Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 126 to 135....

Day 126 was my first day temping in Christchurch. Working again is oddly tiring, even though all I did all day was click, enter, click, click, enter......

Day 127....hmm... 2nd day at work left me little time to do new things. I browsed on my lunch in Henry's liquor store. Definitely the first time in this store, and possibly (hopefully) the first time I've been window shopping in a liquor store on my lunch!

Day 128 was the night I did my first run home from work. I've always shied away from doing this previously, though in hindsight a run home down Tamaki Drive would have amazing; mainly due to misplaced embarrassment. It was only 8km and I carried my work clothes in my camel pack, and actually really enjoyed it! And, I got home before the bus would have got me there. Double bonus.

On day 129 I had the genius idea of making a dish, which when I thought of it had me excited all day. Sweetcorn Fritter on a base of spinach and garlic mushrooms with fake bacon tofu on top, and wedges on the side. I've never made an actual dish before, and it was probably too carby, but tasted amazing!

Day 130 was the day I heard AA Gill speak. I thought he had a deep voice? Anyway, AA Gill was appearing at the Auckland Readers Writers Festival so I booked us tickets and plane tickets up for the weekend! I'd always admired AA Gill since his review of the theatre production of "The Sound of Music" which included "I wanted to stand up and shout to the Nazi youth - they're in the graveyard! If you run you'll catch them!" He is a very witty and observant man, and although he wasn't as impressive as I hoped he was still pretty brilliant.

On day 131 I ate Sushi for breakfast. First time ever, hopefully not the last. Yummers Sushi!

Day 132 I went home from Auckland alone, so had a comforting morning with Andy & friends then a quiet night really. The new thing was catching the airport bus home.....dull I know!

On day 133 I watched the Glastonbury documentary - can you believe I've never seen it before? It was so good, a great reminder of how much fun rolling around in the mud to great music used to be!

On day 134 I made my first blackboard. I'll explain the background; when Natalie & I spent hours in a craft store in Christchurch Natalie discovered this blackboard paint which we got quite excited about. I bought it, and a couple of already cut out wooden shapes (guitar, ducks) but when I got home I felt unsure how to progress. I've seen the Queen's head and New Zealand islands blackboards...what could I do similar to that but more suited to me and Candyretro? Two days ago as I clicked and entered my way through 7 hours of work it came to me in a flash....but I'm not going to share it just yet as I don't want anyone to steal my ideas! But, in case anyone is thinking another of Janine's ideas that will never materialize....I am already setting the wheels in motion. Anyway, so I experimented with the guitar anyway and it is now no longer just MDF guitar cut out, but a guitar shaped blackboard!

Day 135, today I fixed my fricking tyre! Ive ignored it so long, not knowing how has made me less inclined to try but this week I've been so aware I could have cycled to work instead of relying on buses that do not show in a timely I took off the wheel, took off the tyre, pulled the inner tube, found the puncture and fixed it - then put it all back together again. If the fucking thing punctures again I'm getting a new bike.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

117,118, 126!

Soooo, day 117 Natalie & John came to visit so Natalie & I walked a very long way to get to a craft store. I'd been meaning to go as I had a voucher (a lovely leaving present from my lovely book club friends. We had a great hour or so browsing whilst there, thinking of great ideas of things we could make. It was also the day of the royal wedding, so we had a royal wedding party - in which I made Anne's famous Chicken pie (or veg) and gingerbread Kate & Wills, all laid out on Jane's excellent Union Flag plates!

Day 118 was a hungover morning, followed by hair of the dog at Waipara Vineyards! I played Pentanque (badly) at Pegasus Bay in the lovely Autumn sun with friends. Bliss.

Day 119 I made Linda McCartney Bean burgers. SOOOO GOOD! Can't believe I've never tried them before.

Day 120 I made sweetcorn fritters from the Southern Men Cookbook - not new, but the addition of chilli was!

Day 121 I cooked with Soy Protein. It's basically what Quorn mince is made of, and when I saw a packet of it dried in Pak N Save, I knew I had to get some of that! It was brill, I made Shepherd's pie just like I used to in England!

