Thursday, June 28, 2007

Facing North

I confess to not being a great traveller, with plane and car sickness having been companions in my youth.

beware - details of childhood malaise follow -
Enduring memories remain a road trip in a Toyota Corona (or was it still the Hillman Hunter?)with my parents and grandparents from Hobart to Queenstown. This was in the 1970's before sealed (read smooth) roads. Once we hit the real hills, poor Dad had to stop the car every mile to allow me to ... well, you get the picture. Poor Mum, I think I was sitting on her knee! Short trips (like from home to Grandparents) were fine, but the longer, hillier, windier trip - not good, for any of the family.

When we made the first long plane trip from Melbourne to London, I lasted as far as Hong Kong before I then fell into a steady stream (sorry, wrong word) of illness ALL the way to Heathrow. FYI, on the return flight I was dosed up so much that I'm sure the cabin staff thought me an underage druggie!
you can rejoin reading from here - no more talk of sickness!

However, once I'm at a new destination, I'm in my element! Somehow, I seem to look like a local, with other visitors asking for directions from Marble Arch to Green Park in London, or to Little India in Singapore, or a good cafe in Auckland. All of these requests, and more have been asked of me as I explore a new place.

Drop me off in London, I'll turn around a few times, face north and know where I am.

My method of tourism is to study the map beforehand, then just go with my memory! I particularly love the London underground maps, with their colour coding, crossover points etc.

In fact, on those short family trips I would beg may parents to let me read the street directory and follow our journey. It may have something to do with a short attention span, or boredom, and despite their misgivings about potential queasiness, my parents let me navigate.

Maps of any sort are my friends. I have an enduring love of the Melways, and even know places not on map 58.

Anyone want a tour guide? I promise I'm OK travelling ... now!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's the time, Mr Wolf?

I have a new watch and it's pretty.

This is a big deal for me, who has inherited my parents frugality and never thrown anything out unless it has already fallen apart and walked to the rubbish bin of its own accord. I have grown up very clearly knowing my needs from my wants, and seldom giving in to the latter.

To date, my 4 previous watches have been functional, reliable timepieces. My parents gave me a lovely gold one, with a round face and stretchy gold band for my 12th birthday. It was a rite of passage in our family to receive a watch at 12. This reliable Seiko lasted until I was working, at which time the glass cover fell off, and the hands, exposed to the elements, bent and didn't quite travel around the dial as they should.

At this point I bought myself a practical Lorus watch, with actual numbers (not marks) for the hours, and a sweeping second hand. It did also have a cute inset, where a crescent moon showed at night, and a smiling sun during the day. This one had a leather strap, and while I had to replace that strap a number of times, the watch kept on ticking.

After an internal struggle, I bought another watch while my trusty Lorus was still going strong. This was another functional purchase - a sturdy black digital watch, with stopwatch, countdown timer ... and a few other features that took me a while to master. This was my 'weekend' watch, that I used when playing cricket, or umpiring hockey matches.

Sadly, after a good 10 years of service, my Lorus succumbed to my rugged use, so I purchased a similar looking Seiko. This one had a slightly smaller face, as I tried to heed my mother's words about being a lady. I still kept to the leather strap, and have replaced that quite a few times, but the watch is as reliable as ever.

Well, I've now done it. After a few years of admiring those very pretty watches in glossy magazines, I saw and fell in love with a beautiful Raymond Weil timepiece. This is my new watch, complete with diamond/crystal sapphire thingy embellishment around the face.

It will occasionally catch the light, and I'll find myself admiring my indulgence. By the way, it's 6pm at the moment, on the winter soltice, just in case you want to know.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Whenever I close my eyes, I think of you

I have a secret love.

For those who know me, it may not be much of a secret, but it's all mine, and I revel in my devotion.

It started as a long distance admiration when I was still in school. In fact, it began from afar when I was living in Hobart and my love was in Melbourne. We finally met in the late 1970's and I was smitten from the start. There was quite a crowd when we met, but my secret love proved true to me, living up to all expectations. As with many such relationships, I was in awe of my secret love's power and reputation and other people also coveted what I knew was mine.

