July 31, 2008

Time is running out

After the planning and booking that Beau and I have been doing recently, I've begun to feel the time crunch. We are about half-way through our time away now and it is less than 5 months until we get back to NZ (I think we arrive on the 23/12).

We've also decided that we will move out of our flat earlier than originally planned, we aim to be outta here by the 1 November. We're already hardly going to be in the flat in September (beginning of Sept we will be in UK, end of Sept in Spain) and October (beginning of Oct still in Spain, maybe a bit of France or Italy, mid/end in Dublin/Northern Ireland).

We have so many places that we want to visit and I really think we're not going to make it to them all :(

I guess it really just means that we'll have to come back!

:)

Point of Fashion: Crinkly pants
Current Obsession: What should we go see, what can we stand to miss?

I also feel I should point out that the blogging will reduce as soon as my job ends. If I was good I'd take notes and type them up, but lets be honest, I am not that good!

Posted by giffy at 09:11 AM | Comments (985) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

More planning

Whee! Less than 3 weeks of work to go!

That's right, if you have plans to send me a parcel, do it now! ;) Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, I live in an apartment and the postman won't deliver parcels unless someone is there to collect them. Beau and I won't even be in the *country* to collect them soon. Yay!

So, this weekend we have plans! Friday, delichan and Neid's birthday celebrations (there shall be gyoza, plum wine and karaoke involved, sweet)! I suspect we shall then drag ourselves out of bed for the Sat 11am viewing of the Dark Knight, 'cause €3!! If it just seems too hard to get up that early we'll try for the more expensive (although still cheap at €5.50) 1.50pm viewing.

No other plans for Sat, which is probably good as Sunday- Tues we shall be camping on Cape Clear Island, the southern-most island of Ireland, apparently. Camping!! I haven't done that in forever and I seriously miss it. Would anyone in NZ be keen on trying to camp next year? I realise that most of my blog readers are more of the "bach" disposition, but it could be fun!

Beau and I have also firmed up our UK roadtrip plans. Airplane tickets have been bought and everything! We shall be flying into Edinburgh and out of Bristol. I actually think we might bypass London this time as we wanna go there and tourist with Ruggle in November and there is so much other stuff to do and see in our 3 weeks.

We've also been offered the loan of a car in the days before we go on the road-trip so we shall probably go to Kerry and/or Galway for a few days. Must talk to delichan about possibility of visiting her folks and their beach-house ;)

In other news, we've also been accepted into the VaughanTown english language school programme and we shall be staying in a 4-star hotel in the The National Park of Monfragüe. Now we need to organise doing the Way of St James, probably in the week before that. We're also tossing around the idea of a couple of days in Barcelona and Lyon, France.

It's so exciting to finally be booking our holidays! Wheeee!

Point of Fashion: Paua
Current Obsession: The Inadvertant Gardener

Posted by giffy at 02:56 AM | Comments (8)

July 29, 2008

Books the Movies were based on

The Cork City Library has a display called something like "As Seen on Screen". Here they display books that have had movies made. I have read two books thanks to the advertising of this display.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is a book inspired by a painting. I know that it was one of the books they studied at my previous school. It's quite a small book, so perfect for taking to and from work. It's got a measured pace and I quite enjoyed it. At times this leads to some ominous overtones, but the story, while not a "happy ending" isn't full of all the horrors that my brain imagined. I liked it and it made me think I do want to watch the movie, although I'm not sure how it will work with Scarlett-Jo being blonde and the book making quite a lot about the main character having long dark curly hair.

Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown. I wanted something light, ok? It was pretty light, but not as funny as the move (I think). Some differences: At one stage Elle takes time to think that her old sorority friends were shallow! Her motivation to becoming a lawyer is so that she can provide legal aide and provide positive role models for blondes. There is also no Luke Wilson character. Pluses or minuses? You decide. I don't think I'd read this again. It definitely fulfilled its role as chick-lit of the fluffy variety.

I'm thinking I might take the time to read some classic books (with movies) ie Pride and Prejudice.

Point of Fashion: Def time for a haircut!
Current Obsession: millinery

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July 26, 2008

Fat Issues

I was thinking about my own whininess and that of others and I realised, there is only one person who feels sorry when you feel fat, you (or me, or one, or whatever). I mean, there are those people who feel sorry they know you when you are feeling fat and sad, but they aren't sorry for you.

Seriously, if I'm feeling pudgy and I tell Beau, what is he supposed to do? If he feels that I am looking pudgy he can:
1) tell me so (and risk pummeling and/or mopey Giffy)
2) lie (and feel bad within himself, as well as enabling my pudginess)
3) make a joke and distract me (again enabling the pudge)

If he feels that I'm looking fine he can:
1) tell me so (possibly leading to me whining "but I feeeeeeeel fat")
2) lie (risking the pummeling and/or mope)
3) make a joke and distract me (because I'm just being silly)

Basically I need to stop whinging so much. If I feel I'm looking fat, whining really doesn't help. Going for a walk, more so.

