Saturday, September 19, 2009


I recently tried a new brew of Mac's. Unfortunately I 'over-cooked' it - I must have added too much sugar in the bottle for the secondary fermentation. As a result, when I tested a bottle, it 'exploded' on me, with spectacular effect!

That's the effect spring weather has

Brunch on the deck, on a sparkling spring morning

Shorts make their first appearance for the season. Stunningly white feet and legs mean sunglasses are de riguer!

Hey ho, hey ho

"It's off to the ball we go"
Jayne and Nicky were dressed and ready early for the off, to the Wellington College Ball.

Note Jayne's dress - designed and made by herself, of course!

Chilling 'look-alikes'?

Or is just my imagination?
Two horrendous murders, one convicted killer, and one accused (double-) killer.
In one case, "Clayton Robert Weatherston set about killing and disfiguring Sophie Elliott "in a calm and collected manner", the Crown said as it opened the murder case against him in the High Court at Christchurch" ( He was eventually found guilty in a case which is still attracting coverage.
In Christchurch, Tisha Lowry disappeared 12 months ago; her body has now been recovered from beneath the house next-door to where she lived, along with that of the woman who lived in the house.
The man accused of both murders has been named as Jason Somerville.
What I find especially chilling about these cases is the appearance of Weatherston and Somerville. Now I'm the first to confess I have never been particularly good at spotting 'likenesses' between people. I am usually non-plussed when people claim to be able to see family resemblances after a quick glance at a photo, especially when it is of a child.
But: take a look at these:

Clayton WeatherstonJason Somerville
How spooky is that?
Apparently, "Dr Chaplow, New Zealand's director of mental health, said ... Weatherston was controlling and 'appeared to have an inflated sense of his own achievements'" (NZ Herald), and said "that one of the character traits of the narcissist is the propensity for 'narcissistic rage' when frustrated and/or humiliated."
So, my reaction when I saw Somerville's photo and the likeness to Weatherston, was that maybe all those theories about racial and character types having specific appearance characteristics were actually onto something? Maybe this is the facial 'type' of the narcissist? Maybe we will find that Somerville is also prone to 'narcissistic rages' which propelled him to kill two women.
Or maybe I'm seeing things which aren't really there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's what back lawns are for

Last weekend friends Rebecca and Joel came around for lunch, with their two young boys, Nicholas and Jonathon. Needless to say the boys were keen to run around the back lawn, ignoring the pretty blossom petals, but delighting in chasing the neighbours cats, who, it seemed, also enjoyed the game. Even if it did mean dodging flying missiles. They did stop for a quiet moment or two, as well as eating well!

Spring snow-shower

Not really, but it looks like it. The cherry tree is gradually losing petals all over the lawn which produces a pretty effect. They even get stuck to the windows when wet.

Do not go gentle into that good night ...

The other evening looked as though we were heading for a night that was anything but gentle. As it transpired it was OK, but the sunset was impressive.

It really is Spring

The Cherry Trees are now in full bloom, even the one by the house, and the temperatures are now enticing us out-doors.

And while there, we notice the lawn is somewhat 'sparkly'. I helped out with a 40th birthday party at the Irish Club recently, and brought home the table-cloths to be washed. Experience has taught us that they need to be shaken outside before washing. So Desiree did that, and now we have the lawn and deck decorated with miniature leprechauns and 40s!

Cupcakes everywhere

What is it with cupcakes? Not only are my daughters obssessed, but so is the SPCA! They even invaded work, with a couple of keen volunteers spending a day baking at home to seel them at work. They raised $350 from the trolley-load (yes, I did! But only one!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tui in the Cherry Tree

Recent weather has been all over the place. August was the warmest on record. Spring has arrived with a rush, and blossom trees and spring bulbs are bursting out all over.

That's not to say there haven't been cold or wet episodes. In fact the last day of August saw part of our back lawn under water. This isn't unusual, as the section straddles what was once an old stream bed, and our section is somewhat lower than the neighbours on either side. However, there have been few occasions this year.

You might also notice that the flowering cherry tree at the back of the garden is blossoming, producing what is, for me, one of the most spectacular displays of colour we get in the garden. The flowers are delicate and detailed up close, strikingly beautiful against a clear blue sky, and produce lovely effects when the morning sun ripples through them.

And then this morning, we had Tuis visit and feed. That, also, is not unusual. We have a large, albeit late-flowering, Kowhai tree, and there are several other kowhai in the neighbourhood, so Tuis are often in the area, especially when the kowhai are in flower. What I noticed this morning, however, was that the Tuis were feeding in the cherry blossom. I haven't noticed that before, and was intrigued.

Just coasting along

I finally got around to finishing a job I set myself earlier in the year, when Charlotte was home.

She had brought me a collection of English beer mats (or coasters, if you prefer!). My plan was to display them all in a picture frame.

As too often happens, good intentions took a back seat to more 'immediate' concerns, so the project was put on the back-burner, and there it stayed.

Until, ... just the other day. I was at home and had some time on my hands. I had a re-cycled frame, albeit with faded photo shaped outlined on the backing card. So a quick trip to the Stationery Warehouse equipped me with a sheet of plain paper and some fasteners.

So I spent a pleasant hour cutting the paper to size, fixing it to the backing card, and then arranging the mats onto it and attaching them. The final steps were to return the backing card to the frame, secure it, and then hang it.

See - it worked. Now, Charlotte, when next you're home, that pack was 1 of 4, so ...