On day 122 I went into Flock, a lovely little crafty store in Sumner.

Day 123 was yet another cooking new thing - I made Tofu bacon. I crap you not. From the Grit Dinner cookbook, it was just like the facon you get in shops, but cheaper and well, tastier really!

On day 124 - you'll like this - I invited Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, Bradley Cooper and Helena Bonham Carter to Smithmas on the 25th June. I do hope they'll come!

Day 125.....I made fake Chicken Wings - again from Vegan Dad (love him!), a great recipe for good meat-a-like chicken in breadcrumbs and eaten with hot sauce.

Phew, we've caught up! Day 126, today, I ran my first 12km in Christchurch. I also got a personal best on Monkey Bash - 1215, which Andy then beat by 200 points....grrrr.


On day 109 I roasted some garlic bulbs, as I'd seen in a resturant once. It was good, but I struggled to take all the skin off the bulbs which wasnt great....

Day 110 was my first ever skype chat with my mate Natalie, who lives in Auckland.

Hmm, these are a tad lame aren't they?!

Day 111....was the first time I'd ever been to Omarau! We went there for Easter with the Hopkins. Good Chinese shop.

Day 112 after lunch at Uncle Monty's we drove back via the Moeraki Boulders. I was very keen to see these freaky alien style rocks and was not disappointed!

Day 113 is a very sad was the first time I've eaten at KFC in NZ... in my defence, the Hopkins stopped here and although I could have refused to eat I was very hungry and my options were chips at KFC or chips at McDonalds so I went for what was easier. It was gross. The only other time I've eaten at KFC was in Australia oddly (never in the UK) and I'm pretty sure I regretted it there too!

Day 114 back in Christchurch I made a draft Excluder! Got to keep that heat in....

Day 115 was the night I made Risotto for the first time ever. Andy is so good at this I've never bothered befroe, but out of work and feeling the urge to be a good housewife, and with a load of mushrooms, I attempted it to great success!

Day 116 was the day I discovered Vegan Dad. I lOVE Vegan dad. He has the best vegan recipes I've ever seen. So today I tried the Vegan sausages. I was sick of paying $10 for crappy sausages full of fat and salt so made my own and apart from the one that came out looking like a willy, they were fab!

Think we'll stop there for a while. I'm so far behind and I now have a job so this make take a bit longer to update, but I'm still committed to this NY resolution, trust me!

Day 101 - 108

So we are on the Central Otago rail trail...

Day 101 was cycling from Hyde to Ranfurly. Ranfurly is an interesting little town which celebrates its art deco past with a museum and buildings. It's very cute!

Day 102 was onto Oturehua - a cool little street with a great pub and cafe (Ida Valley Cafe). This was the start of splashing out after a couple of nights drinking and eating little, and we treated ourselves to a gorgeous bottle of pinot noir and some good meat - I had a fish and mussel pie, Possibly my first in fact!

Day 103 We cycled to Omakau. There were 2 very freaky tunnels to get there - my immagination coming into its own in the stiffling darkness! My learn? Take a better torch. Omakau if you're interested was neither mickling nor muckling.

Day 104 was the final leg - boo! Totally loved the rail trail and will definitely do it again, with Smith alterations! We ended up in Clyde at midday and after settling into our gorgeous hotel (Dunstan House) we explored, drank wine, ate and listened to Eva Cassidy in the library whilst reading. Bliss.

Day 105 we got dropped off in Queenstown - our first visit since moving to NZ. Shocking! So my thing was staying at the St Moritz - very swish...we had a suite -it was fricking huge, and it was paid for with our United airmiles, genuis!

Day 106, or 18th April 2011, was our 3rd anniversary. Big love.....definitely my first 3rd year anniversary!

On day 107 to combat the huge amount of pizza, beer and wine consumed over the last few days I used the Step up machine in the gym - oh wow - what a fab machine!

Day 108 is a tad dull I suppose but it was amazing at the time. I flew out of Queenstown for the first time ever and it was the most fantastic scenic view I've ever seen. Simply gorgeous.