This post was originally supposed to be about society's views of overweight people, but morphed into something else. Okay... Now off to go gaze at my navel and the jub surrounding it ;)

Point of Fashion: 3 black with white polka tops are not enough
Current Obsession: countdown to bathroom break

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July 25, 2008

Dinner, dinner, dinner

No baking this week, but, Beau totally stepped outside of his comfort zone and cooked us this delicious dinner:

He got the recipe from a cook book we were given at the food festival. For more details click on the picture :)

We hosted gaming this week and I offered to cook for everyone. That is seven people all up, many of them boys. I also didn't want to be spending much time before the event prepping, so on monday night, after dinner, I cooked this:

Impossible quiche (it makes it's own crust, hence the "impossible" also known as self-crusting quiche) and baked potatoes. Once cool these guys went in the fridge and when I got home from work on Tuesday I turned the potatoes into stuffed potatoes (scooped out insides, mashed roughly with chopped spring onion, sour cream and grated cheese, spooned back into skins, a bit more cheese on top) and made a salad (mixed lettuce leaves with nasturtium flowers, yellow capsicum, cucumber and cherry tomatoes) while the potato and quiche were warming in the oven. We had strawberries in balsamic vinegar (served in glasses) for dessert.

Again, click on the picture for more info :)

Impossible quiche is also a great dish for using up leftovers. This one used up the last of the shredded chicken I had in the freezer and also some chorizo we had left over from the chicken dinner Beau had cooked. It's also really easy to turn vegetarian.

I'm pleased with my freezing of stuff. It's nice to have "convenience foods" that you've made and which you know are healthy. Tonight we need to have a quick dinner as we want to see a movie at 7pm, so for dinner we are having pumpkin soup which I made and froze last week. We have another good to go meal in there too, nacho mince all cooked and flavoured. Just needs to be heated and put on some chips. Might have that tomorrow :)

And, so you know that I haven't been slacking on the packed lunches, here's what I ate today:

Now if only I could resist the biscuits in the canteen...

Point of fashion: Not just red and black
Current Obsession: The correct way of eating Jaffa cakes

Posted by giffy at 03:06 AM | Comments (5)

July 24, 2008

Typey-typey Linky-linky

One of the DAs has realised that I type much faster than he does and has been giving me screeds of hand-written notes to type up. It's nice to have something useful to do (I haven't forgotten your editing Beau! I'll do more today), plus he buys me Cokes. :)

Here are some things I think worth linking to and why.

New Zealand swim-wear label Ginger Lover. I was first pointed to these beautiful vintage styled swimsuits by the now defunct Special Knives blog. I keep going back though, to look at them and drool. Their sheer pretty almost convinces me that buying togs online is not a bad idea. They have ruffle-backed bikini bottoms!!!

Dr Horrible's Tea of Evil is a black tea blend. The company Adagio Teas also has a range of "Serenitea" inspired teas! The Kaylee looks especially num. I don't know if you can get in NZ though :(

The Tor website is giving away free books in various digital formats. I think for this week only though. I may have downloaded many for later perusal. Mmm, bookses. The same page also has links to downloadable cover art.

And now a special something for those who love things both crafty and geeky, Geek Central Station is an etsy seller who makes geeky, geeky amigurumi, aka incredibly cute crocheted toys. She specialises in LotR and Starwars ones, but has done many others. Check out her flickr for even more photos of the awesome.

What, you thought you might get actual content... from *me*?

Point of Fashion: Cycling
Current Obsession: material goods

Posted by giffy at 12:32 AM | Comments (5)

July 23, 2008

Lovely Hubbly and plans for the future

So, after working a 96hr week in a different county, my beloved Beau came home and did housework!

Yup, he cleaned the bathroom, tidied the bedroom, vacuumed the flat, did laundry, dishes, shopped for groceries and made dinner.

He even found the time to sit back and think about how lucky I am to have a husband (yeah, you can't do all that and still be modest).

He even found time to periodically wake me up in the middle of the night, ensuring that I didn't sleep in, or enough. Bless.

So far he has no work lined up for this week, so shall be taking a much deserved rest. Hopefully I shall also get some ;P.

It's getting close to when we finish the "working" part of the working-holiday! We need to start booking flights and hostels and stuff. Beau was a star and got us an Irish credit card the other week (no fees for using overseas or currency conversion).

We have a plan to fly up to Edinburgh around the 20 August, catch some of the festival, do some touristing and visit Morgue! We plan to then hire a car and take a couple of weeks to drive down to London visiting places and people (I'm looking at you Debbie).

Other plans are up in the air but we're hoping to do part of the Way of St James in Spain, possibly do a week "teaching" English at a language school and visit all the places we have free accommodation available in Europe.

Also, I read today in the newspaper that Cork gets an average of 60 "clear" (aka sunny) days a year. Wellington gets about 169 (I googled it)! It doesn't rain more here, it's just cloudy *all the time*. Can not wait to visit a place with sunshine.

Point of Fashion: Feeling slim
Current Obsession: Daydreaming

Posted by giffy at 12:13 AM | Comments (12)

July 21, 2008

The afters and after

Had a great time at the afters. They had a live band that was even more old fashioned than the bands we have in NZ! Obviously way more old-fashioned than the band we had at our wedding, The Aviators. They *played* Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Gum Tree! Madness.

