Playing tour guide Pt. 1 (and squirrel friends!)



As I said in my last post, I owe you some pictures/tales from my parents’ visit in the summer time.  We had a very nice time, though as always, wrangling family and not having a lot of down time can be quite high stress. It was however so lovely to host, to cook, to drive, to show, to take pride in this place that we live and the home that we’d built.



As well as South Queensferry (above), we spent some time at Culzean Castle and at New Lanark, which is a heritage village (which was closed, but still nice to walk around).



We also had an afternoon in the Royal Botanic Gardens, where something magical happened.


You may be aware that I like squirrels. I didn’t grow up seeing them, and despite the greys being pests and making the reds endangered, I still really like them. And the Botanics are full of them.



I was excited to see them at all, to be honest. But then we realised there was a woman feeding them.



This little guy was pretty friendly.



And then the lady gave us peanuts. And I got to do something amazing.

I dropped one and he came to grab it.



The lady kindly pointed out one of the squirrels who was “particularly friendly”. And so I lay down and held out a peanut (as did Dave)…



And then my wee friend was gone.  Dave has a video of me squealing. It’s very childish. But it made me so happy.


Thank you, squirrel friends. More pics from their trip to come on Monday.  Have a great weekend!




Black and blue.


I am rather bruised and battered as of late. My left thigh has a cluster of 4 or 5 nasty-looking bruises that appeared on Friday and are now in their healing colours (yellow-green), and completely unexplained. Now my right thigh has 3 small ones as of last night. Did the colour get smudged over to the other leg?

I’m starting to think that I’m being abducted by aliens in my sleep.

My right foot is all scratched up from Andy’s cat having a play last Friday night at drinks. It was fun until he dug his teeth in. There’s another bruise on my right knee, and the scars are adding up – a round spider bite scar on my left wrist, blister scars on my feet…

But I also have a bad habit of walking into things and forgetting about it, because I don’t show any outside reaction to pain. I’m so used to being a little off-kilter since illness in 2001, that I have stopped even wincing or complaining if I injure myself. I just roll my eyes and move on, to the confusion of spectators.

My new job has physical elements, and I’m on my feet most of the day. I’m expecting to get even more banged up and sore, especially with morning shifts this week starting at 5.30. How anyone functions at that time is beyond me, and I’m soon to find out.

3, 2, 1, blast off!


Number of bobby pins in my hair today: 12

New ladders in my pantyhose: 3

Planes I touched: 4

Hours spent learning about Dangerous Goods: 4

Seats on an Airbus A320: 144

Number of days left in initial training: 46

Dernier of regulation pantyhose: 15

Can you tell I have a new job? I’m only 3rd day in, but soon I’ll be checking bags and taking boarding passes and making those annoying calls over and OVER for Mr JONES WOULD YOU PLEASE COME TO YOUR GATE (YOU TWAT).

I’m currently shadowing people and trying to learn as much as I can. Highlights of today include:

  • Passing my dangerous goods exam and adding another card to my passes
  • Spending an hour on the tarmac, where I ended up meeting new faces
  • Lowering the trebble! (cargo lift/rollers vehicle)
  • Driving the push-back vehicle (pushes the plane away from the gate) – well, back and forth in a line, without a plane, of course.
  • Standing underneath (and touching, of course) the Airbus A320.

I’m loving it so far, and I’ll let you know more when I’ve been there longer. But I think I’ve struck a gold job.

(Apologies for my absence of late, another new post this weekend!).

All liquid, all the time


(The EP launch went great, thanks for asking. Go buy one. Run along. Thanks.)

So my Last Office Monday Ever started with the fun-ness that comes with detox.

I ran into a family friend on the weekend – a naturopath. We talked a while about each others’ families, and then about my health, and then well, about my trip.. and it somehow came up that I’m well, not terribly regular at the moment and it gets way worse when I travel long-distance.

So. She’s put me on a detox.

In other words, a liquid diet.

