October 2009


I’m sitting here in my bedroom (still hiding from the mouse) in my PJs with tears of laughter rolling down my face at this blog post. Sharni over at The Chronicles of Sharnia and I ‘met’ online last week, only to discover that we had actually met each other once in real life in her one horse town over a decade ago and that my ex – who shall only be known only as T-Do to protect the innocent guilty – was an old school buddy of hers. Earlier today Sharni asked for suggestions from her blog readers about some wacky things she could get up to and then write about.. in an effort to get herself out of her – cyberspace – shell..

Obviously from the resulting blog post you can tell what my suggestion was.. when I was dating good ol’ T-Do he would quite often drag me off to this particular one horse town to spend weekends with his parents and the only saving grace of those looong car drives was that at the end of it I would be able to have one of these delicious crab sticks.. it got to the point where the woman in the shop knew my name and order without me having to say a word (sad!).

After T-Do and I went our separate ways in a blaze of angst and broken marriage proposals (and a custody battle about a certain cat) I didn’t make it back to that one horse town, but I have dreamed of those crab sticks! I searched high and low for a suitable replacement and even after becoming a vegetarian I used to talk about them to Luke when as we ate psuedo soy crab sticks at Vegan Yum Cha in Sydney.

So Sharni, thank you very much for this wonderful blog post which has completely and utterly made my day (and I’m even updating my facebook BTAT to prove it!).

Here are some photos (credit to The Chronicles of Sharnia of course!)

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Well the rain may have brought the mice, but it was also responsible for some more glorious new flowers blooming in our yard so perhaps it can be forgiven. I did manage to get outside this afternoon but I’m back to hiding out in my bedroom at the moment.. there hasn’t been another mouse sighting yet (although this probably has more to do with the fact that I am hiding out in the bedroom than the mouse being gone) but I’m not taking any chances.

In non rodent related news, there is only 28 hours left until the NaNoWriMo kick off. For those of you who aren’t in the ‘Wrimo loop, basically the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting November 1st. Here is the lowdown from the website:

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2008, we had over 119,000 participants. More than 21,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

So, through the month of November one of two things will happen, either I will be so focused on my ‘Wrimo novel that you won’t hear a peep from me, or I will be so hell bent on procrastinating that I’ll be blogging, tweeting, commenting and facebooking like never before. Either option is fine, last year during a fit of NaNoWriMo procrastination I started my vegetarian food blog and I’ve managed to keep that alive now for the whole year, so good things do come from endless procrastination, even if it doesn’t happen to be the thing you are actually supposed to be working on.

Last year I didn’t make it through to the 50,000 finish line but this year I’m hoping to be a ‘Wrimo winner.. especially since successful completion means I can cross something new off my 101/1001 list, which I haven’t done in a really long time and really need to start working on again.

Anyway, wish me some novel writing luck!

It’s Blog This time again. This weeks challenge has been lots of fun.. now if only I could actually live in my dream house!

Your dream home:

To our own personal ideal. If time/location/money/the rest of the world didn’t matter, where would you live? What would your house look like? Find pictures ofyour dream home.  What would the rooms look like? How would you furnish them? is it a beach house? Mountainside?  Huge backyard, or small courtyard? Farm or suburbia? Apartment overlooking the Eiffel tower or rustic farmhouse in Tuscany.  Is there a tree with a swing on it?  Do you have a fireplace, mantle covered in photos?  Is it a morroccon themed home/asian? Minimalist/shabby chic?

Design your perfect home for us.

Find pictures online and dream away.

Well, first things first, my dream house would be somewhere totally isolated, and somewhere really really beautiful. It would have rainforest views on one side and incredible ocean views on the other and our nearest neighbour would be miles and miles away. We would live somewhere warm – but not hot. And somewhere that always had a light wind so that we could always have our curtains blowing softly in the breeze. I would want to be able to hear the waves crashing on a nearby beach as I fell asleep at night, and I would want it to be warm enough to sit outside in the sunshine during the day but cool enough to sleep with a cozy doona at night.

Our dream house would be filled with cozy bedrooms so that no matter how many friends turned up at the same time everyone would always have somewhere comfortable and welcoming to sleep (the kids too!). We’d have lots of bathrooms so no one would ever feel rushed or crowded, and in every single room there would be somewhere really perfect to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine (or a cup of tea!). There would be LOTS of space for all my books and every single room would feel relaxed and cozy and happy.

We’d have a huge wooden deck looking out over the ocean with a massive square wooden dining table right in the middle where everyone could eat meals and watch the sun set. We would have a pool too, somewhere for the kids to have fun while the adults lazed the day away. On the deck would be a huge daybed filled with colourful cushions and there would be hammocks to enjoy the sunshine in.

The kitchen would be HUGE with heaps of bench space and room to really cook up a storm, there would be places to sit in there as well so that we could keep each other company while we cooked. We would have a huge walk in pantry for all our food supplies and alllll the gadgets that Luke wants to get that I won’t let him buy because we have no room.

In the backyard we would have a giant veggie patch with all sorts of wonderful things growing year round, including all sorts of fresh herbs. We would also have lots of fruit trees for making jam and chutney and flavoured iced tea.

Hmmm.. oh it sounds like heaven!

Here are some of my motivation pics

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And P.S… there would be no mice!!

I think I may have jinxed us with my Springtime post last week. Yesterday afternoon we were unexpectedly enveloped in a snowstorm. Out of nowhere the temperature dropped, and the rain – which has been falling non stop for days and days and days – suddenly turned into snowflakes.. it was pretty spectacular actually. Unfortunately I was only able to get a couple of photos before my camera ran out of batteries, so I didn’t get to take any shots of the storm in full force but here are a couple of pics anyway:

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A not so nice side effect of the strange weather was finding a mouse in my kitchen today. It’s pretty usual really, considering we live in the country, and it’s been raining for a week, and I’m sure that a regular person wouldn’t find it all that troublesome but I am not a regular person when it comes to mice. When it comes to mice I am a fully fledged scream-like-a-girl-and-jump-on-a-chair lunatic. The way I feel about rats and mice is almost bordering on a phobia actually and I’m ashamed to admit that when I saw the mouse I didn’t just scream like a girl and jump on a chair, in fact, I screamed like a girl, jumped on a chair and then ran away and locked myself in the bathroom for half an hour. I’m not really sure what the logic behind the bathroom escape was, but what can I say? Fear is not rational!

I haven’t been back into the kitchen yet, when I finally managed to coax myself out of the bathroom I was only able to get as far as the bedroom and that is where I have been for the rest of the afternoon. Luckily my laptop was already in here otherwise I’m not sure what I would have done with myself, although I have to say I’m starting to get a bit hungry!!

On the up side, I have managed to spend a lot of time researching happy vegan ways to get rid of the mouse. I did consider trying out Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall’s method of burning sage and asking him to leave, but I can only spend so many afternoons locked in the bathroom before I start to lose my mind – and to be perfectly honest, I’m kind of afraid he will smell my fear and decide to get his friends to gang up on me if I take that approach – so, as an alternative to the sage burning hippie method I have ordered myself one of these.

It fulfills my requirement that the mice don’t die, and it’s non toxic, chemical free and environmentally friendly (aside from the small amount of electricity required to run it I suppose).. and Michele, the customer service lady has assured me that she will mail it tomorrow so that I can come out of the bedroom and start roaming around the house as soon as possible.

It’s just a pity that tomorrow is Friday.. looks like I’ll be spending my weekend in bed!

With Jaz over at Glooart talking about the best things about Autumn, I thought I would join in the nature love fest and share some springtime love. When we first arrived in New Zealand it was the dead of winter, it was cold.. REALLY cold, and we pretty much set ourselves up for a couple of months of hibernation.. our town, which is very small and very quiet at the best of times, spends winter as a ghost town with all the holiday houses empty and locked up until summer (oh the hard life of having a summer home!). This weekend is the first long weekend of the warmer months and you can really see our little village starting to come alive, speedboats dragging squealing children in rubber tires, kayaks floating across the lake, children walking dogs and adults walking children.. it really gets me excited for the holiday season.

Anyway, as spring blooms around us, it brings warmer weather – oh the joys of sitting outside in the sun! – and with the sun comes glorious flowers.. life abounds!! And here are some photos to prove it!

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So I learnt this afternoon via Sharni over at Chronicles of Sharnia that once you do 100 posts in your blog you are meant to do a ‘100 things about me’ blog post. Well I’m not up to 100 blog posts yet, I’m actually only up to 55 but if you add my 55 here and my 36 over at my vegetarian foodie blog, then that still doesn’t get us to 100 but it does get us to 91 so i’m going to do a 91 things about me post instead.. mainly because I don’t really have anything else to talk about it and it’s kind of sad that the only updates I have on the blog for the last little while are blog this challenges..

So here goes – try not to fall alseep!

