Friday, December 30, 2005

No place like home

Well, we've been home for a few days now. I didn't manage to blog as much as I thought I would while I was away, and also haven't managed to catch up on what everyone else is doing. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Jake and I came home on Tuesday. We'd intended to make it a two-day journey, but just wanted to get home and into our own beds. So we did the 12-hour drive in one go - much easier now he can share the driving.

In the three weeks since my last weigh-in, I've put on 1.1kg. I'm fairly happy with that, considering all the eating, drinking and being merry that's been going on. I know my exercise helped counter many of my excesses, so thank goodness for that. As a sample of the temptations that came my way, here is the dessert spread one of my sisters prepared for the anniversary party:


It was lovely to been surrounded by family, and for a good length of time, instead of a rushed weekend. For my two nieces from Adelaide (born in Nova Scotia), this was the first Christmas they've had with their cuzzies.

We had a tree at the camping ground, and the tents were decorated for the occasion. Everyone gathered for present-opening in the morning, then we had Xmas dinner at Mum and Dad's - very traditional, with ham, turkey, roast lamb on the spit and all the trimmings. Another magical array of desserts, including pumpkin pie and, of course, more pavlova.

Here are the two youngest nieces, being shooed back to their tent with their stockings, under strict instructions not to emerge until 7.30am:

A wonderful holiday, with some wonderful memories. But wonderful to be home!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Best Xmas pressie ever!

This morning my lovely son (that's right, the big, tough Kiwi bloke) gave me:
a trophy engraved 'Congratulations on losing'.

Yes, I did have a jolly good cry.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A quick summary

Hi all, just a quick summary of the events of the last week:
  1. Found the best scales in the world in a motel in Rotorua - lost 16kg overnight! Of course half an hour later I'd only lost 8kg and in another half hour I'd lost 23kg. May not trust that weight...
  2. It's been lovely to see all the family. There's just nothing like it.
  3. The 50th anniversary was fabulous. We had a lovely Northland day and the setting at the Kerikeri yacht club was magical - blue sky, blue sea and green hills. Lots of old friends and other relatives to catch up with, a lovely speech from one of Mum's bridesmaids and another one from Dad.
  4. Giving Mum and Dad their present involved much planning and sneaking. We had got them a sculpture for the garden, so Jake and two of his uncles snuck up under the cover of night, climbed the fence and put it in the garden. Carried it off without being sprung, despite being questioned by a local police officer. The text from Mum the next morning was priceless: 'Just looked out the window. First tears of the day'.
  5. Last night the local Farmers' Market had an extra market so everyone could stock up for Christmas. Lots of gorgeous local produce, as well of a selection of locally made sausages, mussel fritters etc to eat.
  6. More planning afoot for Christmas Day. We'll do present-opening at the camp with a champagne and chicken brunch, then mid-afternoon dinner at Mum and Dad's - the full works: turkey, ham, lamb, pumpkin pie, you name it!
  7. My eating has been okay most days, but several nights with plenty of alcohol! I have been getting lots of exercise, though, and sticking to my training regime, so hopefully maintenance is still on the cards.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Still blogging

To confirm my status as an uber-geek, I will (of course) be taking my laptop on holiday with me - complete with 3G card. So I can blog anywhere. Oh, and probably slip in a bit of work as well. Pathetic.

I will sporadically post about my holiday and visit your blogs when I can. Photos might have to wait till I get back.

I have to admit to briefly considering taking my scales with me. Pathetic again - at least I only considered it for about a second. My normal weigh-in day is Friday. I'm not going to weigh early this week and won't do another official weigh until the Friday after I get back, so next time I post a weight will be 30 December. I think you can guarantee I will be keeping a wee eye on it though, on my mother's scales.

The car is all packed, complete with tents, sleeping mats, Christmas presents and my bike helmet. A few of the bare essentials are there too - gin, Jake's golf clubs, the coffee plunger (never travel without one) and the salt and pepper grinders. I just need to pick up the pram and portacot for my great-niece. Yes, it's a pretty big car.

I had one of those perplexing conversations with my boys while I was packing last night. They can't seem to understand why I need three sponge bags. It's all quite obvious to me - one each for: skincare, make-up and the general washing and body stuff. Luckily they didn't spot the fourth bag - the little one I use for my jewelry. I pack lighter when I'm flying, but if you've got the space you might as well use it!

So I'll rush through half a day's work. Then I'm having lunch with a friend. Jake is taking his girl to see King Kong at 10.30am, so the plan is to hit the road as soon as they finish. Traffic in Wellington will be a 'mare today, with the KK premier on tonight.

Next post will be from the winterless North.

Monday, December 12, 2005

2 more sleeps!

It's nearly holiday time. Hooray!

On Wednesday we head for the Bay of Islands for two weeks camping and family frivolity.

You'll see my triathlon schedule in the sidebar is a bit lighter than usual on some days. Wednesday we're driving to Rotorua after work, so I won't fit in any exercise that afternoon. Thursday we drive to Kerikeri - and I figure pitching the tents will be enough extra exercise for that day!

