Friday, May 29, 2009

Dreaming of a water-tight winter

We are mid-chaos, one week into the 2-3 estimated it will take Metro to re-roof the house. Those who've been here know its a tricky one, with steep inaccessible slopes and lots of 'fiddly bits'.

While the scaffolds are up we are taking the opportunity to also have the guttering and downpipes replaced, the chimney overhauled, some new skylights put in, extra insulation between the roof and wooden ceilings, and some warped cedar side panels replaced.

It's costing us a small packet but is work well needed. It was at the stage where every downpour was causing a leak in some new and interesting place.

The scaffolds at the rear completely barricade the doors so the only route to the back decks and spa pool is to climb out of the window. Last weekend while lifting pot plants out of the way in preparation, I strained my lower back and so it's not an easy walk to the spa pool at the moment.

Our three cats have always regarded the roof as their territory. Some parts are low to the sloping ground which means they can get on & off with ease. However, the old asbestos sheet roof had good traction while the new steel is shiny and smooth. Coupled with the gutters being removed, they are quickly learning the ropes. Last night we heard a "whoooosh" followed by a thud as one of the boys skidded down the new roof and plunged to the deck. Luckily it was on a low part and no harm was sustained except possibly to feline pride.

The boys enjoying a sit in the gutter (old roof still in place).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr Dylan

Oops - it was yesterday. Oh well. I did remember.
68 and going strong.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Crockpotting in the cold zone

Winter has truly set in during the last few days. My car thermostat reported 6C as I drove to work yesterday. We've been having log fires every night and I've been wearing fluffy bed socks at night.

Today I bought my first ever crock pot and been looking for good recipe ideas.

I found this family who spent every day of last year using their crock pot and blogged the results. However, today I got sidetracked and didnt get the thing cooking until 4pm so at 7pm with supposed casserole still quite raw, we gave up and decided it was tomorrows dinner! I think this style of cooking requires a bit more forward planning than I am used.
Any interesting crock pot recipes welcome.

The story that Westpac mistakenly credited $10m instead of $10,000 to a Kiwi's bank account has become front page news here and in the UK. The man has done a runner. Makes me think (as I am a Westpac customer) - What would I do?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Support Amnesty International

By listening to some cool music...

To download this EP is just $3.99 and the proceeds go to Amnesty. More info from Mr Byrne here

Happy Friday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So many cats, so little time

Last Sunday we spent the day helping out at a cattery in South Auckland.
Jaz had asked for volunteers to help overhaul the gardens and clean up the cattery that is run by a lady, nothing to do with the SPCA, who takes in wounded, tortured and unwanted cats. Of about 20 people who turned up I (and Tamsin) were among a few lucky ones who got to spend most of the day inside the cattery itself helping to clean out cages and providing as many cuddles to the poor creatures as humanly possible.

There were between 100 and 120 cats in residence, yet I was amazed at how peaceful and calm it was. Hardly any scraps happened in the 5 hours we were there. Although the "cat per square foot" ratio was very high, they mostly just sat quietly tolerating their compatriots and often lying so close that licking themselves easily involved licking several other cats too.

These cats are mostly ones that would not be easily adopted or re-homed or would be considered unsuitable for some reason. A very rewarding day.

Tamsin donating her scarf as a plaything.

Friday, May 1, 2009

On the cover of Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine 16 times - 1968 to 2009.
The 4 below are my favourites. You can see the rest here.

On a personal note I've been using the Wii daily, sometimes twice a day. Favourite activities so far are ski-jump, slalom, hula hoops and balancing games (tilt table and tightrope) but I am starting to get into the yoga, step and jogging. It tells me I've lost 0.4kg in the first 2 days but that could be due to natural daily variation. The boxing is tough: I can only manage 5 or 6 minutes before collapsing onto the sofa and watching the opponent beat me until my head falls off.