Wild, windy, wet and Winter

I’ve borrowed these pics from the internet, just recent shots of Auckland in the last week. No sooner does one front go over the city, than it is chased by another. Last night it was thunder and lightening, which I find all very exciting when I’m snuggled up in a warm bed. It may not be very cold right now – compared to last year – but it’s got all the other symptoms of winter.

Sooooo, I’ve spent a LOT of time reading, and then reading, and sometimes watching the big screen, instead of exercising. I don’t feel too bad, though. It’s the best thing about this season, and I’m getting through a LOT of stories. As soon as I start to stiffen up, Spring will come and I’ll be beating the pavements again and peddling those wheels around – just wait.

Meantime, I’ve nipped up to Riverhead for my fortnightly catch up and coffee with good friend, Cathy. (Someone I’ve enjoyed the company of for decades now.)

There seems MORE to catch up on these days, than before. And oh the joy of actually having a good length of time to ramble on and stretch the time to suit ourselves.

I’m home now and contemplating the week ahead – aware of the three days at work coming up and the need to get everything useful done in these two. I LOVED the Outlander episode last night, and find myself totally gripped by the action as it winds up to the last episode (which will be viewed in two weeks). How lucky we are to have the show capture so much of the feeling and spirit of the books! Added bonus for me, was that my eldest niece has picked up the first book and found she loves it too. I’m sure her journey has just begun and there’s so much for her to discover – about the stories, about the series, about Scotland and it’s history, about our own family history.

I need to face the last of the papers and photos left over from Mum’s apartment. With weather outside my front window like this, it will be easier to do I’m sure:

We scattered my mother’s ashes up at Waikumete Cemetary a couple of weeks ago – a very rare time that my siblings and I were all together, along with three of their children. It could have gone so many ways, but instead was an occasion filled with more laughter than any other emotion, and for that I know my Mum would have been pleased.

 

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Mid-winter Monday

MorningWalk

That’s me, walking on the second bridge down by the inner harbour. I had to set my iphone up on self-timer and RUN to make it there and looking relaxed. I like to take shots which invite the viewer to join me, which is why these little self-timer ones work for my blog. So come along, let’s have a chat.

It was a lovely crisp morning, with the fog just lifting and only the top spire of the Auckland Sky Tower showing above it – I imagine it would have been much more picturesque had I got out of bed an hour earlier! ┬áStill, I treasure my Monday and Tuesday at home, and get a lot done in those days before I’m catching the early bus into the city on the last three weekdays.

This morning, instead of working on my children’s book, I’ve been playing with memes and new designs for Redbubble. I quite like this latest one:

It can be found on numerous products on this site. Don’t forget to click on the product tab to see all the t-shirts/cushions/prints that have the design on them.

Anyway, the weekend was great. We here in NZ have Christmas in the heat of summer, and usually it’s a bbq or meal of cold meats and salads, so by mid-winter, we’re ready to have a mid-winter Christmas party enjoying the traditional fare from the UK – steamed pud, roast meat and vegetables, and mulled wine. My friends and I usually dress to theme as well, just for the fun of it. And – bless them – they went along with the plan to dress up french style, so that I had an excuse to wear my Outlander French Season outfit again. They were all wonderfully attired, and the evening was a roaring success.

Roll on the next opportunity to celebrate life together, I say.

I’m going to get some work done now. I hope. Maybe. Have a great week.

A New Season

We’re well into the heart of Winter now – every day has a glimpse of four seasons, but mostly the rainy one. Rain, wind, gusts, sunshine, and dark when you go to work and return. I don’t mind winter – it’s when I curl up and get caught up with my stories, or watch movies, all without the guilt that I should be outside enjoying the sunshine.

Today marks an important event. I went for my walk this morning, taking along my pet plait for the last time of the long hair. Then at 9:30 dug out the details of my hairdresser who I haven’t spoken to in a few years, and let her go at me with her scissors. I love the result.

Before (above) and After (below)

It was getting arduous untangling the knots every time I washed that long hair. And you know, being a photoshopper – I can always photoshop my plait back on if I need to for a meme, right?

So, my present job is going well – getting to grips with responding promptly and appropriately to PhD and MPhil students at the University. Trying to sound as if I know what I’m talking about. And I’m writing a bit more each week of my children’s story, which I hope to get published and do some illustrations for. Watch this space.

I’ve bought air tickets to visit cousins and relatives in Pennsylvania in October, and plan to spend some time there and down in Jacksonville, Florida. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a shock to the system to go from our cool Spring to the tail end of their Fall. I can’t wait.

I’ll finish this short excerpt off with a glimpse of the city of Auckland across the harbour from this morning’s walk. Until later. . .

TheHarbourtoday

Paring back

It’s been an interesting day. I do my three days in town working tomorrow, so it rests heavily upon Monday and Tuesday to get other things done. TODAY it was the six-monthly medical check up and discussion with doctor about what I’m presently doing to lose weight. She is really good, actually – it wasn’t her that brought it up, but me. So I told her I’m cutting out the carbs and sugar and still doing my walking, and overall, she’s pretty happy. So am I. Three weeks on the food plan and I’m watching a bit of weight slithering off.

And today was the end of the Privet Tree, that used to sit in the corner of the section. If you want to watch it going down in action, check this out. Now we get a bit more sunshine, and probably fewer allergies, but I’m still grieving. I LOVE TREES. On a wet night, I sheltered under this one waiting for rides etc. It’s all good though. A neighbour just interrupted this post to ask about the big logs lying stacked by the roadside, and so one family will be kept warmer this winter because of the tree.

What else? Well, thank her majesty for having a birthday, and a special one at that. We got our usual long weekend in celebration – way down here in the Southern hemisphere. And it was a good ‘un. Queen’s Birthday Weekend was blue skies, crisp frosty mornings, no wind to speak of. I got out on my bike on Saturday, and joined my sister for a long ride over to Mt Eden where we shopped and went to a cafe. And the following two days I got out in the car and went south and north respectively, just enjoying countryside for a change. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed rattling around Scotland on my own in a car, and I felt the usual pang to get back there some day soon. Here are the weekend shots: