Thursday, January 1, 2015

I dreamed a dream ...

Never give up your dreams

This extraordinarily talented lady never did.

Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who came to international attention when she appeared as a contestant on Britains Got Talent in 2009. If you ever doubt yourself, as I constantly do, watch this.

From my home town (Auckland) to yours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

One more sleep!

Whilst you're merrily toasting marshmallows over an open fire, I'll be picking sand out of my smoked salmon sandwiches with one hand whilst furiously swatting away mosquitoes with the other (little bastards). I've often thought that in a perfect world my windows would be frosted at this time of year, the trees in my back garden groaning under the weight of freshly dumped snow, and the chimney puffing out great plumes of smoke.

Instead, it doesn't get dark until nearly 9 o'clock at night and the humidity is high. The brilliant lights on my Christmas tree are a dead loss unless we shut the blinds to block out the light. The shops positively heave with sweaty adults dragging their complaining children up and down the aisles by their earlobes. Car steering wheels are repeatedly thumped in exasperation because the traffic has either come to a grinding halt or their air-conditioners have stopped working. 

And that is leading up to Christmas in New Zealand. And to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have it any other way, (well, I wouldn't turn down a trip to the towering mountains of Whistler, or the picturesque ski resort in Zermatt, Switzerland - come on, I'm not that stupid).  Because at the end of the day, I think we're pretty damn lucky living Down Under and Off to the Side.

Thank you for following my blog. I've enjoyed your company a great deal over the year. So from my home to yours, I wish you and yours a VERY Merry Christmas!
Nearly 9 o'clock at night and it's still not dark. And yes, it does look like my kentia palm is going to catch on fire ... but it's further away than it appears!
Muppet. Who's now 17 months old
Oblio, who is thirteen next year.

And me. Yes, that is one of my eyes. I have another one just like it ...
And don't forget your pets. They need love, warmth, food, and snuggles too.

And that's it from me. Take care of each other, stay safe on the roads, and remember it is not what's under your tree, but what's in your  heart xo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just a bit of fun...


Have a good day everybody! Only three more sleeps until Christmas Day - well, it is for us lot Down Under and Off to the Side :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are you a crazy dog person?

1. You refer to yourself as your dog’s “mum” or “dad” and think that it’s totally normal (because it is).

2. You’ve gotten used to spelling out words instead of saying them, and catch yourself doing it even when your dog isn’t around.

“I had to w-a-l-k to work today because my c-a-r is in the shop.”

3. Your morning alarm is a wet nose in your face, and a wagging tail knocking against everything in your bedroom.

4. You prefer to share your bed with your dog, even though you know you will only get a few inches of free space.

5. You prefer to stay in on the weekends, and have cancelled plans because you don’t want to leave your dog.

6. You regularly set up “play dates” with your dog’s friends.

7. You talk in your “dog voice” for at least half of the day, even when people are around.

“You are soooo cute, I could just squeeze you! Oh yes I could! Oh yes I could!”

8. You have skyped with your dog while away on a trip.

9. You throw a birthday party for your pooch – birthday hat, cake, presents, and guests all included.

10. You know that your dog is the only one who will truly be there for you any time of day or night, and will always greet you with a big wet kiss and a wagging tail


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sincere sympathy for my Australian friends across the ditch

In the heart of Sydney's CBD stands a small coffee shop (Lindt Chocolate Cafe), which as one would expect the week before Christmas, was bustling with shoppers innocently going about their day. Yesterday, a man believed to be an Islamist gunman, took hostage of all those inside.  
The gunman

The centre of the city was promptly put in lock-down. 
Hostages were pressed against the window in front of horrified witnesses where a black flag with white Arabic writing was brandished across the shop window.

It was with a heavy heart this morning that I woke to the news that although the siege was over, it had been a deadly one. Two innocent people (thus far) are dead, a 34-year-old man and a 38-year old woman, along with the gunman identified as an Iranian refugee. Two women also suffered non-life threatening injuries as did a policeman who had been hit in the face by pellets.

I am appalled and horrified that this atrocity has occurred on my doorstep. I have been to Sydney countless times. I have friends who live there. It is a warm, vibrant city and one that I love dearly.

As a civalised human being, I have always included and accepted everyone that I have encountered, no matter their colour, religious or political persuasion.  It is an abomination that others cannot live and let live also.

My heart breaks for those we have lost, and for their family and friends that are now heartbroken and confused.  This should never have happened. They were good, honest, hard working people. 

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The two hostages killed during the were Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34.

Long live democracy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thoughts for a Saturday morning Down Under and Off to the Side

Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car. 

2. There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
3. The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
4. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
5. Don't assume malice for what stupidity can explain.
6. A penny saved is a government oversight.
7. The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
8. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
9. The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
10. He who hesitates is probably right.
11. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.
12. Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "THEIRS"?

I gotta say that number 9 rings true. Have any of you ever bought a replacement only to find said object 'exactly' where you left it?! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flight from Hell ...

This has gotta be my worst nightmare.
I remember flying from London to Auckland some years ago with a woman with a young baby in the seat next to me that screamed, non-stop, at the top of its lungs for 27 solid hours. True. It may have only been one small child, but I swear I may as well have been seated in the aircraft above. 

The worst flight - ever.

You? Any unfortunate flying experiences?