Monday, January 09, 2012

2012 Begins*

*like Batman.

Hello! Belated Happy New Year! Belated Merry Christmas!

Just a very quick post* as several people have emailed to make sure I'm still alive as they have not heard a peep out of me. This is the peep. Peep! Peep! I'm not dead, I've just been alternately away, internetless, ill and full o' excuses.

*ha ha, no it's not, it's really long and now you have to read it all

I'm moving house in 18 days! It will be lovely. House is in Chatswood (or Birkenhead, if you're a real estate agent who can't read maps) and is surrounded by native bush like a delightful urban clitoris. It is at the bottom of a hill in a cul-de-sac. I have just Googled "cul-de-sac" and apparently the direct French translation is "butt of bag", which is why Tolkien used the name Bag End. In ancient Athens and Rome they were useful because you could herd the enemy into them then fall upon them mercilessly, although I doubt they do a lot of that in Chatswood. Sometimes I think people just hop into Wikipedia and make stuff up.

Anyway, the house is in a butt-of-bag and has a native reserve on one side and a bunch of neighbours on the other. HB and I did a drive-by the other day - sadly the neighbours were not encouraging. One looked about 65 and furious with the world for keeping him alive that long, and the other one had a boat in the driveway. It was called "Wet Dreams" (the boat, not the driveway). I'm not sure how classy our new neighbourhood is. House photos to come!

Library internet keeps disconnecting mid-post, annoying. Ooh! The computer of a Chinese gentleman sitting about three tables down from me just spouted, "Engagement Ring" in quite loud robot English. I wonder if he is planning to propose?

Anyway, here are some holiday photos! HB and I did road trip down to Christchurch, which is 9 hours car, 3.5 hours ferry, 5 hours car. Sadly the bunks in the ferry are too narrow to entertain any suggestion of joining the nautical equivalent of the Mile High Club (the High Seas Club, perhaps). Has anyone joined the High Seas Club? Tell me, I will be impressed.

We played a lot of alphabet games, one of which was so involving that HB missed a turnoff and we went to Raglan by mistake (one does not go to Raglan unless it is by mistake, generally) and had to double back; we also played Tractor Horse Beehive, which is a game where you have to see a tractor, then a horse, then a beehive and then you get a point (similar to the games of Tractor, Horse and Beehive, but vastly more complex). When you see them you shout, so that everyone knows they are yours.

The game started slowly because of five hours of no beehives (we added in llama, plane, moving train and mating animals as surrogate beehives, but there were not many of these either) until on the second day we hit a rich seam of beehive just above Marton. HB saw it first. I was not happy. Luckily, I made up for it by making an immense amount of puns about Bulls. Have you been to Bulls? The town slogan is "Herd of Bulls? A Town like No Udder" and they have charming signs on all of the businesses, as follows:

Sorry about the poor quality photo, it was out the car window. There are also signs on the police station ("Const-a-bull"), the Subway ("Submerge-a-bull") the RSA ("Respect-a-bull"), the $2 Shop ("Afford-a-bull"), the real estate agents ("Live-a-bull"), the doctor ("Cure-a-bull"), the pharmacy ("Indispens-a-bull") and many, many more. You're just lucky the library internet will only let me upload three photos today, because I took photos of all of them. I will show you the other ones another time.

We also went through the delightful town of Whatawhata, the Maori pronunciation of which inspired a minigolf business ("Whatawhata Putter") and the English pronunciation of which inspired a country song about heartbreak in small town New Zealand ("Whatawhata Shame"). HB refuses to move there and open Whatawhata Putter. He said I was Whatawhata Nutter and I snorted out my nose and said "Travers-a-bull" and he almost put me out of the car.

There are actually quite a few good country songs to be written about small towns in New Zealand. Offhand I thought of "It's not Levin without you" and several more which I have now forgotten but wrote down and will share with you later, when I find the piece of paper I have written them on, although I suspect HB has thrown it out.

Anyway! Here is an arty photo I took with new camera (Christmas present from HB for himself, but I am allowed to use it also):

It is of a waterfall. I think it's very Zen. It is slightly blurry because life is slightly blurry.

On the way back up (don't worry, I have to go to work soon so this post is almost finished) we stopped at a beach on a little side road. Someone had been there before us and arranged a whole heap of driftwood sticks standing straight up in the sand, like this:

Photo by HB - it out-Zens my waterfall but I am trying not to feel miffed about this.

While HB was up one end of the beach taking proper grown-up photos, I was busy with my own project down the other end. It is tentatively titled "Crab Graveyard" and it is probably the best art ever:

Other prospective titles include "Watery Grave" and "We Will Fight Them On The Beaches".

(I don't know why the photos are a bit fuzzy, I think I might have saved them in an odd format. They are actually really sharp and good! You know, in case anyone wants to purchase a print.)

Anyway I really do have to go now. Backson! With more photos! I am going to go and peer over the Chinese gentleman's shoulder to see if he is proposing yet.


liltoastfairy said...

*giggle* lovely photos! your conversations with HB sound like the kinda ones I have with B (my husband) :OD

IT IS ALLY said...

B and HB are obviously far more sensible than you and I, although HB did walk up and prod a large seal when we stopped for lunch in Kaikoura (photos to follow). Seal did not bite him, although I rather felt it should have.

Is your smiley grinning with a really big nose?

chris.dadness said...

In the Australian burbs, boat-in-driveway people are quite often absolute shockers. They will buy their kids monkey bikes. Boat-in-water people, while richer, are possibly just as bad but as I am in the burbs, not the water, they don't matter so much to me.

cerebral e said...

Just warning you that my friend is moving to Auckland in a few days and I recommended your blog to her as top local reading. Hey, hopefully I will get to visit this year.

@chris.dadness I am curious as to these "monkey bikes". Are they little bikes upon which trained monkeys ride?

toni in florida said...

If "doin' it" on a cruise ship gets you into the High Seas Club, then I'm multiple-time member (oh, my)!

If the club is exclusive to those who, um, rode the waves while on a ferry, then my answer is the same. (Just kidding. No ferry-nookie for me... yet. Ahem. What? I'm not dead yet!)

chris.dadness said...

@cerebral_e You could train a monkey, but what you usually see arebig blokes on tiny bikes. There was some mild police panic when idiots started buying them for their kids.

Anonymous said...

raglan is cool place, ahhh shudduppa your face

Jana said...

Hello! Stumbled accross your blog, and what great timing, I used to live in Bulls! Haha. I didn't like it to much. :( And now I'm in Christchurch.

Anyhow, looks like a nice trip you took. :)