Friday, January 28, 2011

Days 23 - 28

Ok, sorry I have no excuse except extreme laziness. I blame the humid weather.

Day 23 was the day I invented the curried kumara burger. Basically it's a kumara burger (homemade), covered with curry sauce and dhal and placed inside a folded up paratha bread. Blooming gorgeous!

Day 24 I professionally altered a Optimus Prime costume by inserting a wee hole (i.e a zip!) into it. I've always been nervous of alterations as I'm worried about ruining clothing, but when my friend asked I confidently said yes though I'd never done it before! Turns out it's not as hard as I feared and the following day I even added panelling to another costume.

On day 25 I stopped in at the Lonely Dog Gallery, a freaky gallery that contains solely dog and cat paintings and statues. I used to meet my friend outside it before our runs but had never been in. As it happens the painters are really very good but I still find the dog fascination scary so will not be purchasing or even popping in again.

Day 26 was a bit of a panic as I had not done anything new, except double dipping (- eating chips by scooping in the tomato sauce and then the aioli.) So when I got home from football I had a shower red wine. As in I took a glass of shiraz into the shower. Not as refreshing as shower beer, but not bad either. Reccommended if you're in a rush!

Day 27 I drank a honey pilsner. It was very yummy, and I quickly drank it! I don't think I've drank pilsner before, and as I don't like honey that much I would not have normally chosen this.

Day 28 was a fun one - I finally made it to the City Designer Market. Just off my favourite Auckland street, High Street, it's inside a little hall and just full of beautifully designed dresses and other gorgeous clothing. Unfortunately all come at designer prices too - though some of the sale stuff was reasonable and you are supporting up and coming designers. I've been thinking lots recently about doing a dressmaking / fashion degree and this just made me want to do it even more!

Tomorrow I am off to Tongariro National Park to do the crossing - so I'm saying -

Day 29 my new thing was taking the Overlander train!

Monday, January 24, 2011

20, 21, 22....

I am falling behind!

Ok, so on Day 20 I ate raw fish. It was not as bad as I'd imagined, but I probably wouldn't eat it again!

On day 21 I GHD curled my hair. As most modern women will tell you, GHD curled hair is amazing, it's one of the main reason I go to the hairdressers. But after my last visit my lovely hairdresser Andrea gave me lesson so on Friday I put it into practice! I think I did it quite well for a first attempt.

Day 22 I ordered Vegetarian Ramen having absolutely no idea what it consisted of. Thin noodle soup basically and it was very yum!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Days 17, 18 and 19

Day 17 - I watched Simon Schama - The power of Art. It was about Rembrandt. I've never watched him before, as he has quite an annoying voice and also I'm generally not a fan of art programmes. So in an attempt to educate myself I watched a full episode and actually it was fairly informative and well presented. I know this entry makes me sounds like a philistine and I'm sorry! But I don't really appreciate art, painted canvasses and watercolours - it always seems quite impenetrable as a form of entertainment. Can looking at Monet's Waterlillies make you as happy as listening to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run"?

Day 18 - I was a mallrat! I went with my friend to Slyvia Park on the train - just for the purpose of wandering around and having a coffee, with no intent to buy things! I generally get fear in malls, they're all so samey and clustered with kids and slow walking people and no real interesting shops so I avoid them. Apparently kids do this all the time in places all over the World, just hang out in malls. Weird.

Day 19 - I made Toffee pudding cupcakes with chocolate topping - yum! Have never used this recipe before, and wanted to make something not throughly chocolatey...think I achieved this!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Days 14, 15 and 16

It's been a busy little weekend actually, spent with friends in the sun.

Day 14, as previously posted my new thing was finishing my first novel!

Day 15 was spent in Waiheke. As token unemployed / self employed person I picked out the lunch spot, and so this was my new thing - ate at Wild on Waiheke. And very yummy it was too! We also did a tasting at Saratoga, also a new thing. It is a beautiful Italian style building, a huge contrast from the humble shed of Wild on Waiheke, although both vineyards I would visit again.

Day 16 was a morning for being hungover. In the afternoon we walked to Natalie & John's in Glendowie which I had never done before. It is a very pleasant walk, past all the gorgeous houses in Kohi and St Heliers with some lovely views down below.

I finished my book! Press play and party...

At 6.42pm on friday evening I finally finished the first draft of my book! 2 years after starting, of having that initial premise of lovers at Leeds train station, it is now a finished story. I am enormously proud of myself; except for Johnny Shankley and Fragments (neither of which are are over 15,000 words, and were pretty much written for my own amusement) I have never ever finished a novel before; finding a million excuses not to. But this one seemed more of a survivor - or was it turning 30, or accidentally finding myself unemployed that forced me to finish it? Whatever the reason, the first draft is done!

It currently runs at 52,000 words. General opinion is that a novel should be 60,000 words + for consideration so I intend to flesh it out a little bit more before letting it be read! After that, I'll ask friends to read it and give me construction criticism and whilst I'm waiting for the feedback, I can start on the next one!

Friday, January 14, 2011

il giorno 12 e giorno 13

So, day 12 was a very sporty day - swimming in the morning then 2 sub-football games in the afternoon. So it is fitting that my new thing was during a match to voluntarily head the ball. Usually I shy away fast mvoing objects coming towards my head, but this time I thought "this is mine" and it was! A perfect header, and I even passed to a member of my team!