There are also particular "folk" dances that show up at Irish weddings. The two big ones being Rock the Boat and Siege of Ennis. Unfortunately there was no Rock the Boat at this wedding. I shall have to finangle my way into another Irish wedding to enjoy that particular dance. This shouldn't be too difficult considering that delichan caught the bouquet!

I had fun with much silly dancing and was *forced* to get up and dance in a circle of others when the band played Land Down Under. It's hard being the only southern hemispherer sometimes ;) I definitely missed having my Beau with me and I think he would've had a great time.

Highlights include:
2 totally unexpected compliments, one from a woman I briefly danced with during the Siege of Ennis telling me my dress was beautiful (is my red "wedding" dress, has been worn to 5 weddings this year!) and another from a gaming acquaintance (she lives in Dublin) who informed me that her and a bunch of other girls had decided that I had the best hair;
cocktail sausage fight with Fotalad;
seeing all the Irish lads looking swish in their suits and ties (extra sad not to have Beau there then);
tipsy Neid telling me she loves me;
comparing my "imaginary" NZ husband with two "imaginary" Aussie boyfriends

Major learning experience:
Do not let others buy you drinks. It makes it harder for you to keep track of how many you've had. Also, when you've decided that you don't want anymore, they may still buy you more as they know what you are drinking and then you feel obligated to drink when you really shouldn't.

I got home about 4am. I do feel the need to point out that I was probably asleep for a good 30min of the last hour at the afters. There are quite a few photos of me asleep and leaning on mytholder on a couch. Party *animal* ;)

The whole of Sunday was spent "recovering". After a shower and a Berocca, I managed to drag myself over to mytholder's (although soon not to be his place, or even the boy flat anymore as new flatmate lined up is a girl) to await the others getting ready for brunch. It was nice to see people who looked even more rotten than I felt. Bwhahaha!

The fry-up I had was great while I was eating it, but afterwards I felt a bit worse.. and also still a bit hungry! I ambled back to the boy-flat with Neid, Fotalad and Homebody, where we spent the rest of the afternoon on the "batcouch" refusing to get up and watching such TV classics as *old* Gladiators. I was eventually dropped off at home by Neid. She gave me the mini-sewing machine to use as well.

I had a long bath, went to bed and completely forgot to attempt to download the 3rd episode of Dr Horrible for Beau. I hope that he still loves me.

Point of Fashion: Black is slimming.
Current Obsession: Cold or hayfever????

Posted by giffy at 09:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 19, 2008

Idle Hands

What to do this weekend?

My Beau is away slaving in the patient mines in Co Kerry. I believe he is doing some insane shift, starting 9am Sat and finishing midnight on Sunday! So, a 39hour shift! Hopefully he will get a decent amount of sleep during that shift, but who can say. I on the other hand have a regular old weekend, but one without my beloved to hang out with.

So, what to do?

I actually have been invited to the "afters" of a wedding. Apparently in Ireland it is pretty normal for there to be a dance/party following on from the wedding reception that all friends are invited to. There is a cash bar, so it doesn't cost the married couple anything.

I've recently been shocked to find that the standard amount for a wedding gift here is... €150 for a couple!! That is some serious money, even not doubled into NZ$. Even just going to the afters you would be expected to give something. Although no way near as much.

Anyhoo, I'll probably go the afters, cause, party, plus congratualatory goodness, plus I get to dress up! Any excuse ;)

That's only Sat evening and after dinner time too, so what else can I do? There are boring things, like grocery shopping and *cleaning* that I could do, but, again, *boring*.

Suggestions? Guesses?

Point of Fashion: Dote
Current Obsession: Free time

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July 18, 2008

Leftovers

For me, the ultimate leftover dish has to be fried rice. I actually find it a bit *wrong* that people will cook and buy ingredients to make fried rice!

Here is my dinner from yesterday, a chicken friend rice.

The rice was leftover from Thai takeaways we ate at roleplaying on Monday. They always seem to give you more rice than you need, which was perfect for me. The chicken was leftover from a roast chicken we had weeks ago. I got Beau to shred the chicken and the meat and carcasse were both frozen for later use. Veges were various ones I had in the fridge.

I actually have 4 carcasses (2 from the lovely delichan) in our freezer right now. They are just waiting for me to have enough time at home to make stock.

Speaking of stock, when I am making my lunch or prepping dinner I have gotten into the habit of saving the "ends" ie, ends of carrots and celery I cut to fit into my lunch box, or because I don't want to eat that bit (ie leafy celery/carrot ends), ends of onion, zuchinni etc. Also the ends I cut of garlic and onion. Dodgy looking vege (eg bendy carrots). All these get put into a refrigerator bag in our freezer.

Last night I boiled my collection in water (added pepper corns and herbs) and left it "simmering" on a very low heat while I pootled around the house for a couple of hours (it wasn't even simmering much of the time). The smell was fabulous. I left it to cool overnight and then strained it this morning and added salt. This is vegetable stock and I plan to use it to make a quinoa pilaf when Neid next comes to dinner.

