Pea Soup and The Rugby World Cup

Driving into work this morning was like driving through pea soup. A thick mist had not only engulfed our little dell, but also the entire way into town. It certainly is different when looking out the window, and seeing the cows looming out of the mist, as you head along the driveway…

On a completely different topic, I was checking the bank account this morning (don’t you love Internet banking) and noticed an odd withdrawal on the Credit Card. I am thinking, damn, has our Credit Card details been swiped. It was for an odd amount and from somewhere were we are unlikely to purchase from (Ticketek in Auckland).

The E.I.C. suggested it was for the Rugby World Cup tickets we had put in for. It wasn’t for the full amount so I wasn’t sure, but checking the details, I had ticked the “pay over a period of time” option, so that what it was. We haven’t had it confirmed yet, but that means we have tickets to the games being played in Napier, France vs Canada, and Canada vs Japan.

We didn’t try to get tickets to the All Blacks games, but we thought it would be silly not to try to get tickets to the local matches, and take the boys, both of whom are quite excited at the idea. 🙂


Door To Door Salesmen

Yesterday, while I was in Christchurch at a course, the E.I.C. was visited by a door-to-door salesman.

Our little block is a good ten minute drive from town, so I felt that we would not be door knocked, or only by Jehovah Witness’s.

So it was surprising and amusing to have someone drive up our drive to try and sell us something. I think the E.I.C. was rather bemused by the whole thing.

It turns out the salesman was a nice chap selling Citrus Based Cleaner.  It takes a bit of gumption to come out our way, not even the Jehovah Witness’s have made it out here!

Apparently he was looking a little dispirited, which is not surprising, but that is what I call going the extra mile in pursuit of a sale!

Family · Humour · Writing

A Little Whiskey, A Little Writing

The dad, who visited us last weekend, brought with him my birthday present. A nice bottle of whiskey. We don’t have alcohol in the house often, but for myself, I am partial to wee dram every now and then, so the present was greatly appreciated. It will probably last until next birthday 🙂

I have been doing some editing tonight of The Spiral Tattoo, and I poured myself a small one, topped off with a little ginger ale. It was a funny thing, but the tickle of alcohol at the back of the throat and in the nose, while tapping away at the keyboard,  brought back to me strong memories of my first year at university.

I should at this point confess to having only passed half of my first year at University. It may have something to do with the fact that I wrote most of my assignments the night before they were due, usually while drinking from a bottle of port.

That year, I have  strong images of  sitting in my room, heater blaring as rain pelted the windows, Vivaldi playing on the stereo, typing assignments and bad poetry on my typewriter, while quietly finishing a bottle of port. What we do as when young. I am sure I thought the alcohol imbued my writing with striking elegance and eloquence. I probably thought my verbose turn of phrase would impress the lecturers no end.   I am unsure why the failing grades didn’t dissuade me from that opinion. 😆


Bovine Ruminates, Mud And A River Flows Through

We sway one way and the other on the merits of keeping stock on our little block of land. We are more than happy with our flock of chickens, and would be more than happy to raise them and trees. However we have an awful lot of grass that needs keeping down. So we often toy with the idea of keeping, cows, alpacas, donkeys, pigs or sheep.

At the moment I am leaning towards cows, mainly because a friends up the road have been grazing ten heifers on the land. There is something quite nice about waking up and looking out on the land and seeing the cows quietly munching through the grass.

At the moment they are on the slope paddock below the house, so in the morning we can lean out the window and say “morning Ladies” 🙂

They do make a mess of the paddocks though, especially with the rain at the moment.

But then so do we. The above photo is by the firewood pile beside the house. Mucky!

But then it’s not surprising considering how wet it is at the moment. Normally we can’t see the river from the home paddock, but the river is so high I can see it from the kitchen! Fortunately that is still a long way from the level of the lower paddock! Over wise we might have to panic! 😆


Future Writing

The years writing is starting to get crowded for me. The announcement of The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize has got me thinking. If I haven’t managed to get The Spiral Tattoo into the publishing cycle by the closing date [highly likely] then I might want to enter. I can’t enter The Spiral Tattoo, or the second Fursk and Gurt novel tentatively called The Honey Dew Gardens as they don’t fit the brief.