Day 13 was going to see The National. They are one of those bands that throughout my time at HMV people said "You should listen to the National, you'd like them". But I'm embarrassed to say I never did. Anyway, last year when I rediscovered Steve Lamaqc, he played "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and I fell in love with it. So when they announced they were playing NZ I bought tickets even though I still had only ever heard that one song of theirs! They did not let me down,they were amazing - tight music, perfect vocals and some crazy man moves. In a way I think they're the kind of band you need to hear live to really appreciate them.

Thoughts for the day.

a) I don't know if this is like a minority group thing, but do any other left handers meet and become friends with people who they really like, think are super cool and upon finding out that they are also fellow left handers think "well, yes obviously?"

I do seem to have a large proportion of leftie friends, and also veggies friends (or vegaquarians).

b) I don't know how I can love sweetcorn so very much when I used to totally hate it. I feel like I missed out on some seriously good corn when we were travelling through the US. Same goes for olives. I get hating something as a child and re-discovering it as an adult, but I'm talking about 3 years ago I hated corn, and now I love love love it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

el día 10 y 11

Do you like my daily languages?!

Anyway day 10 involved eating a veg burger at Nandos (definitely not the new thing) but choosing to go for hot sauce instead of my usual mild.....

Day 11 I walked up Mt Victoria in Devonport. I've been to Devonport only a few times embarrassingly, and most of those were to sell at the craft market! So I made a special effort to not only go and spend a thoroughly lovely day in Devonport and walk up the big hill I see most days in the distance. It was a good climb, and an excellent view from the top of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland city. I rewarded myself with an ice cream!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jour neuf

was both pratical and fun! I made a bean bag cube following a pattern. This was the new thing; I've never before followed a sewing pattern. My bags / purses etc where made following instructions in a book and very straightforward. But as I'd like to go onwards and upwards with my sewing - even try making clothes, being able to read and follow patterns is quite important...

It was by no means a hard pattern to follow, but that it made it a good starting point as I do tend to freak out if something seems too hard! And I now know what selvage is!

It is a very cool bean bag actually, lovely brown faux suede material, and good for putting my feet up on. I will attempt to post photo later.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 7, and Day 8...

Day 7 - was meant to be going to the City Designers market, which is apparently on every Friday and Saturday, and I've never been before. However, it was closed! Kiwis and their extended Xmas hols.... Anyhoo, fate led me to Oporto. I had always believed Oporto was chicken burgers and nothing more, but there on the menu was a veg burger! I was very excited, ordered it and, my god it was great. Like a Hungry Jacks veg burger, for those who've been to Melbourne and eaten veggie burgers at fast food joints....So day 7, was ate at Oportos!

Day 8 - was feeling a bit lazy and could think of nothing to do in this stiffling heat. So did a home French manicure as my new thing! I've never had a French manicure, or even had my nails done professionally (hand anyway) as those who know me know I'm not so bothered about the colouring of the nails. However I had been gifted one at Xmas time and it seemed like a good time to do it. Needless to say I botched it up writing this blog entry. So it looks pants!

Review of Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - iii / iv

When Ryan is good, he is magnificent, a true force to be reckoned; when he is bad, well, he's just kind of lame.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Days 5 & 6....

Day 5 - Made omelette. Honestly, I have never made omelette before in my life! I always think of them as a bit too eggy, and I'm not really an eggy kind of gal. Still, my brother has suggested it for lunch so I stepped up to the challenge! Turns out it's not that hard, is quite tasty and very filling; although a 3 egg omelette will make your belly swell for the entire day....

Day 6 - My first pub entry! (I'm thinking there may be a few of these as there are so many bars in Auckland I've never been!)Went to Snapdragon, on the Viaduct. It has only recently opened, it used to be Cargo, where I spent many a lovely summer afternoons involved in drinking sessions. Still, that went, and has been replaced with a pretty stylish place. Several floor to ceiling white bookcases stacked with vinyls that separate bar from dining areas and a covered deck upstairs. I didn't even notice the music, it was so backgroundy! So, I had many amber ales there with Andy last night, very lovely it was.

Don't worry, if you're reading this thinking...will it get more exciting soon?! I have a few things lined up during the year and also when I've finished writing the book and get out and about more, I'll have more random new things to indulge myself in!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh yeah....

I haven't quite finished the novel yet - friends, Christmas and New Year happened scuppering my plans somewhat! However I am upto 47,000 words and I think I have about another 7,000 to write before the first draft is complete.

I've also been re-inspired to attempt short stories again after reading my siter's brilliant published short story "Trouble at t'Abbey" which can be found here -

All stories were inspired by Whitby Abbey. I adore Whitby, it has many happy memories for me. my favourite being a week spent with Suzy on a self imposed writing retreat.

Anyway, back to the writing!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Days 3 & 4...

Day 3 - went to Narrow Neck Beach, had mid morning swim. Definitely the first time I've a)been to Narrow Neck and b) (obviously) swam there!

Day 4 - had my first drive in an automatic car! Ok, so it was around a car park and I totally rode the brake, but.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year....365 days of newness....

So I made a resolution; a little more interesting than my usual "I will learn to drive" "I will exercise more" etc etc.

I will do something new every day of the year.

It doesn't have to be huge, like climbing mountains or swimming oceans, but it must be something I've never done before (on quiet days this might include watching films I've never seen before, or choosing something other than katsu curry in Wagamamas...but generally it will be more interesting than that!) The idea being that I will not do my usual trick of saying, hmmm maybe next time / year (delete as applicable)and it will be things that are within my sphere of control.

So, so far....

Day 1 - I experimented with my usual couscous meal and put mixed beans in it. (Ok, not the most exciting start to the year, but it was New Years day and I was very hungover!)

Day 2 - I swam in the Waitemata Harbour at Takapuna Beach. Just lovely!