't allowed to see you anymore. While i woke up upset that i couldn't see you anymore, i was also concerned for Craig's well being ...
You may want to warn him ... or turn yourself into the coppers.

i found a tiny, tiny strawberry

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Twas the night before FauXmas ...

Oh Fauxmas tree, oh fauxmas tree
How plastic are your branches?

Fauxmas Tree

Quite. Very.
Entirely even.

Fauxmas Tree

This year Craig and I are spending Christmas apart.
During our time in New Zealand, I'm spending a little extra time avec ma famille and Craig is spending a little extra avec ... sa famille (sa? son? aucune idée. Je pense que c'est "sa"). And sadly, the only time that really made sense was over Christmas.
We've done this before! and while I miss his little face so much it hurts, we cope.
The last time we spent christmas apart, we celebrated with our own little christmas just after ... the 27th. And it really really wasn't the same.

So this year!! we are celebrating on the first of December! When everyone is just gearing up for Christmas and not worn out by it all. The lights are still sparkly and trees and icerinks are going up all over the city.
There is a huge christmas tree at the top of St Peter's hill, infront of St Paul's. And it is cold. Really really cold. The other night as I was walking to the tube station I saw fresh roasted chestnuts being sold. I mean, come on London, try and be a little charming.

Oh and because I amuse myself altogether too much, I called it fauXmas. Hee.

We have a fauXmas tree and fauXmas presents and we're going to spend the whole whole day together.
Maybe walk along the Thames, go to the market, maybe go to Hyde Park to see the Winter Wonderland.
Maybe just spend all day in bed.

Fauxmas Tree

p.s. Yesterday was one week until our trip. And today marks the 30th and final day of na-blo-po-mo. And I posted every single day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh that's right! I have some not-too-exciting news!

The other night, Craig reminded me of some not-so-exciting news that I have. Adorable man, sharing my tiny internet victories like they're actually news. (dynamic, integrated travel guides!) chose 4 of my photos for their online travel guides. 2 for Melbourne and 2 for Auckland.

I'm not just being annoying and self-deprecating. I would be much much more excited if they'd chosen photos that I actually liked. (Just kidding photos, LOVE YOU!) Rather, there are other photos of mine that I prefer.

Plus, the excitement has paled. I found out that they were shortlisted over a month ago, and that they were included, maybe a week later.
Mr Procrastination is my best friend.

Prahran and South YarraAuckland Railway Station

Auckland Railway StationPrahran and South Yarra

Who am I kidding? I'm thrilled.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The little one. She looks like she knows things.

I walked into the bedroom last night and found Craig thumbing through my copy of Belle de Jour.
I asked him what was up.

Craig: A* said it was the most fithliest** book he's ever read.
Me: Oh yea? Did you say my wife has a copy of that?
Craig: No, didn't think of it.
Me: Ach, baby! come on, I'm trying to get a reuputation here!***

* A = co-worker
** No I didn't correct him. Yes it hurt a little.
*** Hi Mum! Totally kidding. Totally.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The lock of love ... is in your eyes ...

Water on the Millennium Bridge

In early August I came across a news story about the Ponte Milvio in Rome.
Apparently, spurred on by a best-selling book then a movie, lovers were writing their names on padlocks, chaining them to a lamp post and discarding the keys into into the wine-dark Tiber below.

The oldold bridge was being weighed down by thousands and thousands of locks. Lamps were crumbling under the weight and nothing could be done, lest the officials in Italy be seen as anti-love. And one could not have that.
Finally the officials placed six steel posts on the banks of the Tiber, and provided chains for the purpose.

A few weeks after the article was in the papers, I noticed padlocks appearing on the Millennium bridge.
They lasted quite a while. But they aren't there now.

Locks of Love

Millennium Bridge declaration

Our Love is Infinite!

Our Love is Infinite.