Saturday, 16 January 2016

I'VE TAKEN THE PLUNGE AND THE BUILD HAS BEGUN




OMG I am actually doing it......finally! After several years of planning, designing, working with architect, getting approved plans, freaking out at cost, pulling the pin, taking another look at it, getting more quotes, all hideously far too much......well now here I am now actually started.  I am very excited and just a tad nervous as I don't really know what it will cost.  If you have everything quoted it costs up to 20% more to allow for contingencies.  So I am winging it.  Knocked back all the build quotes and instead I've got my son, Rory, and a local Akaroa builder on a labour only contract and I will pay all the trades myself.  Rory has totally got my back and is excited too, to be involved in his first build out on his own after completing his apprenticeship. We will project manage it together, each doing what they are best at. There's a long road ahead and no doubt some tricky times but I am going to try my very best to keep the stress levels down and enjoy the process.  My sister and her husband live right behind my site and have very generously allowed Rory to stay there during the week while they are in town, which helps enormously and just makes everything so much more possible and it feels so good, and he just loves it at their house and feels like a rock star!  Building by day, rapping and writing songs by night.

Everything else is ticking along, although it has been an extremely stressful start to the new year due to some personal family difficulties, which have put us all under a lot of strain, but happily now things are beginning to settle down.  My business is very busy at this time of year so while everyone else is on holiday I barely get even the stats off and need to remain focused and busy the whole way through the season.  Making hay while the sun shines so to speak, and that is going well.

Looking forward to early Feb when I'm going up to see my blogging mate Charlie who has invited me up for a few days for the second time to stay on their wonderful farm near Mt Maunganui and Tauranga, with their 360 degree views of the hills and the sea.  We really "get" each other and have become great friends.  After that I'm doing a road trip with my friend Jane right round the North Island for two weeks in March.  It's to celebrate our 60th birthdays which happen in April and May but we thought we'd better head off while the weather is hopefully still pretty warm.  We've been friends since we were 12 so that's 48 years now!!  Sheesh!!

The AirBnB thing I'm doing is also keeping me pretty busy and I'd better go now and pick some flowers for the room for tonight's guests which is a family with a two year old! All the money goes into the "build fund" so there is a very definite purpose and reason for opening up my home to strangers. It's really not very hard and they are all very nice, varied and interesting people from all over the globe, and people always interest me, so it's a bit of a win all round really.

In case anyone wants a wee report on the sugar intake, it is only slightly improved.  My experiment didn't work, hahaha, but I have since been a little bit more disciplined.......if I don't buy it I can't eat it.....yer right!

Friday, 1 January 2016

AND HERE'S TO 2016.....HAPPY NEW YEAR


It’s been a while so it’s about time for another blog and what better time to write one than New Years Day?

Last night was interesting. I was pondering not doing anything, but then thought I’ve got the rest of my life to have lonely New Years Eve’s if I choose them so I won’t start that caper yet!  I drove over to the Port early and picked up my wee mate Carmel and we went into town to Vesuvios where she plays on Sunday nights.  We had some delicious and interesting vegetarian tapas, some great conversations between ourselves and with others, she had a few wines, I had lemon and soda and just before 10pm we went down Victoria St and up to Boo Radleys where she was doing a New Years Eve gig with 3 other excellent musicians. I had a table quite near the band but was essentially on my own then as Carmel was busy doing amazing things with her two saxophones and singing her beautiful heart out.  There were people dining and partying and the place was packed.  Met some young women at the table next to me and joined them so we could move my table and a few empty ones to make them a dance floor.  Several times I went up to the bar and bought Carmel a gin and soda, I only had the one drink there, you can only drink so much when you know you’re not going to get a hit off it (amazing how the brain works).  I had to keep an eye on my drink and give it a sniff each time I wanted a sip because the girls at the table were all pretty trashed and were unknowingly playing musical drinks.  Over the course of four hours there while I thoroughly enjoyed the music, I also enjoyed observing the changes in people as the night wore on, particularly the girls I was now with.  Two of them were partners and there was this quite hot young guy in a check shirt hanging around who probably didn’t know that (I did because Carmel told me) and each time one went to get a drink or go to the loo (both tasks took ages) he would get all over the other one on the dance floor and be touching her arse etc and she would be flirting back all sexual.  I was waiting for a showdown but it never happened.  The other girl each time missed it by seconds, and then soon after it was her turn and she was just as bad.  It was hilarious to watch.  I ended up dancing for something to do, and once I got into the groove I stayed up there for about 2 hours so I’ve had a good work out.  In the end the girls were hugging me and slobbering all over me and can’t wait to meet up with me again hahahaa none of them had any idea I wasn’t drinking.   At mid night one saw my glass was nearly empty so in order for a good toast she tipped half her glass in mine!  Shit!  So then Carmel just got me some water off the bar and we all toasted away, they didn’t actually notice what had just gone down.  I lasted till 2.00am and then we tried to arrange a cab for Carmel with my personal taxi man, Ken, I hope he went and got her at 3.00am.