My secret love has a long history, with many fascinating stories that are shared selflessly. The colourful history just adds to my adoration. Others, who are younger, richer and more 'with it' have tried to draw me away from my secret love, but I remain true.

Our relationship has endured bitterly cold winters, when only hot coffee, coats and scarfs will do. It has also endured steamy summers where women have paraded in front of my secret love in bikinis, but my love remains true to me, giving me everything that I want.

After a 20 year courtship, my secret love and I made a lifetime commitment a short 7 years ago. We had an incredibly intense 2 week period during September 2000, when we were virtually never out of each others sights. While we already had in excess of 20 years behind us, it was at this time that I felt that I finally got to know my love inside & out.

While not together at all times, we have very regular trysts. My heart always skips a beat as I approach, sometimes it's even from high on the hill, looking over the bridge.

Yes, my secret love is the MCG.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

oh, bunnies, I got it wrong

It happens to the best of us, but I seemed to have blanked out a significant incident of my childhood. When I say significant, it was in terms of our family, but obviously not to me. Apparently our father DID hit one of us girls growing up (refer to post on May 27), so my sincere apologies to my Big Sister (as opposed to my Bigger Sister or my Biggest Sister).

As my Big Sister recollects it, she did something wrong and Dad hit her at which point the entire family stopped gobsmacked and she said "Mum, Mum, Dad's gone crazy - he hit me!"

Whatever the cause, it seemed to have had positive results, as my Big Sister is by far the best behaved of us 4 girls.

I think I know why 'Dad went crazy' - I reckon she swore, and much more than saying 'bunnies'!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A house, a house, my kingdom for a house!

In what is becoming an epic, I continue to search for my perfect home. I can sense that friends are hesitant to ask how my house hunting is progressing, as the reply hasn't changed in 6 years (yes, you read that correctly ... that's 6 years, not months). "Hmm, there are a few places, but nothing that meets my requirements."

real has become my most visited website and I have entered saved searches for my desired features. I know what I want, in fact I know EXACTLY what I want, but for some reason a builder hasn't built it yet, or at least not in my desired location! I'm not sure that I'm up for major renovations, but if I really want my wish list, I think I may have to be prepared for some work.
Sadly, when they did build what I want, they also built the only access to the outdoor entertaining area through the main bedroom. I'm relieved to say that THAT doesn't fit my style of entertaining.

My current, very comfortable home will be sold in this process ... when I find a new home. It has a number of features to it's credit, which I must remember to mention to the selling agent ... when I find my new home: it is more than low maintenance. As suits my current lifestyle, it is almost NO maintenance. I has a lock up garage which easily fit my small car, and even when I upgraded to a new chariot, it fits well. It has a newly installed designer kitchen & bathroom (all 70's abodes need the lime green and mission brown replaced), and polished floorboards (replacing puce shagpile). It also has custom built-in wardrobes in both bedrooms - very flexible, very space efficient as is needed in a small 2 bedroom unit.

But most importantly, it has very quiet neighbours. Why do I want to move again?

Monday, June 4, 2007

on the road again ...

My mobile phone and computer are telling me that it's 6.43pm, whereas my new watch and the clock radio on the bedside table say 8.43pm. Yes, I'm travelling again at the desire of the great corporate master.

The travel time was a short 4.5 hours, however with transfers, time zones etc it was a full day of travel. The flight across Aoroki (Mt Cook) was spectacular, with stunning views of fresh snowfall under a clear blue sky. (Just like this, but from above).

Having caught up (a bit) on work, I notice that the 'Queen's Birthday' movie on NZTV2 is 50 First Dates, which is a favourite of mine. Until I saw this movie I admit that Adam Sandler has annoyed me, and I saw it only because Drew Barrymore also stars. This very sweet, unrealistic, funny and pure fluff entertainment was so full of heart that I actually thought I saw a second demension to Mr Sandler. If you do watch the movie, stick it out for the credits and read the dedication to his father. Nicely done! However, I must say that anytime is time for a dose of Drew escapism - Aloha!