It feels good to make the most out of my food.

Now another leftover, using leftover pizza topping materials and stale bread I made this for my lunch on Saturday:

num-num-num!

This week I also made brownies and biscotti, but since they've already been documented didn't think you'd want *more* photos of them. Did you?

See my flickr for all my foodie stuff.

Point of Fashion: I <3 WGTN
Current Obsession: Tonight's dinner

Posted by giffy at 04:04 AM | Comments (8)

July 17, 2008

Dr Horrible

Do you like the works of Joss Whedon? Do you like supporting new artistic endeavours? Do you like geeky, geeky musicals? I think you will like this:

I do! Joss Whedon explains what and why here.

It is only online for one week only. That week is *this* week. It is going up in 3 parts and they will all be taken down on the 20th of July.

Go, watch, enjoy! I sure as heck did. (the picture is a linky btw)

Point of Fashion: Commentable
Current Obsession: Boys

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July 16, 2008

Stuff n Stuff

So yeah, Beau and I actually had a great time at X+'s (criss-cross, I can't be bothered writing it out each time) house and played cardgames with bad names and taught people Font of Fame! It went well. X+ is officially the best one-armed charades player ever! Srsly.

We didn't get to play Beanie. I have hopes for one of our games nights in the next couple of weeks (Fotalad has been coming over for card/board gaming once a week, the past couple of weeks). I'm hoping we'll switch to Rping, if Beau gets the energy and inclination. Have player interest in the form of Fotalad, X+ and Homebody.

We were supposed to have Neid, Homebody and Fotalad for gaming tonight, but instead I am having dinner with my "old" HOD from Wgtn. Her son is a Dr on OE in Cork and he and his wife live around the corner from Beau and I! Her and her hubby have been using the school holidays as an excuse to come and visit, although they leave tomorrow. I'm wandering over to their place this evening and we're having dinner at Wagamamas. Apparently the Wagamamas here is good (unlike what I have heard about the Wgtn one).

Last night we had roleplaying at Mytholder's. I'm more comfortable in the char now, but we had a couple of guest players which changed the dynamic some what. I am wondering what the GM has in store. We're playing next week, but then some of the players will be missing the week after due to a wedding in Galway, not sure if we will play without them or if we will take a week off instead.

Neid has an small extra sewing machine and she is going to lend it to me. I'm going to get to do some sewing! First thing, repair my PJ pants that suffered some damage while trampolining (I had my onesies on over the top, so my dignity survived intact). Second thing, wheat bags. Apparently they're not very common here. I think I'll make them the same way my MiL does, with 3 sections and lavender on the inside.

Goodtimes.

Point of Fashion: cutey-cutey
Current Obsession: the difference a moment makes

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July 15, 2008

A series of unfortunate events

1) While jumping up and down on a trampoline, Homebody dislocates his thumb.
2) On the way to the hospital, they encounter a huge traffic jam due to a horse fair on the next day.
3) On leaving the hospital, Neid, in the car, during the rain, through her hoodie, is stung by a wasp.

Basically, we had a great time in the country!

:)

Point of Fashion: No time to think.
Current Obsession: sleepy

Posted by giffy at 04:55 AM | Comments (723) | TrackBack

July 12, 2008

Bleurgh

I am tired. Being tired lowers my defences against bad feelings. Currently I am feeling: blinky, useless, jealous, fat, annoying, sad, fake, distant, needy, scruffy, boring, whiney, grasping, unnecessary.

Please give me positive reinforcement. Please do not let this post make you feel sad/bad, it *is* a shameless cry for attention and affection.

Posted by giffy at 03:54 AM | Comments (6)

July 11, 2008

I like Pizza

So, last night Fotalad came over for gaming. Not RPGs but cards. He bought a big bag of games (board and card) and we did not look at them. No, we are old school and we played with regular playing cards. Well, not that regular, Julie the Canadian left them with us and they are covered with Australian tourism advertising, a bit odd.

First we taught him Beanie and he totally won. He had half the points Beau and I did. Then he taught us Nazier (sp?) which I won, so haha!

Fotalad also came over for dinner. I made home-made pizzas for him, Beau and me and Voltron and V's gf. I did not take any photos (D'oh), but shall describe them for you.

Each pizza had a scone base. I used Anna's Grandmother's recipe, with salt. Her recipe makes enough for 2 bases. They also each had tomato puree spread on them and were cooked for about 15min at 180degC. They had different toppings though.

1) Marguerita style. Had almost a salsa of tomato, garlic and red onion, cooked with base, then slices of fresh mozzarella on top, back in the oven for melty, then fresh basil.

2) Parma ham, mushroom. Parmesan when taken out of oven.

3) "Mexican", had avocado, leftover salsa from the marguerita with spring onions added, shredded chicken, capsicum, grated cheddar cheese and some chilli powder. Mmm.

4) Our "meat" pizza, parma ham, pepperoni, chicken and tomato.

So good. We also had many other cheeses (haloumi, blue, brie, cream), so I could have done an all cheese pizza. However, these were more than plenty.