  1. I have two middle names – Judy and Ruth, after my Nan and my Great Grandmother
  2. I am really afraid of meeting new people – but I’m working on it
  3. I cried when I watched the ‘killroom’ scene in Fast Food Nation – a lot!
  4. When I tried to tell 2 different people about the movie I cried again (it was very embarrassing)
  5. I have 52.66 GB of music on my laptop
  6. I am sometimes afraid of the dark
  7. I have 40 dreadlocks (I just counted them then)
  8. Last week I didn’t leave the house once (agoraphobia anyone?)
  9. When I have a really happy moment in my life I take a mental photograph to help me remember it
  10. I really want to go to the World Rainbow Gathering in Dec/Jan
  11. My most played song in itunes is “Don’t Look Away” by Joshua Radin
  12. I don’t really know why though since it’s not even a favourite song
  13. I’m about to start taking Clomid – a fertility drug – and I’m really nervous about it
  14. But I’m more nervous about what will happen next if it doesn’t work
  15. My favourite number is 23
  16. Whenever someone calls me, I think it is because they have bad news
  17. Sometimes when people knock on my door, I pretend not to be home
  18. If we have a daughter I will implement a no pink rule
  19. If we have a son the pink rule won’t apply
  20. I am allergic to onion
  21. I am addicted to making lists (can you tell?)
  22. I only like pink lady apples
  23. When I am at home I check my email at least 100 times a day
  24. I took sick days from work so that I could read the Twilight series in peace
  25. I would rather be fluffy than shaved
  26. I like my brothers wife more than I like my brother (sorry BJ)
  27. I love thunderstorms
  28. If I find a spider inside, I take it outside instead of killing it
  29. I don’t believe in capital punishment
  30. I am really struggling coming up with more things to put on this list
  31. I don’t know how to drive
  32. I like to lie on the floor and listen to my ipod
  33. Sometimes I miss eating meat
  34. I am afraid of the day I see **** again
  35. Melbourne is my favourite city
  36. I can really see the benefits of polygamy
  37. If I ever publish a book I will use a pseudonym and will probably keep it a secret
  38. The only “famous” person I ever met was Ben Unwin who played Jessie in Home and Away
  39. We were partners for an assignment at uni and had to do a presentation together
  40. When I used to say that I never wanted to get married or have kids I really thought I meant it
  41. I am truly shocked that there are people in the world who are against same sex marriages – what is the big deal?
  42. I really love living in New Zealand
  43. I find rewatching movies, and rereading books very comforting
  44. My favourite colour is Purple
  45. I used to have my nipples pierced
  46. When we were in Fiji, being evacuated in that tiny boat in the middle of a storm.. I was really scared
  47. I really miss my girls
  48. And sometimes I really don’t know how we all ended up so spread out
  49. I don’t believe in God
  50. This list is putting me to sleep so if you are still reading I am very impressed
  51. I loved the Coppin St sharehouse
  52. My favourite song at the moment is Ryan Adams’ version of Wonderwall
  53. I didn’t do the dishes today
  54. I am an Aries
  55. I really love kids. Babies, toddlers, children, even teenagers, they have something that most adults have lost
  56. I am really proud of my friends, and of the lives we’ve made for ourselves
  57. I chew my nails
  58. I love getting massages
  59. I daydream way too much
  60. I really want to be more assertive
  61. I think my husband is wonderful
  62. The smell of White Musk products from the body shop remind me of my Nan
  63. I miss my Nan
  64. But I really believe that sometimes she visits me
  65. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
  66. I don’t wear a watch
  67. I was sexually abused when I was 8 (and for years after by the same man)
  68. I wonder if he is afraid now that I am an adult, that I will come after him
  69. All of my closest friends live really really far away, and I don’t mind because I know we love one another enough
  70. I’m still really mad at Phil for committing suicide
  71. I wish he had called and asked for help
  72. I miss him
  73. I’ve never broken a bone
  74. I’m really quite lazy
  75. I really wish I was thin
  76. It really bugs me that I wish that
  77. Luke calls me chicken
  78. I have a soft spot in my heart for emo boys
  79. I think trees have personalities
  80. People say I eat VERY slowly, but I think I eat at a normal pace
  81. Once I walked into a wall after kissing my now husband, it was very embarrassing
  82. Between us, Luke and I own 448 books
  83. I have seen a dead body
  84. When I first saw Lake Wakatipu I felt like I was home
  85. The only thing I miss about Sydney is Vegan Yum Cha
  86. I think miso soup tastes like people
  87. 80% of the lightglobes in my house are blown out but I can’t reach the roof to change them
  88. While backpacking through Asia we visited a hill tribe family who fed us king cobra
  89. I don’t own a single pair of high heels
  90. I have spent HOURS doing this list
  91. I am VERY happy that it’s over

I bet you are too!!

I woke up this morning – well, if we’re being honest, we all know it was actually afternoon right? – and I wandered into the loungeroom in my pyjamas with my dreads all mussy and fluffy. Luke was making us cups of tea and I opened up our curtains and sighed “It’s such a beautiful day!” I heard Luke snigger into the kettle and when I turned around he must have seen my quizzical look because he said “Nikki, you say that every day!!” and he’s right! I do! But it’s freaking gorgeous! How could I not? Even when it is miserable and rainy and windy it is still gorgeous. Seriously, I cannot get enough of this beautiful country!

Yesterday we were driving into Queenstown to do our grocery shopping and I realised half way there that I had left the shopping list sitting on my desk – doh! So, anyway I sent Luke off to go and collect it like the good little husband he is, and I asked him to leave me behind so that I could take some photos of the lovely sights. It was beautiful and sunny and so I found myself a nice little perch on some rocks by the lake – it took a bit of scrambling to get down there but it was worth it! I finally managed to get a shot looking back into Kingston which I’ve been meaning to do since we moved here so that was exciting.. anyway here are some shots of my beautiful town/lake/mountains.. you can’t blame me for being blown away every morning when I open my curtains can you?

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