What I noticed about this night was I actually had a really good time.  And it was a long time, from 6.30pm till nearly 3.00am by the time I got home. Daughter text me as I was leaving asking if I was still out, I said yes, she said “gangsta mum” and could I come and take them home, they were pissed at Barettas, so off I went and collected them amongst some real lively revelry on St Asaph St, people and cops all over the road, yahooing, staggering……found them by texting and gave them a lift home, because I could, and they were very grateful.

I think it is true that when you stop drinking you have to fake it till you make it socially, and I think I’ve just started to make it.  I know the drunk people are having a really good time and they are harmless and even quite endearing in their clumsiness and raucous stupidity.  I felt quite detached from the actual drinks.  I nearly took a photo of the bar at  Boo Radleys as it was the best and most beautifully displayed array of liquor I have ever seen, and I appreciated that for what it is, it is a bar, they sell alcohol, and they seem to be doing a damn good job of it, energetically shaking cocktails and literally running to keep up with the customers and clean glasses and clean space.  Excellent staff.  I was honestly glad to be sober.  I would rather be me than any one of them.  I wouldn’t mind Carmel’s talent or the drunk girl’s looks and figures, but all in all I am happy enough just being sober me in all situations.  I liked having my wits about me, and I liked being my true self when introduced and chatting to a couple of the band members, who also appeared to be sober (too busy to drink probably).  I liked waking up this morning feeling good and capable of achieving the things I need to do today. Busy washing sheets and making beds for more guests expected this afternoon.

The only big thing about myself at the moment I’m not very happy with is my addiction to sweet yummy things which is making me fat.  So I've decided today to take a different approach to my burgeoning sugar addiction.  Willpower doesn't work on this one, believe me I've tried.  So I've just finished whipping up some cream, downing 3 meringues with sliced strawberry, I've filled 2 left over brandy snaps that I've been staring at longingly since Christmas, I'll leave those in the fridge to get that slightly soggy thing going on, then down they'll go, then I might have some (sugar free hahaha) ice cream and chocolate sauce.  If I go out I will buy some raspberries and have my all time favourite......raspberries and ice cream, fresh cream, icing sugar and a meringue.  I shall not eat one thing today that is not sweet and bad for me.  Oh new idea....I'll go down to the deli at The Tannery and get one of their most delicious home made chocolate ├ęclairs with the layer of thinly sliced strawberries underneath the cream......mmmm..... and I will finish off with chocolate in the evening.  This is a true addict speaking here, and I am thinking this will cure me, on this the first day of a new year, and that after today I will be so dismayed and disgusted with myself that change will force itself upon me.  It is either that or I have to quickly fall truly madly deeply in love and then lose this lucky person, as the emotional grief of that scenario is the only way I know how to lose weight.  I am happy to be entering a new year as mad as a hatter, as that is probably the only way I will get through what I have set myself up for this year.  And I'll leave that for another day.  Happy New Year to us all xo