Since I knew I was having pizza for dinner, I had a less complex carbohydratey lunch:

Yup, that is Korean-style bean sprouts! I made it for my dinner the night before :)

I also did some baking this week. Cheese scones. Click on the pic for more info including my recipe.

As always check out my flickr for more pictures and information.

I am now full from delicious baked salmon made by Voltron's gf. She can visit any time :)

Point of Fashion: comfy home clothes
Current Obsession: mail snailed

Posted by giffy at 04:56 AM | Comments (3)

July 10, 2008

Real summer

The grass in Ireland really is greener, at least in summer anyway.

Two months into an NZ summer and grass has a distinctly dry and brittle look. You lie on it to bask in sunshine and it tickles and prickles you through your cotton shorts and t-shirt.

This does not happen in Ireland. In Ireland it is too wet and cold for single layers of clothing. There is no sunshine to bask in. Sometimes the grey light is almost white, it's so bright, but it is still grey. The grass is soft and green and *wet*. Today, anyway.

I must stop this focus on NZ summer, it's not like I'm missing out on it!

Beau and I have been invited to stay with a friend at his farm this weekend. I fully intend to teach ppl Beanie and Font of Fame. I suspect that I will not be so good at Font of Fame without my awesomnest team mates of Zeph and Jenni. Those girls *get me* in an essential way. They also talk really, really fast. Which helps in games like this.

I've been thinking a lot about the bach in Waiterere recently. Good times. Any chance of some girly time there after New Years? Understand husbands, s/o, pets etc need affection and attention, but, but...

Point of Fashion: Not *all* black
Current Obsession: Ron the Body

Posted by giffy at 03:46 AM | Comments (1034) | TrackBack

July 09, 2008

the internet told me

Today I followed links from Jenni's blog and ended up reading some feminist blogging. I enjoyed it and agreed with a lot of what they said. It made me think about my/the 50's Housewife Club. It didn't make me ready to blog about it though.

Some things the internets told me today:

1) Audrey Hepburn was a knitter.

2) T leaf T are having their annual sale. 25% off everything online ppl. Other sales stuff in store! The Irish love their tea, but they are way behind NZ in this!

3) There is someone on trademe selling a collection of Georgette Heyer books. There are 27 hardbacks and 9 paperbacks. Bidding starts at $15 and the auction closes on Monday. I know there is at least one other person *apart* from Sok, who loves Georgette Heyer and wants to own more, but I can't remember who. Please pass this on to them.


I am tired.

We had gaming last night. I think I did better this time. Have a better idea/feel of the character and of the others characters and the GM. I haven't gamed with new people for a long time.

Did I mention we are doing Game of Thrones roleplaying? We're all either Mormonts or related to them. We started gaming at about 8.30pm and finished just after 11.

I woke up a bit before 5 as Beau was heading out to catch a 5.15am train to go work out of town. I went back to bed, but got up at 6am to bake cheese scones for a morning tea/raffle we had at work to fundraise for a workmate off on a mission in Uganda. Our office isn't even that big, but we made over €400, which is a really good effort! Go us :)

You just know I took a photo of those scones ;)

Point of Fashion: No Ironing required
Current Obsession: Restful

Posted by giffy at 03:27 AM | Comments (182)

July 08, 2008

Busy Fun-ness

The Cork Midsummer Festival is over, while we are still waiting for the summer part to happen. I'm talking about cold, wind and rain people! These do not a summer make. Weather does not prevent Beau and I from living busy active lives though.

Thursday
We went and saw Wanted. It was pretty much what we expected (um, bullets that can turn corners do not lead to logic filled movies). Fun, not as good as Speed Racer, or even Ironman.

Friday
Already important as the day I received a giant letter, Beau and I also went and saw The Hairy Ape as put on by Corcadorca. Corcadorca is known for *huge* productions and this one was put on in a warehouse. Instead of a curtain drop between scenes, we actually walked (following strings of lights) from one scene to the next. It was very good. The lead had incredible physicality. His movements all large and theatrical, yet perfect for the character and setting. I felt a bit sorry for the female chorus though, they were literally set dressing in 2 scenes. They had excellent costumes though.

Saturday
We had Homebody, GNZ and DrA over for brunch to help deal with a windfall of black pudding. There was also pancakes with banana, bacon and maple syrup and Beau's rich hot chocolates with real NZ chocolate fish (thanks Sassa, I have been so strong not eating them before now). We introduced the others to Bang! and much fun was had.

I have a hankering to play Beanie and can *not* remember the rules. Remind me?

We then pootled over to the Boy flat and ended up watching some of Wimbledon. Williams sisters final!

In the evening we went to Tommy Tiernan. It was unusual to be going to an Irish comedian in Ireland with a big bunch of Kiwis (8 of us all up). Everyone had a good time, although some Irish "in-jokes" went a bit over our heads. He is very non-pc and we had a *great* time. The venue was a big Marquee (think circus tent) and it was completely packed with people having fun. Great atmosphere.

Sunday
We still had brunchables, this time Neid, Fotalad and Homebody(again) joined us. Again we played Bang! This time everyone had actually played before so it went quite quickly. Unfortunately Homebody has died first both times he has played. It's going to be hard to convince him to play a third time I think.