So maybe another project that has been floating could come to the fore? It’s a steampunk story called Under The Sign Of The Inebriated Nematode. Hmm the possibilities…

But first I need to finish editing The Spiral Tattoo. I want the second draft finished by mid July. I know I can do it 🙂 Just can’t be sidetracked by other projects… Focus dude, focus 😆


Product Recall

Last year, as winter rolled its relentless and wet way across our back yard, our firewood got wet. In fact at one point all we had was soggy rain wet wood.

Now we love our wood range in the kitchen, and we had to have it going. So being bright resourceful chaps, we put the wet wood in the oven part of the range to dry. With some steady rotation we then had a good supply of dryish firewood. The thing we hadn’t thought of was the fact that all that water being steamed out of the wood had to go somewhere. And one place it went was into the thermometer. After a while it rusted up, so we think it wasn’t designed to have than much steam in the oven 😆

This year we were getting a little frustrated at not have an accurate reading of the temperature in the oven, so we ordered a stand alone thermometer, which hangs in the oven. We put it in the oven, and waited to see how hot it was. Much to our surprise it shot  600 degrees Fahrenheit. We took it out and let it cool. Then we put it back in the oven to watch what id did. We had to laugh as it went backwards! So instead of rising clockwise around the dial it went anti-clockwise!

Being typical Kiwi’s we shrugged and decided to write it off and just have a chuckle.

A week later the E.I.C. was in the shop that we bought the thermometer from looking at other stuff and they, being the good local shopkeepers they are, remembered the purchase and asked how the thermometer went. Herself told them, and they gave her another they had ordered in with strict instructions to bring them back if they don’t work properly.

Sure enough the second thermometer also went backwards around the dial, so we dutifully returned to the shop.

Today we had a call from the shop. Evidently the manufacturers decided to test that batch and every one tested went backwards 😆

The upshot is the company had to do a product recall and a new thermometer which should work properly will be coming soon!


The Writing Hiatus

I had hoped by now to have finished my second pass over The Spiral Tattoo. It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished the first draft and I rather naively thought I would rocket through the edit. It was not to be. I think I needed a break from the story, as every time I have sat down recently to edit, I have ended up doing something else.

I am not sure yet if I have had enough of a break, or if I will find the editing process any easier, but I have edited a couple more chapters tonight. So hopefully that is a step in the right direction 🙂

Animals · Humour

Runaway Dessert

I awoke this morning at 6am to light the fire and turn on the radio to check what happened in the soccer. Yah the All whites!

In my bleary state I hear our big black cat called Rose meowing very loudly. Must be hungry I think, so I find her bowl and pour some cat biscuits into it for her. She scoots over and drops the mouse she had in her mouth into the bowl and starts eating. Ok I think, is the mouse alive and needing rescuing.

Sure enough the mouse scuttles out of the bowl. Rose, seeing the mouse runaway, catches it again and puts in back in the bowl, and starts to eat again.

Me, I think I might have to rescue the mouse, and Rose growls at me as I approach. Mouse hops out again and Rose catches mouse again. I head to cupboard to find something to put mouse into.  Heading back I see that Rose has tired of her dessert fleeing and so she eats the mouse with her cat food. Poor mouse, good cat.



When I download photos from our digital camera, I have the download program set to auto-delete from the camera. It’s simpler that way, and we have never had any problems. Until tonight.

We headed out to the beach, with the T.B.T.’s and two grandparents. It was wet and wild day, but we needed an outing, especially as the youngest is coming off the end of a viral bug.  We took some lovely pictures, and was getting ready to share a couple.

So I downloaded the photos as per normal. That worked, and I unplugged the camera which now had no photos.

The first photo was a dud, so I hit delete, and then as I was not in the usual program I use for editing the photos I closed the program and opened the one I usually use. Only to find all the photos gone. Gutted. Somehow when I deleted the fuzzy not good photo I must have deleted all the others. And since they are automatically deleted from the camera I can’t reload them onto the computer.


Vacuum Pack And Quarter Share

Today was a good day for mail. We had two parcels, one from America and one local.

The first parcel was our hardback copy of Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell. We first found Nathan on, and for both the E.I.C. and myself his series was the one that really made us fans. We have listened to the entire series of five books multiple times. The thing is it’s a bit strange to read the story that we now know so well. The E.I.C. described at as meeting a dear old friend after having some sort of plastic surgery. Strange but cool. It was a lot like that when I received our copy of Scott Siglers The Rookie.

The other parcel was the prize pack of Vacuum Packs. It was strangely fun storing stuff in them… 😆

Anyway below is a photo of the book and our blankets all safely stored. 🙂