I asked if it was really a good idea, as I’m flying on Monday. She seems to think that it’s the Best Timing Ever, and is getting me to drink the liquid til Friday, drink fruit juices only on Saturday and then fruit juices and soup on Sunday, sipping them so that my body isn’t too shocked. Then on Monday I can resume eating healthy food. She said it will really clear out my intestines, my colon, flush my organs.. anything that’s blocked up or not functioning should right itself. It also should help food cravings, allergies and joint/muscle pain. And apparently after the first 2 days I won’t feel (as) hungry or light-headed. I have to call her tonight and then Wed and Friday, and then on Sunday night if I remember to tell her how things went.

She also wants me to record how many 200ml glasses I drink a day, my weight, any complaints that come from it. So..

Detox, Day One:

1/10 glasses so far
Complaints: only hunger!

I am not doing this for weight loss.. that would be a bonus, but it’s really to clear it all out, and hopefully on Monday I won’t get any issues when I fly. I think I can do it! (But that’s because I’m only my first morning in. Ask me again tomorrow.)

If I told you, I’d have to kill you.


He can fix it.

When I was 8 I wanted to be MacGyver. I wanted to work for him or with him and do all the fancy stuff he did with gadgets.
I used to lie under my Dad’s desk or the coffee table, screwdriver in hand, and pretend to be fixing something really important. It’s a wonder to this day that I didn’t end up becoming a mechanic.

MacGyver was cool. He could do anything with his duct tape and swiss army knife, and he didn’t believe in guns! He looked good with a mullet! He had a nemesis that just didn’t die no matter how many times he blew up! He just ruled. And he used science. I never really cared for science, but MacGyver had the skills to impress me with it.

I once dreamed of being a cop (or secret agent) but that fell over when I reached around 13 and realised that being 5’2 and less than 100lb wouldn’t really make me the right fighting candidate. And besides, what secret agencies are there in New Zealand?

(My childhood was full of shows like these. Quantum Leap was another favourite, because he always helped people, and I always wanted to help people. I wanted to save the world.)

When I got older and discovered La Femme Nikita, I realised that I’d never really get over the secret agent fetish. Nikita cared about everyone, fought against the system, and was such a double-agent at times that I wondered, like everyone else, how she managed to stay alive. I wanted to be able to fight like her, and find my own hot secret agent with a mullet. (Oh wait, is there a theme here? Michael was French, however. That definitely added to the allure). I started to really identify with these shows with strong female characters. I loved (and still love) Scully for her kick-ass attitude and intelligence. She seemed to be the only girl out there kicking butt for us, fighting to save the world and keep her partner in check.

And then came Joss Whedon’s girls. Buffy, Faith, River. Buffy was the hero of her town, saving everyone from vampires and demons, and looking cute/quipping at the same time. Faith had an attitude, but lived life to the full. And River? River was so strong, yet so lost. But she was brilliant, full of power.

We need these shows back. Or we need to create a whole new show, with a new heroine. She can jump through time to save your life. She uses science to save herself and disable the enemy. She has super strength. She can hide on the ceiling, limbs stretched out in support. She wisecracks, yet has vulnerability. And she always saves the day. Yeah, I’d watch that.

Shake shake shake.


Mmmmm booze.

Well, after a 24-hour intensive course that involved a bit of alcohol consumption, a lot of sting-inducing lemon squeezing and a bit of shaking ice around, I am officially a bartender. I even have a certificate that says so. And I belong to the NZ Bartenders guild! [insert geek joke here].

Add that to 2 days (including one long night) of jury service, and I’m pooped (I refused to put ‘duty’ and ‘pooped’ in the same sentence there – are you proud?). But the government kindly gave me today and Friday off, so I appreciate that. I am glad to be here.

I’d like to thank Finn for not barking all night, my street for not being too flooded, the kind folks at work for not noticing my tardiness this morning, and Berocca, most of all, for giving me back my “b-b-bounce”.