I also met up with DrA and SNZ and we went out and saw Sex and the City and lamented being away from our best girlfriends. Was fun.

I had a mega movie week this week as I then went with Beau, Fotalad, Neid, Homebody, mytholder and delichan to see Hancock. It was... unexpected. I enjoyed it though.

Next
Don't really have any plans now that the Festival is over. Well, there is roleplaying tonight and hopefully another board/card game night later on this week. I'm sure other things will come up, either that or I might actually have some time for baking and sleep!

<3

Point of Fashion: Warmth
Current Obsession: Bedtime

Posted by giffy at 04:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 05, 2008

In response to a letter

So, I just had to wait in the cold, wind and rain for over 45min waiting for a bus and I got into a bit of a mood. However, the mood has been banished as I opened the mailbox and found that I have received the LARGEST LETTER EVER from my beloved Jenni. What shall now follow is my reactions to the letter as I read it:

- OMG Milk, hilarious! (this is just the envelope) This envelope is weird and big.
- Woah, how big is this thing?
- I should drink milk. Cow is cute. Why are there bubbles?
- Yay NZ stickers :)
- First Prize = Simpsons and bach Jenni and me awake and Zeph asleep.
- It is amazingly giant.
- How is Katy?
- Nick *is* too lazy. Although understand intimidation at the GIANT writing paper.

(Break for me to eat dinner. Yay hot dinner!)

- This is so huge is unwieldy.
- oh Sok is writing too.
- Lots of people over :)
- Explainy goodness. I wanna see pics of Phreq's crochet.
- Jellus of Rockband.
- I always think that about the Establishment as well. We *are* old ;)
- I would possibly get hungry reading this if I wasn't so full of dinner. What are batter chips? Oh, beer batter chips. Still seems odd.

- Bright bright felts! Good work on muchos colours Chelle. Awesome about studying. Hope work improves <3
- Mm holidays :)
- Skype is very easy and everyone should get it and talk to me (and their parents, whatever).

- More colourfulness and lots of little pictures and... how is an elephant Irish? How did it get a t-shirt that big?? So many little notes to read around the side. I think that is a picture of me. OMG crossword! This page by Sok is kinda overwhelming... plus *still* huge!
- Laugh at Yuri vs normal cat comparison. Sok, according to your pic, your hair has grown heaps! You are pretty much awesome at random. I bow to you. The cute bear reminds me of Ted.E.Bear.
- What is your hangover from? (to Sok).
- I seriously doubt you sounded crapful. Why would everyone sing "I could have danced all night?". This was written ages ago! I already know the outcome of audition (WMT fails!) and concert... or do I? I forget about concert. I assume awesome. We haven't done a show together for ages.
- Your hair looks crazy in the BEV.
- I appreciate my beautiful pictures and do like the RAINBOW COLOURS. I wish I had blue sky... and Rarotonga.
- I looking forward to you coming to UK! Swing dancing is super awesome. I will post some photos tonight. I like how you make me look skinny. I only have black skirts here.
- I sniffed the page and it smelled of ... something? Vague fake vanilla.
- Why does Softimus prime want pic of Jenni swing dancing? I like it :)
- Taunting me with Ginger Kisses WHICH THEY DO NOT HAVE HEAR!!
- eww sneeze. Phews. You are the awesomes.

- Bright colours! Sass is also full of random. I do know I love you and am pleased Sok didn't do all that torture and stuff to you. Hope the wedding reception went well :)

- These pages are seriously massive.

- I'm so pleased about all the Softimus Prime love.... although I'm also pleased he is on the other side of the world, because... kinda weird.
- What is all this stuff about Joaquim??
- Letter collaboration is good. I make people write postcards!
- The giant writing makes me think of primary school.
- I want more Pushing Daisies.

- I am so taking photos and posting them soon!
- I feel a bit sorry for Horatio the Dapper Monster.
- Letters are NOT redundant technology. Esp if you don't actually take the time to email me /snipe.
- OMG the cow looks so lurid with red lipstick. Plus, Softimus is in the bath.. dodgy.
- Domestic star makes me laugh and wish our home in Newlandia had underfloor insulation. Also, double glazing. <3 for Scarlett.
- The circular writing in the heart combined with giant paper is effortful!


- I look forward to seeing you too, Jenni. My heart is so full of love right now. I hope you liked this post. I seriously loved the giant letter.

Ok, I better let Beau read his bit too.

I just need to lay ion the bed and bask in the love for a while longer first.

bliss.


Posted by giffy at 07:46 AM | Comments (8)

Foodblog

Focus this week has been on good food fast. From beginning prep to serving the next two meals took less than 50min.

My fave easy pasta: Sauce is just a pottle of cream fraiche. The meat is left over roast chicken. You can do this with sour cream instead, also can have no meat for a vegetarian version. I think it would be nice with bacon!

This actually takes about 30min all up. Start the pasta cooking and then cook everything else in a large wok/frying pan. Drain pasta and then add to wok. Mix in sundried tomatoes and then the creme fraiche last. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I used a whole packet of penne pasta and a whole pottle of creme fraiche and it fed 6.