And Saturday is the anniversary party. I'll try to fit in my bike ride early in the morning. We have to be at Mum and Dad's by 9.30am, all flashed up in our glad rags, because they've booked a photographer. Then the do starts at the yacht club at 11am - a lunch there, followed by dessert back at the house.

We haven't really started thinking about Christmas yet!

Friday, December 09, 2005


Rongotai College had their prizegiving last night. I love going to this event.

Rongotai is a boys' school, years 9-13, with just less than 700 boys. This number is made up of over 30 nationalities and a huge socio-economic range; we have students from some of the richest suburbs in Wellington, some from old-fashioned 'middle-class' families and we also have lots of recently arrived immigrants and refugees.

This diverse group makes up one of the most beautiful families I have ever seen. We may struggle financially as a school, but the heart and soul is immeasurably rich.

Our departing head prefect talked about that in his valedictory speech last night - the love they have for each other, the spirit that runs through the school. His speech brought tears to my eyes; indeed he struggled to deliver it without breaking down himself. And then, as always, I was completely undone when the school rose as one and performed the Rongotai haka for their leader. An awe-inspiring sight.

They all deserve a prize. Even my ragamuffin of a son, whose carefully cultivated mullet and muttonchops had disappeared for last night's prizegiving. And who looked so grown up on stage at the end, leading the school chants as the teachers filed from the room. As one of next year's senior class, he knows it's time for him to step up to the plate.

So, enough ramblings from a proud mum.

I'm very pleased with my half kilo loss this week, which has probably been one of the toughest weeks I've had, with so many functions on.

And, yes, the one day cricket on Wednesday was the most exciting game I've ever seen. A win would have made it perfect!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Moscow Mule

A very refreshing summer drink:
Crush a sprig of mint into a tall glass. Add plenty of ice, some freshly squeezed lime juice and 2 nips of vodka. Fill to the top with ginger beer and enjoy!
To make this a point-friendly drink, make with a single nip of vodka and diet ginger beer.

I'd like to thank all you Aussie girls for pointing out how badly we got our arses kicked in the cricket. I notice not one of you mentioned the rugby league!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Phew, recovery week!

Well, it's been one hell of a few days.

The trip to the Wairarapa on Friday was fabulous. Lovely weather, lovely company, lovely wine, lovely food.

I wore my size 16 jeans and a little knitted top that came to just above my hips - a very daring departure from the old days of mid-thigh loose tops! I was SHOWERED with compliments! Everyone was so nice - there were even a few who had to double-take to work out who I was.

So of course being surrounded by all that love put me in a great mood and I spent that afternoon/evening/night being a complete social butterfly and loving it.

Food-wise I was pretty controlled, but the alcohol was quite a different issue. Plenty of wine and then I hit the Moscow Mules when we got back into the city. I don't think even the wild dancing would have burnt those off.

Also to help keep my steps up (yeah, right) I spent the 1 hour train trip walking up and down, making sure everyone had a drink and that they had all made a new friend on the trip.

Sidenote: don't you hate those guys who used to ignore your very existence and now think it's acceptable to flirt with you because you look better than you did? Luckily most people I know aren't that shallow.

So, a brief recovery time on Saturday morning, then off to the races at Trentham, for the Printing Federation Christmas do. Another great day of catching up with the people I often only get to see once or twice a year.

Mark and I had our usual average day with the betting, but my drinking was a huge success again! Sometimes I think having a non-drinking partner isn't such a great thing - it's never my turn to drive, so I can always drink when we go out.

Didn't fit in any exercise on Saturday. Went to the gym Sunday morning and had to work very hard to do my usual programme.

Then Sunday afternoon I decided I really should get my car from work, where it had been since Friday. So I rode in to pick it up.

This is a 10km ride with practically no hills. Should be quite a pleasant ride. Except for the northerly. In true Wellington style it was blowing forty bastards again. And much of the ride was into the headwind. Several times I had the gears down to 1/1 and was barely moving.

So I've had a great weekend and am looking forward to a couple of more controlled days before the cricket on Wednesday. And it's recovery week in the triathlon schedule, so my training won't interrupt my social life!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fattening the Christmas turkey?

Oh dear, I'd forgotten just how much we all eat at this time of year.

The social scene for next week has ramped up considerably. In the next seven days I have: wine-tasting and dinner in the Wairarapa, Printers' Federation day at the races, a big barbecue with some printers and friends, a supplier lunch, day in the corporate box at the races, the first of my work Xmas dinners!

And next week is a recovery week in the triathlon training, so I will be doing LESS exercise than usual!

By following my Christmas plan I've shown a very pleasing 1.3kg loss in the last week.

Considerable will-power will be needed to survive the next week unscathed. Note to self: always, always, always drink a big glass of water between glasses of wine.

The next thing to face will be the Xmas gifts. Being in production I get lots of gifts from suppliers and clients. I consider it just reward for the amount of work I do - it's a job no-one else wants for 11 months of the year.

Most of these presents will involve food and alcohol. So, they'll all go in a box to take on the camping trip and contribute to the 'group fund'. I'm sure someone else will sacrifice themselves for me.

I was hoping I might be an 80's girl by the end of next week. Really, I'll just be happy to make it to the end of the week without catching some chef trying to work out how much sausage and apple stuffing to shove up my cavity!