Bean's mum once told me that the secret to delicious pasta is salting the water until it tastes good.

Beau and I made this next meal together.

While the oven was pre-heating, he prepped the trout and I rinsed the rice and chopped the veg. You *must* rinse the rice 3 times for optimum riciness! If you don't already do this, give it a try and see the difference it makes.

Once the trout went in, the rice went on and I finished chopping veg and stir-fried. I totally forgot to cook any onions or garlic. It was still good.

This fed 5 adults and there was still some left over for Beau to have for lunch.

My flickr has also been updated with pictures of our weekend picnic foods and my daily work lunches.

The photos are linkies remember!

In other food news, Voltron's girlfriend also cooked us yummy polish style food involved crumbed chicken. This was extra good as the crumb coating contained nuts. Yum.

We also had curry in memory of the night before Pika was born. Plus, we like curry.

Tonight planned dinner is nachos, there will be extra meat sauce made to freeze and eat at a later date.

Point of Fashion: Pressed Pants
Current Obsession: Candy

Posted by giffy at 03:59 AM | Comments (4)

July 04, 2008

Fickle

Today the weather has changed from sunny to rainy, to sunny with spots of rain. Sunshowers. A word that instantly summons up a day in kindergarten when it rained during sunshine and a rainbow hung in the sky. Beautious optical illusion. A minor miracle.

There is an ominous grey mass on the horizon. From that way I hear thunder.

As fickle as the weather am I. This is my way of saying that while it *is* foodblogday, today it is *not*. Gird yourself for whimsey.


I like to look at the ground while I walk. I like finding things. Today I found €5 and a marble! I have used to the money to buy raffle tickets, fundraising for a collegues mission to Uganda. I have the marble in my pen etc organiser thing on my desk. I think it is happy to be there.


Today I wore my docs to work, not my boots (which I almost always wear if I am wearing pants), but my utterly adorable mid-heel t-bars. I also have knee-high argyle trouser socks and my black skirt with pleats. My feet and legs look so cute with the pleats swishing over them.

I wish I was wearing make-up to finish the look. My shirt is sooo red, it demands red lipstick!

I still love my hair, but I need to tidy my eyebrows. I wish the woman who did them last time hadn't made them so thin.

Swish, wish, ish.


I'm jealous of Beau, he isn't working today, although he had hoped to be. On the other hand this does mean that we can go to Wanted tonight. It seems like it will be silly fun. I like watching Angelina be badass. She is still pregnant with her and Brad's twins and is currently staying in a hospital in Nice, France. I read about that today in the paper.


People who attend meetings without pens are idiots. People who "borrow" pens from the receptionist and don't return them are thieves.

At home I have a surfeit of pens and pharmaceutical companies give them to Beau. One of the pens is shaped like a syringe! It's cool, but I shouldn't take it as carry-on luggage I think.


There is a spider outside who enjoys being on TV.


I am not inspired to buy lottery tickets. I can't help but feel that winning a million wouldn't change my life that much. In fact, I worry it would make people expect me to pay all the time and to give stuff to them. Also, if we wanted to give money to our families, should we give equal amounts to mine as to Beau's, or would we give more to Beau's as his has more people in it? Definitely seems like a lot of trouble!... It would mean that Beau and I could start holidaying a bit earlier though.


Sometimes thinking about our plans for the future gives me a fluttery panicky feeling in my stomach. Are you ever really ready?


In the blue land, a pearl-eyed monster sleeps,
A silver-quick serpent about him creeps,
Up to good,
Gauge his mood,
The fair-haired princeling weeps and weeps.


In my family, Muggle and Peep are considered the creative ones. Muggle and I are probably both the sensible/reliable ones. Bambi and Muggle would be fashionable. Bambi and Peep the "little kids".

I suspect that I am the most competitive.


There are times I want everyone around me and others when I want everyone away.


The spider show is on again.


Must be time to stop the madness.

Point of Fashion: Feeling styley
Current Obsession: Procrastination

Posted by giffy at 02:57 AM | Comments (8)

July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Pika!

Today (2nd of July) is my goddaughter's first birthday. Her foetus nick-name is Pika (or Pikachu), much like how mine is Giffy.

Pika so wanted me there when she was born that her mother went into labour the night that Beau and I arrived to stay for a few days. I convoyed to the hospital behind Pika-mum and Pika-dad. I hung out in the hospital room chatting to Pika-mum until she got to 6cms and decided that I should get out. I was the fourth person to hold Pika and first to dress her. When Pika-mum and Pika-dad got married, I was the one who held Pika during the wedding ceremony.

It's killing me a little bit to be so far away from Pika and her mum. I know Pika-mum misses me too. We text or email most days. Just little things about what we are up to. I've received little vids showing Pika *walking* and doing *action dances*. I see pics of her eating pepperoni and at the pool with her dad. I rang them the other day and Pika was given the phone and she actually made noises at me (normally when people give small children the phone to talk to me they say nothing).


I'm thinking about her so much and how much she has grown and changed in the past year. Her mum and I agree that she is a huge show pony and takes after her aunty Giffy. I hope they enjoy the present I've sent them.

I'm also thinking lots about my other July babies and parents. Love to you all in Kiwiland!

Point of Fashion: Monochrome
Current Obsession: games

Posted by giffy at 07:47 AM | Comments (1185) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Differently Dealing with Death

I've recently come across a difference between Irish and New Zealand culture, when a person in Ireland takes a leave of absense due to a death of a close family member, the whole company is sent an email from HR expressing condolences and informing people of the time and place of the funeral.

It is quite normal here for people (not necessarily friends) to leave work and go to the funeral of the parent of a colleague. Someone you've never met and who's name you may not even have known before you read the death notice.

I know this because recently one of the people in our office emailed me to say that they were taking "special leave" as their mother had passed on the weekend. I'm the one keeping track of who is in and who is out of office each day as well as leave etc. I was also doing a job for them (typing up an interview). I mentioned it to another person, as I wasn't sure if I was to inform HR and a flurry of activity ensued with people trying to reach other people and did I know about the funeral arrangements etc.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, it's good that the people you work with are aware that you are going through a difficult period. When I suffered a loss, one of the hardest things for me to do was to have to keep telling people why I looked like I was going to burst into tears (which caused me to actually burst into tears).

On the other hand, while trying to deal with my grief, do I really want my work colleagues turning up at the funeral to offer well-meaning condolences, when I actually want to be hugged and held and share memories and thoughts with people who knew my lost loved one, or failing that with people who know and love me? It seems a bit intrusive.

Perhaps this is just my work place and not a common practise.

How do you feel about it?

Point of Fashion: no thought required
Current Obsession: one step at a time

Posted by giffy at 04:03 AM | Comments (957) | TrackBack

July 01, 2008

Berocca Please

Whew. What a full on weekend! We have had great fun with our Jules. She was previously known as Evie's Canadian friend. She is now *our* Canadian friend (still Evie's, don't worry, we didn't "steal" her).

She is our first proper visitor. We've had people over for dinner etc, but she is the first person we've had to rearrange the lounge and inflate a mattress for! Beau and I have been saving some of our touristing for when a visitor came so we went and did lots of stuff with her. We also dragged her along to some of our "regular" things.

Friday

Drinks and Karaoke! Homebody and Neid organised a group and a Karaoke room at a local bar. Jules was determined to buy all our drinks, but helpful Irish thwarted her plans. Beau and I attempted to buy drinks in return, but Fotalad resoundly refused us and bought Beau a drink instead? We got home sometime between midnight and 1. I thought it would be a good time to call Evie (midday on a Saturday is normally about right), but she was out. This was perhaps a good thing.

Saturday

In the morning,I took Jules to the historic English Market and stocked up on groceries and picnic supplies. We made and then took sandwiches with us and ate them on the grounds of Blarney Castle. We'd all worked up good appetites after climbing the castle steps to kiss the stone. On our way to catch the bus back to Cork we came upon a group of American tourists, sprawled on a field looking for 4-leafed clover (stereotypical-much?). We had time to kill, so joined them. Jules found one pretty quickly and kindly gave it away to the disbelieving Americans.

When we got back to Cork, we started the walk to the Cork City Gaol. This is an old gaol and is now a tourist spot. We didn't actually get a look into the Gaol because we were there for the Taste of Cork food festival, which was taking place in tents set up in the grounds surrounding the Gaol (which btw looks quite castle-ish). It was pretty standard as far as food festivals go. It was the first they've had in Cork and I think NZ has the whole thing down a bit better.

Highlights included the free stuff (food, wine, whisky, chocolate, irish creme samples), the bands, the fire "jugglers" (there was staff work and fire hoola-hooping) and just hanging out together. Lowlights included lack of seating, high priced non-free stuff, people smoking. The walk back went a lot quicker than the walk there. Why is that always true?

Sunday

Again we packed lunches and this time we caught a train. We visited Fotalad at Fota and shared much food with him. We also saw many animals and delighted in seeing people playing with a baby cheetah (they were throwing a soft toy for it!). We had heaps of fun watching a Gibbon race around his Island with a rat. The other adult gibbon (with baby Gibbon attached around its middle) kept chasing it. Highly amusing.

I mis-read the train timetable so Jules sat reading in the sunshine on the platform, while Beau and I went for a short walk and got very silly in a discussion on red pandas and the possibility of Beau having one for a pet. Luckily we came across Fotalad disposing of some "compost" before we got out of control.

We then had a quick visit in Cobh, checking out St Colman's (again for Beau and I) and going on an unsuccessful mission for scoop ice-cream. I had been really keen in going to the Carrilon recital (St Colman's has something like 49 bells), but it ended up being a bit of an anticlimax. It *was* nice hearing the bells though.

On our way home we decided we would have a Canadian dinner as our last dinner with Jules, so we had pancakes, with banana, bacon and *maple* syrup. We had dessert and hot chocolate too!

I'm looking forward to our next visitor. It was really great making a new friend in Jules!

Point of Fashion: unthinking
Current Obsession: Can sleepy Giffy effectively game tonight?

Posted by giffy at 04:04 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack